Thursday, April 11, 2013

Obama: The More Effective Evil

Some on the left are finally starting to wake up to the fact that Obama really is a right winger.  You may recall prior to the election how I talked about how the left may be better off if Romney wins because Obama is the more effective evil.  Sure, Romney would love to attack Social Security, a program that has not contributed a bit to the deficit and keeps the elderly off the streets.  But it would be hard for him.  Obama also wants to do it, and he may succeed.

And here it comes.  Obama wants cuts in Social Security.  Cuts that Republicans hadn't even asked for.  Some details here.  As mentioned at that link the Daily Kos has of course been a reliable bastion of Obama cheer leading, but even they are struggling now (see some of their discussion here.)

The fact is rather than shrinking Social Security it should be expanded.  The right wing 401k experiment is a terrible failure.  Look at how much savings people have by age group.  Some of the people reading here may be in good shape.  But that's not my point.  It is obvious that many, many people are in incredibly bad shape, and now with pensions gone we have got to change course in the opposite direction Obama is pushing.

I think more and more people are figuring it out every day.  Both political parties are in the pockets of a tiny elite minority.  The rhetoric is a little different, so we have these elections and people imagine that they are being offered a real choice.  It is a choice.  We can choose on abortion and gay rights.  We get a little bit of influence.  But on most issues, including issues like this which are urgent, this is not a choice.


Jonathan said...


What's your argument against the notion that people should take responsibility for saving for their own retirement again? Is it that most folks can't afford to? Is it that they should have but now that they haven't, it would be wrong not to extend a safety net? Or is it something else? How is lack of participation in 401k plans the fault of the right again?

Jonathan said...


One more question - what's your view on the person who could have saved for retirement but instead chose not to live modestly but blow their money their whole life - should they be entitled to some sort of financial safety net?

Jon said...

My argument is pragmatic. It hasn't worked. You can blame the worker if you like. I don't buy it, but that's a separate question. The reality is the future looks pretty grim for when people our age reach their 60's.

The right has been the group that is pushing the personal responsibility, no safety net agenda. It's based on a biblical principle that they very much oppose. I should care about the widow down the street. I should care about the man that was in an accident and can't care for himself. The right is the main force trying to undermine these basic biblical concepts. Seek your own betterment first, forget all but self. SS is antithetical to that notion, which is why even though it has done nothing to contribute to the deficit cutting it is promoted as a solution to the deficit problem.

Chad said...

Your caring should be voluntary Jon - that is the point your missing. Your forcing people to care when they don't care and if your arguement is that my money - my taxes taken stays in my neighborhood then your even more diluted than I originally thought.

Personal Responsibility is the answer - it is and if we have charity in our hearts then great.

Your attitude is that when a mother in Cincinnati has 4 children with no means to care for those children then I own a certain responsibility to that child and I don't.

If that is the case then I want to put the mother in jail and the child should live and learn my ways.

Examinator said...

Really Chad
Caring should be voluntary?
Interesting spin on the point of Christian charity ....
Seems to me you're more like the Pharisee in the parable of the good Samaritan.
On a more sectarian matter how can you tell that YOUR TAXES stay in your neighborhood? something special about your money perhaps .... coated with ignorance and BS perhaps.

Really old bean you do need to read a bit more.

Chad said...

Absolutely sir - charity. I know it's a novel concept, but voluntarily doing good..

Its funny - You and Jon want to regulate all aspects of my life and taking the money of the earners is a social responsibility we inherit, but when I want to regulate the people who expand hunger, who have no to little personal responsibility, who breed the recipient class that creates a huge tax burden for the working class that is completely off limits?

Regulating the earners - demonizing them, stealing from them is socially acceptable, but be damned if I suggest attacking the real problem and to regulate those making the bad decisions to create/expand hunger, those people who bring the recipient class into this world, those folks that from day 1 do not have the means to pay for the child they bring in this world, but expect me to pay for that child all through their life without the ability to teach them, discipline them or to change the problem.

Examinator said...

I don't want to do any of that.
I am examinator which means I examine what people say.

Chad said...


Where does the nanny state stop though? At least - please - allow Social Security to be a voluntary thing. I would love to close Soc Sec today, but I am only a single voice so have it but also allow people to opt out like me. At this point I would settle for the ability to opt out so when it crashes (and it will) then it will hurt less people.

Again ideas so great that it requires 100% participation.

Jon said...

Chad, I think the difference between you and me is I’m interested in solutions that work. You’re more theoretical. I see a problem. A problem that existed prior to the expansion of Social Security that was solved when Social Security was expanded. Elderly homelessness and malnutrition. I can see that SS fixed it, so I think we should pursue it. We know it works.

You instead have a principle. People shouldn’t be compelled to give against their will. That’s a fine principle, but when you pursue that strategy what happens? Lots of elderly homelessness and malnutrition.

I used to think like you. I had a principle. But a friend of mine, who was and still is a staunch conservative, asked me a question that really stuck. I forget exactly what we were talking about, but in the end it was something like the consequence was a nuclear war, and he asked me “Are you going to feel good about the fact that you stuck to your principles when the result is a nuclear war that kills a million people? At what point do you actually consider the consequences of your need to feel good about yourself?”

So I guess that question is the same question I could put to you. What you suggest (voluntary type charity) has been done. It’s done in the third world today. It was done in the US when we had lots of elderly on the streets. We moved away from that principle and yeah, some people didn’t like sullying their principles, but the effect was really good.

Make it voluntary and we know what happens. Of course the wealthy are happy to opt out. This is a regressive program, so the poor get a little more than they put in, the rich (including people like you and me) will get a little less. If you want to ignore the gospels and say “I should forget everyone but myself” then yeah, opting out will make sense. Maybe you personally will give to charity, but people like the Koch brothers and the Walton family don’t give much as a %. Poorer people tend to be more charitable percentage wise. So you can walk up to they dying and freezing 70 year old man and say “I know it’s tough for you, and I gave to my local food back, but on the plus side we didn’t sully our principles by FORCING the unwilling to give, so hopefully you can take comfort in that.” Doesn’t work for me. I don’t like force either, but there’s plenty of force all over the place. For instance if you work for a corporation you are forced by violence to give the bulk of what you create to shareholders and you keep a smaller portion. Force is fine when it benefits the rich, and so you can’t only be principled when it harms the poor and turn around and ignore principle when it comes to the rich. The poor should get similar breaks, and if we can end force for the rich let’s then talk about ending force for the poor.

That’s a perfect microcosm of conservative politicians. Tough medicine for the poor. Austerity. They need it. But for the rich they do the opposite. Thatcher was a case in point. Yeah, she cut services for the poor, but by the time she left the government was bigger than ever. Similar for Reagan. The effect was government actually grew, it just shifted who it served. So you’re all with them when they cut the part that helps the poor, but you don’t emphasize the much larger market interventions and involuntary taxation that helps the rich. That’s what I’d like to see you start to notice. Notice that everything you advocate is advocated for the poor only in actual practice.

Examinator said...

Chad, HP, Jonathon and Jon for reference

re responsibilities to social Security
I doubt that this will be read let alone thoroughly but what the hell.

Let me start by rejecting as emotively biased unhelpful spin the term. No state by definition can be ever “ a nanny state” literally , figuratively or functionally. It's not a matter of common speak, it's an aggressive loaded term to stifle a objective two way conversation. It is a n old old sales technique call closed discussion.
Essentially it's designed to WIN a sale not negotiate where there is a possibility of an unfavorable result … it's simply a dominance (bullying) technique . One that most women understand who have dominating or over bearing husbands or bosses. The sub text is “I'm the dominant one here now here this ( I know best) .”
My stance is and always has been “ I’m examinator I examine not proselyte... what works for me may not work for anybody else... more on that later.

This might be a bit nuanced and expressed before but it's worth repeating.
*I always go back to REAL basics *. Social Security is part of a society so I ask “what is the purpose of societies?” The fundamental answer is MUTUAL benefit and protection. the key word is *mutual* as in everyone.
It is an empirical fact: that societies generally fail when they stop doing that either from insurrection and or external help. The obvious exception is conquest but that is another topic.

Simply put a society that excludes its own members builds lethal internal self destruction. There hasn't been a society ever that hasn't been subject to those conditions and factors.
Logic clearly dictates that one person living in an absolute profligate life style while others in abject hopelessness doesn't meet the above criteria. In equality must be relative to others in that society. What constitutes abjectness in America is different to that of African villages. However, combine the the two value systems and the more luxurious one takes precedence. i.e. the Africans want American life style. And an now you've created in equity and hostilities hence national conflicts.

In a pragmatic sense social security (welfare) is simply the price one has to pay if one lives in a society/country/state city et al.
Realistically the only way to avoid the responsibility is to become Robinson Crusoe and even then there is a price to pay, lack of amenities and technology.

We then advance the argument to the concept of Equity (not equality). By that I mean fairness/justice . And To some this is where (Objective) reasoning become gets very complex because emotional perceptions and self-interest kicks in.

Again I go back to the basics . Here one must read a bit to understand the nature and make up of homo sapiens.
At this point many people find the logic all too much and put in a coverall....religion because on the surface the answers are clear.

Examinator said...

Part 2
Even there Christians and Muslims et al INSIST that “we are our brothers keepers” and that judgement is mine sayeth the Lord . And then comes a range of commandments most of which man generally tries his had at “attorney reasoning” using 'the letter of the law' from arcane unrelated texts to conveniently justify breaking those commandments. He also instructs us to forgive other trespasses .... etc. In short God commands us to look after the poor and unfortunate not just those we know and feel they're worthy (what ever that means)
Even in the echelons of the highest religious intellectuals/ thinkers most brilliant and competent theologians they wrestle with real mind cracking conundrums.
i.e. at what point does Science and logic cease and god(s) begin? Most Christians by number don't believe in “intelligent design” / creationism per se.

Almost every month new science comes out blurring the boundaries between how much ability we have to determine our life path. i.e. Chad are you aware that some of your actions prior to puberty ( the time of sperm creation) potentially effects the physicality and mental capacity of your children.... and maybe your grand children.
No! it doesn't mean my genes made me do it... it does mean that some factors in your health and development may have been effected by some physical activity of your Grandpa. ( it's called epigenetics those actions may effect the WAY the genes express themselves.) its no longer just a mix of genes and your environment. Anyone who breed animals knows that a gene or genes affect multiple factors i.e. blue eyed pure white cats are deaf.
Even Mensa The organization for people that have IQs in the top 5-10% of all people Acknowledge that there are achievers and non achievers.
The reality is making broad judgements about who to help and who not to with out specific and individual knowledge is a bit like saying help those with say strain XYZ flu but not someone with MS or Downe's Syndrome. because the latter two are currently incurable or may have genetic triggers.
How do you know that the 18 yo single mother while born pretty/sexy looking wasn't born with sub optimum IQ ( with all the urges but not the skills?) and the baby was due to some smart ass uni jerk on Summer break taking advantage of him. Or she's been a serial victim. Mum and dad are fundies and thrown her out what as a society are you suggesting we do ? Lock her up, Sterilize her? She's not bright not incompetent ?
Seriously, who's going to adopt a child that may or may not be retarded or worse? Parkinson's, Huntington's, MS or XX factor .

Examinator said...

As a side issue Chad and Jonathon are anti abortions and Chad is for being able to fund a child for their rest of their dependent life. Who plans for a foetus that is Downes, cisticfibrosis or a myriad other disorders ? Most of which can't be predicted before the foetus exists. In Chad's reasoning no one but the super rich would be entitled to have children. By both your reasoning why should you pay taxes that may or may not go to maintaining those mandated births and their life time maintenance ? By your standards most average families would be under the US system would be condemned to a life of poverty and derision, in ignorance of their specifics. Like trained (university trained)social workers etc can't be relied on to recognise a chancer from a person needing help. But some watch Pox News and read bald numbers and axe grinding senstionalizing MSM and thus feel themselves In a position to swing the financial/moral axe.. I think that is the definition of bias/ prejudice and bigotry.

For all those and many more reasons I'm not inclined to judge who deserves help and who doesn't. Nor am I inclined to follow some dogmatic (polarised ) notion of absolutes.... I examine not proselyte... what works for me may not work for others. Hence I'll challenge what a person says but resist attacking them personally with silly challenges like "You want to...." I don't and frankly neither should anyone else.
Any body want to challenge the logic or want further proofs of concept ? Don't hesitate to comment
Like the Buddhist Abbotess ( she's got 2 Doctorates one in religion, the other in sociology and a degree in psychology.) said on TV the other night I would welcome proofs that Buddha was wrong. The other religions all said that they were right and it is a matter of faith.... really?

Chad said...

Of course JC, when any program has the full faith and backing of a gov't it will look like it works on paper forever. When it breaks down or looks like it might fail all you have to do is tax more - take more or borrow more to put it back on track. What your admitting too - right now is that everyone of the ideas you like and support not only requires 100% participation to even think about working, but it garuntees that a certain percentage will never - ever see any return from their contribution.

What I think you hate most about the Koch Bros is that you realize they are the pillars to all your programs. By % you say - I say dollar bills. Do you want 3% of the Koch money or 10% of mine? Besides the numerous charities, scholarship funds and employment of others - the Koch Bros and the other members in the 1% club should have statues resurrected in their names. Without them none of your programs would ever get off the ground and would never ever work. That's probably what burns your tail feathers the most I bet. For all your hatred of board members and the super rich you know deep down in your soul they keep this house of cards a float.

All right so I am in - I want to be a great American and christian. I want to help others and want to have a positive affect - so now will you listen to our wishes/demands?

There in lies the problem JC - you take it all from us without the common courtesy of a thank you, the common courtesy to say - your a very successful and generous person to help so many by way of the taxes I levy now what can we do for you??

We want out of soc sec because there is no discipline coming from the Progressive movement, we want out of Obama Care because the Liberals/takers are growing and there are no changes happening at the ground level.

You want more people on gov't programs and we want less - so when are you going to start fixing the root of the problem before debt and taxes consume everything like a cancer? Or is that the ultimate plan? Allow the recipient class to grow so large that it would require a gov't take over?

When someone goes on food stamps or is on assistance that should be a very bad thing - frowned upon and scrutinized. When people are having babies they can not afford that is bad - real bad and should be frowned upon and scrutinized. When fire chiefs are making $200,000 a year for life - that's bad and should be scrutinized.

If you want me to buy in then show me that the money is doing good, changing things not making them worse. I don't want 80 year old people dying on the streets, but damn it then you better slow down the recipient class and open up business so we can pay for all this crap.

Chad said...

If I may - one tiny little point about chaity and the so called failure you mentioned. GOVERNMENT does not like charity, it does not want it to work because they use the money wisely in most cases and gov't doesn't have control. Money is power (you've said it befor) so lets take the church - if the church has the money to offer housing, food and shelter then they can indoctrinate people into faith, family and personal responsibility. That is a HUGE threat to the Progressive movement - that is a big reason why charity has not done as well as it can and should - it's the enemy of the liberal movement and big gov't.

Can you imagine having to listen to the gospel before being fed or being held accountable for your action while getting shelter (no booze or popping out kids). A life of service while in need - that scares the hell out of liberals.

If not a threat then why the restrictions on charitable donations??

Examinator said...

Chad Chad Chad,
["one tiny little point about chaity and the so called failure you mentioned. GOVERNMENT does not like charity, it does not want it to work because they use the money wisely in most cases and gov't doesn't have control."]

- Most Charities get Govt hand outs and are Tax free.
Also NGOs (Charities) are actually used by government to deliver aid.
- Figures show that some Charities actually use more money on "administration" than a comparable Govt service. The difference is some charities are specialised AND don't/can't provide the services that the Govt does especially in low populated areas.

Your final point you need to see the tax abuses.... donations for 'write off loan' Tax dodge that is only one of many such schemes.