Third Party & Independents Archives

Unjust Deserts: Book Review

Like a law of physics, corrupt politics, unshared national wealth and uncontrolled greed combine to produce economic inequality and delusional prosperity. Now comes a book that should have been titled Stolen Wealth. This would have been more consistent with its long subtitle: How the Rich Are Taking Our Common Inheritance and Why We Should Take It Back.

In today’s world of economic crashes and calamity it comes to this: Should there be higher taxes on the richest people in society? Gar Alperovitz and Lew Daly make a very sound case that considerable research demonstrates that a huge fraction of the success of the wealthiest people results from inherited knowledge that society at large owns. The incredible economic inequality we see today, therefore, is morally unacceptable.

If President-elect Obama and his many economic advisors buy into the intellectual arguments presented in this book, which is very likely, then we can expect a strong push for higher rates of federal taxation on the highest incomes and capital gains, as well as on accumulated wealth by higher inheritance taxes. This book presents the central argument for such public policies, namely the incredible importance of inherited knowledge accumulated over long periods that forms the basis for financial success by some individuals. Their smartness, creativity and hard work cannot explain their disproportionate wealth. It largely results from inherited, accumulated knowledge from the past.

According to this understanding, it is not so much about redistribution of wealth from the richest people to everyone else, it is more about the morally correct and necessary action to rectify the unjust and immoral ownership of wealth that a relatively small fraction of the population has improperly (though legally) attained.

What Americans need to be told by politicians is that “ever-increasing knowledge, accumulating across the generations, is central to the creation of all wealth,” according to the authors. Therefore the proper role of government is to ensure that many more people get some of this wealth. And the practical way to do this is through higher taxation of the unjust deserts now enjoyed by the Upper Class.

Looking at this another way: the economic decline of the middle class and the expansion of the working poor result from all these unjust deserts. All the unshared wealth that has resulted from inherited knowledge that a few people have managed to unfairly benefit from. This has produced rising economic inequality and increased economic suffering by so many Americans.

This is not the easiest book to read because it is written in an academic rather than a populist style. Nevertheless, for anyone that wants better justification for “taxing the rich” public policies it is essential reading. Another good title for the book would have been: Battling Economic Injustice.

Posted by Joel S. Hirschhorn at November 22, 2008 9:27 AM
Comments
Comment #270780

The people of this nation have to make a choice. Do they want bigger and better and fast or are they willing to take a moderate approach with a more distributed economy? Do they want a NAU with open borders and big international conglomerates that make Wal-Mart look like a coffee shop? Or, are they content to be serviced by so-called mom and pop stores, Ace Hardware’s and the like and retain a modicum of a sovereign nation? Are we willing to give up our national security in return for worldwide security envisioned through the integration of world economies? Either the people decide or accept the default. And the default is to be pushed beyond our sovereignty, into the NAU, continuing with lassiz faire trade and the waltzing thru the tulips open borders, open world of the Robert Pastor ideology. Remember that Pastor got his start with the Carter admin in Latin Am. policy (Panama Canal and all of that). He is likely to continue playing a major, behind the scenes roll in the Obama(Clinton) administration.
That said, the wealthy folks aren’t so much unlike you and I. If they can make a buck they will take it. A carpenter uses his tools to make money. A wealthy person uses his money to make money. If he can have undue influence over government officials, his competitors, weaken US patent laws, etc. he is going to act. Human nature.
The rub comes when the wealthy profit at the expense of the carpenter. The carpenter pays taxes and votes expecting fair representation. The wealthy buy favor with government, the maker of the rules we play by, to the detriment of the carpenter. Been going like that for a couple of hundred years. The wealthy have bought government to further bend the rules and speed up the process of soaking the middle class. Laws like Corporate Personhood and Money is Free Speech are used to facilitate the conduits of influence and control over government. The regressive tax code for the wealthy that Dan has described in explicit detail is a good example. My grievance list would crash this server, as I like to say, but that is not the point here.
Point is, that the wealthy are hell bent to get wealthier and right now globalization is the driving parameter of wealth. Got to get bigger to survive. Since the Regan era, when greed became fashionable, anti-trust was thrown out the window and we have been mergering them up. I just posted in another thread about how GM is set up in China for globalized production. They have plants that employ 20,000 people and the Chinese buy more GM than other brands. GM is looking to expand but the recession has slowed them. In my opinion GM wants the bailout money to shutter their legacy plants in Detroit and take care of pensions and severance pay. GM will form a conglomerate or perhaps operate in an environment of clustered technology/production. Product will be moved through the new seaport now under construction in Mexico and then up the NAFTA superhighway on in to Canada. Detroit is in their review mirror.
Well, the government is the great regulator in all of this. And, where is the debate on the NAU, SPP, immigration and similar issues regarding globalization? Being done behind the scenes, out of the purview of media, in secret meetings attended by folks from Sachs and similar entities but no so much by you and I.
The people must decide. And, the longer they wait the harder it will be to paddle back up stream. In my opinion you can stay with the status quo and accept the default or you can support reform of government through a new 3rd party effort as presented at www.demreps.com. A party that puts accountability into the political equation. A party that can serve as a countering effect to the moneyed interest. A party that can reform government to restore our sovereignty, our Constitution and our democratic principles we used to live by. AND KEEP IT THAT WAY.

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 22, 2008 12:18 PM
Comment #270799

Roy, reform will be forthcoming with the Obama adminstration. The only question is whether the Democratic Congress will fight Obama to prevent them. History says they will.

Their time in the wilderness says they won’t, if they are capable of thinking beyond the next reelection bid and of the nation’s welfare beyond.

I am with you. Best to begin that competitive 3rd party now, and have it ready and waiting should Democrats choose past habits over future needs.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 22, 2008 3:34 PM
Comment #270802

My man, my man!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 22, 2008 4:14 PM
Comment #270848

Joel:

It sounds like communists and socialists were right after all!!

These things move from one side to the other. Actually right now wealth distribution is moving a lot closer right now because the wealthy own most financials.

Also, more people entered the middle class in the 90s than in almost any other time in history. It was simply not here, but rather overseas. We just came out of one of the greatest economic expansions the world has ever seen, with huge numbers of people coming out of abject poverty.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 23, 2008 6:50 PM
Comment #270850

Just want to make it clear, I am talking about world economic growth being extremely strong and lifting people out of poverty. I understand that the middle class here in the United States has been squeezed.

It would be interesting for you to come up with a model that is better than ours for lifting standards of living for average folks. Where would you find one? Europe? Russia?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at November 23, 2008 9:16 PM
Comment #270855

Craig
The great expansion of the middle class did not occur in the 90s but rater in the post ww2 boom, triggered by wealth distribution policies like the GI Bills, infrastructure investments like the highways program, strong unionization and very high tax rates on the higher brackets. Pretty much if the wealthy wanted to keep their money they had to keep it in their companies. Thank you anyway for giving W Clinton some well deserved credit.
There is still plenty of overseas poverty to go around and the possibility that the small improvements in the last 20 years will be reversed by the global depression precipitated by the tragically ill advised and idealogically driven policies of the Bushites.
You asked. Europe, at least Western Europe has much to model. I know this is a hard nut for many righties to swallow but the evidence is there. Longer life spans and much lower infant mortality rates are de facto proof of superior healthcare delivery systems, like it or not. Much lower crime rates are clear evidence of a juster society. Higher literacy rates are clear evidence of better education systems. I could go on. These countries ARE democracies. These countries DO have speech and press freedom and private property rights etc. They also have a vibrant private industrial base.They are also going through some rough times from the aboved mentioned failed US policies but are likely to recover sooner than the rest of the world.Point is that economies that succeed are always a combination of socialism and capitalism. Our weakness has been to lean too far in the direction of capital with obvious results.

Posted by: bills at November 24, 2008 7:10 AM
Comment #270858

Dunno Craig, a hefty price tag to pay for the limited success of globalization. I’ll start out with Mexico. They are still recovering from the loss of manufacturing concerns immediately following China’s entry into the WTO in 2001. Fully 10% of their population is residing illegally in the US. Their remittances to the home folks equates to major revenue producer in Mexico. Their oil fields are way past peak. The illegals here in the US are ostensibly on life support in the middle of this recession with unemployment pushing 8-9%. Latin Am. in general has been hurt by globalization. Looking to Africa, it’s not a pleasant site either. The EU has sucked up every African coastal ocean fish except for the big one that got away, and what monies they gave to the despot African leaders is residing in Swiss bank accounts. Zimbabwe is printing currency in denominations as large as one billion dollars. Then we have the genocides in the old Belgian Congo areas. And the Liberian and Ivory Coast thing wasn’t pretty. The following news excerpt sums it up for Africa.
From Yahoo news: “Tenant farming was popular in rural America until the Dust Bowl years of the Depression, but the practice is making a comeback on an epic scale in much of Africa. This time, however, the “tenants” are not simply family farmers down on their luck and willing to work land they don’t own; they’re major international corporations and governments looking to compensate for shortages of arable land in their own countries by setting up massive industrial farms abroad. South Korea’s Daewoo Logistics this week announced it had negotiated a 99-year lease on some 3.2 million acres of farmland on the dirt-poor tropical island of Madagascar, off southern Africa’s Indian Ocean coast. That’s nearly half of Madagascar’s arable land, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agricultural Organization, and Daewoo plans to put about three quarters of it under corn. The remainder will be used to produce palm oil - a key commodity for the global biofuels market.”
Maybe we can do better in India. There, thousands of farmers have committed suicide over genetically modified (GM) corn. The government (and WTO) won’t allow the farmers to plant cheap traditional seeds. They had to purchase the GM seeds which are ten times the price of regular seed. From a news excerpt: “For official figures from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture do indeed confirm that in a huge humanitarian crisis, more than 1,000 farmers kill themselves here each month.
Simple, rural people, they are dying slow, agonising deaths. Most swallow insecticide - a pricey substance they were promised they would not need when they were coerced into growing expensive GM crops. Far from being ‘magic seeds’, GM pest-proof ‘breeds’ of cotton have been devastated by bollworms, a voracious parasite. Nor were the farmers told that these seeds require double the amount of water. This has proved a matter of life and death.”
Excerpt from Global Policy Forum: “So far, only a small minority of top earners has benefited from global integration. Even conservative economists have begun to worry about social inclusion and effective redistribution.
Immanuel Wallerstein and Stephen Roach are miles apart ideologically. But they pretty much agree on one thing: after three decades of globalisation euphoria, the pendulum has begun to swing back. “The political balance is swinging back,” writes world-system’s analyst Immanuel Wallerstein (2008). “Neoliberal globalisation will be discussed about ten years from now as a cyclical swing in the history of the capitalist world economy. The real question is not whether this phase is over but whether the swing will be able, as in the past, to restore a state of relative equilibrium in the world system.” Where Wallerstein sees the end of neoliberal globalisation, the chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, Stephen Roach (2007), sees an about-turn: “What I suspect is that a partial backtracking is probably now at hand, as the collective interests of globalisation succumb to the self-interests of ,localisation’. An era of localisation will undoubtedly have some very different characteristics from trends of the recent past. The most obvious: Wages could go up and corporate profits could come under pressure.”
The latest World Bank review of purchasing-power parities (PPP) will, however, add fresh impetus to this debate. The data show that both global inequality and global poverty are vastly greater than previously assumed (Milanovic 2008). It is reported that worldwide income inequality is not 65 Gini points, which would roughly equate to the level of South Africa, but 70 points. The Gini coefficient is a statistical measure of income distribution, whith “0” corresponding to total equality and “100” to total inequality. An inequality level of 70 was never recorded before anywhere. The new PPP estimates also imply that the number of absolute poor is probably considerably higher than assessed so far. According to the out-dated PPP calculations, 980 million people must do with less than the purchasing power of one dollar per day.”
Only in a few countries (10 out of 34) did the majority of people consider globalisation a positive factor for local economic development. These countries included, significantly, the catch-up economies of China and Russia, the beneficiaries of soaring oil prices such as the United Arab Emirates or special cases in the OECD like Canada and Australia.

Well, not to belabour the point. It would have been a wonderful thing if the educated idiots of the world would have taken a common sense, slow, methodical and progressive approach to developing world economies. Maybe use anti-trust law instead of trashing it. Maybe respect the sovereignty of nations instead of bulldozing them. But you know how it is with greed. Gotta be the first to China, get the beach front property and an ear to the King, etc.
I find it sad and amusing at the same time that the very people (Clintonites) that gave us a globalized economy and this recession are now going to save us. Best grab something sturdy and hang on!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 24, 2008 9:45 AM
Comment #270874
Craig Holmes wrote: It would be interesting for you to come up with a model that is better than ours for lifting standards of living for average folks. Where would you find one?
The problem is not the our model (free market capitalism with common-sense regulation).

The problem is too much greed and selfisness.

We do not need many (if any) new things or a model, as much as we simply need to stop these abuses.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 24, 2008 1:35 PM
Comment #270891


China is experiencing strikes and riots on a frequent basis. Many of the factories that were moved to China are laying off workers and or shutting down.

Most of Asia is in recession, Europe to. I think we all know which country is most to blame for what has happened.

The New World Order, ala American corporate capitalism is in serious trouble. The liberals claim that they are up to the task of saving it. How are they going to do it? They are going to save it the old fashioned way. They are going to borrow more money from the unborn.

Dan, free market capitalism is being used in a misleading way to empower corporate capitalism. And, the threat posed by corporate capitalism goes far beyond the abuse of greed and selfishness.

Roy has provided an excellent example of this with genetically modified hybrid seed. The agri corps have gotten their grain seeds into nearly every market now. They are currently working to genetically modify and hybridize every food crop that humans grow. In the future, farmers won’t be able to grow letuce without buying their seed or starter plants from the corporations. Many small farmers will be driven into bankruptcy and off their land.

The goals of corporate capitalism are the reduction or destruction of competition and the creation of dependence on them by the masses. It is the antitheis of free market capitalism.

In the last couple of decades, the banking industry has gone through period of consolidation. The current crisis and the governments response to it will lead to even greater consolidation. This creates a greater concentration of wealth and power in to the hands of fewer and fewer people.

There is no doubt that much good has been derived from corporate capitalism but, freedom and independence aren’t two of them. The choice is ours, we can contol our economy and make it work for all of us or we can continue to let it control us.

Posted by: jlw at November 24, 2008 7:02 PM
Comment #270894
jlw wrote: d.a.n, free market capitalism is being used in a misleading way to empower corporate capitalism.
I agree that numerous abuses exist and being defended as “free market” practices.

Free markets must also be sufficiently regulated.

jlw wrote: And, the threat posed by corporate capitalism goes far beyond the abuse of greed and selfishness.
Well, I have to disagree.

I think greed and selfishness is exactly the problem.

Regardless of the model, system, organization, society, corporation, or government, too much greed and selfishness breeds corruption, which breeds more greed and selfishness.

Our problems boil down to simple excessive levels of greed and selfishness.

The many manifestations of unchecked greed are too numerous to list, but these are the 10 most major abuses that are punishing most Americans.

However … at any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 24, 2008 8:05 PM
Comment #270900

Dan, I understand the points you are making with greed and selfishness. That is the absolute root of the problem. But I agree with jlw that it goes beyond that. The greed and selfishness we continue to experience is not random. Not just some folks deciding on the spur of the moment they need a government perk. We are suffering from a sustained effort by a cadre of folks who every day, every day, are seeking more and more influence and control over the direction and destiny of, well, the world and the US. I refer to the corpocracy or the oligarchy as being the ‘shadow’ government we should fear and fight. Now they may manifest themselves as a group of likeminded Rockefellers or a number of large corporations seeking the same broad goals. People with super great wealth can set mountains in motion to achieve their agenda. We can look at the NAU as a good example. Apparently Robert Pastor is taking credit for sponsoring the idea. But when you look at how the idea was put into action you have to be highly suspect. Done in great secrecy. Secret meetings, secret attendance, schedule, notes, etc. Here is what Jerome Corsi, author of ‘The Late Great USA’ has to say. “The NAU union would not just be the end of Am. as we know it, but the beginning of an EU-like nightmare—abureaucratic coup d’etat foisted upon millions of Am. citizens without their knowledge and consent. The Late Great USA is a meticulously researched story of deceit, the chapters of which are being written in secret by an unaccountable, unelected bureaucracy. The SPP is not just unconstitutional but an act of treason committed at the highest levels, one that must be stopped before the USA as a free and sovereign nation fades into history.”
The North American Forum was a 3 day forum attended by 36 Canadian reps, 31 Am. reps, and 25 Mex. reps. Many names are recognizable and many are not. But the point is this NAU thing, unlike the EU thing, has not been debated in Congress, in the public, etc. and now Texas is hard at work taking 500,000 acres of Texas farmland by eminent domain for the 12 lane superhighway. This is how our government has functioned beginning with the Regan administration.
This is why we need reform, not just change. This is why we need a new party with citizens’ oversight for elected officials. There has to be a countering force or we will simply be drug down the road by the designs of wealthy, transnationals, conglomerates and the like.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 24, 2008 9:39 PM
Comment #270916

jlw, Roy,

I did not mean in to minimize or trivialize the seriousness or danger of the problem of corporatism and corpocrisy, or dispute the examples provided above.
My only disagreement was with the statement that

jlw wrote: the threat posed by corporate capitalism goes far beyond the abuse of greed and selfishness

… because it seems to me that the problem does very precisely boil down to greed and selfishness as the root cause.

I agree completely that it is not random.
All of the abuses and corruption did not come about by mere coincidence or chance.

There is no doubt that many corporations are doing things that are dastardly and sinister.
The Federal Reserve and banks are one of the most sinister examples, but the examples of greed are numerous.
Many of the methods and mechanisms involve outright lawlessness and legal plunder (e.g. eminent domain abuse).
Some are more clever and difficult for the average person to understand how they are being fleeced (e.g. incessant inflation for 52 consecutive years).
Some play on our sympathy such as illegal immigration for votes and profits disguised as compassion (but severely misplaced compassion).
Some play on our blind partisan loyalties which helps to maintain the incumbent politicians 95% re-election rates.

jlw wrote: The goals of corporate capitalism are the reduction or destruction of competition and the creation of dependence on them by the masses. It is the antitheis of free market capitalism.
True That’s why laws, regulation, and enforcement are necessary, to stop the monopolies and other manifestations of unchecked greed.

Free Market Capitalism without regulation and laws can not work.

Monopolies and speculators will artificially manipulate markets and gouge (e.g. gasoline, pharamceuticals, electricity, etc.).

Corporations will sell harmful (if not deadly) products.

Already, our healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the American soldiers killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!

And government is supposed to create and enforce the laws to prevent these many manifestations of unchecked greed.

But how can that ever happen when voters give Congress dismal 9%-to-18% approval rates, but repeatedly reward Congress with 95% re-election rates for failing to enforce laws, because Congress is FOR-SALE; mere puppets for their wealthy puppeteers (as evidenced by 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters who are vastly out-spent by a tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more?

That is, the voters have the government that the voters elect and deserve (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Until enough voters figure this out, they will continue to suffer the painful consequences of their own negligence.
Unfortunately, as history repeatedly shows us, pain and misery is too often the teacher and lesson of last resort.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 25, 2008 10:04 AM
Comment #270920

All very good points Dan. Along the same venue. Rather than have our policy derived from secrecy and the moneyed interest and executed out of the back pocket of the Executive, why not turn to We The People. How about new political parties with a different political attitude. An Internet based party where voters and representatives are only a URL away. How about ideas being formed at all levels by party members, discussed in all levels of forum on the party’s website. You could have a section responsible for formulating the party agenda based on the product of ideas and discussion. Input can be from the top or the bottom. Surveys are constantly put out to test the will of the members. Politicians take their que from the party agenda. Maybe 25% of a Senator’s efforts are related to issues on his Party’s agenda. The other 75% is business as usual, name post offices, ordaining judges, appropriations bills for the war etc. Doesn’t mean that the wealthiest members don’t have input, they would. Just means that we have a conduit for We The People where information and ideas are expressed openly, with full transparency and judicated in congress as opposed to policy developed outside government, in secret, and implemented through the back door of government in a treasonous way.
Why has Bush refused to control the border? Clear as a bell that he is fulfilling the NAU/SPP agenda. As far as the US government is concerned the Southern border of Mexico is now the real border/port of entry into the US/Can from the South. The imaginary border line for the old Southern border no longer exist. People are free to come and go at will in what used to be our Southern border. That’s why Ramos and Campeon (sic) are sitting in jail. They were impeding the egress of people in that area where the Southern border used to exist.
Sovereignty is the hard nut to crack relative to globalization. If you need to subvert the Constitution, move a border or two, form commercial regions in the world, not a problem. Just put the money out there and they will come. And they will. We need new third parties, or at least one, targeted at reform of government. We need to abolish corporate personhood, money is free speech and ensure all campaign donations are received and distributed through a reorganized FEC. That would way reduce the moneyed influence on the politicians.
Maybe if the idea of a NAU had been broached within such a party(s) it would have caught on and got turned into law by now. At this juncture the people are ready to fight the NAU concept as it came from outside the system in a clearly treasonous way. What kind of government is that?
Wouldn’t you prefer to reform government and KEEP IT THAT WAY?
Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 25, 2008 10:41 AM
Comment #270922

In the same vein. I chose the NAU as an example of policy made outside the government. look at the FDA, Consumer affairs. Why are related laws being ignored and not being enforced? Same thing. Policy has been set from outside government and executed by the Executive with no congressional debate or input. In fact congress has chose to give up oversight and legislative responsibility to take the heat off them. What better way to get around government than to give the Executive total rein? So, we are living under the rule of the WTO, IMF, world court, etc while the old rules are simply ignored or given lip service. What kind of government is that?

Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 25, 2008 10:50 AM
Comment #270930
Roy Ellis wrote: Wouldn’t you prefer to reform government and KEEP IT THAT WAY?
Yes, it would be nice if we could reform government and keep it that way.

But that ain’t even remotely likely as long as too many voters choose to repeatedly reward Congress with 95% re-election rates (despite dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress).
It ain’t even remotely likely as long as too many voters foolishly and repeatedly vote for the status quo, and then expect change and reforms.

Roy Ellis wrote: So, we are living under the rule of the WTO, IMF, world court, etc while the old rules are simply ignored or given lip service. What kind of government is that?
It is a kleptocratic plutocracy.

That is, it is a government by the wealthy which is characterized by rampant greed and corruption.

However, unlike most people, you are also well aware, based on your following comment, …

Roy Ellis wrote: Otherwise, we have the government we deserve.

… I refuse to ignore the voters’ complicity.

That is, it’s difficult to muster up much sympathy for voters who choose to repeatedly reward the very same incumbent politicians with 95% re-election rates, despite the voters also giving Congress dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings. Most voters appear as though they need to learn the hard and painful way … and they will. A lot of pain and misery is already in the pipeline, and the majority of voters only have themselves to thank for it.

A new political party would be great, but that there is an easier way that voters will eventually resort to instead, because:

  • (1) organizing a third party is a gargantuan and costly effort that isn’t necessary anyway.

  • (2) while there’s nothing wrong with creating another party, a third party is not necessary, as demonstrated by the unhappy voters of year 1933 who ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress.

  • (3) while there’s nothing wrong with creating another party, a third party is not necessary, because parties consist of voters, and the voters are what must change before voters can ever hope to change their own government, and government won’t become more transparent, accountable, and responsible until enough voters become more responsible, and stop rewarding bad incumbent politicians with 92% re-election rates (which will most likely happen when failing to do so finally becomes too painful).

  • (4) in the end, the true self-correction mechanism is not the motivation provided by any party, but the pain and misery resulting from the voters’ own negligence and horrible voting habits. Repeatedly rewarding bad politicians with re-election will create the corruption and oppression that will create the pain and misery that will finally provide the motivation for enough voters to stop repeatedly rewarding bad politicians with re-election. That does not require another party.

  • (5) education is what is truly needed to make the cycle of corruption less severe. Perhaps the Civil War could have been avoided had there been better education. Perhaps we can avoid another Civil War with better education about the history of the Civil War and the abuses that can cause civil wars (such as these 10 abuses), which many (if not most) voters are not even aware of; especially the abuses within the monetary system, lawlessness, and legal plunder such as eminent domain abuse).

Perhaps a new political party will develop?

Perhaps the economy and nation will deteriorate so badly that it sparks wide-spread civil unrest, or a civil war (or worse)?

Perhaps the economy and nation will continue a long, slow, gradual decline as hundreds of other nations before us have come and gone?

Perhaps the deterioration of the economy and nation will entice our enemies to start wars with the U.S. ?

Perhaps the voters, after suffering enough pain and misery, resulting from their own negligence, will finally get fed-up enough to finally vote out hundreds (206) of Congress persons as they did in year 1933 (already several years into the Great Depression), and finally start to address problems, instead of creating and/or ignoring problems, and being a graveyard for good ideas and solutions?

But that ain’t likely to happen any time soon, as long as too many voters foolishly and repeatedly reward Congress with 95% re-election rates, is it (despite dismal approval ratings of 9%-to-18%)?

In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount. Therefore, the voters have the government that they deserve, until enough of the voters learn how to pull their head out of their ass, and stop repeatedly rewarding corrupt, FOR-SALE, greedy, incompetent, incumbent politicians with 95% re-election rates, despite dismal 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress, which demonstrates how too many voters are too easily manipulated, too negligent, delusional, blindly partisan, and basically irresponsible.

That’s the voters’ choice, and until then, the voters will suffer the painful consequences, which may be the only built-in self-correction mechanism that finally provides the motivation to vote more responsibly.

Perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, lazy, delusional, and blindly partisan, when enough of the voters are deep in debt , jobless, homeless , and hungry ?

Unfortunately, what too few voters understand is that there will be no quick fixes and there will be many years of pain and misery resulting from several years of fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

Until then, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 25, 2008 12:02 PM
Comment #270942


Dan: IMO, that is the reason for the immediacy of the Bush/Obama bailout plan.It is to late to prevent a bad recession but, not to late to prevent another depression. They must avoid the latter because millions would be in debt, jobless, homeless and hungry, the ingredients that could bring about true change.

I would not want this country to suffer another great depression but, I recognize that it is probably the only thing that could bring about the reforms and change that we need. Even then, it would have to be accompanied by a desire for a more active, more democratic participation by the people or greed and selfishness will regain control.

Roy Ellis: The new border will actually be located just south of the Panama Canal.

Posted by: jlw at November 25, 2008 2:23 PM
Comment #270954

jlw, irregardless, we’ve got to stop moving our borders around. This recession thing is part of the final throws in the capitulation to globalization. Sure looks like the Rupert Murdoch’s have won hands down without a bang or whimper from the old Republic. What about there not being a mention of the NAU from the press throughout the election cycle! The entire country is pretending nothing has changed while we are being governed as a NAU. Ten years downstream there would be no way to extricate ourselves from the NAU/NAFTA/CAFTA and all the other AFTA’s. Would be like Belgium trying to escape the EU.
Well, Obama won with 53% of the vote so that gives him great political capital to burn. Maybe he can get us a coupla more Post Offices or get a liberal judge or two pushed through the system. I’m all excited, aren’t you?

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 25, 2008 4:34 PM
Comment #270973

Off subject;

A lot of you guys hammered me for implying that Tiffani Martin was a plant. Her last article in the liberal column was almost a month ago. Where is Tiffani?

Posted by: Oldguy at November 25, 2008 9:34 PM
Comment #270977

Tiffani must have gotten tired of folks brow-beating her about her agenda rather than her posts…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 25, 2008 10:45 PM
Comment #270983

She was a plant.

Posted by: Oldguy at November 26, 2008 12:24 AM
Comment #270992

はじめまして、JALカードnaviです。
ブログがんばってくださいね。

Posted by: JALカードnavi at November 26, 2008 9:13 AM
Comment #271001

Last evening Lou Dobb’s made reference to the fact that during the depression unemployment was at 25% and that 40% of banks had failed. Today we have 7% unemployment, a small percentage of bank failures and the government plans to dump $7-8T into the system. What’s that all about?
Dobb’s also noted that dumping all this money hasn’t freed up the credit market. That the FED could purchase every faulty loan in the country for something like $2T. Seems they are intent on only bailing out Wall St. Why is that? And why are the FEDS giving the automakers such a hard time over $25B? They want a plan? They have dumped over $2T into the financials without asking for a plan, etc. Big difference is the accumulation of campaign donations given by financials versus the automakers. Something like 10 to 1.
Reading the tea leaves I see the government stashing money into the loyal financials that will be used to continue the globalization of the US post Bush. The public needs to go down but the financials will be needed to continue the war on the middle class. The banks aren’t lending for a real good reason.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 26, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #271003

Another interesting note from the depression. I would title it ‘business as usual’.
Interesting infor re the depression era: “Alarmed by Roosevelt’s plan to redistribute wealth from the rich to the poor, a group of millionaire businessmen, led by the Du Pont and J.P. Morgan empires, plans to overthrow Roosevelt with a military coup and install a fascist government. The businessmen try to recruit General Smedley Butler, promising him an army of 500,000, unlimited financial backing and generous media spin control. The plot is foiled when Butler reports it to Congress.”

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 26, 2008 11:14 AM
Comment #271008

In December 1892, John D. Rockefeller bought $500,000 worth of Duluth Missabe & Northern Railroad bonds. In July of the following year, Lon Merritt and Charles Wetmore approached Rockefeller for his direct support of the troubled Mesabi enterprises. An agreement was concluded whereby all of the Merritt-Wetmore properties were combined under the Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines. Rockefeller put up $2,000,000 to keep the enterprise in operation. As the depression deepened, the Merritts tried unsuccessfully to raise more money. With creditors pressing them on all sides, the brothers sought a buyer for their shares in the Consolidation, turning reluctantly to Rockefeller in December, 1893. They offered to sell him their stocks at $40 per share. Rockefeller declined. In January, the Merritts lowered their price to $10 per share. Rockefeller bought them out for $900,000.

In The Truth About Mr. Rockefeller and the Merritts, Rockefeller’s aide, Frederick T. Gates, said:
The Merritts weathered the storm of ‘93, but in January, 1894, their Minnesota creditors, not Mr. Rockefeller, forced the Merritts to sell their holdings to whomsoever would pay the most money for them. It so happened that Mr. Rockefeller, having some knowledge of the Missabe Range and believing in its future value, was willing to pay more for the Merritt stocks than anyone else. For that reason alone, after offering their stocks widely to capitalists and iron magnates, the Merritts sold their holdings to Mr. Rockefeller.

A more sympathetic author, Paul De Kruif in Seven Iron Men asked:
When the Merritt brothers, some of them, sold their Consolidated stock to Rockefeller in January, 1894, what did it bring? …Wasn’t it all of $900,000?”“”” Yet the value of their ore properties…might be reasonably estimated at three hundred and thirty-three millions of dollars…”“”“

Posted by: Rodney Brown at November 26, 2008 1:22 PM
Comment #271017
jlw wrote: d.a.n: IMO, that is the reason for the immediacy of the Bush/Obama bailout plan.
It depends on how it is done.

If the federal government and the Federal Reserve debauch the currency by trying to solve the massive debt-pyramid with more debt, borrowing, bail-outs, pork-barrel, and deficit spending, it will make a bad situation MUCH worse by destroying savings, pensions, and entitlements.

jlw wrote: It is to late to prevent a bad recession but, not to late to prevent another depression.
Agreed. The biggest danger we face now is hyperinflation, that will result from $4.24-to-$7.7 Trillion of more debt and the creation of new money out of thin air.
jlw wrote: They must avoid the latter because millions would be in debt, jobless, homeless and hungry, the ingredients that could bring about true change.
And if the federal government and the Federal Reserve debauch the currency, it will be many times worse.
jlw wrote: I would not want this country to suffer another great depression …
Me neither. But the chances of another Great Depression are high if the solution chosen to solve a massive debt-pyramid problem is more debt, borrowing, bail-outs, pork-barrel, corporate welfare and subsidies, and deficit spending.

We’ve already had 52 consecutive years of deficit spending.
What is the real likelihood of that changing?
Especially when 95% of the same Congress was re-elected?

jlw wrote: … but, I recognize that it is probably the only thing that could bring about the reforms and change that we need.
That is most likely true, but I still hope not.
jlw wrote: Even then, it would have to be accompanied by a desire for a more active, more democratic participation by the people or greed and selfishness will regain control.
True. Pain and misery may be the only effective catalyst.
Roy Ellis wrote: Last evening Lou Dobb’s made reference to the fact that during the depression unemployment was at 25% and that 40% of banks had failed. Today we have 7% unemployment, a small percentage of bank failures and the government plans to dump $7-8T into the system. What’s that all about?
Both could still get much worse, if rampant debt is used to fight the debt-pyramid.

Today, the situation is better in many ways, but potentially worse in several other ways than the Great Depression:

  • Today, $54-to-%67 Trillon of nation-wide debt has never been larger in magnitude and as a percentage of the $13.9 Trillion GDP (year 2007): One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm#NationWideDebt

  • Today, the $10.7 Trillion National Debt has never been larger in magnitude and only larger once (after World War II) as a percentage of GDP.

  • Today, the $10.7 Trillion National Debt 77% of GDP; in the Great Depression era, the National Debt-to-GDP ratio was (respectively): 23%(1925), 18%(1930), 39%(1935), 42%(1940), 39%(1941).

  • Today, credit card debt is huge (about $1 Trillion), and may get worse with rising unemployment and so much nation-wide debt.

  • Today, we have had 52 consecutive years of inflation, which has eroded the wealth for many older Americans.

  • Today, real median household incomes have been stagnant, or falling (especially if including the effects of more workers per household, more taxes, more regressive taxation, and more illegal immigration which shifts many costs to tax payers).

  • Today, the 70% of the economy depends on consumer spending.

  • Today, the nation is less rural, and more urban, and due to urban sprawl, many people spend about 7 forty-hour weeks sitting in their automobile.

  • Today, we have as many foreclosures per capita as there were in the Great Depression.

  • Today, we have more global competition with massive amounts of cheap labor.

  • Today, we have regressive taxation, and more taxes of all kinds.

  • Today, we have $60 Trillion in unfunded Social Security and Medicare liabilities (both of which are pay-as-you-go).

  • Today, government is FOR-SALE. We have 42,000 high-paid, greedy lobbyists who dictate government policy and 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more.

  • Today, we have the New-New Deal, in which failure and those riding in the wagon are rewarded, and responsible competition and those pushing the wagor are punished. Everyone that fails wants a bail-out. The insurance companies, banks, state governments, cities, auto manufacturers, corporations, airlines, farmers, and tax payers too (i.e. stimulus checks and help with their mortgages). The federal government is planning to spend trillions for infrastructure projects which might not be a bad idea if we were not already hopelessly deep in debt of nightmare proportions.

  • Today, we have rampant illegal immigration, costing tax payers net losses estimated between $70-to-$327 Billion annually.

  • Today, we have a new shadow-banking-system, where the Federal Reserve refuses to disclose what exactly happened to $2+ Trillon in bail-outs; thus Congress has little (if no) oversight over trillions being spent.

  • Today, Wall Street is more creative than ever before. Wall street started with shady loans to Americans and then bundling those bad loans into complex financial instruments (CDOs (Collateralized Debt Obligation), SIVs (Structured Investment Vehicles), ABSs (Asset Backed Securities), CDSs (Credit Default Swaps), etc). However, as time went on and the inflows of foreign money into dollars increased, financial institutions became reckless in their efforts to manufacture AAA products. They made loans to sub-prime borrowers (sub-prime CDOs) and used financial wizardry to create securities out of thin air (synthetic CDOs). Towards the peak of this financial greed and insanity, banks added large amounts of leverage to their exotic investment products (sub-prime CDOs-squared, and CPDOs (Constant Proportion Debt Obligations)), and built complex, highly leveraged, off-balance sheet vehicles which funded themselves with short term debt (SPVs (Special Purpose Vehicles), SPEs (Special Purpose Entities), VIEs (Variable Interest Entity), and SIVs). Through financial engineering and the mis-pricing of risk, the value of derivatives now far exceeds the amount of real assets and economic resources in the U.S. In addition to the derivative bubble, financial institutions used leverage to sell insurance on an enormous amount of debt, creating today’s $55 trillion CDS (Credit Default Swaps) market. In order to de-leverage and close out their positions, CDS issuers are being forced to buy back huge quantities of insurance, driving up the cost of insuring corporate debt. The higher premiums for CDS translate as higher loan rates for corporations and governments.

  • Today, we have health care that is not only increasingly unaffordable, but deadly too! HealthGrades.com reported (27-July-2004) that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the American soldiers killed in the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!

  • Today, we have three wars (Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Terror).

  • Today, we have increasingly higher and higher re-election rates for Congress, as it has learned how to make their cu$hy incumbencies more secure.

  • Today, despite global recession, the U.S. trade deficits continue (about $650 Billion).

  • Today, the federal government is lying and manipulating the data. The War in Iraq is not only $600 Billion; more likely close to $3 Trillion. Inflation on 1-NOV-2008 was reported to be only 3.66% , but is more likely to actually be 13% (based on pre-1983 CPI measurement method). The federal government claims it has over $5 Trillion in reserves for Medicare and Social Security, but it’s a farce, since those are mere I.O.U.s (i.e. debt). Social Security and Medicare are pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching.

  • Today, no one can tell us where the money will come from to pay merely the interest on the $10.7 Trillion National Debt, or the $53-to-$67 Trillion nation-wide debt, much less the money to keep the principal debt from growing ever larger, when that money does not yet exist. And as we all know (or should know), the total interest can be a significant portion (if not many times the size) of the total debt. Today, the federal government is borrowing and creating the money out of thin air to merely pay the interest ($432 Billion in 2007) on the National Debt. How much longer before we are not even able to pay the interest without creating more and more money out of thin air?
That may sound pessimistic, but there’s no painless solutions, and it’s beginning to appear as though the federal government and the Federal Reserve are going to make a bad situation much worse by debauching the currency, which will destroy savings, pensions, and entitlements.

Roy Ellis wrote: Dobb’s also noted that dumping all this money hasn’t freed up the credit market.
True.

That’s because most Americans are already swimming in $54-to-$67 Trillion of nation-wide debt.
It’s hard for people to borrow and spend more when they can’t (or can barely) make the payments on their existing debt.

Roy Ellis wrote: That the FED could purchase every faulty loan in the country for something like $2T.
Only bad home loans only? Maybe.

Because total nation-wide debt is huge.

  • private domestic financial sector debt = $15.8 Trillion

  • household debt = $13.88 Trillion

  • business debt = $10.16 Trillion

  • state and local government debt of $2.2 Trillion

  • federal government national debt of $10.7 Trillion

  • other private sector foreign debt = $1.8 Trillion

  • _______________________________________________________

  • TOTAL = $54 Trillion of nation-wide debt

  • TOTAL = $67 Trillion of nation-wide debt (if the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security is also included, which left Social Security pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby-boomer bubble approaching).
Of course, not all of that debt is toxic, but no one seems to know how much of it is bad debt.
It could be many tens of Trillions with a $55 trillion CDS (Credit Default Swaps) market, 10,000 foreclosures per day, increasing unemployment, and rising consumer debt and bankruptcies.

What are the real chances of any significant portion of that debt being repaid to tax payers?
Especially when the nation is already swimming in such massive debt?
Especially when 80% of the population owns only 17% of all wealth, and 1% owns 40% of all wealth, and 20% of the population has negative net worth, and 40% have ZERO net worth (on average).?
Especially when taxation is already excessive and regressive?
Especially with 10,000 foreclosures per day (as of AUG-2008)?

Roy Ellis wrote: Seems they are intent on only bailing out Wall St. Why is that?
Government is FOR-SALE and we have 42,000 high-paid, greedy lobbyists who dictate government policy and 99.7% of all 200 million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more.
Roy Ellis wrote: And why are the FEDS giving the automakers such a hard time over $25B? They want a plan? They have dumped over $2T into the financials without asking for a plan, etc. Big difference is the accumulation of campaign donations given by financials versus the automakers. Something like 10 to 1.
Good point!
Roy Ellis wrote: Reading the tea leaves I see the government stashing money into the loyal financials that will be used to continue the globalization of the US post Bush. The public needs to go down but the financials will be needed to continue the war on the middle class. The banks aren’t lending for a real good reason.
Interesting. You may be right.

Most of the wealthy will still be wealthy.
Most Americans will be worse off.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 26, 2008 2:44 PM
Comment #271018


I don’t consider it an encouraging sign that Obama has chosen many of the same foxes to guard the henhouse going foward. As one observer put it, you can still see feathers sticking out of their mouths.

Posted by: jlw at November 26, 2008 3:13 PM
Comment #271026

jlw,

If Obama was hiring those hen-house foxes, he’d be hiring Cheney/Bush’s bunch. The folks he’s putting on are familiar with how our government works, but don’t appear to me to be foxes at all. And, best of all, Obama is not a fox. It’s his cabinet, and unless he proves to be as incompetent and corrupt as Cheney/Bush, we should give him the benefit of the doubt…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 26, 2008 4:31 PM
Comment #271029

Dan, that’s exactly why we need a Revolution vs change.
Well, I don’t believe the Obama bunch will be as agressive/abrasive as the Bush bunch. As they are mostly Clintonites I would expect to see a reflection of that era in politics. Noted in todays Wash Post that Inaugural gifts are limited to $50k whereas Bush held it to $250k. That is change, can’t deny that. Jimmy Carter reaped $3.5M in gifts and Bush $42.8M.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 26, 2008 5:40 PM
Comment #271055


Marysdude: Except for saying, I am in the Whitehouse and I am in charge, Obama has taken over. Bush is on vacation till his tenure is up and Obama is giving press confrences like he has already assumed control.

During the campaign, Obama rushed back to Washington to endorse the massive bailout of the people and corporations that got us into this mess. Obama has given every indication that he will continue the bailout program. Perhaps Obama’s advisors will tell him to do the right thing and break up these corporations but, I doubt it.

I am hoping that Obama did not mean take from the taxpayers and give to the corporations when he said share the wealth because that is what is happening, on a grand scale, never seen before in our history.

On Iraq, Obama began his campaign by saying he would have the troops out in 6 months. Then he changed it to the end of 2009. Now he has endorced the Bush plan and will have the troops out by the time he runs for reelection.

The Iraq government is one of the if not the most corrupt government on the planet. Less than two weeks ago, when the ministry of corruption was on the verge of issueing inditments, the government abolished the department. I don’t think that government can stand without continued support from our troops and I would not be suprised at all if Obama finds reasons to justify permanent bases in Iraq. I am not saying that will happen, I am just saying that it would not suprise me and I am sure liberals will support it if it happens.

Obama has said that a priority of his will be to examine the budget and eliminate all wasteful or unnecessary spending. Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II made similar statements. I think Obama would have to veto every spending bill that the democratic Congress sends him to even come close to achieving that.

We don’t know everything that is going to happen after Obama is actually the president but, it seems to me that the liberals who chanted the Obama mantra of change are now saying that they will be satisfied if Obama and the democrats run that rat’s nest in Washington a little better than the republicans did.

I hope that Obama will be the agent of change that he proclaims he is but, if he turns out to be a good center-right liberal president, I hope progressives will finally get the message and abandon the democratic party. I tired of having the wealthy and corporations in control of our future.

I realize that the majority of Americans will be satisfied if Obama and the democrats get the economy back on course so that they can go back to consuming at their acustomed level but that is just putting things off into the future like we always do.

The two issues that concern me the most are alternative energy and space.

Now that oil is back down to around $50 per barrel, we have an excuse to bury our heads again. I am concerned that budgetary restraints means that we will give the ok for nuclear power at best.

Space is the future of mankind. The Russians and the Chinese know this full well. We on the other hand, see the future only as a place to put off our problems.

The Chinese have their desire set on colonizing the moon.

The Russians have just announced a major program to develop earth orbit business ventures.

We, on the other hand, are getting ready to shut down our manned space program for several years. The only thing our private enterprise is interested in is developing a space plane that can let people with the money, enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness. We are so engrossed by our consumer way of life that we have no nor think we need a vision of the future. We are willing to let the corporations do our thinking for us.

Posted by: jlw at November 27, 2008 2:53 PM
Comment #271058

jlw,

You are still seeing the glass half empty…give the man a chance. He will not do it your way because it is your way…if he elects to do it a way in which you don’t agree it does not mean it will not work as well. He has not done one official act, how in the world can you be so pessimistic about the conclusion of something that has not even started yet?

Yes, he is acting more like the President than the President, but that is to be expected…this setting President has never acted like our President, he has acted as President of Corporations and wealthy cronies. America has meant little to him.

I believe Obama will be a President of the United States, but as much as I desire it to be so, I can’t make it happen until January 20th. It is illegal for him to do official acts until he is sworn in…please give him a break.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 27, 2008 3:08 PM
Comment #271059

jlw,

By the way, I believe, as I think you do, that bail outs should be reserved for those corporations that can survive this mess. I do not think any of those that have received funds so far are going to survive in any case, so it is wasted money. But, like Obama, I am not the President. He may not feel as I do about this, but what ever he decides, I’m sure it will be with honest and honorable motive…if that is the case, we will still be better off, even if some of what he does fails.

America’s greatest fault is not that we don’t handle economies, it is that we have forgotten how to do so honestly. A nation without honor is an automatic failure. It is my fervent hope that Obama will make inroads in that direction. If my wife and I have to move into a refrigerator box under an overpass somewhere, we would feel better about it if those in charge are at least doing their honest best to overcome the mess that dishonor has gotten us into.

Obama’s ‘change’ may only be that…but, if it is only that, it will be plenty. He must become a great salesman. He has a good crew building, and if he can convince them that the American people are important, they will help us through the mess. If he cannot convince them that American people are important, we are sunk…wish him well…please!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by: Marysdude at November 27, 2008 3:26 PM
Comment #271070

Guess I’m wrapped a little different. Having seen this country’s great wealth squandered and the nation drug down the road to a NAU with no public debate I am ready to fight. I can’t believe that most people are just sitting by and watching it happen. Two family members can’t make house payments, 45M with no insurance, 30M unemployed, kids starting out in life 100k in debt. 80T debt that is impossible to pay off.

Have a very good Thanksgiving as it is going to be a long dry spell!

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 27, 2008 6:34 PM
Comment #271084
Roy Ellis wrote: d.a.n, that’s exactly why we need a Revolution vs change.
Perhaps, but I’m afraid that trying to incite such a thing would land me in prison for a very long time.

Therefore, instead, it’s best to choose a peaceful route, via the voting system.

Eventually, enough voters will get upset enough to repeat what the voters did in 1933, when the voters ousted 206 members of Congress (59 Dems, 147 Repubs).

That’s the most simple approach, but unfortuantely, so far, very elusive … at least until repeatedly rewarding bad politicians with 95% re-election rates becomes too painful.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 28, 2008 11:03 AM
Comment #271095

d.a.n.,

You really can’t just change a bad Congress like you do a dirty diaper on a baby…after about two or three changes, we’d run out of qualified people in many of the lesser districts, and some of the lesser states (speaking of population, not importance or intelligence). There may be plenty of competent folks out there, but public service requires a special breed.

Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2008 1:50 PM
Comment #271097

Voting incumbents out will help bring change but we need more than change if we are to survive as a Republic an long lived nation. A third party targeted solely at reform can bring focus to precision reform of government. Also,a party with citizens’ oversight for elected officials would serve to keep those reforms in place for perpetuity.
Come on Marysdude, there are 300M people in this country. We need more thinkers and fewer lawyers. Surely you were jesting.
Dan, I’ve had a discussion with myself about how the government would keep the drug business going (one of the ten largest businesses in the US) if the border was fenced. The loophole is already in place and working. They have erased the border thru technology. I was re-reading The Late Great USA by Jerome Corsi and found the answer on pp86-87. He talks about the NEXUS, FAST and SENTRI programs (RFID technology): “…all three nations have agreed to participate in the FAST program, which allows commercial truck carriers and drivers, manufacturers, or other import/export companies and professionals to register with the appropriate government offices in the three countries to obtain preapproved as “trusted traders” of North America.” He notes that “While our borders with Mexico and Canada will not be erased any more than the borders between EU countries have been erased, those equipped with the right electronic equipment will soon (in operation now) be able to cross borders at will if they quality as trusted travelers and traders. We will know it’s working when drug busts fall on the border but the price on the street remains the same.
Based on his information I see the border issue as a ruse. We have been worrying with the border while the NAU has put in place a border crossing system to zip drugs right on thru. The SPP states that this has reduced transit time across the border significantly. The illegal immigrant was no an issue to them as the NAU is prepared to issue NAU ID cards to anyone wanting to relocate anywhere NAU.
David, at the moment Obama is referred to as ‘the leader’ in NAU terminology. Three SPP working groups report to HHS Chertoff. Ten working groups report to DOC Gutierrez with DOS Rice as coordinator between the two groups. I have heard no loud cry from the Democrats on the NAU/SPP. How might Obama throw cold water on these dudes and the CAN/MEX supporters of the NAU?


Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 28, 2008 3:20 PM
Comment #271106

Roy E,

It is not hard to come up with qualified people in the Northeast or the far west, Maybe even the Northern Midwest, But then there is N & S Dakota, Oklahoma, New Mexico, etc. While it is easy to find quality folks there, if they have to be replaced regularly…maybe not so easy. Qualified people don’t tend to congregate in sparsely populated areas.
Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2008 06:13 PM

Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2008 7:12 PM
Comment #271108

Marysdude, you have OD’d on PC. Consider Allen S Blinder, Princeton economist, ex vice chairman to Fed Rsv Board and advisor to Democratic Presidential candidates. For decades he was one of the most influential advocates for free trade. As a Clinton aide he helped sell NAFTA to Congress. Yet last year the WSJ wrote an article broadcasting Blinder’s sudden warning that 40M US jobs could be at risk. There are four administrations of supposedly intelligent people that are going to have to eat crow real soon re the NAU / China deal. In my proposed third party with a different attitude I call out specifically looking to find candidates from the 70+M baby boomers retiring over the next several years. I would expect them to serve responsibly while not working to make the government a career.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 28, 2008 7:54 PM
Comment #271112

Roy,

I am not familiar with Mr. Blinder, so I can’t say if he qualifies or not, but you’ve made my point more easy to present. I said before that there are plenty of competent people out there…Blinder is likely one of them, and perhaps he is more than competent…but, how would he do in congress? Competency does not equate to qualified…again…public service is an un-natural beast at best and a hard ride at worst.

There are many areas in the United States that replacing public servants on a regular basis would strain the limits of even your imagination. Please remember that just because the job is open, does not mean there is someone willing to take it. would have to ask Blinder if he would be interested, and if he agreed you’d have to prepare him for that type of exposure, put the right people around him (compatibility?)…well…you get the point…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2008 9:36 PM
Comment #271113

PS: Then you’d have to begin grooming his replacement, because he will require the same logistics as Blinder, and he will need to be prepared in a damned short time…how many are even capable of running a campaign?…then there’s the media…and good governance, etc. You and David R and d.a.n speak of these things as if all you have to do is wish it for it to become true.

How many offices were filled by incumbents merely because no one ran against them this year…every election?

Posted by: Marysdude at November 28, 2008 9:42 PM
Comment #271116

I get your drift Marysdude. But I’m trying to start a Revolution. My hero for the day is Andy Jackson. He is the only President to put the federal budget in the black. Shot down the central bank and a couple of people along the way. The trail of tears, while truly a low point in our history, was the only way for the indians to survive as a people or tribal nation. He adopted and raised an indian child as his son which tells me something. An Independent Populist, middle of the roader, no nonsense git er dun attitude.
Otherwise, people have been ‘dialing their congressperson’ every since the phone was invented. As you are a witness that has not helped immensely and it’s time to fish or cut bait.

Marysdude, our sovereignty is on the line with this NAU thing. We are indentured to China for a coupla hundred years. We are $80T in debt. Our public highways have and are being leased as toll roads in 50 year whacks to foreign entities (Australia and Spain) that will control all development along these roads. The government is attempting to sell our security infrastructure. Our ability to manufacture for our defense is on the line. We are globalized now even if we don’t realize it.
Government will not, cannot reform itself. There has to be some countervailing force to work against the moneyed interest. As I see it there is only one course. Reform thru a third party(s) with a different attitude. A Party that puts accountability into the political equation with citizens’ oversight for elected officials. A Party that targets reform and once achieved, can keep it that way.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 28, 2008 10:52 PM
Comment #271123

>I get your drift Marysdude. But I’m trying to start a Revolution.
Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 28, 2008 10:52 PM

Roy E,

Good luck with that…but, don’t count on me, I’m just a fat old man…:)

Believe me, I know where you’re coming from, but Americans are no longer revolutionary by nature, and where would we come up with enough charismatic leaders to carry it off. Our founders had distance (an ocean) on their side…and time (several years)…and communication (they could speak of these things, to each other, without worrying about being overheard). NSA can hear and read everything you have to say on this matter, so distance, time and communication are all set against you.

You’d better learn to roll over like my little dog, belly up, and beg for a rub…

Posted by: Marysdude at November 29, 2008 8:31 AM
Comment #271125
Marysdude wrote: d.a.n., You really can’t just change a bad Congress like you do a dirty diaper on a baby…after about two or three changes, we’d run out of qualified people in many of the lesser districts, and some of the lesser states (speaking of population, not importance or intelligence).
Run out of good people in a nation of 305 Million people ?

Not likely.

Besides, when things get bad enough, enough voters will most likely finally figure out that repeatedly rewarding bad politicians with re-election most certainly is not the answer (as occurred in year 1933, when 206 members of Congress were ousted from office):

  • Start _ End _ Congress _ Re-Election _ Party Seat-Retention

  • Year ___ Year ____ # ______ Rate ________ Rate

  • 1927 ___ 1929 ___ 070 _____ 68.9% ________ 96.4%

  • 1929 ___ 1931 ___ 071 _____ 79.7% ________ 92.5%

  • 1931 ___ 1933 ___ 072 _____ 76.8% ________ 88.5%

  • 1933 ___ 1935 ___ 073 _____ 61.2% ________ 78.7% (206 of 531 incumbents ousted; 59 Dems, 147 Repubs)

  • … … … … … … … …

  • 1989 ___ 1991 ___ 101 _____ 90.1% ________ 99.6%

  • 1991 ___ 1993 ___ 102 _____ 87.7% ________ 98.3%

  • 1993 ___ 1995 ___ 103 _____ 73.5% ________ 98.1% (142 of 535 incumbents ousted)

  • … … … … … … … …

  • 1999 ___ 2001 ___ 106 _____ 89.2% ________ 99.3%

  • 2001 ___ 2003 ___ 107 _____ 89.2% ________ 98.7%

  • 2003 ___ 2005 ___ 108 _____ 87.9% ________ 98.1%

  • 2005 ___ 2007 ___ 109 _____ 88.6% ________ 98.7%

  • 2007 ___ 2009 ___ 110 _____ 84.9% ________ 93.1% (61 of 535 incumbents ousted)

  • 2009 ___ 2011 ___ 111 _____ ??.?% ________ 95.0% about (about 30 of 535 incumbents ousted)

  • SOURCE: One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm

That is, eventually, corruption always gets out of control, and causes too much pain.
It is a cycle of growing and declining fiscal and moral bankruptcy.
Corruption has been growing for many years now, and we are starting to feel the painful consequences of many years of fiscal and moral bankruptcy.
Today, many major economic conditions have never been worse, and/or since the Great Depression: One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm
Unfortunately, too few voters understand that there’s a lot more unavoidable pain and misrey in the pipeline now, that will last for many years.

Marysdude wrote: There may be plenty of competent folks out there, but public service requires a special breed.
I think that’s a myth.

When the level of corruption finally becomes too painful, enough voters will finally do the common-sense thing and stop repeatedly rewarding bad politicians with 95% re-election rates.
The biggest problem today is that getting elected requires vast amounts of money.
90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usuaully the incumbent).
And incumbents have many unfair advantages.
Today, the federal government is essentially too much like a kleptocratic plutocracy.
The longer and farther we go down that path, the more likelihood that it will eventually lead to civil unrest (which has occurred before).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at November 29, 2008 10:00 AM
Comment #271144

Marysdude, we can’t leave this fight to the young people. They are too busy working and watching football. They are more interested in a law that will keep Wal-Mart’s open 24 hours a day so nobody will get run over when they open the doors. Not so much interested in a sovereign Republic that’s about to get shoved off a cliff.
I agree with Dan, plenti of competent, capable people to serve as candidates for a new third party or in just replacing incumbents. Like I said, I hope to attract some of the 70+M retiring baby boomers ti serve as candidates in my third party effort.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 29, 2008 2:43 PM
Comment #271175

>I hope to attract some of the 70+M retiring baby boomers ti serve as candidates in my third party effort.
Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 29, 2008 02:43 PM

Roy E,

Have you thought about how many of your revolutionaries will have heart attacks while on your quest??? It’s been forty to fifty years since I’ve carried a weapon and wore combat gear up a hill…whew!..on the run?!?!..whew! whew!

Posted by: Marysdude at November 30, 2008 6:55 AM
Comment #271203
    CORRECTION:
  • 2005 ___ 2007 ___ 109th ___ 88.6% ________ 98.7%
  • 2007 ___ 2009 ___ 110th ___ 84.9% ________ 93.1% (61 81 of 535 incumbents ousted)
  • 2009 ___ 2011 ___ 111th ___ 86.7% ________ 93.3% about (464 of 535 incumbents re-elected; 71 not re-elected)

Roy, Don’t worry. If most voters fail to bring about change the peaceful way first, via education, history, human psychology, logic, common-sense, and smarter voting, then civil unrest will quite likely be the end result.

In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount, but either way, most voters will get their education one way or another.

I’m a bit reluctant to utter the words revolution (i.e. in terms of a violent revolution), and while talking about it may be OK (up to a point), inciting a violent revolution may be illegal, and may possibly land some blackhats on my doorstep asking a few questions.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 30, 2008 5:41 PM
Comment #271209

I’m not advocating for a violent revolution. But I can easily say this: When a government acts to do war based on lies and with the goal of acquiring rights to a country’s oil I have no respect for that government. When a government acts in secrecy to collude with other countries in trashing our sovereignty and puts trade organizations above our Supreme Courts in the interest of wealthy trans-nationals, I have no respect for that government.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at November 30, 2008 9:21 PM
Comment #271215

Roy,

When the corrupt are as rooted in as the bunch in charge now, i.e., in business, in finance and in government, you’re not going to be able to change much without violence…the reasons you have for wanting drastic change are the same ones our founders used to shuck George III…nothing non-violent about THAT…and I still can’t vision myself running uphill with a weapon, ammo and pack:)

Please recruit younger ones…perhaps they can fight it out electronically…

Posted by: Marysdude at December 1, 2008 1:59 AM
Comment #271239


Marysdude, it’s not a hard problem. It has a very simple solution. Fight fire with fire. Our Republic did not intend for democratized political parties to exist. I just posted to you on another thread about how we have drifted to far from the original Constitution through perceived Democratic principles. With the advent of political parties democracy has been rode hard. The people simply jump from one party to the other hoping for change while behind the scenes the parties have given us Corporate Personhood, Money is Free Speech and unbridled campaign funding. Today, the parties work to serve the interest of big business and use the taxpayers/voters as mere grapes to squeeze when they need a little more juice. Billions of dollars squirting out the top of financial institutions and yet we have no usury law. Do you find that amazing?
Fight fire with fire. To restore our Constitution, reclaim our sovereignty, and the democratic principles we USED to live by we need to establish a new third party with a different attitude. ‘They do work for us.”
A Party that puts accountability into the political equation with citizens’ oversight for elected officials. A Party that targets reform of government and once achieved can keep it that way.

Some relevant info on the advent of political parties:

Political Parties
Political parties are such a basic part of our political system today, that many people might assume the Constitution must at least mention parties in one way or another… but there is absolutely no mention of political parties anywhere in the Constitution. In fact, in the times of the Articles of Confederation, there weren’t even any parties; factions, perhaps; regional blocs, yes; but no parties. Not until the Jackson and Van Buren administrations did organized parties really take hold in the American political system.

Our founding fathers had seen vicious fighting among political interests in Europe, and wanted to avoid this in the new nation. As the framers of the Constitution, they were very concerned about not creating crippling dissension within our political system. On Saturday, June 2, 1787, Ben Franklin took the floor at the Constitutional Convention as a skeptic. Franklin feared that greed-driven competition for the presidency would divide the new American government into factions. He warned,
There are two passions which have a powerful influence on the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice; the love of power, and the love of money. …Place before the eyes of such men a post of honor, that shall be at the same time a place of profit, and they will move heaven and earth to obtain it. The vast number of such places …renders the British government so tempestuous. …[and is the true source] of all those factions which are perpetually dividing the nation [and] distracting its councils…

Just a few days later, James Madison weighed in by saying that if unregulated All civilized societies would be divided into different sects, factions, and interests, …of rich and poor, debtors and creditors, … the inhabitants of this district or that district, the followers of this political leader or that political leader, the disciples of this religious sect or that religious sect. In all cases where a majority are united by a common interest or passion, the rights of the minority are in danger.
In order to avoid factions, the Constitution grants political parties no role in selecting a president. Ironically, political factions sprang up right away to support the Constitution and to oppose it. By the presidental election of 1796, political parties were firmly in place in America. The Federalists followed Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. The Democratic-Republicans (also called the Jeffersonians) followed Thomas Jefferson and James Madison — the very James Madison who had earlier warned against factions.
Today the party system seems firmly entrenched. Some Americans might argue that there is no real difference between the ideals and political stance of today’s parties. Other Americans routinely vote a “party ticket” in their belief that a particular political party will best represent their wishes for governing the nation.

Otherwise, we have the NAU we deserve.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 1, 2008 10:59 AM
Comment #271241
Roy wrote: I’m not advocating for a violent revolution. But I can easily say this: When a government acts to do war based on lies and with the goal of acquiring rights to a country’s oil I have no respect for that government.
Me neither. And guess who those people are that authorised (www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec02/joint_resolution_10-11-02.html) George W. Bush to take a unilateral decision to invade Iraq? Most (70%: 373 of 535) Congress persons in BOTH parties (296:Yes-to-133:No in the House; and in the Senate 77:Yes-to-23:No in the Senate), and the Bush Administration (G.W. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Rice, Tenet, Wolfowitz, etc.).

110 (43%) of 256 Democrats of 535 Members of Congress voted Yes for authorization to invade Iraq.
263 (97%) of 271 Republicans of 535 Members of Congress voted Yes for authorization to invade Iraq.
373 (70%) of 535 Members of Congress voted Yes for authorization to invade Iraq.

    296 (215 (73%) Republicans, 81 (27%) Democrats) in the House of Representatives that VOTED Yes:
  • Ackerman (D) Voted: YES
  • Aderholt (R) Voted: YES
  • Akin (R) Voted: YES
  • Andrews (D) Voted: YES
  • Armey (R) Voted: YES
  • Bachus (R) Voted: YES
  • Baker (R) Voted: YES
  • Ballenger (R) Voted: YES
  • Barcia (D) Voted: YES
  • Barr (R) Voted: YES
  • Bartlett (R) Voted: YES
  • Barton (R) Voted: YES
  • Bass (R) Voted: YES
  • Bentsen (D) Voted: YES
  • Bereuter (R) Voted: YES
  • Berkley (D) Voted: YES
  • Berman (D) Voted: YES
  • Berry (D) Voted: YES
  • Biggert (R) Voted: YES
  • Bilirakis (R) Voted: YES
  • Bishop (D) Voted: YES
  • Blagojevich (D) Voted: YES
  • Blunt (R) Voted: YES
  • Boehlert (R) Voted: YES
  • Boehner (R) Voted: YES
  • Bonilla (R) Voted: YES
  • Bono (R) Voted: YES
  • Boozman (R) Voted: YES
  • Borski (D) Voted: YES
  • Boswell (D) Voted: YES
  • Boucher (D) Voted: YES
  • Boyd (D) Voted: YES
  • Brady (TX) (R) Voted: YES
  • Brown (SC) (R) Voted: YES
  • Bryant (R) Voted: YES
  • Burr (R) Voted: YES
  • Burton (R) Voted: YES
  • Buyer (R) Voted: YES
  • Callahan (R) Voted: YES
  • Calvert (R) Voted: YES
  • Camp (R) Voted: YES
  • Cannon (R) Voted: YES
  • Cantor (R) Voted: YES
  • Capito (R) Voted: YES
  • Carson (OK) (D) Voted: YES
  • Castle (R) Voted: YES
  • Chabot (R) Voted: YES
  • Chambliss (R) Voted: YES
  • Clement (D) Voted: YES
  • Coble (R) Voted: YES
  • Collins (R) Voted: YES
  • Combest (R) Voted: YES
  • Cooksey (R) Voted: YES
  • Cox (R) Voted: YES
  • Cramer (D) Voted: YES
  • Crane (R) Voted: YES
  • Crenshaw (R) Voted: YES
  • Crowley (D) Voted: YES
  • Cubin (R) Voted: YES
  • Culberson (R) Voted: YES
  • Cunningham (R) Voted: YES
  • Davis (FL) (D) Voted: YES
  • Davis, Jo Ann (R) Voted: YES
  • Davis, Tom (R) Voted: YES
  • Deal (R) Voted: YES
  • DeLay (R) Voted: YES
  • DeMint (R) Voted: YES
  • Deutsch (D) Voted: YES
  • Diaz-Balart (R) Voted: YES
  • Dicks (D) Voted: YES
  • Dooley (D) Voted: YES
  • Doolittle (R) Voted: YES
  • Dreier (R) Voted: YES
  • Dunn (R) Voted: YES
  • Edwards (D) Voted: YES
  • Ehlers (R) Voted: YES
  • Ehrlich (R) Voted: YES
  • Emerson (R) Voted: YES
  • Engel (D) Voted: YES
  • English (R) Voted: YES
  • Etheridge (D) Voted: YES
  • Everett (R) Voted: YES
  • Ferguson (R) Voted: YES
  • Flake (R) Voted: YES
  • Fletcher (R) Voted: YES
  • Foley (R) Voted: YES
  • Forbes (R) Voted: YES
  • Ford (D) Voted: YES
  • Fossella (R) Voted: YES
  • Frelinghuysen (R) Voted: YES
  • Frost (D) Voted: YES
  • Gallegly (R) Voted: YES
  • Ganske (R) Voted: YES
  • Gekas (R) Voted: YES
  • Gephardt (D) Voted: YES
  • Gibbons (R) Voted: YES
  • Gilchrest (R) Voted: YES
  • Gillmor (R) Voted: YES
  • Gilman (R) Voted: YES
  • Goode (R) Voted: YES
  • Goodlatte (R) Voted: YES
  • Gordon (D) Voted: YES
  • Goss (R) Voted: YES
  • Graham (R) Voted: YES
  • Granger (R) Voted: YES
  • Graves (R) Voted: YES
  • Green (TX) (D) Voted: YES
  • Green (WI) (D) Voted: YES
  • Greenwood (R) Voted: YES
  • Grucci (R) Voted: YES
  • Gutknecht (R) Voted: YES
  • Hall (TX) (D) Voted: YES
  • Hansen (R) Voted: YES
  • Harman (D) Voted: YES
  • Hart (R) Voted: YES
  • Hastert (R) Voted: YES
  • Hastings (WA) Voted: YES
  • Hayes (R) Voted: YES
  • Hayworth (R) Voted: YES
  • Hefley (R) Voted: YES
  • Herger (R) Voted: YES
  • Hill (D) Voted: YES
  • Hilleary (R) Voted: YES
  • Hobson (R) Voted: YES
  • Hoeffel (D) Voted: YES
  • Hoekstra (R) Voted: YES
  • Holden (D) Voted: YES
  • Horn (R) Voted: YES
  • Hoyer (D) Voted: YES
  • Hulshof (R) Voted: YES
  • Hunter (R) Voted: YES
  • Hyde (R) Voted: YES
  • Isakson (R) Voted: YES
  • Israel (D) Voted: YES
  • Issa (R) Voted: YES
  • Istook (R) Voted: YES
  • Jefferson (D) Voted: YES
  • Jenkins (R) Voted: YES
  • John (D) Voted: YES
  • Johnson (CT) (R) Voted: YES
  • Johnson (IL) (R) Voted: YES
  • Johnson, Sam (R) Voted: YES
  • Jones (NC) (R) Voted: YES
  • Kanjorski (D) Voted: YES
  • Keller (R) Voted: YES
  • Kelly (R) Voted: YES
  • Kennedy (MN) (R) Voted: YES
  • Kennedy (RI) (R) Voted: YES
  • Kerns (R) Voted: YES
  • King (WI) (D) Voted: YES
  • King (NY) (R) Voted: YES
  • Kingston (R) Voted: YES
  • Kirk (R) Voted: YES
  • Knollenberg (R) Voted: YES
  • Kolbe (R) Voted: YES
  • LaHood (R) Voted: YES
  • Lampson (D) Voted: YES
  • Lantos (D) Voted: YES
  • Latham (R) Voted: YES
  • LaTourette (R) Voted: YES
  • Lewis (CA) Voted: YES
  • Lewis (KY) Voted: YES
  • Linder (R) Voted: YES
  • LoBiondo (R) Voted: YES
  • Lowey (D) Voted: YES
  • Lucas (KY) (D) Voted: YES
  • Lucas (OK) (R) Voted: YES
  • Luther (D) Voted: YES
  • Lynch (R) Voted: YES
  • Maloney (NY) (D) Voted: YES
  • Manzullo (R) Voted: YES
  • Markey (D) Voted: YES
  • Mascara (D) Voted: YES
  • Matheson (D) Voted: YES
  • McCarthy (NY) (D) Voted: YES
  • McCrery (R) Voted: YES
  • McHugh (R) Voted: YES
  • McInnis (R) Voted: YES
  • McIntyre (D) Voted: YES
  • McKeon (R) Voted: YES
  • McNulty (D) Voted: YES
  • Meehan (D) Voted: YES
  • Mica (R) Voted: YES
  • Miller, Dan (R) Voted: YES
  • Miller, Gary (R) Voted: YES
  • Miller, Jeff (R) Voted: YES
  • Moore (D) Voted: YES
  • Moran (KS) Voted: YES
  • Murtha (D) Voted: YES
  • Myrick (R) Voted: YES
  • Nethercutt (R) Voted: YES
  • Ney (R) Voted: YES
  • Northup (R) Voted: YES
  • Norwood (R) Voted: YES
  • Nussle (R) Voted: YES
  • Osborne (R) Voted: YES
  • Ose (R) Voted: YES
  • Otter (R) Voted: YES
  • Oxley (R) Voted: YES
  • Pascrell (D) Voted: YES
  • Pence (R) Voted: YES
  • Peterson (MN) (D) Voted: YES
  • Peterson (PA) (R) Voted: YES
  • Petri (R) Voted: YES
  • Phelps (D) Voted: YES
  • Pickering (R) Voted: YES
  • Pitts (R) Voted: YES
  • Platts (R) Voted: YES
  • Pombo (R) Voted: YES
  • Pomeroy (D) Voted: YES
  • Portman (R) Voted: YES
  • Pryce (OH) Voted: YES
  • Putnam (R) Voted: YES
  • Quinn (R) Voted: YES
  • Radanovich (R) Voted: YES
  • Ramstad (R) Voted: YES
  • Regula (R) Voted: YES
  • Rehberg (R) Voted: YES
  • Reynolds (R) Voted: YES
  • Riley (R) Voted: YES
  • Roemer (D) Voted: YES
  • Rogers (KY) (R) Voted: YES
  • Rogers (MI) (R) Voted: YES
  • Rohrabacher (R) Voted: YES
  • Ros-Lehtinen (R) Voted: YES
  • Ross (D) Voted: YES
  • Rothman (D) Voted: YES
  • Royce (R) Voted: YES
  • Ryan (WI) (R) Voted: YES
  • Ryun (KS) (R) Voted: YES
  • Sandlin (D) Voted: YES
  • Saxton (R) Voted: YES
  • Schaffer (R) Voted: YES
  • Schiff (D) Voted: YES
  • Schrock (R) Voted: YES
  • Sensenbrenner (R) Voted: YES
  • Sessions (R) Voted: YES
  • Shadegg (R) Voted: YES
  • Shaw (R) Voted: YES
  • Shays (R) Voted: YES
  • Sherman (D) Voted: YES
  • Sherwood (R) Voted: YES
  • Shimkus (R) Voted: YES
  • Shows (D) Voted: YES
  • Shuster (R) Voted: YES
  • Simmons (R) Voted: YES
  • Simpson (R) Voted: YES
  • Skeen (R) Voted: YES
  • Skelton (D) Voted: YES
  • Smith (MI) (R) Voted: YES
  • Smith (NJ) (R) Voted: YES
  • Smith (TX) (R) Voted: YES
  • Smith (WA) (D) Voted: YES
  • Souder (R) Voted: YES
  • Spratt (D) Voted: YES
  • Stearns (R) Voted: YES
  • Stenholm (D) Voted: YES
  • Sullivan (R) Voted: YES
  • Sununu (R) Voted: YES
  • Sweeney (R) Voted: YES
  • Tancredo (R) Voted: YES
  • Tanner (D) Voted: YES
  • Tauscher (D) Voted: YES
  • Tauzin (R) Voted: YES
  • Taylor (MS) (D) Voted: YES
  • Taylor (NC) (R) Voted: YES
  • Terry (R) Voted: YES
  • Thomas (R) Voted: YES
  • Thornberry (R) Voted: YES
  • Thune (R) Voted: YES
  • Thurman (D) Voted: YES
  • Tiahrt (R) Voted: YES
  • Tiberi (R) Voted: YES
  • Toomey (R) Voted: YES
  • Turner (D) Voted: YES
  • Upton (R) Voted: YES
  • Vitter (R) Voted: YES
  • Walden (R) Voted: YES
  • Walsh (R) Voted: YES
  • Wamp (R) Voted: YES
  • Watkins (OK) (R) Voted: YES
  • Watts (OK) (R) Voted: YES
  • Waxman (D) Voted: YES
  • Weiner (D) Voted: YES
  • Weldon (FL) (R) Voted: YES
  • Weldon (PA) (R) Voted: YES
  • Weller (R) Voted: YES
  • Wexler (D) Voted: YES
  • Whitfield (R) Voted: YES
  • Wicker (R) Voted: YES
  • Wilson (NM) (R) Voted: YES
  • Wilson (SC) (R) Voted: YES
  • Wolf (R) Voted: YES
  • Wynn (D) Voted: YES
  • Young (AK) (R) Voted: YES
  • Young (FL) (R) Voted: YES
    133 in the House of Representatives (No:124(D),5(R),1(I)); (DidNotVote:1(D), 2(R)) that VOTED No or Did-Not-Vote:
  • Abercrombie (D) Voted: NO
  • Allen (D) Voted: NO
  • Baca (D) Voted: NO
  • Baird (D) Voted: NO
  • Baldacci (D) Voted: NO
  • Baldwin (D) Voted: NO
  • Barrett (D) Voted: NO
  • Becerra (D) Voted: NO
  • Blumenauer (D) Voted: NO
  • Bonior (D) Voted: NO
  • Brady (PA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Brown (FL) (D) Voted: NO
  • Brown (OH) (D) Voted: NO
  • Capps (D) Voted: NO
  • Capuano (D) Voted: NO
  • Cardin (D) Voted: NO
  • Carson (IN) (D) Voted: NO
  • Clay (D) Voted: NO
  • Clayton (D) Voted: NO
  • Clyburn (D) Voted: NO
  • Condit (D) Voted: NO
  • Conyers (D) Voted: NO
  • Costello (D) Voted: NO
  • Coyne (D) Voted: NO
  • Cummings (D) Voted: NO
  • Davis (CA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Davis (IL) (D) Voted: NO
  • DeFazio (D) Voted: NO
  • DeGette (D) Voted: NO
  • Delahunt (D) Voted: NO
  • DeLauro (D) Voted: NO
  • Dingell (D) Voted: NO
  • Doggett (D) Voted: NO
  • Doyle (D) Voted: NO
  • Duncan (R) Voted: NO
  • Eshoo (D) Voted: NO
  • Evans (D) Voted: NO
  • Farr (D) Voted: NO
  • Fattah (D) Voted: NO
  • Filner (D) Voted: NO
  • Frank (D) Voted: NO
  • Gonzalez (D) Voted: NO
  • Gutierrez (D) Voted: NO
  • Hastings (FL) (D) Voted: NO
  • Hilliard (D) Voted: NO
  • Hinchey (D) Voted: NO
  • Hinojosa (D) Voted: NO
  • Holt (D) Voted: NO
  • Honda (D) Voted: NO
  • Hooley (D) Voted: NO
  • Hostettler (R) Voted: NO
  • Houghton (R) Voted: NO
  • Inslee (D) Voted: NO
  • Jackson (IL) (D) Voted: NO
  • Jackson-Lee (TX) (D) Voted: NO
  • Johnson, E. B. (D) Voted: NO
  • Jones (OH) (D) Voted: NO
  • Kaptur (D) Voted: NO
  • Kildee (D) Voted: NO
  • Kilpatrick (D) Voted: NO
  • Kleczka (D) Voted: NO
  • Kucinich (D) Voted: NO
  • LaFalce (D) Voted: NO
  • Langevin (D) Voted: NO
  • Larsen (WA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Larson (CT) (D) Voted: NO
  • Leach (D) Voted: NO
  • Lee (D) Voted: NO
  • Levin (D) Voted: NO
  • Lewis (GA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Lipinski (D) Voted: NO
  • Lofgren (D) Voted: NO
  • Maloney (CT) (D) Voted: NO
  • Matsui (D) Voted: NO
  • McCarthy (MO) (D) Voted: NO
  • McCollum (D) Voted: NO
  • McDermott (D) Voted: NO
  • McGovern (D) Voted: NO
  • McKinney (D) Voted: NO
  • Meek (FL) (D) Voted: NO
  • Meeks (NY) (D) Voted: NO
  • Menendez (D) Voted: NO
  • Millender-McDonald (D) Voted: NO
  • Miller, George (D) Voted: NO
  • Mollohan (D) Voted: NO
  • Moran (VA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Morella (R) Voted: NO
  • Nadler (D) Voted: NO
  • Napolitano (D) Voted: NO
  • Neal (D) Voted: NO
  • Oberstar (D) Voted: NO
  • Obey (D) Voted: NO
  • Olver (D) Voted: NO
  • Owens (D) Voted: NO
  • Pallone (D) Voted: NO
  • Pastor (D) Voted: NO
  • Ron Paul (R) Voted: NO
  • Payne (D) Voted: NO
  • Pelosi (D) Voted: NO
  • Price (NC) (D) Voted: NO
  • Rahall (D) Voted: NO
  • Rangel (D) Voted: NO
  • Reyes (D) Voted: NO
  • Rivers (D) Voted: NO
  • Rodriguez (D) Voted: NO
  • Roybal-Allard (D) Voted: NO
  • Rush (D) Voted: NO
  • Sabo (D) Voted: NO
  • Sanchez (D) Voted: NO
  • Sanders (I) Voted: NO
  • Sawyer (D) Voted: NO
  • Schakowsky (D) Voted: NO
  • Scott (D) Voted: NO
  • Serrano (D) Voted: NO
  • Slaughter (D) Voted: NO
  • Snyder (D) Voted: NO
  • Solis (D) Voted: NO
  • Stark (D) Voted: NO
  • Strickland (D) Voted: NO
  • Stupak (D) Voted: NO
  • Thompson (CA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Thompson (MS) (D) Voted: NO
  • Tierney (D) Voted: NO
  • Towns (D) Voted: NO
  • Udall (CO) (D) Voted: NO
  • Udall (NM) (D) Voted: NO
  • Velazquez (D) Voted: NO
  • Visclosky (D) Voted: NO
  • Waters (D) Voted: NO
  • Watson (CA) (D) Voted: NO
  • Watt (NC) (D) Voted: NO
  • Woolsey (D) Voted: NO
  • Wu (D) Voted: NO
  • Ortiz (D) (No Vote) Voted: NO
  • Roukema (R) (No Vote) Voted: NO
  • Stump (R) (No Vote) Voted: NO

A SENATE joint resolution (H.J.Res.114: thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:HJ114:) to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq.

    77 (48 Republicans, 29 Democrats) in the Senate that VOTED Yes:
  • Allard (R-CO) Voted: YES

  • Allen (R-VA) Voted: YES

  • Baucus (D-MT) Voted: YES

  • Bayh (D-IN) Voted: YES

  • Bennett (R-UT) Voted: YES

  • Biden (D-DE) Voted: YES

  • Bond (R-MO) Voted: YES

  • Breaux (D-LA) Voted: YES

  • Brownback (R-KS) Voted: YES

  • Bunning (R-KY) Voted: YES

  • Burns (R-MT) Voted: YES

  • Campbell (R-CO) Voted: YES

  • Cantwell (D-WA) Voted: YES

  • Carnahan (D-MO) Voted: YES

  • Carper (D-DE) Voted: YES

  • Cleland (D-GA) Voted: YES

  • Clinton (D-NY) Voted: YES

  • Cochran (R-MS) Voted: YES

  • Collins (R-ME) Voted: YES

  • Craig (R-ID) Voted: YES

  • Crapo (R-ID) Voted: YES

  • Daschle (D-SD) Voted: YES

  • DeWine (R-OH) Voted: YES

  • Dodd (D-CT) Voted: YES

  • Domenici (R-NM) Voted: YES

  • Dorgan (D-ND) Voted: YES

  • Edwards (D-NC) Voted: YES

  • Ensign (R-NV) Voted: YES

  • Enzi (R-WY) Voted: YES

  • Feinstein (D-CA) Voted: YES

  • Fitzgerald (R-IL) Voted: YES

  • Frist (R-TN) Voted: YES

  • Gramm (R-TX) Voted: YES

  • Grassley (R-IA) Voted: YES

  • Gregg (R-NH) Voted: YES

  • Hagel (R-NE) Voted: YES

  • Harkin (D-IA) Voted: YES

  • Hatch (R-UT) Voted: YES

  • Helms (R-NC) Voted: YES

  • Hollings (D-SC) Voted: YES

  • Hutchinson (R-AR) Voted: YES

  • Hutchison (R-TX) Voted: YES

  • Inhofe (R-OK) Voted: YES

  • Johnson (D-SD) Voted: YES

  • Kerry (D-MA) Voted: YES

  • Kohl (D-WI) Voted: YES

  • Kyl (R-AZ) Voted: YES

  • Landrieu (D-LA) Voted: YES

  • Lieberman (D-CT) Voted: YES

  • Lincoln (D-AR) Voted: YES

  • Lott (R-MS) Voted: YES

  • Lugar (R-IN) Voted: YES

  • McCain (R-AZ) Voted: YES

  • McConnell (R-KY) Voted: YES

  • Miller (D-GA) Voted: YES

  • Murkowski (R-AK) Voted: YES

  • Nelson (D-FL) Voted: YES

  • Nelson (D-NE) Voted: YES

  • Nickles (R-OK) Voted: YES

  • Reid (D-NV) Voted: YES

  • Roberts (R-KS) Voted: YES

  • Rockefeller (D-WV) Voted: YES

  • Santorum (R-PA) Voted: YES

  • Schumer (D-NY) Voted: YES

  • Sessions (R-AL) Voted: YES

  • Shelby (R-AL) Voted: YES

  • Smith (R-NH) Voted: YES

  • Smith (R-OR) Voted: YES

  • Snowe (R-ME) Voted: YES

  • Specter (R-PA) Voted: YES

  • Stevens (R-AK) Voted: YES

  • Thomas (R-WY) Voted: YES

  • Thompson (R-TN) Voted: YES

  • Thurmond (R-SC) Voted: YES

  • Torricelli (D-NJ) Voted: YES

  • Voinovich (R-OH) Voted: YES

  • Warner (R-VA) Voted: YES

    23 (1 Republicans, 21 Democrats, 1 Independent) in the Senate that VOTED No:
  • Akaka (D-HI) Voted: NO
  • Bingaman (D-NM) Voted: NO
  • Boxer (D-CA) Voted: NO
  • Byrd (D-WV) Voted: NO
  • Chafee (R-RI) Voted: NO
  • Conrad (D-ND) Voted: NO
  • Corzine (D-NJ) Voted: NO
  • Dayton (D-MN) Voted: NO
  • Durbin (D-IL) Voted: NO
  • Feingold (D-WI) Voted: NO
  • Graham (D-FL) Voted: NO
  • Inouye (D-HI) Voted: NO
  • Jeffords (I-VT) Voted: NO
  • Kennedy (D-MA) Voted: NO
  • Leahy (D-VT) Voted: NO
  • Levin (D-MI) Voted: NO
  • Mikulski (D-MD) Voted: NO
  • Murray (D-WA) Voted: NO
  • Reed (D-RI) Voted: NO
  • Sarbanes (D-MD) Voted: NO
  • Stabenow (D-MI) Voted: NO
  • Wellstone (D-MN) Voted: NO
  • Wyden (D-OR) Voted: NO

Somehow, despite 43% (110) of 256 Democrats of 535 Members of Congress who voted Yes for authorization to invade Iraq, Democrats cleverly and successfully seized (for political purposes) on the growing dissatisfaction with the Iraq war (a war of which the Democrats also helped significantly to cause), and turned it into a winning political strategy. It is interesting how most of the Democrats avoided sharing more of the blame. About 71 more incumbents were ousted this last election (4-NOV-2008):

  • 464 members (464 / 535 = 86.7%) of Congress were re-elected (378 (223(D)+155(R)+0(I)) in the House + 86 (46(D)+ 38(R)+2(I))in the Senate).

  • There were only 71 members ousted from Congress (57 (13(D) + 44(R) in the House) + 14 (3(D) + 11(R) in the Senate).

  • NOTE: There are 5 of 6 seats still To Be Determined in the Senate, and 4 of 4 seats still To Be Determined in the House.
But voters really need to understand that BOTH parties are so FOR-SALE, irresponsible, incompetent, and/or corrupt, that repeatedly rewarding them with 85%-to-90% re-election rates is not likely to bring about any of the change they seek. That is, voters need to become more principle-centric, instead of being too blindly partisan-centric.

Roy, I agree completely about the lack-of-respect for such horrible and illegal acts, such as the lack of accurate intelligence (if not out-right lies) used to start a pre-emptive war, the despicable pitting of American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits disguised as compassion, and the perpetuation of these 10 major abuses.

Because, when our government comits such horrible acts, it makes its citizens accomplices. Especially when those voters repeatedly reward the same incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

Marysdude wrote: When the corrupt are as rooted in as the bunch in charge now, i.e., in business, in finance and in government, you’re not going to be able to change much without violence…
Maybe. However, there is a very simple (but apparently very elusive) way to disrupt the kleptocratic plutocracy:
    Vote for challengers (regardless of party), instead of repeatedly rewarding bad incumbent politiciains with perpetual re-election.
Ghandi and Martin Luther King promoted non-violent methods. Before resorting to violence, why not try voting out all bad incumbent politicians? If (as you say above) the the corrupt are as rooted in as the bunch in charge now, then why not vote them out of office?

Why wait until things have to get so bad, as in year 1933 (several years into the Great Depression), when most unhappy voters finally ousted 206 members of Congress (and also well over one hundred Congress persons for several elections leading up to year 1933)? By the way, things finally started improving a little after the election of 1933 when 206 members of Congress were ousted from office. So, there’s good reason to believe that Congress finally got the message, and started to address some problems, instead of ignoring and allowing problems to grow in number and severity.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at December 1, 2008 11:09 AM
Comment #271339


The Vietnam anti-war protests were a revolution that played a key role in ending the war.

Martin Luther King led a revolutionary army through the streets of Birmingham. It led to great changes in America.

Gandi led a revolution that swept the British out to sea.

As a tool of revolution, civil disobedience works quite well. Revolutions don’t have to be violent.

Don’t go shopping, there’s your revolution. It will cause pain, call for sacrifice and unity but, most everything worth having does that.

Posted by: jlw at December 2, 2008 12:20 PM
Comment #271347

jlw, Good advice (unless one is wealthy), since most Americans are swimming in debt.

Posted by: d.a.n at December 2, 2008 2:58 PM
Comment #271371

jlw, I just posted in the top article of this column about the ambivalence of people that are stuck in a recession and suffering the effects of globalization. There simply is no mood in the country to take any kind of action. Right now we are in a ‘wait and see’ mode.
When folks realize what has happened I think they will want to support some kind of countering force that can fight and win against the klepto-plutocracy. Like using fire to fight fire. I see that force as a new third party with a different attitude. ‘They work for us’. A party that puts accountability into the political equation. A party that targets reform of goverment and when achieved, can keep it that way.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at December 3, 2008 9:34 AM
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