Bernie Sanders

The Foolish Socialism of Bernie Sanders

Let the presidential candidate have his way and watch the U.S. economy implode.

|

Maybe we should let Bernie Sanders, the socialist trying to dethrone Hillary Clinton, have his way. In fact maybe all the other presidential contenders should drop out of the race. After all, as Tolkien put it, the burned hand teaches best.

Despite his age, Sanders is the freshest breath of air in the presidential race. Not only does he believe things, he actually says what he believes. This is highly instructive.

A couple of weeks ago, Sanders took an uncompromising stand against deodorant proliferation. A growing economy doesn't matter to most people if all the benefits of growth are going to the top 1 percent, he told CNBC: "You can't just continue growth for the sake of growth. … You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country."

Sanders doesn't oppose deodorant per se, thank goodness. Rather, as a writer at Demos put it, Sanders would "gladly cut poverty and inequality even if it meant a reduction in superficial product innovation."

He objects to "the dizzying (and socially useless) number of products in the deodorant category. (C)utting poverty and inequality is worth a reduction in innovation, and oh by the way, the kinds of things we call 'innovation' are often little more than new marketing gimmicks with dubious social value." And that, friends and neighbors, is why "we should distribute the national income more evenly."

This is superficially appealing. We can all think of products that strike us as stupid and useless (Uggs? Pickle-flavored potato chips? Country music?). And we can all think of better recipients for the money spent on them: Starving children. Endangered elephants. Cancer research. In what kind of universe does Kanye West deserve millions in income while homeless veterans are eating out of garbage cans?

But the superficial appeal quickly fades in the face of two competing considerations—one practical, the other principled.

For a peek at the practical argument, avail yourself of a fine little vignette from The Washington Post: "In an Online World, Cuba Remains a Stand-in-Line Society." At Havana's state-run retail hubs, reports Nick Miroff, "Customers with long shopping lists face no fewer than seven places to stand in line. One for butter. Another for cooking oil. A third for toothpaste. And so on." The caption to a dismal accompanying photograph shows people waiting "hours for their government ration of chicken."

This is what happens when central planners think they can allocate economic resources better than the unguided hand of individual free choice. Like any good scientific experiment, this one is easily replicated, and has been time and again. See, for example, Venezuela, which has now run out of toilet paper, tampons, and other basic necessities because some people there think they should make all the choices for other people. And yet for many, the repeated lesson still has not sunk in. In an unintentionally hilarious essay about Cuba not so long ago, one writer noted that "the people are hungry here. There are severe food shortages. I do not understand why a tropical island would lack fruits and vegetables . . . and my only assumption is that maybe they have to export it all."

Sanders' defenders will say he wants to redistribute wealth, not control the allocation of economic goods. But as Hungarian philosopher and economist Anthony de Jasay explained in The State, the two are inseparable. There is no point in taking money from A and giving it to B except to change the allocation of goods. The whole point is to get A to buy less champagne (or spend less money marketing new deodorants) and allow B to buy more of what she wants. Redistribution of wealth is meant to divert resources from "socially useless" goods to socially useful ones.

Which brings us to the principled objection: socially useless to whom? In a world of hungry children, Jones might think it's idiocy to spend a single cent on one more song by Kanye or Taylor Swift (and Jones would be right!). But that isn't Jones' choice to make for anybody except Jones. If Smith wants to waste his money on a pop singer's latest release, he has every right to do so, and nobody else has the right to force him to do otherwise. After all: If Smith has no right to decide how he will spend his own money, then by what means does Jones, whose money it isn't, acquire such a right?

Granted, this can lead to great inequalities. But that is not synonymous with injustice, as Robert Nozick explained in his Wilt Chamberlain hypothetical. (Wilt Chamberlain was a famous basketball star.) If everyone entering the arena freely agrees to pay Chamberlain a dollar for the pleasure of watching him play, then at the end of the season he will be much richer than anyone else. But since the spectators actually wanted to participate in the exchange, then no harm has been done.

Sanders and his friends might reply that procedural fairness doesn't matter much if the original distribution itself was unfair. If some people unjustly acquired large sums to waste on basketball games, then their free choices about how to spend it don't make Chamberlain's great wealth ethically pure.

Addressing that objection by adjusting the wealth of every person in the world to account for all previous injustices would be a prohibitively complex task. But we could address it in the U.S. by confiscating all the wealth and redistributing it evenly. The trouble there is that since we don't know the entire back story of every person's net worth, we can't be sure this is any more fair than some other distribution we might impose, and so we're back at square one.

On the bright side, once that's done Sanders and Co. presumably would have no grounds to resent any subsequent inequalities resulting from free trade by willing traders. Perhaps then you could buy your Old Spice Denali Invisible Solid Antiperspirant & Deodorant with a clear conscience—and without any more tiresome lectures.

NEXT: The Dreadful Criminal Justice System That Destroyed Kalief Browder

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

  1. “We can all think of products that strike us as stupid and useless (Uggs? Pickle-flavored potato chips? Country music?).”

    SHOTS FIRED.

    1. You really want to go down this road Hinkle? Cuz we can go down this road.
      *sharpens cane machete while listening to Charlie Daniels*

      1. You’re just angry because Florida is also a product that strikes most of as stupid and useless.

        1. Like you don’t love our distinct brand of meth.

          1. Plus, it’s the shark bite capitol of the world.

            1. I actually spent memorial weekend at new Smyrna, shark bite Capitol of the world. Lovely town, got stung by a catfish. Good times.

              1. Just to be clear, I was not in Florida.

                1. *eyes suspicously*

                  Exactly which species of catfish are you?

                  1. A wizened Asian mystical one.

                    http://southparkstudios.mtvnim…..-16×9.jpg?

                    Or a stupid Caucasian and spiritually coarsened one, but whatevs.

                    1. Awesome. This is the one that got me. Warning: video it’s chicks in bikinis.

                      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WUcds2UqIvo

                    2. Are they no good to filet and fry up? Or were those just too small?

                      I remember (way too many) years ago in Scouts when I was first told that catfish were “the garbage disposals of the riverways.” Throw enough batter and spices on them and it didn’t even phase me.

                    3. The one I caught was bigger than the ones those girls had, but I was staying at a hotel so I released it.

                    4. If it was larger it may have been a gaftop. They look almost alike but the gaftop has a sail on top and is edible.

                      However it is covered in slime and seldom will I let people pull them into the boat.

                    5. I was fishing off a dock in the New Smyra estuary. It had a dark green back but the same pictorial spines. How do people post pics here? I’ll put one up.

                    6. Hard heads aren’t worth trying to eat.

                      They are almost all bone and the barbs carry a toxin which makes your hand/foot swell and itch if poked. These are strickly throw backs.

                    7. “I remember (way too many) years ago in Scouts when I was first told that catfish were “the garbage disposals of the riverways.”

                      Well, pigs ain’t high on the food tree either, and you can’t do a whole hell of a lot better than some well prepared pork chops.

                  2. Spirit fish

                    1. I live in the liberal utopia of Illinois(yes I know that I need to leave this accursed State) right along the Mississippi river and catfish are good eating. Plus they are fun to catch, typically watching your line for hours on end and drinking/smoking/bbq’ing the day/night away(prefer night fishing).

          2. Addiction != Love

            It’s better than love.

        2. Those kinds of remarks might have credibility if we weren’t swarmed constantly by people not from here. We’re like America’s crack.

          1. Wang. And they in love with tha LD!

        3. It IS shaped like that for a reason…

    2. Political parties are pretty useless, lets start there

      1. Who really NEEDS two political parties?

        1. Not China.

          1. Incidentally, China does have multiple political parties, but they exist mainly to be the Washington Generals to the CPC’s Harlem Globetrotters…

        2. The Independent party is all we really need…

      2. Useless like mafia enforcers are useless. They are functionally useful, but the machine they are part of is useless where it concerns the productive capacity of society as a whole.

      3. Hell, yes! There’s no reason the election laws of the states where most voters in the country live have to take cognizance of, let alone effectively establish, political parties. The parties, esp. the major ones, get a large subsidy in kind by the states’ maintenance of their rolls, advertising them on their forms, & running their primary elections & elections for party offices. FedGov also gives an explicit subsidy to them for running their nat’l conventions, which are also mostly free publicity.

        1. Yeah, the parties should pay for their own damn primaries.

          1. That’s about as likely as them easing the process for third parties to get on the ballot.

            1. And 99% of everything else I’d like to see happen with government.

    3. You shut the fuck up about pickle flavored potato chips!

      1. You are not alone Zeb!

        1. It’s like salt and vinegar with extra goodness.

      2. He had a point about the Uggs, though.

        1. Can’t argue with that.

          1. You both are totally off Tom Brady’s Christmas list.

            1. How deflating…..

      3. Do you dip THAT in mayo too?

    4. Not another deep dish discussion…

      1. *narrows gaze, tells Lou Malnati’s that it will be OK, don’t listen to them*

  2. I’ve always believed that even if you confiscated all the wealth and redistributed it equally, those that were wealthy before would again be wealthy within a very short time, and those that were poor would also be poor again. Money doesn’t flow randomly.

    1. That’s why you have to keep redistributing it, DUH!

    2. I like to ask people who are in favor or more welfare and redistribution to imagine giving a random poor person (not a mentally ill homeless person, but just someone on welfare) $10,000.

      Would they predict with confidence that in one year that person will have increased their wealth? Or even simply maintained it rather than squandered it?

      1. Which is why not many of them like the idea of lump sum welfare. They do (mostly) understand that some people are bad with money and will never get rich on their own merits (they might say it differently). So they want to continuously hold their hands and manage their lives rather than allowing people to learn from failure.

        1. So they want to continuously hold their hands and manage their lives rather than allowing people to learn from failure.

          The wise man learns from the mistakes of others. The smart man learns from his own mistakes. Stupid people don’t learn, and you can’t fix stupid.

      2. Most of those people don’t understand the difference between wealth and money. It is as if I were to sell everything I own except the clothes on my back and a suitcase into which to put the money, then I’d be rich! So what if I’m sleeping on a park bench? I’ve got all that money! I’m rich!

        1. I got into that with my spouse – I said something using ‘wealth’ as a technical term (e.g., a person in a state of nature who acquires a pointed stick to hunt with is wealthier than the person without one) – she took it to mean ‘wealth’ in the sense of Scrooge McDuck swimming in his money vault.

          When I substituted the term ‘things of value’ my point was clearer.

      3. You don’t even have to give a random poor person anything, because the government does it for them. Those who claim the Earned Income Credit on their tax returns generally get back $3000-$5000 in a lump sum.

        You watch what they do with it. It never goes to savings. It doesn’t go to healthcare or to bills already owing, such as back rent/mortgage or hospital bills. It goes straight into a new big-screen TV, game console, or a down payment on a new car.

        1. Saving is now ‘hoarding’ to the left anyway.

      4. “That’s silly. You don’t give them $10,000 cash. You provide food stamps, housing vouchers, government subsidized day care, free medical coverage, etc. Then you ad rules that keep them from building a savings account, getting married, or pooling resources within their family to provide services the government should be handing them.”

        The redistributionists aren’t afraid recipients will squander the money, they’re afraid they’ll invest the $10,000 in a taco truck and get off welfare.

        1. This

        2. Replace “redistributionist” with altruist and you will know the nature of your enemy. An altruist is a spiritual parasite who craves to have others dependent upon him, but humanity has accepted this hideous morality as the good. That is why the left has been able to destroy so much of the world, but nobody ever learns.

          1. Fuckin’ A straight.

          2. Fuckin’ A straight.

          3. There it is. sociopathy as a philosophy. Good thing your morons grow out of it after college when mommy and daddy stop paying the bills. Ayn Rand was on social security at the end of her life.

      5. Would they predict with confidence that in one year that person will have increased their wealth? Or even simply maintained it rather than squandered it?

        I would predict they had spent it on nondurable consumer goods, but I wouldn’t call that “squandering.” It costs more than 10k to live reasonably for a year.

        1. Depends where you are. You can probably live reasonably on 10K someplace shitty like rural Mississippi or something. $500 per month on rent + $300 on food is doable.

          1. What about taxes?

          2. Yeah but if you don’t save any of it, have you then squandered it at the end of the year?

            1. Oh, I see what you’re saying. Well, to a lot of these people, the Browns squander money by staying alive, yes. “If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

              1. We just need to resurrect Art Modell so he can buy and move them again…

        2. I would predict they had spent it on nondurable consumer goods, but I wouldn’t call that “squandering.” It costs more than 10k to live reasonably for a year.

          Well of course, but since they’re on welfare already they already have subsidized living conditions. Food stamps and section 8 housing and such.

          But with a sudden windfall of $10,000 do you think they would use it to maybe acquire better job skills or otherwise improve their ability to work to where they won’t need to be on welfare anymore?

          I like to think a lot would be then again a lot wouldn’t, the point being its the right attitude and values that determines if a person is poor rather than just having money.

    3. Mostly, yeah. A lot of lefty types I talk to do get that. Which is why redistribution has to be continuous.

      The human race more or less did start out with wealth distributed evenly. And here we are.

    4. I don’t know that it would be the same people, but there would definitely be unequal outcomes, especially if we just started equally and then allowed the market to work. But that would never happen, because then snivelling talentless fucksticks like Bernie Sanders would end up being on the bottom rung of society, and he knows that. That’s why he wants a massive state apparatus to keep him in his privileged position.

      1. Are you sure he’s talentless? People who are successful in politics usually have great “people skills” that would serve them well in many endeavors were there no such thing as politics. I’m sure in a different environment a Bernie Sanders would’ve had at least a good a chance to prosper as the avg. person.

        1. Probably true. He certainly isn’t talentless. He may have no marketable skills, but that is only because he has spent his life in politics. If he put his talents toward something productive, he probably could have been useful.

    5. Bottom line is lefties think it’s possible to eradicate one of the fundamental aspects of being a living thing: competition/competitive spirit.

      They really think they can make this happen, despite millions of years of evolution. Yet they look down on Creationists for being anti-science.

      1. I’ve been using this line on some of my lefty friends recently. Comparing their planned utopia to creationism, and Libertarianism to evolution.

        They always squirm.

    6. The major difference between a rich person and a poor person is that a poor person is always broke on payday, while a rich person is not. Even if their paychecks are exactly the same.

      A long time ago I worked at McDonalds, and one of the guys there was actually in the Guinness Book of World Records for flipping the most burgers. He was slightly retarded, Forrest Gump style. Can’t remember his name. Anyway, the guy was rich. For thirty years he’d been riding his bicycle to work while living well below his means, and investing everything else. He had managed to build a seven figure nest egg over the years. From flipping burgers at McDonalds.

      1. Holy Shit! I need to up my withholdings to my 401k.

      2. Just imagine the possibilities if he had been making a living wage all that time!

        1. He was making a living wage. He chose to live within its means.

          1. Your sarcometer need recalibrating.

      3. My brother in law has a cousin who is slightly retarded and has a similar story. He diligently worked there for over 25 years until, get this, he owned one outright.

        It’s quite the remarkable story really.

        Capitalism is soooo evil and unfair that way.

        1. Good for him.

        2. See??? Capitalism is for retards!!!!!!1!!!one!

          /Tony

        3. Just go full Alinsky

          “Bernie Sanders wants to take money from retarded people!”

      4. I’d rather be broke than slightly retarded. Maybe the typical poor person, albeit broke, enjoys hirself.

      5. “He had managed to build a seven figure nest egg over the years.”

        He’s an evil, hoarding, 1-percenter, black-hearted capitalist robber baron! That wealth should be redistributed to people who work hard, like the ones flipping burgers at McDon- oh wait.

    7. That’s why they aren’t interested in redistributing equally. They would like to give a headstart to the incompetent. It isn’t about providing equal opportunity; it’s about ensuring equal outcome.

      1. The only way to ensure equal outcome is to reduce everyone to the lowest common denominator, which is why socialism inevitably leads to mass poverty.

        1. Potato :: PoTAHto
          Tomato :: TomAHto
          Mass Poverty :: Glorious socialist revolutionary paradise

          1. No one to envy.

    8. “I’ve always believed that even if you confiscated all the wealth and redistributed it equally, those that were wealthy before would again be wealthy within a very short time, and those that were poor would also be poor again. Money doesn’t flow randomly.”

      I disagree. I’ve known several people who were born into very, very wealthy families. All the advantages, best educations money and influence could buy.

      Take their money away, they would be living in homeless shelters, and would have no idea how to work their way out of them.

      That said, you could redistribute everything equally today, and some will get richer and some will get poorer with the passage of time. A free market would accelerate that process, as a free market would leads very quickly to the useless children of the rich redistributing their own money as aggressively as they can manage.

      1. The Chinese have an expression: Wealth does not pass three generations.

        The first generation creates it. The second generations preserves it. The third generation destroys it.

        I think the comment was in reference to the first generation, which is the majority of wealthy people, contrary to popular belief.

        1. And in 19th century America, there was a very popular saying: “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”

        2. “I think the comment was in reference to the first generation”

          If so, I would agree. As someone who grew up working class, the whole “inherent superiority of the currently rich” argument tends to chafe on me.

          That said, what the Sanderses of the world fail to grok is that what keeps the poor in poverty is the barriers the government erects against people being able to make money. This is the same thing that keeps the useless children of the rich wealthy. The sad thing being, that for the Sanderses of the world this is evidence that we need more of what they have to offer.

    9. “those that were wealthy before would again be wealthy within a very short time, and those that were poor would also be poor again”

      There is no given in this.

      Some people with money are stupid and have no concept of money rather than inheriting it means you are smarter than others who don’t have money.

    10. This is not quite true.

      MANY of those who were wealthy before would quickly resume that state but not all and many of those who live in poverty would quickly resume that state but not all

  3. Sanders’ defenders will say he wants to redistribute wealth, not control the allocation of economic goods. But as Hungarian philosopher and economist Anthony de Jasay explained in The State, the two are inseparable. There is no point in taking money from A and giving it to B except to change the allocation of goods. The whole point is to get A to buy less champagne (or spend less money marketing new deodorants) and allow B to buy more of what she wants. Redistribution of wealth is meant to divert resources from “socially useless” goods to socially useful ones.

    Sanders defenders are more likely to say the rich bastards should be grateful he doesn’t shoot them for their crimes.

    We mock the Kos kiddies and other hardcore left-wingers but a lot of them are well and truly unhinged due to their envy and intense hatred of capitalism and rich people. It’s easy to imagine them turning violent if emboldened with power.

    1. We mock the Kos kiddies and other hardcore left-wingers but a lot of them are well and truly unhinged due to their envy and intense hatred of capitalism and rich people. It’s easy to imagine them turning violent if emboldened with power.

      *admires razor edge on cane machete*

      1. That’s because they are all ‘covetous sociopaths’; most have not yet been diagnosed.

    2. One need not ‘imagine’.

      To keep you is of no benefit; to destroy you is no great loss.

    3. It’s easy to imagine them turning violent if emboldened with power

      That’s right, they’ll grab their mattress and go to a safe place. Take that, you rat fucking bagger!

    4. Sanders defenders are more likely to say the rich bastards should be grateful he doesn’t shoot them for their crimes.

      I’d be happy to chip in for a collection to send a bunch of them to sub-Saharan Africa to explain to the locals why they’re not “rich bastards” and deserve to live a standard of living vastly superior to the locals.

      1. I’d be happy to chip in for a collection to send a bunch of them to sub-Saharan Africa to explain to the locals why they’re not “rich bastards” and deserve to live a standard of living vastly superior to the locals

        There would be a shortage of sand crisis and they’d tell the locals that they have to pay for it or face certain doom.

  4. I just heard on some radio “news” that Obama said Democratcare “should not have ended up in court because it’s working”. That’s such a bizarre statement, even from him, that I can hardly believe it.

    1. It’s working if by working you mean increasing costs and stopping people from going to the doctor where as they would have before this clusterfuck, because of sky high deductibles.

      Or if you mean by getting more people totally dependent upon government.

      Then, yes, it’s working!

    2. It’s definitely working for the insurance companies we’re now subsidizing heavily with our tax money.

  5. “foolish” socialism is a redundancy.

    1. and it says the same thing twice

      1. I see what you did there!

  6. SC cop indicted.

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/08/…..index.html

    1. What specific murder charge? It matters, of course, because we know DAs will purposefully throw cases against cops by overcharging.

    2. No mention in that article about the cop planting the tazer on the victim.

    1. Antiperspirant

      1. Anti-deodorite!

  7. So how long until American Socialist shows up in this comment section with a pretentious but barely literate post that starts with the words “Hi, A. Barton Hinkle! I was just wondering…”

    1. Irish, you’re the guy who actually says “Candyman” five times into the mirror in a darkened bathroom, aren’t you?

  8. Cuba would be a socialist paradise were it not for those evil capitalists to the north.

    1. What? It is a socialist paradise. They have the best healthcare in the world! Just ask your progressive friends if you don’t believe me.

      1. They give you a free number to stand in line with, it’s great! And you’d be surprised what all can be cured with an ak-47, it’s the definitive tool of socialist healthcare!

      2. Read that Gawker link under “hilarious essay”… and repress your urge to kill something.

        The author tweets under the handle “commiegirl1”

  9. Is it just me, or does he look like he’s ready to fondle a 13 year old in that picture?

    1. No, he wants to fondle both of you.

    2. How can you tell the difference between that and being ready to fondle, say, a 16 year old?

      I think there are plenty of ways to disparage Sanders without inventing dirty old man creepiness for him.

      1. You’re right, but that’s still a creepy pic.

    3. Eight year olds, dude.

  10. If Smith has no right to decide how he will spend his own money, then by what means does Jones, whose money it isn’t, acquire such a right?

    Easy — by abolishing money.

    1. I crap you not at all here, but I have a hard-left acquaintance that advocates the abolishment of money b/c capitalism is the devil, inequality, too many deodorant options, etc.. How does she communicate these thoughts to others? From her iPhone.

      1. Even the most fucked communist countries realize that you still need money. What is wrong with people?

        1. For once in my life, I was wise enough to not try and find out why anyone would think this. Just gotta walk away sometimes.

          1. I once held the same conviction, i.e., that money is pointless and troublesome and should be abolished, and that everyone would be much better off without it. It all seemed so clear and obvious to me, and I couldn’t believe everyone was bothering with this thing called “money” when we could all just help each other out and be fine.

            I was literally four years old. By age five, I had spotted the flaw in this reasoning. Evidently others never get that far.

          2. I think they just don’t realize that if we abolished money, humanity would not instantly turn into a peaceful, charitable society overnight. Instead, we’d go back to squabbling over cows, potatoes, shoes, and houses. It’s about goods, and it always has been. We never really left the barter system; we just invented this new commodity called “money” that is divisible and portable.

            1. Money kinda invented itself

  11. Holy God that wonkette article on Cuba is amazing:

    “And Havana is so dreamy and beautiful and different ? different from our homes, from anyplace we have been, and from how we thought it would be. It is massively crowded, 2.2 million people squashed into a city you could walk across in not so very many hours. People wait in bus lines of many dozen; occasionally a lady will stoop to scratch the ears of a stray dog, which are everywhere, small and scrawny and mellow, just hanging out on the curb waiting for a kindness. Rotating clinics bring them in for desexing and the occasional worming, and then set them free.”

    A massively crowded, squashed city with huge bus lines and roving stray dogs. How dreamy and beautiful!

    1. Abject poverty is just THE BEST THING EVAR!

    2. “As we walk, we gape at the practically war-torn buildings, such beautiful bones, their decay the most beautiful thing about them. They stretch back hundreds of years, some with ironwork, some with rebar. People’s apartments are situated right at our elbows; we look in and see the TV and couch, the linoleum flooring. They are dark, and low-ceilinged, and must be very hot, and Paul starts to walk into someone’s house to take pictures. “I thought it was an alleyway,” he lies, when I pull him back out with a “BABE! That’s someone’s HOUSE!” As if we aren’t conspicuous enough.”

      I think I know why progressives are always complaining about “ugly American” tourists – because progressives themselves are apparently the most condescending and shittiest tourists known to mankind.

      1. Slumming is awesome! (When you know you can return to prosperity, thus giving you the ability to romanticize the awful living conditions of 3rd World slums).

        1. It’s like camping. I enjoy fishing and cooking over an open fire, because my life doesn’t depend on it. If I had to catch a fish to survive, I’m sure it’s not as much fun.

          1. But you would probably be much better at it.

            1. There is always the alternative result: not surviving.

      2. “Before they strike up, we talk a long time with Ariel, the singer of the band Trio Ases del Tropico, about Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, and how my mom wants to kiss Fidel on the mouth. His English is excellent, and his music’s better. Before we leave, he says we must stay for one more song, it is his special song for us, and he and his bandmates start on what will be our romantic song, “Hasta Siempre Comandante.” If Paul ever marries me, I swear to whatever God is in heaven above: I am walking down the aisle to a song about Comandante Che Guevara.”

        This is one of the most evil human beings who has ever written on the internet, and I’ve read work by neo-Nazis and Hugo Schwyzer.

        1. You’ll love her twitter feed then: @commiegirl1*

          *I am serious as a heart attack.

          1. Based on her Twitter feed she’s pregnant and almost due. Gee, I wonder if she’d be enjoy giving birth in a Cuban hospital?

            1. Assuming the Cubans let her give birth. In Cuba, they will forcefully abort babies if the doctors determine there’s a possibility it will be born with a birth defect. I’d like to see what this mother-to-be would have to say to some poor, 19 year old Cuban girl strapped to a gurney and given a forced abortion.

            2. Oh, she doesn’t have to. She’ll grunt out that bebbeh up here, in a private maternity suite, and send the bill to us, all while blogging and tweeting about how BEING A MOOOOOM IS SOOOOO HAAAAARRD and we need to reach even deeper into our pockets to pay for her to sit home on her ass all day long and DO THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB IN THE WUURRRLD(tm). Also, she’ll be shocked, SHOCKED that Paul doesn’t marry her.

          2. Her response to most disagreements seems to be “Fuck You”

        2. Evil or profoundly retarded? I’m inclined to the latter. Too impotent to be truly evil.

          1. Evil or profoundly retarded?

            Is there a functional difference?

            1. I think a lot of evil people have been quite intelligent.

        3. There is little else in this world more despicable than the poverty tourist.

          “Oh look! Their culture and privation is so quaint! I hope they never get a McDonalds.”

          1. I can understand wanting to see things before they change. Even if it is something horrible like what happened to Cuba under communism. But wishing for it to stay that way is pretty despicable.

            1. No, I can’t even understand that, beyond the geopolitical-anthropological angle.

              1. So, do you find all tourism to third world countries distasteful, then? Tourism does tend to benefit the local population, even if some of the tourists are idiots.

                I think the geopolitical-anthropological angle is a pretty large part of the whole motivation for tourism, so you are leaving lots of room there anyway.

                1. So, do you find all tourism to third world countries distasteful, then?

                  For the purposes of reveling in the poverty, to satiate your first world sensibilities? Yeah. I’ll pass on the peasant safari.

                  And yeah, I get that Yankee dollars are welcome in most 3rd world shitholes, precisely because they’re economic shitholes.

                  I think the geopolitical-anthropological angle is a pretty large part of the whole motivation for tourism, so you are leaving lots of room there anyway.

                  I meant solely as to examine the cause of the poverty and the damage it caused.

                  1. Yeah, it’s a shitty motivation. But what are you going to do?

                    1. Me? Nothing.

                      Evil’s gonna be evil no matter what I do.

                2. Zeb: “Tourism does tend to benefit the local population, even if some of the tourists are idiots.”

                  Good point. So did she actually make her utopia worse by spending her American Dollars there?

                  Kind of like taking a shit while visiting the Galapagos Islands without bringing it back home with you again..

            2. My cousin has said he wants to go to Cuba before it changes just to remind himself of the evils of communism.

              1. It would be kind of cool if someone started a tour company whose mission was to drive that point home.

        4. I had one particularly drunken night in law school where we met up at a rooftop bar with a bunch of people from the med school. This one guy was proudly wearing a Che t-shirt and talking about the social injustice inherent in our current healthcare system. I asked him how he felt about the degree of social justice inherent in lining homosexuals up against a wall and executing them, you know, since that’s what the shitheel on his shirt did. Through my bourbon-induced haze and his blubbering I actually heard him utter the words “greater good.”

          I used to think of these people as the useful idiots. I really can’t afford them that benefit of the doubt anymore. As you say, quite a few of them are just flat out evil.

          1. As you say, quite a few of them are just flat out evil.

            Yep. Don’t waste your time on any of them. Not worth it. [spits]

            Just use that as an reminder to buy more ammo.

          2. Having experienced the pre-meds at Hopkins, I can attest that most of them resent competition.

          3. I met quite a few of those losers in university.

            When I first read about Che I was 16 and concluded the guy was a murderous asshole whose bio was heavily romanticized by commie degenerates. It worked because people of many stripes today blindly where his t-shirt thinking they’re part of some sort of noble movement.

            I sometimes weep at the abject stupidity of it all.

      3. You can see all of those same things in the favelas of Sao Paulo. My question is, why would you want to?

      4. “practically war-torn buildings, such beautiful bones, their decay the most beautiful thing about them.”

        This describes large sections of Oakland and Watts, as well. Why don’t they find it charming in *this* country?

        1. Because in those other countries, it was caused by the beauty of socialism. Here, it was caused by the Koch bros and Bush, and fracking. See?

        2. Gorgeous, innit? Way more beautiful than when it was employing 1000s of people.

    3. Poverty is picturesque when it’s someone else’s and you’re just slumming.

      1. Every paragraph of that article is astonishing. You can just pull at random and it’s staggeringly moronic:

        “Not here, brother! But you knew that already. You knew that Cuba has the most doctors per capita on earth, and that they are constantly do-gooding all over the world ? all despite the fact that there’s no money incentive for them. Every time some Ayn Rand blowhard says nobody will work unless we abolish the capital gains tax, I think of Cuban doctors, doing it for the challenge or the status or the urge to heal?whatever reason, but definitely not the paycheck.”

        This occurs literally 4 paragraphs after she mentions that Cubans have no food. Stupid Ayn Rand blowhards claiming socialism will result in no food! I mean they’re right, but still.

        Furthermore, this person is an uneducated retard who apparently doesn’t know that Cuban doctors are literally slaves who are pawned off on foreign nations in exchange for oil and food in what can be described as a legalized de facto human trafficking operation. There are Cuban doctors starving in Venezuelan slums because they don’t get paid enough to eat and are there basically to serve as medicalized slave labor.

        1. “Every time some Ayn Rand blowhard says nobody will work unless we abolish the capital gains tax, I think of Cuban doctors, doing it for the challenge or the status or the urge to heal?whatever reason, but definitely not the paycheck.”

          It’s definitely not the paycheck, cashable in worthless pesos. It’s the gun stabbing him in the back that does the trick.

          1. Oh, there are those who are truly altruistic. Those that would do it for a pittance or nothing at all. Those that would die for the greater “good”. The problem arises in the expectation that everyone should ascribe to such lofty ideals, or else.

        2. Things like this never surprise me at all. I have some very liberal colleagues and they are always talking shit like this.

          I remember one of them coming back from some type of event where a ‘genius’ speaker spoke for hours about ‘living with the animals’. My colleague was all starry eyed and in a dreamy like state, when I rudely interrupted and said ‘Do you know that people in medieval Europe died from living with the animals, from horrible diseases’?

          You cannot reason with these people. No matter how otherwise intelligent they are, they are in a borg like mind controlled state and there is nothing that can seem to snap them out of it.

          1. A good old fashioned global swine or bird flu should work.

            1. They’ll blame it on the Koch Bros, or fracking, GMOs, Chick Filet, or Boosh.

              I was on Steam Forums a few days ago and someone on there was blaming the price of Witcher 3 on Bush. I am not making this up.

              1. blaming the price of Witcher 3 on Bush

                That’s a special kind of retarded.

                1. Best not to handle derp like that yourself…call in Derpetologist to dispose of it.

              2. “I was on Steam Forums a few days ago and someone on there was blaming the price of Witcher 3 on Bush”

                Link?

                1. I found this.
                  http://steamcommunity.com/app/…..8668428214

            2. All of those things are the fault of those austerity obsessed teathuglicans. If they hadn’t cut science funding, we’d all be alive right now!

              1. I dunno, but the really loony leftists seem to be more obsessed with some sort of imminent doom scenario than most religions. Repent deniers, the end is nigh!

                1. Not surprising, since their ideology is indistinguishable from faith.

          2. I live near Amish country and am always seeing some tv pap that features a busload of tourists from, say, NYC, positively gushing about how nice the simple life is and “we all should try it” or “My Izzie and I are going to move here and learn to make shoofly pie and drive a buggy.” I once asked an Amish man how many “recruits” they actually get from the English and he laughed and said “none.”

          3. I was on a mountain climbing team with a dipshit commie girl like this. Unfortunately for her, the team also included Polish and Romanian immigrants who grew up behind the Iron Curtain. They set her straight in no uncertain terms about life in communist utopia.

            1. Did she bring her mattress?

        3. That’s why I support Obamacare – since obviously the way to better health outcomes is to make every health care worker a slave of the state.

          Cuba just showcases the beauty of such a system.

        4. Question: if docs in Cuba are slaves, how do they “attract” new med students? Do they have a Soviet-style identification system that funnels young students into certain fields?

          1. Well, every Cuban is a slave of the state and doctors are treated better than the rest. If the state says “You have to do everything we tell you but we’ll give you twice the rations we give everyone else” you’ll do it. You’re still effectively a slave, but at least you’re a comparatively better fed one.

            1. I believe the technical terms for these classes of worker are “house nigger” and “field hand.”

          2. “[…]Do they have a Soviet-style identification system that funnels young students into certain fields?”

            You don’t think a decision of that importance would be left to the individual, do you?

        5. She quite possibly is the most astonishingly ignorantly blind individual to discuss Cuba I’ve ever come across.

          And that’s saying a lot given how many insipid retarded things people have said about Cuba being an advanced paradise.

          It really doesn’t take a genius to figure out the plot there. Really, if you’re sober and endowed with a basic moral and intellectual compass, it should be plain and obvious.

    4. Soul-crushing poverty: see it before the capitalists ruin it with perfidious prosperity!

    5. All those Cubans risking their very lives on makeshift rafts that they hope will drift onto U.S. shorelines? They were probably just kicked out of the country by the Castros for wanting shit like air conditioning and telephones, the bastards.

      1. I was going to link the scene where a Cuban washes up on shore in Miami in the early 60s, is immediately mistaken for a cabana boy and is given a drink order, and then remarks on his success in the US, but damned if I can recall what movie that’s from.

    6. Rotating clinics bring them in for desexing and the occasional worming, and then set them free

      The people in the bus lines, or the stray dogs?

    7. I could only get 2/3 of the way through that article before the dumb threatened to cause a cerebral hemorrhage.

  12. Is the link supposed to go to Vice and not de Jasay’s book?

  13. pickle-flavored potato chips

    Amen to that, brother. Nothing quite like opening a fresh bag of taint sweat.

    1. You take that back!

      1. And bury it.

        Deep.

    2. I believe someone already tried to summon american socialist to this thread.

  14. “We can all think of products that strike us as stupid and useless (Uggs? Pickle-flavored potato chips? Country music?)”

    Congress?

    1. Honestly, is there any useless products in a free market? They may not suit your personal taste, but if someone is buying them, it’s useful to them.

      1. Honestly, is there any useless products in a free market?

        Yes.

        1. Can they be used as pens?

          1. Can they be used as pens?

            I believe in most jurisdictions the use of a Jersey Shore talking pen is a felony.

            1. Or at least will get you a few broken teeth.

            2. I believe in most jurisdictions the use of a Jersey Shore talking pen is a felony.

              I’m all for the non-aggression principle in most cases, but there should be a constitutional amendment for that one.

        2. Not if someone is buying them, they aren’t.

      2. Whatever it is, it’s demonstrably worth more than the money being traded.
        Revealed preferences are revealed; Bernie’s bullshit is all stated preferences, or he’d live someplace that uses lichen for deodorant.

        1. Right on!

        2. Well, lichen and anything made by Unilever. Those would be your choices.

  15. You can have my pickle-flavored potato chips when you pry the bag from my cold, dead, greasy, fat fingers!

    1. Crab chips or GTFO.

      1. Those don’t even taste like crab. False advertising.

        1. Chesapeake Bay Crab Seasoning Chips is a little long-winded

          1. But I wanted crab, not seasoned salt.

            1. Damn. Now I want snow crab.

      2. Sea salt and vinegar chips are the best.

      3. The wonderful thing about America is we get to have both.

        Unless you live outside Herr’s distribution range. Then you get neither and like grudingly accept it.

        1. I’m guessing Bernie would have lost most people if instead of deodorant, he mentioned potato chip flavors or salty snacks in general. I mean, do we really need potato chips, pretzels, tortilla chips, cheese puffs, and popcorn?

          1. We don’t need anything. We can all just lie down wherever we are and wait until we die.

            That’s my response for people who start going on about whether we need some thing or other.

          2. “I’m guessing Bernie would have lost most people if instead of deodorant, he mentioned potato chip flavors or salty snacks in general.”

            He should have used ice cream as an example. Be more up front about your corporate sponsors, rather than the twice removed BS.

  16. You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.

    Except, what Sanders omits is the fact that different people have different preferences. I might be okay with only one choice, if I was the one who got to decide what the choice was. But, the world doesn’t work like that. I’ll make Bernie a deal. I’ll concede his point if he is willing to go a month where I get to all of the purchasing decisions for Mr. Sanders and his family.

    1. He has that choice right now. He can move to Venezuela and use Bolivars as toilet tissue; one brand only.

      1. Venezuelan socialism failed because of US Imperialism. Would American socialism fail because of US Imperialism too? I’m sure any good socialist could make that case!

    2. And of course the big idiocy is that choice in deodorants has nothing to do with how hungry any children might be. The whole observation is utterly irrelevant and stupid. That’s the giant stupidity of socialism (or part of it anyway). No one is, or can be, in a position to decide that some of the money that goes into producing deodorant should feed children that way. If you try to run things that way you waste a whole lot more money than you do on superfluous deodorant choices and then you can really see what hunger looks like.

      1. And of course the big idiocy is that choice in deodorants has nothing to do with how hungry any children might be.

        These people believe in a fully-formed, steady-state economic universe rather than a perpetually expanding, Big Bang economic universe. Thus, the wealth we have is all there is and so money spent in one area (different deodorant) must necessarily be taken from somewhere else (starving children).

        1. That, and they also think that there is some equal choice between having lots of deodorant (or whatever) and spending money on feeding children. When one option involves coercion, you can’t just pretend that everything is equal and “we” just need to make a different choice.

    3. And hungry children don’t need 23 different choices of meals. They can be fed a nutritionally complete meal, like Soylent or Nutriloaf. However, if one were to suggest that, Bernie and his ilk would squeal like stuck pigs.

      1. And in case anyone is wondering, Soylent tastes like a cake batter milkshake.

        1. Someone makes an actual product named “soylent”? And people buy it?

        2. which version?

          1. As of last summer’s batch.

            Supposedly, the early versions of Soylent tasted disturbingly like semen.

            1. I won’t ask how you would know.

            2. I won’t ask how you would know.

            3. I think that’s 1.3. Never tried that. I had 1.4. Very polarized reaction to that. They started to ship 1.5 which is supposed to have much better flavor.

        3. Then I’ll crack open the box of Soylent I’ve had on my shelf for a few weeks.

          I expected it to taste of Edward G. Robinson.

          1. Is it better than chain pizza? Is this the end of Little Caesar’s?

          2. I expected it to taste of Edward G. Robinson

            I would expect that it would taste of Elie Wiezel…

            Too soon?

      2. Hell, you could just have them come into a clinic and hook them up to an IV once or twice a day if your goal was simply to provide sufficient nutrition.

      3. Everything reminds me of a Parks & Rec clip.

      4. Never heard of (the real) “Soylent” before. Seems like an ominously bad naming decision, since most people will associate it with the movie.

        I wonder why the shelf life is only 2 years, when you can buy dried, actual vegetables/meat/dairy with a shelf life of up to 25 years.

        1. There is a company called “Cylon” that is in the building automation system business.

    4. I said last week when the whole Unilever/Ben & Jerry’s thing was happening – if it happened that we went to a one-deodorant system, some ignorant prog fuck will whine “but I didn’t think it would be my deodorant that would be taken away!!!”

      1. Exactly this. Wait until we’ve achieved a Cuba like utopia and hear the wailings and gnashing of teeth the first time a prog notices that their new iPhone has stopped working.

      2. I’m probably late on this, but shouldn’t Bernie be complaining about an ice cream company that has a lot more than 23 flavors?

        1. Some companies are more equal than others.

        2. 100 poor orphans in the 3rd world died for each one of those flavors, mister!

        3. Indeed. So when B&J is compelled by the gubmint to only sell the abominable New York Super Fudge Chunk, some prog will whine “but I didn’t thin kit would be my favorite flavor that would be taken away!”

        4. B&J’s bat for the right team and have the proper narrative in place.

          C’man, Raven! Snap out of it.

          1. This explains why some academics who complain about wealth disparity live in mansions.

  17. After all, as Tolkien put it, the burned hand teaches best.

    Unless the hand belongs to government.

    1. This is why the government must have all the matches.

  18. All of you are wrong, BTW. These are the best chips ever invented. All other chips should be taken of the shelves by gubmint force.

    1. Sadly, it’s been my experience that in these United States things labeled “spicy” and/or “Thai” are like the Holy Roman Empire.

      1. It’s the Thai’s fault. They never believe that we want the ultraspicy. Yet they are also correct.

        1. Then come over to my place. My wife refuses, out of principle, to spice-down her cooking.

          1. My wife refuses to spice-up the cooking. I have my own pepper garden and make my own smoked ghost and chipotle pepper hotsauce. I use sriracha and sambal olek like most people use ketchup. And yet with few exceptions I’m surrounded by people who abhor spicy food.

            I feel like there needs to be a safe place for people like us to avoid being triggered.

            1. My wife refuses to spice-up the cooking

              None of that in my house. My wife always asks me for more spice and some of my dishes are very spicy as it is. I wouldn’t ask most of my friends to try it. I spent part of my time as a kid in Southern Cali eating food from Mexican street vendors, and back then they wouldn’t hold out on the hot n spicey. It’s an acquired taste I guess, but I acquired it.

              1. Acquired and no going back. Much to the dismay of my stomach lining and kidneys.

                1. I suggest this stuff for kicking the heat up.

                  Warning: I sneezed some out this weekend (friggin’ summer cold) and it went right in my damn eye. It ain’t no joke.

                  1. I have a story about my wife and ghost peppers*. I would relate it, but no one would believe me.

                    *Nothing sexual, alas

                    1. “Nothing sexual, alas”

                      *tries to hide disappointment*

          2. You do know, HM, that you can not be serving truly spicy stuff to the American public, no?

            That’s why any time I go into a restaurant here I have to tell them I want something really spicy, then it comes out not spicy at all compared to what we make at home. They’re afraid that someone will freak out and threaten to sue them. Most Americans are the biggest lot of whiny ass uptight pussies on earth.

            1. That’s not true. We just have a tort system that caters to those types of people’s base desires. Europe definitely has more uptight pussies than you’ll see anywhere else. Super low tolerance for diverging opinions and super uptight about things like guns or unregulated X, Y or Z. Not true of everyone obviously, but the tendency there is much greater.

              But maybe your experience is tainted by overexposure to the east or west coast of the US. I don’t know.

              1. I meant about food, not in general.

                1. British people are worse about food, I think.

                  I do hate it when you go to a Chinese restaurant or something and order something with a picture of 3 chiles next to it and it comes out not even a little bit hot.

                  1. Yep. The chance of getting really spicey food at most American restaurants is nearly non-existant.

                    My wife’s Thai friend made some Thai lettuce wraps for us and it was almost too hot even for me. I wasn’t expecting it, so I was like wow, holy shit that’s spicey! She asked me if it was too hot and I said hell no, it’s great!

                    1. I weren’t to a Vietnamese restaurant once that served some squid dish that was almost impossible to eat. But that is the only time I’ve ever had food spicier than I wanted at a restaurant.

                  2. You’ve seen the skit where a group of Indians go out for English food?

                    Give me the blandest thing on the menu!

      2. Better than in Britain, anyway. Perhaps with the exception of some Indian food.

      3. I hear ya, Heroic.

        Some of the things that pass off as ‘authentic’ Italian here often leaves me perplexed.

        And why is it so damn hard to get a proper espresso in most restaurants?!

        Serving it with weak crema, overly bitter and piping hot is barbaric. Right, Bernie?

        1. The lady that runs the Ethiopian food truck here in DC tried to warn me away from the Doro Wat, telling me it was “very, very spicy”. My guess was she had someone complain in the past, so was trying to hedge her bets with little ol’ white girl me.

          The Doro Wat was only middling, spice-wise. It made me wonder what kind of pussy would think it was too spicy to eat.

          1. Reminds me of the time when I was sitting at the bar on lunch break having an espresso at a restaurant I used to frequent back in my finance days.

            The lady next to me ordered penne ‘all’Arrabbiata’. The owner of the place made it, well, very hot as the recipe calls for.

            It was too spicy for her and she demanded to know why he made it so hot. Poor Roman bastard he couldn’t find the words to even begin except to tell her it’s an ‘angry sauce’ and is meant to be so.

            Or else, as I interjected, just order a fucken MARINARA or Neapolitan sauce you pain in the ass.

            1. You’re pretty rude for a Canadian.

              1. I’m not your average Canadianeh.

                She started talking to me first. All I did was diplomatically point her in the right direction.

          2. Some people seem to find any capsaicin heat sensation unpleasant.

        2. The Italians surprisingly don’t know how to drink espresso. In fact I’ll go so far as to say that most Italian espresso drinkers don’t even like the stuff. Why else would they saturate it with sugar to the point of causing instant diabeetus?

          1. Er, no. Free. Just stop there.

            1. Italians. Suck. At. Espresso. Sorry.

              1. No need to apologize. Your opinion. Majestically wrong but your opinion.

                Comical as well. Sorry.

                1. I can’t help that I’m just so damn right so damn often, Rufus. Enjoy your slightly coffee flavored sugar.

                  1. In your mind, perhaps you’re right, FS!

                    My espresso is actually outstanding if I may say so – no sugar needed. Learned how to make it in Italy – you know, the place where they invented it? Where the masters of espresso live.

                    1. It’s easy to confuse those who invent with those who appreciate. I mean, an American invented the telephone, but South Koreans and Japanese might dispute who makes the best telephones in the world.

                    2. Appreciate is very subjective. This is the first, after 25 years of visiting the place, I hear of this nor have I ever really observed.

                      The way we ‘appreciate’ it here is not better than there. All I can say is I disagree.

                      We’re not an espresso drinking society like they are.

                      Anyway. Not gonna get into it here. Again, emphatically disagree as our experiences are different.

                    3. My tastes are the correct ones anyway, so you should both just shut up before you make even bigger fools of yourself.

                    4. You really cut to the core of me, Zeb.

      4. You mean they claim to taste like Italian food but are actually as sour & salty as German?

    2. Tried them. Salt and vinegar is still the best chips.

    3. KETTLE CHIPS?

      *smashes Kristen’s bag of chips*

      1. And it was a very crunchy smash.

        10/10, would smash again.

    4. KK, I had those last month for the first time and seriously ate the entire bag in one sitting. I got up from the couch in a zombie like state and vaguely remember thinking “why is my mouth burning?” I looked in the mirror and had a thin sheen of sweat/tears on my face.

      I like to think they were tears of joy.

      1. Nobody does the sweet & spicy combo like the Thais, and the people at Kettle got it right.

        1. Nobody overdoses on ginger more than the Thais. I’ll give their native pepper species some credit though.

          1. My favorite Thai dishes (ka pow and panang) don’t have any ginger, AFAIK.

            1. I don’t know what ka pow is but it sure sounds violent.

              1. ka pow

                Gra pow is Thai for holy basil, which is used in stir-fry dishes. That having been said. Thai food is actually 4 different regional cuisines, of which the worst (pad thai, blech!), makes it over here. Thai food doesn’t strike me as overly ginger-y, but I do admit that it tends toward the pungent and sour in a way that Vietnamese food doesn’t.

          2. My mother grew some Thai chiles last summer. Little red things that point upwards on the plant instead of hanging down like most peppers. Holy shit they’re deadly. They were too much for her so she passed them along to me. I dried and bagged them. Now when I want a spicy treat, I’ll grind a few of them up with some garlic, salt, vinegar and honey, then dab the paste onto some (plain) sardines with crackers. Fucking delicious.

            1. I grew some ghost chiles last year. They are dangerous.

            2. Yeah friend of mine grew some in his garden. Haven’t done anything with them yet…

              1. I put 2 in a big pot of chili. It wasn’t mind blowing at that concentration. But with 2 pretty small peppers it was plenty hot for most American pallets.

    5. I’ve had those before. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re the best (had some horseradish flavored chips once that I haven’t been able to find since that were insanely good), but they’re damn good.

      1. The sriracha ones are pretty tasty too. I’d prefer just dipping a plain Kettle Cooked in actual sriracha though.

        1. Haven’t tried them. Did try Chicken and Waffles Lays. Tasted like greasy maple syrup. Yuck.

      2. If horseradish is your bitch, then wasabi peas are the chained up prostitute in your basement dungeon. Do try them.

        1. *nods aggressively*

        2. I have. They turn me into Mister Stinky. I can’t eat split pea soup for the same reason. I get a constant flow of toxic fumes flowing from my ass to the point where I have to put the windows down when I’m driving, and my workday becomes one long courtesy walk / crop dusting session.

          1. Yo, that’s fucked up.

            1. and my workday becomes one long courtesy walk / crop dusting session.

              That’s very egalitarian of you.

              1. That’s very egalitarian of you.

                Spread the wealth!

            2. You have no idea.

        3. Interesting fact: unless you have had it at a very fancy Japanese restaurant, you probably have never had wasabi. Pretty much every “wasabi” preparation you can buy is just green horseradish, sometimes with mustard added.

          Apparently real wasabi has to be freshly prepared or it loses its flavor quickly. So unless you are buying a whole root, you aren’t buying wasabi. It’s also quite expensive.

          1. Wasabi elitist snob!

            1. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had the real thing (not a huge sushi fan). I do like horseradish spiciness, so I’d like to try it.

          2. I worked at a steak house where we ground fresh horseradish root every night when we served roast beef. Damn that was good.

            1. Mmmm. I hate places that give you that weak-assed “horseradish sauce”.

              1. Fuck yeah. It’s usually just mayo with just barely enough horseradish to notice it’s there.

    6. If you get a chance, try these. They’ll make your ears ring.

      1. *creates new category in Evernote: “how to damage your taste buds and get one step closer to a massive coronary”*

      2. The DC area is chock-a-block with Utz products. Pretty sure I’ve tried them all. The only ones I keep going back to are the cheesy poofs.

        I’m not a stoner.

        1. The Pub Mix is my favorite, but it’s expensive.

        2. You live in DC, eat cheesy poofs and try to convince us you are not a stoner? Bah!

          1. Nope, not a stoner. I never spent a 4-hour drive back from central PA to DC alternatively shoveling Cool Ranch Doritos and Chips Ahoy into my gob. Not once did that ever happen.

            1. I remember once, back in my days of experimenting with whatever substance, me and my friends were pretty stoned and we stopped at a convenient mart to get some munchies. Typical choices were Doritos and Barrelhead rootbeer. We had this one guy with us, who I didn’t know really well, but know he was often wasted on something stronger than weed. He wanted Oreos with double stuff, and he started freaking out when there weren’t any. He was yelling across the store at the Indian guy behind the counter ‘I want Oreos with fucking double stuff!!!’. We payed for our stuff and got the hell out of there before the guy called the cops or something.

              1. I always wondered what the clerks at 7-11 think when someone (not me!!) buys 2 packs of Snoballs (not me!!), a bag of Doritos (not me!!), a 2-liter root beer (not me!!), and a pint of Americone Dream (not me!!). Do they know what’s goin’ down? They must know.

  19. Sure, every once in a while I get tired of the “best new innovation in cherry flavored based soft drinks, in a cute shaped bottle, with a twist of pomegranate, as drunk by a top ten of the curve model”, but then the adult side in me says the “cure” is always worse than the “problem”. I refresh my disinterest and the world keeps on spinning just the same.

    Bernie is simply another in the long line of assholes who want to take my umbrella away while promising he, and his like minded geniuses, will push the rain drops up back into the sky one at a time. And, of course, it’s just an illusion that I’m standing there soaked.

    1. Dude. That’s not rain.

      1. *sniffs tookien’s soaked shirt…swims away*

    2. Occasionally, Michael Bloomberg enjoys a soda. But the peasants must not be allowed such choices, lest they abuse themselves.

  20. Reality show idea: take sanctimonious urban progs – ones with cruelty-free designer clothes and a host of iProducts in their homes – and transplant them to a variety of settings for a month (or more).

    The setting would be one of the progs’ own idealized imagining. Some ideas would be Cabrini Green or Liberty City, a “living” Medieval town, a pre-colonial Native American tribe, a mid-century Chinese village, and contemporary mid-sized cities in Cuba or Venezuela (not Havana or Caracas – commie regimes tend to concentrate all the good stuff in the capital to make it seem like they are more prosperous than they actually are).

    1. Maybe they could call it The Simple Life.

    2. Caracas has the second highest murder rate on the planet. I don’t think your average Williamsburg hipster would get along particularly well in the slums of Caracas.

      1. Is that a gun you are pointing at me? Don’t you know that guns are bad! Now turn that into the government right now! Or I’ll… I’ll…, you’re triggering me! I feel unsafe and afraid! I’ll get my mattress, I swear!

    3. Now that would be good TV.

    4. Don’t forget a lovely month in Iran, especially for a few unmarried women. Progs love to run their mouths about how Iran is just misunderstood and we’re just not nice or generous enough to people who chant “death to America” almost reflexively. The episode ends with the women being beaten in an alley by a group of men and boys for walking around without headscarves and exposing their legs, while Iranian women look on with “serves you right” expressions on their scarf-surrounded faces.

  21. The foolish socialism of Bernie Sanders.

    Is there an un-foolish socialism?

  22. “…Wilt Chamberlain hypothetical. (Wilt Chamberlain was a famous basketball star.)”

    Oh. I thought he was the little dude that used to say ‘what you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?!’

  23. Well, all I know is Old Spice make shopping for deodorant fun with their humor!

    Why do you hate humor, Bernie?

    1. How about the Hotels.com’s character Captain Obvious ?

      Or DirectTV with the horse singing, “I’m walking down the beach, with a pretty lady on my back.”

      There’s more thought in one clever commercial than in all of Sander’s neurons.

      1. LOVE the Captain Obvious commercials.

        Hate the talking horse with. They’re trying way too hard to be clever & quirky. And the innuendo about a Tijuana sex show is just….icky.

        1. My wife asked me why I said the Tijuana one was a little racy.
          Then I had to explain why I understood the reference.

          1. Did you tell her it’s because you hang out on here with a bunch of degenerates?

          2. Because you’ve seen Clerks 2?

  24. Nobody needs eleventy billion Frapuccino flavors!

  25. “As A. Barton Hinkle observes, there would be no quicker way to illustrate the failings of socialism than to let Sanders run our economy into the ground.”

    I don’t know if you are aware Hinkle but the failings of socialism have been illustrated countless times. Only an idiot would subscribe to it at this point. One more example isn’t going to make a dent in the morons who buy into that bullshit.

    There can be no better example that the one playing out right now in Venezuela thus the virtual news blackout.

    1. I don’t know if you are aware Hinkle but the failings of socialism have been illustrated countless times

      And yet, the Democrats are now in a heated race to see who can run the farthest to the left. That appears to be all that the Democrat presidential primaries will be about. I’m farther left than Hillary! Oh yeah, well I’m farther left than you! Oh yea, well I’m further left than Stalin! Pol Pot has nothing on me!

      They’ve really jumped the shark at this point.

      1. And we will continue to be regaled with accounts of how Republicans must pander to their radical base while there will be no mention of a “radical” Democrat base.

        *Should not be taken as an endorsement or support of the Republican Party.

        1. There aren’t many radical Republicans, at least not in congress. When the left says radical Republicans, they are typically talking about anyone who would reduce the size of government and allow more individual freedom. You can count the ‘radical’ Republicans in congress on the fingers of one hand.

          1. To Democrats, any Republican that holds even the tiniest view to the right is a right-wing crazy that wants to take us back to the days when blacks and women were oppressed and only the white male had it good. I kid you not, I get e-mails from some Democrat mailing service (how I got on their list is a mystery to me) that screams about how Tea Party Republicans like McConnell and Bohenner want to take away minority and young people’s right to vote and are of course funded by those evil despicable Koch brothers!

        2. So – Hyperion supports and endorses TEAM RED!

          I KNEW IT!!!

          *eyes H suspiciously*

          1. *smacks self in face*

            So – Raven Nation supports and endorses TEAM RED!

            I KNEW IT!!!

            *eyes RN suspiciously*

            1. Didn’t Buttplug splain this to you a long time ago? We’re all Republicans here!

            2. Didn’t Buttplug splain this to you a long time ago? We’re all Republicans here!

              1. TWICE REPUBLICANS!

                1. It’s Rethuglicans all the way down.

                  I blame Bush

            3. Um, well, I sometimes vote for Republicans.

              *scuffs toes nervously in dirt.*

  26. Hey, I was going to link to Anthony de Jasay in one of the threads up top, but Hinkle already did!

    Everyone should read de Jasay.

  27. And do we need all these scripted TV shows? Why can’t we just merge Game of Thrones with Orange is the New Black? Or Bob’s Burger with Archer?

    And do we really need an “Entourage” movie?

    1. I hear they are planning on busting up the final Entourage novel into two movies.

      1. Good – two more movies I don’t need to see.

        1. THIS IS WHY WE NEED SOCIALISM!

        2. YOU DON’T NEED TWO MOVIES WHEN YOU CAN MAKE ONE!

          1. No one NEEDS movies when we have ViewMasters?

          2. And give the money saved to the starving children.

    2. You know who else loved State-sponsored movies?

      1. Sergei Eisenstein?

    1. Bastiat is pretty much the ultimate sayer of sayings on sayings that libertarians can embrace as their own.

    2. Nobody needs more than one system of government!

    3. Nobody needs more than zero libertarian economists!

  28. If Reason doesn’t post another article soon, this could break some kind of posting record.

    BERNIE, BERNIE, BERNIE, BERNIE!!! GO BERNIE!!!

  29. On the bright side, once that’s done Sanders and Co. presumably would have no grounds to resent any subsequent inequalities resulting from free trade by willing traders.

    I wouldn’t bet on it. Once you cut through the bullshit it’s the “inequalities resulting from free trade by willing traders” that the socialist fuck wits really have a problem with in the first place.

    Also, 240+ comments. Let me guess, there’s a force 5 derp storm raging above, isn’t there. This was guaranteed to bring out all the tards.

    1. I don’t think there is one troll post here, yet.

      1. BUSHPIG CHRISTFAG 8%!1`111!11!

        There, feel better?

      2. Calm before the storm?

      3. That’s really surprising. If anything would’ve lit the AmSoc/ Tony/ PB signal it would be this.

        They’re probably still getting their talking points. I’m sure they’ll be along eventually.

    2. I searched for Botox.
      I found none and moved on, yes.
      It’s all good, Broheim.

      1. Botox free and no hinfection.

        1. No PB, tony, American socialist or tulpa socks either. Weird.

    3. . Let me guess, there’s a force 5 derp storm raging above, isn’t there.

      Nope. Just nothing new to comment on for two hours.

      1. Reason is wanting to see if they can break the comment record. Hurry eveyone, upvote each other and start posting stuff like ‘BIG OIL AND KOCH BROTHERS TRYING TO DESTORY THE PLANET FOR PROFIT!’.

        Make sure to use all caps. I got this strategy from HuffPo.

    4. 240 comments = Boredom.

      1. Well, you can just get stoned and eat more Cool Rand Doritos! Up here in MD, they put us in the gulag for that!

      2. What do 357 comments mean?

  30. It is just me or is it a slow news day?

    1. They’re all working on their version of the coverage of the McKinney Cop thing?

  31. “Foolish Socialism”?

    Is there another kind?

    1. The kind that kills.

  32. “Foolish Socialism”?

    Is there another kind?

  33. If the free market is so great, why don’t you just move to Somalia?!?!

    1. I’m starting to think i might. These guys seem cool.

    2. Well the pirate’s life might be for me…

  34. So, they are worried about “wealth inequality” and their proposed solution is cut down on competition so that an even smaller group of corporations can dominate even larger slices of the market?

    How precisely will having fewer brands of deoderant produce “savings” that can be directed to poverty eradication?

  35. So last night’s Silicon Valley, aside from Bachmann nearly making me poop my pants, started to thrash IP law. I’m hooked to see how they wrap up Richard’s arbitration.

  36. What’s the point of building up a straw man argument to take down instead of an intellectually honest argument in opposition to the real policies of their ideological opponents?

    Redistribution of wealth is a basic economic tool used successfully all over the world in 1st world social democratic states.

    Despite this, the article refers to Cuba and Venezuela and willfully ignore the states that Bernie Sanders support and are are like us part of the OECD.

    States, like Germany, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Finland etc. We are part of the first world and compared to their quality of life we are on the bottom at every level in health, social mobility education and social capital. Why? Because we refuse to tax the very richest people, those same people that actually almost crashed the economy with their insane policies and fund social programs that would make us competitive.

    The fact is this proportional taxation is supported by Adam Smith. Wealth redistribution, and regulation against monopolies are good policies and its uses has already been defined in by Abba Lerner as distributive efficiency, a principle that follows from marginal utility: a person gets more to spend, he will buy things that give him less and less utility.

    In other words, 20 dollars to a poor person is more likely to be spent on needed things than 20 dollars to a millionaire.

    Be honest with your readers next time.

    1. Well, it was nice while it lasted.

      [sigh]

      Fuck off, slaver.

      1. All circle jerks end that way.

    2. I would like to enter into the record JJ is from Warty’s state. You know who else is from Warty’s state?

      1. The Doom Cockers of Cockdoom?

        1. Correct. You may now have a cookie.

          1. Is it a free cookie? Does it come with a free cell phone and pony?

            1. It’s a socialist cookie, so it only exist in the minds of retards, so good luck eating it.

        2. Nuh uh. Before the very bedrock had cooled and coalesced from the magma oceans of primordial Earth, the Doomcock was. There are those who say the substance of the Doomcock is older by far even than the sun.

    3. Redistribution of wealth is a basic economic tool used successfully all over the world in 1st world social democratic states.

      define “successful”

      States, like Germany, Sweden, Canada, Denmark, Australia, Finland etc. We are part of the first world and compared to their quality of life we are on the bottom at every level in health, social mobility education and social capital. Why? Because we refuse to tax the very richest people

      Your equation is missing key information. You’ll need to explain how taxing anyone increases prosperity.

      The fact is this proportional taxation is supported by Adam Smith.

      Hitler supported proportion taxation. Note here that simply dropping a name doesn’t solidify your argument.

      Wealth redistribution, and regulation against monopolies are good policies

      Don’t pretend you don’t love monopolies. You love the biggest monopoly of all. Monopolies are either good or bad, which is it?

      1. Let me give this a try.

        define “successful”

        We are able to steal more wealth from every day citizens through social programs that they become dependent upon, thereby increasing our own power and wealth.

        Your equation is missing key information. You’ll need to explain how taxing anyone increases prosperity.

        It increases ‘our’ prosperity. That’s the point, peasant.

        Wealth redistribution, and regulation against monopolies are good policies.

        There are no regulations against monopolies. Government is the biggest creator and supporter of monopolies, bar none.

        1. Your retort was too rational. You fail the Ideological Turing Test.

      2. [define “successful”]

        [Your equation is missing key information. You’ll need to explain how taxing anyone increases prosperity.]

        Successful meaning that they have economic growth on the same level as the United States and prosperity meeting higher standards of living and social mobility as defined by the Gini coefficient.

        Look at the global innovation index for Nordic and European States.

        Since I cannot post too many links just use

        http://tinyurl.com/

        and these shortcuts if you want the proof:

        Global Innovation Index: muee6bl
        OECD Statistics: pggcolc
        GDP Growth compared to US: nslcu57

        By absolutely every standard the quality of life is better for the vast majority of the population, even the American Dream is more achievable in Canada or Europe than the US.

        http://tinyurl (.) com/ko9bpt2

        [Hitler supported proportion taxation. Note here that simply dropping a name doesn’t solidify your argument.]

        Its generally a bad faith argument to name drop Hitler in an internet conversation. Additionally, Hitler wasn’t the economist that created an entire economic system we base our modern economy on.

        1. Successful meaning that they have economic growth on the same level as the United States

          So by that same standard, insofar as the US has a lack of such redistributive taxes, the US is successful by default. A yard stick is as tall as itself.

          prosperity meeting higher standards of living and social mobility as defined by the Gini coefficient.

          Are you familiar with any of the criticisms against using the Gini coefficient to measure economic health?

          By absolutely every standard the quality of life is better for the vast majority of the population,

          What are these standards? (besides the GINI coefficient)

          Its generally a bad faith argument to name drop Hitler in an internet conversation.

          It’s bad faith to drop names to make your argument for you in general. That’s what I pointed out and it wooshed right over your head apparently.

          1. [So by that same standard, insofar as the US has a lack of such redistributive taxes, the US is successful by default. A yard stick is as tall as itself.]

            It has economic growth with a much worse quality of life for the majority of the population.

            So no, the US doesn’t win anything unless the prize is for highest childhood poverty or worst healthcare system and on and on.

            I provided to you widely accepted OECD statistics (4 separate links) and other economic matrices that confirm that while economic growth is similar to the US, the quality of life is better under social democratic principles that are practiced in other countries in the 1st world .

            Do you have anything to provide to the contrary or are you just going to wax rhetorically about irrelevant bullshit?

            Quality of life is better by wealth distribution, social mobility, access to health, education, employee welfare etc.

            The US is only better to live in if you are incredibly rich.

    4. How is $20 spent by a poor person qualitatively better than $20 spent by a rich person?

      1. [How is $20 spent by a poor person qualitatively better than $20 spent by a rich person?]

        You are going to need to define qualitative better. A poor person will spend the money on what he needs to survive, a rich person getting an extra 20 dollars has much less marginal social utility.

        1. “a rich person getting an extra 20 dollars has much less marginal social utility.”

          Uh no you don’t get away with that kind of BS sleight of hand.

          It obviously has less PERSONAL marginal utility, now show how it has less SOCIAL marginal utility cause I’m about 99% certain that investing an extra $20 of capital into future growth has more social value than consuming an extra $20 of fungible commodity products

          1. I am 100% sure that a person not starving for one day is more socially useful than some theoretical rich dude getting an extra .00001% on his long term portfolio.

            It’s not even an argument.

          2. I am 100% sure that a person not starving for one day is more socially useful than some theoretical rich dude getting an extra .00001% on his long term portfolio.

            It’s not even an argument.

    5. Notice that you picked only countries with tiny populations and very homogeneous populations in comparison to the USA.

      Also, what is the tax rates in those countries? Have you had the privilege of paying that?

      I think your argument is without meaningful substance.

      1. Homogeneous populations are a strawman argument. The US has 77% “White” population and is also divided in smaller states where the majority is more homogenous than even Nordic countries.

        [Also, what is the tax rates in those countries? Have you had the privilege of paying that?]

        The tax rate is about 52% but considering free education, welfare, job opportunity, paid vacation, maternity leave etc those benefits end up costing people less than they do in the US.

        We have an insane system where a poor person pays 25% and a rich person pays 38%

        Its crazy considering the loopholes.

        Look at Kansas for example, social policies in that state could easily support social democratic principles but the only thing stopping them are insane neo-feudalist republican policies.

        [I think your argument is without meaningful substance.]

        Your counter argument was flimsy but you are free to think whatever you want. The facts will catch up with you the next time the economy is crashed by the same people who were left running the show without being punished.

        1. Homogeneous populations are a strawman argument. The US has 77% “White” population and is also divided in smaller states where the majority is more homogenous than even Nordic countries.

          And if you’re counting only the whites, their crime rate is lower than Belgium.

          The tax rate is about 52% but considering free education, welfare, job opportunity, paid vacation, maternity leave etc those benefits end up costing people less than they do in the US.

          That is absolutely false. It’s almost always higher than 65% for upper incomes in Western Europe and secondly your claim rests on the assertion that central planning is more economically efficient on the whole than ostensibly unplanned markets, which has been disproved repeatedly. Most spectacularly by the likes of Stalin and Mao.

          Look at Kansas for example, social policies in that state could easily support social democratic principles but the only thing stopping them are insane neo-feudalist republican policies.

          What are “social democratic principles”? And what is “neo-feudalism” exactly?

          The facts will catch up with you the next time the economy is crashed by the same people who were left running the show without being punished.

          Who are these “people running the show”?

          1. [And if you’re counting only the whites, their crime rate is lower than Belgium.]

            You had no point when you began and you have no point now.

            [That is absolutely false. It’s almost always higher than 65% for upper incomes in Western Europe ]

            The rich can take care of themselves. The conversation is not about what the rich pay. Its about what the majority of the population pay.

            http://www.latinpost.com/artic…..-peers.htm

            In any case, the median tax burden in Western Europe is 46% and for the higher quality of life its fine.

            [and secondly your claim rests on the assertion that central planning is more economically efficient on the whole than ostensibly unplanned markets, which has been disproved repeatedly. Most spectacularly by the likes of Stalin and Mao.]

            I didn’t claim that at all. Social democratic markets aren’t planned.

          2. [What are “social democratic principles”?]

            Look up Social Market Economy and ordoliberalism on Wikipedia.

            [ And what is “neo-feudalism” exactly?]

            Broadly speaking, no-feudalism is a policy where massive privatization and income inequality puts a vast amount people under the control of private individuals or corporations.

            It’s best exemplified by this article from Amazon’s Nick Hanauer.

            http://tinyurl.com/nhzrbp5

            You can find out more by watching this video.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q2gO4DKVpa8

        2. “The US has 77% “White” population and is also divided in smaller states where the majority is more homogenous than even Nordic countries.”

          The non-Hispanic white population (which is generally what people mean by “white” in everyday conversation and in most sociological discussions) is about 63%. There’s also more impacting homogeneity than race, so that alone isn’t by any means a perfect or even necessarily good barometer. There are very few states as homogeneous as the Nordic countries. The whitest states off the top of my head IIRC are Maine and Vermont, and they would probably measure up pretty well on these sort of indices. Systems in foreign countries don’t necessarily do a better job of improving the lives of immigrant or marginalized populations than the US’s does. For example, I recall reading a source that said that 40% of immigrant children in Sweden live in poverty, compared to 5% of native born (I can probably find the source if you want, it may take a few minutes).

          “We have an insane system where a poor person pays 25% and a rich person pays 38%”

          Where is your source for this?

          1. I agree that race is not a good barometer. I only mentioned it because someone raised the argument that it was relevant to successful social democracy and I said that it isn’t because we have a state system.

            Vermont 96.2%
            Maine 95.5%
            New Hampshire 95.0%
            West Virginia 94.3%
            Iowa 92.9%
            Idaho 92.1%
            Wyoming 91.6%
            Minnesota 90.94%
            North Dakota 90.9%

            States with the highest percentages of non-Hispanic whites, as of 2007:[45]

            Vermont 95.4%
            Maine 94.8%
            West Virginia 93.7%
            New Hampshire 93.4%
            Iowa 90.9%
            North Dakota 90.2%
            Montana 88.3%
            Kentucky 88.1%
            Wyoming 87.7%
            South Dakota 86.5%

            These are all “white majority” states.

            [Where is your source for this?]

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/ke…..-and-more/

            10% difference plus the regressive state taxes mean the poor are paying way more.

        3. The problem with your argument is that 1) You’re exaggerating or assuming differences in economic systems between the US and other countries (some of the countries you listed have systems more different from each other than at least one is to the US) 2) You’re exaggerating or assuming differences in quality of life that most indices do not bear out (most QOL indices put the US at or near the top, similar to many of the countries you list, and superior to a lot of other Western European countries) and 3) You’re assuming that if the US is below another country in the rankings it must be because of your pet reasons (taxation and welfare spending).

          1. The wealth distribution, social mobility, education and healthcare are all much lower than in Europe.

            That’s how people generally judge quality of life. If you have other data I would like to see it.

        4. “We have an insane system where a poor person pays 25% and a rich person pays 38%”

          You are either a moron or a liar.

          Poor people in the US pay $0 in income taxes and on average about 3% after Payroll and other Federal taxes are factored in, and you don’t start paying north of 20% until you move into the top 10% of incomes.

          Even using top marginal tax rates that you were referring to the poor only pay 10 -15% and that is after applying deductions so a single person with no kids making $20k the first $10,300 is tax free leaving $9700 in taxable income for which he would pay 10% on the first $9075 and 15% on the remaining $625 for a total income tax bill of $1008.75 and a tax rate of 5.04%

          Throw in his FICA Medicare and Medicaid taxes and your up to 12.69% and that is for someone earning nearly double the poverty level. Less than half of your claimed 25%

          1. To be fair, you have to account for state income taxes, sales tax, property tax, etc. But your point stands that the average poor person isn’t paying 25% of their income in taxes.

          2. You didn’t factor in state taxes.

            http://taxfoundation.org/artic…..nd-edition

            It adds on average 12%.

            In any case,

            http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/0…..ary-taxes/

            Warren Buffett pays less than his secretary. That’s a problem and bad policy.

    6. Lol

      I wonder how hard it would be to make this moron realize that the US already is more socialist than about half of those countries.

      I think the levels of cognitave dissonance on hearing that the US tax system is by far the most progressive in the OECD would literally cause his head to explode

      1. You underestimate his commitment to reinforcing the beliefs he wants to believe.

        1. Says the idiot who ignores statistics.

      2. Especially when you take into account VAT’s, which are entirely regressive. As others have alluded to above, GINI coeffecients are largely bullshit, and are designed to push a “progressive” agenda. If this dipshit thinks the standard of living is higher in western Europe than the US, he’s fucking delusional.

        1. This is what I waited for. “Rational” people claiming “conspiracy agenda” when reality and the facts contradict their idiotic “faith” in rigged crony capitalism marketplace.A belief that only prop up billionaires while bankrupting the country.

          A smart person would care about policies that support their best interests not the interests of a bunch of billionaire wannabe aristocrats.

          1. I suppose you don’t know that in most of those countries, they start taxing at 30% right around the same income that we consider in the US to be just below middle class range.

            France for example starts their 30% bracket for single filers at about 30,000 USD.
            Effective rate (not counting any deductions if there are any) of 10%

            When you get into solid middle class territory you are looking at 20%+ for effective tax rates.

            Sorry Charlie, do not want.

      3. Either provide an argument or fuck off.

    7. JJ thinks that the impoverished social democratic states of Europe are good examples of how socialism works well.

      Idiot.

      1. Is Germany bankrupt? Oh wait no its economy is better than the US.

        Fly away retard.

  37. Bernie Sanders might be socialist, but he’s still a politician. So it’s a bit strange to hear him rail against abundance of deodorants and Apple products. Aren’t there Americans assembling, delivering, and selling those products?

    If I could only buy one kind of deodorant starting tomorrow, how does that address economic equality? That deodorant company would be an instant monopoly.

    If there hundreds of small businesses selling deodorants, the Americans will eventually settle on a dozen brand or so. No one favors corporate products while pretending to like “indie” or “mom and pop” stuff more than Americans.

    There are plenty of things poor Americans can do to stop “trickle up” economy. If they stopped buying Apple products, they’ll go out of business. They’re the ones creating the rich class.

    1. What’s really strange is his honesty about no one needing more than so many pair of shoes. Right there, in that one utterance, he lost the vote of half the population, women, to be specific.

      1. You’ll get my Fluevogs when you pry them from my cold, dead hands. Goddammit.

  38. I’m reminded of a libertarian talk where the speaker made a fascinating point. The free market provides what everyone wants, but the problem with that is that nobody wants what everyone wants.

    Case in point: I can’t stand beer. I love ice cream. If all the resources devoted to making beer were instead devoted to the production of ice cream, think of how much better off I would be. Clearly there’s a sizable misallocation of resources in the market!

  39. [Don’t pretend you don’t love monopolies. You love the biggest monopoly of all. Monopolies are either good or bad, which is it?]

    Are you talking about the government? You are free to elaborate on whatever your point or ideological stand is about government is instead of trying to shoehorn me into a fake position.

    As for the economics, it is virtually agreed by all economists that most excluding some natural monopolies are bad for business.

    1. Are you talking about the government? You are free to elaborate on whatever your point or ideological stand is about government is instead of trying to shoehorn me into a fake position.

      Obviously the government. I’m not showhorning anything. You quite clearly love the state and want to use it for your preferred policy objectives. You also claim to not like monopolies. Yet the state is a monopoly.

      As for the economics, it is virtually agreed by all economists that most excluding some natural monopolies are bad for business.

      You don’t believe that. You already said, quite explicitly, that the state’s welfare policies are good for business. The state is a monopoly. And one that doesn’t even conform to the ‘natural monopoly’ caveat you carved out for yourself.

      1. I don’t even know what you are trying to prove. Societies organize and make arrangements to govern each other. What’s your point?

        I don’t understand why every time normal people bring up reality based solutions to society’s problems you throw your “trump card” “Statist!” you cry.

        The ridiculous underlying notion that you work under is that if the evil government was not in your way you would become some captain of industry tycoon instead biker gang chattel #554302.

        1. I don’t even know what you are trying to prove. Societies organize and make arrangements to govern each other. What’s your point?

          What happens when someone dissents? Who gets to decide what constitutes society?

          I don’t understand why every time normal people bring up reality based solutions to society’s problems you throw your “trump card” “Statist!” you cry.

          The funny thing about reality is that it is self-evident. I see millions of people making their own lives and the lives of others better all the time without getting the government involved. Where is your recognition of their effort? It seems to me that actually solving problems is more “reality-based” than anything you’re offering.

          The ridiculous underlying notion that you work under is that if the evil government was not in your way you would become some captain of industry tycoon instead biker gang chattel #554302.

          Do not project your failures onto others. Just because you have never added value to the world does not mean that the rest of us are all so worthless.

          1. [What happens when someone dissents? Who gets to decide what constitutes society?]

            You are living in one. Leave the basement and you will find other people all around you.

            [The funny thing about reality is that it is self-evident. I see millions of people making their own lives and the lives of others better all the time without getting the government involved. Where is your recognition of their effort? It seems to me that actually solving problems is more “reality-based” than anything you’re offering.]

            How myopic do you have to be to not understand that our infrastructure, social capital, and society all support our ability to live a normal life.

            You take everything that society gives you for granted so you don’t understand what would happen if its taken away.

            96% of Americans received benefits from the government in some way.

            http://tinyurl.com/q9y3doz
            http://tinyurl.com/9rradxf

            Its obvious now that your myopia about society extends to the people who live in it as well.

            [Do not project your failures onto others. Just because you have never added value to the world does not mean that the rest of us are all so worthless.]

            Look at this special snowflake. Yes, your unwarranted self importance will compensate for your complete lack of self awareness. Your personality type is exactly what MLM recruiters are looking for.

            1. You are living in one. Leave the basement and you will find other people all around you.

              I see a lot of people in jail. Is that your idea of society?

              our infrastructure, social capital, and society all support our ability to live a normal life

              I understand that it takes people acting freely and peacefully to make all of that possible. The more skulls you crack, the less goodness there is in society.

              You take everything that society gives you for granted

              I pay for the things “society” gives me. What did you contribute?

              96% of Americans received benefits from the government

              WTF does this have to do with anything? Is the government some magical gift-giving fairy now? Where do you think all that comes from in the first place?

              Its obvious now that your myopia about society

              What myopia? What the fuck are you talking about? Society is not government, you boot-licking fascist. Society is people. Normally I would say “like you and me” but I am quite glad that most people are not like you.

              Yes, your unwarranted self importance … is exactly what MLM recruiters are looking for.

              Where on Earth did I say I was important? You’re the one who’s bought into unrealistic delusions of his own importance and a bullshit scheme based on false pretenses and undelivered promises.

              1. People run every aspect of the country you live in. People are elected to government positions and make policy. People redistribute resources and make policies.

                You think the government is some monolithic edifice but its all made up from people.

                In other words you are an unhinged retard who thinks that a complex society is best organized around the social structure of herded cats.

        2. Societies organize and make arrangements to govern each other. What’s your point?

          So you’ve demonstrated the classic fallacy of conflating the state with society.

          I don’t understand why every time normal people bring up reality based solutions to society’s problems you throw your “trump card” “Statist!” you cry.

          I get that it makes you upset and you want to generalize. But IO’m being very specific here. Return the courtesy. You say monopolies are bad, or are you saying they are good?

          The ridiculous underlying notion that you work under is that if the evil government was not in your way you would become some captain of industry tycoon instead biker gang chattel

          What?

          1. You have to start with very simple notions that people like this have not yet heard, much less understood. The state is the monopoly of violence. Trade is necessarily win-win by its very nature, taxation is win-lose. Supply shifts in response to market prices leading to greater wealth for producers and consumers alike. The sort of thing that a moralizing pedant whose whole economic worldview is founded on envy will never hear otherwise.

            Imagine what Menger might say to an adolescent, then try to say it in English.

          2. People live together in a thing called “society” and then come up with rules through things called “elected governments”. Welcome to Earth.

            A monopoly on force and economic monopolies have nothing to do with each other. We are talking about economics not governments.

            [What?]

            Either you understand that people make complex social function under a government or you don’t.

            If you are imagining a world without government, some anarcho capitalist utopia which will suddenly allow you to be rich. I have news for you, you will not be rich

            You will statistically end up a bonded slave to a motorcycle gang or whatever gang takes over than rich without a government.

            1. You do realize that “economic” monopolies, with very few and temporary exceptions, are ALWAYS the result of government’s monopoly on the initiation of force, don’t you? You wouldn’t be lecturing others from a state of total, willful ignorance, would you?

            2. A monopoly on force and economic monopolies have nothing to do with each other. We are talking about economics not governments.

              No, everybody but you is talking about economics. You are the one talking about governments. Tax rates, minimum wage, state welfare, etc. These are government policies.

              You’re right, though, an economic monopoly and a monopoly on force are not the same thing. One is harmless, the other shoots your dogs, locks you in rape cages, and takes half your earnings with little to show for it.

              1. Monopoly of force to most people means “protecting private property”. What kind libertarian are you?

                1. What protection of private property? File a police report and they’ll search your house for drugs. Complain about a disturbance and they’ll shoot your dog. Tell them your car was stolen and they’ll fine you for leaving your doors unlocked.

                  Even in a libertarian society, the government’s job is to protect life, liberty, and property. The exercise of their monopoly on force is only morally legitimate when it serves that function, but it doesn’t vanish in a poof of smoke when they step outside of those bounds.

                  What kind of mouth-breathing moron are you?

            3. JJohio this is a strawman…the part about ancaps.

              Have to ask why are you complaining about the ills of society since we are under a government. Cause it is either one or the other?

              [You will statistically end up a bonded slave to a motorcycle gang or whatever gang takes over than rich without a government.]

              Where did you get this statistic? How would this be determined? There are motorcycle gangs even with government.

    2. Obviously government, you bloody moron.

      The enabler of monopolies.

  40. Take all the wealth, spread it around equally, and in less than a decade, the poor will once again be poor, while the talented, aggressive, educated and industrious will again be wealthy.

  41. It runs deeper than the socialism of fools. It speaks to the left wing notion that the entire economy is some external thing, some exogenous bag of stuff floating above our heads that all we need do is grab what we need from as it is limitless. But when you ask them what the government should DO to give us this as-delivered-like-manna-from-heaven, their response is to suddenly tell us that we live in a rationed world where nothing is as great or available as it is right now and things can only get worse and smaller so it’s the job of Mother Government to dole out portions of everything until of course nothing’s left and we all live in caves.

    1. Do you people actually talk with each other or is it all just imaginary caricatures that you build up and then destroy with intellectually bankrupt ideas?

      1. Can you explain what are intellectually bankrupt ideas and why?

        1. In your case its the crude lumping of social democratic and market socialist economic theories with Marxist command economy abd claiming that leftists worship government instead of seeing it for what it is: a democratic cost sharing mechanism.

          You are arguing against political positions that don’t exist with people that aren’t making them.

          1. seeing it for what it is: a democratic cost sharing mechanism.

            Sounds pretty evil. A democratic cost sharing program? Do I have a right to show up at your house and demand that you pay my hospital bill or face death? Do I have this right if I speak for the majority of people on your street? If I speak for a majority of the people on your block? Your town? Your continent? What gives this majority such a right? A right that no one possesses individually but can somehow magically grant to the state.

            A mafia extortion racket is a “cost sharing mechanism” too, doesn’t make it right and certainly not the ideal to strive for. The commentors on this board are so far and away more accomplished in their understanding of abstract concepts of social order that it’s impossible for you to find a fair fight. There are other places for debaters of your caliber. Go there.

            1. [Sounds pretty evil. A democratic cost sharing program? Do I have a right to show up at your house and demand that you pay my hospital bill or face death? ]

              Next time you write an idiotic argument, try to say it out loud. For example, Rand Paul said a similar thing and learned the hard way what happens.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUXwDMqjC-A

              [Do I have this right if I speak for the majority of people on your street? A right that no one possesses individually but can somehow magically grant to the state.]

              If I understand your meandering you trying to shoehorn a discussion about police powers.

              You want to know if I think that the government should be able to break into your house, shoot your dog, arrest your family member and then say “oops wrong door number” right?

              No I don’t. You know what people do in order to stop that? They organize to change terrible policies.

              [A mafia extortion racket is a “cost sharing mechanism” too, doesn’t make it right and certainly not the ideal to strive for.]

              Yes, the caliber on this board is similar to other. A mish mash of the willfully uninformed, a hugbox and some actually interested in discussing and sharing ideas.

              You tell me what your ideal is. I have told you plenty about what I believe but I am still trying to figure out where you abstract ideals meet reality.

              Tell me about this sublime social order you envision.

          2. So the massive Federal bureaucracy is “a democratic cost sharing mechanism”. That is the stupidest thing I’ve heard in months.

            Congrats, you’ve out done Tulpa….oh, wait.

          3. Do you support a flat tax since you mention a democratic cost sharing program? As the top 1 pct pays more dollars and higher effective rates (costs) than the bottom does. Seems like the cost burden is on those that bring home more and they also receive the least government kick back for it.

            You are free to argue otherwise

      2. Perhaps you might attack the argument itself if it is so flimsy? Or maybe provide us a demonstration of your own intellectual heft?

  42. Anyone else confused by jjohios claim that we arent as good as nordic countries because america doesnt tax the rich? Ignoring the progressive tax code and the fact that the 1 pct pays the highest average effective rates. Who does jjohio think pays for most of government spending? The higher income pay more total and higher effective rates.

  43. Here’s the kind of grocery store Bernie wants in America:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWTGsUyv8IE

  44. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,

    ————- http://www.jobnet10.com

  45. Jjohio can you explain what a democratic cost sharing mechanism is?

    What is considered rich in your mind? What would be a fair share and how have you arrived at that number?

    Who do you think pays the most taxes?

  46. “In an unintentionally hilarious essay about Cuba not so long ago, one writer noted that ‘the people are hungry here. There are severe food shortages. I do not understand why a tropical island would lack fruits and vegetables . . . and my only assumption is that maybe they have to export it all.'”

    If there’s a better example of the plight of the economist (aka the intellectual Cassandra), I don’t know what it would be.

    Imagine ten generations of physicists who can’t make people understand that radios don’t operate via gremlin magic and you have a taste of what it must be like to be a market economist.

  47. Taking just the most rudimentary research you would have found that most people fund the government through payroll taxes, not income taxes. You would have also found that our state tax system is regressive and favors the rich while eating up income of the poor and middle class through consumption taxes and underfunded government programs.

    As for the often cited claim about half the people not paying taxes:

    53.6 percent do pay taxes
    23.3 percent are either young people or destitute people
    10.2 percent are the elderly
    4.5 percent receive tax breaks that benefit the wealthy more than the poor and middle class
    8.4 percent are (for the most part) working poor and people with kids that are trying to improve their lot in life.

    http://www.itep.org/whopays/executive_summary.php

    This because massive income tax cuts of the rich have transferred a huge tax burden on the poor.

    Warren Buffett on paying a lower tax rate than his secretary.

    http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/0…..ary-taxes/

    1. If you, like Mr. Buffett, are feeling guilty about how little you pay in taxes, feel free to give a Gift to the United States.

      There is no meaningful difference between a payroll tax and an income tax levied on wages. The distinction is an accounting gimmick, nothing more.

      The tax burden has not been transferred to the poor. The vast majority of taxes are still paid, as they always have been, by the top wage earners, biggest spenders, and wealthiest property owners. While many people have faced regressive taxes, the most notable of which being inflation, real tax rates and real purchasing power have for the most part not declined for the poor and middle class. When you factor in welfare benefits and refundable tax credits, it’s an absolute farce to claim that the rich are living fat off the backs of the poor.

      That does not mean taxes shouldn’t be lowered, of course. But your problem is that you won’t accept reality (what was that about “reality-based solutions” again?); the poor aren’t getting fucked by the rich, they’re getting fucked by the government. Why do they not own more businesses themselves? Why do they not employ each other in productive work? Why do they not invent and innovate to improve their lot? Many do, of course, but for the rest, the answer is the government. It is a grade-A destroyer of incentives.

      1. He doesnt understand payroll taxes isnt part of the government budget that pays for all these programs…social security is different

      2. [When you factor in welfare benefits and refundable tax credits, it’s an absolute farce to claim that the rich are living fat off the backs of the poor.]

        This is what happened when we started changing our social democratic policies in the 70s. Most income started going to the top 1%

        http://i.imgur.com/dQNhwGa.gif

        [While many people have faced regressive taxes, the most notable of which being inflation, real tax rates and real purchasing power have for the most part not declined for the poor and middle class. ]

        But that’s false.

        http://www.pewresearch.org/fac…..r-decades/

        Wages have been stagnant and purchasing power has decreased by 5000 dollars since 2004.

        1. This is what happened when we started changing our social democratic policies in the 70s. Most income started going to the top 1%

          What polices have been rolled back? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Department of Labor, OSHA, NRLB, all have been maintained and most have been expanded. Financial regulation is as onerous as ever; did the Federal Reserve, the IRA, the SEC, or the Treasury Department disappear? Never mind the “consumer” side of things; the FDA, the DEA, the USDA, the EPA, etc. are all still around.

          No, what happened in the 1970s was bankruptcy. The productive could no longer shoulder the burden of sustaining the unproductive. So instead the burden was shifted around, various and sundry “tweaks” were made, and the system plowed forward. We are paying the cost of maintaining “social democracy” for 40 years past its expiration date.

          You don’t like the income distribution? Well get off your ass, stop voting for thieves, and start creating value.

          Wages have been stagnant and purchasing power has decreased by 5000 dollars since 2004.

          The first is true (I said as much) and the second is meaningless (whose purchasing power? over what time period? measured how?); unsurprisingly, nothing in the linked Pew article says anything like that. Yet there are also more people now than in the 1970s (100 million or so). So there are far more people living well now than in the 1970s.

      3. [Why do they not employ each other in productive work?]

        It would be easier to work for yourself if health insurance was available to all. Most people get their health insurance from giant corporate jobs. The poor do not have that benefit.

        Also productivity was generally rising with wages but now productivity is way up but wages have not increased.

        [Why do they not invent and innovate to improve their lot? Many do, of course, but for the rest, the answer is the government. It is a grade-A destroyer of incentives.]

        That’s a fundamental misconception about welfare. Welfare doesn’t destroys incentives it provides additional disposable income for people to be able to get out of the crushing cycle of poverty.

        That is what the Innovation Index has proved. People in societies with a higher safety net innovate but also have the benefit of tapping into a larger pool of people who can provide the innovation. They don’t just discard the poor.

        http://tinyurl.com/ptfljuj

        1. Say they have health insurance…have you considered the impact of higher premiums and deductibles with being able to say you have insurance?

          [That’s a fundamental misconception about welfare. Welfare doesn’t destroys incentives it provides additional disposable income for people to be able to get out of the crushing cycle of poverty.]

          Let’s stipulate that this is a true statement by you here. We have welfare…so have to wonder why the welfare state of the US hasn’t got these people out of poverty and thus you are here complaining about wealth inequality and how crappy the poor have it. Have you considered your welfare state is KEEPING these folks in poverty. My statement has actual results to back it up while yours does not.

          1. [Say they have health insurance…have you considered the impact of higher premiums and deductibles with being able to say you have insurance?]

            Let me put it this way. I was building a cabin in Vancouver 2 years ago with a couple of Swiss carpenters. One of them cut his hand with a chainsaw, almost to the bone. We were on an island so he had to be airlifted by a helicopter to the emergency room. He stayed for 1 day.

            When he came back his bill was 300 dollars the rest paid by his insurance company.

            His monthly premium cost? $85.00. He has private health insurance and he could purchase additional insurance for other stuff like dental but he is covered on everything essential.

            Let’s talk about individual insurance in the US. I have an insurance premium of 300 every quarter (dental and health) and a deductible of $6000 dollars. My aunt has to pay 1800 a month for health insurance and also support a mortgage.

            My brother has sciatica and cant get back surgery because even though he pays 400 dollars a month in premiums it would cost 10,000 dollars out of pocket to do it.

            Health insurance in America is an extraction of wealth. Its a rent seeking arrangement where an asymmetrical power play is put on you: pay our costs or suffer. There is no real competition.

            1. [Let’s stipulate that this is a true statement by you here. We have welfare…so have to wonder why the welfare state of the US hasn’t got these people out of poverty and thus you are here complaining about wealth inequality and how crappy the poor have it. Have you considered your welfare state is KEEPING these folks in poverty. My statement has actual results to back it up while yours does not.]

              Are you aware of the significant cuts we’ve made to welfare over the last 30 years or how the Great Society lifted millions out of poverty?

              But let’s take your words at face value.

              What would happen if we stopped welfare programs.

              Here are the results:

              http://tinyurl (dot) com/lczs2ub

              I don’t blame you for not seeing it because its not polite to talk about poverty in the US.

              You need to understand how expensive it is to be poor and the incredible odds stacked against people trying to survive. There is something called a cycle of poverty in the US and its reinforced through bad social policy.

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDylgzybWAw
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UjpmT5noto

              1. What are the significant cuts over the last 30 years?

                The poverty rate was on a decline BEFORE the GREAT society and then increased shortly after. Not buying your claim.

                I didn’t say anything about stopping welfare program. I was just pointing out that more welfare is not getting these folks out of poverty especially considering that it is a pay cut to get a job because government bennies get slashed and those folks are just being smart about economics. Not having a job pays those folks more

                Have you considered the standard of living of US poor to those around the world…like say the poor in Brazil? Uganda?

            2. So are you a proponent of obamacare or not?

              [Health insurance in America is an extraction of wealth. Its a rent seeking arrangement where an asymmetrical power play is put on you: pay our costs or suffer. There is no real competition.]

              As you just described the ACA which is confusing to me why you want more government

        2. What would be considered a higher safety net with respect to the united states and how would increasing the safety net get people to innovate?

          I have a hard time understanding if you are going to be handed everything why you would focus effort on innovating.

          For example if my job told me i could not be fired, i was guaranteed a raise no matter and i would never be laid off. Why would i become better at what i do?

          I am guessing you aren’t too familiar with what they call contract years in sports

          1. [What would be considered a higher safety net with respect to the united states and how would increasing the safety net get people to innovate?]

            The best way to describe it is to show you a couple of Ted talks.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ7LzE3u7Bw

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIL_Y9g7Tg0

            [For example if my job told me i could not be fired, i was guaranteed a raise no matter and i would never be laid off. Why would i become better at what i do?]

            That’s not the dilemma people are faced with.

            If you don’t want to see the videos just read article about a study with what happened when 13 homeless people got 4500 in cash with no strings attached.

            http://tinyurl (dot) com/op3k462

            1. You stated having a safety net leads to innovation did you not?

              Have you considered the incentive to innovate is to procure one’s own safety net?

              You are confusing the cause and effect.

              1. No I think you are confused.

                There is a difference between trying to survive (paycheck to paycheck, and the real possibility of homelessness)

                and innovation which is the breathing room provided with the knowledge that if you take a risk you will be covered by healthcare and you will have a cushion to re-specialize or start your own business as the economy develops.

                You are basically trying to make a moral argument about disciplining the poor. So stop beating around the bush and just make the argument already.

            2. If you don’t want to see the videos just read article about a study with what happened when 13 homeless people got 4500 in cash with no strings attached.

              Indeed, it is easy to do things with money when you don’t have to comply with the law. The problem is not that we aren’t giving enough money to the homeless, it is that we making it very difficult for the people at the margins of society to take care of themselves. How many of those homeless people reported their income to the IRS and paid their income taxes? How many reported it to their social workers? If they paid people to do work for them, how many filed 1099s or W-4s? How many applied for business licenses and permits before making and selling things? Did they collect and file sales taxes, as required by law?

              Really, the study in question ought to be titled “How market economies function when unhampered by onerous taxation and regulation.” Of course, the individuals in question likely won’t get away with being scofflaws forever. And if they aren’t able to generate more money, they will need more cash infusions to create the appearance of stability. While straight cash transfers might be better than targeted welfare, they still incentive dependence. In the end, the best solution is to get off people’s backs and stop trying to “help” them so much.

              1. I think you are missing the point.

                The study shows a fundamental myth that needs to be mentally dismissed when talking about the poor. The myth that they cannot handle money. They can handle money and they can take care of themselves,

                Remember the theory of distributive efficiency? The money that they received to take care of themselves benefited them thousands of times more than if that money was given to someone making 1million dollars.

                So the benefits from that money are way above a the paperwork they may have or may have not have filed.

                [While straight cash transfers might be better than targeted welfare, they still incentive dependence. In the end, the best solution is to get off people’s backs and stop trying to “help” them so much.]

                Back to the moral argument about disciplining the poor.

                http://elizabethstokerbruenig……-argument/

                1. I never said the poor couldn’t handle money. In fact, I said quite the opposite. But that’s why you dodged the point I made. Here’s another point for you to dodge, $4500/year is not a “living wage”, it’s not even half of minimum wage. Yet people were able to improve their lives on $4500/year. So why is it illegal to employ people for $4500/year? It seems to me that you are making it illegal for people to help themselves and then trying to prove that only you can help them.

                  That’s dependence, straight up.

        3. Is your increase in productivity due to flipping burgers better or perhaps it has to do with tech and automation?

          How are you measuring productivity here? Have you considered productivity increases due to globals providing goods and services for a fraction of the cost at the same quality? Not sure you can attribute gains in productivity to american workers necessarily

          1. Here is the answer to your question on why we are making 18,000 less than we should be.

            http://www.epi.org/publication…..ge-growth/

        4. It would be easier to work for yourself if health insurance was available to all.

          Yeah, so the tax code should be amended to make all health costs tax deductible. Problem solved.

          Most people get their health insurance from giant corporate jobs.

          Thanks to the HMO Act of 1973! We need to repeal it immediately, I agree.

          Also productivity was generally rising with wages but now productivity is way up but wages have not increased.

          Average productivity is buoyed by high outliers. You aren’t more productive just because somebody else is; your wage is dependent on the value you add, not the value somebody else adds.

          That’s a fundamental misconception about welfare. Welfare doesn’t destroys incentives it provides additional disposable income for people to be able to get out of the crushing cycle of poverty.

          LFPR is down, welfare (esp. disability) is up, and you’re going to tell me there aren’t incentives at play? If anything else were subsidized, it would be accepted without dispute that the subsidy increases the incidence. Yet somehow welfare is immune?

          1. [Yeah, so the tax code should be amended to make all health costs tax deductible. Problem solved.]

            That’s an interesting band-aid but you are still spending much more on health out off pocket than is sustainable.

            Most health systems around the world evolved into a universal single payer system over time based on the existing health systems of those countries.

            In the US, the most widely administered health system is Medicare. The real solution is to expand Medicare to all.

            [Thanks to the HMO Act of 1973! We need to repeal it immediately, I agree.]

            What is that going to achieve?

            [LFPR is down, welfare (esp. disability) is up, and you’re going to tell me there aren’t incentives at play? If anything else were subsidized, it would be accepted without dispute that the subsidy increases the incidence. Yet somehow welfare is immune?]

            Show me one study that says that people benefiting from welfare are in significant numbers are leaving jobs to be on welfare.

            1. That’s an interesting band-aid but you are still spending much more on health out off pocket than is sustainable.

              Then consume less. If you can’t afford all the things you want, then you don’t get as many of them. This is a fundamental fact of existence, no matter whether you are talking about individuals or governments. It’s called scarcity.

              In fact health spending is quite sustainable if it’s not hampered by a constantly increasing burden of regulation. It doesn’t cost more than it did (in real dollars) to get a procedure today than it did to get the same procedure 20, 40, or 60 years ago. In fact, in many cases it costs less. But people’s demands have changed. The aggregate cost is irrelevant to my personal costs, as long as I am only paying those.

              Most health systems around the world evolved into a universal single payer system over time based on the existing health systems of those countries.

              They didn’t “evolve”, they were coerced by law. If it had emerged organically, it wouldn’t have taken a government edict. Mutual societies and similar arrangements have existed throughout history.

              What is that going to achieve?

              It’s going to remove the dependence of people upon large corporate jobs to provide their health insurance. You said that was a problem, didn’t you? Well the HMO Act is one of many laws that created the system.

            2. Show me one study that says that people benefiting from welfare are in significant numbers are leaving jobs to be on welfare.

              I just did. I studied it and wrote it down for you to read. LFPR is down, welfare collection is up. It’s a correlation! That is about as much intellectual heft as I have seen in any other economic “study”. Go, and be merry.

              If you want a social survey, ask some people who are on welfare. It’s not exactly rocket science. The marginal tax rate on leaving welfare is often in excess of 100%. Getting a job, saving some money, having a car, all of these factors can affect eligibility for welfare benefits. If the job pays less than the welfare, why would you take it?

              1. You are aware that LFPR is related to our aging population and 16% underemployment right? Probably not.

                Here is why your colloquial “proof” is bullshit. If you actually cared about these things you would have put the rudimentary effort into looking it up.

                http://philadelphiafed.org/res…..n-rate.pdf

        5. That is what the Innovation Index has proved. People in societies with a higher safety net innovate but also have the benefit of tapping into a larger pool of people who can provide the innovation. They don’t just discard the poor.

          No such thing has been shown. The places with the strongest “safety nets”–Cuba, North Korea, parts of Africa, Asia, and South America–are all shit poor. This was historically true for the USSR and the PRC as well. Everyone was completely taken care of and yet there was no innovation and no prosperity.

          Places with lots of innovative people produce lots of wealth. And there is no country on the face of the Earth where the law does not provide for some measure of “safety net” (even in Somalia!). The only causality here is that societies with functioning semi-market economies and some semblance of private property are better able to prop up socialist fantasies.

          1. You want to compare the US to the 3rd world be my guest. I thought we are a part of the 1st world.

            Come back with a real answer when you are tired of making irrelevant comparisons to non OECD countries.

            1. Yeah, just throw the poor under the bus. It’s nothing new for you, I know, but I don’t usually expect it to be so blatant.

              1. What are you talking about? Why are you repelled by the fact that the US is part of the OECD?

                Are you more comfortable with it being compared to the 3rd world?

                In many ways it already is.

                http://tinyurl.com/q74uvtt

                1. Why are you so repelled by actual poor people? Is their lot in life so disgusting that you just write them off all the time? Last time I checked, there were billions of people not in the so-called “first world”. What are they, just bugs to you?

                  1. I think you finally lost the plot. I live in the United States of America. We are talking about the serious issues facing the United States of America in comparison to other countries which belong to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

                    Why are you talking about the 3rd world?

                    I get it. You are reading (probably) all this new information and its challenging to your worldview, maybe you are unhappy with this, maybe not but I know you think that there is some “gotcha moment” where you turn the tables on me, the true hater of poor people.

                    There is not such moment. Face reality. Open your eyes and try to process the facts that America is not doing well that wealth is being extracted from us by very powerful, politically entrenched people/corporate interests and that most people are very unhappy with this.

                    1. Open your eyes and try to process the facts that America is not doing well that wealth is being extracted from us by very powerful, politically entrenched people/corporate interests and that most people are very unhappy with this.

                      People who won elections. Time and time again. Why don’t you “open your eyes” and stop voting for thieves.

                      You’re not enlightening me, you’re disgusting me. You take no responsibility for your own actions, you have never bothered to help the people you claim to advocate for, and whenever one of them ceases to be convenient you will discard him.

                      I don’t give a shit about your special pleading. If the principle is valid, it should apply anywhere. So apply it to the rest of the world. Most countries have strong safety nets on paper. Yet they are not rich. Why?

                    2. The US has huge structural problems with its voting system that needs to be reformed. You have no idea what they are because I am pretty sure you are some oblivious college student.

                      You want to talk about the 3rd world? Which part do you want to start at? You aren’t aware of the role of imperialism, colonialism, the cold war, the history of the economy and the extraction of resources from the 3rd world and hot it effected its development?

                      Let’s review the whole of world’s history while we are at it. Anything to deflect a conversation about our situation today.

                      Its hard to talk about America, let’s talk about the 3rd world. Cry me a fucking river.

                      I am having a conversation with a retrograde who on one hand condemns the poor to a shit life and on the other tells me about what I do with them.

                      Earth you retard, you philosophy is based on some Ayn Randian bullshit where you are more comfortable in an abstract world. Concrete reality is too disturbing to talk about so you deflect and talk about bullshit.

                      Here is an enlightening statement to you. Go fuck yourself. When the real world catches up with you I hope it gives you a hard kick in the nuts.

  48. Payroll taxes are fica aka social security which is a different fund. That doesnt fund the government.

    That claim is on federal income tax which is true. Your argument on that is a strawman…which is the correct use of strawman. You claimed a strawman earlier which it wasnt the case

    Warren buffet is free to give more but we know he fights the irs on how much he owes.

  49. Anecdotes like warren buffet dont prove your point. Anyway he pays more total dollars and his income is cap gains while hers is traditional income

    He can have no income for a year and still be worth a lot

  50. What exactly is a huge burden on the poor? So the poor pays for all these programs for the poor? If so wouldnt it suggest they have some dough and would be more efficient keeping that money and eliminate middle man?

    1. So the poor pays for all these programs for the poor?

      No, see, the poor don’t have to pay. If you just act like a fucking idiot and make comically stupid choices, then you too can go from a despicable leech with a debt to society (aka a net taxpayer) to a poor helpless victim who can do no wrong (aka a welfare recipient). It makes no fucking sense whatsoever but they believe it really hard so naturally that cancels out any evidence to the contrary.

      1. I’ll have to echo the sentiment that you people should make some modest effort at understanding what the fuck it is you’re arguing against.

        1. Tony please articulate your position and how you arrived at that conclusion

          1. Grown-up political philosophies don’t endlessly fret over the moral worthiness of people with respect to what they owe in taxes. The point is that our overall system is relatively regressive, which, apart from the ethics of the matter, makes for a pointlessly shittier society for everyone except the very rich. Taxes are not punishment for sins, they are the price paid for the serviced rendered by a civilized society. Wealth redistribution, the great horror, is not about punishing people either. It’s another aspect of a decent civilization, one that might even go to the trouble of recognizing that the more wealth is concentrated at the top, the less of that wealth was actually earned by productive work. But again, it’s not about some half-assed self-congratulatory moral premise that deems wealth equal to virtue, it’s about paying for the things we want out of a modern civilization, and doing so in the most efficient and fairest way possible.

            1. Greetings. Welcome to the den of millionaires in waiting. Thank you for the breath of fresh air.

              1. Welcome to the den of millionaires in waiting.

                No one here is a “millionaire in waiting”. This stupid and rather nonsensical accusation grows tiresome. None of us expects to do radically better for ourselves in a freer economy. On the contrary, the people who stand to benefit the most are those currently at the margins.

                Your envy is disgusting and you should not wear it with such pride.

                1. If you think that poor people are going to be better off with no minimum wage, no benefits, no regulation of debt or usury, more private profit health insurance, no collective bargaining, no social security, no welfare you are drinking some wild brand of cool-aid.

                  Statistically speaking if you are middle class or poor social programs and government programs provide huge benefits.

                  Cutting those programs decrease wealth. People who vote for their own self interest do not vote with billionaires and international corporations.

                  If you are not a millionaire in waiting stop drinking cool-aid, read the plutonomy memo (http://delong.typepad.com/plutonomy-1.pdf) and make an informed decision: are you going to vote for people who bow to those that want automate half the economy and outsource the other half or vote for your self interest?

                  1. The government doesn’t give me anything that it didn’t take from someone else. The true minimum wage has always been and will always be $0. The smug feeling you get from making affordable employment illegal is taken off the backs of the people who can’t get or keep jobs because of the law. Why would I vote for someone who openly advocates for using violently stealing from people? Such greedy thugs belong in prison, not in Congress.

                    1. [The government doesn’t give me anything that it didn’t take from someone else. ]

                      Your position is that taxation is theft, correct?

                      [The true minimum wage has always been and will always be $0]

                      A compelling argument for government regulation against sociopaths advocating for the re-imposition of slavery.

                      [The smug feeling you get from making affordable employment illegal is taken off the backs of the people who can’t get or keep jobs because of the law. ]

                      Tell me more about this affordable employment. Does it include employing children? Maybe some company scrip?

                      At some point you in your life you are going to realize that you are advocating social policies that only appeal to sociopaths.

                      [Why would I vote for someone who openly advocates for using violently stealing from people? Such greedy thugs belong in prison, not in Congress.]

                      In our 2 party system, the failure to vote for people who care about the general welfare of the nation means you are voting for people that want to dismantle the nation into private corporate fiefdoms and impose a neo-feudalistic society.

                      You will not get your voluntary anarchist association of free men, when the state is dismantled, you will get bonded wage slaves making 56 cents an hour.

                    2. SLAVERY! ANARCHY! SOCIOPATHS! FEUDALISM!

                      Tell me, where do you see the rich in this fantasy of yours? What happens to them? To the other dissenters, to the wreckers and kulaks? Do you show them some mercy and give them a quick death, or do you ship them off the gulags to suffer first?

                      Who is in charge of this glorious system of yours? Where do you find all these selfless people? By what mechanism do you select from among the rotten lot of us who is fit to rule? Is it you, who is so smart and capable as to lead us? If not, why not? Who is?

                    3. [Tell me, where do you see the rich in this fantasy of yours? ]

                      In their mansions enjoying their wealth.

                      [Who is in charge of this glorious system of yours? ]

                      Are you ready for this? It’s going to blow your mind

                      Check it out: 1 person 1 vote.

                      Pretty radical right?

                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tu32CCA_Ig

                      Once we get legal corruption out of elections, people will be able to represent someone who actually represents their interests.

                      They have a perverse incentive to cater to corporations, we need to get rid of it.

                      Right now, the only person who is honest and cares about these things so I am voting for him.

                    4. Bernie Sanders basically.

                    5. In their mansions enjoying their wealth.

                      Then it won’t last for very long. You really don’t understand what wealth is, do you?

                      Check it out: 1 person 1 vote.

                      That’s the system we have. Check it out: look up the election returns for your precinct. Find where 1 person got more than 1 vote. Get back to me when you do (no, really, I want to know!).

                      Once we get legal corruption out of elections

                      What corruption? Each person gets a single vote. Where is the corruption? Are you saying people are voting twice? Are they lying about their identity? Are the precints fabricating the ballots? Show your evidence.

                      Right now, the only person who is honest and cares about these things so I am voting for him.

                      Good for you. Now I’m sure you and Bernie wouldn’t dream of taking anything that didn’t belong to you, right?

                    6. The naivete is staggering. I gave you the youtube link. I have nothing more to say on the subject. Maybe one day you will understand.

                    7. If you are actually interested in finding out what i am talking about just go.

                      here

                      https://represent.us/

            2. I have some follow up questions.

              Can you describe how it is relatively regressive and what exactly does that mean? Elaborate on this point as we do have a progressive tax code.

              What would be an example of a non shitty society so we can baseline here? What are you comparing this shittier society to?

              What are the things you want out of a modern civilization?

              What would be considered fair and how did you arrive at that conclusion?

              1. By regressive I mean that taxes fall on the poor much more in proportion to what they make. For example, Factoring in State taxes a person making 36,000 a year will be hit ~36% taxes.

                While the rich are hit with ~45%. The difference being the rich have loopholes. If a rich person makes 1,000,000 and gets hit for 365,000 in taxes, he can still lower that burden significantly. Not to mention dividend or investment income is only taxed at a flat 15%.

                A non shitty society provides healthcare for all, free education, social security, paid vacation, paid maternity leave, unionization and wage negotiation with employers.

                It doesn’t work its workers in poverty wages, doesn’t force new mothers to come back to work 3 weeks after giving birth, it doesn’t “promote” an employee to manager with an additional 50 cents an hour so they don’t pay overtime.

                Both have a capitalist system but one society benefits the majority, the other the few. Fair means that the people who benefit the most from society pay proportionally more. A wealthy person should pay much more than a poor person because a wealthy person has that much more to lose.

                I believe that history has shown that unfettered capitalism wedded to unlimited government bailout money leads to economic depressions and the unhealthy deregulated environment breeds an atmosphere that is not fit for a society between equal citizens, but where a plutocracy buys politicians and rules over a destitute underclass.

                1. You can’t negotiate wages with your employers? What mothers are forced back to work…like at gun point?

                  When you say free education…what do you mean?

                  Where did you get this 36% tax number? Must be some real high state taxes as the bottom 20% actually make money off of federal income tax.

                  How is it regressive if you say those who make more pay 45% as opposed to the poor who make 36% ? Isn’t that the definition of progressive which you say is regressive?

                  [Fair means that the people who benefit the most from society pay proportionally more.]

                  This is already true

                  [A wealthy person should pay much more than a poor person because a wealthy person has that much more to lose.]

                  What would you consider as much more and what is fair? How did you determine this fairness value?

                  [I believe that history has shown that unfettered capitalism wedded to unlimited government bailout money leads to economic depressions and the unhealthy deregulated environment breeds an atmosphere that is not fit for a society between equal citizens, but where a plutocracy buys politicians and rules over a destitute underclass.]

                  What examples of unfettered (what does this even mean) capitalism has there been? Are you saying socialist societies are immune to economic depressions? Not sure if you are aware of the soviety union. The united states isn’t deregulated and i believe your last sentence is describing socialism in practice

                  1. [You can’t negotiate wages with your employers? ]

                    There is an asymmetrical relationship between an individual employee and a large employer. The employer is able to leverage more resources and push down the true costs of employment when negotiating with a potential employee.

                    Its called monopsonistic competition

                    http://www.bls.gov/ore/pdf/ec030060.pdf?

                    [What mothers are forced back to work…like at gun point?]

                    No one is forced by a gun, they are forced by economic necessity. Our laws do not provide for more than 3 months of unpaid leave to a narrow number of specific employees.They have to use vacation days and they have to return back or lose their jobs.

                    http://tinyurl.com/pv2ng9k

                    Its a barbaric system unique to the US and Papua New Guinea.

                    [When you say free education…what do you mean?]

                    I mean public universities having no tuition costs.

                    [Where did you get this 36% tax number?]

                    You keep ignoring state taxes that add 12% You ignore fees, you ignore healthcare costs, daycare costs.

                    It is very expensive to be poor in America.

                    [How is it regressive if you say those who make more pay 45% as opposed to the poor who make 36% ? Isn’t that the definition of progressive which you say is regressive?]

                    Because a person making 36,000 shouldn’t be in a rate so close to someone making over 1million.

                    That burden needs to be proportionally more shifted to the people who for the last 40 years gained 90% of the income wealth.

                  2. [Fair means that the people who benefit the most from society pay proportionally more.]

                    They pay progressively more, not proportionally. Purchasing power to a person with 36,000 income is much less than someone making 1million.

                    [What would you consider as much more and what is fair? How did you determine this fairness value?]

                    I already answered your question. I am getting very tired of your bullshit questions for questions sake without reading the answers.

                    [What examples of unfettered (what does this even mean) capitalism has there been?]

                    It means unregulated, casino style production, financial gambling and wealth extraction that we find up until the 1920s when the banking system collapsed every 15 years, to the 29 Depression and the 2008 Recession.

                    Unregulated markets have a built in flaw in them that requires correction.

                    It also means to stop poisonous trade policies that make people compete against sweatshops.

                    Are you saying socialist societies are immune to economic depressions? Not sure if you are aware of the soviety union. The united states isn’t deregulated and i believe your last sentence is describing socialism in practice.

                    [Are you saying socialist societies are immune to economic depressions?]

                    Social Markets are not socialist markets get that through your dense head.

                  3. [Not sure if you are aware of the soviety union. The united states isn’t deregulated and i believe your last sentence is describing socialism in practice]

                    Am I having a one sided conversation? You ever heard this story: Two people are having a disagreement so they go to some mystical guru and explain their argument and complaints.

                    So the mystic took a full glass of water and told one of them to fill the full glass with more water.

                    You glass is full. You don’t want to converse you don’t want to read the answers given to you. You are crippling yourself and I cannot understand why.

                    Short version is this: stop being a smug wanker and get through your head that no one is talking about the ideals of the soviet union economy.

                  4. [Not sure if you are aware of the soviety union. The united states isn’t deregulated and i believe your last sentence is describing socialism in practice]

                    Am I having a one sided conversation? You ever heard this story: Two people are having a disagreement so they go to some mystical guru and explain their argument and complaints.

                    So the mystic took a full glass of water and told one of them to fill the full glass with more water.

                    You glass is full. You don’t want to converse you don’t want to read the answers given to you. You are crippling yourself and I cannot understand why.

                    Short version is this: stop being a smug wanker and get through your head that no one is talking about the ideals of the soviet union economy.

              2. It is not just a coincidence that tax cuts for the rich have preceded both the 1929 and 2007 depressions. The Revenue acts of 1926 and 1928 worked exactly as the Republican Congresses that pushed them through promised. The dramatic reductions in taxes on the upper income brackets and estates of the wealthy did indeed result in increases in savings and investment. However, overinvestment (by 1929 there were over 600 automobile manufacturing companies in the USA) caused the depression that made the rich, and most everyone else, ultimately much poorer.

                Since 1969 there has been a tremendous shift in the tax burdens away from the rich on onto the middle class. Corporate income tax receipts, whose incidence falls entirely on the owners of corporations, were 4% of GDP then and are now less than 1%. During that same period, payroll tax rates as percent of GDP have increased dramatically. The overinvestment problem caused by the reduction in taxes on the wealthy is exacerbated by the increased tax burden on the middle class. While overinvestment creates more factories, housing and shopping centers; higher payroll taxes reduces the purchasing power of middle-class consumers. …”
                http://seekingalpha.com/article/1543642

                1. Correlation does not equal causation.

                  2007 had nothing to do with the tax cuts. In fact federal revenues INCREASED after the tax cuts were passed. So the notion that it was a depression due to tax cuts is bizarre.

                  It was very complex but it had to do with home loans and default, people betting on default. Wouldnt you think that home more take home pay after the tax cuts would mean more likely to pay a home loan?

                  So if the tax cuts caused the depression…does it concern you when Obama made them permanent for 99% back in 2012? Would this mean a permanent depression then using the logic?

                  1. Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. You don’t need to repeat bunk econ theory.

                    http://tinyurl.com/bunktheories

                    As for the article about finance, I will have to read it and study it before commenting because it goes over my head.

                    You should try to do the same. Read things before replying.

                2. Corporate income tax receipts, whose incidence falls entirely on the owners of corporations

                  False. Corporations are distinct from their owners. Corporate income taxes are paid from the corporation’s revenue. In most cases, corporate revenue comes from the sale of products and services. In other words, corporate income taxes are paid by the customer.

                  Since 1969 there has been a tremendous shift in the tax burdens away from the rich on onto the middle class.

                  Facts not in evidence. The rates have changed but the rich still pay the lion’s share of the taxes. In fact, the top 1% paid a larger share of the income taxes in 2012 (38%) than in 1980 (20%). So do the top 10% (70% vs 50%) and the top 50% (97% vs 93%). In fact, one can pretty conclusively state the the tax burden has been shifted to the rich, at least for income taxes.

                  1. Are you willfully ignoring tax shelters? Apple for example was taxed at 2% last year.

                    You are making dishonest arguments.

                    1. 2% of what? You can play all kinds of accounting games to get that number up or down, it’s kind of meaningless. Nothing I said was dishonest; Apple’s customers pay its taxes. If you are saying Apple should pay more tax, then why are you advocating for more regressive taxes?

                    2. Foreign profits.

                      I am saying that corporate loopholes, tax shelters, and incredible subsidies are costing a huge loss of income to tax revenue, Those loopholes are being used by connected rich people to avoid taxes and government is more invested in giving them tax subsidies than collecting.

                      Sales taxes are not corporate taxes and what Apple and other corporations are doing is kicking the bill to the public for the taxes they haven’t paid because of loopholes.

                      http://www.americansfortaxfairness.org/badapple/

                    3. Why are foreign profits subject to tax by the US government? Are they not, by definition, the business of foreigners?

                      Where is this missing money? Federal receipts have a strong upward trend. For example, federal receipts totaled $3.0 trillion in 2014, $1.3 trillion in 1994, and $260 billion in 1974. That’s a 1000% increase in 40 years, against 500% inflation and 50% population growth. It looks to me like the government is taking in more tax money, not less.

                    4. The US taxes worldwide income. The money is in the Cayman Islands and other tax shelters.

                      We are currently running deficits because we had a couple of wars that Congress decided they are not going to pay for. On the other hand they did decide to cut the income tax rate for the highest earners. Why? Who knows. I guess that’s what happens when we allow rich people to legally buy elections.

                    5. Can you stick to one fucking point long enough to actually argue it?

                      What the fuck does the deficit have to do with anything now? I was talking about tax receipts, which are actual dollars paid directly out of people’s pockets. Tax receipts are up, even when adjusted for inflation and population growth. What Congress does with the money, and whether or not they run deficits, is another thing entirely.

                      And unless you have evidence that electoral officials have been compromised, in which case you ought to share it, everybody sitting in Congress won a fair and free election in which votes, not dollars, were counted. If you have a problem with democracy, then state as much.

                    6. [What the fuck does the deficit have to do with anything now? ]

                      Republicans don’t want to raise taxes to pay for it.

                      [Tax receipts are up, even when adjusted for inflation and population growth. What Congress does with the money, and whether or not they run deficits, is another thing entirely.]

                      What is point? Tax receipts are up so_________________(?)

                      [And unless you have evidence that electoral officials have been compromised, in which case you ought to share it, everybody sitting in Congress won a fair and free election in which votes, not dollars, were counted. If you have a problem with democracy, then state as much.]

                      It’s called a perverse incentive. Unlimited corporate donations crowd out individual candidate funding. The Koch brothers want to donate 1 billion dollars to candidates, more than both political parties have in funding.

                      1 person should not have that much influence when it comes to selecting representatives.

                      Since most states lean republican or democratic you have a system when the people winning the primaries are de-facto the favored candidates for public office. So you have tons of money going to 1 person selected by 1 person and rubber stamped by the electorate.

                      That’s not democracy and its not 1 man 1 vote it legal bribery.

                    7. What is point? Tax receipts are up so_________________(?)

                      So there is no lost tax revenue. How can you lose something that you keep getting more of?

                      It’s called a perverse incentive. Unlimited corporate donations crowd out individual candidate funding. The Koch brothers want to donate 1 billion dollars to candidates, more than both political parties have in funding.

                      How many elections have they won?

                      1 person should not have that much influence when it comes to selecting representatives.

                      1 person = 1 vote

                      Can you not count?

                      Since most states lean republican or democratic you have a system when the people winning the primaries are de-facto the favored candidates for public office. .

                      They still had to win the primaries, which again are counted by votes not dollars. So what is the problem here? Do you want to reform the primary system? Do you want a different method of counting the votes? Do you want more political parties? What do the Koch brothers have to do with anything?

        2. Yet you didn’t refute anything that was said, did you sockpuppet?

          If he sold all his assets, spent all his money, and never made a sound decision ever again you would call him poor and say he deserves welfare. But you would never admit that welfare creates dependency because incentives only exist when convenient for your argument.

          1. Who are you talking too? Why is it so important for you personally to believe that welfare creates dependency when all studies show the complete opposite?

            You are probably attempting to make a moral argument that dependency is bad and the poor must be made morally upright. Unfortunately, that argument not just bad but hypocritical.

            http://tinyurl.com/poorandreality

            1. I was responding to Tony.

              I am not a Christian and not a communist, so I the preaching of a Christian communist has no weight with me. Stoker Breunig offers nothing to support her position other than her own beliefs. The facts on the ground patently refute her “argument”. Many people optimize their lives and decisions around getting or keeping welfare benefits. It is a simple utilitarian calculation for them. No amount of religious flim-flam is going to change the reality of the situation.

              But the point is not about what the existing poor have done, it is about what so-called advocates of the poor would say about a person who indisputably made bad choices and ended up poor. Either you will admit that bad choices can lead to poverty, or else you have to claim that someone magically becomes a victim the day their bank account is empty, regardless of circumstances.

              1. People do make bad choices, but you are advocating for punishing them for being born in circumstances not under their control. Before a person makes a bad decision that person needs to have resources and a chance to make the right decisions. That doesn’t happen when everything in our society converges on policies that promote putting poor people into prison before providing them with the opportunity to prosper.

                Show me one study that provides proof that a significant amount of people leave their jobs to stay on welfare alone.

                1. People do make bad choices, but you are advocating for punishing them for being born in circumstances not under their control.

                  What punishment did I advocate?

                  Before a person makes a bad decision that person needs to have resources and a chance to make the right decisions.

                  Everybody has a chance to make the right decisions. No one is born into slavery in this country. Resources don’t come out of thin air. But they can vanish into thin air. Most people don’t get rich overnight, and those who do tend not to stay rich. You have to build wealth slowly and carefully manage it. Nothing worth doing is easy and nothing worth having is truly free.

                  That doesn’t happen when everything in our society converges on policies that promote putting poor people into prison before providing them with the opportunity to prosper.

                  So stop putting them in prison. What does that have to do with economics? If people are being unjustly imprisoned, then the laws that put them there need to be changed. Since you’re already talking about changing the law, what is the problem here?

                  Show me one study that provides proof that a significant amount of people leave their jobs to stay on welfare alone.

                  I never made that claim, and studies don’t prove anything anyway. But now you’ve moved the goalposts from “nobody” to “a significant amount”.

                  1. [What punishment did I advocate?]

                    The punishment of deserving their station and being unworthy of public assistance.

                    [Nothing worth doing is easy and nothing worth having is truly free.]

                    Those are all lofty statements but you are missing the conclusion.

                    Follow through to the end

                    nothing worth having is truly free. Hence, ________________________

                    [So stop putting them in prison. Since you’re already talking about changing the law, what is the problem here?]

                    It’s not so easy. People are profiting from poor people being in prison. We are back to the perverse incentive of unlimited donations to elections.

                    [I never made that claim, and studies don’t prove anything anyway. But now you’ve moved the goalposts from “nobody” to “a significant amount”.]

                    You never made that claim but studies don’t prove anything and I moved the goalposts.

                    Do you listen to yourself? “Studies don’t prove anything” This is the statement of a rational person in your view?

                    You feel it in your gut right? That’s the common information we should use to base our discussion.

                    If you don’t care for studies and don’t care about tools that allow you to understand the world outside yourself, you are making a faith based argument.

                    So stop beating around the bush. Say it proud. I WORSHIP MONEY! I AM A PRIEST OF THE INVISIBLE HAND.

                    Problem I came here to talk to thinking people, not fundamentalists.

                    1. You are the one who worships money. You’re obsessed with how much of it other people have, whether they’re keeping too much and not paying enough to the government, etc. Money is a useful tool, nothing more and nothing less.

                      The “invisible hand” is Adam Smith’s metaphorical observation about emergent order. It is not an actual thing and no one except fools like you would reify it. You want to link to religious nutjobs like Stoker Breunig but then lecture me about a lack of rationality?

                      I believe in empricism. A study, even one meticulously conducted, can only reach a narrow conclusion about contrivances and abstractions. It may be useful to inform us, but it does not prove a broader point. I’m sorry that it’s inconvenient for you, but reality does not conform to your wishful thinking.

                    2. I study the makeup and relationships within society and propose concrete solutions and i provide widely available date to support my points.

                      You have consistently tried to avoid the data because its inconvenient to you. You have a gut feeling not supported by any empirical data.

                      I read your statements. They contain the amazing contradiction of moral chastisement of the poor for being “dependent” and an inability to take responsibility or acknowledge that you live in a living breathing world that has obligations.

                      To you, taxes are theft, the poor are morally deficient, the rich got there on merit and the economy must be redeemed from the corruption of “socialism”

                      Invoke the correct rituals to purify the land.

                      Your empiricism is a self delusion to cherry pick facts you like.

                      Let that churn in your head for a while.

  51. If socialism is so great, why are all forced to pay socialist security taxes?

    1. Because the last time they didn’t we had 25% unemployment. Most people have less than 10,000 in savings and would not be able to life after retirement if it weren’t for social security.

      1. Are you saying the great depression was due to not having social security which is for seniors? How much is social security paying out these days…like max

        What year did unemployment hit 25%? The highest i saw is 21%

        Also you ignored earlier…but this is the payroll tax fyi you mentioned. Not part of the normal government expenses.

        1. I meant that people today are able to live off social security after retirement. During the Great Depression, people lost all their savings and were left homeless. In any case, Social Security has consistently been one of the most popular social programs we have. Problem is, republicans keep trying to get their hands on it, or cut it or turn it over the sociopath gamblers on Wall Street.

          1. Social Security is subject to the same problem as every other form of savings. You cannot put money away such that both of the following statements are true:

            1. You can reclaim the entire balance at any time;
            2. You will accrue interest on your balance over time.

            In the case of Social Security, the lines are blurred by the government but the underlying principle is the same. You can’t put in $500,000 over your working life time and expect to take out $1,000,000 over the course of your retirement without putting some of the money at risk.

            Investing in Wall Street might be no better than gambling. Indeed, it is not an ideal place to put the bulk of your retirement savings when you are close to retirement. However, while the government can promise you nominal value, it cannot promise you real value. Inflation is the greatest destroyer of savings.

            And what of the Democrats trying to get their hands on private savings? First you say that Social Security was necessary because people couldn’t save, now you have to destroy all the evidence to the contrary?

            1. Social Security’s fund is fully funded for the next 14 years and if we lift the cap on income contributions it will be funded for decades.

              If you are worried about inflation, then support policies that continue to fund COLA.

              Republicans already made cuts on their first day.

              http://tinyurl.com/Colacut

              1. In other words, Social Security will be insolvent in 14 years. Yet it is supposed to be self-sustaining. So you have proved my point.

                Inflation is created by the government in the first place. Why don’t they just stop doing that?

                1. It’s not going to be insolvent if the cap on contributions is raised.

                  [Inflation is created by the government in the first place. Why don’t they just stop doing that?]

                  Inflation is at 2% That’s not a serious concern to anybody.

                  1. It’s not going to be insolvent if the cap on contributions is raised.

                    Why do you insist on restating my point as though it were a refutation of it? Social Security is a savings plan. Yet it purports to pay out more (on average) than was paid into it. It is fundamentally broken.

                    Inflation is at 2% That’s not a serious concern to anybody.

                    So why is a COLA necessary?

                    1. Its not a savings plan, its a cost sharing plan. Cola is necessary because the cost of living changes and if you have a fixed income you you need to adjust it to compensate for increased costs.

            2. Republicans are the ones that advocate privatizing Social Security.

              1. Do you have a reading comprehension problem? I did not say otherwise. Do you think repeating the same point 3 times somehow makes it more interesting? Social Security is headed for insolvency. Your solution is to raise taxes, theirs is to privatize. Neither is going to really address the fundamental conundrum that you cannot grow your money without risking some of it.

        2. It depends on your previous income but most seniors get around 1300 and depend on it for 90% of their retirement income.

      2. Social Security does not employ people, unless you are talking about the Social Security Administration itself.

  52. As Sanders has pointed out–so many times, yet who listens?–we have redistribution of wealth. Have it. Already. This is destroying the middle class, and hence tamping down our economy. Reducing the growth of the country. So. Let’s. Redistribute. It. The. Right. Way. Sanders is right; but, those on the right (cf. Hinkle) just cannot wrap their small little minds around it.

    1. Why don’t you just listen to the guy for 20 minutes and then you will have a better understanding of what you are arguing against.

      Here. Its why Bernie Sanders believes we have lost the American Dream. Do yourself a favor. Listen to what he says and make up your own mind.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWApW2eliRM

      Don’t you think you deserve to hear it unfiltered instead of read about it from some guy?

      1. What would be your definition of the american dream? Do you think that it is the same for everyone?

        1. No its not the same. But the common definition has been social mobility.

          “set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.”

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream

          Read about or stratified society as analyzed by communist revolutionaries of CitiGroup, inc.

          The Plutonomy Memos describe the rule by the rich in our society by the professional analysts who want to sell them things.

          Here is a chance for you take the wool off your eyes and see the machinery in action.

          http://delong.typepad.com/plutonomy-1.pdf

          1. How does instituting more government mandates increase social mobility when your definition states: “achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.”

            You want to provide more welfare and barriers via the government.

            Seems counter-productive imo

            1. Because it provides a level field. You seem to believe that wealth redistribution only goes from the up down, when for last 40 years the wealth has been extracted from the bottom to the top.

              Stratification, aristocratic rich who buy politicians and monopolistic control of the economy has been the result. A result that has provided rent seeking parasitic partnerships between politicians and large corporate interests.

              By providing opportunity for people to educate themselves, re specialize, have access to healthcare, and basic benefits will grow the economy, take more people off welfare in the long run and provide the American Dream that most people (almost 63%) today believe is impossible to achieve.

              http://tinyurl.com/econdream

              1. when for last 40 years the wealth has been extracted from the bottom to the top

                Prove it. Show your work.

                1. This is the last time I am linking information you can find on this page.

                  http://tinyurl.com/ox9vq3y

                  1. That doesn’t show any transfer from the poor to the rich. You keep claiming things are moving from the bottom to the top but you never identify any actual movement. Sanders is wrong, first of all, but even if he were right, so what? Let us suppose that all of the GDP gains this year went to people who were already in the top 1% of income earners (which is, by the way, a transient group). So what? How does that hurt you?

                    Now, let’s look at what they do with it.

                    If they just build a pool and swim around with the money like Scrooge McDuck, then it falls out of the money supply and so the rest of us gain a little real value.

                    If they just expand their mansions, buy fancy new cars, and sail on their yacht all day, then they’ve employed contractors, laborers, engineers, pilots, servers, a whole host of people, most of whom would be paid well above the average for their profession.

                    And if they invest the money, then they’ve introduced liquidity into the market that other people can use to develop new ideas, expand their businesses, and otherwise add value to the world.

                    You don’t have to worship rich people, you just have to stop being envious of them.

                    1. If that’s how the market worked I wouldn’t be here talking to you about wealth inequality.

                      In the 1970s we had 65% in the middle class. Today its 45%

          2. In practice of socialism…like Mao, Castro, Stalin, Hitler etc. Was it not a small ruling class like you just described?

            Why are you advocating for socialism/communism when you rail against oligarchies.

            Seems odd

            1. Because you still can’t grasp that Marxist command and control economics and democratic socialism and market socialism are completely different theories.

              (http://tinyurl.com/RobertFollette)

              The most prominent social democrat in America, Robert La Follette Sr., was passionately opposed to revolutionary communism and the same goes for all social democrats. The point is to fix the excesses of capitalism, not to replace it.

              Problem is in the USA you have 50 years of anti communist propaganda and government suppression of social democratic parties that has lumped social reformers like La Follete, Eugene McCarthy, Eugene Debs with spooky Ruski communists.

              You also have a narrow view of capitalist economics that almost encourages blind faith.

              Let me put it this way. Adam Smith if defined by today’s terms, would be called a market socialist.

              http://tinyurl.com/realadamsmith

              The point of providing you with the link to the CitiGroup memos was so you could see for yourself how our society is structured. Who benefits from it and who perpetuates it. So you could vote in your best interest, not the best interests of the oligarchs.

  53. Tony and jjohio says there is a regressive tax code…this says otherwise. Of course they will cite the payroll tax and nothing else as “evidence”. Even though the top folks are paying overall more dollars in payroll tax than the bottom….just a lower fica/income due to cutting off at around 100K.

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/w…..ponent.gif

    1. You never include, tax loopholes,home interest rate deduction, or investment income which is capped at 15%. You also fail to include our regressive State taxes that in general add 12% to the tax on the poor. You don’t include the cost of private health, unpaid vacation, and municipal fees.

      The cost of all these taxes disproportionally effect the poor.

      A person making 9000 dollars in taxes while making 36000 a year is disproportionally hit that a person making 1,000,000 and paying 365,000. This is without accounting for the deductions and loopholes.

      So no, our tax system is not progressive. The costs that the rich are not paying are transferred to the poor in the form of fees, sales tax and other forms of “death by a thousand cuts” type revenue collection.

      1. The chart is effective tax rates which includes those things. Private health and unpaid vacations arent taxes.

        So in order for them to not be hit disproportionately wouldnt that mean after tax income would have to be the same…ie equal pay. Would you legislate then everyone gets equal pay?

        Your 9k number isnt even close

  54. Sanders is not a socialist. He is more an advocate for correctives to capitalism.

    1. In other words, he doesn’t quite want to send us all to the gulags.

      1. The Soviet Union wasn’t really socialist. It functioned more like a giant corporation, a tyranny.

        1. Just like every other attempt at communism.

  55. Protectionism is the progressivism of fools. Gandhi was a great statesman but a horrible economist. Just as the ignorant in the USA argue that American workers who earn $15 per hour should not have to compete with Chinese workers who make $2 per hour, Gandhi thought that Indian workers should not have to compete with American and European workers who have the benefit of modern machines. As a result India adopted protectionism. In 1947 the per capita income of India was similar to countries such a South Korea. By 1977 the per capita income in South Korea was ten times that of India. India has since largely abandoned protectionism and has benefited immensely from free trade. Just as David Ricardo proved would be the case when he developed the concept of comparative advantage.

    “…Equally unhelpful in terms of addressing the income and wealth inequality which results in the overinvestment cycle that caused the depression are various non-tax factors. Issues such a minimum wage laws, unwed mothers, globalization, free trade, unionization, problems with our education system and infrastructure can increase the income and wealth inequality. However, these are extremely minor when compared to the shift of the tax burden from the rich to the middle class. It is the compounding effect of shift away from taxes on capital income such as dividends each year as the rich get proverbially richer which is the prime generator of inequality?”
    http://seekingalpha.com/article/1543642

    1. Our highest rate of economic growth in the 40s through 80s was during a period of protectionism.

      It’s not that simple. Economic theory can show you a general picture but every society develops its economic institutions differently.

      Economics is not just formulas, its the study of psychology, sociology, history and culture. If you want to understand how that differs from neoclassical economics, just look at something called institutional or historical economics. Its an economic theory that has taken root in Germany under Gustav Von Schmoller. His economic approach to economics are largely responsible for the success of social market ideas and ordoliberalism that is to this day driving the German economy.

      Many modern economists believe that if institutional economics took hold in the USA, the Great Recession in 2008 would have not happened.

  56. Alright gents I like how the atmosphere evolved into some really interesting discussion over the day. I hope we can continue it tomorrow.

    1. I’m going for the early call and saying this is joefromlowell. The JackandAce brand must have been too tarnished.

  57. Hey Bernie! Can I see these hungry kids? Every time I turn on the TV and see these so-called “poor,” I see what can only be described as “land whales.” For some reason, poverty in this country causes obesity, and I would hardly describe those individuals as hungry. Maybe instead of railing against the proliferation of deodorants, you can rail against the proliferation of junk food that can be obtained on EBT.

    1. Another moralist chastising the poor over some anecdote.

  58. A non shitty society provides healthcare for all, free education, social security, paid vacation, paid maternity leave, unionization and wage negotiation with employers.

    Where is the society that started from zero with these things?

    You and Bernie Sanders, please feel free to pick any third world dictatorship, buy out the dictator, then show us how your policies will create this magnificent state/ society. I notice you never bother to do this. If you faith is that strong, get out of the boat and walk on water.

    1. Why are you so focused on dictatorships? We live in the first world and we compare our standards of living to the 1st world. Get your head out of your ass and read the information on this very page.

      1. You ignore the point, purposely. Take a place that desperately needs reforming. Put your society providing all those things you say a civilized society provides in place before everything else. Then build a growing economy and prove to the rest of the world how that is done.

        Get your head out of your ass and address the scenario I presented you. If it can be done economically, it can be done from scratch. I want to see you prove it.

        1. Take a place that desperately needs reforming. Put your society providing all those things you say a civilized society provides in place before everything else. Then build a growing economy and prove to the rest of the world how that is done.

          It’s been tried. Over and over again. The closet thing to a success story you will ever find is a “developing” kleptocracy. And that’s because the officials can be bribed to look the other way. But don’t worry, jjohio has an answer for that. They’re not true scotsmen.

          1. How fucking stupid do you have to be to ignore social progress and policies in countries that exist today and continue talking about phantom societies and long gone russian boogeymen?

            Just admit that your are following an economic religion and you are a fundamentalist. Be sincere with yourself.

          2. I know. I simply wanted to see how jjohio would explain how it could be done. Which I notice he isn’t making any attempt to do; he keeps asking misdirecting questions which have nothing to do with my question.

            1. You didn’t ask a question you made a statement. A nonsensical statement with wide brush strokes. In other words your question has no answer because it has no logic behind it.

        2. Are you comparing the US to a neanderthal society?

          What the hell are you talking about?

  59. Taxes are just the way we take things from people without power.

    1. Actually its the price for living in a civilized society.

      1. For what parts of it, exactly? I want an itemized list of every element of civilization that my taxes paid for. You wouldn’t dream of wasting any money, would you? I mean, then you might be thief, and you’re an upstanding individual, right? So just clear this up for me.

        1. I feel sorry for your parents.

          If you want to know what government pays for look at the budget.

          1. If you want to know what government pays for look at the budget.

            So, in other words, taxes are the price we pay for government. Which is exactly what Semper said.

            1. It’s like talking to a fucking wall.

              Government is civilization.

              1. No its not shit for brains. Government is aspect of society you fucking religious fanatic.

  60. The govt already reallocates enormous amounts of money. Lok at the Fod stamp prgram or any of the welfare programs.

  61. The title of your very excellent article is a redundancy. If we haven’t learned yet that socialism at is core is foolish, then we never will.

    Socialism has been an abysmal failure in every society in which the system has been implemented.
    In the extreme version of this heinous system implemented in the 1930’s and 1940’s in Europe by the National Socialists or as they were more familiarly known: Nazis, brought mountains of dead bodies.

    The repugnant system practiced in Russia and embraced here by many of Stalin’s apologists and to whom he derisively referred to as “useful idiots” brought mountains of dead bodies.
    The soul-crushing spirit-killing version was practiced by the greatest killer humanity has ever produced, Mao Zedong. The estimates of the slaughtered by Mao are in the scores of millions, and yet knuckle headed sophomores don t-shirts, and messenger bags festooned with his image. Glossy high-end travel and leisure publications feature him in artwork and as example of good taste, no doubt to found in the homes of Upper West Side doyennes and the leafy and gated communities of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. Maybe we’ll see some Hitler and Stalin t-shirts soon.

    The only thing that Socialism seems to produce or has ever produced is dead bodies by the hundreds of millions.

    And many of us still don’t get it.

    1. You people really are that stupid.

  62. Well that’s enough for today.

  63. Foolish
    Socialism
    Bernie Sanders….

    ?

    Would that be worth a Triple-Redundancy Score in Scrabble or something?

  64. My name is Judy i read a post online about Mr Ramsy Dave three days ago when i was searching for online loan lenders. So i was convince about this lovely testimonies i read about him which makes me to contact him for a loan. I was asked to fill the loan application form which i did, they provided me all the necessary document which i also signed and we came to the last step which i was asked to pay for insurance i was scared to pay this because of my past experience, but i took one step of faith because there is is a saying faith without work is useless i paid the fee and i was credited the sum of $50,000 within 5 hours.

    I want to quickly advice anybody that need urgent loan to contact Mr Ramsy Dave for any amount of loan he will be able to help if you can trust him and work with him. Contact his email at: ramsedave121@gmail.com

    Judy Parker

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.