Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tax The Rich - Animated Short

A fun and informative animated short narrated by Ed Asner recounting some of the historical facts about our current economic problems.  The right wing is wrong across the board.  Wrong that trickle down economics works, wrong that high tax rates on the rich harm the economy, wrong that deregulated finance would lead to prosperity, wrong that global warming is a liberal hoax.  Just wrong wrong wrong, but they have the money.  So they pay for think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute to lie to us.  They pay for the major media to obscure and misdirect.  And unfortunately those billions spent trying to deceive us simply work.  These are not stupid people.  They wouldn't blow all this money if it wasn't effective.

Here's another effort to cut through the fog created by the super rich.


Chad said...


The truth.

Chad said...

Let me take that back - the version of the truth that I believe in full hearted.

BTW - side bar that isn't really side bar. You notice that as the country becomes more divided your version/belief system and my version/belief system is slowly becoming more and more of a geographical reality?

Like in Ohio - 77 out of the 88 counties in this state voted heavily Republican for the most part - in my county 88% voted Republican - yet we see the State as a whole went to Obama (by 160K votes). I will leave the voter fraud situation that is evident alone, but Conservatives are leaving areas dominated by Liberals to create their own form of local gov't/community that works. Businesses are closing their doors in the Liberal Cities/States only to re-surface and re-open in business friendly (mostly conservative) states/counties and cities and not only are the rich people leaving high tax states/counties in huge numbers and fast, but so are the middle to upper class group of people which should be even more concerning for the Left. Even the most liberal of the liberals in the entertainment community are leaving high tax states - they say they are liberals, but they take their money to mainly conservative low tax states to live.

In the end - I suspect that we are probably going to get our individual wishes. Maybe not in our lifetime, but I think the divide is deep and getting deeper by the day so eventually these geographical divides will continue to migrate and connect until a point comes where all the blue connects and all the larger red connects creating either new states or possibly a new nation. Hopefully we can avoid civil war by allowing the peaceful divide - the red states form a union, the blue a union and we continue to work together, but have our own rules/laws to follow - red doesn't steal from blue, blue can't steal from red and we live happily (in our individual utopia's) as possible. If you don't like the direction of your union then you can move to the opposite union.

I like it, just hoping that we can do it without force, but it is coming.

Jon said...

Chad, I do recognize the voice of the guy in your video. Bill Whittle. I've seen his stuff before.

The first thing that jumps out at you is how he's using the format offered by PSA Animate. This is a respectable source and it's typical of conservatives to try and emulate those to trick people into thinking that what they offer is likewise respectable but really isn't. Kind of like Conservapedia. There's a think tank that sounds a lot like Economic Policy Institute (EPI) but is modified slightly. EPI does excellent work. Conservatives groups are often front groups for corporations, so they need to try and co-opt something respectable.

I want you to think about this Laffer curve. Art Laffer is a somewhat discredited right wing economist. Watch him debate Peter Schiff in 2006 where he tells us great times are ahead.


I saw this years back and thought maybe Peter Schiff new his stuff I've since come to different conclusions now that all his predictions have failed. But anyway the Laffer curve is simply a chart that shows that if tax rates go up to 100% you get zero revenue becuase nobody works and if they go to 0% you get zero revenue, so there's a peak somewhere in between. Where is that peak? It could be 75%. So if you cut tax rates from 40 to 30% you get less revenue. On the other hand if the peak is 25% then cutting in that way creates more revenue. You have to look at the historical data to see whether tax cuts help or not. It's not just a foregone conclusion that they help because of the Laffer curve.

Whittle says Reagan cut taxes and revenue went up. Sure, but that's not the question. The question is would they have gone up even more if he hadn't cut taxes. Tax revenues go up almost every year because the economy grows. The fact that they went up over a 10 year period is not a surprise.

So for instance Clinton raised taxes and revenue went up. What does this prove? It's also worth noticing that while Reagan cut taxes for the rich he raised them dramatically for the poor. Does Reagan's policies really show that raising taxes on the poor and deficit spending increases tax revenue? If not why not?

He also doesn't mention that Bush Jr lowered taxes and revenue actually fell briefly before recovering to where overall it was basically flat. This is incredibly bad. The worst of any president back to Eisenhower. Our economy is always growing. If you do nothing tax revenues go up.

Take a look at the data. Yeah, tax revenues doubled in the 80's, but they more than doubled in the 70's, the so called bad era. Why is it that doubling in the 80's proves lowering taxes is good but keeping them high in the 70's and more than doubling doesn't prove keeping them high is good?

The data below is the very document from which Bill Whittle got his numbers, notice the 517 in 1980 and 1032 in 1990. So he apparently looked at this document and spun it like the 80's were amazing. Take a look. Look at the 70's. Look at the 90's. Why would anyone look at this and conclude that tax cuts lead to increased revenue? Look at the Bush years.


What I think we're dealing with here is the fact that rich people benefit from these policies, and so they fund people like Bill Whittle to try and spin it and convince people like you. It's tough because they don't have the facts. Those of us that actually dig into what they are saying say you know what, it's not the fault of firefighters and teachers. It's the very things Bill Whittle is suggesting. Doing those things is what got us here. He's paid to convince you we should keep doing them. And obviously he's succeeding.

Chad said...

The truth is in the eye of the beholder my friend and it absolutely makes sense to me.

Put enough Big Brain Lefties in a room together and they will figure out - with facts mind you - how to tie the Kennedy assasination to George Bush's tax cuts if given enough time.

You've touched on one thing that I completely agree with you about - during certain times in history it would be nice to know what the results would have been if the tax cut or increase would have been done in reverse. I heard one smart business person tell me once that it takes between 4-8 years for a piece of legislation to fully take affect (both negative and positive) in the market. A tax increase during good times - not a big deal right away, but what happens in 3, 4 or 5 years when the burden really takes hold.

I know that you and I will never agree and that is a great thing I believe so lets agree to disagree - you take 25 states, we'll take 25 states and lets go to proving each other wrong.

We (Conservatives) are not at all scared of that proposition - not in the least. We won't tax you, you can't tax us and we'll engage in mutually beneficial transactions and at the same time your 25 states have to pay for your programs and we will be responsible for paying for our 25 states. You make a tax code, we'll make a tax code and lets see who's right.

Scared aren't you - because you absolutely know with 100% certainty that your 25 states could not and would not survive.

It would be tragic fun to watch though.

Jon said...

Truth is not in the eye of the beholder. That's beauty. Truth is in the data I sent you, and the truth is Bill Whittle is spinning on behalf of his rich backers undoubtedly. Go look at the data. It's his data. Why is he saying what he's saying when the data is right in front of us and doesn't tell us the story he's peddling?

And I don't think anybody is going to give either of us 25 states. That's probably a good thing. Since we aren't going to be given 25 states why not actually just look at the places where your policies have been implemented (Haiti, Africa, Latin America) the more recent places in Europe that have followed your advice of cutting public expenditures to balance the budget (Spain, Ireland, Greece) and we'll contrast that with the places that have taken a different approach (some stimulus in the US, Japan and S Korea prior to the late 90's, etc). The best we can do, since nobody is going to hand the reigns over to us, is to just look at the places where Milton Friedman's Chicago School policies were force fed down the throats of an unwilling population. How did that work out for them?

People don't want to look at them. They say it's too complex. So is managing 25 states on your own. If you really cared to know how it would work you'd look at the places where it's been tried. You don't want to do that and in fact it doesn't seem that anybody on the right wants to do that in much detail. The left talks about these places all the time. The right has no clue what happened in Argentina and Guatemala.

Chad said...

Lots to consume and plenty to disagree with.

You probably already read about the professor who failed an entire class because they felt Obama's ideas and socialism worked - this group is your group - they believe in what your saying - collective good, share the wealth - ra ra ree - tax those bad rich people, give to all below and yet when the application of socialism is implemented (amoung the believers) it fails miserably - http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddganos/2012/02/17/why-socialism-doesnt-work/.

I found the follow up research by the professor to be brilliant and a perfect reflection of today's Progressive ideals and it fall in line with your thoughts.

So here is my observation/reply on this. We are heading for a seperation regardless of what data you want to reference or believe in. The earners are fed up with having money taken regardless of the percentage sir. We live in the 24 hour new cycle world so it is entirely different than the days when tax rates were high and it was okay because the cold truth is that they weren't informed - they thought it was their duty, they believed in the gov't at that time. Today we know that gov't is awful, it makes nothing, it sells nothing, it wastes a lot, politicians are evil and that the gov't is the most inefficient animal on the face of this earth - while also being corrupt to boot.

So when you do look at the data today and you know that 47% of individuals (maybe more) pay absolutely zero in income taxes. When you factually know that 1 in 4 people receive some gov't assistance, you see $16 trillion in debt, you see unemployment at 8% (actually 18.8%) then you hear people on the Left talk about more tax and more take - oohh boy trouble is brewing my friend.

So the idea of a seperation is more real than you think as the Left continues to pile more and more takers as their mouth piece my friend. What happened in that classroom of Liberal is what we are headed for if you continue with this line of thinking sir - at some point when you take too much from one, the one fold into the many which is one or more less to take from.

Chad said...

Guess what I am saying is that history does tell a story, but never again will the parameters/condition be exactly the same again to simply plug A into B to get a similar result based on history - its not going to happen.

Taxes are way way way too high when added all together.

Maybe Income taxes have been the lowest in x amount of time, but I suspect that the actual overall tax burden average is the highest that it has ever been.

Just to think that after getting 25%-45% immediately stolen from my check from Fed/State/Local/Payroll/Soc Sec/Unemployment and God only knows what else, I then have to set aside 4%-10% to pay for property taxes (even if you rent your paying that). Then when you walk out the door and fill up your high cost gas your paying another 7% in taxes, you buy something - bam local sales tax of 8% or more. Go to the liquor store to try and forget about the taxes only to be taxed heavily when you buy a bottle of booze. Go home - open up your cable bill - tax, electric bill - tax, phone bill - tax, water bill - tax, gas bill - tax. Pay the lawn guys to spread some seed - tax, open the cell phone bill - tax. God for big you have a vehicle repair - tax, don't go to the movies otherwise - tax.

We are talking 50/60 and 70% tax now Jon - so what you are talking about?

Chad said...


This is the guy/movement that the Left/Progressives really need to watch out for in the next decade.

As promises are broken - freedoms stolen and heavier divide from the traditional right and left - here comes Rand.

Examinator said...

re: the prof who failed his class professor ['because they felt Obama's ideas and socialism worked...']
That is misreporting of the facts either by you or the reporter certainly out of context.

The reality is that in University they are asked to demonstrate that they have a sound (objective) comprehension/ understand the concepts they have been taught. They are NOT asked for their opinions (as in political beliefs) . There is a subtle but important difference..it's a bit like a first year apprentice builder asserting that the Twin towers were structurally flawed . That may have been the case But well out of their expertise to argue why ….in effect off topic. In university one has to SHOW the logic, back them up with facts then, and most importantly show that you understand the PRINCIPALS. It is not until you get to Post grad that your opinion is worth shit. And even then the thesis must show the above and be referenced etc.

Not wishing to be rude or insulting but your response in a economics class would be failed too. You are ideological driven not factual nor Economics sound either. PS you regularly jump to unsupportable conclusions, make tenuous assertions ...largely because your sources news papers, MSM pundits etc are entertainment based … none of which would stand up to critical analysis as with academic papers, thesis, reports of scientific research. Journos and the like generally don't have the specialised knowledge to know how to ask even the right (informative) questions. A bit like me giving you instructions over the net on how to perform brain surgery on you son. (absolutely ludicrous).

I suspect the association between Obama's policies and 'Socialism' are tenuous at best an a perception of yours.

Again 'Socialism' in political and Economic terms isn't as commonly stated.
Most forms of Political Philosophy share facets and concepts.
One point you strenuously and consistently ignore is that the founding fathers were very influenced by 'Enlightenment philosophies' that included concepts that LATER became past of Marx's works and is now called (incorrectly) Socialism.

Finally the example has nothing to do with the topic and even less to do with the principals involved a cross between hyperbole, ridicule, a red herring an irrelevance. A distractionary tactic to allow you to avoid countering the point jon is making and go off and reiterate another unsubstantiated belief. BELIEF (your perceptions) is Neither PROOF OF THE TRUTH. A point Jon and I have made several times.

Jon said...

I may respond to some of your other comments tomorrow, but for now let's notice that your story about the teacher and Socialism, which I have heard of before because I get hoax emails all the time from gullible conservatives, is in fact an urban legend. Pretty incredible that forbes.com would publish such transparently fabricated nonsense. Your problem Chad is you actually believe that conservatives tell you the truth. Bill Whittle misleads you. Forbes.com misleads you. Global warming deniers mislead you. And so sure, when your head is constantly filled with false information it's not surprising that you come to the conclusions you do. The sources you point to constantly resort to this kind of thing. There's a reason for that.


Examinator said...

Thank you for raising AGW so that I can go off topic to make a point about sources etc
When I started my degree (in my 30's and already an middle executive)I very nearly bombed out in the first year ....the Business lecturers were talking 'twaddle'. But I kept either just passing or failing.
Anyway I sought the help of a professor I knew.
I told him what was happening and he said I was imposing my experience over the principals they were trying to teach me.
He went on to demonstrate the problem with a conversation about water... good old H2O.
He started by asking me what I knew about water ...I responded with the usual chemical structure Boiling Point, freezing point etc.
When I finished.
He then said yes you're correct as far as you go. But you are also wrong....
me '!?'
for example both the freezing point and the boiling points are DEPENDENT on other conditions.
The higher you go the lower the temp water will boil (air pressure)
But what happens when you exceed that temp in a microwave? ...it become super excited (explosive ...hence you put in cold water you get an eruption very dangerous) .
Now if you chill water down below freezing point under the right circumstances it stays liguid and may even become more viscus.
Me !!
Salt water is heavier than fresh water , Hot water expands, yet cold water (ice) expands more crystallization.
If you stop those crystals forming you get super chilled water with the same consistency as oil (hydraulics) . So it slides to the sea where pressure changes, flaws in the ice and heat (temp difference causes calving (icebergs))
Me !!(whale oil beef hooked![ say quickly for the Irish amazement]

Some years later we visited the same territory about AGW.
We were discussing the seeming contradiction in the Glaciers melting.
He asked me why some Ice is white and some Blue.(look it up)

Examinator said...

Part 2
He went on to explain why this effects the melting rates of different types of ice
Particularly because of the different crystal structures. He explained that in say the Antarctic west the glaciers are deeper in some places miles deep. The friction cases melting but the ice structure causes the water to become viscous (super chilled)... the net result they don't melt as quickly as those say in Patagonia or in Greenland, Kilmarnock or in the European Alps etc. Hence they are more sensitive to ambient changes.
So when you read an article that says The Antarctic ice is deepening it mean precisely that, the dept is increasing but certainly not the area (see albedo effect).
So when you read a paper that says certain major (longest ) glaciers are retreating this is consistent with AGW.
He then went onto say that much of this data is very new and from specialist disciplines.
A geologist is correct in saying that the world has gone through 'similar' phases before. But like you with your previous knowledge on water it doesn't take into account enough of the new data and facts.
They have no reason to learn Ice chemistry of physics just that there was ice. Keep in mind that the times these people are talking about the world was a Very different place in topography thus the way the ice behaved would have been different. They can't tell the depth or the crystal structures.

Now if we look at the projected AGW water rises one needs to take them in context. 1 meter rise doesn't sound like much but consider this 1 meter X the sea covered area of the world is a huge amount do the math. Next you need to consider that the water isn't evenly dispersed the moon caused significant bulges at the its nearest point ...tides. If one adds billions of tonnes of water to change on the tides the local rises will be well beyond that measly 1meter.
It will also have an effect on the force of the tidal movement. There are calculations for that.

Let's take Brisbane as an example, it could be Any river plain adjacent to the sea.(Mississippi)
Brisbane had suffered 10 years of El Nino (drought). The weather is determined by the sea temp in the amount of water that evaporates as rain.
Well there water supply was down to less than 25% this meant that rationing had to be introduced (no garden watering, 4 min showers). This also meant the water was harder to filter treat (more particulates ) , more expensive.

Examinator said...

Part 3 nearly at the end
Side note: the rich said why not let the market set the price instead of rationing?. We're rich we can afford to pay more.
Question at what point do people(not rich) are expected to live in 3rd world conditions or to die of thirst/ disease etc while the rich have luxurious gardens and swimming pools? (by the way this is exactly like the(illegal) Israeli settlements and the Palestinians down stream. )

Then La Nina arrived big time 40% of the years rain fall fell in two weeks ( 18inches which is measured in a catchment vessel with a diameter of 4” now multiply that 18'' over an area of New York/New Jersey States .
state in to say 40 creeks and rivers . That water drains into 4-5 catchment dams and what you have is mass/ wide spread flooding add to that a 1 in a 100 year cyclone the tail of which caused the rain.
The result was the catchment dams being filled to 127% of designated capacity (danger of dam wall collapse). So they had to release a minor flood of about 8' Unfortunately the cyclone came at the highest spring tide 3.5 meters (12 feet) the 2.5 meter (10ft ) surge with the weight of the pacific behind it acted as a barrier to the down flow the result a backed up water and a 30' deep flood swamping 30% of the city. 12 months later a 1 in 75 year flood and surge. This time the catchment had already dumped water earlier therefore not as big a back up.

The point in all of that is the back of envelope math that if it happened (highly likely) with a higher sea level (1meter) the flood would be nearer 40- 70 ft say good night to 80% of Brisbane (3 million people give or take) and the New south Wales border to Mackay some 800 kilometers north And inland for up 10 miles.

People look at the 1 meter line and say well I'm safe BUT....
We are talking about more ferocious and more regular extra ordinary events.

The tragedy is that very little of this is ever explained to the people. Scientists are conservative (reserved) at such speculation.

Examinator said...

Again none of the above is in the ambit of geologists and many 'scientists' .
The above is thumbnail sketch only. Could it be less prossibly could it be worse equally possibly.
But when one read an 'Aha gotcha from a denier they are invariably within a very limited (often self serving) perspective .
At best they are one paper taken out of context as is the argument of the faux contradictory glaciergate. By the way there are differences between the glaciers in the Himalayas and as such some would melt faster than others for the reasons given and more.

Fox news in fact most MSM sources are written/interpreted by those WITHOUT the skills (specific technical knowledge to do the dissemination adequately. Being either a entertaining person or having skills in journalism are no guarantee of competence or accuracy. Likewise that what you know is all that there is to the issue.
If the answer is simple then either it's wrong or the question is.
Jon sorry about the length but it condenses conversations over 26 years .
If it's not appropriate Bomb it off. Use it or lose it I don't mind.

Jonathan said...


Thanks for that explination - I found it quite interesting.

Chad said...

JC - slightly confused, are you saying it didn't happen at all or are you saying the professor proved communism doesn't work versus socialism - is that your point?

You would agree that the Progressive movement wants to take from one group of people and then to hand that cash/property/business or wealth to another. That is either done through taxes, confiscation, law, regulation or a combination of all the above - you would agree on that right?

The socialist ideal can be accomplished within the framework of capitalism - that's the beauty of capitalism - in its pure form it can't choose winners and or losers. People/gov't/laws/politicians can of course, but capitalism can't. If you and 55 of your buddies decided to open a shop - adopt a earning scale that has less peaks and less valley's (more of an equal distribution of the earnings to match the socialist model) you can without changing the fundemental foundation of the country. You can even offer free health care to your employees, you can offer free housing if you choose, you can setup a localized bank with free checking and the whole nine yards - you can do all that today.

On the other hand - in a socialist society it would be against the law (I assume) if a company opened with a single owner, if they had an unbalanced earning scale (paying the top or high earners more) than production and so on because in order for socialism to work you need the heavy hand of gov't to monitor the market - is that correct? Obviously in communism any thought of capitalism is forbidden.

The differences between socialism and communism are slight at best wouldn't you agree? IMO your are only choosing to waive/carry the flag of Socialism as the urrent 'cause' because it is a shorter distance from Capitalism to Socialim than it is from Capitalism to Communism. Socialism is also an easier sell to the mass of people who have little to no marketable skills and have no plans to improve them either - in that model their earning go up at the expense of the top so that sounds great to them and they didn't have to get better at their job either. Many Presidents and CEO's need their salaries and bonuses cut - dramatically ($11 mill for a Bank CEO I read yesterday - stupidity) so that would make sense to the thousands of line workers because who needs that much money. With capitalism that can be solved through competition versus law - in socialism it takes law to eliminate/control earnings.

Once any form of socialism comes on board - it would be a slow sprint to communism (complete government control) and you know that is true.

The reason it is true and you know that it is true is because capitalism would eventually grow roots in a socialist economic structure. 3 competing socialist companies all starting off with a 'fair' wage scale, gov't controls supply chain costs so no advantage there, but once company does it a little better and takes 50% market share. The person or persons responsible for such a market share will be able to sell their labor/ideas at a higher rate than they currently get to their competition or what will happen is that companies B and C will have to lower wages across the board to attract more business - both cycles will ruin socialism in a short, very short period of time so the only way for you to stop that is by government or making rules/laws to stop competition, to remove any possibility of lowering wages - boom communism is on deck.

I get the frustration on your side - I do - you've got this perfect plan and only if all the lemmings agree then everyone might be able to live a nice, but below average life for the most part, everyone would have some basic freedoms, work only 6-8 hrs a day, 3-4 days a week, we would all have some basic food on the table, everyone would be cared for at a basic level medically if not for us crazy driven captialist who strive for individual greatness.

Jonathan said...


I think you make some good points here that speak to the ideological differences between yours and Jon's perspective. A problem when both sides try and discuss is that typically neither one will grant the other's existence or validity of their points. Glad to hear you seem to be tracking with Jon's major issues...


Here's the thing that I find slightly maddening in this whole discussion. You're trying to reach the conservatives and tell them they're living in a bubble, that their methods don't work, trickle down economics, austerity, etc. etc. But if you're interested in persuading versus bludgeoning over the head with your truth bombs (not trying to be derogatory to your views - I think you make a lot of good points, just your tactics), you need to take a page out of the salesmens playbook. You have to address *their* pain point. Even if you think it's small, or wrong, or irrelevant, you have to acknowledge their concern if you're going to get anywhere.

Here's the pain point you miss - again and again conservatives have a major bone to pick with folks who are unwilling to work, or try and better themselves. Folks that are lazy. People that are dependent on the government. Your point of course is that in the grand scheme of things and given the context of all the terrible things that large businesses, billionaires etc are doing this is (in your view) a wrong-headed, misguided, and tiny slice of the whole equation. Like blaming the firemen or school teachers etc.

Would it be so hard simply to say "ok, unions today foster and promote slackers. They protect people that are lazy, and that's wrong. But let's look at the bigger picture here..."

That's Chad's concern here - and honestly it really bothers me quite a bit too - you're not going to get most people to take a good hard look at the injustices done by the rich and powerful by starting off ignoring or refusing to look at the injustices they see. Might not be the way the world should work, but as you and I would both agree - we don't live in the ideal world. You want folks to look at your truth, you might have to take the first step and acknowledge theirs. :-)

Jon said...

Go to the snopes link I pasted. This did not happen.

As the snopes article points out, if it had happened it wouldn't prove the point because socialism does not require that everyone is paid equally. So you asked if on socialism the government would have to prevent unequal pay distribution. No, that is not correct. Socialism does not require equal compensation. On socialism companies compete for labor with benefits just like you would on capitalism, paying more for skills that are in higher demand.

Again, I go back to the point I made earlier. You have been absorbing information from sources that simply lie to you. They have to misrepresent socialism in order to discredit it. They have to lie about global warming, invent fictitions accounts about profiessors and teaching methods, pretend that Reagan's tax cuts are the cause of higher revenue generation.

Socialism simply says this. The money earned by a company goes to the workers of the company. The ones that created the product and sold it. We are not going to have a separate class of people that sits back, does absolutley zero, and gets the majority of the money, then uses their concentrated power to extract even more.

So take Cuba. What's our problem with Cuba? Why do we fight with them, bomb them, blow up their hotels and ships? Why do we spray their crops with biological toxins and poison their livestock? Why do we steal their children to create terror? If socialism was so bad we'd just sit back and watch the place collapse. But we don't do that, and there's a reason, revealed in internal government sources. Our leaders fear that if Cuba is left alone they will succeed. This will be a model for others. It creates a world that is much better for ordinary people. Others will want that. Then this class of people that gets most of the money and does zero work (the capitalist) will no longer be getting all the money. That's unacceptable. So we make war against them. This is why we fought Vietnam. We know very well that if left alone it would work. So we can't allow it.

Many Presidents and CEO's need their salaries and bonuses cut - dramatically ($11 mill for a Bank CEO I read yesterday - stupidity) so that would make sense to the thousands of line workers because who needs that much money. With capitalism that can be solved through competition versus law

That's where you are quite wrong. The inequality that exists here is one that feeds into the system of justice. It's impossible to have justice when these CEO's have this kind of money and consequently power as contrasted with the rest, because they use that power to shape the governmental system.

Jon said...

Jonathan, I think I do acknowledge those kinds of things. Check this recent blog post of mine and the first couple of paragraphs.


Chad said...

I don't care about what happens in Cuba - it is irrelevant to the arguement and to everyone except you - stay in America, the land of the free and home of the rich.

"On socialism companies compete for labor with benefits just like you would on capitalism, paying more for skills that are in higher demand."

How in the hell would you inforce that without government? You just described Capitalism in its pure form right now today.

Your so jaded and inflexible that even when I agree that $11 million is entirely too much for one person you disagree.

As Jonathen points out well - its difficult to listen to you or take any points from you when your not intersted in fixing what is wrong in your own house/ideals nor are you intersted when someone actually agrees to a point.

Chad said...

A society that chooses between capitalism and socialism does not choose between two social systems; it chooses between social cooperation and the disintegration of society. Socialism is not an alternative to capitalism; it is an alternative to any system under which men can live as human beings.

Ludwig Von Mises

Jon said...

How in the hell would you inforce that without government? You just described Capitalism in its pure form right now today.

It's obvious Chad that you really have no idea what capitalism is or what socialism is. And yet for you capitalism is great and socialism is evil. How can be so passionate about these things when you don't even know what they are?

I'd suggest the answer is found in places like snopes, or maybe Mike Church scam radio. They're just lying to you. They have you fired up, but they don't want you to be informed. You're supposed to hate without even know what you are hating. You have been manipulated.

Chad said...

Apologies for the outburst about Cuba.

I don't care much about Cuba - I think you spend too much time trying to make a connection, but a friend of mine loves the topic (Professor - a rare Conservative one) so I sent him a quick note and he sent me back the following - I don't know if its his work or the work of someone else, but there is certainly some good nuggets.

Chad said...

First, prior to the 1959 communist revolution, Cuba enjoyed the status of one of the wealthiest countries in Latin America, known for high level of judicial independence and strong protection of private property rights. Not surprisingly, before the revolution, Cuba recorded the highest stock market capitalization of any Latin American countries. The solid level of capital market development was a mere reflection of sound contract enforcement instituted by the judicial protection and the rule of law. When the revolution began, Cuba eliminated all private property rights by collectivization of land and by a complete nationalization of private enterprises. By that time, the very fundamentals of economic development were destroyed.

Chad said...

Second, Cuban communist leaders looked up to the Soviet Union as a role model of the socialist society. By the time of the revolution, Cuba followed the course of destructive economic policy. It began imposing price controls and the trade with the rest of the world, except for the socialist countries, was ended. In addition, civil and personal liberties vanished under the communist regime. Therefore, Cuban economic model resulted in food shortages, land depletion, massive immigration and frequent oil crises.

Chad said...

The collapse of the Cuban system was anticipated since every communist nation ended its Marxist economic experiment in the disastrous failure. For instance, Yugoslavia's socialist model resulted in the political disintegration of the country, record-breaking hyperinflation and a civil war. Cuba long praised its supposedly superior health care system which was said to outperform the quality of the American health care system. It is not difficult to infer that the majority of health indicators was manipulated by the government bureaucracy. At one time, Raul Castro decided to fire 500.000 government employees as an attempt to boost the growth of the struggling socialist economy.

Chad said...

The ultimate roots of Cuban economic failure lie in the belief of the power of the state to replace free price mechanism and free enterprise system as the coordinator of economic decisions of individuals and firms. The intention of Cuban revolutionary leaders to create "heaven on earth" resulted in probably the most significant economic and social stagnation in the 20th and 21st century. The case of Cuba reaffirmed the unprecendent failure and theoretical inconsistency of Marxist economic theory and policy. Cuban political and economic experiment once again showed that socialist political philosophy is based on false and misguided philosophical premises that completely misunderstood the meaning and nature of human liberty.

Chad said...

He also mentioned that you should study and preach about how the Castro regime is slowing capitalism and worry less about the 'white noise' your apparently looking for.

By the gov't hand many private and thriving businesses are not allowed to hire more than 20 people, private loans are nearly impossible to get.

He said we are not holding back socialism, socialism (gov't) is holding back capitalism in Cuba - he's got it back asswards (in his opinion).

He said to ask you if lawyers and architects are allowed to work for themselves yet?

Captialism is bringing them back from the dead of socialism.

Chad said...

I know - he is probably another whack job captialist - under informed moron right?

Did I mention that he spends more time in Cuba than he does America at this point.

I think that kinda gives him a big leg up on the subject don't you think?

Jonathan said...

Sounds like someone you need to have on your next podcast episode...

Jonathan said...


Good point - I will give you props on your aforementioned post in your approach.

It started off in the right direction although it was like pulling teeth to get you to say that you didn't have an issue with the owner of a company keeping the lion's share of profits if they are not oppressing the workers. :-)

I'm curious - have you ever heard anyone who was pro-union ever say there is a problem with present day unions enabling folks to slack and be lazy? Anyone ever express a need for more accountability or how this is actually hurting union workers?

Not trying to rehash the union rights argument, just have never seen that train of thought discussed pubically by anyone pro-union - ever.

Jon said...

Chad if 80% of the population starves while market capitalization is high, are we supposed to be impressed?

But I'm not going to address all that in detail. We're straying pretty far from the topic of this post, which was about the causes of the financial crisis. No, it wasn't teachers, firefighters, and unions. But the spinners want us to believe it of course.

I really wonder how many urban legends and fabrications that you believe will need to be debunked before you start questioning. And I guess I wonder about my question on socialism and capitalism. Don't you find it strange that you hate a thing that you don't understand? Like if I said "I hate slackregans so much I am prepared to fight to the death to resist anyone that supports them." And you ask what a slackregan is and I don't know. I just hate it. Isn't that strange? Why would you hate something so much if you don't understand it? Don't you first need to understand before objecting?

When a child says he hates black people we know he's simply being controlled, because he really doesn't understand why he should hate them. Perhaps his parents want him to hate. Why do you hate socialism? If you don't know what it is you obviously don't know why you should hate it.

But I'll tell you why you hate it. The people with all the money know that socialism would mean they would have to work for money, not just take it from the work of others. So they want to manipulate everyone else into hating it, but the problem is when others hear what it is it doesn't sound so bad. So it's important to get you to hate it without understanding it. And that's where you are.

Jon said...

I have heard pro union people say it, Jonathan, because I've said it. It's not something unique to unions. Any system of power is subject to abuse.

I can tell you all kinds of horrendous things unions have done. Absolutely shameful. I'm talking about things like death squads and union busting. Yes, some unions in the US have been involved in that because at the time they thought it was in their best interest as workers. To break unions elsewhere. Allowing a lazy worker is the least of it, though there is that.

For me the key is always concentrated power. Concentrated power is the real danger. Governments are power concentrations, so they are dangerous. Chad is right to want to resist their power. But right now governmental power is not as dangerous as corporate power. Corporate power is completely tyrannical by nature. It's not a democracy. Being rich is one thing. But corporate power concentrates the power of rich people down to a single point, and what they can do is incredible, and of course also dangerous. So I will happily acknowledge abuse of power among smaller power concentrations, but I don't see it as equally dangerous.

Chad said...

JC - Make no mistake, I understand Socialism and how it works - I read Socialism for Dummies twice.

Capitalism gives socialist the opportunity to implement their policies on the free market. Socialist do not and will not grant the same luxury to the Capitalist. It require gov't force and law to actually work for the limited time it would work.

Similar to being a conservative, we ask nothing from no one and we are willing to pay our way, but a Liberal will take from everyone in the name of equally and fairness.

I sleep well in what I read, believe and consume.

The scotch tastes good too.

Chad said...

BTW - I believe in Bigfoot, the Loch-Ness and I am partial to believing in Angels as well.

Just thought you should know.

Examinator said...

Thank you for your comment.

Jon is absolutely correct Socialism does NOT = Communism. THEY ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE.
They are both substantially different.

The problem as I see it is that Chad/tea baggers/ conservative generally are suffering from years of deliberate cold war,special interests' misinformation and rhetoric.

This has led to the the conservatives fall back argument is always “Well its S&C” and everything from there is the antithesis or inconsistent with Capitalism . By misappropriating the language they have locked the topic into Generalizations and absolutes.That is simply a shut down.

The FACTS are that these assumptions and 'buzingas' (Sheldon's Gotcha!) are demonstrable incorrect. It simply demonstrates that they have no real understanding of what these terms Socialism, Capitalism , Communism, Conservatism really mean or the implications.

As in my lengthy piece your(conservative) confusing the two (S&C)are like Geologists saying that AGW has happened before or that one paper showing some glaciers are increasing ( in height) ... therefore it proves that AGW doesn't exist ((buzinga!). The premise is based on incomplete information. But It would take 100 pages with annotations and references to define the differences.
No body on this site would read them least of all those who *need* to understand the differences.

They are evolved into philosophies from * previous ideas/ philosophies* ( Newton's “ if I can see further it is because I am standing on the shoulders of Giants(previous thinkers)”) and as such they ALL share common elements. Our children for example are are different one from the other but they all have many commonalities... after all they all come from the same source (or I'm gittin' me a gun ! ;-)) .
It's called context. You would have to be a raging great Bigot and a fool to dismiss us all as trash without considering the good and bad first. Likewise you'd be damn near certifiably insane to dismiss other people base on commonalities they share with one or all of the members of our family....i.e. Condemning other people because they gave to the same charity as us (Red Cross). But that is exactly what the conservatives do. i.e. Having universal health cover . In reality there are many versions of this e.g. the Aus system has a dual system that incorporates both. Australia is as much a socialist country as Wall st. Likewise Firearm control etc. No it isn't a totalitarian state its a democracy like America (of sorts). Neither country are pure democracies or Pure Capitalism but Amalgams of several philosophies. Therefore conversations on extremes are ...well unsupportable nonsense based on anything but FACT.

Examinator said...

Part 2
If anything both countries are increasingly dominated by a plutocratic oligarchy .
Note the real issue isn't Capitalism V all others that is a distraction given that they don't exist in purity . The real issue is a limited Democracy V a plutocratic oligarchy
In reality the pre-eminence of this plutocratic oligarchy and enlightenment rhetoric of the influenced the US founding fathers. Don't forget they were also imbued with the Whiteman's racist superiority, hence many had slaves and Jefferson had his Black sex slave. In all likely hood so did many of the others. The key difference was they rejected the notion of a hereditary Monarch in favor of a plutocratic oligarchy. Certainly not a pure democracy rather a system to stop the tyranny of the Mob (read the average voter)

If the conservatives really want an objective discussion they need to drop the rhetorical generalization and missuse of terms and discuss the actual topics. But in truth they can't because if they did that it would blur their Republican brand differential. Consequently the Democrats would be in a similar position. The final result that the two power bases would dissolve and the individuals involved would be without their power /wealth streams.
Like as has been said before "all politics is fundamentally local (me, mine0 (WIIFM)

Examinator said...

["I understand Socialism and how it works - I read Socialism for Dummies twice".]
Well that's it burn the libraries....Turn the high schools into prisons for re-education who needs universities? ...Chad has read Socialism for dummies TWICE!
Of all the errant arrogance and Half baked nonsense you have written that puts the cherry on the top.
I've read Brain surgery for dummies THREE TIMES can I perform it on your son? I mean one site I've been to said by trimming parts of the frontal cortex it can make the patient a genius!

Chad you still haven't got the point that some socialistic features are in almost all other political philosophies. That doesn't make them bad nor does it jeopardise the democratic or Capitalism as we know it.

Jon/ Jonathan there is a classic problem with the Rump conservative attitude and why conversation is one way .. they tell us from a position of ignorance.

Examinator said...

PS Chad
Show me a Free market or a level playing field in the western world today (both essential integral attributes for pure Capitalism to exist.
If you can I'll get you an interview with a Bunyip (Australia's version of Big foot). Keep in mind Aus has more vacant land to hide them than America does.

BTW Pure Socialism hasn't and can't exist for the same reasons pure Communism or Pure Capitalism can't... the human factor.

Jon said...

Chad, I went looking for this book you mentioned, "Socialism for Dummies." Amazon doesn't have a book by that title. Have you gotten the title wrong? Are you telling us you've twice read a book but you don't recall the name of the book?

Whatever you read, go pull it off the shelf and tell us the page in which it says socialism requires equal compensation across the board. If it does say that I have to wonder who wrote it. Someone without any kind of qualifications I would imagine. It's really just completely wrong. Though if it does say that I wouldn't be totally surprised. It would fit the pattern of email hoaxes and other general lies that you repeat (I assume you don't know you are being lied to).

One other question. Which countries have a free market? Capitalism allows a free market and socialism doesn't. Where do free markets exist?

Chad said...

You know it was tongue and cheek - a quick joke, but apparently it was a fly by.

So kidding aside my frame of reference comes from Mr. Ludwig Von Mises and his brilliant destruction of socialism at every turn. His book Socialism: An Economic and Socialogial Analysis is my bile on the subject. Of course your going to tell me that he is also a pathological liar as well.

Chad said...

Of course there is no true free market anywhere Jon - there are too many Hitlers, Castro's, Harry Reid's and Jon's in the world who want to tear it down and demonize it to its death or who want the power/money for themselves.

Besides - the real fact of the matter is a complete and unbridled anything could and probably would be very dangerous.

Chad said...

Ooh and I have skimmed Hayek and Friedman as well - more liars, but the biggest liar that I really love reading is Ayn Rand - she is a brilliant liar.

Chad said...

I hope that anyone flying the socialism flag takes the time to read Von Mises book - I think this work features von Mises at his best.

A review of his book that hits the nail.

He completely demolishes socialism from almost every angle concievable. He demonstrates that socialism cannot function rationally, period. The primary contribution that this work is cited for, is of course the proof of the theory that economic calculation is impossible under socialism. Building on this fact, as well as many other important insights, socialism is shown to be little more than a chimera with virtually no scientific backing whatsoever. Quite nearly every major form or variant of socialism is critiqued, from marxism to Christian socialism, and even syndicalism. In each case, the conclusion is the same, i.e. socialism destroys society and civilization and replaces it with slavery, chaos, and poverty. Indeed, Mises correctly identifies socialism as a fundamentally destructive, purely anti-social force. In sharp contrast to this is the capitalist form of society based upon the principles of (classical) liberalism. Throughout the work, Mises refutes widespread misconceptions, myths and anti-capitalist dogmas associated with the market economy. At all times it is made clear that it is only capitalism that can sustain and advance the needs of individuals and their civilization. The importance of this work is difficult to overestimate. It is without a doubt, one of the greatest works of the last century, if not of all time. Even now, after almost eight decades in print, his principles stand unrefuted, even as we continue to slip down the slope toward complete state slavery. The fact that the message of his work has not eliminated the evils that he exposed takes nothing away from his achievement. As long as there are a few individuals remaining in whom the spirit of liberty remains strong, this work will continue to shine as a profound monument to the intellectual potential of man, and the superiority of capitalism.

I know - liar.

Jon said...

Yeah, I thought you were serious. Sounded like a real book to me. Anyway, which book told you that Socialism requires equal compensation for all?

So when you clearly display that you don't know what socialism is and then you recommend a book that supposedly completely demolishes socialism, it's not much of an endorsement. If you don't know what socialism is how would you know if it has been demolished?

Almost the whole world is capitalist. There's like maybe 4 countries that aren't. And yet there isn't a free market anywhere in the world. So how is it that capitalism allows for free markets as you claim? In fact take all of history. When has capitalism ever existed in a free market? I mean, I could understand if capitalism only existed for brief periods in isolated locations, but capitalism is the entire world. A major product of capitalism, advertising, has now headed to outer space, possibly the moon. It's everywhere. But no free market anywhere. Maybe capitalism really isn't conducive to a free market.

Chad said...

I don't recall ever claiming that socialism required equal pay my friend.

Chad said...

As simple minded guy I really can't intelligently say exactly why so I will lean on Bastiat for that one.

Bastiat's writings was that the free market was inherently a source of "economic harmony" among individuals, as long as government was restricted to the function of protecting the lives, liberties, and property of citizens from theft or aggression. To Bastiat, governmental coercion was only legitimate if it served "to guarantee security of person, liberty, and property rights, to cause justice to reign over all. He offered (Von Mises also) that once government affected the free market in other ways it no longer was a true free market and that the level of intrusion would be the level of which the free market was no longer free.

That makes a lot of sense to me.

Chad said...

Another Bastiat quote/belief relevant to your question is here.

While establishing the inherent harmony of voluntary trade, Bastiat also explained how governmental resource allocation is necessarily antagonistic and destructive of the free market s natural harmony. Since government produces no wealth of its own, it must necessarily take from some to give to others robbing Peter to pay Paul is the essence of government, as Bastiat described it. Moreover, as special-interest groups seek more and more of other peoples money through the aegis of the state, they undermine the productive capacities of the free market by engaging in politics rather than in productive behavior. "The state," wrote Bastiat, "is the great fictitious entity by which everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else.

Pure brilliance right there.

Examinator said...

At last a glimmer of reason! You are correct, however you are still overly focused/ myopic (biased).

THAT *IS* the reason I don't subscribe to any.
No philosophy evolved in a vacuum they all incorporate bits or concepts (flaws) from previous ones . Newton dictum applies"if I can see further then it's because I stand on the shoulders of giants(predecessors)"

The fact is NO (political or economic) philosophy *if enacted in its purity * will give a different result including Capitalism,libertarianism, or democracy (period). They are all thought experiments and all suffer from the same flaws and fundamental assumptions,exclusions. The causes for these failures etc are varied and numerous. Among the key factors are the underpinning assumptions. They range from the omnipotence of the statistical mean to the knock on or Chaos implications of humanity's behavior.

The point Chad, I've been making since day one is that rigid adherence to dogma of a predetermined political philosophy (partisan ship) is as absurdly inadequate as it is counter productive.
When all is said and done they are THEORETICAL thought experiments. But again they are the product of ONE discipline. By and large their product while in it's self is a useful tool it is NOT DEFINATIVE. Life is made up of 1000's of specialized disciplines. All of which are parts of the whole. Again political/economic philosophy is but two of those. See my example of a geologist's perspective of AGW. Sort of true but of a limited perspective ( and yes) limited CONTEXT that gives a false conclusion to the truth.

Yet again I refer you to Philip Ball's book in which he gives examples and explains relationships from the 'statistical vagaries' of Sub atomic to the practical day to day vehicular traffic flows to mass psychology . He does this at a layman's level.

I keep banging on about the prime purpose of man's evolutionary fundamental 'sociability'....i.e. The *purpose * of society.
The related flaw in your logic is that you assume (unsupportablely) that evolution is both linear and unidirectional . i.e. that we our society is the pinnacle and therefore anything we do is justified regardless of who we do it to or how....the end (ours) justifies the means , in and of it's self a nebulous statement, without structure or form ( a can of worms waffle).

Jonathan said...


Throughout history, has there every been a society that you thought got it's governing system correct?

Jon said...

On capitalism wealth becomes concentrated, and those power concentrations naturally seek to create and influence a government that further serves their profit seeking interest. So capitalism itself is the source of the big government that capitalist advocates decry. What does Bastiat have to say about that? It's all well and good to complain about big government, but what is the source of that government? Why is our government today bigger than ever? Isn't it because of capitalism?

Another question. Why should government protect property rights?

Keep in mind what property rights are. Both capitalist and socialist believe you should control your possessions, like your house and toothbrush. When we talk about property rights we mean exclusively the idea that the means of production can be controlled by outside people (i.e. people that do none of the work) and their concentrated wealth tends to prevent workers from controlling factories themselves. Socialism bars private ownership of the means of production. This is a common confusion on the right. They don't understand what the real disagreement is.

So Bastiat just offers the bare assertion that governments should protect non-working wealthy investors and that's basically what it's function is restricted to, protecting the interests of the wealthy. Why?

Take a look at pre-capitalist societies, like Native American societies. They didn't have big government, but they also didn't have capitalism, where an outside group of wealthy natives controls all the tools and another segment of workers must do the work and give the lions share to the wealthy owner. Of course they wouldn't give away the fruits of their labor without being compelled by force, which is why capitalism needs big government. Big government that serves them, but it must be barred from doing anything that helps the poor.

Jon said...

Jonathan, I understand Spain from 1936 to 1939 was anarchist. I guess George Orwell fought for Spain against the forces that attempted to end their independence. They had both fascists and capitalists against them. Neither group is happy with a system that lacks heirarchy. The capitalist wants to sit at the top while everyone else works and take the money. Fascist wants to dictate to others how they leave and act in many ways similar to the capitalist. Basically powerful people don't want to get off their perch and regard others as equals, so everyone arrayed against Spain, and they were defeated.

I think some Native American societies and also Amish societies functioned in a way that I kind of like. There are pockets of communities throughout the world that function without hierarchy. Generally though states don't. States are power centers and power centers abuse their power (even unions). I of course prefer states that are more democratic. I think Nordic countries are doing much better than us. Many countries in Latin America are moving in a much more promising direction.

Jonathan said...


Interesting. Without centrailized power, how are these countries/pockets protected against those which do not share their ideals?

Jon said...

You can see how it worked out for Native Americans. They basically had to fight back, and they lost. It may have been that disease was really the deciding factor. Their arrows were more accurate than guns, could penetrate further, shoot further. They were more fit generally. They could run endlessly. People often don't know that they had cities the size of London, had pretty good technology. Suspension bridges, obviously agriculture. From what I understand disease was the main thing from about 1492 up until Puritan times. The reason Europeans didn't do much in the intervening period is because they would just get their asses kicked, until disease finally overran the natives.

I've heard only bits about Spain, but I think their defense was fairly substantial, but the whole world was against them, so it wasn't enough.

Jon said...

Chad, the link you provided from forbes (the hoax) showed that when everyone gets the same grade equal to the average the whole thing falls apart and that's why socialism doesn't work. I was probably thinking you shared that view which says that socialism means everyone gets an equal portion. Is that what you think?

Examinator said...

Systems of governments, like evolution, philosophies, cultures, laws, beliefs are all both responses to their environments and works in progress. As circumstances/ knowledge/ technology change so must all the others.

The real skill is to keep them all in sinc.

hence my aversion to maintaining at all costs the past ideas.
In a purely prosaic functional way it is impossible for a couple to stay the same as the day they married for biological reasons at least. Change is the only practical absolute.

Examinator said...

You are correct the Indians did in fact have a 'city' of with the equivalence of London at the time about 80K people.
They also had a sort of parliament where all the nearish nations came together to decide things like treaties and some disputes.

One of the key strategies for the northern tribes was to insist that in every marriage at least one partner had to speak another language (out breeding).

It is sad indictment of the Christian (white supremacy) that they actually *used* diseased blankets and poisoned flour to facilitate the ethnic cleansing.
If it were to Jews it would be called genocide, germ warfare or 'the holocaust'
an estimate 80% of the native Americans were wiped out this way
It is interesting to note the national mythology that has built up and maintained by the republican with terms like 'pioneering spirit', 'guns that tamed the wild west' et al justifying the culture of fire arms.
In truth the opposite was true.
Billy the Kid killed 8 people in his life some were by bar fights.
Buffalo(sic they are Bison)Bill shot 100000 to provide free food for the railways.
Together the settlers (land thieves) reduce a 30 million herd to less than 1000 in less than 80 years.
Pony Express lasted 1year
The battle of OK corral was an internecine fight between two families over the split on rustled cattle. Most of the Clantons weren't even armed.
Cowboys rode the range for less than 20 years. They were often short, ( big would put too much stress on the horses which were short stocky) blacks and rode for 18 hrs out of 24. They lived mainly on beans.They were exploited to hell and back because jobs were scarce. BTW they 'weren't gun totin' either, as fire arms would cause stampedes.
As for the street face downs they virtually never happened.
And most towns were lawless, dirty, unhealthy reservoirs of VD and other diseases.
History is a fascinating thing.
It is interesting to note the size and depth of American National Mythology when compared to those of Canada or Australia.
America's is far more exaggerated and fanciful and violent.

Examinator said...

have a look at this


Examinator said...

I got it wrong about the native American northern tribes I confused this video And a article in an pathological magazine

this is only 19 minutes but it says better what I've been trying to convey. I was chuffed when I watched it. Somebody else gets the point.
It is relevant to the discussion