Our “Virtuous” Rich

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

104248208I believe that it is impossible to deal with any problem until one understands the underlying nature of that problem. The analogy of a Physician treating the symptoms of a patient, but ignoring the cause of those symptoms, comes to mind. We have the medicine to deal with the specific manifestation of an illness like a headache and a fever, but in ameliorating the discomfort of the symptoms, we may miss the underlying pathology. This happened to me last March when shortly after being prescribed a change in the anti-rejection medicines that keep me alive after my heart transplant, I began to get so sick that I needed hospitalization in intensive care. I won’t bore you with the grimy details of this sudden downturn in health, but I must note that my most important bodily functions began to shut down. What is curious about this incident is that my wife, who is internet savvy, immediately began to suggest to my Doctors that I was having a bad reaction to the medicinal change. At first they ignored her as they had Department Heads in Cardiology, Immunology, Infectious Diseases, Neurology, Proctology, Urology and even Dermatology come in to examine me and pore over my medical charts. Finally, in response to my wife’s unfailing advocacy, they returned me to my prior anti-rejection medication. To my Physician’s surprise and possible chagrin the symptoms almost immediately began to abate and within in days I was home from the hospital and on the mend.

While the story above may seem to be far afield from my topic today, I use it to illustrate how even the best minds can be distracted from an underlying pathology by the symptoms it presents. The pathology I want to deal with in this piece is that of our America becoming a country increasingly divided between rich and poor. We are a country at war with itself. That war is one defined by social/economic class and by skin color. The manifestations of the “warfare” are to be seen in our political system and the mock battles between “conservatives” and “liberals” for the soul of the nation. Yet the two dominant parties are both financed, thus controlled, by those who are extremely wealthy. Their party differences seem only to be ones of degree. By degree I mean the Republican’s are in favor of an all out war on those of lower economic status, while the Democrat’s seek to ameliorate the effects upon them, but continue the economic dominance of that miniscule percentage of our people. To my mind the problem of economic inequality in our country is merely a symptom of an underlying psychological mindset of those with wealth and thus great power. Those of us who would change the equation between wealth and class find ourselves fighting the “symptoms” of this class warfare, but these “symptoms” confuse our cause. On a macrocosmic scale the “battles” in this “warfare” are “fought” via political ideologies based on theories by “great” economists and social commentators. To my mind these are “mock battles” because they are involved only in symptoms misdiagnosed by “experts”. Permit me to explain.

Consider the Koch Brothers, whose wealth was estimated in Forbes Magazine to be $36 billion each.  http://www.bizjournals.com/wichita/morning_call/2013/09/koch-brothers-net-worth-36-billion.html Were these brothers to stop all economic activity today it would be reasonable to assume that all their progeny and future progeny, would have enough money to not have to work for perhaps 20 generations to come. The simple truth is that barring some heretofore unsuspected catastrophe, that much wealth would allow the bearers to live comfortably through even the harshest social upheaval one could imagine. Even violent revolutions, as those we’ve seen in Russia and in China, were such that many of the wealthiest in those societies were able to escape the “Revolution” with their lives and their wealth intact. Yet these brothers, who are tied for fourth on Forbes list of the “100 Wealthiest American’s, are arguably the most active people politically in this country and their activism is all focused on ensuring the primacy of themselves and their class. What can it be then that motivates people like the Koch Brothers, who have far more wealth than they can conceivably manage to use in their lifetimes, to be so set on ensuring the that their class will be supreme in America and in the world? I suggest that the answer has nothing to do with either politics or economics. I assert that it is a battle of “good” versus “evil”, but that those terms are rendered meaningless if applied in their normal moral contexts.

The leadership in this country’s war against the lower classes are fighting this “war” because they deem themselves to be the repositories of “virtue” and also the most capable, therefore the most deserving people to lead. This is why I believe that we could throw out the normal conceptions of “good” versus “evil” when we try to conceptualize what is going on here. Class Warfare in America is being waged because most of our wealthiest people believe they are acting morally in waging it. They see themselves as representing all that is “good” in humanity and they are fighting the “evil” of those who would take from society without “producing” anything. To understand the basis of the struggle being waged politically in our country, we must understand that it has developed from psychological suppositions, rather than socio-economic principles.

“A study of social class — defined by annual income and by education-level — finds that “Social class rank was positively associated with essentialist beliefs [beliefs that genetics is more important than environment in explaining social class]. … Social class rank was also positively associated with both belief in a just world … and meritocracy beliefs, … suggesting that upper-class … individuals are more likely to believe that society is fair and just than are their lower-class rank counterparts.”

This study,  “Social Class Rank, Essentialism, and Punitive Judgment,”  was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, and was performed by Michael W. Kraus and Dacher Keltner, two leading social scientists, whose investigations of the moralities that are applied respectively by the rich and by the poor, are contributing importantly to our understanding of society, of politics, of law, and of economics.

“This research found that “Upper-class … individuals were more likely to endorse beliefs that social class is an inherent, stable, and biologically determined social category relative to their lower-class … counterparts. Moreover, this pattern emerged after accounting for both political attitudes and material resource measures of social class. … Beliefs that society is fair and just explained the tendency among upper-class … individuals to endorse essentialist [biological] beliefs about social class.” Thus: the richer and more educated a person was, the more that he thought the world is just, and the more he attributed his being upper-class to his supposed inborn superiority, rather than to the circumstance of his having been born from rich parents who possessed the money to send him to college and perhaps to an expensive university.”

“Rich and educated people were more supportive of punishment as a means of retribution; poor and uneducated people were more supportive of punishment as a means of reforming the criminal and of (via fines, etc.) restoring to the victims what they had lost from the crime. “Moreover, relationships among social class rank, essentialist beliefs, and punitive judgments could not be accounted for by measures of individuals’ material resources or political orientation.” In other words: even “liberal” rich tend to be more favorable to retribution than are “liberal” poor.

In summary: “Upper-class … individuals would be more likely to endorse essentialist lay theories of social class categories (i.e., that social class is founded in genetically based, biological differences) than would lower-class … individuals and … these beliefs would decrease support for restorative justice — which seeks to rehabilitate offenders, rather than punish unlawful action.” http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Rich-and-Educated-Beli-by-Eric-Zuesse-Deficit-funded-Tax-Cuts-To-Wealthy_Spread-The-Wealth_WEALTH-VS-ALTRUISM-IN-POLITICS_Wealth-Concentration-131202-193.html

Reading the above I think one can begin to limn the outlines of the motivation of the Koch Brothers and their allies. If you give it some thought it makes sense that rich people, especially the Koch Brothers would feel the way they do and act on it. By virtue of their birth they are wealthy beyond belief. They have lived lives where those around them cater to them. They have attended schools surrounded by others from their social class and they have no real experience when it comes to what life is like for the average person. When Mitt Romney gave the advice to college graduates to borrow $20,000 from their father and start a business he was being totally sincere. His father gave him $10 million to start Bain Capital after all. When I first started driving, one of my friends who came from a wealthy and indulgent family, asked me when I asked him to chip in for gas: “Why don’t you have your father give you a credit card, like mine does.” From his life experience how was he to know that my father couldn’t get a credit card for himself, much less give one to me. How then is someone born to great wealth able to understand what it is like to be born without their privileges? To someone like that poverty is merely an abstract concept.

Social Commentator Chris Hedges has even a more jaundiced view of the wealthy stemming from his childhood experiences living and going to school among them:

“Because we don’t understand the pathology of the rich. We’ve been saturated with cultural images and a kind of cultural deification of wealth and those who have wealth. We are being–you know, they present people of immense wealth as somehow leaders–oracles, even. And we don’t grasp internally what it is an oligarchic class is finally about or how venal and morally bankrupt they are. We need to recover the language of class warfare and grasp what is happening to us, and we need to shatter this self-delusion that somehow if, as Obama says, we work hard enough and study hard enough, we can be one of them. The fact is, the people who created the economic mess that we’re in were the best-educated people in the country–Larry Summers, a former president of Harvard, and others. The issue is not education. The issue is greed. And I, unfortunately, had the experience of being shipped off to a private boarding school at the age of ten as a scholarship student and live–I was one of 16 kids on scholarship, and I lived among the super-rich and I watched them. And I think much of my hatred of authority and my repugnance for the ruling elite comes from having been among them for so long.”

“People don’t understand the elite schools, even at the high school level, that they get–the kids get excellent educations, but they learn the whole culture of hundreds or thousands of years of how to rule. And a deep, rich understanding of it. Not only that and George Bush is a perfect example of that. Well, not so much an example of deep, rich understanding, but of how–you know, affirmative action for the rich. And I came–certainly my mother’s side of the family–from lower working class. I mean, people–one of my uncles lived in a trailer in Maine, and certainly people with no means. And I would juxtapose the world I was in with that world. And it was very clear that it wasn’t about intelligence or aptitude.

The fact is, if you’re poor, you only get one chance. If you’re wealthy like Bush, you get chance after chance after chance after chance. So you’re a C student at Andover, and you go to Yale, and you go to Harvard Business School, and you’re AWOL from your National Guard unit, and you’re a cokehead, and it doesn’t really matter. You don’t even really have a job till you’re 40 and you become president of the United States.

So that was what was particularly insidious, how those small, tight elite oligarchic circles perpetuated themselves and promoted mediocrity (because many of these people like Bush are very mediocre human beings) at the expense of the rest of us, and how with money they game the system. And, of course, now we live in an oligarchic state where we’ve been rendered utterly powerless, and the judiciary, the legislative, the executive branches all subservient to an oligarchic corporate elite. And the press is owned by an oligarchic corporate elite, which makes sure that any critique of them is never broadcast over the airwaves.” http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=11150

Chris Hedges is somewhat more polemical than I am. Although I come from a lower middle class background, with a father who had been in prison, I have had many wealthy friends in my life. Among them are people I still love and cherish. More than a few came from circumstances humbler than my own to achieve financial success in this world. Rather than begrudge their success I admire it and feel good for them. Some of my friends were born to moderate wealth, but have the insight to see that those less privileged than themselves are also deserving of consideration. Neither of those categories can be seen as representative of the “Rich” I’m discussing here. The fact is that I would have had no occasion in my life to meet, or become friends with people such as the Koch Brothers. The circles in which we travel are so completely different as to be analogous to different planets. In any event it is not my purpose to demonize those such as the Koch’s, but to understand their motivations so that their hold on power which has resulted in class warfare can be fought. An apt question for me would be, given the above, how do I differentiate between being wealthy and being rich enough to be beyond the reach of social norms? Being in fact wealthy enough to create one’s own social norms. My own rough dividing line, with some possible exceptions, is that if you are worth more than $100 million then you are in the league I’m talking about. However, even that standard deserves a caveat.

Robinson Cano, the All Star Second Baseman for the New York Yankees just signed a contract with the Seattle Mariners for $150 million. Alex Rodriguez the team’s putative Third Baseman in working on a contract that has earned him well over $100 million and the contract of Derek Jeter the shortstop is also in the $100 million range. Yet neither of these players will ever have the influence on world affairs of those who I am dealing with. The reason is that the equation of the “rich and powerful” must be tempered by social class considerations. In our society professional athletes may make fortunes, but they are never taken seriously for their wealth. Yet the owners of professional sports teams are taken seriously and even esteemed. This is proven by the public’s disdain by athletes who use their skills to bargain successfully for lucrative contracts. The sympathy of the public has been shown to be overwhelmingly against the athlete and for ownership. The reason is that the athlete is not considered by the general public to be in the same class as the multi-billionaire owner. The athlete is of the “blue collar” class, while the owner is considered a “patrician”. This is a real social distinction that cannot be discounted in examining this subject.

Another factor that I think needs to be taken into account when one looks beyond the “symptoms” of economic class warfare in this country is religion. We know that many of those of wealth who are the greatest antagonists in class warfare in this country are on the surface deeply religious people. How can some devout Christians for instance, based on Jesus’ teachings, believe that the poor and meek should suffer? Let us again turn to the example of Mitt Romney for guidance. Romney, the scion of a very prominent Mormon family was brought up in a world of privilege, living a quite blessed life. Is it any stretch of the imagination to believe that he sees himself and his class as being blessed by God? Why would Mitt doubt that it is through God’s intervention that he is living such a perfect life? Conversely, it is no strain of that kind of logic to see the poor as unworthy and unproductive because the evidence is that they have received little of God’s blessings. Thus when Romney was surreptitiously recorded telling an appreciative audience of people from similarly wealthy backgrounds that “47% of the people in this country are unproductive”, he was also connoting that they deserved their fates. With human’s pervasive tendency to be self-justifying it is quite natural to see the benefits you personally perceived as evidence of not only a “greater plan”, but as further evidence that you are someone who is “above” the ordinary individual.

The feeling that you as an individual have been “singled out” by God has real consequences in a person’s behavior, since if they have “God’s Blessings”, then their actions would be those condoned by God. The fact that almost all organized religion has enjoyed a symbiotic relationship with wealth and power is also not to be dismissed, in that organized religion has long bestowed blessings upon those already privileged. Let’s look at some of the consequences of this today. For one writer the answer to the question of whether the wealth lie, steal and cheat more than the rest of us is:

“yes” — in certain circumstances. The research supporting this conclusion was not conducted by Occupy Wall Street, but at the University of California, Berkeley, where social psychologist Paul Piff and a team of graduate students devised a series of experiments to assess the effect of wealth on ethical behavior. Their paper, published at the end of February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that the rich are more likely to cut corners than others when confronted with a number of ethical challenges.”

After detailing the studies the author goes on to write:

“The study also tested people’s willingness to accept better grades than they had earned, to lie to job applicants in order to earn a larger bonus, even to pilfer candy from a jar meant for children. In all cases, the wealthier you were the more likely you were to behave badly.

So what’s the deal — are the rich less ethical than the rest of us? Not necessarily, according to Piff. But they do have a greater sense of personal entitlement. If you have money, you come to see it as your due. The affluent view wealth as a virtue, and their own wealth as proof of their own hard work and innate worth. They are rich, in other words, because (in their own minds at least) they deserve it.

And because their feeling of self worth are tied to their ability to acquire wealth, the rich often feel driven to continue to do so — long after their most lavish material desires are met. The insane feeding frenzy on Wall Street prior to the crash may be less about greed than a species of machismo. Money, for the rich, is not just a medium to purchase things; it is a measure of status in that rarefied world where you are judged by the heft of your take home pay.

“It’s not that the rich are innately bad,” Piff said, “but as you rise in the ranks — whether as a person or a nonhuman primate — you become more self-focused.”

And also isolated, cut off from others and from the standards of the community at large, the study concluded. Unlike the poor, who have to rely on their network of friends, family and neighbors to help them get through tough economic times, wealth buys one a certain independence from others. The rich don’t have to make the same compromises and accommodations as the rest of us do. They are accustomed to getting their own way. They are also used to getting away with things. Witness the bafflement, then outrage on Wall Street when it was suggested that the big wheels there who had acted fraudulently should be held criminally accountable for their misdeeds.

Living in a bubble of extreme wealth also fosters what has been called “the compassion deficit.” As one gets richer, it becomes increasingly difficult to identify with those in need. Romney’s statement that he was not worried about the poor, because they are protected by the safety net is a case in point. As the income gap widens, many are losing their ability even to imagine what life might be like on the other side of the divide.” http://www.opednews.com/articles/Do-the-Wealthy-Lie-Cheat-by-Richard-Schiffman-120418-742.html

Yet another study bears out these findings as presented in the abstract from the study:

“Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.” (Note some of these studies are referenced in the quote above) http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/02/21/1118373109.abstract

Finally there is this abstract of a study published in “The American Journal of Psychiatry” about the psyches of the children of the super-rich:

“Because they have little parental contact, many children of the very rich lack self-esteem and clear role models, resulting in shallow values and pathological narcissism. Low self-awareness and the absence of great suffering work against therapeutic progress, as do the efforts of the parents, who may feel threatened, and countertransference feelings of envy or anger by middle-class therapists. A supportive psychotherapeutic relationship is the most likely means of developing trust and self-discipline in these patients.” http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=156685

Those who have ready many of my past guest blogs are quite familiar where I stand on the issue of class warfare. What I have been confronted with from some commenter’s in the past is well you’ve described the issue what should we do about it. This post is the beginning of my answering those questions because I think before suggesting solutions we must understand the real problem and spread that understanding as far and wide as possible. For further perspective on the need to spread the message I offer this perspective from an author who uses the love for Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” and Schulz’s “Charlie Brown who keeps thinking that Lucy will hold the ball for him to kick” as  metaphors for mistaken liberal beliefs on how to confront their opposition:

“Todayʼs liberals and progressives, comprising the Democratic Party, still believe the American conservative who espouses a free market-I got mine-you get yours philosophy can be changed if only shown the damage such a viewpoint engenders. They believe the Dickensian myth that care for others and love of social justice lies just below the surface of callous disregard for the common good. This Charlie Brown naivete pervades the political establishment on the left. Along with their profits, the conservative money-making machine takes this passive hopefulness to the bank, an asset in the painting of the left as creating an underclass of the lazy and dependent. The establishment left is manifestly afraid of conflict and believes that reason, carefully pressed in the service of political argument, can sway their opponents. When Harry Reid finally invoked “the nuclear option,” the reaction from the right was one of disbelief. The left was acting against its own myth of influencing change by reason and sentiment.

Despite Dickens, change did not come to mid-19th century English society through the conversion of the moneyed classes to altruism. It came about through struggle and vision of how economic and technological forces could be used to temper the power and greed of those who would hold onto wealth at the cost of a depressed and growing underclass. What did change Scrooge was his own loneliness in regard to his inability to convince others of the rightness of dismissing a concern for others in the pursuit of wealth. Without Marley to share his philosophy of greed, he became a victim of his own self-doubt. Perhaps Dickens, in fooling us into believing people change of their own accord, did point out a truth that the soft “Charlie Brown” like left could learn in dealing with money obsessed right. Do not be afraid to use power in isolating them in their own obsession. If you want change, then you must become the agent of change. Charlie Brown never did get this central fact of life. He goes on living with disappointment engendered by the hope Lucy will change. Lucy, in her craftiness, realizes she can go on enjoying her one-upping of Charlie Brown by enticing him to hope she will change and become cooperatively nice. She knows it is not going to happen. Change is the responsibility of the one wanting change.

The promise of hope and change proclaimed in the 2008 elections has been blocked by an unchanging minority in the legislative branch of government with the collusion of moneyed interests and gerrymandered voting blocs. Hoping for change will change little or nothing. It is the hopers who must change finding the courage to risk upsetting the recalcitrant opponents of a fairer and more just society. Take the ball away from the Lucy’s and use a tee or find someone else who can be trusted to hold the ball in place.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ron-cebik/ebenezer-scrooge-and-lucy_b_4434656.html

When it comes to confronting the reality of class warfare in the United States which is creating an ever widening gap between rich and poor I tend to agree with the author Ron Cebik above. Those who would create a feudal corporate society and turn most of us into serfs will not easily relinquish their power, since as I’ve tried to show they believe that they not only have a right to it, but that they are the only ones competent to hold it. If, as I do, you want to create a just society that feels and acts as if we are all inter-connected, then we all must confront the notion that wealth comes as a blessing from above and that because of that is sacrosanct. The sad seamy truth is that far too often the seeds of great wealth have been sown in a soil of corruption and the fruits of it are quite bitter. The super rich among us are not virtuous people, but unfortunately they do not have the insight to see this about themselves. We must disabuse them of their false notions by clarifying the nature of their game.

Submitted By: Mike Spindell, Guest Blogger

Further articles of interest on this subject:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-moyers/class-war_b_4432261.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-silver/jim-himes-hr-992-corruption_b_4426121.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rj-eskow/we-have-met-the-enemy-and_b_4437294.html

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/11/1262005/-Teen-Kills-4-Judge-LITERALLY-Lets-Him-Off-Because-He-is-Rich?detail=hide

626 thoughts on “Our “Virtuous” Rich

  1. Mike the insularity and loss of contact with reality and even the social contract of what is appropriate social behavior was documented beautifully by Dr. Roy Grinker. He wrote about the inappropriate behavior of children of the super rich. They were late to appointments, if they came at all, and saw nothing wrong with that. Complying with something as simple as being on time was meaningless to them.

    I notice the management of one of the fast food chains sent out notes to their employees on proper etiquette on such things as how much to tip the guy who cleans their swimming pool. If there is any way to be further out of touch, I don’t know what it could be.

  2. I am a Democrat Dog. I read the entire Article above. People who cannot define themselves as Democrat or Republican have a problem which now gets into the RepubliCon aspect of that Party and the Democratcrap of that Party. The reason that I can even speak on this blog now, is attributed to the Beldar guy who fixed a Dogologue Machine so that dogs could bark into a microphone and have English come out on a screen. Sounds easy. Yeah. But I owe my right to speak to some guy named Beldar who says he is going back to France. Bark, growl, rooffff.

  3. I don’t disagree with your analysis but I would suggest that before we can disabuse the wealthy of their belief that they were chosen to be the virtuous leaders, all of us must recognize that the growth of “identy” politics is an insidious tool created by and supported by the mega wealthy to divide and conquer. While we’re are busy fighting over scraps at the bottom of the pit they are riding the wave and assenting to SKY CITY on our tax dollars. Until we all realize that corporate support of “causes” is a smoke screen and stop canonizing the mega wealth who strut calling themselves philanthropists while support some of the most damaging laws and political leaders, we won’t even make a dent.

  4. Thank you for writing this piece. I was beginning to think that I was nutz thinking this way. I believe this country is headed to Revolution. America is going to shed her skin & become a new creature, you can hear & feel it in the wind. I hope I am still alive to witness this transformation. Good or Bad, I believe it will happen.

  5. MikeS,

    Nice piece!

    I find the recent years of your health history an amazing story & I for one am glad you’ve gotten some extra time.

    I was wondering if we as a society are capable of working out the arrangements in a case like that 16 year old rich Texas boy of giving his organs to some people that might find a better use for them as a way to pay back for the lives he took.

    But our society is already to corrupt for anything close to that & I’m unsure about that concept myself anyway, seems like revenge & I don’t like it that way just a passing thought.

    Your article reminds me yet again just how totally insane those at the top really are. Below is an example of a complete lunatic “DeadBeat” billion that almost was no more, saved only with govt welfare from “We the Producing People”.

    If this is every to be over we have to send those crooks at least to bankruptcy court for their 0owed wipeouts.

    (OT: Yes, as a PR campaign, I know they’ll hate being called “Deadbeats”)

    ** Munger said at the event, which was moderated by CNBC’s Becky Quick. “At a certain place you’ve got to say to the people, ‘Suck it in and cope, buddy. Suck it in and cope.’” **

    http://www.zerohedge.com/article/munger-tells-25-million-americans-suck-it-and-thank-god-bank-bailouts-brk-benefits-95-billio

  6. Our social class division is becoming bitter. I do not think any side will be willing to “suck it up” in the future. Talks of tolerating each social group is getting to the wall talking stage. As a very poor American, who works, I find zero tolerance in myself with the spoiled wall street bs. The selfish actions of the extreme wealthy effect the poor drastically, i.e., rich 16 year old gets probation for DUI, parents can afford a great Attorney…while a poor 16 year old, gets over a year in prison for stealing a $280.00 television. The poor can not even depend on our justice system to be fair.

  7. Kristi,

    It’s always wise to be as prepared as one can. Sometimes we can’t take care of everything.

    As I keep getting hammered from a few sides here this past few years is to keep my focus inside this fence-line here. ie; Keep the homestead as secure as possible from any/all events.

    If we’ve the luxury of time we can work on areas outside our own fence.

    Most all my luxury time is focused at where I think it’ll have the biggest effect, Wallst/London Bank/Insur crooks.

    But recently I have seen that long ago seed planted showing signs it may soon begin to produce fruit. We’ll see?

    Keep you’re head down the best one can & keep moving forward.

    Go below to the time stamp. Make a copy of the picture & the words for your wall. And don’t forget to smile!

    **Oky1 1, December 13, 2013 at 1:09 pm **

    http://jonathanturley.org/page/5/

  8. Perhaps I should be more upset about this than I am. My reading of history from the Greeks to the Roman to the Brits and every society in between tells me that the uber wealthy usually self destruct within a matter of a few generations. Look at Paris and Ethan.

    Each generation is cushioned from life just a little more than their parents and fall just a little lower … for they treat each other as coarsely as they treat the doorman or the waitress. It’s almost as if uber wealth destroys the gene pool bit by bit … which I suppose is the natural progression of being able to afford way too much alcohol and way too many drugs generation after generation from father to son and mother to daughter. Then there is the sociopathic mind set that naturally comes into play as actions and consequences move further and further apart. Only a sociopath would believe that wealth is god given thus denoting an anointment to rule. The minute that thought takes hold the downward spiral has begun.

    Now, on the other hand, quite a few of these bozos increased their wealth substantially in 2008 when we all blinked and bought the threat of world wide financial ruin throwing us back into the dark ages. They made a killing and stole a substantial amount of our wealth in bailout/Tarp tax dollars. I suspect that a lot of the buying and selling of politicians and the media is done out of fear that we’re eventually going to wise up and demand our money back so they are trying to control the message.

    After all, they have a lot of Parises and Ethans to pay for … and more coming … just imagine Paris and Ethan producing … never mind.

  9. The idea that people are motivated by money is so foreign to me. I am completely incapable of understanding it. I imagine they are the same about my adversity and struggle. The difference between us is I don’t begrudge them what they have.

  10. Mike, thank you for insightful commentary on a gravely ill society – a clear picture of privilege vs. disadvantage. If one were able to view with a wide angle lens, one would also see that privilege extends to both sides…left as well as right You zoom in on the Koch brothers and Bush. A broader perspective would include Soros and Kennedy clan, no strangers to special treatment and stepping on the backs of underlings.

    Politicians do not want solutions. They need issues. And they laugh all the way to the bank while we the people end up as losers.

  11. I like the Koch brothers. They seem among the more motivated of wealthy people to give back to their community. They contribute to the arts and sciences, and they fund a lot of grass roots initiatives that lift a lot of people out of poverty. When wealthy people look for ways to lift people out of poverty, we should respect that motivation.

  12. DavidM,
    If I can get some of whatever you are smoking, I will take a couple ounces. It must be soothing to be so detached from reality. Kind of like Alfred E. Neuman, “What, me worry?”

  13. Since wealth is unlimited it is therefore the people themselves that have stifled their own prosperity by enacting statist policies that increase and place economy hurdles that are harder for the lower socicio-economic class to overcome. We have also implemented a two class system into place via licensing laws and other methods.

    First unlimited wealth. The ability to sell ones services or sell products is unlimited. If a plumber wants to work 70 to 80 hours a week, he can get ahead and save enough money to start there own business to gain greater wealth. A businessperson can buy raw goods, make a product and sell it for more money. The more products one sells the more wealth one can gain, so wealth is potentially unlimited. Wealth is not restricted so just because the wealthy have money, it doesn’t stop the poor from acquiring money.

    Secondly, we have created a professional class, such as lawyers, doctors, dentists, investment bankers and businessman that believe, because of the requirements placed into effect to obtain the positions, that they deserved 10 times more than the average person in wages. In the military, a noncommissioned officer (NCO) is not even allowed to dine with Commissioned Officers. I found out recently that many people called my uncle a Ring Knocker, a derogatory statement, because he always used his Annapolis schooling, the Naval Academy as a means to justify his position. The military is one of the worst institutions that I’ve experiences that segregate classes of people, strictly by statutory restrictions.

    Liquor licenses can cost thousand of dollars and New York Taxi medallion’s cost upwards of a $1 million which create a system where only the wealthy can own such businesses. Try starting any business and see how much it costs you before you sell even the first product of service. And than everyone leans back and says, why can’t we create more jobs. To build a house, the impact fee alone is close to $10,000 in Palm Beach Country. Add in all the actual costs and required soft costs and today in many markets, especially the lower socio-economic markets, you cannot build a home for as little as you can buy a used home and fix it up.

    I could spend hours going over all the economic restrictions that stifle the poor and middle class from creating their own wealth.

    Some one once told me that if you eliminated all taxes out of the equation that an automobile that costs $30,000 to build would actually costs less than $5,000 to build. It’s probably fairly accurate if you take the layers of products and services required to build a car, and strip out the taxes paid by each layer. Example. The miner pays both corporate and personal income taxes on the iron ore that they mine. The iron ore is sent to the refinery to make steel, which taxes are paid on, the steel is sold to fabricators that pay various taxes, the fabricators sell their products to the Auto manufacture and they must pay taxes and the Auto manufacturer must ship the car to the dealer, so the transportation company and dealership must also pay various taxes and then the consumer must pay taxes on this purchase of the car.

    Prices are so high in this country that people are traveling to others countries for the medical and dental needs. Our government is deficit spending at such levels, that inflation are slowly eating away at the purchasing power of our money.

    Out system is so out of wack that the poor and lower middle class don’t have much of a change anymore unless they work for the government that provides little or no wealth to society. The military industrial complex is actually destroying our society because of it’s burdensome costs.

  14. If vulture capitalism and lack of self discipline is what causes the inequities, none need be labeled as virtuous, and it’s very dangerous for society’s leadership voices to promote it as such, when the opposite is true.

    Instinct for justice as concept, and by application, comes from proper recognition of the process of achievement, as well as its outcome.

  15. Good article Mike. It is amazing that people like david and hskip seemed to think that the wealthy are getting wealthier just because they deserve it or work harder or smarter than the rest of us. As highlighted above, nothing could be farther from the truth.

  16. rafflaw wrote: “t is amazing that people like david and hskip seemed to think that the wealthy are getting wealthier just because they deserve it or work harder or smarter than the rest of us.”

    Not everybody is wealthy for these reasons. For example, I would not put Paris Hilton in this category. However, I would put the Koch brothers in that category. Why do you think the Koch brothers are wealthy? Most of what I read in the article above looks like wealth envy to me.

  17. That’s where you’re wrong, David. We don’t envy their wealth. We don’t care how much they have, so long as people aren’t starving in the streets so they can have more.

  18. Certainly not envious of those like the Koch Bros. that use their wealth to sicken their fellow citizens by polluting the air they breathe, David.

  19. The disconnect get bitter every day…. You get what you can pay for….. And if you happen to be rich…. That’s not much….

  20. Money is the “Grace” from the Capitalistic God. Accumulation of wealth becomes the determination of goodness. The Koch bros et al are building their “grace banks” for all eternity.
    Eternity is a a long time so there is no such thing as enough. Mammon over Humanity, Profit over People. Justice for the rich, crumbs for the commons.

  21. “Most of what I read in the article above looks like wealth envy to me.”

    DavidM,

    As usual your reading skills are deformed in service to your rigid mindset.

    I wrote:

    “Although I come from a lower middle class background, with a father who had been in prison, I have had many wealthy friends in my life. Among them are people I still love and cherish. More than a few came from circumstances humbler than my own to achieve financial success in this world. Rather than begrudge their success I admire it and feel good for them. Some of my friends were born to moderate wealth, but have the insight to see that those less privileged than themselves are also deserving of consideration. Neither of those categories can be seen as representative of the “Rich” I’m discussing here.”

    In a personal sense I have never cared about having a lot of money, nor do I see those with money as people who I can use for my own gain. When we get together socially I always pay my equal share. Perhaps that is why they have been attracted to me as a friend, because they understand I want nothing from them other than their friendship and good will. Because I have cared for them on a human level I am happy for their good fortune. I have lived a wonderful, interesting life thus far, but I was never what some would call affluent. Perhaps had I chosen a more lucrative profession I might have enjoyed more luxuries in my life, but my own needs have always been rather spartan. Whatever luxuries I have afforded were lavished on my wife and children.

    You have written many, many comments on this blog and so I have a fairly good idea of where your preferences lie. You are in thrall of those like the Koch’s who I write about here and by your own admission you personally believe that your “charity” towards those “less fortunate” makes you a good person. This is so even as you demean those who you purport to act charitably towards and denigrate their entire social class. I don’t know you, so I can’t really judge the efficacy of your charitable works, but from your writings here you do come across as smug.

    As for those I write about in this piece, on a personal level they may well be fine people if one is in their social set. However, their acts and their public pronouncements are terribly destructive to the majority of the people in this country. Their sense of entitlement negates any charitable efforts they may make, because that sense results in destructive activities that hurt many people. That sense of entitlement also provides them with the hubris to believe that their views should have primacy in this world and their money ensures that they do

    As a Social Worker and as a practicing psychotherapist my career was spent in trying to alleviate human suffering. Having worked with so many people in my life who have been crushed under the the burdens of an unfair economic system and seeing the pain it has caused them, I do take personally the efforts of those like the Koch’s to inflict even greater pain upon them through the policies they promote. Therefore any passion you may see in my piece above is not envy, it is disgust.

  22. “The military industrial complex is actually destroying our society because of it’s burdensome costs.”

    Hskiprob,

    On this we agree, it’s just that the rest of your analysis seems flawed to me because you ascribe that power to the wrong source. We agree that our current government is corrupt, but your solution for ending the corruption would actually leave us worse off. Unfettered Capitalism inevitably becomes Feudalism and Fascism.

  23. “A broader perspective would include Soros and Kennedy clan, no strangers to special treatment and stepping on the backs of underlings.”

    Indigo,

    What your missing in the equation, which could be my lack of clarity, is how I view this society. I believe that we are an oligarchy and not the Republic proclaimed in our Constitution. I think that great wealth has always controlled this country and provided its leadership. However, because great wealth is almost always in the hands of people with large egos, the saving grace of this country has always been that the “oligarchists” can’t agree amongst themselves. We see on the one hand the the type represented by the Koch Brothers who have no regard for those not of their “class” and in fact making war on who they consider the “menial classes”. On the other hand we see Soros, Buffett and Gates who believe that the “lower classes” should be treated better as a matter of quelling social unrest. Unfortunately, they too suffer from the delusion that they are somewhat more perceptive than those not on their level. What I’m pointing out in this piece is that to understand what is going on in this class warfare, one must understand that it is based on the “psychology” of being wealthy and powerful to an extent where you are cut off from the lives of “ordinary” people. That condition robs one of perspective and yet being in that “condition” gives one the ability to impose their will on the rest of us. We are in effect being “ruled” by people who have no conception of who we are, or what our lives are like.

  24. ” When wealthy people look for ways to lift people out of poverty, we should respect that motivation.”

    Which wealthy people are those? There is enough hoarded wealth to lift every person out of poverty and erase the phrase “crumbling schools” from the American lexicon 10,000 times over and no one who is currently rich will miss so much as a thin dime of it.

    Such people do not, in fact, exist.

  25. And what Juliet N said about wealth envy. Money is only a vehicle, nothing more.The hoarding of it only magnifies problems. It does not end them. And to many people, money is like the booze: it makes whatever they already are much larger and louder.

  26. The various systems in my life: educational, financial, social, economic, medical and familial have worked well for me, an elderly, Caucasian, middle class male with a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees. In terms of acceptance by peers, professionals and the general populace, as a teacher and as a citizen, I enjoyed advantages that need to be openly admitted nationally. I believe that women and persons of color must work much harder, must actually be much more capable, more exceptional in order to succeed in this country. When I view enllightened legislation that became the law of the land: The New deal, medicare, Civil and Voting Rights Laws, I see that fairness was not left up to the usual sorts of legislative processes; I understand that if it had been that these programs would not have been put in place. I yearn for men and women with sufficient vision and courage and nerve to instill the fervor of justice in installing a much more level playing field. As progeny of immigrants,as most of us are, we did not set up America as the land of freedom and justice for some, but priviliege has now firmly and deeply and trenchantly installed a very unequal land in which standards are no longer fair, and citizens not all treated with the same sort of justice. Recognizing and admitting, openly, that problem will be the first step toward returning to the vision to which our Founding Fathers invested their fortunes, their lives and their sacred honor.

  27. Excellent post Mike. You mentioned that over the centuries many with money escape with their lives and fortunes when the populace turns. Indeed this is true, and indeed many a rich person and their offspring no longer exist because they did not escape. witness the Czar of Russia and his family in the early 1900s, the French aristocrats in the early 1800s. and I am sure many others. When you have nothing to loose, your level of risk becomes infinite and thus the fear of authority fades away. At the rate we are going, the United States will join the club where revolution was bloody and deadly for the ruling elite. When this day comes and what will be the aftermath is anybodies guess. 250 years ago we had a revolution, 150 years ago we had a minor skirmish, are we immune to another?

  28. ” Most of what I read in the article above looks like wealth envy to me.” (davidm2575)

    That’s hilarious.

    The Koch boys are only second generation wealth (their father obtained his first big contract from Russia back in ’29). Wait to see what kind of slugs their great grandchildren are. (Paris is the great grandchild of Conrad, the founder [late 1800’s])

    As to the uber wealth of Ethan’s parents … Fred Couch’s company owns the truck his 16 year old son was driving (drunk and using a license that required an adult be riding with him) so said company will also be caught up in the multi-million dollar law suits already in the pipeline. They didn’t have to wait for a 4th or 5th generation to self destruct.

    Warren Buffet, ranked by Forbes in 2008 as the richest person in the world, understands this … “I don’t believe in dynastic wealth … members of the lucky sperm club … I want to give my kids just enough so that they would feel that they could do anything, but not so much that they would feel like doing nothing.”

    Uber wealth is a disease that destroys one’s off-spring. Only a fool would envy such a state of being.

  29. Juliet N wrote: “We don’t care how much they have, so long as people aren’t starving in the streets so they can have more.”

    I don’t know a single person who is starving in the streets. How many in your streets are starving right now? Why are you not taking them into your home and feeding them?

  30. Mike S wrote:

    What can it be then that motivates people like the Koch Brothers, who have far more wealth than they can conceivably manage to use in their lifetimes, to be so set on ensuring the that their class will be supreme in America and in the world? I suggest that the answer has nothing to do with either politics or economics. I assert that it is a battle of “good” versus “evil”, but that those terms are rendered meaningless if applied in their normal moral contexts.

    Another factor that I think needs to be taken into account when one looks beyond the “symptoms” of economic class warfare in this country is religion.

    (emphasis added). They get their narrative from the Bible in what is often called Judeo-Christian:

    Judeo-Christian is a term used since the 1950s to stress the common ethical standards of Christianity and Judaism, such as the Ten Commandments. It has become part of American civil religion and is often used to promote inter-religious cooperation.

    (Wikipedia, “Judeo-Christian”). The Judeo-Christian narrative which applies here in the economic context stems from Old Testament verses:

    [Lev. 26] 3 If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 5 Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your [a]food to the full and live securely in your land. 6 I shall also grant peace in the land, so that you may lie down with no one making you tremble. I shall also eliminate harmful beasts from the land, and no sword will pass through your land. 7 But you will chase your enemies and they will fall before you by the sword; 8 five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword. 9 So I will turn toward you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will confirm My covenant with you. 10 You will eat the old supply and clear out the old because of the new. 11 Moreover, I will make My [b]dwelling among you, and My soul will not [c]reject you. 12 I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt so that you would not be their slaves, and I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

    [Deut. 28] 28 “Now it shall be, if you diligently [a]obey the Lord your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you [b]obey the Lord your God:

    3 “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the [c]country.

    4 “Blessed shall be the [d]offspring of your [e]body and the [f]produce of your ground and the [g]offspring of your beasts, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock.

    5 “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.

    6 “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

    7 “The Lord shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be [h]defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways. 8 The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your barns and in all that you put your hand to, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. 9 The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, as He swore to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 So all the peoples of the earth will see that [i]you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will be afraid of you. 11 The Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the [j]offspring of your [k]body and in the [l]offspring of your beast and in the [m]produce of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. 12 The Lord will open for you His good storehouse, the heavens, to give rain to your land in its season and to bless all the work of your hand; and you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 The Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you only will be above, and you will not be underneath, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I charge you today, to [n]observe them carefully, 14 and do not turn aside from any of the words which I command you today, to the right or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

    (Leviticus 26:3-13; Deuteronomy 28:1-14). These are often called the “blessing and cursing” chapters, because obedience generated wealth or blessings, while disobedience generated poverty or curses.

    This is perpetuated within a section of Traditional Christianity known as the prosperity gospel, etc.:

    Prosperity theology (sometimes referred to as the prosperity gospel or the health and wealth gospel) is a Christian religious doctrine which claims the Bible teaches that financial blessing is the will of God for Christians.

    The doctrine teaches that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one’s material wealth.

    Its proponents teach that the doctrine is an aspect of the path to Christian dominion over society, arguing that God’s promise of dominion to Israel applies to Christians today.

    The doctrine emphasizes the importance of personal empowerment, proposing that it is God’s will for his people to be happy. The atonement (reconciliation with God) is interpreted to include the alleviation of sickness and poverty, which are viewed as curses to be broken by faith.

    (Wikipedia, “Prosperity Theology”). The dynamic which Mike S elucidates upon fits within that paradigm.

    To address Mike’s a battle of “good” versus “evil” indication, there is an interesting aspect to this that Traditional Christianity misses.

    That is who rules the nations so as to bless or to curse.

    The Old Testament narrative was that God was bringing captives / slaves out of the empire of Egypt that worshiped false gods to worship the true God who would either bless them or curse them depending on their obedience to his law.

    The New Testament, however, depicts the ruler of the world as Satan, who offered blessings or a curse to Jesus:

    [Matt 4] 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”

    [2 Cor. 4] 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

    (Matt. 4:8-9; 2 Cor. 4:4). Jesus refused the offer from the devil (“the god of this world”), and took the curse of eventually being crucified by the empire of that time.

    Thus. the question arises, how does one determine if the wealthy plutocrats, who hold the power, get it from evil or from good?

    I mean, using the text that is said to form the tenets of their professed religion.

  31. When I was a human in a prior life my brother was in the hospital for polio. They were giving him some drug and he kept telling them it was making him sick. The doc would come in and rant at him. So he got the phonograph going and played the Alan Sherman song called Little David Susskind, Shut Up. If any of you remember that song you will know how it affected a know it all New Yorkie doctor. He did shut up and my bro got off the meds. He died from the polio but it was not because of medications.

  32. “I don’t know a single person who is starving in the streets”

    Maybe you should get out more. Maybe you should try your self-righteous blogging street theater from Skid Row in downtown L.A.? If that sounds too dangerous, it is, but you can find the same symptoms on every street corner. And L.A. has a LOT of those.

    L.A. not your cup of tea? Visit Detroit. Philadelphia. Pick any city, really. If you want to find hungry people, they are far closer than you think, and their numbers are growing by the hour.

    And how many hungry people has your Most Correct and Righteous Self taken in today? Is your answer only the stumbling and ineffective castigation of those with whom you disagree? That is all you ever provide.

  33. Blouise,

    I have seen the effects of new money on folks….. Especially the second generation…. It is rare when a person with wealth knows enough that is not all there is…. Some of the wealthiest folks I know…. You’d never know they had much ….. I will say that one of the richest folks I ever knew was my deceased mother in law….. The lady didn’t have much in the way of material goods…. But she had more than anyone could ever want…. She had a family that loved her…. And a son in law that would have done anything she had asked…. And many times did things for her just for the fun of it…. She was the walking example of unconditional love….

  34. Mike Spindell wrote: “You are in thrall of those like the Koch’s who I write about here and by your own admission you personally believe that your “charity” towards those “less fortunate” makes you a good person.”

    I have not given any admission that my charity makes me a good person. I don’t believe that for one minute. My charity simply is a compulsion of human compassion that exists in every one of us. It does not make me good. It is simply a manifestation of what is right.

    I admire the Koch brothers and would hope that if I were ever able to achieve the success they have that I too would be involved in making the world a better place rather than being focused upon spending the wealth upon myself.

    Mike Spindell wrote: “.. their acts and their public pronouncements are terribly destructive to the majority of the people in this country.”

    I see it completely the opposite. For the most part, I see their acts and public pronouncements as very beneficial and good for the majority of people in this country. Obviously I disagree with their support and activism for gay marriage, but on matters concerning economic policy that the poor really need to hear, they are spot on.

    What I hear you saying here is that because they are libertarians and therefore differ ideologically from you, you judge them as being enemies and destructive to the country. If your article focused upon the destructive nature of their ideology, pointing out exactly what is harmful in it, instead of focusing upon the amount of their wealth, I would take more seriously your claim that you do not take aim at them because of their wealth. It seems to me that if they were among the poorest among us, they would not even be noticed by you. It is their wealth that draws your attention to them, because their wealth enables them to do something about promoting their ideology. Whether you have the facts to support the allegation or not, you assume that they must have done something very evil in order to gain all that wealth. So you hurl hate speech in their direction, not with any substantive arguments about specifically what they have done wrong, but by creating suspicion about their motives and their great wealth.

    I respect the fact that their company Koch Industries is the second largest privately held company. They employ 70,000 people in 69 countries. In our country, they employ 50,000 people. Is this part of the destructive acts they supposedly are involved with? In my view, this employment is a good thing. Why no mention of this in your article?

  35. davidm2575 1, December 14, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I don’t know a single person who is starving in the streets …
    ==============================
    Oh c’mon, they can’t all be married.

  36. Culture may have a lot to do with how one sees wealth and power:

    If anyone could claim to be leading by example in an age of austerity, it is José Mujica, Uruguay’s president, who has forsworn a state palace in favour of a farmhouse, donates the vast bulk of his salary to social projects, flies economy class and drives an old Volkswagen Beetle.

    But the former guerrilla fighter is clearly disgruntled by those who tag him “the world’s poorest president” and – much as he would like others to adopt a more sober lifestyle – the 78-year-old has been in politics long enough to recognise the folly of claiming to be a model for anyone.

    “If I asked people to live as I live, they would kill me,” Mujica said during an interview in his small but cosy one-bedroom home set amid chrysanthemum fields outside Montevideo.

    The president is a former member of the Tupamaros guerrilla group, which was notorious in the early 1970s for bank robberies, kidnappings and distributing stolen food and money among the poor. He was shot by police six times and spent 14 years in a military prison, much of it in dungeon-like conditions.

    Since becoming leader of Uruguay in 2010, however, he has won plaudits worldwide for living within his means, decrying excessive consumption and pushing ahead with policies on same-sex marriage, abortion and cannabis legalisation that have reaffirmed Uruguay as the most socially liberal country in Latin America.

    (Uruguay’s president José Mujica: no palace, no motorcade, no frills).

  37. James Knauer wrote: “Maybe you should try your self-righteous blogging street theater from Skid Row in downtown L.A.?”

    I have been to downtown L.A. Did not find a single person who was starving to death. Done the same in San Francisco. Also in Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Give me a name, James. Vague talking is not evidence. If I gave you video of homeless people there, people eating from free condiments and crackers at a fast food place like McDonald’s, that is not evidence of starving. Tell me the name of someone actually starving to death in our streets, maybe somebody you took into your home and nursed them back to health and helped them find housing and a job.

    You switched the subject to talking about people being hungry. I have been involved in feeding people in America for many years. I have spent my Thanksgivings in the streets feeding hundreds of people, even telling my parents who traveled far to be with me for the holidays that if they come, their Thanksgiving will be spent in a park downtown sharing with the homeless. And that is exactly what they did. I believe there is hunger in this country, but starvation? That is an entirely different matter. There are millions around the world starving to death. In America, nobody is starving. Try to look up statistics, and you can find them for being “at risk” for hunger or malnutrition, but try to find the statistic for the number of people in the United States who have died from starvation. Most of them are in nursing homes and the like who have a living will not to resuscitate or provide nourishment. They are not starving in the streets and I think you know it.

    The excuse was made that we should hate the Koch brothers for their wealth because people are starving in the streets. What’s the next excuse going to be?

  38. Except for the mumbo jumbo voodoo directly above, I want to thank everyone for the excellent posts. While you may be preaching to the choir, the choir needs to learn the words to the songs.

  39. I don’t hate the Koch’s because they are rich, David.

    I hate them because they are fascist internal usurpers of government, the enemy of the Constitution and would be tyrants and oppressors of all they consider beneath them, seeking to make this country the private kingdom of theirs and their friends.

    Which are perfectly legitimate reasons.

    “Evil” isn’t a word I use lightly.

    The Kochs are evil sociopaths.

    If they had a secret base under a volcano, they’d be Bond villains.

  40. Gene H wrote: “I hate them [Koch brothers] because they are fascist internal usurpers of government, the enemy of the Constitution and would be tyrants and oppressors of all they consider beneath them, seeking to make this country the private kingdom of theirs and their friends.”

    Exactly how are they doing that?

    I see their libertarian philosophy as defending the Constitution against the onslaught of socialists like you and Barack Obama. The Koch brothers are for the liberty and freedom of the individual, just as the Constitution is.

  41. Mike, from article: ““Because they have little parental contact, many children of the very rich lack self-esteem and clear role models, resulting in shallow values and pathological narcissism. Low self-awareness and the absence of great suffering work against therapeutic progress, as do the efforts of the parents, who may feel threatened, and countertransference feelings of envy or anger by middle-class therapists. A supportive psychotherapeutic relationship is the most likely means of developing trust and self-discipline in these patients.””

    ——

    The assumption that a healthy child is what is desired may be an error. That assumes that wealthy parents is the knowledge of what ‘healthy’ actually is. Conformity and a reflection of the same values of the parents may be all that passes for a notion of mental, emotional health. As you say in a different context in your article, throw religion into the mix and you have a whole ‘nuther problem.

    I ran across this today and thought it had a certain resonance with your article and and comments about Mr. Romney. Perhaps religion as a behavior template is attractive to some wealthy people because in the absence of empathy and ‘relatedness’ to others and society, it’s the only how-to book on how human beings are supposed to act. That you can interpret it to filter out parts of the lesson plan you don’t like is a boon. Maybe also it is one of the reasons some very wealthy people get taken for a lot of money by religions no matter how crazy and deluded the preaching are.
    *

    “Brutal offshore Christian reform school exposed in new documentary”

    “Kidnapped for Christ” is a new documentary that tells the story of teenagers sent to an evangelical Christian boarding school outside the U.S. where school personnel attempt to rid them of feelings of same sex attraction or other “ungodly” influences. ….

    Sleep deprived and worked to exhaustion, the students are fed on a diet of “sugar and fat,” Sugiuchi said. “It was in no way adequate to the amount of manual labor we were doing. We weren’t getting the nutrients we needed.”

    While only one student is known to have died at Escuela Caribe in a flash flood, Sugiuchi said that school officials pushed the students to the very brink of their physical endurance in order to make them more malleable and open to what she called a program of straightforward “brainwashing.” ….

    “If you follow the money, you’ll see that the Republicans are so, so in bed with these people,” she said. The Romney family contributes heavily to the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs (WWASP), an umbrella organization for evangelical reform schools like Escuela Caribe — which was briefly closed down, then reopened under the name Crosswinds — and their Mormon equivalents. ….continues

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/12/13/brutal-offshore-christian-reform-school-exposed-in-new-documentary/

    There is a trailer with the story but it won’t play for me, only the ad plays. The trailer is also on YouTube though.

    As always, an excellent and timely article Mike.

  42. WOW!! davidm i must thank you for the laughs.. YOU dont know many who are starving in the streets? i take it that means personally.. because it damn sure cant be intellectually or educationally. i mean where exactly does the term HOMELESS stem from? how about SHELTERS? and lets not leave out SOUP KITCHES AND FOOD PANTRIES! need i go on? your blindness to the koch brothers and those like them are amazing. its people who think and talk like you do who allow the rich to think their brain washing and mind control actually works for the total masses and not just those who do not want to accept the truth of history or reality….

    we are to broke to have jobs, schools are shut down, necessary programs are shut down for the seniors, youth, and needy and yet somehow the rich are getting richer..

    EX: taxes were put into place for commerce of the rich to help the middle class and working poor obtain their vision of the american dream. it was never meant to be placed on YOU WORKING. but the rich figured out how to stop that by making the middle class and working poor make them even richer thru taxes. every war we were in was instigated for the uber wealthy to either become more wealthy by stealing that countries natural resources or because a particular country refused to bow down and do as told. you dont find it strange that we have millions and billions for specialized military weapons but none for jobs? housing or food? the phony war on drugs is about the same thing making the rich richer and keeping those not part of the 13 so called ruling families poorer. everything you thought you knew about history is a lie. the biggest one being organized religion.

    let’s start here im sure you can do the rest of the research yourself

    THE PROTOCOLS OF ZION

    Protocol Title[23] Themes[23]
    1 The Basic Doctrine: “Right Lies in Might” Freedom and Liberty; Authority and power; Gold = money

    2 Economic War and Disorganization Lead to International Government International Political economic conspiracy; Press/Media as tools

    3 Methods of Conquest Jewish people, arrogant and corrupt; Chosenness/Election; Public Service

    4 The Destruction of Religion by Materialism Business as Cold and Heartless; Gentiles as slaves

    5 Despotism and Modern Progress Jewish Ethics; Jewish People’s Relationship to Larger Society

    6 The Acquisition of Land, The Encouragement of Speculation Ownership of land

    7 A Prophecy of Worldwide War Internal unrest and discord (vs. Court system) leading to war vs Shalom/Peace

    8 The transitional Government Criminal element

    9 The All-Embracing Propaganda Law; education; Masonry/Freemasonry

    10 Abolition of the Constitution; Rise of the Autocracy Politics; Majority rule; Liberalism; Family

    11 The Constitution of Autocracy and Universal Rule Gentiles; Jewish political involvement; Masonry

    12 The Kingdom of the Press and Control Liberty; Press censorship; Publishing

    13 Turning Public Thought from Essentials to Non-essentials Gentiles; Business; Chosenness/Election; Press and censorship; Liberalism

    14 The Destruction of Religion as a Prelude to the Rise of the Jewish God Judaism; God; Gentiles; Liberty; Pornography

    15 Utilization of Masonry: Heartless Suppression of Enemies Gentiles; Masonry; Sages of Israel; Political power and authority; King of Israel

    16 The Nullification of Education Education

    17 The Fate of Lawyers and the Clergy Lawyers; Clergy; Christianity and non-Jewish Authorship

    18 The Organization of Disorder Evil; Speech;

    19 Mutual Understanding Between Ruler and People Gossip; Martyrdom

    20 The Financial Program and Construction Taxes and Taxation; Loans; Bonds; Usury; Moneylending

    21 Domestic Loans and Government Credit Stock Markets and Stock Exchanges

    22 The Beneficence of Jewish Rule Gold = Money; Chosenness/Election

    23 The Inculcation of Obedience Obedience to Authority; Slavery; Chosenness/Election

    24 The Jewish Ruler Kingship; Document as Fiction

    now you should first research Myron Fagan. and then go from there

    oh yea and im sure you do know the koch brothers are the ones funding the tea party right? and most charities run by the uber rich are ponzi schemes much as wall street is a swindle unless you havent yet figured that out either… smh

  43. See, e.g., the most wonderful, funny, insightful, and apropos movie, Trading Places.

    Rob Aronson

    Robert H. Aronson Betts, Patterson & Mines Professor of Law Emeritus University of Washington School of Law William H. Gates Hall Box 353020 Seattle, WA 98195-3020 Phone: 425-242-1577 Email: robertaronson@mac.com

  44. It seems to me that there are forces out here that want the poor to remain poor, the middle class decimated, women to stay pregnant and forced to bare children to supply the workforce for minimum wage jobs, make college so expensive and student loans non existant so only the very rich can afford it, keep a population of uneducated poor youth to fight their favorite wars, all so can get richer and more powerful. Keep the masses weak, uneducated and hungry, so they dare not rise up.

  45. RobinH45 wrote: “YOU dont know many who are starving in the streets?”

    Actually, I don’t know ANYONE who is starving in the streets. Do you?

    I forget, but do you live in the U.S. or Jamaica? Can you walk outside your front door right now and find someone starving to death?

    RobinH45 wrote: “i mean where exactly does the term HOMELESS stem from? how about SHELTERS? and lets not leave out SOUP KITCHES AND FOOD PANTRIES! need i go on?”

    Hey, I know plenty of homeless, and I know shelters, and many soup kitchens and food pantries, as well as compassionate wealthy people, which is partly we do not have anybody starving in our streets.

    RobinH45 wrote: “… your blindness to the koch brothers and those like them are amazing.”

    Well, all you have to do is point to a policy or action of theirs that is bad for the poor. Everything I hear from the Koch brothers lifts the poor up and teaches them optimism about how they can get ahead. There is a lot of propaganda out there making them look like the devil, but I see no evidence that they are destroying anybody. They provide thousands of jobs for people and give a lot of money to charities. They are very supportive of grass roots organizations, which are typically run by poor people. What more could you ask for?

    RobinH45 wrote: “oh yea and im sure you do know the koch brothers are the ones funding the tea party right?”

    Yes, that’s another reason I like the Koch brothers. I am a TEA Party supporter. TEA stands for “Taxed Enough Already.”

  46. David, I took the trouble of pulling your comment out of the spam filter so everyone else could see just how freaking ignorant and insensitive you really are. Gaze in wonderment, folks.

  47. davidm said: “Everything I hear from the Koch brothers lifts the poor up and teaches them optimism about how they can get ahead.”

    Pray tell, what is it specifically that you have heard the Koch brothers say that you believe would be perceived by the poor, underfed, homeless as uplifting?

  48. DavidM: I know several people who are living in their cars. And, since you asked, in the last 30 days, we gave $200 to a family that experienced some health problems and needed medicine, $100 to a child whose father is criminally insane and no longer In his life, and $100 grocery card and $50 phone card to another friend with MS. And we would have people staying with us, had we the room.

  49. Juliet N – It is nice to hear of the help you give to others. I take it then that you do NOT know anybody starving in the streets. Do you concede that nobody is starving in the streets in America?

    You previously wrote: “We don’t care how much they have, so long as people aren’t starving in the streets so they can have more.”

    Were you sincere when you wrote that? Do you now not care how much the Koch brothers have?

  50. thirdnews,
    Nothing of yours was in either the spam or trash filter. Sorry. WordPress occasionally eats a comment and ‘disappears’ it.

  51. Elaine M wrote: “Pray tell, what is it specifically that you have heard the Koch brothers say that you believe would be perceived by the poor, underfed, homeless as uplifting?:

    They have a message of the American Dream being possible, that with limited government and low taxes, the entrepreneurial system works. Rather than depending upon others for jobs, people can work for themselves. They support programs for at risk youth and support numerous educational projects, giving to scores of universities to help young people get ahead. They also give to environmental organizations like The Nature Conservancy which adds to optimism for our future.

  52. Tea Party, so moral, so upstanding so willing to turn our cities into Bangladesh. How do moral people reconcile their dismissal of the hungry and downtrodden? ‘Tis the season to merry….

  53. There are people starving in the streets in America. You’re either a moron, intellectually dishonest or the best troll who ever lived. Regardless of which, I’m not wasting any more of my time with you.

  54. This post is an important one, but I would like to enlarge the parameters of the discussion. The war is on more than one front and includes more than the usual combatants.

    You are right to criticize the left for being weak, unfocused, and disorganized, but liberalism/progressivism constitutes a philosophy of the center, not of the left, which encompasses political belief systems much more radical. It is the liberals/progressives who are out to lunch in understanding the nature of the American upper class (the rich) and conservatives and conservatism, who are mainly found in the Republican Party, but also have a home among today’s Democratic leaders. Then too, it is “neoliberals,” not liberals/progressives, who have captured the Democratic Party. Neoliberalism is the political economy of both of the major parties. The center has disappeared and the Democratic Party under the leadership of neoliberals is now considerably to the right of the old liberals, because of that misunderstanding of the nature of conservatism, perhaps, or by seeking their own co-optation on the basis of immediate self-interest. Such that there is very little difference in essence between the two parties. The difference existing mainly is a matter of degree. Yes, the Democratic Party is the better party for women’s rights, but those rights are under attack by the right, so are not assured of protection given the lack of principles of the neoliberals and most of the liberals/progressives as well. Women and blacks are routinely thrown to the wolves given the existence of the “right” circumstances. Homosexuals have achieved some success with the Democrats but again will the party go to the wire for them. I doubt it, even though in the case of homosexuals (in this case, mostly males) there are a sizable number in the leadership of both parties and on Wall Street and among the rich. I have a hunch that homosexuals have achieved the success they do because of the number of homosexual males in power. The Democrats as a party deserted labor as early as the Truman administration and with the rise of the right, militarism and war making, the surveillance state and the disastrous neoliberal presidencies of Clinton and Obama, civil rights are destroyed as well as the economy.

    Women are left out of your analysis as are the relations among the classes with respect to both race and gender. The threat from the right against women has already resulted in great success. Sanctimonious noises may be heard among liberals/progressves and neoliberals about the tragedy of abortion and the need to respect the magical thinking of the religious right, but without those rights, equal pay for equal work, and family and children’s programs, women cannot work at all or find work very difficult, unless they are among the privileged few. That threat is embodied in the threat we face from the rich. We must factor in not only religion but the rise of the right in general and the presence of psychopathy among our leaders as well as the generally psychopathic nature of the society they have forged with our tacit consent.
    Perhaps Schultz fashioned his Lucy after a female he particularly disliked in his own life and who may or may not have deserved his opprobrium, but she should not be used as an example of the type you are describing as it is males who have control the reins of power in society, if not always in individual human relationships. I accept that I may be too literal here.
    For some of the reasons you cite, a large number of males among the rich as well as males of other classes, together with their female allies, wage war against women of all classes.
    Those rich whites who are genuinely reactionary or are functionally conservative/reactionary due to how they view their financial interests, both males and females, and some whites of the middle class wage war against males and females of other races.
    It may be that the rich are in a position to whip up animosity among groups more thoroughly by virtue of their power and money, setting them each against the other, but members of the other classes can join in and do, for a variety of reasons and causes.

    As I commented a few days back with respect to a call for censorship by feminists, in Spain, was it?, regarding a book that counseled the submission of females to males by a female Catholic conservative, read Thomas Hazlitt, 18th c. philosopher, on the behavior of the Tories (conservatives) vs. the behavior of the liberals n Parliament–which can be compared with ease to the behavior of conservatives and so-called liberals and neoliberals in Congress and the executive branch today–and Corey Robin in The Reactionary Mind on the behavior of present-day conservatives and conservative thinkers since the time of Edmund Burke, the first conservative.

    It is not just the wealth of the rich that shields them from those below them and that over time makes it impossible for them to understand others’ reality. If they are naturally reactionary and thus conservative they take opposition to their desires and programs intensely personally as they believe themselves to be always right. They are outraged that anyone could disagree with them. Even without the buttress of academic research, an analysis of their statements and strategies over time show them to be easily mendacious and deceitful. The are protean in adopting beliefs that yesterday they eschewed, all to reach their final goal. Lying for Jesus and the cause! From the richest in the land to your crazy Uncle Bob, you will find this to be true of the latter group. Obama and the Democrats stupidly never seem to understand that, as you imply. You are correct in pointing out that they believe themselves blessed by God and therefore natural leaders as chosen by God, but it goes deeper. It is their absolute opposition to the democratic gains made by those previously left out of power (so-called minorities, women, homosexuals, etc.–the list is long and this list just mentions a few). You are right that they see themselves as a natural aristocracy (conservatism after all is about the ascendance and maintenance of an aristocracy), but it is not just the rich who believe so. It is any man–or woman–who has the reactionary mind that enables him or her to believe they are entitled to be counted among that aristocracy (and this aristocracy is never claimed by the poor, to be sure). A roll call of my family will show this to be true, and no doubt yours as well as those of your readers. This means that they are naturally anti-democratic and anti democracy. But so are neoliberals today, even if some do not understand this themselves. So we are doubly screwed.

    From http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com quoting Thomas Hazlitt: “The conservatives, on the other hand, start with a personal interest in the conflict. Not wishing to lose their hold on power, they are fiercer. “We”—i.e., the liberals, or the “popular cause,” in Hazlitt’s terminology—“stand in awe of their threats, because in the absence of passion we are tender of our persons.”

    They beat us in courage and in intellect, because we have nothing but the common good to sharpen our faculties or goad our will; they have no less an alternative in view than to be uncontrolled masters of mankind or to be hurled from high—

    “To grinning scorn a sacrifice,
    And endless infamy!”

    They do not celebrate the triumphs of their enemies as their own: it is with them a more feeling disputation. They never give an inch of ground that they can keep; they keep all that they can get; they make no concessions that can redound to their own discredit; they assume all that makes for them; if they pause it is to gain time; if they offer terms it is to break them: they keep no faith with enemies: if you relax in your exertions, they persevere the more: if you make new efforts, they redouble theirs.

    While they give no quarter, you stand upon mere ceremony. While they are cutting your throat, or putting the gag in your mouth, you talk of nothing but liberality, freedom of inquiry, and douce humanité.

    Their object is to destroy you, your object is to spare them—to treat them according to your own fancied dignity. They have sense and spirit enough to take all advantages that will further their cause: you have pedantry and pusillanimity enough to undertake the defence of yours, in order to defeat it.

    It is the difference between the efficient and the inefficient; and this again resolves itself into the difference between a speculative proposition and a practical interest.

    Robin’s concise description of conservatism is the following: “…These ideas, which occupy the right side of the political spectrum, are forged in battle. They always have been, at least since they first emerged as formal ideologies during the French Revolution, battles between social groups, rather than nations, roughly speaking, between those with more power and those with less. To understand these ideas, we have to understand that story. For that is what conservatism is; a meditation on–and theoretical rendition of–the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.”

  55. I do not think the Brown’s relationships are typical of polygamists. Kody even admits to having to change his behaviour for the show. I believe though, he seems to be a genuine family man. I wonder how this decision will affect all of the children who are abused in polygamist relationships. Prosecution of these cases were difficult before. My heart breaks for these children. Linda L.

  56. thirdnews,
    I looked in the spam and trash filters as soon as your comment appeared at 5:19PM above. There was no comment of yours stuck in the filters at that time. That’s a fact.

  57. Otteray Scribe
    December 14, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    David, I took the trouble of pulling your comment out of the spam filter so everyone else could see just how freaking ignorant and insensitive you really are. Gaze in wonderment, folks.

    Is that the sort of civility Jonathan Turley expects from his guest bloggers?
    Seems to me the good Professor better take care of his own house before he dare expect others to comply.

  58. Frank Calzone,

    I don’t believe JT would have any trouble with OS’s comments.

    And the only reason I’ve not been posting about American hating Ghetto Trash like the Koch Brothers is I haven’t finished the maintenance on my daughters car yet.

    But here’s a taste about the Ghetto Trash some seem to wish to support as they are in a state of denial from reality, this piece is from Greg Palast:

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9023

  59. @Otteray Scribe, I don’t dispute your search, nor that you never found my remark in spam, nor trash, but I’d have to be damn lucky to guess your #comment-722167 sequence.

    BTW, this would place me just before Oky1 1, December 14, 2013 at 1:24 am

  60. thirdnews,

    I suggest if wish you complain further that you file a ticket with WordPress here:

    wordpress.org/support/

    We can only retrieve what gets caught in the filters. If it doesn’t appear in the filters, we simply regard that comment as consumed by the WordPress Vortex of Doom ™ and invite the poster to try again.

  61. Oky1, Greg Palast used to be on my favorites bar but my visits fell off and eventually so did his shortcut. I just reinstalled his site though, thanks for that reminder.

  62. Gene,

    Netflix’s Lilyhammer is back. Season 2 starts as episode 9.

    Also, if you aren’t watching Amazon’s new series, Alpha House, you are missing some great political comedy.

  63. Elaine M:

    “Blouise,

    Foil? are you sure you typed the correct vowel diphthong in that word?”

    *********************

    Superb.

  64. lottakatz, et al;

    **Still trying to catch the Devil’s herd, across these endless skies, but ain’t caught ’em yet **

    And a grand Idea MikeS, I think I’ll incorporate into the plan of not allowing Lucy to hold the ball. wink.

    ** Oky1 1, December 15, 2013 at 1:34 am

    1 of 3:

    Wallst’s govt sponsored legal theft of citizens money…

    **Bailin” **

    **GMO Food Laced with Weed Killer and Bail-ins-Ellen Brown **

    http://jonathanturley.org/2013/12/08/revamp-the-federal-reserve/#comment-722930

  65. How can any of the mega-wealthy try to justify that wealth on the basis of merit, hard work, skill, intelligence, or even “Godliness” after the world has seen George W. Bush?

  66. As someone who was fortunate enough to earn a scholarship to a very elite university, I met a number of students from quite wealthy families, including families whose sons had attended that same university for many generations (I knew nothing about “legacy” admissions at the time). I found that those whose family wealth had been a fact for many years tended to take it for granted. They did not live ostentatiously, but they were confident that their futures were secure. By that I mean that they had no reason to think that the proper order of things would be disturbed. They would graduate, find suitable employment, marry within their social and economic class and assume important roles in their communities. I did not encounter a sense of entitlement as that term is generally used; they would consider arrogant superiority boorish. Instead it was simply understood that the benefits and connections that were part of their family heritage would be passed on to them in the ordinary course of things, and they would be duty bound to protect and nourish that heritage. When we speak of the traditional ruling class in this country, these are the people we have in mind.

    But the traditional ruling class is giving way to a newer group of financial elites who have adopted the libertarian notion that great wealth does not entail responsibility to society at large. Thus we see wealth more frequently employed in the formation and operation of organizations whose principal purpose is to protect the prerogatives of their benefactors. In my view, that represents an important change in the attitudes and values of the wealthy, and is the true basis for the concern over class warfare. Those who attribute the anger of the middle and lower economic classes to “envy” fail to understand the difference between covetousness and genuine resentment of economic predation.

  67. Great post, Mike. I had a lengthier comment, but I don’t know where it went. If anyone finds it, please release it if possible.

  68. I am going to give a partial dissent on the topic of “There is starvation in America.” The connotation of this phrase is that starvation is widespread and common. Also it is an overstatement of the meaning of the word “starvation” which means a severe, life-threatening condition involving prolonged deprivation of nourishment and requiring medical supervision to properly rescusitate a person. It harks of overuse that can eventually erode the significance and suffering of people who are actually in a famine or other horrible environment because it becomes interchangeable with the word “hunger”.

    Yes there are incidents of starvation here, mainly involving dependent or abused individuals who are directly victimized by others or haven’t the capacity to be able to attend to their needs themselves. But what would be more accurate is to use “hunger” instead when making observations about our society generally.

    This is not to deny that in much of the country there are unacceptable situations where individuals and families are affected very adversely by hunger. It is not just the idea of not having enough proper nutrition that takes a toll on them, it is the social and psycological effects that this entails. There is embarassment, paigns, and a sense of failure and hopelessness among these that many people of better luck and means in life (as well as empathy for another person) often dismiss these people and more unacceptably their children as being lazy and deserving of this. In fact in many cases the opposite is true where people choose to pay their other bills to protect themselves from some rather harsh reprecussions such as losing their car or heating their house. One of the reasons for this situation is often these costs are fixed and inelastic, that is the individual cannot mitigate the price of this bill because it stays the same, becomes in arears and the penalties grow each month. Due to this the person and household heads can only get by with costs that are under their control and often this unfortunately leads to food being what gets reduced and it is often one of the last things that people have left to cut, meaning there is nothing else to cushion them that they can raise funds by cutting. The food is the most unfortunate thing that so many desperate persons at the worst time have to go without.

    Yes there are programs such as WIC and food stamps that are available and are of a benefit, yet sometimes these are insufficient or bureaucratic to meet the needs of people, some of whom feel uneasy about accepting this social benefit. It is why it is important to have charity benefits such as food banks or others to provide for this situation. It is also necessary to have other forms of personal or family benefits that offer a reduction in utility costs such as power bill reductions or rent vouchers so that it provides a buffer for which people do not have to suffer the downward spiral that leads to the anguishing choice between food and the bills

    The situation people are in in some ways is reflected in how much more I became aware of the issue over my lifetime. When I was about eleven or twelve years old my family dined at an Arctic Circle restaurant and I remember looking out the window and witnessing a man walk up to a dumpster, shuffle around some garbage, and then pull out a hamburger that he began to eat. I was surprised to see such a sight, having grown up in a middle class family and not having such a situation at home. Later, after we arrived home, I thought that someone should have bought one for him but for me at that time I had a though that he was dirty and bad. As the years passed of course I saw as many homeless as anyone else, but it really did not hit home with me until I was in my late twenties and I was on holiday in Turkey and saw woman sitting at the sidewalk curb with a pan out in front of her. She was gaunt, a small child asleep within her cusp, and an expression of utter dispair etched into her withered face and eyes which seemed to stare into the oblivion for which I belived she felt imprisoned and abandoned into by her society. I later wished I had given her more than I had. A suggestion I might make for those of us who have the means to travel to a country such as this to take with you a spare hundred dollar bill and if you have the occasion to come upon a person such as she you place that money into her hand and provide her with a little dignity and hope. Perhaps you might even save your soul in the process.

    But now that I am older I look upon that time decades ago when I saw the man at the restaurant and I think at how sad and dissapointing society was where a man is reduced to eating refuse when only ten yards or so away a restaurant abound with freshly made food and people who could easily afford the comparitively luxurious entertainment food to and chat among friends and family, oblivious or dismissive to this man’s plight and his value as a fellow human being.

    It is truly a measure of society in how well it treats its most vulnerable. We are all capable of doing better.

  69. Five million children a year die of hunger-starvation.

    One world hunger group defines hunger/starvation somewhat like running … if you are “running” you are still running whether you are running 1 mph or running 20 mph … running is a matter of degree.

    Same with “hungry” or “starving” … it is a matter of degree, but it is still hunger and hunger is still a degree of starvation.

    The U.S. has a lot of hunger and starvation which is laid out in its many degrees on this page: (UNITED STATES).

    Here are some statistics:

    In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States 1 (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. v.) 
    In 2010, about one-third of food-insecure households (6.7 million households, or 5.4 percent of all U.S. households) had very low food security (compared with 4.7 million households (4.1 percent) in 2007. In households with very low food security, the food intake of some household members was reduced, and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because of the household’s food insecurity (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. v., Nord  2009, p. iii.) . 
    In 2010, children were food insecure at times during the year in 9.8 percent of households with children (3.9 million households.) In one percent of households with children,one or more of the children experienced the most severe food-insecure condition measured by USDA, very low food security, in which meals were irregular and food intake was below levels considered adequate by caregivers (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. vi).
    The median [a type of average] food-secure household spent 27 percent more on food than the median food-insecure household of the same size and household composition (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. vi)..
    Background: The United States changed the name of its definitions in 2006 that eliminated references to hunger, keeping various categories of food insecurity.  This did not represent a change in what was measured.  Very low food insecurity (described as food insecurity with hunger prior to 2006) means that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members was reduced and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because the household lacked money and other resources for food. This means that people were hungry ( in the sense of “the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food” [Oxford English Dictionary 1971] for days each year (Nord 2009 p. iii-iv.).

    (Hunger in America: 2013 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts, links removed). Poverty in the U.S.eh? is also telling:

    The official poverty measure is published by the United States Census Bureau  and shows that:

    In 2010, 46.9 million people were in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007 — the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty .  This is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty rates have been published (DeNavas-Walt 2011, p. 14).
    The 2010 poverty rate was 15.1 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 1997.  This is the highest poverty rate since 1993, but 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for poverty estimates.  (DeNavas-Walt 2011, p. 14).
    The 2010 poverty rate for Hispanics was 26.6 percent, for Blacks 27.4 percent. 
    In 2010, the poverty rate increased for children under age 18 from 20.7 percent to 22.0 percent. (DeNavas-Walt 2010 p. 14).
    20.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four (DeNavas-Walt 2011, p. 19).
    49.9 million people or 16.3 percent of the American people, do not have medical insurance (DeNavas-Walt 2011, p. 23).

    In 2011 the Census Bureau published a supplemental poverty measure for the first time (US Census Bureau 2011b).  This new measure addresses seven concerns that have been raised about the official poverty measure, including the fact that the offical poverty measure does not reflect the effects of key government policies that alter the disposable income of families and thus their poverty status, such as the SNAP/food stamp program.

    (ibid, links removed).

    **continued**

  70. **continued from up-thread**

    The causes of hunger-starvation:

    Harmful economic systems are the principal cause of poverty and hunger. Hunger Notes believes that the principal underlying cause of poverty and hunger is the ordinary operation of the economic and political systems in the world. Essentially control over resources and income is based on military, political and economic power that typically ends up in the hands of a minority, who live well, while those at the bottom barely survive, if they do. We have described the operation of this system in more detail in our special section on Harmful economic systems.

    (Harmful economic systems as a cause of hunger and poverty, links removed).

  71. Needing food to nourish the body to survive, must be the primary natural instinct in all life. I don’t know if plants “feel” but they must react to to needs of nourishment or die. Procreation does not work if the procreators starve to death.
    I now postulate, ponder, and BS.
    All organisms for 3 billion years on earth have evolved dealing with hunger response. The successful survive.
    I BS. oops, I posit: Hunger is so ingrained in our survival genes it is an actual human emotion.
    Our human neurons and synapses have developed within this condition of “food need”. There is not one moment of human evolution when satisfying hunger was not a primary function of existence. As human consciousness developed, as human emotions evolved, they wrapped themselves around this biological need to eat for survival. Hunger, procreation, are two forces that denied will end a species. Hunger and procreation are the primordial goo our consciousness grew from and within. It can not simply be a biological function. (so says bluefish). !!thunderbolts!!!lightning!!! :o

    Our emotions could not have evolved independent of these. They are the “Mother of Emotion” … Coffee…much…too strong…

  72. War is the most harmful economic or sub-economic system, in terms of producing poverty->hunger->starvation.

    That is always obvious to the loser, but it is less obvious to the winner.

    The Libya and Iraq wars are classic recent examples:

    Libya provides a complete education to all students free of cost to them, from the kindergarten level up through the university level.

    At least it did before it was invaded.

    Libyans can purchase gasoline for their automobiles at a cost of 14 cents a litre.

    At least they could before their nation was invaded.

    Libya provides complete health care coverage to all of its citizens free of cost to them whatever their age.

    At least it did before it was invaded.

    Libya provides good labor laws “for workers’ compensation, pension rights, minimum rest periods, and maximum working hours.”

    At least it did before it was invaded.

    That means women in that Islamic nation get a complete education for free, are cared for at no cost when their health is an issue, and can work in humane conditions, and wonder of wonders, women can drive automobiles in Libya.

    At least it was that way before Libya was invaded.

    Libya was categorized by the United Nations as a “High human development” country.

    In that U.N. ranking, Libya even ranked above Saudi Arabia, for example (Saudi Arabian women cannot drive automobiles, or vote).

    At least it was that way before Libya was invaded.

    Libya provided $50,000 to newlyweds, and zero interest home loans to the citizens of that nation.

    At least it did before it was invaded.

    (MOMCOM And The Sins of Libya, links removed).

    **continued**

  73. **continued from up-thread**

    Iraq was much like Libya in terms of caring for its citizens, universal education and health, etc. until it was invaded:

    Now, this mother of all corruption is spawning children that have the same DNA and footprints:

    Iraq plans to arrest 1,000 officials for corruption after a scandal which has forced the resignation of the Trade Minister and is threatening the food supply of millions of Iraqis.

    Corruption at the Trade Ministry is an important issue in Iraq because the ministry is in charge of the food rationing system on which 60 per cent of Iraqis depend. Officials at the ministry, which spends billions of dollars buying rice, sugar, flour and other items, are notorious among Iraqis for importing food that is unfit for human consumption, for which they charge the state the full international price.

    (Independent, UK, emphasis added). This latest unconscionable debacle comes along after a million or more Iraqi men, women, and children have been killed in “the war to bring them freedom”.

    This comes after 4 or 5 million Iraqi men, women, and children have been made refugees by “the war on terror” and who now live in squalor in Jordan, Syria, and other countries.

    (Mother Of All Enemies, links removed).

  74. I try again.

    Needing food to nourish the body to survive, must be the primary natural instinct in all life. I don’t know if plants “feel” but they must react to to needs of nourishment or die. Procreation does not work if the procreators starve to death.
    I now postulate, ponder, and BS.
    All organisms for 3 billion years on earth have evolved dealing with hunger response. The successful survive.
    I BS. oops, I posit: Hunger is so ingrained in our survival genes it is an actual human emotion.
    Our human neurons and synapses have developed within this condition of “food need”. There is not one moment of human evolution when satisfying hunger was not a primary function of existence. As human consciousness developed, as human emotions evolved, they wrapped themselves around this biological need to eat for survival. Hunger, procreation, are two forces that denied will end a species. Hunger and procreation are the primordial goo our consciousness grew from and within. It can not simply be a biological function. (so says bluefish). !!thunderbolts!!!lightning!!! :o

    Our emotions could not have evolved independent of these. They are the “Mother of Emotion”
    … Coffee…much…too strong…

  75. davidbluefish 1, December 15, 2013 at 10:09 am

    … the primordial goo …
    ============================
    That is no longer dogma:

    For 80 years it has been accepted that early life began in a ‘primordial soup’ of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later. Today the ‘soup’ theory has been over turned in a pioneering paper in BioEssays which claims it was the Earth’s chemical energy, from hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, which kick-started early life.

    “Textbooks have it that life arose from organic soup and that the first cells grew by fermenting these organics to generate energy in the form of ATP. We provide a new perspective on why that old and familiar view won’t work at all,” said team leader Dr Nick lane from University College London.

    (Soupy Sales & Evolutionary Tales). You also, in your scientific comment (yourself as the only expert quoted), said “There is not one moment of human evolution when satisfying hunger was not a primary function of existence.”

    Human evolution of the homo sapien sort takes up very little of the evolutionary time frame, but the hunger you also mention beginning, you say, back >3bn years is a larger percentage:

    Therefore The Big Bang happened about 9.21 billion years before the Earth formed (13.75 – 4.54 = 9.21).

    Biological organisms formed on the Earth about a billion years later, which would be ~10.21 billion years after The Big Bang.

    Humans, homo sapiens, are said to have evolved about 200,000 years ago, which would be ~13.7498 billion years after The Big Bang (13.7498 + 00.0002 = 13.75 billion years). Homo sapien evolution is a very tiny 0.0002 billion years of the 13.75 billion year story.

    The abiotic epoch which preceded the biotic epoch involved a vast amount of “time” as we know it, populating vast areas of space with the atoms…

    (Putting a Face On Machine Mutation – 3, links & formatting removed). Thus, the greatest time taken by the evolution that predates the advent of life is abiotic evolution, not biotic evolution.

    The Big Bang “plasma” evolved into atomic entities that then evolved in molecular machines, all the way up to DNA, which is also a molecular machine.

    Machines do exhibit a form of “hunger,” in that if they do not have energy then they cannot function (e.g. gasoline for your car’s engine, or photons for a photovoltaic-cell driven motor).

    I think poverty->hunger->starvation is better dealt with in the context of the social sciences and economy Mike S discussed in his post.

  76. Dredd. I have just been unable to figure out where the organic soup came from. It still take a leap of faith for me to conclude that something comes from nothing. Where did the materials or anti matter, quarks, black holes, etc. come from for there to be a big bang? It’s the same with religion, If God created the world, who was God’s creator? Way above my consciousness, yet there are those who claim they know how such an event happened and guess at the timelines as even carbon dating and other methods of established dating are far from perfect. I think the guy that invented carbon dating even challenged its accuracy.

    We are obviously not as smart as we think but we are surely more devious than most want to acknowledge. Legalizing theft and the monarchs, oligarchs and their aristocrats/bureaucrat worshipers that have advanced it use over the millenniums, comes to mind. Yes, we must legalize theft and coercion to have a system that protects against theft and coercion. Brilliant, yea for the oligarchs!!!

    Or how about Tesla concluding towards the end of his live that AC current was horrible and wished he hadn’t brought it to popularity. He had obviously found something better. Science is not as magnificent as many believe, even though I love it, as it progresses and able to understand some of the complexities of the world. I think that are some things however, that we might just not ever know.

  77. Mike S.,

    I just read an article about market-based school reform that I think applies to the “virtuous” rich mindset:

    Key flaw in market-based school reform: a misunderstanding of the civil rights struggle
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2013/08/05/key-flaw-in-market-based-school-reform-a-misunderstanding-of-the-civil-rights-struggle/

    Excerpt:
    Contemporary school reformers have not helped matters by undercutting democratic processes. Most favor abolishing elected school boards and local school councils. Yet, the latter were hard won by community control activists frustrated by earlier eras of school reform featuring centralized, managerial leadership dominated by white men inattentive to the needs of poor students and students of color. Both Chicago and New York City recently did away with their elected boards of education and put mayors in charge of their schools. In many cities, private organizations have been given the power to set up and expand charter schools.

    And the making of urban educational policy is shaped by unprecedented amounts of private money. For example, under Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of Washington, D.C., schools, several foundations, including the Walton Family Foundation and the Robertson Foundation, pledged millions of dollars to underwrite school reform, money contingent on implementation of the reforms. This practice, increasingly common in cash-starved school districts, stands to distort the policy process and limit the influence of local community movements that have long fought for voice and control under more traditional school governance forms.

    Because most elite reformers are disconnected from local struggles, they do not engage the issue of socioeconomic and racial inequality, even as the United States is experiencing the most profound wealth gap since the 1920s. Parents cannot be solely focused on securing better schools for their children as long as so many are unemployed or underemployed and have neither safe nor affordable housing or access to health care.

    Civil rights organizations such as the NAACP have long opposed market-based educational policies that do nothing to address racial segregation and class stratification in minority communities. This stance brings them into coalition with teachers’ unions, which are portrayed as the prime villains in the accounts of school reformers. But, in fact, teachers’ unions—often with African American members in the lead—have consistently supported lawsuits to desegregate schools and bring about fiscal equity between urban and suburban districts.

  78. Dredd I was not being “scientific” I am simply positing hunger is a necessary urge to get organisms to eat. I believe rats given a choice of cocaine or food will choose cocaine and starve to death.
    The basis of my statement is, long ago prior to the development of consciousness in our ancestors, (whoever, whatever they were), the urge to satisfy hunger existed. As our ancestors higher brain function developed it developed with this urge of hunger, and procreation as primary. My simple “throw the spaghetti against the wall theory” is the urge to satisfy hunger and procreation, is the basic primary reason our consciousness grew. We are still very much slaved to this evolutionary urge.
    Once civilization gained easier and sufficient food and procreation access, these most powerful urges do not disappear. They manifest themselves in other human behavior. Being well fed and sexed today can not turn off millions of years of evolutionary imperative.
    Some people seem to want ALL the food. They may have an urge for urges, and the brain structures to strive for or succumb to all of them.

    Dredd, these are simply brain farts, and I think some of them are not all that stinky. As a 99.99999999999% atheist, I believe our consciousness developed in the past, and was not given to us by a “higher power”.
    The past is very much the creator of the present human condition.

    Evolution created our conscious, I do not believe we are Gods to lesser conscious creatures, we are simply one step higher than them.
    Except for some dogs,…. there are a few that may actually be a rung or two above us. Maybe some elephants too. :o

  79. Elaine, that is such a BS article. Poor people want free things like education. I get it, but that is not going to make the quality of education any better. Competition, however has historically been shown to cause products and services to be improved.

    If the poorest of poor in India can figure out ways to provide private education to their children, despite the presence of free public education, then so can we. Do you know why poor people in India don’t want to send their children to public schools; because they are crappy, just like here in the US. People are willing to home school if necessary so as to not have to send their children to public schools and of course the wealthy have long decided to pay for private education despite having to pay much higher proportional taxes for education, in addition to the cost of private schools. The property taxes on an empty lot in Palm Beach can be $500,000 a year, here in Florida.

  80. hskiprob,

    “Competition, however has historically been shown to cause products and services to be improve.”

    Has that proved so in this country regarding schools?

    BTW, would you consider children to be “products?” Do you think that the best way to determine students’ educational progress is through high stakes standardized tests?

  81. hskiprob,

    Hard Right Religious Lunatics with their Koch brothers type backing have been doing everything they could to destroy public education since at least 1947 SCOTUS.

    It seems to me they’ve since captured the teachers unions, which at a glance would have us believe they politically opposites, and the public opinion & altogether have destroyed public confidence in public education.

    Your type position seems to me we go heading right back to the guy with the biggest club or fastest gun takes everything & to hell with everyone else.

    One is either for Liberty & Freedom, We the People, United States of America, To Form a More Prefect Union or you might consider moving to Britain, Mexico or North Korea.

    Because as I see it if we are to be any kind of civilized society we have a social contract, an obligation, to use our nations resources to at least insure that at a minimum we look after children, sick & the elderly & that resources such as Mineral Rights,( Oil/Ngas etc..) are used for at least teaching kids the 3Rs and how to use a google search engine.

    Enough with the divide & conquer, Red/Blue crap, some of us wish to hear viable solution for the need repair of all these issues.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Hugo+Black%2C+1947+religion+in+public+schools

  82. hskiprob,

    Hard Right Religious Lunatics wish to teach their kids their religion, fine!

    Tell them to Enjoy their 1st Amd Rights, but do it on their own time & their own Dime. I suggest Friday, Saturday or Sunday might be good days for their particular religion for indoctrination for eager,unprotected young minds.

    But in fairness you should have to pay for sports training camps for NFL,NBA, ESPN, etc…

    And about all those yellow bus? There is the internet now.

    Are we building something or are we in the demolition business?

  83. Elaine M,

    My uneven Tea Party support.

    About 10 years ago I strongly consider starting a regional association of people concerned with issues from this region.

    I backed off the idea out of concern anything I built for noble reasons might at some point be infiltrated & corrupted like so many groups have been before.

    I’m still unsure of the solutions?

  84. Republican are all white & the rest are all Democrats. Republicans are all wealthy & the rest are all poor. Lets put it another way. Those who work for income pay all the taxes & all the others hire accountants & tax lawyers. Lets also consider that Congress passes laws that they do not understand or perhaps even read. Consider there are 1.6 million 501(c) that do not pay any taxes but are heavily attended for entertainment, gourmet food, travel, entertainment etc Who attends these ? There is a lot to consider when we hand out blame. Lets start with the Tax Code rather than personalities.

  85. “If the poorest of poor in India can figure out ways to provide private education to their children, despite the presence of free public education, then so can we.”

    Hskiprob,

    Have you ever seen pictures of, or read anything about the slums of Mumbai?
    How many kids do you think are going to ever escape their being born there. By the way in those slums are some of the hardest working people in the world. Only they have to work hard just to keep themselves alive.

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

    http://hbo.vice.com/episode-five/ep-5-seg-3

  86. MikeS,

    The reason why I call Koch Brothers, Warren Buffet, & the rest of those Billionaire lunatics Ghetto Trash is because they are the Slum Lords that are building all these ghettos here, in India & elsewhere.

    Mansions for them & slums for everyone else, including David & Hsk most likely.

    Stockholm syndrome anyone? lol

    Back later

  87. Oky1 – I’m not real religious or wealthy nor do I do buy the concept of a social contract. Either you voluntarily agree to a contract or there is no contract. Contracts are invalid if coercion or force is used to get you to sign them.

    Can I be forced into involuntary servitude or not? The Constitution say no, yet the US Government forced me into conscription for military service in 1972 for two years. If one can be forced into an agreement, this breaks a fundamental concept of an unalienable right.

    If you have no individual rights, you are left to the mercy of the ruling class and as we have seen over the last 50 years, the will take advantage of the lower socio-economic classes, every change they can get.

    Dissent and they will throw you in jail or take your property.

    Do I ever have a choice as to what part of your social contract, that the oligarchs really create by the way, I’m not obligated to endure or must I endure everything that every legislative body requires of me?

  88. Mike Appleton:

    “Those who attribute the anger of the middle and lower economic classes to “envy” fail to understand the difference between covetousness and genuine resentment of economic predation.”

    I am curious how the very wealthy have harmed me or the middle class in general. Many of the people you accuse of economic predation have put many millions of people to work.

    The economic pie can be ever expanding by the invention of new products and services. I make much use of the computer but doubt I could have invented the transistor or the semiconductor. I am a beneficiary of those inventions which allow me to do what I do with much greater efficiency and productivity. I can do in 10 minutes what it took engineers just 50 years ago a day or a week in some cases.

    Buildings can now be designed for less money, use fewer materials, be built faster; all of this to the benefit of society.

    The pie has been expanding but is now slowing down due to regulations and other disincentives which stifle innovation. We need creative risk takers so that the rest of us may have jobs. If the price is wealth disparity why is that a problem? A man making $40,000 is not being preyed upon by the super wealthy unless they are Fabian Socialists. For the most part society benefits from innovation by businessmen and inventors who grow companies which provide life enriching goods and services.

  89. annieofwi:

    “Tea Party, so moral, so upstanding so willing to turn our cities into Bangladesh. How do moral people reconcile their dismissal of the hungry and downtrodden? ‘Tis the season to merry….”

    You mean like the left actually did to Detroit?

  90. Bron,

    You do realize you said above the economy could be ever expanding (a fantastical concept) and then followed that with an example of the economy contracting by operational efficiency (which translates to less wage-hours).

  91. Juliet N wrote: “There are people starving in the streets in America.”

    Then why do you not tell me that you have met someone in this category? When I ask you if you have met someone starving, you give me a list of people you are helping, which I never asked for. Even now you assert that there are people starving in America, but yet you will not tell me of a single person you have met who is or was starving in our streets. I tried to find an organization somewhere to quote statistics about how many are starving to death in the U.S., and you know what? The statistics do not exist. All the organizations concerned with hunger use the category of “at risk for hunger” when talking about Americans, yet readily supply statistics about how many people are actually dying from starvation in other parts of the world.

    You may think I’m a moron, but it seems to me that you prefer to believe propaganda over what you actually experience and observe for yourself in real life.

    Have you met one person who was starving to death in your hometown? I am trusting you to be honest, but you seem to be avoiding the question and prefer instead to label me a moron or dishonest or the best troll. Could it be that I am actually telling you the truth? Have you ever even remotely considered this option?

  92. Gene H:

    it can be ever expanding. It has been expanding. And regulations and other government policies stifle growth.

    I am pretty sure few people in 1856 saw the invention of the semiconductor and the rise of the internet.

    It isnt a fantastical concept because it has been going on for the last 200 years. What is fantastical is that you think it is fantastical.

  93. Bron,

    “it can be ever expanding”

    No, not really. Economies are cyclical and have an upper limit defined by resources.

  94. Darren, thanks for the calm voice of reason about the hunger vs. starvation issue. The situation is indeed much more dire in other countries.

    Darren Smith wrote: “When I was about eleven or twelve years old my family dined at an Arctic Circle restaurant and I remember looking out the window and witnessing a man walk up to a dumpster, shuffle around some garbage, and then pull out a hamburger that he began to eat. I was surprised to see such a sight, having grown up in a middle class family and not having such a situation at home.”

    One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. That is the saying among many of the poor who dumpster dive. I did it myself many times when I was younger and had no money. Grocery store dumpsters were always my favorite because many packaged items that simply had an expired date were tossed out but were perfectly fine. The sad thing is that local governments often craft laws to make it illegal, just like they craft laws to make begging illegal. They threaten businesses with liability law suits if they do not put locks on the dumpsters and find other ways to prevent people from helping themselves to its contents. It has gotten so ridiculous that the schools won’t even let us bring un-packaged food or have pot luck dinners anymore. It is supposedly a health risk and someone might get sick and sue the school.

    I always had a vision for establishing free stores, where unwanted items could be sent and the poor among us could come and pick out whatever they wanted for free. This would be not just for food items, but clothing, furniture, tools, etc… the kind of items found in a thrift store where people normally are charged to purchase donated items. It seems to me that this would be a noble work of government, to establish such a thing, but instead they choose to tax us heavy and pass out money directly to those they deem qualified for it. If I ever attain enough wealth, this concept of a free store is one of the things on my list of projects that I will do to improve my community, as long as I can find the right lawyers to help keep government out of the way so we can get it done. It would certainly be more beneficial than the millions of dollars government spends on empty buildings in Afghanistan or unneeded airplanes from Italy.

  95. Mike Appleton wrote: “But the traditional ruling class is giving way to a newer group of financial elites who have adopted the libertarian notion that great wealth does not entail responsibility to society at large.”

    It is clear you mean to take a jab at the Koch brothers by your use of the phrase “libertarian notion.” The problem is that their very active involvement in taking responsibility for society at large is exactly why I like the Koch brothers so much! Have you looked at their philanthropy? They bolster the arts and sciences, education, and the environment. Their efforts are exactly in all the areas where they are needed. Instead of handing out food stamps and working toward having taxpayers provide free healthcare for everyone, they invest in the proper philosophy of economics that will actually lift people up out of poverty. Their plan and activities actually work and are sustainable, unlike the plans and activities of someone like President Obama who creates failed foreign policies and failed health care overhauls and on top of that he tells young entrepreneurs, “you didn’t build that,” in his effort to solicit votes for higher taxes. Please, give me the libertarian Koch brothers philanthropy over socialist philanthropy any day of the week.

  96. Dredd wrote: “The U.S. has a lot of hunger and starvation which is laid out in its many degrees on this page:”

    Dredd, I could not find the word “starvation” anywhere on that page, except in reference to efforts abroad. Why do you keep saying that there is a lot of starvation in the U.S.? We should not perpetuate a myth. We lose credibility when we repeat false information.

  97. Oky1 wrote: “Hard Right Religious Lunatics with their Koch brothers type backing have been doing everything they could to destroy public education since at least 1947 SCOTUS.”

    LOL. Is that why they have donated to hundreds of universities? They have donated so much that their critics have complained that they have too much influence on public education.

    See, the problem is that if we get involved in helping education, then the left screams that we are destroying public education, and if we don’t get involved and choose instead to home school or establish private schools, they complain that we are not supporting public education. The real issue is that we are not facilitating education exactly the way the liberals want us to, which is kind of like the churches do with people who attend there. They pass the plate and want everyone to pitch in, but those contributing better not have any ideas about how that money ought to be spent.

  98. The Koch Brothers – Exposed!
    By JULIAN BROOKES
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/national-affairs/the-koch-brothers-exposed-20120420

    Excerpt:
    On the evidence of Koch Brothers Exposed, the more relevant question is: What aren’t they up to? The film – scrappy and low-budget, but effective all the same – weaves together a string of shorter videos produced over the past year by Greenwald’s nonprofit Brave New Films, each looking at a separate tentacle of the “Kochtopus,” as lefty wags have dubbed the Kochs’ network. It recounts how the brothers have:

    • helped fund efforts to undo a model diversity policy in the Wake County school system in North Carolina, effectively resegregating the district – part of a larger campaign, the film alleges, to weaken the public school system and prepare the way for widespread privatization;

    • pushed voter ID laws – purportedly aimed at combating ballot fraud but really designed to keep Democrats from voting – through their financial support for the American Legislative Exchange Council, an increasingly radioactive business group specializing in the drafting of corporate-friendly pick-up-and-pass legislation for state lawmakers. (ALEC is also behind the insane “Stand Your Ground” gun laws at issue in the Trayvon Martin shooting case);

    • pumped millions of dollars into more than 150 colleges and university in exchange for control over hiring and curriculum decisions, to ensure students will be exposed to the free-market fundamentalism of Ayn Rand, Freidrich von Hayek and like minds;

    • bankrolled a coordinated campaign to swing public opinion in favor of privatizing Social Security, deploying Koch-funded think tanks, experts, and pundits to spread the myth that the program is on the brink of bankruptcy.

  99. Juliet N wrote to David M: “I think you’re a fake and a liar.”

    What lie did I tell?

    I suppose you will not answer this question just like you did not answer my question about the people you have seen starving in the streets of the U.S.

  100. Elaine M wrote: “part of a larger campaign, the film alleges, to weaken the public school system and prepare the way for widespread privatization;
    … pushed voter ID laws – purportedly aimed at combating ballot fraud but really designed to keep Democrats from voting … pumped millions of dollars into more than 150 colleges and university in exchange for control over hiring and curriculum decisions to ensure students will be exposed to the free-market fundamentalism of Ayn Rand, Freidrich von Hayek and like minds; … bankrolled a coordinated campaign to swing public opinion in favor of privatizing Social Security, deploying Koch-funded think tanks, experts, and pundits to spread the myth that the program is on the brink of bankruptcy.”

    Elaine, do you really not see through all this left wing propaganda? Introduce school competition as a way to make better schools, and the left screams, “they are weakening our schools!” Put in place methods against voter fraud and they scream, “they really want to prevent Democrats from voting.” Support public universities with the stipulation of broadening their education to include very influential people’s ideas, and they are supposedly corrupting education. Educate people about Social Security and push for an investment strategy to move it away from the Ponzi pay as you go scheme that it now is, and they are supposedly spreading a myth and trying to (OMG!) privatize Social Security.

    I am supportive of everyone one of these initiatives of the Koch brothers. God bless them. They are protecting us from the failed plans of socialists and communists.

  101. Why be concerned when millions of children in this country go hungry and are malnourished? They aren’t starving…so who cares?

    Child Hunger Facts
    http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-facts.aspx

    Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important for establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 15.9 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.[i] Although food insecurity is harmful to any individual, it can be particularly devastating among children due to their increased vulnerability and the potential for long-term consequences.

  102. davidm,

    I didn’t write that. It was an excerpt from an article. One thing is for sure–I don’t buy your pro-Koch propaganda. I don’t think oligarchs are concerned about us common folk.

  103. Elaine M.,

    Thank you for your effort, I’m sure you like I have only so much energy & I see you & recognize your gallant effort.

    We’re going through the wall!

  104. Juliet N.

    David: I don’t think you’re a moron. I think you’re a fake and a liar.

    ———————————————————

    But he’s useful … a polite, vaudevillian, straight man.

    As I said earlier, if he didn’t already exist, we would have had to invent him.

    His one liners like, ” … the Koch brothers. God bless them. They are protecting us from the failed plans of socialists and communists.” are great for jump starting discussions and illuminating the depth of conservative thinking.

  105. Juliet N.,

    The hilarity of that line ” … the Koch brothers. God bless them. They are protecting us from the failed plans of socialists and communists.” is in the fact that the Koch’s boys’ daddy got his first big contract from Joesph Stalin. Their wealth is completely based on a Communist regime … which could translate into the Koch boys having daddy issues where communism is concerned.

    Like I said, he’s useful as a straight man and truly a great example of the depth of conservative deep-thinking.

  106. Blouise,

    The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement
    The Koch family, America’s biggest financial backers of the Tea Party, would not be the billionaires they are today were it not for the godless empire of the USSR.
    April 16, 2010
    http://www.alternet.org/story/146504/the_roots_of_stalin_in_the_tea_party_movement

    Excerpt:
    The Tea Party movement’s dirty little secret is that its chief financial backers owe their family fortune to the granddaddy of all their hatred: Stalin’s godless empire of the USSR. The secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure.

    The comrades were good to the Kochs. Today Koch Industries has grown into the second-largest private company in America. With an annual revenue of $100 billion, the company was just $6.3 billion shy of first place in 2008. Ownership is kept strictly in the family, with the company being split roughly between brothers Charles and David Koch, who are worth about $20 billion apiece and are infamous as the largest sponsors of right-wing causes. They bankroll scores of free-market and libertarian think tanks, institutes and advocacy groups. Greenpeace estimates that the Koch family shelled out $25 million from 2005 to 2008 funding the “climate denial machine,” which means they outspent Exxon Mobile three to one.

    I first learned about the Kochs in February 2009, when my colleague Mark Ames and I were looking into the strange origins of the then-nascent Tea Party movement. Our investigation led us again and again to a handful of right-wing advocacy groups directly tied to the Kochs. We were the first to connect the dots and debunk the Tea Party movement’s “grassroots” front, exposing it as billionaire-backed astroturf campaign run by free-market advocacy groups FreedomWorks and Americans For Prosperity, both of which are closely linked to the Koch brothers.

    But the Tea Party movement — and the Koch family’s obscene wealth — go back more than half a century, all the way to grandpa Fredrick C. Koch, one of the founding members of the far-right John Birch Society which was convinced that socialism was taking over America through unions, colored people, Jews, homosexuals, the Kennedys and even Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    These days, the Kochs paint themselves as true-believer Libertarians of the Austrian School. Charles Koch, the elder brother who runs the family business in Wichita, Kansas, quotes the wisdom of proto-libertarian “economist” Ludwig von Mises, but also sees himself as an economist in his own right. In 2007, Charles made his contribution to the body of free-market thought with an economic theory he calls “Market-Based Management” (a term he trademarked).

  107. davidm2575 1, December 15, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    Dredd wrote: “The U.S. has a lot of hunger and starvation which is laid out in its many degrees on this page:”

    Dredd, I could not find the word “starvation” anywhere on that page, except in reference to efforts abroad. Why do you keep saying that there is a lot of starvation in the U.S.? We should not perpetuate a myth. We lose credibility when we repeat false information.
    ==============================
    “We” is really your several opinions which are unsubstantiated.

    That is a habit of the overly self-opinionated.

    Your opinion is fine, but once you speak it then you elevated it to a sacred level, above the level of those who are professionals and experts in these fields.

    I cited to experts who know about these things, and they provided the data.

    If you can’t find that information it is because you do not want to find it because those facts mess with your world view.

    It is willful intellectual dishonesty to avoid the facts in favor of opinion.

  108. davidbluefish 1, December 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Dredd I … I believe rats given a choice of cocaine or food will choose cocaine and starve to death.

    ==================================
    That is a subconscious code-word sequence meaning “those who are hungry are drugged up minorities that want it that way.”

    You probably believe in Eugenics and Social Darwinism too, if you fit the statistical pattern.

  109. Elaine M wrote: “I don’t think oligarchs are concerned about us common folk.”

    If you are talking the oligarchs running the U.S. government, people like President Obama, Vice President Biden, Attorney General Holder, Secretary of State Kerry, Secretary of Defense Hagel, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Sebellius, then I tend to agree. On the other hand, if you are talking about businessmen like the Kochs who have no formal obligation whatsoever to get involved in politics and to give back to the community by supporting the arts, the sciences, and education but they do it anyway out of their own sense of personal obligation, then I would have to ask you: Why do they do all these good things? It costs them but gives them nothing back in return except hatred from those on the opposite side of the political aisle.

  110. rafflaw wrote: “I agree. The Kochs are only concerned about money and the power money buys them.”

    What? So you think the Kochs are oligarchs? Truly unbelievable. They are fighting against the oligarchs running this country from Washington, much like Professor Turley sometimes does. The primary difference is that the Obama administration actually takes notice of them and criticizes them for it. The Kochs are not on the inside running this country. They are on the outside, attempting to reign in the runaway corrupt government.

    Whenever you read a hit piece against the Kochs by the uber-liberals who hate this country and hate American Idealism, I suggest you visit KochFacts.com and read their response.

    Here are some excerpts about what they are doing. In my opinion, it shows they care about me and my family as well as the rest of this country. They are attempting to save us from the oligarchs.

    Following are some excerpts from that site:

    An Open Letter to Congress Regarding the Budget
    =====
    December 10, 2013
    Dear Member of Congress:

    While the Continuing Appropriations Act will fund the government through January 15, 2014, we respectfully request that Congress maintains the spending and budget guidelines set forth in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA). As you are aware, the BCA limits discretionary spending through FY 2021, including a cap of $967 billion for FY 2014.
    The BCA passed with overwhelming bi-partisan support, including the support of the Republican and Democrat leadership of both the House and the Senate, and was signed into law by the President. At that time the President stated: “This compromise guarantees more than $2 trillion in deficit reduction. It’s an important first step to ensuring that as a nation we live within our means.” Abandoning the spending caps, including offsetting spending reductions with increased taxes or fees, would likewise be a reversal of the promise to rein-in the relentless growth of government.

    Such a failure would be a dangerous retreat from the pledge to “live within our means.” If Congress ignores or abandons its promise to restrain spending just two years after the passage of the BCA, it would be a significant blow to our country’s fiscal recovery as well as shake confidence in the belief that Washington can keep its word.

    While putting a cap on discretionary expenditures will not fix all of our fiscal problems, it is an important and necessary step in the right direction. Now is not the time to abandon the promises that Members from both chambers made when they voted for the BCA in August 2011. It is a promised partial first-step toward ensuring our children and grandchildren won’t be saddled with the crushing debt caused by profligate spending and out-of-control expansion of government.
    Koch believes that Congress should focus on the following efforts: balancing the budget, tightening and cutting government spending, curbing cronyism, and eliminating market-distorting subsidies and mandates.

    We urge Congress to stick to their promise and adhere to the deficit reducing measures of the Budget Control Act. It is essential if our country is to achieve economic prosperity once again. It is also the right thing to do.

    Sincerely,
    Philip Ellender
    President and COO, Government and Public Affairs
    Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC

    ===========
    Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
    A Letter to the U.S. Senate Regarding the Federal Government Shutdown

    Dear Senator,

    A great deal of what you read and hear about Koch Industries is erroneous or misleading. Indeed, there was false information presented about Koch on the Senate floor by Senate Majority Leader Reid, who claimed yesterday that Koch was behind the shutdown of the federal government in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare.” Because several of you have asked what our position is on this issue, we want to set the record straight and correct this misinformation.

    Koch believes that Obamacare will increase deficits, lead to an overall lowering of standards of health care in America, and raise taxes. However, Koch has not taken a position on the legislative tactic of tying the continuing resolution to defunding Obamacare nor have we lobbied on legislative provisions defunding Obamacare.

    Instead, Koch has focused on educating the public about reducing our nation’s debt and controlling runaway government spending. We believe that Congress should, at a minimum, keep to sequester-level spending guidelines, and develop a plan for more significant and widespread spending reductions in the future. We also believe that Congress should work to rein-in rampant government spending so that it becomes no longer necessary to continually raise the debt ceiling.

    Congress should focus on these efforts: balancing the budget, tightening and cutting government spending, curbing cronyism, and eliminating market-distorting subsidies and mandates.

    We are hopeful this sets the record straight and that in the future Senator Reid and other politicians will stop misrepresenting and distorting Koch’s positions.

    Sincerely,
    Philip Ellender
    President, Government & Public Affairs
    Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC
    ===============

  111. Elaine M wrote: “The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement”

    How do you believe this stuff? A Communist leader is at the root of the Tea Party Movement? Really? You believe that?

  112. davidm,

    That was an article that I posted a link to and an excerpt from. Prove that the article is wrong about the Koch family and the roots of its fortune.

    You write about the Kochs being magnanimous and generous and a force for good in this country. How can you believe that?

  113. Dredd wrote: ““We” is really your several opinions which are unsubstantiated.”

    By “we” I meant you and me. We are both members of the human race and both provide comments on this blog.

    Dredd wrote: “Your opinion is fine, but once you speak it then you elevated it to a sacred level, above the level of those who are professionals and experts in these fields.”

    No I haven’t elevated anything. I just don’t swoon to professionals as if their credentials prove that what they say is factual. I also know how to read between the lines of propaganda and separate the facts from the spin. We all put our trousers on the same way. This is the basis from which I speak. True egalitarianism, not this fake egalitarianism that pretends everybody is equal except for those professionals in their field who are more equal than the rest. All opinion should be based upon facts, and I simply call people to task, to stick with facts, and to form opinions based upon facts rather than emotional ideology.

    Dredd wrote: “I cited to experts who know about these things, and they provided the data.”

    No, you referenced experts who did not say what you claimed they said. You said people are starving in the U.S. and then you referenced professionals in the field who never said people in the U.S. were starving. They spoke of people in the U.S. being at risk for hunger, and they spoke of people in other countries who were starving. Your experts supported everything that I had said previously because I had already done my homework and read these experts long before you made your post.

    Dredd wrote: “If you can’t find that information it is because you do not want to find it because those facts mess with your world view.”

    No, I was being polite toward you before. Now let me be more blunt. You misrepresented them. I cannot find the information because the information you claimed was there is not there. There are not people in the streets of the U.S. starving to death because we have lots of people who care about feeding hungry people. We have food stamps and school feeding programs and churches and non-profit charities of all sorts constantly providing a steady stream of food to whoever needs it. We should congratulate ourselves as a society for making sure nobody starves, but you keep wanting to pretend somebody somewhere in the U.S. is starving to death in the streets and it is such a great social injustice that we need to raise taxes and create bigger government to resolve this crisis. Truth is that I look out my window of my office and instead of seeing starving people in the streets, I see a bird sitting on top of a bird feeder, content with the seed he has just eaten, and the lady on food stamps feeding a cat, and another lady walking her dog, and not a single person dying from starvation is in sight. America is Great!

  114. Elaine M wrote: “That was an article that I posted a link to and an excerpt from. Prove that the article is wrong about the Koch family and the roots of its fortune.”

    Prove it is wrong about what? The great majority of the articles that you cite present certain true facts along with rhetoric that becomes laughable. They often present a readily known fact as some kind of recently discovered dirty little secret to setup their piece. In this case, grandpa Fred Koch is revealed to have established a business presence in Russia, and because there is a connection between the Koch philosophy and the Tea Party, then the Tea Party is connected with the communist Stalin? Really? Do I really have to explain to you how illogical that whole line of thinking is? Had it ever occurred to you that perhaps this is why the Koch family is so against communism and socialist ideology? Perhaps it is this experience that has led them to see that what is happening now in our government is so bad?

    I know that many here have that book-burning mentality that will not allow them to read any information from conservative sources, but I would encourage you to read the following short biography about Fred Koch and see how this compares to the article you cited. Try hard and you should be able to separate the facts from the slanderous opinions.

    http://www.jbs.org/fred-koch
    Born in 1900 the son of a Dutch immigrant from Quanah, Texas, Fred Koch graduated from MIT in 1922 with a chemical engineering degree. He was first employed by the Texas Company in Port Arthur, Texas, and then by the Medway Oil and Storage Company in Kent, England, where he was chief engineer. Only three years after graduation from college, Koch rejoined an MIT classmate at Keith-Winkler Engineering, a petrochemical engineering concern in Wichita, Kansas. His friend P. C. Keith soon moved on, however, and later in 1925, the firm was renamed the Winkler-Koch Engineering Company.

    Within two years, Koch had devised a more efficient procedure for cracking crude oil – the process by which crude oil is refined into gasoline and other products. By the 1920s, the petroleum industry was fully fledged, in no small measure in response to the needs of the burgeoning automobile industry. Then as now, the petroleum industry was dominated by a few mega-corporations that did not scruple to enlist the power of the state to enforce their near-monopolistic dominance of the industry at the expense of smaller would-be competitors. Koch’s new royalty-free thermal cracking process, by producing higher yields of refined gasoline from crude oil and reducing down time, helped smaller companies to better compete with their larger, more entrenched, and better-capitalized rivals. The latter lost no time in attacking Koch, filing no less than 44 lawsuits against Winkler-Koch and all its customers in a contemptible campaign to force the company out of business. That Winkler-Koch won every lawsuit but one (and that verdict was later overturned when it was discovered that the judge had been bribed) is evidence enough that the full-frontal legal assault on the upstart Koch was inspired by no higher motives than envy and greed. We must suppose that, as a result of the campaign to sue him out of the refining business, Fred Koch must have begun to understand that the modern American business sector was not nearly as free-market as it was cracked up to be.

    Vindicated though he must have felt at staving off the lawsuits, they proved to be Pyrrhic victories. The cost and production delays occasioned by litigation left Winkler-Koch unable to conduct business in the United States for several years – as the Big Oil oligarchs intended. Undismayed, Koch and his associates turned their attention to potential foreign markets, including the Soviet Union, where there was a demand for American expertise in petroleum engineering. Ironically, the litigation unleashed by anti-free-market monopolists at home prompted Koch to look eastward, to the rising communist sphere of influence, for new contracts. From 1929 to 1932, Koch built 15 cracking units in the Soviet Union, and many others elsewhere in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. He also brought Soviet technicians to the United States for training – some of whom opted not to return to their Stalinist motherland.

    It was Fred Koch’s hands-on experience with Soviet Communism that convinced him of the unmitigated evil of such a system, and ultimately turned him into a passionate crusader on behalf of liberty.

    Fred Koch was no fly-by-night pamphleteer. He spent a generous portion of his later years using his wealth and influence to fight the communism he abhorred. He was an early member of the The John Birch Society’s National Council, an advisory group to JBS founder Robert Welch. Koch supported a variety of freedom-related causes, all the while continuing to build the company today known as Koch Industries. Today Koch Industries produces not only a wide range of petroleum-based products and related goods like process equipment, but also has diversified into chemicals, fibers, plastics and forest and consumer products.

  115. Elaine M.
    This is what one of the Koch brothers paid in just property taxes on just one of the properties they own over the last three years. They are not the problem with America. The problem is that there are people who want to force and coerce other people into participating in various social programs that cause more harm than good and you believe that when someone tries to fight against these social policies, they are oligarchs, right wing lunatics and such.

    Because people want to control where the money they earn goes, you believe that makes them greedy, when we think it just makes them smart. I should have the right to give money to who and what ever projects that I think are good and I should not be forced to participate in social schemes I not think are good. It’s my money, therefore it should be my choice. I should be able to give all my money to Sea Sheppards if I wish or to try to fight against other forms of animal cruelty. I should be able to build lost cost housing for the poor, or build a church or build a school, depending on what “I” believe is the right thing to do with my money. You can go on trusting politicians like Obama and Biden, but I have long ago stopped trusting anyone whom represents the two major parties controlling majority. Anyone who trust the political system in this country is a fool.

    Stop trying to steal from and coerce people to participate in the social policies that they do not like. Thing about it, if it’s a good idea Elaine M., than why do you require the use of force and coercion to implement it.

    Tax Year 2013 2012 2011
    Ad Valorem $545,412 $507,778 $459,557
    Non Ad Valorem $200 $198 $198
    Total tax $545,612 $507,976 $459,755

  116. Gene H:

    “No, not really. Economies are cyclical and have an upper limit defined by resources.”

    We have the entire universe from which to get resources. Isnt one of the moons of Saturn or Jupiter nothing but hydrocarbons?

    For a science fiction junkie, you dont seem to have much vision or imagination. But then that takes abstract thinking.

    I also might point out that you can recycle buildings, bridges and roads instead of putting them in landfills and all of those old cars and tires in junk yards?

    And what about Thorium reactors? A new fuel source which may offer many benefits.

    What new materials are yet to be developed, what new methods? Capitalism is all about reducing costs and being more competitive to increase market share.

    How do you reduce the number of gallons required to move a passenger in an airplane a 1,000 miles so you can charge less money to make more money? That is what capitalism is all about. It is about efficiently allocating goods and services. It literally saved the whales and made it possible for the average man to light his house.

    And as for being cyclical? Of course an economy is cyclical but they don’t digress to the same level as 50 years ago, although you guys are trying really hard to do so, they cool down and then move forward again.

    Recessions are the control mechanism and are used for reallocating capital to the more efficient users. Like a lion taking the sick and old Wildebeests so the herd may flourish.

  117. hskiprob,

    We all have a right to our own opinions. Mine differ from yours regarding taxes and social programs such as Social Security and Medicare. You and david can defend and/or exalt the Koch brothers all you want. It won’t change my opinion of them.

  118. Elaine M wrote: “You and david can defend and/or exalt the Koch brothers all you want. It won’t change my opinion of them.”

    This is a clear admission that your opinion is based in emotion and allegiance to ideology or religion rather than facts.

  119. Dear Dredd, I hit a concept way way out to left field. Possibly way foul and uselessly into the bleachers.// I said hunger is a urge that needs to be satisfied. I claim as our ancestors consciousness grew, it had to grow around and within this hunger urge. This powerful and evolutionary urge is ingrained in da brain. My left field claim is that hunger is ingrained in our emotions, …because our emotions arose around and within this hunger urge.
    You do research, lab rats are commonly used in experiments. I suppose kitties fed cocaine would probably starve to death too. My point of that example has nothing to do with denigrating humans.

    I can not conceive of consciousness developing independent of biological urges. Therefore my statement, Urges are the Mother of emotion.
    Far after our rise from primordial goo, or chemical bonds, a life form developed that had a positive “feeling” when an urge was satisfied This feeling further encouraged satisfying urges. Evolution had stumbled upon a new powerful tool for survival. So powerful that it most likely caused the growth of additional lobes in our brain. … An area of positive feedback that rewarded (“a good feeling”) satisfying urges.

    Before I convolute myself into a sightless pretzel, what I’m saying is these evolutionary urges exist in us today. When hunger and sex are satisfied the urge to urge is still present. I posit there is a twisted path that exists in some when the urge, becomes one of greed. The “Me beast” of our evolutionary past. The Kochs et al are Me Beasts feeding their urges, with small dusty unexercised “humanity lobes” in their brains.

    Perhaps humans can develop within our expanding brain capacity a “We existants” brain lobe that has an urge to treat all things with value and respect. The earth, civilization, environment, and life today in our solar system depends on this.
    Evolution continues today, if the Me beasts dominate, we may as well move back into caves. Some other species will rise, nature is patient.

    Dredd the only authority I can site for this rambling is the container of my saved ear wax. When the coffee is good I shake this container and interpret the shapes and the meaning in how they fall and arrange themselves. :o

  120. “The super rich among us are not virtuous people.” That is in the last paragraph of this polemic. That is bigotry, but I will not compare it to the Aryan Brotherhood because that would be contemptible. I will merely let the unequivocal statement of rich people speak for itself.

  121. “He was an early member of the The John Birch Society’s National Council, an advisory group to JBS founder Robert Welch.”

    DavidM,

    You mean the JBS that was one of the leaders in hating Jews in its time? Thank you for giving me another reason to dislike the Koch’s.

  122. Bron,

    Methinks you overestimate the practicalities of space travel at our given level of technology. We have to deal with the technology we have, not the technology we might someday have. It’s a race between carrying capacity and practical interstellar travel in that regard.

    Recycling only goes so far.

    Capitalism isn’t about efficiency. It’s about profit. Profit does not always equate to operational efficiencies. Throughout most of human history, exploitation of resources is the prime profit driver. If capitalism were primarily about efficiency, there would be no such thing as for profit health insurance companies. They are a perfect example of a business which profits from purposeful inefficiency.

  123. DavidM:

    Thanks for that, no wonder the left hates the Kochs. I am having a good belly laugh.

    I think I am going to join the TEA Party as well and send them a few hundred bucks.

    So Fred got sued by Exxon/Mobile and Standard Oil? They used the force of government to restrict competition, well that explains why the Koch brothers are libertarian. They probably got a bellyfull of liberty and free markets around the dinner table.

    The question becomes how many small business men have the Kochs destroyed or tried to?

    That would be the real measure of the men. Do they encourage competition and meet it head on, their best against their competitors best or do they run to government to put the other guy out of business by using the court system or worse?

  124. davidm2575 1, December 16, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Elaine M wrote: “You and david can defend and/or exalt the Koch brothers all you want. It won’t change my opinion of them.”

    This is a clear admission that your opinion is based in emotion and allegiance to ideology or religion rather than facts.

    *****

    So…if I’ve informed myself about the machinations of the Koch brothers by reading multiple informational articles written about them, my opinion of them is based only in emotion and an allegiance to ideology and not facts. Of course, you are no ideologue. You only read unbiased sources. Your high opinion of the Kochs is based in fact. I’m supposed to take your and Skip’s word that the Koch brothers are magnanimous beings who are working to help our country and its citizens.

    PUH-LEEZE!

  125. Gene H:

    its about reducing costs to make more money. It is about continuous improvement, about shaving seconds off a procedure so that millions in savings can be captured.

    I wont even talk about health care until it is a truly free market.

  126. “That is bigotry, but I will not compare it to the Aryan Brotherhood because that would be contemptible. I will merely let the unequivocal statement of rich people speak for itself.”

    From: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bigot

    “big·ot
    noun \ˈbi-gət\

    : a person who strongly and UNFAIRLY dislikes other people, ideas, etc. : a bigoted person; especially : a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group (such as a racial or religious group)”

    The key word is UNFAIRLY. I believe I presented in my blog my reasons for my strong dislike (hatred isn’t something I do) of the super-rich and so we will let the readers judge whether or not I was being fair. But for the purposes of your rather simple aryan mind if you wish to call me a bigot, I wear the mantle proudly, considering the source of the appellation. One would think that you would have a substantive comment to make on your reasons for disagreeing with my analysis, but being who you are you don’t do substantive, any more than you do links to provide the much needed depth to your attempts at discussion.

  127. Gene H:

    if your side had just stayed out of the way and let capitalism do its thing as it did in the middle of the 19th century, I imagine we would be about 100 plus years of where we are now.

    The economy should be around 35-50 trillion but is only about 15 trillion due to regulations, taxes and other government controls.

    You people are so pessimistic and nay saying. Like crabs in a basket, you want to keep all the other crabs confined in the basket.

  128. “Capitalism isn’t about efficiency. It’s about profit.”

    Gene,

    And therein lies the conflation that some purported libertarians do that makes sense to them, but fails completely to stand the test of logic. They conflate the notion of capitalism, with a false conception of what the “free market” mythology means. Capitalism is purely about making money any way possible and is not about efficiency, unless it increases profits. “Free Market” mythology claims that market forces produce greater efficiency in order to increase profit. The reality is that in any supposed “free market” the natural aim of capital is to control as much of the market as possible in order to continually grow profit. With control of the market then prices are not set by demand, but by fiat. Compare the cost of Microsoft Office Suite, to any of the comparable free Office Suites available online. Most are equally as good as MS Office, but MS has so controlled its segment of the PC market that they can charge pretty much what they want for what is at best a mediocre product. Even Adam Smith who coined the theory and the term “free market” believed in market regulation because he understood that unfettered capitalism actually by nature will destroy any “free market” it can control.

  129. “if your side had just stayed out of the way and let capitalism do its thing as it did in the middle of the 19th century,”

    Bron,

    If that had happened you would no doubt be a serf in some factory today.

  130. davidm2575,

    Dredd wrote: “I cited to experts who know about these things, and they provided the data.”

    No, you referenced experts who did not say what you claimed they said. You said people are starving in the U.S. and then you referenced professionals in the field who never said people in the U.S. were starving. They spoke of people in the U.S. being at risk for hunger, and they spoke of people in other countries who were starving. Your experts supported everything that I had said previously because I had already done my homework and read these experts long before you made your post.

    =================================
    Your first statement on the issue was “I don’t know a single person who is starving in the streets.”

    I stated “The U.S. has a lot of hunger and starvation which is laid out in its many degrees on this page: (UNITED STATES)” (link to my comment).

    You do not know what the word means:

    starve verb, starved, starv·ing.


    1. to die or perish from lack of food or nourishment.

    2. to be in the process of perishing or suffering severely from hunger.

    3. to suffer from extreme poverty and need.

    4. to feel a strong need or desire: The child was starving for affection.

    5. Chiefly British Dialect . to perish or suffer extremely from cold.

    (Dictionary). The links I provided literally have hundreds of situations that fit the definition exactly.

    You think that if you don’t know anyone anywhere that is starving on the streets, that solves the issue? It depends on your in your limited part of the world and that is it?

  131. “Mike,
    At least david does links–to the website of the John Birch Society!”

    Elaine,

    Even though I disagree with just about everything David says, he is at least someone who has credibility in commenting, simply because he takes the time to actually make arguments civilly and does provide sources for his opinions, rather then merely short snippets of snark.

  132. annieofwi 1, December 16, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Oh the Benevolent Society of Oligarchs! How we love them.

    *****

    Let us all bow down to our benevolent oligarchs…and defend them against anyone who might besmirch their character or question their motives.

  133. Bron,

    You won’t address health care because we’ve had that argument before and you got trounced. Health care insurance profits do not come from efficiency. They come from premiums, investments and not paying whenever they think they can get away with it. All of which is money that could be spent on patient care. It’s profit derived from purposeful systemic inefficiency if what you are trying to maximize is patient care. If your goal is maximized patient care, there can be no profits as all of that money should be spent on patients, not perks for executives and dividends. They aren’t interested in maximizing patient care. They are interested in maximizing their profits. I heard on the news this morning that health care insurance companies are getting ready to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising trying to get young people to enroll in ACA plans. They aren’t doing it from the goodness of their hearts. They know that the ACA provides them with a captive audience that – given the young generally require less payouts than the old – maximizes their profits. They are taking full advantage of the corporate welfare program Congress and Obama set up for them. In your fantasy world of free markets, health care insurance would be much more expensive, almost impossible to obtain unless you were an athlete in perfect health and only pay out for any major expenditure after court cases that often would not be resolved until well after the patient was dead. Why? Because that would be the most profitable way of doing business.

    For profit health care insurance companies are not your friend.

    They hope you die or linger in misery as cheaply as possible.

    Everything else cuts into the their bottom line.

  134. **“Mike,
    At least david does links–to the website of the John Birch Society!” **

    I had seen someone post a few months back that the Koch Brothers dad was at one time part of the JBS.

    I’ve seen some of the JBS material.

    If the material is true does it matter if it came from JBS?

  135. Dear bigot of the wealthy, There was no qualifier in you statement. You could have chosen to say, “most, almost all, virtually all,” etc. But, you did not. So, in the world of Mike Spindell if you are rich you are not virtuous. You can wiggle all you want, spin all you want, it’s there in your words, and it is bigotry. What is always amazing is how when someone points out how you and others here are bigots of wealthy you all get defensive. Hell, we all have some prejudices, bigotry, in us. It’s just the world savers who seem to lack the integrity to admit they have some bigotry in them, even when it’s is pointed out to them using their own words and plain as the nose on their face.

    Laying over @ LGA yesterday on my return fake trip to Italy I read the Sunday NYT, a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day. There was an interesting piece about happiness. A longitudinal study since 1972 done by the University of Chicago has traced happiness in people. One demographic has remained constant. The happiest people are conservative women, followed by conservative men. Liberal women are less happy than the conservative men, but hands down the unhappiest people are liberal men. I find this blog to be solid corroboration.

    Find something to be happy about today. I’m happy to have had a wonderful vacation w/ the woman I love and I’m happy to be back here in the USA. You know, the last time I was in Europe[2006] Bush was prez. And man did Europeans love to tell visitors from the US about it. Well guess what, they don’t hate Obama as much as Bush but he’s closing fast. They see him as all image w/ nothing there but talk. There’s so much to learn from travel. Oh, we learned much from seeing the Last Supper, The David, The Duomos of Florence and Milan, the LaScala, Uffizi, etc.. But, just talking w/ people is the best education. Italians are straight shooters. They tell you what they like about the US and it’s people and what they don’t like. I was @ a street market in Rapallo. There were 2 African guys selling knockoff purses and looking for cops. I was just sitting looking out @ the bay enjoying a bright, sunny day. I chuckled knowingly seeing them bag up their wares when they saw a cop. I offered to keep an eye out for them. They were very appreciative. They brought up the Mandela service and Obama smiling and taking a selfie w/ the PM of Denmark. From their conversation it was apparent they didn’t consider Obama “real African” because he is half white. These guys were Christian North Africans and felt Obama embarrassed ALL people by that disrespectful action. They were truly hurt. Having been gone, I wonder how that has been covered here. It was on the front covers of several European papers.

    “Don’t worry, be happy,” Mike. Life is too short and tenuous to be unhappy.

  136. This comes to mind:

    “Show me somebody who is always smiling, always cheerful, always optimistic, and I will show you somebody who hasn’t the faintest idea what the heck is really going on.” — Mike Royko

    Just sayin’…

  137. Oky1,

    As you might expect I take hating Jews, for their being Jewish, personally. The JBS founders hated and still hates Jews and that to me at least makes them suspect.

  138. Gene H. I love the way you almost always take a portion of the system and leave critical aspects of it out, to make your points. If insurance companies don’t provide a quality service, people will go to one that will. This is the basic concept of why competition is so important in a specific market. The same old crap with you Gene. You leave out the bad parts of social programs and leave out the important aspects of private enterprise, thinking that the readers will not catch on to your misrepresentations.

    You wrote: “They (profits) come from premiums, investments and not paying whenever they think they can get away with it. All of which is money that could be spent on patient care. It’s profit derived from purposeful systemic inefficiency if what you are trying to maximize is patient care. If your goal is maximized patient care, there can be no profits as all of that money should be spent on patients, not perks for executives and dividends.”

    Without profits Gene H. a company must than raise additional monies, taking on additional debt service to expand, thus less able to provide quality care or service. Or how about if one of their commercial investments go south. Any capital reserves retained from “profits”, must than be used to make up the losses. Or how about if they have a huge number of claims from a hurricane, like we did here in Florida a few years back. Unless you want to nationalize the insurance industry as well. Let’s go from fascism to communism and see if that works any better? Profit is an essential and necessary component of business. If the customers are happy and you make a profit, why not compensate those who are the most efficient at running a company.

    You act like you have no idea how business really works. There are tons of honest hard working people in the insurance industry and despite your illogical perceptions, they have paid out $billions, probably $trillions of property and healthcare costs.

    Should we get into how government interventions screw up the marketplace or would you prefer leaving that out as well?

  139. Ah Nick,

    When you talk about being happy it does seem kind of counter intuitive when your first comment back is an attack on me. Perhaps that febrile brain of yours was stewing throughout your purported trip and needed to unleash your vitriol immediate upon your return here? You’re so predictable and so self-centered. It is also interesting that in the throes of releasing your anger you dropped your “I hate both sides” mask and revealed the true Nick Spinelli. :)

  140. Gene H:

    And neither is the government when it decides who lives and who dies based on what is best for the majority.

    I can only base my opinion on what has happened with lasik and cosmetic surgery, the prices have come down and the quality has risen. Private health insurance is heavily regulated and competition is limited to about 5 companies or so says my doctor.

    You increase competition and reduce regulations and then we can have the same conversation.

    Virtually eliminate competition and regulate the sh*t out of it and then say it doesnt work and we need government to do it.

    That is what you guys say to everything. Your policies phuck it up and then you say we need government to make it right. Typically the same sort of philosophy which phucked it up to begin with is now going to be the same to fix it. What sort of Hobson’s Choice is that? That probably isnt the right phrase, at least Hobson had an intelligent reason for what he did.

  141. “What is always amazing is how when someone points out how you and others here are bigots of wealthy you all get defensive.”

    Also within that rage and anger you try to thinly disguise I see your reading skills are still as deficient as ever. In my reply to you I admitted that I am bigoted against the super-rich, at least as someone like you defines it.

    “But for the purposes of your rather simple aryan mind if you wish to call me a bigot, I wear the mantle proudly, considering the source of the appellation.”

    Reading is fundamental Nick, especially in someone who pretended to teach. :)

  142. Elaine M. From what I understand, John Bircher’s require their children to read “The Law” by Fredrich Bastiat. It is a book that I would highly recommend you and everyone else read that is free on the web for anyone who cares enough about their society. The book is a composition of essays describing the days debates in the French legislature in the 1850s, that attempted to quell those who were attempting to introduce the principles of Karl Marx’s communist theory into law. There are few in history that have been so able to explain the pitfalls of socialist communist ideology so that the majority can understand it.

  143. What the hell is wrong w/ giving money to the opera?? LaScala has a program of opera under 30. For people 6-30 they get to see performances for free or very cheap. This is because of the generosity of wealthy. We walked by the LaScala on one of these performances. Opening night for La Traviata was on Saturday but these young people got to see it on Thursday. You could tell these weren’t all “wealthy” kids. Milan is the most fashionable city in Italy and these kids for the most part were wearing Target like clothing. To see their excitement was so heartwarming. The arts are for everyone, and wealthy people donating money so opera can survive the horseshit music culture of today should be applauded, not ridiculed.

    We got to tour LaScala, it was tearful. My grandfather, a pauper from Bari, was taken by train to Milan to see the great Enrico Caruso. His father saved for years for the trip. My grandfather would cry every time he spoke of it and I cried like a little girl as we toured. Opening night was the Saturday we were there but tix were going for $400 euro[cheap seats]. The tour was just fine!

  144. MikeS,

    Blame it on the Jews, wow I haven’t seen any of that. I don’t go for that crap myself.

    I’ve been reading/watching infowars/Alex Jones for years. I haven’t seen a hint of it there.

    But I have heard Jones defend some of JBS positions & JBS.

  145. Disliking and calling someone lacking virtue w/o even knowing them is progressive? Sounds like your run of the mill hate group to me. And what’s your problem w/ the arts? Don’t you think poor kids should be given chances to experience opera. I stood @ the Bellagio fountains in Vegas watching a fountain show w/ Pavarotti singing. Kids of all races, class, etc. were mesmerized. Is being against the arts progressive?

  146. Funny thing about that Hate MikeS, just because of my birth name makes me/ my family some of the most hated people in places like Saudi Arabia.

    Ph’em I say as I don’t approve of the way they do things over there anyway.

  147. Gene H:

    “They hope you die or linger in misery as cheaply as possible.”

    I have over 20 years of experience with health care with 2 major diseases one of which is very bad, Cystic Fibrosis, neither of us have been denied any care we are contractually entitled to. In fact had we not had insurance we would have been bankrupted long ago and our child would be dead.

    You are full of sh*t if you think that is the case. We have had 3 different insurance companies and all of them have ponied up as necessary with little effort on our part. Granted they have tried to deny some claims but we had the documentation and that was all it took for them to pay out. We only once had to threaten legal intervention.

    I dread Obamacare for me and my child, it is going to be a death sentence for both of us. I only hope I can find some charitable orgs which will help her with the expenses. And I also hope that some really good doctors stay in medicine. The ones I have talked to are getting out. Who can blame them, people with self esteem are not easily yoked to become beasts of burden.

  148. Skipples,

    Your assumption, a wrong one, is that everything must be done for profit and that profit is necessary for expansion.

    Bron,

    Do you know why there are only 5 or so private health insurance companies? The tendency for natural monopolies to form in under or unregulated businesses allowing larger companies to dominate market segments by buying out smaller competition.

    Also, you seem to object that at some point in a health care transaction some one will have to make a cost/benefit call. Right now, that’s a for profit insurance company. Under a single payer universal system, that choice would be with the doctor and patient first and constrained by resources second. That’s considerably more fair than letting some insurance executive practice medicine without a license in an effort to protect and/or enhance his profits (something he is incentivized to do by the very nature of his employ).

  149. Then you fail to see how lucky you are, Bron. Not everyone with CF can afford the insurance you have benefited from. But screw them, eh? You got yours.

  150. Mikey, It’s not all about you. I made comments before calling you on bigotry. It’s on the record just like your disdain for the arts. Why don’t you retrieve a comment I made on the Muslim Pakistan thread and do something positive. I made that one along w/ 2 or 3 others before engaging Mr. Unhappy.

  151. you can find The Law here:

    http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

    A sampling:

    “It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder.

    What are the consequences of such a perversion? It would require volumes to describe them all. Thus we must content ourselves with pointing out the most striking.

    In the first place, it erases from everyone’s conscience the distinction between justice and injustice.

    No society can exist unless the laws are respected to a certain degree. The safest way to make laws respected is to make them respectable. When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law. These two evils are of equal consequence, and it would be difficult for a person to choose between them.

    The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are “just” because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.”

  152. MikeS,

    I never hardly argue issues like that, but I seen you sometimes do.

    A friend years back used also.

    I wish now I would have saved some of his info for you.

    Like you’ve heard some of the idiots saying, it’s the Jews in Hollywood or it’s those Jew bankers on Wallst.

    He had compiled lists of the largest players around & it showed that just as in society it was a mixed bag of races in Hollywood/Wallst leadership positions.

    That there are good & bad people in all groups.

    I know I want to be a forgiving person. Your post made me think of some videos I still like that stared Mel Gibson.

    Everyone remembers he had to much to drink one night & started spouting hate.

    I wonder if he ever got his head straightened out?

    We may never know.

  153. Bastiat was an economist, that most dismal of scientists. A dead economist at that, gone for over a 100 years. Jurisprudence was not his area of expertise. Appealing to him as an expert on the matter is the fallacy of appeal to authority writ large. There is a lot that has happened in jurisprudence since he was alive. There are entire libraries filled with what he didn’t know about law. They are called “law libraries”. They are used by actual subject matter experts, of which he was not one of.

    Your lot loves him so much because he was enamored with the idea that property was an absolute right. That’s why he’s a darling of the Austrian School and Libertarians. We’ve dissected more than once what is incorrect about that proposition under American Constitutional jurisprudence.

    He was wrong then. He’s still wrong now.

    Thanks for beating a dead horse though and illustrating the fallacious use of an appeal to authority.

    It was . . . exciting.

    And by “exciting”, I mean “dreadfully dull and predictable”.

  154. hsk,

    That’s one issue all races can rally around, throwing corrupt Bankers/Insurance scum in prison! :)

    Yes, I’m pretty sure that story is mostly truthful. I’ve followed it some.

  155. Gene H:

    Yes, I was lucky or maybe not. My wife and I worked very hard to afford it and all of the co-pays we were responsible for as well. We sacrificed a good deal but we didnt expect anyone else to be responsible for our problem.

    It isnt morally right to force other people to bail you out unless they do it voluntarily. I find using government to force people to pay for their existence the most morally reprehensible activity a human being can engage in. The people who accept those dollars are victims just like the people forced to pay. The people who force others to do so are the ones who are morally reprehensible. They are the true sociopaths in our society.

    And they hind behind such wonderful words like care, progress, the common good, general welfare, etc.

  156. Gene H. wrote “Do you know why there are only 5 or so private health insurance companies? The tendency for natural monopolies to form in under or unregulated businesses allowing larger companies to dominate market segments by buying out smaller competition.”

    You cannot prove this Genie as significant evidence shows that the more government intervention, the more competition is distorted, allowing fewer companies to dominate the sector. Amity Shaels clearly show this in her book, The Forgotten Man. You acted like you read this, “butt” obviously didn’t.

    Just because you think something Genie, don’t make it true.

  157. Calling people on bigotry is what is supposed to happen. Calling people on their disdain for the arts is righteous. Mr. Turley does not want an echo chamber. I guess you women do. I’ve done nothing but call bullshit on bullshit. You just don’t happen to agree w/ it. Then say something substantive, don’t whine like the 3rd most unhappy demographic.

  158. Elaine and Juliet, I noticed it too. Mike S. I admire the way you handle certain commenters here who feel they have a right to comment on other commenters personal happiness quotient, or even a modicum of insight as to who is happy and who isn’t. Some folks live in their own reality. It was quite peaceful here for a couple of weeks.

  159. Gene H:

    Property should be an absolute right and it pretty much was until your ilk started chipping away at the foundations of our Constitution to pave the way for the redistributive sociopaths to take over.

  160. You can disagree without being an obnoxious fcuk-stick. That’s the part we don’t like.

    Anyone want to contribute to a “Fly Spinelli Back to Italy” fund?

  161. I believe that is bringing personal information into the forum. Has he violated the rules enough to suit everyone, yet? I’m so over this childish, stalker-y bull crap.

  162. I’ve written several comments here. Please point out specifically where I was a “fcuk stick.” A good 80-90% of my comments were positive observations about Europe, art, etc. I’m calling the “flop rule” on this.

  163. Bron,

    Yeah, it’s far more ethical to let you and the fortunate people decide who lives and dies than to, oh, I don’t know, try to minimally take care of everyone. :roll:

    Skipples,

    I didn’t think that. I observed it. So have others. That’s how natural monopolies form in free markets.

    The sky isn’t blue and the sun isn’t yellow because I think it is. The sky blue because of the absorption spectrum of the atmosphere aided by back-scattering. If you correct for photon flux, the sun is actually kind of blue-green although from space – to our eyes – it would look white shortly before it blinded you.

    See, unlike you and Bron, I let observation inform my theories and knowledge because I use the scientific method in the proper order instead of backwards. I’m a technocrat because I know the truth of the observable quantifiable world is a better basis for decision making than projecting my desires upon the world. The law, in order to work with any degree of prolonged success and come as close to just as possible, must be firmly rooted in the realm of the real.

    You two start with political and economic ideology and work your way out. That is the exact inverse of what I have done. I started with observation and quantification and worked my way to political and economic theory and ideology.

    Because that’s the way a technocrat (or an actual scientist) thinks.

    A foundation of stone is stronger than a foundation of sand.

    That is part and parcel of why I perpetually prevail in these arguments.

  164. Bron,

    Still crippled by the “ought/is” problem I see. Like an old duffer in Reno once said to me about redheads, “That’s a bad habit you got there, son.”

  165. Nick:

    Isnt it against the rules of civility to call you a phuck stick?

    I’ll contribute to the fund, I imagine you would probably enjoy another 2 weeks in Italy.

    Is that some kind of punishment? No wonder they cant figure out how to make things run right, they think reward is punishment and probably vice versa.

    Send you back to Italy for a few more weeks as punishment for being a “phuck stick”, if you want to eradicate the behavior that doesnt make much sense.

  166. Well, I’m off to lock down my internet presence, and find somewhere else to play. If one of you would please message me when (if) he gets booted, I would appreciate it.

  167. Because so many basketball players would be drama kings and flop down on the floor in pain when there was little or even NO contact, trying to draw a foul or ejection of the opposing player, the NBA finally said, “Basta” and instituted tough sanctions against those who ruin the game by these childish histrionics. I’ve talked w/ soccer fans and they are considering the same sanctions.

  168. Bron, How you been, bro? You’re right, epithets, accusations, and when evidence is asked for, you get drama queen flopping. It’s becoming a pathology. Well, was it the Pax Romana in my absence? I know DavidM and you like it when I’m back because then you guys get backhanded compliments saying “At least you’re not Spinelli.” They’re as sincere as a Joe Biden hand shake, but you guys know that. Backhanded compliments are about as horseshit as they get.

  169. Fun times once again. Bron, I am a little late to the party, but your comment about you dreading Obamacare and that it would be the death of you and your child is not only unsupported by facts, it is scary that a parent would take a stand against legislation that will outlaw any insurance companies attempts to put any lifetime caps on the insurance coverage for you and your child.
    Without Obama care, you may end up in bankruptcy like many have been forced to do before Obamacare. Have you even been listening to any descriptions of the Obamacare coverage requirements other than on Fox News? I get it that you don’t like Obama and anything he stands for, but not understanding how the ACA will protect you and your child is childish and unconscionable.

  170. Gene,

    I don’t think it was very nice of you to refer to me as an old duffer but I appreciate your attempt to mask my identity by placing me in Reno. :mrgreen:

  171. Gene H:

    Not at all. I think a society founded on true liberty would be just for all.

    Poverty droped by almost 75% between 1900 and 1965 to about 15%, it has remained there in spite of Johnson’s Great Society spending. Had we not done that, based on the previous 65 years, it isnt mere speculation to say a free or virtually free market would have taken care of the last little bit or most of it. Unfortunately some people are going to be poor. But they have a better chance in a thriving society than in one you would create.

    Any amount of socialism is immoral, it is like saying to a plantation era slave “you may work 3 days a week for yourself but 4 days for the master.”

    Socialism came from the minds of sociopaths and spoiled children of the rich, Marx, Engels, the Webbs, and others. Capitalism evolved from human nature over centuries.

    The very people Mike Spindell denigrates are often times the same type of individuals who developed socialism. I find no small amount irony in that.

  172. DavidM, Thanks. This may raise conspiracy theories but we cancelled our itinerary to Nice and Monaco. I planned this trip and I did it w/ my wife in mind. She is an extrovert and loves to have a vacation packed w/ activities. She has worked very hard on her books and so I planned a Leslyn trip. Two nights in Milan. Then the bullet train to Florence for 2 nights. Of course saw much art and great food. We then rented a car to hit towns in Tuscany that you really need a vehicle, Siena, San Grimangno, Lucca, Pisa[for 2 days]. We then drove to Cinque Terre which is breathtaking. To see those “five lands” you need to hike. Well, we saw 2. My wife has an artificial knee and the slopes[steep] are tough. We then drove to our next stop, Rapallo. It was love @ first sight. I had gotten a superb rate[$90euro] for this 5 star place w/ a view out of our window of the bay that was breathtaking[Excelsior Palace]. We were going to only be there one night and then move on to France via train from Genoa. The weather forecast was sunny and 60 the next week. I went down to the front desk and negotiated 4 nights for the same price. My wife was the one who wanted it as much as me. The extrovert was pooped and ready to soak in a beautiful town with much history. I knew my wife really wanted to just plant our butts there because we had to eat one nights lodging in Nice[Le Perouse]. Leslyn is a cheap Teutonic!

    Ironically, a couple people said when I mentioned Nice was that they have had some drug related violence just of late. The one guy travels to Nice monthly on biz and said they are trying to keep it quiet since a resort town can’t have that reputation. One guy was a waiter and he seemed a bit dramatic, but the biz man was measured. As what happens in the drug biz, different port towns become destinations for drugs and it appears Nice is the newest one. The biz guy said he doesn’t feel unsafe there but the problem is still on the upswing, not the downward. I’ve not researched any news but like I said, this guy said Nice makes its living on tourism and so they are keeping on the lid.

  173. I’m glad you find irony in your misunderstandings, Bron.

    At least they are proving of some utility.
    __________

    Blouise,

    LOL

    You’re welcome, milady.

  174. raff, I can’t speak for Bron but there are MANY people who like some of the aspects of Obamacare. I think it’s just too Rube Goldberg to rewrite. But, I would love a mulligan and some real negotiations to get a new bill that is fair, w/ not being able to cancel a policy being a rule I support.

  175. rafflaw:

    We dont have a lifetime cap and we pay for it. Some policies do have lifetime caps, they are cheaper. So some people buy them, some people make bad financial decisions. That isnt my responsibility.

    I would not like Obamacare if it was called ReaganKemp Kare, it is immoral, it should be unconstitutional and if you think there arent going to be life time caps and a group of people deciding who gets what care and how much, then I have some ocean front property in Nebraska for sale.

    I will freely admit I like a couple of things about Obamacare, I am betting insurance companies would do them if they were not so heavily regulated and there was more competition.

    But you are right, I do not care for Obama’s political and moral philosophy and I am still hoping he fails in transforming our country into his image. I am personaly fond of individual liberty and would like to see much of the mess of the last 100 years rolled back so that people could be more free than they are now.

  176. Gene H:

    “I’m glad you find irony in your misunderstandings, Bron.”

    Then show me where I am wrong. It is why socialism and communism have, at least in this country, been so accepted by spoiled little rich children. They understand the corrupted thinking as their own.

  177. OMG,

    Radio report says GW Bush now claims he’s a Tea Party Conservative!!! :)

    Ok, let’s just assume Oky1 is a great guy. Then one day you see Oky1 in his suv & it’s full of people like GW Bush. Oky1 doesn’t seem so nice now lol

    What’s up, they couldn’t destroy good ideas so the PR team comes up with a plan to destroy the good ideas by having the most evil people in the world get behind & support the movement to have the good ideas made into law/policies.

  178. bron,
    Now you will not have to pay for the lifetime cap! That is a better deal for you and your child. Secondly, it is interesting that you suggest the ACA is immoral when it will allow millions more people to have insurance coverage that can’t get it due to pre-existing conditions or couldn’t afford it. Please explain to me why allowing needy people to have medical coverage is immoral??

  179. nick,
    you must be a single payer supporter then! The so-called “cancelled” policies were substandard policies that provide little or no coverage for the cost and in most cases, those folks were offered a policy that was approved under the ACA.

  180. Bron,

    That’s a nice sweeping overly broad generalization packed around a lot of assumptions you’ve got there. Be shame if you were to put an eye out with it.

  181. Nick, thanks for the rundown on your trip. Looks like I might be walking in your shadow. I will be in Milan during the first full week of March. I have rented a car with plans to drive down to Florence and Pisa. The Excelsior Palace Hotel looks very nice. I can see why you might have decided to stay and enjoy.

  182. GeneH, Bron,

    I don’t like either of your guy’s positions on healthcare, do you guy’s have any plan b, c, d’s?

    I’m shopping around for something I like.

  183. rafflaw wrote: “Please explain to me why allowing needy people to have medical coverage is immoral??”

    It is not the “allowing” of needy people to have medical coverage. It is the FORCING of other people to devote their labor and time to the project, as well as FORCING citizens to buy a product that they do not want or perhaps do not believe in. Pardon the oxymoron, but these are immoral laws.

  184. Bron,
    As one of my previous posts noted, they’re like religious zealots, except they’re trying to force their utopian socialistic ideologies on everyone else. At least with religious zealots you can walk away with whatever you still have left in your wallet at the end of the month. With these folks, they’ll take your home, bank and savings accounts, wages and children once you can no longer afford them. But then again, if you are willing to sign up for every social program that this country offers, you can have children you can’t afford, educate them for free, house them for free and feed them for free before having to lift a finger of work. We have created a three generational welfare state made up of poor people, that couldn’t afford to raise a single child in the first place, made up of all legal US Citizens. Sounds like a great plan doesn’t it?

    It is sad when people cannot recognize that the use of legalized theft and coercion by the ruling oligarchy; taxation is unethical, and yet none can call it theft. It’s social contract and fcukyuo if you disagree with it. And try to fight back. “We put you in jail if you do not do what we tell you to do.” You have no right to survive, unless you obey.

    Do they see us trying to force them to do anything? No of course not. We understand that we cannot possible know what is in other peoples best interest. It’s almost like an intellectual sickness. I’m so smart, I even know what is in someone else’s best interest and of course therefore I know what’s in the majorities best interest. I’m all knowing, don’t you know that.

  185. rafflaw wrote: “The so-called “cancelled” policies were substandard policies that provide little or no coverage for the cost…”

    LOL. These are the talking points from the liars who told us that if you like your plan, you can keep it, and if you like your doctor, you can stay with him. The truth is that only SOME of these canceled plans are labeled “substandard” by the master designers of Obamacare. Some of the plans were adequate catastrophic plans that are simply called substandard plans by those who do not want to buy catastrophic insurance. On the other hand, some of the plans canceled were premium Cadillac plans that were much better than offered by Obamacare. The grandfather clause is broken by simple changes that happen to insurance plans frequently as actuaries every year recalculate their projections to determine the proper deductibles and premiums that will sustain the plans. The people that crafted the law knew this was how insurance operated from the get-go, which is why the whole healthcare debacle is simply sophisticated lying to the American public to gain full control over the lives of the American people. It is amazing to me how you forgive one lie only to be deceived by their next lie. How many lies does it take before you realize that you are being deceived and manipulated for someone else’s gain?

  186. nick spinelli 1, December 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Calling people on bigotry is what is supposed to happen. Calling people on their disdain for the arts is righteous. Mr. Turley does not want an echo chamber. I guess you women do.

    *****

    We “women” agreed that there had been a recent change in the tenor of the discussion on this thread. Now people who comment here will be accused of participating in an “echo chamber” because they agree on something like that? I guess you feel people can’t have the same viewpoint on topics of discussion…unless they agree with yours.

  187. David:

    You bring up a point about religious groups and Obamacare. The Amish, among others, often do not buy commercial insurance. They are also exempt from social security under federal law if they meet certain conditions. I don’t know but I am curious about how the ACA would apply to these groups.

  188. Skip wrote: “It’s almost like an intellectual sickness. I’m so smart, I even know what is in someone else’s best interest and of course therefore I know what’s in the majorities best interest. I’m all knowing, don’t you know that.”

    ROTFLOL!!! Oh, Skip. You really nailed it in this entire last post. Unfortunately, I can imagine their glassy eyes staring blankly at their computer screen, slowly blinking as they look at your post and roll their eyes as they decide to skip reading Skip, unable to perceive the genius in your words.

  189. DavidM, We only spent one night in Pisa. There’s the tower and well..that’s it. I saw one asshat from NYC wearing a Mets hat and jacket pretending to hold up the tower. Gee, that’s original! In Florence we stayed @ the hotel Laurus del Duomo not to be confused w/ the Hotel Duomo. It was a nice place, nothing fancy but superb location and good breakfast. As you get closer let me know and I’ll get you the name of some good restaurants. An Asian bartender @ a bar near our hotel gave me the name of this restaurant. I’ll have to go through my receipts. I could tell she loved food[Asians are like Italians regarding food]. She sent us to this place that was unbelievable. Superb but not pretentious. It’s 5 courses, no menu. The bill was $135euro and I would have happily paid $200. The waiter sits downs, asks questions about your likes and dislikes and steers you through each course. It turns out it’s owned by this famous chef who is like the Mario Batali of Florence. People were amazed we got in but I did a good job schmoozing the hostess. There were no openings for the following night but got into his less formal café across the street and had an equally great meal. The owner was in there. We hit it off talking restaurants in the US where we’ve both eaten, lamenting the death of Charlie Trotter, etc.

  190. Darren, it took the federal government until 1965 to pass a law to exempt the Amish from Social Security. This was some 30 years after FDR signed the SS legislation, and after the IRS moved against the Amish for refusing to pay the tax. They confiscated their horses and what not. Lessons learned from the past, the Federal Government has exempted the Amish from Obamacare right from the start.

  191. Yeah. It’s terrible to want to “force” you and your doctor to have the decision making power in the doctor/patient relationship instead of an insurance company bean counter always looking to their company’s bottom line. Just a dreadful shame.

  192. Nick, I heard there was not much but the leaning tower in Pisa, so I actually plan to just pass through and not spend a night there. In Florence my reservation is at the St. Regis using points. Please pass on the name of the Florence restaurant when you get a chance. We usually don’t like the European dinner method of it being an all evening event, but once in awhile it is fun. I can share the name with my wife and maybe we will play it safe and make a reservation before we get there. I doubt that I have the ability to schmooze the way you do, but my wife probably can. Did you spend much time in Milan? You got me interested in Rapallo and I am wondering if I should trade time in Milan for time in Rapallo.

  193. Elaine,
    It would have been a fight worth having, but there was no way a single payer plan or option would have passed. I think we will get there after several years of the ACA.

  194. Gene H. noted: “I didn’t think that. I observed it. So have others. That’s how natural monopolies form in free markets.”

    First it is quite rare for your so-called “natural” monopolies to even exist must less last for very long. When excess profits are available, someone is going to reach out and grab them. Alcoa Aluminum actually split apart into two competing companies even though they were the first company to get in the business hence, they were a monopoly because no one else had yet to enter into the business of aluminum production to compete with them. Company insiders saw the excess profits and jumped ship and started their own company. In a true free market, one does not have to worry about monopolies. It is the government granted monopolies like the Federal Reserve Banksters, that one must concern themselves with.

    So you may have thought it, but you have not observed it nor has others. Very typical Gene H. of you to mislead the readers.

  195. How very typical of you, Skipples, to ignore reality and be completely wrong.

    Any economist worth his salt know that natural monopolies form absent regulation to break them up and discourage their anti-competitive business practices. Such natural monopolies are often the stepping stone to actual monopolies. Then again, you’re one of those Austrian School bozos who think political polemics and dismissing the scientific method are a good way to formulate economic policy. Most laissez-faire advocates live in the fantasy land where natural monopolies are “only theoretical”. Too bad (for you) the real world belies that assertion.

    You’d know this if you read understood economists other than that clown von Mises.

  196. rafflaw,

    I doubt a single payer plan could have passed–but I think they may have been able to push through a public option…if they had had the will to do it.

  197. Gene H. 1, December 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    … “the fallacy of appeal to authority” …
    ============================
    Don’t tell a judge that “Your honor, I don’t need to cite no stinking authority, I got my opinion.”

    Good luck.

    Authority is only false when it is contrary to the opinions of the overly opinionated.

    As an example, check out RWL in his Sister Wives comments that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to reverse JT’s prevailing in the federal court, and remand it to some state court.

  198. David, I walked past the St. Regis on my river walks and it looks not only outstanding, but a good location. I think it’s near the US Consulate if you run afoul of the law.

    The restaurant is Cibreo and the chef is Fabio Picchi. He has his own TV show and you can see him on YouTube. The 5 course meal is a rarity for this diabetic. I walked a solid 10 miles that day to sorta earn it. You might want to consider the Caffe Cibreo right across the street. It’s “cozy” but for me doesn’t seem cramped, and I don’t like to be cramped. We had a marinated steak we shared for our second course @ the Caffe. It was marinated w/ garlic and rosemary and like all Tuscan beef, served rare. Fabio was genuinely impressed when I told him of the steak houses we ate @ in Chicago and KC and never had anything that tasty. It was just a sirloin cut but incredible. He makes famous polenta w/ truffle oil that is incredible. He loves tripe[as do mespo and I] and the tripe appetizer served simply w/ bruschetta was all mine..Leslyn isn’t into organ meat. A yogurt w/ turmeric as an appetizer was a great start. A flourless chocolate cake was probably a venial sin[Catholic humor].

    Milan is tough to pass up particularly if anyone in your group is into clothes, opera, or gothic architecture. Their Duomo is breathtaking and seeing the Last Supper was quite emotional[different church]. You need a reservation and get 15 minutes. Two nights gets Milan done as does Florence[little tougher w/ so much art to see].

    We could do ads for Rapallo. You can take short trips to Santa Margharita[2 miles], Portofino[5miles], Lucca[~20 miles] and Cinque Terre[15miles], from Rapallo. It’s always nice to be in a town on market day, when regional vendors from food to purses set up shop for the day. Rapallo is Thursday. I would check out the other days. Now, big cities have markets daily. Genoa has a famous market, right near the train station, called the Oriental Market. It’s a permanent structure and famous worldwide. Genoa was the most important port in the world, hell Columbus is from there. Genoa is a big port city but the Market is worth a few hours if you’re in the area. You can eat free samples of ham, cheese, olives, etc.

    Driving in Italy is nuts. Italians, particularly scooter drivers are insane. A car is a liability in cities like Genoa, Milan, Florence, but needed to see the Tuscan countryside. Train service is good and reliable. They have a bullet train from Milan to Florence that takes 90 minutes. It’s a 4 hour car drive.

    Please feel free to ask any questions, you’re a good guy and I love to share what I know. Rates in Rapallo should still be pretty good, it’s a summer resort.

  199. I’ve not only read about monopolies, unlike you, I understood what I read and within the broader context. Guess? No. That’s more your speed, Skipples, but thanks for letting your irrational ideological view on economics and politics get in the way of you seeing observable quantifiable reality again. At least you’re consistent.

  200. Dredd,

    An appeal to authority is fallacious when the authority appealed to isn’t actually an authority, such as appealing to an economist on matters of jurisprudence. “Authority” is never right simply because it is an authority either. All arguments are based on the merits, not who makes them, even if that is their area of expertise. Newton wasn’t right because he was Newton nor because he was a physicist. He was right because . . . he was right. And what he described could be empirically tested and verified.

  201. I see we are in wubber balls and liquor mode.

    “I am wubber and you are goo
    whatever you say bounces off me
    and sticks to you”

    The intellectualization of Toyz ‘R Uz …

  202. Gene H. 1, December 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Dredd,

    An appeal to authority is fallacious when the authority appealed to isn’t actually an authority, such as appealing to an economist on matters of jurisprudence. “Authority” is never right simply because it is an authority either. All arguments are based on the merits, not who makes them, even if that is their area of expertise. Newton wasn’t right because he was Newton nor because he was a physicist. He was right because . . . he was right. And what he described could be empirically tested and verified.
    =====================
    So you always say.

    I advocate for “an improper appeal to an improper authority” as a clarification and improvement of that holy meme.

  203. RAFLAW:

    “rafflaw wrote: “Please explain to me why allowing needy people to have medical coverage is immoral??”

    It is not the “allowing” of needy people to have medical coverage. It is the FORCING of other people to devote their labor and time to the project, as well as FORCING citizens to buy a product that they do not want or perhaps do not believe in. Pardon the oxymoron, but these are immoral laws.”

    There you go, DavidM beat me to it.

    My need isnt a blank check on society, you dont owe me anything and I have no right, no moral right to force government to make others pay for my need.

    Voluntary charity is for helping the less fortunate. The entitlement/welfare state has grown government to the point where it now fights endless wars, ignores or tramples our rights and thinks of us as milk cows.

    I am not only talking about individuals but corporations as well.

  204. Gene H.

    You do have a tendency however to cavalierly discount world renowned economists such as Von Mises, also a Nobel Prize winner in economics as not being an authority and instead use poor arguments that are not based on fact. Pot and Kettle syndrome.

  205. Gene H. 1, December 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    Dredd,

    … “Authority” is never right simply because it is an authority either. All arguments are based on the merits, not who makes them, even if that is their area of expertise.

    =============================
    From experience, I read that as it ain’t authority unless Gene H says it is.

    That is the Haines lady cop out.

    I have never experience your quoting of a scientific paper in a peer reviewed journal as a response to one of my quotes of a scientific paper in a peer reviewed scientific journal.

    You always assert yourself as the authority (I call it the Gene H authority).

    Tony C does the same thing but does not run and hide when called on it.

    He appeals to his own authority with exuberance, but you try to mumbo jumbo your way out of it.

    I would not be inclined to mention it if it were not habitual.

    Just sayin’ …

    Carry on.

  206. Skip:

    he only read the Ida Tarbell monopoly story about Standard Oil and now thinks it applies to every company that is large.

    He thinks Microsoft is keeping all other competitors out of the market even though some systems are giving the programs away or charging 10 bucks.

    How many search engines do we have? Google is the biggest and most widely used. It is a monopoly pretty much but it is free for me to use. I wonder if he has wondered about that?

    Marxism/Socialism/pragmatism/utilitarianism arent much good for understanding real world events. Since they rely very little on sound principles. Pragmatists and utilitarians make sh*t up as they go for the most part, they dont have any core values nor guiding moral principles. Whatever the whim of the moment says it should be.

    In the whirling Heraclitean flux which is the pragmatist’s universe, there are no absolutes. There are no facts, no fixed laws of logic, no certainty, no objectivity.

    “There are no facts, only provisional “hypotheses” which for the moment facilitate human action. There are no fixed laws of logic, only mutable “conventions,” without any basis in reality. (Aristotle’s logic, Dewey remarks, worked so well for earlier cultures that it is now overdue for a replacement.) There is no certainty—the very quest for it, says Dewey, is a fundamental aberration, a “perversion.” There is no objectivity—the object is created by the thought and action of the subject.”

    Leonard Peikoff,

    “Utilitarianism is a union of hedonism and Christianity. The first teaches man to love pleasure; the second, to love his neighbor. The union consists in teaching man to love his neighbor’s pleasure. To be exact, the Utilitarians teach that an action is moral if its result is to maximize pleasure among men in general. This theory holds that man’s duty is to serve—according to a purely quantitative standard of value. He is to serve not the well-being of the nation or of the economic class, but “the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” regardless of who comprise it in any given issue. As to one’s own happiness, says [John Stuart] Mill, the individual must be “disinterested” and “strictly impartial”; he must remember that he is only one unit out of the dozens, or millions, of men affected by his actions. “All honor to those who can abnegate for themselves the personal enjoyment of life,” says Mill, “when by such renunciation they contribute worthily to increase the amount of happiness in the world.”

    Leonard Peikoff

    “The greatest good for the greatest number” is one of the most vicious slogans ever foisted on humanity.

    This slogan has no concrete, specific meaning. There is no way to interpret it benevolently, but a great many ways in which it can be used to justify the most vicious actions.

    What is the definition of “the good” in this slogan? None, except: whatever is good for the greatest number. Who, in any particular issue, decides what is good for the greatest number? Why, the greatest number.

    If you consider this moral, you would have to approve of the following examples, which are exact applications of this slogan in practice: fifty-one percent of humanity enslaving the other forty-nine; nine hungry cannibals eating the tenth one; a lynching mob murdering a man whom they consider dangerous to the community.

    There were seventy million Germans in Germany and six hundred thousand Jews. The greatest number (the Germans) supported the Nazi government which told them that their greatest good would be served by exterminating the smaller number (the Jews) and grabbing their property. This was the horror achieved in practice by a vicious slogan accepted in theory.

    But, you might say, the majority in all these examples did not achieve any real good for itself either? No. It didn’t. Because “the good” is not determined by counting numbers and is not achieved by the sacrifice of anyone to anyone.”

    Ayn Rand

  207. Gene H.
    Give me one example of a monopoly you have observed. You must also know that Standard Oil should not have been broken up in hind site, as foreign competition existed that ended up obtaining market shares against the broken up pieces. The U.S. Government essentially broke up an American company which gave an advantage to foreign competition. Brilliant!!!!

    When I talk about government interventions, this is the stupid kind of policies government bureaurats in their ultimate wisdom end up doing, hurting American companies and the thousands of people who work for them.

    FDR did the same thing to electricity producers during the depression, destroying the life savings of thousands of Americans.

    You need to read more Gene H. and not just the socialistic fluff that satisfies your commitment to force and coercion and the unethical behavior it fosters.

  208. You know what, Skipples?

    I also discount Erich von Daniken.

    I discount von Mises because he was a political polemicist disguising himself as an economist and he eschewed the scientific method in favor of blanket assertions about how economics work instead of theories based on observation, i.e. he was generally crap as an economist.

    Just like von Daniken is crap as a scientist.

    Bron,

    Size isn’t necessarily an indicator of monopoly. Monopoly is a market mechanic and a set of business practices. Almost all monopolies are large, but being large doesn’t always make a company a monopoly.

    Again, you mistake size as the relevant metric here just as you do with government and it is not.

    The prime metric is function (and in this instance, relative function).

    But thanks for vomiting up some Rand on cue.

  209. “You perhaps should read some of the material instead of guessing at it and being wrong again.”

    Um….Uh…..Hskiprob,

    might some of “the material” have a distinctly Austrian flair? By the way what do you think OPEC is?

  210. Skipples,

    Why would I try to convince you that something exists in economics – in fact, exists in every other school of economics but for the Austrian School – when you are a true believer that there is no such thing as a natural monopoly? It would be the equivalent to trying to convince a Flat Earther that the planet is round(-ish).

  211. Dredd,

    One would think that including the terms “fallacious” or “fallacy” would be sufficient. It has worked just fine for many hundreds of years in logic and rhetoric.

  212. “Give me one example of a monopoly you have observed. You must also know that Standard Oil should not have been broken up in hind site, as foreign competition existed that ended up obtaining market shares against the broken up pieces. The U.S. Government essentially broke up an American company which gave an advantage to foreign competition. Brilliant!!!!”

    Sorry Hskiprob,

    But you really must get a better understanding of history and economic facts.
    Standard Oil was already in bed with foreign oil producers when the government intervened. Also too, do you know what happened to Standard Oilc? It morphed through the years and the financial manipulations into Exxon Mobil the world’s largest business entity.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/dividendchannel/2013/01/25/exxon-mobil-corp-now-1-largest-company-surpassing-apple/

    Of course the reality always was that the Rockefeller’s stopped considering their company an American Company by the mid 20’s. The were among the first multi-nationals.

  213. annie wrote: “David, I hope you don’t run into any hungry street people. ;)”

    What are you talking about? I run into them all the time. I also have challenged many businessmen heading to lunch to take a homeless guy on the bench to lunch and split their sandwich with him. Nevertheless, I still have never met a homeless person in the U.S. who was starving to death.

  214. Hskiprob,

    Another example of monopoly:

    “We recently reported that Windows Phone is the world’s fastest growing smartphone operating system with a 275% percent growth rate, but that might not be Microsoft’s only reason to smile. According to NetMarketShare, Windows 8 now owns 9.25% of the desktop market. Breaking that number down even further, we find that 1.72% of all market share belongs to Windows 8.1, while the other 7.53% belongs to the vanilla version, Windows 8.

    Windows 7 and Windows XP still hold the top command for Windows operating systems with 46.42% and 31.24% respectively. In total, Windows owns 90.66% percent of the desktop market share and is trailed by a distant Apple with 7.73%.”

    So MS owns 90.66% of the desktop market for operating systems. Windows 8.1 Pro is selling for $199.99 at the Microsoft Website. It’s so nice for a company’s bottom line when with 90.66% of the market they can fix pricing. That is what monopoly is all about.

  215. Dredd wrote to Gene H: “You always assert yourself as the authority (I call it the Gene H authority).”

    Yup, all the while Gene is telling others that they commit the appeal to authority fallacy if they quote an authority who presents evidence that contradicts what he is saying. Rather than explain how that authority is wrong, he will appeal to his own authority. After all, he has a J.D. and we had better all respect that! Those of us without a J.D., well, we just cannot hope to understand the law.

  216. Expertise envy, David?

    Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Actually, when I don’t rely upon other appropriate experts, I rely upon knowledge and logic. As someone else here is wont to note, if you understand something well enough yourself to make the argument, you don’t need experts (although sometimes they are a handy summary shortcut IMO). Yep. Good ol’ integrated knowledge and formally correct logic.

    You should get some and try it some time.

  217. DavidM:

    I guess it depends on what knowledge is integrated in order for the formally correct logic to work.

    If your integrated knowledge is based on a foundation of sand and not connected to reality, well then your logic may be right based on your false premises and axioms but it isnt correct and may not comport with reality.

    If you only saw 3 legged dogs and were told that dogs had 3 legs by your parents and other people who you viewed as authority figures then you would think all dogs have 3 legs.

    And your formal logic would become:

    All dogs have 3 legs
    Rover has 4 legs
    Therefore Rover is not a dog

  218. “If your integrated knowledge is based on a foundation of sand and not connected to reality, well then your logic may be right based on your false premises and axioms but it isnt correct and may not comport with reality.”

    As Objectivists, Libertarians and Austrian School economists illustrate daily.

  219. Gene H:

    I guess that is why during the 19th century the world had the longest period of prosperity and peace and during the 20th century we had wars and depressions.

    That period [the 19th century] was mostly free both economically and politically and could rightly be called a libertarian century. The 20th century was the century of the progressives.

    See what I mean, you think peace is war and prosperity is want. But then Sidney Webb, Harold Laski, J M Keynes and Graham Wallas were inveterate Marxist/Socialists and are the progenitors of the “philosophy” to which you adhere.

    Your entire education was based on the thoughts of a severely disturbed individual and his equally disturbed disciples. I am pretty sure Marx was a sociopath and the others were true believers so they had something wrong with them to make them follow that putrid, festering ideology.

    I am guessing you adhere to this way of thinking “life is a storm tossed sea and people are your only anchors.”

  220. “If your integrated knowledge is based on a foundation of sand”

    Um….perhaps that “sand” is a foundation from a rather turgid writer of bodice ripping romantic novels, who reeked havoc upon those who were closest to her and fancied herself a philosopher on par with Aristotle.

    “I guess that is why during the 19th century the world had the longest period of prosperity and peace and during the 20th century we had wars and depressions.”

    Let’s see now……. The Civil War (750,000 dead), the War of 1812, The Boer War, the Napoleanic Wars, The Indian Wars, The Boxer Rebellion, The Spanish American War….just to name a few. Bron you have a decidedly romantic and a-historic view of the 19th Century that is not born out by the facts. Also most of those were wars of imperialism that was driven by the economic gain of industry. The “good old days” of your imagination….weren’t.

  221. Temne War
    First Barbary War
    War of the Oranges
    Second War of Haitian Independence
    Second Anglo-Maratha War
    Burmese–Siamese War (1803–1804)
    First Kandyan War
    Emmet’s Insurrection
    “War of the Third Coalition
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “Battle of Sitka
    Part of the Russian colonization of the Americas”
    “First Serbian Uprising
    Part of the Serbian revolution”
    Castle Hill convict rebellion
    Fulani War
    “Russo-Persian War (1804–13)
    Part of the Russo-Persian Wars”
    “Egyptian Revolution
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    Janissaries’ Revolt
    “Franco-Swedish War
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    Haitian Invasion of Santo Domingo
    “War of the Fourth Coalition
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “Russo-Turkish War (1806–12)
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    British invasions of the Río de la Plata
    Ashanti-Fante War
    War of Christophe’s Secession
    Vellore Mutiny
    Janissaries’ Revolt
    Mtetwa Empire Expansion
    “Peninsular War
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “Gunboat War
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “Anglo-Russian War (1807–12)
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “Anglo-Turkish War (1807–09)
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    Rum Rebellion
    Finnish War
    “Spanish Restoration in Santo Domingo
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    Bantam Conquest
    “Dano-Swedish War of 1808-1809
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “War of the Fifth Coalition
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    “Quino Revolution
    Part of the Spanish American wars of independence”
    “Tyrol Rebellion
    Part of the Napoleonic Wars”
    Burmese–Siamese War (1809–12)
    “Bolivian War of Independence
    Part of the Spanish American wars of independence”

    All wars fought in the 19th Century, including that most peaceful of all wars, the American Civil War.

    Yeah, that period of peace was something else alright. :roll:

    And it’s interesting that you neglect that the Industrial Revolution had a larger effect on prosperity in the 19th Century than anything else; a technological change, not your ideology of choice, was the driver for that.

    Such a historical revisionist, Bron!

    I’d say I’m shocked, but I’ve seen you do much worse to defend your laissez-faire fantasy.

  222. “That period [the 19th century] was mostly free both economically and politically and could rightly be called a libertarian century. The 20th century was the century of the progressives.”

    Ah, the fond memories of times past when there was cheap child labor…poor and unsafe working conditions for the masses…slavery for more than half of the century…etc. There’s nothing like the good old days. Would that we could revisit such times again!

  223. “Temne War
    First Barbary War
    War of the Oranges”

    Gene,

    I read and respond to my E mails in order so I did not see this comment when I presented my short list. Ah the 19th Century, in the minds of true believers a “most peaceful” time driven by only the purest desires, which of course are those desires involving money.

    ‘Ah, the fond memories of times past when there was cheap child labor…poor and unsafe working conditions for the masses…slavery for more than half of the century…etc. There’s nothing like the good old days. Would that we could revisit such times again!”

    Elaine,

    Yes that has to be added to the 19th Century equation. Bron’s remembrance of those times is like the old tune “School Days” that people relate to so nostalgically as they sing:

    “Readin and ritin and rithmetic taught to the tune of the hickory stick”

    Somehow the “golden memories” never include the fact that corporal punishment was the standard then. Bron’s “golden memories” leave out the “hickory sticks”.

  224. Gene,

    What’s amazing about your Wikipedia List of 18th Century wars were how many of them were driven by Imperialist Capitalism and in the British East India Company. Is this the type of glorious “free market” Bron is referring to?

  225. Mike,

    That list was only partial. Those were the wars from 1800-1810. The complete list at Wiki is a truly impressive display of carnage.

  226. Mike & Gene,

    Whassamaddah? You guys got a problem with historical times when superior white Europeans and wealthy Americans could subjugate inferior peoples? C’mon. That’s the way it oughta be!

  227. Elaine, I’ll just take 1870 to 1910 when Americans were the wealthiest per capita nation in the world and the largest creditor. Not so much now, since the central bankers and socialists like FDR and his cronies got ahold of the country and convinced the ignorant workers that socialism was fantastic for the majority.

    Elaine, when you say useless stuff like that, are you referring to the era of King George or after the revolution? I also forgot their were never any rich blacks in Africa or rich Mayans, Egyptians or Chinese.

  228. Go point Mike, When taxation and regulation was weakest, American’s had the greatest prosperity. Sadly there were still poor people and the fascists like to point the few out.

  229. Gene H:

    I was talking about world wide conflict. Like we had in the 20th century. I am well aware of the many wars fought in the 19th century over territory, etc.

    And I am also aware of the Napoleonic wars which ended in 1815 or so.

    There were no wars from 1815 to 1914 that involved the entire world. Thanks for underscoring my understanding, your research is appreciated.

    It was only after the rise of the progressives that we had world wide wars.

  230. **“Readin and ritin and rithmetic taught to the tune of the hickory stick”

    Somehow the “golden memories” never include the fact that corporal punishment was the standard then. Bron’s “golden memories” leave out the “hickory sticks”. **

    Yes, some of us have forgot more history then others ever knew of the good ole days in Amerika & that’s why we take the position of to Hell with Central Govt Planning, Govt Health Scams & Private For Profit Wallst Insurance co’s Scams!!!

    We have friends alive today as witnesses to just how Fabulous Govt run Healthcare is, both from the “”VA & the Native American Healthcare Services.””

    Nothing quite like a women going into a govt run outfit & having her guts ripped out of her & send her back home where the family can pretend the next 40 so years everything is normal when it’s anything but!

    You people read that last paragraph again until you can Feel what it’s saying.

    Ph’k that so called Govt Health, call it a line in the Sand!

    Or if you’d rather, let’s drag your minds back to those Cancer Victims Mike A & OS mentioned the other…. I’ve whole tomes on that subject.

    If you can understand my message of Peace you’ll figure out a better way then your Centralized Govt Healthcare or the For Profit Insurance Scam, and if you can’t hear me I’m sure they’re are plenty of boys left to give you a 1st hand experience as to why hickory works great for hammer handles when pounding something in.

    Or as a lawyer might better say: I feel Strongly about this. :)

    I didn’t prescreen the below link much & I’m just using it to point you to the direction I suggest you might wish to consider.

    And thanks for helping give me a great cardiovascular workout this morning. lol

    http://racerelations.about.com/od/historyofracerelations/a/The-U-s-Governments-Role-In-Sterilizing-Women-Of-Color.htm

  231. hskiprob,

    Do you believe child labor, poor and unsafe working conditions for millions of workers, subjugation of other peoples can be justified if capitalists make lots of money and thereby skew the numbers regarding per capita income?

  232. Elaine M wrote: “Do you believe child labor… can be justified…”

    My children always complained about why the government does not allow them to work. This is another area where the anti-capitalists got it wrong. There is nothing inherently evil about children working. We had a recent Presidential candidate suggest young children at school should be offered jobs around the school. He also suggested that the schools should engage with small businesses to connect job opportunities with children so they can learn how to work hard and earn a living. These ideas were great, but the Democrats boohooed and hissed at him. Why is the Democratic party so against teaching children a hard work ethic?

    In regards to poor and unsafe working conditions, everybody agrees working conditions should be safe and good.

  233. DavidM, My son ON HIS OWN started working in a local diner when he was 14. He wanted his own money and he was born w/ a great work ethic. By the time he was 16 he had 2 jobs. We had to cut back some of his hours during the school year but summer Target when she was 16 and worked for them through college. They loved her work ethic and when she went to college in another state she was hired on the spot. When she was 17 they put her in the cash room. The security people knew she came from an honest law enforcement family and trusted her w/ huge sums of cash. This Target was in a blue collar area and most people used cash back then. She never talked or bragged a bout it but she saw other people working in the cash room were in their 30’s, 40’s, etc. Work and achievement gave both our kids real self esteem. Our son was working breakfast as the cook solo @ age 16.

    We understand the difference between sweat shops and kids working. My family had a restaurant and so being family I could start working @ 12. It was hard work. But, if you have righteous people employing you it’s a great thing. Of course “All wealthy people lack virtue” so we’re obviously wrong according to wealthy bigots and protectors of the oppressed and downtrodden.

  234. I know! I know! Elementary school children often complain about not be allowed to work from dawn till dusk. They much prefer working to attending school, reading, making puzzles, participating in creative play, doing arts projects, playing instruments, running around and playing with friends and getting exercise. Poor kids! If only we could send them back to the mines again!

  235. davidm,

    I’m proud to say that my adult daughter has an excellent work ethic. She worked summers when she was in high school and college. My husband and I didn’t want her working during the school year. She was able to play interscholastic sports in the fall, winter, and spring. Too many school-age kids work too many hours outside the home and, for many, their school work suffers because they’re too tired to pay attention/participate in class and have little time to study, read, and do homework.

  236. Elaine, Coercion of any type, is wrong, even if it is done by parents. Many young people do want to work though to earn money and should be allowed to. I know I did. wasn’t much good at anything, but I was sure interested in learning. Had my first full paying job at 15 after school.

  237. skip,

    My daughter did plenty around the house–including her own laundry from the time she was in middle school, housework, all the cleanup after meals. She also helped with shoveling after snowstorms and with yard work. She developed an appreciation for what her parents did after their work day and on weekends. You can call that coercion, if you want. I’d call it helping one’s child to learn responsibility. A child doesn’t have to work outside the house to develop a good work ethic. A child can learn much from the example set by his/her parents.

  238. Elaine, Since there is so much instability here I want to preface my comment. NEVER would I tell a parent how to raise their child. I know many parents who had your philosophy about their kids not working during the school year. To each their own. But our kids played sports[my son soccer and baseball, my daughter softball]. We expected them to keep up their grades and encouraged them to speak w/ their employers and cut back on their hours during their respective sport seasons. Neither of us are wrong or right. Can we agree on that?

  239. david,
    The government does not allow children to work? Really? The child labor laws do not prevent or outlaw children from working, it only prevents the abuse by employers of their hours and working conditions and prevents kids that are too young from working. I guess you can join the Governor of Maine in his desire to end all child labor laws.

  240. nick,

    As long as there is good parent supervision and a child’s school work doesn’t suffer–I don’t see a problem.

    I’d add that it can put an extra strain on parents who have to transport their children to and from work. There were many summer days when I went without a car because I let my daughter take it to the restaurant where she worked as a busboy. It was either that–or drive a half hour to pick her after she got out of work around midnight.

  241. hsk, “Learning” is not done solely in the classroom. Few would argue that the vast majority of “learning” comes from the real world. When I taught high school history, I didn’t look upon my job as imparting knowledge. I saw it as challenging kids how to think, not what to think. I saw my job as motivating kids to see how what they learned in school connected to the real world, something sorely lacking in public education. If you motivate a kid to want to learn, then just sit back and don’t screw them up. Encourage them, challenge them, advise them. And finally, MY GOD, TEACH THEM HOW TO WRITE. Give writing assignments daily. Public schools put out kids who can barely write a cogent sentence. If a kid likes to read, they’ll usually be good writers. But, too many kids don’t read and they are clueless on how to write.

  242. Elaine, Kids getting their driver’s license was like an unshackling of chains. Of course there’s the worry, but it is offset by the freedom. There is a disturbing trend of kids who have no interest in getting their driuver’s licenses. Their parents put no expectations of extracurricular or work. They just use their iPads, iPhones, and sit in their bedrooms. It doesn’t bode well for the future.

    There was a feature article in the Sunday 12/15 NYT about the startling increase of ADD and ADHD meds being prescribed. Some of the article talks about how when the FDA was not allowed to market Ritalin, Adderall, etc. they used school psychologists and counselors as their sales force. They would provide “helpful” pamphlets to give to parents. It’s a balanced piece and the numbers are shocking. I’ll bet the number of kids on meds since you retired has doubled.

  243. nick,

    I dealt with plenty of children who were truly ADD and ADHD when I was teaching. I usually got more than my share. They were often placed in my room because of the way I taught and how I structured things for them. Medication isn’t a panacea for these kids. They have to learn coping strategies. Many of these children who have attentional problems often have an ability to “hyperfocus”–which can be a positive quality.

    I think we may see lots more kids who are seemingly ADD and ADHD because of what’s happening in schools today with the mania for high stakes testing. It’s less about meeting the needs of the individual child and more about lock-step education and prepping kids for paper and pencil and/or computer tests. I hope it changes soon–before my granddaughter starts school. I doubt it, though.

  244. rafflaw. You all are really worried about child labor laws? Hell, 10% of the adults don’t even have jobs. There are many ways in which to end abuses.

    When an entire community sits back and allows children to be abused, there is a systemic problem much deeper than we want to admit.

    Government generally just tries to patch the problem. With child labor laws it was an easy patch, but the underlying problem is still there.

  245. Nick, According to a survey conducted with CEOs, they thought the writing and communication skills of college students were horrible.

    Why do you think this is? Anybody please cue in.

  246. hsk, Teachers just don’t give writing assignments. It’s a lot of work to correct them. My personal knowledge is history. I was the only teacher in my dept. who gave routine writing assignments. I also had 2 term papers per semester w/ footnotes, references, etc. Most of my colleagues chose the read the textbook, do the worksheets daily, then fill in the bubble chapter tests. It’s a sin.

    I’ve written this before but I don’t think you were here. We had a friend in Kansas City who was an education[reading] professor @ KU. She was shocked to see her students ability to read and write. She was a sports fan and volunteered to tutor athletes. She said some were functionally illiterate. She was so disgusted she moved w/ her husband to Seattle and set up her own biz providing support for home schooling parents. As you might expect, it was a booming biz until she recently retired. She home schooled her 3 sons. One is an attorney, another has his own architectural biz, and one has his own landscape biz. I’m a mostly retired PI and had corporate HR clients. Their stories would be funny if not so sad.

  247. Hskiprob: “Elaine, I’ll just take 1870 to 1910 when Americans were the wealthiest per capita nation in the world and the largest creditor…”
    *

    Pining for the Gilded Age, eh. Well buck up, we’re on our way back thanks in major part to our virtuous rich, their citizen enablers (the 26%) and their paid political lackeys. We are seeing the destruction of the reforms and social progress that came out of the last Gilded Age take place daily and should be there in no time at all.

    Wikipedia:
    “The Gilded Age was an era of enormous growth, especially in the North and West. This attracted millions of emigres from Europe. However, the Gilded Age was also an era of enormous poverty. The average annual income for most families was $380, well below the poverty line.[1] Railroads were the major industry, but the factory system, mining, and labor unions also increased in importance. Two major nationwide depressions known as the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893 interrupted growth. The South remained economically devastated; its economy became increasingly tied to cotton and tobacco production, which suffered low prices. African-Americans in the South were stripped of political power and voting rights. The political landscape was notable in that despite some corruption, turnout was very high and elections between the evenly matched parties were close. The dominant issues were cultural (especially regarding prohibition, education and ethnic and racial groups), and economics (tariffs and money supply). Reformers crusaded against child labour and for the 8-hour working day, civil service reform, prohibition, and women’s suffrage. State & local governments built schools, colleges and hospitals that sometimes received donations from philanthropists and various diverse religious denominations structured the social and cultural lives of many Americans.”

  248. Nick, I was not very good at spelling and grammar. Average at best but I’ve forced myself to write because I am pretty good I’m told, at logic, even edited sometimes by an English major. I always loved to read, especially areas of interest. I was pretty athletic and fell in love with motocross. Even went to work at 15 at the local Yamaha dealer. Started studying and reading about fluid dynamics in shock absorbers, suspension design, combustion ratios, 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines design etc., hoping that it would help me go faster. Rebuilt transmissions at 16 and went on to go professional in AMA motocross. I’ve been writing a book on socio-economics and yes it will be edited, as all authors are. Even though I’m not great at spelling and grammar, I do have some pretty good insights because I have been on both sides of the fence, being relatively poor but hard working so I was able to both work for others and have had employees in my own businesses or managing others over the years. I have some college but was not very impressed by the time vs. knowledge ratio. I just wasn’t getting the level of knowledge I was looking for. On the gob training has a lot of benefits as well. I had a really hard time focusing on subjects I had no interest in. My first book (about 80% completed is on the contraindications of Social Policies. The second book, on which I can not tell you, will be a segway from the first book. I just hope I can get both completed in my lifetime. Time and money.

    The point, as Elaine eluded to, current education is more about testing for some sort of intellectual competition, than improving the god given abilities of each human being. I may make both grammar and spelling mistakes but I do have a vast level of knowledge in the areas I enjoy and study, despite Genies erroneous opinions.

    I can remember being ripped apart by my English teachers and being really discouraged by generally receiving no better than a C. I guess I couldn’t take criticism. In my senior year I wrote a paper, and some how miraculously I got an A, the very first one I ever got on a paper.

    What is interesting today, is that yes, there are many people better at writing than I am, but I’m heads above the majority, so all you English Majors can go diagram my sentences and perhaps you will learn something important.

  249. hskiprop,

    “Nick, According to a survey conducted with CEOs, they thought the writing and communication skills of college students were horrible.”

    Oh, the irony.

    It’s probably best you weren’t in the survey, hskiprob. Otherwise, the conclusion would not be limited to just college students.

  250. hskiprob,

    “What is interesting today, is that yes, there are many people better at writing than I am, but I’m heads above the majority, so all you English Majors can go diagram my sentences and perhaps you will learn something important.”

    ———————————————–

    Why, hskiprob, you ended this essay much the same you ended your mighty “methodology” essay that you linked to; you know, this one:

    https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl=en&fromgroups#!topic/harrietrobbins/anuASCIPc6E

    with these words:

    “At least someone cannot tell me that I’m an poorly educated, because as you see, I have done extensive research and analysis in this area. Just because I disagree with some prominent people, does not make me right or wrong.”

    Both sound defensive to me.

  251. hskiprob,

    Much like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” or the Bee Gee’s “Staying Alive,” keep writing and maybe someday you’ll complete a full sentence.

    Until then.

  252. GBK: “Asleep At The Wheel is a much forgotten band.”

    LOL, they are. They did some fine music though and they got me interested in Texas swing. I saw them live in the mid 70’s in a CW bar up in the St. Louis northlands, Florissant or Ferguson near the airport, and they rocked the house. Yeah, the incredibly tall, skinny red-headed singer was incredibly sexy in person. Who would have suspected? Too much info :-)

  253. lottakatz,

    Yeah, they paved the aural receptors for SRV, and many others.

    BTW, I meant to say: Asleep At The Wheel is a much forgotten band, not a writing style, unless you’re Faulkner.

    Peace, LK.

  254. nick spinelli

    1, December 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    hsk, Teachers just don’t give writing assignments. It’s a lot of work to correct them.

    *****

    That’s quite a generalization. It isn’t true of many teachers.

  255. AY,

    Back in 2011. I wrote the following post:

    Fracking USA: A Post about the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, Governor Tom Corbett, C. Alan Walker, the Marcellus Shale, Polluted Drinking Water, and the Movie Gasland
    http://jonathanturley.org/2011/04/10/fracking-usa-a-post-about-the-pennsylvania-department-of-community-and-economic-development-governor-tom-corbett-c-alan-walker-the-marcellus-shale-polluted-drinking-water-and-the-movie-gasland/

  256. hsk, A good teacher/coach[I did both] knows what buttons to push. People are motivated in different ways. And, it’s often situational. A kid who usually needs encouragement may sometimes need a kick in the ass. We ALL need a kick in the ass sometimes, we don’t like it, but we need it. Like you, I hated the bullshit classes and really hated the teachers who were just there for a check. I knew a degree was what was expected of me by my parents. They expected their 4 kids to get degrees. There wasn’t pressure per se, it was we all did not want to disappoint them. They succeeded and we all felt their pride.

  257. gbk, I was being defensive. For some today, if you don’t have a Ph’D you should not write about important issues. One of the tards on one of the other threads criticized me for only going to a Junior College and yet I run circles around his understanding of the important issues.

    It’s like you gbk for even bringing it up. Your an arrogant tard and really just a part of the problem with this country. You’re more interested in ratfcuking than providing anything of substance.

    The only time you come alive on a thread is to provide worthless BS. You’re a waste of time and one mistake I will not make again. I must say though, it is fun to ratfcuk those who deserve it.

  258. lottakatz – Did you expect immigrants for all over the world to all of a sudden strike it rich just by setting foot on American soil? It is also difficult to determine the number of those in poverty, as there was no method in use in mining that data. With 16% at or near poverty today, I’ll take my chances that, even despite the influx of immigration, the majority was much wealthier then. The level of debt and credit also is a huge factor.

    Additionally you should understand that a depression then, is what we call a recession today and they were generally short lived. Whereas the Depression lasted about 18- 20 years depending on whose position you except. War to me only improves the lives of those that are not wounded or killed and doesn’t provide much prosperity for anyone except the warmongers.

  259. Anecdotes can be hypnotic, and often lead to tunnel vision.
    We are all anecdotal in our experience. Knowledge and understanding includes others realities. ….. Reality can be so unsettling at times.

  260. nick:

    “I knew a degree was what was expected of me by my parents. They expected their 4 kids to get degrees. There wasn’t pressure per se, it was we all did not want to disappoint them. They succeeded and we all felt their pride.”

    *********************

    There is value in that attitude, nick. It’s not about me; it’s about we. Nothing wrong with family pride.

  261. hskiprob,

    “It’s like you gbk for even bringing it up. Your an arrogant tard and really just a part of the problem with this country. You’re more interested in ratfcuking than providing anything of substance.”

    “It’s like you gbk for even bringing it up.”

    What’s “it” hskiprop?

    Is it your diatribes on this thread or your more salient writings that you encourage all to read?

    You are getting what you wanted, are you not? Read this essay here, then this one; tell me what you think; edit it for me, etc. I do believe this is an accurate paraphrase of most of your posts lately.

    So you reject my critique now, after your invitation?

    I know I seem arrogant, but actually I’m in awe of all one could possibly learn in a lifetime. I don’t know where to start — even after a lifetime.

    You mistake me while forgetting your own words.

  262. mespo, The “we” is what all coaches know is the cornerstone of success. I miss coaching sometimes. How are you doing giving up coaching football?

  263. nick:

    ” I miss coaching sometimes. How are you doing giving up coaching football?”

    **********************

    I hate it every day. I find myself –unsolicited -walking to the street to counsel neighborhood kids on proper three step drops and how to grip the ball. It’s an addiction.

  264. My four children have a great work ethic, but we’re not born with it, it’s taught. All four of my children worked during high school, undergrad and grad school. So Nick Spinelli, I suggest you don’t cast aspertions on my children.

  265. nick:

    Talk about buttons. I had a kid about twelve years ago who was the best runner in the league. On the last game before the playoffs he scored on a kick return and the proceeded to taunt the trailing kids who had trash-talked him before the game. I pulled him and he only got in the second half. I made sure we never called his number and he blocked the whole second half. It was an easy win and he played only about ten plays.

    Like any good kid he was livid but his dad 0–a former D1 player from TX –knew what I was doing. The next game was the playoffs and I benched him. He was in shock and he asked me why. I told him he forfeited his shot by showing up the other team and also shaming his own teammates. I told him he could make it up the second half if he wanted to do that. he droop-headed back to the sideline O-huddle.

    We were trailing 12-7 at the half. The kid roared back into the game in the 3rd quarter scoring twice and rushing for over 125 yards. He scored the winning conversion with :34 to play.

    He went on to play FB at Va Tech. He texted me from the Orange Bowl to let me know he remembered the only time he was ever “benched” while a starter. He thanked me for it.

  266. Hskiprob: “One of the tards on one of the other threads criticized me….”

    “Your an arrogant tard and really just a part of the problem with this country.
    ****

    Yeah, that’s some high level writing there buddy, keep it classy.

    Also “Your” sb You’re”

  267. mespo, Great story. I would have loved to have you coach one of my kids. I’m sorry you miss coaching, but I respect your decision. I played football in high school, offensive tackle. I was a starter for 3 years but just an average player. I had a blow out fracture of my orbital bone and severe concussion my junior year. I came back my senior year but I never loved it like I did baseball. Al Toon, who played here in Madison and for the Jets, had numerous concussions. I hear he has always been conflicted about his son, Nick, playing.

    Your pointing out the support you got from that kid’s father shows you understand on a profound level how parents can be an asset or a liability. You get “tough love” and coaches who demand respect for opponents are becoming a dying breed. Texts like the one from your former player make it all worth it. It’s weird, I’ll have guys in their mid to late 30’s come up to me in the grocery store and say, “Hi, coach.”

  268. hskiprob,

    “The only time you come alive on a thread is to provide worthless BS. You’re a waste of time and one mistake I will not make again.”

    Excuse me for not reading the rest of your bile — offered above.

    So, just so we both understand — what is the, “one mistake I will not make again?”

    Is it recognizing my, “worthless BS,” and/or being, “a waste of time?”

    This is two mistakes, is it not?

  269. Lottakatz

    I believe he is referring to the residents of the village in Hungary named Tard.

    It is lead by a gentleman named Leo.

    They are considered to be both arrogant and critical of others.

  270. hskiprob,

    “rafflaw. You all are really worried about child labor laws? Hell, 10% of the adults don’t even have jobs.”

    What an excellent reason to send the kids back into the mines; make them fabricate cloth and garments for eighteen hours a day; live in company barracks, and spend their meager wages at the friendly company store.

    “When an entire community sits back and allows children to be abused, there is a systemic problem much deeper than we want to admit.”

    So what are you saying? Do you note your own hypocrisy?

    To not differentiate the history of child labor in the 19th and early 20th centuries, (Bron’s favorites), with children learning the value of work is a sadistic perspective at best.

    “Government generally just tries to patch the problem.”

    What problem is this? Can you be specific?

    “With child labor laws it was an easy patch, but the underlying problem is still there.”

    What “underlying problem” are you referencing, hskiprob? The problem of labor costs?

    Could you elaborate?

  271. hskiprob,

    Maybe we should reinstate the draft?

    What are your thoughts on that, hskiprob?

    It would give valuable job lessons to the kids, wouldn’t it? There’s nothing like following orders to teach respect.

    But then the upper class would whine at the loss of their genes, of the real cost of their cultural fortifications. Can’t have that, can we?

  272. gbk,

    I was very excited to learn that you were a time machine until I read down some more and realized that Skipples had not misspelled the acronym TARDIS but was instead angry at Hungarians.

  273. Income Inequality Is Hurting The Economy, 3 Dozen Economists Say
    By CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
    12/17/13
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/17/income-inequality-economy_n_4460725.html

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t bad just for individuals.

    It’s hurting the U.S. economy.

    So says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed last week by The Associated Press. Their concerns tap into a debate that’s intensified as middle-class pay has stagnated while wealthier households have thrived.

    A key source of the economists’ concern: Higher pay and outsize stock market gains are flowing mainly to affluent Americans. Yet these households spend less of their money than do low- and middle-income consumers who make up most of the population but whose pay is barely rising.

  274. Elaine, this has been happening for at least 35 years. By 1985, the average family could not longer afford, the average price home.

    Let’s tax the wealthy more and raise minimum wages? Let’s regulate the stock market more so that less money flows to the affluent?

    You see how ridiculous these statements sound.

    I just starting reading a book “How Capitalism saved America; The untold history of our country, from the Pilgrims to the Present’. by Thomas J. Dilorenzo, author of the best seller The Real Lincoln and professor of economics at Loyola College in Maryland.

    It dispels many of the myths about capitalism that the anti-capitalists have been passing around in the 20th century. Many of the things that we have even discussed on the various threads.

  275. gbk, Isn’t the military draft what is called involuntary servitude protected by the Constitution? There are no rights that you fascist aren’t willing to trounce on, to try to make others including the wealthy do what you think is fair in society. Even though your entire statist ideology is based on myths and ignorance, you keeps pushing them forward into the mainstream. Sad dude.

  276. gbk:

    “. . . but actually I’m in awe of all one could possibly learn in a lifetime. I don’t know where to start — even after a lifetime.”

    you have that right. It boggles one’s mind. You could spend a single lifetime on one subject and probably not learn everything there is to know about it.

    Human knowledge is pretty amazing when you think about it, all of the things we know and all of the things yet to be discovered.

  277. rafflaw wrote: “The child labor laws do not prevent or outlaw children from working, it only prevents the abuse by employers of their hours and working conditions and prevents kids that are too young from working.”

    As a lawyer, you really should know better than this. The Fair Labor Standards Act basically makes it illegal for a company to hire a child under the age of 14. A 13 year old cannot walk into a grocery store and apply for a job sweeping and mopping the floors and stocking the shelves or bagging groceries.

    Even after the age of 14, there are onerous restrictions on working. They cannot work more than 3 hours on a school day, or more than 8 hours on a non-school day, or more than 18 hours in a school week. They also cannot work before 7 am or after 7 pm, except during summer when they can work until 9 pm. There are numerous exceptions to the law, making it difficult for a child to navigate. The child labor laws are bad in that they forbid younger children and discourage older children from working. These laws limit a child’s options. Most of my kids have expressed a keen interest in working at the age of 12. Told that the law forbids it, they get the message to forget about it. That message has negative repercussions on our economy.

  278. gbk:

    why do you think people like me and Skip would be for child labor? Children should do some chores around the house to the level of their ability but working in a factory 18 hours a day, no, I dont think that is right. And all of the capitalists I know are against that as well. That is some Marxist stereotype which always seems to get brought up along with safe working conditions.

    Who in their right mind would want to work in an unsafe environment? And who in their right mind would knowingly provide an unsafe environment? More Marxist tripe.

    I have worked dangerous jobs before and the companies made it a point to promote safety with training and rewards for safe work. Accidents happen but they were mostly the fault of the workers. The 2 I had were my fault and most of the others I heard about were worker error.

    Have you ever worked in a dangerous job like mining, construction or the oil field? Have you ever seen, in this country or any developed country, children under the age of 16 working 18 hours a day in a factory? I havent even seen adults working 18 hours a day in a factory in this country. For one thing their productivity would be for sh*t and turn over would be very high.

    In a good economy labor sells itself for the most money and the best conditions. Poor economies are when labor is taken advantage of through low wages and unsafe working conditions. When labor is plentiful in respect to jobs, they procure low wages and negative work conditions.

    When the economy was booming around here, McDonalds was paying $12/hour plus benefits to entice workers.

  279. hskiprob,

    I’ve got a list of books to I’d like to recommend to you:

    – “Griftopia: Bubble Machines, Vampire Squids, and the Long Con That Is Breaking America”—later re-titled “Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History” by Matt Taibbi

    – “It Takes a Pillage: An Epic Tale of Power, Deceit, and Untold Trillions” by Nomi Prins

    – “Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)” by David Cay Johnston

    – “Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future over to Wall Street” by Michael Hirsh

    – “The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine” by Michael Lewis

    – “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One: How Corporate Executives and Politicians Looted the S&L Industry” by William K. Black

  280. Lewis Hine and the History of U.S. Child Labor: Echoes
    By Michael Burgan
    Jan 19, 2012
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-19/lewis-hine-and-the-history-of-u-s-child-labor-echoes.html

    Excerpt:
    From 1908 to 1924, Hine took photographs for the National Child Labor Committee, a private organization that was then leading the charge against child labor. He crisscrossed the country, covering some 100,000 miles and taking about 5,000 photos.

    He worked undercover, since most mine owners and mill operators didn’t want him, or anyone else, documenting children at work. At times he said he was a fire inspector or a salesman, and he learned how to surreptitiously take notes on a pad he kept in his pocket. When he did present himself as a curious photographer, Hine told company owners he merely wanted to shoot their machinery. He waved a child or two into the photo, he said, to show the scale of the equipment.

    The Progressives faced several obstacles in their struggle against child labor. Children had worked alongside their parents for thousands of years on farms and in households, and as the Industrial Revolution took off, they went to work in factories, as well.

    Mill and mine owners had an entrenched interest in youth labor. They could pay children less than adults, and kids wouldn’t join unions or strike to protest dangerous working conditions. And the owners insisted that certain jobs required the nimble fingers of the young. Samuel Slater, who built the first U.S. textile mills in Rhode Island, used children as young as 7 to operate his spinning machines.

    States often helped businesses by ignoring whatever child-labor statutes might have been on the books. Pennsylvania law, for example, said boys had to be at least 14 to work in the mines or 12 to work in a colliery. Parents, who welcomed the extra income that children brought in, produced forged documents, and mine owners looked the other way.

  281. Child Labor in U.S. History
    (Child Labor Education Project)
    http://www.continuetolearn.uiowa.edu/laborctr/child_labor/about/us_history.html

    Excerpt:
    Forms of child labor, including indentured servitude and child slavery, have existed throughout American history. As industrialization moved workers from farms and home workshops into urban areas and factory work, children were often preferred, because factory owners viewed them as more manageable, cheaper, and less likely to strike. Growing opposition to child labor in the North caused many factories to move to the South. By 1900, states varied considerably in whether they had child labor standards and in their content and degree of enforcement. By then, American children worked in large numbers in mines, glass factories, textiles, agriculture, canneries, home industries, and as newsboys, messengers, bootblacks, and peddlers.

    In the early decades of the twentieth century, the numbers of child laborers in the U.S. peaked. Child labor began to decline as the labor and reform movements grew and labor standards in general began improving, increasing the political power of working people and other social reformers to demand legislation regulating child labor. Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined, and common initiatives were conducted by organizations led by working women and middle class consumers, such as state Consumers’ Leagues and Working Women’s Societies. These organizations generated the National Consumers’ League in 1899 and the National Child Labor Committee in 1904, which shared goals of challenging child labor, including through anti-sweatshop campaigns and labeling programs. The National Child Labor Committee’s work to end child labor was combined with efforts to provide free, compulsory education for all children, and culminated in the passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, which set federal standards for child labor.

  282. Bron,

    “why do you think people like me and Skip would be for child labor?”

    If you want to include yourself, feel free; it’s your decision though, not mine.

    Read the thread, Bron, it’s all there.

    hskiprob,

    Yeah, it realy sucks when somebody actually reads your work at your invitation, doesn’t it? How’s your self-destructing wind turbine going?

  283. hskiprob,
    I stated the law correctly. The only problem is that you consider reasonable protective restrictions on children in the workplace is onerous. I cannot help you with that sad philosophy. And yes, even though there are far too many adults without jobs, that is no excuse to take advantage of children. Read some of Elaine’s links and some history and maybe then you will see that children need to be protected in the workplace and given incentives to stay in school.

  284. Bron,

    “Who in their right mind would want to work in an unsafe environment? And who in their right mind would knowingly provide an unsafe environment?”

    Answer 1: nobody, but you need to write with more care as your question is “want to . . .”

    Answer 2: anybody that thinks they can get away with it.

    Take your Marxists insults and shove them, Bron. You have continually put me in a pigeon hole of your own definition so that yoiu could bounce your ill-gotten quotes off me; oblivious to any nuance offered.

  285. Both of my daughters got newspaper routes at the age of 10 and worked as papergirls for the next 5 years. Each grew their routes through sales pitches and a reputation for dependability. (Sadly, paper routes are a thing of the past in this area of the country.) At the age of 14 they each started babysitting and once again grew their list of clientele through reputations for dependability. At the age of 16 both went to work for McDonalds.

    The twin boys down the street at the age of 10, not being able to get paper routes, went door to door offering their services for lawn mowing, snow removal, leaf raking, dog walking, car washing, even garbage can duty (taking the cans out to the road in the morning and returning them after school). Their father impressed upon them the need for dependability and attention to detail. The boys started babysitting at the age of 14. Their lawn care, leaf clean up, and snow removal jobs became so numerous that they did not have to go to work for McDonalds when they turned 16 and opted to remain their own bosses. Last year they both left for college and from what I understand have part time jobs with the university’s grounds maintenance crew. (They both have all the licenses necessary to spread fertilizer and work with lawn chemicals having taken the necessary classes and paid for the licenses while in high school.)

    Their youngest brother opted out of their handyman business electing instead to go to work at the age of 11 as a caddy at one of the three local golf courses. He’s a senior in high school now and has just been awarded a full paid scholarship at a local university. The scholarship is provided by some golf association and strictly for caddys. He plans to continue caddying through college. He’s also hoping to win a place on the University’s golf team as he’s quite a good player and presently the best player on his high school’s golf team.

    People who claim that Child Labor Laws are keeping young people who want to work from working are full of crap. Young people with imagination and a strong work ethic, guided by parents who stress the importance of dependability and responsibility, have no problem what so ever. (And, I gotta tell you, the “Christmas gifts” from happy clients are substantial. ;) )

  286. Hint to youngsters out there. That numerous segment of our population known as the “baby boomers” are starting to retire. You’d be amazed at the number of chores they’re willing to pay to have done.

    A word to the wise.

  287. gbk:

    Are you a socialist or not? Simple question. Marx thought socialism was for starry eyed dreamers and differentiated communism as scientific socialism.

    I dont understand your nuance most of the time because it isnt very clear although it may be in your mind.

    Didnt you say once that it is the responsibility of the author to make sure he is understood? I thought that was good advice and still do, you should try it.

    Who in their right might mind would want to work in an unsafe environment? No one I know. How many people have to work in an unsafe environment? I dont know, I thought OSHA took care of that, are you saying OSHA doesnt work very well?

    What are you saying?

    By the way you said I loved the 19th and early 20th century which is when “rampant” child labor and unsafe work conditions supposedly occurred.

    What would you expect me to take away from that comment based on your thinking about those years? Or are you saying I inferred something that was not implied?

    Just what do you mean?

    I am afraid, at least in my case, your nuance is pearls cast before this capitalist pig or simply swine if you prefer.

    I think that golden braid has become a noose around your neck, it is holding you back.

    And no I havent read the book just some passages but I get the smell of it.

  288. Bron says: Who in their right mind would want to work in an unsafe environment?

    Somebody that doesn’t want their children to starve, or be homeless, or go without health care, or go without education, or go without shoes, or clothing, or baby formula. Ask the thousands of turn-of-the-century men and women in sweat shops that worked in environments so unsafe it was not unusual to have several deaths per year.

    Bron says: And who in their right mind would knowingly provide an unsafe environment?

    Owners that are in commodity businesses, like the one my grandmother worked in when she arrived in NYC, sewing aprons, or like the one my grandfather worked in when he arrived in NYC, cutting felt for hats. When price is king and safety costs money, competition forces owners to sacrifice safety or go out of business. Some owners are sociopaths and value profit more than employees, so if it is legal to sacrifice safety they will, why pay a cost if you don’t have to pay it? That means any owners with a conscience are still faced with the prospect of losing the competition and their fortunes to the sociopath, or ALSO not providing any safety for their employees. It makes no difference which they choose, either way employees get no safety: Either the sociopath expands and they work there, or they agree to work without safety under their current owner.

    And before you say employees could refuse, see the first answer. No, they cannot, they have to work, and nobody provides safety anywhere because they don’t have to provide it in order to get workers. That is why the Union movement had to engage in assaults and other illegal intimidations to actually work, they had to prevent desperate people from taking their place in the factories.

    That is why safety has to be imposed on all by governmental authority; so the cost of safety becomes inescapable and affects all competitors equally, and competitors cannot compete by sacrificing safety to lower their cost of production.

    You always make the mistake of presuming equal power or greater power for the employee (that has to work for a living) than for the employer (who typically has far more leeway). It is a stupid mistake, which makes me think you are making it on purpose because you do not know HOW to make your system work when the rich owners with all the assets have all the leverage. That is reality, though. The further down the chain of command a person is, the LESS power they have, and for jobs that do not really even actually need any more than a sixth grade education the power is zero, and those jobs are typically the ones where safety and health are significant issues with significant costs.

  289. Tony C.,

    Good points!

    *****

    The Triangle Factory Fire
    (Cornell University)
    http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/trianglefire/story/introduction.html

    Excerpt:
    Introduction

    The fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City, which claimed the lives of 146 young immigrant workers, is one of the worst disasters since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

    This incident has had great significance to this day because it highlights the inhumane working conditions to which industrial workers can be subjected. To many, its horrors epitomize the extremes of industrialism.

    The tragedy still dwells in the collective memory of the nation and of the international labor movement. The victims of the tragedy are still celebrated as martyrs at the hands of industrial greed.

    SWEATSHOPS & STRIKES BEFORE 1911

    The Triangle Waist Company was in many ways a typical sweated factory in the heart of Manhattan, at 23-29 Washington Place, at the northern corner of Washington Square East. Low wages, excessively long hours, and unsanitary and dangerous working conditions were the hallmarks of sweatshops.

    Even though many workers toiled under one roof in the Asch building, owned by Max Blanck and Isaac Harris, the owners subcontracted much work to individuals who hired the hands and pocketed a portion of the profits. Subcontractors could pay the workers whatever rates they wanted, often extremely low. The owners supposedly never knew the rates paid to the workers, nor did they know exactly how many workers were employed at their factory at any given point. Such a system led to exploitation.

    Even today, sweatshops have not disappeared in the United States. They keep attracting workers in desperate need of employment and undocumented immigrants, who may be anxious to avoid involvement with governmental agencies. Recent studies conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor found that 67% of Los Angeles garment factories and 63% of New York garment factories violate minimum wage and overtime laws. Ninety-eight percent of Los Angeles garment factories have workplace health and safety problems serious enough to lead to severe injuries or death.

  290. Blouise wrote: “People who claim that Child Labor Laws are keeping young people who want to work from working are full of crap.”

    It is almost impossible to talk with you because you change the subject. Nobody claimed that young people who want to work are kept from working. What was said is that laws prohibit a company from hiring children under the age of 14. There are numerous exceptions to the laws, such as baby sitting, newspaper routes, agricultural jobs, and working for one’s own family. Of course, there also are exceptions where companies break the law and do it anyway.

    The fact that you had children working jobs at the age of 10 proves that the laws prohibiting individuals under the age of 14 from being hired is stupid and immoral.

  291. “Most of my kids have expressed a keen interest in working at the age of 12. Told that the law forbids it, they get the message to forget about it. That message has negative repercussions on our economy. (davidm2575’s words)

    … Blouise wrote: “People who claim that Child Labor Laws are keeping young people who want to work from working are full of crap.” (Blouise’s words)

    It is almost impossible to talk with you because you change the subject.” (davidm2575’s words)

    Beware the verbal traps you set for yourself. :idea:

  292. Speaking of the “virtuous” rich–here’s a Mayor Bloomberg story:

    Mayor Bloomberg On Homeless Girl Featured In The New York Times: ‘That’s Just The Way God Works’
    BY AVIVA SHEN
    DECEMBER 18, 2013
    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/12/18/3079711/bloomberg-dasani-comments/

    Excerpt:
    Outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I-NY) went on the defensive when asked whether he was moved by the New York Times’ powerful series on a homeless family struggling to survive in New York City. Bloomberg defended his homelessness policies and claimed that 11-year-old Dasani, the star of the piece, ended up in dire straits due to bad luck.

    “This kid was dealt a bad hand. I don’t know quite why. That’s just the way God works. Sometimes some of us are lucky and some of us are not,” he told Politicker, calling her plight “a sad situation.”

    Bloomberg argued that New York “has done more than any city to help the homeless,” citing the city’s policies of subsidized health care, job training, and shelter counseling. “But if you are poor and homeless you’d be better off in New York City than anyplace else,” he insisted.

    The New York Times series explicitly tied Bloomberg’s homelessness policies to Dasani’s destitute situation. “The Bloomberg administration adopted sweeping new policies intended to push the homeless to become more self-reliant,” the Times’ Andrea Elliott wrote. “They would no longer get priority access to public housing and other programs, but would receive short-term help with rent.”

    As a result, Dasani’s family and others like hers found themselves unable to escape the shelter system. Homelessness swelled by 60 percent during Bloomberg’s term, despite his vow to reduce the city’s homeless population by two-thirds in five years. The mayor told the New York Times last year that families were staying in shelters longer because he had improved them to be “a much more pleasurable experience than they ever had before” — a quote that stood in stark contrast with Elliott’s descriptions of Dasani’s decrepit shelter, which is still operating after inspectors cited it for violations 400 times.

    Bloomberg went on to attack the media for not understanding how good Dasani and her family have it compared to poor people in developing countries. “I think one of the problems is a lot of journalists have never looked around the world,” he said, going on to tell the reporter that “your smirk shows you haven’t been outside the country and don’t know what poverty means elsewheres.”

  293. Blouise, I delivered the Waterbury Republican starting when I was 11 and kept it for 1 year. You are correct about initiative. I would mow lawns, shovel snow[my old man would not let me take money from our elderly neighbor..he paid me], caddy, etc. The thing I hated about the newspaper job was having to collect. Some people were deadbeats and the paper would pressure me to collect but the SOB’s wouldn’t answer the door. It was a morning route so if they were a few weeks behind, I see the car in the driveway, it’s 6am, and I then start w/ the cop knock on the door. But, being a glass half full guy I remember the good customers who would always pay and tip.

    On the other side of the tracks I had a customer. The guy was an alcoholic and his paramour was a Jamaican woman named “Sasha.” Sasha was a bar fly and well let’s just say there were stories. One time she reportedly walked into a dive bar, laid her very large breasts on the bar, and asked “Who is buying drinks for Sasha tonight?” Sasha’s mate would never tip but Sasha would always give me a tip, sometimes running down 2 flights of stairs cursing out her cheapskate mate and giving me a quarter. She was a nice woman. One week she didn’t have money for a tip. She looked @ me and said, “Nicky boy, how about a peak instead,” as she fondled her rack. I shook my head emphatically ‘YES” and got a good 15 second look, as she laughed @ my wide eyes. She then said, “Maybe for Christmas you get a touch!” I gave up the route to work in the family restaurant before that time came.

  294. Davidm2575, as you know, those who believe that government regulations work, are not willing to look at the underbelly of the beast. We have kids being enslaved as prostitutes in this country today and the fascists are falling back on the age old “child labor laws” that was such a minuscule problem, that it could be considered a myth, by realistic standards. If children were really being abused to any degree, would not friends, family and other members of the community do something about it. That fact is that government regulations by and large to not accomplish their intended goals and as you and others point out, cause other problems that take away from our freedom and liberty. They just don’t like to talk about these things as it puts a bit of a crimp in their ideology.

    But when you tell them you don’t really like child labor laws, than of course they comeback with the BS they spew forth, “what, you want to go back to the time when we abused our children by making them walk miles in deep snow and work 14 hour days without breaks in closed building with not heat.’

    Please, when I was 15 and 17, I woke up at 7:00 for school, got off work after at 6:00 and even worked all day Saturday. Then I would come home at night, to see my father feeding the younger boys, as Mom was addicted to big pharma’s drug campaign. Of course I chipped in and helped either prepare food or pick something up if necessary as I was hungry as well. I can’t remember “not” ever having to do the dishes after supper for our family of seven, as I was the second oldest. As a young person, I was willing to do what was necessary for my family and myself.

    Progressives are pathetic. Look at how they behave themselves on these threads. The one thing that I haven’t gotten from them is just how shallow their ideology is and this has given me some good ideas on my next book.

  295. nick,

    You could have gone back that next Christmas and pretended you were there to collect. ;)

    It’s the truth about deadbeats on a paper route but when they got too far behind my daughters’ paper route manager stopped delivery, gave the girls credit for the weeks and billed the clients out right. It was a good learning experience all around. The most trouble they had was with vacation notifications. The clients would notify them about leaving but fail to tell them when they returned until they were back and missed their paper. It played havoc with their ordering and bookkeeping. Theirs were also morning routes and it got dam cold with mounds of snow on unploughed streets. Many’s the time I was up to drive them and carry thermos of hot cocoa. I was paid $1.00 for gas for each morning I drove.

  296. TONY:

    “You always make the mistake of presuming equal power or greater power for the employee (that has to work for a living) than for the employer (who typically has far more leeway). It is a stupid mistake, which makes me think you are making it on purpose because you do not know HOW to make your system work when the rich owners with all the assets have all the leverage.”

    I have said many times that the way to cure this stuff is with a good economy where labor can sell to the highest bidder. I am not against unions or people having the right to organize for collective bargaining [I am not sure about government unions since they are tax payer funded].

    I am not making a mistake because I dont think labor and capital are at odds. They both need each other and a thriving economy is beneficial to all. Are there some a$$hats that run companies? Most assuredly.

    An employer only has leeway in a bad economy or if there is an overabundance of labor, if the economy is good or few people are in the work place, he has to offer incentives and better pay to retain and attract people. Your grandfather and grandmother were part of a huge wave of immigrants which hit out shores within a small amount of time, industry could not absorb that many people quickly so you had abuses.

    You live in the past more than I do about how the “good ole” days were. I think I have only heard about one other incident like the Triangle Shirt Waist fire, a chicken processing plant in South or North Carolina where some idiot chained the doors in the rear of the building to prevent people from slipping out. OSHA kept them safe didnt they? I am pretty sure the owner didnt do that, probably a low level floor manager who didnt stop and think about what he was doing.

    What did the owner have to gain? Saving a few dollars but losing his business? A stupid person steps over a dollar to pick up a dime.

  297. Anyone who thinks all regulation is either all a) effective, b) infective and/or c) appropriate or d) inappropriate lacks a sufficient understanding of how government works to form a reasoned opinion let alone propose practical solutions. It is not all of anything. That is a binary, simplistic, uneducated position.

    Government is a machine. It is a complex machine that grows more complex as the challenges facing the society it maintains grow more complex. Complex machines can (and do) work, but complexity (and interdependence) begets a certain amount of error (that’s just the mathematics of complexity). Consider a mechanical/electrical/chemical analog: the Space Shuttle. The Shuttles were literally the most complex machines humankind ever built. They worked great most of the time. A couple of times? They didn’t. Government is a lot like that.

    It does what it is designed to do and sometimes it either malfunctions or it wasn’t properly designed in the first place or sometimes even the situation changes to where what was once a desirable or necessary goal is no longer the case (obsolescence).

    When it is properly designed and deployed, it does jobs better than any other alternative in certain areas (such as areas where profits are an anathema to the goal).

    When it doesn’t work, it is like any other broken machine.

    It’s both Luddite and ignorant to not recognize this simple reality about governments. Anarchy is what fills the void of government. Only children, crazy people and simpletons desire anarchy. Perhaps those who have not actually seen how thin the veneer of civilization actually is and the consequences when that thin line collapses. Government, laws and regulation are necessary to maintain a civilization of any size. Without them limiting behaviors and encouraging others, humans would eat each other. Governments evolved out of two drivers in ancient history: size of the civilization and disasters/disaster mitigation. Laws and government – when functioning and designed maximally – reflect the mutual restraints and encouragements contained within the social compact. We are the only self-predatory species. We will prey upon each other without social restraints.

    It’s our nature.

    The metric of a government’s success in living up to the social compact isn’t size or number of laws and regulations.

    It’s functionality in service of the social compact. It is maximal mutual benefit in exchange for the rights limited from the state of nature by the social compact itself.

    That has always been the proper metric of government function.

    That will always be the proper metric of government function.

    Only a Hungarian would think otherwise. :mrgreen:

    (“That was a joke, son! The fast ones go right over your head! You got a hole in yer glove! [whispered aside] That boy’s about as sharp as a pound of wet leather.” – Foghorn Leghorn)

  298. nick,

    ps … the thing I disliked the most about their careers as papergirls was not the occasional cold and snowy morning but the newsprint. Their hands and faces were black with newsprint that had to be scrubbed off before they went to school each morning.

  299. “If children were really being abused to any degree, would not friends, family and other members of the community do something about it.”

    In some cases, children are being abused by their mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, neighbors, priests, etc. Such abusers are unlikely to do “something” about it.

  300. Let’s see if I got Skip’s point right. We have child prostitution today because we have child labor laws. Can anyone tell me if I misunderstood what he said.

  301. Bron, Skip, davidm,

    Here’s a Congressman after your own heart:

    Rep. Jack Kingston Proposes That Poor Students Sweep Floors In Exchange For Lunch
    By Amanda Terkel
    Posted: 12/18/2013
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/jack-kingston-school-lunch_n_4467711.html

    Excerpt:
    WASHINGTON — Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wants kids to learn early in life that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. To make sure they absorb that lesson, he’s proposing that low-income children do some manual labor in exchange for their subsidized meals.

    On Saturday, Kingston, who is vying to be his party’s nominee in Georgia’s Senate race next year, spoke at a meeting of the Jackson County Republican Party about the federal school lunch program.

    Under that program, children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the poverty line are eligible for free meals. Students from families with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level can receive lunches at reduced prices.

    But on Saturday, Kingston came out against free lunches, saying that children should have to pay at least a nominal amount or do some work like sweeping cafeteria floors.

  302. Blouise, Newsprint ink was a problem. The worst paper I ever encountered in that regard in my travels was the Chicago Tribune. We would read the Sunday paper and look like hobos.

  303. Bron says: I have said many times that the way to cure this stuff is with a good economy where labor can sell to the highest bidder.

    You sure do. How do you propose to create this permanent imbalance where labor, no matter how unskilled, is always in demand and employers are always going hat in hand begging for people to work for them?

    It is a fantasy. In ANY economy there will be people desperate for work, and people willing to exploit that desperation for profit. That is the entire premise of your free market philosophy; that employers should pay as little as they can for the work, and employees should hold out for as much as they can — But you completely fail to address the hold-up scenario where the employer can wait until the employee is willing to just work for some food to live another day. You think when somebody is forced into sacrificing days or years of their life in that way, not getting ahead at all and wasting their life and health just surviving another day to make their employer ten times their pay, that is fine. That is the “free market,” the freedom to exploit the desperation of others. That is the design of the system; paying the least possible amount means finding the most desperate worker, and that desperation and lowest pay means the worker cannot get ahead or earn a profit because he is barely earning the 2400 calories he burns every day.

    Your “good economy” is the fantasy you use to prop up a worthless system. There have always been and probably will always be people desperate for money, and taking advantage of that desperation for profit is always going to be wrong, wrong, wrong. You are not going to convince humanity otherwise, we know it is wrong.

    One guy kicking back and raking in bucks on the labor of another guy that can barely afford to eat is wrong; in your philosophy, that level of unfairness is just fine by you. And if it isn’t, you will trot out your completely unjustified fantasy of a “good economy” that will somehow magically prevent it from happening.

    There are exploitive arrangements that are not agreements Bron, even if you think they look like them. Slaves do not “agree” to work when they know the punishment for refusal is a beating or even death. And low wage workers aren’t “agreeing” to work when their only alternative is homelessness, hunger, the loss of shelter and loss of their property.

    It doesn’t do any good to sell your labor to the highest bidder if the highest bid is next to nothing and dangerous in the bargain and barely enough to live on. If your system is supposed to create wealth, why can’t you realize that the wealthy can always walk away from a bargain, and the poor cannot, and that is a formula for the most severe exploitations possible?

  304. Blouise wrote: “Beware the verbal traps you set for yourself.”

    LOL. It is not a verbal trap. Your logic is impossible. Do you really not see that the context is different? In one case I talk about how child labor laws discourage kids from developing a strong work ethic, and in your case you presume that I am saying that labor laws keep all young people who want to work from working. Furthermore, you draw upon an example of a job which falls into an exception written into the law, a law which you pretend hurts no child. All you illustrate is that it is impossible to talk about complex issues with the simple minded. If you can’t see that creating a law that prohibits children under the age of 14 from being hired is discouraging them from working jobs, then I can’t really help you. The fact that your children found a way to work at the age of 10 and you are happy with that indicates that the child labor laws we have are silly and immoral. They take away liberty from parents and children and ultimately hurt free enterprise and the economy.

  305. Children know about the child labor laws? Really? Do they learn about them in elementary school? Do parents tell their children about them when they’re in kindergarten…when they’re seven, nine, ten…what age?

  306. Darren:

    Do you work for your lunch or does someone give it to you?

    I would make people on welfare work at something even if it means raking the leaves of the little old lady down the street or helping the old man put up Christmas lights.

    Arent we all in this together? Shouldnt we all contribute to the community in some way?

  307. Elaine M:

    I knew about child labor laws when i was 12 because I had to go get a permit to work in a restaurant washing dishes.

  308. Bron asked

    “Do you work for your lunch or does someone give it to you?”
    ~+~

    Actually when I was in grade school my mommy fed me. The factory shut down and I ran out of matches to sell in the streets during a snow storm.

  309. davidm2575 – I’ve written on the impossibility of using logical arguments to affect people’s consciousness who are willfully ignorant. Have you not gotten enough proof yet? No matter how logical the argument is, they will disagree with it. They will evade the argument in numerous ways. They will attempt to go to another issue, so as not to have to reply to the argument. They will criticize you, the messenger, in an attempt to distract readers from the argument. They will only reply to the insignificant elements of your arguments, etc.

    They are part of the problem and over time they will be dealt with accordingly. Time always provides the truth and errant ideologies will always eventually meet their end.

    Nobody today takes Karl Marx seriously because not one of his theories ever panned out to be valid. Socialism doesn’t work for numerous reasons and the majority of those counties that hang on to these erroneous ideologies all end up eventually in the grave yard. Even the very best examples of social democracies are having severe problems. The worst, are plagued with death, destruction and continual political conflict.

    They do to want to know why, and they will never except a rational answer. They are fascists and they only want to place their political will on others by lies, force and coercion, if necessary. You have seen the level of malice in their comments. They do not care about the poor and less advantaged. That is a misdirect, just as the oligarchs mislead the masses into believing all the social memes they use as propaganda.

    It is however still good that we continue to tell the truth. Let’s just not get caught up in the trivia, malice and deception, they try to input into the debates.

  310. Elaine M.
    I think the parents who have children should sweep the floors or pay somebody else to do it. Should children have chores, of course, unless they’re of course the children of socialist parents and then they should not have to do anything to get a free lunch. It’s a civil right!!!!

    It is interesting that when we had less taxes and regulations in the country, it was not necessary to provide the poor kids a free lunch as their parents had enough money to feed their own children.

    Another example of what 50 years of various social programs has gotten us.

  311. davidm2575,

    But darlin’, they were your specific words … Most of my kids have expressed a keen interest in working at the age of 12. Told that the law forbids it, they get the message to forget about it.

    Since the law doesn’t forbid it, your kids got the wrong message. I then gave you 3 specific examples of 5 kids under the age of 14 whose parents understood the law and steered their children onto the work ethic learning curve.

    The example you used was intended to support your argument when, in fact, the example undercut your argument. Rather like the one you used about your mother-in-law going to her doctor every week for purely social reasons as a support for your argument against medicare only to be challenged as to whether or not you had reported her for medicare fraud.

    Like I’ve said over and over, if you didn’t exist, we’d have to invent you as a clear example of what passes for deep thinking in your world.

  312. And, davidm2575, I keep waiting for you to address the challenge Gene tossed into the ring regarding “government’s functionality in service of the social compact.”

    That should be a hoot.

  313. What world is that? Barsoom? No, no. Vulcan? Definitely not. Oo Oo Oo! Krypton? Nah!

    I got it! Giedi Prime.

    I always suspected David was not only from the unreal world, but royalty of that unreal world.

    I should have known he was a member of House Harkonnen by his politics.

  314. So let me see if I get this straight.

    According to some, children who are unable to pay for the full meal deal at the school need to work off the difference between that and the reduced or free lunch benefit. And, as a result being taught a good lesson in life.

    So essentially what they are asserting is that people by their birth and social status must perform work while others get lunch without work.

    That is exactly what the children will learn. This is why:

    Children, especially gradeschoolers, have no control over their parents’ income level. They are not wage earners that support a family. So essentially all children who come into a school are, from their point of view, equals since economics and earnings are not something each child can alter.

    Being forced to work for their lunch is akin to a corruption of blood which is unconstitutional. That is because the parents were not able to pay for the lunch, the students were forced to work for it. The children are not responsible for the wealth shortcomings alleged of their parents.

    Are their no prisons? Are there no workhouses?

  315. Gene,

    Sometimes known as the Oklahoma-coyote.

    (A Texas game warden came upon a coyote caught in a trap. He took out his cell phone and called the Oklahoma game warden and told him one of his coyotes was caught in a trap.” How do you know it’s one of our coyotes?” asked the Oklahoma game warden.” Well,” replied the Texas game warden, “He’s already chewed off three of his legs and he’s still trapped!”)

  316. Blouise,

    As the official goodwill Ambassador of Oklahoma here I resent that joke, but it’s funny as hell. :)

    One of the very great things about Oklahoma is were not Mississippi, Alabama or Georgia. lol.

  317. Some gals just don’t know what to do with a good prick let alone an internet prick.

    My wife, she’s pretty sharp, she thinks she’s figured it out, she stuck a vacuum cleaner in one hand & a bucket & a rag to scrub the walls in the other. :)

    ( I hope we can attempt semi clean humor here)

    Gnite.

  318. Oky1,

    My apologies and I did worry about your feelings a bit when writing the joke but Texas/Oklahoma was always the way I heard it. Given the fact that coyotes have managed to adapt to the environment in almost all states, any two states sharing a border would do, so feel free to amend.

    Off for Christmas travels so over and out.

  319. hskiprob 1, December 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Elaine M.
    I think the parents who have children should sweep the floors or pay somebody else to do it.

    *****

    Now…there’s logic for you. The parents don’t have enough money for food…but they should pay somebody to sweep the floors at their child’s school. Might as well put the school custodians out of work…while we’re at it

    Lots of adults work full time and are still poor. Yet, you and some others believe that there are millions of children living in poverty and millions of Americans who are struggling to keep their heads above water financially…because they’re a bunch of lazy losers.

    And let us all not forget that children are hungry and live in dire circumstances today only because of government regulation and taxes. Then why do so many conservatives complain that there are people in this country who don’t pay income taxes? They should hold those people up as their standard bearers!

  320. Darren:

    I think I was wrong about the children working for their lunch money. Upon further reflection, it is not their fault they are in poverty and they would probably be ridiculed by their peers.

    But I still think adults who receive welfare should do something within the community if it is only to help put groceries away for an elderly person.

  321. Elaine:

    I think people who work are barely able to keep their heads above water because of the economic incompetence of most of the people who make the laws regulating our economy. And of course the tax burden many people labor under.

  322. Skip wrote: “I’ve written on the impossibility of using logical arguments to affect people’s consciousness who are willfully ignorant. Have you not gotten enough proof yet? No matter how logical the argument is, they will disagree with it. They will evade the argument in numerous ways. They will attempt to go to another issue, so as not to have to reply to the argument. They will criticize you, the messenger, in an attempt to distract readers from the argument. They will only reply to the insignificant elements of your arguments, etc.”

    I see exactly what you are saying. It is rather frustrating. I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day, and he was talking about this. Do you have a link to your article or book on this subject?

  323. Elaine, Talk about logic. I cannot afford a maid, so I clean my own house. I cannot afford lawn care, so I cut and maintain my own lawn. If parents have children they cannot afford to educate, why can’t they trade services. That is one of the ways in which the real world works.

    It is the parents who are being irresponsible for having children they cannot afford to educate, so it is the parents who should be responsible for sweeping the floors. Let’s force other people who are being responsible to pay for those parents who are not; isn’t that the fascist’s dream society?

    However, if all children participated in sweeping the floors, no one would be ridiculed. We wouldn’t what our children to be ridiculed by their peers, would we? That would be bullying by the wealthy.

    I worked as a mechanic in a motorcycle shop in Reno NV, years back and every morning, every employee was required to help sweep the entire parking lot. It was in the desert, so blowing sands required this to be done.

    God forbid, we get people to work for what they receive in benefits.

  324. Blouise wrote: “But darlin’, they were your specific words … Most of my kids have expressed a keen interest in working at the age of 12. Told that the law forbids it, they get the message to forget about it.

    Since the law doesn’t forbid it, your kids got the wrong message. I then gave you 3 specific examples of 5 kids under the age of 14 whose parents understood the law and steered their children onto the work ethic learning curve.”
    ============

    Yes, my kids did get the wrong message, but it was a message conveyed by a law that DID forbid them to work at the jobs they wanted to work. Nothing in my words contradicted your life experience. I even mentioned that the law had many exceptions. The child labor laws are so complicated, it is impossible for a non-lawyer like myself to elucidate them in this forum.

    When my child tells me that they want to work at Publix grocery store, or another child says that she wants to work at Dairy Queen, I have to reveal to them that the law forbids them to work there. Yes, I can tell them that they can have a newspaper route (although in my rural community, they would need to be able to drive so that’s out) or babysit or mow lawns or whatever, but the fact that they cannot be hired at the company they want to work at is discouraging to them. The response is along the lines of, “Dad, I don’t want to mow lawns, I want to work at Publix. How can I do that?” They get the message from government that they are not suppose to pursue these kinds of jobs until they are older. It puts them in a waiting mode, a waiting on government to give them permission to work. It also conveys the opposite message of the American Dream. They get the message that they cannot pursue their dreams. You keep throwing my words back at me as if they say something they don’t say, but the facts are clear. You just keep looking at it superficially and are like an artist trying to paint a picture with a six inch wide brush. I don’t know how you can defend our archaic and ridiculous child labor laws.

  325. Darren, All people should learn that there is not such thing as a free lunch. The government did not even offer such a program when I was a child and I went to school with kids that where both much wealthier and much poorer than I.

    I don’t really want kids having to sweep the floors at school but if all the kids had to do it, it wouldn’t be terrible. I agree that you don’t want the poorer kids to sweep the floors while the wealthier kids do not have to.

    I think it would be good for the wealthier kids to sweep the floors while not making the poorer kids do it. It would teach them that this is what they are going to have to do for the rest of their life, so get used to it.

  326. Darren Smith wrote: “So essentially what they are asserting is that people by their birth and social status must perform work while others get lunch without work.”

    If children get a free lunch while others must pay, the same kind of unequal message results, that if your family is dysfunctional and poor, no worries, big nanny government will provide for you. If your family is not dysfunctional and poor, your success will be penalized by having to work hard to get the same thing, and more of what you do earn by hard work will be taken away from you.

    Darren, the solution here is to provide opportunity to work for everyone. Whether poor or not, everybody should have the opportunity to earn their lunch. Children should be taught that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That is the best message that can be conveyed.

    Also, students should be encouraged to share their lunch with others who don’t have one. Also, allow, teach and encourage children to buy lunches for their friends. Giving to your neighbor should be taught as a value.

  327. hskip:

    “I think it would be good for the wealthier kids to sweep the floors while not making the poorer kids do it. It would teach them that this is what they are going to have to do for the rest of their life, so get used to it.”

    Its all about diversity.

    I think the “wealthy” should then give money to the poor kids for lunch.

  328. skip,

    This is what you wrote:

    hskiprob 1, December 18, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Elaine M.
    I think the parents who have children should sweep the floors or pay somebody else to do it.

    *****

    I replied:

    Now…there’s logic for you. The parents don’t have enough money for food…but they should pay somebody to sweep the floors at their child’s school.

    *****

    Tell me, please, where the parents of children who receive free or reduced lunch because of their financial circumstances will get money to pay people to sweep floors in their children’s schools. And, by the way, how would you propose to make arrangements for outside help to come into school buildings to sweep floors when the schools already have custodial help?

  329. Some challenges of today’s world [52-75]
    No to an economy of exclusion [53-54]
    No to the new idolatry of money [55-56]
    No to a financial system which rules rather than serves [57-58]
    No to the inequality which spawns violence [59-60]
    Some cultural challenges [61-67]
    Challenges to inculturating the faith [68-70]
    Challenges from urban cultures [71-75]
    http://www.salon.com/2013/11/26/pope_francis_capitalism_is_a_new_tyranny/
    Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013 01:08 PM EST
    Pope Francis: Capitalism is “a new tyranny”
    “The culture of prosperity deadens us,” the pope writes in a document laying out the platform for his papacy
    Katie Mcdonough

    also video:

  330. DavidM:

    Progressives love the poor, its why they want to keep them poor. If there werent any poor, the progressives would have no reason for living/being.

    They have a vested interest in keeping people poor, it is the root source of their power.

  331. Bron,

    Oh, good grief. It’s many big corporations who like to pay their workers paltry wages…so they can make bigger profits. Why would they build factories in third world countries…if not for a cheaper work force there? And why do so many people who are employed by Wal-mart qualify for food stamps and Medicaid? Remember, too, that some of the folks on Wall Street still think greed is good.

    Blame the poor….blame the progressives…blame the liberals…blame the Democrats….blame the pope and the Catholic Church–all the while idolizing the ultra wealthy and corporate bigwigs who only care about themselves and/or their profits..

  332. Elaine M wrote: “why do so many people who are employed by Wal-mart qualify for food stamps and Medicaid?”

    This is just a mathematical effect of the fact that Walmart is the largest employer and the government is overly generous with these benefits. If the second largest employer had 100% of their employees on Medicaid and food stamps, Walmart would still beat them in having more people on food stamps and Medicaid. It is just too easy to pick on Walmart because of their size and high number of entry level positions for workers. We should be praising Walmart for employing so many, not tearing them down with silly, meaningless criticisms based more upon our government’s zealousness to give out free benefits than Walmart’s lack of providing high paying jobs.

  333. Elaine:

    I dont idolize the ultra wealthy. Many of them are progressives who work on Wall St and take money from the middle class.

    I shop at Costco and dont care much for Wal Mart. But Wal Mart has more than just entry level retail jobs, in fact they pay their warehouse people more than Amazon does.

    How come you arent b*tching about that? I bet if you had Wal Mart stock and had worked for them for 30 years you would have a nice retirment.

    An $8/hour job isnt meant to raise a family on, go get some skills and educate yourself, quit having babies and stay married. Just that small bit of advice will improve your financial position a great deal.

    This pope is a real POW. Jesus is weeping.

  334. Elaine:

    they pay their people paltry wages because of government regulations and tax requirements.

    Maybe if you people quit taxing the living bejabbers out of people they would have some money in their pocket and the economy would be better.

  335. Bron wrote: “This pope is a real POW. Jesus is weeping.”

    I think we have to cut Pope Francis a little slack because he grew up in Argentina where all the Nazi’s fled after World War II. That country has had a history of dictatorship in government with a lot of corruption. Pope Francis was right in the middle of all that and has not experienced the America that you and I have come to know and love.

    Furthermore, we do have to acknowledge that there is a force of nature working upon the wealthy that causes them to oppress the poor. This seems to me to be a self-evident fact. It is demonstrated by how most all our governmental leaders are wealthy and love to pass laws to oppress the rest of us. It seems to me that Pope Francis addresses this aspect, and perhaps he is just ignorant of the benefits of a capitalistic system because he has not lived in America where there are at least some remnants of that once great economic system.

  336. New Study Finds Wal-Mart’s Miserly Wages Cost Taxpayers
    (2004)
    http://www.ilsr.org/new-study-finds-walmarts-miserly-wages-cost-taxpayers/

    Excerpt:
    California taxpayers are spending $86 million a year providing healthcare and other public assistance to the state’s 44,000 Wal-Mart employees, according to a new study by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Industrial Relations.

    The study, “Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs,” found that the average Wal-Mart worker required $730 in taxpayer-funded healthcare and $1,222 in other forms of assistance, such as food stamps and subsidized housing, to get by.

    Even compared to other retailers, Wal-Mart imposes an especially large burden on taxpayers. Wal-Mart workers earn 31 percent less than the average for workers at large retail companies (more than 1,000 employees), the study found, and require 39 percent more in public assistance.

    *****

    New Data Show How Big Chains Free Ride on Taxpayers at the Expense of Responsible Small Businesses
    6/7/13
    http://www.ilsr.org/chains-walmart-foods-free-ride-taxpayers-expense-responsible-small-businesses/

    Excerpt:
    It costs the Old Town Bike Shop in Colorado Springs about $24,000 a year to provide health insurance for four employees, according to owner John Crandall. Meanwhile, his largest competitors, Walmart and Target, foist much of their health care costs onto taxpayers, according to new data released by Massachusetts, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

    By leaning on taxpayers, these chains are gaining an unfair financial advantage over more responsible businesses. “It’s disturbing,” said Crandall, who added that paying for health insurance was especially difficult last year when the shop didn’t turn a profit.

    Data published by the state of Massachusetts reveal that Walmart has 4,327 employees — approximately one-quarter of its workforce — enrolled in the state’s Medicaid program or one of two other publicly subsidized health insurance programs. Insuring these employees and their dependents costs taxpayers $14.6 million a year. Target has an even larger share — more than one-third of its Massachusetts workforce, or 2,610 people — enrolled.

  337. Bron says: Maybe if you people quit taxing the living bejabbers out of people they would have some money in their pocket and the economy would be better.

    No, they wouldn’t have any money in their pocket, they’d probably have none because any “extra” would be eaten up on tolls on roads that were not free, protection services because police were not free, and oppression, lost lives, and illness. Justice and fairness and protection from oppression would only go to the highest bidder, which means the wealthy would always win. Welcome to Plutocracy combined with rule by the smartest, baddest murdering psychopath in the country, your new King.

  338. >> Bron 1, December 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm <<

    Good stuff, both sides of these arguments are making very valid points.

    I wish I had time, but don't right now other then to say I don't believe people fully grasp just how harmful the FRS, Income Tax Scam, Govt Regs,Any/All withholdings from any workers paycheck are the USA economy.

    (Govt Regs: Yes Stop Signs are helpful, but don't deny the Regs that are not.)

    As it is now many potential employers like myself have no desire to participate in this USA govt scam, so I just took a good deal of my biz interest overseas.

    I wish it wasn't that way, but it is.

    MERS, Wallst Derivatives, AKA: No certainty of Private Property Title, Zero Ability to insist Business Contracts are Enforced.

    With issues above & others I find it shocking more young guys just don't turn total criminal if they wish to run any kind of business in this country.

    The only other choice they currently have is to move.

    I would have moved already, but to many family ties.

  339. Elaine: The solution is rather simple. Get back to full employment and employers will be forced to pay higher wages to get quality people.

    If you continue to tax productivity, surviving employers will however continue to be forced to take it from employees. Only the very strongest employers will survive and they will have their pick from millions to employ, with the ability to pay them low salaries because jobs are so scarce and people will except less. It’s not rocket science and really pretty simple math.

    We are almost giving these large companies monopoly powers because smaller businesses just can’t compete with the economy of scale that affords the larger companies.

    Look at how the size of government has grown over the last four decades, there are less and less small business and large businesses buying up everyone along the way and dominating their respective sectors. Large stores like WalMart, Kmart, Staples, Office Depo, Home Depo, and Costco have replaced multiple smaller businesses in their respective sectors. Only the very largest companies have the economies of scale to survive. Large companies and franchises now dominate most sectors of our economy. This is not caused by capitalism as many are led to believe. Quite to the contrary, it is just the opposite and sadly this is being done on purpose by the ruling oligarchy.

    They are using the vary concepts you believe in to mislead you and other into believing that they will improve the prosperity of the majority, when they are using these concepts just to gain more wealth. The ruling oligarchy, as you have seen from the Republican Party, do not want people like Ron Paul getting into power, promoting true capitalism and why they did almost everything they could to stop his campaign from being successful. The ruling oligarchs within the Republican Party lied, cheated and mislead the voters to stop Ron Paul from being nominated. Isn’t that interesting when he is a Laissez-faire conservative Republican. Have we not been misled by the Republican Party to believing that they are in favor of free markets. Obviously they are liars and hypocrites.

  340. hskiprob 1, December 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Elaine: The solution is rather simple. Get back to full employment and employers will be forced to pay higher wages to get quality people.

    *****

    You should be in Washington advising the President and Congress. And maybe you could explain, too, how we can get back all those manufacturing jobs that went overseas that paid workers a living wage. Isn’t it too bad that big businesses don’t pay their workers a living wage because we don’t have full employment. It’s not the fault of big business. They are just trying to keep their corporate heads above water. Companies like Wal-mart are barely making any profits. I hear that the Walton family is struggling.

    Things are just so simple. It’s too bad not everyone has the vision and insight that you do.

  341. Wal-Mart Says ‘Save Money Live Better,’ But Workers Don’t Make Living Wage And Rely On State Benefits
    By Christopher Harress
    on November 27 2013
    http://www.ibtimes.com/wal-mart-says-save-money-live-better-workers-dont-make-living-wage-rely-state-benefits-1487598

    Excerpt:
    So how much could Wal-Mart conceivably afford to pay?

    Stephen Gandel of CNN money recently calculated that Wal-Mart could afford to give its employees a 50 percent raise, to about $33,315, and still satisfy shareholders. This sounds insane from a shareholder’s perspective as it would lessen the dividend and perhaps the share price, but recent examples suggest otherwise. Three years ago Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) increased their staff salaries by 10 percent and the share price dipped before quickly recovering. Today it’s worth 60 percent more than before the raise.

    In addition, a little bit of Henry Ford wisdom may also come in handy to Wal-Mart. Ford was famous for paying his workers double the average American salary – why did he do this? Simple: He figured that if he paid his workers more money he would be able to retain the service of the most talented employees therefore resulting in a more efficient, quicker and satisfied workforce. He would also reduce the cost of repeatedly training new employees, ultimately lowering employee turnover and making his company more money. But more than that, Ford gave his workers spending power to buy his products, lifting them into the middle classes and giving them a socio-economic status rarely enjoyed by industrial workers in those days.

    There’s little doubt that Wal-Mart employees shop in their own stores because it’s cheap, but the recent food drive, which prompted employees to give food to other Wal-Mart employees, suggests that this may not be true. In addition, if Wal-Mart did raise its salary for employees it would relieve state and federal welfare, potentially diverting money back to vital public services.

  342. Walmart: America’s real ‘Welfare Queen’
    10/10/12
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/10/1141724/-Walmart-fuels-inequality-epidemic-taking-advantage-of-our-safety-net#

    Excerpt:
    Walmart, one of the richest corporations in the world, refuses to pay its employees a livable wage or provide any form of decent healthcare, increasing reliance on government assistance, and the need for a social safety net.

    At over $446 billion per year, Walmart is the third highest revenue grossing corporation in the world. Walmart earns over $15 billion per year in pure profit and pays its executives handsomely. In 2011, Walmart CEO Mike Duke – already a millionaire a dozen times over – received an $18.1 million compensation package. The Walton family controlling over 48 percent of the corporation through stock ownership does even better. Together, members of the Walton family are worth in excess of $102 billion – which makes them one of the richest families in the world.

    What is shameful is that CEO Mike Duke makes more money in one hour, than his employees earn in an entire year. Yet, Walmart – which employs millions of people in its stores, distribution centers, and warehouses – continues to abuse its employees and refuses to pay them a livable wage. The company has frequently been charged with wage theft claims by workers who point to the most common forms of wage theft: the refusal to pay proper overtime, the refusal to honor the minimum wage, and illegal paycheck deductions.

    Meanwhile, Walmart routinely blocks any attempt by workers to organize, using anti-union propaganda and scare tactics, firing employees without just cause, failing to provide any form of decent healthcare coverage or a livable wage.

  343. How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens
    By Barry Ritholtz
    Nov 13, 2013
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-13/how-mcdonald-s-and-wal-mart-became-welfare-queens.html

    Excerpt:
    It seems that welfare queens are back in the news these days. The old stereotype was an inner-city unwed mother — that’s dog-whistle-speak for black — having multiple babies to get ever bigger welfare checks (throw in a new Cadillac and the myth is complete). Regardless, welfare reform of the 1990s ended that narrative.

    No, the new welfare queens are even bigger, richer and less deserving of taxpayer support. The two biggest welfare queens in America today are Wal-Mart and McDonald’s.

    This issue has become more known as we learn just how far some companies have gone in putting their employees on public assistance. According to one study, American fast food workers receive more than $7 billion dollars in public assistance. As it turns out, McDonald’s has a “McResource” line that helps employees and their families enroll in various state and local assistance programs. It exploded into the public when a recording of the McResource line advocated that full-time employees sign up for food stamps and welfare.

    Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest private sector employer, is also the biggest consumer of taxpayer supported aid. According to Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, in many states, Wal-Mart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients. They are also the single biggest group of food stamp recipients. Wal-mart’s “associates” are paid so little, according to Grayson, that they receive $1,000 on average in public assistance. These amount to massive taxpayer subsidies for private companies.

    Why are profitable, dividend-paying firms receiving taxpayer subsidies? The short answer is, because they can. The longer answer is more complex and nuanced.

    Both McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are engaging in perfectly legal behavior. The system was set up long ago in ways that failed to imagine companies doing this. Yes, they are taking advantage of the taxpayer, but they are also operating within the law.

    Which means it is time to change those outdated rules.

  344. Elaine, You eluded to the thousands of companies that left for overseas but did not elude to the fact that hundreds of thousands of small and medium size companies have filed for bankruptcy and gone out of business in this country. I’m not talking about big business, I’m talking about small and medium size businesses that generates most jobs in a society.

    You’re talking about just the large multinational companies headquartered in this countries that derive much of their profits from overseas. If you set up a tax and regulatory code that allows businesses to take advantage of them, did you not expect them to do so.

    You missed my entire point, hopefully it wasn’t deliberate.

    I did find you conclusion that Government can create gobs. Sure they can, but not ones that are first, productive or second, can last longer than the shovel ready projects we have been funding for 5 years now. All that we have been doing is to provide government contractors with projects that once they’re done, they need another project to do. This doesn’t create long term sustainable jobs.

    We don’t have enough jobs in the country, because we have a government that places to much financial burden on small and medium sized businesses and the people and employees that run them. Big business can work on small percentages and still earn $billions in profits. It’s the economy of scale, I eluded to in my last post. Small and medium companies can not.

    All those who have started businesses in the country know what I’m talking about.

    You can continue to ignore the realities of the affects of excessive taxation and regulations, but that is a big mistake and one our society will continue to suffer from, especially the poor and middle class.

    Go on and try to legislate various means of trying to get the multi-nations to pay better, I actually have no problem with that. But it will not do nearly enough to transform our society back into the once great nation it was. If you put to much pressure on companies, they will just move offshore like thousands of others have done and take our jobs and give them to others.

    You cannot macro or micro manage a perfect world. Central planning has shown the world that it doesn’t work very well, yet we have not learned from our mistakes. We have the entire 20th century as our history book. We have gone from a predominately capitalist country in 1900 to a primary fascist country today. We weren’t perfect by any means then, but we have surely digressed by a significant amount and if we don’t change our course, what do you think is going to happen?

  345. Rafflaw – Shame on you. They may have lowered income taxes a bit for the rich but the overall tax rates on the rich are much higher today than most times in our history.

    I don’t really understand the infatuation with the rich and taxation amongst your fellow socialists. Even if you taxed them much harder, it would not put a dent in the various government budgets.

    Focusing on the irrelevant and ignoring the important.

  346. Tony C:

    I keep telling you I am not an anarchist. I also keep telling you that legitimate functions of government cost about 25-30% of our actual federal budget.

    We can cut taxes and reduce spending without putting children and old people into the street. Just roll back spending to 2008 levels and then reduce it 2-5% per year in real terms and in about 10 years problem is solved without hurting anyone.

  347. Gallup just came out w/ a startling poll that exceeds any previous. 72% of people think the Federal government is too big and has too much power, about double the % that think the same of big biz.

  348. hskiprob said: “Go on and try to legislate various means of trying to get the multi-nations to pay better…”

    Where in anything that I wrote on this thread did you get the idea that I want our government to try to legislate what they do in other countries? You have inferred something from my comments that I never implied. BTW, it’s not the nations that are paying the workers–it’s the multi-national corporations that pay the workers.

  349. Skip: small businesses generate jobs when they are successful, that is the nature of business. But most people (including me, at 22) do not have the experience or knowledge to successfully start a business. They think they do, and fail. I started two businesses (with offices, advertising, employees…) that failed before I managed to start a successful one; and as I found out later, my experience is not unusual, even Venture Capitalists only have about a 40% success rate (admittedly with much greater profits on a success).

    When businesses succeed they typically grow, and exponentially. I have seen companies grow 100 fold in a few years: From two people to two hundred people selling exactly one product (for a particular kind of business) in five countries. But things level out, eventually. Big businesses cannot grow like that, they are too massive.

    Small businesses create most of the jobs because, even though 70% (or more) of them are failures, the minority that succeed, that devise or stumble upon something that makes a true profit and satisfies customers as a good buy, have a huge society (even global) that is theirs to reap, as fast as they can. Replication is typically the easy part, all it takes is money to buy the expertise, labor and resources needed. Any competent MBA learns how to do that.

    Small businesses do not go out of business because of taxes or regulations. That shit’s easy. Hire a CPA and a lawyer: Problem solved. Small businesses go out of business because they aren’t selling enough to keep their doors open, and they have run through their capital. Because their idea, as beautiful as it sounded, sucks. Anybody that goes out of business, or can’t start a business, because taxes are too high or regulations are too expensive to meet shouldn’t BE in business, their idea is too close to the edge of failure anyway; they have no leeway for mistakes or miscalculations or to try any experiments with product development or marketing or personnel.

  350. Tony C.,

    “Small businesses do not go out of business because of taxes or regulations.”

    My husband has said the exact same thing to me. He helped start three different businesses. Providing his workers with topnotch health insurance didn’t put his companies in the red either.

  351. Elaine: Thanks. As usual, Skip doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    I should have added that the same thing goes for income taxes. They are only on profits, and if an owner cannot survive on their after-tax income, their business is worthless, they’d be better off folding and getting a job that pays more. Nobody goes out of business because their income tax is too much.

    What happens when they do? Instead of some income, they now have zero income! So they have to get a job, where they must also pay income taxes. If their take-home from that job is bigger than their take-home from their business, then folding it was the right thing to do, it wasn’t profitable enough to keep open. And if their take-home pay from the job is less than what they were getting with their business, then they should have kept it open, there was no reason to close it.

    High income taxes are never a reason to close a business, and anybody that claims higher income taxes are the reason they don’t want to expand or don’t want to continue is just an idiot or a liar avoiding blame for their own business incompetence and inability to make sales and grow.

  352. Bron, I might freak out if I get a call from Target starting w/, “Mr. Spinelli, about your Target credit card..”

  353. Having operated a small biz for 30 years, I KNOW they succeed and fail for a myriad of reasons. However, unlike large corporations w/ the money to buy politicians, small biz is always in an adversarial relationship w/ the government. The government are bullies and they love to pick on the little guys. I have taught my children that when you hear a politician, regardless of political affiliation, that they care for small businesses, they’re almost certainly lying.

  354. Bron: I would not freak out if the IRS called. Because I always pay my taxes on time without any dodge or shelter, my taxes are always professionally prepared and reviewed, and if the IRS did ever call me, I would refer them to my CPA and my business attorney, both of whom have decades of experience.

    In my businesses we keep separate and unlinked accounts for various taxes and fill them as the responsibility is incurred. If a business is so close to the edge it has to float on its taxes owed and hope to make enough more money to cover them before they come due, it is a loser. Raise the prices or shut it down and get a job.

  355. Nick says: small biz is always in an adversarial relationship w/ the government. The government are bullies and they love to pick on the little guys.

    That is complete bullshit. I have been involved in over 20 small businesses, as an investor, principle, or management level employee. And I mean very small, with under 20 employees; and I never regarded my relationship with the government as “adversarial,” and they never “picked on us.”

    In fact, in my earlier businesses (in my twenties) before I could afford a CPA, I went to the IRS and they helped me, for free, to fill out my tax returns and even found me deductions I did not know about. I had to wait a few hours to see somebody, but when I did I came away paying less than I thought I owed. Plus they never audited any return they helped me with.

    This is just more urban myth. They are only “adversarial” when greedy free-riders are trying to cheat on their taxes.

  356. I would love to visit Tonyville. Is it just outside Nirvana? 72% of the population of the USA say your take is complete bullshit. So, there’s that.

  357. Tony C. 1, December 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Nick says: small biz is always in an adversarial relationship w/ the government. The government are bullies and they love to pick on the little guys.

    That is complete bullshit.

    *****

    Once again, I agree with you, Tony. My husband’s businesses didn’t get picked on by the government–nor did my husband have an adversarial relationship with it. In fact, he did business with the government on a number of occasions. He didn’t experience any of the problems that we hear about so often by certain folks who comment on this blog.

  358. nick:

    can you give some examples? I must admit that I have had little trouble with the IRS, I actually have found them to be very professional and willing to help you if you have made a sincere error.

    I dont like paying taxes and only pay what I am legally obligated to pay. But you do have to pay what you owe until such time as the system changes.

    It isnt smart nor in your self interest to cheat on taxes, not that you do, since the down side is jail and confiscation of property.

    If you want to make 10 dollars per hour charge your clients 20/hour so you cover taxes and overhead. So companys/self employed peope really dont pay taxes, their customers do. Which is pretty much true for most companies. Even Tony made allusion to that by saying raise your rates if you are having a problem.

  359. Bron, I was never audited because I was above reproach. My wife was a Federal Probation officer and I would NEVER put her in a trick bag. I hired a top notch CPA and bookkeeper who guided me through all of the horseshit the IRS likes to pull. I had numerous problems w/ the State of Wi. on worker’s comp[even though I NEVER had a claim] and state inventory taxes and corporation filings. I also did work for the government[City and county] and turned it down as soon as I had enough private sector clients. Having the govt. as a client made attorneys, corporate and insurance company clients look good. I’ve written @ length previously how unprofessional and unethical many of my govt. clients were.

    Obviously, there are some Pollyanna’s who believe the government is their friend and helpful. They’re part of the elite 28%. As stated previously, a record 72% of people do not trust the government and look upon it as a hindrance in their lives[Gallup poll released today]. We all have different life experiences and perspectives. That’s what makes the world interesting. I read Pollyanna as a kid and thought it was horseshit. I prefer the realism of Huck Finn.

  360. Bron, There was a good article in Forbes from last summer[August?] that covered quite well how the IRS targets small biz. The AP also had a report recently showing the same practices. Just Google and you’ll find plenty of articles showing how the IRS likes to bully small biz. They’ve ALWAYS picked on small restaurants and diners. Our family restaurant got audited about once every 4-5 years and NEVER was any discrepancy found.

  361. **Elaine M. 1, December 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Tony C. 1, December 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Nick says: small biz is always in an adversarial relationship w/ the government. The government are bullies and they love to pick on the little guys.

    That is complete bullshit.

    *****

    Once again, I agree with you, Tony. My husband’s businesses didn’t get picked on by the government–nor did my husband have an adversarial relationship with it. In fact, he did business with the government on a number of occasions. He didn’t experience any of the problems that we hear about so often by certain folks who comment on this blog.
    **

    Sorry Elaine/Tony, ET Al,

    I call bull sheeet on you guys!!!

    I’m not in the salvage biz, but as a recent example of complete abuse of Govt authority Oklahoma, Just like so many other govt bodies passed a new law that went affect this year with I don’t know how Constitutional violations in it because I stopped counting after 8 or 10.

    A couple of just completely Outrageous violations, 1st the govt illegally claims the Right to violate the owner’s 4th Amd Right & Search his Premises anytime they wish, for any reason, “”Without an Ph’in Warrant!”

    That is Nazi type crap which is Govt sponsored Tyranny under the Threat of Violence By the State against the Citizen!

    So your people’s argument is a lost cause just on that point.

    2nd, more Govt Sponsored Tyranny, the govt claims illegally that people in this state engaged in that type biz can & will be denied Due Process by claiming the State’s Right to force the biz owner to surrender to the authority of an Administrative Court.

    No way in hell do I believe anyone should ever submit to an Administrative Court of Farse without a fight!

  362. Oky,

    It’s up to you whether you accept as fact what Tony and I have said. You have not had the same business experiences that my husband and Tony have had. Don’t accuse people of spreading “bullsheeet” when you don’t know whereof you speak. I take exception to your accusation that I’m not telling the truth!

  363. Elaine M.

    I like a lot of what you post & many of your views but I feel strongly you might consider some of the work from your past post which highlight “Experts” in the fields which they discuses.

    Every Biz Owner, current/Past & every citizen is currently/has been being Abused by govt!!!

    If you & others do not fully grasp the work & words of Professor William K Black, which I respect & you’ve posted, or people such as the lawyers surrounding Livinglies.wordpress.com & the meaning of “Fraud”, the multiple types, ie; Control Fraud, then I suggest you revisit those people’s work.

    I think it completely insane people put up with that on going Govt/Wallst (Derivative..Obamacare) Fraud another hour.

    Yet they do & that’s Bull Sheeet!

  364. Oky,

    When I speak from my life experience and that of my husband, I speak the truth. You may choose not to accept what I say as fact. There’s nothing that I can do about that.

    When have I ever suggested that we should put up with what is going on on Wall Street? And what the heck does what is going on on Wall Street have to do with what my husband experienced as a small business owner?

  365. Elaine M.,

    Because what he & others knowing/unknowingly put up with affects everyone, their lives, health, titles to private property, private contracts & the value of ever thing.

    Maybe the people of Walmart are to foolish to use the internet to organize themselves & take action without the Teamsters/AFL/CIO, but that’s their ignorance not mine yet that affects us all.

    People may willing/knowingly put up with thieves stealing from them at the local, (ie;Wallst Banks/Insurance co’s, but you will not make me like it one bit.

  366. Repost:

    Elaine M.,

    Because what he & others knowing/unknowingly put up with affects everyone, their lives, health, titles to private property, private contracts & the value of ever thing.

    Maybe the people of Walmart are to foolish to use the internet to organize themselves & take action without the Teamsters/AFL/CIO, but that’s their ignorance not mine yet that affects us all.

    People may willing/knowingly put up with thieves stealing from them at the local, (ie;Wallst Banks/Insurance co’s, but you will not make me like it one bit.

  367. With many kids they are told repeatedly not to stick their hand in the fire, it will burn you.

    Regardless if the didn’t hear correctly or ignored the warnings they became believers that fire will burn them only after putting their hand in the fire.

    Professor William K Black talked himself blue in the face warning people, Livinglies website & Thousands of other have warned as I have.

    So yes, I’m frustrated people are still unable to comprehend or maybe unwilling to admit to themselves the truth.

  368. Sorry Elaine,

    One response to your post is still hung in the “Tyranny of Govt against 1st Amd Freespeech because of certain keywords I notice always seem to hang their govt filters..

  369. Oky1: I guess it depends on what they are searching for, but I use a law firm very well known within my city, and they are on speed dial. If the law says I have to let them search, I will let them search. That might be worth a court challenge on 4th amendment grounds, but it is not abusive for cops or city officials to cite existing law and perform in accordance with it while trying to do their jobs.

    That is like claiming incarcerating child pornographers is abusive, or handcuffing thieves and taking away the property the stole is abusive. Public officials doing their job is not abusive. If anybody is guilty of abuse in the case you describe, it is the politicians (local or national) passing a law in violation of the Constitution; but that is above the pay grade of police, IRS auditors, health inspectors, fire inspectors, and other non-elected officials.

    There is a big difference between politicians setting laws and non-elected civil servants doing their job. The former have discretion, the latter typically have little. The non-elected can certainly engage in abuse, both of their authority and of citizens, we see cops flout the law and engage in brutality all the time. But as a successful businessman I have not found the IRS to be either bullies or abusive.

    Being audited is not abuse; being assessed with penalties is not typically abuse, those are law enforcement. I think some of the taxes are logically unfair, inequitable, and counter-productive. But the IRS personnel I have dealt with do not make the rules, and I am not stupid enough to blame them for doing the job they were hired to do. Blame elected politicians that (by design) do not answer to anybody, they are your culprits.

  370. I agree with all of that Tony except for the last sentence The pols answer to the few who benefit from a tax code designed to create barriers for competition and minimize or eliminate taxes on the monied corporations or (worse) pay companies subsidizes out of tax dollars.

  371. Oky1 1, December 19, 2013 at 10:18 pm

    Elaine M.,

    Because what he & others knowing/unknowingly put up with affects everyone, their lives, health, titles to private property, private contracts & the value of ever thing.

    *****

    What is it that “he” has put up with that has caused all these problems for everyone else? Paid his taxes? Have done business with the government? Lived by the rules? What are you suggesting he should have done?

  372. Bron: If you want to make 10 dollars per hour charge your clients 20/hour so you cover taxes and overhead. So companys/self employed peope really dont pay taxes, their customers do. Which is pretty much true for most companies. Even Tony made allusion to that by saying raise your rates if you are having a problem.

    It is a mistake and false attribution to claim all taxes are being paid by any given group and not others. The economy is a cycle. If I pass my expenses on to customers, that can cost me money in lost sales; so I pay the tax indirectly. If it doesn’t, the customers (eventually) demand more money from their employers to support a more expensive lifestyle, and their employers “pay the taxes.” Then my customers employers raise their prices, and they lose money and their customers (including me) are paying the taxes.

    Your claim is equivalent to putting a red dot on a wheel and claiming that point on the tire is doing all the work. The vast majority of employees do not work for their gross pay, they look at their take-home pay and what they can buy with it. If taxes go up, they demand more pay, putting the burden back on employers, so businesses pay there, or pay higher prices for supplies or services, etc. Economic activity pays the taxes. Profits pay the taxes. Those are the only attributions that make any sense; the whole wheel does the work.

    In a real business run by a professional, both prices and production are set pretty close to whatever level produces the maximum profit. You could maximize sales by selling at cost, but earn no profit. You can also set the price so high that you have zero sales, and earn no profit. Between those two prices (at cost and too expensive) profits will rise and then fall; there is a price that is the peak of profit. It does not maximize sales (that is the at-cost option) and it does not maximize margin (that is the point where the offering is so expensive it garners only one sale).

    This is true of all businesses; the shape of the curve may differ by product, and change shape with time for a given product, but there is a curve for all products, from Flour to Rolexes. And what it means is that if you are a good steward of your business and your price is already at that peak, then moving in either direction is going to reduce your profits. Which would reduce net income and have the same effect as paying the higher taxes.

    When I say raise your price if you are having a problem, that is not so much to pass the cost on to the customer, but to move you toward the peak of your curve. But some curves are better than others, because some business offerings are more desired than others. If your business sucks, then the peak profit is not worth the work.

    A well run business cannot raise its price without changing their profit picture. Most small businesses run by novices unaware of pricing theory err on the side of pricing too low. Because higher prices cause complaints or lost sales and they get irrationally alarmed by dissatisfaction. So they psychologically tend toward thinning their margins to what they think is emotionally justifiable. Then, any complaints can be seen (by them) as unreasonable, they comfort themselves with the knowledge that the complainers just don’t understand the costs and labor involved.

    That is a business error. Businesses should periodically find an excuse to test their prices and move toward peak profit. In a restaurant, for example, that can be done pretty easily by increasing the margin on seasonal dishes, and seeing how that affects sales. Nobody expects the prices from last summer to be the same this summer; and the measure is not the number of sales or whether people complain but the net profit of the dish. The chef can also introduce new main menu dishes with higher margins, and see how they perform.

    Analogous moves can be taken in other businesses; that is the point of experimentation with products, pricing, and marketing. Understanding where you reside on your particular curve is important, you need to be able to make rational informed judgments about changing your pricing. If taxes go up, you need to know which combination of moves (paying the tax, raising prices) reduces your net profit the least. If you are at peak profit then either choice will cost you something, so you really do pay the tax somehow. Unless your business is mismanaged, you cannot pass 100% of that cost on to customers, or employees, or suppliers. Your profits will be reduced.

  373. Gene: Well yeah, corrupt politicians answer to their owners. That was an overstatement by me anyway; even politicians theoretically answer to the people and the courts.

    But officially speaking, elected persons like Congressmen, Senators, Mayors, even City Council do not have a “boss” except the polls. In most cases they can be impeached for crimes, but typically cannot be fired for failing to perform; they typically have no defined duties or even attendance or voting requirements. A Senator can be in a long term coma and still hold his office until election day. And theoretically, be re-elected.

  374. We are back to the same basic system flaw, an axis which unless broken perpetuates itself, corruption and a lack of accountability. Since the problem is systemic, the fix is too. It’s not less government or smaller government either. It’s appropriately designed and tasked government which is functionality in service of the social compact; pursuing maximal mutual benefit in exchange for the rights limited from the state of nature by the social compact itself.

  375. Ok, I’m writing, let us start at the top.

    We’re discussing the below related issues & if it’s BS or not:

    **Elaine M. 1, December 19, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Tony C. 1, December 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Nick says: small biz is always in an adversarial relationship w/ the government. The government are bullies and they love to pick on the little guys.

    That is complete bullshit.

    *****

    Once again, I agree with you, Tony. My husband’s businesses didn’t get picked on by the government–nor did my husband have an adversarial relationship with it. In fact, he did business with the government on a number of occasions. He didn’t experience any of the problems that we hear about so often by certain folks who comment on this blog.
    **

    So we’re going to opening the book up that explains the definition of BS in the situation above.

    We start with the “Objective” , The Declaration of Independence.

    That document explains what the people of this nation are trying to build.

    Then we have the “Blueprint” of the directions of how we go about installing the pieces together to build the “Objective”, that is the US Constitution & most importantly it’s “Preamble to the Bill of Rights” & the “Bill of Rights” themselves.

    The “Preamble to the Bill of Rights” & the “Bill of Rights” explains to us the definition we must use in determining just what is “Abuse of Government Authority.”

    And the Preamble to the Bill of Rights displays close to/ or those vary words.

    The issue here is has Elaine’s Husband or TonyC ever suffered any “Abuse of Government Authority” while conducting their business. They claim they didn’t, I claim they did.

    Proving they both suffered at least one Abuse of Govt Authority, which thus makes my case, is very easy.

    Consider the 5th Amendment:

    **

    Amendment V

    [ This is the text of the Fifth Amendment. For an explanatory article, see our Wex page]

    No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. **

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fifth_amendment

    Now I’m sure Elaine’s husband & TonyC both, every year, signed the USA Income Tax Form just as my wife & I do.

    The point is that the 16th Amendment is a direct Abuse of Govt Authority as proven by the 5th Amendment.

    That under Abuse of Govt Authority, the govt threatens us all with violence & injury if we refuse to comply to their abuse. So most of us Comply under that direct Threat of harm against us, just as Elaine’s husband & TonyC, (likely), did.

    And if you take the time to consider what “Right” the 5th Amendment is giving us you can read the words: “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,”

    Yet the 16th Amd, under Color of Law, compels us to surrender our 5th Amd “Right” & sign the Govt tax form.

    My case is made that Elaine’s husband & TonyC suffer Abuse of Govt Authority.

  376. If you’d like to explore some of the issues above from a different prospective I’d suggest this video below if you’ve not seen it already:

  377. ** Oky1 1, December 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm **

    **
    I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is.

    MERS, Wallst Derivatives, AKA: No certainty of Private Property Title, Zero Ability to insist Business Contracts are Enforced.

    With issues above & others I find it shocking more young guys just don’t turn total criminal if they wish to run any kind of business in this country.

    The only other choice they currently have is to move. **

    I’m sure everyone remembers Professor Turley’s & others recent testimony in front of The House Judiciary Committee on Obama’s/GW (Nazi) Bush’s Imperial Presidencies.

    One of the other lawyers mentioned that the open criminality & lawlessness of the Executive Branch & Regulatory Agencies would cause the public to also just become open criminals.

    To my 1:43 comments in regards to youth & criminal enterprise I find it concerning of the general population’s reaction to overwhelming evidence of DC/Wallst Banks/Insurance co’s open criminality.

    DC polecats & Wallst Banks/Insurance co’s are now openly in Public shouting from the roof tops they are breaking the law, cheating the Citizens, “We the People” & they don’t give a damned if we know it.

    What caused me to write a few thoughts on this subject was the continued general response by some to these issues:

    “Well, we got our piece of the pie so why should we be concerned about official corruption we barley understand anyway.”

    WK Black noted that in this current economic depression that the corrupt Wallst firms were 70 times worst then the Savings & Loans Crises back in the 80s/90’s. And those WK Black comments are around 2 years old & the problems have only gotten worst. Since then it seems he has stopped commenting in public as much.

    What’s of interest to me is WK Black is a professional & put somewhere between 1200 & 1500 Bank/Insurance Criminal Trash in prison over the S&L crises. And if Bill wasn’t able to make the public fully understand why they should give a sheeet & how it directly affects them, well then how can anyone else expect to explain it to the public/business?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_K._Black

  378. Gene H wrote”
    “It’s appropriately designed and tasked government which is functionality in service of the social compact; pursuing maximal mutual benefit in exchange for the rights limited from the state of nature by the social compact itself.”

    “Appropriately designed” is the significant element of his statement.

    The world has been trying to do this for at least six thousand years that we know of.

    And who are going to design this functional system? Special interest groups such as teachers unions, labor unions, oil and gas companies, Monsanto, big pharma, the central banksters, military contractors, the Association of Realtors, the gambling industry, drug cartels, commercial agricultural interests, the poor and disenfranchised, the middle class, The league of Cities, the Chamber of Commerce etc. etc. etc?

    Perhaps they will all get together as one big happy family and write laws that protect individual rights instead of legislation that gives certain groups advantage and/or benefits over others?

    It is apparently to much to ask people to do what is in the best interest of the majority, rather than looking out for our own self interest.

    They then look at the poor and go well, lets tax the rich and we will give that money to the poor. They then say, well lets tax everyone so the poor and middle classes can have free education. We than must tax everyone to set up a military defense system. We then must tax everyone to set up a judicial system. We then must tax everyone to build jails and prisons and a police force to enforce it, We than must tax everyone to protect the commercial lobster fisherman, to curtail private recreational divers from harvesting to many lobsters, We must than tax everyone to subsidies farming interest to keep food cheap. Eventually we get right back to where we are today, with government revenues going to the special interest that kicks back the political system the most causing $100,000,000,000 presidential campaigns and politicians that are lying about how they are going to make the system better, to get elected.

    And people actually believe them!!!!!!

    Government is not the solution, it cannot be as it is antithetic to both human nature and individual liberty. The use of force and coercion against honest people has never worked for prolonged periods of time. Is not slavery and millenniums of military imperialism by the world’s greatest fascist nations evidence of the “beast” that governments create. The Romans, Spartans, British, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, North Vietnamese and Koreans, Japanese, and lets not forget the Americans etc. etc. etc.

    As just one example, It does not take taxation to have a well armed society that can defend against foreign invasion. It does take a standing military to be imperialistic.

  379. If there is a shred of doubt that the world is totally insane, this will remove it.
    This says it all….
    Pythagoras’ Theorem.…………………………24 words.
    The Lord’s Prayer……………………………………66 words.
    Archimedes’ Principle…………………………………67 words.
    The Ten Commandments……………………………….179 words.
    The Gettysburg Address………………………………………286 words.
    The US Declaration of Independence………………………..1,300 words.
    The US Constitution with all 27 Amendments……………………7,818 words.
    EU Regulations on the sale of Cabbages………………………26,911 words

    The Obamacare statutes together contain 425,116 words.

    1,147,271 Words of Obamacare Regulations

  380. Ole Gene doesnt seem to understand that government is supposed to protect our rights not trample them.

    He also doesnt seem to understand that large organizations become tyrannical in their nature due to the size. They need rules and regulations and methods of doing things which naturally impact other people’s liberty.

    A large corporation has nowhere near the power of large government.

  381. Oky: That under Abuse of Govt Authority, the govt threatens us all with violence & injury if we refuse to comply to their abuse. So most of us Comply under that direct Threat of harm against us, just as Elaine’s husband & TonyC, (likely), did.

    More complete bullshit. I do not refrain from harming others because there is punishment for harming others, I am not a psychopath or sociopath that is only deterred by the threat of violence.

    I pay my taxes in full and without dodge because I believe in taxation; I believe I have a responsibility to others in society, I believe that without the many protections funded by taxation my net worth and my income would be on par with the median citizen in a third world country, namely near zero, and therefore my society, both in the USA and in many cases the world at large, is my collaborative partner in all my money-making enterprises, and deserves a fair share of my profits.

    When I am partners with others in a business enterprise (and have been many times, and I am seriously examining four new such collaborations this year alone), I do not begrudge them their fair share, and if I am approving the checks I never even consider the fact that they could SUE me for their fair share and collect it with police by violence.

    Law breaking is punished by violence when necessary. I have no more sympathy for you feeling you have to pay taxes at gunpoint than I would have sympathy for a burglar surrendering at gunpoint. Those taxes are not YOUR money, they are a debt you owe for the use of our infrastructure, laws, and the protections you receive that you refuse to acknowledge.

  382. Skipples,

    “Perhaps they will all get together as one big happy family and write laws that protect individual rights instead of legislation that gives certain groups advantage and/or benefits over others?”

    Or perhaps We the People can demand – not ask – that money be removed from the electoral and legislative processes so that Congress does the job as originally designed.

    “It is apparently to much to ask people to do what is in the best interest of the majority, rather than looking out for our own self interest.”

    Said the Objectivist. It’s not too much to ask. You just have to ask the right people. Our current electoral processes which are nothing more than formalized graft attract the wrong people.

    Then you blather on about taxing and spending (and the general welfare although you don’t phrase it that way) in such a manner that shows either you haven’t read or don’t understand the Constitution (probably both).

    “Government is not the solution, it cannot be as it is antithetic to both human nature and individual liberty.”

    The absence of government is anarchy. As I said before, that is a binary, simplistic, uneducated position and desired only children, crazy people, simpletons, those who have not actually seen how thin the veneer of civilization actually is and the consequences when that thin line collapses. I’ve seen what happens first hand when government fails and humans are left to their own devices after Katrina, Skipples. Here’s a hint: it isn’t the Libertarian utopia you think. It’s chaos.

    Government, laws and regulation are necessary to maintain a civilization of any size. Without them limiting behaviors and encouraging others, humans would eat each other. Governments evolved out of two drivers in ancient history: size of the civilization and disasters/disaster mitigation. Laws and government – when functioning and designed maximally – reflect the mutual restraints and encouragements contained within the social compact. We are the only self-predatory species. We will prey upon each other without social restraints.

    It’s our true nature.

    The buffoons who think “well it’d all be hunky-dory if we had absolute liberty” are arguing from a fantasy understanding of human nature. Individuals are capable of great acts of intellect, self-restraint and compassion. Our species as a whole? Not so much. History and psychology tell me so. Government and laws are necessary. There is no society of scale without them.

    The metric of a government’s success in living up to the social compact isn’t size or number of laws and regulations.

    It’s functionality in service of the social compact. It is maximal mutual benefit in exchange for the rights limited from the state of nature by the social compact itself.

    That has always been the proper metric of government function.

    That will always be the proper metric of government function.

    That you don’t understand either human nature in any realistic fashion or understand the nature of civilization as it relates to the social compact is your intellectual failing as evidenced by ignorant statements like “Government is not the solution, it cannot be as it is antithetic to both human nature and individual liberty.”

    Government is a machine. It is what we collectively make it. However, keeping it a democracy and responsive to our rather explicit social contract is a never ending job that requires both a properly educated and vigilant populace. The Founders knew this. Whether there great experiment in making government for the people by the people is a success in the long term or a failure remains to be seen. It’s success is not aided by the simplistic view that government can be done away with.

    Take your simplistic view on standing armies. There are two kinds of army. Either one that adopts a defensive posture with a footprint geared to that task or one that is expansionist with a consequently larger footprint. The former is a necessity of the modern world where other countries who have standing armies could be a legitimate threat that would simply kick the shit out of a militia based system. The later? That’s the kind of military Jefferson warned about. If you want to eliminate waste in government? The place to start isn’t social programs. It’s military spending that funds wars of adventure in the name of private profits of companies like Exxon and Halliburton and oil and oil services families like the Bush and Cheney clans and props up the unnecessarily bloated and self-important MIC.

    Making government work for the common good and the general welfare is the core duty of our social compact along with the usurpation of tyranny. I know this because the Declaration and the Constitution tell me so.

    But government and laws are necessary.

    If you think otherwise, Somalia calls for you.

    You’d be begging to come back to civilization in a week.

    If you live that long.

  383. **More complete bullshit. I do not refrain from harming others because there is punishment for harming others, I am not a psychopath or sociopath that is only deterred by the threat of violence. **

    I’m not sure what you are addressing with the above comment.

    What I was addressing was that it is the Govt that makes threats of Violence against Citizens everyday & do in fact commit acts of Violence against the citizens everyday.

    You may not recognize that you/citizens were/are threated with violence by the govt but we are.

  384. ** Law breaking is punished by violence when necessary. I have no more sympathy for you feeling you have to pay taxes at gunpoint than I would have sympathy for a burglar surrendering at gunpoint. Those taxes are not YOUR money, they are a debt you owe for the use of our infrastructure, laws, and the protections you receive that you refuse to acknowledge. **

    Tony C,

    ** What’s of interest to me is WK Black is a professional & put somewhere between 1200 & 1500 Bank/Insurance Criminal Trash in prison over the S&L crises. And if Bill, (William K Black), wasn’t able to make the public fully understand why they should give a sheeet & how it directly affects them, well then how can anyone else expect to explain it to the public/business? **

    You are currently helping make my point that some of you can not understand or appreciate what William K Black was warning you of so what more could I say.

    He’s far better with words & issues of law then I.

  385. Oky,

    How did you get to the subject of government violence against citizens from our discussion about two people addressing their experiences with the government while running a small business?

  386. Oky,

    We CAN understand what William K. Black did regarding the Savings and Loan crisis. That doesn’t mean people can’t also understand how to run a small business in this country. Are you suggesting that no one should own a small business in this country because there are criminals working on Wall Street/for banks?

  387. Elaine M. 1, December 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm ,

    Anyone running a small business or be they just a citizen are currently threatened with violence by the govt, through unconstitutional, illegal laws/regs if the Biz/Citizen doesn’t allow the govt to violate the Biz/citizens Constitutional “Rights”.

    I cited 2 cases of the many “Rights” being currently violated by the govt, the 4th & the 5th.

    And haven’t even addressed the govt’s illegal spying.

  388. Bron,

    You are focusing on size. Which – again – is not the appropriate metric. For example: the ACA. The flaw with the ACA is not its size. The flaw with the ACA is that it is a half measure that only partially addresses the underlying social problem while artificially propping up the profits of the failed (in the sense it fails the social compact) business model that is for profit health care insurance. It is a “solution” that is not properly designed to accomplish the actual properly defined goal. By analogy, it’s a band-aid where stitches are required that provides a captive market and artificially sustained profits to the band-aid suppliers.

    Oky,

    Laws only work in combination with enforcement – a coercive element to those who would break the law. Laws without consequences (which happen to come in the form of some kind of penalty, by nature a form of coercion) to back them up are suggestions.

  389. **Elaine M. 1, December 20, 2013 at 1:33 pm **

    .** That doesn’t mean people can’t also understand how to run a small business in this country. **

    WK Black, among other things, explains how through “Regulatory Capture” the Wallst/City of London Banks/Insurance co’s have & continue to have the govt aid/abet them using law enforcement/courts/congress to steal/defraud small businesses/citizens.

    Yet none of the major players are even charged with a crime let alone sent to prison as the Nation of Iceland recently did with their corrupt banks/insur scum.

    **Are you suggesting that no one should own a small business in this country because there are criminals working on Wall Street/for banks? **

    If a rancher was watching cattle thieves steal his cattle right in front of his eyes do you think maybe he should stop what he’s doing long enough to stop the cattle thieves?

    Or maybe the rancher should ignore the cattle thieves, go visit the relatives for Christmas dinner & follow the govt authorized propaganda & only discuss Gay Rights vs Rednecks at Duck Dynasty?

    Elaine, I can assure that rich kid that got drunk & killed 4 is absolutely nothing compared to the death, injury & harm those banks/Insur co’s have/& are harming.

  390. davidm2575,

    The Koch brothers contrubite to those causes so they can claim that they are sharing the wealth, helping those less fortunate and drive attention away from their unethical political influence. They lobby to block corporate regulations that protect consumers in order to gain MORE MONEY for themselves (as if they don’t have enough money already).

    The Koch brothers are also some of the biggest polluters of our lands in the United States – they lobby for policy that will allow their corporations to pollute our water and environment at the expense of everyone elses health.

    So David2575, WHAT ABOUT THAT??????? Yeah, they seem like real caring people.

  391. Oky1,
    As you know, the CFTC announcement although extremely important is just one of many underlying macro-economic problems facing America. Sadly it fly’s over the head of the majority, which may be a good thing, rather than panic them. I just learned a year ago or so that the CFTC was, at the very least, complicit in the silver pump and dump scheme the Hunt brothers were involved with in the early 1980’s.

    People and groups have tried pressing charges against some of the individuals at the CFTC. Nope, not gonna happen at least not yet even though there is evidence they are involved in various market manipulations.

  392. Oky1: If a rancher was watching cattle thieves steal his cattle right in front of his eyes do you think maybe he should stop what he’s doing long enough to stop the cattle thieves?

    Yet more bullshit. As Elaine explained, we ‘ranchers’ do not detect any cattle theft, so why should we stop what we are doing in order to stop your imaginary cattle thieves?

    As a ‘rancher’ I am quite capable of reading the national budget, the state budget, the county budget and the city budget, and in every case I conclude that while some fraud and abuse is present, sometimes enough to make me angry, the vast majority of the budget is spent on necessities with which I agree.

    Retailers have problems with breakage, shoplifting, employee theft and fraud (collectively and euphemistically called ‘shrinkage’). That is a cost of doing business. It doesn’t mean you stop doing business; it means you take what precautions you can and grow a thicker skin so you can put up with it.

    Metaphorically speaking, your solution is apparently to burn the mall to the ground to prevent shoplifting. That might work, but your idiotic “solution” is far worse than the problem.

  393. TonyC,

    I don’t see anything I can add to the conversion at this time.

    I see by your comments your position reads you support leaving criminals in charge running the govt/major financial institutions, international terrorist/drug dealers/murders, etc., & you don’t mind the abuse or the taxes you pay going to support them.

    Myself on the other hand don’t support most anything you are supporting, so we disagree.

    As always the readers/viewers will make up their own minds by looking at the material presented.

  394. Davidm2575,

    you wrote “Kochs who have no formal obligation whatsoever to get involved in politics and to give back to the community by supporting the arts, the sciences, and education but they do it anyway out of their own sense of personal obligation, then I would have to ask you: Why do they do all these good things? It costs them but gives them nothing back in return except hatred from those on the opposite side of the political aisle.”

    The Kochs have much to gain by “doing all these good things”. They get tax breaks for it. It provides the facade that they need to distract from the the millions of dollars they give to the GOP so that their companies can continue to get huge tax breaks and continue to pollute the earth without consequences.

    If supporting the arts, education and science is such a good thing to do – then why isn’t providing social services considered to be a good thing to do as well? Isn’t the health of human beings more important than art? So, why don’t they support social services to help their fellow human beings if they are such good people? Why do they lobby to block policy that will protect our environment and consumers? Why do they contunue to pollute the US – and why are they not held accountable for the pollution they have caused?

    If they truely want to give back to the community, how about ensuring that Americans can afford to see a doctor when they are ill? How about stopping the pollution that is causing cancer and contaminating our water supply? Maybe they think art is more important than human lives.

  395. Oky1 says: I don’t see anything I can add to the conversion at this time.

    I don’t see anything you can add, either, so we agree on that.

    And tolerating some level of inefficiency, corruption, or self-serving behavior going on in any large organization, even one with just thousands of people, is not an endorsement of it, it is an acceptance of reality and the rational weighing of alternatives. We recognize there is more work to do.

    But instead of contributing to that, you feel free to waste your life on pointless fevered fantasies, we progressives will do our best to make sure you have food, shelter, safety, education and health care and the freedom to express your angry resentment of all that.

  396. KimInTexas – wrote about the Kochs, “If they truely want to give back to the community, how about ensuring that Americans can afford to see a doctor when they are ill? How about stopping the pollution that is causing cancer and contaminating our water supply? Maybe they think art is more important than human lives.

    Kim, I’m near or at the poverty level as are many Americans, yet I do not want something for nothing nor do I think I deserve to have the richer people in society pay for my illnesses if I become sick. I wish to take the money I earn and spend it as I see fit on my healthcare and insurance.

    Everyone who has electricity in their homes, drive cars, take airplane trips, drink public water, have public sewers and buy just about any product today, all contribute to pollution. Matter of fact, government and the military industrial complex produce more pollution than all others combined.

    Why do you just want to blame it on the rich guys? Bill Koch just built a High School here in Florida. Why don’t you see how many of your socialist comrades you can get together and do something relevant as that, in stead of moping around whining about not getting things for free.

  397. Skip says: I’m near or at the poverty level

    If that is true, I suspect it is because of your inability to comprehend the fact that you are being exploited by the rich people. Those of us capable of that comprehension blame the rich because they are to blame, exploitation is the #1 way to GET rich, and refusing to support any real alleviation of exploitation is the #1 to stay rich.

    I have answered why we blame the rich. If you are not one of them, your defense of them is some sort of Stockholm Syndrome, akin to reverence for a King or Emperor that claims Divine Rights.

  398. Tony C. I love the way in which you and the progressives are going insure that I have food, clothing and shelter. Thank you, I feel much better about myself and my future now.

    Boy are you all in for a rude awakening. I just can’t wait to here who you blame the upcoming events on.

  399. I never knew there were IRS groupies but TonyC must be one. I wonders if he hangs out in bars and tries to pick up agents.

    Actually, there are people who make their living hanging out in bars where stock and commodity brokers drink. They listens to conversations, buy them drinks, gives them coke, etc. and get info they gives to the IRS and SEC for bucks, sometimes big bucks. I came into contact w/ one of these weasels. I dealt w/ him because he got a lead on a large arson for profit fire from a businessman. He also knew the professional arsonist who did it. It cost our client a few bucks but it was worth every penny. Maybe TonyC should consider this as a side biz from his myriad of vague, but highly successful business enterprises, along w/ being a professor. It’s a cash biz but the IRS know how much you made!

  400. Skip: I said we’d do our best; but we have opposition from the greedy rich, don’t underestimate it.

    Pardon me if I don’t heed warnings of a dire future from somebody that cannot find their way out of a closet with the door open.

    You don’t have to wait to hear, I can tell you right now: About 80% of what I dislike is due to the same cause; greed, that leads to criminality, corruption, brutality, war, death and the ruination of innocent lives. About 15% is due to truly stupid prejudices, bigotries, and repressive authoritarianism, frequently disguised as religion. About 5% is due to random bad luck and the blind brutality of nature.

  401. Tony C. noted: “If that is true, I suspect it is because of your inability to comprehend the fact that you are being exploited by the rich people.”

    I agree with you on this point Tony C. Not the inability to myself to comprehend, but the fact that the wealthy are exploiting the poor and middle classes. I never have disagreed with you on this.

    However, I believe that guys like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates are much more heinous than the Koch brothers and not because either are necessarily malicious in their intentions. I have also failed to meet any angels in any arena of society.

    I think that people that do not speak out against the tyranny within a system, and instead go along to get along, hurt our society, especially from people with power and influence.

    What we are debating here is recognizing the tyranny, what’s causing it and most important, how to solve the problems. You believe a combination of government and private enterprise with solve these problem and I believe it is the two in collusion that are creating most of the problems, even though their is generally no malicious intentions of the majority of parties involved. However a very small sector of society can have profound affects on a society and I suggest that government gives them the perfect cover in which to pull off their operations, which is predominantly to control the means of production.

  402. Nick: from his myriad of vague, but highly successful business enterprises,

    You shouldn’t read into things I didn’t say. I have had successful businesses, but my batting average is pretty average. Business is speculative and I am a gambler, I lose about twice to win anything. As it stands, I have exited one this year and I am exiting another, which has provided me some funds for more speculation. Which, as I said, I am contemplating with partners. For the two persons I have experience with, I have committed about $10K to advance the exploration to a firmer footing; but my partners are doing the work. My academic research doesn’t suffer, but thank you for your concern.

  403. Nick: I do not drink, there is little point in me hanging out in bars. As a 16 year old working my way through high school, I was an illegal bar back. No stockbrokers, just a lot of working class people. But I saw enough (and tried enough) to understand that regular drinking was a habit I should studiously avoid. About every other Christmas my sister will bring some unusual wine or other alcoholic beverage. I’ll have half a shot. I have all week to recuperate. That is the limit of my drinking.

    As for cheating to make money, I’d rather be broke. But you make it pretty clear you have no such principles, so you go for it.

  404. hskiprob,

    I’m not asking for free healthcare. But I should not have to go into debt in order to pay for my medical bills (and I have insurance). I witnessed at Dell Children’s Hospital a family get TURNED AWAY for needed surgery for their child because they could not pay up front and had no credit. I guess this seems okay to you but it really bothered me.

    Three weeks ago, I saw an old woman at Walgreens who could not get her medicine because it cost $300.00. Who the hell can afford to pay 300.00 for one perscription?

    Americans are one serious illness away from death or bankrupcy if they cannot afford the outragous cost of medical care.

    This is a public forum and I can “whine” all I want.

    I was born into a middle class family. Over the past 39 years, I’ve seen my family become poorer and poorer because jobs don’t pay as much and prices are going up and up and up. I have a bachlors degree and I work in the IT field yet I make LESS money today than i did ten years ago. Why? Because corporations hire cheap labor overseas – so the corporations make more and I make less. I have gone from middle class to being barely able to pay my bills each month. I have been working since I was 18 years old, I went to college, I worked very hard to get to where I am today….I don’t get anything for free.

  405. My gal and I call it a lack of integrity but it’s pretty much the same thing, however it is not just prevalent within the rich.

    Oh by the way, I’m doing fine and next year looks very very promising. Already deals in the pipeline. Hopefully everything will stay together. My problem is that I have been much more right and wrong on the economic digression we have been historically experiencing. I would really prefer being wrong.

  406. hskiprob, wrote “Everyone who has electricity in their homes, drive cars, take airplane trips, drink public water, have public sewers and buy just about any product today, all contribute to pollution”

    It’s laughable that you would compare my carbon footprint to the damage that these large corporations are doing to the environment.

  407. KiminTexas,

    hskiprob is correct that the US military is a large, if not the largest, polluters.

    But don’t discount the benefit to your or some biz by becoming from energy efficient.

    It’s is to research use the net & replace in-efficient appliances, lights, fans, vehicles, etc as you can.

    We have a chart up on the refrigerator that tracks usage back years.

    TonyC enjoys paying for “Shrinkage” where as I don’t. lol

  408. Tony C. wrote: “Pardon me if I don’t heed warnings of a dire future from somebody that cannot find their way out of a closet with the door open.”

    I told you something personal about myself and you just couldn’t wait two minutes before using it in an attempt to diminish my competency.

    I find many of those in the progressive/fascist movement to be of similar intellectual integrity and now place you in the intellectual shithole where you belong with Genie.

    You are a pathetic little man and I am proud to be you adversary. Trust me, it not really that hard to dispel all your socialist myths and you have proven that true capitalism is what will make this world a much better place. My thanks to you and Gene H.