Monday, June 24, 2013

Heritage Foundation vs Equador

Bill Black, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, puts it pretty well in this article, talking about the Heritage Foundation in a way that I've discussed before.  Their so called "Index of Economic Freedom" represents faux empiricism in service to ideological dogmas.  More from Black:
Modern theoclassical economics has made an art form of fake empiricism produced by fake think tanks that shape their product to please their corporate founders/donors.  The products may look like science, but it is simply dogma misrepresenting reality in an intellectually dishonest manner.
His focus is on Ecuador, which has run in exactly the opposite direction of the policy recommendations of groups like Heritage, which advocates Washington Consensus neoliberal policies.  The result is a 7.8% economic growth rate, 4.1% unemployment (the lowest in Latin America) and even more impressively, economic growth that is for the benefit of not just the richest members of society, but also the others.  Black asks how Heritage handles the case of Ecuador?  Naturally they try to spin it like it's not too impressive.

Here Krugman discusses recent data they offered to the Senate that was false and deliberately misleading.  Here Krugman discusses another recent bit of fraud from one of their white supremacist types.  Sadly people continue to take them seriously.  That's the power of money.


Examinator said...
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Examinator said...

Love the site 'economic perspectives' interesting read. Particularly the first article on he site . Clearly more reading for me .
BUT on the surface Klugman is not so impressive … the devil is in the detail!
See this site and note the different dates between the two sets of figures being fought over. One (Furth's) is historical the other, Senator Whitehouse's (Klugman appears to be basing his attack on Whitehouse's )figures are part historical and part projected.

on that basis they appear to be comparing apples with oranges and the conclusions are shaky. (I suspect Whitehouse's attack is a case of a little knowledge is dangerous

If this is true Klugman is being a columnist ( there to jack up circulation) rather than objective analysis.

NB I reject Furth's conclusions on two grounds .

The first is that they are ideologically ( dogma) based rather than letting he facts show the conclusion... In other words he does appear to make several (by he facts as they stand) unsupportable assumptions and speculative interpretive conclusions.

Secondly the argument is based on technical hind site interpretation. Again, like all complex issues he may or may not have missed ignored influential factors.

Look at it like this, Economics is based on one discipline and the variations are based on interpretations not testable predictions etc.

Anthropomorphic Climate Change is based on 30 + DIFFERENT disciplines and 1000's of independent research and testable data. Hence the former is a soft science the other isn't.

PS Hi to the NSA readers , have a good day, not keen on your work though ;-)

HispanicPundit said...

Jon writes:

His focus is on Ecuador, which has run in exactly the opposite direction of the policy recommendations of groups like Heritage, which advocates Washington Consensus neoliberal policies.

The article linked to writes:

As I have explained in prior articles, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has dramatically increased spending in precisely the categories that the Washington Consensus claimed Latin American governments should concentrate their spending – health, education, and infrastructure.

It gets better, the article continues:

Second, the three areas of government spending that President Correa has dramatically increased are the areas that the Washington Consensus said should be Latin America’s top priorities.

Oh and, Jon starts the post with: "Bill Black, associate professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City"...but look into who this Bill Black is, and you see a different story:

William K. Black, J.D., Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.... He appeared extensively in Michael Moore’s most recent documentary: “Capitalism: A Love Story.”

The guy is basically a lawyer, with a bachelors in Economics. Certainly knows more economics than all us layman...but hardly an expert on the subject. Though he certainly likes to parade around like he is one.

Also, dont know why Jon focuses on the Heritage Foundations economic freedom index...I've said it many times, use the Fraser Institutes index. Use The World Banks Index. They are all very very close.

Lastly, I should also say that few economists disagree with poor countries building up their infrastructure. Not even right wing economists, like myself, or even Milton Friedman, would disagree. So Jon is really attacking a straw man here...

Chad said...

How can a place have 4% unemployment yet 50% of their citizens are living below the poverty level?

Slam dunk HP - nicely placed dagger my friend.

Jon said...

That's a fair point, HP. I did not read carefully and I was conflating Heritage preferred policies and the Washington Consensus, which has a lot of overlap, but not entirely as you point out.

As far as Black appearing in Moore's movie, this doesn't really change what I said. He's an associate professor of economics.

It's really not surprising that the Koch front group Fraser would come to similar conclusions as the corporate front group Heritage. I talk about them, as well as the World Bank, in different posts. Here's some discussion of Fraser:

Tobacco fraud, global warming denial, straight lies to ram through austerity. But in one blog post I generally like to focus as much as possible. You notice in my link that I don't talk about Heritage. You can't talk about everything in one blog post if you want to successfully get a point across. This blog post is about Heritage.

Jon said...

Interesting point, Ex. There could be more to it than Krugman knows. The overall point I think is correct. Heritage is faux empiricism dressed up to further the interests of corporate backers. But perhaps that one Krugman cited issue is not the best example.

Jon said...

Chad, you have to look at where Bolivia started. They've been subjected to a harsh neoliberal program for a long time, so they were extremely poor for a long time. To evaluate the success of policies you don't just look at where they are at the moment, but where they came from. If you looked at S Korea in 1965 you'd think they were morons, doing everything wrong, if you only considered their current level of poverty. But if you looked at where they came from you'd be impressed. Today we can see where they ended up. They were doing it right (at least in terms of the goal of economic growth) in 1965, though they were poor. They were moving in the right direction.

HispanicPundit said...

The World Bank is probably the largest concentration of economists there is. You cant get more public than that. Yet it too is very similar to the Fraser, Heritage, etc.

Regarding Bill Black, why single out only his economics teaching? His profile gives the impression that he is a professor of law with a concentration in economic related issues. In fact, his title has law first: Associate Professor of Law and Economics. Go to his profile. The dude is clearly a lawyer first, with an emphasis on economic law issues.

But your description makes it seem like he is a full blown economics professor. Tsk Tsk

Anyway, guess what man...I just booked my south america trip. Going to finally go to Chile! Oh and, Argentina and Colombia too! Excited. Its a looong, two week trip too!

Jon said...

Don't miss the forest for the trees, man. Ecuador is succeeded by violating neoliberal prescriptions, and Heritage is trying to spin it away. That's my point here. The World Bank has nothing to do with it, nor does it have anything to do with other Koch funded global warming denialist groups.

BTW, I looked up Black's credentials myself separately and my sources listed him as an economics professor first. Not trying to be sneeky or anything. Yeah, he's a professor of economics and law apparently. Again, I think you're focusing on the wrong thing here.

Would love to hear about your trip. I'd love to do the same. My goal is to one day learn Spanish and then do something similar. Right now it's Chinese. I sometimes regret pursuing Chinese first. Maybe I could have been a fluent Spanish speaker by now. This weekend I was around some Mexicans and I tried to talk Spanish with them. They were these old guys, fairly poor from what I could tell, and they were really getting a kick out of my efforts. Maybe they were a little drunk too. I'm so focused on Chinese I kept slipping into Mandarin as I tried to speak Spanish.

Chad said...

Bolivia, South Korea? Thought we were talking Ecuador?

Now look - have gov't any gov't control most goods/resources then make a law to control media and the courts. Then have gov't choose winners and losers - you'll get some positives at the cost of individual freedom. Your looking at the results of complete control and calling it a success somehow. They'll eventually end up being Greece down the road they always do.

Again - 4% unemployment in Ecuador, but 50% living under the poverty line those are facts and that is why they are ranked low by EVERYONE.

I am sure Ecuador needs Enginners - why not go if it's so great and leave us America? One thing though - you wouldn't have a blog any longer. The Prez over there calls the media his number one enemy and so he made laws prohibiting anyone who has a different voice.

Jon said...

Chad, we're talking about their economic performance, not press freedom. S Korea was similarly a brutal dictatorship (US installed) during the period for which they grew rapidly economically. You can certainly criticize their dictatorship and also recognize that their economic policies, which came from the top down, did work really well. They likewise radically violated right wing economic prescriptions, which is why they are prosperous today, like the vast majority of prosperous countries.

You talk about other countries to draw analogies and expand on the point. Was S Korea's economic policies wise in 1965 even though they were poor? They were poor, but they were growing. So the policies were right, right?

Jon said...

Some details on the actual economic policy changes in Ecuador which have led to such prosperity.

Examinator said...

I'm a little confused what is the topic?
Furth's figures? his conclusions (hmm I'm not convinced he's on the correct train. he clearly starting with the ideology.)?
Or is it Heritage or other biased (unscientific) stink banks be they leftie or rightie ( places where they create store ideas that are invariably going to stink later on.) see the Chicago group and the consequences in Latin America back in the 70/80's.

HP still hasn't got the message that Economics is a soft discipline in that their analyses are all *indicative * and speculative not hard discipline , need to read with the caveats in mind .
It is underpinned by a largely unscientific (unprovable by hard scientific methods) assertion i.e. That the way 'we' view wealth ( a western *creation *) is universal and or absolute... AND THEN THEY WORK FROM THERE. Fine for a speculative theory but would you build a house on speculative foundations? I wouldn't.

There has NEVER been a Economist that is always correct when it counts. There are simply too many variables and they can't be isolated , definitively measured, predicted or tested.

That isn't to say that it isn't worthwhile as a *possibility * tool. e.g. Every lotto ticket I buy increases my possibilities of winning But the Probability is minuscule. Hence I use discretionary money for the tickets and don't commit purchases based on winning.

It is a capitalistic righties mind set (tactic) that elevates economics to their prime argument for three reasons
a. there is always legitimate doubt on all other interpretations.
b. there are always some evidence (soft) that support their assertions. They can't be absolutely proven wrong
c.few people really understand it, plenty of room to overstate, spin, smoke and mirrors, distractions from the real topic that isms are all fatally flawed.

HP as he admits himself, isn't an expert but thumps the same tactic endlessly for the above reasons.

Righties are in favor of infrastructure spending i.e.* that which helps business *. This is on the demonstrably false assumption that business WILL automatically improve the lives of the poor.
In fact History is full evidence to the opposite. See coal mining and steel production, rail travel (in England) in the early C19th . Or the steel wars 1890- 1920's USA. Look at the profits being made out of Bangladesh , their par less situation/ conditions ….. Infrastructure ...What infrastructure? Better roads, water electricity would simply benefit businesses .. the people can't afford the connections to the latter.

The truth is their claims are simply gimme(s) corporate welfare. I don't know of a case substantial in the world where Corporate take overs of 'infrastructure ' has worked without costing the public more. The usual practice is to buy infrastructure at a give away price and cash cow it (run the infrastructure down less costly maintenance)

Examinator said...

The answer to your question isn't so simple as you put it.
One needs to look at the real reasons 'poverty' exists.
You need to define "poverty" for example while it's true that subsistence farmers are poor and exist on below 'western views' of how much money a family needs to survive. Many survive without the real need for 'western style consumer consumption' the 50% figure is gathered based on that (Alternatively see Gross National Happiness concept which based isn't consumer consumption ).

Apart from that it's how and where the the figures are gathered.
In the West it's from social security payout figures.

If the country boasting 4% unemployed it means of those who are those who depend on Western style consumer market place... those who REGISTER for unemployment.

To a capitalist it signals an untapped pool of Cheap labor to ruthlessly exploit.

Their focus Like all devotees of an Ism is to convert the non dependent into dependent.

Examinator said...

On S Korea's economic reasoning correct, the answer is and no.
it sort of worked for a time but now is hitting the wall.
Koreans (Asians generally)have come from a top down cultural route... they are accustom to EMPERORS and serving. Thus they were comparatively easier to drive... make the leap to wealth as we see it.
Compare that with more a different cultural bent e.g.. Buddhist or Shamanism (i.e. more introspective self, oneness with nature etc) and you get a different result altogether.
Notwithstanding Sth Koreans are now having major social problems.
Children start Schooling at 3-3.5 and then they have class from 7am ish to 6-7 pm 6 days per week.
Sth Korea is following Japan in the increasing numbers of suicides and societal dysfunction ... crime cults etc.
the truth is wage expectations etc have now made South Korea a less profitable country to do business in. it too is looking at cheaper wage countries.
Capitalism is currently fatally flawed.
"anybody who believes in endless growth in a finite system is either insane or an Economist."

Chad said...

JC - How can't that be tied to the economy?

BTW - you may want to brush up on your South Korea thoughts - they are straight heading for disaster. Did you know that they are the fastest aging country in the world? How about the cost of education - the great foundation. Killing young people and creating lemmings (you like lemmings though).

How about birth rates down to something like 1.2 per female - they are having trouble paying for a kid with the extremely high expectation of education and costs associated with so they are not having babies. Which means as the old people need taking care of - there are less in the work force (money) to take care of the elderly - bad news. The South Korean people do display the kind of Personal Responsibility I talk about a lot and I respect them for that - they aren't popping out 3-5 kids when they can't pay for them like is happening here and other places. Unfortunately that trend is happening here - those who actually can pay for their kids are having fewer because they are being held responsible to pay for other peoples kids who can't take care of them.

All those policies you think were so great to get them where they are today are coming home - give them another 30-40 years and it will get big big ugly.

Lets talk about your childhood in South Korea - Ex talked about it a bit. 15 hours of school starting at age 3 or younger, little to know extra time for nearly all their life - pressure on top of pressure to succeed. Huge debt waiting when they get out. Not seeing or hearing a lot of South Korean families taking RV weekends out to the country.

Professors - I read that 99% of the classroom experience in South Korea is the teacher or the Professor talking - sounds like an awesome place to grow up and live.

So in review - your a slave to education at age 3 until you leave a 4 year University, opportunities are slim to make money so when you get out of University of which 93% of your fellow people attended also your fighting for low level work with high level debt so when you can't pay the gov't takes their money. Personal Property rights are sketchy, taxes are moderate to high and rising. The debt to GDP is on the rise and South Korea is aging faster than any other country.

Yeah - not sure that is the winning recipe to follow.

Jon said...

Yes, Ex, I agree with you that there's a lot to not like about S Korea. I was thinking along the same lines when I wrote that they were successful in the sense that they had rapid economic growth. If that is your goal, then you look at what they are doing in 1965 and say it was wise. Though they were poor they were growing rapidly. But the point you make is valid. Should economic growth be your main focus? If you were living in S Korea in 1965 it probably was. They were extremely poor. But it comes at a cost. Once you reach a certain level of prosperity do you really want to retain policies that continue to require economic growth? This leads to the kinds of things you say. 3 year old kids in school, 6 working days a week, maybe 11 or 12 hours. They aren't starving so much anymore, so that's good, but how to put the brakes at this point? That's what's difficult with capitalism.

I've never read Karl Marx, but if you recall that Sut Jhally lecture I posted I think he mentioned that Marx was extremely impressed with capitalism in one respect. You can grow really fast with it. If you're a poor basked case nothing can pull you out of it as quickly as capitalism, which is what happened in S Korea. The problem then comes in when your needs are satisfied. Capitalism requires ever expanding growth and consumption. So it basically starts to eat itself, destroying the very institutions it was designed to create. That's the direction of S Korea, and similar in Japan. Unhappiness measurements gauge Japan as among the worst in the industrialized world, and it's for these same reasons.

Jon said...

Again, Chad, a similar point to you. In 1965 if your goal was economic growth S Korea was doing it right. Ecuador is extremely poor and they likewise need economic growth. They are achieving it.

I've pointed out that in 1950 S Korea and Haiti were at basically identical levels in terms of their prosperity. Since then Haiti has followed a free market capitalist approach, or at least as free market as it is possible to be. There really are no free markets. But they had free movement for investors, low taxes, no trade restrictions, no minimum wage to speak of. All the things conservatives say are for the best. S Korea did the reverse. You couldn't invest wherever you wanted. The government dictated where you could invest your money (S Korean companies). No free trade. You can only buy S Korean products, though they are crappy. Government subsidy to favored industries. Government direction in what various technologies companies would pursue. Everything a conservative would say would lead to catastrophe. In fact they grew about as fast as any country ever did. And by the way it was the same in the US during WWII when we were essentially a command economy, the polar opposite of what conservatives recommend. Not only did we end the depression we ushered in massive prosperity. The same thing could happen today with similar programs, like a jobs program, but Republicans oppose.

This is what you do if you want to grow economically, but I don't believe economic growth should be our only goal, or even a goal at all necessarily. It's impossible to do this forever, and we're destroying ourselves and our happiness pursuing it. This is why 3 year olds are in school. Today people rack up big student loan debt and end up being a bartender. Working super hard, taking big risks, all for very modest compensation. This is our expectation on capitalism, with the efficiency gains being funneled upwards.

I guess Marx predicted expanding inequality. I had a blog post a while back about how David Friedman, son of Milton Friedman, wrote a book I think in the 70's where he talked about how that prediction had failed and thus Marx had been disproved. Look at that prediction today though. Spot on.

Examinator said...

You haven't read Marx's.... Don't bother it's turgid and bloody near impenetrably academically philosophical .... very hard work. I read salient bits with the help of a companion/lecture notes etc. There are better books that can decode his points. None immediately come to mind.

The meta point(s) I have always been making are:
Any 'ism' is flawed, They are based on speculation and always don't account for the human (variation) factor. They aren't scientific in the sense they can't be measured accurately enough, they can't be predictive except in a trend statistical sense (NB statistics only representative not specific and only the samples are of sufficient size i.e. Democracy only works best when EVERYONE votes and without special interest corruptions) nor are they able to be tested and those tests repeatable.

UNcontrolled Capitalism is predicated on 'consumerism' and consumerism is based on unending growth in a finite world is an oxymoron .
Another plank of UNcontrolled capitalism is that is seeks the cheapest cost ( note I didn't say the best or necessarily the most cost effective) what is happening to both South Korea and USA ( or the western world) i.e. their lifestyle expectation has risen to a point whereby their wages( the largest recurrent expense on the balance sheet) make them able to be undercut by poorer less safety conscious (less humane) nations.
In sth Korea's case they have hit that point.( This situation is an inevitable conclusion of the form of Capitalism Marx was opposed to.... it concentrated wealth/ power and survivability in a minority of elite... which it clearly does i.e. the obscenely gross inequities that exist. ( again I don't say equality).

Despite what Chad rabbits on about industry need lower taxes less Social welfare et al. ( the reality is that NO TAX Level or lack there of would be able to keep industry viable in a developed country like Sth Korea, USA etc they need Corporate welfare ( who pays for the infrastructure that Righties are so keen on and who benefits most? see Bangladesh) or Controlled Capitalism.

I suggest that the cause and the answer is to be found in human nature and their cultures.
Cultures are reflections of the embodiment of emphases of the human instincts they found effective in survival. i.e. the Moriori used infanticide to maintain a sustainable population under similar conditions and the same genetic stock to the Easter islanders. The latter over exploited their very finite environment … e.g. Chopping down he trees so they couldn't make canoes and therefore go fishing.
The west, has focused on materialism and this has emphasised the survival instinct, as in 'me first' aka Greed.

CONTROLLED capitalism ( equity) IS possible ...if unlikely The nearest example is something like Sweden, Norway. 120 years ago they was almost a feudal agrarian kingdoms, Now today...
their resources tax is something like 40-60 %. Yet as the resources (oil/gas) minister states … the industry is still there and they are both moving towards renewable energy wind and tidal.

Examinator said...

Much of the problems with discussing philosophy and science is in the difference between the ever changing and nuance, meanings words (language)in every day use. and the Meanings that are used in the above.
We often complain about legalese being impenetrable for the armchair reader the same is true for science and philosophy. Often near enough is fraught with ambiguity .
e.g. many words in American English are have different meanings or nuance in British or Australian or New Zealand English.
i.e. the American Roots for their team. In Aus,Brit the word is barrack . 'rooting' for ones team in Aus means what Debbie did in "Debbie does Dallas" porn movie. Pissed in US means angry you call a cranky looking Aussie Aussie and you run the risk of a punch in the mouth here it means drunk. Pissed off means angry.
Hence words in every day English has many meanings where as 'English' used in political philosophic sense has specific meanings and understood no matter where the reader is from. i.e. a non English speakers as a first language speaker can write an academic paper but can't communicate properly as an undergraduate lecturer.

All this explains why people like Tea Partiers often has difficulty with scientific/ philosophic concepts. They simply lack the verbal precision tools needed to convey them meaningfully.

The armchair American pundit can't grasp the concept that I'm neither liberal in either in their vague idiom or in fact.

I also point out that the rightie intellectuals/ PR know this so they deliberately reinterpret and or associate words with biased concepts.
Part of the reason is if you take away the correct language it becomes nigh on impossible to put up a brief correct explanation.
E.g. try and explain to Chad the relationship between the laws or Thermodynamics, energy, potential energy and how life originated ... good luck. ( that's physics nothing esoteric like political philosophy.)
I stress that they aren't dumb just ill-equipped (lacking the skills and tools to understand.
The cognitive ability difference between 80000 year ago Homo sapien is cultural starting point.
I.e. a child of a primitive 60000year old culture if raised in a western environment is just as capable of becoming a Rocket scientist than a western born one. The mental potential are equal.

Chad said...


Your missing the entire point as normal.

Full control - gov't control will for a time yield all the results that you want - that you aspire to see - your Utopia that you so much dream about. If it doesn't work they will pour more money or resources to make it work. If unemployment is off - create 50,000 new jobs using a plastic shovel to move dirt from the North side of the road to the South side of the road. Shovel MFG will be selling millions of shovels and you just artificially created new revenue for all - good job. Round up the smartest folks you have - make sure they build stuff that can be sold to other countries for a profit the gov't takes of course.

The problem being it has a shelf life - it has its own warts, its own cancerous outcome which is being seen in real time in South Korea now and in Europe.

We haven't even begun then to talk about individual freedoms and how an all controlling gov't dictates. In South Korea - Censorship in the media is big, they oppress homosexuality still today, no porn and nearly all men must serve in the military. They are stuck doing the gov't bidding for their entire life.

So really your willing and very able to give up all your freedom to live what - in a country that you only have to work 20 hours a week and that will make you happy?

Your looking at the only possible positive which is born from essentially complete gov't and military rule of their people. A dictatorship that on paper can and does show some level of success, but it is nearly all fake - the entire thing nothing but smoke and mirrors with little individual freedoms.

Well - that may be good for you, but that is not for me in any way shape or form.

My biggest issue is that guys who think like you do want to change this America versus packing up your stuff and heading to S. Korea.

That is why I am huge on the notion that we need to fall back to the Constitution and allow each state to make their own decisions. Gov't has a few rules that all states agree on - Cali is on their own - pay your bills, pay your people - have all the gay people in the world live there no prob. One thing you can be sure of is that the birth rate will probably decline and your taxes will be sky high. Open the border to all illegals - give them free everything, but pay for it without asking Indiana for a dime.

Jon said...

Chad, you say I'm missing the point? I think you are missing the point. You're talking like I said we should be like S Korea, but I did not say that. What I am saying is just because Ecuador is presently poor, this doesn't mean that the choices they have been making recently are bad. You have to look at the progress they've made. You have to consider their starting point.

Chad said...

And you have to consider what was taken away from the citizens of S. Korea to get them to that point - now the Ecuadorians face similar gov't over reach and domination for your so called success - a false success fabricated by gov't at the cost of freedom. No thanks.

Chad said...

Taken away from business or certain individuals for the "betterment" of the rest. Meanwhile the elite in gov't get to live like Kings.

Examinator said...

I agree with Jon you ARE missing his point.

the notion that you can template your life experience/conditions/circumstances onto others and ignore the bits left over is false logic at best.
In simple terms the reality is we are a complex concoction of our genetics our environment( including circumstances) with an overlay of culture . While I'm sure you know this but your writing never seems to factor it into your assertions.

Look at it like this you are a slice of apple pie and say a Korean ( for all the reasons above) is while still a slice fruit pie is a plum pie. Trying to template one on the other doesn't work largely because you (your apple pie notions) doesn't change the Koreans from what they ARE, the product of different circumstances etc.

When assessing another’s situation their starting point is critical. Simply put , what worked for an Americans in the constantly evolving American culture and different circumstances ( technology et al)I say 1890 will have a fundamentally different outcome when applied to Koreans circa 1968. It is nonsense aid or arrogance to assert that the end result will be the same or even necessarily analogous. Their may be similarities but they are NEVER THE SAME.

Also you still put conclusions into people's mouths that simply aren't there. Jon and I often make an observation but draw no conclusions. Yet you assume we do, in order to fit your pre determined templated views. You seem to have a view that exists of absolutes. Scientific analysis is based on Cumulative observations with ALL the factors, (different) conditions and circumstances INCLUDED. Not the capitalist failing of simply EXCLUDING (inconvenient) factors that might complicate/preclude a desired set objectives (by labelling them externalities.). That Chad is simply Denial . Everything effects everything else ( that is basic Physics and reality) without that concept technology for one thing wouldn't exist.

Chad said...

Ex that is not a great revalation and in fact it actually helps my point of view which is that I don't actually care one bit what S. Korea does just like I really could care less about the Progressive movement - what I do care about is being forced to participate in these things. I appreciate other points of views, but where I draw the line always is forced acceptance or participation. Hence my love of State Power versus gov't rule - I also would prefer the US to give exactly zero dollars to any foreign country without a plan to be paid back. A it off topic there, but point is that Jon and I believe you do as well - love gov't control, his entire blog focus here was to attack evil capitalism and try to show that without gov't control S. Korea would still be a poor nation. Fine - gov't took over all aspects of business, resources and individual freedoms and they made an overall better result for the country for a small sliver of time. Now we are starting to see all the negative cancerous results of that control is really me point.

I have been there to visit the mill I represent in the market (exploratory drill rod tubes) and could not wait to leave - talk about sad people - I felt like I was in a slave camp. People seemed unhappy as they possibly could be always - JP (our contact) could not wait for the earliest possible moment to leave his home country for the USA. Calls S. Korea an arm pit of gov't slavery - there you go Jon - that is what your promoting. He lives in the US now and said he goes back as few times as possible. We talked a lot about his country with my boss and I - we were interested and to listen to him and the other Engineers, the sales support group and mill operators they are not fans of the gov't either - at all. Many talked about their student loans being 25-45 percent of their paycheck, then high taxes leaves them little to live on and many mill guys just turn a screw (mechanics). They talked about being forced into education - forced and now they have a degree (yeah) to be mill operators - half never wanted to go to school and the other half can't find jobs in their field so they help run a mill.

Then we got a chance to talk to Management/Ownership - on the mother countries land they barely said two words. When they came to the States to our office - they loathe their gov't. no details out of fear, but essentially the gov't owns them - they work for the gov't.

It's not for me and I don't appreciate being sold a bill of goods that looks good on paper, but tastes and smells like horse shit. That's really the truth - its look at all these Progressive countries - look at how great they are until you live there or look under the covers - they suck, they are not free places to live a good life. Jon talks about living a stress free life - that's not in S. Korea bud - they aren't taking long weekends in the RV with the Fam, they aren't calling it quits at 35 to live on the front porch swing. That kinda stuff really only happens here in the good old USA when you can make a fortune and have the freedom to do what you want.

Examinator said...

Nothing new there!

Again you still fail to see the point and again both jumping to conclusions and pigeon holing every thing to FIT your self interests (prejudices).
You simply changed the topic to tell us yet again the same tired talking points.

Try look at facts in isolation to your myopic view of the world.

I keep saying this but it doesn't register
a. To call me a progressive et al You need to define what you mean other than broad *meaningless* emotive talking points like 'big government'. How big come on tell us .....
The military is a huge part of the government much should that be reduced?

Explain to me what democracy means to you ...clearly it doesn't mean the same thing as it does in a political dictionary.( not wiki)

Specifically, explain how your society would function in your world... not in broad assumptions, assertions and mindless talking points.... in some detail backed up by provable facts.

How it would police it's self... or in a no tax world we'd all change into moral people and no one would do the wrong thing!

Frankly Chad you need to look at Causes first then Effect after.
Tax/ large Governments aren't causal factors of what is going on.
dysfunctional(big?) government is the result NOT THE CAUSE.

Chad said...

Well there is the first problem, the US was founded as a Repulic form of gov't - the framers were clear that it was not a democracy. Many wrote extensively that they handed America a Republic not a democracy.

A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution).   A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule).   A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good). Lawmaking is a slow, deliberate process in a Constitutional Republic on purpose requiring approval from the House, Senate, Executive (President or Governor), The Supreme Court, and individual jurors.   Lawmaking in our unlawful democracy occurs rapidly requiring approval from the whim of the majority as determined by polls and/or voter referendums.   Voter referendums allow legislators to blame bad law on the people.

Democracies always self-destruct when the non-productive majority realizes that it can vote itself handouts from the productive minority by electing the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury.   To maintain their power, these candidates must adopt an ever-increasing tax and spend policy to satisfy the ever-increasing desires of the majority.   As taxes increase, incentive to produce decreases, causing many of the once productive to drop out and join the non-productive.   When there are no longer enough producers to fund the legitimate functions of government and the socialist programs, the democracy will collapse, always to be followed by a dictatorship.

Perfect world? There is no such thing - the closest thing was the original Constitution so I would simply start my perfect world by following that strictly. Details? Well not sure that would be helpful or wise time management for me.

Examinator said...

Chad's argument clearly illustrates how and why the 'righties' including the so called 'Libertarians' (powers that be ) argue by emotional spin. They redefine words/terms to justify what is patently a FACT and context free rewriting of history not to mention a selective reading of the Constitution.

While in the sense of freedom of speech they are entitled to hold their variant /idiosyncratic/ self-interested POV but as per usual I point out that is has no valid substance other than their emotional BELIEFS.
As I always argue Beliefs without substance (proof) are personal and should not be enforced on others. To do so in those circumstances is nothing more than plain old 'emotional mob rule'. Surely in the C21st we are beyond simply being hair (lite) apes.
Ah there is YOUR problem
Republican government DOESN'T mean not democratic. It simply means a government that has a PRESIDENT.

As for Democratic = 'mob rule' that is NOT TRUE either.

Both are false definitions and Re writing history to suit the inherent prejudice that the USA is both Christian and white.( neither is factually true or in the Constitution. In fact the religion bit is against the constitution )

Some of the founding fathers were concerned about mob rule meaning that the people would choose to rebel and return to English rule .

Hence the bit about POTUS needing to be 'born in the the USA' (good name for an anti war song ;-) )
i.e. There were some in the USA who had interests and ties to the mother country (Benny Arnold was one such case). They believed that being born in the USA would bring automatic allegiance (an C18th idea as was blood letting for all manner of ailments).
But most importantly many of the founding fathers mostly landed Gentry ... thought that government should be by the elite …. read, cultured, well read and well educated. Certainly not a proletarians like You and Tea Partiers.

In short your reasoning is based on Propaganda not actual definitions that the founding fathers used nor the Historical fact.

Also THEY had privilege and wanted to maintain that (remember the Civil War ? [it was in the all the papers at the time] it was largely about that power base had moved from the southern landed Gentry to the Industrial rich in the North)

In fact the argument of the time was over being a the 'Republicans' V the 'Federalists' . See

BTW Political parties aren't in the Constitution