Obama Promises to Save the Middle Class by Enslaving It

Nothing says middle-class triumph like more regulation, unionism, cronyism and endless spending.

In Teddy Roosevelt's era, President Barack Obama explained to the nation this week, "some people thought massive inequality and exploitation was just the price of progress....But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you want from whoever you can."

And he's right. Even today there are people who believe they should have free license to take whatever they want from whomever they can. They're called Democrats.

Yet the president, uniter of a fractured nation, the mighty slayer of infinite straw men, claims that some Americans "rightly" suppose that the economy is rigged against their best interests in a nation awash in breathtaking greed, massive inequality and exploitation. Or I should say, he's trying to convince us that it's the case.

The middle-class struggle to find a decent life is the "defining issue of our time," the president went on. And nothing says middle-class triumph like more regulation, unionism, cronyism and endless spending. Hey, Dwight Eisenhower (a Republican!) built the interstate highway system, for goodness' sake. Ergo, we must support a bailout package for public-sector unions—you know, for the middle class.

In what other ways will Obama secure the dream in this "defining" moment? Is the middle class going to be salvaged by raising the top marginal tax rates a few points on 1-percenters and adding $1 trillion to the federal budget in 10 years (equal to one year of federal deficit spending)? Or is the middle class going to rise again on the strength of a temporary tax holiday from programs it actually uses?

Surely, that won't do. If not, what are you talking about exactly, Mr. President? Give us the big plan. What program have you devised that offers middle-class Americans more opportunity, not just more dependency? How have you expanded the fortunes of the bitter, occasionally clingy bourgeois in the past three years—by adding $4 trillion to their offspring's tab?

Smart people can grouse all they want about the supposed zealotry of the tea party or the conservative presidential field (and sometimes, they might be right), but Obama's mimicking Teddy Roosevelt's end-of-career hard left turn tells us a lot about the president's worldview. In his speech in Osawatomie, Kan., Obama dropped almost all pretenses and made the progressive case against an American free market system, which he called "a simple theory...one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government....And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here's the problem: It doesn't work."

Obama, after all, is such a towering economic mind that in Osawatomie, he once again blamed ATMs (and the Internets) for job losses. This is a man we can trust. "Less productivity! More jobs!"

That's not to say capital isn't useful occasionally, of course. A few days ago, Obama hosted a $38,000-a-plate fundraiser for wealthy Manhattanites. The president—with the Democratic National Committee—has hauled in more cash from rent-seeking financial-sector companies than all Republican candidates combined. This president has supported every big-business bailout with taxpayers' money, even though he claims they shouldn't be on the "hook for Wall Street's mistakes."

But it is refreshing to hear Obama come out and give us a clear picture of this country in all its ugly class-conscious, unjust, menacing glory rather than veil his arguments with any of that soothing rhetoric that got him elected last time. It's time, my friends, for a new square deal.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Blaze. Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.

COPYRIGHT 2011 CREATORS.COM

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Tim||

    Here's your alt text:
    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    I thought my throat tickled a little bit while watching that speech

  • even better alt text||

    Libertarians Promise to Save Civilization (city-statism) with Better City-Statism (civilization)

    Nothing says deregulation like stronger big-government Gambol Lockdown

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Shut your face, Jason.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Lord I was born a gambolin' maaaaan...

  • anon||

    Thanks for ruining that song for me.

  • ||

    Alt Text Candidate:

    "Democratic Voters, look at your lives and ask yourself this question: Could your life be any more fucked up if I was running it for you?"

  • Spencer||

    +1 we might have a winner folks!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Only if we get The Right People* to run our lives for us.


    *a division of Top. Men., LLC.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    +12

  • ||

    "uhh DURR... crapitalismz r teh sux!!!1!"

  • ||

    A parasite rails against those on whom he depends. To hell with him.

    -jcr

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Obama, after all, is such a towering economic mind ..."

    Yeah, if one trillionth of an inch is considered "towering".

  • Vake||

    Kinda hard to believe this man was once a professor of constitutional law; he practically wipes his ass with that document.

  • cynical||

    A skilled burglar can rightly be called a security expert. A progressive law professor can rightly be called an expert on the Constitution.

  • VincentMVNY||

    Professor of Constitutional Law, my ass! I'd bet all I'm worth that when and if anyone goes back into the Univ. of Chicago's records that they'd find he spent about 30 minutes as an adjunct filling in for a real Professor who was out with the flu that day! You need years of study and knowledge of how the Constitution evolved, many many years of concentrated study and research to be a Constitutional scholar. When in his whole life did he ever do this? He's a fraud wrapped up in an exaggerated resume.

  • Tman||

    "It doesn't work"?

    God this guy is such a jerk. I'm trying to be optimistic in that the more he says stuff like this the more independents who voted for him last time will start realizing that he is about as full of shit as an IHOP septic system on a Sunday afternoon, at least those who haven't already.

    But holy crap we are done as an economically prosperous nation if he gets four more years.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    we are done as an economically prosperous nation if he gets four more years.

    ^ THIS ^, +1,000,000,000,000,000.

  • anon||

    I think it's actually that +17,000,000,000,000

  • Spencer||

    + a sideways 8

  • lots||

    plus a googolplex, fool

  • AlmightyJB||

    "are done as an economically prosperous nation if he gets four more years."

    You should be prepared for that. The GOP seems bound and determined to snatch defeat from the hands of victory. Newt Gingrich, are they fuckin' serious? I hate Obama as much as anybody but I am not pulling a lever for Newt Gingrich. I'll watch it all burn before I do that and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    "I'll watch it all burn before I do that and I'm sure I'm not the only one."

    I'm stringing up my fiddle right now for the show...

  • Tman||

    I'm not convinced Newt will be the nominee yet, but yeah if he is I'm going to start looking in to some North Dakota real estate.

    I agree with you, as much as I fear for the future of our country if Obama gets re-elected, I'm not entirely sure that Newt would be an improvement in the long run.

    But if our choice is between a man who hates the free market vs. a man who hates civil liberties then I'll watch it all burn.......from the safety of a ranch in North Dakota.

  • Sam||

    Rural safety from the feds? See: Ruby Ridge

  • Bill||

    Obama is not all that good on civil liberties either.

  • Fatherland Security||

    Moving to North Dakota will put you on our Double Secret Probation List, if you're not on it already.

  • ||

    Gingrich is probably not as bad as BO, but I'll grant you they're both awful and voting for Newt would be supremely difficult.

    Yesterday on the AM 1360 radio news they had some consultant on saying that Newt would probably win because the Tea Party wanted "one of their own" rather than Romney.

    How in FUCK is Newt Gingrich one of the Tea Party's own?

  • Tman||

    Yeah, I keep hearing the media trying to pain Newt as a Tea Party candidate and I can only scratch my head.

    Newt is the polar opposite of what the Tea Party stands for. His speech with Beck recently where he gave the "not all government subsidies are bad" excuse was just pitiful.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If the media was at all serious, they would KNOW that Ron Paul is the godfather of the tea party.

    But they aren't serious. They're just authoritarian boot lickers.

  • ||

    You are not the only one. Im planning on marinating a steak, firing up the grill, and uncorking a nice shiraz.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    But holy crap we are done as an economically prosperous nation if he gets four more years.

    You should have put the period after "nation".

  • Maxxx||

    On the bright side.

    Obama has demonstrated that he'll tell any lie to get elected and then spend all his time fundraising and golfing in office.

  • ||

    And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here's the problem: It doesn't leave wide swaths of your lives to be micro-managed by me and my henchmen.

    Did he really say that? Because that's what I heard.

  • wareagle||

    memo to headline writer: never use the word "new" on the H&R list of stories when teasing an Obama class warfare speech.

  • chris||

    "a simple theory...one that speaks to our rugged individualism and our healthy skepticism of too much government....And that theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here's the problem: It doesn't work."

    No, Mr President. That copy of Human Action taking up a huge chunk of space on the bottom shelf is the opposite of a bumper sticker. You couldn't even paste it on the side of Air Force one.

  • ||

    I would argue that socialism ("take from those with too much and give to those with too little") is the "simple theory" that doesn't work.

  • Vake||

    Socialism: "Free Shit for Everyone!"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    TANSTAFSFE?

  • Free Market||

    Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete.

  • Joe M||

    I guess Obama doesn't feel he has a lock on the Luddite vote yet.

  • Joe M||

    !@#% squirrels.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    +10000001

  • Tony||

    So the Bush-era tax cuts did create the jobs that were promised?

  • wareagle||

    sure, they did. Look at unemployment prior to the Dem takeover of Congress in '06 and even for a year after it. It was about 5% or so. Obama hasn't seen 5% his entire term; then again, his ideas have guaranteed that none of us will.

  • k2000k||

    Well to be fair that unemployment rate was kept low because of the massive property bubble that had been going on since the late 90s, which initially started to grow because of the tech bubble and then got pushed into over drive after the tech bubble collapsed.

  • Tony||

    The tax cuts are still in place. In fact taxes are lower across the board. Why aren't they creating jobs now?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Employers are waiting for the Obamacare shoe to drop. Mark my words - if the Supreme Court upholds Obamacare, we'll long for the days when unemployment was only 9%.

  • Tony||

    Care to present a more detailed analysis?

    Why do libertarians worship the market but ignore supply and demand as if they don't matter?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    The cost of doing business will go way up if Obamacare is fully implemented. But don't believe me, you'll see for yourself soon enough.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Why do libertarians worship the market but ignore supply and demand as if they don't matter?

    You are too stupid to live. Changes in supply and/or demand are contingent upon information (that is, relative certainty about the immediate future). There will be no change in supply and/or demand when an employer has no idea if his new hire is going to wind up costing him tens of thousands of dollars more than he initially anticipated.

  • Tony||

    It's like economics is reinvented every time Frank Luntz issues a memo. Do you guys even try to think for yourselves?

    There will always be some amount of uncertainty. Our government changes composition every 2 years. Supply and demand do not rest in stasis waiting for the next Republican to get elected. What utter bullshit.

  • wareagle||

    Do you guys even try to think for yourselves?
    -----------------------------
    irony, thy name is Tony. Independent thinking is what separates the rest of the world from liberals. You believe that when Obama takes a dump in your hat that it's really something else. Try something new - judge the impact of his actions:

    --the stimulus did NOT prevent the jobless rate from climbing. Seasonal hiring has dropped it a bit but that, too, will self-correct.
    --he has NOT cut the deficit as the candidate promised. Demonstrably, he has gone the other way.
    --he has NOT shut down Gitmo. To the contrary, he's made American citizens fair game.
    --he has NOT forged a new tone, unless even more divisive fits your view of new.
    --he does NOT want more jobs created or he would stop blocking the TransCanada project, revoke Obamacare, and tell the EPA/FDA/etc to ease up.

    As usual, you have nothing but ad hominem, though Luntz is a nice change to the usual Fox/Rush/Norquist that the left parrots.

  • Tony||

    I love when Republicans blame Obama for the divisive tone in Washington.

  • wareagle||

    who's the guy whose first response to Repubs was "I won"? That must be lib-speak for 'welcome'. He's the freaking president; that means he sets the tone. Back away from Obama and wipe your chin, Tony; you are embarrassing yourself.

  • Mitch||

    He's the god damn leader of the nation dipshit....he should be above partisan politics but the asswipe is just a demogauging hack.

    now go fuck yourself

  • Mitch||

    see dumbass tony's comment @123PM for to reference the last post

  • ||

    For most companies, Congress changing doesn't really matter because they don't do much. Usually they argue and move the wealth distribution a little from one side to the other and back again and that's about it. But Sarbanes-Okley and Obamacare have been two huge factors for almost every business in America to a degree they feel every time they file a TPS report or hire a janitor.

  • Maxxx||

    There will always be some amount of uncertainty. Our government changes composition every 2 years. Supply and demand do not rest in stasis waiting for the next Republican to get elected. What utter bullshit.

    Yeah, I agree.

    The uncertainty theme is largely bullshit.

    What Obama has done to kill the economy is create the certainty of increased regulations and decreased profits for small businesses that aren't a part of his crony network.

    And constantly bad mouthing entrepreneurs doesn't help either.

    Animal spirits and all.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    There will always be some amount of uncertainty. Our government changes composition every 2 years. Supply and demand do not rest in stasis waiting for the next Republican to get elected. What utter bullshit.

    Yes, normally. But there is a big, ugly law hanging out there called PPACA that certainly has some major financial obligations attached to it that even an army of attorneys have yet to figure out.

    If you are not willing to concede commonsense points like "a massive and unformed entitlement program causes employers to be hesitant in hiring when each employee may incur a very expensive obligation", then I can only assume you are not arguing in good faith (which is standard for you).

  • Spencer||

    Because the supply and demand is falsified and not truely free. The supply is subsidized and the demand is manufactured.

    "But what you want didn't work" leaves out the reasons why it didn't work (or the truth that it isn't what was argued for in the first place).

  • DK||

    Even without the PPACA, the federal government has shown that it is not willing to deal with any of the real economic problems facing the country. Namely, the entitlements and military spending which will bankrupt this nation. It's hard to make strong business decisions when it looks like Washington wants to burn the whole fucking country. So businesses sit on cash.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.7.11 @ 12:53PM|#
    "Why do libertarians worship the market but ignore supply and demand as if they don't matter?"

    Why do you, shithead, constantly have to lie?

  • ||

    There are so many things that go into markets that cannot be boiled down to one policy. That is why markets cannot be planned!

    However, I would argue the Bush tax cuts failed because they were funded by deficit. Lowering taxes without a corresponding drop in taxes signals to people their taxes will either increase in the future -- either directly or through inflation.

    There has also been escalation in minimum wages. Perhaps lower minimum wages would... lower unemployment? I seem to remember the higher the price, the lower the quantity...

  • ||

    There are so many things that go into markets that cannot be boiled down to one policy. That is why markets cannot be planned!

    However, I would argue the Bush tax cuts failed because they were funded by deficit. Lowering taxes without a corresponding drop in taxes signals to people their taxes will either increase in the future -- either directly or through inflation.

    There has also been escalation in minimum wages. Perhaps lower minimum wages would... lower unemployment? I seem to remember the higher the price, the lower the quantity...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "I love when Republicans fail to bend over every time Obama wants to run roughshod and implement whatever the fuck he wants."

    FIFY'd. No charge.

  • free2booze||

    Why aren't they creating jobs now?

    Because fuckwad's like Obama keep opening their mouths for purposes other than breathing.

  • wareagle||

    they already created jobs, a lot of jobs, until the inevitable consequences of govt policy on housing got in the way. Is your point that raising taxes WILL create jobs? Please. There are exactly zero examples of such a cause and effect.

  • Spencer||

    except short term census employees. Now THAT was a success we should all repeat, right?

    Tony, your A game must have been given on a curve, because it fails everywhere you bring it.

  • Tony||

    Everything you believe is a lie.

    You'll die not realizing it.

  • wareagle||

    really, tony? Which part? Jobs WERE created in the aftermath of the tax cuts; we know this because unemployment was about 5% or so for most of W's years. No policy creates jobs forever, not even the Reagan tax rate cuts of the 80s.
    How about the notion that tax hikes create jobs. Point to one clear instance of job creation as the result of a tax increase.

    Liberalism has failed the world over. That is not even a debatable point in your typical faculty lounge anymore. But you keep believing that it's only because the "right" liberals haven't had their chance.

  • Tony||

    Bush's jobs record was dismal. As many jobs has been created under Obama's first 3 years than over Bush's 8, and that's after the economy nearly collapsed under Bush.

    You cannot come away from the last 10 years and conclude that tax cuts have anything to do with employment. Which makes sense, because you can't look at the last 100 and see any correlation either.

  • ||

    I think you mean "after the economy nearly collapsed after Democrats took over the House."

  • johnc||

    And what did the Democrats do in 2007 that caused a market crash? I mean specifically.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.7.11 @ 3:39PM|#
    "Bush's jobs record was dismal. As many jobs has been created under Obama's first 3 years than over Bush's 8, and that's after the economy nearly collapsed under Bush."
    Yes, shithead, he's almost as bad as your fave.

    "You cannot come away from the last 10 years and conclude that tax cuts have anything to do with employment. Which makes sense, because you can't look at the last 100 and see any correlation either."
    You can't simply because you're an ignoramus, shithead.

  • Bill||

    Bush was not a free market president either.

    He was a Repub. statist- (i.e. big gov. repub.)

    The budget and deficit and regulations sky-rocketed under Bush.

    Tax cuts can help the economy but are often oversold as being able to work wonders.

    You really can not be so stupid as to keep throwing Bush at us as the libertarian ideal. Or anything that has happened over the last 50 years (very little anyway)

  • ||

    Imagine how many jobs have been saved by keeping the tax cuts in place. I mean, they probably kept us out of the second great depression? [sound familiar?]

  • AZ||

    + some arbitrary but unfalsifiable number

  • ||

    Because tax cuts are like lighter fluid in the fire; they stimulate in a flash... but after a bit, the effect diminishes and fades into the background. If you cut taxes ten years ago... then those tax cuts don't feel like "cuts" anymore, do they? They've simply become the status quo.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Because we're spending nearly double what we were when said tax decreases were enacted.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.7.11 @ 12:39PM|#
    "The tax cuts are still in place. In fact taxes are lower across the board. Why aren't they creating jobs now?"

    Shithead, how ignorant are you? Do you think shitheads like yourself can continually fuck with the market and the market will continue to work well?
    Shithead, your stupidity is such that it's hard to believe you can type.

  • ||

    Only a demagogue would try to argue that the sole value of tax cuts is reflected in net jobs existing.

    WTF>

  • ||

    Yeah, because we all know that the American economy is so simple that just raising or lowering a tax rate 3 or 4 percent can change everything. Why would businessmen hesitate to expend the capital that they've managed to squirrel away just because the current administration has demonstrated its intense desire to suck every cent of profit out of them to hand over to its allies?

  • free2booze||

    I remember those days, when economists debated if it was actually possible for unemployment to fall below full employment.

    It's gonna be a long time before we have the conversation again.

  • ||

    Unemployment rate is always a lagging indicator. Shouldn't have to point that out, unless you were being sarcastic.

  • Pip||

    You handle annoys me.

  • ||

    Ummm...yes they did. No economic theory dictates that a tax cut yields a permanent and never-ending increase in employment.

  • ||

    Since the Dems, while still controlling both houses and the Presidency, re-upped the tax cuts you don't get to call them the Bush tax cuts anymore dickwad.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    And I know that many of our wealthiest citizens would agree to contribute a little more if it meant reducing the deficit and strengthening the economy that made their success possible.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! When has the deficit, since World War II, been reduced?

  • wareagle||

    what if we turn Obama's pet phrase around: it is the success of individuals that makes a strong economy possible.

    I get sick of this parasite and his demagoguery that successful people have nothing to do with their own success.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It's all government that makes people successful!!

  • ||

    I'm tired of this objectivist/nietzschean fantasy that the capitalist is some kind of super man that creates all that value by themselves. I'm tired of the irrational cult like worship Adam Smith's invisible hand that does not capture the generations of blood sweat and tears of American Workers that built the very civilization that gives extremist capitalist the opportunity to make a fortune, the families that raised children to be hard working and honest, the public school system that taught them, the interstate highways they built that the extremist capitalist goods are transported on, the dams that generate the electricity for industry. Men that worked long hard hours on dangerous jobs, that raised the children that are today's workers and when they get old and are no longer grist for the mill of the extreme capitalist and they have no pension because the extreme capitalist drove the company into the ground while making millions - he deserves social security and medicare - he deserves a basic level of dignity and the extreme capitalist that benefits so greatly from the fruits of this society should pay more to provide that social safety net. Is there no limit to your justification of greed? We all came into this world needing someone to wipe our asses and we will most of us go out the same way.

  • jdb79||

    I'm unsure what "extreme capitalism" refers to (even Marx was content to label the status quo "capitalism" and leave it at that), but none of your anecdotes have much bearing on the debate. Of course life is hard and of course people deserve a basic level of dignity--that's what charity is for, and it's why charity hospitals once existed for the purpose of aiding those who couldn't help themselves. Of course community and generosity and decency are important.

    The problem is that you've fallen into the trap that leftists and collectivists have fallen into for a hundred years, namely believing that good intentions combined with coercion will result in a better world and that government alone is capable of providing for the needs of the people. I'd think that the 20th century would be testament enough to convince people otherwise, but at this point I shouldn't be surprised at politicos' short memories.

  • ||

    When has the deficit, since World War II, been reduced?

    A number of times. The debt, now, that has never gone down.

  • Joe M||

    Did it go down in the late 1990s, when there were budget surpluses? Or were those just accounting fabrications that were absorbed elsewhere?

  • wareagle||

    since the debt was higher after Clinton left than before he came in, the answer would be no, it did not go down.

  • Joe M||

    I looked it up. In 1993, The Debt was $4.351 trillion. In 2001, it was $5.770 trillion. Can you believe it? In eight years, it went up as much as it did in the last year alone.

    The closest I can find to it going down was from 1999-2000, when The Debt only went up by $23.2 billion.

  • ||

    The infamous Clinton Surplus was just an artifact on paper. It only appeared once in history - the final CBO report of the Clinton admin in Jan 2001. It was retracted a month later. The first mention of Bush "losing the surplus" was on 9/10/01, and it was from Hillary. In other words, the whole surplus was a myth, and a well executed political attack. Bush was being blamed for losing a surplus that never existed, and before he'd even been able to execute a policy that could've lost it.

  • ||

    Yes, the "Clinton Surplus" (and how Bush squandered it) is one of the enduring myths of modern times. I even hear people who should know better refer to it. And there were no balanced budgets either. (Remember Clinton's inartful and impolitic statement that he couldn't return the "surplus" to the taxpayers because he couldn't be sure we'd spend it in the "right" way? That should have alerted everyone that there was no actual surplus to be returned.)

    Both were achieved by intragovernmental borrowing which only served to increase the national debt. After they borrowed more money than they needed to "balance" the budget, they used the "surplus" to pay down public debt. Now, it's arguable whether or not borrowing from ourselves to pay down the debt from others is a good thing, but such borrowing should never be construed as a surplus. To everyone's credit, there were deficit reductions during Clinton's tenure, but we continued to spend at a deficit every year. And when you spend at a deficit, how can you possibly claim a surplus??

  • ||

    We haven't had a budget surplus since 1957. Every year Clinton was in office we had a deficit (though in 2000 it was only about a billion iirc, which is peanuts compared to the budget)

  • Spencer||

    Why don't they do it then? I mean, if they'd just agree to it if you asked.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I used to love capitalism just like you. Then I took an arrow to the knee...

  • ||

    When the empire surrendered to Aldmeri capitalism, they shamed us all!

  • Ska||

    Keep your hands out of my pockets, sneak thief.

  • Devil's Advocate||

    You sound like someone stole your sweetroll.

  • ||

    I laugh my ass off when I hear Obama talk about reducing the deficit. C'mon! It's like the fat guy saying he's going to go on a diet as soon as he's done eating this cake. Obama has absolutely no intention of ever reducing the deficit.

  • Spencer||

    Ironically, right before I went on a diet to lose 60 lbs to date, I ate cake.

    But seriously, yeah, it's like a junkie saying it's their last fix.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's like the fat guy saying he's going to go on a diet as soon as he's done eating this cake.

    "I'se gonna bowhunt a moose right after I finish these chees dudels. kthxbye."

  • ||

    The Obama plan has always been (and I'm being serious here, this is exactly what Orszag has been saying) to spend now and make up for it by cutting spending from 2025-2050.

  • ||

    It reminds me of the alcoholics who say they are going to stop drinking next week, but have to go on one last binge because they lost their job or their wife left them or whatever.

  • ||

    And yet his loyal fellators still squeal if you call him a socialist.

  • anon||

    You're confusing his cult with Clinton's supporters again.

  • wef||

    And yet his loyal fellators still squeal if you call him a socialist.

    Decades of calling muddled fascists "liberals" - and of avoiding giving embarrassment to the muddled fascists in the supposed conservative wing of the Republican party - have left us with a jumble of imprecise adjectives to describe the current regime of competing mafia gangs.

    I would hestitate in calling the current gang socialist only because it sounds too coherent. I myself like the term NPR fascist.

  • ||

    I like that too, I hope you don't mind if I use it..

  • Spencer||

    It is the facism of the left that is the biggest danger- because the cries against it don't come loudly from the press.

  • ||

    I've just been sticking to "Leftist" lately, as it covers all the bases and any of the names they may self-appropriate to hide their true intentions.

  • Tony||

    more regulation, unionism, cronyism and endless spending.

    [::singing::] "These are a few of my favorite thiiiiiiiiinnnnnnnnnnngssss -- !!!"

  • Tony||

    Obama has offered deficit reduction plans that go far beyond what the Republicans have offered. The problem is there's only so much you can reduce if you refuse to ever entertain tax increases. If you want to bitch that nothing's being done about deficits, bitch at the Republicans.

    But they say they care about the deficit, even though they are by far the worse offenders, and apparently you believe them.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Adding one more dime of taxes is unacceptable to anybody who recognizes that government merely increases its baseline with each dime added. It does not matter at what rate you tax the populace - the government has shown that it is nothing more than a bottomless gaping maw that will always want more.

  • ||

    Actually, Tony, he had the option of going along with his own deficit reduction commission. He chose to pretend it didn't exist.

  • free2booze||

    Obama has offered deficit reduction plans that go far beyond what the Republicans have offered.

    Ron Paul has proposed reducing the deficit by $1 trillion in one year, without raising taxes.

    Feel free to try again.

  • ||

    The only reason Ron Paul has an R next to his name is so he can participate in the elections. He carries none of their baggage nor world views.

  • ||

    Yep, and the reason Paul will NEVER become President is because of his foreign policy. That's the only thing that's been keeping him from Presidency all this time. Virtually everyone I have ever spoken to about him, says the same thing. So, who's worldviews are baggage?

  • ||

    Except Ron Paul's the only one of them that deserves that 'R' next to his name -- he's the closest thing to an actual American republican than anybody else in this shitty political universe.

  • ||

    The problem is there's only so much you can reduce if you refuse to ever entertain tax increases.

    Bzzt. Wrong. You can reduce the deficit to zero simply by cutting spending. With today's tax receipts, the 2005 budget would be balanced. Wars and all.

  • Tony||

    But very few people want to destroy Medicare, especially for the cause of not ever raising taxes on millionaires.

    Whatever ethical knots you have to tie yourself in to believe that your policy ideas are correct, the country will never, ever buy it. Nobody with a clear perspective on the world thinks the problem in this country is that millionaires are too oppressed by taxes and that poor grandmothers have it too good.

  • Spencer||

    I'm pretty sure that your term "very few" is subjective and incorrect.

    I would think that very many people want to do away with forced donations to government run low income health care.

    I have just as much proof as you do that I'm right.

  • Mike M.||

    At a certain point, what people want doesn't really matter too much. Read the news about your precious Europe, where democracy is being dismantled in favor of technocratic tyranny.

  • ||

    Oh fer crissakes, what kind of mental defect allows you libs to think raising taxes on "millionaires" will not only save Medicare, but will facilitate funding for every freaking liberal wet dream you've ever had??

    First of all, the "millionaires" won't stand for it--they have other options, you know. And, second of all, even if we took every dime these millionaires have, it wouldn't fund our budgetary expenditures for even a year. And then what??

  • Tony||

    Why are George w. Bush's tax rates sacrosanct? He was so right about everything else?

  • DK||

    Tony, is it possible for you to answer a direct question? The issue was this - what do you do when even confiscating every millionaire's entire net worth won't take care of your problem for even one year?

  • spencer||

    I think Tony might be literally made of straw.

  • Obvious||

    Strawman. Nobody's said that those tax rates are sacrosanct, save you. Nobody arguing in good faith would come to the conclusion you've reached.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    A stopped clocked covered in shit might be right every once in a while...but you have to wipe the shit off to verify that.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    There aren't enough millionaires in America to fund what you want, Tony. Confiscating every penny of their wealth would only run the country for a few months.

    But, if all the millionaires'n'billionaires are fleeced down to their underwear, we can call the next-lowest income group as The Evil Top One Percent. Would THAT make you happy?

  • ||

    "But, if all the millionaires'n'billionaires are fleeced down to their underwear, we can call the next-lowest income group as The Evil Top One Percent. Would THAT make you happy?"

    It would make Commrad Tony so happy he would be pee'ing all over himself.

    That is until he became the new 1% then "it would be a crime".

  • ||

    "But, if all the millionaires'n'billionaires are fleeced down to their underwear, we can call the next-lowest income group as The Evil Top One Percent. Would THAT make you happy?"

    It would make Commrad Tony so happy he would be pee'ing all over himself.

    That is until he became the new 1% then "it would be a crime".

  • Mr. FIFY||

    ...or peeing over someone else...

  • ||

    .....or peeing over someone else..."

    That is a fetish of most Marxist folk..

  • ||

    What I love about you Tony is that you refuse to give up and actually answer why we can't return to previous spending levels. I've even gone so far as to offer up returning to Clinton's tax rates if we cut spending back to pre-9/11 levels. Nothing drastic about that as far as I can tell, so why can't we do that?

  • wareagle||

    Obama has offered deficit reduction plans that go far beyond what the Republicans have offered
    --------------------------
    cite one single instance where he put such a plan to paper. You can't. Key example: his budget proposal that was laughed out of the Senate 97-0. Answer your own question, dude: are liberals capable of independent thinking?

  • Spencer||

    "are liberals capable of independent thinking?"

    No. They are capable of thinking that they are capable. They are capable of convincing themselves that they are independent thinkers, and that it's just a coincidence that their thoughts correspond so well with the party line.

  • Spencer||

    "The problem is there's only so much you can reduce if you refuse to ever entertain tax increases."

    That's just a mathmatical lie. You can reduce everything by 50% by spending 50% less. Now, if you say it's politically impossible to get re-elected if you do that, then, well, you might have a point.

    Fuck your bitch about the republicans crap. I will bitch about them spending too much money too.

    Let's talk about spreading the cost of luxuries for those who haven't earned them across society in the name of some "right". Let's talk about that. let's talk about military spending as a job creation tool for political reasons.

    Do you think for a second these wars would still be going on if the economy was strong? NO. They keep going on becuase they are a permanent unemployment plan. A permanent failed stimulous for political gain.

  • ||

    Obama has offered deficit reduction plans that go far beyond what the Republicans have offered.

    No. Paul Ryan's and Rand Paul's plans cut the deficit more than anything Obama has proposed.

    I'm on record as supporting allowing tax rates on the wealthy to go back to normal, but only if it's accompanied by cutting spending by five times as much as revenue increases.

  • Tony||

    That's because you have an agenda of doing away with much of the welfare state, just like every politician who's signed Norquist's pledge. This entire debate is fueled by dishonesty. Republican politicians don't want to come out and say they want to destroy Medicare and SS and give the loot to hedge fund managers, because that sounds awfully bad. So they say "we have a spending problem."

    Either you care about deficits or you care about your utopian fantasies. I just wish people would be honest.

  • Edwin||

    Bullshit, Tony. All you liberal do is babble about Norquist like he's some kind of God. Numerous republicans have stated they're open to tax increases if SERIOUS spending cuts are made. No democrat has made ever made that compromise. Republicans suggest making a few cuts here and there and the democrats accuse them of wanting to kill old people and hating education. It's fucking bullshit, and you guys are full of shit.

    And FYI, tons of people would love gladly see SS and medicare replaced by something actually SUSTAINABLE. Like an SS where the funds are invested, or a medical voucher program, both with actual, meaningful means-testing.

  • Edwin||

    And I'm still waiting for you to explain what liberal ideals justify us shoveling our money to public unions against the will and choice of the taxpayer.

  • DK||

    Republican politicians don't want to come out and say they want to destroy Medicare and SS and give the loot to hedge fund managers, because that sounds awfully bad.

    I'm confused. Didn't Republicans have control of the House, Senate, and Presidency after the 2000 election? So why didn't they eviscerate SS and Medicare? Could it be that it's not really a Team Red/Team Blue issue?

  • Tony||

    Obama's cut $1 trillion and offered up much more including cuts to Medicare. The Republicans do whatever Norquist tells them to do because they're afraid of primary challenges. They all admit as much.

    If you aren't aware of the GOP's generations-long crusade to destroy the safety net, then you just haven't been paying attention.

  • Lord Ballsac||

    ...GOP's generations-long crusade to destroy the safety net...

    And this, their one laudable goal, is bad how?

  • ||

    That's patently disingenious, Obama cut $1Trillion from where? Future spending increases? *chortle*

  • It will||

    Ending Medicare will very obviously kill people. That's something libertarians need to come to terms with.

    It's one thing to say ending Medicare will make us "more free" or whatever. That's subjective, and it's your preference. But you can't pretend innocent people won't suffer and die. That's beyond any reasonable doubt, and the Democrats are completely right to take it into account.

  • Fuck you||

    Yeah...that's why you FUCKING PHASE IT OUT. It will take at least generation to do something like that. It will require a complete reshuffling of the medical industry. And it will require people to actually give a shit about their purchases. God forbid people plan for the unknown. God forbid people actually give a shit about the resources they use.

    Healthcare is a fucking luxury and if you have a choice between having cable tv, a nice apartment for years, a nice car etc. vs. life-saving surgery and you choose all the other bullshit because you are a short-sighted dumbfuck, have fun taking out loans to pay for YOUR LIFE-SAVING SURGERY after the fact. And for those that didn't choose (poor children primarily), there would be a lot more charity if you fucking fascist asshats didn't steal so much from half the country, claim moral responsibility for said charity, and commence to waste 4/5's of that stolen loot in phony-job bureaucracies full of college graduates who majored in bullshit because the government gave them money to major in bullshit most people can't use anyway.

    You support a web of lies that has fed itself into unsustainability while demonizing the only moral and practical cures (the same cures that allow you to shit in a toilet, have food on your table, heat in the winter, Internet porn, hookers, etc). Fuck off, you mother fucking slaver.

  • ||

    Tony don't be so disingenuous. You know damn good and well that most republican politicians don't want to kill SS or Medicare any more than democrats do.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.7.11 @ 3:41PM|#
    "...This entire debate is fueled by dishonesty...."

    No, shithead, that's you.
    Shithead, you are incapable of offering an honest argument. Lies, strawmen, sleazy attempts at misdirection; there is not a single despicable ploy you haven't tried, and to make matters worse, you're incapable of shame when you're caught at it.
    You are a pathetic excuse for a moral agent.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    So he's offered to cut a trillion dollars next year and balance the budget in 3 or 5 years?

    You know, like BOTH Pauls have done with their budget proposals?

    Fuck off, you disingenuous cheerleader.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.7.11 @ 12:52PM|#
    'Obama has offered massive tax increases...'

    FIFY, shithead.

  • Wholly Holy Cow||

    So do all you True Libertarians (you know, such deep thinkers like John Scalzi) now regret not voting for McCain, just to keep this clown out of the WH?

    I'm sure you don't.

    Anyway, I hear Gary Johnson's gonna make a 3rd party run. Better to vote your conscience than help the country move toward less statism. I mean, come on, it's your FEELINGS, man.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Bush:Obama :: John the Baptist:Jesus. Is there a scintilla of evidence that McCain would not have been as big a government spender? He stopped his campaign to pass TARP and, even setting aside ARRA and Obamacare, we probably would have been in an even greater amount of wars by now.

    Hence, yes, I will vote Libertarian barring a completely cuckoo candidate and/or an RP nom with the GOP.

  • free2booze||

    The only positive to a McCain presidency, would have been divided government.

  • Mike M.||

    I wonder how much better the economy might be doing right now if we didn't have Obamacare hanging over America's head like the Sword of Damocles.

  • Spencer||

    ^^THIS^^

  • ||

    I hope it gets thrown completely on its ass, even if it's just by a 5-4 majority.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    Would you trade Obamacare for full out war with Iran?

  • wareagle||

    Obama, that you? Because it sounds exactly like the false choice you would put forth.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    No, it is the false choice that is our two party system.

  • ||

    Please stop calling it a two party system.From now on it will be referred to as the two cult system.Obama/Bush as cult leaders.Donkey Cult....Cult of the Elephant...I am Michael the Angel of War.

  • free2booze||

    Why not have your cake and eat it too? Obama has given us both!

    Attacks targeting nuclear scientists and sites lead some observers to believe that the U.S. and Israel are trying to derail Iran's programs.
  • cynical||

    Would nuking Washington be one of Iran's top priorities?

  • JoJo Zeke||

    The only positive to a McCain presidency, would have been divided government.

    ... AND the appreciable lack of anything called "McCainCare."

  • Johnc||

    Right. 2007-2009 was the Golden Age of 21st-century America, after all.

  • ||

    As Curly would say, "century ain't over yet!"

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    "Better to vote your conscience.."

    Conscience, constitutional rights...potato, potaaato

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    -Keating 5 scandal
    -Co-Author of Campaign Finance Reform
    -Crony Capitalist Champion
    -Major TARP Advocate
    -Doesn't think Patriot Act goes far enough
    -Favors Illegal Detention of Americans
    -Favors Assassination of American Citizens
    -Favors troop Presence in Iraq,Afghanistan for 20+ Years
    -Favors increasing Troop numbers in Afghanistan
    -Supported war with Libya
    -Favors war with Iran, North Korea, Syria...
    -Could name a whole lot more

    Yeah, I'm gonna go ahead and keep voting for the LP

  • ||

    I voted for McCain, but am now convinced (Especially considering his current push to nullify the 5th amendment) that he would have been every bit the overspending, statist asshat that Obama is. I am done voting for whatever candidate the party hacks decide is due for their shot. I am going to vote for the candidate I chose in 2012, even if I have to scrawl their name on the ballot with the stubby #2 pencil they give you to fill in the dots.

  • ||

    But the problem is that McCain would've given us mostly the same policies - which would've failed too. But the difference is, with a mccain presidency, the Left would've been blaming him (and us) for the state of affairs, not the policies. And they would've been able to imagine and Obama presidency that was all unicorns and rainbows. It was important that Obama fail.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    McCain would have traded Obamacare for a doubling down on the Terror War (sounds much cooler than the "War on Terror"), which would have easily cost the country the same(more?) amount of blood and treasure if he somehow managed to avoid the congressional dick-twisting that would have forced an Obamacare-lite.

    The Republicans got what they deserved in 2008 because they are a bunch of moronic hypocrites. At least the Democrats are more honest about their fascism. The fact is, the only way to solve these problems would be for the government to be infused with people who actually want to hobble it permanently, and even that might work because of good ol' power corruption. Moreover, those types of people are too busy making money, looking at internet porn, smoking illegal drugs, or being shouted down by their respective parties. Fuck it, let this shit burn. The only way out is through.

  • ||

    It wasn't at all clear that McCain would have been better than BO at the time. Also nobody in their wildest dreams thought the Dems would get 60 votes in the Senate. We can thank fucking Ted Stevens for that, btw.

  • ||

    It is sad to see that Obama Derangement Syndrome has infected Reason so deeply

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Observing that Obama is deranged isn't a syndrome.

  • Beloved Rev. Blue Moon||

    Just as sad as watching so-called progressives embrace the merger of Corporation and State and fall in love with a warmongerer.

    You can substitute "conservatives" in there for the Bush years if you like.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Why don't you kill an American citizen without trial?

  • Shorter erkinthefarnorth||

  • ||

    No, what doesn't fucking work would be mountains of mostly pointless regulations, aimed as much at being barriers to entry as anything else, massive taxation and even more massive spending, manipulation of the economy by inflating the value of the dollar, government intervention in a number of industries, the politicization of what should be business or economic decisions, creating an unpredictable and arbitrary regulatory environment, expensive foreign entanglements. . . .

    And so on. The free(er) market has reams of evidence supporting it. The government just has the usual lies and false correlations. Most of human history has been about limited freedom, government control, and a lack of markets. The last few hundred years are the exception. And look what's happened, despite governments' and their willing slaves' attempts to derail everything.

  • ||

    But wasn't the Bush administration full of free-market thinkers imposing their regulatory and spending nihilism on an unwilling nation?

    That's what I heard.

  • Mike M.||

    The only remotely good part of the entire speech was at the very beginning when the dumb shmuck once again embarrassed himself by initially saying that he was in Texas instead of Kansas. Oh well, it's just one of those 57 states full of a bunch of bitter clingers, they're all pretty much the same anyway.

    Having a president who hates the country as much as this guy does is so depressing.

  • ||

    There is something seriously wrong with this guy, and I don't just mean he has a political philosophy that I despise. He didn't know what state he was in yesterday, and when he visited the UK earlier in the year he signed the guestbook at Westminister Abbey 'March 2008.'
    We've all the mistake of signing the wrong year early in January, but he wasn't wrong by just one year! WTF? Mental Breakdown?

  • ||

    He still dreams of stadiums and greek columns... [sigh] those were the days, when it was so easy - Obama could just pretend to know everything, and no one could say any different.

  • Mike M.||

    There is something seriously wrong with this guy

    I agree, and I've been thinking that for a while now. For a guy who we're all supposed to believe is some kind of genius, he sure seems to me like he's a fucking idiot without that teleprompter.

  • ||

    Then he namedropped the coach at Kansas State.

  • the casual observer||

    I'd say it's pretty meh compared to BDS.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    In his speech in Osawatomie, Kan., Obama dropped almost all pretenses and made the progressive case against an American free market system

    Since we don't have a free market system, or anything remotely approaching one, so what? He might as well attack "our American system of communism".

  • Spencer||

    At best our american system of government interference.

  • ||

    Many of these shitheads GENUINELY don't seem to understand that we live in a country with a mixed economy, where capitalism is constrained and manipulated heavily. Tell them that and they assplode.

  • ||

    The Occupiers are as dumb as the president. The gap between the 1% is due to government rewarding their friends companies with deals, be they tax breaks or barriers to entry. That, over the last 100 years, has contributed to the disparity as much as anything. The bank and auto bailouts and the union propping stimulus were just the most blatant evidence of this. But it's been happening for a long time. If a true free market existed, the difference between the 1% and the rest would be much smaller, defined only by effort and ingenuity.

  • Johnc||

    That's so laughable it's depressing.

    Just to be clear, in a libertarian society, you think Mitt Romney would be poorer or Jorge the grocery clerk would be richer? How would either of those things happen? Maybe Jorge's wife has an expensive health problem paid for by Medicaid... scrap Medicaid and Jorge's now richer? Maybe Jorge takes the bus to work... scrap the bus and Jorge's now freer?

    Cut Romney's taxes and he's poorer? Which of those makes sense to you?

  • JoJo Zeke||

    in a libertarian society, you think Mitt Romney would be poorer or Jorge the grocery clerk would be richer? How would either of those things happen?

    In a genuinely libertarian society, selfish third party envy of a Romney's personal wealth would not dictate he be made "poorer," nor would Jorge's personal finances mysteriously become his next door neighbor's concern. Derp.

  • Johnc||

    Do you have a point? Nothing you said has anything to do with Bones' assertion that the income gap would shrink.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Nothing you said has anything to do with Bones' assertion

    Did you not type the excerpted, italicized portion to which I specifically responded, above? Were you simply tapping out random letters on your keyboard, for the sweet, merry hell of it? Derp redux.

  • Johnc||

    The poster Bones asserted the income gap would shrink under a libertarian system. Thus, either the 1% would get poorer or the 99% would get richer. I simply asked him which would happen and how.

    I never dictated that Romney should be poorer, and you can re-read my post where you won't find such a statement.

    Nor did I say anything about envy or concern or any of the things you talked about. Your post was a non sequitur.

  • Sevo||

    Johnc|12.7.11 @ 7:54PM|#
    "The poster Bones asserted the income gap would shrink under a libertarian system. Thus, either the 1% would get poorer or the 99% would get richer. I simply asked him which would happen and how."

    It hasn't been a mystery since Adam Smith.

  • Johnc||

    Well, if you can't explain it simply, you don't really know it.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    The fact that you want a simple explanation of the complex interactions between individuals explains why your favored "solutions" have failed.

  • Ice Cream Bunny||

    in a libertarian society, you think Mitt Romney would be poorer

    Why would this need to happen in the first place? Explain.

  • Johnc||

    I never said it would "need to happen", so I can't explain your statement.

    The poster above me asserted that the income gap would shrink. That necessitates either the 1% getting poorer or the 99% getting richer. Nowhere in my post did I say that should happen, I just expressed my skepticism of his statement that it would, and asked him to explain.

  • ||

    Very little of the debt-dependent hedge fund or private equity industries would exist in their current forms without the easy, government-subsidized credit injected by the Federal Reserve. So yeah, Romney would probably be a lot poorer under a more libertarian system.

  • wareagle||

    who's to say they wouldn't exist in some other form and Romney's 50% as wealthy? Technically, that makes him 50% poorer than now but, in hard numbers, still not bad.

  • ||

    What do you mean "in some other form"? Most hedge funds and all private equity firms are dependent upon being able to borrow massive amounts of money, which has historically only been possible under central banking arrangements (or using other crony government connections like some of the railroads or old cartels did).

    Cutting down every fiat financier's wealth by 50% (and then further winnowing the field by another 50%, there just won't be as many of them around either) would go a long way toward reducing the wealth inequality people are getting so hung up about. Obviously it won't bring us to total equality but that's only a goal amongst the seriously deluded.

  • ||

    Free markets have supported human prosperity since the earliest recorded history and the Babylonian markets over 6,000 years ago. Socialism, Communism, and Progressivism have NEVER worked and, in fact, are currently collapsing around the world right now. Which is what is so infuriating about Obama's statement. It's so obviously a lie... and to drop that lie right now, with so ample evidence around us is... well, the audacity of a dope.

  • ||

    Here's what punched me square in the face with a steel-plated fist: The President of the United States of America has publicly declared that liberty doesn't work.

    Five years ago, when we were already diving into the shitter, I STILL would never have believed this possible.

    I hope a fucking combine harvester runs him over and chews him up, and maybe he'll do something useful for a change -- provide nutrients to the soil.

  • ||

    Fair enough--I publicly proclaim on a daily basis that government and tyranny don't work.

  • ||

    The fucking PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES -- not of Uganda, or fucking Brazil, or some other country. And it's PERMISSIBLE for him to do so. It's ACCEPTABLE, no longer taboo. That's how low we've stooped.

  • ||

    I dunno. I'm a pretty important blog commenter, listed in the Who's Who of Blog Commenting. I'd say that equals the presidency in prestige.

    Seriously, it should be a total kiss of death. I imagine that comments like that will be a kiss of death with many voters. We're not quite dead yet, we Americans.

  • ||

    No, we're not. I'm probably one of the most optimistic Americans in that regard, in fact. But it's just incredible that there's even an hour, half an hour, 15 MINUTES after a comment like that that every other newspaper, radio station, television news broadcaster, and average Joe in the country didn't tear him a new one for it.

    There's many true republicans/constitutionalists/libertarians in America, but not nearly enough in the context of 300,000,000 people, I fear.

  • ||

    If we could just get back to our tradition of a healthy paranoia about government, we might be okay.

  • Okay||

    When have we ever been "okay"?

  • ||

    ultimately, we get the govt. we deserve....

    sigh

  • ||

    human beings lived as hunter gathers for at least 73,000 years before the agricultural revolution, not to mention the industrial revolution and Adam Smith. these societies were largely egalitarian, both politically and economically. These are the societies human beings evolved in, the ones we are genetically engineered for. We are interconnected and interdependent in ways your markets have never dreamt of my dear Horatio.

  • jdb79||

    "these societies were largely egalitarian, both politically and economically."

    Dr. Pinker would like to have a word with you, Chris.

    That period of our history was characterized by constant, unremitting, perpetual tribal violence, rape, and terror.

    And of course we're interconnected and interdependent--that's sort of what an economy is. What straw man misunderstanding of Libertarianism is it, exactly, that you're railing against?

  • Pip||

    Another Obama Scandal: $433 million no-bid contract for dubious smallpox vaccine...SEIU's Andy Stern on Board of company

    http://www.nypost.com/p/news/o.....TaxBMwIGAM

  • Pip||

    Even more outrageous, the vaccine still hasn’t been tested on humans — meaning, as McCaskill wrote, that no one knows whether “it is actually safe for human use.”

    Then there’s the way Siga actually got the contract: It won a competitive bid, even though the winner was required to be a small business — unlike Siga.

    When another bidder, a legitimate small business, complained, HHS reopened the process — but barred any company but Siga from bidding.

    Eventually, the bid was canceled, and Siga was simply asked to submit a proposal, which was accepted.

    There is little here different from Solyndra — except for the fact that Siga doesn’t appear headed for bankruptcy.

    But it’s another sign that political clout and influence hold sway in the Obama administration — with the taxpayer picking up the tab.

  • Mike M.||

    Wait a minute. I thought that smallpox was basically eradicated from the earth, except for a couple of ultra secure top secret military facilities in the U.S. and Russia. What do we need a new smallpox vaccine for?

  • cynical||

    I don't want to give way too much here, so let's just say that I wouldn't take any free blankets from the government if I was you. Might not want to live in a predominantly Republican area either.

  • Johnc||

    It's only "eradicated" as far as we know. Our avoidance of epidemic diseases is 20% science and 80% luck. Smallpox could come back tomorrow or twenty years from now or never. Or some brand-new disease could appear out of nowhere.

    But more importantly, biowarfare is a very strong possibility in the next century. I think that's more what they have in mind.

  • ||

    Melting permafrost in the tundra is exposing corpses of varying degrees of age which may still carry dormant (not dead) smallpox. So yeah... nature is funny that way.

  • ||

    The past 100 years has been a continuous experiment of running 2 different economic systems. Centralized command economies on one side and free markets on the other. Some times the same countries were divided into 2 parts  West/East Germany, North/South Korea. If someone had designed this experiment in a laboratory conditions he couldn’t do better. The result has always been the same  Impoverishment & Tyranny vs. Prosperity & Freedom (relatively speaking).

    Yesterday, Barak Obama looked entire America right into the eyes, and expressed, a 180% different conclusion. It must be a religion. A philosophy based on faith not observation. He is a believer that capitalism is fundamentally unfair, he believes in “To each according to his needs from each according to his abilities”. He is just getting more and more honest in revealing what he truly believes in as time goes by. He wants to fundamentally transform America into some variation of centralized command economic/political system administered by wise and learned intelligentsia such as him.

    I hope that he will be soundly rejected by the American people next November. This is the land of the free and home of the brave. People are encouraged to emulate the successful instead of being filled with green envy and rage like the occupy crowd. Until the next November the republicans must become a party of no, no, no, and no to the n factor.

  • ||

    "It must be a religion. A philosophy based on faith not observation. He is a believer that capitalism is fundamentally unfair, he believes in “To each according to his needs from each according to his abilities”. "

    That is true for each and every Liberal Progressive I have ever met. The believe with every fiber of their being, that the stuff they and "their people" spew to be the gospil. If your show them a different view......or worse yet actullaly having the prof in hand. They blow up like a atomic bomb because you dared to not "follow" the line.

  • Invisible Finger||

    What Obama says: some people thought massive inequality and exploitation was just the price of progress....But Roosevelt also knew that the free market has never been a free license to take whatever you want from whoever you can

    What America understands: SOLYNDRA

    The more Obama talks, the more America hates him. He might actually perform a feat no American has ever done before: lie his way out of office.

  • ||

    "He might actually perform a feat no American has ever done before: lie his way out of office"

    One would hope that will happen, but there are still alot of "his" people who believe he is still the "One"

  • ||

    "Tell us, Julian," said the doctor, "did the rich go to one another and ask the privilege of being one another's servants or employees?"

    "Of course not."

    "But why not?"

    "Because, naturally, no one could wish to be another's servant or subject to his orders who could get along without it."

    "I should suppose so, but why, then, did the poor so eagerly seek to serve the rich when the rich refused with scorn to serve one another? Was it because the poor so loved the rich?"

    "Scarcely."

    "Why then?"

    "It was, of course, for the reason that it was the only way the poor could get a living."

    "You mean that it was only the pressure of want or the fear of it that drove the poor to the point of becoming the servants of the rich?"

    "That is about it."

    "And would you call that voluntary service? The distinction between forced service and such service as that would seem quite imperceptible to us. If a man may be said to do voluntarily that which only the pressure of bitter necessity compels him to elect to do, there has never been any such thing as slavery, for all the acts of a slave are at the last the acceptance of a less evil for fear of a worse. Suppose, Julian, you or a few of you owned the main water supply, or food supply, clothing supply, land supply, or main industrial opportunities in a community and could maintain your ownership, that fact alone would make the rest of the people your slaves, would it not, and that, too, without any direct compulsion on your part whatever?"

    "No doubt."

    "Suppose somebody should charge you with holding the people under compulsory servitude, and you should answer that you laid no hand on them but that they willingly resorted to you and kissed your hands for the privilege of being allowed to serve you in exchange for water, food, or clothing, would not that be a very transparent evasion on your part of the charge of slaveholding?"

  • ||

    Replace "rich" with "government".

    Freedom = Slavery

  • ||

    Ah, an utopian socialist.

    Fortunately (for us; not for our grandparents) in the meantime we've seen practical socialism in the Bolshevik and National variety. Both of them were rip-roaring successes.

  • ||

    (stock progressive answer): yea, but THOSE socialists were bad socialists. good ones would have made it work. plus the US capitalist-imperialist-fascist-heterosexist-racist-capitalist machine put up too many roadblocks.

    oh, and SW3D3n!!!!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The only thing missing from that speech, was Obama pounding the podium with one of his shoes.

  • ||

    or someone removing one of their own, to throw it at him...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Actually, Obama has a way to go if he wants to truly emulate Nikita Khrushchev,,, but not a long way.

  • ||

    capitalist are currently scouring the world for the poorest most desperate people to exploit - pay less, long hours in dangerous conditions - and you call it a free market. If me and my children are starving and you use that desperation to coerce me into being working for you for low wages and in dangerous conditions then you are a slave owner.

  • ||

    Why did you have children, if you have no marketable skills that would allow you to command more than minimum wage? We pay employees of our company $10/hour just to do basic assembly work and pack orders. If that's the extend of your capabilities, you probably shouldn't have had babies. It's not my problem you racked up expenses without considering the future. It doesn't make your time worth more money to me.

  • ||

    "Why did you have children, if you have no marketable skills that would allow you to command more than minimum wage?"
    - there is no minimum wage in the third world country I live in, that's why your corporation moved its operation to my country and put your countryman on the street even though generations of families helped build your company, in a few years when labor is tight in my area and wages rise, they will move again to a more impoverished part of my country. They could have still made a substantial profit on their widgets if they kept operations in your country, but the demand of investors for ever increasing returns and the golden parachute bonuses, tied to such maximization of profit over any other humane value system aka GREED, led them by their money grubbing noses.

    This is apparently a system whose morality you exalt, I do not.

    thought experiment based upon real world example of Iphone production
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07.....gewanted=1

  • Sevo||

    Chris Harris|12.7.11 @ 5:23PM|#
    "capitalist are currently scouring the world for the poorest most desperate people to exploit - pay less, long hours in dangerous conditions - and you call it a free market..."

    No, actually, I call that a lie, and presume it's posted by a brain-dead lefty.

  • Johnc||

    What part of that is a lie? You're saying capitalists don't want to pay their workers as little as possible? They don't want to minimize worker safety?

  • Sevo||

    "capitalist are currently scouring the world for the poorest most desperate people to exploit - pay less, long hours in dangerous conditions"
    Lie.

    "If me and my children are starving and you use that desperation to coerce me into being working for you for low wages and in dangerous conditions then you are a slave owner."
    Lie.
    Two for two.

    "They don't want to minimize worker safety?"
    Lie.
    One for two.
    OK?

  • ||

    Sir, please conduct yourself in a civil manner, I AM NO LIAR and take affront to your un civil tone, apparently you were not brought up properly as a good family would have taught you better manners. A man should conduct himself with respect for himself and others.

    Since you obviously have access to the intertubes and all the information it provides, I am surprised that you are unaware of the ongoing process of off shoring American Jobs by extremist capitalist who by their behavior can only be said to be more interested in the next marginal gain in profit and not the United States Of America and its people who through their blood sweat and tears built the very companies that the extremist capitalist are using to make jobs in China. Their only concern is their own well being - specifically the size of their bonus which is directly tied to the performance of the company stock, stock owned by the investment class that makes a living by playing ever more clever games with money a la these exotic financial devices such as mortgages bundled into securities and credit default swaps - the very risky behavior that brought down our economy - and only pay 15% on their investment income, while the workers that built the company pay much more. A bunch of MBA's that think they and the math geeks they hire are so clever that they eliminated risk when we all know at the bottom of all those fancy games they play is the real world where there will always be risk. And lets not forget, CEO's with golden parachutes, that make millions even when companies do poorly under their "leadership" - thats broken, extremist, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, capitalism. Not the values of hard work and creating something of worth that built this great Nation.

    here is a link to and quote from an article that discusses how the iPhone is manufactured. It costs them $200 to make the Iphone, they sell it for $600 for a 300% profit. Foxconn, a Chinese company assembles it for $7, they could assemble it in the USA for $70 and still make an huge profit. Foxconn as the article discusses is moving its manufacturing to an even more poor part of the country so they can pay people less to work 7 days a week 12 hours a day and then charge them to stay in a company apartment. You're defending the people that are selling out America. Get your facts straight do some research, stop calling people names and grow up.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07.....gewanted=1

    "Desperate factory owners are already shifting production away from this country’s dominant electronics manufacturing center in Shenzhen toward lower-cost regions far west of here, even deep in China’s mountainous interior.
    "At the end of June, a manager at Foxconn Technology — one of Apple’s major contract manufacturers — said the company planned to reduce costs by moving hundreds of thousands of workers to other parts of China, including the impoverished Henan Province."

  • wareagle||

    You're saying capitalists don't want to pay their workers as little as possible? They don't want to minimize worker safety?
    ----------------------------------
    yes, I'm saying that exactly. On both counts. Jobs exist because work has to be done; the value of the work dictates the level of pay. Smart companies understand that sharp employees are a prized commodity and take great pains to prevent them from leaving to work for the competition.
    Second, lax safety causes numerous problems - higher liability and hospital coverage, missed time at work that reduces productivity, possibly lawsuits. Have you ever worked for a private business?

  • ||

    iirc it was pj orourke in (eat the rich?) who destroyed the labor = value meme with the example that a ditch and a rembrandt take the same amount of labor to create.

    which is more valuable?

    labor = value is one of the STUPIDEST things ever uttered in politics or economics, and that's saying a lot

  • ||

    Calling something stupid does not refute it.

    Most artists die penniless, as do a lot of creative geniuses, Tesla for example. So by your definition the market (aka herd) is stupid.

    The ditch is a lot more valuable if people are dying of cholera and need proper sanitation.

    How do we value a thing? what the market will bear? The problem with all pure market theory is its a rationalization, no pure markets exist, its a spherical cow, a simplified model of a complex world, that has its uses but should not be followed to the logical extreme.

    Human beings are intrinsically valuable I do not believe it is the American Ideal to value our lives based only on market considerations.

  • ||

    I've worked for private business since I was 12, I'm now 40. Yes worker protection regulation and lawsuits has greatly increased corporate responsibility in the 20th century - however aren't those the very protections which most on this thread would call socialism? immoral? and want to gut? They are not all "Smart companies" and they are led by short sighted CEO's who are more concerned about short term stock price gain than long term viability. Remember the mine explosion a while back? People are not rational actors, oh unless its rational to cut corners for short term gain. Article below


    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011.....ine-blast/

    quote from article:
    The new owners of the West Virginia coal mine where 29 men were killed in an explosion agreed Tuesday to pay a record $210 million in penalties over what the government called an "entirely preventable" tragedy caused by the pursuit of profits ahead of safety.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011.....z1fyeAZTGZ

  • jdb79||

    I'm pretty sure that suing the pants off an irresponsible employer isn't considered socialism by anyone on this board.

    You may be sincere, but you are deeply confused about the nature of government or the protections it affords.

  • ||

    If the work is not paying enough STOP working for that Person / Company end of subject.

    If your an adult You and ONLY you are in control of your life and your lifes condition.

    If your life sucks STOP blaming the "rich" the "capitalists" or who ever else is in "fashon" this week to blame for YOUR problems.

    Get off your arse and MAKE it happen.

    Move, work else where....start your own business. Cant be bothered with any of the above.....That is your own problem and No one elses.

    If you want to blame the world for your lack of skills of drive go ahead, but your talking to the wrong people, you sould be in the mirror pointing and yelling at your relfection.

  • ||

    A third of the worlds population lives on under a dollar a day, they burn dung to cook food, women and children carry water for miles. They work very hard to survive but they do not have the opportunities and choices you describe, they can't go out and become a Walmart greeter, they have no education. So when some one comes along with a truck load of our technological trash and says they will pay them a few penies to melt lead off of leader boards over a coal fire, they do it because they don't have any other choices. They can't move, they don't have cars, and the conditions are the same for hundreds of miles around.

  • ||

    You do realize that for the 1/3 of the world that lives on

  • ||

    Whoops. The rest of that was:

    You do realize that for the 1/3 of the world that lives on

  • ||

    We are talking about US. The rest of the world is their OWN problem. Nice try to redirect the focus.

    I could care less about the rest of the world until we FIX our country.

    If you feel so bad please go make them all a sandwich.

  • ||

    The rest of the world is your problem when extremist capitalist can move your job to those countries and exploit poor desperate people, using their very desperation to extract low wages, long hours dangerous conditions. Capital can move easily, labor can not.

  • ||

    "The rest of the world is your problem when extremist capitalist can move your job to those countries and exploit poor desperate people, using their very desperation to extract low wages, long hours dangerous conditions. Capital can move easily, labor can not."

    Again Nice try......The Rest of the world can wait till we FIX this country end of subject fool.

    As for the "capitalists" you claim all rape the poor. Really frigging simple STOP buying the crap they sell.If your working for one of these places and getting some pennies is better than no pennies keep working, it will get better. Or quit and farm MUD.....I could care less.

    The only way your ever going to beat them is to NOT support them.
    If it is such a bad thing create your own company and make the same stuff HERE.

    Telling me I have to help someone in another land because some "capitalist" as you call them, has "hurt" them I will again correct you and tell you It Aint my problem.

  • ryan||

    They don't have any other choices? No. In fact, they could choose not to work. If someone offers them a job for a few pennies and they take the job, it's because they perceived it as a better choice than the alternative. Therefore, the employer would be engaging in a mutual exchange, and if the employee were rational they would be appreciative of that opportunity. Plenty of people want great, enjoyable jobs with high compensation handed to them, but that has nothing to do with reality.

  • ||

    its not a rational mutual exchange, its an act of desperation. Yes most people would and will choose such slavery and abuse over starvation. Lucky employer when his only competition for labor is a slow agonizing death, all he has to do is provide a slightly slower less agonizing one. Pull back for a minute man, remember your humanity, markets create efficiency, its a value but not the only one.

  • ||

    its not a rational mutual exchange, its an act of desperation"

    True but it is better than starving....or getting shot.....or getting eaten buy a aligator.

    Point is they got what that local market could bear.

    There will always be "poor" people, there will always be "disadvanaged" and there will always be "capitlaists" that abuse the "system" ......

    Just make sure your not one of any of those and youll be fine

  • ryan||

    "its not a rational mutual exchange, its an act of desperation..." etc

    I don't understand your point. It being an act of desperation makes it no less rational or mutual. The employer being "lucky", whether or not that is true, does not change the facts of the exchange being mutual and voluntary. And indeed, if the employer provides a slightly slower and less agonizing death, I would say he deserves respect and appreciation from the people to whom he provides it. If we are discussing a situation between employer/employees in which all benefit and all act voluntarily without forcing any harm upon one another, then I do not see any issue.

  • ryan||

    Furthermore, if the employees in this case are truly desperate, that merely serves to increase the employer's value and service to them.

  • ||

    "Plenty of people want great, enjoyable jobs with high compensation handed to them, but that has nothing to do with reality."

    Its a reality for the children of the elite. All you need is C's at Yale and Harvard and a Daddy with lots of connections. W ran several companies into the ground before he did the same to this country.

  • ||

    And Obama had none of the connections of the "family" but he got "grades" at the same schools and is riding the hill down even faster!

    So your point is?

  • ryan||

    There's no significant connection between the children of the elite and the hypothetical poor people to which you referred taking a low-income, high-risk job. To the latter individuals, a mutual, voluntary exchange with their employers becomes no less mutual and no less voluntary in the case that hypothetical children of the elite are getting C's and having a hypothetical dad with lots of connections. It changes the debate none.

    Technically speaking, there is some fact of reality similar to the one you mentioned. But if we consider the original subject to which I responded, it's irrelevant, and I stand by the original post.

  • first||

    Welcome along Stasha, a petite young beauty who, lucky for us, is a self proclaimed exhibitionist!

    Stasha was born in the Ukraine but grew up in the beautiful city of Prague in the Czech Republic. With her doll-like features and perfect proportions the camera just loves Stasha. Petter Hegre described her sleek, graceful form as being like ‘a lazy cat on a hot summer day’!

    Stasha loves to eat juicy, grilled prawns with her fingers and another love in her life is her little, white car with tinted windows, She is very proud of her car!

    Stasha may look innocent but she knows for sure the effect she has on men – so watch out! You have been warned!

  • Ray||

    I wonder what future historians will say a thousand years from now about the brief couple hundred years of individual liberty before we reverted back to the normal condition of tyranny and misery.

  • cynical||

    Whatever their regional warlord wants them to say.

  • -||

    Unless the historians are anarchists. Then life will be peaches and cream.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    "Unless the historians are anarchists. Then life will be peaches and cream."

    Yes, they may eat it, because nobody will make it illegal to eat due to its high caloric value and unhealthy attributes!

  • Anyway||

    Economics In One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt. Indispensable primer on economics, written for the layman. Still in print, still refuting long-discredited (but still thriving) fallacies, from rent control to minimum wage and unemployment compensation. Makes a great holiday gift. Maybe I'll send a copy to the White House.

  • The Angry RPh||

    And to think that Hazlitt used to write for the New York Times. Gawd, we're doomed.

  • Revolution now||

    Maybe assassinations in DC would "fix" things.

  • cynical||

    It would certainly fix the absence of martial law, and we could see Battlefield America in practice.

    That said, if it comes down to Gingrich versus Obama, I'm going to break down and finally buy a gun and stock up on ammo and supplies. Maybe a physical library of useful materials (Dean's Electronics, The Big Book of Science, etc.)

  • ||

    Man, Peter Thiel needs to hurry up with his Seasteading Project, this is getting ridiculous.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Team Blue will just use its power to declare Seastedading a terrorist activity.

    Or maybe Team Red will do it. Fifty-fifty chance, either way.

  • TANSTAAFLusa||

    It is about time for some man-made marine disasters

  • Best BlurayDiscPlayer Price||

    great post

  • ||

    I'm no prude, but the amount of vulgarity and ad hominem attacks on these threads show how inarticulate the participants from all sides are. What ever happened to courtesy?

  • ||

    The Liberals threw that out with common sense and rational learning.

  • jdb79||

    Unfortunately, this is par for the course for Reason. We have at least as many angry crusaders as any other political group, and the more polite folk tend not to show up here for the fact that the inmates run the asylum.

  • VincentMVNY||

    Every wor in his speech can be disproved. He has changed the definition of 'rhetoric' so that it now means "outlandish lies'.There are millions, no, billions of individual re-affirmations of the successes of Capitalism and just as many examples of the ongoing failure of the Socialist model. You would think that in the absence of their ability to point to ONE, just ONE socialist success that any sentient, critical thinking human being would admit its dismal failures, past present and future. It makes blood shoot out of my eyes when Progressives spout statements usually giving phony, distorted statistics, that they have uncritically absorbed into their mushy brains, advancing their leftist program.

    The sheep who live off the largesse of the left’s entitlements, exorbitant pensions and bloated government salaries are the left’s army. Their generals are the elite who think they, within their elitist compounds, can make better decisions for the masses than the collective knowledge of the masses they deplore.

    Inexorably they lead us in very small steps towards the undoing of this, the greatest political invention in all of living history, a democratic Republic in which the people rule. At least that’s the way it was meant to work.

  • دردشة العراق||

    Thank you

  • دردشة العراق||

    Thank you

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement