On Illegitimate Presidents

Why did Hugo Chavez receive such a warm reception at the recent UN reform meeting? For what he said obviously: Capitalism is the cause of all the evils in the world, the US is a terrorist state, we need a ‘new international economic order’ patterned after that of Venezuela… etc., etc. It’s the same propaganda peddled in our universities by liberal professors and increasingly by the democratic party itself.

Liberals like Jesse Jackson (let's not forget Jimmy Carter either) actually go to Venezuela to affirm and praise this vision of socialist paradise.

Jackson is on a three-day visit to Venezuela, during which he will meet with local religious leaders, Afro-Venezuelan groups, the president of the oil giant PDVSA, President Hugo Chavez, and visit some poor-neighborhoods to see Venezuela's social programs at work.

"Your focus on foreign debt, debt relief, and free and fair trade to overcome years of structural disorder, unnecessary military spending, land reform… these are some of the great themes of our time. They can change our world condition," said Jackson.

...Jackson said that his trip had been planned several months ago and that its purpose was to address the concern of stability and commitment to democracy in the Western Hemisphere. Jackson emphasized that the commitment to democracy should include not just the right to vote, but also the right to access to health care, education, and decent wages. [Emphasis mine]

"It is not enough to have the right to vote. It is also important to have the right to education, to healthcare and all social services... Democracy cannot survive if some have too much and the majority too little; that's why people need access to land. Countries' resources should be used to empower the people," Jackson added. venezualanalysis.com

The real argument, the real division in the world and in America is not about Iraq. Iraq is just a visible manifestation of the real argument. The argument is between those who favor a top-down collectivist approach versus those who favor a bottom-up classically liberal approach. It is an argument that has been going on in a defined way for this last century or so. And make no mistake, it has been a struggle of slavery versus freedom, of liberation versus enslavement.

Time after time the outright collectivist approach is shown to be bankrupt in the fulfillment of its promises yet there are still multitudes of fervent believers. Mr. Jackson's friend Hugo Chavez explained the collectivist viewpoint at the UN, how "countries resources should be used to empower the people".

Not too long ago the President of the United States went to an Organization of American States' meeting to propose Latin America and the Caribbean to increase market-oriented policies, open market policies-that is neoliberalism- when it is precisely the fundamental cause of the great evils and the great tragedies currently suffered by our people. : The neoliberal capitalism, the Washington Consensus. All this has generated is a high degree of misery, inequality and infinite tragedy for all the peoples on his continent. venezuelanalysis.com

Liberals endorse this model of government when they claim that Katrina is an "Accountability moment." They are using this worldview when they claim that U.S. soldiers died for nothing, or died for lies, when they insist that Republicans and conservatives are cold, heartless, and cruel for wanting to scale back their socialist pet projects (unfortunately the scaling back never happens). How is it that the left, more often than not, finds itself echoing the slander of dictators and strongmen?

Hurricane Katrina has been a painful example of the cost of ignoring such realities. The warming of the oceans is the fundamental factor behind the demolishing increase in the strength of the hurricanes we have witnessed in the last years. Let this occasion be an outlet to send our deepest condolences to the people of the United States. Their people are brothers and sisters of all of us in the Americas and the rest of the world.

It is unpractical and unethical to sacrifice the human race by appealing in an insane manner the validity of a socioeconomic model that has a galloping destructive capacity. It would be suicidal to spread it and impose it as an infallible remedy for the evils which are caused precisely by them.

...Now more than ever- we were saying- we need to retake ideas that were left on the road such as the proposal approved at this Assembly in 1974 regarding a New Economic International Order. Article 2 of that text confirms the right of states to nationalizing the property and natural resources that belonged to foreign investors. It also proposed to create cartels of raw material producers. In the Resolution 3021, May, 1974, the Assembly expressed its will to work with utmost urgency in the creation of a New Economic International Order based on- listen carefully, please- "the equity, sovereign equality, interdependence, common interest and cooperation among all states regardless of their economic and social systems, correcting the inequalities and repairing the injustices among developed and developing countries, thus assuring present and future generations, peace, justice and a social and economic development that grows at a sustainable rate."

If we truly want to raise the amount of peace and prosperity in the rest of the world we must admit that only capitalism can do it. The policies of the left only lead further into feudal economic slavery. The left and the democratic party have decided that it must be more like Hugo Chavez and less like JFK. Witness John F. Kerry replacing Katrina with Iraq. Er, I mean replacing Iraq with Katrina, (it even has me confused) and echoing the hollow communist propaganda of Hugo Chavez.

''Katrina is the background of a new picture we must paint of America," Kerry declared. ''For five years our nation's leaders have painted a picture of America where ignoring the poor has no consequences; no nations are catching up to us; and no pensions are destroyed. Every criticism is rendered unpatriotic. . . . Well, Katrina did happen, and it washed away that coat of paint and revealed the true canvas of America with all its imperfections." boston.com

This is a picture the left is intent on painting: America as a failure, America as a third world country. The entire "Katrina Disaster" is one which is a disaster of perception more than one of fact. That's why Dan Rather, who would rather fabricate the news rather than report it, bemoans the new era of journalism that actually worries about reporting erroneous facts about conservatives! Why in the good old days you could slander conservatives all day long and no one would question it!

America, it seems, has been oppressed by 'market oriented policies', and buffeted by 'neo-liberalism'. Don't you know that capitalism is inherently racist and unfair? What is Kerry's, Jackson's, and Hugo's solution? Massive government spending programs. In the end, total government control of every conceivable aspect of your life all in the name of helping the children, making everything fair, empowering people (not by empowering them per se but by empowering government of course), and inventing 'rights' to expropriate the services and products of your neighbors.

Kerry's calls for universal healthcare, especially for children, echoed many other speeches he has given this year while trying to keep his place on the national stage after losing to Bush. But those speeches were in the same vein as many of his campaign addresses -- somber in manner, more heavy than pithy in their criticisms. boston.com
Posted by Eric Simonson at September 21, 2005 5:07 PM
Comments
Comment #81826

Eric,
Why is this titled “On Illegitimate Presidents”?

Posted by: phx8 at September 21, 2005 7:08 PM
Comment #81828

Eric,
Are you sure you want to go down this road? While I do not believe in Corporate and Person Welfare programs promoted by the Republicans and Democrats in America, I do believe that Capitailism is better than Rapitalism.

Look at the problem of company A paying its employees so little money that they can not afford to buy the products that they build. Than is it fair to company B that their employees and stockholders have to pay more taxes for company A’s actions? No, “Give Me” should be shot and replaced with a system that promotes even the “Poorest Person” who adds positively to the function of society be able to afford that Million dollar yacht; however, your Republican Leadership wants to lower wages which keeps that corporation making that million dollar yacht out of the market why?

Say what you want, but unless and until the Republican Party or Democratic Party can come up wth a plan that will make Every American Economically Viable and Financially Independent your leaders give anyone the right to state for a fact that your leadership is not following the Laws of the Land.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 21, 2005 7:10 PM
Comment #81830

Eric, your posts are a delight. The glaring fact that most modern and upcoming nations in the world, including our own, are very alive and thriving on a mix of social programs and capitalism negates your entire narative. Let us not forget America’s greatest nation status in the world was achieved in the 20th century and throughout 4/5’s of that century, social programs and government regulation grew as part of the formula which propelled our nation to greatness.

Any intelligent conversation of this topic regardless of whether it is conducted at the Cato Institute, AEI, or the Heritage Foundation, confirms that the social programs which elevate Americans to the largest middle class consuming percentage of the population in the world was as much responsible for our greatness as capitalism. Capital formation means nothing without consumers with dollars to consume with. A concept Henry Ford understood and which propelled his company forward into the 20th century.

The issue is what ratio mix of social programs and capitalism is optimal to maintain maximum productivity and consumption by the nation’s citizens. It appears from your article that the benefits of well designed social program’s benefits to capitalism fall in your ideological blind zone. That’s fine as long as the blind are not running things. And fortunately for the rest of us, they aren’t yet running things. And after 2006, the voices of the ideological blind will be even further removed from seats of power in the US as has been the case in most other free countries in the world for decades.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 21, 2005 7:18 PM
Comment #81834

It is the height of ignorance and hubris to say there is only one way to do something.

Posted by: Joseph Briggs at September 21, 2005 8:13 PM
Comment #81836

Eric Simonson:

You forgot to add that the US funded an attempted coupdetat against Hugo Chavez. You should always add why the rest of the world hates Republicans so much.

Posted by: Aldous at September 21, 2005 8:36 PM
Comment #81842

I was wondering if you could explain how the left’s policies lead to a “feudal economic system”? Just make an explanation for your statement, instead of making blanket statements that you can’t back up.

I was reading a book by Joseph Stiglitz called “Globalization and its Discontents” and in it he says that it has been proven that the reason they call the force that guides capitalism the “invisible hand” is because it doesn’t exist. Now I’m no economic jaugernaut know it all, but Joseph Stiglitz has the credentials accepted by the left and right that he is a genius when it comes to economics. I find hard to believe that the powers that be are actually pure capitalists, when they support things like government subsidies in our agricultural industry. Just because there will always be the laws of supply and demand that influence markets does not mean that capitalism is the best one.

The way I look at economic theory is that many models can work it just matters on what the populist actually support. Right now in America it’s capitalism, but if the poor keep on getting exposure from natural disasters we might have a new economic theory being applied here today.

I really just want an explanation for a “feudal economic system” that the left is supposedly supporting, because to be honest, I think it looks more like socialism to me.

Posted by: hey at September 21, 2005 9:01 PM
Comment #81846

Looking at the early part of the last century, and the Great Depression would be a good idea, I think.

It was a time of much greater and widespread poverty, and the American internationalist socialist left could never understand why they couldn’t make greater inroads in America.

According to Marx, all of the conditions were ripe—a tumultuous “late captitalist” system that should have have been, according to Marx’s analysis, far more receptive to collectivization than Russia.

What took hold, however, was a far more moderate and nationalistic version—socialism-light, if you will, which was typified by the New Deal. And that was only possible because bad economic conditions prevailed nationwide and across many diverse groups.

That isn’t the case today. The natural disasters supposedly calling attention to the poor are effecting a small group of people in a very small part of the nation, and there are so many other factors that are obviously contributing to their problems—ie., the failure to fully utlilize the agencies already in existence and ready to help them.

Chavez today is a prominent spokesman for the internationalist version of socialism, something which the Amercans will never support because it just is not in our blood. Chavez may get applause from the American left, but there’s no quicker route to political marginilization in America than actually embracing his ideas.

Posted by: sanger at September 21, 2005 9:39 PM
Comment #81850

Overall a good post. Capitalism is great when the playing field is fair. The problem today is that in the U.S. it isn’t. Why would a company come to the U.S. You talk about socialized medicine like it is something that will destroy the economy. An example of this would be Toyota opting to build a plant in Canada as opposed to the U.S. and said that the reason it did was because helth care was to expensive. Not all social programs impede capitalism. Government must try to do what it can to stay out of the way, but when we have a couple of sides playing unfair, the government needs to step in a regualte the system.
Ivan

Posted by: Ivan Mitchell at September 21, 2005 9:48 PM
Comment #81867

The media’s exploitation of the “poor, underpriveleged and black” situation in New Orleans and the way the two ideological sides respond to it is significant to this discussion: Liberals tend to look at the New Orleans underclass and cry foul that government hasn’t done enough for these people (and I’m not at all referring to the evacuation plan here, just the social conditions themselves), whereas conservatives look at the same problem and point to years and years of failed or abused social programs that have driven the people into generations of despair.

For the record, I was born and raised in Louisiana, have friends and family in the N.O. area, and deep roots to the state. In my opinion, you have to have lived in La. to understand just how corrupt and inept the politicians in that state are. The insane policies regarding the city’s evacuation plan (and also the mayor’s repopulation plans) should come as no surprise to anyone from La. It’s a different world down there.

Posted by: shabazz at September 21, 2005 11:41 PM
Comment #81870

David Remer:

And after 2006, the voices of the ideological blind will be even further removed from seats of power in the US as has been the case in most other free countries in the world for decades.
Ah, David! What are you predicting?

Sanger:

Chavez today is a prominent spokesman for the internationalist version of socialism, something which the Amercans will never support because it just is not in our blood.
For better or for worse, you are so right. It makes me a little crazy when I read Eric’s post, and find myself more in agreement with the blockquote portions which are supposedly the ravings of a leftist strongman than I do with Eric’s analysis. Why does it make me crazy? Because I really do believe that concentration of power in a single government, no matter how well meaning initially, is more dangerous than power spread out over multiple corporations which at least have to compete with each other. Mind you, I don’t like that either, which is why I believe in a mixed system, like ours has been historically where government puts checks on corporations, various branches of government put checks on each other, and all are accountable to the electorate.

When ideologues who believe that ‘free market capitalism’ is the ideal end rather than just a means to control a system are running all three branches of government to the benefit of corporations, and most especially the largest, most likely to underpay, swindle, pollute, and buy off officials, then it gives the words of true leftists more credence than they ought to deserve.

If we want to unite rather than permanently divide our nation, the Republicans had better start heeding the moderates among them who see a need for that healthy “mix of social programs and capitalism” which David refers to, which have kept a balance, and preserved a strong middle class. Either that or we need a new viable third party to displace them.

Nice discussion starter, Eric.

Posted by: Walker Willingham at September 21, 2005 11:55 PM
Comment #81871

Shabazz, it would be good to take, as you suggest, a very close look at the media and the left’s response to Hurricane Katrina.

The media and the left howled that the goverment needed to do more for the poor black residents of New Orleans. They proclaimed that over 10,000 would die (a totally fake number) because they were so helpless and stupid that it would never occur to them to move to higher ground and take their families and neighbors with them unless they were forced by the government to do so.

This is typical liberal thinking—this paternalistic, condescending view of the poor and underprivileged. This automatic assumption that poor folks can’t take care of themselves for a moment, they can’t be trusted even move to higher ground during a flood.

It’s sick, if you think about it. The irony is that these racists—people who think that black people are nothing but stupid and helpless wards of the state—have the gall to turn around and accuse others of racism.

Posted by: sanger at September 22, 2005 12:07 AM
Comment #81875

Pot calling the Kettle Black. Funny!

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 22, 2005 12:54 AM
Comment #81885

Sanger,
Like Walker said the Republican Party better get their act together because when the American Public learn that a bunch of Republicans in New Orleans built the levees that failed due to politics and are not willing to give up their pet projects for the good of America a new viable third party can walk right through the Right. Because it is not about Rapitalism vs. Socialism, it is the fact that our elected officials need to use the power of government to create True Capitalism & Opportunity for All Americans.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 22, 2005 1:57 AM
Comment #81910

David:

The issue is what ratio mix of social programs and capitalism is optimal to maintain maximum productivity and consumption by the nation’s citizens.

You’ve hit the nail on the head, David. Pure capitalism and pure communism are similar to pure heroin….they will kill. The question is the mixture, as you say.

Katrina identified in a personal way that we need social programs. People have lost everything—some for the short term and others forever—and they require help. A good society will provide that help collectively, which is precisely what the US has been doing. Pure capitalism would tell those people to suck it up and rebuild on their own—-tough luck.

On the other hand, pure communism takes away the incentive to work hard. Since there will always be a safety net and because no amount of creativity or hard work will provide any added benefits, why work. Nursing homes have found this tendency in their residents. When the staff makes beds, brings meals, does all the chores etc for those capable of doing such things, those residents slowly but surely lose the ability to do those things. They have no incentive to do them. So good nursing homes “force” people to do many of these small things, like going to the cafeteria. They help the residents by not helping them too much.

This is a good example of how government should be. Help the people help themselves. But we have, I fear, swung the pendulum too far to helping people all the time. There are many who shouldnt need the help, but hey, as long as its there, wont fight it.

The pendulum has swung too far with entitlement programs, as opposed to help programs. People see the government as the means of providing help they DESERVE, rather than as a means of providing help only when its the last resort.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at September 22, 2005 7:57 AM
Comment #81922
they insist that Republicans and conservatives are cold, heartless, and cruel for wanting to scale back their socialist pet projects (unfortunately the scaling back never happens)

Heh. I’m glad you acknowledged that, Eric. Now ask yourself why that is. Most Americans like the “socialist pet projects” — Social Security, Medicare, unemployment, and even welfare to an extent — and would boot the GOP pols in a second if they seriously tried to realize their goal of dismantling them.

This is a picture the left is intent on painting: America as a failure, America as a third world country.

No… I think it’s enough that we just point out the incompetence of the current administration and present an effective alternative. :)

The natural disasters supposedly calling attention to the poor are effecting a small group of people in a very small part of the nation

sanger (and JBOD), do you realize that more than one-in-ten Americans live below the poverty level right now? And that millions of hardworking white middle-class American have slipped into poverty every year for the last four years?

President Clinton once said a booming economy is the best social program, but it’s not enough. President Bush and the GOP Congress have offered Americans neither the booming economy nor the programs to give hardworking people a hand up.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 22, 2005 9:16 AM
Comment #81934

Chavez is a hero to a huge percentage of Venezuelans, and to many more of the countless poor throughout central and southern America. These are countries which have historically totally neglected the poor because a rapacious minority ran their countries for the benefit of the United States and for their own benefit. Anytime any leader in the southern Americas sought to redress the imbalances in their societies, the US stepped in and subverted any moves towards change. There are so many instances of it. El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba,Venezuela….the list goes on. This in Americas mind is its backyard, and it will not permit any developments which threaten its economic interests in the region. This is why the US supported the attempted coup against Chavez. These actions are taken to secure the rapacious interests of US multi national companies. And your press does not seem capable of telling the truth of these matters. But the rest of the world knows. What Chavez is doing is simply using his countrys’ resources for the benefit of the countrys’ people. Now what is so terribly wrong with that? Healthcare and Education and the lowest expectation any people are entitled to expect from their government. If the countrys’ resources can not be used to the benefit of the people, but are used to enrich a tiny minority, then there is no demos. To many in South America and throughout the rest of the world, Chavez is a hero. As for being an illegitimate President, he was democratically elected. Throughout the Americas there is largely only rich and poor, and vitually no movement from poor up the social ladder. Viva Chavez!!

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at September 22, 2005 9:59 AM
Comment #81936

Eric,

“What is Kerry’s, Jackson’s, and Hugo’s solution? Massive government spending programs.”

Sounds like Bush’s New Orleans rebuilding programs.(Waste Waste Waste) Go Haliburton KBR!
The Iraq war has taken hundreds of billions of tax payer money. Who has felt the brunt of this idiotic administrations wasteful mishandling of our money? The poor and middle class. Tax cuts at a time of war? Godd thinking.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at September 22, 2005 10:21 AM
Comment #81945

Since this is called ‘on illegitimate presidents’ and Katrina was mentioned…
I realize that BUSH is in office, and has been for one term+ already, but it really gets tiring to listen to all the blame being put on him. I just wish people would STOP pretending like each administration is like a whole new country and that the previous one had nothing to do with our current situation. Clinton may be out of office BUT there is no denying things he did had an effect on our future - good and bad.

“Clinton, Bush slashed spending on leveesFor 10 years, preventive maintenance was cut”

From that article:
“However, 10 years ago, the Clinton administration cut 98 flood control projects, including one in New Orleans, saying such efforts should be local projects, not national.”

“A $120 million hurricane project, approved and financed annually from 1965 was killed by the Clinton administration after being approved by the Army Corps of Engineers. It was designed to protect more than 140,000 West Bank residents east of the Harvey Canal.”

“The following year, Congress approved more for flood-control projects than was recommended by the Clinton administration. Likewise, in 1999, Congress and the Clinton administration agreed to spend only $47 million on New Orleans area hurricane flood control projects ? half of what local officials had requested.
Again, in 2000, Congress approved a $23.6 billion measure for water and energy programs, with sizable increases for several New Orleans area flood-control projects.

Clinton, however, promised to veto the annual appropriation for the Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers, not because it was $890 million larger than he proposed, but because it did not include a plan to alter the levels of the Missouri River to protect endangered fish and birds.”

What was Clinton’s excuse? No war. Balanced budget.
He said it was NOT the responsibility of the Feds to help protect those people. Now what is he saying?


Posted by: bugcrazy at September 22, 2005 11:16 AM
Comment #81991

ALL:
I know I said I was taking a vacation from Blogging, But I hope we have learned something from Katrina. I do hope that everyone who knows anyone in the path of this storm, URGES them to evacuate.
Be Safe,
Wayne

Posted by: wayne at September 22, 2005 3:11 PM
Comment #82037

phx8,

How many presidents did I mention?

Henry,

Are you sure you want to go down this road? While I do not believe in Corporate and Person Welfare programs promoted by the Republicans and Democrats in America, I do believe that Capitailism is better than Rapitalism.

I’m not sure what Rapitalism is, but I do agree that both Republicans and Democrats use the system that is in place to dole out the payola.

Look at the problem of company A paying its employees so little money that they can not afford to buy the products that they build. Than is it fair to company B that their employees and stockholders have to pay more taxes for company A’s actions? No, “Give Me” should be shot and replaced with a system that promotes even the “Poorest Person” who adds positively to the function of society be able to afford that Million dollar yacht; however, your Republican Leadership wants to lower wages which keeps that corporation making that million dollar yacht out of the market why?

First of all you should check into how much an employee building a yacht actually makes. It’s not anything near minimum wage. So for practical purposes the people you are talking about (my people certainly), those who make so little, in other words, get paid what the market bears for that kind of labor. It’s really as simple as that.

So how do you know how much they should be paid for any specific job? What about part time workers? What about second jobs? Should they be paid enough to buy one of the yachts they help make— one per year, or one per lifetime? What about companies that make lots of different things, make things that don’t cost that much? What if a company makes somethig that is $35? Should employees only get enough to be able to buy that product… again, once a year, once a lifetime?

Say what you want, but unless and until the Republican Party or Democratic Party can come up wth a plan that will make Every American Economically Viable and Financially Independent your leaders give anyone the right to state for a fact that your leadership is not following the Laws of the Land.

The whole point is that no such plan would ever work. It’s not within the power of any government to make every one of it’s citizens economically viable and financially independent. Financially independent? Is that your standard!

The simple fact is that no government could ever suceed in making all the economic decisions of it’s citizens without totally mucking it up much worse than the left claims Bush did with Katrina. Just think of a government agency in charge of your finances.

Posted by: esimonson at September 26, 2005 8:11 PM
Comment #82038

David,

Hey, I like the sound of ‘delightful’. I might just start signing every post with your quote.

Eric, your posts are a delight. The glaring fact that most modern and upcoming nations in the world, including our own, are very alive and thriving on a mix of social programs and capitalism negates your entire narative. Let us not forget America’s greatest nation status in the world was achieved in the 20th century and throughout 4/5’s of that century, social programs and government regulation grew as part of the formula which propelled our nation to greatness.

The question is, are your social programs and government regulation actually responsible for that growth or is it the other way around? You aren’t trying to say that capitalism wasn’t involved here in any way are you?

According to all the examples we have to work with social programs and regulation do not actually produce anything. At best they merely modify the system. At worst, they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Hence we have many good examples of ‘planned economies’ and socialist experiments that kill growth, lower the standards of living for millions, spend billions of wastefully, and in essense create a caste system.

According to many on the left who support a bigger government role in virtually everything, Republicans and their anti-government ideology are responsible for the “disasterous” Federal Response to Katrina. Was small government to blame? Hardly. Democrats couldn’t wait to start blaming Bush for upwards of 10,000 predicted deaths due to Bush’s ‘incompetence’.

As I think someone mentioned in comments to a recent post, Europe is a one of the examples of where Democrats would like us to be today in terms of government regulation and social programs. Yet the incompetent ‘socialized’ governments are responsible for 35,000 deaths during a heat wave in 2003. How could this happen in a socialized democracy?

…social programs which elevate Americans to the largest middle class consuming percentage of the population in the world was as much responsible for our greatness as capitalism. Capital formation means nothing without consumers with dollars to consume with. A concept Henry Ford understood and which propelled his company forward into the 20th century.

The issue is what ratio mix of social programs and capitalism is optimal to maintain maximum productivity and consumption by the nation’s citizens.

I’d point out that the blindness here is regarding the fact that even without these social programs millions of Americans would be elevated to the middle class. Pushing the elevator button again and again might make you feel like you are doing something but it doesn’t make the elevator get to you any faster. So if it’s just a matter of income redistribution, I’d rather just have my share direct deposited into my bank thank you.

Government spending is very inefficient. It’s remained true throughout the history of governments. The left will inevitably slide that ratio mix as far as possible to the left.

How far left do you think it should be, David?

__________

“Eric, your posts are a delight.” -David R. Remer

Posted by: esimonson at September 26, 2005 8:12 PM
Comment #82039

hey,

I was wondering if you could explain how the left’s policies lead to a “feudal economic system”? Just make an explanation for your statement, instead of making blanket statements that you can’t back up.
Certainly. Just look at the left leaning governments around the world. Where are they? Can you tell me of any repressive poverty stricken capitalist nations?
I was reading a book by Joseph Stiglitz called “Globalization and its Discontents” and in it he says that it has been proven that the reason they call the force that guides capitalism the “invisible hand” is because it doesn’t exist. Now I’m no economic jaugernaut know it all, but Joseph Stiglitz has the credentials accepted by the left and right that he is a genius when it comes to economics.

You may want to consider reading other sources for your economic theories. Or at least

Just because there will always be the laws of supply and demand that influence markets does not mean that capitalism is the best one.

The way I look at economic theory is that many models can work it just matters on what the populist actually support. Right now in America it’s capitalism, but if the poor keep on getting exposure from natural disasters we might have a new economic theory being applied here today.

Supply and demand isn’t a political theory. It’s a fact. Like gravity. Governments who think they can break the laws of gravity are bound to get hurt.

Any old economic theory will do?

I really just want an explanation for a “feudal economic system” that the left is supposedly supporting, because to be honest, I think it looks more like socialism to me.
Bingo. Posted by: esimonson at September 26, 2005 8:17 PM
Comment #82046

Communism is a failed experiment. The current administration is in a frantic push to show that Capitalism is unworkable as well.

I was watching a movie version of Charles Dicken’s Nicholas Nickleby the other night. The setting is the Industrial Age in England. I thought to myself… well, there we are in twenty years if the the current administration’s policies are carried out to the end.

Why use the term ‘capitalist’? Why not just call it what it is - “Every Man for Himself”

If you want to rely on capitalism, let’s cut out all government spending - everything! Otherwise, your pure capitalism is polluted with non-profit motivated interference. No more subsidies for ANYONE or ANY ENTITY.

Let them eat cake.

Posted by: Rick at September 26, 2005 9:16 PM
Comment #82049

My whole point was that a feudal economic system is not a socialist economy, which you were implying. So why don’t you try defining what a feudal economic system is before you make such a claim.
As for Joseph Stiglitz, the man is brilliant, and he is not the only person I’ve read. I would suggest you try reading some of his material.
I’m not trying to be an ass or a partisan jerk-off, but I do believe that details are important when statements are made.
The only thing you stated is: “The policies of the left only lead further into feudal economic slavery.” After that you state:”The left and the democratic party have decided that it must be more like Hugo Chavez and less like JFK. Witness John F. Kerry replacing Katrina with Iraq. Er, I mean replacing Iraq with Katrina, (it even has me confused) and echoing the hollow communist propaganda of Hugo Chavez.”
To me that is just a bunch of crap with no substance. I find it quite easier to say that the “trickle down” economics is the shotgun that shot the goose who was laying the golden egg; but what the hell does that mean? So, let me say this in another way; your article lacks substance in every meaningful way possible.

Posted by: hey at September 26, 2005 9:44 PM
Comment #82052

By the way, I never once said supply and demand was a political theory. I stated the “laws of supply and demand”. I have no idea where you got that from, but I hope it wasn’t intentional.

Posted by: hey at September 26, 2005 10:26 PM
Comment #82056

Eric,
Before the Reagan Era of Bank deregulation, your parents enjoyed a 7% return on their simple savings account. Thus, even a ten year old knows that $20.00/week @ 7% interest for 40 years makes you a Millionaire plus. Therfore, making every American Financiallt Independent isn’t nothing but a thing. Besides if payroll taxes are suppose to be collected for your “Social Insurance Program, what better idea has the republicans come up with over the last 150 years?

Economically Viablity is a matter of learning the lessons that Henry Ford taught us at the turn of the last century when he surprised everyone by paying his employees $5.00 a Day. By making it so that they could afford to buy the product that they produced, he was ensured that he would make more money.

You see that is the problem with the current economic model followed by those taught MBA’s today. Screw everybody and keep all the profits for the corporation big wigs. With the economy going into the bucket as the cost of living triples over the next 2-4 years, more and more corporations will fail putting more and more people out of work, how are corporations going to make profits which in turn will cause the American Stock Market to fall.

Look at the Dow Average over the last 5 years. 10,500 points is the mark. Now subtract for inflation and the number goes even lower. Real Money not Paper Money or do you not know that a stock valued at $20.00 in the begining of 2005 is now worth $16.00 and that is just taking in the 20% devaluing of the dollar in March of 2005.

That is your government playing with your money, if you pay the average citizen enough to save money everybody makes real money just not more worthless paper.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at September 26, 2005 11:51 PM
Comment #82057

To esimonson:

You asked “Just look at the left leaning governments around the world. Where are they? Can you tell me of any repressive poverty stricken capitalist nations?”

The center-left governments of Northern Europe have successfully guided “welfare capitalist” economies for almost three-quarters of a century, resulting in consistently higher standards of living for more people than we have ever managed in this country.

As far as “poverty-stricken capitalist nations” are concerned, look at those that adopted “authoritarian capitalism”. Chile under Pinochet, South Korea under the military, Taiwan under the Kuomintang, Franco’s Spain, even South Africa under the Nationalists, all pursued free-market policies that aimed at redistributing wealth from the middle-class and the poor to the wealthy - or in South Africa’s case, from everyone else to the Afrikaners.

Notice any similarities between these countries and the American South before the Civil Rights revolution? Or the whole country under the Rapitalism favored by Republicans?

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at September 27, 2005 12:02 AM
Comment #82108

Liberals tend to look at the New Orleans underclass and cry foul that government hasn’t done enough for these people

Only by steering the debate towards blame for the state of poor Black NOLA residents before Katrina, can Bush Defenders hope to have any footing on the role of race and class.

Yet, if what shabazz asserts is true - that their plight was made more precarious by local corruption and failed social programs - wouldn’t that make their safety and welfare all the more a priority for the federal government?

Posted by: Bert M. Caradine at September 27, 2005 4:02 AM
Comment #82152

Eric,

As I think someone mentioned in comments to a recent post, Europe is a one of the examples of where Democrats would like us to be today in terms of government regulation and social programs. Yet the incompetent ‘socialized’ governments are responsible for 35,000 deaths during a heat wave in 2003. How could this happen in a socialized democracy?

First, heat wave is more revelant to global climate recent changes than democracies.

Second, as I’ve already reported, on the 15000 deaths in France, half of them were (or were supposed to be) under responsabilities of private health care institutions and retirement homes staff. Staff that were hugely understaffed during this summer. Okay, I concede that our french vacation days amout and August vacation addiction are factors here, but let’s face it: for financial reason, these private houses managers choosed to put at risk - and unfortunatly that’s what happened - their clients lives rather than enroll interim medical staff. Sounds to me more related to capitalism than government policy, socialized or not.

Last, most (81%) of the deaths were old people: most women were 90 or more, most men were 80 or more (for those who read french). That means beyond average lifetime (men: 70, women: 74).
Stop, I’m not saying they deserved to die nor being abandonned like they were during this fatal summer! No, what I’m saying is they didn’t die younger because of healthcare program. Which, considering costs of such program and these exacts costs are one cause of the huge France’s public budget deficit since years, has more to do with government policy than pure capitalism…

What would happened if this socialized healthcare program were not there: would these old people had die during 2003’s heat wave or would had been already dead since years for lack of affordable medical care?

Except for the richest ones who, obviously, could had paid for them.
Guess what: those neither die from heatstroke during 2003’s summer.

In fine, it was obvioulsy a drama. I hope we learn our lessons since.

- From EuroLand

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 27, 2005 10:24 AM
Comment #82154

Ooops, I forgot:

these private houses managers choosed to put at risk - and unfortunatly that’s what happened - their clients lives rather than enroll interim medical staff.

Or buy and install air conditioners.
Which, as every one knows, are less costly than french medical staff monthly average wage…

Go figure.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 27, 2005 10:29 AM
Comment #82282

Unquestioned, unexamined, fact-free beliefs, exemplified by the following statement from Eric Simonson, seem to have an irresistible appeal to those on the Right:

“According to all the examples we have to work with social programs and regulation do not actually produce anything. At best they merely modify the system. At worst, they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. Hence we have many good examples of ‘planned economies’ and socialist experiments that kill growth, lower the standards of living for millions, spend billions of wastefully, and in essense create a caste system.”

If Eric is right, the following exist only in our imaginations or in alternate histories:

- The Reconstruction Finance Corporation, founded by Hrbert Hoover and expanded by FDR. In my fevered liberal imagination, the RFC saves Depression-era banks and small farms, and funds the Electric Home and Farm Authority, enabling poor and middle-income families to buy gas and electric appliances. It created enough demand for electricity in rural areas to justify the new Tennessee Valley Authority and the Rural Electrification Program.

- The Fair Labor Standards Act, which ended large-scale child labor and guaranteed workers the right to organize without fear of losing their jobs or even their lives.

- The GI Bill, which guaranteed a college education for returning World War II veterans and also launched the greatest expansion of middle-class home ownership in US history.

- Head Start, which gave disadvantaged children their first real shot at a decent education previously available only to the middle-class.

- Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which gave those same children the only decent meal many of them would have all day.

- NASA, which gave farmers better weather forecasting and crop-planting intelligence than they had ever had, and returned $7 to the economy for every $1 invested in it.

- Social Security, which lifted millions of elderly Americans out of poverty when nothing else could.

Fortunately, none of these actually existed, or Eric would have to reconsider his statement.

Posted by: Robert Benjamin at September 27, 2005 10:12 PM
Comment #82594
What is Kerry’s, Jackson’s, and Hugo’s solution? Massive government spending programs.

Comments such as these really blow my mind.

Have you been paying attention to your GOP-controlled White House and Congress??? Have you taken note of how astronomically high government spending has been under our current president?

Posted by: mattLaw at September 29, 2005 4:26 AM
Comment #82674

Mr. Benjamin,
Your laundry list has skid marks in the undies.
Most Americans viewed the RFC as welfare for banks and corporations. Applying for a loan created a run on the bank by depositors.
The Fair Labor Standards Act has nothing to do with unions. It spells out work/overtime rules and the procedures for compliance.
The GI Bill was a populist push by veterans to make up for 3.5 years of WWII. And you have to have served your country for at least 2 years. This is called a fringe benefit.
Head Start progess disappears at age 12. There are just too many people who ignore the studies.
NASA is not a social program. It was created by Eisenhower in 1957, at the behest of Werner von Braun who wanted to keep the military out of space science.
Social Security is the only tax working poor have to pay and will bankrupt the country, and all of us.
No tickee, no washee.

Posted by: Eddie Filek at September 29, 2005 11:09 AM
Comment #96101

no

Posted by: santosh at November 26, 2005 3:40 PM
Comment #96102

no

Posted by: santosh at November 26, 2005 3:41 PM
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