Biden: Every Great American Idea "has required government vision and government incentive"

Via Drudge comes this New York Daily News campaign quote by your vice president:

"Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive," he said. "In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States....No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

What was the "government vision and government incentive" that produced the assembly line? Motion-picture film? Air conditioning? The electric guitar? How about the personal computer? The mobile phone? Non-violent resistance? Aspirin?

Though Biden is generally not to be taken seriously, the government-centrism of his comments are an accurate reflection of his boss, and part of the reason why next Tuesday is going to be an awkward day of work at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Joe!

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't think he meant to use the past tense there. Every American idea will require government vision and government incentive.

  • ||

    Cretins like Biden, who spend their whole lives in government and politics, view themselves as creators, not destroyers. It's an interesting pathology.

  • Joe Biden||

    Mao was the greatest creator of them all.

  • Anita Dunn||

    I concur.

  • ||

    Some of us dream of laws against being in a public position (or any combination of them) for more than one term every decade or two. Heck, since I'm dreaming here, how about one term per office and a maximum of two or three per lifetime with no less than five years between any two terms?

  • ||

    The worst part is that there are a sizable number of TEAMBLUE/TEAMRED shitheads that will happily lap up that sptutum of null intellect, especially journalists.

    No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

    What a disappointment that would have been for the indians.

  • ||

    That Biden uses the Union Pacific railroad as a success story is telling. It's a classic case of corruption and waste in government-funded transportation projects.

  • ||

    Not to mention that all the railroad boom, and bust, did was subsidize the peopling of areas that people wouldn't have lived in otherwise. It was one giant, government subsidized bubble. Basically, the people who worked on the track or provided services to people who worked on the track were the ones who actually lived in the new towns created by the railroad expansion. Once the railroad expansion slowed and some people moved back to the coasts, town after town crumbled and the tracks that were laid between ghost towns were useless. Without the railroads, people would have simply lived on the coasts, the South, and along the Mississippi river and those resources would have been put to work there. The old cities were basically subsidizing their future competition too.

  • Ivan||

    Except for the Great Northern RR which was built by James J Hill:
    "The Great Northern was the only privately funded, and successfully built, transcontinental railroad in United States history. No federal land grants where used during its construction, unlike every other transcontinental railroad built. It was one of the few transcontinental railroads to avoid receivership following the Panic of 1893."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....n_Railway_(U.S.)

  • Amakudari||

    Wasn't this around the same time we had the fucking telegraph spring up more quickly than it did in countries that had explicit policies directing its development? And didn't railroads wind up a clusterfuck?

    He best be trolling.

  • Adam||

    Er... not to be picky, but how does Aspirin qualify as a "Great American Idea"?

  • Shitty Friend||

    Blog title aside, Biden said "idea" sans American.

  • Tym||

    Isn't it German?

  • encyc Ike||

    Little known fact: Germans invented willow tree bark.

    [Actually, being the ace synthetic chemists that they were, the master race developed a commercially viable process for making aspirin. Then, WWII and the allies stole the Bayer brand from the Bayer Chemical Co.]

  • Shitty Friend||

    Rock n Roll?

  • Mango Punch||

    Blow up dolls?

    -on second thought, outlawing prostitution was the gov't incentive for that one.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Take a look at the govt funded photo of the joining of the govt funded transcontinental rail and find me one of the thousands of Chinese workers who built it. Then go read up on the anti-Chinese activity American workers ("they took ur jrbs") launched into when the govt was done w/ the Chinese railroad workers.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Basically, govt is everywhere in every orifice. If anyone does anything, govt is there. Therefore, the govt claims credit.

    Tim McVie drove a truck bomb that was regulated by the govt, which guaranteed he got to his destination. Is the govt responsible for the OK City bombing?

  • Lucifer||

    Is the govt responsible for the OK City bombing?

    It was you and me.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    AND he drove to the federal building he blew up on a govt funded road. More proof the govt is to blame.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    AND his target was built by the govt, and his victims were paid to be there for him by the govt. Man, govt really is responsible for the OK City bombing.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Johnny Longtorso,

    Is the govt responsible for the OK City bombing?

    Only Janet "Waco" Reno.

  • Rich||

    Here's a great 21st century idea that *would* require government vision and government incentive: Locking ol' Joe away in the "secret location".

  • sam harvey||

    How about the airplane?

  • MNG||

    I think given the example he gives a fair reading is that every "monumental" large scale project required government vision and incentive. He's thinking thing like large scale capital projects and such.

  • Shitty Friend||

    Wal-Mart? Disney World? FedEx? Uh, he's wrong.

  • MNG||

    Interesting that all of the above would have been impossible without the government system of roads, especially the interstate system. Thats the kind of thing (the interstate system) he seems to be talking about.

  • ||

    Philadelphia and Lancaster Turnpike? And the rest of the early ones.

    "In the first three decades of the 19th century Americans built more than 10,000 miles [16,000 km] of turnpikes, mostly in New England and the Middle Atlantic states. Relative to the economy at that time, this effort exceeded the post-World War II interstate highway system that present-day Americans assume had to be primarily planned and financed by the federal government."

    You're committing the fallacy of assuming that simply because something was government funded, that it would not have existed without government. There would have been roads and turnpikes without the US government.

    Secondly, you're really connecting everything tenuously. It makes it equally true to say that every single bad idea would not have occurred without government either. For example, by your standards, not just Jim Crow but slavery and racism would have been impossible without the government.

  • Shitty Friend||

    Well done. Much better than my tortured example of fire discovery.

  • MNG||

    Movements from the baseline always look "relatively" incredible. Bringing scores from a baseline of zero to two is a two hundred percent increase relatively!!!

    Talk about straw-clutching...

  • Old Mexican||

    Straw clutching makes roads!

  • non-smoker||

    The percentage increase from 1 to 3 is 200%. The percentage increase from zero to 2 is infinite.

  • ||

    I didn't read the entire linked article, but the summary quoted aboved doesn't say "as a percentage increase". It says "relative to the economy at that time". Not the same thing.

    Isn't there a term for the fallacy of arguing against something not asserted ?

  • Russ Nelson||

    Slavery was subsidized by the state government. Every citizen had to spend a certain amount of time helping to catch runaway slaves.

  • Shitty Friend||

    If you're going to credit the nation's highway system with those disparate large-scale enterprises. I guess we should go back to the discovery of fire. Fire seems to be discovered w/o gov't assistance. Ergo every great invention (capital intensive or not) could be handled w/o the hand of gov't.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    But, but, roads!
    Roads! ROADS! ROA-DS! Ro-ads, ro-ads, ro-ads, ro-ad!

    ROOOOOOOOOOOADS!

  • ||

    Well, no. Before Wal-Mart, Disney World, and FedEx we had Sears & Roebuck, Barnum & Bailey, and Wells Fargo. And lots of roads, too. Interstates made some business models easier and more efficient, but they were not a magical catalyst for the flowering of all subsequent commerce.

  • ||

    Like a string of death camps across Europe?

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I think you're on to something here. World Wars would be pretty much impossible without government vision and incentive.

  • MNG||

    It's so silly to say "hey, there is no world war in history without government providing the army!" Well, there has been no world war in history without enterprises providing the armaments, so should we blame capitalism too?

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    When the government co-opts industry to provide for the war effort, that is not capitalism.

  • ||

    When the government co-opts industry General Moters to provide for the war effort UAW, that is not capitalism.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Enterprises funded by govts provided the armaments. If govt funded research meant Algore invented the internet, then it invented those weapons also.

    Govt created nuclear weapons.

  • ||

    It's so silly to say "hey, there is no world war in history without government providing the army!"

    Only as silly as to claim that anything that uses roads wouldn't happen without the government, considering the extensive private network of turnpikes in the 19th century.

    Well, there has been no world war in history without enterprises providing the armaments, so should we blame capitalism too?

    NO, because you're the one arguing that government has responsibility for anything tenuously connected to a government effort, like anything that uses roads. I reject that line of argument, but I reserve the right to make you follow it to its conclusion and be consistent.

  • MNG||

    What's tenuous is the methodology that states that those turnpikes were "relative to the economy at the time exceeded" (WTF? exceeded?) the interstate highway system.

    My point is your point actually. Things are more complicated than blaming everything and nothing on government (or capitalism), in part because the two have been so interdependent on each other.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Things are more complicated than blaming everything and nothing on government (or capitalism), in part because the two have been so interdependent on each other.

    Because . . . of roads?

  • ||

    Did you just say capitalism is dependent on government?

  • MNG||

    Yes. Even "market oriented" analysts have long noted that capitalism is retarded by a lack of things like contract enforcement, property rights, etc.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hernando_de_Soto_Polar

  • Russ Nelson||

    Government regulation of markets drives out customer regulation of markets. When governments enforce contracts, or property rights badly, that doesn't automatically mean that customer regulation will be able to step in to replace it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Yes. Even "market oriented" analysts have long noted that capitalism is retarded by a lack of things like contract enforcement, property rights, etc.

    Actually, MNG, if you had read Hernando de Soto's book (available at Amazon.com), you would have found out that the reason behind the lack of contract enforcement and property rights in Third World countries (like his and mine) is because of government monopoly of enforcement and government incompetence, in other words:

    Government keeps the gloves, ball, bat, field and makes all da rulez.

    So it is NOT the lack of government that makes capitalism impossible.

    But they sure make ROADS!!!

  • BHO||

    capitalism is retarded

    My thoughts exactly.

  • ||

    I think you have it backwards. Governments do not create property rights, the right to contract, or any other rights. Governments are instituted among men to secure these human rights. Capitalists create governments that can be relied upon to respect economic freedom.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOADS!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Well, there has been no world war in history without enterprises providing the armaments, so should we blame capitalism too?

    There wouldn't be world wars without governments being able to loot their populations to pay for them, so should we blame the populance for being such pusillanimous dolts?

  • ||

    Yes, we should.

  • Old Mexican||

    There you have it!

  • T||

    We have met the enemy and he is us.

  • ||

    So how have non-capitalist countries typically armed themselves?

  • Mr. Bentley||

    Don't you even read other people's comments? Johnny Longtorso already has an answer to this.

  • Amakudari||

    Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive.
    A fair reading is that every "monumental" large scale project required government vision and incentive.

    That's not a fair reading, it's a damn generous one. And has it been a theme for Democrats to talk about the need for more government involvement in transportation, or do you think he's speaking approvingly of government involvement in other sectors?

    Besides, he also said 860,000 private sector jobs have been created.

    From the BLS data on private sector payrolls:

    Non-seasonally adjusted
    January 2009: 109.1 million
    July 2010: 108.8 million

    Seasonally adjusted
    January 2009: 111.0 million
    July 2010: 107.8 million

    There, I suppose a fair reading is that he's not counting job losses?

    Defend that quote's dumb-as-hell sentiments all you want, but it's a Bidenism.

  • ||

    Stool fucker. Wrong about government. Wrong for Hit & Run.

  • yonemoto||

    without the NIH we would never have cured polio!

  • ||

    CRANK IT TO 11 JOE! CRANK IT TO 11!!!

  • Shitty Friend||

    Zactly!

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    An ex-friend said we needed single payer because the free market couldn't handle the capital expense of a hospital MRI. Just like they can't handle 757s, offshore oil rigs, etc.

  • Mango Punch||

    In the same speach he said something like: "In the last 20 months we've created more jobs than durring the entire Bush presidency, and that's factual."

  • ||

    He's right actually. He and Obama didn't create a single job during the entire Bush presidency. He's still a fucking idiot and should know by now it's not his job to create or save jobs. That is not a legitimate role of government despite MNG also being a fucking idiot.

  • ||

    Continuing to study Obama/Bidenese.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    The gubbmint invented internet porn? Or was behind the explosion of VHS porn?

    Cuz that is the only significant enterprise that I can think of for the last couple of decades.

  • Mango Punch||

    Yes, they outlawed prostitution.

  • MNG||

    Government played a pretty big role in developing the internet, yes.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    The D in DARPA is for 'defense'. If anti govt types need to know "govt" created the internet, should pacifists get off the damn thing also? Since it was the US govt, should foreigners who use it to complain about said govt get off the damn thing also?

  • Ted S.||

    I've always found it ironic that that people who whinge about needing more government money for R&D usually are the type who hate defense spending, but the best things we've gotten from government R&D (the Internet, or GPS) come from defense R&D.

  • Shitty Friend||

    Ethernet, which makes using the internet much more bearable, was a private sector development. If it was up to the gov't, we'd all be using Token Ring. :(

    I'll give you DARPANet! But, again see John's argument above.

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Okay but the private sector folks who invented that wouldn't have been able to get to their offices to make it if the government didn't make ROADS! Nyah!

  • Ted S.||

    If it were up to the government, we'd probably all be using Minitel. The fact that it's French is a plus for the Obama-types. ;-)

  • Michael||

    Wow, you're really insistent on proving the private sector to be incapable of anything. Realize that while the government may have "invented" the Internet, it was the private sector that realized it could be used for practical purposes other than enabling entities whose sole purpose is to kill people.

  • MNG||

    "Wow, you're really insistent on proving the private sector to be incapable of anything."

    Thats goofy, its your side that seems hellbent on taking the absolutist side: that government never did anything good. But fundamentalists are like that...

    On the other hand I can freely admit, hell even revel in the amazing accomplishments of the market while also saying that government has done quite a bit of good.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    On the other hand I can freely admit, hell even revel in the amazing accomplishments of the market while also saying that government has done quite a bit of good.

    Yes, because government makes roads!

    Roads, I tell you! Roads!

  • kinnath||

    Let's take Biden's claim at face value. If the free market would not have connected the coasts by rail until three decades later, it would be because there was no fucking business case for anyone to do so.

    So yes, the government can take taxes and run projects that the free market won't support. This includes doing something that the free market would eventually do on its own (transcontinental rail) as well as things the free market would never do (a bridge to nowhere).

    I have posted before that there are some jobs that only the government can do (defense) and that the free market frequently exploits defense technologies after the fact (GPS enabled navigation for personal use).

    But that doesn't justify the idea that government can or should lead the free market around by its nose.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: kinnath,

    I have posted before that there are some jobs that only the government can do (defense) and that the free market frequently exploits defense technologies after the fact (GPS enabled navigation for personal use).

    Aaaand....

    Roads!

  • Route 66 Small Business||

    Name one good thing the government has done and if you say Interstate Highway System you lose a testicle.

  • MNG||

    Property rights? Contract enforcement?

    I mean, even by minarchist standards this is easy dude.

    Fundamentalism is silly.

  • Russ Nelson||

    Um, you DO realize that a well-written contract is independent of government enforcement. It contains arbitration clauses, and terms describing what happens if the contract is not fulfilled.

    And property rights can be enforced just fine without government. You just make sure that you're well-armed and you never leave your property. Or, you hire somebody to do that for you. In time, they'll figure out that it's cheaper and safer to negotiate agreements with other property defense firms.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    Property rights? Contract enforcement?

    You say that only because you have not met my BFFs: Smith, and Wesson.

    I mean, even by minarchist standards this is easy dude.

    So much for roads . . .

  • ||

    The aqueduct ?

  • kinnath||

    DARPA defined a massively redundant network protocol to ensure that launch codes could be sent to ICBM facilities even when massive portions of the network had been destroyed.

    For commercial purposes, TCP/IP creates about as many problems as it solves.

    Without DARPA we would most likely have a much simpler and cleaner commercial internetworking infrastructure.

  • sr7||

    The liberals who feed off of the 'government created the internet line' have no idea what a protocol is, if they did they would not treat it as some great hupla. It is simply a way to structure a package (code) for delivery. The really interesting work in that field has been done by the on line gaming community where TCP/IP handicapped them for a decade as they developed work arounds that make massive multiplaying and deathmatches possible. Funny they are so pro-DARPA when they make this argument given liberal politicians routinely tried to kill that program off back then.

  • ||

    I wouldn't go that far. Nothing was stopping the private sector from developing an internetwork with a superior protocol.

  • sr7||

    Point being, if TCP/IP was designed soundly as a general usage protocol in the first place they would not have had to spend years working around its limitations, and relied on the existing structures without massive labor in areas that were outside their expertise in the case of JC (and Sweeny for that matter.)

    http://trac.bookofhook.com/boo.....Networking

    The First Attempt (QTEST/Quake2) ¶

    Carmack's first real networking implementation, back in 1995, used TCP for QuakeTest (QTEST). This was fine for LAN play, because the large packets (8K) wouldn't fragment on a LAN (by "fragment", I mean to the point where disassembly and reassembly induced significant overhead), but didn't work so well over the Internet due to fragmentation (where dis/reassembly and lost packets often resulted in very expensive resends). His next iteration involved using UDP with both reliable and unreliable data, pretty much what many would consider a standard networking architecture. However standard mixed reliabled/unreliable implementations tend to generate very hard to find bugs, e.g. sequencing errors where guaranteed messages referenced entities altered through unreliable messages.
    Quake3 ¶

    The final iteration (Quake3), which was the first time he really felt he "got it right" (whereas Carmack always felt a little uneasy with previous implementations' fragility), used a radically different approach. With Quake3 he dropped the notion of a reliable packet altogether, replacing the previous network packet structure with a single packet type -- the client's necessary game state. The server sends sequenced game state updates that are delta compressed from the last acknowledged game state the client received. This "just works". Dropped packets are handled implicitly, and specific commands are never acknowledged independently -- last known state acks are piggy backed on regular incoming/outgoing traffic.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And don't forget...ROOOOOOADS!

  • cynical||

    The physical backbone and fundamental information tech, yes, but (as with your road analogy) that doesn't mean it deserves credit for the services built on top of that. The government didn't create Google.

  • Jason||

    The physical backbone is actually private, derived the Commercial Internet Exchange (CIX) built UUnet, PSInet, and a few other companies. They developed the CIX because the US government prohibited connecting commercial entities to NSFNET.

    The commercial internet drove down the cost of networking so much that the government shut down their network and switched to the new commercial internet.

  • ||

    Government played a pretty big role in developing the internet, yes.

    Without private involvement there would be no internet.

    Without government involvement there would be an internet, and without a government sanctioned telephone monopoly we probably would have had it sooner then we did.

    Also the telegraph the telephone and the telex and fax were all invented and developed by the private sector and were all predecessors of the internet.

    It would seem the only involvement government had in the creation of the internet would be by accident of its spending money on everything and by force.

  • Abdul||

    To be fair, the government created pretty much all the incentive for non-violent resistance. Thoreau was non-violently resisting government intervention in Mexico.

  • Shitty Friend||

    Is there an Obama equivalent to this? I need to give my neighbors heartache after these midterms. http://farm3.static.flickr.com.....b0b4_z.jpg

  • smartass sob||

    "Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive," he said.

    Well nearly every one of them has been burdened with government vision and incentive (controls.) Biden is Obozo's useful idiot.

  • ||

    "In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States....No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

    Highly subsidized and corrupt Union Pacific and Central Pacific complete: 1869.

    Totally private Great Northern complete: 1893.

    24 is quite a bit less than 35.

  • ||

    And, unsubsidized, it also managed to avoid going bankrupt after the subsidies stopped and panics hit, unlike the others.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Yeah, didn't all that railroad expansion have something to do with the Panic of 1873?

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    It also only took 4 years to complete vs. 7 for UP despite no government incentive.

  • JoshINHB||

    And a more difficult route.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    So thanks to govt, we were able to commit genocide (*) against the Native Americans that much quicker, thanks to govt subsidized railroads.

    (*) That's their view when it suits their purposes, so that's their view now.

  • ||

    Technological advances are rarely about a singular insight that only one person can make, and are often about taking a bunch of technologies that already exist and combining them in ways that are fairly obvious in hindsight.

    I hop in my time machine and shoot Alexander Graham Bell in the head when he's three... does anyone really think that we'd have never had a telephone? Anyone want to make the argument that the state of telephone technology wouldn't be exactly the same now as it was before I got in my time machine?

    The absence of DARPAnet would have made no negative impact on the development of the Internet. In fact, if it hadn't been kept a government-exclusive network for as long as it did, running on government-owned computers that were invariably out-of-date and connected through government-spec data transfer protocols and on government-regulated monopoly telephone lines, it probably would have been more accessible to more non-government people years before it actually was.

    I'm not going to rant about how with the absence of government, we be as gods, but claiming advance that happens to occur due to government as being proof that government was a necessary condition for that advancement to occur does not follow.

  • Joe Biden's Sweaty Nut Sack||

    If I could comprehend that, it would ruin my whole argument. And...

    I love trains! Yay!

  • T||

    You'll never be as god until you get that pancreas issue worked out. No deity I know of has a malfunctioning pancreas.

  • Ayn_Randian||

    Wrong: Hephaestus. And from what I understand, SF isn't far off on matching that guy in looks, either.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "...with the absence of government, we be as gods..."

    But what good is godhood without ROOOOOOOOOADS!?

  • James J. Hill||

    "In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States....No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

    Bolderdash!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Jerome_Hill

  • Jeffersonian||

    You're exactly the guy I thought of when I read that. Biden's as ignorant of history as he is obsequious of government.

  • Old Mexican||

    Biden: Every Great American Idea "has required government vision and government incentive"

    Yes - government vision pointed somewhere else and the incentive of staying the fuck out of the way.

    He's right.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    I think given the example he gives a fair reading is that every "monumental" large scale project required government vision and incentive.

    That's true. Not that that means the projects were any good, but they were certainly "monumental," like the flood-inducing "modifications" to the Mississipi river, for instance...

    He's thinking thing like large scale capital projects and such.

    Wow! Show me how you did that! That mind reading thing, I mean! Because I have NO idea of what he's talking about.

  • Old Mexican||

    How about the personal computer?

    I can say Biden is right on that one because the government had the vision and applied the necessary incentive by not arresting Steve J and Steve W on a spurious drug charge thus letting them invent the Apple.

  • Joe Biden's Sweaty Nut Sack||

    See? Our benevolent inaction allowed magic to happen. How else can I type a letter to my train enthusiast friends one minute and have them respond to my psychotic ramblings the next? It's as fast as Superman when he runs past a speeding locomotive. (Even Superman loves trains!) Magic, bitches.

  • ||

    You can get powders for that sweating problem. I believe governent made those powders possible.

  • ||

    The computer was invented to better aim artillery. The PC is a decendant of that. I give him 1/2 credit.

    A lot of high tech was invented/constructed due to the needs of defense and done with government money, even if the work was done at a private company. The gov gets some credit.

  • ||

    Of course, Biden's claim is over reaching.

  • Charles Babbage||

    Actually, I was a dirty old man who saw that the age of easy access to porn coming. I would tell government officials as well as private backers anything they wanted to hear to get me to that promised land. Truth be told, all of my antecedents are exactly the same.

  • hmm||

    Joe Biden is the United States greatest troll.

  • ||

    You must be unfamiliar with my contibutions to this industy.

  • Max||

    ARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!

  • ♥♥♥||

    Trolling is a art.

  • Yeah||

    The blackest.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Ever argue with some Xian who argues that God is omnipotent and good, but human free will is what brings evil into the world?

    Basically, "anything good touched by govt is credited to govt, anything bad isn't" is the same argument. Govt is good, and it is individuals who are bad. Govt "intended" its activities for good, therefore, if someone uses them for evil, they didn't do what govt "intended", so govt is off the hook. The Holocaust? Evil individual Nazis. Not "government". The railroads? Govt. Use of the railroads to help wipe out Indian tribes? Evil individuals.

    That's how an all powerful govt is good, but we have evil in the world. Damn individuals just don't do as their told.

  • ||

    Nailed it.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Both the left and right agree that Abu Ghraib was due to a handful of individuals. The right says it was the guards. The left say it was Bush and Rumsfeld. Either way, not "govt", but a handful of evil individuals.

  • ||

    ""The right says it was the guards. The left say it was Bush and Rumsfeld. Either way, not "govt", but a handful of evil individuals.""

    Why not both? But either way, they where on government payroll.

  • ||

    Vladimir Ilyich Biden:

    Everything for the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Plus roads.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Did you guys know government makes roads?

  • Old Mexican||

    I bought one the other day, so I know . . .

  • Russ Nelson||

    Do you know that most local roads are created by private enterprise, and then turned over to government?

    Obviously you don't. But you do now, so stop saying that government makes roads.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Roads.
    Roads.
    Roads.
    Nyah-nyah-nyah!

  • alan||

    Asphalt. The latest and greatest in technological development. Only government can handle its many intricacies.

    Biden, why do you hate the people who pay your salary? Should you have not developed at least some form of Stockholm Syndrome towards us by now?

  • encyc Ike||

    Asphalt. The latest and greatest in technological development. Only government can handle its many intricacies.

    Actually, government researchers (academics) never wanted to study asphalt because it is really hard to understand and it is not intellectually sexy. Of course, some enterprising industrial chemist made a name for himself (within a number of fields) by rolling up his sleeves and tackling the problem.

  • ||

    part of the reason why next Tuesday is going to be an awkward day of work at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave

    Isn't the boss leaving on a week-long overseas trip next Tuesday? Its not going to be "awkward", its going to be awesome. Like a Bud Light commercial, only with ugly people.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    And how will all those voters get to the polls?
    (Uh-huh, that's right...)

  • Joe Biden's Sweaty Nut Sack||

    I'm voting for Niggers. I mean Coons.

  • Old Mexican||

    Roads!

  • Tony||

    What a Republican hack you are Welch.

    So private enterprise managed to do some things, which you've selectively cited? Okay! That's its job! Is Biden's point undermined in any way at all? No.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Roads.

  • Old Mexican||

    Racist!

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    So private enterprise managed to do some things, which you've selectively cited?

    You want a more thorough list? It would take weeks to compile.

    Is Biden's point undermined in any way at all? No.

    Oh? And why not?

  • ||

    "Every single great idea .... has required government vision and government incentive"

    So when Matt points out something/anything that private enterprise has done, Biden's point is completely undermined.

    Poorly done Tony, even by your standards.

  • sr7||

    Poorly done Tony, even by your standards.

    You would think roadkill would not be so fond of the surface upon which they are flattened.

  • Amakudari||

    0/10

    Learn to read.

  • ||

    Is Biden's point undermined in any way at all? No.

    Defending Biden? Seriously?

    I always knew Tony was a hack.....but this is beyond the pale.

    I can accept the fact that there are really fucking stupid libertarians....why should it be difficult at all for a left wing nut like Tony to accept that fact that Biden is a dunce?

  • kinnath||

    You're really just Danny's imaginary friend in the Shinning aren't you.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Sdaor.

  • kinnath||

    +1 took me a couple of minutes ;-)

  • Sean||

    But... I was taught in school that Reconstruction happened AFTER the civil war, not "In the middle".

    Wait a minute, does this mean that War is nothing more than a ploy to build infrastructure to the benefit of future generations of corporate interest, subsidized by the government?

  • Old Mexican||

    You know, Citizen Nothing? We need a Shostakovitch to compose an ode to that great achievement by government without which the United States would still be populated by elk and beavers and devoid of any man and civilization.

    You know what that is????

  • Citizen Nothing||

    I haven't a clue, OM. Perhaps MNG could tell us.

  • ||

    Skateboard parks?

  • Butts Wagner||

    without which the United States would still be populated by elk and beavers and devoid of any man and civilization.

    I choose to believe that if there were no government, the Puritans who came to New England would have still wiped out the Indians, but then turned to the beavers and elk for survival, and the US and Canada would be populated with Elk-men and Beaver-men.

  • Old Mexican||

    Yes, but... with roads???

  • Butts Wagner||

    SOMALIA!

  • alan||

    You know what that is????

    Is it when mung develops a fuzzy hair like substance covering its surface?

  • Shitty Friend||

    The roads in my town suck. Can I buy a competitor's roads?

  • ||

    Penn Jillette's rebuttal:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EEyk-iohLw

  • Nats||

    Wow. Did I ever need that laugh today. Thanks papa Joe.

  • Draco||

    Joe Biden: The Anti-Rand. Literally. Word for word.

    Rand on the vision of the creators.

  • ||

    Multiplexing, the tran-fucking-sistor, liquid fuel rockets (look at all the grants Goddard didn't get), the phonograph, the incandescent bulb ...

  • MNG||

    If there were no government roads, I would have no cars to chase.

  • ||

    MNG,

    Just so you know, defending anything that comes from Biden's mouth or pen that he didn't steal is as difficult as defending the crap that rolls of the the tongue of Mahmoud "no homos in Iran" Ahmadinejad.

  • alan||

    Well, he deserves at least a beer ration for making the effort. I know, I'm the revolution's softy.

  • James J Hill||

    "In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States....No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

    Cough (Bullshit!) cough

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive,"

    That is example # 9,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999,999 that Biden is fucking idiot.

  • ||

    I could connect to AOL and Compuserve at least a decade before I could connect to the Web.

  • ||

    In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States....No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years."

    There was actually a really good article in Wired magazine a few years ago (decade ago?) about the railroad bubble created after the civil war. Parallels were made with the dark fiber and the internet bubble...but i think a better parallel can be made with the more recent government created mortgage bubble of fannie and freddy.

  • Dakotian||

    I think it should be noted that any railroad that Lincoln had built was probably a National Defense project. One of the reasons Eisenhower started the Interstate highway program was also for defense. Overpasses were built to specific dimensions to allow military equipment to move under them.
    I would argue that these were legitimate government defense projects.

  • The One True Libertarian||

    these were legitimate government defense projects

    They can't be unless they promoted the gay or drug use, you unwashed HERETIC!

  • sr7||

    Some little troll has a weird fixation. Try that one out on your friends. See if they understand where the fuck you are coming from with that one.

  • ||

    MNG : 'Yes. Even "market oriented" analysts have long noted that capitalism is retarded by a lack of things like contract enforcement, property rights, etc.'

    Yes, yes , quite so. but where then does O! get the idea thet taking over whole industries is a good (smart?, intelligent?) thing to do?
    When the owner of a biz gets to also write the rules reg's that govern that biz it isn't being a republic's government anymore, it is being a fascist government.

    The lefties on the Supreme Court really helped on the property rights front in Kelo huh?

    Once again , hypocrits to the core.

  • ||

    Actually Biden was factually right.

    Patents and intellectual property rights is a government concept. Without government protection of patent ideas...all of the great inventions and products would never find a market.

    Joe Biden was RIGHT!

  • ||

    Without government protection of patent ideas...all of the great inventions and products would never find a market.

    Without patent protection, great inventions and products may not reward their inventor as much as you might think they should, but they will certainly find a market. Indeed, with all comers legally allowed to sell and improve on the inventions as fast as they can, the inventions are likely to find greater markets.

    It is certainly at least possible that patents do more harm than good.

  • ||

    Government is involved in most major enterprises eventually, even in a capitalist system. Infrastructure, regulation, communication and finances, are a few examples. Biden is trying to sell his parties socialist policies of more government control by ignoring what this country became great with. Capitalism. Not by the historically failed religion of socialism revived by him and his Muslim boss.

  • ||

    lol wut?

  • ||

    Joe Biden is a steaming pile of rat shit.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    “Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive,” he said. “In the middle of the Civil War you had a guy named Lincoln paying people $16,000 for every 40 miles of track they laid across the continental United States. … No private enterprise would have done that for another 35 years.”

    STICK. TO. PLAGIARISM!!!!

    Because apparently Joe's original(???) thoughts are so paint-the-walls-in-blood-and-feces insane that the mere act of detailing their falsity is headache-inducing.

  • ||

    Matt ... are you really this stupid?

    Did you bother to look up the origins of the BUSINESS PRODUCTS you listed?

    No you didn't.

    If you did you would find out Biden is correct.

    Good thing you are a blogger.

    Blogger is synonymous with an idiot who doesn't even know the world around him.

  • ||

    According to the records I could find, no railword workers made $16,000 for every 40 miles, unless it took them over 38 years to do so. WHITE workers made $35 a month, while Chinese workers made considerably less ($20 or less per month.) Maybe the railroad president made $16,000 for every 40 miles, but not the average worker. Of course, it doesn't sound anywhere nearly as fantastic to say that government allowed workers to make a buck a day (give or take,) so why not fudge a few numbers? The government DID give grants for $16,000 per mile on easy terrains, but there was nowhere I could find to suggest that the average railroad worker made more than $35 a month.

    Biden = Bull$hit!

  • Dale Amon||

    He's so far off he's not even wrong as the physicist said... First off, Lincoln bought a lot of land that the railroad was going to make valuable before his election and stood to make a fortune had he lived to reap it. Second of all, the privately financed Great Northern http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.....n_Railway_(U.S.)
    actually made money, whereas the government financed one made little but scandals and corruption.

  • Dale Amon||

    Keep in mind that the subsidies were largely in terms of land on either side of the right of ways. Also look at the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal.

  • Postpartum Girdle||

    There have been so many amazing inventions in the last few decades all of which have changed our lives in one way or another.Things that did not exist when I was in my twenties are things which I could not now imagine doing without.

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