Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bad Capitalists Vs. Socialists: The Fight Republicans Want To Have.

The typical argument from the GOP about where our nation’s economy is going is short-sightedly focused on keeping things like the Republicans want them. To that end, they will take regulations, tax rates, and legal controls that were in action and hardly controversial when we won the Cold War, and hardly distinguished from Capitalism, and treat them like the were practically the principles of Marx and Lenin.

The Republicans don't want to lose. They don't want to be discredited. They think they got a lot of good left to do, and if they admit that the screw-ups were catastrophic, they might lose the opportunity to do anything better.

The psychology is pretty simple. Make the alternative unacceptable enough, and even the supremely mediocre status quo can be defended.

The word "socialist" gets batted around a lot these days. The plain reason is, having pushed policies that have almost brought this nation's economy to its knees, they must claim that the Democrat's policies will bring it all the way there. There's no room for nuance, no room for any admission that Democrats might have the better ideas. It all has to be a betrayal of the markets.

My sense of economics is, there are always people trying to cheat, to lie and conceal. Market consequences, of course, are useful in containing this tendency, but not absolute. They work better, in fact, if the law backs them. Disclosure laws give people in the markets better information to guide their judgment. Laws about deceptive practices and consumer protections help back the claims of market participants against those who try to pull fast ones on them.

People in a market are no different from people on the street. Most will act moderately, but some will act to get what they want, if they don't feel they'll be held in check. Those few can make life difficult for many, can corrupt a system, and even sometimes encourage a broad ranging failure of moderation.

America doesn't need a capital market that is mostly about the rich gambling with each other to get even richer. There's no purpose to such an economy, no real efficiency in the way it distributes goods or services, much less the means to attain them. The markets must be built not for irresponsible speculation, but to provide the support and lifeblood of capitalism itself. What good is a capital system that doesn't capitalize the growth of business, the growth of employment and compensation that helps in turn stimulate economic growth?

It is not merely the capitalists themselves that make capitalism work, its the capital itself. Without that lifeblood flowing through the system, business dies in America, and employment and opportunity with it. Now some may idolize the days when the income inequality was higher, and glorify the way we governed and did social policy in that time, but a single question has to be asked: did it actually work better? Or did its failures motivate the changes in policy, by Democrats, Republicans, or others?

The real dispute between Democrats like me and the Republicans is not between socialism and Capitalism, it's between a system where might makes right in the economy, where you're out of luck if you and a few million other Americans can't force change through the market, and one where the folks running the market must answer to the rule of law, and where Government equalizes the game for the average citizen who does not want to see their jobs, their investments, and their way of life sacrificed for the enrichment of private citizens who offer little to them in return.

People want a better brand of Capitalism, and Republicans can't provide it without contradicting a lifetimes worth of zealous, uncompromising rhetoric. The Democrats have no problems like that. They have the flexibility to pursue the different kinds of policies, to reshape capitalism to something Americans can better live with. The Republicans don't want to lose, so instead of coming up with a better alternative, the GOP seeks to batter their dissenters with labels and criticisms designed to destroy people's faith in them.

I guess market terms, though, would best describe the problem that remains for Republicans, even if they've won this round of the war of words: the demand still remains for a different system, where people aren't being driven out of homes they've kept payments up on, where they're not wondering whether they'll ever retire, where the young people don't see their elders yield up positions for them, where the tons of cash that the corporations have actually goes to promoting growth, rather than simply to padding pockets already full.

There is a demand for a fairer kind of capitalism, and no matter how much the Republican try to name call people out of it, it remains, and the Democrats remain ready to fill it.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2011 2:27 PM
Comments
Comment #318655

Stephen

We are lurching back and forth and moderation is having trouble. In 2008, President Obama outsourced his reforms to Nancy Pelosi, who is on the extreme left of the legitimate American political spectrum. They pushed these things through, scaring people enough that a reaction set in, mostly represented by the tea party.

IMO - many of the reactions were too strong. Just as a moderate Democrat cannot really identify with Nancy Pelosi, it is hard for a moderate Republican to identify with DeMint. Both of our sides like to point to the extremes of the other. Republicans love to have Nancy Pelosi as the face of Democrats. Democrats want to promote guys like DeMint. There is plenty of battering on both sides.

You commonly employ a binary system and you did it up top. Evidently you see only a choice between the “policies that brought the country to its knees” and the Pelosi managed Obama reforms, which have had success in keeping the country on its knees.


What both the the “failed Bush” policies and the “failed Obama” policies have in common is that they grew government much beyond what it was last time it sort of worked, i.e. around 1999. When you find yourself in a hole, the first step to get out is to stop digging.

I don’t believe Obama is a socialist. There are actually few socialists left in the world. Maybe Hugo Chavez is still pushing it and maybe the North Koreans still believe in it, but it is intellectually bankrupt as a practical philosophy. That is why it can be used as a term of insult, but that insult is losing its meaning.

Where Obama goes wrong, IMO, is that he has too much confidence in the ability of government to closely manage the complexities of the economy and society. But he is a smart guy and seems to have changed his mind significantly since won in 2008. I believe (at least I hope) that he can work with the Republicans in the House to make a system that is better than the one he inherited and better than the one he helped create 2008-10. What both parties did from 2006-2010 worked poorly. We have to try something new.

Posted by: C&J at February 13, 2011 11:30 PM
Comment #318656

C&J, you have much more confidence in obama than I do. He is what he is, “can a leopard change his spots, or an Ethiopian his color?” The answer is no. If the American people had continued their love affair with him, he would willingly become the Chavez of America.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at February 14, 2011 1:04 AM
Comment #318657

Stephen,
Your title makes a good point and shows once again that Republicans are late to the partry. For what started out with Enron has bloomed in a Socialism of Bad Business on Wall Street and the Republicans complaining about the need to bailout our Capitalist Market by President Bush and President Obama.

No, all one has to do is remember the 1960’s and 70’s when we gad the top 2% of society holding the vast majority of wealth to realize the top 20% today would not have their wealth unless America through the Government worked to change things. Yet, with over half of America to young to remember those days and their education level being such that they are easily mislead. I do believe they miss the point that today’s Capitalistic Market most be expanded so more Americans can join the ranks of the wealthy to forward their agenda.

Yes, it seems those worth only a few million dollars on paper think they have reached the road to wealth; however, with the bar being raised to the status of Billionaire. It seems many of the top 20% have made the same mistake that many of the top 2% did in the 1970’s. Even though they stand to loss all their investments due to the fact our Capitalist Market of the 20th Century must face the Global Market of the 21st Century.

So a day late and a dollar short to the party, the Republicans have falling for the Tea Party cry to cut spending and shrink the government without addressing the Socialism of Bad Business. In fact, one look at what propose to cut shows they believe it is the people on Main Street that is the problem for the National Debt and Unemployment. Thus, I am afriad they haven’t even learned the lessons of Egypt over the last month.

For what should be a 2012 Election Debate between the Capitalistic Market of the 20th Century and the Capitalistic Market of the 21st Century IMHO seems to be turning into a Debate of who will be willing to keep the 20th Century Market in place while China, Europe, and India move forward on building a Global 21st Century Market.

Posted by: Henry Schlatmwn at February 14, 2011 2:29 AM
Comment #318663
We are lurching back and forth and moderation is having trouble. In 2008, President Obama outsourced his reforms to Nancy Pelosi, who is on the extreme left of the legitimate American political spectrum. They pushed these things through, scaring people enough that a reaction set in, mostly represented by the tea party

Extreme left, huh? How so? It’s interesting that you’re starting this argument out by politically positioning her.

As for what the Tea Party represents?

The whole thing starts with Rick Santelli, a CNBC reporter ranting about people getting mortgage relief, even as the collapse of the housing market is taking trillions in wealth off the books. Where is he ranting from? Wall Street. Who’s saying amen behind him, more or less? Wall Street Bond Traders.

That tells you what you need to know about who was really leading the Tea Party.

Just as a moderate Democrat cannot really identify with Nancy Pelosi, it is hard for a moderate Republican to identify with DeMint.

First of all, plenty of moderate Democrats can identify with her. Second, there aren’t many moderate Republicans left. You point at Pelosi, and push her far to the other end of the political spectrum, but the reality is, today’s Democrats are to the right of their predecessors in terms of policy Republicans in Washington, meanwhile, have gotten more extreme than their forebears. They repudiated the Reagan/Bush Moderation in foreign policy. They repudiated classical fiscal conservatism that actually allowed for tax increases in favor of a version that recklessly seeks even more of them, even in a time of record deficits. They pushed the envelope on what could justify a war, and even now favor pushing the limits on human right against our enemies.

I remember folks in the Reagan and Bush era being at least willing to admit when things got out of hand, and willing to devote emergency financing to get our economy out of trouble, but nowadays, Republicans seem to think letting the country settle into a pattern of pathological underperformance is the way to let the economy heal. Like too many of those folks who take herbal supplements, you confuse natural remedies with effective ones.

You can talk about keeping this country on its knees, but that’s talk. We’ve seen real economic improvement. The numbers don’t lie. The main drags are where states have been forced to cut their budgets. There they lay off people, which makes the jobs problem worse, and increase fees and taxes, which makes the money problem worse for people. Now you get to force this on a national level.

This is your jobs agenda. That and extending the upper class tax cuts that helped create one of the most tepid periods of hiring in more than half a century. Your party seems intent not on using the methods to stimulate the economy that were proven to work, but instead those you want to prove, regardless of whether they failed before.

Our jobs agenda created many jobs right off the start, but your side never let us get a bit of credit for that. You talked about the failed stimulus just because it didn’t match a guessed goal that was spoken of before the fourth quarter economic numbers told us how bad the damage of the Bush economic meltdown really was. Did it ever occur to you that the strength of such a stimulus has to be measured from where it must start?

Socialism is losing its meaning because it’s being used as a verbal bludgeon, a synonym for the impolite and unfashionable accusation of being a commie or a pinko. It’s also losing its meaning because mine is the last generation that can actually remember real communists.

Also, a lot of what your people are calling socialists are the policies we once called mixed Capitalism in the eighties. So as valiant as their efforts are to push what were once our policies into the territory of forbidden marxist paganism, folks will recall that capitalism was actually healthier, and healthier for most people under a more moderated system.

And actually, I don’t employ a binary system, so much as a comparative one. If I got one thing and another, I’ll do my best to judge which is better, or whether the choice really matters. I think some parts of European economic practices go too far, but also that there are parts we really should imitate.

If I were to boil down where you believe Obama goes wrong, I would say you’re just saying he’s gone wrong because he’s not a Republican who believes in just letting the economy off the leash. That seems to be the sum of your complaints. Rather than look at cases, look at particular failures and try to draw lessons from them, it seems that a theoretical assumption is made and rhetoric is employed to back that assumption. But your rhetoric lead to a certain place in 2008, and no matter how you try to rephrase it, it failed.

You talk about what both parties did from 2006-2010 working poorly. I seem to remember that what worked poorly was the Democratic Party’s ability to get anything past the Republicans stonewalling in the house. YOu talk about the need to try something new in policy, but your people were right there preventing that from occuring, insuring that as much of the status quo of regulation and legislation remained in place!

How can we try anything new, if your party isn’t going to let anybody try any policies that don’t fit the dogma’s they employed for years?

Conservsativethinker-
Obama is and always has been exactly the opposite of what you describe, more conservative in temperament, than many people who please themselves everyday by figuring out more atrocious names and dogwhistles to throw at him every day.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 14, 2011 1:44 PM
Comment #318670

Ayn Rand wrote about an easy way to distinguish whether a right is in accordance with the Constitution.

After any right is proposed, simply ask the question “at whose expense?” Is there a universal right to a college education or healthcare? At whose expense? Your right to life and liberty was not to come at expense of anyone else. As Ayn Rand wrote, “The government was set to protect man from criminals, and the Constitution was written to protect man from the government.” Individual rights were to supersede any government power.

John Stossel, in Give Me a Break, shows Federal spending from 1789 to 2003. The line is all but flat until World War II. When America began, government cost the average citizen $20 in today’s money. That’s $20 a year! Taxes rose during wars, but for most of the history of America spending never exceeded a few hundred dollars per citizen. During World War II, government got much bigger. It was supposed to shrink again after the war. It never did; it just kept expanding. In 2010, federal spending ($6.3 trillion) cost every man, woman and child in this country just under $20,000 a year! If you aren’t paying that, you’re making your neighbor pay your share.

Dems and libs seem to be confused between individual rights and government benefits for groups. Individual rights can be found in our Constitution. Group rights seem to emanate from the “general welfare clause”.

Why is it that this clause always separates me from some of my money? It always involves some form of wealth transfer. It takes money from those who apparently have too much and transfers it to those who don’t have enough.

And, of course, it is the politicians who determine who has too much and who has too little. This begs the question of how do politicians make these decisions.

What we have witnessed in the past decade or so, is not merely divvying up available tax revenue, by both parties, but competition between both parties to spend beyond our means to satisfy ever more demands by groups intent upon expanding and enlarging their share of the revenue (and debt) pie.

As new groups are added to those deserving of “general welfare” and consequently more government spending, we created an upward spiraling whirlwind of debt.

Now, we are faced with too much debt and politicians are competing to find programs to cut back or eliminate. The Republicans, the democrats, and the president all have differing views of whose group benefit should be affected. The political parties seem to be willing to reduce benefits for those they don’t consider as part of their voting block, but want no cuts in benefits for those they favor.

The president has his own plans about cuts to programs both parties may favor but appears to believe the savings should be spent on new programs that will benefit others of his choosing.

All three sides of this triangle fail to understand a simple reality. We have too much debt right now, much more debt will be added automatically by existing entitlement programs, and unless dramatic changes are made, our economy will falter and collapse.

Only an across the board slashing of government programs, including the military, combined with increased taxes, will begin to solve our nations problems. The pain involved must be shared by every single American.

Every one of us must ask the Kennedy question. “What can I do for my country?” It is far past time for anyone to ask…”What more can my country do for me”.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 14, 2011 4:59 PM
Comment #318672


The government has grown. The population has grown. Wall Street has grown. The corporations have grown. All have grown in power and wealth. The average American today is wealthier than in the good old days. Much of that wealth is the result of debt, government, corporate and consumer.

Unemployment and consumer debt are the big drags right now. The unemployed consume without contributing and consumers are consuming less to pay down debt.

On government debt, across the board is fine with me.

Cost of living increases for those on fixed incomes have already been curtailed. Unfortunately, the high unemployment more than offsets any savings.

It is often said that the Democratic Party is the epitome of fiscal irresponsibility and fiscal responsibility is a stalwart of the Republican Party.

Do Republicans have an answer for why the Republican Party was so fiscally irresponsible when they had the opportunity to convert words into actions?

Posted by: jlw at February 14, 2011 6:04 PM
Comment #318673

Do Republicans have an answer for why the Republican Party was so fiscally irresponsible when they had the opportunity to convert words into actions?

Posted by: jlw at February 14, 2011

Good question jlw. I hope some Reps can answer that. Me, I am a conservative and don’t care for either party. I began my political life as a Democrat conservative, became a Republican conservative, and now…I am just conservative as both parties left me behind when they abandoned principle in favor of votes.

Government can’t give anything to anybody without first taking it from someone, somewhere or borrowing it. Both parties have raced to spend money to keep constituents happy or attract new ones. As we add more folks to our entitlement roles, those roles swell and encourage other groups to demand benefits as well. Soon, we have more riding in the wagon and fewer pulling the wagon. It must end. It will end. We still have the power to choose how it will end.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 14, 2011 6:26 PM
Comment #318675

Royal Flush,
Using the point you mafe above I would have to say all Conservatives and Republicans must turn themsekve in at their local police station for bio;ating the Constitution. For failure to vote on increasing the minimum wage over the years they have created a Society of Criminals in which businesses exploit both sides for personal wealth.

For though all of society benefits from those jobs paying under $20,000.00/yr. at who’s expense are these citizens unable to pay their share of $20,000.00 in taxes. Having already outlaw slavary by a Constitutional Amendment, doesn’t that mean every American today is wrong in the Eyes of the Law?

Does these mean America needs to outlaw every job position paying under $50,000.00/yr. since those working for such wages are be exploited by cororations putting profit in the hand of their stockholders and treasury? For at who’s expense does it cause suffering when this citizens have to struggle to keep a roof over their head and are unable to pay their fair share of $20,000.00 a year in taxes. Since it even harms other corporations by limiting the number of economically viable and financially independent cusyomers they can obtain.

Yet, for the Republicans and Tea Party who say they support the Constitution at who’s expense does the call for Cheap Labor cost? And where is the call from te Republicans and Tea Party to put an end to the building of a Criminal Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 14, 2011 6:31 PM
Comment #318676

jlw writes; “Cost of living increases for those on fixed incomes have already been curtailed. Unfortunately, the high unemployment more than offsets any savings.”

Social Security benefit increases are linked to cost of living increases. The basked of goods used to determine the COLA didn’t increase and thus no increase in SS benefits. There was no additional legislative action that caused this to happen.

Now, if the rest of government had been linked to COLA’s, we would have had no increase in budgets for existing programs, departments and agencies. Those on fixed incomes had no increase, would it not be reasonable to place government on a fixed income as well?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 14, 2011 6:45 PM
Comment #318678

Henry, what is the ideal minimum wage in your opinion? Is it $20, $40, $100 per hour…or more. Pick a minimum wage and then extrapolate for us, if you can, what those wages will do to prices.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 14, 2011 6:54 PM
Comment #318680

Stephen

If you draw a graph of all the members of the House of Representatives, Democrats & Republicans, where would Nancy Pelosi fall in that graph? She certainly would be in the most liberal 25% of that distribution.

She is significantly left of the American elected positions and of the current American electorate.

He positions are important. She advocated positions to the left of the American mainstream. I properly characterized her. What do you call Republicans who are in the 25% most conservative group?

Re Moderates - there are fewer moderate Democrats. The DLC shut down, as you recall.

Once again, let’s just take the statistical distribution. Of America’s current elected Federal officials, where does the median land?

If you go from the middle, you will get to Nancy Pelosi about the same distance going left as you will with DeMint going right. Do you disagree with this, or do you just think that distance from the center doesn’t matter for liberals?

Re things being out of hand - Republicans sure admit that they are out of hand. You just don’t like their proposals.

Re a binary system - indeed - you said it. You look at BOTH sides and decide which is right. There are not two clear sides. It is not a choice you can make that way.

jlw

Republicans and Democrats have shared the same fault in the last decade. Both have spent too much and both have grown government too much. There is no excuse for either, except that politics corrupts. That is why we the people have to demand that both sides spend less and interfere less with our lives.

Henry

Answer Royal’s question.

If you outlaw jobs paying less than $50k, you will also outlaw most of the workers making that.

My first jobs were at fast food places. I worked at McDonald’s for minimum wage plus a nickel. I wasn’t worth more.

Posted by: C&J at February 14, 2011 8:40 PM
Comment #318683

C&J, Royal Flush,
Once again you miss the point. For when you say “At Who’s Expense” I realize Conservattives only think of the money they have to spend in order to get what they want; however, they fail to see the Human Cost. For who cares if we eliminate the jobs paying under $50,000.00/yr.?

In the game of supply and demand I wonder what people would pay to have their McDonalds’ hamburger served to them? What price are you willing to pay in order to police, fire, and medical staff? Because why Ayn Rand is politically correct to say “At Whos’ Expense” does a Right begin and end, she fails to recognize why our Forefathers and Ancestors created entitlement programs in the first place.

And again we are seeing the Democrats and Republicans wanting to cut programs to help the Poor while they do nothing to stop Corporate Welfare. So if they want to eliminate entitlements than the solution is simple. With taxes at $20,000.00/yr., health insurance about $28,0000.00/yr, Basic Living Expenses coming around $15,000.00/yr., and a Spendable Cash Budget of around $10,000.00/yr an income of about $73,000.00/yr. would be a good starting point.

The problem with following 20Th Century Ideology is that you would break the Want-to-Be Rich by only following Labor and Management. So given the Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights of Americans how do you suggest we go about solving the problem of “At Whos’ Expense?”

Note: In my posting here at WB and on my website Independentpundit.com I have already stated how I would go about making it happen.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 14, 2011 9:55 PM
Comment #318695

RF

#318670 would have made a good peice for the red column.

Posted by: dbs at February 15, 2011 5:54 AM
Comment #318699

Henry writes; “Ayn Rand is politically correct to say “At Whos’ Expense” does a Right begin and end, she fails to recognize why our Forefathers and Ancestors created entitlement programs in the first place.”

Of course she fails to recognize that Henry, it isn’t in the document. However even assuming it was in the document, the question is still valid. Henry, at whose expense does an entitlement begin?

Answering my question about what amount would be correct to set as a minimum wage Henry writes;

“…an income of about $73,000.00/yr. would be a good starting point.”

Thank you Henry, now answer the other part of the question if you can. How would that minimum wage affect prices? Would prices go up (how much) down (how much) or stay the same?

RF

#318670 would have made a good peice for the red column.

Posted by: dbs at February 15, 2011

Thank you dbs. I thought about it but I don’t want to author too many articles and clutter up WB with too many subjects.


Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 12:08 PM
Comment #318702

Royal Flush-
Ayn Rand, to my mind, overestimates the protective value of selfishness, particularly in light of the fact that selfish people are social, too, and thus can enforce their excesses on everybody else.

The key thing to keep in mind is that there are not merely costs in taking care of healthcare and education, especially college education, there are liabilities involved in avoiding it.

It’s not merely “Do I pay, or do I not pay?”. If not enough Americans get college degrees, you waste potential and you cede trade advantages to our competing countries. That’s a cost, and we’re already paying it.

And as for Healthcare? Whether you consider it a right or not, like eating, drinking or sanitation, it is a need, and if not provided for, the consequences have their own costs, in terms of lost productivity, reduced physical and mental pontential in terms of childhood disease, and other such liabilities.

So, if we’re approaching this in the right fashion, we must balance what we seek to gain with what we lose. That balance, not reduction of spending or reduction of taxes, decides whether the system actually works. It decides the difference between cutting costs towards greater efficiency, and simply being cheap.

I’m afraid Republicans these days are simply cheap.

The distinction between group rights and individual rights is another red herring, I think. The freedom of Religion doesn’t protect just the parishioner, but the church they join as well. The freedom of speech does not distinguish between individual or corporation. The freedom of the press protects the blogger and the giant multimedia corporation alike. The freedom to petition the government protects an act people do as individuals, and one they do together with others. The freedom of assembly protects both the person who joins, and the people they join with. It’s not one way or another. It’s both.

And really, that’s how folks actually live their lives, not just as indidivuals, or just as members of a larger group, but both, and our laws are designed with that in mind.

To insist that we must blot out any conception of a general right for all people in this country from our minds, a general guarantee is absurd.

As far as the General Welfare clause goes, I think it just boils down to saying that the framers were not against writing laws whose basic purpose was to benefit American society as a whole. The purpose of the government is more than just the naked force of enforcing criminal laws and defending borders. The Framers did not start out this country as the libertarian paradise modern conservatives trying to retcon their opinions as original intent would have us believe it was.

Hell, if you recall the main source of funding for the US Government from before the time of income taxes, you’ll remember that tarrifs were a major part of that income.

That’s right, import duties and the like. In fact, the Southern States and Northern ones had quite a few arguments over that issue. So, to get back things the way they were, Republicans would have to essentially say goodbye to their love of free trade. Raise up the banner of protectionism!

Having fallen in love with the notion of original intent, the GOP’s neither fallen in love with the historical knowledge required to discover it, nor the sense required to recognize where policy naturally evolved.

The Framers very easily could have built a system which enshrined their values permanently and prevented anybody from changing anything. Instead, they did something fundamentally radical, and let go of that control, allowing Americans to adapt to their times, rather than merely pay homage to that of the Framers.

They are worthy of our admiration, but they themselves gave us the right and the ability to disagree with them, and since the world changes at an unforgiving pace nowadays, we are blessed with that.

You talk of creating debt. Is nothing more than simply the separation between what we take in and what we spend, and the policies that apply respectively. Republicans refuse to acknowledge that a tax cut or the continuation of one can create a larger deficit, but the fact that this year’s deficit increased by 200 billion dollars from previous estimates, due to the continuation of the cuts for the rich, is evidence enough to show they are wrong.

They want to force a policy change on Americans otherwise unwilling to allow it, by banishing from people’s minds a certain class of deficit-aggravating behavior. But however they hem and haw about the subject, The Republicans remain committed to most of the spending, the inefficient government, and the insufficient taxes that put us in this situation. And that even counts the Tea Partiers.

This is what happens when party sentiment and not honest assessement of ones situation guides policy positions.

As for sharing the pain? Right. You show me Republicans willing to get rid of tax breaks for their buddies, tax breaks for the rich, and then we’ll talk about sharing the pain. In the meantime, most of the cuts seem to be aimed at constituencies Republicans want to stay home for Democrats in 2012.

The reality is, Republicans are trying to prove an unsustainable model of debt reduction. They’re trying to prove that we can ignore the economic consequences of cutting government spending or raising state taxes and fees, that we can ignore the effects of tax cuts on the budget, etc.

At the very least, the party seems bent on keeping liberals from having the chance to outshine them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 15, 2011 1:52 PM
Comment #318703

C&J-
When you compare with numbers, with averages, you run the risk of making a point quantitatively that you might want to investigate better qualitatively.

You said that the DLC was moderate. Well, maybe, once upon a time, when Republicans were. Here’s the thing, though: your party’s wins in the last election were mostly achieved on the backs of your best friends in the Democratic Party. if there is a lower concentration of conservative Democrats, it’s that you gorged on their defeat.

What’s more, Democrats in the rank and file are out of the phase they were once in where they favored pulling the party to the right to remain competitive. They want Democrats to vote like Democrats, to back other Democrats up, to cede less to your constituents, and get more for theirs.

So, in answer to this question:

If you go from the middle, you will get to Nancy Pelosi about the same distance going left as you will with DeMint going right. Do you disagree with this, or do you just think that distance from the center doesn’t matter for liberals?

I just got to say, what exactly are we measuring with? What creates that equal distance? I don’t think your distance is a real thing, I think it’s a reification of an opinion I don’t agree with anyways, which I don’t think the evidence requires me to concede.

As for any sort of binary system? There would have been a time where I would have suggested that re-regulating the financial industry was a political non-starter. I still think it’s fairly difficult. But I see a system that went badly out of control, and not, unfortunately, in an unpredictable way. There wasn’t a single element of this which wasn’t seen coming, wasn’t dismissed as being just a bug in an otherwise working program.

If you can show me a conservative sort of system that WILL work to prevent what went on without causing further economic harm, you’re welcome to show it to me, and I’ll find it a worthy start for compromise. But if all you can tell me is that we’re going to try the same policies again, or strip away even more regulations? Well, that deserves a flat no, not further discussion, in my view.

How bad do things have to get before Republicans will discuss alternatives to the policies of the 90’s and the last decade?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 15, 2011 2:28 PM
Comment #318704

Royal Flush,
Actually “Entitlements” are “God Given” For I am yo say that you are “Limited to X” because I want “Y & Z?” No, in America, we are all entitled to “X, Y, & Z” or nothing at all. For why you can start a business making and selling insurance so am I allowed to make a business making and selling insurance. Now, granted we will have different outcomes; nevertheless, am I allowed to get laws made that will limit the number of customers you are allowed to have? Am I allowed to get laws passed which place undue burden on you so I may prosper?

No, Americas’ Entitlements are not punishment, but are designed so every American Citizen has an Equal Opportunity even though mot with the guarantee of the same results. For why we both may be allowed to plant corn in our fields. Should I have to give you part of my yield because you did not get the rain or do the work necessary? So yes, “At Whos’ Expense” is found in the document even if it is not written. For if I was to use All Natural Resources today, at whos expense would I be takem from?

Now, you ask about how minimum wage would effect prices, yet I stated an Income of $73,000.00/yr. And asked you how would propose America could do such a thing; therefore, I’m not sure if you misread my post or are so captured by 20th Century Ideology that you do not see the fact Americans are nor required to be dependent on corporate wages.

Nevertheless. knowing you want to keep the dollar hamburger at McDonalds and C&J still believes his Self-Worth as a Human was somehow lower when he worked at McDonalds, the way I propose Americans deal with the need for a Minimun Income of $73,000.00 is by owning Personal Renewable Energy Plants. For why Commerce and Industry will always need electricity, who will produce it and sell it to them at an affordable prices today and tomorrow can be changed. Because why it might be wrong to ask the owners and stockholders of today’s electric plants to burden all the cost of building a National Renewable Power Grid, even at today’s useage which avereages out to about 480 kilowatts per hour for every Man, Woman, and Child. Sold at a nickel a kilowatt it comes to about $175,000.00/yr.

So to be generous, I propose a $15,000.00, $30,000.00, $30,000.00, and $100,000.00 split. With $15,000.00 going to the government, the first $30,000.00 going to the banks, the second $30,000.00 going to the Power Companies, and $100,000.00 left for the Individual. And why that is more than the $73,000.00/yr. I stated as being the minimum income, my idea would also allow for the growth of income as Commerce and Industry elecricity needs are increased during the 21st Century. And considering it is not out of the realm of possibility that America will need 3 Giga Watts of Electricity in the next 100 years. Still sold at a nickel a kilowatt, producing 20 megawatts of electricity from Personal Renewable Power Plants is still a metter of Self-Investment.

So what is your plan to address the increasing prices of goods and services we are seeing now and will see over the next 100 years without increasing the Minimum Income of Americans?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2011 2:30 PM
Comment #318706

Mr. Daugherty attempts to equate the individual rights found in our Constitution with group welfare rights concentrating on;

1) Freedom of religion.
2) Freedom of the press
3) Freedom to petition
4) Freedom of assembly

He “cleverly” writes that groups are comprised of individuals and thus the individuals rights are conferred upon the group they belong to.

If my individual rights are conveyed to the group with which I associate does the group then have the right to speak and act for me? If not, then what is the power of the group?

Using Mr. Daugherty’s logic, one would have to assume that one or the other’s “rights” must take precedence. Are groups empowered with “certain unalienable rights? Is there such a thing as a group’s right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

I have heard many dems and libs decry corporate person-hood as being Constitutionally illegal and a usurpation of our individual rights. Is a corporation not a group?

Union members empower their elected leaders to negotiate on their behalf. Does the union become empowered with certain unalienable rights because their members have them?

I belong to the American Legion. As a member of that group, have I invested the Legion with unalienable rights?

Simply stated Mr. Daugherty, does my participation in a group, any group, in any way convey my individual rights to the group?

Mr. Daugherty continues by writing;

“And really, that’s how folks actually live their lives, not just as indidivuals, or just as members of a larger group, but both, and our laws are designed with that in mind.

To insist that we must blot out any conception of a general right for all people in this country from our minds, a general guarantee is absurd.”

In this statement it would appear that Mr. Daugherty has decided that individual and group rights are the very same thing. And, he adds to our Constitution a provision that reads…there is a “General Right” and “General Guarantee” for all people acting collectively. He finds this in the “General Welfare” clause.

To substantiate this belief he writes;

“As far as the General Welfare clause goes, I think it just boils down to saying that the framers were not against writing laws whose basic purpose was to benefit American society as a whole.”

And so, it would seem that Mr. Daugherty finds laws written by “the framers”, that take from one American to give to another.

Which laws would those be Mr. Daugherty?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 3:02 PM
Comment #318707

Henry writes; “…even at today’s useage which avereages out to about 480 kilowatts per hour for every Man, Woman, and Child. Sold at a nickel a kilowatt it comes to about $175,000.00/yr.

480 KW by .05 cents = $24/hour X 24 hours = $576/day X 365 days = $210,240/year. Henry would have us believe that “every Man, Woman, and Child” in America is paying this today to those who produce our electricity.

Man, sign me up to buy some stock in electric generation companies. My hand-held calculator doesn’t display enough numbers to tell me what $210,240 X 300+ million equals. If expressed in light years it would probably take us beyond the edge of the known universe.

Then, Henry not only assumes that this astronomical amount of money is currently being spent, but, he proposes how we could all split it up and live happily ever after.

And, even better, we could all achieve this annual income without work. We create a fictitious amount of money from fictitious technology and share it with real people.

Beam me up Scotty.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 3:30 PM
Comment #318708

Royal Flush,
Why my idea is not without work since it does require maintaining the equippment. I’m sorry to inform you that Cotty still can’t beam you up.

However, with the End User averaging 11.7 cents per kilowatt hour http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html

And with the total amount of electricity used in Amerca as of 2008 being 1,379 billion kilowatt hours http://www.eia.doe.gov/ask/electricity_faqs.asp#elec_gen_cap

So just as Americas’ Forefathers and Ancestors gathered firewood and sold it to Commerce and Industry years ago other than your failure to see how four windmills and a wind tunnel can create a Personal Renewable Power Plant capable of gathering your fair share of the total electribity used in America. What is stopping Americans from having an income not from Corporate Wages?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2011 3:51 PM
Comment #318709

Henry. your link did not show total electricity use in the US.

From the same source, “Electricity consumption totaled nearly 3,741 billion Kilowatthours (kWh) in 2009. U.S. electricity use in 2009 was about 13 times greater than electricity use in 1950.”

“Most of the electricity in the United States is produced using steam turbines. Coal is the most common fuel for generating electricity in the United States. In 2009, 45% of the Country’s nearly 4 trillion kilowatthours of electricity used coal as its source of energy.”

http://www.eia.doe.gov/electricity/

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 4:16 PM
Comment #318711
“As far as the General Welfare clause goes, I think it just boils down to saying that the framers were not against writing laws whose basic purpose was to benefit American society as a whole.”

And so, it would seem that Mr. Daugherty finds laws written by “the framers”, that take from one American to give to another.

Which laws would those be Mr. Daugherty?

I’ll bite;
The second bill to ever become law in US. A tariff was placed on certain imported goods in an effort by Hamilton to subsidize the growth of the industrial North at the expense of the agricultural South.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 15, 2011 4:40 PM
Comment #318712

Thanks for the link Warped…”As Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton was anxious to establish the tariff as a regular source of revenue for the government and as a protection of domestic manufacture.”

How did this take from one American to give to another?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 4:49 PM
Comment #318713

The products that the tariffs were placed on were mostly used by southerners engaged in agriculture and the beneficiaries of the funds were mostly northern industrialists.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 15, 2011 5:20 PM
Comment #318714

Can you verify your “opinion” Warped? Which of those items (a hundred or so) was used mostly by Southerners? Can you show us how the revenue from the tariffs on these goods was mostly beneficial to Northern industrialists?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 5:28 PM
Comment #318715

Royal Flush,
So every year the need for electricity grows and why we have grown up letting energy companies making profit from us buying electricity from them. Is there any law preventing the average American Citizen from making the profit instead?

Yes, the coal miners might not have to go down in the mines owned by corporations if they were to own their own Personal Renewable Power Plants which would allow them to make and keep more of their own income from the sell of electricity. However, which law states the coal mining companies must be the only one making a profit?

For not only would future generations have cleaner air, but without having to increase minimum wage how does increasing the minimum income of Americans harm others?

Or are you of the mindset that Americans must work for only corporations?

As far as a tariff Royal, manufactures needs resources while agricultural depends on corp yield. So if I was to charge one American for the resources they need to make profit, but allow another American the freedom to make profit from all they produce than am I not taking from one in favor of another?

Actually, the tariff takes away from both citizens. For while the manufacture is charged for the resource, the Farmer is charged for the higher cost of the product needed to help him gather his crops. However, the government makes revenue not only from the tariff, but the sales tax as well. A Lose, Lose, Win gain.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2011 5:36 PM
Comment #318717

Henry writes; “Yes, the coal miners might not have to go down in the mines owned by corporations if they were to own their own Personal Renewable Power Plants which would allow them to make and keep more of their own income from the sell of electricity.”

You know I enjoy jousting with you Henry. However, your comment about everyone selling excess electricity borders on the absurd.

If everyone has an excess of electricity to sell Henry, please identify the purchasers.

Sorry, I have no idea of what your point is regarding tariffs. Your comment makes no sense at all to me. Read Warped Reality’s link and then explain what you mean.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 5:55 PM
Comment #318718

Royal Flush-
Tariffs were definitely a source of controversy in Pre-Civil War America. Would you believe that the Republican Party were the ones who supported higher taxes in that time?

Any government action, whether it’s a tax, a tariff, or a regulation will have winners and losers. Republicans refuse to acknowledge it, but they are lobbied and they seek out lobbyists advice, so they cannot be unaware of the basic fact that they use our tax dollars, and our government to take from some to give to others.

So, once you’re done clearing the rank hypocrisy of that question out of the room, let’s deal with your claims on individual vs. group rights.

People have both a singular nature, and a social one. The rights must exist in a universe of law that recognizes both sides.

For crying out loud, the document starts “We the People.” It’s established in the first person plural.

Why are you so phobic about a simple thing as defining a people as a cohesive whole? Did you folks not fight to keep “One nation under God?” Or to suit your new political correctness, must we refer to it as “One Nation of Individual persons who consented to it at the time under God?”

Using Mr. Daugherty’s logic, one would have to assume that one or the other’s “rights” must take precedence.

Ha! I just demonstrated that the distinction was false. There was no precedence of one over the other. They exist together and are interelated. If free speech can be denied to a group, what use is it to claim that the individual who might be part of that group is free in that regard?

That’s the point of the multiple, parsed targets of the first amendment. They were basically providing for our freedoms at different levels, as indidivuals, as groups, as worshippers, as journalists, as publishers. They were cutting out piece by piece the limitations that Congress could possibly put on our ability to state our opinions.

The individuals freedom upholds the freedom within a group, The freedom of the group upholds the freedom of the individual who can gather in them to influence their government.

As for corporations? I don’t think we mind corporations being able to send out their press releases. The issue is treating them as a natural person would be, rather than treating them, legally, as a construct of individuals who have those rights as individuals. Donations from individuals are still limited, no? Why do individuals who come together as a legal person get to wield unlimited influence? It’s a perversion of the legal system, and your judicial activists are responsible for it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 15, 2011 6:18 PM
Comment #318719

RF,
That tariff was the first in a long line of tariffs that targeted southern agriculture for the benefit of northern industry. Southerners’ objection to the much more insidious tariff of 1828 (labeled the Tariff of Abomination by its southern critics) led to the nullification crisis when South Carolina (under the leadership of James Calhoun) tried to unilaterally abrogate the tariff.

At the time, US industry was far less developed than Europe’s industry, so products produced there and imported were vastly cheaper than domestically produced ones. Southerners engaged in agriculture and conscious about their bottom line objected to any policy that increased the cost of items they needed to purchase. Northerners, on the other hand supported the tariffs because it meant Southerners would have to buy items from the North in order to avoid the tariff. The funds were used to establish the Bank of the United States, which was instrumental to the growth of America’s economy. Another aspect of Hamiltonian economic policy was their advocacy for “internal improvements” which meant increasing government expenditures on the nation’s infrastructure (mostly to benefit Northern industry as well as their Western suppliers of raw materials). The Erie Canal is perhaps the greatest example of this policy.

I suggest that you read Alexander Hamilton’s “Report on Manufactures” where he laid out his economic policy, which was adopted by the Federalist Party and was later absorbed by the Whig Party.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 15, 2011 6:19 PM
Comment #318720

I forgot to mention that much of the revenue collected in our nation’s first tariffs went to northern states to repay their debts from the Revolutionary War. Most southern states had already repaid their debt so they did not stand to benefit (But they got Washington DC built in the South as a consolation prize).

look here

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 15, 2011 6:23 PM
Comment #318721

Royal Flush,

Your rejection of the concept of a collective purpose for the Constitution is absurd. The preamble is replete with the concept, i.e., ..”..more perfect union, common defence, promote the general welfare..” The very purpose of the Constitution is to form a entity to govern all the citizens of the United States for the collective greater good. The fact that the document provides limitations on the powers of the federal government (e.g., Bill of Rights, etc.) and checks and balances doesn’t negate the fact that it is primarily a document empowering a federal government to legislate and enforce acts applicable to all citizens for the greater good. That’s the purpose of a government.

Posted by: Rich at February 15, 2011 6:41 PM
Comment #318722

Royal Flush,
What is so absurd about every American selling electricity to Commerce and Industry? Don’t these corporations already purchase their electricity from the 20th Century power plants. Is it not true that the electricity they purchase is a tax write off. In fact, if a corporation is already purchasing electricity at 11 cents a kilowatt hour and I am going to offer to sell them my execess electricity at a nickel a kilowatt hour. Are they not saving money as well?

No, what is absurd is the very fact that you do not recognize or are unwilling to admit that the Youth of Today don’t have to take the wages being paid by corporations as their only source of income. In fact, with Every Government Building and Facility needing electricity one could trade some of the excess electricity for the taxes they owe.

For whether you realize it or not many corporations today are trying to produce their own electricity in order to save money. So go you want your children to only have the low wages offered by corporations or do you want them to profit from having a source of income seperate from their work. For why a corporation may lay you off for several reasons, unless they go out of business they will always need electricity. And as long as an individual has the income from selling them that electricity than they won’t need unemployment insurance. Because welcome to the 21st Century where Energy is King and whoever holds that Energy gets to make the rules. Will it be you and your children or “I the Corporation” who wins that debate?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2011 6:42 PM
Comment #318723

Mr. Daugherty writes; “For crying out loud, the document starts “We the People.” It’s established in the first person plural.”

Your memory is short. We had this discussion months ago and you lost.

Amendment III (consent of the Owner (individual not group right)
Amendment IV (secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects (individual not group right)
Amendment V (No person…(individual not group right)
Amendment VI (The accused (individual not group right)
Amendment VII (right of trial by jury (individual not group right)
Amendment VIII (Excessive bail… (individual not group right)


He also writes; “As for corporations? I don’t think we mind corporations being able to send out their press releases. The issue is treating them as a natural person would be, rather than treating them, legally, as a construct of individuals who have those rights as individuals.”

LOL…when is a group, with group rights, not a group, with group rights. When Mr. Daugherty says so or when they are a group organized as a corporation. And who is this royal “we” you speak of? I noticed how conveniently Mr. Daugherty changed the word “individual” to a “natural person” in denying a group organized as a corporation some of THEIR group rights. He allows them freedom to publish, but nothing more. His entire argument fails the test.

How about groups that organize as charities and individuals who contribute to those groups, and only those groups, get special consideration in our tax law. If these groups have the same rights as individuals, why then do we discriminate against some and not others with our tax laws.

If I organize a charitable group called “The Royal Flush foundation” whose main purpose is to provide charity for me, and I attract enough supporters to be called a group (would that be three or more people) can my contributors deduct their contributions. If not, why not. All groups are comprised of individuals and that group, according to Daugherty, has the same rights as any other group.

If I belong to a group and my leaders break the law, as an individual in that group, do I also get punished along with the leaders as having participated in breaking the law? If not, why not?

If a group is conferred with my individual rights because three or more people act in concert for a particular purpose, is that not a two-way street? Am I not then responsible for the actions of the group? Do individual rights only flow one-way…to the group and not from group to individual?

Groups must have a certain standing with government to get benefits. Let’s examine those individuals who receive benefits because they belong to a group that the government recognizes as at poverty level. If I am not at the poverty level I can’t belong to that group and receive government benefits. If the group has individual rights, and I have the exact same individual rights, why am I excluded from benefits.

Under this scheme, the individuals within a certain group, defined by government, not only receive benefits that I am denied, but, by law I am required to pay for those benefits.

Nope…sorry Mr. Daugherty, our founders certainly had no intention of fostering that crazy idea and no matter which way you skew the “General Welfare” clause it still doesn’t justify group rights.

Under Mr. Daugherty’s scheme, there can be, and are, a nearly endless parade of groups, with individual rights, that can demand government services and benefits denied to those who don’t belong to those groups.

Will Mr. Daugherty support my new group of those individuals who have blue eyes, are left-handed and are losing some hair on their heads? Blue-eyed individuals tend to be fair-skinned and thus our group of individuals demand free sun glasses and sun tan lotion. Left-handed individuals are more prone to accidents and thus we demand government force all tools and devices be manufactured for both right and left handed groups of individuals. And, with little hair on the back of my head I get more head colds and demand government provide me and my group with head protection.

Just send the bill to Mr. Daugherty.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 7:30 PM
Comment #318724

Henry, I will ask again. If everyone is producing excess electricity, who will buy any? Who will buy your excess if everyone has an excess? If everyone becomes a seller, who will be the buyer?

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 7:37 PM
Comment #318725

Rich, there is no disagreement with much of what you write. That doesn’t mean that the “General Welfare” clause endows groups with individual rights.

It is the General welfare clause that many dems and libs hang all their justification for rewarding some and punishing others. I help feed, clothe, and shelter the poor willingly and there is nothing in our Constitution that demands I do so.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 7:46 PM
Comment #318726

Royal Flush,
Me, Myself, and I make up a group.So, why the individual has rights “We’ also have Rights. For why I might want to do something that Myself may abject to for Me its just about getting caught up in the moment.

For as a Carbon Unit, a Citizen, and a Human you have different interests and points of views; nevertheless, working for the same set of goals most of the time you can be considered a group of one.

So who is “We?” For just as a Dad, a Father, and a Husband is the same person, should Government and Society look at that person in the same manner when dealing with the issues they face. Since as a Dad I don’t care what you think; however, as a Father I must respect you, yet as a Husband that is between your wife and you. Thus, “We the People” holgs several meanings depending on how enlightened one is about the Whole of Human Knowledge & Wisdom.

Just food for thought! LOL

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2011 7:56 PM
Comment #318727

Henry writes; “We the People” holgs several meanings…”

That is true Henry. And the “rights” define those belonging to individuals.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 15, 2011 8:06 PM
Comment #318728

Royal Flush,

If any specific groupings have rights under the Constitution, it is generally found in the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

I think it obvious that legislation for the “general welfare” may on occasion reward some or punish others.

Posted by: Rich at February 15, 2011 8:55 PM
Comment #318734

Rich,
Actually, it is defined as “Being Human” in the Eyes of the Law. For why I can be as Uncivilized as I want as an Unlearned Unbridled Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s by Freewill and Self-Nature, as a Gemtleman I must remain Human. Given that I may know how to destroy the world and Myself may think that it is ok to do so; however, My Community Elders and Peers tell Me that is unacceptable.

Why?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 15, 2011 10:12 PM
Comment #318742

Royal Flush-
Your position’s extremity makes it rather brittle. You claim that all rights are individual rights. Some, by definition, must be.

Others don’t make that distinction, and case law doesn’t either. You want to make that distinction, because you want to construct everything around the individual. But human society doesn’t do that. Your model is anti-socialist, but it’s also anti-social in the bargain.

If the constitution or common sense doesn’t make a distinction between one person protesting and three, one person worshipping, and many, one person printing out a newsletter, and a big newspaper running a circulation of a million, why should we? I’m not saying we trash individual rights in favor of those of a group. I’m saying we don’t artificially curtail the scope of constitutional protections or intentions where the constitution doesn’t do so itself.

As for corporations?

The issue isn’t about the free speech of a group, but of an individual. A very strange kind of individual at that. This individual can earn money, but will never feed itself. It will have a home, but will never feel the touch of rain on its head if all it has is a PO Box to call its own. It can, thanks to Bush-appointed judges, pay for political ads to support or oppose a candidate, but it can never vote in an election. It is virtually immortal, for as long as its cashflow remains in place, and can become absorbed in the bodies of other specimens of this strange species.

That’s your modern corporation for you: a legal person, a legal individual, despite its collective status. The question is whether a legal construct should have constitutional rights, not whether a group of people should have them.

And it’s to the benefit of such groups that your Party has skewed the operation of this government, no doubt in continued gratitude for the support of those who seek their own special rules in Congress.

We’re getting the bill for those special rules already, mister. So you tell me, why is it a sin to seek out, and establish by a vote of elected representatives and Senators, what might be good for the country as the whole? What else is the point of a Congress, of a Government? Is it just a strange hobby for rich people, this representative government thing?

There is no such thing as a perfect government that takes nothing and gives us all everything we want. And no, economic resources are not evenly spread among us all. So for some their will be a loss, and others there will be a gain, even with the most just of policies. The point of a Democracy is to have such decisions, such conflicts resolved peaceably in the fairest way possible.

Your manner is not more equitable than ours. Far from it. Your side has helped put more money in the hands of those who had the most anyways.

We’re looking to run things differently, not to follow your party’s patently selfish, elitist, aristocratic policies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2011 3:16 PM
Comment #318745

Yes, I do believe our Constitution, when it outlines our rights, is speaking of individuals, not groups.

Some have confused my position as one opposed to government helping those in need. I don’t. And, I don’t assign groups any rights to government largess. That we help those in need is proper and evidence of a civilized people. But please, don’t confuse generosity with rights.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2011 6:32 PM
Comment #318746

Royal Flush-
Well, I don’t talk about entitlements in terms of Constitutional Rights. I talk about it in terms of doing good for the people of this country by using our resources as a nation to support those whose poverty would otherwise be a drag on society and our economy. The money doesn’t disappear, it goes back into our economy to pay others.

The Republicans have built a record, every time they’ve been in power, of letting the nation wobble into top-heaviness, turning the economy unstable.

Whatever populist rhetoric they dress up their talk of fiscal discipline in, they’re bad at fiscal discipline, and they’re always attacking programs for the poor and middle class while defending those that benefit the rich.

We can assume that the economy benefits from helping the elites, but that assumption hasn’t born itself out, for the most part. The better assumption, the one under which we governed in post-war America, is that a strong middle class, mobile in finanicial terms is better for the economy than a dominating upper class.

This isn’t about altruism. This isn’t about generosity for charity’s sake, this is about which policies lead to the most efficient use of capital in our economy. Jobs grew faster under more liberal policies. Why go Conservative? Where’s the track record to support current conservative policies, which seem obsessed with slashing programs that would give people actual jobs and get people actually paid?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 16, 2011 7:38 PM
Comment #318749

Could Mr. Daugherty back up his statement with some facts…”Jobs grew faster under more liberal policies.”

Please elaborate…
Grew faster than what?
More liberal than what?

Mr. Daugherty writes; “Well, I don’t talk about entitlements in terms of Constitutional Rights.”

Of course you do. We began talking about the “General Welfare” clause. I argued that it doesn’t have anything to do with government handouts or group rights. If you agreed with me, why didn’t you just say so or not write objecting to my position?

Mr. Daugherty writes; “The money (to fight poverty) doesn’t disappear, it goes back into our economy to pay others”

Using this argument, one could assume that poverty is good for our economy and we should encourage it. OH WAIT…we already have that policy and look at how good our economy is. With nearly one-half of our citizens paying no income taxes because of poverty, I can’t wait to see how well we do when two-thirds of our citizens pay no income taxes. Dems along with some idiot Reps put those in poverty into their own homes. Boy, did that work well.

Why is it that Mr. Daugherty is so convinced that it is good for our economy when government spends a dollar, knowing that the dollar must first come from the private sector, who no longer has the dollar to spend. OH WAIT…I know, Mr. Daugherty has told us in the past that government must spend because the private sector won’t spend.

Now, this dollar just magically appears because everyone knows that taxes haven’t gone up and programs haven’t been cut. $800 billion in magical stimulus dollars have disappeared and now Obama and some in congress are calling for more magical dollars to appear from nowhere. It’s free…it’s magic. Let the good times roll.

And, it’s good for the economy, or so some tell us.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 16, 2011 8:29 PM
Comment #318750

Royal Flush asked: “Could Mr. Daugherty back up his statement with some facts…”Jobs grew faster under more liberal policies.”

It is a fact that on almost any economic measure the economy has performed better under liberal policies which emphasize the middle class. The following link is one of many demonstrating that point.
http://currencythoughts.com/2008/08/19/how-the-us-economy-performed-under-democrat-and-republican-presidents/

Posted by: Rich at February 16, 2011 8:44 PM
Comment #318753

Royal Flush-
Clinton raises taxes for the rich. Under his tax plan, the top rates go up. Republican prediction? Business dies, investment goes away, deficits get worse.

Real results: longest peacetime expansion of economy since 1960. Twenty million jobs added. GDP growth outpaces all expectations from ten years before. A new industry is born. Deficits actually go away.

Reagan lowers taxes for the rich. expect economy to spring right back. Instead, economy only gets worse, climaxing in a 10.8 % unemployment rate. Unemployment is over ten percent for almost a year. It takes until 1983 or so before Reagan even breaks even on the unemployment rate. Reagan is fortunate enough to see the economy recover on its own, but he still ends up running the big deficits that his campaign promises and his supply side supporters said would not come.

Does Bush do any better? His job creation record, despite his record tax cuts, are the worst since they started measuring after WWII. Once again, big tax cuts do not create big economic growth. Once again, elitist policies built around the fortunes of the rich do not bear the desired fruit.

Obama gets into office, and we’re quickly gaining jobs again. Economy’s back growing. Republicans find it impressive enough that they’re already claiming that their people did it, though a time machine would be required for their policies to have brought it about.

Fact is, Republicans claim one thing, and the facts show another. They claim their policies grow jobs, but jobs stagnate. They claim their policies raise revenues and fight deficits, but the results decrease one and increase the other. You claim that current policies are taking money from the corporations and rich folks that they could otherwise use to hire. Except not only are they the targets, and hiring encouraged by tax and economic policy, but the rich and the corporations are sitting on huge reserves of cash.

What today’s businesses lack for are customers, not the money to create jobs. Guess their had to be a drawback to encouraging a culture of putting the screws on labor. Settling a debt costs the same as paying any other equivalent cost. You can’t do that if you don’t have the money. Where do you think you’re going to get it from?

You fundamentally fail to understand where the economy is. Your side wants to claim credit for growth that occured during a two year period when that eight hundred billion was dispersed into the economy. It’s not free, it’s not magic, it’s simple damn economics: to get people working, you have to pay to create jobs, one way or another.

Like settling our debts, paying for new jobs in the economy isn’t free, but it has an advantage here: if enough jobs are created, even temporary jobs, it at least gets people paying for goods, and that itself creates jobs.

The Republicans are not going to make the cuts necessary to resolve the deficit, so there isn’t going to be some magic relief of any actual tax burden, due to what the Republicans are cutting. In fact, your Speakers plans are estimated to be so bad economically That they would kill a million jobs and plunge us back into a recession.

Since it’s politically correct, though, to kill the sort of jobs that you want to, it makes it very easy for your folks to go along with such a mistake. But for second guessing their first instincts on which direction this country is supposed to go, Americans are going to pay a huge cost in jobs and economic growth. Republicans simply do not think their economic policies through, but accept them as a catechism of unquestion economic faith, one sadly unrequited by any kind of success in this world.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 17, 2011 12:27 AM
Comment #318754

Royal Flush,
If we are talking about General Welfare than we must talk about Entitlements since they are by defination are ” a right to benefits that is granted esp. by law or contract (as an insurance policy)
NOTE: Some courts have held that entitlements are a property interest and therefore subject to procedural due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution when denied by federal or state governments.” according to Dictionary.com

For example; to promote General Welfate we have the Rights of Marriage to expect lower taxes than those of single citizens doing the same job for the same pay. Should Congress today take away those Rights since a Household Income of two people is common place and those Rights were granted when it was precieved in Society that the Man brought home the bacon. Because why one can still make the argument that it is in the General Welfate of America to promote Family Living, but does that Entitlement or Roght include reduce taxes and other benefits?

So why is this group of citizens given “Government Handouts” over Individuals, are they somehow better than those who decide to stay single even though it means paying higher taxes. Is that grounds for us to take away those emtitlements our forefathers and ancestors put in place?

For proverty is a problem that extends because we made a Societal Contract in the 1970’s which allows corporations to pay wages which does not permit American Workers to make enough income to cover their fair share while increasing the wages of a group of people so they might join the ranks of the Wealthy.

Now, one can make the argument that it was done out of greed or ignorance; however, due to the Societal Belief of Living in a Finite World it was decided to keep poverty alive in order to protect resources and with the Knowledge that Corporations could never meet the demand of All Consumers if they were economically viable and financially independent to purchase All the products and services and still maintain resources for today’s generation. And again, should we take away this Entitlement or Right to promote the General Welfare of Future Generations?

As for “Magic Money” produced by our government, President Obama could present a Balanced Budget and a National Debt of nearly zero today simply by following the same Laws and Rules used by President Bush from 2002-2009. And IMHO that is “Magic” since it does require only a slide of the hand. So why Conservatives and Republicans are against the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, I wonder if America would still be losing over 800,000 jobs a month if nothing was done. Would somehow the increasing prices of goods and services “Magically” created more demand for the products of the 20th Century?

Which by the way is recieving Entitlements to promote the General Welfare since it is thought that every American deserves such things as a big screen TV, a car, a home, etc…

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 17, 2011 1:36 AM
Comment #318765

Mr. Daugherty writes; “It’s not free, it’s not magic, it’s simple damn economics: to get people working, you have to pay to create jobs, one way or another.”

That is a confusing statement for me. Does this mean that jobs are always purchased? If I start a business as the only employee, and my business grows giving me financial incentives to hire employees, what have I paid to create those jobs?

Adding to our deficit with no means or working plan to pay it back is magical thinking.

Posted by: Royal Flush at February 17, 2011 3:45 PM
Comment #318947

Royal Flush,
If you start a business and want to add an employee you will have to pay upfront costs. Unemployment Insurance, Workmans Comp. etc… And than there is a matter of paying the empolyee. Seperate accounts, employer share of FICA taxes, and if you are smart an emergency fund in case revenue doesn’t meet payroll. So yes, you must pay to create a job. Now, are there ways around the problem? Depends on how you ask and how much risk you are willing to take.

As far as paying the deficit, I think Americans should force the Democrats and Republicans to change cutting spending and tax increases with investments and savings. For just as business in America is learning how to invest and save in order to keep the revenue following and cost downs. I think Americans would be better served by our elected officials if they were to talk about how America can invest and save in order to lower the deficit. Something President Obama touchs on, but does not go far enough. And the current Leadership of the Republicans and Tea Party seem clueless about. For how does building another gasoline burning car help America become energy independent?

Posted by: Henry Schlayman at February 21, 2011 1:02 AM
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