Monday, December 23, 2013

Who Is Responsible For Inequality?...

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny


Government is neither benign or benevolent. In fact, as the following article correctly points out, the government, in conjunction with the corporations it continues to subsidize and offer corporate welfare to is in fact complicit in helping to create the inequality we see today.

Don Baker's article Inequality: Government Is a Perp, Not a Bystander is as interesting as it is informative. President Obama, Congress, and American business should seek his council and consider his words as they determine national policy. Oh yeah, I forgot we don't have a cohesive national economic policy that benefits America at large.

Excerpt from CEPR - In his speech on inequality earlier this month President Obama proclaimed that the government could not be a bystander in the effort to reduce inequality, which he described as the defining moral issue of our time. This left millions convinced that Obama would do nothing to lessen inequality. The problem is that President Obama wants the public to believe that inequality is something that just happened. It turns out that the forces of technology, globalization, and whatever else simply made some people very rich and left others working for low wages or out of work altogether. The president and other like-minded people feel a moral compulsion to reverse the resulting inequality. This story is 180 degrees at odds with the reality. Inequality did not just happen, it was deliberately engineered through a whole range of policies intended to redistribute income upward.

Trade is probably the best place to start just because it is so obvious. Trade deals like NAFTA were quite explicitly designed to place our manufacturing workers in direct competition with the lowest paid workers in the world. The text was written after consulting with top executives at major companies like General Electric. Our negotiators asked these executives what changes in Mexico’s law would make it easier for them to set up factories in Mexico. The text was written accordingly.

When we saw factory workers losing their jobs to imports from Mexico and other developing countries, this was not an accident. In economic theory, the gains from these trade deals are the result of getting lower priced products due to lower cost labor. The loss of jobs in the United States and the downward pressure on the jobs that remain is a predicted outcome of the deal.

There is nothing about the globalization process that necessitated this result. Doctors work for much less money in Mexico and elsewhere in the developing world than in the United States. In fact, they work for much less money in Europe and Canada than in the United States. If we had structured the trade deals to facilitate the entry of qualified foreign doctors into the country it would have placed downward pressure on the wages of doctors (many of whom are in the top one percent of the income distribution), while saving consumers tens of billions a year in health care costs.
More under the fold.

Via: Memeorandum

43 comments:

  1. In many states a person who wants to start a new business must literally get permission from the pre-existing businesses in that sector (in cahoots with the government of course) prior to their entry (it's a little something called a "Certificate of Necessity") AND pay exorbitant licensing fees. It's a veritable jihad against new and start-up entrepreneurs these days.

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  2. " Inequality did not just happen, it was deliberately engineered through a whole range of policies intended to redistribute income upward."

    Absolutely correct!

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  3. Aren't Libertarians in favor of free trade deals that kill American jobs like NAFTA?

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  4. (I see Will has been watching Stossel - what Stossel fails to stress is that that is the consequence of too much lower, local and state government, so easily corruptible, and has little to do with the federal government)

    The only time in American history when the middle class was truly growing and strong, when there was mass upward mobility, was in the period between WWII and 1970 or so. That's about it. When you look at the rest of our history, severe economic stratification has been the norm.

    The naive myth of boundless opportunity in America, I think, was born of our peculiar origins. Our ancestors came mainly from long-since developed and "civilized" lands, with long-since established cultures, classes, religions, and business. America was this new, huge, sparsely populated, unspoiled, unused land. In large part, it still is. It took humans tens of thousands of years to settle Europe, for example, and we've only known about America for a little over 500 years. America has always seemed like the land of the fresh start.

    But the Powers that Be in America have always been there and have always rigged the game to their advantage. Sometimes they have been more magnanimous, or more forward thinking, but again, for the most part, their only concern has been keeping things the way they are or rigging them more for their own immediate gain regardless of the national effect - like free trade, or slavery, or the modern day slavery-equivilent of undocumented workers.

    When you look at wealth disparity and upward mobility around the world, the more social democratic the country, the less the disparities. It really is as simple as that. To bring us up to speed, we need to reduce the profiteering of medicine and education, and invest far more in them. And we need to develop the physical and institutional infrastructure. What we have now is generational neglect, and the consequence will be a sharping and widening of class disparity in the country, and when you look back through history, that never ends well.

    JMJ

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    1. The federal government ISN'T corrupt? LOL!!! You are so full of garbage. Philip Morris practically wrote the damned tobacco bill. Al Gore has made close to a 1/4 billion dollars pimping idiotic carbon trading schemes and preposterous green energy projects. The Wall Street banks acted irresponsibly because they knew that clowns like Bernanke and Paulsen would bail them out. Obama took copious amounts of money from the pharmaceuticals and then crafted legislation from which these folks profited handsomely from. And don't even get me going on Jeffrey Immelt (that frigging crony was cozy with both Bush AND Obama), Halliburton, etc.. No corruption in the federal government - you're killing me!!

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    2. Who said the federal,government isn't corrupt?

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    3. "modern day slavery-equivilent of undocumented workers. "

      And once again, immigrant-bashing from Jersey.

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    4. I would also instruct the readers to take a gander at this from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2008 - http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/p60-235.pdf. It thoroughly refutes Mr. McJones's contention that the middle class has been getting hosed since the 1970s by showing that the median income in 2007 was $50,233 and that it was only (utilizing 2007 inflation-controlled statistics) $38,771 in 1967. Hell, it even shows that the 20th percentile has added some additional purchasing power; going from $16,283 in 1967 (again, using 2007 currency data) to $20,291 in 2007 (and, no, this doesn't even include transfer payments or upward mobility which, despite what Mr. McJones has asserted here, is alive and well in America - or at least it was prior to the 2008 collapse).......The data that I provide here is from Table A-3.

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    5. Yeah, so? At best he says local and state government are easily corruptible. He does not say the federal government is not corruptible.

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    6. http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_gdp_history - Per capita GDP has gone from $23,400 in 1990 to $47,100 in 2010. To say that NAFTA and free trade have devastated the economy is wholly unsubstantiated (as it was to say that the tractor did similarly in a previous era) and very little more than a battle-cry from the dull undifferentiated masses and those who failed to understand the text in college (if they ever went to college).

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    7. You like average numbers but they obscure what is really happening. Look at this source to see where that growth went.

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    8. " To say that NAFTA and free trade have devastated the economy is wholly unsubstantiated"

      Arrogant reactionaries who are bigoted against foreign people, or believe the government should clobber people for making informed economic choices, or some combination thereof, hate NAFTA and huddle around false claims about it like a family around the fireplace on Christmas.

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    9. Jerry, Will thinks what he wants, and dmarks says whatever is unpleasant.

      Free Trade - a lot more than just NAFTA - has had a host of consequences. The more libertarian types ignore the negative consequences. But when NAFTA opened the flood gates of cheap agro into Mexico, dislocated Mexican agro workers came here, and now 75% of the workers in the ag sector are immigrants, keeping the ag cheap. It's an economic cycle most anti-immigrant types are blind to. Meanwhile, the virullently anti-communist conservatives turn a blind eye to our subsidization of the worlds largest communist economy, China. And the anti-Islamists have nothing to say about our dependence on oil, and on and on. They see what they want to see and disregard the rest.

      JMJ

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    10. Dennis: And once again, immigrant-bashing from Jersey.

      Dennis must be channeling that Duck Dynasty guy... he didn't see that African Americans were unhappy in chains... and Dennis doesn't see that undocumented workers are often taken advantage of. If benefits the plutocrats he turns a blind eye. Jersey was actually plutocrat-bashing... which is why Dennis HAD to speak up.

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    11. Jerry knows where the growth went, and I suspect that Will does too... it's just that he is satisfied with where it went (to the top). Jerry and I are probably just too stupid to understand why that's a good thing.

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    12. Jersey: you just smeared illegal aliens. I merely called you on it. What you did was more unpleasant.

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    13. The first study that I provided, Jerry, was from the U.S. Census Bureau and it was for MEDIAN, not mean, income and adjusted for inflation the MEDIAN U.S. income went from $38,771 to $50,233 from 1967 to 2007 - fully refuting Jersey's idiotic claim that the middle class's income was stagnant.............And you seem to like static categories which also "obscure" the fact that individual human beings (as opposed to these nameless, static categories) over time see their incomes double and sometimes triple. You and Jersey seem to think that human beings are these pitiful creatures who are somehow stuck in their lowly situations forever.

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    14. And you really need to read some Bastiat, Jersey/Jerry. Yes, there are some people who are hurt by free trade (just like the candle-makers are hurt by the sun and farm hands by tractors) but there are far, far more that are helped by ways that generally aren't seen (the jobs that are created, the money that is being saved, the investment income that floods back into our economy, etc.).......And how in the hell is a tariff that protects an American business anti-plutocratic? You're helping the damned plutocrat!......Oh, and, Jersey, we're an energy exporter now. Time to get up to speed.

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    15. And how in the hell do you "redistribute money upward"? By allowing people to keep more of their own private property? That's ridiculous. And true inequality is actually going DOWN. According to UCLA economist, Lee Ohanian, when you figure all in all forms of income (including transfer payments, capital income such as rent, etc.) and then deduct taxes, inequality has actually gone down 2% from 1979 to 2007 AND when you look strictly at consumption inequality, that has gone down a whopping 12% since 1990; the average family of 4 at the poverty level of $23,000 a year spends on average $44,000 a year. You guys really need to start digging below the surface on some of this stuff for a change.

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    16. Well, Will. You seem to like to take a couple of numbers and make wild generalizations from them. True, median income increased about 30% between 1967 and 2007. But the majority of than increase occurred during the first half of those 40 years. Median income has been nearly flat since the mid 1980s.

      Also, median income says nothing about income inequity. To see inequality, you must look deeper into the numbers, not just rely on two, but look at income growth for various sectors of the population. If you had done that, you would find the following:

      Between 1967 and 2012, the income growth (in 2012 dollars) of the following segments occurred:

      Lowest fifth 14.2%
      Second fifth 13.1%
      Third fifth 29.4%
      Fourth fifth 46.3%
      Top 5% 67.4%

      As I mentioned above, income growth (not inequality) has been relatively flat since the mid 1980s. So, lets see what kind of growth has occurred since 1985.

      Lowest fifth 1.8%
      Second fifth 4.5%
      Third fifth 9.5%
      Fourth fifth 17.4%
      Top 5% 30.5%

      Note, the income growth of the higher income groups is greater than the lower groups. That is income inequality. Since 1985 the top 5% have seen their income grow at a rate of more than 28 times (1.8% growth vs. 30.5% growth) the bottom fifth of the US households.

      That is income inequality!

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    17. "...income grow at a rate of more than 28 times...) WHOOPS! Sorry, I subtracted instead of divided. That should be:

      "income grow at a rate of more than 17 times..."

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    18. You're incorrect, Jerry. I went back to the PDF and the median income in 1983 was $41,322, which means that median income went up 22% from 1983 to 2010. And of course the top wage earners (the category, not the individuals in that the top 1% of actual folks in the top 1% in 1996 actually saw their income go down 26% by 2005) are going to experience a higher spike in earnings. They are far more experienced, educated, and have 4Xs as many workers per household as the bottom quintile does (2 versus .5).......And in a successful market economy you are going to have inequality in exchange for more marked growth. I mean, would you rather live in Spain or Portugal, for God's sake?

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    19. And it would be nice if you conceded that these statistics do not include transfer payments or taxes and that if in fact you did include them the inequality measurement gets significantly reduced.

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    20. Ah yes, transfer payments, better known as welfare. I am talking about income. You know, money people actually earn as conservatives like to point out. If income growth was more equal, "transfer payments" would not be needed, and the social welfare costs to government would go down. Income inequality is one of the reasons we have "transfer payment" that you suddenly have become so fond of lately.

      Also, interesting that you picked 1983. What is the growth since 1987 or 1988. But then again as I said. Growth in median income says nothing about income inequality. It is not important in the discussion of income inequality. It is merely a distraction.

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    21. Well said, Jerry. Will is picking and choosing his facts to deny the fact that most of the income growth is going to the top... or suggest it isn't a big deal.

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    22. You said the mid-80s, Jerry. 1983 is the beginning of the mid-80s. And why do you care so much about income inequality when a) all of the quintiles have shown growth and b) the actual human beings in the bottom quintile in 1996 saw their income go up 91%, 91%!!, by 2005 (this while the people in the top 1% actually saw their income go DOWN 26%).......And the major driver of this inequality is the fact that those in the higher quintile have the requisite technological skills to advance and the bottom quintile doesn't. Fix that (by busting up the teacher union monopoly I would say and instituting choice and competition) and you drastically reduce income inequality.......And I'm not fond or unfond of transfer payments. I'm merely pointing them out because they dramatically reduce the ACTUAL inequality that ACTUAL individuals have to experience and the hard-left never includes them (or the massive taxes that the upper quintile pays which drastically reduces THEIR purchasing power).

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    23. I just went back to the PDF AGAIN. The median income in 1987 (which is the the beginning of the LATE '80s but whatever) was $45,502. That would make the increase to $50,233 a 10.4% increase, which of course doesn't take into account the fact that some of those individuals probably moved up the income scale into the next quintile.

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    24. I think the income inequality numbers I presented in my comment above speak for themselves. If the growth of income was more equally distributed, the lives of millions of people would be better and government social welfare costs would be substantially lower.

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    25. You want to improve income inequality, Jerry? Try a) getting more than .5 workers per household (in the bottom quintile) working, b) getting people to stay in school, and c) preventing young, poor, and unmarried individuals from having kids. You do those 3 things and the income inequality will be reduced drastically.......And your plan to reduce the earnings of the top 5% is what exactly, a maximum wage law? A maximum profits law?

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    26. I would add that two things need occur; 1) bring back jobs to our shores, and 2) compensate workers in proportion to their contribution.

      A supervisor, manager, or executive is dependent on their people. In other words
      they are only as good as their people.

      Just something to think about. In conjunction to your well placed comments of course Will.

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    27. Will asked: ".And your plan to reduce the earnings of the top 5% is what exactly, a maximum wage law?"

      Looks like an entirely pointless plan with the intent to punish and plunder from people out of a sense of jealousy. That's the intent, anyway. The result would instead be the rich moving their money away (with no good result, and often the bad result of businesses collapsing due to lost investment) in order to avoid the punishment. And I would not blame them one bit.

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    28. RN said: "1) bring back jobs to our shores..."

      I'd like to see your ideas on this. Knowing that you probably do not buy into the approach of Pat Buchanan and the hardline progressives (tariffs and trade wars, with the resulting destruction of the US export sector). Well, guessing anyway.

      I've looked at a few plans for how to do this, and so often they contain what is (to me) poison pills of tariffs/trade wars, or lavishing corrupt crony capitalism welfare on certain industries in order to help them.

      I will wait to see what you say...

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    29. dmarks, as long as a business can make as much in profit as the owner(s) can make in interest or ROI they will likely remain in business.

      This must be analysed on a case by case basis really.

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    30. 1) Establish a national economic strategy that works to our national economic interests.

      2) In conjunction with #1 establish trade policy that puts us on level footing with our trading partners.

      3) Put national and state economic concerns as paramount to Corporate profit.

      4) Read "Three Billion New Capitalists."

      5) Then let's talk dmarks.

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  5. Dear Les, Enjoy the holiday. Best wishes to you and your family.

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    1. A joyous holiday season and prosperous new year to you and yours as well my dear friend.

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  6. The answer to your title question is -- I think -- "NO INEe." Inequality is obviously the natural condition of all mankind, and always as been ever since Eve under the influence of The Serprent -- led Adam astray, and Cain slew Abel.

    The trouble is in our persistent self-absobtion we forget that "it takes all kinds of people to make a world," and everyone has some kind of vital role to play.

    It seems obvious that we can't all be rich, can't all be leaders or executives, can't all be physically attractive, ca't all be star performers, etc., but that no matter what we must do to sustain ourselves, we are all worthy of respect, unless we deliberately go out of our way to make things more difficult than they need to be for others.

    In my never humble opinion, all we really need to do is get out of each other's way, do our duty uncomplainingly, and stop trying to force others to bend to our will.

    Humility is a great -- and profoundly helpful -- virtue. Fault finding and acting the part of a busybody are not.

    To add to today's stockpile of clichés, we just need o learn to "tend to our own knitting," and stop the insane notion that "we" have the power -- and the duty -- to "repair the world." We do not. All we can do is try to repair and improve ourselves as individuals -- occupation enough fo a well spent lifetime.

    With high hopes for a HAPPY, HEALTHY, more GRACIOUS and ACCOMMODATING NEW YEAR for us ALL.

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    1. FT, thanks for stopping in and commenting. As you know, you and I, while essentially sharing the same basic core values of honesty, self reliance, hard work, accepting personal responsibility for the choices one makes, treating others with respect until by their own actions show they are not deserving of respect, want our government to be peripheral to… rather than central to our lives. At the same time we have chosen to take different paths at arriving at these values or principles as I prefer to say.

      If I may I will copy each paragraph of your comment and respond briefly below it. It is my hope you do not take offense to my responses. They are not, and should not be considered a criticism. My responses will merely reflect my thoughts, most developed over many years of thought, reflection, and reexamination.

      FT - “The answer to your title question is -- I think -- "NO INEe." Inequality is obviously the natural condition of all mankind, and always as been ever since Eve under the influence of The Serpent -- led Adam astray, and Cain slew Abel.”

      RN – Inequality has certainly been a condition of mankind since we evolved from lower life forms. Unfortunately humans still retain many of the traits of the primates from which we came. Perhaps in another few hundred millions years we will evole past the present state of mankind, or for the more gender sensitive in the room humankind.

      I suspect Adam and Eve, the apple and serpent, or Cain and Able have little to do with equality or the lack thereof today. I do find it fascinating how the serpent created the scenario in which Adam and Eve through scriptures became the victim of evil rather than just acknowledging their personal responsibility for a poor choice. The story I realize must fit into the grand scheme of the Judeo Christian epic and it works well as it’s starting point.

      FT - “The trouble is in our persistent self-absobtion we forget that "it takes all kinds of people to make a world," and everyone has some kind of vital role to play.”

      RN – Indeed it does take all kinds to make our world. Each being equal as humans and all deserving of respect until an individual or individuals prove themselves unworthy. Yes everyone has a role to play to the best of their ability and capabilities.

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  7. FT – “It seems obvious that we can't all be rich, can't all be leaders or executives, can't all be physically attractive, can’t all be star performers, etc., but that no matter what we must do to sustain ourselves, we are all worthy of respect, unless we deliberately go out of our way to make things more difficult than they need to be for others.”

    RN – This line “…unless we deliberately go out of our way to make things more difficult than they need to be for others” particularly strikes me as having some bearing on the equality –vs- inequality issue. This is especially so when considered from an economic or income perspective. I am a firm believer in people (all people) acting in their own long term rational self interests. I have a unique understanding of what exactly that means and some day perhaps we could correspond on this concept. Suffice to say neither American business nor American government is taking the long view as to what will serve the nation’s rational self interests most effectively.

    FT – “In my never humble opinion, all we really need to do is get out of each other's way, do our duty uncomplainingly, and stop trying to force others to bend to our will.”

    RN – While I tend to agree quite strongly with this I must say ironically that is kind of like asking individuals to stop thinking. I can only imagine where we would be today were it not for the thinkers, scientists, engineers, artists, architects etc. that through their idea’s and talent cause humans to voluntarily bend to their will thus creating great change. Think of the Founding Fathers, particularly Thomas Paine.

    I get that you were probably referring to government and in this I whole heartedly agree. At the same time I realize for a society as complex as ours we need government structure to survive and not devolve into petty tribal wars. We are still animals (us humans) and the animalistic tendencies, while dormant in most of us, are nevertheless still there.

    FT - “Humility is a great -- and profoundly helpful -- virtue. Fault finding and acting the part of a busybody are not.”

    RN – Indeed humility is as you say, as is fault finding. Fault finding is the necessary cousin to playing the victimhood game in many cases IMNHO.

    FT – “To add to today's stockpile of clichés, we just need o learn to "tend to our own knitting," and stop the insane notion that "we" have the power -- and the duty -- to "repair the world." We do not. All we can do is try to repair and improve ourselves as individuals -- occupation enough fo a well spent lifetime.”

    RN – Wow, did you ever say a mouthful here.

    1) Tend to our own knitting indeed, or as I always told my people in business… “Always make sure your own backyard is clean before you criticize another’s backyard. And believe me, I can always find something amiss in yours whenever I look.
    2) We surely do not have the power to change the world. However, I do believe most individuals believe there is an OBLIGATION we each have to try in our own small and perhaps insignificant way to leave it a better place than when we arrived.
    3) A word about DUTY. I hate the word as it implies that I am duty bound to act in accordance with someone else WILL. This notion I reject out of hand because as a free soul I am duty bound to no one. Not to the state, not to the Church, not to my neighbors for just a few examples. I am however OBLIGATED to act in accordance with the regulations in place where by MY FREE CHOICESI chose to live, work, play, etc. Some may say this is merely semantics; it is not from an objectivist’s viewpoint.

    FT – “With high hopes for a HAPPY, HEALTHY, more GRACIOUS and ACCOMMODATING NEW YEAR for us ALL.”

    RN – I got your back if you have nine brother!

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    1. I can't say we have any serious disagreements about any of this, Les. [Astonishing isn't it after our recent contretemps?]

      I might have a bone to pick with you about "Duty," because, unless we agree to live by whatever standards of decency and right conduct prevail in a given society at a given time,we quickly lapse into CHAOS or ANARCHY, whatever term you prefer.

      Like it or not life in many ways amounts to little more than a tightrope walk over a flaming abyss -- or a stroll through a minefield. (:-o

      I admit defeat as to knowing precisely what we -- or anyone else -- can do to make the world a better place. All I DO know is that the so-called "liberal" model is in reality a kind of neo-Puritanism which is fundamentally tyrannical in nature. Why? because it uses shame, humiliation, degradation, harassment, suspension of privileges, the constant threat of ostracism job loss, career destruction -- even IMPRISONMENT and DEATH -- as a means of forcing everyone to do what a self-appointed, self-anointed OLIGARCHY deems right, good and "correct." It presupposes that "everyone," if left to his own devices [NOTE: I refuse to bend to politically-correct demands to mutilate the English language in any way to satisfy the demands of the new brand of bullies, tyrants and slave masters. Only a FOOL or a militant AXE-GRINDING TYRANNIST with a Power Agenda would regard the traditional use of masculine pronouns as deliberately demeaning to females] --- anyway, they assume "everyone" would run amok and revert instantly to barbarism if true freedom were allowed to reign supreme.

      I think just the opposite. Doesn't it stand to reason that if there were no oppression to rebel against, rebellion would cease quite naturally?

      The recent spate of humorless ill temper, studied insolence and continual backbiting has come about as a natural reaction to the intolerance, ever-increasing strictures and intrusive demands of "Progressives" -- i.e. Marxists, because that is what they are in essence -- on the way we conduct our PRIVATE lives.

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    2. FT - "All I DO know is that the so-called "liberal" model is in reality a kind of neo-Puritanism which is fundamentally tyrannical in nature. Why? because it uses shame, humiliation, degradation, harassment, suspension of privileges, the constant threat of ostracism job loss, career destruction -- even IMPRISONMENT and DEATH -- as a means of forcing everyone to do what a self-appointed, self-anointed OLIGARCHY deems right, good and "correct."

      RN - I find myself in agreement with your analysis. However, I also find the EXACT same thing existing among the so called conservative and libertarian blogs (and bloggers) I come into contact with.

      IMNHO the issue, at least as I see it, is due to an individual’s passion (often un-objective in nature) it renders the individual incapable of considering an issue from ALL perspectives.

      As a person who once aspired to be a history professor (United States of America as my preferred specialty) before I realized a career in business would better serve my financial interests I feel safe in saying our Founding Fathers would be dismayed at the degree of ignorance our current so called representatives of the people are displaying.

      Divisions within the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were as wide and potentially devastating to forming our ultimate union as today’s Tea Party –vs- all the rest of Congress is today is today in the potential of destroying our union. I am the ultimate individualist FT, so go figure. Right?

      We are by design a representative democracy, always have been since what 1789? That means the will of the majority must be recognized and in law followed. There rests in our founding document, The Constitution of the United States of America and its Bill of Rights, all that we need to insure that the tyranny of the majority over the minority will not happen. THINK ABOUT THAT IN THE HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE.

      IMNHO this nation have in place EVERYTHING it needs to insure continued liberty and freedom as long as EVERYONE and ALL parties understand some very basics of Classical Liberalism, the foundation on which this nation was founded and grew over the last two and a quarter centuries.

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    3. I agree with you about universal the impulse to tyrannize, Les. Haven't you read my literally hundreds of "sermonettes" identifying POWER and the LUST for POWER as our "chiefest enemy?" It's been a dominant theme in my discourse for at least fifteen years. In the Middle Ages too much power was centered in the Roman Catholic Church. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries thanks to the Marxian Revolt against th problems that arose with Industrialization it became centered in GOVERNMENT.

      Power, itself, is the thing we ought to fear most. It doesn't matter whose banner it parades under. Whatever mode of thinking becomes DOMINANT is undoubtedly a danger to liberty.

      I can't understand your hostility toward the Tea Party, however. They are the ONLY people who even PRETEND to stand for the principles on which the nation was founded. The Republican Establishment DISGUSTS me. Of course I believe the Establishment in BOTH parties is involved in a virtual conspiracy to become our MASTERS and turn us into their SUBJECTS. If the majority falls for that, the majority deserves to LOSE.

      As for slavishly following the will of the majority, two thoughts come to mind: 1. "The US Constitution is not a suicide pact." 2. The masses are asses.

      Nothing is as clean cut and simple as we'd like it to be.

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