When young people who want to get rich think of ways to do it, politics should not be among the top choices.

I just read a story about Chelsea Clinton buying a $10 million apartment in NYC. She seems a nice and smart woman, but with a history degree it would seem to be hard to make those bucks at her young age. It is a sad commentary on our times. One should not be able to amass a multi-million dollar fortune based on involvement in politics alone. It is part of the crony-capitalism that has developed as government has grown.

It is wrong when rich people can convert money directly into political power. It is equally bad - and maybe more corrupting in the long run - when politicians can convert political power directly into wealth for them and their kids.

None of us are foolish enough to believe that power and money are not fungible to some extent. In fact, can be virtuous for rich families to devote some their fortunes and energy to public service. We can think of the Adams, Roosevelt, Bush or Rockefeller. Public service in our democracy was once something that might COST you money or maybe just break even.

We cannot and should not expect our leaders to renounce wealth. Even if we could find such people, they would probably be strange. Monks & saints do not make good leaders of humans.

But when young people interested in getting rich consider ways to do it, politics should not be among the top choices.

Posted by Christine & John at January 16, 2016 1:09 PM
Comments
Comment #401988

It is strange how a servant of the people can accumulate so much money when all the money they use during the course of their service is somebody else’s money!

That alone should cast doubt as to the workings of our government, but then again, there are many obvious failings in our government that are taken for granted as normal.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 1:43 PM
Comment #401989

Liberals favor public financing of elections and finance reform in general. Conservatives oppose it. Liberals oppose Citizens United while conservatives- at least establishment conservatives- favor Citizens United.

In the past the GOP elites informed the base they should favor Citizens United, and the base went along with it. They went along with the dark money and the Koch Brothers agenda and the Rovian super PAC’s. The establishment pushed tax cuts and told the base a ‘rising tide raises all boats.’ Of course, that did not happen. The benefits of the tax cuts went to the richest of the rich and no one else, other than the politicians who provided them. For a while, the base was all right with this; after all, tax cuts potentially denied all those takers, the 47%, and the minorities all that free stuff.

Today, the base no longer goes along with that, and this has manifested itself in the candidacy of Trump. The GOP base hates the takers and 47% and minorities more than ever, but they no longer respond to handing over money to the rich and their base politicians in the form of tax cuts and campaign donations. The GOP base actually WANTS social security and Medicare, even if it means the takers and 47% and minorities get it too. And one of the biggest appeals of Trump is his supposed freedom from being bought. It is a little ridiculous, since he is already rich, but there you go…

Do Democrats do it too? Individual Democrats have the same weaknesses as Republicans, of course. The difference is that, as a matter of policy, Democrats favor taking money out of politics as much as possible. As a matter of policy, The GOP does everything in its power to keep money in politics.

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2016 1:57 PM
Comment #401991

The Clintons and those like them did not get rich due to public financing. They got rich because the power of the Federal government to make or break a firm’s success sent forces businesses to play or pay or both. This gives great power to politicians.

The idea that the rich are buying politicians is old fashioned. Today, it is more likely politicians buying business favors or threatening to withhold them. There is usually not a quid-pro-quo. Rather, politics shapes the playing field to the advantage or disadvantage of particular players.

Consider that the Clintons were dead broke in 2001 and rolling in money a few years later. Now they have successfully created vast inter-generational wealth. Is there a product that the Clintons have helped cause to be made that you use? What is the source of their millions? Bill is a great speaker, but I have heard better. Hillary is not very entertaining at all, yet she gets paid more than $250,000 per speech. If they did not have current and future influence, would anybody pay that kind of money?

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 2:09 PM
Comment #401992

I wonder if phx8 actually believes the bullsh*t he writes.

Does the Left favor unions using membership money to finance elections?

Does the Left favor public education policy dictated from Washington? Why? Could it be money for politicians?

Does the Left agenda favor taking money from one American to give to another? Why? Could it be money for politicians?

How could the Clinton Crime Syndicate amass hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth as public servants?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2016 2:15 PM
Comment #401993

It is the essence of crony capitalism or market socialism that you win competitive advantage not by making a better produce or service but by making friends among politicians. AND the politicians expect to make money in this turn of events by extending the government reach into private business.

Businesses often avoided politics until the 1960s. Now they are all in. Some seek to profit from government. Other seek to protect themselves. Most are doing both. The cause is not that they are worse than they used to be but that the incentive system has changed. With more power concentrated in the political center, there is more slop in the trough.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 2:17 PM
Comment #401994

To take the money out of politics you have to take the money out of government. No one puts money into a candidate’s campaign without expecting something in return. No one will financially support someone who says they will reduce the amount of money government will give them.

Many people think the Republicans have “done nothing to get things passed”. Yet they are elected. So the premise must be wrong. They haven’t done “nothing”. They’ve actually done what they were elected to do. They were elected to stop government from taking more and more as a matter of course. Democratics call that standing in the way, blocking the will of the people, obstructionism. They’re actually doing what they were elected to do: stand in the way of out of control government spending, obstructing an out of control government. They are actually fulfilling their promise to the people who elected them.

It’s funny how Democratics say they want to get money out of politics, but they have no problem ignoring the Democratics who get rich in politics while bashing Republicans for getting rich also.

I guess that’s where that hypocrisy thing gets it’s legs.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 2:20 PM
Comment #401995

Why aren’t any of the people who want to get money out of politics supporting Donald Trump? He hasn’t taken any money to fund his election. Isn’t that what you want, phx8?

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 2:25 PM
Comment #401996

Weary Willie - you are right. The reason individuals and firms “invest” in politics is that there is so much - too much - money and influence there. If you leave a lot of food out when camping, you attract bears. The bears are harmless and beneficial in their own environment, but when you feed them they become a danger to you and you become a danger to them.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 2:32 PM
Comment #401998

Government requires a conduit to flow money to an entity in return for favoritism. To simply write a check drawn on the US Treasury to pay off corporate election donors is obvious and illegal.

The conduit is the IRS. Eliminate it and the practice diminishes significantly.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2016 2:40 PM
Comment #401999

Royal

More complicated than taxes. Consider how the exact wording of legislation can make a firm rich or bankrupt it. I don’t think the pay off is usually even what we would call a payoff. Firms, unions and individuals seek to elect the people they know will do the “right things.” It is the old saying that personnel is policy.

A tangential topic is the growth of the British Empire and the method of leadership. London often did not give clear or detailed instructions to the guys in the field. They just figured out who to send, understanding that the person would be true to form. It worked for a couple centuries.

In U.S. history, consider the difference between assigning the same task with the same order to George Patton as opposed to Omar Bradley. Eisenhower and Marshall knew the difference. The policy may make less difference than the personal.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 2:50 PM
Comment #402000

Political favors (money) can be transferred by government to an entity by regulation or by tax code C/J.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2016 2:57 PM
Comment #402001

Royal

Correct. But the ones that are specifically targeted can most often be done through regulation.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 3:24 PM
Comment #402002

True

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2016 3:25 PM
Comment #402004

RF,
“Does the Left favor unions using membership money to finance elections?”

Of course. Unions are democratic organizations. Their donations reflect what the majority of their participants want. Members can vote for new membership if they dislike what is happening. The same is not true of a corporate or a billionaire donor.

“Does the Left favor public education policy dictated from Washington? Why? Could it be money for politicians?”

Of course. Part of it involves economies of scale, but it is also desirable on a national level to create a unified culture. In addition, there are occasionally problems like what happened in Kentucky, where students were not taught about evolution. KY students ranked dead last science compared with the country.

“Does the Left agenda favor taking money from one American to give to another? Why? Could it be money for politicians?”

Not sure what this means. Does it refer to progressive taxation?

“How could the Clinton Crime Syndicate amass hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth as public servants?”

The Clintons are worth @ $111 million. They made most of that money after he served, and the way they earned it is well documented and above board.

WW,
Not following the news, eh? Did you like the way the Republican Congress tacked on $700 billion to the national debt with that last budget? They put it directly into the national debt, so we’ll never see it show up as part of the annual deficit.

So when you write that Republicans “have actually done what they were elected to do. They were elected to stop government from taking more and more as a matter of course. … They’re actually doing what they were elected to do: stand in the way of out of control government spending, obstructing an out of control government. They are actually fulfilling their promise to the people who elected them.”

Snort. The GOP racks up debt as a matter of policy, and they are richly rewarded for doing it.


Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2016 5:13 PM
Comment #402005

Phx8

“Of course. Unions are democratic organizations. Their donations reflect what the majority of their participants want. Members can vote for new membership if they dislike what is happening. The same is not true of a corporate or a billionaire donor.”

The Supreme Court will soon consider the case of California teachers who choose not to be in the Union. Should they win, your “democratic” claim may make more sense. The Wisconsin example is already in place.

“but it is also desirable on a national level to create a unified culture.” We agree to some extent. I also reject the idea of multiculturalism as it has now been defined by leftists. However, I have come to understand that a detailed national management of education is not possible or even desirable.

“The Clintons are worth @ $111 million. They made most of that money after he served, and the way they earned it is well documented and above board.” - this is the example of the problem. I have heard both Bill and Hillary speak. Bill is good. Hillary is not worth the cost of crossing the street. BUT they certainly would not earn that money on speaking fees if they were selling only their talk and ideas.


Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 5:22 PM
Comment #402006

I misspoke, phx8. I said Republicans when I should have said conservatives. They are two completely different animals. You refer to them as “the radical right” and the “teabaggers”. They got elected on conservative principals and they stick to them. In the case you’re referring to they didn’t even get a chance to read the bill let alone debate it. “Ya gotta pass it before we know what’s in it” seems to be the prevailing mindset with the liberals these days.

We should rename both parties to avoid this type of confusion. They should be called the Conservative party and the Progressive party. That way Republicans who act and vote like Democratics could be labeled and associated with the people who they act and vote like.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 5:32 PM
Comment #402007

I’ve never been a fan of multiculturalism. I much prefer the concept of respecting other cultures, but working through education to create a melting pot. That said, I would still be adamantly opposed to establishing English as an official language.

Meanwhile, Obama and Kerry have just put together a spectacular string of successes re Iran. Through diplomacy they have dissuaded the Iranians from pursuing a nuclear weapons program, freed 10 sailors who accidentally strayed into Iranian waters in just one day, and swapped prisoners. Later this week the Iranians will bring a huge amount of oil onto an already flooded market. Oil is now at $29!

Posted by: phx8 at January 16, 2016 5:40 PM
Comment #402008

phx8

English should be the official language of government and instruction. This was the de-facto situation until the 1960s. It was the smart policy that allowed us to assimilate all those hoards of weird foreigners (like my grandfather) and make their grandchildren 100% American.

Recall that anybody coming to live in America already thinks this place is better - as least for them - than the benighted land they left behind. We need not pretend otherwise.

I have lived in some other places and like various aspects of their cultures and ways. But I don’t want the U.S. to become like them. I don’t want the U.S. to become like Mexico or China because the U.S. is better than Mexico or China. So we invite immigrants to share the things we find useful and best, but we should extend no rights to protect what they bring us. American bagels are better than Israeli ones. American pizza has more variety than in Italy. I love German beer, but lately we are making a product at least as good and Americans invented chop suey and chow main. They only have those things in China when they copy us.

To quote the great German poet Goethe - Amerika, du hast es besser.

Re oil - Fracking and good luck. There is nothing in the Obama policy that made this happen besides a fortunately lazy pursuit of the anti-fossil fuel tendencies of the loony left. Thanks Obama for not listening to the Luddites.

Re Iran - I said on these very pages lo ten years ago or so that Iran would fundamentally align with the U.S., that we would never invade Iran and the Iranians would see the light. I do not think Obama is acting from strength on this, however. I think it will work out for him, more or less along the lines of Fracking, but I do not think he got a very good deal.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 7:00 PM
Comment #402009

Diffusing educational authority will promote a greater amount of diverse and critical thought. The Federal Government is using the educational system as a propaganda tool.

Unions are not “democratic organizations.” Members are not allowed to choose how their mandatory dues are allocated.

Bernie Sanders advocates that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. Necessitous men are not free men. To have to work for what you want by definition makes you not free.

My Leftie friends applaud Sanders for seeking to redistribute wealth by setting a ceiling on what each citizen is allowed to retain of their earnings or accumulated wealth and a floor of subsidy to which others are entitled; garnered from the forfeit earnings of others.

Alexis de Tocqueville warned of “soft despotism” in his work titled; “Democracy in America.”

“After having thus taken each individual one by one into its powerful hands, and having molded him as it pleases, the sovereign power extends its arms over the entire society; it covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated, minute, and uniform rules, which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot break through to go beyond the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces action, but it constantly opposes your acting; it does not destroy, it prevents birth; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, it represses, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally it reduces each nation to being nothing more than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

The chilling lure for some of socialism, as expressed by Sanders, is that all or at least significant parts of human life need to be micromanaged and controlled by government so people may be liberated from the “tyranny” of not having all they may want without finding effective ways of acquiring it through honest and peaceful work.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 16, 2016 7:12 PM
Comment #402010

So C&J what does Chelsea Clinton have to do with politics? Isn’t she a correspondent for some news outlet? Are you suggesting because she is the only child of a former President and Senator she has received money from the billionaire fat cats that dominate our political system?

Seems to me you are stretching to get Hillary involved in your crony capitalism rant while ignoring Bush, Cruz Rubio, Fiornia and the rest of the crony capitalist that support them.

The Clinton Global Initiative is a far cry from the PAC’s and the Koch Bros political machine that define crony capitalism, why do you continuously point a finger when 4 are pointed back at your team.

I don’t get it, you criticize Sanders for not making enough money during his career in politics, which BTW kinda makes this post of yours so much blathering, yet criticize the Clintons daughter because her parents did well after their careers and then somehow try to tell us it is crony capitalism. Yet you fail to mention the obvious crony capitalism of conservatives running for office, does hypocrisy come to mind?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 16, 2016 9:26 PM
Comment #402011

One of the best debates ever on WB. Goes to the heart of the major problem, elephant in the room, in the political system.

I’ve said a number of times; you can’t grow roses in a cesspool. It’s pretty audacious to me that folks will blog endlessly about guns, abortion and such while we have this elephant in the tent with it’s butthole stretched over gov’t.

At the very best we might get a little fringe reform here and there. No one has posted a name for the problem. I refer to it as oligarchy and/or corpocratism. Defined, it is the use of money to influence the political will of elected officials. Th

The act of influencing may be at the behest of the corporate/wealthy/union/foreign gov’t and so on, or it may be initiatede by the elected official(s).

I would prefer a new 3rd party w/a/dif/pol/att with rules in place to change the way party candidates/incumbents/campaigns can be funded. Second choice would be through public donations with strict rules in place and enforced.

Until we get it right on campaign finance I will work in the middle column to advocate for reform.

Otherwise, it really matters very little that folks flog their keyboards over this issue or that issue, so long as both parties continue to support oligarchy/corpocratism.

Otherwise, we have the Gov’t we deserve …

Posted by: roy ellis at January 16, 2016 9:38 PM
Comment #402012

Folks work to beat down the idea of clean elections with banners like ‘money is free speech’ and take positions like ‘how would it be possible to limit the number of candidates if elections were publicly funded’. We know the money influence is corrupting but we can’t seem to trust ‘people’ to do the right thing if public financing were invoked.

Let’s have a debate about that. ‘How could public financing be set up to solve the problems that hinder clean elections?’

I’ve seen some of the usual populism this cycle such as ‘a flat tax’ but, astoundingly, I’ve not heard a word about campaign finance reform.

Posted by: roy ellis at January 16, 2016 9:52 PM
Comment #402013

j2t2

“So C&J what does Chelsea Clinton have to do with politics? Isn’t she a correspondent for some news outlet?” Yeah - she got that job out of school making something like $600,000 a year. She also gets $60-100,000 for doing speeches. What are the chances that a new college grad is worth that kind of money? I mention her because she is next generation of the political machine.

Re crony capitalism. The Bush family came into money and went into politics as a vocation. This is the older pattern I mentioned. Rubio doesn’t have much money at all. Fiorina made her money in private sector and still has not made money through politics. Just being rich is not crony capitalism. Just being in politics is not crony capitalism.

Clintons are a case study for crony capitalism. They were dead broke in 2001. They soon made millions at the intersection private and public sector. The Clinton Foundation is sui generis. It is a creation of influence to perpetuate influence. It does some good too, but its purpose is power.

The Clinton Foundation would have/could have been a truly wonderful institution IF the Clintons were done with politics. It could have been a legacy, but you don’t use the legacy you “leave” as a way to further your current fortunes.

The Clinton Foundation was incompatible with ethics when Hillary was Secretary of State. The ethics rules warn of the appearance of impropriety. Could a reasonable person think that giving to the Clinton Foundation would influence Hillary?

If Hillary gets elected president, she will have to get rid of the Foundation. If she tries to hold it, it will be a serious threat to democracy.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 10:23 PM
Comment #402014

I guess you missed my many posts about campaign finance reform. Perhaps they were ignored because they actually would have changed things instead of tinkering around the edges of the status quo.

A repeal of the 17th amendment would certainly fix the influence peddling by corporations. Prohibiting contributions to candidates that are not on the contributor’s ballot would insure the candidate would be influenced only by his constituents.

These two simple changes would greatly influence the way our political system operates. That’s the problem though, isn’t it? Those two changes would actually change things.


Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 10:34 PM
Comment #402015

C&J are you suggesting Chelsea didn’t deserve the job she has yet GWB daughter Jenna did? That Meghan McCain did? Where were you when these ladies were taking advantage of their parents connections?

These “little boy that cried wolf” attacks on the humanitarian work of the Clintons, who have worked hard for their money while people like us have set around being lazy, is rather underhanded don’t you think . coming from someone who supports the Aristocracy in this country? Do you just support the conservative Aristocracy because you seem to have not had a problem until the Clintons came along. Perhaps you now favor the “death tax” to keep the aristocracy in check?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 16, 2016 10:53 PM
Comment #402016

We should also keep in mind the electoral college is still in effect. It’s hidden under the facade of the general election. That’s the greatest slight of hand! We go through a 2 year charade called a presidential election every four years and at the end of it all 538 people vote for and elect the president of the united states.

Wouldn’t a repeal of the 17th amendment return the election cycle to it’s original state? A state that worked for longer than the current system has been in effect?

Think about it, folks! For 120 years the founder’s system of electing federal officials worked to build the greatest nation on earth. Then, in 1913, an experiment in socialism masquerading as democracy started this country on a path that has lead us to this situation controlled by corporations and banks.

If you’re serious about campaign finance reform you have to get elections back into the hands of the people at the local level. A return to the election of federal officials where the states control the senate and the people control the house and the president is elected by the electoral college will certainly change things. It will be a change to a system that was built by the founding fathers and worked for 120 years.

A repeal of the 16th amendment would return the money to the states and the local governments making this illusion that the federal government is our one and only savior disappear.

The sooner we realize our federal government was overthrown by the 16th and 17th amendments the sooner we will be able to fix the problem.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 10:59 PM
Comment #402017

None of them do. Republicans do it too. Clintons just do it more AND Democrats advocate expanding the apparatus of the crony state.

I don’t object to the Clintons getting rich. I don’t like the use of government power to do it.

I think the Clinton Foundation does good. That is not the point. The point is that it also serves as a influence machine empowered by the prospect of future Clinton rule.

Nobody has created anything like this before in American history. It essentially creates a government bureaucracy outside the government at the service of a once and future political leader staffed by once and future political cronies designed to bring together the rich and powerful with the politically potent.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 11:19 PM
Comment #402018

So as not to hijack C*J”s very good article I’ll put something in the middle column re CFR in a day or so.

RF, re ‘soft despotism’. Consider the big lie perpetuated by cronyism/oligarchy/corpocracy/etc, that immigration is ‘good for the country’, ‘necessary for the economy’, ‘expected of a democratic nation’ and so on.

Globalism has moved millions of ‘good’ jobs overseas. Big box stores have put mom & pops and more millions out of work. Technology has brought extreme efficiency and automation that has put more millions out of work. Retail Internet is forcing the closing of big and small and putting more millions out of work. Walmart closing a number of stores, Sears has closed 600 stores.

Wages are stagnant/down, fewer people in the work force since the 70’s. GDP is 2%, $20T debt, Bonds, T-bills, savings daid for 7 years running. Jobs being created are mostly min wage, no bennies, half have a retirement account.

I could break verbose but you get my gist. Only play is the stock market and their femtosecond second fast computers.

So, why in creation would we want to bring in immigrants to take nursing jobs and similar? Why wouldn’t we try to dry out the young generation and get them into the work force?

Yes, another form of despotism - drugs?

Give me ONE good reason why we need immigrants at this point in time. And don’t give me that ‘shining light on the hill crap’ that the money influence perpetuates.

Posted by: roy ellis at January 16, 2016 11:22 PM
Comment #402020

You think campaign finance has nothing to do with politicians getting rich?

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 16, 2016 11:40 PM
Comment #402021
A repeal of the 17th amendment would certainly fix the influence peddling by corporations.

Weary the 17th was added because of cronyism why on earth would you think it would change things now?

Think about it, folks! For 120 years the founder’s system of electing federal officials worked to build the greatest nation on earth.

Jesus Weary this Glenn Beck revisionism is appalling, read a history boom for crying out loud.

Then, in 1913, an experiment in socialism masquerading as democracy started this country on a path that has lead us to this situation controlled by corporations and banks.

SO ask yourself this Weary how did “socialism masquerading as democracy” mange to gain in popularity? Could it have been due to the rampant capitalistic cronyism that excisted prior to the time, look up the gilded age in your history book before spouting such nonsense.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 16, 2016 11:41 PM
Comment #402022

j2t2 & Willie

IMO progressives had a point in 1913. We needed correctives to the abuses and imbalances. By the 1960s, the “reforms” had overshot the mark. The government that was too thin in 1913 had become obese and voracious.

The progressives of old believed in hard work. They opposed giving government largess w/o work. They opposed socialism and wanted to maintain the market but with some safeguards. They were muscular in their defense of the U.S. and disliked pacifists. They believed in treating people as individuals, not members of groups.

The seeds of problems, however, was in the idea that government could be the instrument of perfecting society. That got out of hand. In 1913, it made sense to reign in the concentrated power of big business. Today it makes sense to reign in the concentrated power of big government.

Posted by: C&J at January 16, 2016 11:55 PM
Comment #402023

Thank you, C&J, for your admission that progressive policies were in retrospect correct and contributed enormously to our development as a society.

Every time that I begin to question the wisdom of progressive thought, it is helpful to be reminded that history has been kind to progressive policies.

Posted by: Rich at January 17, 2016 10:32 AM
Comment #402024

I’ve always thought our country thrived IN SPITE of progressive policies.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 17, 2016 10:35 AM
Comment #402025

WW, true many of the wealthy got that way thru campaign finance.

From today’s WaPo:

“0.0000013% of American families (158 out of 120 million) have donated nearly half the money that’s been spent in the 2016 presidential contest.”

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 17, 2016 12:00 PM
Comment #402026

I suspect Chelsea bought one of Donald’s apartments.

I’m all in for capitalism. I’m all out for cronyism/plutocracy/corpocratism/money influence/special interest/oligarchy et al. I do severely believe that the bigger monopolies/conglomerates like Oakely, telecoms, and those where only a half dozen or so are ‘allowed’ to get a stranglehold on certain services/products should be anti-trusted. They got there thru various aspects of campaign finance reform.
More on despotism: the last omnibus bill contained 158 words that temporarily preserved a loophole sought by hotel, restaurant and gambling industries along with billionaire wall street investors, allowing them to put real estate in trusts and avoid taxes.

The WaPo article ends with: “The legacy of Citizens United is not about the ultra-wealthy simply buying elections or about politicians on the take. Money can’t buy you Jeb. Instead, we face a subtler but equally pernicious rise of a plutocratic class capturing private benefits for personal gain.”

Agree with that except Jeb could have bought the election were it not for a wild, unforeseen event in the form of Trump. Trump and similar is not supposed to happen in the tightly buttoned up corpocracy.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 17, 2016 1:17 PM
Comment #402027

make that 54 words vice 158.

Posted by: roy ellis at January 17, 2016 1:18 PM
Comment #402028

Roy,
“Give me ONE good reason why we need immigrants at this point in time.”

Immigration contributes to more desirable demographics. It keeps the average age lower, and that in turn provides a wider base for supporting tax revenues and Social Security. In addition, immigration invigorates and revitalizes the culture. It keeps us changing and adapting, and subjectively, it provides a lot of the drive among the children of immigrants to succeed, primarily be attaining an education.

Immigration is a fundamental part of the American character, and one of its best parts. We offer freedom and liberty and opportunity, rather than fear and anger and antagonism.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2016 1:53 PM
Comment #402029

Suppose we agree with your assessment of the need for immigrants phx8. Does it not follow that we should choose those best considered to perform as you suggest?

Why allow illegal immigrants who represent a throw of the dice?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 17, 2016 2:32 PM
Comment #402030

Almost half of all illegal immigrants are people who overstay their visas. They have jobs and they fit into the system without being noticed. They want to be Americans. Why on earth should that be a crime?

While wealthier, educated immigrants are more economically beneficial in the short term, I would argue that the poorest immigrants are some of the ones who help the country the most in the long term. It is their children who strive and fight to become successful.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2016 3:48 PM
Comment #402032

phx8, your argument in favor of the poorest immigrants is nothing but a guess, much like the Socialist Heaven many Lefties imagine.

I suggest that we invite folks who come legally by obeying our laws; those we deem most likely to be future assets.

Regarding those here by illegally overstaying their visas…why favor them working a job that may have benefited a legal citizen? Why do you insist on punishing your fellow Americans?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 17, 2016 4:23 PM
Comment #402035

ph, I tried to reply to your post but WB says my response has to be approved by WB.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: roy ellis at January 17, 2016 4:30 PM
Comment #402036

C&J I am not sure who you think expects government to perfect society. I know of no one who would say that other than conservatives who exaggerate the position of others to justify their own. One thing we know for sure is the lack of proper government doesn’t work to create a perfect society either. Solving the problem of crony capitalism by deregulating has only served to make matters worse.

WE keep hearing “small government” is the answer but the past 8 years we have saw the number of people employed by government shrink, yet crony capitalism has only increased. I would suggest we look for an answer in the laws that support bribery of our elected officials.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 17, 2016 4:35 PM
Comment #402037

RF,
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union…”

In other words, Socialist Heaven. Notice it is the first stated goal of the preamble of the Constitution.

As for whether people who come to the country legally are more likely to be future assets, that is arguable. Leaving one’s own country and culture in order to come to America means taking a big chance. It means risking the unknown. The whole basic exercise involves far, far more than meekly accepting the restrictions imposed by the government. Furthermore, immigrants add more than they take. They provide new consumers in an economy based on consumption, they start new businesses, and they generate additional tax revenues.

As for jobs, that might be a more effective argument during the height of the Great Recession, but it is certainly not the case now. The Federal Reserve has defined full employment in the past to be 5% - 5.2%, and we are already there. In addition, the latest job report showed 292,000 jobs created, with upward revisions to the previous two months. And remember how Obamacare was going to result in lots of part-time jobs? Before the Great Recession, about 3% of part-time workers were underemployed and wanted full-time. That peaked at @ 6% in 2010. Today it is under 4%. There are plenty of jobs.

The Obama administration knocked it out of the park with their successful diplomacy with Iran. Oil is down to $29, and the Iranians are about to dump a huge amount onto the market this week. While that benefits most Americans, it will take a toll and create localized recession in states dependent on oil revenue, especially TX, OK, ND, and AK, where oil revenues represent a substantial part of the state economies.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2016 4:44 PM
Comment #402038

phx8, “…establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Reading this, and what follows, doesn’t make me think of Socialism. You?

” Furthermore, immigrants add more than they take.”

Legal or illegal immigrants? Or, both?

Let’s take your comment to the extreme. Would 300 or 400 million make us even better? If not, why not? What is the perfect number?

“The Federal Reserve has defined full employment in the past to be 5% - 5.2%, and we are already there.”

We all understand those numbers and they are meaningless to jobless Americans who have quit looking for work.

Let’s take the official unemployment rate to the extreme also. If everyone not working, quit looking for work, the unemployment rate would be zero.

“…successful diplomacy with Iran.”

Only a blind, deaf, idiot would call that deal a success. Obama had absolutely nothing to do with low oil prices today.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 17, 2016 5:29 PM
Comment #402041

Illegal immigrants actually add more than legal ones because illegal immigrants can not take advantage of government services, yet they still pay some kinds of taxes.

“those numbers are meaningless to jobless Americans who have quit looking for work.”

True. When someone else loses their job, it is a recession. When I lose my job, it is a depression. The good news is that the number of jobless Americans who have quit looking for work is small, and it has dropped dramatically since the Great Recession. But like I said, you are likely to see some very ugly economic results in Texas due to the drop in oil prices. A lot of marginal companies will go bankrupt, and that will result in their high yield bonds going under, as well as higher unemployment within TX, as well as OK, ND, and AK.

The official unemployment rate measures people who have lost their job in the past six months and are looking for work. A far better number is the non-farm payroll, which comes out on the first Friday of every month. The last one was 292,000. The Obama administration has set a record for the longest number of consecutive months adding jobs in the private sector.

The Obama administration most certainly contributed to low oil prices.

“And with Iran back as a full player in world oil markets, the previously unthinkable — sub-$20-a-barrel crude — is looking more possible.

Iran’s oil ministers say they intend to boost their oil production and ship 500,000 barrels a day initially, now that sanctions have been lifted in light of nuclear inspections deal, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported. Iran’s goal is 2 million barrels a day.

Those levels alone are big enough to further depress the price of oil, especially since Saudi Arabia has refused to cut its production levels. The result could lead to oil prices in the mid-$20s a barrel…”
http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/01/17/iranian-oil-likely-push-prices-lower/78938912/

The nonproliferation negotiations with Iran ended sanctions, and brought the Iranians back into the international economy. This is one of the greatest achievements of the Obama administration; not only will it be an economic boon, it has also reinforced the superiority of negotiating and diplomacy to an approach relying on confrontation, threats, and bluster. Diplomatic tensions have lessened, sailors were released within 24 hours of accidentally entering Iranian waters- which is a world record turnaround time for that kind of situation- and prisoners have been swapped. Everyone has come out ahead.

By the way, Kerry has turned out to be the best Secretary of State of the modern era. Some of his success can be attributed to Hillary because he stood on her shoulders to complete some of these initiatives. I’ve never been much of a fan of Kerry’s, but hey- credit where credit is due. He’s been incredibly successful.

Posted by: phx8 at January 17, 2016 6:35 PM
Comment #402042

Wake up phx8…you’re dreaming. LOL

Have a good week all.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 17, 2016 6:48 PM
Comment #402044

Oh what a world it would be if Obama did all of those things phx8 gushes about in the first 2 years of his presidency instead of the last 2 years.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 17, 2016 9:06 PM
Comment #402045

j2t2

Regulations increased under Obama, as did extensions of Federal authority. Crony capitalism thrives to the extent that political power can be deployed to help individuals and firms. This is always an issue. The greater the complexity, however, the greater the opportunities to create places for corruption. Corruption need not be someone paying directly for services. It can be the more general case, as in the Clinton case.

The USG has a code of ethics for all senior officials. It warns against outside activities of your own or family members that create even the appearance of impropriety. Appearance.

There is no way that the Clinton Foundation does not create the appearance of impropriety in a reasonable person. Even if we stipulate that Hillary was perfectly disinterested, a reasonable person could believe that a contribution to the Clinton Foundations would be helpful and maybe fear NOT doing it.

This is the path of crony capitalism.


Phx8

We the people is separate from we the government. The people employ the government, not the other way around. This new idea was one of the things that made the U.S. a “novus ordo seclorum.” It was different from the previous governments that told the people what to do. Where governments owned or controlled most of important things in life and liberty was found principally in the inability of the rulers to extend their writ. The American system certainly was not socialism.

I think Kerry has done a decent job as Secretary of State. He has applied himself with honor and diligence. He has been a big step up from Hillary, who was more interested in her image and future political prospects than in the job at hand. I do not believe she did a good job.

Re the price of oil – it is truly ironic that some people want to give Obama credit for the great reduction in fossil fuel prices. Imagine if I had told you in 2008 that Obama policies would lower the price of fossil fuels and make them more generally available. You would not have believed me and probably would have thought I was trying to insult Obama.

The lower prices are due principally to fracking and the effect it had on the market. Obama’s role in this was to not mess it up. We can thank him for that much.

Posted by: C&J at January 17, 2016 10:58 PM
Comment #402046

Let’s imagine an everyday example to understand Hillary’s behavior.

Consider you are trying to get a building permit. It is a routine matter. The official in charge of permitting is an honest and reasonable person who has some discretion about the granting and the timing of your permit.

The official’s husband is running a non-profit in town. It does good work. But the husband also makes money giving advice and talks about local construction rules.

About the time your permit goes to the office, you have an opportunity to invite the spouse to speak at a conference you are hosting. Nobody ever says anything about a deal. You are a reasonable person. Does the above situation influence your decision to employ the spouse?

Posted by: C&J at January 17, 2016 11:09 PM
Comment #402047

Funny. Bernie Sanders is older than Hillary, but he seems younger and certainly more energetic than she is. Who’d thought an old guy like that could outclass someone like Hillary who has been preparing for this since the 1960s.

Posted by: C&J at January 18, 2016 12:48 AM
Comment #402048
We all understand those numbers and they are meaningless to jobless Americans who have quit looking for work

Royal have you forgotten the conservative mantra swhen it comes to jobs? The private sector creates jobs not the public sector, right according to conservatives. The same conservatives who were ok with GWB creating public sector jobs then demanded Obama cut these jobs. The same conservatives who tell us all about the “job creators” and their struggles!

IMHO you guys have zero credibility when it comes to jobs and the economy. Where is the jobs bill from the conservative controlled Congress that rebuilds the infrastructure in this country and puts people to work?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 18, 2016 12:59 AM
Comment #402050

C&J, you seem to be grasping at straws when it comes to the Clinton families work at the Clinton Global Initiative but leaving a big gaping hole when it comes to the dark money and huge amounts of campaign financing by Republicans. You have also failed to mention the true crony capitalism that results from organizations like ALEC that actually write the legislation, the Moneymen or the lobbyist that write laws for Congress.

It surprises me because that is the only leg you have to stand on with your more government equals more crony capitalism theory. Good legislation, laws the serve the public interest with out favoring specific financial interests are not the problem, It is the laws written by the special financial interest that is the problem. Hell deregulation is as much a problem as regulation it seems.

I’m starting to think your concern over crony capitalism is political influenced and not an ethics or integrity issue. Seems you are trying to paste Clinton as some crony capitalist while letting the remainder of the candidates for the repubs get a free pass. Even after Trump has told us all the repub candidates are crony capitalist including himself. It also seems the answer for you is to throw the baby out with the bath water.

With your insight into the workings of government it would seem to me you could do much better than you have so far in exposing crony capitalism if you had half a mind to. As an example you focus almost exclusively on the Clinton Global Initiative yet fail to mention if Sanders has a record of crony capitalism, Or the extent of Cruz or Rubio or Bush or Fiornia or Paul or Christie’s involvement in crony capitalism during their time in government.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 18, 2016 1:12 PM
Comment #402051
Consider that the Clintons were dead broke in 2001 and rolling in money a few years later.

Bill was out of office at this time and Hillary was serving as a Senator and then Secretary of State. Are you suggesting Bill was influence peddling during this time frame in order to gain power or wealth or both? DO you have any specifics that Bill personally collected funds based upon Hillary Clinton position with the government?

The CGI seems to have an impressive record in helping many people around the world by funding many different groups to do amazing things. If Hillary was a part of that while also serving in the government it sounds to me like she deserves a round of applause not vague accusations that seem to never be proved.

IMHO it seems Bill and Hillary Clinton have followed in the path of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, perhaps even on a larger scale. Have you reason to believe the Carters are involved in crony capitalism as well?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 18, 2016 1:28 PM
Comment #402053

j2t2

“Dark money” is a separate problem, but it too is caused by the larger scope of government control. Influential people are drawn to interfere in government because government can interfere so much in the economy.

If you want to get rid of rats, you remove their food sources. Limit government to more essential functions and they won’t come.

I am looking for a actual change in how things work, not the small thing of changing the names and party affiliations of the ones doing it. Crony capitalism can work only when government has the power to intervene. Limit that power and you limit crony capitalism.

For most of history, we have seen varieties of crony capitalism of market socialism, where government favors dictated success or failure. That was just how things were done. You applied to the ruler for a patent or monopoly. Government officials were always your partners and the influence ran both ways. Only in recent centuries and only in a few places, mostly English speaking, did we see a real break with this. It is this crony capitalism I dislike.

Clinton is a player in this. The Clinton Foundation is incompatible with Hillary being president or Secretary of State. It violates the ethic rules in the course I am required to take every year. Hillary was required to take the same course, although I am sure she dodged it. She broke her promise to President Obama to keep her roles separate. It is very bad.

So the Clinton Foundation is a unique thing for an elected official.

Now let’s talk about elected officials. There scope is a little different than Hillary. An elected official has greater legitimate scope to act than does an appointed official like Hillary. And they are allowed to do things that are overtly political in ways that Hillary was prohibited by law to do.

That said, I just don’t know as much about the records of Rubio, Cruz etc. I am sure they have also done some things. As in my original post, nobody should expect to make a fortune in government service.

A Senator, if he holds the job a long time and is reasonably responsible with money can expect to amass a “fortune” net worth of $3-7 million by retirement. I know that sounds a lot, but that is what a person could do simply making decent investments over a long career of a well-paying, secure but not fortune making job. We don’t want our leaders being poor. That is certainly enough. If they have much more, and did not start with more, they are either really, REALLY, lucky or they are not playing exactly fair. If they have much less, they have some kind of bad habits or extravagant tastes that are draining their funds.

Posted by: C&J at January 18, 2016 2:42 PM
Comment #402054

If you want a really good example of crony capitalism, study Lyndon Johnson. He was dirt poor and the term dirt was not meant figuratively. He never really did anything besides politics. His fortune came from his wife’s broadcasting business which was granted based on his political power. He was born a poor man and w/o crony capitalism he would have died a man of moderate means.

A counter example is Harry Truman. Ironically, Truman depended on the very corrupt Pendergast machine for his political power, but Harry was an honest man. He did not leverage his political power. He was born a man of modest means and died a man of modest means.

Notice I chose both Democrats so that we can avoid the partisan twist.

Posted by: C&J at January 18, 2016 2:51 PM
Comment #402055

phx8 says:


“but it is also desirable on a national level to create a unified culture.”

Yes behavioral modification and cultural indoctrination. That is exactly what our public school system should be doing. Can’t get parents to go along with your socialist agenda, just brain wash their children into be being good little Marxists. LMAO !

Posted by: dbs at January 18, 2016 4:36 PM
Comment #402056

Correct dbs. Good little Marxists and atheists.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 18, 2016 5:04 PM
Comment #402057

dbs & RF,
Think it through. Would it really be a good idea for each school district to teach a curriculum reflecting its local make-up, or each county, or each state? We would end up with a country of over 100 languages, and each district/county/state would be promoting its own religion, whether the local minority liked that or not. This would result in complete fragmentation, and eventually that would result in conflict as states left the country, counties left states, and districts left counties. Unless, of course, everyone were completely fragmented through home schooling, in an atmosphere free of educational standards.

Posted by: phx8 at January 18, 2016 6:18 PM
Comment #402058

Absolutely, get the federal government out of K-12 education. Our individual states will do the job much better. The feds always attach strings to tax money they collect and then distribute.

Education, like so many other issues is state business, not federal.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 18, 2016 6:32 PM
Comment #402062

phx8 says:

“We would end up with a country of over 100 languages,”


ya..over 100 years of educating children without big gov’t being involved proves this is bulls@#$t.


“eventually that would result in conflict as states left the country, counties left states, and districts left counties. Unless, of course, everyone were completely fragmented through home schooling, in an atmosphere free of educational standards.”


Again…more bulls@#t.

Posted by: dbs at January 19, 2016 5:35 AM
Comment #402065

C&J, SO far you haven’t made a case against Hillary on some crony capitalism charge let alone Chelsea Clinton. Your guilt by association claims are unsubstantiated, your denial of influence from dark money is concerning and you claim of no bias while being biased against the dems is laughable.

I think the problem you describe is capitalism not crony capitalism as there doesn’t seem to be a difference, I mean when has capitalism been any different when associated with government. You seem to try to make a case as if we are in dictatorship instead of an oligarchy hiding as a democracy. Crony capitalism is capitalism, perhaps we should take a more critical look at our our economic system as it tries to become our system of government.

I would like to agree with you on this issue but I just can’t. It seems to me to be one more of your vague assertions against Hillary while neglecting the use of capitalism your team uses to gain political power and wealth. I find it interesting you have no intentions of voting for Hillary yet make so many assertions about her while not knowing anything about the candidates your team is fielding. Presuming you will vote for one of them, why on earth if crony capitalism is so bad, would you not call it out on these guys. Trump at the least had the decency to admit influence peddling is rampant from all those sharing the stage with him.

To bad your team can’t run on important issues and good ideas. It could save you the trouble of of attacking the daughter and husband of the dems candidates.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2016 11:59 AM
Comment #402066
Yes behavioral modification and cultural indoctrination. That is exactly what our public school system should be doing. Can’t get parents to go along with your socialist agenda, just brain wash their children into be being good little Marxists. LMAO !

dbs, such an ignorant response!lol!
America has been a melting pot of cultures since it has been a country. To think you, a corporate capitalist claiming others are indoctrinating and brainwashing the children of today is laughable. Insisting schools support your religious beliefs with mandatory prayer instead of being unbiased is behavioral modification, Insisting our children pledge allegiance to a flag is cultural indoctrination at its most authoritarian.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2016 12:19 PM
Comment #402067

J2T2 believes; ” Crony capitalism is capitalism”

Since we are in the false definition game…”the liberal Left is socialism.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2016 2:09 PM
Comment #402068

Royal when hasn’t capitalism been crony capitalism? Perhaps when Adam Smith conceived the theory, perhaps when Teddy Roosevelt wouldn’t sat bought, but mostly it is the norm. While meritocracy does play a part so does aristocracy. Hence it’s who you know that gets your foot in the door. Certainly you can name examples when the bosses son had priority over some one more experienced.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2016 2:35 PM
Comment #402069

j2t2, since when do exceptions to the rule make the rule?

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2016 3:01 PM
Comment #402070

“I only recently discovered that the United States actually has an official “too big to fail list.” Essentially, this is a list of companies that have been sanctioned by the government as getting a guaranteed pass, no matter how economically ruined it becomes.

What if such institutions were not, in fact, “too big to fail”? What would happen if a country were to allow its largest businesses and financial institutions to simply succumb to the financial pressures they voluntarily put themselves under? In the US, the prevailing theory is that if these companies were to allowed to fail, the nation itself would certainly go down with it.”

Too big to fail mentality is the basis of phony capitalism.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-price/what-the-us-could-learn-f_b_7691986.html

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2016 4:10 PM
Comment #402071

j2t2

The Clinton Foundation violates State Department ethics laws merely by being there. It provided the appearance of impropriety for the Secretary of State. Various researchers have documented cases where it “looks” like influence was applied concurrent with or subsequent to a big donation or a Clinton speaking engagement. I do NOT believe that influence was peddled like this. BUT the ethics warns against the appearance of impropriety.

When we were in Poland my wife (Christine) had a small business doing real estate type consultations on relocations. We specifically had to avoid any connection with anybody associated with me, even to the extent that she had to turn down legitimate business with firms that had some tangential relationship. We finally decided that there was no ethical way we could maintain the business and gave up. This is what the rules require even of a really small fish with little influence.

When I went to Brazil I had to divest myself of stock in Vale do Rio Dolce, a stock that I had held for more than five years before. I has a couple hundred shares and the chances of me influencing anything were near zero, BUT the rules say appearance and it gave appearance.

In fact, because of ethics, I have gotten rid of my individual stocks and now only do mutual funds. Again, the chances of me swinging a deal to a firm are near zero but.

I volunteer at the Tree Farm and write the tree farmer of the year article. I do not get paid for this. In fact, it cost me money, since I do not ask for or accept compensation for expenses. Yet, I have to report my relationship every year and if the subject were to come up, I cannot get near it. This is how the rule works.

There is also the email scandal. I once got a violation because I lent a book to a colleague who used a low level classified document as a bookmark. I put the book back on my office shelf and when security found it I got the violation Hillary certainly had classified on her private email. It doesn’t matter who put it there. SHE is the responsible party because she set up the system that allowed the breach.

The ethics laws are strict and (usually) strictly enforced. Most of us don’t really need to be told how to act ethically. I do not think Hillary has lived up to my sense of honor and ethics in her personal behavior or in regards to safeguarding classified material. I would be ashamed of myself if I acted as she did and I would never allow my spouse to cross so many lines.

One reason I oppose lots of extensions of government is that I dearly love the USG. I want it to remain virtuous and I see it getting into too much that it should not. It is corrupting. Hillary, IMO, is an example. As I quoted before, we used to say that the only way to leave government service with a small fortune is to start with a large one. This was never really true, although I know many Ambassadors who lose money on their service. I know that Hillary traveled like a queen on the USG. Kerry does not. Rice and Powell did not. She takes more than her due. I do indeed resent it when people get rich off their government service. I think it is dishonorable, a breach of trust. I guess that is where I am really conservative.

People like Hillary diminish people like me because others think the way she acts is the way we act. I am better than that and so are most of my colleagues.

Posted by: C&J at January 19, 2016 4:35 PM
Comment #402072

Both Bill and Hillary exemplify a lack of both honor and ethics in my opinion. Being under investigation by the FBI for both her emails and public corruption is a serious affair. I can not imagine any political party nominating such a person for president.

Since Hillary has no honor she will not quit the race. Being ethically challenged, she no doubt has justified her actions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 19, 2016 4:56 PM
Comment #402088
j2t2, since when do exceptions to the rule make the rule?

So Royal you seem to be shying away from a serious look at the difference between capitalism and crony capitalism, why is that? I am suggesting that the difference between the two is razor thin if there is a difference at all. As we deregulate and corporatize the economy, as we allow the corporations to use dark money to influence our elected officials and enshrine it into law the difference between the two ceases to exist IMHO.

Being under investigation by the FBI for both her emails and public corruption is a serious affair.

Royal, so you have her guilty until proven innocent despite the long and lousy track record of conservatives and their witch hunts that led to nothing, no smoke no fire just lies? How many times do you have to repeat the same unethical dishonorable tactics before you find it doesn’t work?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 20, 2016 10:47 AM
Comment #402098

“…conservatives and their witch hunts…”

I am surprised to learn that the FBI is under conservative control.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 20, 2016 3:49 PM
Comment #402107

Just don’t want to enlighten us on why you believe capitalism and crony capitalism isn’t one and the same Royal? Ponder the golden rule for as moment “The man with the money makes the rules” and ask yourself if they aren’t one and the same.

BTW I was referring to the Issa witch hunts via the house oversight committee in a series of witch hunts dating back to the Clinton administration and Newt Gingrich. Decades of vague assertions and falsehoods by the far right.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 21, 2016 1:13 PM
Comment #402114

“Just don’t want to enlighten us on why you believe capitalism and crony capitalism isn’t one and the same Royal?”

Sorry you don’t know the difference. The link would be about as accurate as saying Socialism is the same as Communism.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 21, 2016 3:49 PM
Comment #402121

Don’t be sorry Royal, being a staunch defender of anything capitalism, instead justify the conservatives defense of capitalism with reasoned arguments. Why have modern conservatives refused to acknowledge the corruption of the Reagan administration, perpetrating the marriage of business and government. Why have conservatives done nothing to stop the negative influence of crony capitalism on the American system of government?

Prove me wrong Royal explain why capitalism as practiced and crony capitalism/corporatism/fascism aren’t one and the same. Point to a time in American history when we had a capitalist system that wasn’t crony capitalism. I think we can both agree it doesn’t have to be that way.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 22, 2016 10:57 AM
Comment #402124

LOL…”Sorry” j2t2 can’t perceive the difference between sorrow for him and anything else.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 22, 2016 1:18 PM
Comment #402140

Royal, I am not surprised you cannot defend conservatism, Reagan or capitalism.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 23, 2016 2:26 AM
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