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Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 12:38 PM
Help Understanding Democrat Tax Refunds

If you don't understand the Democrats' version of tax refunds, maybe this will help explain it:

50,000 people go to a baseball game, but thegame was rained out.
A refund was then due. The team was about to mail refunds when a group of Congressional Democrats stopped them and
suggested that they send out the ticket refunds based on the Democrat National Committee's interpretation of fairness.

Originally the refunds were to be paid based on the price each person had paid for the tickets. Unfortunately that meant most of the refund money would be going to the ticket holders that
had purchased the most expensive tickets. This, according to the DNC, is considered totally unfair.

A decision was then made to pay out the refunds in this manner:

People in the $10 seats will get back $15. After all, they have less money to spend on tickets to begin with. Call it an "Earned Income Ticket Credit." Many people (not all, but many) "earn" it by having few skills, poor work habits, and low ambition, thus keeping them at
entry-level wages.

People in the $25 seats will get back $25, because it "seems fair."

People in the $50 seats will get back $1, because they already make a lot of money and don't need a refund. After all, if they can afford a $50 ticket, they must not be paying enough taxes.

People in the $75 luxury box seats will each have to pay an additional $25 because it's the "right thing to do."

People walking past the stadium that couldn't afford to buy a ticket for the game each will get a $10 refund, even though they didn't pay
anything for the tickets. They need the most help. Sometimes this is known as Affirmative Action.

Now do you understand? It boils down to simply taking money away from the hardest working people (on the whole) and giving it to other people. It's called "redistribution of wealth".... meaning that you shouldn't work so hard to earn special advantages for you and your family because it will be taken away and given to the people who didn't want to work that hard (on the whole).

odudog
01-08-2007, 01:18 PM
Seeing in the way of which you are complaining, it is obvious that you are Republican. You in fact should be happy with the example that you posted for the baseball team is coming out way ahead in the black and we know how much Republicans like business to come out in front over everything else. You also don't know much about affirmative action or have been on the other end of the stick in which the program is trying to fix. Do a much better post next time.

Tom Fish
01-08-2007, 01:19 PM
Hi Mike,
I think that the Republican strategy would be to create a program called "No Rained Out People Left Behind". Then all the money would be used to promote this fabulously effective program while none of the money would be returned to the rained out people. Either plan would separate the money from the people, which is the general purpose of bureaucracy to begin with.
Best
Tom

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 02:06 PM
Seeing in the way of which you are complaining, I haven't complained a bit. Let's just stay away from the personal characterizations. If you have some sort of logic, as opposed to a partisan feeling, why not put it in writing... it's so much more easy to talk about than my personal failings.

Mike Sigman

Hogan
01-08-2007, 02:39 PM
Great post - fits the dems to a tee.

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 02:58 PM
What if you exchange "ballgame" with "heat, utilities, food, health care, rent/mortgage (we could include college tuition for three kids, but of course middle class/lower income families kids can just work their way through school and out take loans...)"? I'd think the affluent will still be able to live very comfortably and see to their needs, while the people in the lower end of middle class will need every cent to get the basics.

The "middle class" is too broad, from my perspective. Households making $100,000 a year should not be grouped with those of comparable size but making $50,000 or $40,000 or less in our current economy. There is a critical point you get too, economically, where it becomes a struggle to provide what are considered the basics for a life that is more than just hard-scrabble existance.

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 03:10 PM
Why don't we just take peoples' money away from them because they don't deserve? We should be able to decide what to do with other peoples' money, right? After all, "we" want to do "the right thing", as we determine it to be, eh? The "equal under law" doesn't really apply to peoples' personal assets, it seems. ;)

I'm learning though. Nowadays when I go out to dinner with a group of people, I *insist* that the people making the most money pay for the dinner. After all, I want to "do the right thing".... when it's in accord with my own best interests and the people that I happen to favor.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 03:19 PM
Naw, you should know that it's a privilege to become rich! Look how few countries there are in the world where people are allowed to retain so much of the wealth they make., or even to make it in the first place. I think we should let the alpha males (and their alpha females) fight to the death for the power to be Emperor, then go back to a feudal system where only a chosen few can have wealth and privilege based on being related to the Emperor and how much butt they kiss.

Oh wait, we're already heading back that way... ;)

Rich folk should quit whinin' and just pay their "Ain't I Lucky To Be Rich" tax.

Ron Tisdale
01-08-2007, 03:27 PM
Hey, if we're reviving old traditions, what about prima nocte?? That should be good for a few...cough...well...

never mind...

B,
R ;)

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 03:29 PM
Naw, you should know that it's a privilege to become rich! [[snip]]Rich folk should quit whinin' and just pay their "Ain't I Lucky To Be Rich" tax.You must be a salary-drawer, Cady. Try getting all of your assets, the assets of your family and friends that they'll lend you, etc., and go into a business. I.e., instead of just wallowing in the "privilege" of living in a country that has so many safety nets that you've become soft, put your money on the line, like most small business owners have. Oh, and BTW, those are most of the "rich" that you're so set on taxing the most.

It's easy to sit there and talk about what to do with someone else's money and how they deserve for you to take it away, even though you haven't contributed anything to their "privilege", but let's get off the class-warfare stuff. Make everyone pay their *proportionate* share.... not "let the rich pay for everyone else's share", which is pretty much what is happening right now. :)

Mike

Hogan
01-08-2007, 03:31 PM
Naw, you should know that it's a privilege to become rich!
Privilege? Then it follows that it is a privilege to be poor, too? God, how I love this country... so many privileges....

..Look how few countries there are in the world where people are allowed to retain so much of the wealth they make...
And what country is the richest in the world?

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 03:42 PM
The answer is Bill Gates. :)

Now, John. You know that people who believe in a higher power say that Mamon is the source of all ill in the world. Eye of a needle and all that. I say we should make anti-trust laws that act on individuals and cap the amount of wealth they can attain. After a certain point, they have to break up the overage and farm it out to charities and little matchstick girls.

Imagine if Bill Gates decided he wanted to own you. You'd have no say in the matter. He could buy and sell your neighborhood right out from under you, and make it impossible for you to live anywhere you wanted, if he decided he didn't like ya. And that, even if he does have to pay a "Aren't I Lucky I'm Financially Omnipotent" tax! We need to save Gates from himself and from your neighborhood.

In the meantime, stay on his good side, okay?

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 04:00 PM
[QUOTE=Cady Goldfield]The answer is Bill Gates. :)

Now, John. You know that people who believe in a higher power say that Mamon is the source of all ill in the world. Eye of a needle and all that. I say we should make anti-trust laws that act on individuals and cap the amount of wealth they can attain. After a certain point, they have to break up the overage and farm it out to charities and little matchstick girls.[QUOTE]Sure you say that... because it's good for you and not for the other guy... those nasty ole "rich people". Either we go by "equal rights" to make our fortune and keep it or we don't. You can't keep penalizing the people you don't like or the people you envy. And yes, the masses will vote themselves the wealth of the rich every time... but we already knew that, didn't we? That's what the Dem's basic platform is: vote for us and we'll give you the other guys' gold. It's an old song and the Dems sing it well. :)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 04:20 PM
Nah, the Dems are saying, "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen! Robin Hood, Robin Hood with his band of men! Rob from the RIIIIIICH, give to the POOOOR! Feared by the BAAAAAAD, loved by the GOOOOOD! Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!"

Boy, that dates me! :p

Mark Freeman
01-08-2007, 05:10 PM
Nah, the Dems are saying, "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen! Robin Hood, Robin Hood with his band of men! Rob from the RIIIIIICH, give to the POOOOR! Feared by the BAAAAAAD, loved by the GOOOOOD! Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!"

Boy, that dates me! :p

Please Cady, if you are going to sing, try and be in tune :D ;)

Hogan
01-08-2007, 05:25 PM
...Now, John. You know that people who believe in a higher power say that Mamon is the source of all ill in the world. Eye of a needle and all that.

Huh? What the hell is a Mamon.

..I say we should make anti-trust laws that act on individuals and cap the amount of wealth they can attain. After a certain point, they have to break up the overage and farm it out to charities and little matchstick girls.

Imagine if Bill Gates decided he wanted to own you. You'd have no say in the matter. He could buy and sell your neighborhood right out from under you, and make it impossible for you to live anywhere you wanted, if he decided he didn't like ya. And that, even if he does have to pay a "Aren't I Lucky I'm Financially Omnipotent" tax! We need to save Gates from himself and from your neighborhood.

In the meantime, stay on his good side, okay?

Huh?

Mark Freeman
01-08-2007, 05:37 PM
Huh? What the hell is a Mamon.

Mamon = Mishnaic Hebrew and Aramaic for "riches." The word itself is given in the Sermon on the Mount. "Ye can not serve God and mammon" (Matt. vi. 24). There is no evidence that there was a Syriac god of this name, the modern idea that such a god existed being derived from Milton's personification of the name—"Mammon, the least erected spirit that fell from heaven" ("Paradise Lost," i. 679). The word occurs in Abot ii. 12, where almsgiving is called "the salt of Mammon or riches." Gesenius suggests that the word was derived from "maṭmon" ("treasure"), with assimilation of the "ṭet." The spelling with three "m's," however, is apparently not justified; the Greek form with two is held by most scholars to be correct.J.

Also a Filipino sponge cake :D

regards

Mark

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 05:49 PM
Let me put it this way: We live suspended in the present moment, absorbed in our current issues. But if you step back and observe the pattern of human civilization, you see that since the beginning, there is a socio-politico-economic pendulum that swings from one extreme to another, with all of the gradation of stages in between.

When all of the wealth and power ends up in the hands of a few, the power of want drives the poor to overthrow -- by their sheer numbers and rage -- the rich, for a new social order to establish itself, and for the whole thing to start again, but with different players getting the goodies. It's a natural system, and we would be arrogant to believe that our own society is somehow exempt.

In a future scenario, The Wealthy (hereafter referred to as TW -- The Poor and Middle Class are referred to as TPMC) may find themselves living in lonely fortresses, protected by the latest hi-tech defense equipment to keep the Berserkers and Pirates (a la Capital One's "Wot's in YOUR wallet?!") from sacking their urban penthouses, yachts and big, empty vacation mansions in Telluride, hacking into their bank and investment accounts online, and making off with their wimmin and small children (Yo ho! Yo ho! A pirate's life for you in the scullery, me former trust-fund hearty!).

We haven't reached the critical point here yet, but the day will come. Taxing the middle-middle and lower-middle class will gradually push them downward into the ranks of the poor, and the U.S. will become the two-class society that has been the pendulum point in pretty much every human society that ever had a revolution and turned the tables.

To stave off that eventuality, however, the Democrats are doing TW a big favor by throwing a few bones to TPMC, in the form of taxes that still leave TW with ample wealth and comfort, but assuage the plight of families of four living on $40,000 a year (here in the Boston area, it was calculated that a single person must earn $44,000 a year just to cover the basics for not being "in want"), and elderly widows who are sucking on willow bark because they can't afford to buy arthritis and heart medicine while also having enough to buy food and pay for heat. Seems fair enough, since those elderly widows previously spent their last few dollars on the medications made by wealthy pharmaceutical companies, thus ensuring profits that fueled the mega-bonuses of their CEOs and senior staff.

So, y'all should be grateful to those Dems for suggesting this simple sop for the masses. Bread and circuses (with politics and reality tv as the circuses), ya know. It works. Look at the Saudis: the royal family makes sure that their masses get just enough of the House o' Saud's oil lucre to keep them sated and content. For circuses, they point a finger at Israel and the Jooz and blame all of the world's ills on them (diverting attention from the frisky activities of the House o' Saud). Yemen, Brunei, and Kuwait sate the masses, too. We could give the Gates family honorary royal status in exchange for spreading some of their wealth to ameliorate some of the deep poverty and suffering here in the U.S. of A., which will sedate the uppity lefties and make them fat and slow.

Barring that, why not let the Democrats give it a go and let's see whether TW lose all desire to continue to earn wealth, thanks to this evil tax.
By the way, Wot's in yer wallet, Mike and John? Arrrrrrrr!

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 05:52 PM
Mark,
A Filippino sponge cake? Sounds better than balut, at any rate. :yuck:

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 05:54 PM
You must be a salary-drawer, Cady.
Mike

Nope. Self-employed. As were both parents, who faithfully paid their taxes to the penny, and never complained. Before them, their parent arrived in the U.S. with the shirts on their backs, and built their lives from scratch.

I used to work in a cubicle at a non-profit, tho'.

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 08:09 PM
Nah, the Dems are saying, "Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen! Robin Hood, Robin Hood with his band of men! Rob from the RIIIIIICH, give to the POOOOR! Feared by the BAAAAAAD, loved by the GOOOOOD! Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood!"The rich are "bad"? Interesting perspective on life. But it gives you a reason to rob (your term) them. Lessee.... if you rob a rich person who is not really bad, but is a hard worker, etc., who is really the "bad" person? Now you get it. The libs encourage "bad" behaviour because they justify it as being "good". That's pretty apt. :D

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 08:10 PM
Nope. Self-employed. As were both parents, who faithfully paid their taxes to the penny, and never complained. Before them, their parent arrived in the U.S. with the shirts on their backs, and built their lives from scratch.

I used to work in a cubicle at a non-profit, tho'. Got a corporation that hires people and gives them jobs? Or did you ever step up that far? :)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 08:14 PM
The rich are "bad"? Interesting perspective on life. But it gives you a reason to rob (your term) them. Lessee.... if you rob a rich person who is not really bad, but is a hard worker, etc., who is really the "bad" person? Now you get it. The libs encourage "bad" behaviour because they justify it as being "good". That's pretty apt. :D

Mike

Hey, I didn't write the lyrics. By the way, check out the surname of the chap who did. :p This site leaves out one verse (the "robs from the rich, gives to the poor" line).

http://www.boldoutlaw.com/robspot/greenerobin2.html#lyrics

http://www.boldoutlaw.com/robspot/greenerobin.html

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 08:18 PM
Let me put it this way: We live suspended in the present moment, absorbed in our current issues. But if you step back and observe the pattern of human civilization, you see that since the beginning, there is a socio-politico-economic pendulum that swings from one extreme to another, with all of the gradation of stages in between.

When all of the wealth and power ends up in the hands of a few, the power of want drives the poor to overthrow -- by their sheer numbers and rage -- the rich, for a new social order to establish itself, and for the whole thing to start again, but with different players getting the goodies. It's a natural system, and we would be arrogant to believe that our own society is somehow exempt. Hogwash. If you look at the total of human existence, it's one of competition, which improves the species. Just like in every animal population, some wind up on top and some never make it to the top because they can't do it, don't have the breaks, and whatever. That's true in the periods of "civilization", too. The strong win; the weak lose. What's happened in the last few hundred years is that the number of people who are rich and middle class is far beyond anything ever seen in history. To pretend this is the Dark Ages is absurd. And to suggest that we are at the acme of evolution and therefore should stop, split the wealth, and pretend-play that everyone is really equal is fatuous. No anthropologist would suggest that the winners should stop and spend their efforts supporting the weak, yet here we are in the US with a sizeable percentage of the population paying NO income tax, etc., to support the common good. Amazing. We haven't reached the critical point here yet, but the day will come. Taxing the middle-middle and lower-middle class will gradually push them downward into the ranks of the poor, and the U.S. will become the two-class society that has been the pendulum point in pretty much every human society that ever had a revolution and turned the tables.

To stave off that eventuality, however, the Democrats are doing TW a big favor by throwing a few bones to TPMC, in the form of taxes that still leave TW with ample wealth and comfort, Oh, please. What arrogance. Who are the Dem's to decide how much of their own money people should keep? This is the famous lynch-mob mentality.... point at the small, successful percentage of the crowd and convince the rest of the crowd that they *deserve* those peoples' money. Let's sack'em!!!! That's the same crap Boss Tweed used in Tammany Hall and that the first Daly and all the other Democrat "machines" used. I can't believe you're spouting this stuff like it's some modern idea. :cool:

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 08:37 PM
Geez, Mike. How many middle-middle/lower-middle class Democrat congressmen do you suppose there are?

The people who are voting for the measure are going to be paying the taxes themselves.

Why is it okay for one group to have prevailed over the nation for so long a period, and now not okay for another group to have a chance? The pendulum has to swing, and now it swings toward the social- and common good, outward-minded, rather than the self- and inward-minded.

It's not forever, Mike. The pendulum will swing back your way before long. Then it will swing away again...

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 08:43 PM
Btw, you'll enjoy reading the Robin Hood site and seeing that the lefty, Hollywood blacklisted people who wrote the episodes made a boodle of bucks from the series. :D

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 08:47 PM
Geez, Mike. How many middle-middle/lower-middle class Democrat congressmen do you suppose there are?

The people who are voting for the measure are going to be paying the taxes themselves. They are driven by a genuine belief that what they are doing is "Good for America," I don't believe it, TBH. I believe the Dem's pander to poor and minorities so they can stay in power, more than anything else. Take a look at Dem history.... the real corruption has always been the Dem's. Four of the last five Congress members who went to jail were Dem's, so this idea that Dem's are noble creatures gets lost on me. Look at Al Gore's father. So poor he had to teach violin lessons on the side to make ends meet before he got elected. Multi-millionaire by the time he died. Armand Hammer, his good friend, used to brag that he had a Senator in his pocket (Al himself still serves on one of the Armand Hammer boards, drawing close to a million a year for his expertise). Don't get me weeping about how altruistic the Dem's are, Cady. Why is it okay for one group to have prevailed over the nation for so long a period, and now not okay for another group to have a chance? The pendulum has to swing, and now it swings toward the social- and common good, outward-minded, rather than the self- and inward-minded.

It's not forever, Mike. The pendulum will swing back your way before long. Then it will swing away again... I'm not for either one, Cady. I don't trust Bible thumpers telling me how I should live my life and I don't trust "The Other Religion" (liberal secularists) telling me how I should live my life either. There's a sort of dishonesty stench from both sides. :o

FWIW

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 09:20 PM
Crap. I was editing my previous post and lost the block of text I was rewriting. I'll try to address the part you were responding to.

Mike, I accept that among Democrats there are just as many flawed, corrupt and unaltruistic people as there are among Republicans. And don't tell me that all our Republican reps are angels, either. The current batch was just are better at not getting caught. ;) As long as both parties are made up of humans, corruption will be equal on both sides of a two-party system.

But the root of the Democrat belief system was and is the sense that social services, education and other kinds of assistance can lead toward mutualism and mutual benefit. Among the truly committed, that ideal remains clean. But in the hands of the corrupt, it becomes corrupted. We are in times of very weak wills throughout society. In my opinion, most politicians by their very nature, got where they are in the seats of power because they were ambitious, and spent more time advancing themselves than their causes. Statesmen are rare and appear less and less frequently. Neither Democrats nor Republicans, as their parties now stand, can fix the problems we're in right now, in my opinion. Both parties are dysfunctional and fraught with weak representatives.

Still, I think our system beats having a dictator or a omnipowerful king telling us what to do, else die.

You don't need to die for not wanting to give a break to the middle class at your expense. You just need to get your and your wealthy friends' petitions together and make your displeasure resound so loudly in the voting halls that the tables are turned again. That's the cool thing about living in a democratic republic, instead of an absolute monarchy. Unless, of course, you're the monarchy.

Luc X Saroufim
01-08-2007, 09:39 PM
i'm torn between two sides:

on one hand I completely agree with Mike. Democrats' tax reform is borderline communism. with a 7% unemployment rate in the US, most people are working, and they're making money. only the poorest of the poor would get screwed; and isn't that what Darwin predicted?

on the other hand, there is a huge social divide between rich and poor these days. there is almost no more middle class. Democrats' tax reform would help balance things out.

whatever. Aikido teaches me to go with the flow: Mike, you're crazy! :)

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 09:39 PM
As long as both parties are made up of humans, corruption will be equal on both sides of a two-party system. What kind of logic is that??? The same logic that says that Israel has committed as many crimes and invasions against the Arabs as the Arabs have against Israel, because they're "both humans"? C'mon. You're using argument by assertion, Cady, not to mention the liberal belief in moral equivalency. But the root of the Democrat belief system was and is the sense that social services, education and other kinds of assistance can lead toward mutualism and mutual benefit. Really? And where has it worked so far? Are people friendlier to the US because we've leaned over backward and given them everything? Are crime stats down and educational achievements up due to all the welfare programs? No. People work best when they have to compete, Cady. Look at the stats on the Welfare Reform enacted during Clinton's presidency... it has passed all expectations. When you give people the tit, all they do is suck. ;) You don't need to die for not wanting to give a break to the middle class at your expense. You just need to get your and your wealthy friends' petitions together and make your displeasure resound so loudly in the voting halls that the tables are turned again. That's the cool thing about living in a democratic republic, instead of an absolute monarchy. Unless, of course, you're the monarchy. Look at the social welfare states of Europe.... Europe is so far down the road that it was a topic in Davos last year. I love your "give 'em cake" ideas because they sound so good and noble, Cady, but ultimately they work out worse for the very people you think you're helping. Make them help themselves.... THEN help the few who can't help themselves.

Incidentally, the famous "Founding Fathers" who were "so wise" didn't want anyone to vote who wasn't at least 21 years old and a property owner. They figured that if you gave the vote to all the masses, the masses would vote to themself the wealth of the others, corrupting society as a whole and destroying any hope of an intelligent democracy. I think they were right. :cool:

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 09:42 PM
i'm torn between two sides:

on one hand I completely agree with Mike. Democrats' tax reform is borderline communism. with a 7% unemployment rate in the US, More like 4.8%, Luc.on the other hand, there is a huge social divide between rich and poor these days. there is almost no more middle class. Democrats' tax reform would help balance things out. See? The Dem's say that all the time, but it's just one of those bumper-sticker sayings. Actually there is a HUGE middle class and things are fine.... but if you keep telling everyone that things suck, the sheep will believe and demand change. Aikido teaches me to go with the flow: Mike, you're crazy! :) If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong, Luc. ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 09:43 PM
Wow. After the "Give Peace a Chance Thread," who'da thunk Luc would put a smiley face in a comment to Mike? :D

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 10:08 PM
What kind of logic is that??? The same logic that says that Israel has committed as many crimes and invasions against the Arabs as the Arabs have against Israel, because they're "both humans"? C'mon. You're using argument by assertion, Cady, not to mention the liberal belief in moral equivalency. Really?

Huh? That is a complete non sequitor, Mike. That people who are Democrats have committed crimes while in office, and that people who are Republicans have committed crimes while in office, does not somehow create some sort of see-saw balance in the Force that relates to what is happening in another part of the world. We're discussing one concrete, and discrete, set of events.

All humans are capable of corruption, regardless of what political party they are drawn to. It sounds like you're saying that there is only black and white, and a Good and Evil -- of which only one political party can consist of The Good. You're the one drawing a line to "moral equivalency."

And where has it worked so far? Are people friendlier to the US because we've leaned over backward and given them everything? Are crime stats down and educational achievements up due to all the welfare programs? No. People work best when they have to compete, Cady. Look at the stats on the Welfare Reform enacted during Clinton's presidency... it has passed all expectations. When you give people the tit, all they do is suck. ;) Look at the social welfare states of Europe.... Europe is so far down the road that it was a topic in Davos last year. I love your "give 'em cake" ideas because they sound so good and noble, Cady, but ultimately they work out worse for the very people you think you're helping. Make them help themselves.... THEN help the few who can't help themselves.

Incidentally, the famous "Founding Fathers" who were "so wise" didn't want anyone to vote who wasn't at least 21 years old and a property owner. They figured that if you gave the vote to all the masses, the masses would vote to themself the wealth of the others, corrupting society as a whole and destroying any hope of an intelligent democracy. I think they were right. :cool:

Mike

Well, "the masses are asses," ain't they? ;)

When I was a grad student of primate evolutionary ecology, some 20 years ago, I had a rare opportunity to view primate societies in a way that shed light on human society. It's kind of like the way an American might get an eye-opening perspective of his own country and culture by sojourning in another land and society for some time. The chief observation: The most successful primate societies are those which have some functional degree of mutualism. Competition is not the be-all-end-all in the course of genetic success and proliferation. Mutualism is, in fact, part of the "selfish gene's" strategy for successful proliferation, and this particular pattern is evident in a variety of species of animals and even plants.

I don't disagree with the "bootstrap" approach to helping others, Mike. That's how my own family came up. It's just that most such plans that have come up under Republican behest have been as unworkable and fraught with flaws that rendered them useless, as have been the social-service approaches of well-meaning Democrats. That's why I don't hold it to any political party to offer realistic answers, but would prefer to see such powers go to competent individuals of integrity who are allowed to be statesmen, rather than forced to become politicians. Futhermore, I see the structures and strictures of our current society to work against individuals pulling themselves up. So many people are placed in a position to lose before their lives have even begun.

Mike Sigman
01-08-2007, 10:23 PM
Huh? That is a complete non sequitor, Mike. all humans are capable of corruption, regardless of what political party they are drawn to. It sounds like you're saying that there is only black and white, and a Good and Evil -- of which only one political party can consist of The Good. What are you talking about? You asserted: As long as both parties are made up of humans, corruption will be equal on both sides of a two-party system. You can't support that statement in any way. Group A is not equal in corruption to Group B because both groups are human, Cady. Or do you understand why the logic fails?The most successful primate societies are those which have some functional degree of mutualism. OK, I can buy that.... but your "mutualism" is now becoming socialism, which has failed every time. The interesting thing is that the Left still clings to it, even though it has cost millions of lives in reality. One of the hilarious examples of the Left lying to protect the "mutualism" of "socialism" was the reportage of Walter Durante, who would not report that 6 million deaths of starving Ukrainians under Stalin. Durante wanted to believe in this ideal, regardless of the very deaths he was watching in front of his eyes.

Socialism is what the libs want, Cady... it sells so well in theory. ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-08-2007, 10:39 PM
What are you talking about? You asserted: As long as both parties are made up of humans, corruption will be equal on both sides of a two-party system. You can't support that statement in any way. Group A is not equal in corruption to Group B because both groups are human, Cady. Or do you understand why the logic fails? OK, I can buy that.... but your "mutualism" is now becoming socialism, which has failed every time. The interesting thing is that the Left still clings to it, even though it has cost millions of lives in reality. One of the hilarious examples of the Left lying to protect the "mutualism" of "socialism" was the reportage of Walter Durante, who would not report that 6 million deaths of starving Ukrainians under Stalin. Durante wanted to believe in this ideal, regardless of the very deaths he was watching in front of his eyes.

Socialism is what the libs want, Cady... it sells so well in theory. ;)

Mike

Like I said, Mike, the current batch of corrupt Republicans was just better at not getting caught. Do you really think that each, every and all of the GOP reps in office right now are honest, right-doing, ethical and selfless?

I don't believe that any single "black" or "white" system of society can ever be completely successful. Socialism works only when those within the society are genetically or near-genetically identical, as in the Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, etc.). For tribalistic species such as humans, the ideal, from my perspective, would be a system that allows for individualism and entrepreneurship, but with a solid thread of mutualism and a strong sense of social obligation. This system works best in smaller populations where there is some genetic kinship, but our behavioral capacities are such that we can condition ourselves to extend this behavior to those not genetically related, as long as there is a common ground (as in values).

Oh, and those wacky, endearingly corruptible Repubs and Dems:
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/24/D8JMJP281.html
;)

Mike Sigman
01-09-2007, 08:08 AM
Like I said, Mike, the current batch of corrupt Republicans was just better at not getting caught. Do you really think that each, every and all of the GOP reps in office right now are honest, right-doing, ethical and selfless? No, I don't "really think that" and I have never said anything to imply such a thing, Cady, if you'll read my posts. Historically and judging by the jail sentences, Tammany Hall, the Clintons, JFK, LBJ, the Daly Chicago machine, the overwhelming Democratic nature of voter fraud, etc., etc., corruption has mainly been a Democratic issue. Therefore your statement that they're equally guilty is simply wrong. Period. End of sentence. I don't believe that any single "black" or "white" system of society can ever be completely successful. Socialism works only when those within the society are genetically or near-genetically identical, as in the Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants, etc.). For tribalistic species such as humans, the ideal, from my perspective, would be a system that allows for individualism and entrepreneurship, but with a solid thread of mutualism and a strong sense of social obligation. This system works best in smaller populations where there is some genetic kinship, but our behavioral capacities are such that we can condition ourselves to extend this behavior to those not genetically related, as long as there is a common ground (as in values). Pretty much every "socialist" government follows the trend of communist Russia, Red China, Norht Vietnam, The Nazis' (they started out as "socialists", remember)..... they all become fascist dictatorships that try to destroy any counter thought (like is happening on so many college campuses that try to stop free speech).

When everyone is really equal and has to provide for themself, has to pass their own educational requirements, has to pay their own bills, people are happy animals. When that system gets disturbed toward either other extreme, it never really works to everyone's good.

Here.... I saw an interesting bit in the Wall Street Journal yesterday that shows what happens when a Culture of Pamper gets out of hand:


A failed Harvard job-seeker has filed a federal complaint alleging she was
passed over on account of race:
Lisa Bailey, who had worked as a temporary employee for five months,
charged that she was denied a full-time position because of her bad credit
record. Although the full-time job had nearly the same responsibilities as
her current temporary position--which involved handling alumni donation
checks--Harvard did not consult her credit record until she applied for the
full-time position, according to her lawyer, Piper Hoffman.

But, Hoffman, a partner with the New York-based firm Outten & Golden, said
there is more at stake in this case than the denial of Bailey for a full
time position. Hoffman filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) claiming that the use of credit scores to determine
employment eligibility is discriminatory against minorities because
minorities are more likely to have credit problems.

In order to believe that this is discriminatory, you have to accept one of
the following propositions:

a.. Credit reporting agencies, in violation of federal law and contrary to
the financial interests of their clients, give lower credit scores to blacks
than whites who are equally creditworthy.


b.. Notwithstanding both federal law and academia's commitment to
"diversity," Harvard is using irrelevant employment criteria in an effort to
avoid hiring blacks.
Does either of these sound even remotely plausible?

See the circular logic of victimhood and demands? It's the other side of the victimhood and demands on taxpayers that you think is the right thing to do. You can't fix all problems by throwing money at people. It's been proven that people don't help themselves when you take care of their every need. Not that I object to anyone having pet theories based on being raised in a soft country where everything has been provided for them... I just object to people using my money to experiment with their theories. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-09-2007, 08:12 AM
Oh, and those wacky, endearingly corruptible Repubs and Dems:
http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/08/24/D8JMJP281.html
;)The interesting difference between the Dems and Repubs is that the Republican crooks always lose their jobs... the Dem crooks get a lot of helpful excuses about why the law doesn't really apply in their case. Look at Congressman Jefferson, Murtha, Mollohan, Harry Reid, Conyers, etc...... at this very moment. The notoriously liberal AP covers for the Dems by not mentioning their bad guys or showing their pictures. If you're not worried about that, you're simply being partisan. :cool:

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-09-2007, 09:46 AM
Last time I checked, Nixon got pardoned for his Watergate crimes, while Clinton got impeached for having sex. :rolleyes:

Hogan
01-09-2007, 09:54 AM
Last time I checked, Nixon got pardoned for his Watergate crimes, while Clinton got impeached for having sex. :rolleyes:

*sigh* - that same ol' democratic cry - "it was just sEEex!" Um, no, it was lying under oath. About what is irrelevant under the law.

Cady Goldfield
01-09-2007, 10:03 AM
"It was just illegal sppppying and wiiiiretapping!" It was Nixon lying, telling the public "Your president is not a crook."
Oh, and then there's the current Repub administration, all opportunistic (nevermind Cheney and his omnipresent Haliburton)...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

I really don't see strong leaders in the current Republican or Democratic parties, nor any with the integrity to be trusted in such a powerful position as president. Politics by its nature screens out the selfless and the honest. Charisma and "attitude" are much more winning qualities for a president than is integrity, decency and honesty.

When Elliott Richardson died, there went the last real statesman in American politics, in my opinion.

Hogan
01-09-2007, 11:01 AM
"It was just illegal sppppying and wiiiiretapping!"
Says who? What court?

It was Nixon lying, telling the public "Your president is not a crook."
You won't find me defending Tricky Dick.

Oh, and then there's the current Repub administration, all opportunistic (nevermind Cheney and his omnipresent Haliburton)...
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
And, uh, what politician isn't opportunistic? What HUMAN isn't opportunistic? We all are.

I really don't see strong leaders in the current Republican or Democratic parties, nor any with the integrity to be trusted in such a powerful position as president. Politics by its nature screens out the selfless and the honest. Charisma and "attitude" are much more winning qualities for a president than is integrity, decency and honesty.
Glad you didn't jump on the Barak Hussein Obama train...

Cady Goldfield
01-09-2007, 11:06 AM
And, uh, what politician isn't opportunistic? What HUMAN isn't opportunistic? We all are.


That was my point, John. I'm not trying to establish one party as somehow "morally superior" to another, but that human beings, being what they are, will bring their personal motives to whatever role they play in society. Mike seemed to be stating otherwise.

I'll say again (as I stated earlier) that politics, by its very nature, filters out those with strong ethical values, and encourages those who are exceedingly and self-centeredly opportunistic. At best, we get politicians whose opportunism is benign and conveys some good on the public. At worst, you get all-out crooks. In the middle, you get middlin' coorks, and you get the "tribal warlords" who deal shadily, but help widows and orphans.

This reminds me... Spiro Agnew was a representative of the middlin' crook --

(from the Wikipedia page)
\\On October 10, 1973, Spiro Agnew became the second Vice President to resign the office. Unlike John C. Calhoun, who resigned to take a seat in the Senate, Agnew resigned and then pleaded nolo contendere (no contest) to criminal charges of tax evasion and money laundering, part of a negotiated resolution to a scheme wherein he allegedly accepted $29,500 in bribes during his tenure as governor of Maryland. Agnew was fined $10,000 and put on three years' probation. The $10,000 fine only covered the taxes and interest due on what was "unreported income" from 1967, even though there was evidence that the payments continued while he was vice president.[citation needed] The plea bargain was later mocked as the "greatest deal since the Lord spared Isaac on the mountaintop" by former Maryland Attorney General Stephen Sachs. Students of Professor John Banzhaf from The George Washington University Law School, collectively known as Banzhaf's Bandits, found four residents of the state of Maryland willing to put their names on a case and sought to have Agnew repay the state $268,482 - the amount he was known to have taken in bribes. After two appeals by Agnew, he finally resigned himself to the matter and a check for $268,482 was turned over to the Maryland state Treasurer William James in early 1983. Agnew was also later disbarred by the State of Maryland.//

BTW, From this, it looks as though Agnew got off easy. It was only after individuals from the public sector chose to pursue him, that he was forced to pay his penalty more fully, and it was only monetary.

odudog
01-09-2007, 12:24 PM
Cady you should just stop feeding him. He is complainging and won't stop until things are done his way and his way only. Typical arguements from the other side of the aisle.

Cady Goldfield
01-09-2007, 02:56 PM
Well, because in the real world most people don't get to have things done their way, sometimes a frustrated feller really needs to vent. An "open discussion" forum on an aikido website seems to as good a place to do it as any blog or newspaper op ed column. Definitely cheaper than a therapist's couch, and with fewer repercussions than "going postal" at the local ACLU, Volvo dealership, Unitarian Universalist church or union headquarters. :)

Hogan
01-09-2007, 04:00 PM
Well, because in the real world most people don't get to have things done their way, sometimes a frustrated feller really needs to vent. An "open discussion" forum on an aikido website seems to as good a place to do it as any blog or newspaper op ed column. Definitely cheaper than a therapist's couch, and with fewer repercussions than "going postal" at the local ACLU, Volvo dealership, Unitarian Universalist church or union headquarters. :)

I guess that's why Neil posts all his crap here rather than his own blog....

Neil Mick
01-09-2007, 07:21 PM
Lemme guess...without lifting the ignore-curtain, I'm betting that we're hearing a variant of the refrain, "The poor are that way, because they are a. lazy; b. unmotivated; c. expecting a handout.

Of course, any reality-check will the show that being poor is a sign of NOTHING, except having no money. It's not an indicator of character, motivation, or anything else, but being poor.

And, I challenge anyone to show any evidence to the contrary.

But while we're on the topic of tax-breaks, the Bush-plan sure rewarded his buds, didn't it?

A new study has determined that the biggest beneficiaries of President Bush’s tax cuts have been families earning more than $1 million a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the wealthiest families had their individual tax rate cut twice as deep as for middle income families. It translated to an average tax cut of almost $58,000 for every family that earned more than one million dollars.

P.S. A little note to Mike and John: you're still on ignore, due (as you know) to your consistent disrespect, and so the bulk of your responses are invisible to me. As soon as you want to start showing a little more etiquette in your conversations, PM me and I will put you off ignore. Until then, rail on, ignored.

Mike Sigman
01-09-2007, 07:50 PM
Lemme guess...without lifting the ignore-curtain, I'm betting that we're hearing a variant of the refrain, "The poor are that way, because they are a. lazy; b. unmotivated; c. expecting a handout.

Of course, any reality-check will the show that being poor is a sign of NOTHING, except having no money. It's not an indicator of character, motivation, or anything else, but being poor.

And, I challenge anyone to show any evidence to the contrary. Challenge with what reward for who wins? I can certainly shut you down on this one, Neil. Take for instance the fact that "poverty is the single largest indicator of low IQ", which you can find in many places. The unfortunate thing about this particular statistic, even though a lot of people don't want to admit it, is that by logic the single largest indicator of poverty is low IQ. Want to continue the discussion about evidence or do you suddenly want to drop the topic? Are you going to maintain and try to prove that the average IQ among the wealthy is the same as the average IQ among the poor in a given geographic location?
P.S. A little note to Mike and John: you're still on ignore, due (as you know) to your consistent disrespect,....... Oh stoppit, Neil.... there's no one on this list except the "impoverished" (read "low IQ") who thinks you're not reading me and John. Quit being so damned embarrassing.

Mike

statisticool
01-09-2007, 11:10 PM
There's so many strawmen in the OP one can almost hear it singing 'If I Only Had a Brain".


A new study has determined that the biggest beneficiaries of President Bush's tax cuts have been families earning more than $1 million a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the wealthiest families had their individual tax rate cut twice as deep as for middle income families. It translated to an average tax cut of almost $58,000 for every family that earned more than one million dollars.


Now now Neil. You shouldn't refer to actual studies and actual data in actual reality. You should argue solely from amusing made-up examples like the OP. ;)

Mark Freeman
01-10-2007, 06:05 AM
Challenge with what reward for who wins? I can certainly shut you down on this one, Neil. Take for instance the fact that "poverty is the single largest indicator of low IQ", which you can find in many places. The unfortunate thing about this particular statistic, even though a lot of people don't want to admit it, is that by logic the single largest indicator of poverty is low IQ. Want to continue the discussion about evidence or do you suddenly want to drop the topic? Are you going to maintain and try to prove that the average IQ among the wealthy is the same as the average IQ among the poor in a given geographic location? Oh stoppit, Neil.... there's no one on this list except the "impoverished" (read "low IQ") who thinks you're not reading me and John. Quit being so damned embarrassing.


I'd have to dispute the 'fact' of the above statement based on my own experience in South Africa. I met and worked with many 'poor' people some of whom could speak 5 languages, Their own, English, Afrikaans, and a couple more Indigenous tounges. Low IQ, no, just poor as a result of the politics of where they live.

Why do you have such an axe to grind over people in poverty Mike, are they out to get you or something? Perhaps your worldview is skewed by the fact that you live in the 'richest' country on the planet where it's citizens can consume natural resources with impunity.

There are many intelligent people around the world who live on very little. Perhaps you need to get out more, and meet them. ;)

regards,

Mark

Mike Sigman
01-10-2007, 08:01 AM
I'd have to dispute the 'fact' of the above statement based on my own experience in South Africa. I met and worked with many 'poor' people some of whom could speak 5 languages, Their own, English, Afrikaans, and a couple more Indigenous tounges. Low IQ, no, just poor as a result of the politics of where they live.

Why do you have such an axe to grind over people in poverty Mike, are they out to get you or something? Perhaps your worldview is skewed by the fact that you live in the 'richest' country on the planet where it's citizens can consume natural resources with impunity.

There are many intelligent people around the world who live on very little. Perhaps you need to get out more, and meet them. ;) Er, Mark.... I was giving a "fact" that is often stated by people whose viewpoint I oppose. I.e., I don't agree with it. Did you mistakenly think I supported that view?

I don't have an axe to grind over people in poverty, either. I think they should be given the chance to become as wealthy as anyone else. And in the US, there is not a *fixed* wealthy class.... people slide into it and out of it all the time, due to the capitalist system. It's a good system; not perfect, but pretty good. The only thing I'm opposed to is bollixing the system by taking away the incentives of becoming rich and destroying the system or at least stagnating it like they do in Europe. Look at the European economies.

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-10-2007, 08:12 AM
A new study has determined that the biggest beneficiaries of President Bush's tax cuts have been families earning more than $1 million a year. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the wealthiest families had their individual tax rate cut twice as deep as for middle income families. It translated to an average tax cut of almost $58,000 for every family that earned more than one million dollars.Is this a joke, Neil, or did you miss the point of the original post? Someone making over a million bucks a year pays around 400,000 in taxes at least (or equivalent offsets). You notice that you do not define "middle income" at all, but let's stick in a guess income of 50,000 dollars and figure their tax at 15,000 dollars. OK, so that's one family paying $400,000 in taxes compared to $15,000 in taxes and your complaint is that Bush's tax cuts were mostly, dollarwise, helpful to the family that paid $400,000 in taxes. Would you like to take that refund money, as the Dem's do, and simply give it out to the people who pay little or no income tax????? That's what they want to do.... they want to re-distribute the money someone makes and give it for no reason to people who didn't earn the money. It's called thievery, Neil, and it reflects the true ethics of the liberals. And of course everything the liberals do is OK "because it's the right thing to do"..... exactly like everything the religious Right does is OK because "It's what Jesus would have done". I.e.,.... back to my central and constant point... there is no difference between the fanatics of either extreme. They simply want to impose their beliefs on everyone else. It's all about power.

Mike

Mark Freeman
01-10-2007, 08:17 AM
Er, Mark.... I was giving a "fact" that is often stated by people whose viewpoint I oppose. I.e., I don't agree with it. Did you mistakenly think I supported that view?

It certainly read that way to me :p

The only thing I'm opposed to is bollixing the system by taking away the incentives of becoming rich and destroying the system or at least stagnating it like they do in Europe. Look at the European economies.



I do, I'm in one. There are 25 countries in the the EU at present with more wanting to join. They are all in a variety of positions in the standard economic cycles, some are doing better than others. None of them are in freefall, most of them are glad to be part of a large co-operative economic bloc.

Your writing off of the Europe is just plain wrong. Not every country in the world wants to emulate the US model, as good as many aspects of it are. I've just returned from a trip to Italy and Slovenia, it's all looking fairly healthy to me. The Slovenians are in the process of dropping their old currency for the euro, not much complaining going on where I was.

Death & Taxes - theres no escaping either ;)

regards,

Mark

Hogan
01-10-2007, 09:51 AM
..P.S. A little note to Mike and John: you're still on ignore, due (as you know) to your consistent disrespect, and so the bulk of your responses are invisible to me. As soon as you want to start showing a little more etiquette in your conversations, PM me and I will put you off ignore. Until then, rail on, ignored.

I have never met anyone so afraid of other people's views.... and someone so hypocritcal.

hapkidoike
01-10-2007, 10:06 AM
. . . That's what they want to do.... they want to re-distribute the money someone makes and give it for no reason to people who didn't earn the money. It's called thievery, Neil, and it reflects the true ethics of the liberals. And of course everything the liberals do is OK "because it's the right thing to do".....
Mike

Maybe you call it "thievery", but Marx called it inevitable.

And anyway, they probably couldn't be bothered to take your stuff away unless you between the top 3-5% of the wealthiest folks in the states anyway. Thats why I dont sweat it, well that and I dont have to pay federal taxes.

just sayin.

Hogan
01-10-2007, 10:20 AM
...There are 25 countries in the the EU at present with more wanting to join...
Mark

Really? They want to join this?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,242695,00.html
Out to Lunch

A man in London died after two ambulance crews did not come to his aid — because they could not be recalled from lunch breaks due to European Union rules. Media reports say the man collapsed five minutes from the ambulance station. But the ambulance did not come for at least 20 minutes and he died en route to the hospital.

An official with the ambulance service confirmed crews were on break at the time. EU rules prohibit personnel from being called out during the first 20 minutes of their 30-minute breaks.

Where do I join?!!

Hogan
01-10-2007, 10:22 AM
Maybe you call it "thievery", but Marx called it inevitable. ...

Is that why Marxism has been so successful in the world today? Is that what they call it in those poor African countries whose leaders steal the oil revenues from their people? Inevitable?

Mark Freeman
01-10-2007, 10:24 AM
Really? They want to join this?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,242695,00.html
Out to Lunch

A man in London died after two ambulance crews did not come to his aid — because they could not be recalled from lunch breaks due to European Union rules. Media reports say the man collapsed five minutes from the ambulance station. But the ambulance did not come for at least 20 minutes and he died en route to the hospital.

An official with the ambulance service confirmed crews were on break at the time. EU rules prohibit personnel from being called out during the first 20 minutes of their 30-minute breaks.

Where do I join?!!

We don't want you to join John, so no problem :p

also the link you provide shows a news story entirely un related :(

Mike Sigman
01-10-2007, 10:29 AM
Why do you have such an axe to grind over people in poverty Mike, are they out to get you or something? Perhaps your worldview is skewed by the fact that you live in the 'richest' country on the planet where it's citizens can consume natural resources with impunity.
Well, I have to toodle off and do some work in Silverton, but before I go, let me point out that no one has made a single factual point justifying taking more money from the people who already pay proportionately most of the taxes... the rich. Like Mark's comment above, the idea is to basically namecall or try to shame someone who doesn't do as you wish, rather than factually argue the point. It's like calling someone "racist" or "warmongerer" or "dunce", etc... the common tactics of the Left.

Like I said, show me where giving the billions of dollars away over the last half-century has done anything really positive. Take the Marshall Plan... that earned no gratitude from Europe. Take the aid to Russia in WWII. To the Arabs. To the African countries.

Here's a good commentary from an African economist about how much good all the western aid does:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,363663,00.html

Do you think this story wound up in the liberal press? Not really.

Mike

Mark Freeman
01-10-2007, 11:26 AM
Well, I have to toodle off and do some work in Silverton, but before I go, let me point out that no one has made a single factual point justifying taking more money from the people who already pay proportionately most of the taxes... the rich. Like Mark's comment above, the idea is to basically namecall or try to shame someone who doesn't do as you wish, rather than factually argue the point. It's like calling someone "racist" or "warmongerer" or "dunce", etc... the common tactics of the Left.

Like I said, show me where giving the billions of dollars away over the last half-century has done anything really positive. Take the Marshall Plan... that earned no gratitude from Europe. Take the aid to Russia in WWII. To the Arabs. To the African countries.

Here's a good commentary from an African economist about how much good all the western aid does:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,363663,00.html

Do you think this story wound up in the liberal press? Not really.

Mike

I recently watched an almost identical item on the BBC which goes to show that you cant paint the 'liberal' press with such a broad brush ;)

I happen to agree with many of the sentiments of the African guy. Huge amounts of money are 'wasted' - it does however go somewhere ( sometimes back to Switzerland in numbered bank accounts ).
When I worked in Zambia in the 80's I used to go to the local store where I would buy my flour direct from a sack stamped "A gift to the people of Zambia from the people of Canada" Free enterprise!!

regards,

Mark

Neil Mick
01-10-2007, 11:46 AM
There's so many strawmen in the OP one can almost hear it singing 'If I Only Had a Brain".

:D

Now now Neil. You shouldn't refer to actual studies and actual data in actual reality. You should argue solely from amusing made-up examples like the OP. ;)

Yes, you're right, I sit, corrected. With these guys, the important thing seems to be who says it and how loud they can project their voices, over and above the truth of the statement. :freaky:

I can certainly shut you down on this one, Neil.

You could (in your own mind), but since you STILL haven't PM'd me (see previous PS), I don't read your posts. The only reason I can see this response, is due to Mark quoting it.

But, I like a good strawman, same as the next fellow. Let's take this one:

is that by logic the single largest indicator of poverty is low IQ.

Wrong, Mike. The single largest indicator of poverty is income, not intelligence, not motivation.

(*looking at the piles of straw at my feet*) Well, THAT was easy. But, if you want an extended debate; my inbox awaits.

Hogan
01-10-2007, 11:54 AM
We don't want you to join John, so no problem :p

also the link you provide shows a news story entirely un related :(

The link shows a collection of stories, one of which is the one I posted.... you have to scroll down a bit to see it.

Mark Freeman
01-10-2007, 01:18 PM
The link shows a collection of stories, one of which is the one I posted.... you have to scroll down a bit to see it.

Thanks John, I found it, terrible if is true, and unlike the Abbulance service I have been used to for 50 years. The emergency services here are seen as being very good, very reliable. I would like to see a more thorough report to fully know how the 'rules' were being interpreted.

regards,

Mark
p.s. Everyone here knows there are some 'bad' rules/laws in the EU, but most realise that they have to be seen 'in the round' and that EU membership is on the whole of benefit to us all.

Mike Sigman
01-10-2007, 05:38 PM
I recently watched an almost identical item on the BBC which goes to show that you cant paint the 'liberal' press with such a broad brush ;) Sure I can paint the liberal press with a broad brush: they're basically dishonest and deliberately skew the news, even though of course they report some news factually. In a way, it's funny that liberals try to claim that they have a high moral ground, but lying, distorting the truth, etc., are considered appropriate tools because "it's for the right cause". ;)

Here's your BBC news:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=411846&in_page_id=1770#StartComments

I don't like news bias either toward conservative or liberal values... I want the truth. Getting the truth out is the excuse the news uses for its existence. What's interesting is refusal to admit that the news media deliberately skew the news in order to shape public opinion favorably toward accepted liberal views. It's fun to watch. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
01-10-2007, 05:40 PM
You could (in your own mind), but since you STILL haven't PM'd me (see previous PS), Heh.... do you really have such a huge ego that you think people are supposed to email you privately so you'll take them off your ignore list?????????? Are you serious? :p What a maroon.

Mike

hapkidoike
01-10-2007, 06:46 PM
. . ., let me point out that no one has made a single factual point justifying taking more money from the people who already pay proportionately most of the taxes... the rich. . . .Mike

Well what about the fact that "your" money is not really yours. "They" (I am referring to the man, big brother, or whatever term you want to use to refer to the government which is in charge) prints it, puts their faces on it, and "owns" it to the degree that they can legally take it away from you. Didn't somebody say something like give Cesar his stuff back when he asks for it? Yeah, Jesus was a commie, and like the Doobie Bros. said "Jesus is just alright with me".

Mark Freeman
01-11-2007, 05:32 AM
Sure I can paint the liberal press with a broad brush: they're basically dishonest and deliberately skew the news, even though of course they report some news factually. In a way, it's funny that liberals try to claim that they have a high moral ground, but lying, distorting the truth, etc., are considered appropriate tools because "it's for the right cause". ;)

Here's your BBC news:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=411846&in_page_id=1770#StartComments

I don't like news bias either toward conservative or liberal values... I want the truth. Getting the truth out is the excuse the news uses for its existence. What's interesting is refusal to admit that the news media deliberately skew the news in order to shape public opinion favorably toward accepted liberal views. It's fun to watch. ;)

Mike

I too would rather read/watch completely unbiased news coverage, it seems that both left and right have their own channels which promote their own agendas.

It's up to us to sift through the morass of news and try to decipher the 'real' story.

The BBC reporters in the Mail on Sunday report ( The Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail are notorious for their bias reporting ) were pretty honest in their views, and as far as I am aware none of them have had any issue from the beeb for airing them.

People like Andrew Marr who was the BBC's chief political correspondant until recently, is universally respected here for his balanced and perceptive commentry on the political events of the day. I know most people would trust his word over a politician of any colour. The same goes for many of the BBC's top journalists. John Simpson is another, also Nick Clarke ( recently deceased ).
They may work for an organisation that has certain leanings, but their personal integrity is what earns them their respect.

regards,

Mark
p.s. It's not 'my' BBC ;)
p.p.s. In defence of them as programme makers - they make some of the best tv available. Since the advent of cable / satelite here, we can now see just how far ahead they are :yuck:

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 08:48 AM
People like Andrew Marr who was the BBC's chief political correspondant until recently, is universally respected here for his balanced and perceptive commentry on the political events of the day.Mark, I just gave you an article that pretty much ends the debate over whether the BBC is liberally-biased or not. They are. Most liberals think the coverage is middle-of-the-road because they agree with it. As you know, many people think the Beeb is biased and it turns out that's right. When I'm in Europe, a couple of times a year (for many years), I watch all the different news channels because I like to track news coverage in terms of bias, etc. The BBC is badly biased. The annoying part of it is that they leave some portions of the news out (in order to maintain a liberal, anti-American, anti-war perspective and I have to get that news somewhere else. In Europe, I have to go to various news-service websites (non-European ones, in too many cases) to get a more complete picture of what happened or is happening in far too many cases.

Your problem is that you're the product of long-term propaganda ... you expect news to conform to the liberals lenses on your glasses. I have a background that includes access to military intelligence and I know from the start that civilian newspapers carry only small portions of the truth as a rule. You've been manipulated, Mark. Propaganda actually works, even in civilized western countries.

FWIW

Mike

Mark Freeman
01-11-2007, 09:40 AM
Your problem is that you're the product of long-term propaganda ... you expect news to conform to the liberals lenses on your glasses. I have a background that includes access to military intelligence and I know from the start that civilian newspapers carry only small portions of the truth as a rule. You've been manipulated, Mark. Propaganda actually works, even in civilized western countries.

That sounds really good, until one takes a moment to think about it!

The fact that you have access to 'military intelligence' means nothing Mike, are you naive enough to belive that the military are less likely to use propaganda than anyone else??? :crazy:

You are not in an enlightened enough position to start telling people that they have been manipulated, without spending a moment to consider your own limited perspective.

I will respectfully bow out of this discussion as it has decended into the usual ...you are.... you have... your problem... etc etc...

Anyway, I have a tax return to file and the deadline does not allow for me to be wasting time on such fruitless nonesense. :p

FWIW

Mark

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 09:52 AM
BBC does have a liberal bias. That's why it's not uncommon to have public radio stations in the U.S. affiliate with both the BBC and NPR (National Public Radio -- very liberal) for their [liberal-focused] news.

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 09:55 AM
Anyway, I have a tax return to file and the deadline does not allow for me to be wasting time on such fruitless nonesense. :p

FWIW

Mark

Just be sure that when you cash your refund check, you don't get any of these (disguised as British pence):

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070111/ap_on_hi_te/spy_coins

Mark Freeman
01-11-2007, 10:45 AM
Just be sure that when you cash your refund check, you don't get any of these (disguised as British pence):

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070111/ap_on_hi_te/spy_coins

Refund check?? chance would be a fine thing ;)

Spy coinage, what will they think of next :crazy:

regards

Mark

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 11:30 AM
That sounds really good, until one takes a moment to think about it!

The fact that you have access to 'military intelligence' means nothing Mike, are you naive enough to belive that the military are less likely to use propaganda than anyone else??? :crazy: Is that what you mean by "think about it"? You think that the military intel networks shoot propaganda back and forth to themselves internally so that their plans will go wrong and they will be killed? What color is the sky on your planet? ;)

Actually, I think the generations after the Depression, after the Great Wars, etc., were raised in too many cases by parents who wanted to "shield" their children from how harsh life can be. Result: a generation of the clueless.

Mark, by the BBC's own admission, they are heavily biased... why is it that you show no outrage about that? You realize that a news network that lies to you about your friends and enemies is actually putting you at risk, don't you? If you're happy because they're telling you an untrue version that happens to coincide with what you *want* to believe, then perhaps you can understand my derisory perspective of a bunch of brainwashed Brits.

Best.

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 11:42 AM
Refund check?? chance would be a fine thing ;)



Note that I referred to said refund in pence, not pounds. :D

Mark Freeman
01-11-2007, 12:31 PM
Note that I referred to said refund in pence, not pounds. :D

I did, touche Cady!

did you notice that I used your US 'check' rather than the more elegant 'cheque' :p

best

Mark

Mark Freeman
01-11-2007, 12:38 PM
What color is the sky on your planet? ;)

It's a pleasant pale blue at the moment with a few fluffy white clouds :)

as I said, I'm out.

regards,

Mark

Taliesin
01-11-2007, 12:45 PM
Mike

Can you give a definition of the Liberal media (beyond media left of your own expectations).
And a definition of dishonest beyond "says things I don't agree with". (After all describing someone who continually does and says stupid things as an idiot is not being dishonest - even if you agree with said person)

Can you explain why you think it is automatic that a large income is automatically earned by the person who received it, rather than taking a disproportionally large share of money earned by their employees/others before them

Because at the moment your argument is that If I am good at exploiting my employees and charging you huge amounts of money for the work and services they provide. I'm an honest businessman with the right to enjoy the money 'I' earned.

But when the government taxes me - they are stealing money I 'earned'. (At least it is the argument you presented - whether or not your realize it)

Personally if higher taxes force people to pay better wages its a good thing.


BTW - when you discuss EU rules try and remember they come in 3 types Decisions (applying only to specific organizations), Regulations which automatically become law in all EU member countries and the ones that are most commonly used Directives (A Directive is when the EU 'Directs its member state to pass legislation appropriate to that country for a specific purpose eg Health & Safety).

In the UK that law is drafted by a Parliamentary Legal Draftsman and enacted through a process called delegated legislation. - And that before we get to the argument perhaps you'd better assure me that there are no stupidly drafted or stupidly applied laws in the USA. unlike us poor Europeans with our affordable and universal healthcare

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 12:58 PM
Can you give a definition of the Liberal media (beyond media left of your own expectations).
And a definition of dishonest beyond "says things I don't agree with". (After all describing someone who continually does and says stupid things as an idiot is not being dishonest - even if you agree with said person). Why not ask the official committees, like the Hutton enquiry and the previous one that studied the BBC reportage and concluded that it is indeed anti-Israel, anti-war, etc.? Did you even bother to read the Telegraph article? This conversation makes no sense.... it's like finding someone standing over a dead body, holding a smoking gun, etc., who demands that we "define murder". Please. Can you explain why you think it is automatic that a large income is automatically earned by the person who received it, rather than taking a disproportionally large share of money earned by their employees/others before them I can see that you studied and believe deeply in socialism, David, but did you ever read anything on capitalism? If you go earn a living daily, why would you argue against me forcibly taking it from you? It's the same nonsensical question. If a manager is making too much money, in a capitalist society he can't really compete forever, can he? Because at the moment your argument is that If I am good at exploiting my employees and charging you huge amounts of money for the work and services they provide. I'm an honest businessman with the right to enjoy the money 'I' earned. What you're basically trying to say is that you should have the right to determine whether other people get to keep their own property or not. This is the conceit of liberals. I dunno... there's a lack of coherency here that tells me you're not putting your best efforts into the discourde, Chalk.

Mike

Taliesin
01-11-2007, 12:58 PM
PS Hppy New Year!!!

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 02:07 PM
Just to put it in a simpler light..... do you think that the monthly dojo dues should only be paid by those that make "a lot of money"? The only difference in this example is that the people who "make a lot of money" are people everyone in the dojo knows as a human being. "Tax the rich people" is easier to say because it involves nameless people we don't have to think of as "human... like us", so we can think of them as "bad guys" because they have more money than we do. Let's take it from them.


How about making only the strongest guys in the dojo sweep the mats? After all, they're stronger than we are and should be made to pay for such an insufferable slight.

Originally, the idea of "progressive" taxes meant that everyone should pay their "proportionate" share of the taxes.... now "progressive taxes" means that the money from the rich should be actively transferred to the "poor". The incentive for working for success becomes nil when you follow that line of thought. Why work hard when I can just vote the other guy's money into my bank account.

Now you know why the altruistic Bono has suddenly pulled his money out of Ireland to stash it elsewhere... he realized that all that money he'd spent his life making was going away in taxes so that he could support the "poor". Heh.... and he was the one telling world governments that they should give more of their citizens' money away. Reality sometimes does enter the heads of these theorists. If you're 20 and you're not a socialist, you don't have a heart; if you're 40 and you're not a capitalist, you don't have a head. ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 03:29 PM
did you notice that I used your US 'check' rather than the more elegant 'cheque' :p

best

Mark

I did, Mark, and thought "Boy, he sure spells bad for a Brit." :D

Note that words such as "cheque," "colour," "lake" and "beef" all come from Norman French, not Anglo-Saxon. You can thank Willy the Conq for your more elegant words. ;) I always thought it odd that when folks in England and all its former and current colonies want to be "classy," they use the French-originated words. When they want to be "crude, they revert back to Anglo-Saxon, hence all of the nastiest slang comes from that, not French!

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 03:35 PM
Just to put it in a simpler light..... do you think that the monthly dojo dues should only be paid by those that make "a lot of money"?

What about a sliding scale, in which people pay in accord to their ability to pay?

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 03:43 PM
What about a sliding scale, in which people pay in accord to their ability to pay?I have no problem with that. At this point in time, tax-wise, that's not what is happening. The "rich" are paying a disproportionate share and it's becoming "income redistribution".

Even our definition of "poverty" is so skewed that 47% of people in "poverty" own their own homes, have TV's, etc., etc. Instead of working toward retirement, people don't save and are looking to "the government" to provide for retirement and medical care.... the personal responsibilities goes down and down. Womb-to-death lack of responsibility is kewl, but look at the riots recently in France from the 20+ year olds who found out that the government wanted to give employers the right to fire non-performers. There were actual riots, cop injuries, fires, etc. And yet France is the model all liberals hold dear.

Hard work is good for everyone, weird as it sounds on a forum where most people do theoretical martial arts. ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 03:59 PM
In my city, elderly residents who can't afford to pay the property taxes on their homes (which many of them have lived in their entire lives thusfar) are offered the opportunity to work part-time for the city -- helping with office chores in the city hall, answering phones in municipal offices... whatever they are physically/mentally able to do -- to pay part of those taxes. Many are taking advantage of this work-for-tax credit option. They are able to stay in their homes in the face of rising property taxes and city expenses.

Ron Tisdale
01-11-2007, 04:00 PM
I have to admit (as much as I hate it) that last post of Mike's struck a bell...

Best,
Ron

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 04:08 PM
In my city, elderly residents who can't afford to pay the property taxes on their homes (which many of them have lived in their entire lives thusfar) are offered the opportunity to work part-time for the city -- helping with office chores in the city hall, answering phones in municipal offices... whatever they are physically/mentally able to do -- to pay part of those taxes. Many are taking advantage of this work-for-tax credit option. They are able to stay in their homes in the face of rising property taxes and city expenses.It's actually a vicious cycle, if you think about it. As you pay for more "entitlements" and "services" (which your local legislator votes to do), your taxes go up and up and these same old people you're talking about become victims or "trying to do the right thing for the poor, the illegal immigrants, the ones who won't work or decided not to finish high school, and so forth.

So while you're talking about something sad on the one hand, you're actually helping bring it more on them by all these tax increases on everyone, but particularly the "rich". At some point in time the country becomes a backwater like many of the EU countries.

Look at the huge wait for health care in socialist Canada and how poor that care is.... look at how many Canadians come to the US to pay for good healthcare. What happens when we become as dumbed-down tax-wise as all these other "enlightened" countries? ;)

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 04:23 PM
Mike,
In the case of my city, the property taxes have gone up hugely over the past 5 years because assessments on homes have gone up as the downtown has been gentrified. A lot of the elderly in this old community were born in the houses they live in now. As the city has gone from being a down at the heels former textile town to becoming a gentrified tourist site, they are struggling to stay in their homes.

At the same time, the housing sales market is slumping here, especially in the modest neighborhoods outside the "hot" city center. Although we might suggest that these oldsters sell their homestead, take the money and move into a nice little condo in a retirement community, it doesn't necessarily work. Many couldn't adjust to moving and leaving their lifelong home, and even if they could, modest (but highly assessed) homes on small lots just aren't selling.

So, in this case, I see the "barter system" of elderly homeowners working down their tax bills as one of few workable options. They get to stay in their homes. The city gets their service in return. Everyone seems cool with it, even the affluent people in the pricy downtown homes with high assessments. In a way, it may be a sliding scale of a kind.

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 04:53 PM
Er... and what does the town do with the assessments? Spend them? ;)

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 04:58 PM
I think it's using them to pay off the National Debt, Mike, because the services sure haven't expanded or improved. ;)

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 06:14 PM
I think it's using them to pay off the National Debt, Mike, because the services sure haven't expanded or improved. ;)So there are no costs for social, welfare, and indigent care and medical? Education costs, bilingual education, etc.? Not saying anything for or against any "services", but I'm pointing out that they're a big reason for tax increases.

In California and the Southwest we've had huge numbers of hospitals and health-centers close because they went bankrupt treating "indigents" (largely illegal aliens). Even with the State subsidizing the lost revenues to doctors who make almost nothing with illegals, etc., doctors are closing doors. I.e., even with taxes continuing to raise on homeowners, including the elderly-retired who are in the same boat as you described, things aren't working. You give away stuff, people come in droves. What's truly interesting to me is that there is this bleeding-heart movement for illegals, yet not a word in the press about the American citizens who die for lack of care, who are victims of rape, murder, robbery, etc. It's this strange "screw the US, we're bad people" attitude of so many on the Left that is amazing.

If you notice some of the early comments in the thread, there was this immediate attack on the idea that I didn't want the bad ole "rich" to be soaked. The hatred levels from the Left are amazing indeed. ;) On the other hand, I don't want anyone telling me that Creationism should be equally taught with science in school or that women can't have abortions. Horrors.... surrounded by the Left and the Right. :p

Mike

Mark Freeman
01-11-2007, 06:19 PM
I did, Mark, and thought "Boy, he sure spells bad for a Brit." :D

Note that words such as "cheque," "colour," "lake" and "beef" all come from Norman French, not Anglo-Saxon. You can thank Willy the Conq for your more elegant words. ;) I always thought it odd that when folks in England and all its former and current colonies want to be "classy," they use the French-originated words. When they want to be "crude, they revert back to Anglo-Saxon, hence all of the nastiest slang comes from that, not French!

LOL :D

I have no problem agreeing with you that english is a hodge podge of many languages, and the french input definitely adds a little je ne sais quois :D
Anglo Saxon swear words are without doubt crude, but they sure do express how you feel sometimes ;) and you american chaps have elevated them to almost iconic status. I occasionally mumble some of them to myself when I read some of the posts here ;)

keep up the good work, mon ami

salut

Marc

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 06:58 PM
C'est bon!

Yep, you can't beat good ol' Anglo Saxon for the words that really hit the spot, when you need 'em to hit the spot.

Of course, here in the U.S., when we are about to use vulgar language (always Anglo Saxon), we always preceed or follow the vulgarism with "Pardon my French!" Odd practice, that. :D

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 07:19 PM
So there are no costs for social, welfare, and indigent care and medical? Education costs, bilingual education, etc.? Not saying anything for or against any "services", but I'm pointing out that they're a big reason for tax increases.


I'd say that most property tax is earmarked for education (which, as a person with no children, I obviously don't have an immediate stake in). I attempt to keep up-to-date with the education budget, and note that there are rumblings about building a new school, so that could be a good hint about where property tax dollars are being sent. But it doesn't account for all, since state and federal matching funds seem to be involved and we're not footing the whole bill.

My city has very little in the way of services for the indigent or non-English-speaking. We're a provincial old New England 'burg. Before the downtown gentrification, which has brought in thousands of white-collar professionals who use it as a bedroom community for their commutes to Boston or the "technology highway," it was largely a blue-color town.

The local hospitals are privately owned not-for-profits, and they are the ones that foot the bill for indigent treatment. The city's older established population is descended from populations that settled the area in the 17th and 18th centuries, with an influx of French-Canadian, Polish, Russian and other immigrants in the 19th century who came to work in textile mills and the leather tanning and shoe industries during the industrial revolution.

So, we have families going back 9 generations. The most recent immigrants (starting in the 1980s) are Central American and Caribbean, with some Laotian and Vietnamese. The Latino population has a distinctive neighborhood and representation, and they tend to be immersed in English-language in the schools. We don't have bilingual ed, but there is a limited amount of transitional-language assistance in the schools. Definitely not a large part of the education budget.

Could be the mayor is building a slush fund for future hard times. We sure haven't spent much of the snow plow budget so far this season. Looks like Colorado got all of the snow earmarked for New England. ;)

If we finish the fiscal year in the black, I hope the taxpayers get a refund on part of our property taxes. As if. :p

Mike Sigman
01-11-2007, 07:29 PM
My city has very little in the way of services for the indigent or non-English-speaking. We're a provincial old New England 'burg. I'll bet there's more than you think, Cady. And if nothing else, I'll guarantee that there are social and welfare costs that are simply not publicized. Wanna bet?
The local hospitals are privately owned not-for-profits, and they are the ones that foot the bill for indigent treatment. Nah.... you've simply not looked into this deeply enough, Cady. On both a state and federal level, you are susidizing that indigent treatment. Doctors eat part of it. Hospitals eat part of it... they're forced to. To keep them from throwing people out the door, both the state and feds allow a certain percentage to be written off... but that's the taxpayers, isn't it? You may want to go ask someone at the hospital... I think the facts will surprise you. :cool:

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-11-2007, 07:55 PM
Hm. I'll look into both issues.

Taliesin
01-12-2007, 05:23 AM
Mike

You have not addressed the point that these vulneranble, hard done by millionaires and multi-millionaires do not necesarily earn the money recieve themselves but of someone elses back.

Nor have you explained that there what your definition of Liberal is

It is unfortanate that these questions are apparantly to difficutlt for you understand (why else would you say they don't make sense?)

And Yes I do believe in Socialism. -

As far as someone standing over a dead body, with a smoking gun - it would be a very good ideal to know what murder is after all

The one standing over a dead body could be a cop standing over his parners body having just shot at the person who killed his partner.

The person with a smoking gun could be a wife who shot her husband as he was attacking her

The person could be a child who picked up the smoking gun after the killer left

So I'd STILL like to know your definition of a Liberal.

I know the argument has been made that if minimum wages are raised employers will simply say. I won't have my income reduced so I'll fire people instead and 'outsource'. Thereby remaining a productive citzen by mainting the money lining your own pockets and making 'society' richer.

And much as I appreciate the need for the wealthy - say those whose income is £1,000,00 + to have such essentials as 2nd, 3rd + fourth homes, and of course the jets to travel between them.

I'd much rather see that money taken in taxes and invested in giving police, doctors, nurses, firemen, teachers, road sweeps, sewrage workers. (even if they aren't working to make someone else a profit) - a decent wage.

This would lead to a group of people with secure(ish) incomes in a community who would maintain a secure healthy economy by, bying gooding and services (including dojo fees), retaurants, nightclubs etc.

Promoting the idea that profitable companies or businesses are the be all and end all of a productive society and the theory that business provides services 'better' are some of the most damaging myths in society.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2007, 08:35 AM
Nor have you explained that there what your definition of Liberal is A liberal is someone who wants to feed a poor person with someone else's money.

Despite all the "caring" BS that liberals affect, they're really fairly self-serving and not as generous as conservatives.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&page=1

And Yes I do believe in Socialism. -
That's fine, David. You just don't seem to have much grasp of economics. Name me one successful socialist country. Oh... and it's not in Europe, BTW, since European countries have sponged off of the US for more than 50 years and even now could not exist without relying on the US to defend them. The money Europe spends on social welfare simply wouldn't exist if Europe truly had to defend itself. So name me one successful socialist country. Now name me some successful capitalist countries. See the point?

Mike

Cady Goldfield
01-12-2007, 10:14 AM
What that article also indicates, is that those born to wealth, unless they are taught to see and understand poverty and the hurts of the impoverished, and to feel compassion and to act upon it, can't sympathize with the poor, and can't relate to their plight because they are so far removed from it. People who are poor but who came up with traditional values may help each other out of empathy, sense of duty (which may come from both religious and humanitarian beliefs), and also the bond of mutual support (you help me/I help you) -- a cooperative survival mechanism.

The affluent liberals in SF (mentioned in the article) may well have come up in affluent families that did not teach them the values of compassion and charity, or of "noblesse oblige." They have never been in need, can't relate to those who are, and thus are self-centered and clueless. Note that the culture of San Fransico is one of aesthetics and "culture." Ugliness is banned to Oakland. ;) People who settle in SF want to surround themselves with beauty and good things. They don't want to see the ugliness of poverty. The hard-working rural people of South Dakota, on the other hand, know what it is like to be in want. They don't live in an oasis, but the "real world" of hands-on hard work and day-to-day survival.

From my observiations, wealthy people from humble origins, especially ones in which their parents taught them healthy values, are often more in touch with the unfortunate than are those who came from privilege. I spent a summer, some time ago, as a part-time gardener for a multi-millionaire who came from a modest, blue collar family. He was the first in his family to go to college, and worked his way through. His brains and business shrewdness earned him his millions, and he sold the business and retired. I remember that he always was awkward and averted his eyes when I was working on his property, and I believe it is because he was not used to having "servants" doing physical labor on his behalf (especially a middle-aged woman hauling barrows of mulch in the hot sun) and it made him uncomfortable.

Last spring when I picked up the local paper, I read that he had just cut the ribbon on a new business school he had donated to the state college in this city. He was quoted as stating that he wanted others of modest means to have access to the education that would give them the tools he had gotten to make his fortune.

Just some musings.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2007, 10:30 AM
What that article also indicates, is that those born to wealth, unless they are taught to see and understand poverty and the hurts of the impoverished, and to feel compassion and to act upon it, can't sympathize with the poor, and can't relate to their plight because they are so far removed from it Except there are plenty of wealthy conservatives, so your point is lost to me. Sounds like you're focusing on making excuses for liberals. The affluent liberals in SF (mentioned in the article) may well have come up in affluent families that did not teach them the values of compassion and charity, or of "noblesse oblige." They have never been in need, can't relate to those who are, and thus are self-centered and clueless. Cady... there is no fixed "wealthy" class in the US, so your general comment doesn't work. The "wealthy" come from many diverse backgrounds and people rise into wealth and fall out of it all the time, despite the liberal mythos that permeates the Dem party, as an excuse to "tax those rich bastards". ;) Note that the culture of San Fransico is one of aesthetics and "culture." Ugliness is banned to Oakland. ;) People who settle in SF want to surround themselves with beauty and good things. Holy Smoke, Cady. When's the last time you were in SF? The Mission District? The Haight? SF is not really a place of beauty anymore. It's fairly rotten, except for a few places. Oakland is not part of the US.... it's a third-world country, dangerous and ugly. It goes to show you where compassion can ultimately lead if not done carefully... not to a happy world but with some pretty bad people taking over places, even though you had the best of intentions when you gave away what you had. :)

Taliesin
01-12-2007, 10:39 AM
Mike

Since you ask - Cuba. at least judging by its commjttment to healthcare and education of it's population. I'd also like you to provide something that could be regarded as relevant evidence that "European countries have sponged off of the US for more than 50 years and even now could not exist without relying on the US to defend them"

I'd also like you to explain why, if the UK is dependant on the US defend to defend us (which didn't work too well in Northern Ireland) have you asked for our troops to support you in Iraq (both) and Afghanistan.

By the way my grasp of economics is at good enough to know that there if far more than simply giving money to the richest to a sucessful economy.

I am also aware that it was a Keynesian approach that pulled the US out of it's great depression and a 'Capitalist' approach that that put it into one.

So please do not mistake a refusal to accept the right-wing ideology is the same thing as an ignorance of economics

Ellis Amdur
01-12-2007, 10:54 AM
At the risk of dropping in the middle of a discussion without proper grounding, I'm going to promote my latest enthusiasm. The FairTax Book, by Neal Boortz and Rep. John Linder, which makes a very strong case to replace the IRS entirely with a consumption tax. There is a knee-jerk reaction that the poor will disproportionately pay such a tax, but they describe fail-safe mechanisms to NOT include the necessities as well as a tax write-off, so to speak up to a certain level of consumption. Additionally, they explain how this will result in a massive return of corporate investment to America, companies that have left to take advantage of lower taxes and labor costs abroad. They further explain how income tax also is a "commodity" tax in that each player in production pays income tax on their part (ie., the maker of the bread machine, the grower of the wheat and the yeast, the packager, the baker, etc.), so the cost to the consumer is far higher than simply a purchase price plus the baker's portion of tax.
Please read the book before jumping on my head -

P.S. for reasons I don't understand, almost all supporters of the bill are Republican, rather than bipartisan. I've begun to harry my congressman.

Best

Mike Sigman
01-12-2007, 10:57 AM
Mike

Since you ask - Cuba. at least judging by its commjttment to healthcare and education of it's population David, you're like this dream come true for Stalin's categorization of "Useful Idiots". Cuba's "commitment to healthcare" and its education are part of the liberal mythos that they never really bother to investigate. Here. Here's your great Cuban healthcare. The facade presented to outsiders is not the reality:

http://www.therealcuba.com/Page10.htm

Follow the links to education and the rest. . I'd also like you to provide something that could be regarded as relevant evidence that "European countries have sponged off of the US for more than 50 years and even now could not exist without relying on the US to defend them"

I'd also like you to explain why, if the UK is dependant on the US defend to defend us (which didn't work too well in Northern Ireland) have you asked for our troops to support you in Iraq (both) and Afghanistan. Oh, please. Other than token contributions, what do the European NATO countries provide... and that only to help maintain the facade that it is an "alliance"? Even now, France and other countries are simply refusing to contribute when they don't want to. Frankly, the US population, except for the keening liberals, is pretty tired of the Europe that always turns on the US when it doesn't need something from the US. And this is really not something new, BTW. Helmut Kohl, back in the 1950's, ran pretty deliberately on an anti-U.S. platform.

There were complaints about the US isolationism and the US not bailing out the UK and others as soon as it could have in previous wars... and we're headed that way again. Why bail out parasites? "A friend in need is a friend indeed". ;) I am also aware that it was a Keynesian approach that pulled the US out of it's great depression and a 'Capitalist' approach that that put it into one. What are you talking about? Many economists think that the Great Depression was prolonged by about 7 years because of the Keynsian approach. You don't know economics, you just spout the party line. :)

Mike

odudog
01-12-2007, 11:33 AM
Except there are plenty of wealthy conservatives, so your point is lost to me. Sounds like you're focusing on making excuses for liberals. Cady... there is no fixed "wealthy" class in the US, so your general comment doesn't work. The "wealthy" come from many diverse backgrounds and people rise into wealth and fall out of it all the time, despite the liberal mythos that permeates the Dem party, as an excuse to "tax those rich bastards". ;) Holy Smoke, Cady. When's the last time you were in SF? The Mission District? The Haight? SF is not really a place of beauty anymore. It's fairly rotten, except for a few places. Oakland is not part of the US.... it's a third-world country, dangerous and ugly. It goes to show you where compassion can ultimately lead if not done carefully... not to a happy world but with some pretty bad people taking over places, even though you had the best of intentions when you gave away what you had. :)

You are so hell bent on placing the liberal tag on anything that you disagree with or don't understand that you can't see the trees amongst the forest. Cady made some good points in her post and had nothing to do about being liberal or conservative yet you placed the liberal tag on her post and just disavoyed what she had written. You need to do a much better job at reading Cady's post. If someone grows up extremely wealthy they would have no clue on how it means to struggle in life being liberal or conservative. I don't know the politics of Paris Hilton or Nicole Richie but they are prime examples of what Cady was trying to say. Maybe this visual will clue you in.

Mike Sigman
01-12-2007, 11:44 AM
At the risk of dropping in the middle of a discussion without proper grounding, I'm going to promote my latest enthusiasm. The FairTax Book, by Neal Boortz and Rep. John Linder, which makes a very strong case to replace the IRS entirely with a consumption tax. It's a good idea and it seems to be pretty much fair. But you know who will shoot it down? CPA and Trial Lawyer lobbies. It will take away a lot of their work (CPA's will become endangered species)... they'll fight it and they've got the money to do it. ;)

Mike

James Davis
01-12-2007, 12:33 PM
At the risk of dropping in the middle of a discussion without proper grounding, I'm going to promote my latest enthusiasm. The FairTax Book, by Neal Boortz and Rep. John Linder, which makes a very strong case to replace the IRS entirely with a consumption tax. There is a knee-jerk reaction that the poor will disproportionately pay such a tax, but they describe fail-safe mechanisms to NOT include the necessities as well as a tax write-off, so to speak up to a certain level of consumption. Additionally, they explain how this will result in a massive return of corporate investment to America, companies that have left to take advantage of lower taxes and labor costs abroad. They further explain how income tax also is a "commodity" tax in that each player in production pays income tax on their part (ie., the maker of the bread machine, the grower of the wheat and the yeast, the packager, the baker, etc.), so the cost to the consumer is far higher than simply a purchase price plus the baker's portion of tax.
Please read the book before jumping on my head -

P.S. for reasons I don't understand, almost all supporters of the bill are Republican, rather than bipartisan. I've begun to harry my congressman.

Best
I read that book too. It's really informative, and it's even pretty entertaining! I used to listen to Neal's radio show, but we don't get it around here any more. :(

David Orange
01-13-2007, 05:24 PM
I've read so far without finding a solid definition of what is meant by "the wealthy" and I think the lack of a definition has helped obscure the arguments and reasoning in this thread.

First, while it is true that "people rise into and fall out of wealth all the time" in the US, there is a class of people that has been wealthy since before the Mayflower. Their people were wealthy before they left Europe and they became the official rulers when they arrived here in The New World. They founded the major universities such as Harvard and Yale (and institutions such as Skull and Bones). Their members have been in (and behind) the highest levels of goverment for hundreds of years. They are not the wealthiest 1% of Americans, but the wealthiest 1/10th or 1/20th of 1%. These people do not "rise into and fall out of wealth every day." No one rises into their ranks, even if (like Bill Gates) he earns enough money to match them.

I'm not sure of precise figures, but I believe the wealthiest 2% of Americans are those making over $1,000,000.00 a year. But as we go to the higher levels in the top 1% and top 1/2 of 1%, we find people making $1,000,000.00 or more every month. Again, very few people enter or leave this level of wealth. This level of wealth is almost entirely hereditary and is virtually permanent.

Now, the wealthiest 1% of Americans actually OWNS over 50% of EVERYTHING in the US. Can you imagine that: 1% owns 50% of everything?

But when you consider it, the top 2% actually owns about 75% or more of everything in the US. How much does the top 10% own? I think it's around 90%. And 90% of the people share the remaining 10% of the wealth in this nation. And while that 90% of the people have to scrape to get by and fight over the 10% that's available to them, the wealthiest 1 or 2% are mainly inheritors whose life experience is centered on managing and maintaining their ownership of the vast majority of everything that can be owned and controlled in this country.

The fact is, people at that level pay very, very, very little in taxes. The figure $400,000.00 out of an income of $1,000,000.00 has been offered, but I don't believe that's accurate. These people hire cadres of shrewd lawyers and accounting firms to find, exploit and defend almost infinite tax breaks and loopholes to ensure that they pay as little in taxes as possible. They did not rise to the levels of power they enjoy by letting money slip through their fingers or by giving anyone an even break. When they pay, they make sure that they pay as little as possible (in purchase cost, in salaries, in taxes) and when they charge (to the government, industry or ordinary citizens) they charge top dollar for everything.

And the poor? I think most of them remain poor because of an acute sense that "the fix is in" on everything. They're maybe not the brightest apples in the barrel and they are taxed heavily on their jobs. Sure, it may not look like much, but food, shelter, clothing, transportation, medical care and education usually demand that they work double or triple jobs and still end up short.

Of course, there are the alcoholics and drug abusers, but in my state, until recently, a family of four was charged state income tax at an annual income of $4,000.00! It was recently raised to $12,000.00, but I think that is being "phased" in. The point is that people on that level have to pay almost 100% of their income just to live day to day, hand to mouth and one paycheck from the street. And we tax them.

The wealthiest 1%, making anywhere from $1,000,000.00 a year to $1,000,000.00 a month (or even far more) have enough for hundreds of people to live on and stash plenty away. If they "give," it comes off their taxes.

Now, I have run a couple of businesses of my own over the past 30 years and I know what that's about. I respect people who run businesses. But when business becomes a cancer, like HealthSouth under Richard Scrushy or Enron under Ken Lay (or Halliburton, for instance), when their main "business" is inflating money through inflating costs, that's simply cheating. When CEOs make salaries hundreds of times greater than the people who do the real WORK of the company, then that business is in the business of inflating and cheating.

I don't mind anyone's taking advantage of the legal tax breaks to which he is entitled, but there is a point at which it becomes like a cancer and Bush's tax breaks for the wealthy have fed that cancer just as his idiot actions in Iraq have nourished the terrorists of the world.

My opinion.

David

Mike Sigman
01-13-2007, 05:47 PM
I've read so far without finding a solid definition of what is meant by "the wealthy" and I think the lack of a definition has helped obscure the arguments and reasoning in this thread. Oh, David, you just screwed up. It is against the rules for any liberal to define "wealthy" because the figures only embarrass their arguments. Also, the second thing you should never do is say exactly what percentage the "wealthy" should be taxed, because that also opens the argument up to being ridiculed by simple facts. All you're supposed to do is call for the "wealthy" to "pay their fair share" and leave it like that to appeal to the poor and uneducated who are the base of the Dem Party and who certainly approve of any efforts to get them the wealth of others. First, while it is true that "people rise into and fall out of wealth all the time" in the US, there is a class of people that has been wealthy since before the Mayflower. Their people were wealthy before they left Europe and they became the official rulers when they arrived here in The New World. They founded the major universities such as Harvard and Yale (and institutions such as Skull and Bones). Their members have been in (and behind) the highest levels of goverment for hundreds of years. They are not the wealthiest 1% of Americans, but the wealthiest 1/10th or 1/20th of 1%. These people do not "rise into and fall out of wealth every day." No one rises into their ranks, even if (like Bill Gates) he earns enough money to match them. Oh my God.... what a conspiracy theory. I'll bet you mean not only these fabled few but you also mean the rich Jews, too. Let's lump them together and hate them and take their money. Whaddya say? I'm not sure of precise figures,... Who would ever have guessed?but I believe the wealthiest 2% of Americans are those making over $1,000,000.00 a year. But as we go to the higher levels in the top 1% and top 1/2 of 1%, we find people making $1,000,000.00 or more every month. Again, very few people enter or leave this level of wealth. This level of wealth is almost entirely hereditary and is virtually permanent.

Now, the wealthiest 1% of Americans actually OWNS over 50% of EVERYTHING in the US. Can you imagine that: 1% owns 50% of everything?Er, here's a quote more in line with reality:

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2004).

What you need to understand is that the distribution of wealth is such that a lot of it is in the hands of a few has been the case throughout history, David. In fact, if you took all the wealth in the world and distributed it equally to everyone in the world, it would probably be less than 5 years before it wound up in the hands of a few people. Get a few books on animal behavior, David, and understand that we as humans conform very nicely to that model. BTW.... do you think Hugo Chavez, who is going to make Venezuela a "socialist country" is going to relinquish his enormous personal wealth? He hates Bush, too, and he has the general character of the average Bush hater.

My opinion back at you. ;)

Mike

David Orange
01-13-2007, 06:07 PM
Oh, David, you just screwed up. It is against the rules for any liberal to define "wealthy" because the figures only embarrass their arguments. Also, the second thing you should never do is say exactly what percentage the "wealthy" should be taxed, because that also opens the argument up to being ridiculed by simple facts.

There you go again, Mike.

Are you able just to look at the facts without having to label them as "liberal" or "conservative"? I didn't rigidly define the wealthy, but did point to "the top of the pyramid" and describe what it's like up there, which is accurate. And I didn't suggest any particular rate for their taxation since they evade any rate set for them through their loopholes, deductions and with the help of GW Bush's "cuts" on what they weren't paying anyway. Now, instead of having to hide it, somehow, they don't hide it and they don't pay it, either.

...the poor and uneducated ... are the base of the Dem Party and ... certainly approve of any efforts to get them the wealth of others.

Hey, the wealthy suck the very life out of the poor. I don't think of the Democrats as aiming to get the wealth of others for themselves, but just to make sure that the wealthy pay their share. What about the Alternative Minimum Tax, that was supposed to make sure the wealthy didn't skate by paying nothing and which now is hurting more and more middle-class taxpayers every year while the wealthy (wealthiest 1 and 2 %) get assured and extended tax cuts?

Oh my God.... what a conspiracy theory. I'll bet you mean not only these fabled few but you also mean the rich Jews, too. Let's lump them together and hate them and take their money. Whaddya say?

Those are fighting words, buddy. I didn't say that and you don't need to insinuate that I did. I have too many Jewish friends and I admire too many Jews to either think like that or condone anyone's thinking like that. I don't care if you're Christian, Muslim, Jewish, athiest, Satanist or George Bush. You should pay your fair share in taxes.

Who would ever have guessed?Er, here's a quote more in line with reality:

In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%. Table 1 and Figure 1 present further details drawn from the careful work of economist Edward N. Wolff at New York University (2004).

Oh. I said 50% when it was only 40%. But 40% OWNED by ONE PERCENT????? That is MASSIVE wealth beyond the imagination of a family of four being taxed on an annual income of $4,000.00. I don't see anything wrong with a proportianate tax on that level of wealth--an not to come to me, but to go to the upkeep of the nation that has allowed them to operate here and accumulate their wealth. In large measure, they sucked it out of the lower 84% of the population. People like Ken Lay, Richard Scrushy, et al, are effectively vampires.

What you need to understand is that the distribution of wealth is such that a lot of it is in the hands of a few has been the case throughout history, David. In fact, if you took all the wealth in the world and distributed it equally to everyone in the world, it would probably be less than 5 years before it wound up in the hands of a few people.

So I see nothing wrong in taxing those people in proportion to their ability to take.

David

Mike Sigman
01-13-2007, 06:50 PM
Hey, the wealthy suck the very life out of the poor. Class warfare, David. Does that mean that you are "sucking the life out of" everyone who makes or has less than you do? I don't think of the Democrats as aiming to get the wealth of others for themselves, but just to make sure that the wealthy pay their share. Tell me the income/assets of the "wealthy" and how much their "fair share" should be, David. Give me some actual figures rather than class-warfare rhetoric. Lessee... Carter had it jacked up to 72% and the economy tanked bigtime. Give me some numbers where you think it should be. Remember that when the economy tanks, all the "poor" *really* suffer. When you take away the possibility of becoming very wealthy for their extended efforts, people quit creating jobs and wealth... you tell me what that "fair share" is that doesn't mess up the system. Carter and the Dem's found out the hard way... should we go through that again? You should pay your fair share in taxes. Heck, there are some people that don't pay any taxes. Is that a "fair share"? Define what "fair share" means, David. It sounds like what you really want to do is re-distribute the wealth and take it from the people who work hardest and put their savings on the line the most. Look up the "wealthy", David.... 70% of what you're calling "the wealthy" are actually small business owners. What you really want to do is destroy the economy for some cool sounding idea that ignores reality. So I see nothing wrong in taxing those people in proportion to their ability to take.Sure.... you see nothing wrong with forcibly taking money away from people. "Let's feed that hungry guy over there with someone else's money". It's Ivory Tower Economics, David.

FWIW

Mike

David Orange
01-14-2007, 01:54 AM
David Orange wrote:
'Hey, the wealthy suck the very life out of the poor."

Mike:
Class warfare, David. Does that mean that you are "sucking the life out of" everyone who makes or has less than you do?

If I had my thumb on them, controlling the laws and regulations of the land, refusing a raise in the minimum wage unless I get a tax break for myself, I'd have to say yes. But that's not the case. On the other hand, if I go out and hire some day laborer and pay him $1/hr plus a bottle of Ripple to do manual labor for me, yeah, I'd be sucking the life out of him.

And what I'm waging is not class warfare. Anyone who doesn't see that the wealthy are waging a deadly class warfare against the lower 95% of the American populace is either lying or blind.



David Orang wrote:
"I don't think of the Democrats as aiming to get the wealth of others for themselves, but just to make sure that the wealthy pay their share."

Mike:
Tell me the income/assets of the "wealthy" and how much their "fair share" should be, David. Give me some actual figures rather than class-warfare rhetoric.

You didn't give any 'real figures' yourself. You just started off with that goofy sports game ticket refund thing. Total straw man arguments. I'm not being specific at all. But when 1% owns 40% of the wealth of a nation, they can afford to pay a lot. Especially when that nation taxes a family of four when they are barely on a subsistence level of living.

When you take away the possibility of becoming very wealthy for their extended efforts, people quit creating jobs and wealth...

Yeah. If their ownership should go down to 38% of everything, it wouldn't be worth it for the super-super-wealthy to even keep trying. I work my butt off every day without complaining. I pay my taxes and I structure my affairs to take advantage of every tax break I can. But I still pay and I don't complain about it.


Heck, there are some people that don't pay any taxes. Is that a "fair share"?

If it's a single mother with two kids, working two jobs to keep her car on the road, keep food on the table, keep her kids dressed decently and in school, she's pretty close to the line where I would say very little tax is fair for her to pay. You have to have rent, food, clothes, transportation, school fees (which should be covered by public funding, but are not) and all the other myriad details of daily life in this society. When it takes $35,000.00 just to keep that level of life covered, that person should not pay $10,000.00 in taxes. And don't forget Social Security, which is a huge chunk out of everyone's weekly paycheck. People on the lowest end pay that and also federal and state tax, maybe city tax, then get taxed on every item they buy at the store, including medicine in many places.

But Social Security taxes end at about $90,000.00 income, I believe, and such high earners cease to feel that at all.

Define what "fair share" means, David. It sounds like what you really want to do is re-distribute the wealth and take it from the people who work hardest and put their savings on the line the most.

Work the hardest???? Ken Lay, Richard Scrushy, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs? A corporate CEO who makes as much in one year as several hundred of the workers who actually produce the products that his company sells? Who works the hardest????

Mostly, the really wealthy, in the top 2%, inherited their money. They did nothing to get it and all they have to do is keep the wheel spinning if they want to keep it. The people who work hardest are in the upper-middle range. They're not the ones making $1,000,000.00 a year, much less those making a million a month.

Look up the "wealthy", David.... 70% of what you're calling "the wealthy" are actually small business owners.

The wealthiest 2% are small business owners? No, to own 40% to 50% of the financial wealth of the nation, these people are not small business owners. No individual making $1,000,000.00 a year is "small business."

What you really want to do is destroy the economy for some cool sounding idea that ignores reality.

yeah, if I can't own 50% of everything without having to raise my hand for anything more strenuous than signing a piece of paper, it's just not worth it to be wealthy and I will quit trying, huh?

A guy in my town made over $16,000,000.00 (a figure I heard about eight years ago, and he's made a lot more money since) on a BOOK he wrote. A fantasy. Now regardless of what you think about his story, that is a case of hard work. He sold the books out of the trunk of his car until he was able to get into a good distribution system and it took off from there.

As a writer, myself, I'd like to do something similar. I don't look for grants or any kind of hand-outs to do it. I hit the keyboard and think about what I've written and how to make it better. I search for agents and publishers and study the distribution system. If I ever make it, people will say it was an overnight success, but it will have taken over thirty years of really hard work to achieve it.

Would I give up on that if I could only keep $8,000,000.00 of the $16,000,000.00 I earned? Heck, yeah! It's an excellent system, in that respect.


David Orange wrote:
"So I see nothing wrong in taxing those people in proportion to their ability to take."

Mike:
Sure.... you see nothing wrong with forcibly taking money away from people. "Let's feed that hungry guy over there with someone else's money". It's Ivory Tower Economics, David.

Forcibly taking? My statement was in reply to your example of redistributing all the world's wealth only to have it concentrated in the hands of a very few people again within a very short time. Which means that some people are very good at taking money from others. Those are the very wealthy in our system now. You live by the sword, you die by the sword. You live by taking money from others, you just have to accept that it's fair that some of that money will be taken from you for the privilege of participating in the system. There's nothing wrong with putting some limits on the system to prevent too much of the wealth from ending up in the hands of too few of the people.

The gap between the wealthiest and the poorest has been growing steadily in this country for decades. Major companies have operated on the hard work of employees for decades then wiped out the pension funds those very people worked for. Who got that money? Hard workers?

Enron was built on inflating energy prices by reselling and reselling energy resources among fake companies it set up for no purpose other than boosting prices. They persuaded the employees to invest heavily in the company stock, then would not let them sell that stock while high level officials were selling theirs.

This and every imaginable form of thievery is very common in business. It is the real class warfare and it is waged by the very wealthy against the middle and lower income ranges. They will literally take decades of a loyal worker's life efforts (the life efforts of hundreds of thousands of employees over literal decades) and suck it right up with a straw. But if I say something about it, I'm the one waging "class warfare"???

Don't worry, Mike. No one's going to hurt your precious super-wealthy (or touch their precious money) just because I gripe about it.

David

Mike Sigman
01-14-2007, 09:12 AM
Let's go back again and see if you'll answer this time: Define what you mean by "wealthy".... give me the numbers. Tell me what percentage you want to tax them. This wandering, vague liberal monologue of yours, .... a typical, "blame the other guy" rant... is not the answer to the questions I asked.

Might as well toss in a third question....... do you think most of the poor are there because the "evil rich" stole their money.... or do you think they are there because of the cumulative choices they have made in their lives? I.e.,.... are people responsible for their own personal choices, or is society responsible?


Mike

David Orange
01-14-2007, 03:30 PM
Let's go back again and see if you'll answer this time: Define what you mean by "wealthy".... give me the numbers.

How big is big? How high is high?

But you can surely say that the 1% who own 40% of everything are, indeed, wealthy. Maybe we should just say "those who benefitted most from Bush's tax cuts."

Tell me what percentage you want to tax them. This wandering, vague liberal monologue of yours, .... a typical, "blame the other guy" rant... is not the answer to the questions I asked.

Blame the other guy? Where? How?

It's impossible to determine a percentage at which "they" should be taxed because of the complexity of the taxation system. There is an apparent rate, but there are so many exceptions and legal ways to evade it that it's pointless to look at it that way.

What I really mean may be that every citizen "feel" his taxation at the same level. When you're a single mother with two children, paying SSI as well as state, local and federal taxes, then taxes on all the food, clothing and medicine you buy, you "feel" the taxation to the bone. Sure, a multi-millionaire (according to you) pays $400,000 tax on $1,000,000 income (though I doubt very seriously that any of them actually pay that), but even that level of payment would not jeopardize his ability to keep his children in bedrooms and keep them fed every day, get them to school and allow him to spend some time with them.

Maybe a better way to express it would be to tax the poor so that they don't feel the taxation "any worse" than the millionaire feels it. Choose a level of fulfillment of basic needs, determine the income needed to meet that and begin taxation for incomes above that level. This would let lower-income people get on their feet and develop a good career. Sort of a "trickle-up theory." It's literally the same as the rich get. Give them a break to give them the incentive to develop. Indeed, I don't see why the rich need so much incentive to get richer. But real poverty, and taxation on top of it, tends to breed real despair and hopelessness. Excessive taxation is felt far more deeply by the lower levels and makes it much harder to work their way up.

Might as well toss in a third question....... do you think most of the poor are there because the "evil rich" stole their money.... or do you think they are there because of the cumulative choices they have made in their lives? I.e.,.... are people responsible for their own personal choices, or is society responsible?

There's no reason to frame it as either/or. We know that it's a mixture of things. Some people drop out of school because they're lazy and hateful; some drop out because their father dies and their mother has five kids to care for. Some people are drug or alcohol addicts; some are the children of such people. Some people refuse to save for retirement. Others work hard and faithfully all their lives, only to have their pensions erased by the corporation they faithfully served. Some lose everything due to sudden catastrophic medical bills.

The complement to your question would be, "Do all the super wealthy inherit their money, or cheat others for it; or do some of them actually earn it?"

And the answer, again, is "Both."

David

Mike Sigman
01-14-2007, 04:07 PM
How big is big? How high is high?

But you can surely say that the 1% who own 40% of everything are, indeed, wealthy. Maybe we should just say "those who benefitted most from Bush's tax cuts." You know, if you actually knew anything other than Far-Left slogans, this might be worth debating... but you don't.

The data from the 2003 IRS compilations show that the top 1 percent of taxpayers, ranked by adjusted gross income, paid 34.3 percent of all federal income taxes that year. The top 5 percent paid 54.4 percent, the top 10 percent paid 65.8 percent, and the top 25 percent paid 83.9 percent.

The top 1 percent make about 14 percent of the income, yet they pay more than one-third of the taxes. I ask you again, David, what is their "fair share"?

And look at it from another perspective: the real reason we need so much money in taxes is not because the wealthy aren't paying enough of their money, it's because the congress has been steadily increasing spending for "entitlements" for years. It's paying for those entitlements, none of which are guaranteed in the Constitution, that has the Dem's demanding more and more of other peoples' money. Let's start looking at cutting the entitlements, shall we? But no... using the Dem's circular logic, we need those entitlements so that the poor people will vote for them. I.e., this is pure re-distribution of wealth. Socialism-Lite. And socialism is just communism in drag, eh? I ask you again... do you think Hugo Chavez is going to give up his enormous stolen wealth when he makes Venezuela "socialist"? His cronies?

Have you ever wondered why the Far Left, the liberals, are so much in love with and champion the dictators in the world that are the least liberal of any rulers, in reality? It's always been a puzzle to me. I think that what it boils down to in liberals' minds is "if it hates America, it must be good"... because that's the trendy thinking that became so popular in the late 60's and early 70's. In re whether society is responsible for the personal choices people make) There's no reason to frame it as either/or. We know that it's a mixture of things. Some people drop out of school because they're lazy and hateful; some drop out because their father dies and their mother has five kids to care for. Some people are drug or alcohol addicts; some are the children of such people. Some people refuse to save for retirement. Others work hard and faithfully all their lives, only to have their pensions erased by the corporation they faithfully served. Some lose everything due to sudden catastrophic medical bills.

The complement to your question would be, "Do all the super wealthy inherit their money, or cheat others for it; or do some of them actually earn it?" But society isn't supporting the "super wealthy", who have nothing to do with the question, David. Can't you just answer honestly one time?

No one has a problem with helping hard cases when they come along, but society should not be responsible for the personal choices of the individuals. If you choose to not work or not finish school so you can't get a good job or if you choose to get pregnant and do drugs.... whose problem should that be? If you choose to break the law or become an alcoholic or simply not work... why is society obligated to pay your way? If you make it so that there is not so big of a safety net, do people start becoming good citizens? Yes. Look at the results (widely not reported in the liberal media) of what has happened since welfare reform... which people like you said would never work.

Why not get positive about your country instead of being such a drag on it, David?

Regards,

Mike Sigman

David Orange
01-14-2007, 04:39 PM
But society isn't supporting the "super wealthy", who have nothing to do with the question, David. Can't you just answer honestly one time?

What do you call it when they are allowed to erase pensions that people have paid into for 30 years? That money came out of those people's weekly checks, while they worked faithfully for the company and trusted the company to handle that money in good faith? And who do you think will actually pay the relative pittance that those people finally do receive? The US government, meaning taxpayers, while the corporate officers and company stock holders make millions.

And you have the nerve to put in writing the claim that society is not supporting the super wealthy? WE pay every time they do that. Ever heard of "corporate welfare"? WE pay that. The super wealthy suck the lifeblood out of their workers, shirk their fair share of taxes, then dump their obligations back on the people.

No one has a problem with helping hard cases when they come along, but society should not be responsible for the personal choices of the individuals. If you choose to not work or not finish school so you can't get a good job or if you choose to get pregnant and do drugs.... whose problem should that be? If you choose to break the law or become an alcoholic or simply not work... why is society obligated to pay your way?

Mmmm....I outlined in my previous post that I don't support that. But I also outlined how many other ways there are for someone to end up uneducated and in poverty. It is not always a personal choice and the poor are very often truly the hardest workers in the picture.

If you make it so that there is not so big of a safety net, do people start becoming good citizens? Yes. Look at the results (widely not reported in the liberal media) of what has happened since welfare reform... which people like you said would never work.

First, I never said welfare reform would not work. But I'm not so simplistic that I blame every case of poverty on laziness and drugs.

Why not get positive about your country instead of being such a drag on it, David?

I'm very positive about my country, Mike. I pay my taxes and work every day. The ones I'm a drag on are those who feel entitled by divine right to take their comfort on the backs of the poor and that they are above the law because they paid the lawmakers to make it so.

David

Mike Sigman
01-15-2007, 10:08 AM
The ones I'm a drag on are those who feel entitled by divine right to take their comfort on the backs of the poor and that they are above the law because they paid the lawmakers to make it so.It's always amazing to me how beset by demons you are, David. All those evil rich people around you! And yet you're a model of equanimity!

Regards,

Mike

Hogan
01-15-2007, 11:54 AM
What do you call it when they are allowed to erase pensions that people have paid into for 30 years? That money came out of those people's weekly checks, while they worked faithfully for the company and trusted the company to handle that money in good faith?...

I call it breaking the first rule of investing - 'never put all your eggs in one basket'.

David Orange
01-16-2007, 08:54 PM
It's always amazing to me how beset by demons you are, David. All those evil rich people around you! And yet you're a model of equanimity!

All the really well-off people I know earned their money through either very hard work or by very intelligent work as scientists. I know surgeons, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, statisticians, programmers. They all earn excellent livings, work hard and honestly and I admire them all.

However, right in my own town, there's a guy named Richard Scrushy and if you'd held any stock in his company, you would have a jaundiced eye toward him in his huge mansion, with his airplanes and his yacht and his name on buildings all over town. His company inflated its worth by $2 billion dollars while he was CEO, signing off on all the financial statements. They paid him something like $57 million in BONUSES while that fraud was taking place and he had the unbelievable nerve to think he needn't give back those bonuses when it was revealed that that massive fraud was taking place even as he was given those bonuses. I was deeply satisfied when the judge ordered him to give 'almost' all of it back. It's quite a story, right up there with World Com and Enron. And the looting of the United Airlines pension fund and others. Dirty business is DIRTY business and there is nothing better about it than there is a crackhead robbing people on the street.

I, of course, lost nothing to those scandals, but I know a guy who lost something like $30,000.00 in the HealthSouth scam. A lot of people lost a lot more than that on HealthSouth. But are you saying you think the looting of pension funds, the bankrupting of people who worked 30 years in good faith, is anything BUT evil? Do you think their old age penury is "the result of their personal choices"--or are you saying that faithful hard work and careful saving in a "solid" pension plan is a bad personal choice?

Would you feel good about profiting from a deal that cost thousands of people most of their life savings? Do you feel good that YOUR taxes are going to pay the partial pensions that those scammed employees will actually get, knowing that somebody walked away with millions of dollars?

As for me, I'm very, very satisfied with my job. I'm helping to determine whether a major surgery is really needed to treat a tragic disease or whether most of the recuperation is due to the medication that's prescribed after the surgery. This has been a major question for over fifty years, but until now no definitive study of the question has been conducted. It may be that we will find that the surgery does make the difference. But it may be that our research will find that opening up the chest and removing major tissue there is not really necessary.

I'm happy with every level of my participation in that kind of work including the salary, the benefits, the retirement, vacation and every other aspect.

I've been down and when I was down I accepted it as the result of my own choices. I got to where I am now by dedicated work. In the past, when I felt I was being ripped off, I left that employment and found something else. I wouldn't work a job that interfered with my aikido training. I lived in my dojo for almost three years and wound up in debt from that, got a job and paid it all back, went to Japan. I don't have any major regrets over what I've done. I wrote some books during that time and may yet get some of them published. For my troubles, I blame only myself. For my successes, I credit my upbringing and the help of good people.

But when I see a low-down cowardly thief, I don't pretend he's a good man.

David

David Orange
01-16-2007, 09:07 PM
I call it breaking the first rule of investing - 'never put all your eggs in one basket'.

Well, one of the first rules of personal finance is to max out your pre-tax contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Almost anything else you do is going to be after-tax and relatively less productive. So even if you have plenty of other investments, most people are going to have a huge amount in their company's retirement plan.

Assuming your entire retirement plan (not counting your other investments) were decimated tomorrow, would you shrug it off?

And if it were done by your employer, and you knew the CEO of the company had personally earned several million by decimating your and your fellow employees' contributions, would you get a good laugh out of it and congratulate him on his good business sense?

Something tells me you would not.

In companies like Enron, employees were pressured to load their retirement accounts with Enron stock. Those who did were pretty dumb, especially when those accounts were locked and the employees were prevented from getting rid of that stock while the executives were dumping all of theirs.

But a retirement plan is supposed to be like a bank account--protected by rules and regulations. And within that (at least in mine) you can allocate your money to stocks, bonds, real estate, annuities or other investments. Maybe you think you're being diversified by doing that, but if the employer can pull the plug on that, all your prudence is vapor.

But are you saying that by working and saving in good faith, the loss is really the employees' fault, and not the company's that was responsible?

David

Hogan
01-17-2007, 09:58 AM
Well, one of the first rules of personal finance is to max out your pre-tax contributions to your employer-sponsored retirement plan. Almost anything else you do is going to be after-tax and relatively less productive. So even if you have plenty of other investments, most people are going to have a huge amount in their company's retirement plan.
A company retirement plan & a 401k plan are two entirely different things. If people put all their money in their 'company' retirement plan, is that putting all their money in their companies stock, as in Enron? Because THAT is putting all their eggs in one basket. If you have a 401k, & your company fails, you don't lose retirement plan because your money in the 401k plan is NOT in your company's stock.

Assuming your entire retirement plan (not counting your other investments) were decimated tomorrow, would you shrug it off?
Again, depends on how it was invested. You have to diversify to protect. Highly unlikely a diversified plan would crash all at once over the entirety of investments.

And if it were done by your employer, and you knew the CEO of the company had personally earned several million by decimating your and your fellow employees' contributions, would you get a good laugh out of it and congratulate him on his good business sense?
Again, 401k & company retirement plan different. I would NEVER out all my eggs in one basket. But if I did, & it failed because of company CEO & leaders engaged in illegal behavior, then they would pay with jail time & fines. However, who put all their money in one basket? Why should I bail out someone who did so? It's like those folks who live in flood planes & who lose their homes, then we find out they had no insurance & we (taxpayers) get stuck with the bill. Why reward idiotic behavior? They chose to do what they did.

In companies like Enron, employees were pressured to load their retirement accounts with Enron stock.
Source? They could've said no.

Those who did were pretty dumb, especially when those accounts were locked and the employees were prevented from getting rid of that stock while the executives were dumping all of theirs.
Agreed.

But a retirement plan is supposed to be like a bank account--protected by rules and regulations. And within that (at least in mine) you can allocate your money to stocks, bonds, real estate, annuities or other investments. Maybe you think you're being diversified by doing that, but if the employer can pull the plug on that, all your prudence is vapor.
Company can not pull our investments. They can change administrators & plans, but they cannot take your 401k money.

But are you saying that by working and saving in good faith, the loss is really the employees' fault, and not the company's that was responsible?
Nope - I am saying if you engage in behavior your shouldn't (i.e, putting all your money in one co. stock), then accept responsibilty for when problems arise. You have to protect yourself & not rely on government (i.e., taxpayers) to bail you out.

odudog
01-17-2007, 10:46 AM
From David Orange: In companies like Enron, employees were pressured to load their retirement accounts with Enron stock.


From Hogan: Source? They could've said no.

http://www.happinessonline.org/InfectiousGreed/p20.htm

The link that I provided is a guy's tale about what actually happened to him. I remember a little bit of this for it was being discussed in some of the finance classes that I was taking. There was pressure put on the employees to sign up for the Enron pension plan from what I remember seeing in the news reports. The employees said that despite the pressure being applied it didn't seem like a bad deal when you looked at the terms of the pension plan. However, they didn't look at all the fine print as most people don't and remember that these are just your average folk and not totally financially savy just like the majority of the population. The major problem with the Enron plan was all the restrictions placed on the employees that didn't pertain to the company bigwigs and the fact that the bigwigs had rigged the financials to such a huge extent which effected the price of the stock which was being placed in the employees pension plan. We all know what happened afterwards.

Hogan
01-17-2007, 10:49 AM
From David Orange: In companies like Enron, employees were pressured to load their retirement accounts with Enron stock.


From Hogan: Source? They could've said no.

http://www.happinessonline.org/InfectiousGreed/p20.htm

The link that I provided is a guy's tale about what actually happened to him. I remember a little bit of this for it was being discussed in some of the finance classes that I was taking. There was pressure put on the employees to sign up for the Enron pension plan from what I remember seeing in the news reports. The employees said that despite the pressure being applied it didn't seem like a bad deal when you looked at the terms of the pension plan. However, they didn't look at all the fine print as most people don't and remember that these are just your average folk and not totally financially savy just like the majority of the population. The major problem with the Enron plan was all the restrictions placed on the employees that didn't pertain to the company bigwigs and the fact that the bigwigs had rigged the financials to such a huge extent which effected the price of the stock which was being placed in the employees pension plan. We all know what happened afterwards.

Ah, now I see how their 401k contributions were handled. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Luc X Saroufim
01-17-2007, 11:28 AM
i think one general assumption Al Gore had had is that wealthy people make over $100,000. Since the combined annual income of your typical family is about $50,000, this would seem to make sense at first.

then again; who usually makes six figures? Doctors, engineers, small business owners, basically: anyone who took out a huge loan, or is assuming a huge risk. i don't think it's fair to tax them any more or less than everyone else.

if anyone should be taxed more, it should be the wealthiest of the rich. as far as i'm concerned, they're paying back the government that got them where they are in the first place.

Cady Goldfield
01-17-2007, 01:50 PM
Luc has a valid point. A lot of the wealthiest of the rich obtained their fortunes from working with/for the government, in the form of corporate contracts... apparently sometimes without even having to bid for them against other firms. Companies like Haliburton come to mind, with their top brass making amounts of money that defy the imagination.

David Orange
01-17-2007, 03:28 PM
Ah, now I see how their 401k contributions were handled. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Nonetheless, they contributed to a 401(k), which you seem to think would be totally safe.

Anyway, the point is that many of the richest people in this country get their money through things like this, large and small, that take from the poor and give to the rich. And you know what? They don't pay tax on that booty, but you and I pay tax to make up the little bit that the swindled employees do finally get.

But Enron is not the only company that did this. United Airlines and at least one other airline did it. And other companies have done it and probably many others will do it yet.

These things are done to benefit someone, who walks away with a bundle and pays almost nothing for it in taxes. And these kinds of swindles, from low wages to scams that are unimaginable to honest, hard-working people, are what feed the richest among us. In the old days they were called "Robber Barons" for a reason. They were considered the scum of the earth until Reagan got into the White House and Greed became Good again.

David

Hogan
01-17-2007, 03:36 PM
Nonetheless, they contributed to a 401(k), which you seem to think would be totally safe....

The problem was with Enron's contributions to the 401k on behalf of the employees - which happen to be company stock rather than cash, which is what most companies contribute to an employees 401k. Did the ENTIRE 401k consist of company stock? Was employee contributions converted to company stock? Well, then that's putting all their eggs in one basket still. If not, then the rest of the 401k was OK. Again, diversification.....

David Orange
01-17-2007, 04:53 PM
The problem was with Enron's contributions to the 401k on behalf of the employees - which happen to be company stock rather than cash, which is what most companies contribute to an employees 401k. Did the ENTIRE 401k consist of company stock?... Again, diversification.....

I don't know those details, but in the case of United, as far as I know, the entire pension fund was erased and high-level executives made a tidy profit, on which they paid very little tax, thanks to GW Bush. Also, you and I are paying even now for the government's making up (according to long-standing law) a mere part of those earned pension benefits.

The point is, that's how the rich get rich and that's why they should pay a very healthy tax on their very healthy hauls.

David

Hogan
01-17-2007, 05:12 PM
I don't know those details, but in the case of United, as far as I know, the entire pension fund was erased and high-level executives made a tidy profit, on which they paid very little tax, thanks to GW Bush. Also, you and I are paying even now for the government's making up (according to long-standing law) a mere part of those earned pension benefits.

The point is, that's how the rich get rich and that's why they should pay a very healthy tax on their very healthy hauls.

David

Don't worry David, pretty soon your ass will be caught by the AMT & then you too can then claim to be one of the "rich"!

David Orange
01-17-2007, 06:00 PM
Don't worry David, pretty soon your ass will be caught by the AMT & then you too can then claim to be one of the "rich"!

Do you pay the AMT, John?

Isn't that another kicker? As soon as you start making a little above subsistence, they tax the living blood out of you with AMT, which was supposed to catch the wealthy, but if you're making a million a month, you get a hefty tax cut.

Everyone knows that AMT doesn't hit the "rich" but it does hit those who are just struggling past middle-middle class. Another excellent example of why the gap between the classes is growing ever wider. The rich are getting super-rich and the middle is getting pushed back down. That's real class warfare and it's being waged by "trickle down" effect.

Mike Sigman
01-17-2007, 08:15 PM
A lot of the wealthiest of the rich obtained their fortunes from working with/for the government, in the form of corporate contracts. "A Lot"???? Cite please.
.. apparently sometimes without even having to bid for them against other firms. Companies like Haliburton come to mind, with their top brass making amounts of money that defy the imagination. How about Microsoft and its government contracts? Why isn't that ever mentioned? The Halliburton thing is some sort of kneejerk lib reaction like "Bush lied". I have yet to see someone show where Bush "lied". It always turns out to be someone's opinion when you try to make them prove it. Halliburton is one of 3 companies in the world that can do the largescale function it does for the military. The other two are a French company and a Russian company. Which one should we use?

Clinton gave non-bid contracts to Halliburton for god's sake. What is this liberal-myth-hate thing that keeps a lie going for so long... is it because liberals are too dumb to think for themselves and they only work from peer-group-trendy-beliefs? ;)

MIke

David Orange
01-17-2007, 09:25 PM
The Halliburton thing is some sort of kneejerk lib reaction like "Bush lied". I have yet to see someone show where Bush "lied".

What? He flat-out lied about any number of things.

But here's ONE example. He got on TV and assured the American public that the only people who would be wiretapped would be people who were likely terrorists and that a warrant would always be obtained before the wiretapping was done. Turned out both statements were lies. He was already listening in on lots and lots of people who had no connection to terrorism and he wasn't getting warrants for most of them.

Now which is worse? Him getting on TV and lying about these evasions of privacy (and now he's opening our mail)? Or Clinton shaking his finger at America and saying, "I...did...not...have...sex....with...that...woman...Miss Lewinski"?

If Bush's lips are moving, he's lying.

David

Mike Sigman
01-17-2007, 09:37 PM
What? He flat-out lied about any number of things.

But here's ONE example. No... if he lied about a "number" of things, just list 3. Now remember.... your "interpretation" doesn't count. For instance, if Bush said "Saddam wears pink underwear" and the CIA told him that, Bush did not lie. He reported from the best source he had, so when they check and Saddam is wearing yellow underwear when they catch him, that is not Bush lying. Right? And let's agree that if you have more than a double-digit IQ, you know that's the correct way to think, so if you still insist on saying "Bush lied about Saddam wearing pink underwear", then in fact you are the liar. Understand? It's what Neil Mick does repeatedly. He knows at one level that most of the facts he presents wouldn't stand up in a logical debate forum, but he presents them anyway.

OK, so you said: He got on TV and assured the American public that the only people who would be wiretapped would be people who were likely terrorists and that a warrant would always be obtained before the wiretapping was done. Now strangely, I am unaware that he ever said anything like that at all. Can you give me a source quote, please? I heard some of that debate and I think you're deliberately misrepresenting what he said..... so let's make a bet. I'll bet you $100 that you just misrepresented what Bush said and then called him a liar, based on your own deliberate misrepresentation and "interpretation". Want to bet?

Hogan
01-18-2007, 09:22 AM
Do you pay the AMT, John?

Isn't that another kicker? As soon as you start making a little above subsistence, they tax the living blood out of you with AMT, which was supposed to catch the wealthy, but if you're making a million a month, you get a hefty tax cut.

Everyone knows that AMT doesn't hit the "rich" but it does hit those who are just struggling past middle-middle class. Another excellent example of why the gap between the classes is growing ever wider. The rich are getting super-rich and the middle is getting pushed back down. That's real class warfare and it's being waged by "trickle down" effect.

Once the democrats who persist in class warfare actually favor repealing the AMT, or at least fix it, then maybe you have an argument. But the money it brings in for them is just too tempting.

Cady Goldfield
01-18-2007, 11:25 AM
"A Lot"???? Cite please.
For starters, here is a passel of very happy CEOs who made a boodle of booty from federal contracts:

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12847

and

http://www.corporatepolicy.org/issues/iraqpay.pdf

Then, of course, there is no-bid Haliburton, whose bigwigs made a bundle of lucre beyond the dreams of avarice. Their top brass aren't exactly paid tiddlywinks. ;)

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0828-01.htm

How about Microsoft and its government contracts? Why isn't that ever mentioned? The Halliburton thing is some sort of kneejerk lib reaction like "Bush lied". I have yet to see someone show where Bush "lied". It always turns out to be someone's opinion when you try to make them prove it. Halliburton is one of 3 companies in the world that can do the largescale function it does for the military. The other two are a French company and a Russian company. Which one should we use?

Clinton gave non-bid contracts to Halliburton for god's sake. What is this liberal-myth-hate thing that keeps a lie going for so long... is it because liberals are too dumb to think for themselves and they only work from peer-group-trendy-beliefs? ;)

MIke

Say wha? :confused: This is what I stated: A lot of the wealthiest of the rich obtained their fortunes from working with/for the government, in the form of corporate contracts.

I did not broach who gave what to whom, only that some very rich folk made their booty from corporate contracts with the gummint. A very basic statement that is quite true. Why do you feel the need to drag individual presidents into the matter? That wasn't the topic. Again... a lot of verrrrrry wealthy CEOs and corporate senior bigwigs made verrrrrrrrrrrry huge buckets o' boodle from government contracts! The earlier comment was that since they do so, and that boodle comes from taxpayers' blood...er...dollars, then they should not be whining like leetle gearls when asked to pay a bit more in taxes.

Since you're likely not among them, you can relax.

Mike Sigman
01-18-2007, 12:08 PM
For starters, here is a passel of very happy CEOs who made a boodle of booty from federal contracts:

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=12847

and

http://www.corporatepolicy.org/issues/iraqpay.pdf

Then, of course, there is no-bid Haliburton, whose bigwigs made a bundle of lucre beyond the dreams of avarice. Their top brass aren't exactly paid tiddlywinks. ;)

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0828-01.htm
Yeah, but I can name more professional football, basketball, soccer, etc., players that make more money. The way the salaries for the sports figures and the CEO's, etc., got so high is that the market bid for the top performers pushed those salaries there. Top performing players mean that the companies (franchises) they play for make the most money, so high salaries are worth it if you can get the top players. Do you understand that? Why aren't you protesting about the ball players, Cady? Maybe if you owned a large company where you were desperately competing with others, you might be willing to pay some choice salaries. As it is, it's easy for someone that only theorizes about "the right thing to do" to miss this important lesson in capitalism and the free market. ;)Say wha? :confused: This is what I stated: A lot of the wealthiest of the rich obtained their fortunes from working with/for the government, in the form of corporate contracts.

I did not broach who gave what to whom, Sure you did... you mentioned Halliburton by name, for instance.
Why do you feel the need to drag individual presidents into the matter? That wasn't the topic. You brought the trendy liberal trope about Halliburton, Cady. Although it's a screaming point for the Left, it really makes no sense.

;)

Mike

odudog
01-18-2007, 12:22 PM
The problem was with Enron's contributions to the 401k on behalf of the employees - which happen to be company stock rather than cash, which is what most companies contribute to an employees 401k. Did the ENTIRE 401k consist of company stock? Was employee contributions converted to company stock? Well, then that's putting all their eggs in one basket still. If not, then the rest of the 401k was OK. Again, diversification.....

This is incorrect. Most companies pay their portion of the 401K in cash. Enron told their employees that the stock is just like cash and if they don't want the stock then they can actually sell it whenever so the stock is virtually like cash. If the stock price goes up then in fact the employee will get a gain so it is a win win for the employee. However, we all know now that this was all bogus. If the employee wants company stock then they must participate in the ESOP which should and most companies do have this as a totally seperate program from the 401K.

Cady Goldfield
01-18-2007, 12:23 PM
Sigh. Mike, Mike, Mike. There is no making you happy. ;) It's hard to imagine some CEO being "desperate" about the competition when he has a nice, fluffy golden parachute!
I'm just citing what is, not who or why. Biiiig corporate CEOs are making biiiig moolah from gummint contracts, off the taxpayer's dollar. What goes around, comes around. Those happy richsters shouldn't complain when they pay taxes, because it will all come back to them in their paycheck!

And why shouldn't I mention Haliburton? It's big, fat and right out there in your face where you can see that its big wigs make biiiiiig moolah from gummint contracts! Just like a bunch of other fat, happy CEOs and big wigs in other corporations like Raytheon (see chart of second link in my previous post). I don't give a fig as to what political party is involved, or what politician helped them gain their lucre (oh, take a look at this: California Rep. Jerry Lewis and lobbyist Bill Lowry and their li'l sweetheart of a deal for fed funds:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20051223-9999-lz1n23lewis.html

and

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=13699 ), just that corporate CEOs are making biiiiig bucks offa government contracts, and thus, from taxpayers' dollahs.

Now, how do I get myself a piece o' that action? :)

Hogan
01-18-2007, 01:29 PM
This is incorrect. Most companies pay their portion of the 401K in cash.
Yes, I know - that is what I said.

Enron told their employees that the stock is just like cash and if they don't want the stock then they can actually sell it whenever so the stock is virtually like cash.

Cash is cash & stock is stock. Sorry. People to stupid to believe Enron then, well.....

Hogan
01-18-2007, 01:30 PM
...Now, how do I get myself a piece o' that action? :)

Become a capitalist.

Michael Varin
01-18-2007, 04:07 PM
corporate CEOs are making biiiiig bucks offa government contracts, and thus, from taxpayers' dollahs.

Now, how do I get myself a piece o' that action? Become a capitalist.
Unfortunately, this common misunderstanding is one of our problems. These are not the methods of a true capitalist, and capitalism cannot properly function under such conditions.
Maybe if you owned a large company where you were desperately competing with others, you might be willing to pay some choice salaries. As it is, it's easy for someone that only theorizes about "the right thing to do" to miss this important lesson in capitalism and the free market.
Again, it is vitally important to make a distinction between private-enterprise and free-enterprise. We should allow the market to decide, but we don't. Government regulation of business favors big business at the expense of everyone else. I think it's important that modern "liberals" understand that this is the legacy of the progressive era (what a misnomer). Business, just like everything else, should be separated from the state.

In fact, if it wasn't for that era this discussion about taxes would probably be quite different. Maybe better questions to ask are: Why has taxation always been such a contentious issue? Why do we continue to participate in it? If the power of the group is used to legitimize criminal behavior, does it cease being a crime?

Michael

Cady Goldfield
01-18-2007, 04:12 PM
Things are never as simple as they ought to be, eh?
But I think I'm going to venture into capitalism by buying me some politicians, first. That should smooth the path considerably. :D

Mark Freeman
01-18-2007, 06:48 PM
Things are never as simple as they ought to be, eh?
But I think I'm going to venture into capitalism by buying me some politicians, first. That should smooth the path considerably. :D

You can afford to do this Cady? ;)

You are making way too much money, methinks we need to tax you some more. I hope you've got deep pockets, as politicians are notoriously high maintenance. ;)

regards,

Mark

Cady Goldfield
01-18-2007, 07:40 PM
Darn. Let me check my pockets... uh... one yo-yo, a tin whistle (tuned in D-flat), three acorns...a mummified toad...two pieces of chocolate, with a light coating of lint...a brass key to a lock I lost five years ago...

I wonder whether they would take my seashell collection and some fresh eggs from my chickens, as down payment? :(

David Orange
01-19-2007, 01:06 PM
I wonder whether they would take my seashell collection and some fresh eggs from my chickens, as down payment? :(

You might have gotten somewhere with the chicken eggs a few months ago...especially with the Republicans. They were crazy about the eggs laid by a certain chicken-hawk.....

But I think they finally realized that those chickenhawk eggs were all rotten and they've lost their taste for the things now....

You'll probably need lots and lots of cash.

David

Mike Sigman
01-19-2007, 01:24 PM
You might have gotten somewhere with the chicken eggs a few months ago...especially with the Republicans. They were crazy about the eggs laid by a certain chicken-hawk.....

But I think they finally realized that those chickenhawk eggs were all rotten and they've lost their taste for the things now....

You'll probably need lots and lots of cash."Chickenhawk"? Strange how that name arises, but only after Bill Clinton, the top "chickenhawk" of all time, got out of office. Liberals and their name-calling, which only seems to apply to "neo-cons", eh?

You have to understand that a lot of my relish comes from watching spiritual Aikido types heavily invested in the actions and words revealing the true person underneath the facade. ;)

Mike

David Orange
01-19-2007, 04:35 PM
"Chickenhawk"? Strange how that name arises, but only after Bill Clinton, the top "chickenhawk" of all time, got out of office. Liberals and their name-calling, which only seems to apply to "neo-cons", eh?

You have a little bit of a point there. But there is a major difference. Chickenhawk really refers to someone who "supports" a war but gets himself out of it when it's his turn to go. That's people like Bush, Rove, Cheney, Wolfowitz...yeah, the Neo-cons.

In Clinton's case, he was against the war in Viet Nam and he said so at the time and managed to stay out of it without help from a rich daddy or congressman. He took a risk of being drafted or jailed.

So he would not be a chickenhawk even though he did order military action.

On the other hand, the neo-cons all managed to avoid the Viet Nam conflict through connections even though they all "supported" that war politically and with their statements. That's what you call a "chickenhawk". And for a chickenhawk to order others into war is worse than for an outright draft dodger or war protester to order troops into a different war at a different time for different reasons.

You have to understand that a lot of my relish comes from watching spiritual Aikido types heavily invested in the actions and words revealing the true person underneath the facade. ;)

Well, for me, aikido is primarily an art of self-defense and combat. I accept a certain spirituality to it, but it's not inherent in the techniques or in aiki: I'm not one to say, "That's not very aiki!"

You might do better to attack me as a Christian, but I'm not of the opinion that Christianity actually makes a person flawless. Still, I do think that Bush simply uses the name rather like Hitler did--to draw the support of good-willed people to his self-serving cause. And the Christian part of me finds that worse than his being a chickenhawk.

Anyway, I try to be sure that the real me is always the one you meet.

David

Mike Sigman
01-19-2007, 04:52 PM
You have a little bit of a point there. But there is a major difference. Chickenhawk really refers to someone who "supports" a war but gets himself out of it when it's his turn to go. That's people like Bush, Rove, Cheney, Wolfowitz...yeah, the Neo-cons. Except it's already been shown that Bush and his unit volunteered to go to Vietnam and it didn't happen. So basically you come off as a fairly vicious liar, attacking Bush again. In Clinton's case, he was against the war in Viet Nam and he said so at the time and managed to stay out of it without help from a rich daddy or congressman. He took a risk of being drafted or jailed. He was a draft-dodger. Worse yet, he emboldended the Arabs to directly attack the US with his miniscule reactions to Arab attacks overseas. I'm sure there's more he did, but as has been pointed out, his National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger was able to access original copies of uncategorized/recorded classified documents and destroy them. Do you think Berger destroyed documents because they proved that the liberal administration did its job? No. And you called Clinton names and charged him where????? So he would not be a chickenhawk even though he did order military action. The only military action Clinton really ordered was the Bosnia attack, which he purely did at the request of the Europeans, who he has a record of ingratiating himself with and to hell with the US.

Of course, there's Somalia, where Clinton "ordered action" but refused to sign for adequate air-support, so 18 Americans were killed and dragged to death. But liberals don't really care, do they? Where did you see any liberals outraged at the death of American soldiers? On the other hand, the neo-cons all managed to avoid the Viet Nam conflict through connections even though they all "supported" that war politically and with their statements. That's what you call a "chickenhawk". And for a chickenhawk to order others into war is worse than for an outright draft dodger or war protester to order troops into a different war at a different time for different reasons. So all the Neo-cons should have quit college, etc., and gone to Vietnam or they don't have the right to declare war... goodness, you seem to have different requirements for Liberals and Conservatives. Strange isn't it? I have seen you post enough to know for sure that you never complained about the Bosnia thing, since Clinton, a Dem ordered it. In other words, to you the "troops" are just some sort of partisan pawn to talk about. Still, I do think that Bush simply uses the name rather like Hitler did--to draw the support of good-willed people to his self-serving cause. And the Christian part of me finds that worse than his being a chickenhawk.

Anyway, I try to be sure that the real me is always the one you meet. I think I understand the "real you" pretty well, David.

Mike Sigman

Mark Gibbons
01-19-2007, 05:16 PM
...
Of course, there's Somalia, where Clinton "ordered action" but refused to sign for adequate air-support, so 18 Americans were killed and dragged to death. But liberals don't really care, do they? Where did you see any liberals outraged at the death of American soldiers? ...
Mike Sigman Most of the people I knew were outraged by the american deaths in Somolia. Most are just as upset by the american deaths in Iraq. There's a wider range of feeling about the Iraqi deaths. They disagree about what to do next. Lots of liberals, conservatives, folks in the middle and some complete apolitical, who don't want their kids or their friends' kids killed or maimed. Are you talking about liberals you've met personally or just the myths?

Mike Sigman
01-19-2007, 06:45 PM
Most of the people I knew were outraged by the american deaths in Somolia. Most are just as upset by the american deaths in Iraq. There's a wider range of feeling about the Iraqi deaths. They disagree about what to do next. Lots of liberals, conservatives, folks in the middle and some complete apolitical, who don't want their kids or their friends' kids killed or maimed. Are you talking about liberals you've met personally or just the myths?I happen to know a lot of liberals, thanks. How many liberals are upset by the fact that, on the low side of the estimate, around 4000 Americans are killed every year by illegal immigrants, most Hispanic? How many liberals are concerned about the number of hospitals and health-clinics that have had to close due to bankruptcy from being forced to give free care to illegals... adding to the toll of deaths, etc., by illegal immigrants? My point is that a lot of the liberal stuff seems to be focused on exactly what the trendy news media focuses on as the current "liberal outrage" and "liberals don't really care about this issue". Liberals appear to be led by emotional-reins.

More Americans are being killed yearly by illegal Hispanic immigrants than soldiers have been killed in 3 years in Iraq. Where's the outrage? Are *you* outraged? I would bet not. It's not trendy. So what if a few thousand Americans get killed... think of the good it does for those poor Latinos, right? (Irony meter pegged, I agree).

Mike

David Orange
01-19-2007, 08:55 PM
Except it's already been shown that Bush and his unit volunteered to go to Vietnam and it didn't happen. So basically you come off as a fairly vicious liar, attacking Bush again.

Yeah...it's been shown. If he had wanted to go, he could certainly have gone. He managed to go into an Air Guard unit, flying outmoded planes, and he got put up over a whole, long waiting list, was AWOL for much of his term, but he really did want to go to Viet Nam. Really. He did.


He was a draft-dodger.

But at least he didn't dodge the draft while agitating for others to go fight in his place.

Do you think Berger destroyed documents because they proved that the liberal administration did its job?

I heard that the documents he took were all accounted for. I never heard that any were destroyed. Are you sure about that, Mike?

Where did you see any liberals outraged at the death of American soldiers?

In an earlier post, you said it embarrasses the troops. But I'm always outraged when American soldiers are killed--especially when it's on a mission to make one moron cowboy look tough while he lines the pockets of his super-wealthy friends.

So all the Neo-cons should have quit college, etc., and gone to Vietnam or they don't have the right to declare war... goodness, you seem to have different requirements for Liberals and Conservatives.

No. I say if you support the war, get your big butt over there and fight it. If you support it but want others to go fight it for you, that just sucks, especially if you're of the age to go, yourself. But when you squirm out of danger when it's your turn to go, then send other people into a stupid situation for your own tough image, that's just "Neo-con" which, in the future, will be a curse.

I'd say the same thing about anyone who supported "others" going to a war, but who worked it out so that they didn't have to go.

Then, later, if they want to direct a war, they have no credibility.

But McCain went and suffered and I supported him over Bush in 2000. He lost all credibility with me when he let Bush slander his wife and child and then followed Bush like a puppy for the next six years.

But Gore went to Viet Nam, and Kerry went. Max Clelllan went. All better men that George Bush, the chickenhawk.

I have seen you post enough to know for sure that you never complained about the Bosnia thing, since Clinton, a Dem ordered it.

No, I was out of touch back then. It had nothing to do with Democrats or Republicans. I was going through a divorce and a long period of low employment and many kinds of misery and I didn't pay attention to that level of things then. I was just surviving day to day. Why don't you tell me what you think that whole conflict was about?

In other words, to you the "troops" are just some sort of partisan pawn to talk about. I think I understand the "real you" pretty well, David.

No you don't, Mike. I think if you put troops in harm's way, it had better be for a good reason. Bush invaded Iraq without knowing what was really there, without thinking about what was going to happen, without any parameters for how it would end. Cheney said in 1991 what a stupid mistake it would be to invade Baghdad and everything he said then has turned out to be true today. They all knew it was a very bad thing. It was bad to the Iraqis, betrayal to the Afghans and a waste of the lives of our troops.

But beyond just the troops, it's an abuse of our army and he has stretched all the services to the breaking point without proper funding for maintenance and resupply, without any goal or planning other than that he was going to be The War President.

I'm looking for a little sticker to put on my car that says"

W
The Witless.

Best to you.

David

Mike Sigman
01-19-2007, 11:34 PM
Yeah...it's been shown. If he had wanted to go, he could certainly have gone. He managed to go into an Air Guard unit, flying outmoded planes, and he got put up over a whole, long waiting list, was AWOL for much of his term, but he really did want to go to Viet Nam. Really. He did. But that's not true. Again. You seem to have this penchant for simply lying, David, because it sounds so Liberally correct. Where's my bet about you lying instead of him? Decide to let discretion be the better part of your valor? But at least he didn't dodge the draft while agitating for others to go fight in his place. Tell it to the boys in Mogadishu, David. Tell it to the boys that were in the Khobar Towers. Tell it to the 12 Americans in the American Embassies in Kenya. Tell it to the 3000 from the WTC, killed because the Arabs were sure that America would obviously never respond to a real attack and would only post liberal editorials in newspapers for revenge. I heard that the documents he took were all accounted for. I never heard that any were destroyed. Are you sure about that, Mike? Yes. Seems like there's some outrage... turns out that he had access to originals and he probably got rid of some of them. The story apparently ain't over yet. Imagine the liberal outrage if, say, Bush, did something like that. They'd lynch him. But there's hardly a ripple of concern, since it was a Democrat, right? Spell "hypocrisy" for me again. In an earlier post, you said it embarrasses the troops. But I'm always outraged when American soldiers are killed--especially when it's on a mission to make one moron cowboy look tough while he lines the pockets of his super-wealthy friends. Oh what a crock. But McCain went and suffered and I supported him over Bush in 2000. He lost all credibility with me when he let Bush slander his wife and child and then followed Bush like a puppy for the next six years. You are clueless, David. McCain is a fraud. He, like John F. Kennedy, would have been tossed out of the service earlier on, if not for his father. He was a complete screw-up. His fellow prisoners said McCain was never tortured in the camp he was in. The North Vietnamese bragged about the songbird "son of an admiral" who told them everything they wanted to know (there was even an article about it in the Washington Post at the time). Hero my butt. He was hounded at the famous political rally, not because of anything to do with Bush or the election, but because he and Kerry signed off on "there are no POW's left in Vietnam" when many families thought their soldiers were still there. When in 1993, records were found from the USSR that showed over 200 prisoners were still in Vietnam when Kerry and McCain signed off on them, those families went berserk. Pentagon people resigned when McCain signed off on those prisoners. You're a victim of the liberal press, David. You spout off with emotion about things you know nothing about other than they sound cool to your friends.But Gore went to Viet Nam, and Kerry went. Max Clelllan went. All better men that George Bush, the chickenhawk. I went to Vietnam. Near the DMZ the whole time. Mother's Ridge. Con Thien. Cam Lo. J.J.Carroll. Mouth of the River. There were good guys there, in-between guys, and losers.... just like in every walk of life. Heroes, average guys and cowards. Telling me that someone "went to Vietnam" means nothing, David. You're in a fantasy-land. It's like saying someone went to Europe on a trip... it tells you *nothing* about the person at all. And you were where, in what war, that you have the right to laugh at people as "chickenhawks"?I'm looking for a little sticker to put on my car that says"

W
The Witless. That would be so kewl, David. It would just be you all over again.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Taliesin
01-20-2007, 06:35 AM
Saying somebody 'went to Viet Nam means nothing but saying that someone 'wanted' to go to Viet Nam means a lot. People who served their country are disgraceful, (if you disagree with them)people who support a war and avoided serving are exempt from criticism.

Clinton was a bad guy because the US lost 18 troops in Mogadishu - due to what was is 'inadequate air support'.

But G W B must be a hero - after all it's not like the US lost troops to the failures of the the current president's Administration.

statisticool
01-20-2007, 08:49 AM
The North Vietnamese bragged about the songbird "son of an admiral" who told them everything they wanted to know (there was even an article about it in the Washington Post at the time).


Saying 'there is a newspaper article out there' that refers to the (incredibly general) 'North Vietnamese' means nothing.

You know that right?

Mike Sigman
01-20-2007, 10:12 AM
Wow.... always looking for something negative to throw at Mike Sigman is one thing, but do you have to use lack of reading comprehension as a tool to do so?? :rolleyes:

Do you stalk anyone else on other lists, Justin, or are you being faithful to me, in a homoerotic sort of way? :cool:

Mike Sigman

statisticool
01-20-2007, 11:18 AM
Walter, can we see this article to evaluate your statement?

Or is this something else you expect people to believe you about?

Neil Mick
01-20-2007, 12:02 PM
It's what Neil Mick does repeatedly. He knows at one level that most of the facts he presents wouldn't stand up in a logical debate forum, but he presents them anyway.

I know for a fact that you don't debate, logically.

statisticool
01-20-2007, 02:14 PM
I know for a fact that you don't debate, logically.

You mean the complete and utter strawman that Walter posted in the OP isn't logical?

;-)

David Orange
01-20-2007, 05:43 PM
...on the low side of the estimate, around 4000 Americans are killed every year by illegal immigrants, most Hispanic?...Are *you* outraged? I would bet not. It's not trendy. So what if a few thousand Americans get killed... think of the good it does for those poor Latinos, right? (Irony meter pegged, I agree).

Your irony meter is pegged by that? It should have been blown off the scale when Bush shilled for the super-rich by promoting amnesty for the illegals.

I've been outraged all along by the way big business cuts the bottom out of the labor market by hiring illegals. It's conservatives who are doing more to insure that illegal immigration continues and increses.

David

David Orange
01-20-2007, 06:09 PM
But that's not true.

Yes, Mike. It was a true statement.

Where's my bet about you lying instead of him? Decide to let discretion be the better part of your valor?

No, I stated the facts. Bush said the eavesdropping was only to be on people communicating internationally with Al Quaeda and that a warrant would be required. Two false statements in one.

What happened you your claim that "most Dems supported sending more troops to Iraq until one month ago?

See, that's why I don't post "three examples." One is too much for you and three just gives you more room to twist and change the subject.

Tell it to the boys in Mogadishu, David. Tell it to the boys that were in the Khobar Towers. Tell it to the 12 Americans in the American Embassies in Kenya. Tell it to the 3000 from the WTC, killed because the Arabs were sure that America would obviously never respond to a real attack and would only post liberal editorials in newspapers for revenge.

All of those were AQ operations, weren't they? And that had "what?" to do with Iraq?

NOTHING. Yet Bush abandoned the real fight in Afghanistan, abandoned the Afghans like his father did, and sent our forces into Baghdad where his father knew better than to send them. And Cheney knew better, too, but it seems he decided that neither our military forces nor the human beings in them matter as much as Bush's cowboy strut. "Bring 'em on! Yee!HAW!!!! Misshin Accawmplished y'all!!!! YEEEEE-HAW!!!!"

What a moron.

... turns out that he had access to originals and he probably got rid of some of them.

Oh! PROBABLY got ride of some of them...??? Theres a fact for you.

The story apparently ain't over yet. Imagine the liberal outrage if, say, Bush, did something like that.

I won't be surprised if they catch Bush using the Constitution for toilet paper soon. After all, he said, "it's just a damned piece of paper!" Right? Paper's paper, huh?

They'd lynch him.

I'd be perfectly happy with impeachment, except for one thing: Dick'em Cheney. Of course, he'd probably have several heart attacks in short order (Al Franken, "The Truth...with jokes").

But there's hardly a ripple of concern, since it was a Democrat, right?

Not at all. Crimes should be punished and if you're telling the truth, they should get him. Of course, since they never even bothered Rove about outing Plame, I think the hypocrisy is much clearer in your direction. Remember both Gingrich and Livingstone being found to have had affairs while they were pointing their self-righteous fingers at Clinton???? What a laugh that was! And of course, all we have to do is look back to October, 2006 and the total meltdown of the "Conservative" movement over nothing but Republican party hypocrisy. Already forgotten that?

McCain is a fraud. He, like John F. Kennedy, would have been tossed out of the service earlier on, if not for his father. He was a complete screw-up. His fellow prisoners said McCain was never tortured in the camp he was in. The North Vietnamese bragged about the songbird "son of an admiral" who told them everything they wanted to know (there was even an article about it in the Washington Post at the time). Hero my butt.

I didn't know the Marines had Swiftboats, Mike. Sounds like you were a Captain of one, huh? But in light of those statements, I guess it's a good thing Bush was too drunk and coked up to ever get to Viet Nam. Talk about singing! If the VC'd ever gotten hold of Georgie, they would have renamed him "Tony the Soprano!"

He was hounded at the famous political rally, not because of anything to do with Bush or the election, but because he and Kerry signed off on "there are no POW's left in Vietnam" when many families thought their soldiers were still there. When in 1993, records were found from the USSR that showed over 200 prisoners were still in Vietnam when Kerry and McCain signed off on them, those families went berserk.

And where was Bush at that time? Still drunk? Or had he "recovered" by then? Had he made Governor of Texas yet, or was he still ripping families off with his stadium scam for his baseball team?

Pentagon people resigned when McCain signed off on those prisoners. You're a victim of the liberal press, David. You spout off with emotion about things you know nothing about other than they sound cool to your friends. I went to Vietnam. Near the DMZ the whole time. Mother's Ridge.

Geez, Mike. I would never have thought that of you. That puts you right in with scum like Gore, Kerry, Max Clellan, and (horrors!) John McCain!

You should have been home avoiding combat like Bush, Rove, Limbaugh and Wolfowitz!

Con Thien. Cam Lo. J.J.Carroll. Mouth of the River. There were good guys there, in-between guys, and losers.... just like in every walk of life. Heroes, average guys and cowards. Telling me that someone "went to Vietnam" means nothing, David. You're in a fantasy-land. It's like saying someone went to Europe on a trip... it tells you *nothing* about the person at all. And you were where, in what war, that you have the right to laugh at people as "chickenhawks"?

I admired the men and women who served, but even McNamara finally admitted it was one huge FUBAR mistake, from the lie that started it, in the Gulf of Tonkin, to the hasty withdrawal from the soon-to-be Ho Chi Minh City. If I had been born a couple of years earlier, I would have been there, but by the time I got old enough, no one could fail to realize that it was a real FUBAR operation. Ever read "Vietnam," by Stanley Karnow? All our assumptions were wrong and we stabbed the Vietnamese in the back several times before the war even started. There was no way that whole thing could come out right.

But Bush "supported" it while conspicuously avoiding danger for himself, and that is the full meaning, definition and spirit of the word "Chickenhawk." A chicken who is a hawk.

David

David Orange
01-20-2007, 06:11 PM
David Orange wrote:
"I'm looking for a little sticker to put on my car that says"

W
The Witless."

Mike:
That would be so kewl, David. It would just be you all over again.

Regards,

Mike Sigman

Someone I know has a sticker that looks just like the ones you see on cars until you get close and read:

W
The Coyote

Fits him.

David

statisticool
01-21-2007, 05:08 PM
...
are you being faithful to me, in a homoerotic sort of way?


Priceless, coming from someone who recently said

"Let your weight from the crotch area BE in his hands."

It is sig(man?) material.

Mike Sigman
01-22-2007, 06:28 PM
I always found it ironic that the financial markets were centered in a city that has exorbitant taxes, regulated housing prices and elected representatives who favor restraints on free trade. ;)


NYC may lose top financial spot By SARA KUGLER, Associated Press Writer
Mon Jan 22, 12:17 PM ET



NEW YORK - The city is losing its competitive edge and could give up its place as the financial capital of the world in as little as 10 years, a study has found.

The study was commissioned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), who have been concerned about what they say is a growing threat to New York's position as an international leader.

"Unless we take corrective steps, and soon, we're going to see America's leadership in global financial transactions dwindle, putting a chill on the nation's economy and the city's," Bloomberg said at a City Hall news conference. "That will spell fewer jobs and slower overall growth."

Bloomberg, a Republican and former CEO, and Schumer, a Democrat, outlined the report's findings and recommendations, which include some changes specific to an anti-fraud law, known as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, enacted in 2002 amid a spate of corporate scandals.

According to the study, by the consulting group McKinsey & Company, New York and other U.S. cities are falling behind in financial services while cities including London, Dubai, Hong Kong and Tokyo are surging ahead.

It concludes that the U.S. is losing its advantage because of three main factors:

_The American regulatory framework, particularly Sarbanes-Oxley, is "a thicket of complicated rules, rather than a streamlined set of commonly understood principles, as is the case in the United Kingdom and elsewhere."

_While New York offers a promising talent pool for its financial services work force, "we are at risk of falling behind in attracting qualified American and foreign workers."

_The legal environments in other nations "far more effectively discourage frivolous litigation."

One in nine New York jobs is in financial services, which contributes more than a third of business income tax revenues to New York's economy. Nationwide, financial services is the third-largest sector of the economy, contributing 8 percent of gross domestic product, behind only manufacturing and real estate.

Bloomberg spent years on Wall Street and built his multibillion-dollar fortune from the financial information company Bloomberg LP, which he founded in the early 1980s.

"The financial services industry is one reason that the 20th century was the American century and that New York became the world's capital," he said in a statement before the news conference. "This is one of many challenges to our long-term health and stability that requires we move beyond partisanship to find solutions."

The Securities and Exchange Commission agreed last month to ease some rules within Sarbanes-Oxley, but the McKinsey report suggested the SEC should go farther and consider exempting foreign companies from certain parts of the act, "provided they already comply with sophisticated, SEC-approved foreign regulators."

Bloomberg and Schumer were joined by New York's new governor, Eliot Spitzer, who acknowledged that his presence and endorsement of the report might raise eyebrows considering his pursuit of major Wall Street investment firms and mutual fund companies when he was the state's attorney general.

Spitzer said Sarbanes-Oxley was "a necessary response at a moment in time when the integrity of the capital market was being questioned," but he said he supports changing sections that are burdensome to companies and that could potentially scare off business.

The report suggests creation of a special "international financial services zone" in New York, where tax breaks and other incentives could be used to lure new foreign firms.

Other suggestions include a Congress-created commission on financial competitiveness to address structural issues for the long term, and a similar local venture to promote New York's interests.

To reach its findings, the McKinsey team interviewed more than 50 CEOs and business leaders, and gathered information through surveys of more than 300 other leaders and senior executives.

Cady Goldfield
01-22-2007, 07:25 PM
Obviously the mayor found a way to work around and within the system, as have many others who have built fortunes in New York City despite any obstacles.

Mike Sigman
01-22-2007, 07:59 PM
True, Cady, but it's kind of like California.... New York has become so heavily regulated and litigious that people are going elsewhere for "free enterprise". Sure a few people make a lot of dough in NYC, but it's a lot less people than it used to be. Capitalism needs lots of people looking for that pot of gold, because only a certain percentage are successful.

If you put all sorts of constraints and taxes on new business, people won't start them. Look at a lot of the European and Scandinavian countries as examples of how business has been choked with taxes and regulations. Germany used to be THE center of chemicals and chemical/pharmaceutical research. They were *the* innovator. Now Germany makes the drugs that the US invents.

A person going into business does a pro-forma balance sheet, figures his costs and his profits. If he's going to invest all his free time and all of his life's savings and as a result he can only make around $30,000 a year because of taxes, required insurance, minimum wage laws, workers compensation he has to pay, etc., he'll simply not form the business and he'll look for a salaried job somewhere, not wasting his time..... or he'll go somewhere with more lenient regulation and form his company there. And that's what's happening today. All the simps in the street think that corporations and "rich people" are endless supplies of money and you can just tax them "for their fair share". ;)

Mike