Friday, October 17, 2008

Myopia

or Why The Marxist (Obama) Will Win

In watching the behavior of all the voters of every stripe - the average American, the part of the blogosphere I inhabit, and the myriad of pundits, newsmen, commentators, and assholes that make up my stream of inforama - I am reminded of that age-old lesson I use on a daily basis in tech support, and regularly in my everyday life:

People are Idiots!

This becomes wholly apparent every four years as we struggle to decide who is the best-sounding and best looking candidate for president. Never mind qualifications. Never mind ideas. This year it's the "maverick" career politician who has had problems deciding which party he's in versus a Marxist freshman senator who held such prestigious jobs such as community agitator. The decision here is which candidate least falls under the description of "fucking clown shoes." It's like the old saying: Those who can do, do; those who can't do, teach; those too dumb to teach, get elected.

So how do we get saddled with these rejects from the private sector? Myopia.

Myopia is defined thus: : a lack of foresight or discernment : a narrow view of something. This pretty much describes why we can't pick a leader worthy of wiping our asses with half the time.

The electorate roughly breaks down this way: you have 20% on each side that are party loyal. Doesn't matter, they'll vote their party like red or blue lemmings, no matter what. You have 20% each side that are ideology-driven. They'll consider options when people fit into their ideology, but in a presidential race, they'll either vote with the lemmings or go third party if they're pissed enough. That's part of what happened in 1992 with Perot. So each side can count on about 40% unless they're a complete idiot or Walter Mondale. T hat leaves 20% that are really up for grabs (although this varies depending on how hard ACORN is working to subvert the election) Essentially, these people are so wrapped up in their half-assed little lives that whatever politician can promise them the thing they need most will get their vote. Ideology doesn't matter, their vision for the next 4, 8, 20 years doesn't matter, and their interpretations of the functions of the Constitution sure don't matter. What matters is goodies from the Washington tit.

Much of the debates, rhetoric, and campaign bullshit is directed toward that segment called either the "middle class," or the "working class," or the proletariat if you want to employ the old Marxist lingo here (and I do for obvious partisan reasons). In fact, this is the idea behind the effective idiocy of the class warfare strategery. This assfisted practice was most effectively employed during the Clinton administration, when ol' Bill would get some "regular person" to stand up so he could tell "their story" and, consequently, sell you his snake oil that way. It worked so well, in fact, that every dickhole since has adopted it.

So now we take the concept of rights and stretch them wider than Larry Craig in a bathroom stall with Barney Frank. We expand the government into a partial owner of a whole industry. We're considering throwing money at every problem known to man, woman, child, and transtesticled dog. And we keep adding money and bureaucracies and red tape to every single aspect of American life. And people are okay with this because it doesn't mean they have to be distracted from America's Got Talent (and government-subsidized lobotomies).

Back when the Founding Fathers were risking the noose to break away from England, they knew what they did to set up the country would reverberate through the centuries. And because they looked ahead to what mattered, they gave us a good foundation on which to build. Those that fought to protect this country, or keep it together, or to defeat an evil that threatened to consume the world did so not because they would get the GI Bill or some cool benefit from their Uncle Sam, but because they understood that we pay for freedom in blood. And the greatest of our leaders over the 225+ years of our existence did not give us stuff to make us happy, but told us what was needed so we could seek our own happiness free of the tyranny we have thrown aside.

It's time we remembered that. To be honest, if I were to base my vote on what would bring me the most benefits based on my financial situation, it would be a vote for Barack Obama. I put that in bold because, as I look through his plans and listen to his promises, The Marxist is pretty much guaranteeing a transfer of wealth through "tax cuts" that are really welfare checks. Considering my situation, I would get one of those checks. And with all the low income programs that would come online, I may end up getting some of that "affordable housing" despite the market mess.

But I can't vote that way. I have to consider what will make us free from the addiction to government largesse. I have to consider that we're piling up debt, we're failing to fix every problem Washington has caused, and I know my children are going to be looking back at this time when they grow up (as I do with the Carter years) and ask, "What the shit were you trying to do to our country?"

Now I freely admit that John McCain isn't really an answer and that my vote for him would only be a vote for the lesser of two evils. So I'm thinking about that third party option (and hoping I can get hold of ACORN's voter registrations so the passengers of the Titanic can vote third party with me.

Maybe our next great leader will hear this and get off his ass for 2012.

56 comments:

Bullfrog said...

LOL! That Mondale comment was priceless! Nicely done. If you want a real conservative in 2012, 4 years of Obama should do it, no? 4 years of peudo-conservatism compliments of McCain will only further redefine Conservatism until eventually the 2 parties are exactly the same. We are already pretty close...

Jennifer said...

I'll be back in a few hours....I just started reading it and realized that it was time to head off to school.....PTA calls! BBL

Patrick M said...

Bullfrog: I felt an obligation not to insult idiots there.

Jennifer: Since Blogger hasn't blocked me yet, I'm reasonably certain it'll be here when you get back. Hope you enjoyed the PTA'ing.

Mike's America said...

Give Larry Craig the benefit of the doubt. I would be willing to bet he has much higher standards than to invite Barney Frank into his stall.

Patrick M said...

Mike: Point taken. In a choice between a stranger who may have a disease and gay bathroom stall sex with Barney Frank, perhaps the crap shoot (pun intended) with the anonymous partner would be safer.

Mike's America said...

Patrick: It's the difference of an anonymous encounter with someone who MIGHT have a disease versus one who CERTAINLY does.

Besides, you ever taken a close look at Barney Frank?

Gayle said...

Good for you, Patrick M, for not voting for Obama even though it would benefit you financially to do so. Unfortunately, there are too many people who don't have one iota of your patriotism. What's good for you personally isn't necessarily good for the country, but there's a lot of selfish people around. It's pitiful and in this case even dangerous!

You put it all in a nutshell when you wrote "Essentially, these people are so wrapped up in their half-assed little lives that whatever politician can promise them the thing they need most will get their vote." Actually, it's worse than pitiful!

I'm not counting out McCain/Palin yet though. I believe ACORN may be Obama's Achilles Heel. More is coming out about his connection with ACORN and it's more proof that he's lying. If the majority of the MSM wasn't in the tank for him, he'd be done by now. At any rate, ACORN may be driving us crazy, but it's not doing him any good. That's what he gets for hanging around with so many nuts!

Toad734 said...

Wow, it just occurred to me you really don't understand the ACORN situation at all. And of course you weren't writing about election fraud when votes from black areas were being thrown out by white people.

Obama isn't advocating the transfer of wealth, he is trying to reverse the transfer of wealth that has gone from the middle class to the ultra wealthy in the form of outsourcing, union busting, gas prices, food prices, home foreclosures, accounting and market fraud, war/war contractors, etc. How many times do we have to go through this? A 3% tax increase on 5% of the population will do less damage than a 15% tax break for 1% of the population. At record deficits someone will have to pay for that. Now, you may be able to keep Paris Hilton's taxes low for the next few years because her paying an extra 3% will kill jobs and stop investment (ya right) but that just means your children will have to pay 50% in taxes when they realize they have to clean up the mess you have helped create with your vote.

Under Republican rule the last 8 years the federal government has grown 60%, McCain has voted with this administration 90% of the time. What does that tell you? What that tell me is that when you refer to "The Marxist" you are really referring to Bush and the Republican party who are now taking ownership of industry, socializing corporate losses and have always wanted a big intrusive government when it comes to our private lives, bodies, sexual practices, marriage preferences, what we can read, watch, what we can and can't do on Sundays, etc.

You are fooling yourself. Let go, vote for Obama, it will benefit you and make you feel better about yourself and possibly redeem you for Voting for Bush the last 2 times and getting us into this mess.

Bullfrog said...

toad: if nothing else, you have the talking points nailed. I am waiting for you to ask where the WMDs are...

shaw kenawe said...

Under Republican rule the last 8 years the federal government has grown 60%, McCain has voted with this administration 90% of the time. What does that tell you?--toad


Well what it tells me is that the Radical Right doesn't listen to facts. Somehow this piece of information doesn't matter because it reveals the truth about the last 8 years (and what a McCain presidency would be)--and they can't handle the truth!


You call a US Senator a "Marxist" and a "terrorist" and those with whom (gayle) disagrees are unpatriotic?

No wonder the country has turned away from the Republican Party.

Americans are sick of its anger, its puerile name-calling and eight years of failed policies.

PS. I have a question for Patrick, who just made an assessment that if the country elects Obama then it proves it is myopic and filled with idiots.

Of course, when the country supported George Bush, I'll bet Patrick thought it was brilliant!

So let's review his logic. Eight years of incompetent (by even Banana Republic standards), catastrophic financial issues, and shameful governance by the Republican Party evidenced real "smarts" by the American people in its choice?

However, now that the American people have a real chance to change that sorry record (because McCain really would be George W. Bush's 3rd Term--his voting record confirms that)--Patrick has determined that they are stupid to do so.

Bless his confused and ideological little heart.

Change is difficult for those who are fearful and angry.

I guess the silliest thing I've read today is that people who vote for what is best for them are selfish. Really. Someone actually typed those words.

Do you eat food that is best for you? Do you want what is best for your children? What on earth is wrong with policies that would benefit the greatest number of people in this country? Tax breaks for the middle class bad? Tax breaks for the 1% of the wealthiest Americans good?

This is what happens when people turn into ditto heads instead of using their heads.

Patrick M said...

Mike: I bow to your powers of persuasion.

Gayle: It's about picking the best person for the country, or in this case the least worst.

And remember: The ACORN doesn't fall far from the (Marxist) tree.

Toad: Live in the now. It's 2008. And I can understand easily what voter fraud is.

Now I'll type this slow so you can understand this.
Market.
forces.
are.
not.
wealth.
transfers.

I know this may shock you, but I do agree with the problems caused by the expansion of government under Bush. And I don't honestly expect McCain to shrink the government. Both candidates are going to end up growing it. So I have to decide who will do the least damage. Then two quotes pop into mind:

"When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." - Barack Obama
"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." - Karl Marx


That makes the decision easy.

Bullfrog: At least we only have to listen to the talking points daily for another 2 1/2 weeks.

Unless they want to start the "selected, not elected" mantra again.

Shaw: First of all, I never called The Marxist a terrorist. And Gayle didn't say people who disagreed with her were unpatriotic (at least not here). So let's continue with your attempts to misquote and mischaracterize everyone.

I have a question for Patrick, who just made an assessment that if the country elects [The Marxist] then it proves it is myopic and filled with idiots.

No, that's not what I said. I said The Marxist would win because people are myopic. We have the candidates we have this year for the same reason. If people used their brains when they voted, we'd have people who weren't the worst we could find at the top (in both parties). It's why we term-limited the president and will probably eventually term-limit the congress.

Bless his confused and ideological little heart.

What blog are you reading? I think I've ripped on both parties for messing things up.

So let's just have fun with quoting the talking points:

Bless his confused and ideological little heart.

Uh, where, um, is, uh, the, um, uh, confusion that, uh, you, um, speak of? Oh yeah, there is none.

I guess the silliest thing I've read today is that people who vote for what is best for them are selfish.

Actually, it was people voting for their little issue without considering how it will affect everything around them. It reminds me of the gay marriage amendment we had here in Ohio a couple years ago. It actually would affect straight unmarried couples and lessen rights, but passed because it "banned gay marriage." If I just voted "family values" I would have voted for it. But the way it was written was bad, so I voted against it. It's called the big picture. I see it. You (theoretically) see it. But there's plenty of people who don't have a clue who are voting. And chances are, they were registered by ACORN. 37 times, too.

Change is difficult for those who are fearful and angry.

Sounds like you and Toad will have some change issues. Lat time I visited your blog it was all anger, all the time.

Tax breaks for the middle class bad? Tax breaks for the 1% of the wealthiest Americans good?

Good one. How about tax breaks for everyone?

This is what happens when people turn into ditto heads instead of using their heads.

Actually, I'm annoyed with Rush. I think of something, then he says it before I can post it. So if I post it, then I look like I'm just getting my marching orders. But you know I'm smarter than that. I know I'm smarter than that.

Okay, I'm bored with refutations and mocking. Waiting for something cogent now.

Toad734 said...

Bullfrog:

So where are they? Joe the Plumber is still convinced we needed to go into Iraq. I fear that is the mainstream thinking among Ohio single dads in middle America...Am i right?

Toad734 said...

Pat:

So what, do we give tax breaks to everyone, every year until there are no taxes on anyone and we can no longer to invade other countries, subsidize Exxon and Israel, pay corn farmers more than what their corn is worth...oh wait, that actually would be a good thing. But we still have shitty schools, I am all for cutting all that bullshit waste as I am sure you are except when it comes to killing Arabs and taking over countries but the problem is we don't know how to use our taxes and the people who are benefiting from this system are the rich military contractors, banking CEOs, Ag Business executives, etc.

You do realize the ultra rich have only had their taxes go down since the 1950s, the same with corporate taxes. They can only go so low, we have hit that point. I still don't know how you say "lower taxes for everyone" but when that isn't possible you just say lower taxes for the richest 1%(AKA NOT YOU). Its like having the choice to stop a runaway train full of people. You want to save everyone and you have the track switch in your hand to keep two trains from a head on collision but then you see a rich guy asleep on the alternate track and instead of going ahead and swithcing the track which would result in the death of a rich guy, you do nothing to allow two trains to collide killing hundreds. It just doesn't make any sense. Especially if that rich guy getting squashed benefited a whole lot of other people since his wealth will now be passed on to his children and favorite charities.

So go ahead, vote for McCain and let those trains collide.

As far as spreading the wealth around, ask King Louis XVI what happens when you hoard all the wealth and let the poor fend for themselves.

Myself said...

"Why The Marxist (Obama) Will Win"

Because the so called "Middle Class" people ar so dumb they can't see thru him.

I bet these people that Joe the plumber to, dont stay at a swanky hotel and order lobster hor de orves, 2 steamed lobsters and IRANIAN cavier to nibble on.....
these people need to really look into the person they are cheering for..
I hope all the snooty, rich liberals enjoy all the myriad tax increases that will be proposed by an Obama administration.

Patrick M said...

Toad: First of all let me take over for Bullfrog, because you bring up Ohio's single dads:

They're in Syria, although they may have moved since then. And there's a wide range of opinion on Iraq.

Now on to taxes.

You do realize the ultra rich have only had their taxes go down since the 1950s

That's what happens when you have a tax system that can be manipulated by politicians who get plenty of that sweet cash from them "ultra rich" (George Soros jumps to mind here for some reason). So as long as the tax system can be geared to soak the middle and upper class, buy the votes of the poor, and conveniently ignore those people you loathe the most.

(prepare your groan)

Luckily, I have a better idea . It's a little system called the FairTax (you may groan now).

The subsidization of America is an issue we can solve only if people are aware of how much the government sucks out of them. So you let everyone keep what they earn, and only pay the taxes when they buy stuff. Then, the poor don't pay taxes, their take-home income increases, and the rich pay out the ass when they go buy a yacht or two, which then employs an assload of people.

If you take away the ability of the government to control their income (other than changing the single tax rate), then we get closer to rooting out the spending problem. And we get people off the addiction of government money.

Myself: Welcome to that which is sane madness.

The Marxist has a set of supporters that will easily benefit from tax breaks when he's in office. It's just a matter of soaking the people that didn't vote for him.

Iran has caviar? Crap, between that and the lobster, I'm getting hungry.

An American Girl said...

So here’s the challenge. We know that Obama is a dirty lying Marxist and if he wins the presidency, he’ll surrender to the terrorists, weaken our national security, decimate our military, scrap our navy, scrap our nuclear defenses, give up our national sovereignty to world government organizations, pack the court with liberal activist judges, nationalize our banking systems (oops, scratch that, nearly done already, but he’ll finish the job), nationalize our health care systems, seize our oil companies, nationalize our transportation systems, sign international global warming treaties, raise our taxes, and destroy what’s left of our economy and our freedom.

So what MORE can we do to save our freedom? Does anyone have a plan to swing the so-called battleground states to our side? I can’t believe that Americans would be so dumb to not see the stark differences between these two visions for America. It truly will be a dark period for America if the socialist Marxists seize power!

Well, I don’t think Americans are that stupid. If Obama wins, he’ll be winning via ACORN. Massive nationwide voter fraud!
Ok, I feel much better now.

Patrick M said...

Girl: First of all, welcome. Second, you're not feeling the love for The Marxist, are you? :)

The only thing that could really hurt us is if the Democrats also get a 60-seat Senate. If that happens, it's the Marxist-Pelosi-Reid axis for two years. Think Carter.

Then think what happened after Carter.

Satyavati devi dasi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Satyavati devi dasi said...

I ain't feelin any love for me here in the shanty tonight, Patrick.

I might cry. You know I'm like that.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Seriously, have any of yall, besides possibly Patrick, actually READ the Communist Manifesto, know what the difference is between Socialists and Communists, have any idea what and how many good things in this country were brought about by Socialist activism and how many successful, civilized, industrialized nations today operate under at least a partially Socialist system?

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph... Why don't we just exhume McCarthy and start the witch hunts all over again?

Beth said...

I have read the Communist Manifesto, did a paper on it in high school, so it was a while ago. But it is class warfare, plain and simple. And when put into practice, it's inherent problems have shown that you need a totalitarian government to implement the system.

It is diametrically opposed to the ideals the United States was founded upon, and since our young nation (compared to Europe) has become a super power in our short history I think shows how our free society (including free market capitalism) works. Not to mention why so many people want to immigrate here, to the land of opportunity, not the land of socialism.

Myself said...

Oh please, Satyavati, Barak has openly said that we wants to redistribution the wealth. He wants to raise taxes on all ... That form of socialism

Socialism uses government power to redistribute wealth. .... Socialism is usually considered by most to be a weaker form of a communistic government

Here's the problem: Barack Obama is cut from the same cloth as Jesse Jackson
And Jeremiah wright, who are both anti-white, anti-Israel "liberation
Theology" Preachers

Jackson said that Obama wants an aggressive and dynamic diplomacy. He went
on to criticize the Bush administration's handling of Middle East diplomacy,
telling the Post, Bush was so afraid of a snafu and of upsetting Israel
that he gave the whole thing a miss. Barack Obama will change that, because, as
long as the Palestinians haven't seen justice, the Middle East will remain
a danger to us all

Beth said...

Socialism isn't a weaker form of Communism as much as it is a transition towards Communism. Thing is that it really gets stuck there, because the government just cannot get out of the way, too drunk with power perhaps.

Patrick M said...

Saty: If you need a hug...

*hug*

Better? If pure socialism could be achieved, it would not be pure evil. But socialism requires everyone to ply by those rules. If someone gains power and then decides to abuse it, you get communism. For socialism to truly work, it would require a fundamental change in human psychology.

And short of mind control, this ain't likely. But, I will give you that some changes would not have happened if we stayed in the thinking of the 16th century.

Beth, Myself: Something to important to remember. Any government, in order to function well, must have a moral compass. The libertarian/conservative approach achieves this by making the ultimate law freedom, only constrained by the freedom of others. Socialism does this by achieving equality for all by the common good. the libertarian approach is less susceptible to corruption in the sense that government is limited. That's the important difference.

Bullfrog said...

Patrick: You are right on point about the 60 seat senate. Congress has alot more to do with legislation than the Prez, so Conservatives should be alot more focused on these elections than the Presidential one in my opinion.

Let's compare an Obama vs. McCain presidency in light of the inevitable filibuster-proof majority the Democrat stand to gain in both the House and Senate in a couple weeks:

McCain + House and Senate majority immune to filibuster

Obama + House and Senate majority immune to filibuster

Are you seeing what I am seeing? That there really is no difference between the 2 administrations for the next 4 years, except labels and the mild amount of resistance McCain MIGHT represent, assuming he suddenly makes a sharp right-turn in the weeks to come?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Here's just a couple of random thoughts:

Part of the problem in all these arguments is that the middle class is essentially being forgotten. The rich are screaming that their taxes will increase to benefit the poor who "aren't willing" or "won't" work. What happens to all those people in the middle?

I'm talking about people who go to work every single day (and sometimes, like me, to more than one job). These people a. make too much money to qualify for assistance programs b. are not in the top percentages of income earners that would qualify them for McCain's tax cuts c. make less than $250K, which would put them in Obama's tax breaks territory.

Now, either everyone who writes (excepting you, Patrick, cause I saw what you wrote) is stunningly wealthy and truly believes that the vast majority of people in this country don't work because they don't want to, and that all the people who are currently suffering economically aren't working but are just sitting around smoking crack and perpetrating heinous deeds... or we have a magnificent example of delusional herd thinking.

I'm not wealthy. I work two jobs. My husband works one. We have a house and two vehicles, all of which are up to date on payments. We have no children, no criminal records, and have never been able to qualify for assistance even when we needed it, back when I was in school and our combined gross income was $22K.

There are surely people who know how to work a system and surely people who can figure out how to do nothing and make it pay. This will happen regardless of your system. There are far more people who honestly work, honestly struggle and honestly find themselves pushed down further into a hole that becomes their grave.

This IS class warfare. We've been saying for years that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The big brass at Exxon get billions while people struggle to pay to get gas in their tanks so they can get to work. That's just one example.

A strictly pure capitalism won't work any better than a strictly pure communism. Incorporating elements of both can probably bring the best results.

But a mob mentality is just that, and it's easier to believe lies that match your preconceived notions versus truth that doesn't.
Ignorance in general doesn't help, and ignorance breeds fear.

I don't have all the answers to this, but I can tell you that the answer is not in continuing to benefit a few at the top at the expense of all those at the bottom.

Bullfrog said...

satya: Regarding the McCain propsed tax cuts, and his intent to extend the Bush tax cuts. My family is considered middle class, and I still remember seeing a difference in my paycheck when Bush's tax cuts went into effect. That is real, empirical evidence that, despite the "herd thinking" of the left, tax cuts do not just benefit the ultra-rich. So, if Obama lets the Bush tax cuts expire, I will pay more taxes. If he intends to put into place the programs he has promised to, in spite of the current economy, I will most certainly pay even more taxes.

Obama's statement that he will cut taxes for "95% of tax payers" doesn't hold true under real scrutiny so I wish his loyal supporters would either look harder at the fuzzy math, or stop echoing this misleading statement as justification for their support for Obama.

Not that this hasn't been beat to death, but the interaction between Obama and Joe the plumber reflects exactly what Obama's intentions are: "spread the wealth".

Why should people who are successful financially, like your exxon billionaires, be penalized for doing well? Robin Hood took money from a corrupt government to give back to those from whom money was stolen, arguably a noble thing. Obama wants to take money from anyone who does well and give to those who, for one reason or another, haven't done as well. This is immoral.

Beth said...

Question for Saty or any other liberal leaning person. Don't you see how TAXES are being used as a friggin' political football? Our elected officials from both sides of the aisle use them like candy to buy votes. This is a major problem with our current tax system! It's used to manipulate us in all sorts of ways (encourage home buying, and giving to charities, for example) not to mention as I said to buy yours and my vote.

Toad, you may not like corporate America and think they are greedy pigs for wanting to take your money, but it's not like we don't know that this is precisely their motive (to PROFIT!) At least you and I have CHOICES when it comes to the free market and where we chose to spend our money, or even if we chose NOT to spend our money, at say Wal Mart, if that company bothers you (doesn't bother me a bit, but I know it does some people). My point being, businesses, if they want to succeed, ultimately have to GIVE you something to make you part with your money. The government does not have to give you a damn thing, and you and I have no choice in the matter as to how much we give good old Uncle Sam.

So, can you understand why there are those of us who want to shrink the bloated federal government and have them stop using class warfare to makes us spend all this effort and keystrokes at Patrick's fine blog arguing over this crap, when Patrick could be writing nice stuff over at his poetry and writing blogs instead????

Beth said...

AND another thing, about your comment Saty that pure capitalism can't work, I truly in my heart of hearts think it can and does, and I will tell you why. Our country has such a wonderful human spirit, that whenever someone is in trouble, there are great Americans who step up to help those truly in need. Look at 9-11 and people coming to help, or Katrina, or even when disasters strike outside our borders, we are a giving people.

I understand, there are people in need, some in desperate need, and they need help. They can get help without the government doing it.

It's when everything becomes some sort of "right" that people become dependent when they should not. I think people think of rights as guarantees, and that was never the intention of rights in our free country. As Patrick has pointed out, rights should never come at the price of taking something from someone else. If a person gives freely of their money or their help, that is different, it is not infringing upon them whatsoever.

And I believe that we have a moral obligation to help others, just not through the government deciding how to spread around the wealth.

Patrick M said...

Bullfrog: It's why I keep hoping I can find a third party candidate to support. But I'll take McCain on the chance he might veto something. He can't be as bad as Bush on that count, can he?

Wait, I REALLY don't want that answered....

Saty: The people of the middle class are the engine that makes things in this country work. They're taxed enough to keep them down, and can't qualify for a lot of things designed to buy the poor vote.

This is why I usually look to limiting the role of government. It gives the individual the best chance to make something happen. Same with the FairTax. It gives control to the individual in such a way as to allow them to decide how much tax to pay.

Essentially, I agree that pure capitalism leads to domination by the rich class. Any extreme system is controlled by those that have the power. However, a free market, which is capitalism with minimum necessary regulation (and no industry-nationalizing bailouts) is the closest we can get to enabling as many people as possible to succeed. Essentially, the more we grow the government, the more likely it is that the rich will buy influence and the poor will be bought with free stuff. And the middle class gets to watch (government-subsidized digital) TV.

Beth: I actually have to disagree with you on pure capitalism (see above).

BTW, have I gotten you hooked on the FairTax yet?

Bullfrog said...

patrick: it's time you stopped "teetering", stop by my blog and have a read, I think I can finally convince you to vote 3rd party after all...

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Me and Patrick agreed on something?!

Oh my God.. it's gonna snow.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

"Wonderful human spirit" is warm, fuzzy, and emotionally soothing, Beth, but it hasn't got anything to do with pure capitalism.

Capitalism is making the biggest bang for your buck at the expense of anyone and everyone.

Capitalism is shipping jobs overseas at the expense of the people who live down the block and depend on that job to eat, pay their mortgage, and carry on a decent living.

Capitalism is price gouging on gas every time a storm blows through the Gulf of Mexico.

Capitalism is, to steal my (conservative) father's phrase, "hooray for me and the hell with the rest of the world".

People wanting to donate to others is nice and fine. That spirit's only connexion to capitalism is that capitalism creates a system in which an enormous amount of people are placed in financial bondage to and for the benefit of a very small group, and such a situation necessitates that there be people who are wanting to donate to others, because others will always be in desperate need.

Patrick M said...

Bullfrog: it's time you stopped "teetering"...

I surspect I will continue to do so until election day.

Saty: "Wonderful human spirit" is warm, fuzzy, and emotionally soothing, Beth, but it hasn't got anything to do with pure capitalism.

I'm assuming we agree that pure capitalism can be perverted into something bad. But Beth's "Wonderful human spirit" is what can make the free market economy work.

Consider that pure socialism places people in bondage to the whim of the state to serve the "greater good" while providing no reason to work harder to succeed. After all, if someone makes to much money under it, that money has to go to those who need it most.

I found this piece by Lauren Green which describes why pure capitalism doesn't work. Essentially, in a society with a greater and moral purpose, where the accumulation of wealth is looked on as an opportunity to help others, not by government mandate, but by altruistic vision. And that spirit is present in many of us. We have only to tap it and get out of the way. And enforce this generosity by the force of custom, not bureaucratic dictate.

You offer help to the poor by forced redistribution. I offer it by free association.

Now, as for your other points:

Gas spikes in the wake of a hurricane are good in that they price gas based on the temporarily limited supply. Otherwise you have runs and rationing.

Jobs get shipped overseas because we punish companies for staying here by taxes and regulation. I come back to the example of the bicycle maker Huffy. They were located here (Celina, OH) for decades. But between dropping prices on bikes in general, the assload of taxes that get levied, and a union clinging to everything they can get, the company shipped everything off to Mexico. Strangely, those jobs were replaced with other jobs, including the Huffy property being taken over by Crown Equipment (headquartered here in New Bremen). The fact that some of these manufacturing jobs are disappearing is not because of "greed" but because it doesn't make any sense to overpay people to do a job that someone can do for a fraction of that.

Beth said...

I didn't mean that the greatness of the American human spirit has anything to do directly with capitalism, but in conjunction with capitalism it is what makes it work.

As I said, the motive behind business isn't rocket science, just like you don't do anything unless you have a reason to do it, business does not exist and function to do anything but make a profit, otherwise why would they bother?

In addition, I know that businesses of all sizes that give back to the community. If you have ever been a part of a fund raiser, you know that businesses get hit up by many groups for donations, and they do give, and they do sponsor many things. You know that Bill Gates has a big foundation as does the Wal Mart family. Don't want to fund those foundations? Then don't shop with those companies. Me, I don't want my tax dollars funding Planned Parenthood, but I don't really get a say in that, now do I?

Saty, I noticed you ignored my whole point about tax dollars being use to buy votes, am I to take it that you agree with that assessment and it doesn't bother you at all?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

A gas spike is not gas gouging, where prices are rising by the hour.

And shipping jobs overseas because it's cheaper is my whole point. Where's the altruism there?

If people even have the altruistic spirit, how many of them can afford to indulge it?

Unemployment is up in record numbers. Do you think many of those people can afford to go out and be altruistic?

Sure. I've given people money I needed if I felt they needed it more than me. (I have gotten in a great deal of trouble here at the homestead because of this.) But there also comes a time when you haven't got for you or for anyone else either.

Despite how many people may harbour some kind of altruistic impulse, the focus, impetus, and tradition (if you will) in a capitalist country is on making as much for yourself as you possibly can without giving a rat's patootie about other people.

I can name people (Paul Newman) who have done much in the name of helping others. I can also tell you that those people are in general few and far between. Our society (I will not call it a culture) is based on greed and exploitation. Jacob Riis knew this more than a century ago, only people refused to admit it. Now it's celebrated as 'The American Way.'

it doesn't make any sense to overpay people to do a job that someone can do for a fraction of that.

That IS greed, Patrick... that's not patriotism or doing what you can to support Americans or American success. That's leaving the people down the block to languish, lose their homes and cars, and in some cases, never recover financially. But this is capitalism: this is what we strive for and call patriotic. This is outsourcing labour for pennies on the dollar-exploiting the poor of other countries at the expense of those at home.

I don't understand how anyone besides the stockholders can condone this behaviour, celebrate it or make it any kind of acceptable, on either end.

But I think differently.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

And I want to point out this distinction:

Because you find someone in an unspeakably poor third world country who is unprotected by labour laws and so desperate for work that they will work for ridiculously low sums does not mean you were "overpaying" at home.

It means you found someone you can exploit to a higher degree.

Beth said...

In a truly capitalistic society, it behooves the business to have people to actually buy their goods and services, therefore, they don't like a bunch of unemployed people who cannot buy things, right? That's why capitalism works.

Businesses work on contractual concepts, goods and services given in exchange for something of value. If businesses do not live up to their end of the contract, then that is when the law comes in.

Tax codes and union rules that force businesses to increase their cost of doing business are going to consider alternative places to find labor and/or customers. We need management and labor to work together and each live up to their contractual agreements and stop outsiders (like government) tell them what to do.

Patrick M said...


I don't understand how anyone besides the stockholders can condone this behaviour [shipping jobs overseas], celebrate it or make it any kind of acceptable, on either end.


Saty: Here's how. Any free market functions on the idea that any person or company will seek to maximize their profits. Now there are non-monetary reasons for a company or a person to stay loyal to any area (and we have a company here in New Bremen that is that way), but there's a point where that's not enough.

Think of it this way. You move into a house where you only pay $500 for everything. A year later, they add 10% tax - $550. The following year, they raise the initial amount to $600 for services - $660. Then someone comes along and passes a 20% tax for houses paying over $650, no change. Then a cleaning fee is introduced for health reasons. So they add $50 to your monthly bill, jumping you to $650 where the tax kicks in - $780.

Now a little village outside town that was recently connected with a new road due to expansion is offering new rentals for $400. They're not as nice, but they will make it easier to afford other stuff, like food and flowery fabric.

In a sense, this is why the low-skill jobs get shipped. As costs and bullshit continue to rise here, the low-tech, low-skill jobs naturally move to areas of the world where there is a pool of workers who will gladly jump on the higher-paying jobs these companies bring. The tradeoff is that we get merchandise we can more easily afford, and the types of jobs that we have available change. Some of them are shitty service industry jobs, some are high tech.

This country used to be mostly industrial. Back then high tech was mostly confined to NASA, California, and the areas they could easily get stuff from. But as the high-tech stuff has spread, even someone in the middle of nowhere like me can get a tech job, making factory grunting something I don't have to look at anymore.

Furthermore, not every industrial job is headed overseas. While places like GM in Dayton are shutting down, Honda (who's up north and northeast of the GM plant) is in the process of expanding.

In other words, as some jobs leave, others will take their place. And despite the carping of the class whores, not all of them are McJobs.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

Beth: no, I didn't deliberately ignore it.. I was on another tangent. Of course taxes are used as bait or whatever you want to call it. What else are politicians going to use to even attract attention? The vast majority of the population is being ground into dust. This isn't new news.

Patrick: I am one of the few people lucky enough to have no idea what it means to have to search for work. That gives us an amount of financial security a lot of people don't have. And although there are a few people screaming about nurses being shipped in from other countries, they're taking jobs that otherwise go unfilled due to the shortage. (Not to mention that a good number of them, especially contract nurses both American and foreign, make considerably more than I do, so there's no 'cheap labour' motive there.)

The point I'm making, I guess, is that a capitalist system puts profits before people. We can pay people .06 an hour in Country X to do what we have to pay $8/hr here, so we will outsource all our labour there, let the people down the street lose everything, not pass on the savings, and sleep well knowing we've tripled our profit.

Sure, if people feel bad for other people, they might donate whatever. But there will never be an end to it, because the system itself is designed to keep people down and in this bare subsistence level, while a few on top have more than they will ever need.

A system designed to keep you barely above water doesn't really offer you the 'opportunities to succeed' that everyone talks about as being the American Dream. Plenty of people I know who'd like to go to school can't do it because they work two or three low-buck jobs just to make ends meet. They can't further themselves because the system ensures that all their time is running just to stay in place.

This all goes back, at least for me, again, to what I said about equal access. There are far too many people who don't even get a chance to try.

Conservative said...

Third party candidates?
Sounds to me that you have given up and that you are willing to throw in the towel and just give White House over to The Marxist (Obama).

If I were to base my vote on what would bring me the most benefits based on my financial situation, I would NEVER vote for Obama.
Why should I work my ass off and give part of my wealth to lazy drunks and welfare recipients and cheats, who find every reason in the world not to work!

People that only want hand outs and don’t know the meaning of an honest days work. And Obama wants to give them MY wealth for what? No way Jose, not while I’m able to say NO!
Yes indeed, “People ARE Idiots!”

Conservative said...

I don't need any leftist to tell ME about the American Dream.
Where were these people when we were in Vietnam or in Kuwait or in Iraq, those are the people that know about the American Dream and are willing to fight for it. Not sit around and wait for hand outs.

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I guess you may have missed my comment about how people here must be so wealthy that they think that people who aren't in their same stratum are just sitting around, smoking crack, perpetrating heinous deeds and finding excuses not to work.

In reality, while of course there are always some people who will learn how to scam ANY system put in place, there are many more who are honestly working and aren't able to get ahead, because the whole point of capitalism is that a few benefit by the many down below.

So really, this becomes a selfish argument in the end.

Shaw Kenawe said...

There are two problem with the Right's attempt to smear Obama as advocating socialism:

1. No one anymore knows what "socialism" is. The days when the Right could point to the Soviet Union or some other giant example are history - hell China itself is moving towards turbo-capitalism. So normal people hear "sharing the wealth is bad" and it's like, huh? They don't think Stalin, they think that since we're sharing our wealth with these schmucks, maybe we, too, could use a piece of that.

The argument misfires because it has no substantive object
anymore. "Share the wealth," "redistribution of wealth," and "socialism" talk only to a Rightwing base: it is an historical argument, stirring up fears about something that, except in Cuba and a couple other places, simply doesn't exist. And that neatly segues into:

2. Normal people know Obama is no communist, excuse me, socialist, not by a long shot, The charge is totally off the wall, dishonest, really weird with a beard. Worse, it ratchets up hateful, fearful rhetoric to McCarthyite levels when the last thing this country needs is another completely vacuous distraction from the very real problems we simply must confront. So, to the youngsters out there who don't remember the Soviet Union:

Trust me, dear friends, Obama is no Commie, not even close. I have a friend who was behind the Iron Curtain and he tells me it bore not the slightest resemblance to anything any mainstream American politician would propose, let alone do.

Come to think of it, I need to make an exception to that.

When Ari Fleischer, Bush's first press sec'y, warned us all to "watch what what we say, watch what we do," I was reminded of Czechoslovakia in the '80's, when, due to widespread wiretapping and spying, they really did have to watch what they said and did even in hotel rooms or private houses.

Actually, here are other things this REPUBLICAN administration has done that reminded me of Soviet-style Communism - the torture and murder of prisoners, the subversion of a free press with plants and misinformation, the obsession with ideological purity, the corruption of the justice system - I don't need to go on.

But, just to make the point clear, here's a recent example that's all-but-flown under the radar because we're all focused on the election and the economy:

Attorney General Michael Mukasey recently issued new guidelines for the F.B.I. that permit agents to use a range of intrusive techniques to gather information on Americans — even when there is no clear basis for suspecting wrongdoing.

Under the new rules, agents may engage in lengthy physical surveillance, covertly infiltrate lawful groups, or conduct pretext interviews in which agents lie about their identities while questioning a subject’s neighbors, friends or work colleagues based merely on a generalized “threat.” The new rules also allow the bureau to use these techniques on people identified in part by their race or religion and without requiring even minimal evidence of criminal activity.

These changes are a chilling invitation for the government to spy on law-abiding Americans

Does all this make Bush and his Rightwing acolytes Communists? No. Of course not. Just as Obama is no communist, excuse me, socialist. But if you want to talk about which politicians act more like totalitarian dictators, Republicans and their rightwing acolytes really fucking shouldn't be trying to go there.

So stop the baseless, distracting bullshit about "socialism" or, to quote St. John Himself, we just might take the gloves off.

Conservative said...

Satyavati devi dasi said...
"I guess you may have missed my comment about how people here must be so wealthy that they think that people who aren't in their same stratum are just sitting around, smoking crack, perpetrating heinous deeds and finding excuses not to work."

Well DUH! Yes, I do think that!
Regardless of your opinion A socialist is a socialist and what the (he, Obama) wants to do is penalize people for being SUCCESSFUL. Yes I am SUCCESSFUL and I became that way from working hard, working lots of hours, going to collage and learning how to be SUCCESSFUL. I am what I consider to be comfortably wealthy and I enjoy the fine things in live and want to do the best that I can for my family.. That is why I worked so hard for. NOT to help out as you call them and I agree “CRACK HEADS” Yes, people that sit on their ass’s looking for hand outs for the likes of a MARXIST CREEP like Obama. As well as ACORN, and whoever else the Obama campaign/DNC paid to register people.
I’m inclined to distrust EVERY claim of Obama And EVERYTHING he says Given Obama’s history (e.g. caucuses, intimidation, fraud conventions and delegate stealing even before the convention, contributions, and more importantly his associations ) it’s almost believable that he is where he is today. And that shows the stupidly of the people... And since the Democrats accept the BS that he has slung around at will, who’s to know what is and isn’t real?
Let them eat cake, and let them eat crack. Let the crack head go screw himself! I’ll donate MY money if and when I please too. I don’t need no stinken Obama to tell me what to do with MY money.. I already pay enough in taxes and I will shut my business, before I give my hard earned money to some LAZY crack head who doesn’t work and doesn’t pay taxes. That’ the kind of narrow-sighted thinking that the left thrives on.
Where ever there are lies, cheaters, deceit, felenonies committed, Obama is attached to the organization. Is this who America wants for President. People that support Obama have no shame or respect for their country.
I truly feel sorry for all of the people in this country that don’t have enough pride, and interest in our country and it’s future to get informed. We will all pay dearly for this ignorance and laziness. Iam not saying that McCain does not have his faults but at least his goal is the same as most of ours- He loves this country and will do whatever he thinks is best to better the country. Shame on all of you that are willing ot risk this country on SOCIALIST like Obama

Patrick M said...

Saty: I can live with companies putting profits first. It's like us putting food first. Without profits (or food), there's not much of a point.

Conservative: No, I haven't necessarily given up. If there were a third party candidate I could support, I'd be in that camp. But as I'm back to the default candidate (McCain), I'll do what I can to keep the pressure on him to do the right thing while I tear into The Marxist as much as possible to help with his defeat.

But make no mistake. McCain is so far down on my list of people to vote for that, were Hillary in the race instead, I'd consider voting for her, based solely on the chance she'd poll like her husband did. You do have to admit that the Clinton years were a whole lot easier on us than the Carter years.

Also, if you didn't know, Satyavati
is a socialist (despite working fairly well in the free market). So The Marxist, based on her political philosophy, is right up her alley.

Shaw: OH NO!! We're smearing The Marxist. Is talking about factual information smearing? If so, then you're just as guilty. So quit the whining.

That's why I refer to the Marxist as such. So, to repeat what's already on the top:

"When you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody." - Barack Obama

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his need." - Karl Marx


Also, just in case you missed it, Bush isn't running. Is that all you can harp about?

Satyavati devi dasi said...

I reiterate:

There are a vast number of people who work hard every day, sometimes at multiple jobs, and still cannot make ends meet, much less save money, much less get into school or anything else.

These are people who don't smoke crack, commit crimes, or sit around all day.

These are good people who for whatever reason-be it catastrophic medical bills, a plant shut-down, or something else-have found themselves in a precarious financial position.

Many of the wealthy like to believe that those who are not as fortunate as they are, are somehow personally to blame, whether it be through character flaws, laziness, crack smoking or whatever.

This is not the rule.

It is only those who don't look beyond the great white walls that sequester them from the masses that don't realize this.. or if they do, refuse to admit it, because they don't want to care.

Beth said...

Saty, I can admit that there are indeed hard working folks who got a raw deal somewhere through no fault of their own. I am not even opposed to public assistance for these people on a TEMPORARY basis, and managed on a more local level since the federal level is totally inappropriate, and I still think there are some wonderful charities out there helping people everyday.

The fact that life ain't fair, though, should not mean that one who does work hard and succeeds can be bullied into giving their money to others through income redistribution. As a Christian, I believe it is a moral duty to help others, but forcing others to think that way is immoral.

Toad734 said...

Patrick:

It's unfortunate that Ohio's single dads are now in Syria. It just goes to show you what a mistake this whole war was to begin with. Who knows, you may be next. If McCain is President I am sure you will be.

American Girl:

You should try listening to something other than AM radio. It boggles my mind that the things you say are really what a majority of people believe. Please don't vote. In a perfect world someone so misled and uneducated wouldn't be allowed to vote but since you are, please, have another baby or something that day.

Please explain to me how Obama is a terrorist, what terrorist plots he has been involved with and which terrorists he has swore to surrender to?

I'm going to bet a weeks pay you can't!

Patrick M said...

Toad: I'm in my 30's, we have a volunteer army, and you're getting delusional.

Toad734 said...

but if we are in Iraq for 100 years, Mccain "knows how to get Bin Laden" but doesn't tell anyone, wants to invade Iran, is going to stand tough on Russia, do you think he is going to be able to do all that with Blackwater?

Patrick M said...

Toad: I have no clue. I can barely stand McCain. Find someone who cares about cheering him.

Salty ditsey daisy poo said...

Obama is America's Hugo Chavez. His high taxes and income redistribution will turn US into Venezuela. These policies like communist and socialist ideas lead to the destruction of the middle class and the impoverishment of the entire country. Venezuela was an incredibility rich country with a thriving middle class. Now it is an ECONOMIC DISASTER. The middle class was destroyed. If you want a SOCIALIST PARADISE like Venezuela vote Obama.

Patrick M said...

Salty: While I appreciate the enthusiasm, I do have to point out that The Marxist unlike Hugo Chavez, is constrained (sort of) by the Constitution (I say sort of because the Constitution is that document justices and presidents congresses have duct taped all kinds of shit on) in that he can't quite be a dictator and disappear us, and we can fire his ass in four years.

But I like the enthusiasm.

Salty ditsey daisy poo said...

Obama is all about bringing more socialism and taking away the freedoms we hold dear.
He thinks nothing about lodging a vicious smear campaign against Sarah Palin and her family,
then moans & groans when truth is revealed about him. He has to keep his wife underwraps because of her big mouth — she hates America, especially those who are white. Sooo many radical individuals like Bill Ayers, Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Wright (who is soooo wrong) spouting hate towards all whites & cursed from the pulpit? Then their are groups like ACORN.

Obama was being groomed for the presidency for years. Some nuts are hard to crack, but be prepared because it is nut-cracking time for Obama. He does not have American’s best interests at heart. He is a liar, thief, and wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Obama will bring change —- in the wrong direction. If you insist on playing the blame game, duh
maybe you could start with the democratically controlled congress who did NOTHING for the past 8 years when they knew we were on the brink of economic chaos and crisis….

Patrick M said...

Salty: If you insist on playing the blame game [on the current economic crisis], duh
maybe you could start with the democratically controlled congress who did NOTHING for the past 8 years...


Actually, the GOP controlled it for 6 of those 8 years and failed to act or make it public enough. Bush failed to sound the alarms. So while I can agree that it was the Democrats spearheading the rush to create the conditions that led to the chaos, the GOP squandered their opportunity. And don't get me started on Bush and his veto power (and his inability to use it).