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April 17, 2009 – Comments (20)

Models

We’ve all seen them. Perhaps your attention has even lingered. Models are more than just something pleasing to look at though. They can be inspirations to us. We can look at a model and decide we want to look the same. We want to be just as healthy looking, or just as powerful. Sometimes the goal is unrealistic; as it is unlikely a six foot Woman can replicate a petite model. Spike Lee probably cannot replicate Will Smith.

The world of modeling extends beyond personal appearance. It can be extended into CAPS blogs. I would have modeled this blog after some that have pictures, but each time I try I see nothing but code. Blogs with pictures are a nice model. The first paragraph of this one has suffered considerably due to my inability to embed. Trust me, it did.

Investing styles can also be modeled. Here on CAPS we have two generous players, with two entirely different investing styles.  TMFEldrehad and GoodVibe4Ever. They generously explain their investing models and you can see their results. Because their results are good you might consider copying their styles. If their results were awful, you would probably not choose to copy them.

Modeling can also be used in the world of business. Consider the diner. It is a restaurant model that serves a variety of food, relatively inexpensively, reasonably quickly and usually offers a pleasant experience without attempting to go upscale and compete with restaurants that offer long sit-down times and promise extraordinary meals, albeit at a higher price. The diner is a successful model as evidenced by its presence all across America. There does not need to be just one successful model. A Diner is not the only successful restaurant model. The fast food model is also very successful. Years ago Ray Kroc developed the McDonalds model into a chain of successful restaurants. The model was copied by others, Burger King, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut all come to mind. The model is to have very few selections served quickly and cheaply, with the same experience, whichever store you visit. It a tightly controlled model that requires buying the meat from a central supplier, strict pay scales to maintain costs, and consistent appearances throughout stores. All innovation comes from the central headquarters and is tried at stores selected by headquarters. Product innovation at the store level is discouraged. It is a very successful model for a restaurant chain. There are also models of restaurants that are difficult to copy. Some are successful because the chef is extraordinary, but unwilling to share his recipes. Others are successful because they overlook a beautiful view that cannot travel to other locations. If you came to me and asked me to invest in your restaurant, I would want to know what model you choose to copy. I would want to hear what you know about your model, and how it applies to what you want to create. If you wished to present an entirely new model I would be very excited, and very skeptical. If you chose to copy a big expensive restaurant, I would want to know how long your chef is contracted for or how nice the view is. If you choose to copy the small fast food chain restaurant, I would want to know your food tastes better or that you can buy your chopped meat cheaper. I would check to see that you understand your model so that I could expect you to have the ability to repeat it.

Modeling can also be applied to Government. For example, someone may suggest that “small” government is the best way to have a successful country. It sounds so wonderful at first, less taxes, less Gov’t, my neighbor could bury motor oil in his yard and poison my garden. When I think of “small” government, I think of Somalia, Zimbabwe, and Toga. And then I think, I don’t want to live there. People are being shot, their land and property stolen, and life expectancies are below fifty. This is not a good result.

Fortunately on CAPS we have two small Government experts, Whereaminow and DaretothREdux. Each in their more or less sophisticated fashion has blogged endlessly in favor of small Government, so I asked them for an example of the “small” government they would like to copy.

Dare offered the USA of the late 1800’s as his choice. I cannot go there. So I thought perhaps I could reproduce the conditions that existed at that time, now. There were vast expanses of fertile unclaimed land. Homesteaders could just squat on a property, go to work and claim it. Every drop of the Colorado River was unclaimed, unlike today when more drops than it has, have an owner. Fur trappers spread into the Rockies recovering furs faster than the animals could breed. As I thought about it, I was not convinced that the conditions of that long ago era and the policies of that time, would work today. Brazil is similar today, but even their unspoiled land is quickly disappearing. Perhaps there is still time to go there.

Whereaminow, offered Qatar as his example of a successful small Government. As I began to learn about Qatar, I learned of a thriving economy in a small Country the size of Massachusetts. I learned of modern new hospitals, and teaching facilities. I learned of Government paid nursing education, something our “small” Government people don’t want Government involved in. I learned of a hospital system paid for by Government funds. But Government should not fund hospitals say our “small” government advocates. I learned of a Government funded healthcare system, not the private insurer system recommended for here. I learned of Government provided education and colleges. I learned of a benevolent Emir, a King of sorts, who provided for his people. I learn of a land where immigrants can be enslaved into forced labor, and I hope laws to prevent it are enforced. I learned of a land that had nationalized its oil industry thirty years ago, as Venezuela is doing today. I learned that the laissez faire Qatar economy is propped up by a nationalistic Government feeding it dollars through spending. I learned that the “small” Qatar Government spending is 57% of their economy. I learned the USA Government is 20% of ours, 34% including the States.

Using Government expenditures as a percentage of GDP revealed Whereaminow’s example of a small Government to be one of the largest most nationalistic Governments in the world and it seems like a nice place to be a citizen, if not an immigrant. It is not “small” government.

So before I invest in your small government idea, would you show me a working model?

CAPS Player Goodvibe4ever ends some of his posts with one of the most beautiful wishes I have ever heard, and I would like to use it here.

I hope this adds value to your thinking.

Devoish

20 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On April 17, 2009 at 9:41 PM, Option1307 (29.90) wrote:

Another well written piece, I'll think it over and respond later.

I think you do have a valid point in terms of what model can we look to replicate, and I'm not entirely convinced that there is a realistic model t look at for guidance.

But again Devoish, what would government look like in your world? What model do you hold up as something we should aspire to?

I hope you read my last comments on Dare's previous blog, they are important to my ponits.

Thanks for the thoughts as usual, enjoy your weekend...

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#2) On April 17, 2009 at 9:46 PM, Option1307 (29.90) wrote:

Sorry, I just saw your response.

And yes it does concern me btw, but I am equally concerned about your lack of a "model".

IMO there is no correct answer, I am here to simply learn and educate myself. While I mgiht not agree with most things you support, I respect your opinion and it certainly adds value to this community.

More later, it is friday afterall...

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#3) On April 17, 2009 at 9:51 PM, portefeuille (99.56) wrote:

diners have not really caught on over here ...

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#4) On April 17, 2009 at 10:24 PM, DaretothREdux (49.28) wrote:

Devoish,

Before the airplane was invented no such "model" existed, yet that did not stop people from wanting to fly.

And you keep talking about dumping oil when you are clearly ignoring the fact that the reason you can't dump oil is because it's a destruction of property (other people's water will be negatively impacted). Your rights stop where other's people rights begin. Same reason you can't steal/kill people even though we live in a "free" society.

Without property rights (which you advocate with restrictions on oil dumping) there can not a functioning market economy. The incentive to gain/create capital goes away when you don't get to keep the fruits of your labor, and eventually the system collapses without the market to determine proper prices. History proves me right on this time and time again.

Even so +1 for any well-thought out dissenting opinion.

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#5) On April 17, 2009 at 11:26 PM, FinancialModeler (26.26) wrote:

Devoish, you just made my favorites list. 

I'v already made up my mind on the nonsense that is so-called Austrian economics. I haven't met one which actually understood how the central bank operates, let alone, understand why a central bank is necessary in our mixed economy. History has shown that government and economics cannot be separated as church and state are. Both depend heavily on one another. Economics decide elections. And governments decide the rules on which everyone operates. 

Is money created out of think air? Technically yes, but this is not an inherently bad thing, but these people believe it is. The central bank has the responsibility of maintaining price stability which requires the manipulation of the money supply. Another thing, most of the money in circulation is not printed anyways. It's created on computers.  

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#6) On April 17, 2009 at 11:55 PM, devoish (99.07) wrote:

Option1307,

I could offer the USA from 1935 until 1985 as a version of large Gov't. High taxes, excellent growth, but respect for other peoples rights to a healthy environment and steps being taken to achieve it, did not begin until the late 50's. The respect did begin with the understanding of the harm though. I could offer Denmark or Sweden as models to build off of.

I will work with your other questions, but some will be a discussion.

Dare, thanks for the rec, I more expected an angry rant. I have been watching the growth (?) of small government since Reagan, and it has slowly weakened Gov't until here we are. You spoke of rights. Your rights stop where other's people rights begin. Same reason you can't steal/kill people even though we live in a "free" society.  Whatever those rights are, no small Gov't can protect them, and almost every unelected Gov't has abused them. I've been hearing "small" Gov't promoted since reagan. Well here we are, wondering if we are the next Zimbabwe.

If your airplane crashes and burns we die in a ball of fire.

If we go even smaller gov't and it crashes and burns, we are Darfur.

Model the upside for me.

FinancialModeler,

Thanks. Creating money is not inherently bad, but the argument that it is easily abused is also valid. I don't believe the gold standard is the answer because that justs shifts power to whoever has collected the gold and I did not elect them. Plus we were on the gold standard for the depression so it did not help with that.And it is very clear that the ability to collect gold or cash does not make someone more deserving. A good start is support for H.R.1207 which gives the ability to audit the Fed, not just the obligation, followed by rules to make it impossible as things are today.

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#7) On April 18, 2009 at 1:02 AM, SARG0N (27.21) wrote:

devoish

I think it is not correct to say that Somalia, Zimbabwe, and Toga are good examples of “Small government” On the Index of Economic Freedom, Zimbabwe only ranks above North Korea in terms of economic freedom, Toga ranks 126. The top ranked countries are Hong Kong and Singapore with the US coming in 6th. Just because a country has a smaller state budget does not mean that it controls the economy less.

 

“I could offer the USA from 1935 until 1985 as a version of large Gov't. High taxes, excellent growth.”

 

Do not forget that after WWII the rest of the world was in rubble while the US was untarnished. This left the US with less competition and the ability to rebuild the rest of the world. Sweden also did not have war on its soil and so had a great advantage as well.

 

 

 

 

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#8) On April 18, 2009 at 5:01 AM, FinancialModeler (26.26) wrote:

devoish, 

What more would you like the Fed to be audited on? There are currently 5 things the Fed is exempt from having an audit on.  

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#9) On April 18, 2009 at 6:43 AM, ralphmachio (23.67) wrote:

OK, so your need for big government protection is entirely based on fear? That's a big surprise. The have's are always afraid of the have nots taking their property from them. If the fear of government intervention is the only thing holding me back from dumping oil in my backyard in your opinion, then you have set the scene for everything that can go wrong with a society, out of fear. So, you pay the government to hire thugs to violate your neighbors right to privacy, because you suspect your neighbor of dumping oil in their backyard. Well, you just created a job! Worthless of course, with no product to sell. Your neighbor, who may or may not have dumped the oil now must pay a fine, if caught, and that takes ENERGY FROM HIS wORK, and gives it to the government who uses it to put up a camera radar ticket dispenser for speeders. That generates more capital for the city, takes away actual man hours of work from the consumer, and the money is spent on strengthening the drug task force. (nevermind the fact that half the members of the drug task force have sold drugs at some point in their life) So, now we have lots of revenue coming in to the government, and lots of capital going out of circulation. What does the government do? Sure everything's safe now, but What's a government to do with that capital? Invest it! In something that will strengthen the government! More laws! DUI Checkpoints! Helicopters with heat sensing radar to find those evil pot growers!

Well that ought to improve revenue for the government, huh? now they should be able to put up new, bigger buildings from which to govern out of, but they spent a little more than their budget justifies? No problem, we'll just take a law or two that we don't usually prosecute, and find new reasons to do so, like... dogs off a leash at the park, uh... 150$. Where does that money come from? Your blessed economy, fool.

The whole time your neighbor, the one you don't trust, was simply pouring old tea on his vegetable garden because he thought it would make his broccoli taste nice, or whatever. Now, his privacy violated, he thinks your a Nazi. Because you were looking out your window, to find fault with your neighbor, you found it!

But nobody is concerned with this violation of the mans privacy for no reason. We have come to believe that it is ok to perform a cavity search to find a stolen gumball. In a society that prosecutes victimless crimes, the police become the criminals, and the citizen becomes the victim. This becomes clear when it is you and the cop, and you fit the category of someone nobody sympathises with. A speeder ooh.  Someone coulda got hurt... Or someone smoking herb... oh no, the kids could see... And who profits? Government. Who gets robbed? Your neighbor, but you don't care about him, he's scary.

Is that freedom? not at all. Take away financial inequality, and you take away crime. Your fear is nurtured by the tv, and the government who tells you you have something to fear.

they cannot justify themselves without an enemy, so there must be someone to vilify. War on drugs? stupid. War on terror? complete fabrication, anyone who doesn't look like you could be colored as a terrorist these days. These wars are excuses to take peoples rights, and steal their property. And eventually, big, unjustifiable government will attack itself when there are no real enemies left. How much did 911 cost? How far do we have to go to find a 'terrorist'? Afghanistan?

That is where your economy went! To justify themselves, the government created criminals, and them prosecuted them! That's great for the economy! That is how government grows. The power to legislate is the governments power. the bigger it gets, the more laws you need, the less freedom you have, the less resources are available for productive things.

 

But, at least you can be sure that your neighbor isn't pouring oil in his backyard. Or can you? Simply put, police don't prevent crime. IF anyone finds out a crime has been committed, then they call the cops. AFTER the crime has been committed. How the hell would you even know if i poured oil in my backyard? The point is, we need to learn to trust one another. There is no working model for that, because it goes against the very essence of power structure. So what does power structure benefit? Those in power.  

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#10) On April 18, 2009 at 6:55 AM, ralphmachio (23.67) wrote:

I simply nicked the surface of big government travesty in the above comment. I left out a large books worth. We would have more models if smaller governments were allowed to operate without influence.

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#11) On April 18, 2009 at 9:50 AM, howyyru (< 20) wrote:

I remember the good old days when Americans tried to be the country everyone else wanted to be like.  Now it appears we have to find someone to be like.  We should be creating the model, not searching for an old version to copy.

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#12) On April 18, 2009 at 12:04 PM, jgseattle (32.68) wrote:

What is the rule of the government?  To me I pay taxes so i can be safe. 

Safe  from attack, to walk the street, to live in my house, to breath the air, to trust the food I buy, to live my life, to allow me access to medicine and healthcare.

So how does the government keep me safe?  Some have argued that they should create trust and let human nature rule.  I think this is the US 1850, where if you settled land you owned it.  But if someone came along who was more powerful they took the land.  Or if you became sick you lost the land, or if someone upstream took the water you had been using you had to go take it back.   This is sort of Darwinian and for some maybe a place to strive for, not me.

I do want a government that provides some safety net for me.  I want a government that will enforce the rules of law.  I want a government that will protect the environment. 

Now how big is the government that I want can be debated but government demands have risen over the years and so should the size of government.

Just a thought.  I wonder how population growth in the US tracks GDP growth over a long period of time.  This leads to the question of How much per person, as compaired to GDP, is the governmet spednding today versus in 1910?

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#13) On April 18, 2009 at 2:30 PM, devoish (99.07) wrote:

The whole time your neighbor, the one you don't trust, was simply pouring old tea on his vegetable garden because he thought it would make his broccoli taste nice, or whatever.

In the world I live in business's with a competitive advantage succeed. If I pay a legitimate waste oil recovery company $1.00/gallon they will take my waste oil and re-refine it into a saleable product. If I do 7 oil changes each day at my shop, I will need to dispose of 500 gallons/month and my cost is $500/month. If a an illegitimate waste oil recovery company charges $.30/ gallon, and dumps the oil into his cesspool. My competitor has a $300/month advantage he can use to undercut prices and drive me out of business. A large EPA can run enough random checks to catch him, a small one cannot. When I am forced out of business, and the legitimate recycler is forced out of business, where does the oil go? You "trust" your neighbor, and I am sure he is nice enough to talk to but somebodys neighbor isn't trustworthy. S0 Ralph, I am curious where you think the rest of the motor oil, that is not accounted for, is going? I am curious how many fewer EPA inspectors you think are needed to find out.

Over 2 billion gallons of used oil are generated annually. Of the 100 million gallons re-refined by refiners each year, about two thirds becomes base oil, 15 percent is distilled to become fuels, 10 percent is used as asphalt binder, and 10 percent is water. Re-refined base oil is sold to manufacturers that mix the oil with additives and sell to the industrial and automotive market. Some waste oil is burned to help run the re-refinery process, while some may be sold on the market for other purposes. The asphalt flux is sold to roofing manufacturers, road asphalt suppliers, or as industrial fuel.

Model your small EPA for me. You can use pre-1970 USA as there was no EPA then. I would like you to include something about Lake Erie, and the Cayahuga River, and also find an example of industry policing itself without the fear of being regulated, and how often that plan succeeds as compared to how often it failed.

Financial Modeler,

I would like to begin with a complet list of Fed Reserve shareholders, and the actions of the Fed as compared to the value of those shares. When was the last audit of the Fed of any kind done? I did not know there was any restriccted information at all. I just thought the law required getting permission from the Fed in order to audit the Fed, sort of like me needing permission from my son to see my sons grades. I would love to understand more about what is presumed to have a need to be kept secret. Thanks.

Sargon,

Somalia, Zimbabwe, and Toga are real examples of "small" Government and the unrestrained criminal organisations they become. Hong Kong and Singapore,seem to be succesful economys, just as Qatar is. Is it realistic to expect the US economy to be able to duplicate their models? In the case of Hong Kong, is it possible for the USA to be the gateway for a Country with 1000 times its population? How do they protect themselves militarily and can we duplicate that strategy? do they derive income from protecting business's from the higher taxes in the Countries where they earn money? Is there an economy 50 times our size to which we could supply a similar service? If a country like the USA needs to tax at 30% to supply services to 300 million people, then a country like Singapore could hide the taxes of USA companys for $.10 on the dollar and supply services to a population of 30 million. A win for everyone but the citizens of the USA. Tell me how it works for here.

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#14) On April 18, 2009 at 5:59 PM, SARG0N (27.21) wrote:

devoish,

I still disagree with using counties like Zimbabwe as examples of small government. Zimbabwe’s government spent 56.4 percent of GDP. Larger developed countries can get by with larger government expenditures only because in previous times there was little government expenditures and the economy was allowed to build a foundation for the county.

You may decry America’s past where economic Social Darwinism was the rule but it provided the foundation for why our country is now the most prosperous. Countries that allow the companies that are; weak, inefficient, and obsolete to remain in place will retard and stagnate their economies and thus will not evolve to meet the needs of society. In countries that practice Economic Social Darwinism the newer more efficient companies will be allowed to replace the old inefficient ones which will result in more advanced goods at lower prices thus increasing the wealth of society. Economic Social Darwinism is necessary for the continual healthy development and evolution of civilization.   

I do agree that the US is not in the same position as a city-state because of our size and the fact that we are not a homogeneous society thus we need more defenses and the like, however we can still strive for a small and effective government even if we cannot completely replicate A Hong Kong or Singapore. It is still possible to have a smaller more efficient government than most other countries and be a lure for the world’s capital.  

Government is a necessity for protecting the rights of its subjects but oftentimes big government will have an inverse effect. I do not know about you but I will not be investing any money in the big government county of Venezuela where one’s factory or mine can be sized at the whim of a politician. A country with a small and efficient government is preferable to a bloated and inefficient big one. Just like it is preferable to invest in an efficient company that kepts costs under control and maximizes profits than it is to invest in a big bloated company rife with legacy costs and graft.   

In history there are good leaders and bad leaders and good governments and bad ones. In my opinion the ones who were good were the ones that when they died their country was secure and the treasury was full. In contrast the poor leaders were the ones who squandered the country’s wealth on gratuitous and self-indulgent spending and the rewarding of their cronies which resulted in an empty treasury and a bereft country. Ancient Confucian China was an example of good small government. At one time they had only 13 thousand government employees to run a nation of 60 million. China would over time get bigger and bigger until the government would collapse under its own weight and the cycle would repeat.

Call me old school but I would much prefer a small government employed by dedicated individuals who have the interests of the county at heart that a big government where the country is bogged down by a bureaucracy that expands to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.     

 

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#15) On April 18, 2009 at 7:27 PM, ralphmachio (23.67) wrote:

Devoish, you seem to know your business, and it the statistics involving recovery, and indirectly what gets dumped, and how that reflects human nature.

That being said, what is the root of the problem?

I see two ways off the top of my head that this problem could be rectified. Real world, and Ralph Machio's fantasy world. The government could spend the same, maybe less, maybe much less rectifying used oil, rather than hunting down those who dump it, fining them, stealing their money... that's not their style though. Then they'd be here for our sake, rather than vice versa.

The better way, idealistic as it is, would be to recognize that we live in a system of artificial scarcity designed to pump money into the richest .5%, and do away with the rich psychopaths, and their system of currency, which once understood equals slavery. Then their would be no reason to dump oil, because we would already have the technology in place to travel without the need for it. That may just be some conspiracy theory to some, but who is the largest corporation in the world? 

We have a nation full of specialists in their particular field, with maybe a few hobbies, that know jack shit about anything else, effectively becoming a tool for industrialist robber barons, and not much else. They do not ponder the very essence of their existence, they do not think for a moment that the very system they serve is the cause of all their strife, they strive for a bigger piece of a mediocre pie, not even considering that there might be some better pies out there. they don't care that they are getting screwed, as long as they can see someone else getting screwed harder.

Our world is designed to keep the masses working for the sake of the elite. When we war, it never benefits the soldier, only the plutocrats.

So, how would Ralph do things different? As unfair as it is to ask me how to fix something that is f-ed up beyond repair, that i've been complaining about since 6th grade, when I realized we exterminated the Native Americans, and how that was no different from the holocaust, but we learned of 'manifest destiny' in school as our excuse. Karma (as misinterpreted by most westerners) dictates that there is no good solution for a bad group of people, and they must swim in their own bad karma. That becomes evident when trying to explain how simple, easy, friendly it could be, if we learned to live as brothers. It isn't karma, however. It is a guilty conscience that feels we deserve some retribution. Why else would we have a military larger than the rest of the worlds combined, or at least  spend more? That is not a sign of a country whose righteousness would be enough to garner respect.

Ralph would do things similar to Ron Paul, but I really feel it is too late. The cancer has progressed too far, and we missed our opportunity to cut it out after we realized it was malignant, 911. If y'all are still wavin yer red white and blue pom poms now, were F---ed. End of story.

We lack the brains to balls ratio that former generations had. In fact, we're a little shy in both areas. I've heard some say that what less government equals is Darwinism, which i don't believe. The opposite is self evident, as the weak have taken over the upper and middle classes, and they want a strong government to protect their shiny stuff. Well, with all due respect, I'm not impressed 

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#16) On April 19, 2009 at 12:49 AM, devoish (99.07) wrote:

Ralphmachio, 

Devoish, you seem to know your business, and it the statistics involving recovery, and indirectly what gets dumped, and how that reflects human nature.

That being said, what is the root of the problem?

The root of this problem is an EPA that is to small to sort through this and one hundred other issues. Someday the EPA may become corrupted in such a way that it abuses its authority to benefit one business over another. But for now it is the goal of correcting environmental damage that is benefiting one business over another. The allowing of environmental damge also advantages one business over another.

Many people argue that concern for CO2 is an abuse of its power, because they do not believe CO2 is a problem. I have even read CAPS players suggest that there is no money in being a global warming skeptic. I think he was selling aload of crap.

 http://www.exxonsecrets.org/maps.php 

Sargon,

It is still possible to have a smaller more efficient government than most other countries and be a lure for the world’s capital.

This is the model I have asked for, and that our small Gov't advocates are still searching for.

My data is from 2007 anmd Zimbabwe is at 43%. I would like a link to yours if it is more recent. Mine is from Nationmaster. You are correct. Current Zimbabwe has become a bad example as its economy has collapsed and the Gov't is fast becoming the only thing left, like Iraq. Finding data about the size of Zimbabwe for the last ten years might be interesting.

Howyyru,

Wirth so many people pushing for small Gov't like it is a cure-all for todays problems as opposed to the idea that got us here, I just thought we should stop and look at what "small" Gov't really is. It is not good.

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#17) On April 19, 2009 at 3:16 AM, whereaminow (42.76) wrote:

devoish,

+1 rec for the excellent and well thought out post.  My response is too lengthy for a comment so am I forced to make a continuation post here.   

I hope I can keep this debate lively, informative, and passionate while maintaining the thoughtful tone of your post.

Congrats on bringing a great debate to the CAPS community.

David in Qatar 

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#18) On April 19, 2009 at 10:30 AM, ralphmachio (23.67) wrote:

As far as I'm concerned, you can all have your super sized government. Just leave me with some option aside from following you all off the cliff like the enormous herd of lemmings you clearly appear to me as. That huge government is just an oversized anchor, and will sink the ship. Grab onto the anchor if you like, but eventually there are gonna be some people who wanna cut the chord. 

If good behaviour requires more legislation, we as a species are making no progress. We should learn to live on this Earth without infringing on other's happiness. This government spills a lot more than oil, it just does it in other peoples backyards.

like i said, I know most people require a large government for the feeling of safety, but you need to leave an option for those of us that demand to be free, who are responsible caretakers of the planet, and don't require babysitters, in fact CAN'T STAND them. It requires an open mind to see it, but the big government you speak of are the largest criminal syndicate on the planet today. Good luck with those demons.  

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#19) On April 20, 2009 at 9:39 PM, devoish (99.07) wrote:

Ralph,

How do you handle the people that are not responsible caretakers of this planet? What have YOU done?

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#20) On May 22, 2009 at 12:48 PM, wrparks (66.35) wrote:

Using models of the smallest most corrupt governments is just as dishonest as using models of the biggest governments.  Think Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, Cambodia, Vietnam, 1930's Japan, China. 

Those were all what I would consider big governments.  Not always economically large, but large in the effect of having a huge impact and control over the lives of their citizens.  You support big government, but I don't contend that you think these are models of what we should emulate. Citing extremes to make a point is foolish and only has the effect of creating divisions between partisans and moves the debate nowhere since the inverse is always equally true.

You seem to imply that a small government is the same thing as anarchy.  That a government that has laws is inherently big.  This simply isn't true.  There are some who believe that, but they are marginalized to the point that they can safely be ignored.  

You cite our current crisis as one of small government.  That is demonstrably false.  The crisis is one of big government not carrying out their mandated responsibilities.   The SEC has the mandate to regulate industry.  They didn't.  Ratings agencies have the mandate to insure that they comprehend the securities they rate and can come up with valid ratings.  They didn't.  Banks have the mandates to present accurate and meaningful risk assessments.  They didn't.  These are all fraud and a crime.  We have the regulartory mechanisms in place to solve all these problems, but they didn't work, so your solution is to give them more money and power.  Throwing more money and power at people who choose not to use it will not advance any cause, and is very risky in the long run.  

Right now, a government is in power that you support and believe in.  No matter what the press may be saying about the Repulican party and conservatives in general, they are not dead.  They will be in power again.  It probably won't even take 10 years to happen.  We have just seen what 8 years of stupidity on the part of republicans gives us (meaningless wars, bank bailouts, government expansion, etc).  Do you advocate they have this same power again?  If not, you better be very careful what you wish for, because power is hard to relinquish once it is given.

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