Economics

The Battle for the Future

Combating progressive fairy tales

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Stossel's special The Battle for the Future airs Saturday 9/25 at 9pm and Sunday 9/26 at 8 PM and 11 PM Eastern Time on Fox Business.

For most of the life of America, and when it grew fastest, government spent just a few hundred dollars per person. Today, the federal government alone spends $10,000. Politicians talk about cuts, but the cuts rarely happen. The political class always needs more.

I see the pressure. All day, Congress listens to people who say they need and deserve help.

The cost of any one program per taxpayer is small, but the benefits are concentrated on well-organized interest groups. It's tough for a weak politician to say no.

But maybe things are changing. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), believes that "more and more people in America are beginning to wake up to the fact that this thing is coming unglued."

I asked Ryan why his colleagues say it's OK to spend more. Are they just stupid? Don't they care? Or are they pandering for votes?

"Pandering could be a part of it," he said. "But … they believe that the government should be far larger." They are taught that by the progressives who rule academia, like Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill.

"We have to make sure that the most vulnerable people are always protected," Hill says. "Everyone benefits when we pay a little bit more to create universal health care. Everyone benefits when we pay a little more to have better public education systems."

Progressives use the word "we" too often. When I argued that "we" and "government" are not the same, he said, "We always talk about the government like it's this monster in the hills that comes down and hands things out and takes our tax money."

Well, yes.

Those are "libertarian fairy tales," Hill says. "In real life, the government is us."

Government is not "us." Well, it's us in the sense that we pay the bills. But it ain't us. It's them, the policy elite and their patrons.

What percent of the economy does Hill think government should be?

"For me, housing, health care and education, in addition to national defense, are things that the government must provide for people. So if that means 20 percent, I'm OK with it. If it means 30 percent, I'm OK with it. I don't think it'll ever get that big."

Give me a break. It's already at 40 percent!

All that spending is taken from your and my pockets—some in taxes, much in sneakier ways like government borrowing. The national debt—now $13 trillion—simply represents future taxes or the erosion of the dollar.

Yet progressives want us to pay more. One woman activist told our camera, "It costs to live in a civilized society, and we all need to pay our fair share."

Our "fair share" sounds good. Progressives say taking from the rich to help the poor is simply fair.

I put that to Arthur Brooks, who heads the American Enterprise Institute.

"No, the fairest system is the one that rewards the makers in society as opposed to rewarding the takers in society."

Brooks wrote The Battle, which argues that the fight between free enterprise and big government will shape our future.

"The way that our culture is moving now is toward more redistribution, toward more progressive taxation, exempting more people from paying anything, and loading more of the taxes onto the very top earners in our society."

But it seems "kind" to take it away from wealthier people and give it to those who need it more.

"Actually, it's not," Brooks says. "The government does not create wealth. It uses wealth that's been created by the private sector."

He warns that "Americans are in open rebellion today because the government is threatening to take us from a maker nation into taker nation status."

Americans in "open rebellion"? I'm skeptical. Handouts create fierce constituencies. The Tea Party movement is wonderful, but it takes strength to say no to government freebies. When I've said to Tea Partiers, "We should cut Medicare, eliminate agriculture subsidies, kill entire federal agencies," the enthusiasm usually fades from their eyes.

I hope that I am wrong and Brooks is right.

John Stossel is host of Stossel on the Fox Business Network. He's the author of Give Me a Break and of Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity. To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at johnstossel.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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  1. Good article, John. I just have one complaint. I really wish libertarians would stop praising Paul Ryan. Look at his record. It is not good.

  2. Good article, John. I just have one complaint. I really wish libertarians would stop acting like Paul Ryan is on our side. He is not. Look at his record. It is not good.

  3. Government isn’t “us,” Stossel writes, it’s them, the policy elite and their patrons.

    It’s the ruling class.
    It’s mid and high level politicians.
    It’s cushy public union hacks.
    It’s rent-seeking, competition crushing businesspeople and corporations.
    It’s cops that see citizens as little more than “possible threats”.
    It’s faceless bureaucrats looking to claw their way upward on the torn skin of the electorate.
    It’s the nanny state.

    Your days are numbered.

    /hope

    1. You left out:
      It’s everyone on welfare or extended unemployment.
      It’s everyone who gets tax credits like EIC.
      It’s, well, almost everyone at that point.

      1. Yes, we’re all “the ruling class.”

        Blind much?

        1. Who do you think votes in all these “ruling class” people?

        2. Means a lot coming from the world’s first successful recipient of a hemorrhoid transplant!

      2. That’s the serf class.

        I give them money and they vote for me.

        1. “I give them THEIR OWN money and the vote for me.”

          Fixed.

      3. Don’t forget Big Military.

    2. Here are some assholes who love big government and Obama.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWi6IlmSO_o

    3. Sage are you aware of all the contradictions you present in your rant.
      The ruling class, the unions, the corporations, the nanny state?

      You are all over the map and seem to be ranting about everyone except your mom.

      1. fuck you, his mom is a hooker with a heart of gold

  4. Drunk again.

  5. Terrible effort here imo. Shorter Stossel:

    1. Some people say government is us, I says it ain’t!
    2. Some people say redistribution is fair, I says it ain’t!

    1. The fairness things is just a unsurmountable sticking point I think. It has to do with what people “deserve.” Some people think what people deserve is whatever they get absent fraud/force, other people have different criteria (“each according to his needs” and all).

      1. What do people deserve, then? My money? Yours? Help in times of need for food and shelter, or long-term, no strings attached, no payment or work required lifestyles of relative leisure?

        1. When you say “my” you beg the very question…

          1. That’s right, MadBiker. It’s not YOUR money. After all, you must use roads…

            1. When you say something is yours you either mean it is in your possession or you are entitled to it. If the latter you are begging the question of who deserves (is entitled to) what.

              1. either mean it is in your possession or you are entitled to it.

                Or both…

              2. One is entitled to it if one works for it. Employers and employees have agreements to provide compensation for services rendered.

                “Each according to his need” awards compensation for nothing, essentially. Who determines the need? How else could the needs be filled? What is the needy person doing with his time, body, and mind to deserve payment?

                1. You’re still not getting it I think: the need IS the criteria according to this view.

                  1. The problem being that “need” is in the eye of the beholder. Having a central authority determine needs is always going to miss the mark by a significant amount, since needs differ.

                    1. The needs of the Ruling Class are great therefore we need the finest wines, caviar, fancy cars…

                      After all, there is only so much of the finest products to go around. We cannot distribute it evenly to the lesser sort so it is only fair to give it to the Ruling Class.

              3. If I earned it by way of my employment… IT IS MY MONEY.

                The Government steals my money by threat of force of arms. Morons like Tony and MNG will never understand that the non working class do not have a right to my earnings.

      2. Could you please explain to me why your system of “each according to his needs” is the better system?

        1. Better according to what?

          See, that’s what I’m getting at. I don’t think either side can convince the other because the disagreement is at a fundamental level.

          1. You’d think all of the shining successes of “each according to his needs” would settle the argument.

            1. Not when the alternative is “each according to what he manages to get his grubby hands on.”

              1. Ah, the old “wealth isn’t something to be created, just to be seized” philosophy.

                I assume you make a living somehow – do you consider that “getting your grubby little hands on” some money? Or do you earn it?

              2. A few mass graves of dissenting, disloyal citizens across Eurasia would beg to differ.

              3. Awk! Polly wanna government cracker! Awk!

          2. I can be VERY convincing with a baseball bat and a pair of pliers….

      3. “each according to his needs”

        It doesn’t work, stupid. Most people have learned that since Mao and Stalin starved their countries to death. The fact the idiots like you still believe in it shows just how intellectually shallow your ideals are.

        1. I thought we learned that in Jamestown.

        1. FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

        2. O! My! GOD!

          1. Troll 2 is shit…and THE shit simultaneously. My other favorite line “NILBOG IS GOBLIN BACKWARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      4. How’s this for fair: “If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”

        I know, I know – some people *can’t* work. I agree that in a civilized society, those people need to be taken care of.

        However, the Progressive’s intention seems to be making work *strictly optional.* Their regime makes no distinction between people who cannot work because they’re physically or mentally unable to, or because the economy failed and there are no jobs – and people who are simply too lazy, stupid, or dysfunctional to take care of themselves.

        The Progressives don’t want to eliminate poverty and unemployment – they want to subsidize them.

        Discuss…

        1. Funny fact:
          Vladimir Lenin considered the quote “If you don’t work, you don’t eat” as one of the basic principles of socialism.

          Source:
          http://www.marxists.org/archiv…..v/ch05.htm

        2. This is what grinds my gears: Even if we used the government to take care of all the poor needy bastards out there, there is no freakin’ way it would cost us as much as our current government costs. I mean, fucking shit, they say they want to help the needy, but apparently the needy = anybody who doesn’t live in a mansion. By that standard, it’s no surprise personal responsibility is nonexistent among the middle class, while graft and waste are rampant at all levels of society. There are too many “needy” people.

          1. “This is what grinds my gears: Even if we used the government to take care of all the poor needy bastards out there, there is no freakin’ way it would cost us as much as our current government costs.”

            Oh, I think that is quite likely correct…

        3. Actually, the progressive thinks that all those that work should get to eat the same stuff. Work is not really optional. The propertarian/corporatist seems to think that some people who eat should get to eat much nicer food by virtue of, well, being able to convince everyone else that they deserve because they earned it.

          1. Really? There’s no difference between (a) earning something because it results from free exchange and (b) earning something because you have it regardless of acquisition?

          2. Corporatism is the proper antidote to the unequal distribution of liberalism’s lassiez-faire economics and the lack of incentives of communism.

            In the corporate state, Owners, workers, and consumers are represented in companies, local government, and national government. Since everyone is incorporated into society, everyone will eat the same equally. As Mussolini said:

            The citizen in the Fascist State is no longer a selfish individual who has the anti-social right of rebelling against any law of the Collectivity. The Fascist State with its corporative conception puts men and their possibilities into productive work and interprets for them the duties they have to fulfill.

          3. “Propertarian” and “corporatist” are not synonyms. In fact, they’re pretty much antonyms.

            I suggest reading this article on Fascism.

        4. “I agree that in a civilized society, those people need to be taken care of.”

          How, and by whom?

          1. And just who are “those people?” Are you being racist?

          2. In a civilized society, “taken care of” means a bullet in the back of the head.

          3. In a civilized society, “taken care of” means a bullet in the back of the head.

        5. The devil, as always, is in the details. How do you tell the difference between someone who can’t work and someone who won’t work? At the extremes it is usually easy; in the middle, it is anyone’s guess.

          A system designed to avoid leaving out people who need help will certainly give help to people who don’t truly need it, people who could, in fact, support themselves. Make the bar higher to eliminate any chance of malingering, and truly needy people will be left out.

          Two different physicians can review the same medical records, conduct interviews and medical exams, and come to radically differing opinions. One sees someone as able to function, while the other sees disability. The human side can’t be dismissed from the equation.

          It simply isn’t easy to do what you suggest.

      5. nobody DESERVES anything they didn’t EARN for themselves and voting for a progressive because they promised you a chicken in every pot doesn’t mean you are entitled to the chicken they take from me to give to you.

        1. So you agree with Lenin then?

          1. I think you need to re-read the entire post.

    2. 1. Government is us as far as we choose to participate.

      2. Capitalism is based on the redistribution of wealth.

      What were you saying again?

  6. “We have to make sure that the most vulnerable people are always protected,”

    but now the “most vulnerable” appear to be the 40% of all Americans — or more — who are receiving some form of government handout.

    1. Which seems to perpetuate vulnerability and victimhood. Rather than teaching him to fish and then expecting him to do it, government just keeps doling out the filets.

      1. This is true, but it is also a fundamental misunderstanding of government.

        When libertarians and conservatives say “government doesn’t produce anything, only the private sector produces” progressives don’t really understand that. This statement slips right past the progressive mind, because they see the private sector as the dirty byproduct of civilization. On the other hand, progressives see government as representative of a great civilization, therefore the idea that government doesn’t produce anything does not even properly register due to their cognitive dissonance, their minds just filter that sentence out as useless noise in the conversation, the way one might tune out the wind. Just using the word government arouses a completely different state of mind for a progressive thinker since they associate government with civilization. In the progressive mind, government is a civil charter that grants rights and makes the game fair for all players.

        Here is a thought experiment to try out on people you know are very liberal. Ask them if the New York Yankees (and you can sub the pro team of choice here, I dont care about sports so dont shit on my post cause your a sox fan or something) . . . anyway, if the New York Yankees played against your local Highschool JV team would it be a FAIR game. When or if they say no, ask them why and I would bet both my balls that they will say because the Yankees are professionals and the HS team doesnt play as strongly for any number of very valid reason.

        The answer to this question relies on the responders understanding of the word FAIR. Look fair up in any dictionary and you will soon realize that it has more to do with the umpires of this game than the skills of players, but progressives WANT fair to mean something else because if it doesn’t then they logically have to change their understanding of government and this is not acceptable because their minds have been trained over time to KNOW that government creates fairness.

        Government cannot create fairness, it can only ACT fairly. This is the cognitive dissonance that progressives must deal with when confronted and the term fairness gets trotted out as a defense mechanism, even though they are using it wrong.

  7. I started reading Atlas Shrugged again the other day. I’m at the scene of Jim Taggart’s wedding where d’Anconia talk about what money is, and the words ring truer to me now than they did years ago when I read it the first time.

    Oddly prescient little book. I can’t agree with Rand on every aspect of her worldview or philosophy, but the events fo the novel are paralleling our own reality in too many ways for my comfort. She does a particularly good job of characterizing (caricaturing?) liberals and their help-the-less-fortunate credo, as though government were the only giver of assistance to those unable, unwilling, or both, to help themselves.

    1. Francisco’s talk on money is actually a better speech than Galt’s, in my opinion.

      1. Same here. Francisco is my favorite character in that book.

        1. I was always partial to Hank Rearden. I appreciated his willingness to fight for himself and his interests to the very end.

          1. Francisco’s wit in playing with his enemies is what draws me to him. Hank is my #2 guy. He is principled to a fault and I admire that, but Francisco’s decision to appear to sacrifice principles in order to taunt and toy with Jim & Co. is so pleasurable to read.

      2. You actually read Galt’s speech? I thought everybody skipped over it.

        1. You mean you actually had a thought?

    2. There’s nothing “little” about that tome. Rand was all well and good philosophically, but from an artistic standpoint I always thought her novels sort of sucked. The literary equivalent of a root canal.

      1. Yes, well, I was being a “little” hyperbolic.

    3. Never heard the words “little” and “Atlas Shrugged” in the same sentence!

  8. “I started reading Atlas Shrugged again the other day.”

    I’m sorry for you.

    “Oddly prescient little book.”

    I can think of at least two errors in this sentence…

    1. Fuck you minge!

    2. I can think of at least one error in your life….

    3. Beats reading Gore’s work, for instance…

  9. Marc Lamont Hill is a Professor of Education. That explains a lot.

    1. Attorney – explains even more

  10. so we pile on to the rich people- they can pay a little form their personal and business gains to pay for the people who buy their products/services. We pile it on and pile it on. Hell, even at 75% they’ll still be wealthier than everyone else. But wait, what happens when they die, or make HORRIBLE business decisions that send their wealth down hill. What happens when the top 2% falls and can’t support the rest anymore?

    Ok, that’s a little doomsday, but a real situation is this- you are telling them they have to pay tribute to be kings. I rather them just not be kings at all and just be really, really rich dudes.

    1. “What happens when the top 2% falls and can’t support the rest anymore?”

      They get called greedy and incompetent people who only cared to make a profit while ruining the lives of others around them and not living up to their “social responsibilities.”

    2. “What happens when the top 2% falls and can’t support the rest anymore?”

      We bail them out with “wealth” that exists as promises on paper and numbers on a computer screen. Our grandchildren pay for it by eating shit-filled rat burgers over our bloated, state-sustained invalid vegetable bodies. They will also take shits on us, for the hell of it.

      1. McDonalds: Well, we’ve got rat burgers … rat nuggets… rat fries… and strawberry milkshakes.

        Grandchild: Strawberry milkshakes?!

        McDonalds: Well it’s got some rat in it.

        1. If it wasn’t for inevitable feces and bacteria content, Rat burgers would probably be pretty good. But heck, hamburgers are full of that stuff anyway. Luckily I don’t care.

        2. Well I’ll have a cup of strawberry milkshake without so much rat in it.

    3. My boss is a very very very very very very rich dude and he spreads his wealth around the office on the 15th and the 30th of every month.

      1. oh and the company I work for makes MOST of its money off of other very very very very very rich people.

        1. Oh and those people make their money off of other very very very very rich people.

          Need I go on???

  11. Enthusiasm fades when discussing entitlement reform for the simple reason most of us don’t believe it will ever happen. I’d gladly give up SS if I was guaranteed my progeny would not be saddled with it.

    1. I agree; I’m 53 and for the past 25 years, ever since I started saving for my retirement, I’ve never once included SSI in the calcs. Always assumed it would not be around and planned/saved accordingly.
      So, you can have my SSI!

      1. Oh, and about the money I’ve paid in for the past 38 years? I figure that money went to my grandparents and now to my parents. Sure, it would be more efficient to just pay them directly myself (and let’s not get into the whole “choice” issue) but this attitude is healthier for me than thinking there’s a “Trust Fund” with money in it with my name on it.

        1. The worst thing about it kc is that the money you think went to your parents was filtered through a bullshit bureacracy. I’d be surprised if you could attribute 60% of your contributions to what your parents received. Of course it’s impossible considering things like currency devaluation, the impact on the economy by employing bureaucrats instead of miners etc.

          1. The man has a relatively cogent rationalization which, presumably, is preventing him from strangling people over the situation. Let’s not examine it too closely, I might have to use it, too.

            1. exactly — and BTW, I happen to be female — married with a child with Down Syndrome whom I also plan to support out of our retirement savings, as needed, to supplement his wages and at least as long as it lasts. So I need any rationalizations I can think up, sometimes just to get through the day without screaming “I’m raising my mentally disabled son to be a productive member of society, WTF is wrong with the rest of you!”
              Sigh – didn’t get through today…….

      2. Is it really fair for you to have savings, when others have to make do with Social Security only? We need to take that money so we can give it to others who saved nothing during their lifetimes. What’s that? You say that’s not fair? Well, what is fairness, anyway? We’ll never agree on a definition, I’m afraid. Now hand it over.

    2. I am 35, but my parents are in their 70’s and they rely on SS. I would not cut their portions, because they spent their lives paying in and are now completely dependent on it. I on the other hand have planned my financial requirements around the high probability that SS will not be there for me and I am fine not getting it, just don’t make me pay for it anymore.

      Obviously SS needs to be phased out slowly, but if we cut some of our more expensive programs and bureaucracies, we can fund it with the savings. Here is a list of things that can go so that we can sunset SS and all the other entitlements that are currently upside-down.

      USDA
      FDA
      MOST of the IRS (do a flat tax or something)
      DHS
      NASA (privitize this one)
      EPA
      SEC
      FCC
      ETC (this isnt a govt thing, I just dont have the time or inclination to list them all, it is et cetera…)

      Fuck, I cant even list all of them without getting a headache. Not only will cutting these fat fucking bureaucracies save on tax revenues, it will also stimulate the economy. These entities strangle business and individual producers by creating barriers to entry into any number of sectors of the economy and many times these barriers are almost completely insurmountable.

      1. Given that you believe that their is a “high probability” that SS will “not be there for you”, despite the fact that it is only mildly out of long term balance, I wouldn’t rate your retirement planning skills all that highly.

        Anyone who doesn’t think they will get at least 50% of their promised benefits simply doesn’t understand how SS works.

        1. 50%? Goddamn that is an awesome rate of return on my money.

          1. It’s obvious that you don’t even know what “rate of return” means. If your promised benefits imply an 8% ROI, and you only get, say, a 5% ROI, you only get half as much of a payout or thereabouts.

            In reality, the ROI on SS is variable, and is higher if your income is lower: a feature no other investment possesses. The inflation-adjusted ROI’s range from 1% to 8% depending on your income. Even in the worst case scenarios about the future, a wealthy person will get their money back (adjusted for inflation), and a poor person will still get returns that exceed those on bonds. Anything that would cause this scenario to happen would also screw the markets anyway.

        2. So how am I going to get 50% if 100% of my current deductions are going to the fucking people that retired during the fucking Clinton administration and then the deductions that will probably be taken out of my paycheck from now until I am 70 will be going towards every other retiree. Dont be an idiot. Social security is not a retirement program, it is a pyramid scheme.

          And if you want to rely on getting your 50% for retirement, then you are more than welcome to continue believing that myth, but I am going to save as much of my money as I can so that I dont have to worry about the fact that my SS deductions have already been spent by somebody else.

          Social Security is completely upside down and everyone knows it but you.

          1. Yet another mathematically inept fool.

            If your promised benefits are to give you, say, ten times what you contributed, and you now will only get half of that, you still get five times what you put in, right?

            Working with real numbers, even under worst-case assumptions, everyone gets their money back, inflationed adjusted, and the poor and working class get more.

            The fact is that you guys have no bleeping clue how SS works. So why don’t you quit yapping about it.

            1. Nothing arrogant or elitist there, Chad. Well-typed!

            2. Chad, you keep ignoring the point everyone is trying to make: the Social Security trust fund is paper — it’s a bunch of IOUs from the asshole politicians who’ve raided it over the years. Where’s the money going to come from to fund even a 5% return of what we’ve been promised?

              Even if — and that’s a big IF — the federal gov’t comes thru with it’s IOUs to the SS trust fund it will still run dry by 2037. At that point I’ll be 77, in the midst of what I hope to be a comfortable retirement. Where is the money going to come from to pay out those benefits?

              1. I am ignoring the trust fund.

                In a few years, SS will start cashing in the interest on the T-bills it holds. A few laters, it will start having to cash in the T-bills themselves. There is no realistic chance of default, so SS will have this money. The T-bills will run out in around 25-30 years, at which point SS’s income will be about 75% of what it would take to pay out what it is currently promising. At that time, we would either have to cut benefits by a quarter or raise SS taxes by a third, or some combination thereof. The imbalance does not get any worse beyond that point, so no further adjustments would be necessary.

                Even if benefits were cut by 25%, rates of return would still be positive for everyone, and quite substantial for the poor (a 25% payout cut corresponds to a ~1% drop in ROI, typically).

                SS is not in that bad of shape and only needs some tweaks to be indefinitely sustainable.

                1. Why dont I just buy t-bills??? Better yet, why dont I just take the money I earned and save or invest it ANY way I want. Why does the government have to do it for me? I am not stupid, I contribute 15% to my 401k, 10% to my savings and CD accounts plus I maintain my own physical assets (gold and silver). I only make 40k a year and so I SACRIFICE certain things to be able to SAVE, this is called PERSONAL responsibility, and I dont need a fucking enlarged bureaucracy to help me do it.

                  The fact is, the government SPENT the money my parents put into the system, they are spending the money I put into the system and now it is all just DEBT upon DEBT. And while it is nice to pretend that the T-bill is a secure investment, it is not free of risk and also, note that a t-bill is a DEBT instrument. As a DEBT instrument, it must be secured by the general revenue (taxes). So while they are handing money out with the left hand, they are taking it back in with the right, either that or they are just printing it.

                  This is not sustainable by ant stretch of the imagination. It is a classic Ponzi scheme.

            3. OK IT IS FUCKING WRONG TO STEAL MONEY FROM OTHER PEOPLE AND GIVE IT TO OTHER PEOPLE. I don’t care what rate of return I will get on money raped out of me or somebody else who works their asses off on a daily basis. Social Security is theft and so is everyone of you precious, favorite government programs. Go suck it Chad and Social Security will not be there to collect. It is fucking bankrupt just like all your favorite theft programs.

            4. Another thing typical liberal Chad. “Quit yapping about it”, the debate ends because Chad is all knowing and smarter than you. Not only that he is right so there is supposed to be no discussion or debate about any issue.

  12. Dear Professor Marc Lamont Hill: Since the government is “us”, then can you please explain why you invaded Iraq?

      1. It’s the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, FRD,Truman,Kennedy and Johnson. We have been programmed to think we must right to wrongs done to oppressed peoples.

        1. We have been programmed to think we must right to wrongs done to oppressed peoples.

          By “right” you mean “forcing US chosen leaders and policies on brown people”.

      2. Why are YOU sending drones to Pakistan?

  13. Our “fair share” sounds good. Progressives say taking from the rich to help the poor is simply fair.

    Holy fuck. I fell asleep and woke up in Sherwood Forest .

    1. Nope, Robin Hood took unreasonably high tax rates collected by the elite and gave them back to the people (away from the government).

      He was not “progressive”.

  14. “No, the fairest system is the one that rewards the makers in society as opposed to rewarding the takers in society.”

    Define “takers” and “makers.” Because I think progressives and the AEI might disagree on that.

    Since wealth has been deliberately transferred upward for decades, I say the “takers” are the wealthy, and I’m a little bit tired of AEI scumbags shitting on actual workers as if their stagnant wages for more work over the years is their fault. That somehow the already wealthy have become 100 times more hard working, and the other 98% of the population have suffered from a rash of laziness.

    And why should fiscal policy have anything to do with the assumed moral fortitude of classes of people anyway rather than just prudence–what do we need to pay for and how are we gonna pay for it without burdening anyone?

    1. And why should fiscal policy have anything to do with the assumed moral fortitude of classes of people anyway rather than just prudence

      You are correct sir. Why should morality come into play in fiscal policy at all?

      …and yet you are advocating forced distribution of wealth via your moral code…

      1. My moral code says that basic human needs should be universally available in a society that can afford it.

        But who gets what tax rate is not, to me, a matter of what people “deserve” because they are good, productive people or lazy, unproductive people.

        1. Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya;
          Kum bay ya, the Lord, kum bay ya;
          Kum bay ya, my Lord, kum bay ya,
          O Lord, kum bay ya.

        2. You are right, no one “deserves” a better tax code than another. All should be equal under the tax code.

          If a 10% tax is good for “the poor” then it is equally good for “the rich”, if a 90% tax is good for “the rich” it is equally good for “the poor”.

          Which is why I find the argument that everyone but “the rich” should get to maintain current tax rates and that only “the rich” should be subjected to a tax rate hike deeply repugnant.

          Not that they “deserve” it more than others, but that they should be treated the same as the rest of the populace.

          1. Are the rich and the poor two equal classes of people, sort of like races? Or does one perhaps have something of an advantage over the other?

            1. Whether or not they are equal*, they should be treated the same by the law.

              It is not the Government’s job to dole out “advantage” or to create “disadvantage” in certain groups of people.

              Corporate welfare, crony capitalism, forced licensure, and many other forms of Government protection of “the rich”

              are as wrong as

              Food Assistance, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Welfare, and the other forms of “advantage” we hand to “the poor”.

              as are the corresponding disadvantages those policies create. All are forced takings from others that are enforced by the guns of the Government.

              *The question of what is equal is another debate. Equality of outcome? Equality of stuff? Equality of income? Equality of opportunity? A debate for another day.

              1. How come Stephen D. never replies to comments like this?

        3. “My moral code says that basic human needs should be universally available in a society that can afford it.”

          Mine too, that is why I give to charity. That is why I help my neighbors when they are in need and in turn they help me when I am in need. When the government tries to help these people, it fails because it is a centralized system and not a distributed network. I have examples of why distributed networks work better than centralized systems below:

          If there is a crowd of starving people on one side of a fence and a massive pot of potatoes on the other, then a centralized distribution method would require one person to stand at that pot and hand out a potato to each person or even several people at a time. This model requires the single distributor to keep track of who has received a potato already and is therefore prone to corruption and abuse. Soon people are going up for seconds while others haven’t even gotten their firsts and the crowd can easily get out of hand. Also, because there is one person handing out one potato to everyone in line, there develops a sense that everyone in line is therefore entitled to a potato, when in reality not everyone in the line is hungry or needy for reasons the server may not know. Still others who are not yet in the line will see the line and believe that they too have a right to a potato, regardless of their actual need.

          In a network model, the distribution method is completely decentralized. There is no pot, there arn’t really even potatoes. Instead, there are people who are hungry. Those people go out into the world and find ways to obtain food. Some plant potatoes, others harvest wild mushrooms and yet others take up fishing. They gather food for themselves and therefore they have the rights to that food. Some people may suck at farming only to find out they are also terrible at fishing, but they have a friendly face and a trustworthy personality so farmers who are too busy farming, may give some of their potatoes to this person as compensation to obtain things they need such as plows from someone who is good at making plows, or nets from someone who is good at making nets. The farmer eats, the broker eats and the plow maker eats of the same harvest. Now there may be some people that are just terrible at everything they do and no matter how hard they try, they cannot get the food they need. This is where the community comes in to play. While one farmer may not be able to feed this individual full time, he can enlist the aid of other farmers in the area, where a collection is taken up and distributed by various members of society that are close to and therefore truly aware of the persons state of need. The thing that makes this model a distributed network is not simply the fact that everyone is farming for themselves, but because they are using their personal yields to help people they see are in need rather than having one person giving food to a stranger who just says or believes they are in need.

          If that rather obvious example doesn’t help you understand this concept, then allow me to take people and political undertones completely out of the picture.

          In computer science, a CPU is a CENTRAL Processing Unit. These processors are very powerful and are doubling in processing power about every 18 months or so. A modern super computer can do calculations at a rate that is orders of magnitude higher than your high end PC and for decades, we have relied on these massive supercomputers to crunch some very heavy numbers. One such computation involves protein folding simulations. These simulations are very complex and would tax the best supercomputer for an extremely long period of time and the processing output would be limited to the best capacity of the supercomputer so it will never scale up unless the owner of the supercomputer decides to add a costly upgrade to the core processor.

          Stanford University runs a protein folding simulation over a distributed network, it is called Folding at Home, here is a link: http://folding.stanford.edu/

          This is a distributed network that grows over time and harnesses the added computing power of each individual user. Of course Stanford University doesnt pay for the use of my laptops processor and to be honest, I dont really even notice that the application is running, because it does most of the heavy work while I am sleeping or at work. If you like, you can think of Stanford as computer needy and while my Dell isn’t going to break any processing records (it can barely handle watching movies) several hundred thousand PC’s, PS3’s and Mac’s can turn a computer poor University project into a computer rich project and the net processing power is not only easily scalable by simply adding more machines to the net, it is more reliable due to the redundancies, it is more powerful due to the scale, and it is considerably less expensive due to the fact that Stanford doesn’t need to operate and maintain a room full of very expensive and highly specialized computer equipment.

          Society naturally organizes into a distributed network. If you try and force it into a centralized distribution system, you are pushing against thousands of years of evolution. Note that it is only in the last 2000 years that we have had government. In that same 2000 years, at least one thousand nine hundred of these years represent years where government was highly centralized, like monarchies and other similar structures. As soon as we decided to flip the power structure upside down and decentralize as much as possible, we became more wealthy, more healthy, more intelligent, more innovative and less needy than in any time in human history. And when I say we, I mean the whole entire world, not just the US. Although there are places in the world where life really sucks, they are better now than they were one hundred years ago and there are fewer people living in these terrible conditions now than 100 years ago.

          I wish that more people understood the simple fact that centralized systems are not as effective as distributed systems, but too many people are just inclined to think central is better because it looks simpler, it is easier to explain and has a certain kind of satisfying order to it. Order as most people understand it (organized by specific qualities, descriptors and arranged in symmetrically perfect patterns) is not the normal state of humanity as a whole. Humanity is scattered and random. Humanity is chaotic, yet from this chaos emerges a complex and hard to discern order. The best example of this is how ants, who have no idea how to build an anthill still end up building an anthill despite not having the mental capacity to even conceptualize the idea. Dont fight the natural order or you will be on the receiving end of a serious shit storm. Working against the natural order means working against the natural rights of each individual. The founders knew this as evidenced by the thousands of Gadsden Flags displayed at Tea Party rallies. Dont tread on me means, stay the fuck out of my rice bowl and I will gladly share my rice because I am human and that is what humans have done since the beginning of our time on Earth.

          1. CORRECTION: I said “Note that it is only in the last 2000 years that we have had government. In that same 2000 years, at least one thousand nine hundred of these years represent years where government was highly centralized, like monarchies and other similar structures.”

            This should read:
            Note that it is only in the last 2000 years that we have had a change in government. In that same 2000 years, at least one thousand nine hundred of these years represent years where government was highly centralized, like monarchies and other similar structures.

        4. My moral code says that basic human needs should be universally available in a society that can afford it.

          Society can’t afford it, because “basic human needs” will continue to be stretched, always, to points beyond affordability.

          That phrase used to signify food, shelter, clothing. Progressives continually append to the list. The latest addition is broadband.

          Why is that? Because once something can be declared a basic human need, progressives then can assert by their moral code the right to ration it, and impose whatever restrictions on liberty they must to ensure that all have this critical good, the latest “basic human need”.

          And always beyond the point of affordability, because it appears that complete bankruptcy is all that serves as a brake.

      2. Aren’t you also applying a moral code to who gets what?

        Doesn’t it read: “People should only receive that which they have produced or for which they have peacefully bargained with others.” ?

        This sounds like a moral code to me.

        It’s the one I tend to like, but that doesn’t make it any less of a moral framework.

        1. That would work if everyone started out equal. But they don’t. Not just in the real world, but not in any theoretical one either. It will always be the case that one’s success in life is in large part determined by which vagina you happen to shoot out from.

          1. …and it always will be. Your point is?

            1. Oh right…that some all-knowing equalizing agency (we’ll call it Government) should attempt to make all that stuff “equal”.

          2. Must be why statistically the vast majority of millionaires in America come from families that were not wealthy. I’m not sure how that makes their wealth the product of what orifice they came from. I’ve read plenty of studies on the wealthy (largely because I hope to be one of them and want to learn their characteristics). Perhaps you should too before you make statements with no basis in fact.

            1. What percentage of millionaires come from poor or working class families?

              What is your definition of “wealthy”?

              Only around 10% of millionaires inherited most of their money, from what I recall. But almost all of the rest came from families that have at least one highly educated or well-connected parent.

          3. Hmm. . . If the New York Yankees played against your local Highschool JV baseball team, would the game be fair?

          4. Or in your case… which asshole.

        2. This really isnt a moral code, it is a fact of life. I grew these carrots, if you try to take them from me, I will defend myself. It may have taken tens of thousands of years for people to realize that theft is not a viable long term means of survival, but most of us have learned it and live by it because it is generally not wise to constantly risk confrontation because sooner or later you will be bested.

    2. “…their stagnant wages for more work over the years…”

      You really are joking or you are hopelessly clueless.

    3. You make a good point about language. Karl Mark would agree with that sentiment 100%. It all depends on how you define “maker” and “taker”. But it is also true that in addition to workers and capitalists we have newer classes that didn’t really exist in Marx’s day and don’t produce much under any definition – the old, who need to be supported by social security and medicare; the unemployable, people too unintelligent and too undisciplined to function in a modern economy no matter how much liberal “training” or conservative “pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” dogma we throw at them.

      1. We are going to have to accept the fact that there are unmotivated individuals in our society

        1. Not just unmotivated – unfit. Congenitally unfit. There is a reason employers encourage illegal immigration while inner city blacks and rural whites can’t find work. The question in a meritocratic free market society is what we do with the losers. Do we need the government to bail them out or do we trust in local grass roots organizations? Or just go the eugenics road?

          1. I call bullshit on this — the progressives have had 100 years to create those you call “congenitally unfit”; it is more a cultural creation than genetic and as such can be changed. Pray that it doesn’t take another 100 years to change it back.

            1. and those who truly are unable to work, ie, the significantly mentally and physically disabled, are first the responsibility of their own families, then local VOLUNTARY charity.

              1. + 50^6

            2. It can’t be changed easily. It’s the result of technology outpacing human evolution.

          2. Eugenics…maybe Hitler was on to something.

            1. He was.

              1. I approve this message.

    4. Since wealth has been deliberately transferred upward for decades

      Citation needed.

        1. Dammit, Wikipedia does not have any articles named “T….._economics”.

          1. Going to Wikipedia to learn about economics is like going to a nun to learn about birth control.

    5. Don’t take this as a blanket statement, but some people work smart and some people work hard at the same tasks. My coworkers takes fucking forever to get her shit done because she does not know how to use a computer. I do the same job in an eighth of the time and then dick around for the rest of it. We get paid the same, but in essence its like I get paid 8 times her hourly rate for 1 hour of work.

      Some people till fields all day, killing themselves, to harvest a pittance of produce. Other people own giant companies that build machines that can harvest 1000000 times more than a single human being for, effectively, the same price, if not less. Following your “just” logic the guy who feeds 10 people a day deserves just as much as the guy who feeds 10000. Right…

    6. Bill Gates probably does not work 100 times harder than you, but the value of his work is infinitely more valuable than yours. More people benefit from his labour than you. So deserves infinitely more than you deserver, that is as fair as it gets.

      1. And how do you know that Bill Gates’ work is more valuable? Because he earns more money, of course.

        Therefore, your argument is circular:

        Bill Gates earns more money because he creates more value. We know this because he earns more money.

        Q.E.D. or not.

        1. And obviously you haven’t taken the time to learn how to use Bill’s invention properly as indicated by your inability to post the same thought less than twice.

      2. And how do you know that Bill Gates’ work is more valuable? Because he earns more money, of course.

        Therefore, your argument is circular:

        Bill Gates earns more money because he creates more value. We know this because he earns more money.

        Q.E.D. or not.

        1. Bill gates is more valuable than you are because 95% of the people posting on this article are using his fucking INVENTION to do it.

          Income is proportional to value created. Gates is an innovator and his innovations have value to people and so those people give his company 150 bucks a pop to take advantage of the creative energies he collected, inspired and directed towards his product.

          1. Gates didn’t “invent” anything that wouldn’t have been invented by any of a thousand other engineers if they had been in the right place at the right time, like Gates was.

            Frankly, it is not clear that he “invented” anything at all, nor has actually benefited society. Instead, he has simply captured a large part of the cash flows from a natural monopoly that exists within our economic system.

            1. Just because other engineers could have come up with it doesn’t make Bill’s invention any less valuable.

              His “monopoly” is strictly due to the fact that his product has market saturation. Fucking Linux is FREE and yet people still prefer WINDOWS.

    7. “Since wealth has been deliberately transferred upward for decades, ”

      And here’s another claim that you aren’t the least bit capable of proving.

      1. Wealth has been distributed upward, this has been a result of policy that I believe was deliberately implemented. What’s to prove?

        1. That your belief holds any objective validity?

        2. You mean policies like protectionism, subsidies, regulations that block new competition? Those sorts of policies would all come straight out of the same collectivist thinking that you follow.

        3. My parents were poor immigrants. My father worked for 43 years from mailroom to VP so dont fucking tell me which direction the wind blows.

          I GLADLY and PROUDLY take advantage of the educational, lifestyle and health benefits afforded to me by my wealthy parents to enrich myself even further. I am not going to be told that I am somehow sullied by my parents hard work just because they could afford to educate me.

          Fuck you asshole.

          1. So you suckle your parents’ teat and are proud of it, then believe that everyone else should just pull themselves up by their bootstraps?

            1. But to address your point more usefully, I am proud of my parents, they worked hard to make my life easier. I am not going to discard the hand that I was dealt because it was a good hand. Instead, I am going to play that hand.

              In the end, I still have to answer for my OWN actions. I still have to do something for society and that does not mean pay taxes to fund Obamacare. It means I have to work as hard as my parents did to further enrich my family and my community. I learned how to work hard BY WATCHING MY PARENTS DO IT.

              I am not going to be ashamed for the circumstances I was born into and neither should anyone else be ashamed no matter what their circumstances were at birth. SO FUCK YOU YOU ELITIST MORON.

        4. People move upward as well, you dolt.

          “What happens to the income of the category over time is not the same as what happens to the people who were in that category at any given point in time. But many among the intelligentsia are ready to seize upon any numbers that seem to fit their vision.

          Behind many of those numbers and the accompanying alarmist rhetoric is a very mundane fact: Most people begin their working careers at the bottom, earning entry-level salaries.

          Over time, as they acquire more skills and experience, their rising productivity leads to rising pay, putting them in successively higher income brackets.

          These are not rare, Horatio Alger stories. These are common patterns among millions of people in the United States and in some other countries.

          More than three-quarters of those working Americans whose incomes were in the bottom 20% in 1975 were also in the top 40% of income earners at some point by 1991.

    8. Tony, you are absolutely correct.

      The libertarian fairy tale that claims that the distribution of wealth in society or the utterly mythical “free market” is at all fair or is more than tangentially related to what people “make” or deserve is a far bigger and more deadly fairy tale than any such myth from the left.

      A much closer approximation of reality is that the structure of our social, political, economic and tax systems determines a distribution of incomes, and people fight it out, in highly rigged battles, for the top slots. Our systems are now changing such that there are fewer and fewer high-paying slots, but those remaining slots have ever higher payouts. This is not a good thing.

      Or, as you alluded, you could just somehow cling to the absurd myth that the rich are just that much smarter and harder working than their counterparts abroad, or in previous generations, like most of the folk around here do.

      1. Define “Fair”. If there is any INEQUITY at all in our society it is because of progressive efforts to make the free market “fair”.

        Bureaucracies that “regulate” the free market only make it harder for competition to enter the marketplace so by “regulating,” you are actually protecting the biggest businesses.

        Subsidies, entitlements and taxes work exactly as advertised. If you subsidize something, you get more of it, unfortunately, if you get more of one thing, you get less of the other. So if High Fructose Corn Syrup is subsidized, you get more of this than regular sugar and so you have an imbalance in the market. If you tax something, you get less of it. Therefore, if you tax income, people get less income. Every dollar spent in taxes is a certain amount of time and energy somebody spent working for that dollar. If say 30% – 50% of my income was to go to the government, I am going to have to work 30% to 50% harder to make up the difference. Do you think rich people who spend their money on the things you are probably trying to sell are going to buy if they have less to spend? Do you think that forcing the rich to pay more is going to end up in the government collecting more? They will collect less, the rich are more mobile than the poor and middle class and they have more resources to deal with the tax code, they will find a way out of your tax hike, meanwhile, on the fringes of the middle class, people are having to deal with the tax hikes as they try to become wealthy. People who are in the middle class suffer when the rich get soaked, because the rich employ the poor and middle class.

        “Or, as you alluded, you could just somehow cling to the absurd myth that the rich are just that much smarter and harder working than their counterparts abroad, or in previous generations, like most of the folk around here do.”

        To this I say, yes, some of the rich are smarter than average, others are probably very stupid, but most of them work hard, most of them are resourceful and creative and most of them have earned their money. And even if they didn’t earn a dime of their wealth, I really dont care as long as they didnt steal it.

        Also, if you dont believe in “free markets,” then the beauty of a free society is that you dont have to fucking participate in the “free market” just fucking move to Cuba and you can have all the “fairness” you fucking want.

        1. I do not support significant barriers to entry in any market. And I doubt you will find a single progressive on earth who supports subsides for HFCS, or Big Ag in general.

          say 30% – 50% of my income was to go to the government, I am going to have to work 30% to 50% harder to make up the difference.

          Wrong. If the government were taxing half our incomes, for example, then this would imply plenty of money to pay for things such as enhanced Social Security, universal health care, good public transit, good schools, low-cost college, etc. You would only have half as much cash in hand, but would NEED a lot less because you would have to save far less for retirement and college, would spend less on transportation, and far less on health care. Your discretionary cash wouldn’t necessarily change at all.

          Do you think that forcing the rich to pay more is going to end up in the government collecting more? They will collect less, the rich are more mobile than the poor and middle class and they have more resources to deal with the tax code, they will find a way out of your tax hike

          A few might be so “mobile” as to leave the country (good riddance, let’s never let them back in), but that’s a pretty rare thing. Dodging taxes isn’t as easy as you think, and if they could dodge them, why aren’t they doing it already, even at lower rates?

          Also, if you dont believe in “free markets,” then the beauty of a free society is that you dont have to fucking participate in the “free market” just fucking move to Cuba and you can have all the “fairness” you fucking want

          Ahh, beating the old communist straw-man, I see. That is not what I am advocating, and you damned well know it. Try refuting, say, Norway’s system instead.

          1. Awk! Externalities! Awk!

            1. Awk! No externalities here underground! Awk!

          2. I’ll refute Norway’s system for you.

            From Wikipedia:
            “The country is richly endowed with natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, fish, forests, and minerals. Large reserves of petroleum and natural gas were discovered in the 1960s, which led to a boom in the economy. Norway has obtained one of the highest standards of living in the world in part by having a large amount of natural resources compared to the size of the population. The Norwegian welfare state makes public health care free, and parents have 12 months paid[75] parental leave. The income that the state receives from natural resources includes a significant contribution from petroleum production and the substantial and well-managed income related to this sector. Norway has a very low unemployment rate, currently 3.1%.[76] The hourly productivity levels, as well as average hourly wages in Norway are among the highest in the world. The egalitarian values of the Norwegian society ensure that the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies is much smaller than in comparable western economies. This is also evident in Norway’s low Gini coefficient.”

            It’s easy to provide a welfare state when you’re sitting on a ton of oil. Like Norway. Or like Saudi Arabia.

          3. “Wrong. If the government were taxing half our incomes, for example, then this would imply plenty of money to pay for things such as enhanced Social Security, universal health care, good public transit, good schools, low-cost college, etc. You would only have half as much cash in hand, but would NEED a lot less because you would have to save far less for retirement and college, would spend less on transportation, and far less on health care. Your discretionary cash wouldn’t necessarily change at all.”

            I can provide all of those things for myself and my family much more efficiently than the government because I know what we need. In order for the government to “provide” all of this shit, they have to establish a bureaucracy to manage these social services, this is an unnecessary cost that can be cut immediately if people just took personal responsibility for their needs.

            “A few might be so “mobile” as to leave the country (good riddance, let’s never let them back in), but that’s a pretty rare thing. Dodging taxes isn’t as easy as you think, and if they could dodge them, why aren’t they doing it already, even at lower rates?”

            Are you serious? Dodging taxes is a fucking hobby for people who have a lot of money. The IRS cant even keep up with all of the schemes. Also, yes, perhaps only certain very wealthy folks are “that mobile,” but I dont want them to leave, they create jobs, they give to charities and they are innovators in our society, because for most part, that is how they got rich. “Rich” people are just people, they are not all evil bastards and they are not all greedy slimeballs. Bernie Madoff is the exception, not the rule when it comes to rich people. And as for their dodging taxes, I would GLADLY HELP THEM if it meant they would create jobs.

      2. Inequality is our genetic heritage as primates.

        Governments can change who is on top but not the pyramid shape of human societies.

        The nature of inequality in America leaves those at every level of society materially better off than they would be at any other point in time.

      3. The libertarian fairy tale that claims that the distribution of wealth in society or the utterly mythical “free market” is at all fair or is more than tangentially related to what people “make” or deserve is a far bigger and more deadly fairy tale than any such myth from the left.

      4. The libertarian fairy tale that claims that the distribution of wealth in society or the utterly mythical “free market” is at all fair or is more than tangentially related to what people “make” or deserve is a far bigger and more deadly fairy tale than any such myth from the left.

        Deadly? I’ll grant that free markets are generally theoretical–call them mythical if you like–since statists never let them exist. But what is deadly about a free exchange of goods and labor? How is that “deadly”?

        Compare to the mass graves resulting from the various and sundry forms of collectivism, and elucidate a bit, if you would, on that “deadly” epithet.

    9. Awk! Rich people suck! Awk!

      1. Arrg! Me bird speaks the truth, now hand over yer gold ye filthy rich bastarrrds!

  15. I’m a little bit tired of AEI scumbags shitting on actual workers as if their stagnant wages for more work over the years is their fault.

    Um, what? Average income has risen dramatically in the US over the last several decades. Despite the the bitching that whiners like you the National average wage has DOUBLED in the last twenty years.

    http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/AWI.html

    1. Median Income has risen. Nonetheless, housing, food, and fuel (things not counted in the inflation calculation have risen at a faster rate).

      1. Housing, food, and fuel (BONUS!: Higher Education) are all subsidized heavily by the government and all have risen faster than inflation.

        1. Funny that.

      2. “Nonetheless, housing, food, and fuel (things not counted in the inflation calculation have risen at a faster rate).”

        …and the price of just about everything else has decreased. Also, the size of the typical middle class home is much bigger than it was 30-40 years ago. I won’t even go into detail of what’s included in the average home of today compared to 30 years ago.

        Are you arguing that our standard of living has stagnated over the last 30 years?

        1. The average new car would have been considered luxurious 30 years ago. And the price reflects that.

    2. I can only offer the following:
      http://efinancedirectory.com/a…..ntals.html

    3. Do you understand what “average” means? I’ll put it simply for you. If your salary stays at $20,000 a year, and mine goes from $20,000 to $80,000 – then our average income has risen from $20K to $50K! Hurray for you!

      That doesn’t mean Tony is right, just that you’re making a ridiculous counter argument.

      1. That doesn’t mean Tony is right, just that you’re making a ridiculous counter argument.

        I don’t understand what you mean. The SSA link I listed shows that average wages have been increasing, not stagnating. Your point doesn’t make any sense, because Tony is using an average for his point about wages, as am I.

        1. Plus, a steadily increasing average wage is a sign of a healthy economy, which benefits people at every level of income — including “actual workers” even.

          If your salary stays at $20,000 a year, and mine goes from $20,000 to $80,000 – then our average income has risen from $20K to $50K! Hurray for you!

          Exactly right — now that you have 80k, most of it disposable, I can sell something to you and make a bit more than my 20k. Sweet.

          1. Not necessarily. Maybe you sell me your labor, and I just won’t pay you more than $20K for it. And I’ll bring in immigrants to make sure you can’t charge me more. On the other hand I may invest my disposable income in capital expenditures such as technology and infrastructure, which make everyone’s lives better. Even if you can prove that wages have stagnated, and evidence is they probably have for people with no college education, that doesn’t mean standards of living haven’t improved.

  16. Alice, read your own link again.

    “When the crash occurred in Japan, prices fell to pre-boom levels. It is not at all unreasonable to think that home prices in the U.S. are about to do the same thing.”

  17. I’m glad that Stossel has a measure of notoriety, and his stuff is better than 99% of the shit you see on cable “news”. Still, this was a fairly weak effort.

    Government is not “us”…It’s them, the policy elite and their patrons.

    Blah, see what I mean? Unfortunately, I think the modern-day government does fit the basic role that most Americans would like to see it play. There is nothing “elite” about using populist bullshit to pander to the masses.

    I hate the classist fever dreams; a good idea is a good idea even if it comes from an arrogant condescending bastard.

  18. Marxist Nanny Goat sez:

    When you say something is yours you either mean it is in your possession or you are entitled to it. If the latter you are begging the question of who deserves (is entitled to) what.

    Deserves? Whether you “deserve” something has little to nothing to do with whether you are “entitled” to it. In the context of property rights, being “entitled” means you have the legal right to it.

    Saying that property should be given to the most deserving is sort of 100%
    out of phase with saying that property should be left with whoever has legal title to it.

    1. Because the concept of legal title has no assumptions about deserved built into it…

      1. Legal title to anything exists because that thing was obtained through the owners good effort.

        I grow a carrot, it is my carrot.
        I trade you a carrot for a cob of corn, then the cob is mine and the carrot is yours. You worked to grow the cob of corn, I worked to grow the carrot, maybe our efforts were equal, maybe not, but the transaction is voluntary.

        If I had to work 10 times harder to grow my carrot than you did to grow your corn cob, that doesn’t mean I am somehow deserving of your corn, it just means that for any number of reasons, you did not have to work as hard as me to get a similar outcome.

        This is the way it is, and always will be. Trying to equalize this situation will only result in pain.

    2. It is not government’s job to decide who deserves what. It is government’s job (in America, if you believe in John Locke) to take measures to guarantee a reasonably level playing field so everyone can compete without undue handicapping.

  19. The cultural divide is clear:
    The 30% of “progressive” egalitarians do not believe in a workable American meritocracy, and the other 70% still believe in it.

    The 30% believe it’s ok to extort redistribution because the whole capitalist system is a rigged game.

    At cafehayek.com there is a study linked that shows most people will cheat if they believe they have been recently cheated BY SOMEONE ELSE. I call it the “Fuck the World” reaction. It’s natural, but true meritocrats believe that cheating impulses can be deterred by law enforcement of property rights and by a cultural committment to honesty, integrity, and accountability.

    Government helps to corrupt meritocrats when it institutionalizes egalitarian redistribution, and justifies it by implying that there is no true meritocracy, that the “rich” do not deserve their wealth, and that no one really “earns” rewards, they obtain them by corrupt patronage.

    Ironically, it is egalitarian policies and laws which primarily drive people to corruption.

    1. Bernie Madoff was a registered principal with FINRA. He had to take tests and sign documents that proved he was an honest broker. There were literally thousands of pages of laws and regulations that Bernie had to promise to follow and there were thousands of people who were supposed to stop him if he broke them. With all of those rules, all of those tests and special declarations of compliance Bernie had to sign, he still managed to cheat and swindle people.

      People trusted Bernie, because the system of regulations created a false sense of security. Instead of the buyer being wary, it was the buyer having faith that the government was being wary. And because Bernie had the laws to put up as a mask of sincerity, he could do whatever he wanted because he knew that the only people that were interested in looking behind his curtain were looking up porn instead. Point is, he really only had to worry about a handful of people finding him out rather than worry about every customer doing their own due diligence. Today doing due diligence on a financial adviser like Madoff amounts to looking up his record with FINRA. If CUSTOMERS demanded certain transparencies rather than just trusting the govt, then Bernie would have to be beholden to the customers demands and he would not be able to con people as easily if there are thousands of eyes watching him all with a horse in the race he is running.

  20. “For me, housing, health care and education, in addition to national defense, are things that the government must provide for people.

    Yikes. Those things are already overly complicated and fucked-up due to current government intervention. Imagine what a disaster it would be if government “provided” them outright. In housing, for example, it would be considered a great “achievement” if we all had the same cardboard boxes to live in. (Except for our great leaders of course; they would “need” better housing–you don’t want Farmer Jones to come back do you?)

    1. It’s what they do in Cuba. Everything is provided by the government.

    2. “For me, housing, health care and education, in addition to national defense, are things that the government must provide for people must be provided for some by stealing from others.”

      Fixed that for him.

  21. Because the concept of legal title has no assumptions about deserved built into it…

    Exactly my point, MNG. Yet you conflated the two as if being “deserving” of property and being entitled to property are one and the same.

  22. For me, housing, health care and education, in addition to national defense, are things that the government must provide for people.

    So I guess he’s opposed to all those government-sponsored mass transit projects, because those aren’t housing, health care, education, or defense.

  23. This is racist. The good guy is white and the dickhead is black.

  24. Theoretically, government is us. In practice, government has evolved into politicians equating doing the people’s business with exercising their own judgment without regard to the people, coupled with pandering to the constituency or those groups that stir the greatest sympathy at the moment.

    Our leaders and far too many of the voters have read JFK’s book, Profiles In Courage, and misunderstood its message as a call to political leaders to ignore the voters and follow their consciences. It’s fine to have a conscience, but politicians are elected to make their best efforts to accomplish the people’s will. Since 2008 (and well before that if you ask me), that’s been put way back on the very farthest back burner.

  25. Maybe this is your problem.

    1. Anyone that links to the Huffington Post is a moron.

  26. Theoretically, government is us.

    Not even theoretically. The category of “us” is not equivalent to the category of “the government”. Period.

    The government is a separate corporate (in the old sense) entity. It is no more “us” than Exxon is “us” even though we all do business directly or indirectly, with Exxon.

  27. No complaint by the author about the ridiculous amount of ‘defense spending’ – over half of our bloated budget. Why? Because on the right, military spending, driven be fear, is justifiable regardless of the waste. No, I’m not for handing out money to free-loaders either, but the biggest free-loaders aren’t welfair queens John, they’re the military-industrial complex. Any fool knows that.

    And the standard – ‘don’t tax the rich because through their hard work, they create jobs for us little people’ – BS. They off-shore jobs to make fat profits for themselves. No trickle down, John, and that’s been proven too – or haven’t you heard about the greatest concentration of wealth in the US happening in the past 10 years? It’s been called the biggest heist in US history of wealth – and those on the right like you just keep sucking it up.

    What a crock.

    1. Class warfare!!!

      1. Wealth envy!!!

        1. uh, sorry, but lack of wealth isn’t my reason for the comment – I’m doing quite OK thanks.

          You’d like to think that anyone who opposes runaway greed must be jealous of the fruits of greed? Think again.

    2. Defense spending is over 50% of the budget? More like 20% of the budget, but hey you can make it look like ~58% of the budget if you do things like factor out Social Security and attribute 80% of our debt payments to the Military Like this bullshit website.

      Entitlement spending (social security, medicaid, medicare, farm subsidies, corporate welfare, personal welfare, etc) is clearly (by the numbers) the largest portion of our budget. “Any fool knows that”…

      Not gonna bother responding to the clearly classist screed that forms the remainder of your “post”.

      1. OK, I’ll use your graph. Make ‘Defense spending’ 23%. Are you OK with that?
        What about those ‘entitlements’? Are we..entitled to them? Or is the word entitlement a dirty word now among the right? And if the answer is yes, then, what’s your point? If no, aren’t I entitled to my SS benefits that I’ve contributed for 40 years?
        And please elaborate on the class screed – I’m interested in hearing how we’ve benefitted over the past 9 years with the Bush tax cuts to the wealthy?

        1. Defense spending can be 1% to 99% of the federal budget, and the only relevant question to that percentage is: is dollar amount total providing for an adequate defense?

          Defense is legitimate function of government, what’s up for debate is what amount of resoruces are necessary for defense. Arguably, Social Security is not legitimate function of government, therefore the proper percentage of the federal budget devoted to SS is 0%.

          Furthermore, you are not entitled to your SS benefits in that you do not have a legally enforcable right to those benefots that are not subject to unilateral alteration by the government. If the Congress passes a law tommorrow that SS benefits end Dec 31, you will have no recourse.

          1. And to whom or what source will you attribute the ability to determine what is an adequate level of ‘defense’? Those who profit the most have defined that to date. Have you heard of read D.Eisenhowers (GOP) warning about the industrial-military complex? It sounds like you haven’t. Give it a read, then answer.
            Arguably, you’re right that SS isn’t a legitimate function of govt. Similarly, it is a legitimate function, if govt. determines it to be, which it did in the 1930’s, and so it’s ‘proper’ percentage has been determined. Therefore, I do have a right to SS benefits, and those rights are legally enforcable at this time. Your argument has no merit given the laws on the books.

            1. Similarly, it is a legitimate function, if govt. determines it to be
              So the federal government’s legitimate functions are determined by…the federal government? Care to explain what the meaning of the Tenth Amendment is, then?

              Or do you not really give a shit about the Constitution?

              1. If the Constitution was meant to be forever kept as-is the Founders would have committed it in stone. It’s on paper. For a reason.
                You may know that the Bill of Rights (1789) revised the Constitution, as well as several subsequent Amendments have done. Jefferson, Madison, and others considered it proper to provide change to this ‘living document’, and to not ‘give power to the dead over the living’.
                So, why this fetish about never alterning the Constitution?

                1. There is a process to altering the Constitution, laid out in that very Constitution. If the Constitution can be altered to mean whatever you’d like it to mean, then there really isn’t a point in having it to begin with. You may know that so far no amendments granting authority to the federal government to provide social security has been passed. So until such a thing is passed, you’re outside the authority of the Constitution, and the authority of the federal government is still not decided by the federal government.

                  It’s on paper because writing in stone is impractical. Amendments added since the original signing can be added just as easily to stone as to paper, considering the actual original document isn’t altered when new amendments are passed. So the stone thing is just moronic.

                  1. By your same arguement, there are many laws outside of the Constitution, yet we adhere to them as good citizens. Where exactly do you draw the line w/respect to what laws should or shouldn’t be followed if they’re not specifically laid out in the Constitution? If they’re not followed, as you say, then there’s no need for laws at all.
                    So, we follow the laws of the land, including but not only the Constitution.
                    And the stone thing.. uh.. I wasn’t being literal..

                    1. Where exactly do you draw the line w/respect to what laws should or shouldn’t be followed if they’re not specifically laid out in the Constitution?

                      The line is whether a given law is within the scope of power and authority granted to the federal government by the Constitution.

                      If you want to extend that scope and power, fine–the process for amending the Constitution is spelled out therein. But Congress can’t just do whatever it wishes, and it does NOT get to define its own limits of power.

    3. You do realize ‘the left’ has control of both houses AND the white house, right? And yet they keep approving the spending measure to keep us at war in perpetuity? And have had 4 years to say ‘no’ to the budgets? What is it they’re waiting for? And spare the token ‘cleaning up Bush’s mess’ bullshit. Your team had their chance, still have it, and still keep blowing it.

      1. I agree they could have and should have done more to cut our losses sooner. Last time I looked, the Obama admin. at least started the pull-out of Bush’s ill-chosen war in Iraq..
        It’s no token, and it doesn’t matter whether the right wants to hear it again or not, Bush got us into the mess, broke the bank, and we’re still paying for it, and will for many years to come. History will never allow Bush to dodge this, nor will it pin it on Obama who niether started it, nor wanted it to begin with. No BS – just the facts.

        1. My Gawd you are such a fool.

          The Iraq war cost less over 8 years than Obama spent in his first year on the bullshit “Stimulus”

          Stop using BS examples and you may have more credibility

        2. BTW, Obama is following Bush’s exit plan , so don’t brag about how Obama is stopping the war. Fool.

        3. The proctologist called…he found your head.

  28. “They off-shore jobs to make fat profits for themselves. No trickle down, John, and that’s been proven too”
    You do realize the alternative to off-shoring is to go out of business and and have the government lose a source of tax revenue to fund your welfare programs, right? When you keep pushing up an inflated level of labor costs, what the fuck do you expect a business to do?

    1. These aren’t my welfare programs, nor do I push up labor costs. Just because someone is a liberal doesn’t mean they support ‘all welfare programs and all labor cost increases’. I don’t support either though I support welfare for those who actually need it, vs. those who are lazy. No argument there.
      I don’t have a solution to the off-shoring issue, as I guess you don’t either. I do have issue with short-sighted profit making, x-treme bonus awarding, and generally poor business decision-making that somehow forgot that our labor force also happens to be our market consumers. Because our jobs are over-seas, our population has little money to spend on US made products, which is our immediate economic conundrum. Our big companies are making big profits today however, and so are the CEOs of these companies. So, where’s the trickle-down, and how’s that working for us? In corporate taxes? That’s it? That’s what you’re fighting to uphold?

      1. dnptrs|9.23.10 @ 6:45PM|#
        “…I do have issue with short-sighted profit making, x-treme bonus awarding, and generally poor business decision-making that somehow forgot that our labor force also happens to be our market consumers. Because our jobs are over-seas, our population has little money to spend on US made products, which is our immediate economic conundrum….”

        Sounds like Krugman’s “Treaty of Detroit”.
        Well, it was nothing other than a labor “bubble’; based on the presumption of labor (industrial unions) and the management of those industries that they/we would never have competition. So much for that; the Japanese learned to build good cars (and cameras and electronics and…) quickly and at good prices. They were assisted by the our brain-dead government which told US auto makers in the early ’70s that they now had to instantly compete in the field that the Japanese had mastered; we were told that the regulations were ‘good for us’, thank you very much.
        But much as the government tried to screw things up, the result at that time portends the coming result. Japan was the ‘low labor’ mecca; how could the US compete? Pretty simply; the Japanese decided they’d like some goodies, too, and their labor rates rose, rather than US labor rates declining.
        Currently, we are seeing a convergence. The (government-lead) housing bubble collapsed at the same time that the largest populations in the world have been freed to some degree from government-enforced poverty. And then IT means that many jobs formerly presumed to be stationary (hence immune to competition) aren’t anything of the sort.
        It’s certainly no picnic for US workers, but those folks in China and India will also decide some new sneakers are a good idea and the wages will increase there.
        It won’t happen tomorrow, and making cheap widgets won’t ever again be a good use of labor in the US, but that ol’ “comparative advantage” will probably sort things out pretty quickly.
        It should be obvious that industrial unions are dinosaurs; adaptation to the new circumstances means death. The SEIU is merely the bought voting arm of the Democrat party.

        1. I can’t disagree with you about labor unions, their short-sightedness, and the complicity of govt. with the current housing bubble.
          However, you don’t mention the complicity of larger banking, financial, and military-industrial institutions and corporations. Did they have no responsibility here with the bubble, or with a corrupt government? Follow the money?

  29. Step One: Stop referring to those on the dole as “clients” or “patrons”. A client pay for a service, and a patron gives to a cause he believes in. These people are “users”, “consumers” or other even less kind terms.

    1. Parasites.

  30. Government is now 63% of GDP, according to Americans for Tax Reform (federal, state and local)
    http://www.fiscalaccountabilit….._final.pdf

    The rough summary:
    Federal spending – 28.6%
    Fed regulations – 13.2%
    State, local spend 14.2%
    State, local regs – 7.1%
    Total 63.4% (rounding errors)

    It was 30% of GDP in 1950. If we cut govt in half, including the regulations, we would double the amount of money available to everyone else. Since our per capita income is vastly bigger than 1950, we don’t need as much govt.

    We are now Europe. We have Eurosclerosis – slow growth and high unemployment. I say send all the liberals to Canada and Europe, and restore America. Until we cut govt way down, we are doomed to Eurosclerosis.

    1. Don’t send them to Canada. We have enough here.

  31. What’s up freaks?

  32. Someone should sue Stossel for wearing that red tie.

    1. it’s purple, you colorblind pervert.

        1. Why don’t both of you assholes go find someone who is amused by your adolescent “humor”?

          1. Like me, for instance. I’m amused. Come find me!

  33. Mesothelioma!!

    Rerun?

  34. All those Emmys are going to collapse that shelf.

  35. Stossel’s ‘do is doin fine!

  36. What is that german phrase for “punchable face”?

  37. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,,,, ppfffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffftttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt, Miley Cyrus.

  38. But not a golf cart in sight.

  39. Just goes to show, you can’t buy taste.

    not JCash Though.

  40. Now, I’m just a simple country lawyer…

    1. Noooooo YERK city!

  41. This man does not look human, what the hell is he?

  42. Just tell me…and give me a billion dollars.

  43. First round goes to the Scheister.

  44. It’s interesting, I can sue you for what somebody else’s granpa did, way back yonder.

  45. Kaiser Sosey…NOOOOOOOOOO!

  46. The asbestos round goes to Stossel.

  47. Have your fancy party in your fancy pants with your fancy smooth alien face.

  48. I hate it when fires cross the street to get to me.

  49. Yeah, yeah that’s regrettable, buuuuttttt…I just help people.

  50. Your class action suit is like school on Sunday.

  51. Is that Picard telling me to rent from National?

  52. Go to the game?

    I heard they were giving out free candy at the door…12,000 fans were hospitalized , also johan franzen.

    1. I refuse to have my first experience at the ‘Sol be a pre-season.

      1. Good for you, make it the real deal.

  53. You are entitled to 12$ of that 75mil.

  54. Dang $12 was aiming high.

  55. Where’s meth?

    don’t lawyer up yet fiscal, those lung problems are not mesothelioma…it’s from smoking homemade drugs out of a lightbulb.

  56. Holy shit, it’s Willy Loman!

  57. Eels eatin Eels getting bit with tick ridden mosquitoes…all the fucking way down…ain’t that the truth, buddy

  58. You’re losing me, John. Tell me something the government is doing to try to fuck me in the ass.

  59. No one want to talk to Stossel, smart.

  60. I’m so pissed off about this shit that I just passed out on my keyboard! And I ain’t gonna take it anymzzzzz…

  61. Don’t libertarians sometimes make the argument that absent regulation tort claims will keep companies honest?

    1. Don’t trolls get tired of strawmen?

      1. So sue me…

  62. That’s one great thing about being poor. You bog me down with lawsuits and I’ll spend my last money on a couple of tons of manure and kerosene for your lawn…sue me hahaha

    *grabs crotch, shakes, laughs* hahaha

  63. This woman has a strange mouth.

  64. John is looking at Marie’s gams through that glass table.

    1. What the fuck is a gam? Does it show through glass? Does the gam make her mouth any less strange?

      1. It’s like you don’t even have a link to urban dictionary.

        1. Oh I found it:

          The General Algebraic Modeling System (GAMS) is a high-level modeling system for mathematical programming problems.

  65. Haven’t any of you people heard of the paperless office?

  66. How about if you lose the lawsuit that you brought then the winner gets to place 2.3 tons of cow manure on your lawn with 72 gallons of kerosene and place it afire…on halloween!

    You know, for the kids.

  67. Abusing the force of government! Now we’re getting somewhere.

  68. I remember both these cases. The pants and the skier. Cocksuckers.

  69. Fuck that, you do not pay those motherfuckers ever. If you got enoug money to be sueable then you should be smart enough to hide it.

    1. The skiing kid.

      Unless he was a bratface shit…

  70. Having a name like Vytas is no excuse for a haircut like that.

  71. Holy shit, it’s Trey Parker everybody!

  72. Dude, I am glad that I am a poor pacifist. If this shit happened to me I would end up in jail.

    How do people deal with this shit?

    Did she just slip in the word “fetus”.

  73. Our current government will no doubt rush to the defense of small business and put an end to this.

  74. Oh the guy’s name is pronounced VETUS, sound like FETUS…

  75. Thanks to lawyers, Chantix commercials are 85% warnings and disclaimers.

  76. Where are the tough, but fair, judges that throw these jokers out of their court? Like I see on teevee.

    The judges are also no-nonsense, straight shootin guys who will quote plato as quick as they do johnny cash…and the are chock full of true grit.

  77. more like pro-boner.

    1. Infantile asshole Vote Newcular ? Titties!, please meet infantile asshole Fist of Etiquette.
      It’s obvious that you two infantile assholes have much to discuss; probably too much to ask that you take your infantile asshole discussion elsewhere. Right, infantile assholes?

      1. Words hurt, Ron.

        Tune into FoxBiz and live blog with us. Channel that anger to good use.

      2. Sorry Ron, I cunt hear you, as I have an ear infucktion.

        Please speak up.

        Hey Fist, someone else is going to liveblog with us…Everybody give a warm welcome to Ron L!

  78. So, what about the first type of lawsuit abuse?

  79. He does have a point…look up the bhopal disaster.

  80. Ted just called Mark a liar. A liar lawyer.

  81. What the fuck does he care he’s got $100mils?

  82. The whole damn show should have been this debate about “loser pays”.

  83. Don’t defend the Pinto, John. Whether you are right or not; this can’t end well.

  84. Ha! Obama has a doubt we need the free market.

  85. She gnaws on gams with her strange mouth!

  86. Mark really takes it on the chin tonight.

  87. A PITTANCE!

  88. Dude don’t start that rest of the civilized world does it shit. The rest of the world are a bunch of metric system using commies.

    Ron the autographed cheesecake pic is in the mail as per your request.

  89. I don’t even know if tonight’s show was a repeat.

    1. I don’t think so, I was hoping for something related to the article…Throw us some redmeat, Stossel.

      1. Maybe Meth will show up later and make it all right.

        1. At least we got our first hater. That means we have fucking arrived!

          Ron L’s butt is going to hurt after Meth gets a hold of him.

        2. Meth fail!

  90. Obama appears to be auditioning for the role of Martian Manhunter J’onn J’onzz.

  91. I want to like this article, but two glaring things stand out.

    1) “No, the fairest system is the one that rewards the makers in society as opposed to rewarding the takers in society.”

    Response: Can we stop pretending that “the makers” get nothing in return for their tax dollars spent? Certainly, one can debate the amount of value (yes, in some cases it is a negative return); however, it is flat out dishonesty to pretend they don’t benefit in some way too.

    2) ‘”Pandering could be a part of it,” he said. “But … they believe that the government should be far larger.” They are taught that by the progressives who rule academia, like Columbia University Professor Marc Lamont Hill.’

    Rand is being much too kind; pandering has everything to do with it. Just look at the number of Republicans who fought the notion of earmarks in the 2010 fiscal budget but, in turn, bloated the budget with earmarks of their own. Their justification: We’ve got to bring the money back home for our constituents.

    These guys don’t want to actually reduce gov’t. They want to reduce everyone else’s spending. “Progressive” has nothing to do with it. Preservation of their elite status in their elected position knows no ideological boundary when it comes to the US’ political system.

  92. I usually always agree with Stossel. But, we can’t turn the Titanic like a toy boat. The Sheeple have made their life plans based on these “legends” that they have been sold. So, of course, they are scared. We need to have appropriate length plans to change society back to liberty. It took Chile two decades to unwind their “social security”. It took 40 years to ruin American eduction. It took 100 years to destroy the American dollar. We need to have reasonable non-scary plans that transition us back.

    For example, Obama-care could have been accomplished by: (1) making health insurance like life insurance and disconnect it from employment; (2) “buy” poor people insurance policies like the Gooferment employees have; (3) implementing catastrophic health insurance pools; (4) permitting “credit union” health care policies; (5) eliminating the medical licensing; (6) nuking the FDA; (7) end the war on drugs; (8) shut down Health and Human Services.

    It’s easy to scare people; it’s hard to allow them to grow out of their dependency.

    1. “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

      President Dwight D. Eisenhower

      Now explain to me how Ike was a So how far back do you want us to “transition” How about back to the era of Eisenhower and a 90% top tax rate!

  93. I have to hand it to Stossel to turn complex issues and our economic problems into such meaningless drivel to make his extremist views seem normal. He’s such a hack.

  94. “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

    President Dwight D. Eisenhower

    I’m in full agreement that we need to shrink government. However we must first shrink the power of corporations and well funded individuals who would capture a smaller weak government or else we put in jeapordy the very freedoms we claim we are trying to preserve.

  95. Unless it’s brought down to the 3rd grade level, geffe won’t understand it.

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