An American Trinity

We Americans have a great system, but it is one that needs some work. The old models developed in response to the aftermath Great Depression & World War II are getting really old. Conservatives are fighting against the idea of bloated state that developed in the unique circumstances in the generation after WWII. Liberals are fighting against this reaction and in many ways are still looking back to 1929.How about something different?

Business, Government and Civil Society are the generalized blocks that make up our system. They are not hermetically sealed entities. People, ideas and resources flow among them. But they do have specific specialties, limitations & tasks. They exist in some tension, but all three are essential. They are not enemies. All three benefit when the others are strong and competent.

All greatness is founded on dynamic contradiction. For the system to work well, the three components much be distinct, but integrated, cooperative but in competition. The worst case outcomes lie on the edges: when the components are essentially at war or when they cooperate so closely that they lose their edges.

During World War II, the three got a little too close. We look back at this as a time of unusual harmony and it was. This can work well in a short term emergency situation, but it is not something we can achieve or even want to achieve over a longer term, at least if we value freedom, diversity and innovation. It also reads better than it was lived. My father was a WWII veteran with battle stars for seven major engagements including Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. He looked back on his experience with some fondness, but when we spoke of specific details the picture darkened. Many Americans still have a harmony paradigm based on this specific and not duplicable experience. We also fondly remember the thirty unique years after the war, forgetting the actual experience.

We cannot have those things back and would not want them if we stopped to think about it. So what do we need?

In government we need a state that is smaller but stronger and more efficient. We need a state that can execute its basic functions better than ours does now. This means focusing on those core functions and trimming the rest. It doesn't mean that things don't get done. It means that they get done by one of the other components of the system or maybe by government at different levels.

Business is misunderstood when it is personified as an opponent to government. Business is more of a method or a means than an institution. Business is a way to produce prosperity but it does not itself enjoy prosperity. Pragmatically, the method of business can produce a variety of results. The system itself is not immoral but it is amoral. It is like the method of medicine that can be used by good doctors to promote health or by bad ones to cause harm. The morality comes from the people involved, not the system used.

The people who run businesses must be kept in bounds by both government in terms of laws, but also by society as excised through the discipline of the market and by social control exerted by civil society and society in general.

When a business leader says that he is interested in the bottom line, he is telling the truth. If he says that morality and doing what is right doesn't matter he is either an idiot or a sociopath or both. Such people can rise in business, government or even civil society, but we should not accept them or claim that they are somehow good.

Civil society includes all those institutions that make our lives better and sometimes even tolerable. This is a very diverse group. We have NGOs, churches, activities groups and others.They are subject to a kind of market or evolutionary force. The successful ones grow and spread their messages; others atrophy and often disappear.

Civil society is not the same as society in general. It is the institutions, created when people enter into voluntary cooperation to achieve a common goal.

The components have their particular tools.

Government maintains a monopoly on the legitimate use of coercion. It is the one that can organize big efforts, especially those that require everybody to pull together. While these instances are fewer than most politicians think, they do exist.

Business has the ability to organize bases on reasonable expectation of gain, which tends to bring out the best in innovation and hard work.

Civil society provides the organized moral underpinning of society. Civil society also tends to undertake the necessary tasks that are neither profitable nor can be appropriately handled by the coercive power of government.

So when we ask who should do something or more correctly to what extent should each part of the system should be involved, we have to take into account the skill sets and goals.

I loved Ronald Reagan and his fight against big government, but some of the rhetoric that applied then is inappropriate in today's environment. Bloated big government in the enemy of both freedom and prosperity for the majority of the people, but strong, a competent and appropriately sized government is not only the ally of freedom and prosperity but is essential to their survival.

I understand the outrage that some of our liberal friends have felt against big business. Bloated big and unresponsive business is an enemy to both freedom and prosperity for the majority of the people, but an competent and innovative business sector is not only necessary to freedom and prosperity, but also to the continuation of good government. Governments w/o strong and independent private business sectors are tyrannies.

All of us love at least some organizations that make up civil society, but most of us also hate some others. This is the nature of diversity. Civil society represents many voices, some pleasant; others not. The wonderful thing about diversity is that we don't have to love each other or even accept what others want. We just have to tolerate and understand that wisdom comes from considering many points of view.

American has the world's most vibrant civil society bar none. It is a big part of American exceptionalism and has been since the times of the founding of our republic. It doesn't exist in a vacuum. It does exist in the space made available for it by government that doesn't overreach and business that does not invade its space.

In summary, we have to recognize the strength and challenges of all parts of our society. We should understand that they are sometimes adversaries but always necessary parts. Like many Americans, I have worked in all three. Like all Americans, I am part of all three at the same time.

So let's figure out how to make this work better.

Sorry about the unusual length of this posting. I really have been unable to discipline my thoughts on this subject, so I have given you more words.

Posted by Christine & John at February 5, 2012 9:35 AM
Comments
Comment #335649

Well first should we really except your concept that the government is bloated? If it truly were bloated it would be excessive in size of amount or being much larger than is warranted. Based upon this definition it should be relatively easy to determine where it is excessive in size or amount. So what is excessive C&J? Where exactly is the government bloated and what should be done to “unbloat” the government.

Rick Perry told us the problem was the Departments of Energy Commerce and Education or EPA, couldn’t remember which or couldn’t add. He then slithered back into Texas as his popularity among repubs slide downward. Are these the only reasons we have to believe the federal government is bloated?

Posted by: j2t2 at February 5, 2012 11:11 AM
Comment #335652

“Business, Government and Civil Society are the generalized blocks that make up our system.”

To the liberal mindset; “Business” is the enemy (even though business has historically supported Democrats more than Republicans), “Government” is the end all of running the country, and “Civil Society” is the enemy simply because it is tied to morals and religion.

You speak of liberals being stuck in 1929. This is because Business was the cause of the GD, Government was the cure, and Civil Society began to be the point of attack by liberals.

As long as the left continues to attack business and morality, and exalt big government to take the place of all three, this conversation is moot. It will be the same old liberal arguments verses conservative.

Posted by: Billinflorida at February 5, 2012 11:35 AM
Comment #335654

j2t2

I think it is bloated to the extent that it cannot accomplish its core duties and lacks focus. There are organizational problems to growing too big or extending into too many areas.

Each of particular intrusions can be defended, but as a whole they cause trouble.

I will give you a specific which was tried but (thank God) resisted. The EPA wanted to regulate forest roads as non-point source pollution, i.e. you would have to maintain them according to bureaucratic standards, spending lots of money to meet standards and lots of time filling out paperwork to show you have.

I have forest roads. They do not create significant pollution. If they DO, then I think there is cause for complaint. That would be a legitimate government function to enforce that rule as it affected others. But it is absolutely none of their business and beyond their competence to dictate methods to achieve the result, nor to check my work, unless what I do impacts others.

This is bloat. How does it hurt? First it hurts me because I have to be micromanaged. In the long run, it hurts the forest, since I will have to divert resources (mostly my limited time) to dealing with paperwork that I would have spent in habitat improvements. But as importantly, it diverts GOVERNMENT resources from real problems. While they are pestering me about the details of the road, they are missing real pollution.

The solution has my three part system. Government has law against pollution of streams. If I do that, come and bother me. I belong to the American Tree Farm System, America’s oldest forestry organization. They inspect tree farms (at no taxpayer expense), give advice and uphold standards. You can also apply market forces. Buy certified wood. But government does not need to - and cannot competently - manage my roads.

I bet that almost everyone can refer to a similar case of bloat in their own business and activities. I do a better job than government could force me to do.

BTW - I think we could indeed get rid of the Dept of Education. That is a state and local responsibility. Dept of Energy should be limited to supporting research and that function probably could indeed be folded into other parts of the USG. Commerce also provides lots of good research and statistics. We need EPA, but it should limit its activities to actual sources of pollution and not try to spread its regulation to all private land, as it sometimes does with temporary wetlands.

The thing that is important to remember is the MOST good things happen in society w/o government managing the process. Just because we identify a need does not mean that there is a Federal Government solution.

Finally about bloat - bring government about to the size it was in 1999, when we last mostly agree things were okay. After that we can discuss details.

Posted by: C&J at February 5, 2012 11:58 AM
Comment #335655

Except for the years 1918-19; the percent of Government spending to GDP remained fairly constant. In 1929-30 this percentage of spending began to rise from 13.7% of GDP to 40.68% in 2010. An increase in government spending means an increase in the size of government.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html

http://chartingtheeconomy.com/?p=409

Posted by: Bill at February 5, 2012 12:00 PM
Comment #335656

Obama even stated that we have too many duplicate organizations and they needed to be streamlined, of course Obama wanted to keep the same number of employees and just centralize the power.

Posted by: Bill at February 5, 2012 12:03 PM
Comment #335657
I bet that almost everyone can refer to a similar case of bloat in their own business and activities. I do a better job than government could force me to do.

I don’t doubt you on your word, the problem however is those that wouldn’t do the job better or at all. The bad guys, the ones we have to have all the regulations that burden everyone else for. The bad guys we should blame, not the government.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 5, 2012 12:09 PM
Comment #335659

j2t2

We HAVE regulations and I support them. If excessive mud from my operations flows into the river, I can be fined and/or my neighbors can sue me. Beyond all that, the ATFS will kick me out and I will suffer the opprobrium of people whose respect I value.

You should go after the bad guys, but not at the expense of over managing the good guys. Recognize that perfection is not possible. Whenever we see a problem, it does not necessarily call for a Federal solution. Some things are better handled by others.

Posted by: C&J at February 5, 2012 12:18 PM
Comment #335666


This is predominately Republican/conservative B.S.

The reason the government is doing many things that supposedly business and civil society should be doing is because in many instances, they failed to do what they should have been doing.

Amateur historians are supposed to take pride in having some knowledge about history.

The Progressive Era with it’s increase in government power didn’t just happen, it was caused by the actions of some in the business community. Ditto, the New Deal.

Civil Rights legislation, which increased government power, came about because of the failings of a racist civil society, manifest in state and local governments.

Afirmative Action increased government power as a result of the civil society and the business community refusal to integrate people of color into the work arena.

I worked for a engineering/machine shop that had it’s token black and despised the government because of it. My local painters union had it’s token black and token woman and made it a vow that there would not be two of either. These weren’ isolated situations, they were typical in the 70’s and 80’s.

All of these increases in government power made this a better country for the vast majority of it’s citizens and there are powerful forces that would reverse it all if they can convince enough to do it.

The reason the right wing can sell this B.S. today is because the people don’t have a sense of history and short memories, or weren’t born in time to experience the worst. And, because there are still true believers in the civil society, the business community and in the federal government.

Posted by: jlw at February 5, 2012 2:39 PM
Comment #335667

jlw

Sometimes government needs to play an important role. But it should not be the default option.

There is also the case of dosage, a little medicine might save lives and a lot will kill. I think we had too little government before 1929, for example, so don’t try that.

There is the middle ground between government control and no government.

You mention affirmative action. It was good and necessary. How is it working out now? Re the New Deal - how many of those programs survived past 1939?

You are counting success and forgetting the many failures. You are also missing opportunity costs.

Posted by: C&J at February 5, 2012 3:10 PM
Comment #335668

I would also point out that if you do NOT believe that business and NGOs have a strong role to play, that government is the answer, you ARE a socialist and should not be insulted if someone calls you that.

Also maybe if liberals don’t believe in NGOs that explains some of the stinginess we see among our left of center brothers and sisters.

Posted by: C&J at February 5, 2012 3:19 PM
Comment #335672


C&J, I said nothing about NGOs or business not have a strong role to play, but if you are talking about things like business being allowed to self regulate or right wing religious groups demanding to infiltrate the public schools with religious dogmas, you are going to get resistance from me.

I agree that there are ways that the local communities could be more involved in how some government programs are administered in those communities, apparently the schools are not one of those programs.

I agree that business should have influence in government policies, not the definitive influence.

If I were a socialist, I would be advocating for an end to private ownership, I have never done that.

If Obama and the Democrats were socialists, they missed a golden opportunity to nationalize the banks. Instead the Democrats joined forces with Republicans to administer the Fascist Tarp Program to provide relief for the fascist banking system the two parties have created at the lucrative behest of the financial community.

NGOs in the form of charitable organizations have never and will never do more than affect poverty in a marginal way. You can help tens of thousands of starving children in Africa and other parts of the third world and there will be hundreds of thousands, millions that are still starving.

Government working with charitable organizations and the business community can not solve all the problems, but they can do far more working together. The Bush African initiative has done more to help Africa that all the charitable organizations and businesses combined. The U.S. taxpayer built infrastructures are attracting business into Africa.

It saddens and maddens me to see conservative workers belittle the benefits that they and their families have enjoyed because of this American Way of Life that the government has helped to create at the behest of a majority of it’s citizens.

I want welfare replaced by a full employment work program. Wealth and the business community would rather settle for welfare if they can’t have no program at all.

When I look at the work force today and compare it to the workforce of the 70’s, 80’s, and before, I realize what a great success Affirmative Action has been and I am convinced that as soon as my generation leaves, it will have served it’s purpose and will no longer be needed.

IMO, a socialist revolution is what conservative policies are working towards.

Posted by: jlw at February 5, 2012 5:04 PM
Comment #335674

jlw

“NGOs in the form of charitable organizations have never and will never do more than affect poverty in a marginal way. You can help tens of thousands of starving children in Africa and other parts of the third world and there will be hundreds of thousands, millions that are still starving.”

You are right, but you didn’t mention the massive failures of government programs and aid. What has helped bring millions out of poverty is growing prosperity brought about by free market forces. Governments have had a strong enabling role, but the heavy lifting was done by business with an adjunct by NGOs. This is actually a great example of the trinity in process.

“Government working with charitable organizations and the business community can not solve all the problems, but they can do far more working together. The Bush African initiative has done more to help Africa that all the charitable organizations and businesses combined. The U.S. taxpayer built infrastructures are attracting business into Africa.” - this is as it should be. The Bush approach worked better because it made partners others.

Re schools - I think that government should support public schools but it need not do it through the means of a public bureaucracy. Business and NGOs have strong levels to play and the best public schools are in places where those other are playing the strongest roles.

Glad you cleared up the socialist thing. Socialism is an old fashioned ideology that has brought lots of suffering and no longer fits with the modern world.

Posted by: C&J at February 5, 2012 6:55 PM
Comment #335683
You should go after the bad guys, but not at the expense of over managing the good guys.

Isn’t that what happens in most areas of business C&J. Now you may have an argument when it comes to the DEA enforcing drug laws and the militarization of the police.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 5, 2012 10:41 PM
Comment #335688

Deep misunderstanding here. Liberals are not a mirror image of conservative. Conservatives claim to be for smaller government(even though they often increase its size) while liberals expect government to provide specific services, not necessarily a larger overall government. Universal health care for example of some sort. Would this be an increase in government size? Yes but with Medicare not as big as one might think and the cost stabilizing effect etc. By the same token liberals( and some conservatives, usually favor cuts in unnecessary defense spending.Smaller government.
Usually conservative try and erase the post war period from our collective memory. That just could not have happened because it clashes with their faith based economic fantasies. The post war period saw an unprecedented doubling of the American standard of living. The top brackets paid 90%. Unions were strong and work was plentiful.Wages were higggh and if you had a job you could buy a house, often with GI assistance. And no, before you start, IT WAS NOT AN EXPORT DRIVEN BOOM. It was mostly a domestic economy. Actually having ones trading partners in ruins is not good for an economy generally….sputter,sputter…But that does not fit bs supply side voodoo economics.Come up with a logical reason not to learn from that period besides you don’t wanna..

Posted by: bills at February 6, 2012 6:08 AM
Comment #335691
You should go after the bad guys, but not at the expense of over managing the good guys. Recognize that perfection is not possible. Whenever we see a problem, it does not necessarily call for a Federal solution. Some things are better handled by others.

C&J Is this the invisible hand of the free market you are referring to? It seems this hand has been in someones pockets for a while. The problem may be the size of corporations and holding companies that have grown to large to worry about anything but profit. Perhaps if enlightened self interest instead of self interest were the guiding light things could be different.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 6, 2012 9:33 AM
Comment #335694

Our nations problem is that leftists believe it is only they who can define a ‘civil society’ and that only government is capable of creating their ‘civil society.’

The American Trinity is dead.

Posted by: kctim at February 6, 2012 11:52 AM
Comment #335701

j2t2

“Isn’t that what happens in most areas of business C&J. Now you may have an argument when it comes to the DEA enforcing drug laws and the militarization of the police.”

Exactly. This happens in any large organization. Government has the power of coercion, which makes it more difficult to reform.

The DEA with drug laws and militarization of police are also part of government and suffer the same sorts of pressures.

bills

During the postwar boom the Federal government was smaller than it is today. It grew bloated as the boom ended, but that did not end the boom.

What happened was a fundamental change in the world and in relationships.

By today’s measures, most of the American people lived in poverty in 1955, or put in real terms the purchasing power of a middle class American in 1955 was around the same as a person in poverty today. I am not saying that they WERE in poverty. But our standards and desires have risen. Today a family of seven with no air conditioning, one bathroom w/o a working shower, w/o a color TV, no cable, no computer, maybe no car, probably never traveled on an airplane would be considered very poor.

On the other hand, there was little foreign competition. Energy prices were low etc. We cannot recreate this and probably would not want it.

Posted by: C&J at February 6, 2012 3:11 PM
Comment #335702


Our nations problem is that rightists believe it is only they who can define a ‘civil society’ and that only they, without government interference, are capable of creating their ‘civil society.’

The people of this country created our ‘civil society and we used the government to do it.

Bills has it right, Republicans don’t want any mention of how we created the post war economy. If you want to greatly reduce the middle class, make it’s size more in line with a true free market, you can’t have people constantly reminded of how we created our large middle class.

Enlightened self interest is not something that large corporations need to concern themselves with, They use their promotional department to project a public image. Their enlightened self interest is in promoting their public image in a manner which secures more customers and more profits. At least it hasn’t been something that was of significant concern them.

Posted by: jlw at February 6, 2012 3:13 PM
Comment #335707

jlw

Can you not understand that I have never advocated a government free society. A free market cannot exist w/o the rule of law & infrastructure provided by a strong and competent government. The reason the United States is the greatest country in the history of the world is because of our generally good government and institutions.

But government is not the solution to all or even most of our problems. We have to use the appropriate methods and organizations in the appropriate levels.

We understand that we work between twin evils of anarchy and tyranny. We know that states where government controls too much, as among Nazis and communists, are very evil and deadly. We know that states where government is absent or incompetent, as in Congo or Somalia, are very evil and deadly.

I understand that different organizational types and different incentive systems will produce different results and that some goals that are easily attained in one way are difficult or impossible to attain with some methods.

Government, business and civil society have different methods, goals and incentives, as I explained above. This gives them different skill sets. None are always evil or always good. You do not want to make criminal law subject to voluntary institutions. For such things you need government. On the other hand, government is not very good at innovation and cannot respond in flexible and differentiated ways. This is the strength of markets.

Where government or business is given the job to task as the moral arbiter of society, you get serious oppression and tyranny. In the case of government performing this task, you get Nazis and communists. If you leave it to business you get Standard Oil of JD Rockefeller or Enron. These things are not good. We rely on society for this sort of thing.

If it is “right wing” to want to rely on a variety of autonomous parts of society and individuals in voluntary association, along with government that has limits imposed by law or custom, then EVERY good society in world history has been “right wing”.

You guys cannot believe that. I understand that we can disagree re the extent and mix of each parts of society, but come-on. I tried to write a reasonable post. I have never casually called opponents communists/Nazis, but those who believe in the extreme primacy of the state and the subordination of all other institutions are exactly that.

Free people require free and autonomous institutions, withing the rule of law but not managed by the state authorities. Places w/o these are not free. I have often thought that many of my fellow conservatives on this blog were too extreme in criticism of leftist, but if this is really what you believe perhaps their extremism in the defense of liberty was no vice.

Posted by: C&J at February 6, 2012 5:00 PM
Comment #335712
If it is “right wing” to want to rely on a variety of autonomous parts of society and individuals in voluntary association, along with government that has limits imposed by law or custom, then EVERY good society in world history has been “right wing”.

I would define right wing in an entirely different way and diametrically opposed to voluntary autonomous associations of individuals. I think you are confusing “right wing” with classical liberalism.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 6, 2012 5:32 PM
Comment #335719

Warped

I respect your ideas, but I don’t think you know enough “right wingers”. The ones I know at places like Heritage or AEI are constantly defending autonomous institutions and individuals working in voluntary association. What they (and I) don’t like is the compulsion of government.

Or maybe what you call “right wing” is not the American conservative movement.

American conservatism is very much like classical liberalism. Liberals betrayed these values starting in the 1930s and left most of them behind in the 1960-70s. Think of Teddy Kennedy. He had nothing in common with John Stuart Mill besides some rhetoric.

It is no coincidence that conservatives like me can more easily quote classical liberals and even leaders like Martin Luther King (i.e content of character not color of skin) w/o having to modify them. Liberals always need to explain that either things have changed or else add lots of commentary.

Posted by: C&J at February 6, 2012 6:37 PM
Comment #335731

The discussion of big and small government is a red herring from the question of just what that government’s supposed to do.

The real problem, as far as I’m concerned, is that today’s conservatives have pushed the question of what policies work away from specific, evidence-testable questions, towards the literally unprovable notion that smaller government is always better government.

Smaller, bigger, how much more simplistic can you get? All the sophisticated thinking we should be doing about what we get out of government and what we don’t gets replaced by an ill-informed political sentiment that pointedly ignores signs that its policies are doing harm.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 6, 2012 9:26 PM
Comment #335735


C&J, I have not said that you are an advocate of no government at all. I have, on more than one occasion called what you advocate as classic economic liberalism. I have accuse some Democratic politicians of promoting classic liberal policy for pay.

Can we divide conservatism into say three groups, classic liberal conservatives, socially conservative conservatives and neoconservatives? I suppose so if we recognize that there is some crossover and that they often act as one.

We? We is a big word. Just using conservatives as an example we applies to different people. Social conservatives say we are the truly patriotic Americans, the true Americans and they is everyone else.

The reality is that we is the plurality of all of us. And as such we approved of the Sherman Antitrust Act. We approved when the S.O.B. that didn’t stay bought wielded that Act with authority. It was the we, that is society, that said we can’t handle the likes of Rockefeller on our own so we will use the government to respond to the larger we rather that the smaller we.

Our Founding Fathers provided the mechanism which would eventually force the government to perform a balancing act. In recent decades, wealth has been using the pulpit and paying government to provide a balance that is more in their favor.

Innovation? Innovation is a tool and your depiction of it’s use is less than factual. The government is sometimes less effective than the private sector at using innovation and sometimes it is better. There are far to many examples to name where management has not used innovation wisely and where management has usurped the authority of innovators with disastrous results.

And when it comes to creativity, our government has often proven that it can use creativity better than the market. In the case of our government it uses both innovation and creativity in partnership with the private sector and in doing so, has proven that this method is no better or worse than the private sector or a socialist state when it comes to mismanagement, in the form of waste and corruption, in the name of greed.

Posted by: jlw at February 6, 2012 11:54 PM
Comment #335736

American conservatism is very much like classical liberalism.

You have a point C&J albeit a bit stretched. But then again liberalism and progressivism as practiced also have things in common with modern American conservatism and with classic liberalism as practiced. Modern American Conservatism as practiced also has things in common with fascism and authoritarianism as does classic liberalism. That is the problem with “ism’s” it locks you into both the good and bad of the “ism” when it is all about your particular self interest at the time.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 6, 2012 11:56 PM
Comment #335738

The American Trinity “IS” dead. The American values system is also dead, even though it’s minted on every single coin.

We are not a nation of workers anymore, IMO. We (I am describing not myself but the majority I am surrounded and suffocated by) have our hands stuck out and want, with vociferous animosity, what’s coming to us.

If you don’t interview potential new hires very often, you may not be able to relate, but every time I conduct interviews I cannot get the Disney song, sung by goofy, out of my head.

“Ohhh, the world owes us a livin’…”

Have several drinks with any government employee, I don’t care if they’re a technician with the FAA, or a paper pusher in your local government, once they let their guard down, they will tell you they don’t do a damn thing. They watch the clock, screw around on facebook, shop for crap online, bullshit around the water cooler, watch youtube videos and maybe do an hours worth of work in a whole day. And they’ll usually brag about their health bennies while they’re doing it.

I can’t tell if you are serious or not jt2t but if you honestly don’t think the government is bloated like 48 hour-old roadkill then you are utterly deluded. And I mean UTTERLY. There is such a trivial amount of accomplishment in a given day at any government office it is sickening.

But keep telling yourself that the government is creative (ROFL) and effective (ROFLMFAO) - I got a kick out of that.

When TSHTF between Israel and Iran this spring and oil spikes to $250 a barrel after they close the straights of Hormuz, watch how quickly people with their hand out turn into people with their fists out. People who lived entirely off the government dole, and all of a sudden, the dole won’t pay for your pot AND your groceries anymore.

Things will have to get very, VERY ugly, I mean roving gangs of thugs who want your food and will kill you for them ugly, before people will once again realize that indeed, the world DOES NOT owe you a living.

Sooo glad I live in Alaska and serve on our neighborhood disaster militia. If you live in a city, God help you.


Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 7, 2012 1:34 AM
Comment #335759

E Pluribus Unum, out of many one, yes it is on our coinage Yukon. I would agree it seems to be forgotten.

Government is not a business mass producing widgets Yukon.I don’t doubt that there is room for improvement in the government, however to continue to tell me small government is the answer to all our problems is like telling me if we continue cutting taxes we can pay down the debt. Especially when small government means something different to each of us.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 7, 2012 8:36 AM
Comment #335764

“however to continue to tell me small government is the answer to all our problems is like telling me if we continue cutting taxes we can pay down the debt”

Now that’s funny J2.
Seeing how it is big government, not small government, that is responsible for that debt you speak of.

And yes, you are very correct, small government does indeed mean something different to each of us, it shouldn’t but it does. That is probably the reason our founders limited it the way they did, don’t you think.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2012 10:36 AM
Comment #335773
The ones I know at places like Heritage or AEI are constantly defending autonomous institutions and individuals working in voluntary association. What they (and I) don’t like is the compulsion of government.

Most of what comes out of Heritage and AEI confuses corporate and other business interests with autonomous institutions and individuals working in voluntary association. Whenever I read any of the dozens of articles produced decrying reductions in Defense expenditures I see that those two organizations are vastly in favor of the compulsion of government when it fits their needs.

American conservatism is very much like classical liberalism.
No it isn’t, American conservatism is all about preserving entrenched power structures, whether that be traditional business hierarchies or traditional moral codes. The only wing of American conservatism that even approaches classical liberalism is Ron Paul’s movement, but I have seen his ideas poo-pooed twice by the rest of the conservative movement twice in the past four years. This leads me to the conclusion that the conservative movement is decidedly illiberal at is core despite its attempts to co-opt classical liberal rhetoric when convenient.

Modern American Liberalism is much closer to classical liberalism than modern American Conservatism.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 7, 2012 2:21 PM
Comment #335774

E Pluribus Unum, In God we Trust, and Liberty are the American Trinity that I was referring to, and it is indeed dead. There is no assimilation into American society as there once was when the phrase had meaning and power, so you are correct j2t2 that the meaning of the phrase is lost.

These days, it’s E Pluribus Pluribus. Black Americans, White Americans, Latino Americans, Chinese Americans - etc. Were the phrase to be applied, these monikers would be discarded and we would be Americans. But we’re not. It’s actually “racially insensitive” to call a guy black (not white - just black) when it should be African American. Thank the left for that one.

kctim, spot on about the founders.

Big government bloat, and the debt it needs to feed its bloated self, is the root of the problem.

Liberals like to classify the “small government” conservatives believe in and desire as “No Regulations” which is rubbish. What we (who am I kidding - as if I speak for the conservative movement - lol) what “I” believe the meaning of the term small government is, are those things enumerated as necessary by (gasp) our constitution.

Anything that falls outside of the scope of that blessed document should fall to the states to decide and manage. And yes, that includes Energy, Education, and the Environment.

I also think about 90% of Welfare should be out the door as well, but that’ll never happen because the Welfare state has become the voter incubation chamber for politicians who promise more goodies to people with their hand out in exchange for votes.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 7, 2012 2:22 PM
Comment #335777
Seeing how it is big government, not small government, that is responsible for that debt you speak of.

kctim, it is those that tell us they want small government that have put us into the biggest share of that debt. It is not the size of the government but the borrowing to go to war while cutting taxes that is responsible for the debt. Were it not for the “small government” types insisting upon forcing our style of government on other countries….

It seems to me those that claim to want small government really want small minded government if you look at their work while in power.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 7, 2012 2:50 PM
Comment #335782

J2
If the government was not so huge, it would not need so much in taxes. We can thank those who want government to take of everything for that.
Now, without huge government and the taxes needed to pay for it, raising taxes to pay for war would not have been a problem.

It seems to me that proponents of cradle to grave government refuse to acknowledge that the less you spend, the less you have to collect, and when you collect less, people are more understanding when you ask them to support something important like war.

Small minded government is government who believes it can and should do everything and anything it wants, which is a far cry from what small government folks like our founders believe in.

Posted by: kctim at February 7, 2012 3:07 PM
Comment #335783

j2t2,
And what say you about the definition of small government being only that which is enumerated in our constitution?

It’s VERY easy to point fingers at what got us in this mess, I can point a few at entirely Democrat shenanigans, but moving forward - please thrall us with your acumen regarding the use of our constitution as the measuring stick for necessity.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 7, 2012 3:07 PM
Comment #335785

Yukon Jake,

And yes, that includes Energy, Education, and the Environment.

Whatever happened to promoting the general welfare and regulating interstate commerce?

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 7, 2012 3:25 PM
Comment #335786

I find it very interesting how some people miss the connection between the exponential increase of our debt, and the rise of those who claimed to be fighting the good fight against big government.

Fact is, if it’s politically unpalatable to get rid of an expenditure, then you will always find more political will to get rid of the means to pay for it, which people can be convinced to wave farewell to for obvious reasons, than to get rid of the benefit itself.

The Bush Administration was concerned that if it charged people for the cost of its new programs, for the war and everything, people might balk at the programs and the wars.

Funny how that works. But that does work, doesn’t it? If people have to pay for something, they’ll measure the benefit, and agree to it only if the benefit is compelling and the price is reasonable. Conservatives used to demand that programs be priced in, in this manner. Sadly, they departed from that to follow the pied piper of government size obsessors, who were more concerned about trying to manipulate otherwise unwilling people into giving up government benefits.

The large deficits, including the ones they falsely blame on Obama, are a product of their decidedly mixed success. Their leadership in this country has been marked by a wasting away of American Prestige, a loss of its future potential, and the decline of the middle class. I think it’s time to stop thinking small like the conservatives think, and start being more practical, more ambitious in what we do as a country to get ahead and stay ahead. Once we had the cold war to motivate us, but since then we’ve lost a sense of national pride, a sense that our infrastructure, our space program, our general prosperity shouldn’t be lagging behind the rest of the world. Our people shouldn’t be working harder to make less and be less happy than folks in other countries. This is the desperation that comes of the upper class trying to stuff the rest of the country back in the box it was in a century ago.

America has changed, and it ought not to be backsliding into a guilded age, or into a new period of roaring twenties. We ought not to have to commit every error our forebears made in sequence in order to come back to the conclusion that those policies were wrong. We have enough information at our fingertips, we ought to be able to figure out that many of these policies didn’t end well the first time.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 7, 2012 3:28 PM
Comment #335801

jlw

You are right that government must often provide a balance. We agree. Balance does not mean running the show.

Government has real trouble innovating because it is political, based on compromise and rules. A government official can innovate only within the limited boundaries of his mandate. To do more is actually illegal.

For example, a talented government official can exhibit a lot of creativity administering a program, but he cannot just decide to get into a whole new line of business. Private firms can do this.

We don’t want government to be innovative. Government must make big bets. It cannot let parts of its operations go bankrupt. Private firms can take risk and be allowed to fail. it is a big difference.

A bureaucracy that is losing money can often just get more money. Any large organization and almost all governments have the tendency to starve opportunities in order to feed problems.

Warped

Modern American liberalism is much more like social democrats.

No parties really reflect a free ideology because freedom is not a governing philosophy.

If I am being generous to both sides, I would say that modern conservatives favor liberty while modern liberals favor justice.

But I think modern liberalism has been infected by too much a pursuit of equality. They wrongly equate equality with fairness.

Think of a simple thought experiment. You know of a case of two people. One is “rich” (in Obama speak at least) with an income of $250,000 a year. The other is “poor” with an income of $25,000 a year. You know nothing else about them. Do you think there is an injustice here?

IMO conservatives would often answer “no” while liberals would say “yes.” Of course the proper answer is that there is not sufficient information to know, which is why the question is a good litmus test.

Posted by: C&J at February 7, 2012 5:49 PM
Comment #335806
Do you think there is an injustice here?

Actually, I would say “no” and I am certain most other liberals will agree with me. Unless the wealthier person’s wealth is ill-gotten (from theft for instance) there is nothing wrong with him/her earning more money if that’s how the free market allocates things.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 7, 2012 6:27 PM
Comment #335807

Warped

I don’t think that most would answer no. Ask around.

Posted by: C&J at February 7, 2012 6:40 PM
Comment #335809


C&J, I see no cause for a claim of injustice in that scenario.

What if the bottom end for workers was $25,000 and the top end $250,000? Would that be a terrible injustice?

What if the minimum wage was indexed to inflation? Would conservatives consider that an injustice?

Isn’t it true that liberals aren’t the only ones concerned with injustice.

How the free market allocates things is the whole discussion. Some think it is fair and just, others disagree.

Posted by: jlw at February 7, 2012 7:10 PM
Comment #335810

C&J - spot on. Individually here, where credibility is at stake, all would say no or not enough information, but liberals at their core, particularly young welfare liberals, would say yes, and say it loudly. Classic stage one thinking.

Warped,
That may have been a rhetorical jab, but if you insist:

General Welfare -
The Department of Education is neither constitutional nor effective. The quality of education in this country has plummeted under the “government watch” which is why I laugh uproariously at the liberal broken record that “we just need more funding,” yet they cry foul and doom at the notion of school choice or of homeschooling in general. The moment that the takers in today’s society think it’s the government’s job to do something, i.e. “Educate my kids” is when 99% of them check out. Same with School Lunches. As soon as Uncle Sam picks up the mantle of “Feed my kids” parents stop packing lunches. The argument has been and can be made that the Department of Education has done little if anything toward the general scholastic improvement of our society.

The Department of Energy does nothing to promote our general welfare. I recently saw a Jon Stewart clip of the last 8 presidents saying the same thing about “getting off of foreign oil” - which is the original defining reason for creating the Department of Energy. Granted they represent a paltry 30 Billion a year, to the DoE’s 50 Billion.

The EPA (The Anointed and answers-to-no-one Gestapo of the Left) do some good and a tremendous amount of bad. They are the hatchet of the Progressive Movement to halt ALL resource development where possible. North Dakota dodged a bullet given that their reserves have been found largely on Private land. I love it when liberals say such nonsense like “Conservatives and Liberals have different ideas, I would like to breathe clean air - for example.” I think that was Harry Reid. As if conservative’s want to breathe smoggy air.

I’ll get the information from a state legislator friend of mine and post it later, but in Obama’s first year, legislation was passed to FUND ($600/hr for attorney’s fees) any lawsuits designed to protect the environment - through the EPA. Basically my tax dollars are going to pay for the lawsuits that halt development ANYWHERE that some retard can say “a field mouse population is in jeopardy of losing habitat - we must conduct an multi-year EIS to determine the long term impact of development on these poor forsaken creatures.” Progressives said the same drivel about the oil pipeline up here in Alaska and turns out the heat it gives off has resulted in such a swell in the State Caribou Herd as never was thought possible. All the while during development they waved signs heralding the “death of the herd.” Crockery.

I agree the EPA is a necessary evil, but its powers and oversight are tremendous and non-existent, respectively.

As for Interstate Commerce - or more specifically the management of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause:

The Commerce Clause was the Framers’ response to the central problem giving rise to the Constitution itself, which was the absence of any federal commerce power under the Articles of Confederation. For the first century of our history, the primary use of the Clause was to preclude the kind of discriminatory state legislation that had once been permissible. Then, in response to rapid industrial development and an increasingly interdependent national economy, Congress “ushered in a new era of federal regulation under the commerce power,” beginning with the enactment of the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887 and the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890.

The bottom line is that it is Congress and the court’s job to handle specific issues relevant to interstate commerce, and having done so, it is the State’s job to comply. I see no necessary reason for any of these three “agencies” to be involved in enforcement or engagement of the regulation of interstate commerce.

To Stephen: since you will forever claim that all current problems are the fault of the Bush administration (of which I was no fan - do a search of my posts going back) and Obama has made literally no mistake worthy of note in his tenure thus far, two things come to mind. The first is the stifling amount of debt incurred by this administration by comparison. The second is the ruse that the economy is on the rise due to job growth, which is basically just BLS manipulation to try and get Obama reelected.

Nevermind all the little things like comparing the number of golf outings, or the cost of Michelle flying her own jet to each of their get togethers. These are merely an aggravating pittance.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 7, 2012 7:19 PM
Comment #335811

jlw

I think that both sides are interested in both liberty and justice. We can try to maximize both, but at some point they start to be mutually exclusive if we in any way equate equality with justice, which we (even people like me) tend to do.

For example, most of us believe in progressive taxation. Why?

Anyway, if we have liberty, we will tend to produce lots of inequality, which people will call injustice. The free market will tend to produce inequality as will liberty in general. Whether or not that is unjust is a matter of opinion. That is right.

Re indexing minimum wages to inflation - that is neither just nor unjust.

Most people don’t make minimum wage, BTW. It is a starting wage for some, but if you have more than a couple years of experience, you make more. Or at least you will again after the Obama doldrums pass.

Posted by: C&J at February 7, 2012 7:26 PM
Comment #335814

YJ,

General Welfare -
The Department of Education is neither constitutional nor effective. The quality of education in this country has plummeted under the “government watch” which is why I laugh uproariously at the liberal broken record that “we just need more funding,” yet they cry foul and doom at the notion of school choice or of homeschooling in general. The moment that the takers in today’s society think it’s the government’s job to do something, i.e. “Educate my kids” is when 99% of them check out. Same with School Lunches. As soon as Uncle Sam picks up the mantle of “Feed my kids” parents stop packing lunches. The argument has been and can be made that the Department of Education has done little if anything toward the general scholastic improvement of our society.

The Department of Energy does nothing to promote our general welfare. I recently saw a Jon Stewart clip of the last 8 presidents saying the same thing about “getting off of foreign oil” - which is the original defining reason for creating the Department of Energy. Granted they represent a paltry 30 Billion a year, to the DoE’s 50 Billion.

The EPA (The Anointed and answers-to-no-one Gestapo of the Left) do some good and a tremendous amount of bad. They are the hatchet of the Progressive Movement to halt ALL resource development where possible. North Dakota dodged a bullet given that their reserves have been found largely on Private land. I love it when liberals say such nonsense like “Conservatives and Liberals have different ideas, I would like to breathe clean air - for example.” I think that was Harry Reid. As if conservative’s want to breathe smoggy air.

I’ll get the information from a state legislator friend of mine and post it later, but in Obama’s first year, legislation was passed to FUND ($600/hr for attorney’s fees) any lawsuits designed to protect the environment - through the EPA. Basically my tax dollars are going to pay for the lawsuits that halt development ANYWHERE that some retard can say “a field mouse population is in jeopardy of losing habitat - we must conduct an multi-year EIS to determine the long term impact of development on these poor forsaken creatures.” Progressives said the same drivel about the oil pipeline up here in Alaska and turns out the heat it gives off has resulted in such a swell in the State Caribou Herd as never was thought possible. All the while during development they waved signs heralding the “death of the herd.” Crockery.

So your argument is that these government bodies are ineffective and/or make mistakes; therefore they are unconstitutional? Article I of the Constitution says

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
, which to me clearly says that those government bodies can be considered constitutional.

The bottom line is that it is Congress and the court’s job to handle specific issues relevant to interstate commerce, and having done so, it is the State’s job to comply. I see no necessary reason for any of these three “agencies” to be involved in enforcement or engagement of the regulation of interstate commerce.

The EPA is heavily involved with regulating international commerce. Most of the pollution released into our atmosphere moves across state lines and so does a great deal of water pollution. Also, many endangered species’ habitats extend across state boundaries.

The Department of Energy regulates our domestic nuclear power industry, which involves the transportation of radioactive materials across state lines. The Energy Department also maintains our nuclear arsenal, which is vital for our common defense.

The Department of Education’s justification comes from the common welfare clause and not from the interstate commerce clause.

I see you cited Gonzales v. Raich; I’m curious, what was your opinion of that case?

CJ,

I don’t think that most would answer no. Ask around.

I bet zero WatchBlog liberals would say yes.

For example, most of us believe in progressive taxation. Why?
Because people with higher incomes benefit the greatest from government services.
Anyway, if we have liberty, we will tend to produce lots of inequality, which people will call injustice.
And what’s wrong with that?


Posted by: Warped Reality at February 7, 2012 8:14 PM
Comment #335820

Warped

“Because people with higher incomes benefit the greatest from government services.”

I know liberals say this, but it it not true. As my income has risen from the lowest quintile to the highest my demand for public services has decreased. I am not eligible for free services. My kids couldn’t get financial aid. We still own the same house and live the same sort of lifestyle that we did when we made half as much money, but we pay more than twice as much Federal tax.

A fair tax system would have everyone paying the same % of income in taxes and EVERYBODY paying some taxes. I support a mildly progressive tax rate not because it is just but because it is a better way to raise money. But it means that the rich are giving the poor a free or discounted ride.

Posted by: C&J at February 7, 2012 8:59 PM
Comment #335821

Warped,
Wow, warped indeed. I benefit not a excess dime from government services, and far less than someone on the umpteen forms of welfare. DRR once tried to make the exact same argument and it was rubbish then as well.

I homeschool my kids so the 90% of my property taxes that go to local education are wasted on me, as they are wasted on anyone who either homeschools or sends their kids to private school. I get no break for anything because of my income (proud of that actually) and I use not a whit of government service aside from the roads, which is the same as anyone else, and I am happy to pay my fair share for btw.

Please offer an example of a government service from which I benefit more than one of the pot-heads I occasionally interview that is just doing the interview to keep qualifying for unemployment and has no real desire to work at all? Your answer to C&J’s assumption, with which I differ, that most agree with progressive taxation - it straight out of Goebbels playbook.

As to Gonzales vs. Reich, Marijuana and its growth and distribution is no more a concern of interstate commerce than its use and abuse is to the federal government et al. IMO, this case was just the next loss in a long line of the erosion of our liberties. This was a great overstep on the part of the courts and it’s quite funny that the left, whose foremost weapon is legislation from the bench (by appointing non-judicial radicals like Elena Kagan) came back to bite them and their pot-loving buddies on the ass.

For the record, I think it should be legalized completely and taxed like crazy, so I’m not a fan of the decision OR the war on drugs, merely the irony.

You are an enigma to me. You seem to be a BIG fan of the government status quo as a whole, and yet you have no problems (nor I) with lots of liberty producing lots of inequality, which is a very conservative/libertarian stance with which I happen to heartily agree primarily because I put out an inordinate amount of worked hours of work each week, though I admit to utterly wasting 2+ hours on this stupid blog today… lol.

Perhaps you are aptly monikered… Is that a word?

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 7, 2012 9:04 PM
Comment #335823

The inherent vice of capitalism is the inequal sharing of the blessings, the inherent vice of liberalism is the inequal sharing of the misery.

[slightly adapted of course]

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 7, 2012 9:20 PM
Comment #335828
I am not eligible for free services. My kids couldn’t get financial aid.

Surprising enough, most government expenditures aren’t for “free services”. Now that you are wealthier, you now reap a much much larger benefit from our national defenses and our legal system.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 7, 2012 9:37 PM
Comment #335834
Please offer an example of a government service from which I benefit more than one of the pot-heads I occasionally interview
.

I do not know any details of how you live your life, so I cannot give specific examples. Most wealthy Americans rely on our legal system heavily in order to defend their earnings. Also, wealthy people have the most to lose if America is invaded, thus wealthy people derive the greatest benefit from a robust national defense.

Did you attend public school when you were younger? Did you earn a college degree at a school that received government grants?

As for Gonzales v. Raich, I also found that case quite troubling. I am glad to see you are at least consistent on these issues because many/most conservatives will tend to argue in favor of government intervention in intrastate commerce when it suits their needs. BTW, Elena Kagan did not rule on that case, so her appointment is irrelevant. Also, that was an interesting case where the majority contained both liberals and conservatives.

You seem to be a BIG fan of the government status quo as a whole
This is where you are wrong. There is a great deal that is wrong with our government at the moment. Nearly of the anti-poverty social welfare currently handled by the federal government should be either eliminated or put under the responsibility of the 50 states. Our government spends way too much money, especially on entitlements and defense and we definitely need to draw that down.
lots of liberty producing lots of inequality, which is a very conservative/libertarian stance
Lots of liberty producing inequality is most definitely not a conservative stance (although it is a libertarian one). Conservatism in this country is all about empowering preexisting power hierarchies, whether that be the Church or incumbent businesses or corporations.
though I admit to utterly wasting 2+ hours on this stupid blog today… lol.
I share your sentiments. I have three problem sets due on Thursday and I had hoped to finish one or two today, but then I decided to “just read Watchblog for a little while” and soon enough “just read” became “just write a quick comment” and “just write a quick comment” became “write a detailed and well-researched comment”. It’s nearly 10:30 PM and I have yet to even get half way through a single problem set. All well, there’s always tomorrow…
Perhaps you are aptly monikered… Is that a word?
I use the name Warped Reality because my first name is Warren and my last name begins with a P. Once, I filled out paperwork that asks for three letters from my first name and the initial from my last name. This spelled Warp and it only took a little imagination to turn that into Warped Reality, which has a bit of a ring to it. I also like the fact that it has a deeply true meaning to it within the context of Einstein’s theory of relativity and cosmology (space and time are constantly being warped), but this harks back to when I was studying astrophysics, but I don’t want to digress any further explaining those details. Posted by: Warped Reality at February 7, 2012 10:31 PM
Comment #335866

Warped

How do I reap that bigger reward? The legal system and defense protect my larger pile of money, but they more importantly protect everybody’s life and safety.

Beyond that, there certainly would be no justification for progressive taxation. In fact, there would be economies of scale. It doesn’t take a police department twice as big to protect a house twice as big. In fact, you could get a quantity discount.

A fairer tax – if you want to get at the benefits – would be a straight consumption tax. That would tax the benefits you get from the system.

Posted by: C&J at February 8, 2012 4:52 PM
Comment #335869

Warped,
Thanks for the insights and clarifications. We still differ on my usage on government services, but I appreciate you making your feelings more clear.

I would also differ on the attribution of “media conservatives” like Hannity and Beck and Rush, and the conservative movement. It’s no more fair to say that than it is to say that Harry Reid, Al Sharpton and Arianna Huffington represent the mainstream liberal direction of the nation.

These examples on both sides peddle their ideas by demonizing the opposing view (I admit to more often agreeing with the views presented by the former three).

Conservatism, and the movement, was appalled and furious over Bush’s spending increases, and MANY of us either did not vote, or voted for Obama as a protest vote to wake up the establishment (big fail) but that won’t happen again not that we see the destruction and spending wrought by our punitive choice.

Without requiring of you a dissertation, explain how my attending public school and then deciding to be an Entrepenuer and working my ass off all the time to make an exceptional living has any connection to the use of services post-graduation? What I learned in high school amounted to little more than “I hate cheerleaders AND jocks.”

The same is true of my savings and investments. If the government defends this nation (as it should) I don’t receive any more proportional benefit because my accounts are larger. I receive the identical protection. The same would be true of bullets. The bullets taken by our army and marines on the ground aren’t worth any more to me than they are a poor person, they are priceless to us both. I disagree with the implicit conclusion that somehow I am worth more than a poor person.

Your assertion that the wealthy receive more is upside down and smacks of the unnecessary promulgation of class warfare. “Teach the poor to hate the rich.” A more accurate representation would be to say that the rich FUND the most government services, because that is verifiably true on all counts as over half this country now funds government services not one penny.

I think we agree far more than we disagree, but on this one, I just can’t understand your argument.

Posted by: Yukon Jake at February 8, 2012 5:19 PM
Comment #335919
Conservatism, and the movement, was appalled and furious over Bush’s spending increases,

Oh BS Yukon. The conservatives in Congress enacted the “reform” for medicare during his first term in office yet he was voted in once again. The conservatives cut taxes and went to war during GWB’s first term yet he was re elected for a second term.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 9, 2012 12:35 PM
Comment #335928
Without requiring of you a dissertation, explain how my attending public school and then deciding to be an Entrepenuer and working my ass off all the time to make an exceptional living has any connection to the use of services post-graduation? What I learned in high school amounted to little more than “I hate cheerleaders AND jocks.”

I don’t know what industry you work in, but I assume you make use of at least some math and reading abilities learned in public school. It costs money to teach people like you to read, think and do math, which is why we empower our government to levy taxes to pay for those things.

In regards to

The same is true of my savings and investments. If the government defends this nation (as it should) I don’t receive any more proportional benefit because my accounts are larger. I receive the identical protection. The same would be true of bullets. The bullets taken by our army and marines on the ground aren’t worth any more to me than they are a poor person, they are priceless to us both. I disagree with the implicit conclusion that somehow I am worth more than a poor person.
and
The legal system and defense protect my larger pile of money, but they more importantly protect everybody’s life and safety.

Wars happen all the time; lots of people die, but usually not a very large percent of the total population. I know it isn’t PC to say this, but the reason we have a military defending the nation is not to protect people’s lives, but to protect people’s property. Thus, people with more property benefit much more from a robust military than a poor person.

Also, when I mention our legal system I am including our extensive system or protecting intellectual property. A great deal of wealthy people gained their wealth through some sort of innovation that they invented. Our legal system allows these innovators to reap the rewards of their inventions.

that is verifiably true on all counts as over half this country now funds government services not one penny.
This figure is about income taxes only. Omitting payroll taxes is a big mistake as they primarily fund the two largest entitlement programs and payroll taxes are levied on everyone who works. Posted by: Warped Reality at February 9, 2012 2:27 PM
Comment #335946

Warped

Even if you assume that government defends our wealth, it still would not call for progressive taxation. In fact it should be regressive, since we should have economies of scale.

Posted by: C&J at February 9, 2012 6:50 PM
Comment #336515
it still would not call for progressive taxation. In fact it should be regressive, since we should have economies of scale.

That’s pure nonsense. There is no “economy of scale” when it comes to defending wealth. Come back to me after you have read this.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 12, 2012 7:54 PM
Comment #336516

Woops!

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 12, 2012 7:54 PM
Comment #358042

Serious voters know a presidential election should not be regarded as merely a popularity contest. Each party’s convention is designed to present their candidate to the country in the best light, therefore popularity is a component. replica handbags The convention has the interested world watching each party’s pre-game rally to see how they roll.. Michael Costello appeared on season eight of “Project Runway” and then came back to compete again on “Project Runway: All Stars” last year. He was the runner-up to Mondo Guerra in the competition. Michael replica designer handbags Costello recently showed an louis vuitton outlet all new collection at Fashion Week El Paseo, in Palm Springs.

Posted by: replica designer handbags at December 4, 2012 2:53 AM
Post a comment