​Why Tax Reform & Kate Steinle Posters Are Supposedly Racist

Tax reform is done, but the protestors aren’t. Yesterday they chanted things like: “Kill the bill. Don’t kill us.” Outside and inside the Senate as the upper chamber voted the bill on it’s journey to full legislation. The Democrats are now using the hysterical shrieking of radical identity politics - with full frontal use of intersectionality of course - to hurl outlandish attacks at a reasonably effective tax bill that will bring America’s tax rates roughly in line with barbaric countries like Canada that are so hated by Democrats and progressives.

As Mike Myers would have said a few years back: Evil!

What does this mean? It means that policy discussions - in the case of tax policy, what rates, what exemptions, what tax brackets should be most beneficial to the American economy etc. - are now manichean struggles of good vs. evil. Where the facts are not important as much as the stance one takes. In fact, it's worse than that. Intersectionality seems to be about struggle against those who hold differing views - using struggle in the classical marxist sense - with no final goal of liberation. It is, as Andrew Sullivan wrote earlier this year, religion without the prospect of salvation. Only victimization and outraged protest. And evil conservatives.

It's a quantum leap from the rhetorical flourishes and bald half-truths that have always been part of the trench warfare of party politics. This new radicalism allows no compromise. Not one inch, not anywhere, nor anytime.

Yes, the right has sometimes responded in kind, with Steve Bannon's cultural war a raucous call to arms to battle the fire of radical identitarianism with the fire of populist nationalism. But look beyond Trump's tweets and Bannon's quotes or Brietbart stories. Look at Trump's current administration, and look at the policies that have been passed - most by executive order working quietly but effectively at the margins - or have been attempted. The failed repeal and replace was a modest attempt to free up the healthcare market and loosen the burdens of Obamacare. The tax reform is a rather modest and classical conservative pro-business plan that also helps middle and lower class families.

But no, repealing the mandate - which means you won't be penalized for choosing not to purchase a healthcare plan on an exchange - will kill people is what is shouted, when evidence suggests otherwise. You can't choose what plan you want. You have to be nudged towards the Sun King's benevolence by a federally imposed fine. How dare you do otherwise!? Even if the Sun King is no longer on his earthly throne but rather is now nearing his ascendancy having been resurrected after Hillary's loss crucified his policies.

Remember Obama's convention speech back in 2004? Intersectionality, perfectly pitched by a rising prince to an adoring audience. How dare we roll back his policies!

So. I'm amazed no one has said it: the GOP tax reform is white supremacist! Come on there must be people saying this right?

There will be. Trust me.

So when students at UC San Diego tear down posters of shooting victim Kate Steinle claiming the image of her smiling at the camera is "racist propaganda" and a "display of hate" that targets "undocumented students and the undocumented community", you have to understand. It's all in the intersectionality - the gathering of the shards of humanity, previously scattered by the deconstructionists, into a new hierarchy of politically approved identities, set against the evil army of straight white people. Who must be resisted everywhere all the time.

That's why tax reform and Kate Steinle's image - smiling heartbreakingly at the camera - are both denounced as racist. Don't you understand?!

Posted by Keeley at December 21, 2017 10:59 PM
Comments
Comment #422590

I am not going to defend the straw men Keeley has constructed.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 22, 2017 10:25 AM
Comment #422592

So let me get this straight, the “Tax reform” bill is sitting on the presidents desk unsigned after that big dog and pony show yesterday! Why would Trump not sign the Christmas present before Christmas?

Posted by: j2t2 at December 22, 2017 10:29 AM
Comment #422595

The Bill is now signed and the fake news CNN announcers are upset that President Trump is showing too much enjoyment or happiness. Well, there are a lot of people who are happy now and many more will be happy when they receive their paychecks in February. Some of the fake media have already said there must have been collusion between Trump and the corporations who have already promised bonuses to their employees, or promised to invest for expansion of their business. MAGA!!!!

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 12:26 PM
Comment #422596

Comcast made this announcement:

Based on the passage of tax reform and the FCC’s action on broadband, Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast NBCUniversal, announced that the Company would award special $1,000 bonuses to more than one hundred thousand eligible frontline and non-executive employees. Roberts also announced that the Company expects to spend well in excess of $50 billion over the next five years investing in infrastructure to radically improve and extend our broadband plant and capacity, and our television, film and theme park offerings. With these investments, we expect to add thousands of new direct and indirect jobs. We will have more to say on capital at our upcoming January 24th earnings report.

I wonder if the employees at NBC, CNBC, or MSNBC understand that their $1k bonus will be the result of the Trump tax reform?

The democrats are in panic mode and they should be even more worried; the Republican Party is working with President Trump. They are now pushing for investigations into the Clinton/Obama corruptions and they now realize the Trump/Russian collusion was all fake, with nothing there. 2018 will be a great year for getting work done for the American people. MAGA!!!!

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 12:44 PM
Comment #422597

Keeley’s, “the tax reform being a white supremists”. No doubt you are correct. The democrats are once again, on the wrong side of history. Instead of trying to smooth things out, Schumer and Pelosi are out there doubling down on their rhetoric. They are throwing everything in on the hope that the tax reform fails. It’s all or nothing for them. The MSM can carry their water, but when the economy continues to improve, GDP is +4, and wages start to climb; it all boils down to the President has the bully pulpit and he will let the American people know who brought it about.

I stayed up late the other night, just to watch the results of the Senate vote. I watched the faces of the democrats. They were absolutely demoralized and destitute. I remember when the left were parroting, the Republican Party are the party of obstructionism. But what is the democrat party today? MAGA!!!!

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 1:19 PM
Comment #422599

Very enjoyable and humorous read; thanks Keeley.

I am pleased to watch the Republican Party leaders begin to accept President Trump; since they have long espoused his policies.

The 2018 elections are looking much better for Republican candidates.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 22, 2017 2:11 PM
Comment #422600

Hope you are right Blaine, if he did sign the “tax reform” bill we will start seeing the effects much sooner that if he would have waited until 2018 to sign it. I hope for once the conservatives are right when it comes to the economy and all the BS they have been spouting and it turns out to be..well…not BS. Either way we will know come election time. Meanwhile us baby boomers continue to spend the next two generations of middle class Americans into deep debt.

the Republican Party is working with President Trump.

So much for draining the swamp. And some of Trumps campaign promises. Seems instead of his tax plan he signed the “establishment’s” tax plan.


Posted by: j2t2 at December 22, 2017 2:31 PM
Comment #422601

I know that logic is not a strong suit among democrats; but let’s look at the 2018 elections logically. I think there are about 25+ democrat senators up for re-election, and 10 of them are from states that voted solid red for Trump. If Trump is as successful in 2018 as he has been in 2017, I can see him going from state to state campaigning for Republican Senators. I expect it will be a bloodbath for the democrats. The Republicans could easily take a 60 vote majority in the senate, and will certainly keep the House. Now, I know the left will remind us of their victories in VA and AL. But VA is no longer a solid red state, even though it was at one time. The Republican candidate was not popular, and McCaullif legalized felons to vote for the democrat. So VA means nothing. Secondly is AL; Moore was not a good candidate, the left used the 40 year old allegations to split the votes up. Jones won the election on a fluke, and he will only be a senator until the next full election. At which time, he will be history. Al is a solid red state. So to use these two examples as a winning wave is ridiculous. It is a fantasy dream of the left.

The republicans are supporting Trump because they now know that the Russian collusion is baseless. They are also now realizing the depths of corruption in the leadership of Obama’s DOJ and FBI. MAGA!!!!

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 2:44 PM
Comment #422603

j2

“Meanwhile us baby boomers continue to spend the next two generations of middle class Americans into deep debt.”

How so ? I am a baby boomer, and have never taken any kind of public assistance. I’ve paid into soc. sec. my entire life, only to have it pissed away by democrats who decided back in the 60s they should be able to borrow the surplus to spend in the general fund, with never a care as to how it would ever be paid back. So again tell me how i’m bankrupting the next 2 generations of the middle class.

Posted by: dbs at December 22, 2017 4:47 PM
Comment #422604

j2t2 said:

I hope for once the conservatives are right when it comes to the economy and all the BS they have been spouting and it turns out to be..well…not BS. Either way we will know come election time….So much for draining the swamp. And some of Trumps campaign promises. Seems instead of his tax plan he signed the “establishment’s” tax plan.

Well, it don’t seem to be BS; considering economists are now beginning to recognize the number of corporations jumping on board. Even though your link is to the Washington Post, who are about as anti Trump as you can find in the MSM. Of course, we will always have the leftist like Senator Chris Hollingsworth out of Connecticut, who believes the moves by almost a dozen major corporations now, is just a collusion between Trump and the companies.

Regarding the comment about the “establishments” tax plan; I can only say nonsense… First off, passing any tax plan requires working together. Most certainly, high tax states like the Democrat controlled NJ, NY, and CA were vehemently against cutting state tax deductions to only $10k. The lying democrats ran their mouths about the taxes of the middleclass increasing; but what they failed to say, was that taxes will got up in 10 years when the current tax cuts expire. And why will they expire in 10 years; because to get a permanent tax cut for the middleclass required 60 votes, instead of a simple majority. And since the Democrats are totally opposed to any tax cuts for all Americans, they would never vote for the permanent cuts. Of course this has happened before in history, and the tax cuts were extended. So the left is being disingenuous. Secondly, the repeal of the Obamacare mandatory penalty, the opening of ANWAR, 529’s are expanded to k-12 students, estate taxes, and of course allowing companies to reinvest overseas money in America. These are all conservative goals, some of which the Republicans have tried to get for 20 years. So I certainly wouldn’t call this an “establishment” tax plan.

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 4:56 PM
Comment #422605

I read today that the government of Australia is concerned that they will lose jobs and companies to the USA as a result of lowering our corporate tax rate.

I expect this is a concern of other countries as well. This bodes well for the entire world.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 22, 2017 5:17 PM
Comment #422607
to get a permanent tax cut for the middleclass required 60 votes, instead of a simple majority.

Permanent tax cuts for the middle class were possible under reconciliation rules. Republicans set the cuts to expire simply to keep the total deficit numbers under $1.5T.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 22, 2017 5:56 PM
Comment #422609

“1. To get the bill to qualify with Senate rules
Republicans are attempting to pass the bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), through the process known as budget reconciliation. The process allows Republicans to avoid a Democratic filibuster and pass the bill on a party-line vote, but it comes with strings attached.
One of the rules included in the reconciliation process is known as the Byrd rule. A provision within that rule stipulates that any bill going through reconciliation cannot add to the federal deficit outside of 10 years.”

Warren Porter, I’m sure you can google the “Byrd Rule”.

It was the same reason the Democrats blocked homeschooled kids from benefiting from the k-12 529’s.

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 6:16 PM
Comment #422610

A waiver of the Byrd Rule requires a 60 vote majority, even if it is through reconciliation.

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 6:20 PM
Comment #422611

By itself, a middle class tax cut would not have violated the Byrd rule.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 22, 2017 6:32 PM
Comment #422613

Have we heard from Warren Buffett and other gazzillionaires complaining that under the new tax bill they are paying a lower rate of tax than their secretaries?

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 22, 2017 7:16 PM
Comment #422615

Dbs, you supported the various wars charged to a credit card.

Regarding the comment about the “establishments” tax plan; I can only say nonsense…First off, passing any tax plan requires working together.

Blaine, seems you weren’t the only one fooled simply one of many Trump supporters that probably don’t realize you been had. Of course they won’t tell you guys you been had so look for yourself.

Read the campaign promises of Trump and see whose plan it is. This is the repub establishment tax plan, meaning those who were afraid their donor were going to cut them off if they didn’t leave in all the loopholes for the corporations while shifting the tax burden to the middle class. Trump failed to get his tax plan through Congress and “worked together” with the establishment to get theirs passed. Those that work for a living got screwed those that invest for a living won. And our grandkids will foot the bill.

Even though your link is to the Washington Post, who are about as anti Trump as you can find in the MSM.

Blaine check the link again, your attacking the messenger logic is as flawed as your comment.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 22, 2017 7:22 PM
Comment #422616

Can anyone help me understand j2t2’s post just above? Maybe he isn’t feeling well and is simply confused.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 22, 2017 7:27 PM
Comment #422620

j2, the tax bill does exactly what I thought and hoped it would do. Although, I would have liked to see the corporate rate at about 15%, but 21 is ok. It will lead to an explosion of jobs and production. In fact, I expect the GDP to range between 4.5 and 6. The individual tax rates are good. They will give us personally a drop of about $2400 a year, maybe more. I love the fact that the Obamacare mandate is finished. That rips the guts out of Obamacare. It will now collapse on itself and if the democrats want to actually do something about HC, they will be forced to work with the Republicans. Something they refused to do when creating Obama’s legacy. I love the opening of ANWAR to exploration and production of fossil fuels. In fact there’s not really anything that I don’t support. The democrats have chosen to completely deny any support of a tax cut to Americans. This will come back to haunt them.

I guess the thing I am most excited about is that the Republicans have finally established the fact that there were Obama appointees in the JD and the FBI, that we’re in collusion to prevent or unseat a duly elected President. This is something that should alarm both Democrats and Republicans. Once the Republicans figured out that President Trump has not done anything wrong, they decided to support him. I look for 2018 tone a very exciting year. Much can be accomplished. Trump will continue to dismantle the regulations imposed by Obama’s appointees. In fact many are already leaving or taking buyouts. I see nothing but sunshine and blue skies ahead. But I don’t think I would want to be in Hillary’s shoes. MAGA!!!!

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 9:45 PM
Comment #422621

Actually Warren, the middle class tact cut by itself, did violate the Byrd Rule. A permanent tax cut, based on existing figures, violated the federal deficit beyond the 10 time span. Much like the CBO, debt projections are based upon numbers. The numbers of a permanent middle class tax cut, projected a loss of revenue that would lead to a deficit within the 10 year limit. Of course the figure is based upon false numbers, because the tax cuts will lead to a more robust economy, and hence reducing the deficit. But the democrats demanded the Byrd Rule be followed and in order to wave the rule, it required 60 votes. So spin it anyway you want, it still took 60 votes, which the democrats refused to do. It’s a shame you spend all your time majoring on a minor.

Posted by: Blaine at December 22, 2017 10:02 PM
Comment #422622

The middle class tax cut is the only provision that benefits average Americans. It was possible to enact the tax cut permanently and Republicans chose not to do that because they felt other provisions of this bill were more important.

I admit I made a mistake when I said “By itself”. I should have said that it would have been possible to pass a bill with just 51 votes that did only the following:

1. Raised revenue by limiting certain deductions
2. Cut middle class taxes as already discussed.

It’s a shame you spend all your time majoring on a minor.

If you want to take a bigger picture view, I will remind you that we are among the least taxed countries in the world already. The lack of taxation limits our government’s ability to function. Our infrastructure is crumbling and social welfare spending is insufficient to provide the working poor with a decent standard of living. I think the country would be better off if a greater share of national gdp was funneled into public goods and services. Of course, you disagree and are bound to call me names like “socialist” because you really don’t have an argument to make as to why your vision is better than mine. There’s no objective right answer here, the matter is purely a function of personal philosophy and you obviously posses different values than me. We’ll have to just agree to disagree. That’s why I spend my time discussing issues that might have an objective answer.

In fact, I expect the GDP to range between 4.5 and 6

This is a puffy number that you pulled out of your arse. While I would happily support any party or policy that enabled 4.5 to 6 percent GDP growth, I see zero evidence suggesting that this is anywhere near a realistic outcome. However, I appreciate your optimism and I truly do hope that this comes to pass.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 22, 2017 10:43 PM
Comment #422635

warren

“I will remind you that we are among the least taxed countries in the world already.”

That’s a good thing.


The lack of taxation limits our government’s ability to function.”

Not if it functions as it was intended, and as outlined by the constitution.


“Our infrastructure is crumbling”

We levy taxes that cover this. The problem is like social security, these funds are stolen to be used for other things. Taxes should only be used for the things they were originally collected for. IE, the fuel tax should be used only for highway infrastructure.


“and social welfare spending is insufficient to provide the working poor with a decent standard of living.”

It is not the job of gov’t to provide citizens with the necessities of life, let alone a certain level of comfort in which to live. The constitution does not give gov’t the power to redistribute wealth. Making people comfortable in poverty does not inspire them to work harder in order to raise their standard of living. If it did we would have ended the majority of poverty decades ago.


“I think the country would be better off if a greater share of national gdp was funneled into public goods and services.”


And I believe that the general population would be better off if gov’t limited it’s expenditures to things required to operate gov’t. If the founders could see what our gov’t has become, they would be very disappointed. The primary function of gov’t was to protect individual liberty, not infringe upon it more and more in order to give people things they should be providing for themselves.

Posted by: dbs at December 23, 2017 7:18 AM
Comment #422636
Making people comfortable in poverty does not inspire them to work harder in order to raise their standard of living. If it did we would have ended the majority of poverty decades ago.

“Inspire” is a gross euphemism here worthy of Stalinist Russia. You want to coerce people into working against their will, lest they starve to death as a consequence. How about looking at the dramatic decline in the poverty rate between 1930 and today for evidence of the success at eliminating poverty with government spending.

Anyway, just because a man has his bare bones necessities (food, shelter and health care) paid for by others does not mean he won’t seek out better paying work in order to fuel an insatiable desire for luxury goods.

The primary function of gov’t was to protect individual liberty
If one man is coerced against his will to work for another, lest he die prematurely due to lack of food, water, shelter or health care, his liberty is not protected. Fundamentally, you prefer a government which refuses to protect individual liberty because individual liberty is something you abhor. Individual liberty means letting your fellow man choose to spend his own time and resources as he pleases instead of satisfying the whims of those who own the means of production. Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 7:43 AM
Comment #422638

warren

“Inspire” is a gross euphemism here worthy of Stalinist Russia. You want to coerce people into working against their will, lest they starve to death as a consequence.”


Wow………what a gross mischaracterization. So, someone being forced to work in order to survive, and or raise their own standard of living is coercion ? Maybe, motivate would be a better choice of words. What should be someones motivation to work, if not survival, or to improve their standard of living ?

BTW Stalinist Russia was a socialist republic. How well did that work out ? Give up all individual liberty, and trust the gov’t to distribute the fruits of the peoples labor as they think is fair ? Socialism doesn’t, and never will work. It punishes the productive while rewarding the lazy.

Nope, sorry I will never support a system that allows the majority which of my god given rights I’m allowed to exercise.

“If one man is coerced against his will to work for another, lest he die prematurely due to lack of food, water, shelter or health care, his liberty is not protected.”


Liberty is not being being provided for. Liberty is being free to decide how to provide for yourself. If you choose not to provide for yourself, the consequences are your of your own doing, not the fault of someone else.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/liberty

Posted by: dbs at December 23, 2017 8:16 AM
Comment #422639

Wow Warren, there is just so much wrong with your thinking. Yes, I would have to call it socialism to the fullest extent. I believe dbs has answered your beliefs quite well. I just might add that we have several examples of you ideological beliefs. We can look at the history of Russia from the time of the revolution until the collapse of communism in the 80’s. And they have still not recovered. We can look at Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, or even China up until they adopted a form of capitalism. There is absolutely nothing in the foundation of the American Republic, or in our Constitution that even remotely identifies with your beliefs.

Posted by: Blaine at December 23, 2017 9:02 AM
Comment #422640

Here is a great article written by Meredith Turney in June, 2009, entitled “America’s First Experiment With Socialism”

The term “socialism” is being thrown around quite a bit these days, as those who love America’s great capitalist economy and republican form of government warn of an imminent demise. One wonders whether the term “socialism” has any meaning for those who never experienced the fear of communist or fascist global dominance—which probably represents most of the young Obama voters.

George Santayana’s aphorism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it,” should serve as a sober reminder that every generation is responsible for handing down the knowledge and wisdom attained by previous generations. Those who studied the revisionist-plundered history lessons in government schools may be surprised to learn America already experimented with socialism. Out of that failed experiment emerged our free-market, capitalist economic system.

America’s first experiment with socialism wasn’t Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, nor was it Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal—although both made sweeping changes to the nation’s underlying government structure and entrapped America in the bureaucratic quagmire of collectivism. No, America’s very first experiment with redistribution of wealth occurred before America was officially a nation.

In 1620, the Puritan Pilgrims arrived in the “desolate wilderness” of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Seeking escape from religious persecution in Europe, the Puritans risked their lives crossing the Atlantic to establish a new colony in the wilds of America. The Pilgrims decided that their new community would practice collectivism (socialism). All labor was communal, with men raising crops for all families, not just their own, and women engaged in domestic chores for their neighbors.

The Pilgrims’ Governor, William Bradford, described the folly of embracing the theory of collectivism:

“The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients applauded by some of later times; that the taking away of property and bringing in community into a commonwealth would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.

“For this community was found to breed much confusion and discontent and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. For the young men, that were most able and fit for labor and service, did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children without any recompense. The strong had no more in division of victuals and clothes than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. The aged and graver men to be ranked and equalized in labors everything else, thought it some indignity and disrespect unto them. And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it.”

The Pilgrims, a pious and decent people, discovered that even the best of men cannot thrive under socialism’s incentive-crushing system. This experiment with socialism—probably its best chance for success amongst such selfless, righteous people—failed miserably. The Puritans discovered that government cannot deny man’s inherent desire to work hard to provide for his own family and be rewarded when his labor exceeds his neighbor’s.

Having learned a valuable lesson about human nature, the Pilgrims established a new economic system that encouraged and rewarded personal initiative. Instead of a collectivist labor force, each family was given a plot of land on which to grow their own crops. Soon, each family was pulling its own weight. In fact, the harvest was so bountiful that the Pilgrims were able to trade with local Indians, and the colony prospered. Bradford reflected on the success of this capitalist approach to private labor:

“They had very good success, for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been. The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn; which before would allege weakness and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression”. By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the faces of things were changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. Indeed, their bounty was so great, that they had enough to not only trade among themselves but also with the neighboring Indians in the forest.”

Nowadays, the Puritans are maligned and disparaged by the politically correct for their religious devotion. But Americans should be thankful to these brave souls for not only bringing the concept of religious freedom across the Atlantic, but for surviving America’s first experiment with socialism. The misery they experienced under socialism led to the free-market economy later established by their posterity.

The appeal of socialism is that it seems a benevolent form of government, where everyone works to help his fellow citizens. But, as the Puritans discovered, socialism denies man’s innate incentive to work hard for his own family, not his neighbors. Capitalism, while not perfect, gives man the incentive he needs to work hard for his family and thereby help his entire community—not by force, but out of true generosity. If America fails to learn from the mistakes of our ancestors, we’ll have forgotten the truth of Albert Einstein’s famous aphorism: “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Warren, you may have never heard this historical fact due to the fact that much like the historical facts of the origin of “Thanksgiving”, the progressives have done their best to revise and distort American history. But this event debunks everything you believe.

We can also look at the social experiments of the left in the inner cities. After billions of dollars have been pumped into inner city ghettoes, we still have the same problems. After untold millions have been pumped into inner city school systems, we still have failing school systems. And the left’s answer to the problem….more redistribution of wealth. This is Einstein’s definition of insanity.

Posted by: Blaine at December 23, 2017 9:17 AM
Comment #422645

There are racists in America. They come in all colors. But America is not a racist country.

I think we need a different word, maybe “racialism” for how our leftist friends misuse the term racist. It has become a catch all term for anything they do not like.

The real danger in their misuse of the racist term is that it weakens it. When we put a guy who just wants to pay less in taxes with active KKK members, the category becomes meaninglessly.

The simple and true definition is that if you consistently treat similar behaviors differently only because of race, you are racist. If you do not, you are not.

If you can honesty say that you treat similar behaviors similarly w/o regard to race, you need not accept charges of racism, but you should suspect that your accusers are themselves racist, which is why they are so interested in the term.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 11:31 AM
Comment #422646
Can anyone help me understand j2t2’s post just above?

I doubt it Royal. Understanding truth and facts doesn’t seem to be your strong point.

And I believe that the general population would be better off if gov’t limited it’s expenditures to things required to operate gov’t.

And therein lies the flawed logic of conservatism. Our form of government is not intended simply for us to have a government. It exists for a purpose.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 23, 2017 11:47 AM
Comment #422647

The American people are finally wising up to the ways of the left. When they identify anyone who does not agree with them with labels; they are always guilty of the very thing they accuse others.

Such as identifying others as racists…it is the left who are racists.

Hillary and the democrat machine sought to identify President Trump and his campaign as colluders with Russia; yet as the truth begins to surface, it is Hillary and her machine who are actually guilty of colluding with the Russians.

We can look at the history of the left and see this play book used over and over again.

The Republicans want to steal senior’s SS; in reality, it has been democrats who have raided the SS trust fund for decades.

The Republicans want to take away your HC insurance; yet it is the debacle of Obamacare that destroyed our heath insurance system, driving the cost of insurance beyond our ability to pay and then penalizing middle and lower class families by forcing them to pay a mandated tax for not being able to or not wanting HC insurance. And finally, once the American people have purchased insurance at a great cost, it does them no good, because the co-pay is tens of thousands. All in the name of giving free insurance to illegals, who were always covered in America. No one is or ever was forced to be turned away from a hospital with medical needs.


Posted by: Blaine at December 23, 2017 11:57 AM
Comment #422648
Wow………what a gross mischaracterization. So, someone being forced to work in order to survive, and or raise their own standard of living is coercion ? Maybe, motivate would be a better choice of words. What should be someones motivation to work, if not survival, or to improve their standard of living ?

Being forced to work for survival is slavery. On the other hand, choosing to work in order to elevate one’s standard of living above bare-bones survival is a good thing. Choosing to work because the work is intrinsically interesting and enjoyable is a good thing. Choosing to work because the work provides fame or social accolades is a good thing. Those are the motivations that we should be using to inspire people.

Liberty is not being being provided for. Liberty is being free to decide how to provide for yourself. If you choose not to provide for yourself, the consequences are your of your own doing, not the fault of someone else.

Ah, if a mugger points his gun and says, “Your money or your life” and I choose not to hand over my money, the consequences of a bullet piercing my vital organs is solely of my own doing and not the fault of someone else. After all, I could have easily saved my own life by handing over the money. Thank you for clearing that up for me.

BTW Stalinist Russia was a socialist republic. How well did that work out ? Give up all individual liberty, and trust the gov’t to distribute the fruits of the peoples labor as they think is fair ? Socialism doesn’t, and never will work. It punishes the productive while rewarding the lazy.
In that case, isn’t it a good thing I support individual liberty as well as rewarding the productive with luxuries above mere survival. I do not support government ownership of the means of production nor do I support a centrally planned economy, which means I am not a socialist in the way Stalin understood the term.

Under my preferred system, the productive are rewarded with a greater standard of living than their lazy peers as well as the intrinsic joy of contributing to society and the respect and admiration of their peers. I favor a system with unequal outcomes.

Wow Warren, there is just so much wrong with your thinking. Yes, I would have to call it socialism to the fullest extent. I believe dbs has answered your beliefs quite well. I just might add that we have several examples of you ideological beliefs. We can look at the history of Russia from the time of the revolution until the collapse of communism in the 80’s. And they have still not recovered. We can look at Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, or even China up until they adopted a form of capitalism. There is absolutely nothing in the foundation of the American Republic, or in our Constitution that even remotely identifies with your beliefs.

Capitalism is responsible for bringing billions out of extreme poverty over the last few centuries. That is why I support the free market. I do not support central planning or government ownership of the means of production as was the case in the historical examples you cite. Please stop making straw man arguments.

I want private interests running businesses and deciding who to hire and who to fire. I want private interests to determine who among us gets to become unfathomably rich and who is reduced to a monotonous existence on the bottom-most rung of the ladder. All I am saying is that people should not face mortal punishment for choosing not to work if none of the job opportunities presented to him are appealing.


We can also look at the social experiments of the left in the inner cities. After billions of dollars have been pumped into inner city ghettoes, we still have the same problems. After untold millions have been pumped into inner city school systems, we still have failing school systems. And the left’s answer to the problem….more redistribution of wealth. This is Einstein’s definition of insanity.

Ghettos have not received the same amount of governmental financial investment as other areas. Your analogy is built on a false premise. Likewise, it ignores the legacy of racism that continues to haunt such places.

you may have never heard this historical fact
That’s like the 100th time I’ve seen this tired Republican talking point, but thank you for trying.
Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 12:24 PM
Comment #422649

C&J,

The problem is that racism is not a binary state, it is a continuum. Everyone harbors a certain level of racial prejudice. Feeling relieved to discover that the mysterious footsteps behind you in a dark alley belong to a white man rather than a black man is an example of racism that is almost universally practiced. Citing statistics, it might be possible to justify the racism, but that doesn’t demonstrate the behavior as non-racist.

So, while there is a chasm of difference between the KKK member who yearns for the day where he can lynch “uppity blacks” and the taxpayer uncomfortable paying for food stamps for poor blacks (and perfectly fine paying for food stamps for poor whites), they do both exist on the same continuum. It is a limit of our lexicon that we don’t have different words for each. Clearly, both political sides are interested in defining what is and is not racist in order to best fit their preferred political ideologies and we get the inevitable debates surrounding “the race card” and whatnot.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 12:53 PM
Comment #422650

j2


“And therein lies the flawed logic of conservatism. Our form of government is not intended simply for us to have a government. It exists for a purpose.”

That purpose is to protect individual liberty. Not take from one in order to cater to the needs of another. The constitution was written to limit power of gov’t, not limit the freedom of the people..

Posted by: dbs at December 23, 2017 1:06 PM
Comment #422651

Warren

“Everyone harbors a certain level of racial prejudice.”

I think we all do, but it is fluid and imprecise, as are all fleeting thoughts. Therefore, all that matters is your actions. If you consistently treat similar behaviors differently only because of race, you are racist. That is all we can properly judge and all we have the right to expect.

I also say, “consistently” in order to account for human failings. When Jesse Jackson made that comment you reference about feeling relieved to see white kids instead of black ones, was speaking in a rational way, but also in a racist one. We would not label Jesse Jackson a racist for his limited transgressions.

The various sides (and you are right that there are more than two and that they are ephemeral) come up with definitions that are convoluted and supportive of their shifting positions. That is why I keep it simple.

If you consistently treat similar behaviors differently only because of race, you are racist. That can be applied generally to all sides.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 1:21 PM
Comment #422652

warren


“Ah, if a mugger points his gun and says, “Your money or your life” and I choose not to hand over my money, the consequences of a bullet piercing my vital organs is solely of my own doing and not the fault of someone else.”


You’re confusing necessity with coercion. We work because we need the necessities of life. That is just the instinct for survival that dictates that we work. No one is forcing you to work, but if you choose not to, you will not have food, clothing, or shelter. The scenario you laid out is coercion, and is more akin to the way gov’t levies taxes. Instinct is driven by nature, and coercion is dictated by the threat of force from another. Apples, and oranges.


“In that case, isn’t it a good thing I support individual liberty as well as rewarding the productive with luxuries above mere survival.”


You have no right to reward others with the money you have reached into the pockets of others without their consent to obtain. Reaching into your own pocket and giving to others is generosity, reaching into the pockets of others is theft.


“All I am saying is that people should not face mortal punishment for choosing not to work if none of the job opportunities presented to him are appealing.”


That’s life. If we want to have more choices, we work to better our selves so that we have more options. Life is not fair, and it never will be. To say that someone should not starve or go homeless because they feel that the opportunities that are available are beneath their dignity, and that the others who go out, and do what is necessary to survive should be forced to reach into their pockets to support them, is ludicrous.


“Ghettos have not received the same amount of governmental financial investment as other areas. Your analogy is built on a false premise. Likewise, it ignores the legacy of racism that continues to haunt such places.”

Ghettos, and the like exist because the culture of victimization has kept these people from taking responsibility for their lives and working to succeed. A culture of “poor me”, and societal rot has kept these shitholes what they are.

Posted by: dbs at December 23, 2017 1:44 PM
Comment #422654

dbs and Warren

The most insidious “racism” is indeed the left over from the past. Lots of people in ghettos and many outside retain bad habits and behaviors that made sense in the racist past, but do no longer. The idea of taking today and not planning for the future is a good example. In the uncertain racist times, it make sense. Now it is an albatross around the neck of anyone who believes it.

So the “victims” are not at fault. BUT it is theirs to correct.

Our progressive friends do these guys a great disservice by encouraging them to believe that their troubles come from mostly outside sources.

We took this wrong turn in the 1970s. The civil rights movement was based on equality under the law. MLK dreamed of judging by content of character, not skin color. We lost some of that in the 1970s, when our cultural elites were beguiled by the mirage that they could right past wrongs by simply decreeing special rules, instead of doing the hard work of changing habits and behaviors.

Blacks in America have made striking gains, but if you look at the timeline, you see that a lot of those gains were made in the 1960s and even the 1950s. They slowed as affirmative action and identity politics took hold.

Had we declared victory in 1973 and let conditions develop in the context of the landmark legislation of the 1960s civil rights, we would likely be much closer to a just society.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 1:57 PM
Comment #422655

“Being forced to work for survival is slavery.”

We are pleased that our Pal Warren has confirmed his political philosophy. It is one that will not fit well withing both our Constitution and traditions.

Warren makes the assumption that there is someone who does work that is willing to “slave” for those who don’t wish to work. That working person can then be forced, by government, to provide for the person who will not willingly work.

Warren, you are doomed to a life of disappointment with these false beliefs.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 23, 2017 2:09 PM
Comment #422656

I spent my whole life in slavery, according to that definition. But now that I am retired, I am free at last, free at last. Thank God in heaven I am free at last.

That slavery of the past did not seem so bad, however.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 2:15 PM
Comment #422657

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJTVF_dya7E

Thoughts ?

Posted by: dbs at December 23, 2017 2:27 PM
Comment #422661

dbs

Shows the remarkable progress we have made in the USA in our lifetimes.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 7:24 PM
Comment #422662

You’re confusing necessity with coercion. We work because we need the necessities of life. That is just the instinct for survival that dictates that we work. No one is forcing you to work, but if you choose not to, you will not have food, clothing, or shelter. The scenario you laid out is coercion, and is more akin to the way gov’t levies taxes. Instinct is driven by nature, and coercion is dictated by the threat of force from another. Apples, and oranges.
In both situations, the individual makes a choice between life and death. I do not see the distinction. Yes, taxation is also a coercive exercise, but the damage it does is far less than the damage done by forcing people to work against their will.
You have no right to reward others with the money you have reached into the pockets of others without their consent to obtain. Reaching into your own pocket and giving to others is generosity, reaching into the pockets of others is theft.

When I speak of rewarding productive people with luxuries above the minimum necessary for survival, I am talking about whatever rewards a person is able to obtain through the free market with voluntary exchange. I am not interested in a centrally planned economy.

That’s life. If we want to have more choices, we work to better our selves so that we have more options. Life is not fair, and it never will be. To say that someone should not starve or go homeless because they feel that the opportunities that are available are beneath their dignity, and that the others who go out, and do what is necessary to survive should be forced to reach into their pockets to support them, is ludicrous.

If someone does not have the knowledge or skills to obtain a well-paying job, then that person will have to suffer on the lowest economic rung on society. Because people do not want to spend perpetuity subsisting on a bare bones existence, people will be motivated to go out and do what is necessary to ascend the ladder and better themselves and better their fellow man.


Warren makes the assumption that there is someone who does work that is willing to “slave” for those who don’t wish to work. That working person can then be forced, by government, to provide for the person who will not willingly work.

I know that I would certainly continue to work even if it was not necessary to provide for basic food, shelter & healthcare. I am sure the same can be said for nearly every person alive. People are born with an instinct to be productive and when formal employment is not available, people will find other ways to contribute. Even in retirement, I am sure you don’t sit on the couch and watch TV all day. Instead, I’m sure you volunteer your time in the best ways you can to help out your community.

Mind you, in Denmark they operate a government that collects ~45% of GDP as tax revenue. Now, I don’t necessarily want to capture 45% of the American economy as tax revenue, but it is still illustrative that even at that level of taxation Danish workers still manage to do their very best to be productive and Danish businesses still do their best to maximize their profits in the free market. As long as we keep the revenue to gdp ratio below ~45%, I am confident that voluntary unemployment will not be a problem.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 7:42 PM
Comment #422663
Shows the remarkable progress we have made in the USA in our lifetimes.

Agreed. Thank you dbs for sharing. I’ve seen excerpts of Murrow’s report before, but never the whole thing at once. I shall watch the rest of it when I get a chance.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 7:46 PM
Comment #422665

Warren, you are not a very astute student of human behavior. We have many examples of what you advocate failing. It need not be tried again.

Posted by: Royal Flush at December 23, 2017 7:56 PM
Comment #422666

RF,

What failed in Denmark? Danish workers seem to do their very best to be productive even though the government collects 45% of GDP as taxes. Personally, I would not shoot quite so high, but the point is illustrative of human behavior in action.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 8:06 PM
Comment #422667

I have been to Denmark and lived 4 years in Norway.

These Scandinavian countries work well because they are occupied by Scandinavians. If you look at Norwegian,Swedish or Danish Americans, you find that they have incomes higher than average Americans, better health outcomes and lower crime rates.

Chrissy is of Swedish and Norwegian ancestry. These guys are culturally peaceful and cooperative. America is a more diverse country. Diversity is a source of strength, but it makes for much more inequality.


And let’s talk about an American example of what some would characterize as racist, but I know is not.

I went to college in Minneapolis. Back then it had a heritage of Scandinavians and Germans. It was a clean and almost crime free place. How surprised I was around 2000 to learn that parts had become dirty and dangerous. What changed in those couple decades? There was a lot of migration from places like Chicago. These people on averaged viewed work, law and order with less enthusiasm. But we are not supposed to point to these bad behaviors that caused bad and sometimes deadly outcomes.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 8:27 PM
Comment #422668

Or another example,

My father was in the Army Air Corps. They bombed Germany into the stone age and yet ten years after the war, Germany was again a powerhouse. It was clean and well run Right after the war, the Germans got together to clean up and rebuild.

Now consider the Middle East. Anywhere will do, but let me talk about Iraq, since I lived there for a year.

Iraqi cities were not destroyed as German cities were. There was actually limited war damage. It just seemed bad because of the extreme incompetence and indolence of the local authorities. It has now been around 15 years since the Iraq war. Consider that would be around 1960 when compared to Germany post war. Iraq is still a sht hole, because the culture makes it so.

Habits and behaviors are what count in the long run. People who remain poor for generations do so because of poor habits.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 8:34 PM
Comment #422669

It’s not just Denmark, nearly every other country in the OECD has a higher tax to gdp ratio than the United States. None of them are dystopias like Stalin’s USSR was. France and Germany are large and increasingly diverse nations that still manage to avoid economic ruin in spite of their tax rates. Israel is even more diverse and it still manages to collect more than 30% of its gdp as tax revenue.

America’s diversity does mean inequality will be greater. There will be millionaires and billionaires while some people eek out a modest existence on the lower rungs of the ladder. I have no problem with that. But I fail to see how America’s diversity and the corresponding inequality precludes what I propose.

Let’s say I propose a universal basic income of no more than $10,000 per person. That’s $2.6T in total to provide for the 260 million American adults in this country. We already spend $1T per year on welfare and the another $1.6T could be funded by capturing 34% of GDP as tax revenue instead of 26% like we do today. Is our society really going to collapse because people won’t go to work if 34% of GDP goes to the government? Is our society really going to collapse because too many people decide to sit on the couch and watch TV all day with their $10,000 annual stipend instead of going out and working a job to earn a better living?

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 8:38 PM
Comment #422670

Most of them have higher taxes. We have a higher standard of living than most of them. A poor person in the USA has access to as much stuff as a not poor has on average in Europe. Unfortunately (culture again) our poor tend to be a little more churlish, although with all that immigration in Europe, they have their share coming up.

Diversity = inequality, since different choices and habits must produce different outcomes.

America is a great laboratory for this. We see how different immigrant groups bring with them different habits and thrive or fail at greater rates.

Consider how well Nigerian immigrants do. They are very African, and yet the do well. Habits and behaviors, not race or past suffering is the key.

re universal income - problem is that some people would take their money and piss it away. Soon they would be “poor” and complaining about their sad lot.

Work is a positive good for most people. It is what holds them in society and gives meaning to their lives. If we let people get away from that, many will be corrupted. If they earn leisure by their work and responsibility, it is good. If they are just given these things, most cannot handle it.

Re inequality - in general it doesn’t bother me. We should strive for equality under law, but in nothing else. The goodness of inequality depends on how it comes about. If I could make the world equal through some magic and at no cost, I would not do it. It is not a goal I consider good.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 8:55 PM
Comment #422671

Iraq is neither a nation state nor a developed country. Nor does it have a history of traditions rooted in the European Enlightenment. Ideas such as rule of law and individual liberty are probably still quite alien to most Iraqis. Obviously, this is a recipe for corruption and inaction. Iraqis have no common ethos to work for, just their tribes and the fractured loyalties that result.

The United States is exceptional insofar that our diversity is not the inheritance of imperialism like in the case of Iraq, but rather is the product of centuries of voluntary migration (African-American slaves excepted). For two centuries we have zealously indoctrinated our citizens with the ideals of classical liberalism. The result has been a smashing success. Corruption is not a problem here like it is in the developing world and despite recent events, America is still more united than those countries consisting of disparate groups cobbled together by the pen of colonial mapmakers.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 9:00 PM
Comment #422673

Warren

“Iraq is neither a nation state nor a developed country. Nor does it have a history of traditions rooted in the European Enlightenment.” - yeah. And all that means bad habits and behaviors.

Iraqis are great as individuals, but the culture is not useful. I never understood them well. I believed that they would take a bullet for me. What is better? But on the way down, they might steal my wallet. The culture needs to change.

The same goes for that pernicious ghetto culture, the kind you find in Chicago, the Michael Brown behavior. Little progress is possible until that changes.

Re “For two centuries we have zealously indoctrinated our citizens with the ideals of classical liberalism. The result has been a smashing success.” - yes and yes. BUT we stopped doing this well around 1960 and now we have too much of the multicultural crap.

My grandfather was Polish, with habits and behaviors appropriate to a backward place like Poland. When he came, he was met with the idea that he, or at least his kids, should get smart and become mainstream American. So his grandson can become an American diplomat. Now we pretend that all cultures are equal. they are not.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 9:11 PM
Comment #422674

And EVERY immigrant to the USA knows that America is a better place for him than the place he left, else he would have stayed. We do these ambitious people a disservice by not welcoming them as equals and demanding that they fit in.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 9:13 PM
Comment #422676
Most of them have higher taxes. We have a higher standard of living than most of them. A poor person in the USA has access to as much stuff as a not poor has on average in Europe. Unfortunately (culture again) our poor tend to be a little more churlish, although with all that immigration in Europe, they have their share coming up.

Median income is higher in the US than in Europe or most of the other OECD nations, but not by much. After government transfers are taken into account, I doubt that American poor have access to more “stuff” than other OECD poor. If you have something that demonstrates that the bottommost quintile of Americans have greater disposable income than the bottommost quintile of French/Germans/Japanese/whatever other OECD nation (except Turkey/Mexico) then I’d like to see it.

Diversity = inequality, since different choices and habits must produce different outcomes. America is a great laboratory for this. We see how different immigrant groups bring with them different habits and thrive or fail at greater rates.
Inequality is not my complaint. I have no problem with unequal distributions of wealth. All I am exploring is whether or not a more generous safety net is possible. I do this simply on the basis of my aforementioned belief that having to work in order to avoid premature death is a signal of slavery. Maybe it isn’t the same as chattel slavery of yore, but I think there is tension with the enlightenment ideas about freedom and liberty. The free market relies on voluntary exchanges of goods and services and if workers are being forced to work against their will, then that seems problematic to me.


re universal income - problem is that some people would take their money and piss it away. Soon they would be “poor” and complaining about their sad lot.

And guess what? Such people would receive ZERO sympathy from me. If someone foolishly burns his stipend on $ex, drugs and rock & roll and starves to death as a consequence, I have no problem. They had their choice and they chose death. I do not think such people are terribly numerous and would likely come from the ranks of people already dependent on welfare, not people who are currently productive workers.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 9:34 PM
Comment #422677

I’m not resisting the notion that habits and ideas are important. They certainly are. But I don’t see how that fits into my earlier assertion that we’d be much better if the government collected a bit more tax revenue (comparable to our OECD peers as a % of GDP) and used those funds to strengthen the safety net for people who stumble or to empower people who want to quit their job for a short period of time and focus on developing a new skill or talent that they can bring back into the marketplace.

BTW, if we had a $10,000/yr universal basic income, I could totally justify abolishing minimum wage laws entirely.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 9:46 PM
Comment #422678

Warren

America is a diverse and large country. When we compare one European country to the USA, we can find places where it does better. When we compare the EU to the USA, we do better overall. It would be similar to comparing an American state to the EU.

You can see the analysis at the link at the bottom. I don’t want to disparage Europe. I lived there for 12 years and still like to visit. But much of their “advantage” in equality is because of culture. As Europe becomes more diverse, their problems of integration are increasing too. There are parts of Paris as dangerous as parts of Chicago or Detroit.

Re working - it is good for most people. Most people cannot handle the freedom. It organizes lives.

A big cause of poverty and crime is disorder. The poor have disorderly lives. They are exactly the ones who most need the discipline of work.

re the sympathy for those who piss away their money - they become our problem, because they neglect their kids and commit crimes.

Poverty will exist always because we redefine it. By what people have access to, there already is no poverty in America by the standards we would have applied in 1900. In our great country, one of the biggest problem for the poor is obesity. What a country.


The Poor in the US Are Richer than the Middle Class in Much of Europe


Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 9:50 PM
Comment #422679

Re safety net

Depends on how you apply it. If government uses money to build common infrastructure or do things that increase wealth it is good. On average, the poor benefit more from public infrastructure and public parks than do the rich, who can afford these things for themselves.

What is bad is the targeted redistribution. There was a shift form the New Deal to the Great Society, for example. The New Deal, for all its flaws, sought to work up general welfare and addressed behaviors. You could get help if you did the right things to help yourself and others.

The Great Society targeted classes & types. It moved resources to people because of who they were, not what they did. It too often did not ask them to change their behaviors and in fact treated the idea that they should change as an affront - “blaming the victim.” This is the wrong turn we took and we should do return to an earlier formulation at a higher level.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 10:00 PM
Comment #422681
America is a diverse and large country. When we compare one European country to the USA, we can find places where it does better. When we compare the EU to the USA, we do better overall. It would be similar to comparing an American state to the EU.

You can see the analysis at the link at the bottom. I don’t want to disparage Europe. I lived there for 12 years and still like to visit. But much of their “advantage” in equality is because of culture. As Europe becomes more diverse, their problems of integration are increasing too. There are parts of Paris as dangerous as parts of Chicago or Detroit.


My overall point about citing Europe was not to say that we ought to perfectly emulate what they have done. If you hadn’t noticed, the UBI is not something the Europeans have tried. My only point was to counter RF’s assertion that I didn’t understand human behavior. People are quite capable of working productively in a free market society even if government collects 30-45 percent of gdp as tax revenue and social welfare spending is more generous. I still see zero evidence that America would become a dystopia if tax rates were a bit higher or if social welfare spending were a bit more generous.

Re working - it is good for most people. Most people cannot handle the freedom. It organizes lives. A big cause of poverty and crime is disorder. The poor have disorderly lives. They are exactly the ones who most need the discipline of work.
Finding and maintaining a job will always remain the primary means for a poor person to better his life. An annual stipend won’t change that. Most poor people would still seek out employment at similar rates to today. After all, $10,000 is not enough money to own the latest cell phone or enjoy a beer on Saturday nights. It’s enough to pay the rent and buy the blandest of food, and possibly not even that. Good tasting food and decent entertainment are enough of a motivator to keep people working.
re the sympathy for those who piss away their money - they become our problem, because they neglect their kids and commit crimes.

I do not think crime will be as much of a problem when people are secure regarding their food and shelter.

America is a diverse and large country. When we compare one European country to the USA, we can find places where it does better. When we compare the EU to the USA, we do better overall. It would be similar to comparing an American state to the EU.
Part of the trouble is that much of Southern and Eastern Europe do not have deep classical liberal traditions. Portugal, Spain and Greece had military dictatorships less than 50 years ago. Eastern Europe had Soviet style Communism. Only France and the countries with Germanic languages seem to have durable classical liberal traditions comparable with the United States. By my count, those countries have a population of 284 million. Throw in Italy and you are at 345 million, which is larger than the United States. None of these countries suffer terribly from their tax burdens or their social welfare spending.

Lastly, thank you for the Ludwig von Mises Institute link. I was spending too much time pouring through OECD datatables trying to figure things out on my own. Nonetheless, I think the case is overstated because the person on the poverty line boundary is not a typical poor person in this country. They are quite literally the wealthiest poor people, and even then their incomes are just a hair below the largest European economies.

Enjoy the Christmas holiday.

Posted by: Warren Porter at December 23, 2017 10:52 PM
Comment #422682

Warren

“Part of the trouble is that much of Southern and Eastern Europe do not have deep classical liberal traditions.” - yes. These places have the collectivist-socialist traditions.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 23, 2017 11:52 PM
Comment #422683

warren

“In both situations, the individual makes a choice between life and death. I do not see the distinction.”


I’m really surprised that you can’t see the difference between being robbed at gun point, and needing to work to obtain the staples of survival.

“Yes, taxation is also a coercive exercise, but the damage it does is far less than the damage done by forcing people to work against their will.”

what happens as the number of those willing to work decreases, and the those unwilling to work increases ?


“When I speak of rewarding productive people with luxuries above the minimum necessary for survival, I am talking about whatever rewards a person is able to obtain through the free market with voluntary exchange.”

I think the point of contention for me is how they are getting the money for these things.


“If someone does not have the knowledge or skills to obtain a well-paying job, then that person will have to suffer on the lowest economic rung on society.”

This is all the motivation someone should need to work harder to better themselves. Someone who is not motivated to survive, will not be motivated to work harder if they are provided the staples of life. All that will happen is that you create a dependent class.


“I know that I would certainly continue to work even if it was not necessary to provide for basic food, shelter & healthcare.”


That’s is because you are motivated. Not everyone is motivated. There are people who are genuinely lazy.


“I am sure the same can be said for nearly every person alive.”

If it could, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.


Posted by: dbs at December 24, 2017 8:43 AM
Comment #422685
Well, it don’t seem to be BS; considering economists are now beginning to recognize the number of corporations jumping on board.

A Christmas bonus is hardly jumping on board when you consider the employees bonus is small when compared to the windfall the corporation will receive when they get money back instead of paying their fair share. Further this doesn’t justify the trickle on economics not the running up of government debt.

That purpose is to protect individual liberty. Not take from one in order to cater to the needs of another. The constitution was written to limit power of gov’t, not limit the freedom of the people..

Dbs, yes to protect the individual liberty of all people not just the landed gentry or aristocrats.


C&J, Warren thanks for turning the nonsense into an intelligent thread. As we continue to suffer the effects of mechanization, technological advances and offshoring it may be time to consider a universal basic income.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 24, 2017 12:53 PM
Comment #422687

j2

“yes to protect the individual liberty of all people not just the landed gentry or aristocrats.”


Redistributing wealth does not fall under the guise of protecting individual liberty.

Posted by: dbs at December 24, 2017 2:10 PM
Comment #422688

j2

“As we continue to suffer the effects of mechanization, technological advances and offshoring it may be time to consider a universal basic income.”

You already have that. It’s called a standard deduction, and now it is $12,000. If you are talking about the gov’t handing out money for people to just sit on their a$$, then you have to figure where that money is going to come from. Anyone who is to lazy to get off their a$$ and work for a living because they feel it beneath their dignity, can starve for all I care. I have to go to work in order survive anyone capable of working, can do the same thing.

Posted by: dbs at December 24, 2017 2:18 PM
Comment #422689

j2, dbs, Warren et al

Maybe it is a different subject, but universal income is something to talk about.

The problem is not the stuff. The problem is that most people cannot handle the freedom from the discipline of work. It does not make them happier or better people to have leisure. Maybe it is just that they never learned.

I became a gentleman of leisure almost two years ago. Even with my classical education, a variety of volunteer responsibilities, and intact family and lots to do managing my tree farms, it is still a challenge to find meaning in life.

Up until now, most people didn’t have this problem. Unfortunately, we do not educate people to be intellectually sufficient.

Man does not live by bread alone. It will take a revolution in thinking too. It might not be a good idea to give the physical until the mental is ready.

And before you say it, yes - I am elitist. We will all need to become more like this.

Posted by: Christine & John at December 24, 2017 2:36 PM
Comment #422690
Redistributing wealth does not fall under the guise of protecting individual liberty.

For those of us in a modern society -
“In political society, liberty consists of being under no other lawmaking power except that established by consent in the commonwealth. People are free from the dominion of any will or legal restraint apart from that enacted by their own constituted lawmaking power according to the trust put in it.”

John Locke

What you seem to be talking about dbs is economic liberty and only economic liberty.

Posted by: j2t2 at December 24, 2017 4:28 PM
Comment #422738

J2


“What you seem to be talking about dbs is economic liberty and only economic liberty.”

What I’m talking about is individual liberty. You are free to choose not to work, but you are also responsible for the consequences of your decision not to work. That would include being cold and hungry. Your choice not work, does not obligate others to provide the things you choose not to provide for yourself.

Posted by: dbs at December 25, 2017 10:11 AM
Comment #422739

“If someone foolishly burns his stipend on $ex, drugs and rock & roll and starves to death as a consequence, I have no problem.”

Many thanks for the clarification Warren. We agree with each other. Under my plan, we would not waste the $10,000 to begin with.

Surely you understand Warren that we are already spending more than ten grand per person needing government help.

At any rate…

A very Merry Christmas to everyone, everywhere, across the globe.

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