We used to be #1 & can be again

We used to lead the world in competitiveness, but we have been dropping for the last four years. If these trends continue we won’t even be in the top ten in a couple of years. The Index of Economic Freedom tells a similar story.

We could take some cold comfort if we could just use the excuse that the world is in trouble, but the scarier part is that we are losing our relative position while the world in general is not in such good shape. We are sinking faster than others.

America is still a great place, but we are living off our previous success rather than building on them. In the final analysis all prosperity is based on productivity. We are much more prosperous than our ancestors who possessed the same or greater natural resources because we are more productive. Some countries are rich despite lack of resources, while others are poor sitting on top of great natural wealth because of differences in the productivity of their people, their organizations and their capital.

I have confidence in America and want to assume that the recent decline is a short term dip and that we will come back soon to what America can be. But we cannot be complacent.

Some people don't like it when we talk about American exceptionalism, but we are indeed exceptional, since we have stayed near the top of the productivity race for more than two centuries. We can argue about the details, but we clearly have been doing something right for a very long time. Others have learned how to do it too, and I don't begrudge others success. But we are not immune to the forces of history.

At some point in the history of all great people, countries or movements comes an inflection point, when the "short term" downward blip becomes self-sustaining. A few bad decisions and missteps develop into bad habits and flawed systems.

We pass through crises like this periodically. I have seen two in my lifetime, maybe three or even four. The first was around 1972, when the post-war world collapsed and we had to adapt to a world of higher energy costs and declining American hegemony. The second time we seemed to have problems insurmountable was 1980. But we were able to overcome these things. I feared that the 9/11 attacks would be an inflection point, but we recovered very quickly. Of course, we are familiar with the most recent blow in 2008.

The problems in each of these times were severe. But what matters is what we do after the blows. After 1972, we moved sideways. We tried interventions with price and wage controls and generally did not find solutions to stagnation and inflation. We did better after 1980 and enjoyed a quarter century of relatively good times. The jury is still out on our response to our most recent challenge. So far, it looks more like the 1970s than the 1980s. We have moved sideways with the worst recovery in my lifetime, one of the worst in American history. Worse, we are drifting from the ideas and habits that made us great, as we did in the 1970s. I lived through one period like that. I prefer to avoid another.

Back in the 1970s & 1980s , things didn't improve until we replaced a poor president with a weak president who arrived on the scene largely unknown and who promised hope and change. And then got rid of the weak one too. He told us to trust him. He was generally an honest man, but he was not up to the task. Seems familiar and similar to what we have today. Let's hope that restoring America's greatness is as simple as changing poor leadership for better. But this is probably the triumph of hope over experience.

We will need to do lots of the work. We will need to more often ask not what our country can do for us, but what we can do for our country and if we are again to enjoy prosperity and success we will mostly have to build it ourselves. What we need from our leadership is not so much help and control and freedom and opportunity. Yes we can build it if they let us.

Posted by Christine & John at September 5, 2012 9:41 PM
Comments
Comment #352256

C&J, we also become a more regulated economy than our brothers to the north in Canada… Who would have thought that that would ever happen?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 5, 2012 10:48 PM
Comment #352257

Rhinhold

Yes. It is ironic that Canada has moved in a more free market direction as we did the opposite. It is interesting to look at the Index of Economic Freedom (http://www.heritage.org/index/default) in this regard.

Posted by: C&J at September 5, 2012 10:52 PM
Comment #352287

Also need to look at the bigger picture. What is the major that has happened over the last 30 years? Globalism and the ‘harmonizing’ of all nations.

Now, if one nation gets a cold so do we all. Screw housing up in this country and world housing hits the skids and so on - - -

Couple that with the fact that corporations were turned loose to rape, pillage and burn small, developing nations and you create just what we have, IMO.

Otherwise, we have the corpocracy we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at September 6, 2012 12:15 PM
Comment #352315

The real problem is that we expect a system that essentially shuffles money around the upper class to create incentives and generate resources for all these things we want to be best at.

Having a lot of money is a good thing, but it is also the satiation of hunger for the competitive, and those who gain that wealth place less of a priority on excellence, and more on protecting the vested interest.

If we want to be first, we have to be an overall motivated people, not a people divided between those who are too rich to care, and those who are too busy struggling to gather the resources to begin great things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2012 7:14 PM
Comment #352316

Stephen

We place great emphasis on excellence. That is what you guys hate about us. You think we are not inclusive enough because we don’t like to accept mediocrity in the name of equality.

I know lots of rich people and lots of poor people. If you are poor and you strive for excellence, you have a very poor chance of staying poor. On the other hand, if you are rich and you neglect excellence you will lose status.

Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2012 8:13 PM
Comment #352323

C&J-
Right, right. While you’re at it, why don’t you tell me I love punching babies and strangling puppies.

I like, admire people who succeed by doing productive, innovative, ingenious work. It’s the folks who use speculative devices, who play games with people’s lives in order to win their fortunes that we despise.

I see too many golden parachutes. Too many places where folks ran businesses they bought into the ground, but made enormous fortunes. If somebody doesn’t have to do well to make their money, if they see that they can simply manuever their way into it, it doesn’t matter what class they are, there will be that temptation to take that shortcut. Politicians are quick to clamp down on the moral hazards that afflict the poor, but money and power buys influence, so the economy crippling incompetence and corner cutting at the at the top all too often remains.

It even gets encouraged as their lobbyists get Republicans and conservative Democrats to relax the regulations and laws that keep people from taking the shortcuts at the top.

What I see are people who are so cluelessly convinced of their necessity, of the need for them to get theirs, to be the elite and get their way, that they don’t realize how much people have lost their faith in them. And so, time and again, though you would claim that these are the wise, aware captains of industries, they pull the stupid stunts of giving themselves bonuses and pay raises, even while they lay people off and cut down on the productivity of their companies.

We need new leadership and guidance in corporate America, and that’s not going to happen while your folks coddle the screw-ups who’ve been selected for by years of self-absorbed rule-making on their behalf.

What we want is for these people to act like they’re part of a society, not sociopathic nobles above reproach.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2012 9:29 PM
Comment #352328

Stephen


You don’t know the life stories of many successful people. You know the stuff they put on TV on shows like Dallas.

There are rich crooks and there are poor ones. Life is not a straight path to success. But generally, in the long run, people get a lot of what they put in. I am not saying that all hard working, smart people get rich, but few hard working, smart people stay poor.

Most people do indeed work to help society. People like Romney give millions to charity, so why would they be “greedy” enough to put making money above all else if they plan to give so much of it away?

Posted by: C&J at September 6, 2012 11:00 PM
Comment #352337

Jack, you’re such an elitist. It really sickens me.

As for Rmoney, he doesn’t give to anything even close to charity, he tithes to the Mormon Church. And all the Mormon Church does is collect money to send their followers out on missions all over the globe to recruit other people to their cult. People who will then also tithe 10% of whatever their income is to the church.
Mormons aren’t known for their charity. They’re not known for things like digging wells for safe clean drinking water and sanitation. Or for trying to cure the sick. Or for trying to feed or clothe the poor. No, what Mormons are famous for is their constant missionary recruitment practices.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2012 1:35 AM
Comment #352339
Mormons aren’t known for their charity. They’re not known for things like digging wells for safe clean drinking water and sanitation. Or for trying to cure the sick. Or for trying to feed or clothe the poor. No, what Mormons are famous for is their constant missionary recruitment practices.

Adrienne, we all know I am not a fan of organized religion, but your disgusting partisanship has led you off of the cliff in regards to belittling the help that others are doing because it is associated with the Mormon Church.

In 2008, LDS Humanitarian Services provided aid to 3.3 million people in 122 countries, and since 1985 help has been given to 23 million people in 163 nations.

From 1985 - 2009, $327.6 million in cash and $884.6 million in commodities of aid was given throughout 178 countries.

You can go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LDS_Humanitarian_Services for some basic information on the humanitarian services of the church and go from there to find more information.

Here are just a few of the things that Mormans (LDS) charities provide…

————

In addition to small, personal acts of service, Mormons give large, organized assistance to areas in need. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has donated more than $1 billion in cash and material assistance to 167 different countries in need of humanitarian aid since it started keeping track in 1985. It sent an airlift of tents, tarps, diapers and other supplies to the areas of Chile hit by the February 2010 earthquake, and two planes with over 80,000 pounds each of food and emergency resources to Haiti in January 2010 due to their catastrophic earthquake. The local, national and international organization of the church allows it to coordinate relief efforts quickly so that food, supplies and workers can arrive when they are needed most.

The Church does not discriminate based on religious affiliation, ethnicity or nationality. We offer hope and the potential for a life that transcends disease, poverty and despair. It’s all part of God’s plan that we bear each other’s burdens and act as His hands on earth. The Church’s welfare program also helps people in need locally by offering temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing and in the search for employment. Recipients are given the opportunity to work, if possible, in exchange for this assistance.

The Wheelchair Initiative strives to improve mobility, health, and educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities. In cooperation with local organizations, LDS Charities works to improve the services provided to the physically disabled and distribute manual wheelchairs or walking aids appropriate to individual needs and circumstances. Using volunteer trainers, LDS Charities strengthens the capability of local organizations to assess individual needs, select and fit appropriate wheelchairs, train individuals and caregivers, provide support for repair and maintenance, and implement World Health Organization guidelines. Where it’s feasible, LDS Charities seeks to support local production of wheelchairs.

The Clean Water Initiative blesses over a million people from all faiths, countries, and ethnicities each year as it helps communities with three pillars of health: clean water sources, improved sanitation facilities, and proper hygiene training. With a heavy emphasis on community participation, the initiative organizes an intricate network of both volunteers and temporary staff. Local and easily-repairable equipment is combined with community donations of time, skills, and materials to create fresh water and latrine systems for communities around the world.

LDS Charities strives to provide immediate emergency assistance to victims of natural disasters, civil unrest, or famine. When local resources are strained or nonexistent, LDS Charities provides short-term, life-sustaining resources such as food, water, shelter, clothing, medical, school, and hygiene supplies. This response is accomplished in partnership with local relief organizations and sometimes with other major international organizations. Under the direction of local leadership, LDS Charities volunteers distribute supplies and participate in clean-up efforts to help disaster victims recover.

The LDS Charities Food Initiative targets families living in urban and rural areas and teaches them sustainable techniques for food production, nutrition, diet, and home food storage. Through demonstration gardens and hands-on workshops, families learn to grow vegetables and fruits or raise small animals appropriate to their circumstances. Workshops are generally taught by local experts who instruct parents and children, sometimes at local primary schools. The Food Initiative helps families become more confident and self-reliant as they develop improved home food production skills and learn about a healthier lifestyle.

Over 300 million people worldwide live with low vision or blindness. By improving the quality of eye care treatment delivered by local health care organizations, blindness and visual impairment may be avoided. The Church provides training, equipment, and supplies to assist local eye care professionals and programs. Since 2003, over 550,000 people have benefited from Church vision projects throughout the world.

The World Health Organization estimates that 1 million newborns die each year of breathing difficulties. The Church provides a train-the-trainer program for resuscitation skills and resuscitation equipment to doctors, nurses, and midwives. In addition to training for medical professionals in advanced techniques, a new level of training has been introduced called “Helping Babies Breathe.” This program helps save the lives of newborns in resource-limited countries.

In countries where disease claims many children’s lives, LDS Charities strives to raise public awareness of nearby immunization sites and campaigns. By doing so, we have seen an increase in the amount of immunized children and a reduction in the number of lives lost to measles, diarrhea, and pneumonia. We work with local organizations to initiate and financially support village parades, TV announcements, pamphlet deliveries, and radio advertisements to publicize the immunizations in the area. This social mobilization movement, in addition to our donations to health ministries and worldwide organizations, advances one of the most vital medical initiatives.

In addition to these efforts, the LDS Church also has over 300 job development and placement centers around the world. In 2001, the LDS Church began the Perpetual Education Fund which provides money to cover tuition and other school expenses to people in developing nations. As of 2007, tens of thousands of individuals had been given assistance. So far this program has operated primarily in South America and Oceana. The LDS Church has also begun producing a nutrition-rich porridge named Atmit to help during acute famines. The LDS Church Welfare program owns farms, ranches, canneries, and other food producing facilities to provide temporary food relief for families and individuals. LDS Humanitarian Services frequently works with other charities and NGOs such as the Red Cross, Catholic charities and even various Islamic charities for which the LDS Church has produced halaal food.

—————-

Your hatred seethes from you into every comment you make on this website and if I were a fellow progressive I would be ashamed of what kind of ambassador you present yourself for your party.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2012 2:16 AM
Comment #352344

Rhinehold,
I never really hated the Mormons until they dedicated themselves to taking away the rights of women and gay people in America by using truly enormous sums of tithed money to try to pass legislation and buy up extraordinarily expensive advertising for that purpose alone. ANY group of people who work so hard and spend so much to deny rights to fellow Americans are themselves full of hate, and therefore, deserve and have earned nothing but my hatred in return, and I feel no need to apologize. And that’s true no matter how much browbeating or insulting you think I deserve for honestly stating my opinion in that regard.

As for the Mormon’s humanitarian work, the “church” only thought to start doing something (besides missionary work or working to deny women and gays civil rights) in 1991 — and in every single area they’re working now they need to rely on the apparatuses of other charitable organizations (and the incredible amounts of hard work and charitable dollars that needed to be raised in order to build those apparatuses). Without groups such as Catholic Charities and Catholic Relief, and UNICEF, and the Red Cross, Mormons would not now be touting too much.
That being said, whatever any group of people do in order to help others in need is of course worthwhile and important work. But personally I just can’t help but think of how much more could be done if they didn’t spend quite as much (millions) as they do trying to control and harm and curtail the freedom of others.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2012 3:02 AM
Comment #352347
But personally I just can’t help but think of how much more could be done if they didn’t spend quite as much (millions) as they do trying to control and harm and curtail the freedom of others.

I feel the same way about this president and the current Democratic Party. The church cannot curtail freedoms, it simply does not have that power anymore…

But the government sure can. And does.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwejQBIyjow&feature=player_embedded

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2012 3:39 AM
Comment #352359

Adrienne

It depends on what you mean by elitist. If you mean, as I do, working always to improve your own behaviors and skills so that you can be more useful to God, man and country, yes I am. And we all should be.

If you strive to be better all the time, and you are reasonably successful, it implies that you are better than you were. This is the basis of all education. It also implies that if you are better than you were, you would be better than someone who did not go through the improvement process. This means that people are created equal but do not remain so. What do you find flawed in this logic? You may now deploy your vulgarity.

re Mormons - don’t want to get into the religious bigotry with you, but you are wrong but in fact they ARE known for things like digging wells for safe clean drinking water and sanitation. Or for trying to cure the sick and known for their hard work.

Rhinhold does a good job of giving you specifics.

You may now deploy another vulgarity or claim a personal attack.

Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2012 7:40 AM
Comment #352361

C&J-
Oh, don’t patronize me. There’s plenty of people I admire. Plenty of creative people, innovators.

This is what you want to believe so you can pigeonhole me as a stereotypical class warrior.

But you know what? I want capitalism to work. But it seems to have lost its focus. Earning a profit has become an entitlement to too many, rather than a privilege earned by responsible behavior in the course of productive, results oriented business.

If all Romney did was save business, and it seemed like his behavior was appropriately focused on the health and making the business more active, Then his experience could be pointed to with pride. But the deeper we look, the more we find that the corporation he built did not set its success dependent on the success of the business. Instead, we have companies who were often woefully mismanaged, set on short-term myopic paths, and often used as proxies for debt-financed dividends.

We need higher standards for what we consider an honorable line of business. We should not celebrate those who, worse than being vultures picking the business world clean of its dead, or scavengers carrying away the bones, but parasites, who latch onto companies because they can finance their own looting.

There are many ways to profit, only some of which should be admired and promoted, and unluckily for you, Romney’s line of work was not well loved. When they wanted to give Spielberg’s Peter Pan in Hook a sense of being a lost, unhappy soul, guess what they made him into? When they wanted to give Richard Gere’s Pretty Woman character a moral dilemma he’d have to overcome, they made him a leveraged buyout artist. In the movie Other People’s Money, the whole plot centered around the amoral Danny DeVito Character’s romance to a woman involved in a company DeVito’s character was buying out to shut down.

And, of course, there’s Gordon Gecko, and his protege Bud Fox.

I know you would say these are caricatures, that these are not who these people are, typically, but step back for a second, and ask yourself just why writers and directors gravitated to that archetype of modern finance.

There’s a line by Maggie Smith when she learns what Peter’s been doing, “Peter, you’re a pirate!”

Here’s a person who takes money they borrowed, rather than built up, and buys a company weakened by circumstance, and then runs that company in such a way as to maximize their profit, even if that means tearing apart the company, laying thousands off, or loading it up with needless debt for a dividend those investors never put in the time or effort to actually earn.

Its somebody who comes in and takes what people have earned, and profits by destroying it. It’s somebody who exploits the laws, exploits the system, and then tells anybody who objects, in financial essence, that their might, their ability to profit, makes it right. Greed is, for lack of a better word, good.

Me, other people, we just believe it’s no different than the lever the monkeys in the experiments on the pleasure centers of the brain pushed to get their reward. It’s not moral or immoral at its core, but amoral, meaning that it generally does not tell you what the moral choice is, any more than that lever tells the monkey what’s moral.

Society does not consistently match rewards with good behavior, and people are fully capable, like many creatures in the animal kingdom, of evolving strategies to short circuit the paths to reward to avoid having to put forward real effort and achievement, to avoid having to give people something of appropriate value.

Mitt Romney’s line of work is generally despised not because peole hate rewarding the successful, but because they don’t view Romney’s fortune as the product of any success other than exploiting weaknesses in the system, a quirk in the way our laws are set up. They see folks on Wall Street as little better than gamblers at a race track, not as honest, hard workers whose success is owed to their wisdom in running productive companies.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 7, 2012 8:06 AM
Comment #352368

Stephen

We both want capitalism to work. I want freedom to work too. You prefer a kind of enforced distribution. I prefer growth.

Your assessment of Romney shows your bias. Romney was in business. His business helped the economy grow but that was not his primary responsibility. None of us goes to work with the MAIN goal of helping society as a whole. It just works that way.

When you go to work, do you plan to work for nothing except to make the world better? You ask much more of others than you ask of yourself.

Beyond all this, you are again mistaking the fantasy world of films for the real one. Oliver Stone wouldn’t know truth if he stepped on it. He makes films designed to attack the American way. He is the kind of man we should despise.

“Society does not consistently match rewards with good behavior” as I have expressed many times. But in a free market is makes a general correlation.

In my experience, it is almost impossible for a smart person who works hard to remain poor absent a serious disability. Our society provides many opportunities to anyone willing to work for them.

Romney’s business record is great. He invested in many firms and brought some back. Think of the Obama investment in a firm like Solyndra. Not all firms can be brought back. The difference between an Obama investment and a Romney one is that Romney risked his money while Obama lost ours (and made sure his friends got some).

So Obama was is also in the investment business; he just does it so poorly that we think that he is just being generous with our money by giving it away.

Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2012 10:00 AM
Comment #352386
re Mormons - don’t want to get into the religious bigotry with you

I am not at all ashamed of my views against the Cult of Mormon. I come by them very honestly because I am a Progressive who is naturally bigoted against their sexism, racism and bigotry, and because I am agnostic, and therefore have always had a deep aversion to the kind of blatant charlatanry that would try to sell the idiocy and gobbledegook in the “Book of Mormon”, and “The Planet Kolab”, and “Latter Day Sainthood”, etc., etc. I consider Joseph Smith and Mormonism as blatantly false and transparently ridiculous as L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, or Sung Myung Moon and the Moonies, or Jim Jones and The People’s Temple, or any other made-up personality cult that sets out to control people’s lives while collecting as much of their money as they can. I disdain and reject messianic cult leaders and indeed any and all groups who try to enforce a narrow philosophies, and narrow-mindedness and strict conformity of behavior on people. And most especially when they try to do so in the name of “religion” or “spirituality.” This is something has always struck me as bogus and totally antithetical toward a true path that leads to intelligence, wisdom, compassion and unity among human beings.

in fact they ARE known for things like digging wells for safe clean drinking water and sanitation. Or for trying to cure the sick and known for their hard work.

Rhinhold does a good job of giving you specifics.

It’s a fact that Mormon’s are far more known for and spend far, far more money buying up enormously expensive television advertising for their cult, and on sending missionaries out to recruit for their cult all over the globe, and on organizing and buying up advertising to push for state and federal legislation to enforce their religiously-dictated prejudices and conformity of behaviors upon this entire nation than they do on any charitable endeavors.

Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2012 1:48 PM
Comment #352388
I am not at all ashamed of my views against the Cult of Mormon.

There is a difference between being against the views of the church and turning any good effort that those who follow the church may be doing into something it isn’t.

I’m an atheist and I agree that religion is used by many as a basis for sexist, racist, homophobic hatred heaped onto many people, as I pointed out at the beginning. However, I also acknowledge that many people within the faith, while being about many things, do most often genuinely want to help others. Mormonism in particular goes above and beyond the usual efforts with actual action taken by members of the faith to go out and help others. It’s part of their faith. Does it make up for the harm that they do? That’s not for me to judge. However, my dislike for their adherence to a rigid dogma does not prevent me from acknowledging the millions of lives they have helped through their charitous work, and the fact is that more often than not religious individuals are much more likely to help others than non-religious individuals who have bought into the promise of the government being the arbiter of helping others (though coercion).

As for evaluating their worth based on ‘marketing’, well, that’s a whole other story. I would be interested in seeing the evidence of this ‘fact’ that you have presented…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2012 2:05 PM
Comment #352390

We need new leadership and guidance in corporate America, and that’s not going to happen while your folks coddle the screw-ups who’ve been selected for by years of self-absorbed rule-making on their behalf.

What we want is for these people to act like they’re part of a society, not sociopathic nobles above reproach.
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at September 6, 2012 9:29 PM

Hmmm…General Motors comes to mind. Screw-ups were in charge for years yet consequences were not allowed to happen.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 7, 2012 2:39 PM
Comment #352391

Mr. Daugherty writes; “Earning a profit has become an entitlement to too many, rather than a privilege earned by responsible behavior in the course of productive, results oriented business.”

GOOD LORD…I can hardly fathom SD’s belief system. Profits are a “privilege”? Using that word (privilege) implies it is granted by someone, not earned. Going back to obama’s famous line…”You didn’t create it”, I suppose one can understand that liberal lemmings would have the same belief system.

Profits have never been, and are not now…”entitlements”. We all understand entitlements, and they are always linked to government.

GM had insufficient “profits” to stay in business by virtue of their irresponsible behavior. So, they received entitlements; from government.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 7, 2012 2:50 PM
Comment #352394

Adrienne

“It’s a fact that Mormon’s are far more known for and spend far, far more money buying up enormously expensive television advertising for their cult…” What whole groups of millions of people are “known for” depends on who you talk to and what you know. I have heard lots of things about lots of groups fervently believed by some people.

Royal

You know Stephen.

Posted by: C&J at September 7, 2012 3:06 PM
Comment #352400

Wednesday night we watched the NFL opening regular season game between the Cowboys and the Giants. Great game and great outcome.

Last night we watched a two hour film featuring the Great Ronald Reagan.

Did we miss anything at the Dem convention? Did obama/biden give us any new ideas for why Americans would believe that we are better off now than we were four years ago?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 7, 2012 3:38 PM
Comment #352401
As for evaluating their worth based on ‘marketing’, well, that’s a whole other story. I would be interested in seeing the evidence of this ‘fact’ that you have presented…

Yeah well that’s kind of a tall order to deliver since the Cult of Mormon has always been notoriously opaque about their finances. Supposedly since 1985 up to the present the Mormons have spent in the neighborhood of $1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance — that’s out of what has been estimated to be around $35 billion per year that they take in from global revenue.
Within the U.S. this analysis shows: Mormon church earns $7 billion a year from tithing, analysis indicates

But that’s just from tithing. This does not include the fact that they own and control a lot of businesses and properties that make them enormous amounts of money every year.
From that link:

It owns about $35 billion worth of temples and meeting houses around the world, and controls farms, ranches, shopping malls and other commercial ventures worth many billions more.

I can tell you that the Mormons spent many millions of dollars to pass Prop(H)8 in California (which denied gay couples the right to marry in my state). Before that particular election it was easy to see that they’d dumped a lot of cash into it since the Mormons had put up several websites, and had bought up tons of billboard space all over the state, and had paid to run lots of prime time television advertisements. They’ve also spent a lot defeating gay marriage in many other places as well, such as Maine and North Carolina’s recent Amendment One — basically any state we could name that has passed laws against marriage equality has been on the receiving end of a chunk of Mormon funding.

This is of course not the first time the Mormons have displayed their various bigotries. Back in the 1960’s they vilified Black Americans and not until the DOJ threatened the “Church” with a Federal lawsuit did they finally relent and began officially allowing Black Americans to join the Mormon priesthood. In the 1970’s, it was the Mormon’s who led the national opposition against the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment. Their funding against it is what defeated the expansion of the rights of women who, just like gay people right now, were fighting very hard to gain equal recognition under the laws of the United States.
They have a long history of putting a lot of money behind the way they push their hatred in the name of “religion.”

Many people seem to think it’s outrageous to criticize the Mormons simply because they claim religions should be off limits, but I don’t agree with that. I think any religion that chooses to act like a political action committee should be considered fair game, and clearly this has been true of the Mormons, who have always gone out of their way to do a lot of harm to people in this nation.

Not too long ago Bill Maher made some comments on his show about Mitt Romney and the Mormon church that I thought were spot-on. So let me just finish this by quote him directly:

“When Mitt Romney gets a deduction for giving to charity, the rest of us taxpayers have to cover the loss. Charitable deductions reduce the public coffers by about 60 billion dollars a year… So it is fair to ask what should constitute a charity.”
“They provide food during famines and wheelchairs to the lame. But that’s not their main concern. Which is, like any business, growing the business, opening branches, selling more product, putting asses in tabernacles. General Electric plants a tree every now and then, it doesn’t make them Johnny Appleseed.”
Posted by: Adrienne at September 7, 2012 3:41 PM
Comment #352404

Adrienne, we are in agreement concerning the Mormon Church and the bad things they do.

However, I do have a question…

The current President is a Christian (he has attended Catholic schools as well) and professes to be practicing. Do you want to get into the same actions that the Christian churches are doing to promote hatred, bigotry and sexism and apply those views to him?

I’m game if you want, but all I want is to make sure we are applying the same paint with the same brush. The christian cult is little different than the mormon one except they have been doing it longer and are more entrenched so they don’t need to advertise to rake in the money…

Why, just look at the opulence of the Vatican!

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2012 4:32 PM
Comment #352411

cult
   [kuhlt] noun
1. a particular system of religious worship, especially with reference to its rites and ceremonies.

2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. (Example) Those who venerate obama, liberalism, socialism, government)

3. the object of such devotion.

4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.

5. Sociology . a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols.

“Why, just look at the opulence of the Vatican!”

Why, just look at the opulence of the White House, Buckingham and Windsor Palace, Algores and Kerry’s homes. etc.

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