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Fear of Socialism

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December 22, 2009 – Comments (60)

Republicans Sam Brownback and Michele Bachmann recently held a prayercast asking the Good Lord to kill healthcare and the evil socialist spirit it would bring to America.

Then, they went home and accepted their farm subsidy checks...

Sneator Grassley who warns of Presidents Obama's "trend toward socialism" also acepted his check, as did his son and grandson...

Democrats Max Baucus, Blanche Lincoln and Stephanie Sandlin, while not fearing the scourge of socialism so much as the Republicans, may experience a conflict of interest with their votes...

Now I would not go so far as to call Ms Bachmann a "welfare queen" but that is what she gets called in this article.

So, if you ask devoish, are farm subsidies a good thing, my answer is yes because I do not want hungry kids waiting for free markets to see their hunger and grow more food (besides free markets do not exist). Does the farm subsidy program need some sprucing up? No. It needs a thorough wash and rinse cycle and a real good clean up.

Note: the farm subsidy database is from 2007. Donate the five bucks if you would like an update.

60 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 23, 2009 at 12:56 AM, FleaBagger (29.77) wrote:

Stalin had plenty of socialist hypocrisy to point to in the Hitler regime. That didn't make him right. More children (and adults) starve where the government is more involved in setting the prices of food.

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#2) On December 23, 2009 at 1:03 AM, fmahnke (91.15) wrote:

devo,

Michele Bachmann and Grassley are idiots as far as I am concerned and that was before reading about this issue.

But I do have a couple of questions for you:

How much $$ will it take to buy out the Stupak gang ? Abortion is a polarizing issue that is firmly grounded in the moral fiber of those who oppose it,  So what is fair price for taxpayers to pay to buy these democrats ??

Your last post had alot of commentary on the intellectual.social and economic arguements,  Noboby besides me seems to take issue with the integrity of BHO and how all of this played out in comparison to his campaign promises, I know your a BHO supporter, so how do you reconcile the lies ??  My guess is that you'll blame the repubs but I don't think a good, strong man should allow anyone to compromise his integrity ? Do you ?

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#3) On December 23, 2009 at 1:52 AM, TMFAleph1 (94.92) wrote:

I watched Michele Bachmann lead the 'prayercast'. I am no particular fan of the Obama administration, but this beggars belief. I would say that the lunatics have taken over the asylum in Congress, but I'm afraid they've been in charge for quite some time now.

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#4) On December 23, 2009 at 8:34 AM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

fmahnke,

I doubt abortions will be covered despite rumors otherwise. I do not like abortions, I do not like the idea of abortions but I will not go so far as to outlaw abortions either. I would prefer to take an approach of making it easier for parents to keep their children, things like universal healthcare for instance. With half of all US abortions happening in women under age 24 I would also suggest the "conservative" approach of educating young men and women at a young age is correct, but the message, whether it is abstinance or contaception does not seem to be getting through. Perhaps the problem is alchohol.

I'm not sure who you think you are voting for. Allah is not running. I imagine we have all compromised our integrity at times and made decisions we would like to reverse. President Obama is not a king, this is Congress's legislation. Conservatives/Republicans/Democrats/whatever you call yourself, get to report on the horse trading that exists in Congress because they are all personally familiar with and guilty of it. If you do not think the Republicans had a hand in watering down healthcare you would probably be mistaken. I think the Republicans politicized extremist intrperetations of the legislation, ignoring the real world to the detriment of their constituents, and I will do my best to make them pay in the next election for what I perceive as spreading a load of crap. And yes, I think they were and continue to be pathetically, embarrassingly worse than the Democrats have ever been.

My last post mocked the extremely biased reporting of Robert Samuelson.

Alex,

I supplied the link to the article, of the three Republicans mentioned Michelle Bachmann may be the least hypoctritical.

Fleabagger,

I do not believe that claim at all. I am aware of no example anywhere in the world that merits that statement. Government intervention in supplying food and water in the USA may be the biggest single reason the USA achieved the level of success it has. Unfortunately the pressures of population and global warming will test our ability to help each other. If we fail, I am afraid we will be Africa.

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#5) On December 23, 2009 at 8:36 AM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

Is your arguemnet for the lessor of 2 evils devoish?

There are other choices!

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#6) On December 23, 2009 at 8:38 AM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

I would prefer to take an approach of making it easier for parents to keep their children, things like universal healthcare for instance.

It doesn't bother you that you are robbing your children to pay for it, just like your parents did to you?

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#7) On December 23, 2009 at 8:57 AM, russiangambit (29.27) wrote:

These dinosours are too behind the times to represent us.  You would think it is still the 60s.  And to think that somebody elected them.

And for those who use abortion issues as a wedge I have no respect for them. They are hypocrites. Why don't they go to Africa or India and do something to save children that are already living instead of spewing empty retoric. Ditto for those who use relegion to promote their political agenda.

 

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#8) On December 23, 2009 at 9:23 AM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Russian,

In America we have some of our own children to take care of too. Universal healthcare would help if we were getting it.

ChrisGrayley,

Yes there are other choices. Small Government does not work anywhere, and quickly becomes the greater evil.

According to the CBO, who I will trust far more than the right wing blogosphere or newscasters like Rush, Beck, or Samuelson from my last post, says this bill in the form presented to them will lower deficits from where they would have been without it.

So it does not "beggar my children".

Likely the Heritage Institute will do a more thorough analysis than you have, making "worst case" assumptions and get a different well publicized result.

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#9) On December 23, 2009 at 9:32 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Socialism stifles liberty and individual achievement. It causes far too many innovators to sit on their hands because they know their financial rewards will be taxed unfairly to support a class of people that have decided to suckle from the state. I know two people who have turned down promotions because the boost in pay would put them into a higher tax bracket. They were not willing to pay out one more penny in taxes to support the socialist programs already in place. I believe in sticking to my principals, but come on!  Talk about Atlas shrugging! And these people were not even libertarians.

The money being spent today in the form of these bail-outs will have to be paid by our kids. I will not sit idol as my child's future is being mortgaged. I've already started researching the best way to help insulate my kids from this fiasco. I suggest you do the same.

Cato

When my resources are forced from my hands it matters not if the thug is a private citizen or the state. Theft is theft.

www.fairtax.com

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#10) On December 23, 2009 at 9:43 AM, russiangambit (29.27) wrote:

> Socialism stifles liberty and individual achievement. It causes far too many innovators to sit on their hands because they know their financial rewards will be taxed unfairly to support a class of people that have decided to suckle from the state.

It sounds like the US is already there. Federal taxes are one thing, but then there are all kinds of local taxes and fees and what is not. It is very hard for the small business to make it, because labor cost is high, there a lot of regulations, nobody represents small business intesrets, taxes and fees are high and sales are low because the middle class is squeezed. The only way is to cut spending.

With all the crying out against socialism how did US government got to spend so much? US spends like a socialist country and taxes like a socialist country, only many of the taxes are non-transparent and hidden. I think the original problem is not socialism in itself but lack of accountability. Accountability starts with information. And nowhere we can see simple, transparent information on what the money is spent. We are told that releasing such information will undermine our security, right. Where did I hear that before?

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#11) On December 23, 2009 at 9:46 AM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

Mostly, the only difference between those who have had an abortion and those who have not, is circumstance. I have kids.  I have had abortions (one when I was very young and one when older).  Regardless of what people say the decision is never one lightly made.     

It seems the very women who need access to low cost abortions will be denied, the wealthy will of course be able to afford it.  The right to choose, as so many things in our society, will be one of access. 

I agree with russian, nobody really cares about the children already in the world, however they don't have to go to Africa there are plenty of children living in poverty right here.  

I used to be a democrat, no longer - they have clearly shown me (with some small differences) that all politicians are the same side of the coin. 

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#12) On December 23, 2009 at 9:54 AM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

According to the CBO, who I will trust far more than the right wing blogosphere or newscasters like Rush, Beck, or Samuelson from my last post, says this bill in the form presented to them will lower deficits from where they would have been without it.

Are you interested in buying ocean front property in Arizona?

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#13) On December 23, 2009 at 10:03 AM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Weg915,

I am not sure why you denounce Democrats. They fought for and won Schip for living children, and have now fought for and won increased healthcare for living children and their parents. 

Both fights would likely have been lost if they insisted upon abortion coverage.

I disagree that no-one really cares about children. You and Russian both do.

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#14) On December 23, 2009 at 10:07 AM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Are you trying to sell me oceanfront property in Arizona?!? ;-)'

 

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#15) On December 23, 2009 at 10:31 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

If no one care about the children of the world then why do we, as a nation, spend tens of billions of dollars giving food to African countries? Millions of people across the world give time and money to aide starving and sick children. Goodwill, The United Way, Red Cross, Red Crescent, motherteresacharities.org, and dozens of others do all they can to help. More often than not regional political issues are the cause of starvation and death, not a lack of food. I am sure you remember the USA to Africa: We Are The World song recorded to raise money to feed the starving men, women and children in Ethiopia. Millions of dollars were raised! The food was bought and shipped to Africa! And not one grain of rice ever made it to the starving refugees! Why? The local war lords took it all for their benefit, the same guys that caused the famine. Yea, this fact was not well publicized. Who would want to issue that kind of buzzkill after such a valiant effort to do some good?

Here is an interesting article about such food aid programs and how they do more harm than good.

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#16) On December 23, 2009 at 10:32 AM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Cato, 

Socialism stifles liberty and individual achievement. It causes far too many innovators to sit on their hands because they know their financial rewards will be taxed unfairly to support a class of people that have decided to suckle from the state.

No. This is blatently unsupportable. In fact there is a higher percentage of people owning small business's in developed Countrys that provide universal healthcare, lots of time off, shorter workdays which unchain innovators from their desks.

Atlas shrugged in an imaginary world.

William Gates "innovated" from the freedom of his fathers garage, healthcare policy and youth. I believe the Google boys began their innovation story on their own time, with their youth and parents healthcare plans too. Neither "innovated" while working exhausting 70 hour weeks for someone else.

And neither innovated under a bosses watchful eye, although many people do, and give the greatest wealth from their innovation to their boss not to themselves.

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#17) On December 23, 2009 at 10:33 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Chris,

I am not interested in your Arizona beach front property. I just bought a pork processing plant in Tehran from a nice Nigerian man.

Cato

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#18) On December 23, 2009 at 10:40 AM, ChrisGraley (29.75) wrote:

Devoish, I believe Cuba has all the social reforms you are looking for.

Please take Michael Moore with you when you go.

 

;)

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#19) On December 23, 2009 at 10:41 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Devoish,

No. This is blatently unsupportable.

No. You are mistaken. Look at what has become of the United Kingdom in the course of 100 years. It went from being a world power to be a world coward. Here is some light reading on the subject: LINK

Best Regards,

Cato

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#20) On December 23, 2009 at 10:41 AM, tkell31 (23.66) wrote:

The US is in a quandry.  On one hand you have the greed and predatory nature of some people that drives them to become grossly overpaid CEOs and on the other hand you have a very significant percentage of fat, lazy sloths that just want to know where their next happy meal is coming from.  Stuck in the middle is the vast majority who want to work for decent wage to live a quality life.  What is a country to do?  Well, if you listen to the republicans anyone should be able to get a rich as they possibly can and they dont really care how.  The democrats want every individual no matter how lazy and worthless to have the american dream.

I dont know that there is an answer.  All of us know people who are self destructive and continue down that path despite offers of help.  There will never be a solution that solves all the problems because we are human beings with all the strengths and frailities that come along with it and you cant legislate them away.

So do we need some type of balance on pay scale?  I would say yes.  There is no benefit to a few "feudal lords" (CEOs) running around the land with 40% of the countries wealth.  However, I dont think we need to make sure every bum in the country has access to health care and entitlement programs.  At some point those people need to show they are willing to work for what they are being provided.  Is that socialism? I dont know, but what I do know is the solution is going to be a blend of philosphies as we live in a different era and environment then when they were put on paper.

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#21) On December 23, 2009 at 10:43 AM, russiangambit (29.27) wrote:

> If no one care about the children of the world then why do we, as a nation, spend tens of billions of dollars giving food to African countries?

cato, don't even go there. US is one of the stinigiest benefactors when you compare how much it donates to international charity and how much wealth it has and how much wealth it wastes.

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#22) On December 23, 2009 at 10:46 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Chris,

Be kind. I like devoish. I think he is a good person that intends to do the right thing on a daily basis. Just because we don't share his opinion it does not mean we can't sit at the same table in Fooldom and make nice.

Cato

P.S. - Tehran's Finest Pork: So Good You'll Slap Your Mullah! How is that for the slogan for my new venture?

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#23) On December 23, 2009 at 10:49 AM, weg915 (< 20) wrote:

I can sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.  Yes, I do care and I do what I can for my own and for others.  And there are many many others who do as well.  But as a society I don't believe we value children.  As a society we are able to sit and watch with willfull ignorance. 

I don't have to agree with everything done or proposed but I want honesty and transparency and open discussion in government. 

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#24) On December 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Russian,

I did go there, and continue to do so. Read this: LINK. If we stopped our food shipments hundreds of thousands of Africans would die. DIE. Cease to be! If we stopped who would be able to step in and take up the slack? China? They have an ever growing dust bowl like we did in the '30's to worry about. Russia? Please. Putin, can't. It's not in his nature. Nor can the country afford to do it. India? I am almost sure they would if they could but they have 1.3 billions mouths to feed and have a hard enough time doing that as it is.

Cato

BTW: You should click on the link above.

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#25) On December 23, 2009 at 11:06 AM, russiangambit (29.27) wrote:

Cato, what I am saying US  citizens could do much more. US help is not so much but the way you talk about it you would think US feeds the entire world. And I get my stats from the Economist  not from politically slanted organization.  I am also not sure what my personal opinion has to do with either russian or chinese official policies. This is all I am going to say on this subject because I recognize an argument that is going nowhere well enough.

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#26) On December 23, 2009 at 11:08 AM, Teacherman1 (57.42) wrote:

We have enough laws on the books to last many life times. I propose that congress take a 20 year recess and then start over.

Maybe by then those who will end up paying for everything will have an idea of how to choose representatives who really represent their constituents instead of themselves and those who fund their campaigns.

Hey, maybe we could get the President to appoint a CZAR to oversee everything.

Of course, as an alternative, perhaps we could all get actively involved, make good decisions about who we elect, and hold them accountable.

Full disclosure by all congressmen (and women), maybe a camera crew to follow them everywhere and record everything they say and do.

That might limit those who are willing to run, but would that really be a bad idea?

Hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and gets to spend some quality time with those they love.

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#27) On December 23, 2009 at 11:13 AM, tkell31 (23.66) wrote:

"Cato, what I am saying US  citizens could do much more. US help is not so much but the way you talk about it you would think US feeds the entire world. And I get my stats from the Economist  not from politically slanted organization.  I am also not sure what my personal opinion has to do with either russian or chinese official policies. This is all I am going to say on this subject because I recognize an argument that is going nowhere well enough."

Just curious, but what else are we supposed to do?  Considering until the US started helping other countries NO country in the history of the world had tried it I find it amusing to hear you say we aren't doing enough.  Until we came along all other coutries wanted to do was take over other countries by use of force.  I would be interested to hear which countries we arent helping enough and what you think we should be doing. Dont other countries have an obligation to at least try and help themselves?  I love how people forget 5000 years of history now that the US is a super power .

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#28) On December 23, 2009 at 11:19 AM, PeteysTired (< 20) wrote:

Festivis for the rest of us!

My favorite South Park episode was when the boys went to Africa and Cartmen told the people that they looked skinny and that they should eat something.  Then, as theboys looked around the barren land they noticed a small building.  They went to investigate.  As they opened the door they found Sally Struthers, who was cleary to big to get out the door, eating all the food marked Aid to Africa.

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#29) On December 23, 2009 at 11:47 AM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Cato, what I am saying US  citizens could do much more.

Yes, the USA could do much more, but why? Why should it? They key to solving most of the problem has to do with local politics. Most areas of the world with these problems behave as Banana Republics. Corruption keeps the people poor, hungry and sick. The people can't rise against you if they are unable to. 

US help is not so much but the way you talk about it you would think US feeds the entire world.

Nonsense. I never said the USA feeds the world! Be careful. You might twist an ankle when you jump to conclusions like that. LOL.

And I get my stats from the Economist  not from politically slanted organization.

The Economist?! Are you serious? They endorsed Obama! LINK That is not slanted? Regarding my politically slanted organization: I think you should read Cato's Mission here to learn more. I assure you individual liberty, free markets and peace is not as evil as you might think.

I am also not sure what my personal opinion has to do with either russian or chinese official policies.

You don't? If you are unclear about that then what does your personal opinions have to do with the official policies of the USA?

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#30) On December 23, 2009 at 12:08 PM, starbucks4ever (97.42) wrote:

"Socialism stifles liberty and individual achievement. It causes far too many innovators to sit on their hands because they know their financial rewards will be taxed unfairly to support a class of people that have decided to suckle from the state."

There are good governments and bad governments. Period. The economic system has nothing to do with it. 

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#31) On December 23, 2009 at 12:22 PM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Cato,

You and Russian are both correct. By some measures the US is very generous. By others, for instance using a gallon of gas and air pollution to deliver one man 14 miles in an SUV is very wasteful compared to using 1/2 gallon in Malibu and costly to developing countries by driving up the fuel cost of their ability to deliver one man 14 miles.

It is a very big picture.

Cato, your link led me to a book written in 1805, is that what you wanted me to see?

Here is a more current link, to a study done this decade showing:

The international economic data, however, tell a different story about the state of U.S. small business. By every measure of small-business employment, the United States has among the world’s smallest small-business sectors (as a proportion of total national employment).

It is a good read for those who believe A) high taxes spent providing universal healthcare will hurt opportunity, or B) Small business drives the American economy (high taxes spent destroying third world countries might hurt opportunity).

tkell,

To suggest that no other Country tried to help another until the USA did it makes me think you do not remember learning about the help offered to the fledging USA by France.

 

 

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#32) On December 23, 2009 at 12:34 PM, tkell31 (23.66) wrote:

Devosh, at the time we werent even a country, we were fighting to be one, and I'm not real clear on my revolutionary war facts, but bottom line did the French actually provide us any support?  But regardless of that I guess I should have clarified and indicated aid in non-war times.  Obviously history is replete with examples of nations banding together to fight a common foe. 

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#33) On December 23, 2009 at 12:48 PM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Devoish,

The link is supposed to take you to a book called "The Case Against Socialism, A Handbook for Speakers and Candidates" written in 1908. I found it intersting to read. It is written from the establishment's POV in late Victorian/Early Edwardian England. Since it was written 101 years ago it is interesting to compare perceptions and predictions of what socialism would do the UK with the reality of today.

On the Issue of France helping the USA: France was in it for the money and bragging rights. They wanted to take one of the UK's economic engines for itself. The Comte de Vergennes, Charles Gravier, French Secretary of State under King Louis XVI was instructed to make the fledgling republic as dependent on France as it had been on England. It was the best way for them to get their money back for their troubles, give King George a black eye and make some handsome profits for his King. At the end of the war trade between France and the USA, or between the USA and anyone, was slow to get off the ground. It became one of the many nails to be driven into the French royal family's coffin.

Cato

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#34) On December 23, 2009 at 12:55 PM, Starfirenv (< 20) wrote:

A quick, VERY interesting, on topic read. (.10 for the kids).
http://www.augustreview.com/news_commentary/general/the_socialization_of_america_20090701124/

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#35) On December 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

France helped the US militarily and financially in the Revolutionary war. It is a bad example for this discussion which is a discussion of charity. I do not doubt that charity toward another country predates the USA but I at this moment I have no good example.

Help?

It is also curious how easily a post mocking biased reporting turned to a discussion of the relative charitable character of differing Nations.

Perhaps we lack significant attention spans.

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#36) On December 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM, wrparks (62.24) wrote:

In the minds of most of the developed world pre 1900, imperialism was charity.  The imperialists wereproviding for the poor dumb savages. 

 

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#37) On December 23, 2009 at 1:28 PM, davejh23 (< 20) wrote:

"By every measure of small-business employment, the United States has among the world’s smallest small-business sectors (as a proportion of total national employment)."

A majority of US workers work for small businesses.  This statement doesn't say much if the US has the largest number of big businesses that started as small businesses.  If the US has the highest number of multinational corporations employing thousands of employees that started with the innovation of an American entrepreneur, then there is obviously something good about our system...or at least there was at some point in the past...a shift towards socialism won't help restore that...it will destroy it.

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#38) On December 23, 2009 at 1:45 PM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

starfirenv,

That was an interesting article.

Cato

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#39) On December 23, 2009 at 1:46 PM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

davehj23,

Interesting perspective. I think it says that US Domestic policys, specifically private health insurance which is constantly referenced by small business owners as being unaffordable, restricts entrepeneurs, not the mostly imaginary fear of paying higher taxes on higher income mentioned by Cato.

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#40) On December 23, 2009 at 2:09 PM, whereaminow (20.57) wrote:

Plato
Lycurgus
Campanella
Thomas More
Fourier
Saint Simon
Marx/Engels
LaSalle
Lenin

Devoish

Actually, of the Socialists on this list, I'd say you're a cross between LaSalle and Fourier.

Whatever, just another dreamer.

David in Qatar

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#41) On December 23, 2009 at 2:10 PM, danteps (29.35) wrote:

There are good governments and bad governments. Period. The economic system has nothing to do with it.

Wow, for a somewhat interesting dialogue, I have to point out the ignorance of this statement.  Could someone have such a naïve world view or understanding of the fundamentals of society?  The economic system uniquely defines a culture, country, etc.  There are, of course, overlaps and intersections with government, but the economic system is critical.  The economy system can offer a check and balance on corrupt politicians (see Bush or Obama or the clown from Nebraska).

We are not a country of socialists.  I am not a republican or democrat and loathe political parties (and politics in general).  I despise socialism, whether brought forth by a republican or a democrat.  Fortunately, I am not alone and hold out hope the millions that share a similar view will band together to fight creeping socialism.  The concept holds back the potential of our citizens.  A government of relatively few simply cannot allocate capital as efficiently as a country of 300 million.

One day I may simply leave and head to a country which provides the liberties and freedoms that are necessitudes for success. 

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#42) On December 23, 2009 at 2:23 PM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

Devoish,

 My example in comment number nine were odd occurances, ones that in my opinion were wacky and not all that bright. I would have taken the promotion, raise and new tax bracket. Had I been presented with an opportunity to talk the two of them out of their decission I would have done my best. Plus my example was about two people employed by a business, not buisness owners.

As a small business owner I have no concerns about this little slice of heaven will effect me. I am a one man band. I have no employees. I rarely have a need for a helper. But when I do I pay cash for a few hours of work. But as a private citizen and taxpayer I have huge concerns about how this will effect me, you and your neighbor. Almost everything our government touches turns to poo. It is hard to come up with more than a few things our government is good at that are beneficial to our society. Through my experience and looking back through history I find myself sceptical of this idea.

Cato

 

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#43) On December 23, 2009 at 2:29 PM, tkell31 (23.66) wrote:

"I do not doubt that charity toward another country predates the USA but I at this moment I have no good example."

You dont have an example because it didnt happen.   One of the main reasons the United States is the example for the rest of the world is we are the first country that let people challenge the status quo.  In every other country the main function of govt was to keep the wealthy wealthy and the poor, poor and working for the wealthy.  I'm proud to be born in this country, what it stands for and actions and restraints we've shown that other countries had not.  Anyone in this country can get a good education and do whatever they would like to do simply by showing some initiative and maintaining a good attitude.

If you dispute what I'm saying please go learn some history, come back and let me know which country I missed becaue there isnt one out there.  It continually amazes me that people are so quick to forget 5000 years of history and hold the US to a higher standard then their own countries displayed.

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#44) On December 23, 2009 at 2:43 PM, catoismymotor (33.80) wrote:

#43 - I can't find any examples either. Most of the *help* I see being given in the past have to do with country A helping itself to lands and resources of country B.

To be frank I think what started out to be good will has morphed into another wellfare program. I'd like to see a time line drawn up and enforced to end this practice. It is not the job of the United States to provide constant aide. The people of the countries we help need to be given a chance to succeed on their own.Whatever happend to the Peace Corps and their idea of helping others to help themselves? Is the Peace Corps even around any more?

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#45) On December 23, 2009 at 2:45 PM, starbucks4ever (97.42) wrote:

"The economy system can offer a check and balance on corrupt politicians (see Bush or Obama or the clown from Nebraska)."

 danteps,

Do you realize that you are espousing a Marxist view? It was Marx who said that "relations of production" form the "basis" that determines the form of government, and this was his greatest mistake. This naive view has been discredited over and over again. 

"I despise socialism, whether brought forth by a republican or a democrat."

Relax, they are not bringing you "socialism". They are bringing you the shadow of socialism - they may have hijacked that car but they are still capitalists and they remain firmly in the driving seat. 

"A government of relatively few simply cannot allocate capital as efficiently as a country of 300 million."

That's another illusion. Men do not become smarter by agglomeration. 300 people is as many as you need for the "wisdom of crowds" to be realized. 300 million people would not be much of an improvement.

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#46) On December 23, 2009 at 2:56 PM, portefeuille (99.60) wrote:

speaking of socialism.

the best blog post of 2009 maybe.

------------------------------

Socialist Babies

My wife gave birth to our first child on Tuesday. We live in Luxembourg, part of the evil socialist Europe. Let me tell you how it works. If you don't want to read the details of the care up to the birth, fast forward to the funny socialist part.

The details of the health care

During the pregnancy, she has been seeing her doctor every month up to 6 months, then every other week until 8 months, then every week until the due date, and when she passed the due date every other day. He did ultrasound on nearly every visit. Towards the end, he monitored the fetal heart rate and my wife's contractions (or lack thereof). 

My wife did blood tests once a month, and based on the results they gave her supplements. She showed a bit of glucose intolerance, and the baby was gaining a bit more weight than desired so they put her on a low sugar diet where she monitored her glucose levels with a little machine like a diabetic.

Start to finish, she gained about 17 lbs.

Total out of pocket cost for everything leading up to birth--tests, doctor visits, medications, glucose monitoring device and glucose strips--124 Euro.

Anyway, because she was well past term, the doctor recommended inducing labor. He called the hospital to schedule a date. 

When we arrived on Monday evening, she showed her social security card and they told her which room she'd be staying in. No paperwork required. Soon after we arrived, a midwife told her what would happen. They gave her the first round of medication at midnight, to start the process, followed by the real drug at 0600 the following day to start the contractions. The epidural went in at 0800 and my wife was pain free all day.

Problem was, the kid wouldn't move. At 19:00 everything was happening except the main event and they decided to do a cesarean (the kid's head was just a little off base and wouldn't move).

The staff was extremely professional. There were midwives monitoring her through the 12 hours of labor preceding the cesarean. The doctor prepared and inserted the epidural personally, checked on her several times, and when the decision was made to operate, it was all complete within minutes.
Boy, 3.57 kg (7 lbs, 14 oz), 53 cm (20.8 inches).
Now, my wife and the baby are fine. They have a private room, private bathroom, TV, wireless internet, and direct phone line. The hospital was built in the 1970's, so the room is a bit small and rather dated, but not bad at all. She will be staying in the hospital for 7 days because of the cesarean. If she leaves early, she can ask a midwife to visit our house for an hour each day for 10 days to provide assistance.

Today, the pediatrician took the baby for his initial tests. All good. He comes back on day 4 or 5 for the second round of tests.



The funny socialist part



I registered the birth today. They gave me a blue piece of paper. It has 3 sections. The first section is completed by showing you have done all of the recommended pre-natal care (I think my wife's doctor gave her stamps at each visit for this purpose). Upon receipt, the state will send us a check for 1000 Euro.

The second section is completed by showing the child has received all the recommended care within the first year. The first was the visit from the pediatrician today, the second will be in a few days, and so on. The doctor stamps the paper at each visit. Upon receipt, the state will send us a second check for 500 Euro.

The third section is the same as the second, but for the recommended care within the second year. Another 500 Euro.

I'm not sure what to make of it. They are paying us 2000 Euro (About $2700) to do what is right for our child. It doesn't seem like it should be required. Yet, for me, I know nothing about kids, so I'm happy because it is like the maintenance schedule for a car.

Also note that these payments have nothing to do with income. They are the same whether the family makes minimum wage or 6-figures.

The fantastic socialist part which is unbelievable that they can afford

My wife stopped working 2 months ago and will be off work for 9 more months. The first 5 months, she receives full pay. The last 6 months, she receives about 50% of her pay. Once she is done with her 6 months, I can take 6 months off at 50% pay (I won't because I'm the only one in my office in Europe and it would be the equivalent of shutting down the business).
Is there a price to pay? Sure, cigarettes are remarkably expensive. Gasoline is $4 a gallon. There is 15% VAT (like a sales tax) on everything. However, income taxes, capital gains taxes, and payroll taxes are similar to the U.S. That is unique to very wealthy Luxembourg. In other mainland EU countries (Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France) either the payroll tax or income tax or both are higher.

Conclusion

I am very happy with the national health system here. The care my wife received from start to finish was excellent and from what I can tell, everyone involved had only one objective--to make sure my wife and the baby were healthy. My wife never had to wait for any appointment, test, procedure, or anything else along the way. When they decided to induce labor, she went to the hospital the same day as when her doctor made the recommendation.
Now, it is unfair to compare Luxembourg--a very small, very wealthy country--with the U.S. However, we have many friends in France (population 60 million, 5th or 6th largest economy in the world) and their experiences have been very similar.

------------------------------ 

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#47) On December 23, 2009 at 2:58 PM, danteps (29.35) wrote:

Zloj:

You really believe 300 bureaucrats can effectively plan an economy?  The dialogue isn't even worth the time; like the old metaphor about teaching a pig to sing. 

You miss the point, it's not about the "wisdom of crowds" because these folks are human and govern frequently in their own personal interest, not based on some "wisdom of crowds".  Furthermore, there is no way a few can determine what is in the best interest of the many and how to effectively allocate capital.  We are the largest economy in the history of the world because in part we have allowed capitalism and the individual to have the freedom to pursue his or her own dreams. 

I also believe we are a new country and started with a small government.  One day we will probably end up with a bloated socialist government and enjoy the growth prospects of Western Europe or Japan. 

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#48) On December 23, 2009 at 3:24 PM, foolishfoolhead1 (46.09) wrote:

danteps:

You talk about the growth prospects of Europe and Japan, allegedly because of socialism (to say nothing of them being developed economies with slow growth anyway)

But you left out the part about Japan and Western Europe having much better healthcare, better education, less poverty, in short, a better standard of living than America. All of these are due to socialism

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#49) On December 23, 2009 at 4:25 PM, starbucks4ever (97.42) wrote:

danteps,

Why such demonization of bureaucrats? Who are those "bureaucrats" anyway? Evil green men from Mars who came here to enslave us and ruin our economy? If you don't like the ugly Soviet-like term "bureaucrat", you can replace it with the respectable Western term "manager" :)

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#50) On December 23, 2009 at 5:09 PM, fmahnke (91.15) wrote:

Devo,

No, I never thought BHO was anything but human  I just hoped I had voted for an honest man, " We'll put it on CSPAN, show the american people who representing who, get rid of these earmarks and the special interest lobbying influences, and if you make less than $250K, your taxes will not increase" 

I'd say his behavior in his first year within the context of these "promises", has been disgraceful and dishonest,

Being better that the repubs isn't good enough for me,  I still say we find some honest leaders, regardless of their party and have a hard time understanding how any american should accept less.

Ron Paul in 2012

PS The alcohol/abortion correlation was funny and true, Have a happy holiday

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#51) On December 23, 2009 at 5:29 PM, danteps (29.35) wrote:

Socialists and their misinformation.  Keep trying and keep lying. 

The U.S. is #4 in purchasing power parity per capita in the world.  That's 35% higher than Japan (ranked 18th)!  Much higher than the major Western Europe countries.  Invest in Japan for the past 20 years - how did you do?  Not well.  Actually quite bad.

Socialism destroys, or perhaps more accurately, impedes value creation and realization of human potential. 

Only a few more years of comrades (bureaucrats) Obama, Pelosi, Frank, Waters, etc. and I can leave for greener pastures of freedom and liberty.

A bureaucrat is an elected official who is paid for by my tax dollars.  Most of us despise them.  The are bribed for votes - see Nebraska.

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#52) On December 23, 2009 at 5:32 PM, starbucks4ever (97.42) wrote:

"A bureaucrat is an elected official who is paid for by my tax dollars.  Most of us despise them.  The are bribed for votes - see Nebraska.'

Looking forward to hear your definition of a corporate CEO. 

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#53) On December 23, 2009 at 6:42 PM, alexxlea (60.14) wrote:

Danteps for you to say that Japan is somehow a failed nation because their equities market has not rocketed like Zimbabwe's is a disingenius one indeed.

 Also, to say that ppp/c is an important figure at all is just admitting to being ridiculous. It's known that self-reporting of happiness increases only marginally after a certain threshold increase in income. That America has a higher raw number per capita is also not surprising, but what about the distribution of wealth? Ginicoefficient much?

As we all know, equities markets are speculative places where people place bets on what horse is going to win. If they figure that things are going to be relatively stable then they are not going to be excited about a certain market, unless they equate low beta with safety, in which case they are probably looking at bonds anyways.

 

Basically what I'm saying is that you're trying to say that Japan destroyed socialism and Japan obviously failed because their equities market has gone no where. And I'm going to say that is a dumb argument to make.

 

Look at every other metric you can imagine. You will see that Japan is doing just fine. Better than fine. Better than us. In almost all metrics you can think of. Oh wait, we're Americans on a stock investing community site, so we figure anything but explosive returns in a gambling room are numbers and facts to be ignored. 

 

Crony Capitalism. By partaking in it you admit to being defeated by it, or admit to enriching yourself by enslaving the labor of others, for which they shall be compensated very little. I am 22 and do not shop for clothes that are made in countries where I cannot verify work conditions are being met because I don't see a cool freaking design, I see a world gone terribly wrong when a child 1/2 my age is force to work for nothing for the rest of her or his miserable existance just so I can think I make myself look cool in front of others.

 

And on the population thing? They just need to instate a law saying that old people can be fed to hungry kids. That would solve 90% of the problems. Hey, why not toss anyone who is unable to work, and anyone who isn't able to obtain a certain iq score while you're at it.

 Get real delusional fools. Geez.
 

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#54) On December 23, 2009 at 6:45 PM, alexxlea (60.14) wrote:

Also, on you being paranoid about the "growth prospects" of America, to which growth do you refer?

Has no one in the world informed you yet of the confluence of events that allowed our nation to ride the largest tidal wave of debt in the history of the known universe?

 

 

When the veneer is removed you will realize that due to our lack of planning for such an event our fate will be much, much worse than any sort of your feared EuroSinocism. 

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#55) On December 23, 2009 at 8:13 PM, usmilitiadude (31.57) wrote:

I see lazy people, but no one believes me, except Bruce. 

Hey could everybody send me five dollars, I'm tired of working. Send to russianandafricanmafia.com/yurstuped/iminthemoney/pinacoladaonboobiebeach 

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#56) On December 23, 2009 at 8:56 PM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Port,

I tried to tell em, but we've decided on "uniquely American" for now.

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#57) On December 23, 2009 at 8:57 PM, danteps (29.35) wrote:

alexxlea

Don't want to be rude, but please take a few moments of your time to read a bit of economics before posting drivel and referring to people as “delusional”.   Many of us rely on facts and knowledge, not slogans and “change we can believe in”.

“Japan is doing just fine”.  Have you been to Japan recently?  Do you invest in Japan?  Do you have Japanese relatives?  6 out of the last 7 quarters they have had negative GDP.  The most recent quarter was (5.1%).  You want socialism?  Well you have to pay the price.  Japan needs as much as 5% - 6% of GDP in additional government revenue just to stabilize public debt, which has risen to 180% of GDP.

Sit back and think about that for a bit.  Japan is experiencing nearly 2 years of consecutive GDP declines, but needs to grow tax revenue by 5 to 6% just to service the largesse of debt created by socialist policies.

Japan was once a great economy (still is by size), but creeping socialism has deterred future success.  Socialism has perhaps destroyed paths to prosperity for millions of next generation Japanese.

Zloj – would you say Japan is a nation governed by corrupt people?  Most experts would say no.  However, they are in deep trouble.  Why?  To borrow a Clinton campaign slogan, “It’s the economy stupid.”

Capitalism is the ladder that pulls people up to prosperity.  Socialism is a cancer to prosperity.  Creeping socialism is a parasite that slowly sucks the life of an economy, saving nothing but the bureaucrats. Report this comment
#58) On December 23, 2009 at 10:21 PM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

Many of us rely on facts and knowledge, not slogans and “change we can believe in”.

Some of us rely upon context too. Most countrys have suffered the llast eight quarters, regardless of their Gov't. Small Gov'ts have suffered the most and longer.

You claim that capitalism is the ladder that pulls people up to prosperity and socialism is a cancer.

Perhaps you can back that up with the "facts and knowledge" you rely upon, not just hope that statement is correct. I have seen numbers that say just the opposite. That the more "socialist" countrys have greater social mobility.

And finally GDP may be the poorest way to measure the success of a countrys policys, and it is possible that economic theorys should not even be considered by Governments.

Everybody in Japan gets to see the Doctor. That is better than the USA is doing.

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#59) On December 23, 2009 at 10:39 PM, devoish (98.38) wrote:

I feel the need to point out that Germany, France, Norway etc. are not "socialist". They seems to blend capitalism with unions and a strong safety net for employees

They are Democracys that have voted to put a floor under their feet. There is no ceiling that I am aware of. We used to be equally smart.

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#60) On December 23, 2009 at 10:40 PM, starbucks4ever (97.42) wrote:

"would you say Japan is a nation governed by corrupt people?  Most experts would say no.  "

I would say yes, because only a central banker who is beholden to special interest would allow the Imperial palace to cost more than California. So it took 20 years to shake off the hangover left from this corrupt party ("party" being used in a both senses of the word). And it's not over yet. In the next 3-4 years they are going to have a sovereign default, or one final and most severe recession, or a hyperinflationary episode and then a most severe recession, and that will conclude the secular bear and you should want to buy Japan right there and then. Having said that, on a per capita basis their economy help up surprisingly well - a point often overlooked.

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