The Good News

From Politico we have an article detailing how the black-oriented press is being affected by Barack Obama’s election to the presidency.

Yeah, yeah, I have opposed the election of Barack Obama. It was never on racial grounds, however. So the obvious upside of the first black president is nothing but good news. Many of the black magazines that have in recent years essentially abandoned serious coverage of political issues, perhaps reflecting a sense that the black community really had no effect in politics, will be extensively covering the inauguration. Some, such as Essence and Ebony, will have White House reporters for the first time in years.

That the black community felt politically impotent has been a travesty. I believe their nearly exclusive reliance on the Democratic Party has materially damaged their influence because Democrats, frankly, didn't have to fight for black support in two-party elections. Over the years Democrats have just paid lip service or, worse yet, pandered to this voting bloc.

This is obviously different. When Barack Obama stands firm and decries the influence of prison culture on young black men he really is someone of real significance, and the black community has really invested itself in his success. He can make more of a difference for this population and their sense of personal significance- and personal accountability- than anyone else in American history since Abraham Lincoln. This renewal of political coverage in black-oriented media is a sign that blacks feel empowered to enter the mainstream of American politics.

That is all good.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at January 3, 2009 6:35 PM
Comments
Comment #273103

I agree, the democratic machine has all but destroyed the black family. Bill Cosby was one of the first to point out the problems of black men and he was crucified by the all liberals and the liberal press.

Do you honestly think BHO will try to rectify the plight of blacks? If he did, he would have to say the same things as Bill Cosby, which was a message of personal responsibility. BHO is first a liberal democrat, and he will continue to tell blacks the world owes them. When he worked as an “organizer” in Chicago, he was part of the problem and never part of the solution.

Posted by: Oldguy at January 3, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #273106

Lee

“That the black community felt politically impotent has been a travesty. I believe their nearly exclusive reliance on the Democratic Party has materially damaged their influence because Democrats, frankly, didn’t have to fight for black support in two-party elections.”

This is near Orwellian denial. I am amazed that you can arrive at that statement dispite the fact that the fisrt Black president came from the Democratic Party.Is that “lip service”. Is that “material damage”.Through the looking glass.
That the Black community was left out of politics was because the party in power is essentially the white party. One look at the convention floor proves that beyond logical dispute. I was amused this cycle when the Reps did not schedule their usual”n——r night” , bringing all the uncle toms they could drum up to stand on stage for a few minutes. I guess they figured,correctly, it was a lost cause this time around as the general thrust of your post indicates.

Posted by: bills at January 4, 2009 12:26 AM
Comment #273108

bills -

I think you called it. Lee’s quote “Over the years Democrats have just paid lip service or, worse yet, pandered to this voting bloc” is like so much else for which the conservatives have blamed the liberals while doing much worse themselves. The Republicans still tolerate white supremacists in their party, while such will not find a home (as they once did) in the Democratic party for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at January 4, 2009 1:10 AM
Comment #273111

GC
The Rep platform decrys affirmative action. They flat out deny racial profileing in the criminal justice system dispite massive evidence. They are trying to blame the economic meltdown on anti-redlinning statutes for no other reason than Blacks are their favorite whipping boys.The Reps have opposed almost all of the modern civil and voting rights acts. LBJ knew full well that his passing of the great civil rights acts would turn the South Republican for years to come. Finally, finally that is starting to change.
There is no way that even such a distinguished American such as Powell could ever have taken the Rep nomination and he knew it. Obama not only won the nomination of the Democratic Party, he also won the presidency,with Powell’s support I might add. It was no cake walk. The Dems had a bruising primary. So what. Obama won. Perhaps those Republicans knocking the Dems for not sticking up for Blacks would have prefered affirmative action. Unless the Republicans transform and transform soon into a party that recognizes the worth of every American their days as an effective political force are numbered.

Old Guy
Thanks for the illustration of why the Reps fail to gather the Black vote. FYI Most Blacks are NOT on welfare.

Posted by: bills at January 4, 2009 4:49 AM
Comment #273114

Old Guy says
“Do you honestly think BHO will try to rectify the plight of blacks? If he did, he would have to say the same things as Bill Cosby, which was a message of personal responsibility. BHO is first a liberal democrat, and he will continue to tell blacks the world owes them. When he worked as an “organizer” in Chicago, he was part of the problem and never part of the solution”

Obama’s been talking about personal responsibility from the beginning. You’re just not listening.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLjr6GY1aWw&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EALTpC_SvH4&feature=related


Posted by: Mike the Cynic at January 4, 2009 7:19 AM
Comment #273115


And the war goes on between the eliminators of the minimum wage and the cola boys.

Posted by: jlw at January 4, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #273120

Mike the Cynic apparently finds it so much easier to critique a label, “liberal democrat”, than the reality that is Barack Obama.

Mike the Cynic apparently is also blind even to his own contradictions, “[Obama] will continue to tell blacks the world owes them”, and “Obama’s been talking about personal responsibility from the beginning. You’re just not listening.”

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2009 2:46 PM
Comment #273126

For information purposes, there is such a thing as a black press besides Ebony and Essence.

The Chicago Defender , formerly The Chicago Daily Defender, still exists as linked, although no longer a daily.

Posted by: ohrealy at January 4, 2009 4:18 PM
Comment #273129

bills,

The thrust of my post is this- A people who do not consider it worthwhile, or at least necessary to take a vital part in the political debate, both in the side that assumes its rank and file are serfs and in the side that assumes its rank and file are, or want to be, owners, simply thinks they are impotent. They think, or have thought, their participation in the full measure of American politics was pointless.

That is because things like welfare and affirmative action have lured them into thinking they are inferior when they are no such damn thing. It is those policies that are racist because they are founded in a deeply bigoted assumption that black people can’t make it on their own and need the help of stronger, sharper folk.

The Democratic Party has long been the albatross on the neck of the Black community because they did pander to blacks and convince the vast majority of them, as did a generation of plantation owners at the end of the Civil War, that there was no way blacks could get by without ther care and protection.

Finally a black man stands at the head of that party. If he really is a man of courage he will convince the black community of this nation that they are not inferior, that they can dress as though they respect themselves and each other, that they can and will excel in education, business, and science, that they can and will be leaders in building every community in which they live.

It is nothing but the deepest form of racism to think we have the power to hand people of any stripe or color the capacity to lift themselves up. From Irish, to Italian, to Jew, to Vietnamese, ad infinitum, peoples have come to this country bearing a deep burden of racism only to gain the respect of this country’s majorities by proving they respected themselves and could stand toe-to-toe with us. Blacks are no different. Policies founded in condescension will only delay the day people who have learned to look over their shoulders and mouth belief in equality will have to acknoweledge that it really exists (or that, as with Asians and Jews, we in the majority are getting our butts kicked).

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 4, 2009 6:35 PM
Comment #273132

Lee
After ww2, most veterans were able to use GI financing to buy homes. Not Black veterans because it was official federal government policy to turn down loans in Black nieghborhoods and there were no fair housing laws. Blacks were not allowed to buy homes in White areas,period.. The financial and emotional stability that helped give rise to the middle class was officially denied Blacks solely for reasons of race. Should we pretend this did not happen? Should we pretend the US government did not give a substantial advantage to one racial group over another? That is only one example.Something more current? Why are the penalities for naselly ingested cocaine so much lighter than for smokeable cocaine? Of course we would not want the errant sons and daughters of bankers and politicians going to prison for years for simple possesion now would we. The exact same chemical in a form more popular in the Black community is a different story. There the penalities are extremely severe. Why? Whats the difference besides racism?Why are Blacks statistically more likely to recieve prison time for the same offense as white defendants with the same record? You apparently wish to conflate mentioning these and other historical examples of institutional racism as somehow racist. Absurd, as is the notion that providing some relief from past discrimination holds people back. Ask Powell about affirmative action. Ask a poor mother about how having enough food for her children holds her and them back. Down is not up. Right is not wrong. Lies are not truth.

Posted by: bills at January 4, 2009 9:57 PM
Comment #273133

Lee
Apoligies. A bit severe. We can possibly agree on some things. Race based college admissions are wrong. They have been outlawed in some states. This has led to a dramatic drop in Black attendance. Why? Two reasons come to mind. There is a lack of available spots for students and many of the available spots are taken by legacy students,mostly white. To be absolutly fair in admissions we could adopt a polcy of reliance on admissions test ONLY. No legacy admission.No racial information even gathered. Works for me,but in a few years the same people decrying affirmative action will be demanding quotas to insure white students are not displaced by Asians. But fair is fair. Common ground?

Posted by: bills at January 4, 2009 10:53 PM
Comment #273136

DRR,

Mike the cynic was referencing a previous statement by Oldguy, who cast his usual aspersions on ‘liberals’. There was no contradiction there.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 5, 2009 2:54 AM
Comment #273138

Thanks Dude,

The quote from Oldguy that really stuck in my craw (Whatever a craw is) is this stupid line—”he will continue to tell blacks the world owes them.” Even Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don’t say “the world owes them”. That is almost always a line from the far right. They would tell you they just want the opportunity. In all of America the only ones I can see who are owed are the Vets. And they hardly ever get what we owe them.

As for Lee’s original post. You’re right on! (except maybe your slur on Dems). It’s not just good for the black media, but all of black culture. For once, black kids have an excellent roll model. Instead of sport stars and gangsters/drug dealers, they can look up to Barack.

If you graduate top of your class at Harvard you’ll have a good life no matter what race you belong to. You could be a paraplegic transvestite and you’ll still do well. But if you drop out of high school, life will probably be a struggle. “Education is the Key” I can’t think of a better message to send to young people!

Posted by: Mike the Cynic at January 5, 2009 8:51 AM
Comment #273140

While Democrats may have been too complacent about black voters, the Republicans have set themselves up, since the early seventies, in diametric opposition to their interests. Only when Republicans stop catering to racial divisions, and start doing some material good for folks in the inner city will they live down the negative effects of the Southern Strategy on their image among minorities.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 5, 2009 9:09 AM
Comment #273142

One of my greatest concerns is that, frankly on both sides, we too little acknowledge the good intentions of the other side (whatever we may think of their methods). I believe very strongly in human equality, but I also believe human equality happens one and only one human at a time.

No one thinks of me as a Scotch-Irish/German-American. That means it is utterly unnecessary for me to cast my political lot with Scotch-Irish/German-Americans and limit my expressions, if not even my range of thought, to what that group thinks is acceptable. Group-think is far more corrosive to personal freedom than outright oppression. By and large ‘whites’ in this country are relatively free of that tyrrany.

Obama’s presidency can open the minds of any number of groups to the fact their members have as much right to be individuals free from the tyrrany of group-think as the Europeans who came here so they wouldn’t have to be like other Europeans. He is clearly trying to think outside the boxes of his most strident liberal support groups. That is a good sign.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 5, 2009 10:21 AM
Comment #273148

I hear Obama talking about personal responsibility but his past has nothing to do with folks taking personal responsibility.
First and foremost is Obama is a liberal Democrat. He’s been backed by liberal Democrats all is political career. I doubt very much he’s gonna actually follow through with his talk as much as I’d like to see him follow through.
The cold hard facts are that the Democrats have and still tell folks that they are to stupid to make it on their own and need the government to get by. Why would Obama go against his own parties philosophy once in office?
While I hope that he does and actually tells the Black community that they ain’t gonna get anywhere relying on the government I just don’t see it happening.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 5, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #273153

Ron Brown,

Why is it that the Republicans call it relying on their government when minorities look for a level playing field and at the same time back tax breaks and other forms of corporate welfare “hand-outs” when it comes to their own?
If a poor person needs temporary help for their families to get on their feet, they’re “welfare queens.” If they’re wealthy corporations such as oil companies who get subsidies and tax breaks it’s good business.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at January 5, 2009 4:38 PM
Comment #273156

bills writes; “bringing all the uncle toms they could drum up to stand on stage for a few minutes.”

What a hateful and nonsense statement to make. If a black person is a Republican you appear to smear them as an “Uncle Tom”. Why not take a page from your leader Mr. Obama, and look beyond personal politics.

Posted by: Jim M at January 5, 2009 5:16 PM
Comment #273162

Andre
I don’t know. You’d have to ask the Republicans.
I’m not against helping someone that needs a little help getting on their feet. I’m against supporting that person the rest of their life.
As far as corporate welfare is concerned I’m against any form of it. I was against the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. I’m against the auto makers bailout. And I’m against tax breaks and subsidies for corporations.
One thing is for sure though. Until folks start taking responsibility for themselves and quit relying on the government they will never get anywhere.
Obama’s entire public life has been devoted to keeping folks relying on government. What would make anyone think just because he’s President he’ll change anything?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 5, 2009 7:23 PM
Comment #273165

Tax breaks and corporate welfare are two different things. Exporting countries, including the United States, will rebate taxes paid on production that goes into the export market. This gives the lie to the idea that the corporation really pays taxes. IN fact corporate taxes are paid by the (domestic) customer, who, in turn, just hates corporations and thinks their prices are high.

This is why many of us support a national sales tax so that the public will actually see how much government costs rather than having it slipped into the price of everything they buy.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 5, 2009 7:35 PM
Comment #273172

In most of the “right wing” media, you hear things like “Give Obama a chance.” “He is our president.” etc. The left will have to look beyond Fox, National Review & Weeklystandard to find all this hatred they talk about.

Obama, son of a foreign father who abandoned him as a child, a man w/o much money or connections raises himself to success, riches and the highest office in America. We can be proud of Obama and proud of the America that makes this possible. The left will have a hard time explaining how this is possible in the racist America they describe.

BTW - Bush didn’t invade Iran. He didn’t prevent the elections. He is cooperating very much with the transition.

Were all the things the left got so hysterical about were just in their fevered imaginations?

I have been watching this blog for years. Some of the best conservatives are gone. They got tired. They used to point out that most (almost all) of the big threats liberals predict just do not happen.

What are liberals going to do without Bush to blame. On Jan 20 the world will not be that different.

Posted by: Christine at January 5, 2009 9:43 PM
Comment #273174

>Obama’s entire public life has been devoted to keeping folks relying on government. What would make anyone think just because he’s President he’ll change anything?
Posted by: Ron Brown at January 5, 2009 07:23 PM

Ron Brown…cites please…he worked to get people back to work after some massive layoffs in South Chicago. He worked to make ‘welfare-to-work’ actually work, and he worked to get folks out to vote in elections…give me a cite on all that ‘keeping folks reliant on government’ you talk about…references please

Posted by: Marysdude at January 5, 2009 10:08 PM
Comment #273175

>What are liberals going to do without Bush to blame.
Posted by: Christine at January 5, 2009 09:43 PM

Christine,

We intend to sigh a lot, with relief…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 5, 2009 10:09 PM
Comment #273177

Yep Christine, if ya can’t force your ideas on us dummies, ya might as well just go sumwheres else…………
And,by “best conservatives”, that would be in your opinion, right?????

Posted by: janedoe at January 5, 2009 10:29 PM
Comment #273182

“This is why many of us support a national sales tax so that the public will actually see how much government costs rather than having it slipped into the price of everything they buy.”

Lee the national sales tax was favored by the pre depression repubs and conservatives. It didn’t pass then and it won’t now. It is as regressive as our current income tax system thanks to years of manipulation by the conservatives.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2009 1:15 AM
Comment #273190

j2t2,

Let’s talk about “regressive” taxes for a moment. What is more regressive, a tax hidden in the cost of diapers, food, drugs, and everything else made by American companies and then sold to Americans regardless of the income of those who must consume it, or a tax that specifically exempts certain products particularly impacting the poor, young, and old and also provides for tax rebates to people who earn less than a given amount?

What is regressive is the taxation conveniently hidden away so the ignorant, poor, young, and sick don’t know the government is tapping their jugulars. It is the depth of irony that in Texas it was Democrats representing the poorest part of the state who ramrodded the most onerously regressive tax imagineable, the Texas Lottery, which gets a clear majority of its income from people below the poverty line.

The current system is just parasitism with an overdose of anaesthesia. And the people the parasites suck on hardest are the very ones they pretend to serve.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 6, 2009 11:12 AM
Comment #273194

Christine,

I have to wonder what it means to be a “best” conservative. It seems to me that conservatives as a group have done a very poor job recently of explaining the philosophical foundations of our view on the role and dangers of government, the role and dangers of coorporations, and how the two things are not so different as the left would have us think they are.

‘Conservatives’ have become whiners, complaining about the “Mainstream Media” and throwing rhetorical bombs at the left as though the people there were driven by a desire to dismantle the Union. I’ve even slipped into that mode myself sometimes.

What we need is conservatives who will talk about ideas, point out liberal folly (like Al Franken’s “victory” fit for a comedian and the recent drip-drip of Democrat “integrity” in public office), and refocus on educating the population because it is impossible for elected office holders to be truly conservative (to do so flies in the face of the power they seek in public office) without the public enforcing that discipline on them.

It is also good to point out that the only reference to the use of the “n” word I’ve seen here lately was by a liberal imputing an intent to Republicans.

We’ve got the government we’ve got. The system still allows a determined minority the opportunity to affect policy and tell the world what they believe. It is good, when people have lost their way, to get their butts kicked.

We got what was coming to us.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 6, 2009 11:49 AM
Comment #273196

Lee assuming that American corporations pay much in taxes to the federal government is assuming a lot. However for the sake of this conversation lets say they do pay a little into the federal government coffers. This “tax” you speak of is no more hidden than the rest of the taxes we pay. The answer to corporate taxes is to tax the shareholders directly for the income of the corporation they have invested in. Make it a part of the income of the individual to be taxed at the individuals tax rate based upon their income.

The answer is not a national sales tax. The sales tax is regressive and any attempt to rebate to a certain level only makes it slightly less regressive. If you want to further exclude products in an attempt to make it less regressive you are only creating a tax code similar to what we have today. Why bother?

The income tax codes need to be revised once again to shift the burden of taxation to those that have the majority of the wealth in this country not to those of us in the middle and lower classes. Reagan started this shift in taxation away from the wealthy and onto the middle class and it has continued with each and every tax reform to this day. While conservatives may appreciate this and would like to put the nail in the coffin with a national sales tax it is the wrong thing to do for this country.

Remember the middle class is on the way out as the laws and programs that created a middle class in this country have been attacked and destroyed in the name of conservatism this past 30 years. Who will pay these taxes to the feds once the middle class is done in? Your comments on big government and big corporations is well received by me it’s just that all I see is the continual attack on the government while the corporations continue to grow unabated. The national sales tax will only hasten the destruction of the middle class in this country.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2009 12:58 PM
Comment #273199

j2t2,

We’re off the topic, of course, but the “shift away from the rich” is nonsense, since the actual percentage of taxes paid by the wealthy in recent years has increased, not decreased.

This was even the subject of one of the famous questions of the presidential primaries just past when Sam Donaldson (I think) asked Obama why he intended to increase tax rates on capital gains when those taxes suppressed trading in stocks to the extent that tax collections fell. Obama didn’t dispute the point of the question. He simply said it was “fair”.

Fair? Fair to suppress tax collections on the people who could best afford to pay so he could pretend to stick it to them while the middle class REALLY DID PAY MORE TAXES?

I have to leave liberal logic to you people. I just can’t understand it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 6, 2009 1:22 PM
Comment #273204

>We’re off the topic, of course, but the “shift away from the rich” is nonsense, since the actual percentage of taxes paid by the wealthy in recent years has increased, not decreased.
Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 6, 2009 01:22 PM

Lee,

That percentage increase is the basis of the opposing argument…the wealthy pay a higher percentage of the taxes because they have increase their hold on more of the wealth. It will soon be impossible for the lower middle class to pay taxes. That will shift more of the load onto those who are most unwilling to pay taxes, and who can hide assets off shore, find loopholes, etc.

I see a time when taxation slowly grinds to a stop…all public services fade away, and we return to law enforcement the old fashioned way…please remember, there are no more hog-legs, shootin’ irons, or six-guns…nowadays it’s M14’s 15’s & 16’s, UZI’s, MAC10’s, AK47’s, etc…could turn out to be a hell of an OK Corral

Posted by: Marysdude at January 6, 2009 2:21 PM
Comment #273207

j2t2,

It will soon be impossible for the lower middle class to pay taxes.
The lower 50% pay only 3% of income taxes now! That’s why Democrats want to hide taxation in corporate taxes, so we’ll pay them and not know it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 6, 2009 3:02 PM
Comment #273210

M the C

“Even Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don’t say “the world owes them”.

Actually, Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton both supported “Reparations”, and I would consider that a “you owe me” attitude.


Posted by: Oldguy at January 6, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #273219

“Fair? Fair to suppress tax collections on the people who could best afford to pay so he could pretend to stick it to them while the middle class REALLY DID PAY MORE TAXES?”

It is my understanding that long term capital gains are taxed at 15% now regardless of one’s income tax bracket . This is one reason I say the tax burden need’s to be shifted back to the wealthy Lee. Why is it not taxed as income and based upon the individual’s total income and tax bracket?
I wonder if their is evidence to support the statement that people won’t sell stocks because they don’t want to pay tax on the profits from the sell of the stocks. Isn’t that akin to me saying I am not going to work because I have to pay income taxes on the money I receive for my labor?

“I have to leave liberal logic to you people. I just can’t understand it.”

Perhaps the logic to Obama’s statement, Lee, is that it would still be fair as he says even if it did result in a loss of tax revenue as is claimed. We have also been told by Laffer followers that by decreasing taxes the tax revenue would go up to make up the difference yet of course it hasn’t.

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

Posted by: j2t2 at January 6, 2009 7:59 PM
Comment #273220

Janedoe
You might want to use a spell checker and maybe a grammar program. I know you have a right to write, but it is very distracting when you write like that.

Lee Jamison
I just meant that liberals seem to be a lot more common on this blog. They keep on repeating predictions and fears of things that do not happen. If you were to read the liberals on this blog, you would be sure that by now everybody would be in chains and we would be invading Iran, Venezuela etc. They predicted these things for eight years. Yet despite these dangers, they never were afraid to write into this blog. I notice that in really oppressive places people are more careful. I saw the conservatives point out many times how exaggerated the liberal fears were. (My husband used to write a lot and that is how I started to read Watchblog. I always marveled at his tolerance.) And now that Bush is leaving office, we see that all these guys are still free. Nobody is evidently afraid to say whatever she wants. I think liberals must have believed these things because they said them so often. They were just wrong.

Posted by: Christine at January 6, 2009 8:50 PM
Comment #273222

Christine:

Welcome to the world and the mindset of a liberal. Things don’t have to be true to say them. They believe if you rant and rave over the same things long enough, they become true.

Posted by: Oldguy at January 6, 2009 10:05 PM
Comment #273225

Oldguy,

Pot meet kettle.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 6, 2009 10:31 PM
Comment #273227

>The quote from Oldguy that really stuck in my craw (Whatever a craw is) is this stupid line—”he will continue to tell blacks the world owes them.”
Posted by: Mike the Cynic at January 5, 2009 08:51 AM

Mike the Cynic,

The craw is an organ in a bird’s body. It is generally filled with a grainy substance such as fine sand. It is used to grind up food. Birds don’t have teeth, so chewing is out. The craw is, in effect, substitute teeth.

Hence…to stick in one’s craw, means serious heartburn…

I understand why that particular statement ‘stuck in your craw’…I’m still chewing Tums. ;)

Posted by: Marysdude at January 6, 2009 10:56 PM
Comment #273236

Lee, perhaps you don’t understand because you are rejecting the big picture.

First, your propaganda that the wealthy have seen their taxes increased under the Bush administration is just that, pure propaganda. The total dollar amount paid by the wealthy may have increased during the leveraging of the markets that have brought our economy into recession, but, their rates went down, and much of what corporations were counting as assets we now know to have been pure invention and fantasy - POOF!, Gone like a fart in a hurricane. Wealth is not measured by the peaks and troughs of market valuations, but, by averaging wealth over time.

Therefore, to consider federal revenues from the wealthy, let’s average them over the entire last 8 years, and I am confident you will find that the wealthy have not paid more total dollars, and in fact, some who incurred losses are now the beneficiaries of tax dollar handouts like those at AIG and other financial institutions.

Second, it is a demonstrated fallacy that lowering tax rates generates tax revenues equaling or exceeding the revenue dollars that would have been taken in had the tax rates not dropped. While that can be the case under extremely rare and specific circumstances, such as lowering rates during a period when the economy is choking on insufficient investment dollars and capital lending. But, that is a very rare circumstance and always very short lived.

Third. Obama’s remarks about capital gains were made before the impending economic crisis was realized. Obama has altered his position on capital gains taxes in light of the economic conditions now underway. This is entirely appropriate and intelligent. As opposed to ideological approaches that stipulate tax policy this way or that in perpetuity will be appropriate regardless of economic conditions.

8th grade math and logic dictate that when a nation is in debt, raising taxes during economic prosperity is appropriate for lowering debt, and cutting taxes is appropriate during economic activity slumps, even if deficit spending is the consequence of such tax cuts. A healthy economy is required for healthy tax revenues which can lower deficits (along with reduced spending), and pay down debt.

Therefore, any sensible tax policy requires built-in adaptability to economic conditions. Something which conservative tax policy talking heads almost entirely ignore, with their reiterations that cutting taxes is always good.

Our nation fiscal condition would be so much better off had GW Bush raised taxes in 2004 through 2006 when the economy was strengthening and consumers were contentedly spending like there was no tomorrow. If Bush had used his veto pen on absurd spending and applied the increased tax revenues from the tax increases to paying down the debt, we might have entered into this current economic crisis with only 6.5 to 7 trillion dollars of national debt instead of 10 trillion. But, he continues to erroneously believe in his conservative mantra of all tax cuts are good at all times. And now that crisis is upon us, as many more will be in the future, his failure to increase taxes when doing so would have had virtually no negative impact on the consumer driven economy, now has us stuck between a rock and hard place fighting off a depression and flirting with hyperinflation borrowing and printing of money.

Democrats tax policies make more sense than Republicans. The problem with Democrats controlling tax policy is that this means they also control spending policy, and historically speaking, Democrats never saw a tax increase which couldn’t be doubled in spending.

Obama is not your traditional Democrat. Obama is going to spend and hold off raising taxes to save the economic future of this country. Once the economy is on an upward growth trendline, Obama is going to deal with the deficits and debt long term problem, and he has said many times now, everyone is going to sacrifice some in that effort. And he means everyone. That is an entirely different approach than what we have witnessed from Republican or Democratic presidents in the last half century or so.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2009 3:10 AM
Comment #273239

>The lower 50% pay only 3% of income taxes now! That’s why Democrats want to hide taxation in corporate taxes, so we’ll pay them and not know it. Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 6, 2009 03:02 PM

Lee,

I’m not sure those figures aren’t someone’s fantasy, but even if true, they prove my point. The divide between the ‘rich’ and ‘poor’ is ever widening. How in the world can you expect people with no/little wealth to pay taxes? What you say shows no reasoning…you blame the homeless for a nabob having to give up a gold faucet in order to pay a little tax? That’s like blaming a poor slob who wanted a nicer home for the economic meltdown…?!?!?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 7, 2009 7:48 AM
Comment #273240

Christine
Perhaps the reason we did not attack Iran or invade Venezuala was BECAUSE of the liberal opposition. There was no way the administration could ever pull off the WND lies that they used to justify the attack on Iraq. I am proud of that, albeit to late to stop one stupid war. FYI There is still no hard evidence that Iran is building nuclear weapons or that they ever supplied weapons to the armed opposition in Iraq. There were propaganda attempts by the Bush regime but they did not and do not stand the test of scutiny. We will not be fooled again.

Posted by: bills at January 7, 2009 8:24 AM
Comment #273245

“One thing is for sure though. Until folks start taking responsibility for themselves and quit relying on the government they will never get anywhere.”

I agree. That is why I have started to shovel my own road, police my neighborhood, started my own school, built my own hospital, and keep buckets of water around in case of fire. That whole working together and pooling resouces as a collective for the common good is B. S.

I would love to write more but I have to go shovel my road so I can get anywhere. I’d hate to have to rely on the Liberal Government.

Posted by: 037 at January 7, 2009 9:47 AM
Comment #273246

Your sarcasm is laughable and the peoples dependency on govt is pitiful at best.
People wait for govt to clear their roads for them, instead of taking measures to prevent the need to travel or even clearing their roads themselves. And to top it off, they whine because other people have not done it for them.
People wait for govt to police and protect them and their neighborhoods, instead of taking measures to protect themselves and where they live. And to top it off, they vote away their Constitutional rights to do so and whine because other people are not protecting them.
People wait for govt to teach their children, instead of taking the inititiative to teach them themselves. Instead, they leave it up to others and then whine because their children are not being taught what they feel should be taught.
People wait for govt to help them pay for or provide healthcare, instead of taking measures like doing without frills and saving for their own healthcare. And to top it off, they bitch about the cost of a bottle of pills while standing in line to pay for their third or fourth DVD player, a Big Mac, cigs, beer, CD etc…

People don’t mind “working together and pooling resouces as a collective for the common good,” but they do mind being forced to support your view of what is for the “common good.”
That is why our govt was meant to run govt, not lives.

Now, I am going to go back to work so that govt can forcefully take too much of what I earn and give it to somebody else.
Probably that jackass who lives down the street in govt housing and doesn’t work, but yet has an 06 or 07 Honda Accord with a custom stereo he plays WAY to loud.

Posted by: kctim at January 7, 2009 10:26 AM
Comment #273253

kctim

I’m glad you appreciate my sarcasm.

I wasn’t waiting. As I said I’m going to shovel my road. I wasn’t able to make traveling to work preventable. How do you manage that? pray tell?
Also, I’m not waiting for the police to protect me. That is my responsibility. I’m outsourcing the work for economic reasons.

Oh and by the way, the concept is called division of labor. See we don’t all need to hunt and gather. Some of us can do that, while the rest of us make clothing or tools… but we need to get together and figure out who is going to do what. Hey lets call that group “government”

Posted by: 037 at January 7, 2009 11:30 AM
Comment #273256

David Remer,

Second, it is a demonstrated fallacy that lowering tax rates generates tax revenues equaling or exceeding the revenue dollars that would have been taken in had the tax rates not dropped.
Really? Would you please demonstrate this fallacy, then? (Note the “surprising” increase in corporate taxes collected on lower tax rates from 2003 to 2006 in the link.)

037,
The fact is that people left to their own devices among people they trust will cooperate on many things. Yes, government is necessary for many forms of public work, for law enforcement, and for ensuring an educated populace, but liberals little understand how government intrusion can foment the very distrust that makes government necessary in the first place.

For example, government inevitably enacts a general interpretation of morality, meaning it must compete with minority religious views. In this case that means ANY religious view, since all religions in America, taken individually, are a minority. If we allow government to trump religious views, then, we sow distrust among all religious communities.

Education must make interpretations on matters of cultural values. It can’t be helped. When it shows signs of being dogmatic in such interpretation it will inevitably sow distrust in other portions of the community. On can go point by point through every possible governmental function and find ways in which the stronger government grows, and the more influence we permit it to have, the more distrustful people become, not just of government itself, but of each other.

Government can never solve our problems. It can be part of a leadership effort to improve our attitudes toward each other and to increase trust so true cooperation can reestablish itself as the norm.

Some months ago I read a definition of liberalism by WatchBlog’s own Paul Siegel. I found myself agreeing on nearly every goal he claimed was exclusive to liberals. I only really disagreed on his concepts of what conservatives believe and his means of achieving his stated goals.

The real goal of the organization of society is TRUST. That is what money is for. It is what religion is for. It is what organizations in the private sector are for, and, finally, it is what government is meant to stand in the breach for when we can’t seem to get it any other way. Government operates, though, by coercion.

Coercion does not beget trust.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 7, 2009 11:57 AM
Comment #273259

037
And again, people don’t mind “group government,” they just don’t like it when some in that “group” use that “government” to force beliefs that they preceive to be for the “common good,” onto everybody else.

Wanting “folks to start taking responsibility for themselves and quit relying on the government” doesn’t automatically mean that folks such as myself want to do away with all govt services as your post suggested. We just think our beliefs should also be respected and the only way to do that is for us to go back to our govt only running govt, not our lives.

Posted by: kctim at January 7, 2009 12:11 PM
Comment #273263

kcctim

“And again, people don’t mind “group government,” they just don’t like it when some in that “group” use that “government” to force beliefs that they preceive to be for the “common good,” onto everybody else.”

I agree. Will you help me convince those who are against gay marrage and illegal drugs this?

Posted by: 037 at January 7, 2009 12:39 PM
Comment #273264

Lee, aside from your link not working, you said: “Really? Would you please demonstrate this fallacy, then? (Note the “surprising” increase in corporate taxes collected on lower tax rates from 2003 to 2006 in the link.) “

Nice staw man question. The question to be asked is where is your data on the amount of revenue that was lost by cuts in tax rates during the same period. That data always seems to fail to get into the math of those conservative proponents of the “all tax cuts are utopian”, crowd.

David Walker, Ben Bernanke, Alan Greenspan, the CBO, and the GAO have all commented after reviewing the data that the data demonstrates those tax cuts failed to produce the amount revenues that would otherwise have been received if tax cuts had not been made.

Tax cuts are stimulative of economic activity IF there is a damper on economic activity CAUSED by a lack of capital investment monies. Sometimes stimulating the economy from the Supplier side is warranted and needed. But idiots like the Minority Whip of the House who said this morning that the stimulus package MUST include tax cuts for business so they can hire workers, is ludicrous. Employers are not laying off workers today DUE to taxation being too high. They are laying off workers because demand for their goods and services have dropped precipitously.

You aren’t really going to try to defend this minority Whip’s idiotic ideology, are you, Lee? Some common sense is called for, and so Republicans were kicked out of majority decision making status on issues like taxes and spending.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2009 12:41 PM
Comment #273268

David,

Sorry about the link. Your argument seems to be that people, in hindsight, believe they can identify moments when more taxes could have been collected than had been collected if only the tax rates had remained high.

What I don’t see is people, in hindsight, pointing out what must be the obviously greater number of times in which higher taxes yielded greater revenues and a stronger economy.

Other than that I do see the obvious- people will avoid activities that lead to high taxes. For a lot of people in high tax periods that means the extra effort necessary to earn the next dollar.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 7, 2009 1:11 PM
Comment #273269

037
“I agree. Will you help me convince those who are against gay marrage and illegal drugs this?”

ABSOLUTELY!!!
I am pro-choice, unlike most who claim to be.
I am a very strong supporter of people being able to marry whomever they wish and to put whatever they wish into their own bodies.
Glad to see we can work together on this.

Posted by: kctim at January 7, 2009 1:33 PM
Comment #273270

Lee, kcctim

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This is why we have a government.

Lee, We the people are the government. You may disagree with the decisions that we make as a group but Keep that in mind when you say things like “Government can never solve our problems.” Do you mean to say that we as a group are incapable of solving are problems?

“The real goal of the organization of society is TRUST. That is what money is for. It is what religion is for. It is what organizations in the private sector are for…”

I don’t agree. I think the real goal of the organization of society is for mutual benefit.
Even private organizations.
I think the Carpenters union is for the benefit of carpenters. The Manufactures Assoc. is for the benefit of manufacturers.

Money is a medium of exchange to facilitate the trade of goods and services. Not to facilitate trust.

I’ll skip whatI think religion is for.


Posted by: 037 at January 7, 2009 1:34 PM
Comment #273274

“We the people are the government”

All the more reason to ensure that our govt runs govt and not our lives.

Posted by: kctim at January 7, 2009 2:04 PM
Comment #273282

Christine,
Glad to see you have (?) a sense of humor and can recognize (?) sarcasm when you read it.

Posted by: janedoe at January 7, 2009 3:38 PM
Comment #273286

037,

I’m astonished that you don’t see how “a medium of exchange” is in fact a substitute for trust. If I was going to have to take milk and butter in barter for a house the transaction would never happen. Admittedly, the trust involved is multidimensional and deals with logistics as well as interpersonal honesty.

I took that statement as being obvious, and not just the part about money. This deserves further consideration.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 7, 2009 5:44 PM
Comment #273290

037 said: “Money is a medium of exchange to facilitate the trade of goods and services. Not to facilitate trust.”

Almost true. Money does serve the function of facilitating trust, trust that that money will hold the same value upon spending it as when receiving it. That is why inflation is such an ugly consequence of fiscal and monetary mismanagement.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2009 8:02 PM
Comment #273291

Lee said barely comprehensibly: “Your argument seems to be that people, in hindsight, believe they can identify moments when more taxes could have been collected than had been collected if only the tax rates had remained high.”

Economicians can calculate with reasonable accuracy the amount of tax revenue to be received under a given set of economic conditions (GDP growth rate, positive or negative) at various rates of taxation. Yes, that is precisely what all economists are trained to do as part of both their undergraduate and graduate education, among other kinds of measures.

It is not my argument. It is a fact of and activity of the GAO and CBO and a host of other financial and economic study institutions.

You seem to be implying there is no rational basis for assessing revenues in retrospect based on historical economic conditions at varying rates of taxation. If so, that is a very faulty implication.

I will tell that you measuring revenues under past economic conditions at varying rates of taxation is a far more accurate exercise than attempting predict future revenues based varying tax rates, because, obviously, the assumption set of future economic conditions may not match the reality after that future period has transpired.

And predicting future revenues at varying rates is precisely one of the major functions of the GAO, CBO, Treasury, FED Reserve, and host of other economic organizations, in order to form policy and budgets for the federal government. It generally is pretty accurate as well, save for economic peak or trough trend change years which were unanticipated.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2009 8:26 PM
Comment #273292

037 said: “real goal of the organization of society is for mutual benefit. “

Part right. There are many goals for organizing society and mutual benefit is but one of them IF society is democratically based. Think about it. Consider authoritarian regimes as an example of why your general and universal statement above is insufficient.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2009 8:29 PM
Comment #273310

Lee
“Government can never solve our problems” Really.Lets see now,if you live in town try flushing your toilet. If the turds go away government has solved a problem for you. If you post a letter and it gets delivered,government has solved a problem for you. If,God forbid, your house catches on fire and the fire dept. shows up,government has solved a problem for you. If you have a proweler and summon the police, the government has solved a problem for you. If you need to drive over a river and there is a bridge for you to drive on, government has solved a problem for you. If the country is attacked and the military responds,government solves a problem for you.You can buy reasonably safe food. An accident? No,government is solving a problem for you. The list could go on and on.Conservatives often deny the benefits of government but clearly there are benefits. Its like ungrateful children sometimes. Does government always do a good job? Of course not. Are there areas where government should not be involved? Of course,but your statement is absurd.

Posted by: bills at January 8, 2009 7:22 AM
Comment #273312

bills,
Quite right. The statement was poorly worded. I should have said government is not the tool that can solve all our problems.

Your own examples are a case in point. The vast majority of sewer systems, for example, are built by private contractors who contract to a government agency, which then operates the system. The Postal Service, though it is a government agency, is forbidden by law to receive tax funding. It has a monopoly authorized by law for the delivery of letters. Otherwise it would have long since disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Liberals like to claim government is the legitimate agency of cooperation, and further claim that cooperation is the antithesis of competition. Both ideas are preposterous.

Government is just one of many types of cooperative human organization. Virtually all government agencies, principalities, and municipalities are organized as corporations. The very animosity shown by the most avid supporters of government proves government is, in fact, in competition with other forms of cooperative human organizations.

As with any other type of organization there are some things “government” does not do particularly well. It is inefficient at maintaining and updating distribution and sale of goods and services. It is unable to deal effectively with rapidly changing sources of supply in dynamic market situations. It is unable to eliminate ineffective organizational subsets and create more effective subsets to supplant them. (A possible exception to this is wartime military, where the enemy is usually good at culling inefficiencies, while effective units have a tendency to survive.)

When government is in charge of something it does poorly it does not examine itself to trim away failure. It adds functions and coerces acquiescense until its failures collapse its system of support. Thus it is not a good tool for solving all of our problems.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 8, 2009 9:34 AM
Comment #273313

Lee,

You speak of ‘government’ as if it is a four letter word. Government is no different than any business or corporation, in that it grows, becomes cumbersome and has to be trimmed. We are constantly trimming government, just as General Motors has had to trim its fat from time to time.

Government is not a BAD thing…government is a good thing…it just needs to be carefully tended to. That is and has been our problem…we have been much too lax in tending to it, and it has grown almost malevolent over time. Now we try to take back control of it by hiring a gunslinger who thinks he can bring it back under control. The alternative is to just sit on our hands, leaving it to adjust itself. I think we made the right choice.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 8, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #273316

“As with any other type of organization there are some things “government” does not do particularly well. It is inefficient at maintaining and updating distribution and sale of goods and services. It is unable to deal effectively with rapidly changing sources of supply in dynamic market situations.”

Lee that is also the difference between a dictatorship and a democracy. Myself I would rather have a democracy. Government serves a different function than a corporation and rightfully so. To confuse the two has been a conservative trait that has led to such poor governing this past 8 years IMHO. A CEO does not make a good president, as we have found out.

To think that government should be run as a profit making business is unsound. Checks and Balances are needed in government as there are rights and liberties to be defended where government is concerned. The corporation has no such boundaries. The sole purpose of a corporation is to make a profit for its shareholders not to ensure tranquility and promote the general welfare of the American people.

This government as corporation mentality has diminished our freedom in this country and should be reconsidered by those that adhere to this philosophy. Do you really want a corporation running the Justice department and courts on a for profit basis?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 8, 2009 10:54 AM
Comment #273323

marysdude,

That is and has been our problem…we have been much too lax in tending to it, and it has grown almost malevolent over time.
Wow! It’s amazing to see you write that. I’m sure you say such a thing as someone who has seen the power of government fall under the control of people you think of as the enemy, but it is a mature thing to say, none the less.

I posted today extending the idea of agencies of trust. Government is one of those. We need it for that purpose, but we can’t ask it to do what it shouldn’t do or does not do well.

I disagree with one point you make. there is a difference between the corporation of government and the corporation of a company the produces income directly through the sales of goods or services. Government can be ineffective and still get income to operate.

We have real problems with all manner of corporations and corporate control. At least bad Chrysler, regardless of how well the shareholders police the directors, will fail and go away. (Less certain with government interferance, of course) We, the People, however, really need to come to grips with how hard it is to keep a handle on our boards of directors for government.

I fully agree with you there. We’re not doing a good job at that.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 8, 2009 12:26 PM
Comment #273325

j2t2,
PBS is also a corporation. Save the Children is a corporation. The City of Shreveport, La. is, literally, a corporation in the legal sense of the word. What I’m saying has nothing to do with profit. The U.S. government can deal with people and companies as though it was a person in and of itself. That is what I mean by a “corporation”. That is all a corporation is in legal terms.

You act as though the qualitative difference between making a profit and the power to tax were both qualitative and quantitative. In fact both Exxon and the U.S. government are able to secure huge quantities of resources that they can act on in ways never intended or authorized by their voting shareholder/citizens. I give you, for example, the fact that the U.S. government has run an actual operating deficit every year since before the beginning of the Great Depression, yet its assets are now worth trillions of dollars. Had Standard Oil of New Jersy, the forebear of Exxon, done the same thing it would have vanished in the thirties.

You’re right we’re not comparing apples to apples. We’re also not comparing apples to asteroids, though. There are real similarities, too often ignored by some, between profit making corporations and government corporations. We lay ourselves bare to the greed of the second kind of corporation to ignore those similarities.

As to the CEO thing, that simply means ‘Chief Executive Officer’, again literally what the president is under the Constitution. From the way Obama is setting his presidency up I can’t see that there will be a huge change there in terms of how offices will run and assignments will be delegated. The press and the Congress will like him much more, at least at first.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 8, 2009 12:48 PM
Comment #273328

>I’m sure you say such a thing as someone who has seen the power of government fall under the control of people you think of as the enemy, but it is a mature thing to say, none the less.
Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 8, 2009 12:26 PM

Lee,

Wow! What a mature way to pay a left-handed compliment…

I am a left leaning Democrat, and you are a right leaning Republican. You have the unmitigated arrogance to judge MY maturity? Just because we disagree on many things, hardly makes one of us more mature than the other. I’ll stake the mature accomplishments of my life against those of yours any day.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 8, 2009 1:19 PM
Comment #273331

Marysdude,

I usually don’t apply the artifice of diplomatese to discussions with people on politics. It was not intended to be left-handed. I was really impressed, not with the fact that someone probably a little older than I didn’t behave like a ten-year-old, but that a left-leaning Democrat would admit to any malevolence in government. Your comments were well-rounded, open-minded, and clear-headed. You know, all those hyphenatd expression we usually associate with the benefits of maturity.

I should hope I wouldn’t have to pull out a thesaurus just to massage words for you so you won’t take offense.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 8, 2009 2:18 PM
Comment #273339

Lee, your kidding right?

” but that a left-leaning Democrat would admit to any malevolence in government.

um…. Think about how the “left” views Nixon, Reagan and Bush and then say that statement again.

Posted by: 037 at January 8, 2009 4:42 PM
Comment #273348

037,

I don’t defend any administration against malevolence, not Republican or Democrat. I personally believe the right fields a team that is more adept at it, but if it can be bought, it becomes malevolent. We the people are the ones who have allowed it to get to the stage we now see it. If I was a more generous soul, I’d not even blame Cheney/Bush for owning the most corrupt/inept administration in modern history. I would admit it to be just a sign-of-the-times…but, I’m not that generous.

Lee,

I’m generally not touchy, but that did seem like a straight-out body slam to me. When I go back and read it, my mind does not change in that regard. This was not a case of slipped PC, but thanks for nothing.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 8, 2009 6:27 PM
Comment #273354

David R. Remer
“There are many goals for organizing society and mutual benefit is but one of them IF society is democratically based. Think about it. Consider authoritarian regimes as an example of why your general and universal statement above is insufficient.”

David, long before there were “Authoritarian regimes”, long before there was democracy. Humans decided that working in groups was more beneficial than working independently.

” Money does serve the function of facilitating trust”

Of course so does honesty, But we don’t have money because we needed trust. We have money because we needed a way to convert our goods and services into something that is more easily transfered distributed. Henca a : medium of exchange…which by the way is not always trustworthy. Think counterfits and exchange rates.

Trust is nothing more than the need and ability to predict meaning and behavior.

Posted by: 037 at January 8, 2009 9:14 PM
Comment #273370

037 said: “But we don’t have money because we needed trust. We have money because we needed a way to convert our goods and services into something that is more easily transfered distributed.”

You obviously have not read or understood Adam Smith or the history of numismatic development.

The INSTANT you leave the barter system or metal weapon asset system and substitute a medium of exchange which in and of itself has no value, TRUST becomes integral to the concept of money.

I can make 1000 copies of a $1000 bill on my laser printer. I will offer you 5 of those, (5000 face value) for $500. Helluva deal. Would you take it?

Of course not. Reason: You trust the IOU value of bills issued by the US Federal Government, but not those of David R. Remer. Trust is absolutely essential to a money system in which money is no more than a token IOU for goods and services to be received.

Pick up Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations. It explains this point in great detail.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 9, 2009 11:51 AM
Comment #273372

David,
“metal weapon asset system” Has to qualify as the phrase of the week.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 9, 2009 12:52 PM
Comment #273378

Lee, it is a pregnant phrase, isn’t it. Adam Smith refers to it historically when metal spear points and shields for example were made of the metals used for exchange. Of course, in modern times, the phrase still has enormous meaning in the arena of international relations, as the Palestinians and Israelis are highlighting for us currently.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 9, 2009 1:43 PM
Comment #273418

David, I think I’m not making my point clearly. I did not say you don’t need trust for money to have value or be an effective medium of exchange. Trust is intrigal to just about any form of positive human interaction. We had trust long befor money. Therefore we don’t need money to have trust. I didn’t read Adam Smith. I didn’t need to to figure that out.

Why do we have money to begin with? What purpose does it serve?

Posted by: 037 at January 10, 2009 12:29 PM
Comment #273454

It makes it easier to pay for a piiece of software that is generated three thousand miles away, than to send a truckload of ham in payment. Barter is good, but not practical. But, the trust is in the trade, not the money. We don’t trust money, we trust value…

Why did the market fall? It was not because banks ran out of money, it was because the money no longer backed anything of value.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 11, 2009 2:02 PM
Comment #273472

Marysdude,

I agree with your last paragraph but for one thing, well, one and a half. It is not “value” that is important. It is PERCEIVED value. The money was great as long as people THOUGHT it backed something of value.

That is simply to make the point that value is not a constant of nature like the speed of light. It is, instead, something that can vary in different circumstances like the ionization charge of an electron depending on which shell it occupies in different kinds of atoms.

Treating value as though it were some real thing we just ignored for a long time does not help us solve the current situation.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 12, 2009 9:25 AM
Comment #273529

Lee,

It does if the value is real, i.e., a surgical procedure that is needed has real value, while a gall-bladder removal so the doctor can afford his annual greens fees, has little value. The money is the same, it is the value that differs.

Lack of value in the stratosphere of high finance, coupled with the lack of regulation brought on by Gramm, initiated an economic meltdown. Value was missing and/or false.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 13, 2009 10:56 AM
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