Sunday, August 5, 2012

Paying Others to Serve Your Prison Sentence

In China apparently the wealthy are paying the poor to serve their prison sentences. I can hear the right wing now. It's great because that poor homeless person now serving the sentence is better off. Before he was scavenging. Now he gets $31 a day. These cruel liberals want to shut this situation down. Now what is that poor homeless person going to do? It's another triumph of the market driven by concern for the poor and suffering. The fact that the law no longer applies to the rich, and prison is only for poor people, that's a mere happenstance.

57 comments:

Paul said...

I did not click on the link to read the article being referenced. For now I'll assume the following - that a person who is not guilty, directly or indirectly, of the crime is being paid by the person (or representative thereof) that committed the crime to fulfill the sentencing requirements of the verdict/judgement.

It doesn't make sense how justice is served if someone other than the perpetrator(s) of the crime suffer the punishment. Furthermore a society that allows this is a society not really interested in true meaningful justice.

Then again this concept does have biblical precedence...

Paul said...

Ok, having read the (short) post things are slightly different than I had imagined. This isn't a state sanctioned activity nor a case where the state is looking the other way (per se). Which I initially thought it might have been.

Examinator said...

Jon,
In principal that is what has happened with the criminality of the US Banks.They did the crimes and the public suffered the consequences (did the time).
It is indicative of human nature to find someone else to blame for our actions (or lack thereof).
Watch Chad try to distance himself , his fellow NRA emotional wind ups and the small arms manufactures and the reality of the root cause 38 people a day killed in weapon violence in the USA.It's always somebody else who pays. Interesting how the hate groups all seem to be right wing (vote Republican)... yet, when was the last liberal democrat oriented mass racist killer in the US? ( in Aust that's called brown arming ...shit stirring ;-) )

Chad said...

With your logic Ex - all of the fork manufacturers should be responsible for obesity then? Car manufacturers are responsible for auto deaths? Without cars there would not be auto accidents? Bad argument and a losing one Ex.

How about the fraud or theft committed by able bodied workers who choose not to work?

I don't know a single person that would justify paying someone else to serve their jail time, but let me share this. Attack it all you wish, but it is still a personal contract between two people. If said homeless person - who decides that his/her life is only worth $31 a day and then accepts the terms of that contract then why is it your business? Is it wrong - yes and should that type of activity under the circumstances be illegal - yes, but it is still a contract made between 2 people.

Jon said...

Paul, you are right that it is not state sanctioned. What I'm curious about is the response of the free marketeers. Should this be legal?

Chad, you're sending mixed signals. It's a contract between 2 people. Are you saying it's none of our business? Then you say it should be illegal. Meaning it is our business apparently. The government should come in and void a fairly agreed upon contract between consenting adults, right? Or no?

Examinator said...

Chad,
I haven't seen any mass murder by fork. Nor have I seen stories of obesity from eating forks.
Apart from which there are other ways just as effective to become obese than using a fork. As a matter of logic most fast('junk') food (the biggest single dietary cause of obesity) is more often discourages fork usage. e.g. when was the last time you ate a Double Cheese and Bacon burger with a fork?
Apart from which fast food outlets rarely if ever encourage sensible usage of their product in fact they overtly encourage it's abuse.e.g. "would you like fries or a thick shake with that?" this is what is called suggestive or impulse marketing.
Like confectionery at child height at the supermarket check out...that's called 'nag' or "embarrassment" marketing.
Guns are marketed to the public ion emotional grounds then use a convenient constitutional amendment in a creative context to justify them.
No matter how you use a weapon in 'protection' (sic) it kills or injures.
NB I'm NOT arguing for BANNING WEAPONS just better controls.

Examinator said...

Chad,
Stay on topic or are you suggesting we should shoot those who refuse to work instead of the Wealthy who (ab)use the law and their power (contacts/importance) to evade paying the price of their criminal actions like the $21 trillion in tax havens to avoid ANY TAX. Get real my friend reasonable tax on that $21 TRILLION would go a long way to balancing the budget well enough to be able to encourage the true entrepreneur the small business person. Let's not forget that that much liquidity in the market would spur on the economy and every one would benefit...At least according to current neo conservative economics!
So would a sensible patenting system.
But that's another topic.
My argument is consistent with Jon's story in that he was emphasising the personal responsibility of the guilty to pay the cost (time). Seems to me that this is in context of your mantra.

Examinator said...

Ooops
That line should read " are you suggesting we should shoot those who refuse to work instead of making the Wealthy who (ab)use the law and their power (contacts/importance) to evade pay the price of their criminal actions?"
sorry

HispanicPundit said...

I dont know of any rightwinger who would support something like this.

This is just another example of me asking myself "What rightwingers did Jon know when he was a rightwinger"??? Certainly none of the ones I know...

Chad said...

My comment/opinion was strictly in referring to the article as written. As it points out this situation is somewhat common place or at least happens enough to have its own name over there. This is a country that we don't live in, we don't vote in and that frankly we won't have any influence minus going to war and forcing them to our beliefs. Since that is the case then at that point it does become a contract between those two people and acceptance/or not falls on the people/gov't to stop. I am not supportive of this situation in any way, just simply stating that if it is accepted in their country then once the contract is made - it is made.

Who mentioned shooting Ex? Talk about Extremes - I say it is a form of fraud .... and you move to me wanting to shoot people?

Power always accompanies abuse - it has been that way forever so are suggesting that by confiscation you can elminate power? No you will only shift that power to a different absuer - its been that way forever.

I don't think that you have ever heard me nor would you hear me say that tax havens or avoiding paying any taxes (GE) is a good thing. The difference or one of the differences between our ideas (maybe) is how we invite the $21 Trillion back into the country so that it can be potentially taxed or so that the captial can be used in the market. By rules already established, by loop holes already in place the money is gone and the threat of confiscation, taxes, penalties and or jail time will keep that money out of your reach basically forever.

Also the idea that somehow that money if taken by tax would be used to balance any budget is laughable - the gov't (both Rep and Dems) will make that money disappear almost in an instant. Invite it back, invite it back to grow into more money, but don't threaten it.

Once back - then close all the loop holes in a sound, fair and balanced way as to not threatned the money away again. If you want - place laws prosecuting those activities further, but first invite it back in. That money is not here today correct? Why not say - get out of jail free card (just like the immigration situation). If your a US Citizen, have a business and have money off shore you can bring it back tax free - level playing field, no harm no foul, but come back home.

Examinator said...

Well said Chad and noted.
I think you took me a little too seriously. I'm attempting to lighten up my stance. " ;-)" = smiling winking face it indicates I was tongue in cheek. The original form is ";)" but the extra (-) = my larger nose.

I am a little surprised that you believe that the $21 Trillion CAN be invited successfully back .....the whole point of the illegal AND loop hole games is to avoid paying ANY tax.
The key issue is that it's not just one individual/ corporation indulging but many many of the above.
The point is the drive to pay NO tax is driven by those who already have way more money than they need.
You seem to have the view that all people will naturally do the right thing....they simply don't.
neither does this mean all people are bad or good they are all a mixture of both. (not extreme one or the other)
Additionally, everyone has a different idea of what is acceptable and what isn't... facts are in a society there has to be standards and sadly they need to be enforced or else Chaos, Malthusian principals would reign supreme.
What I would suggest is where most 'Liberals' (US version) are striving for a balance as opposed to the afore mentioned binary BS.
As I've said I'm not opposed to some rifle and some pistols ('guns' by military definition are cannons/artillery) for sport(?). Hunting (meh! a whole other debate).
The problem is the unsupportable notion that these weapons actually increase personal safety....there is no such scientific proof.
My complaint is that weapon manufacturers and the enthusiasts are manipulating the truth.
There is no NEED for semi or automatic weapons in civilian hands.
The notion that in today it is nonsense that the civilians can out gun the biggest best armed military in the world. Clearly the amendment was for other times and circumstances.
All it has achieved is the figures I've quoted and it armed nutters like the latest to kill their own citizens.

Re vehicle manufacturers ...My own PERSONAL bug bare is the intellectual/common sense disconnect that allows them to manufacture vehicles that exceed speed limits and market them the way they do...encourage the less competent to use them in ILLEGAL ways.
BTW vehicles are a prime cause of pollution/ ailments to others. have you any idea how many people suffer as a result of exhaust emissions? (where's the personal responsibility in that?). Then there's the issue of CO2.
It seems to me Marketing generally is geared to encourage people towards excess and using products in ways that are ILLEGAL and down right antisocial.

Jon said...

HP, I'm not actually saying I know people that defend this. I'm saying I know how right wing arguments go. I think the underlying logic leads a right winger to be compelled to defend this.

What's the argument for sweatshops? Shutting them down is cruel to the poor worker that doesn't have a better alternative. That argument applies just as much in this case.

What about the argument that the boss should be at liberty to demand sexual favors of employees? This is a fairly agreed upon contract. Nobody is being forced (in the liberterian sense of the word, though I would argue that they are being forced). That same argument applies.

If you agree that paying someone to serve your prison sentence is unacceptable and the government should come in by force and void this kind of contract, then what does that say about your argument that sweatshops should be allowed because they are freely agreed upon and provide the poor with the better alternative? It would say that these two arguments have exceptions. What circumstances are legitimate exceptions? The public interest maybe? You tell me. I'd be curious to know.

Examinator said...

Jon
Same principal different method.
This company is trying to avoid the execs ....recurrent offenders being banned from coming home to the US or being jailed.
http://arabnews.com/print/420341

Examinator said...

Jon
http://rt.com/usa/news/wikileaks-attacks-antileaks-group-293/
What do you think?

Chad said...

COS (change of subject) - looks like socialism is going to learn a very tough lesson in France and I hope America is watching.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2185231/High-earners-planning-leave-France-75-tax-rate-income-1million-euros-goes-ahead.html

I also heard on two different stations at 2 different times that the "budget office" in France ran the numbers and found that this plan would bring less revenue into their gov't.

Tax the rich, tax the rich so says the people, but what happens when you go to collect and they are no longer there?

I shared a personal story about a French company I work with a while back - it was poo pood by the big brains on this board as non sense - just met with an exec yesterday who is personally moving his family to another country and he said the plant in France will be closed in 18 months if the legislation passes.

The world has changed especially since the Internet allows all of us instant access to information. Back 20 or 30 years ago the prospect of moving your family or your company was an enormous undertaking and so the reaction to bad policy was not extreme, but today you can investigate tax rates, schools, gov't policies and shop for a new life without leaving your kitchen table. Hell my wife and I bought our house in Chicago back in 2005 when we were set to move for a job in a KFC in Columbus, Ohio without ever setting foot in the front door until the day we moved. Found a house we liked, sent the real estate agent over to take specific pics, put a bid on it pending inspection, hire 2 different inspection companies to make sure it was sound all from our house in Ohio. I think the notion that the rich won't leave in today's world is very short sited.

Jon said...

Interesting, Ex. I was not aware of that. I wonder if they are corporate backed.

Jon said...

Threatening to leave and actually leaving are two totally different things. Threatening has no down side and lots of upside. You don't actually have to leave your family, friends, and country you love. But you might scare the government into backing down, so you get to keep more of your money. So a threat is to be expected.

In the US if the rich left I think it would be a huge blessing. Most of the rich got that way not by innovating and creating value. Some do. Entrepreneurs often do. But most of the rich of the last few decades do nothing more but work with complex financial instruments that effectively destroy companies and the economy. Romney is a case in point. Come in and borrow against the assets of a company to pay yourself handsomely. Slash compensation to workers. Then declare bankruptcy and shut the place down. That's literally what he did in some cases.

Imagine if Romney came to the company you work for, Chad. All that you've worked for gone because of his complex financial dealings. First your compensation reduced. Then the whole place shut down while he and his financial backers walk away with millions. Good riddance to people like that, and there's a lot of them.

Or take Alice Walton, one of the heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune. Workers don't need her. She needs them. They do the work. She gets the profit. If she leaves, what's the down side? Well, she consumes a lot, and that stimulates the economy, so losing her purchasing power would hurt. But on the flip side her political dealings right now have the effect of reducing the portion of revenue generated by Wal-Mart going to the workers and increase the amount going to her, even though she already has more money than she can spend. If she leaves she might have less influence. Another blessing. Remember, she doesn't work. She doesn't innovate. She does basically nothing but consume and play power politics so she gets more and more while doing none of the work. So if she left it wouldn't bother me.

Let the rich go. Most don't work anyway. We do the work. They get the money. If they leave maybe we keep more of the money we create.

HispanicPundit said...

HP, I'm not actually saying I know people that defend this. I'm saying I know how right wing arguments go. I think the underlying logic leads a right winger to be compelled to defend this.

Seriously dude, it is responses like this that confirm to me that, with all due respect, you dont know shit about rightwingers man. Seriously.

There is a HUGE difference between sweatshops and this. So huge I dont even want to waste my time explaining...cuz one would hope that its obvious. And if its not, then you need to put the leftwing books down and read a rightwingers 101 book.

Jon said...

Pretty standard stuff from you, HP. You always want to talk about me personally, not the arguments, a basic fallacy.

You know what I do when it comes to blogs people that "don't know shit"? I don't waste my time with them. I don't comment. If I'm so clueless why are you here?

I see this frequently from hostile Christians that criticize atheists. "John Loftus is a moron and didn't really understand Christianity. He's not worth the time." Yeah, but you keep talking about him. If he REALLY wasn't worth the time you wouldn't be discussing him. You are. So you don't believe what you say.

Jon said...

And by the way, how many times have you said right wingers don't argue in a certain way and then I go find right wingers arguing exactly in that way and it includes people that you link to on your side bar? Saying I don't know right wing arguments is just you projecting.

Chad said...

Jon - if we don't need the rich then why do we need to tax them? You destroyed your own argument.

If your calling Bain Capital your company is already in trouble - it seems that fact is so lost on the Left. It is not mandatory to call Bain Capital - hell it is not even advised unless your in trouble. Bain does not take profitable companies apart - name one company that was profitable, just one. Your damn right Bain made millions - they were the only ones smart enough to recognize the ship was sinking and to off load the valuables before it sunk.

You can yell, scream, cry and whine all day long, but sometimes - many times the right thing is to make the money you can from a dying company to invest in a profitable one.

Here is the BIG chink in your argument armor Jon. Then all the Wal-Mart employees need to collect their money - you can lead them if you have the guts - and go open a F'ing Employ-Mart then. If she makes so much unearned money then there should be no problem competing and beating Wal-Mart in market competition then.

I've said it many times, stop hiding behind your cubical - get out there and run your own business. Start your own engineering firm, put on your big boy pants and you start writing the checks to employees, to the gov't - run your company exactly the opposite way that Bain does. Pay yourself little, pay the labor force the most and go compete - stop complaining. If Romney and Walton are so useless then they are an added expense - a huge one if what I heard Romney makes per day. Should be easy to knock them off - right?

Examinator said...

Chad
[ if we don't need the rich then why do we need to tax them? ] Huh?
I'm not sure if biological , logic or legal lesson is needed here to answer your question.
First and foremost they as people aren't being taxed .....Their INCOME is.
It doesn't matter where the owner of a business is/lives, it's the income derived in that country that is Taxed.
And rightly so!
Again what we're seeing is the effects of the top 3%'s illogical BS spin.

Um regarding Bain, you need to define "in trouble".
My understanding is that they DO buy companies that are vulnerable (not necessarily in trouble...usually asset rich cash poor or low profit margins but high cash flow.) to take over on leveraged capital. Then they either load that company with the debt. In which case the interest is deducted from the profit (tax free money). or they strip the companies' assets for a bigger profit then sell the greatly smaller company for more profit.

Chad said...

Too tired to catch you up Ex, read previous posts before you comment is my best and only advice.

Yes everything you mentioned is correct as far as I know it as well in reference to Bain. Point being they understand - far before the owner, employees and Left Wingers that a company is dead. Better to sell it off in parts to make a little money than to watch it die a slow death and loose everything.

It's like the steel company the Left likes to mention - you know the one Bain supposedly closed? Well I am in the steel industry - that's what I do and that commercial, that argument is the joke of the entire industry. That Steel company was dead, dead and dead some more before Bain came in. They just gave it a proper burial and made enough, learned enough to invest in another steel company - a more sound steel company that still exists today. The only people that didn't know the previous company was dead was the dumb workers like that idiot on the tube talking about his wife dying - blaming Bain of course.

Bottom line, if the company is healthy there is no Bain.

Jon said...

Chad, you're wrong about pretty much everything. No, you don't have to be an unhealthy company to be acquired by Bain. Suppose I'm 70 years old and I've built a valuable company but I want to retire. I'm looking for someone to buy me out so I can spend the rest of my life at the beach. My company might be capable of steady profits for decades into the future, which is ordinarily a good payoff for an investor.

But Romney came in and took a different approach. Just immediately cut everyone's pay. Start yelling at people to work faster. Threaten them. This produces a short term profit boost. Then he'd maybe offer an IPO. Get others to buy the stock. He has many connected friends. Latin American investors as well. The kind of thing sons of priviledge often have. They'd talk the company up. Lehman Brothers helped out. So others are buying like crazy after the IPO and Romney starts dumping. When it becomes apparent that he's hollowed the company out, quality dropping, workers that can are leaving, the stock collapses but he's already out. Other investors lose their shirts, but Romney makes millions and seeks out the next victim.

Romeny knew nothing about the companies he acquired. What he knew, which is obvious to anyone, is that if you slash benefits and quality you can make it appear things are good because profits go up temporarily. You can use the fact that you have inside knowledge to reward yourself. The whole place then falls apart. Maybe you've taken out loans against the company becaue people mistakenly think you've improved things. Saddle the company with those loans and head for the hills. The company goes bankrupt. Everyone loses their jobs. You get the money.

This is exactly what has happened. That's not helping productivity. That's not putting things to more efficient use. That's just straight deception and destruction for profit. You could do this where you work. Just announce that benefits are cut for all workers. Your profits will go up. For a little while. Cut back on the quality of everything. Do no infrastructure investment. Just use duct tape to keep old and crappy machines going. Your profits will go up and you might be able to convince others to buy into your company when they see the improved profit margins. Maybe take out loans. It helps to have connected friends of course. Take all that money and run away while the whole place disintegrates. This is the Romney way, and he wants to bring that to our country as a whole.

Chad said...

Again Jon I am not wrong. Owner A can sell the business to anyone, it is not a requirement to sell to Bain. The owner can sell to the employees, to firm J, but if they chose to sell to Bain then they know the risk that it gets pulled apart.

99% of companies have over paid employees, high costs because of legacy situations and all that happens is new ownership trims the fat.

Again, if you don't like the possibilities or the employees don't like it - put your big boy pants on and buy it from owner A when he is ready to retire.

Chad said...

Look up Steel Dynamics vs GS. First of all Bain dumped 8 million into GS - an out dated mill getting clobbered by off shore material and by new domestic mills. They ended up selling off assests to make $36 million before it went bankrupt - ok so they made $28 million bucks - amazing they made that. Fast forward to Steel Dynamics - known in the industry as SDI. Bain tosses $18 million into the pot - new technology, new management, thinner and more efficient. They didn't tear it down they built it up - I think they sold their shares for $104 million. $28 million liquidating, $86 million by investing. More jobs created overall than lost net-net and the company is healthy, GS was a sinking ship.

There is an example - the evidence is ll over the net. So your big on examples/evidence so its your turn, show me a company that was healthy, was cash positive, was capable of being profitable but Bain tore it apart - show me sir.

I agree with you on one thing, Bain is cold, Bain brings with them the heartless truth about a company they invest in and the #1 goal is profits - thank Goodness for it. That is their charter, that is their sin to be the best investment firm on the planet and to make money. Does that sometimes suck - yes it does - but at the same time the destroy over here so that they can build over there.

HispanicPundit said...

Dont say I havent tried. I've tried endlessly. Always comes out the same.

Just making an observation. A telling observation.

Examinator said...

Chad
Two things,
First why do The right always resort to personal attacks on someone as if it makes a point as evidence?
The truth is all it shows is arrogance and an unwillingness to consider the others *opinion *. Yet the rump of the Republicans all shriek that no one is listening to them ! I have no doubt that the steelworker in question is telling it is from HIS perspective albeit from a position of ignorance to the larger 'capital efficiency' picture. Is his pain any less real?
Is he an idiot ? I doubt it any more than you are.
Is the ad a true and complete representation ? You simply aren't that naive or dumb. Are we really going to base our discussions on Ads from either side?!

Re My comments on Bain... It was an OVERVIEW of their methodology (Period)
and that NOT EVERY company they 'treat' is scrap territory (sure that Steel company may have been one that was).
Their motivations have precious little to do with anything other than THEIR profit.
I could show you many examples of well established and financially sound companies that were “raided” and chopped up for no other reason than THEY saw a big profit for themselves. A like company tried that with Australia's National carrier QANTAS (one of the most sound airlines in the world). Fortunately, the foreign investment board and govt squashed it on grounds of national interest . Some years later QANTAS' share price continues to climb.
My point was rebuttal to your factually untrue ( i.e. three Pinocchios) that Bain or their ilk only target companies ready for the scrap heap or that the end result of their actions is inevitably good (much less for America or those who have no other options).
Remember “one swallow doesn't mean Spring”... there is always other valid sides. To deny that is simply Ideological Partisanship and not worth the effort to engage.

Chad said...

LOL! I want to thank you! I am hosting this evening and made a wager with my guests that EX would chime in and the bet was that when they finished reading your dialog that they would say you are loon! Gave 3 to 1 odds even and these are not dumb people - I WON so thank you! I will toast the next drink to the EX.

This man went on the air and attempted to tie Bain Capita/Mitt Romney to his wife's death - even though she got sick years after Bain closed the plant, even though he was offered a buyout that could have helped, even though he had the opportunity to add insurance - yes he is an idiot.

Chad said...

BTW - My challenge to Jon was not to find examples of a Bain investment where the company was solvent and yet was torn apart. Not some odd mention of an Australian Airline situation.

Chad said...

Now what is interesting (I am typing in front of the group) that the new bet is that you are the ultra ego of Jon. A good point was made tonight, how and why is a upper middle aged man located in Australia even interested in a Blog that has like 6 followers? Especially when you think about previous posts - an educator, a lawyer, a security exert, a philosopher and more - not sure that this is not Jon just logged in as EX?

Examinator said...

Chad,
Glad to be of service.
It is a pity you really can't get past personal attacks as a form of argument.
Given this is supposed to be a chat site 3-1 odds are fairly stupid odds.
Any bookie worth his salt would have offered odds on.
Clearly you and your friend are more keen to ridicule on what they think is said rather than what was actually said.
I actually stated that the man's pain was possibly real I didn't say his cause was justified. I also clearly stated ad's on both sides are full of spin and perceptions not facts.
The reality is that when some one is grieving they nearly always look for someone or something to unload on or blame... Half of the tea party (sic) reasoning is based on that.
Given that the friends are yours I'm not surprised that they are like you. I'd be surprised if they weren't. Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said something about flies and shit or was that Dogs and fleas?
End

Examinator said...

Jon,
Chad brings to mind a few old wisdoms
the first is "One can tell him often but not much!"
He simply refuses or is incapable of anything but the most superficial reading and or comprehension of anything/ body who doesn't meet with his overly simplistic stereotyping reasoning.
I seem to remember going into some length discussing my background which did NOT include claims of being an “ educator, a lawyer, philosopher .”
The notion that I am your 'sock puppet' is absolutely ludicrous. Even a cursory reading of our prose and philosophic underpinnings show that we are indeed two separate people. In hi s mind one is either a 'conservative' (sic) or a 'liberal' ( aka socialist sic). The utter nonsense of this binary view of people and everything is in general the problem with The USA and the capitalistic world.
In a nut shell he and his cronies are unable to conceive of anything or person that simply doesn't conform to the above limited perspective/reasoning. What is displayed all to often when trying to converse with many right wingers is because of their limited perspectives anything divergent is to be attacked at a personal level
E.g. even his Latest challenge betrays the lack of thought … i.e. why shouldn't I chat here? Why do I have to have some nefarious hidden agenda ? Me thinks he's projecting. Your site is one of at least 25. I comment on and 1 of 6 I do so regularly. (I've seen HP's limited perspective before, Washington Post? ).
But as I've said before to apparent no avail. I'm a thinker, an examiner. I hold to Socrates’s dictum “ the more I learn the more I learn how much I still to learn.” …. I learn from everyone I converse with... and as such thank you to all here. I guess I'll seek to learn until I qualify to be wheeled into the surgery practice lab as a cadaver. If I was then a ghost I'm sure I'd be sitting in the observation room with a note pad.
This is your site and given Chad persistence with personal attacks, I'm wondering if my presence is becoming a bit of an over powering side show, over whelming your attempts at discussion..
You know my email address if it is.
Cheers
Examinator.
PS I have a blog site too. it is as it suggests just my musings / pondering . I haven't sought nor have I discouraged correspondents it is merely my thoughts on topics that cross my fevered mind.

Chad said...

Unfortunately your prediction is a little off - 3 conservatives of varying degrees (libertarian, old guard and tea party), 2 liberals and 2 independents. All educated, all engaging and all who think that you are the one who is degrading, who leverages personal attacks and takes uncalled for jabs. I am simply standing my ground when you decide that my opinion is beneath you and your 'grey matter' thinking.

If it's your last time out here then I wish you the best - if it's not, we'll see you in the ring on another topic, but if I
may - go back to all your previous posts - read them with an open mind and ask yourself who is the aggressor 90% or more of the time. If your honest with yourself I think your going to realize that you take the first jabs - you just met up with someone who can take a punch and punch back.

BTW - where is Jon? Is your hand still broken because your barely responding and when you do it is a fly by. That is the other reason I am questioning the true identity of Ex is the lack of posts by Jon. Your posting under your alter ego so much that you don't have time to post under your own name.

Jon said...

Chad, you've switched arguments. First you said that if your company is healthy there is no Bain. Now you say if you are healthy and you prefer not to sell to Bain you can. These are different claims. You initial claim is clearly wrong. You can own a healthy company, like a 70 year old guy ready to retire, and you can sell to Bain. Maybe you don't know what Bain is about. Maybe you don't care and you are anxious to retire. In any case you have a company that has good long term prospects if someone decides to run it in that way. You can sell to Bain.

As far as my description of what Romney has done, you've misunderstood my argument. I'm not claiming that Romney NEVER was involved in a takeover that lead to an increase in production and employment. What I was trying to say is that SOMETIMES he comes in and does the kinds of things I described. That's just a fact. Watch this Gingrich ad for evidence of some of these claims.

But I did look up GS as you suggested. According to this source they were profitable when they were acquired by Bain. On the other hand this Reuters article says going forward there was going to be a need for some upgrades. Here's a company that had been in business for over 100 years. Romney comes in and sells off all their equipment and they go bankrupt. To you that's amazing. Good for him. Is it really so amazing? Did you see how he did it? But underfunding pension liabilities, destroying their pension fund, and calling in the taxpayer to pick up the slack. Is that amazing? Does it take a genius to figure that out? Actually what it takes is a psychopath, and as I outlined here there's reason to think CEO's have a higher propensity towards psycopathy.

A pension is nothing but deferred compensation. Elderly people were told that they'd get wages for their work and also money would be set aside in a fund for their retirement. Romney just wouldn't fund their pensions adequately. Does it take a genius to get rich in that way? Sell off all the equipment, raid the fund that is supposed to be money set aside for the elderly, and walk away from the ruins and let the American taxpayer deal with the mess? That's success in your mind?

Jon said...

I figure when the company was sold to Bain the sellers figured they got a pretty good deal. Maybe they thought it would be tough to be profitable going forward, because you know, legally they have to fund the pension liabilities. And of course morally you can't just tell the elderly they're screwed. What they didn't count on was they were dealing with people that had no scruples.

Think about who these workers were. They were the people that pounded the pavement like you do today, building a business that still managed to generate millions of dollars in valuable equipment. Let's assume they won't be profitable in the future, so liquidating makes sense. Fine. Liquidate, but use that money to fund the pensions. They are the ones that created the value over a 100 year period, not Romney.

You keep talking about "big boy pants" as if being a man is about doing what Romney did. Go to Latin America and find rich investors. Use that money to raid pension funds. Acquire companies via "leveraged buyout." That is, the money isn't mine. I go to the bank and say I want to acquire a company and as collateral I put up the companies assets. As Jon Stewart explains it's kind of like buying a car by taking out a loan against the car, putting the money in your own bank account, then saddle the car with the debt and walk away. That's not being a man in my world. Being a man means not lying. It means caring for others. It means have a concern for the elderly and respecting the money that had earned. Keeping it safe if that's my job. Not raiding it so I can have 15 homes leading to cuts in their salaries and taxpayer bail out.

BTW, you're right about one thing. This blog is small time. But there's more than just 6 people here. I had over 7K page views last month, and that is continually rising. That's not really why I'm here. As with Ex it's just a collection of my thoughts, links to sources that I sometimes reference.

Jon said...

Honestly Ex, to me when people hurl an insult at me or at anyone else it's as if they throw mud and it bounces right back and lands on them rather than the object of their insult. What kind of a person feels the need to ask his friends to comment on his antagonist. "Look at this guy. Isn't he a moron? I'm really the one in the right, right? Please validate me."

Chad to me is in unfamiliar waters. He's read a lot from The Blaze and listened to Mike Church, and really he hasn't heard much from the other side. So it's just plain uncomfortable and he's seeking confirmation of his prior biases from his friends. What he says to you he's also said to me. "I showed my friends our exchange and they all think you are crazy." Well, OK. My friends think Chad is crazy, but do I feel the need to let him know what my friends think? No. Because I'm not so insecure. I guess I've already put on my big boy pants, so to speak.

Chad, to your credit you are here and engaging with the other side. It's an uncomfortable thing, but it says to me you are at least willing to put your beliefs to the test. I respect that. I'm proud to say I'm also willing to do that. In fact I do it readily. Most of my commenting on blogs other than this one is at right wing blogs.

But I don't think calling people names reflects well on you. I think you should try hard to stick to the arguments and facts. You may think throwing mud will make you look better, but from my perspective it does the opposite.

Jon said...

Chad, one other question. You say 99% of employees are over paid. Is Romney over paid? After a few years of involvement with GS Romney and his investors took $28 million you say. They did this by selling off the assets of the company that 1000's of people had spent a century building. If those thousands of people were overpaid doesn't that mean Romney, who put in much less effort and took much more money, would obviously be grossly over paid, right?

Or does it work differently? Any scraps received by the poor and middle class is too much. No amount taken by the rich is ever too much. Is that how it is?

Chad said...

Jon - Welcome back, now that's more like it.

I am still a bit miffed - not sure when and where I slung mudd, but ok. Also my personal references to include friends is not necessarily to validate my position, but simply to offer a third party reflection just as Ex constantly uses his life experiences as examples. Another words I ask my friends who are all across the political spectrum to read and react to make sure that I am not nuts. Another word - giving you or Ex a voice through a third party as if maybe I miss understood.

I apologize to you for suggesting that your Blog site is small and I recognize it is a labor of love and is your passion so for that - I apologize.

Back on topic to a degree. One thing that is super difficult here is to appropriately spell out thoughts to fill in blanks without writing 3 books. In reference to Bain - I have not put 20 hours into studying them, but I have more than casually looked at the history, some failures and successes. When I mentioned that if you need Bain your in trouble, I was speaking literally - if you contact Bain in hopes to turn your company around your company is in trouble. If Bain contacts you or shows some interest then that company needs to understand who they are as well.

Without question there is parts of business that are ugly, they are cold and ruthless and just like you said SOMETIMES the ugly is very ugly.

YES Mitt Romney is over paid absolutely, so is Tom Brady and so is the teacher that lives down the street in my opinion.

Last - I just want to remind you of something you may have forgotten. I was a registered Democrat up until 2010 and I actually pulled my lever for Barack H. Obama. Obama's run got me interested in politics - potentially the first black prez, the guy could speak, he was engaging and he seemed honest and I really thought this guy could be the next JFK or Reagan (whatever that meant) so I was on board go Democrats, Go Obama, go Universal Healthcare - Go and rah rah!

And just like you mentioned to do I wanted to know exactly what the other side was saying so I spent 6 hours listening to the Left and maybe an hour or two listening to the Right - mainly Beck, some Levin, little bit of Hannity. Then one day I had left the dial on Patriot Radio from the night before when I was scouting the opposition and happened to turn it on real early and a night I wasn't sleeping well and this guy comes on named Mike Church. He was a cocky, arrogant SOB and he pissed me off so much that I even wanted (first time in my life) to call in and argue with this dude. I knew that I was under prepared so I refrained, but I downloaded his post show notes and I was going to Google him, his argument and I was going to be prepared. Who is this guy that references the Constitution - who dares people to break his arguments by citing the founding documents. So I kept on coming back every morning to challenge my thoughts and after a couple of weeks I found myself agreeing with the man. He argues with facts, constitutionality and the man is flat out brilliant - you simply can not break his arguments.

Chad said...

So for me to deny that one of the key people I look to is Mike Church and Andrew Wilkow would be a lie, but I still turn on Maddow and others on the Left to challenge me still.

I am curious if you have listened to Church or Wilkow that much? Those two specifically I think would challenge you at your intellectual level. Hannity - I like him, but he's really just a talking head just like Limbaugh and Beck. But Church and Wilkow they really study and they research their material.

These two - in my opinion - are the new face of the conservative movement. They are young, they are smart and they are prepared.

Examinator said...

Jon,
'I dips me lid to you'...you are indeed a wise person .

Up until this A M I hadn't heard of the two you right wing commentators you mentioned I'll have to research them a bit.

The others I know....are nothing more than entertainers(?) encouraging self conformational reasoning who play to the lowest denominator, a bit like Murdoch press.

Just curious, your perceptions of my posts? Chad clearly has issues with them.
It seems to me that I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't with him.
Clearly my eclectic life experience 'war stories' don't translate well.
I thought I made it clear that one swallow doesn't mean spring they were intended as colour or context chatty stuff.To me the real nub of what I write was to point out the plausible alternative (wider picture)
Oh well!
I'll admit the fleas remark was a little too pointed.
BTW Bain and their ilk aren't always invited they organise share raids and like the EXAMPLE of QANTAS
They tried for a 'leveraged buy out' benefiting only the Executives and the equity company...Chad is being way too selective in His vision of Bain.

One could make a strong argument that manufacturing corps etc would make far more money by "off shoring" pity about 'the dumb ass over paid workers' and the strategic industries for the USA. My point there is that it's debatable that what they do is productive good for the country.

Come to think of it maybe that would enhance a world wide government because the US would/will become increasingly dependent on other countries to exist as 'the exception'. After all the US is demographically becoming less anglo-european (2040s is the predicted to be the tipping point).
Oh yes it's pre-eminence as the biggest/richest economy is changing towards China and Asia.
Chad being a democrat(?) rather makes my point that the definition of democrat is anything but stereotypic... ;-)

Jon said...

Well thanks for the welcome, Chad. The reason for the delay was we're just doing some painting. Also I wanted to read up on GS, so that took a little time.

Look above to the whole "loon" discussion. That's just personal, not really value added in my view. You know what? I really didn't mean to take offense at your comment on my blog traffic. It's totally fine and I say similar things frequently. Like I have 6 readers. It honestly just prompted me to say something because I just passed a milestone. Google added a feature 4 years back of tracking page views, and I just passed 100K since then, so I was thinking of posting that, but hadn't done so. It's very kind of you to quickly apologize even at the hint of offense on my part, so I appreciate that.

OK, let's get back on target. Remember what prompted this whole discussion. If the rich left our country would that be such a bad thing? Romney is an example. You can say business is ugly and cold. Fine. Here's what I'm really addressing. Is Mitt Romney really bringing value? Is he contributing to productivity and efficiency? It's not easy to make that case. So suppose Romney left. One less person that raids pension funds and profits from it. Is this such a bad thing? If people like him left we'd expect retirees to have a better pension fund.

He's not an innovator. He's not figuring out ways to make better products. He's figuring out ways to use his influence in the banking sector and with Latin American investors (probably the same people that profited from the death squad activities of the 80's) to literally hollow out companies that were built over several decades in order to enrich himself. It doesn't take a genius to say hey, if I cut everyone's compensation there's more left over for me temporarily. If I can get Lehman Brothers to talk up my company, I can issue an IPO, ride the rise, then parachute out as everyone else loses everything. That's very different from inventing an iPod or a SW platform. Let him leave the country. Good riddance.

I did listen to just a tiny bit of Mike Church because of your recommendation. Did you see my blog post about him here? I haven't listened to a lot from him. Maybe I'll call him up and argue with him. I'll have to first listen to a few of his shows and see what he's about. Is any of that available if you don't have Sirius (I don't)? I had some comments on using the founding fathers as a basis for argument here if you are interested.

Jon said...

Ex, don't be impressed that I know Mike Church. I know of him for only one reason. Chad had told me about him and that he thought he was "the bomb". I've barely heard anything from him, though once again because of Chad's recommendation I'm thinking of trying to listen more.

As far as my impression of your posts, I think they are clearly value added. You enlighten me to things that have happened and are happening. You contribute to my learning, so for me that's everything. Keep it up.

Paul said...

Hey Jon -

I may be steering off topic here but I clicked your link w/ regards to a post you had made about Mike Church earlier last year. In this post you state the following

Mike Church is a right wing Ayn Rand worshiping radio talk show host on Sirius and he has a caller that says his name is "Howard" from Pennsylvania and he's decided to close up his small business because he's sick of paying all this tax money to the government. He paid a million dollars in taxes, but he's going to go in today and tell his 30 employees that he's done and they need to find new jobs because they can't work for him any more. He's not going to be a slave to the government. Now the world, and his employees, will have to suffer on without him. Big government has stifled the small businessman and now we're all worse off. If only we were allowed to be free.

Let me assume that the story being referenced here is all true. What puzzles me is why "Howard" would simply close up shop instead of selling his business to someone who is willing to do what he isn't. Or perhaps, if closing up shop is a real scenario give the company to the employees.

Not going anywhere with this I suppose but the "going galt" thing, specifically in scenarios like this, doesn't make sense to me.

Jon said...

Yeah Paul, that was my thinking. "Going Galt" is more of a right wing fantasy than anything, and that's why I think Mike Church is scamming his audience by having a stooge call in and pretend to be a business owner that is shutting down.

Atlas Shrugged is this perfect conservative fantasy about how the world works. What converted me from conservatism to my new found political views is comparing reality with that conservative vision. Reality conflicts with these notions they have in their heads. So Mike Church is compelled to invent people that conform to this conservative vision since he can't find real people that behave this way.

Chad said...

Paul - Here is the call Jon believes was staged.

http://www.mikechurch.com/daily-clip/going-galt-howard-says-hes-had-enough-of-being-a-wage-slave/

Enjoy

Paul said...

Chad -

I haven't a clue if the caller was genuine or not. I'll assume that it is. What I will say, if it is genuine this "Howard" guy is not only not smart but also a dick. I mean that unequivocally.

Going galt is irrational. As I said this before if this guy cannot take it anymore fine. Sell the business to someone who can or pass ownership to the employees.

The host's rationality in this segment is in question too.

Chad said...

Smart in what regards? He paid a million dollars in personal taxes so even though intelligence can not be tied to success, it would appear that he was smart enough to make earn a lot of money.

With that said - he sounded ticked off to me, but I definitely could see your point about him sounding like a jerk.

As far as going Galt is irrational - well maybe, but on the other hand thinking that - what is it - 600 members in the Legislature make up and control the laws that over 300 million people must live by seems far more irrational to me than unplug'ing yourself from the world.

Paul said...

Chad - obviously I have no way of knowing how smart (or not) Howard was. I can only go by this short exchange and from it I was not impressed.

The number you are looking for is 535 (435 congresspersons and 100 senators). I am unclear if your argument is that the number should be higher or if you are advocating a less representative form of govt for a more true democracy.

So that you don't misunderstand me, my issue with Howard is not his desire to unplug himself from society. I don't care at all about this. What I care is that he is hurting his 30 or so employees in the process. Being a broken record here, he should either sell the company to someone is willing to keep it going. Or if he is truly willing to just shut it down (and I doubt it) he can pass ownership of it to his soon to be ex-employees.

Chad said...

Paul - I can see where your coming from and agree with you that he probably didn't just shut it down - probably just wolfing a bit.

Thank you for the exact number that is what I was looking for. Stunning when you think about it right? 535 people - well actually only about half so about 275 people (for the sake of the discussion I am guessing) decided with one vote to alter healthcare for all Americans and illegals from California to Maine and all the little states in between.

Now that is irrational.

Jon said...

Now that is irrational.

Wow Chad, I think this is a major point of agreement between us. Sounds like you would advocate some sort of more radical democracy as opposed to have a group of a few elites, easily controlled by wealth, deciding things for everyone. I'm very much with you on that.

And even on health care I think you are absolutely right. Obama Care is a bill written by the insurance industry that is contrived to funnel money into the pockets of the rich (as well as do some other things). It's very much unlike what the people would prefer if democracy was tried. I do not like it. When you have to choose between two oligarchic plans (the Republican do nothing option and Obama's funnel money to the rich and throw a bone to the poor option) I take Obama as the better of the two awful options, but what I really want is the democratic option.

Paul said...

Jon -

so that I don't misunderstand you. Can you elaborate on what you mean by

Sounds like you would advocate some sort of more radical democracy as opposed to have a group of a few elites, easily controlled by wealth, deciding things for everyone. I'm very much with you on that

Specifically what do you mean by radical democracy?

So you know where I am coming from - I am open to the idea of increasing the number of representatives and/or senators. I am less sure about doing away with it (representative form of gov't). I don't know enough about the trade offs but a true democracy in a nation as large as ours seems unworkable to me.

Jon said...

I'm kind of sympathetic to views held by some of the people I admire, like Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn, that you can read about here.

Examinator said...

Jon,
I've been watching this conversation with interest.
Given I only have What is written here to reason by I'm coming down on the side of Howard's right to Close the business if he wants to. However, do I think this is the right thing to do? No, for any of the reasons given and then some.
I find arguments around Paying a lot of Tax and particularly those based on a specific $ value as special pleading and the height of intellectual ineptitude. E.g. to be taxed $1million means that the firm has *Netted a MINIMUM of Approximately $4million PROFIT*! And goodness knows how much Tax free government incentives it has got received And then there's the Plant and equipment and or the land and premises still to come to Howard. Is he hardly done by ? Not in my thinking.
But there is simply not enough information (context) for a SPECIFIC analysis to justify Chad's usual tactic of oversimplifying a large issue by referring to the minutiae that is a single example.

The larger point is as You have clearly stated Are the LIKES of Bain good for the Country....
Given they are non productive in that they don't produce/ manufacture or service the larger Nation, like Malaria , I'm not convinced that they should exist.
In reality it is their parasitic (ab)use of the laws and preferential taxes ( contextually , both designed to encourage productive uses of capital for the good of the country) that allow their existence. In my mind they represent a perversion of Capitalism (a bridge too far).
Their and Romney in specific, (ab)use of tax havens to reduce their/his already discounted tax renders him as a suspect 'good' candidate to look after EVERYONE and America. His privileged background/ upbringing and clearly lack of understanding of real struggle street makes him even less so. As I said to chat which he clearly continues to misinterpret “flies to shit” , “ lay down with dogs and you'll get up with fleas” simply means you will be like the company you keep....i.e. When was the last time you heard of a liberal joining the KKK. In context, like the reverse of Chad, I'd be amazed if Romney didn't reflect the basic psychology of his friends.
Simply put Romney has thus far not shown any background evidence for REAL CONCERN/Understanding of the people he wants to lead. I would go as far to say He's only interested the the apex of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs/ wants.... HIS own self actualisation.
PS I was commenting on the inherent wisdom in your post not you knowledge of right wing screaming heads. If I was referring to them I'd compliment your forbearance... I've researched them and in my mind they are stereotypic manipulative rabble rousers.

PS Chad, If you go back and Read what I said
a. I don't attack people, I 'attack' specific statements or specific thought processes. There is a difference.
b. if you look at posting times of comments you will clearly note that many of my posts are at 2 and 4 am Your time (10 -11 am my time) ...You flatter your self to consider that Jon would get up and extra ordinary times to play sock puppet.

Chad said...

It is hardly a shock that you would disagree with Howard and it is even less shocking that your missing the point.

In another post somewhere recently you referred to some reality show in your country - illegals or something - it is always hard to follow. Anyhow the jist of this show (I think) was putting the shoe on the opposite foot - am I correct? Well that is what I am assuming anyhow.

First - it is interesting that when you reference a minute situation it is valid, when I do it is dumbing down a much larger and complicated situation, but hypocrisy is also not shocking.

Meaning that you have absolutely no idea what Howard was going through. I find it always troubling that Liberals & Progressives find it their duty to tell the world what is wrong with the Private Sector, but there are not a whole lot of them running a business.

A small example that Ex will dismiss because it is a tiny sample as he would say, but I tell this story about a friend of a friend to a lot of Libs. She was 100% a Liberal, she campaigned for Obama, she believes in higher taxes on individuals and business - she was a walking talking progressive and had been for all of her adult voting life (Now 48). After the company I worked for launched and found success, she was compelled to branch out on her own as well. What has been amazing is her transformation from a life long Democrat to a stunch Republican in just over 2 years. What happened? She started a business - she got to see first hand what gov't does to a business, she finally had to write some checks to employees, checks to Uncle Sam, to Illinois, to the City of Plainfield.

So Howard netted $4 Million to pay $1 million in taxes - your arguement is yeah, but he made at least $4 Mill and he has all these other deduction so he paid even less like he is a bad person for wanting to keep every dollar?

It still and will always bother me when anyone thinks it is their right to tell another person/business that it is wrong to keep as much of the earning as is physically possible.

Anyhow - that brings me all the way back to the same simplistic arguement. If you think that you can do it better, go open up your own business. When you open that business, if you want to give 70% to gov't then you have every right to do it.

Jim Jensen said...

This is somewhat similar to Al Gore using way more than his share of carbon dioxide causing resources and then buying bogus carbon credits to supposedly offset his excesses. And, with Al Gore, he supposedly believes that carbon dioxide is going to have catastrophic consequences for millions of innocent people. He doesn't care. He is rich and his money buys him peace of mind. Same as the rich Chinese who are above the laws that apply to normal people.

Jon said...

Jim, I have to give Al Gore credit for offsetting his carbon emissions, but on the other hand his enormous house is really unnecessary and sets a horrible example. Those that aren't as rich as him simply aren't going to be able to afford to offset their carbon emissions as he does, so he needs to lead by example and live like he would prefer that others who are more poor live. Live smaller. His huge house is ridiculous.

Still, he's done a lot of good in terms of carbon emission awareness. His house doesn't change that. We're all tainted.