Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Deficit of Leadership


While Democrats and Republicans argue over how to rearrange the deck chairs, the Titanic continues to sink.  I've included links to three articles that put the debate in perspective.

Keynesianism has Failed. The Monetarists are Proven Wrong
The Fed has extended the banks trillions of dollars in easy money, but this hasn't produced a commensurate expansion of lending. Why not?

The Great Recession demonstrates that the money supply is not the ultimate driver of the economy. The ultimate driver is very simple: has the government created a safe climate for investment? (RCM - Tracinski)
Dodd-Frank: Creating Chaos out of Order

The federal government has sown chaos and uncertainty in the markets. Nobody understands Dodd-Frank.  Not the congressional dimbulbs who voted for it, not the regulators, nor the regulated. It is a blank check for government caprice and regulatory whimsy, creating a regulatory free-fire zone where bureaucrats run rampant.  Would you put your money in a game where the rules were murky and subject to reinterpretation?
The Obama administration and the Democratic Congress have [...] created a hostile climate for investment, and they have done so through one measure that is directly smothering the economic recovery: the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Dodd-Frank has injected a lethal dose of uncertainty into the very heart of the financial sector--and we're only halfway through the worst of this effect. (RCM - Tracinski)
Tracinski explains how this flies in the face of the concept of the rule of law, which is a cornerstone of successful markets: Making clear laws understood by all and applicable to all.

Washington, We Have a Spending Problem

Ed Morrisy explains (text and chart are from Hot Air):
... look what happened to federal revenue after the much-maligned Bush tax cuts took full effect in 2003.  Economic activity expanded rapidly — and so did federal revenues.  In fact, the economy during that period boomed, and receipts from both personal and corporate taxes peaked as a result.  The Bush tax rates, as they are properly called today, did not create a revenue vacuum; they helped produce an expansion that enhanced rather than lost revenue.
While revenues have tripled during this period, federal spending has more than quintupled.  


It’s Later than We Think

And as if you didn't have enough to worry about, James Pethokoukis explains why the debt crisis is actually much scarier than we realize. Current projections are based upon rosy government scenarios.  Those of us who live in the real world know life is more thorns than roses.  As interest rates rise (and this is inevitable), interest payments will consume us. Go read it all here: Pethokoukis – Debt Crisis Fast Track

54 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Linked

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bd said...

Get rid of the tax breaks for the wealthy and this disparity is gone. Time they pay their fair share and sacrifice like the rest of us. If the Tea Party were true 'Patriots' they'd feel the same way!

Bunkerville said...

I hope at some point, folks will understand that no one has less because someone else has more. It is primitive thinking found in primitive cultures. For a time, I can steal your stash, but when it runs out, we both have nothing.

Silverfiddle said...

Bd: What disparity? Obama is running $1.5 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see.

Are you really suggesting that taxing the rich can raise another $1.5 trillion per year? Really? Are you really suggesting that?

Pleas explain. Some links to authoritative sources would do as well.

conservativesonfire said...

I have a question for Bd. Since those in the top 5% of income pay over 60% of the federal taxes in this country and over 47% pay no federal taxes, how much more should this 5% pay before you would be satisfied that they were paying their "fair" share? We would all like to know you liberal dumb asses think is fair.

Ducky's here said...

"Keynesianism has Failed. The Monetarists are Proven Wrong"

---------------

In other words, what we have here is something new, something we DO NOT understand. Now that may be closer to the truth.

What to do, we don't know but there is no reason to whine about the debt service costs when long term rates are below inflation levels. Where were you folks when Saint Ronnie Raygun was borrowing at 12%?

But the fact is, it's all an educated guess at this point.

Ducky's here said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ducky's here said...

"I have a question for Bd. Since those in the top 5% of income pay over 60% of the federal taxes ..."

-------------
No, that's the pure stinky cheese. Let me guess, you got that from Rush "Talent on Loan from Synthetic Morphine" Limbaugh, right?

Now, income taxes are what percentage of the Federal tax receipts? Research that first.

Forgot about the payroll tax? Of course you did, now why do you fail to mention it when the regressive payroll tax receipts are roughly equal to the income tax receipts?

So the wealthiest 10%, who control, let's be conservative, 70% of the nations wealth and pay about 40% of the taxes are overtaxed? Do you understand why people give the fringe right so little respect.

You can be led by the nose by a radio soundbite and you claim that you exercise reason? Sad commentary on the political state of the nation.

Silverfiddle said...

Saint Ronnie Raygun?

Well Ducky... There you go again!

No one is whining, we're discussing the facts. I understand your confusion, since lefty outlets rarely do that.

Silverfiddle said...

No Ducky, you are the stinky cheese.

Your party of Socialist Democrats are screaming "Tax the rich!"

So tell us how that fixes this problem or shut up.

Silverfiddle said...

I'll even help you out, Ducky, since you are staggering about in a forest of liberal ignorance.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

I understand that the left is really angry right now and they are impervious to facts and logic.

And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to msnbc talking points or bush hatred or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-capitalist sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

I suggest that the liberals who are screaming "raise taxes on the rich!" go use the data in the link to crunch some numbers and get back to us.

The top 10% ($113K/year and up) paid a total of $721 billion in 2008. So double that and you get another $721 billion (if they are stupid enough to stand still and allow Obama to confiscate that much).

We still need another trillion to close the gap. Where do you get that from?

Put up or shut up. You're wasting our time with your socialist propaganda.

Anonymous said...

In 1917 the Bolsheviks set in motion a chain of events that confiscated the wealth and property of the upper class and literally murdered Czar Nicholas, his entire family and effectively killed off "The Rich" and "The Privileged."

The Russian Revolution -- like almost everything that emanates from the left -- was a HATE-BASED INITIATIVE. It was not creative, it was not altruistic, it was not intelligent, it was not constructive.

The result of Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin's murderous, rabble rousing campaign are well known. No wrongs were righted, no dreariness was relieved, no burden of drudgery was lightened, no hearts were cheered, poverty and deprivation reigned supreme, and hope for a brighter future died aborning.

Until rank and file citizens all over the world finally realize that the brute savagery of the French Revolution, the envy-inspired hatred that gave us Marxism, and the tyrannical urges of meddlesome, self-righteous busybodies and compulsive do-gooders, who want to play Nanny after turning society into a State Run Nursery where no one is ever permitted to grow up, ALWAYS end in disaster, there will be no hope for justice, peace and prosperity to prevail.

Leftist hate-based initiatives are inspired and driven by ENVY, SPITE and MALICE.

Since Envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins and Theft and Murder are expressly forbidden in the Ten Commandments, no good could possibly come from cloaking those evils in an aura of respectability and giving them free rein.

Don't try to argue with the devil in hopes of changing him, just learn to recognize him in his thousands of seductive, falsely amiable guises, and avoid him like the plague.

Any impulse to hate and destroy or steal the property and financial security of others is morally indefensible, and will result in agony for those who indulge it.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Silver fiddle, your link seems to discuss only income tax. The point is that income tax is only part of Federal tax receipts and has, in fact, been lowered to the point that it is roughly equal to payroll taxes.

No? Fr someone interested in discussing the facts you seem to be dodging this one.

Freethinker doesn't seem willing to discuss the components of Federal tax receipts either. The vitriol of his rant indicates he knows he's been wounded.

One of the characteristics of right wing behavior that has been analyzed is that when you challenge them they get very defensive and shout their talking point louder. Liberals aren't much better, they usually just shrug it off but the right leaves absolutely no opportunity for change. Discussion is hardly possible.

Silverfiddle said...

Now we're getting somewhere, Ducky.

Please provide a link that breaks out total revenue intake by source. I think it would be helpful to illustrate your point.

So are you saying there are other sources that could be mined by the government? Please elaborate!

And I focused on income taxes because that is what the liberals are focusing on, screaming about Bush tax cuts and tax the rich.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that our friend Ducky freely admits that FICA -- which was SUPPOSED to be set aside to fund ONLY Social Security -- has long been dumped into the General Fund, and consequently acts as a de facto augmentation of the income tax. This does, indeed, put an added burden on working class and middle class taxpayers, so Ducky is right about that.

HOWEVER, his assumption that the payment of all these taxes -- wherever they come from -- is right, good, desirable and necessary thing is dead wrong in my opinion.

The problem isn't that the rich aren't paying "their fair share" of the tax burden. The problem is that the funds collected through IRS are largely wasted on a lot of empty, ill-conceived, badly designed, poorly administered, programs and bloated government salaries and pensions for the non-productive elements in society.

We are OVERTAXED as a nation, and don't get much of anything in return for our money, except greater limitations placed on our liberty and ever increasing levels of waste, fraud, abuse and inefficiency in jobs that never should have been created or funded in the first place.

Because of the increasingly socialist policies foisted on us by Washington, DC, our nation is turning into a TOXIC WASTE DUMP instead of a vibrant, creative, productive, prosperous, forward-thinking society.

The notion that so many liberals have that EUROPE does things so much better, and is so much more enlightened than we are is poppycock. Europe is moribund. Why should we be in a rush to follow in Europe's wake? On its present course Europe is headed only for the rocks.

I love Europe and revere the architecture, scenic beauty and high culture it produced in its glorious-if-war-torn-and-oppressive past, but to advocate emulation of Europe's current languid, effete, self-destructive ways of governance and doing business seems unsound-if-not-downright-insane.

The argument should not be about who should be paying all these taxes, but about whether they should be paid at all. If anyone wants to classify these sentiments as "vitriolic," please go ahead. I prefer to think of them as statements of fact unflattering to Marxist-Collectivist thinking and as precepts rooted in the logical principles found in good, old-fashioned Common Sense.

~ FreeThinke

Divine Theatre said...

I miss your common sense, Silver! Excellent post, as usual!

As a gift, here are some Hollywood quotes for you...


The liberals are asking us to give Obama time.
We agree…and think 25 to life would be appropriate.
–Jay Leno

America needs Obama-care like
Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.
–Jay Leno

Q: Have you heard about McDonald’s’ new Obama Value Meal?
A: Order anything you like
and the guy behind you has to pay for it. –Conan O’Brien

Q: What does Barack Obama
call lunch with a convicted felon?
A: A fund raiser.
–Jay Leno

Q: What’s the difference between
Obama’s cabinet and a penitentiary?
A: One is filled with
tax evaders, blackmailers,
and threats to society.
The other is for housing prisoners.
–David Letterman

Q: If Nancy Pelosi and Obama were on a boat
in the middle of the ocean and it started to sink, who would be saved?
A: America !
–Jimmy Fallon

Q: What’s the difference between Obama and his dog, Bo?
A: Bo has papers.
–Jimmy Kimmel

Q: What was the most positive result of the “Cash for Clunkers” program?
A: It took 95% of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.
–David Letterman

Andie

Silverfiddle said...

Thank you Andie! I don't watch the late night comedians, so I had no idea they were saying this kind of stuff. That's encouraging!

Anonymous said...

"America needs Obama-care like
Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask.

–Jay Leno


That's brilliant. Thanks for the good laugh.

~ FT

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, do you know what eynesian is? Because you seem to noy have a clue...

The Fed pouring billions into the banks is not Keynesian. Do you understand that?

As for Dodd-Frank, there's a lot more to that bill than just regulating the thieving scum you seem to have this schizy love/hate thing with on Wall Street. And it's not that complicated. Are you saying that American businessmen are too stupid to comply with a few regulations?

"Washington, We Have a Spending Problem"

Bla bla bla. What a pointless, vacuous talking point. 15% of that spending is servicing old debt. Almost the entire deficit is roughly equal to the stupid wars.

Try to be specific.

JMJ

Ducky's here said...

Silverfiddle, you are correct that the deficit has increased but just what do you think are the causes?
Let's see:

1. The cost of the Iraq and Afghan fiascoes were put on the books rather than being funded by supplementals. So it's just honest accounting.

2. The Bush tax cuts (which your so called socialist, Obummer, was happy to renew).

3. The economic slowdown. Myself, I don't believe it improves until the housing situation improves.

4. The stimulus (including TARP). Started under Bush and very limited under Obummer.

Now given that lineup it's hard to lay the deficit on Obummer. He's clearly just a continuation of Bush which you could have guessed from his appointment of Larry Summers, Tim Geithner and the like to his economic team. It's even difficult to say his administration substantially added to it.

Anonymous said...

Everyone here seems to be hacking away at the hairs on the head of the monster, when we should be gouging out its eyes, tearing out is tongue, and and filling its skull with hot lead.

Neither BUSH nor OBAMA are important. It's the AGENDA, stupid. Left and Right don't matter anymore, because they are in it together.

The would-be oligarchs have us right where they want us when "strain out gnats and swallow camels" in trying to score points in a battle that was rendered irrelevant a very long time ago.

Traditional Left v. Right politics is FARCICAL.

The reason nothing ever changes no matter who gets elected. The reason Republicans constantly do everything possible to LOSE whatever advantage they have is because the PLAN is to COLLAPSE the ECONOMY, reduce the people to helpless dependency on the "geniuses" who've engineered the demise of US sovereignty, so they can turn us over to The New World Order -- i.e. One World Socialist Dictatorship run by the likes of David Rockefeller and those of a similar mindset.

You're flailing away at small points that DON'T MATTER any more.

Jersey, Ducky, Silverfiddle, Hufgh Farnham, FinnTann and I should consider ourselves on the same team, because, whether we know it or not, we are all opposed by the same enemy -- and it's not who most of us like to THINK it is.

And once again I feel like Kevin McCarthy's character in The Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

BTW, has anyone seen NETWORK lately? It's an amazingly accurate evocation of exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about.

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Yes, I know that monetarism and Keynesianism are two separate things, hence my using two separate sentences.

The problem is our government is too stupid to set clear laws and enforce them.

I can't help it if you are mentally incapable of processing this information. Go back to msnbc.

Silverfiddle said...

Those things you enumerate (other than the tax cuts) are called ...SPENDING!

Glad to see you agree with me that spending is the problem

And the chart above clearly shows that revenue increased after the Bush tax cuts, so it's not my problem you can't read a simple chart.

And yes, we agree that revenue falloff is also due to the great recession and the Obama recovery, which is not the worst one in the history of the nation.

@Now given that lineup it's hard to lay the deficit on Obummer.

Given the Obama budgets, that exploded spending and created unprecedented $1.5 trillion deficits, not it's not.

Obummer didn't start the fire, but he is fanning the flames.

Bd said...

I think you all should see 'Ideocracy.'

Ducky's here said...

Freethinker --- there is no left or right.

Yup, I couldn't agree more but many want to call Obummer a socialist (LMFAO) instead of a corporate pimp like Chucklenuts Bush.

The government of the people, yup, long gone bro.

Anonymous said...

"Obummer didn't start the fire, but he is fanning the flames."

That sums it up perfectly.

Yes. Absolutely. AMEN!

~ FreeThinke

Jersey McJones said...

Silver,

Monetarism was what built Ronald Reagan and made him the popular president he remains today.

Progressives do not like monetarism.

Monetarists, who've been in non-stop power in the Fed and Treasury for 32 years now, have focused on inflation over all else and at the expense of everything.

Now conservatives are turning on them, and I think it's admirable, but you do have to understand that it won't be easy to untangle the web the monetarists wove.

Monetarism is not the same as spending. In fact, monetarism is a reaction to spending (ironically, belying itself to any rational observer). By focusing so intently on general inflation, they actually distort the multi-facted, three dimensional inflationary picture.

Yes, spending can do the same thing, but only if applied as the Friedman school would do so.

Part of real life is reacting to the unexpected. If we adhere to any philsophy - monetarism, progressivism, libertarianism, whatever - beyond our ability to deal with real life situations, and we simply refuse to see when we err, then we will eventually completely and utterly fail.

Monetarism should be clearly seen as a failure. 32 years of failure is enough.

Progressivism has a long and storied history of making the world a better (though, a few times, a much, much worse, like, "Oh my God, I have to get out of here!") place, most of the time.

There's a lot more to progressivism than there is to monetarism.

One is a political philsophy.

One is an excuse to keep inflation down so the very rich can more safely stay very rich.

Remember, the richer you are, the more risk averse you become. That's what monetarism, and Reagan, and the modern conservative movement is really all about. All that nonsense about abortion and gays and silly scandals is just window dressing for idiotic gawkers.

JMJ

Anonymous said...

Well, HALLELUJAH, Ducky!

At last we may have reached common ground.

So, to whom would you want to give your support? Have you any positive feelings about anyone out there right now?

I like corporations a bit more than I like government, but when they work TOGETHER it scares the tar out of me, and I think that is exactly what is happening now, and has been happening for a long time.

I see "The Enemy" as CENTRALIZED POWER of ANY kind. I think power should be as DIFFUSE and localized as possible.

Multinational corporations are dangerous, but no more so than dictatorial regimes.

Obama was certainly brought up with influences that were entirely MARXIST-COMMUNIST-SOCIALIST, anti-Capitalist, anti-Middle Class, anti-Property ownership, anti-personal wealth accumulation, and anti-rugged-Individualism, so calling him a Marxist is NOT far-fetched, HOWEVER, h too is being USED as a TOOL by the true villains in the piece.

Now, who do YOU think those villains really are? And how and why have they amassed such immense power and influence?

~ FreeThinke (Please notice there AIN'T no "R" on the end of me name)

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: Pretty much correct, thanks for the contribution. I do understand monetarism.

Monetarists left and right believe they can create better economic conditions by manipulating the money supply. They are wrong. You can's spin gold out of straw.

Your comment about Reagan is like saying math was what built Niels Bohr.

Reagan and Volker took a deliberate strong dollar approach, which was needed to bring down interest rates.

Jersey McJones said...

FreeThinke,

Are you for real? Do you really think you and I and Obama and anyone else are really all that opposed???

Grow up man!!! He's a pretty understandable (and rather typical) professional, American politician. That's what he is. And he's very good at it.

Now, as for his particular policies and such, we can argue about that. But this INSANE nonsense about Obama being a friggin' "communist" makes you look like a SILLY CHILD.

God, guys, GROW UP!

JMJ

Finntann said...

I think Jersey summed the problem up nicely: "professional, American politician".

Jersey McJones said...

Silver, thank you, but please let me disgress again...

Volcker and Reagan were monetarists to their very core.

Monetarism is what made Reagan. It was his entire idium.

You remember. Reagan focused everything on inflation, balancing it with unemployment and trade, and it took years to do.

Controlling inflation was the Holy Grail for the GOP in the 70's and 80's, and you remember that. And yes, in some ways they controlled it - but only to the advantage of the upperclass.

We continue to observe monetarist policies to this day. Even though it's obviously anachronism.

The result, for the vast majority of the population, has been 32 years of stagnant wages and a boom/bust cycle that again belies the whole monetarist idea in the first place!

It's amazing.

We have a lot in common here. We just approach it from slightly different angles. Thank you.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

No Jersey. We disagree. Friedman was a monetarist, but Volker and Reagen strengthened the dollar to squelch inflation, not from a purely theoretical monetarist motive.

Trestin said...

I love this site. Here I get to read thoughtful opinions supported by facts. Countered by leftist the nonsense of those who think if they just believe enough, two plus two can equal five.

No where is Statist thought more exposed for the nonsense it is, than here in the comments. The sad thing is these folks are serious.

Finntann said...

Anyone familiar with Sheldon Wolin's work "Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism"?

I'd be interested in what anyone thinks of his ideas... some seem to strike fairly true and close to home.

Managed democracy is "a political form in which governments are legitimated by elections that they have learned to control". Under managed democracy, the electorate is prevented from having a significant impact on policies adopted by the state through the continuous employment of public relations techniques.

Some quotes from Wolin:

To reduce a complex argument to its bare bones, since the Depression, the twin forces of managed democracy and Superpower have opened the way for something new under the sun: "inverted totalitarianism," a form every bit as totalistic as the classical version but one based on internalized co-optation, the appearance of freedom, political disengagement rather than mass mobilization, and relying more on "private media" than on public agencies to disseminate propaganda that reinforces the official version of events. It is inverted because it does not require the use of coercion, police power and a messianic ideology as in the Nazi, Fascist and Stalinist versions (although note that the United States has the highest percentage of its citizens in prison -- 751 per 100,000 people -- of any nation on Earth)."

"self-pacifying" university campuses compared with the usual intellectual turmoil surrounding independent centers of learning, Wolin writes, "Through a combination of governmental contracts, corporate and foundation funds, joint projects involving university and corporate researchers, and wealthy individual donors, universities (especially so-called research universities), intellectuals, scholars, and researchers have been seamlessly integrated into the system. No books burned, no refugee Einsteins. For the first time in the history of American higher education top professors are made wealthy by the system, commanding salaries and perks that a budding CEO might envy."

"One other subordinate task of managed democracy is to keep the citizenry preoccupied with peripheral and/or private conditions of human life so that they fail to focus on the widespread corruption and betrayal of the public trust." In Wolin's words, "The point about disputes on such topics as the value of sexual abstinence, the role of religious charities in state-funded activities, the question of gay marriage, and the like, is that they are not framed to be resolved. Their political function is to divide the citizenry while obscuring class differences and diverting the voters' attention from the social and economic concerns of the general populace."

"One method of assuring control is to make electioneering continuous, year-round, saturated with party propaganda, punctuated with the wisdom of kept pundits, bringing a result boring rather than energizing, the kind of civic lassitude on which managed democracy thrives."

Foreign military operations literally force democracy to change its nature: "In order to cope with the imperial contingencies of foreign war and occupation," according to Wolin, "democracy will alter its character, not only by assuming new behaviors abroad (e.g., ruthlessness, indifference to suffering, disregard of local norms, the inequalities in ruling a subject population) but also by operating on revised, power-expansive assumptions at home. It will, more often than not, try to manipulate the public rather than engage its members in deliberation. It will demand greater powers and broader discretion in their use ('state secrets'), a tighter control over society's resources, more summary methods of justice, and less patience for legalities, opposition, and clamor for socioeconomic reforms."

Thoughts?

Ducky's here said...

So Trestin, have you figured out if we are in a classic Keynesian liquidity trap?

If so what's poor Bernanke to do?

Ducky's here said...

Thoughts?

Yeah, sounds like a pretty solid book. Thanks for the tip.

Finntann said...

Let me point out a few common elements:

Ducky:

In other words, what we have here is something new, something we DO NOT understand. Now that may be closer to the truth.

"Obummer. He's clearly just a continuation of Bush"

Jersey:

"All that nonsense about abortion and gays and silly scandals is just window dressing for idiotic gawkers."

FT:

I see "The Enemy" as CENTRALIZED POWER of ANY kind.

Have we gotten to the point where our politicians (left and right) have more common interests with each other than with the people they represent. Have we established an elitist ruling clique where party matters less than political self-preservation, where no matter what the origins and affiliations of each member, once "in", allegiance shifts to the body politic rather than the populus?

Just some thoughts...

Cheers!

Anonymous said...

FinnTann,

Wolin's work -- as you presented it in capsule form -- seems to echo and explicate nascent theories that have been forming in my 70-year-old head for the past several years.

I never would have thought to use the term "managed democracy," because it seems to be an oxymoron. If it's "managed" from on high, it's not democracy, is it?

But. the scenario Wolin evokes --- that of a world of craftily, skillfully manipulated imagery and propaganda designed to keep the people confused, off balance, at each other's throats, divided, suspicious wary of each other while the Big Boys, who do the Moving and Shaking by Stealth in the Shadows, are given cover by the incessant parade of outrageous, sensationalistic crimes -- i.e. The OJ Obsession, Louise Woodward, the English Nanny who Shook the Baby to Death in Boston, The Runaway Bride, Juran Vander Sloot and Natalee Holloway, the Murdered Southern Belle from Alabama who disappeared in Aruba, Jessica Lundgren, the nine-year-old who was raped repeatedly for several days then buried alive, and now Casey Anthony), imbecilic sex scandals (Monica Lewinsky), "social issues" that get Mrs. Grundy's panties in a wad like Free Condom Distribution in Schools, Child Molestation, Teachers who have Sex with their Under Age Students, Gay Marriage, Abortion, Kevorkian and the Right to Die, whose resolution is not basic to maintaining the economic viability and the ability to defend the nation --- seems startlingly close to reality.

Meanwhile the really important stuff --- the NITTY GRITTY --- like fiscal and monetary policy, passing ever more costly, restrictive and burdensome legislation and regulation to maintain social control -- to tie the hands of small businesses and property development, keep experimentation and innovation at a minimum, keep people docile, dependent, reasonably contented enough to prevent them from rocking the boat, speaking up for themselves --- or even THINKING of better ways to do things on their own behalf --- so the Nitty Gritty remains largely aloof from and immune to the pressures of public scrutiny and public speculation, because of the constant DISTRACTION provided by the ginned up Circus Acts, Vaudeville Shows, Cheap, Sensationalistic Melodramas, glorified Back Fence Gossip on TV, and the Easy Access to Pornography.

The Big Bully Boys Beating each other off Behind the Barn get their way relatively untrammeled, their power grows stronger while the people snooze through the degeneration and dissolution of their society, and -- like that frog in the slowly heated pot of water -- never begin to realize they are being boiled alive -- i.e. lapsing into serfdom -- till its too late. They're already cooked an ready for the Oligarchs to devour at their leisure -- or throw to the pigs in the nearest sty.

But WHO are the Movers and Shakers?

How do Frederick Douglass, E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington, Hegel, Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky, The Fabian Society, Gramsci, The Frankfurt School, Mother Jones, Samuel Gompers, Emma Goldman, Rosa Luxembourg, John Dewey, Upton Sinclair, Roger Baldwin, Saul Alinsky, Alger Hiss, Whitaker Chambers, The UN Charter, The Nuremberg Trials, Walter Duranty, Jack Reid, H.G. Wlls, William Kunstler, Morris Dees, The Nation Magazine, Karina Vanden Heuvel, Ellen Ratner, Joe Conason, Michel Moore, Spike Lee, Al Gore,The Ladies of The View and Lady Gaga fit into all of this?

If we've become a managed democracy, how has being so managed effected the quality of our life and thought? What has it done to our poplar culture? To love and romance? To self-sacrifice? To committed loving relationships? To upward mobility? To stability? To mental health?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Jersey,

Please read this again, and then tell me what did I actually SAY in these two paragraph?


Obama was certainly brought up with influences that were entirely MARXIST-COMMUNIST-SOCIALIST, anti-Capitalist, anti-Middle Class, anti-Property ownership, anti-personal wealth accumulation, and anti-rugged-Individualism, so calling him a Marxist is NOT far-fetched, HOWEVER, he too is being USED as a TOOL by the true villains in the piece.

Now, who do YOU think those villains really are? And how and why have they amassed such immense power and influence?



There's a very strange, seemingly unnatural alliance among The Left, Muslim Extremists, Black African Nationalists, and every brand of Malcontent, Misfit, Ne'er Do Well, Neurotic, Anti-Social, Unfulfilled elements on earth. Barack Obama was brought up by malcontents who hated and pitted themselves against what most of us think of as normal American middle class life.

And why is Obama's background still shrouded in secrecy? We still don't have his grades. We still don't know any of his friends from his college years. He may be a presentable looking guy, but what is behind the veneer? Obama is a WEIRD dude. Nothing normal about him.


What draws these disparate elements to each other? What holds them together? Is it anger -- or could it be something MORE than anger?


I don't know. You tell me.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

FYI: Here's a neat little crib sheet on Keynesianism just in case you don't know what it is. I was fuzzy on it, myself. It never hurts to look things up, although you must consider the source.


It seems to be all about managing and controlling our economic life -- that's yours and mine and Ducky's and Jersey's and FinnTann's and SilverFiddle's and everyone else's -- through manipulation of the money supply.


"... In the period from World War II through the early 1970s, Keynesianism rose to ever greater influence as both a theory and a guide for public policy. The Keynesian analysis gained a prominent place in textbooks, and its terminology increasingly became the common language of both economists and policymakers. The experience of World War II, with its massive deficit spending, seemed to validate Keynes's approach, and the subsequent Cold War and the later expansion of social spending left the federal government with a sufficiently large presence in the U.S. economy to serve as a Keynesian lever. The size of postwar budgets meant that changes in federal spending and taxing had a powerful impact on the overall economy. Embraced most fervently by Democrats but influential also in Republican circles, the Keynesian policy approach gained its fullest expression in the liberal presidencies of the 1960s, most prominently in the Kennedy-Johnson tax cut of 1964. In 1965, Time magazine put Keynes's picture on its cover in a tribute to the influence of his economic vision.



"With the onset of stagflation in the 1970s, Keynesianism began to lose influence both as a theory and as a policy. Unable to explain adequately the economic malaise of simultaneous stagnation and inflation, it came under theoretical assault by the monetarist and the rational expectations schools of economic thought. Suspected of being itself a primary contributor to inflation, Keynesianism was increasingly supplanted by policy approaches aimed more at the supply side of the economy.



"At the end of the twentieth century, Keynesianism still provided much of the lingua franca of macroeconomics. However, both as a theory and as a policy, it lived on only in a much chastened and attenuated form ..."



Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/keynesian#ixzz1S8XXl0hP

Don't know about you, but I glean from that that money should have no intrinsic value other than whatever value the Central bankers feel like assigning to it at any given juncture.

It seems antithetical to Nature in that it supplants anything natural and authentic with manmade theory treated as though this theory were established fact.

Whenever we look for guidance to no source higher than the human intellect, we run into deep deep doo doo.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Freethinker, just when we appear to be getting somewhere you start in with the "Marxist influence" nonsense.

If you've been paying attention you've noticed there is no progressive movement of any consequence in America, let alone socialist.

We limp along under state capitalism and will continue until we can think straight and cut the "Obama is a Marxist" stuff which only proves you have no idea what Marxism is and should study up before talking.

Meanwhile, relative to the interesting post concerning Sheldon Wolin and inverted capitalism. A good portion of the left has taken Isaiah Berlin's thesis that socialism leads to dictatorship to heart and have wondered about a possible alternative that shares some objectives (Mine: 1. Sustainabbility 2. Equitable distribution) and is also democratic.

Can't be found in state capitalism or laissez-faire as far as I can see. So what do we do my brothers in the egg? Just turtle and strut like we're hot shits because we have jobs and some don't?

Anonymous said...

Oh come on, Ducky.

Is everything listed here a lie? If so, can you prove it?

PART ONE

PEOPLE SAID IT DIDN’T MATTER

Re: The Fundamental Transformation of America .

When Obama wrote a book and said he was mentored as a youth by Frank (Frank Marshall Davis) an avowed Communist, people said it didn't matter.

When it was discovered that his grandparents, were strong socialists who sent Obama's mother to a socialist school where she was introduced to Frank Marshall Davis. He was later introduced to young Barrack Hussein Obama. People said it didn't matter.

When people found out that Barrack Hussein Obama was enrolled as a Muslim child in school and his father and stepfather were both Muslims, people said it didn't matter.

When he wrote in another book he authored "I will stand with them (Muslims) should the political winds shift in an ugly direction" people said it didn't matter.

When he admittedly, in his book, said he chose Marxist friends and professors in college -- people said it didn't matter.

When he traveled to Pakistan , after college on an unknown national passport, people said it didn't matter.

When he sought the endorsement of the Marxist Party in 1996 as he ran for the Illinois Senate, people said it didn't matter.

When he sat in a Chicago Church for twenty years and listened to a preacher spew hatred for America and preach black liberation theology, people said it didn't matter.

When an independent Washington organization, that tracks Senate voting records, gave him the distinctive title as the "most liberal senator," people said it didn't matter.

When the Palestinians in Gaza set up a fund raising telethon to raise money for his election campaign, people said it didn't matter.

When his voting record supported gun control, people said it didn't matter.

When he refused to disclose who donated money to his election campaign, as other candidates had done, people said it didn't matter.

When he received endorsements from people like Louis Farrakhan and Mummar Khadaffy and Hugo Chavez, people said it didn't matter.


(CONTINUED)

Anonymous said...

PART TWO

When it was pointed out that he was a total newcomer and had absolutely no experience at anything except community organizing, people said it didn't matter.

When he chose friends and acquaintances such as Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn who were revolutionary radicals, people said it didn't matter.

When his voting record in the Illinois senate and in the U.S. Senate came into question, people said it didn't matter.

When he refused to wear a flag, lapel pin, and did so only after a public outcry, people said it didn't matter.

When people started treating him as a Messiah and children in schools were taught to sing his praises, people said it didn't matter.

When he stood with his hands over his groin area for the playing of the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance, people said it didn't matter.

When he surrounded himself in the White house with advisors who were pro-gun control, pro-abortion, and wanting to curtail freedom of speech to silence the opposition people said it didn't matter..

When he aired his radical views on partial-birth abortion, and a host of other issues, people said it didn't matter.

When he said he favors sex education in Kindergarten, people said it didn't matter.

When his personal background was either scrubbed or hidden and nothing could be found about him, people said it didn't matter.


(CONTINUED)

Anonymous said...

PART THREE

When the place of his birth was called into question, and he refused to produce a birth certificate, people said it didn't matter.

When he had an association in Chicago with Tony Rezko -- a man of questionable character now in prison who had helped Obama benefit from a sweetheart deal on the purchase of his home -- people said it didn't matter.

When it became known that George Soros, a multi-billionaire Marxist-anti-Conservative-activist, spent a ton of money to get him elected, people said it didn't matter.

When he started appointing White House Czars that were radicals, revolutionaries, and even avowed Marxists, people said it didn't matter.

When he stood before the nation and told us that his intentions were "to fundamentally transform this Nation" into something else, people said it didn't matter.

When it became known that he had trained ACORN workers in Chicago and served as an attorney for ACORN, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed cabinet members and several advisors who were tax cheats and socialist activists, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed a Science Czar, John Holdren, who believes in forced abortions, mass sterilization, and seizing babies from teen mothers, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Mrxist-activist Cass Sunstein as Regulatory Czar who believes in "Explicit Consent," harvesting human organs without family consent, and allowing animals to be represented in court, while banning all hunting, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Kevin Jennings, a homosexual, and organizer of a group called the Gay, Lesbian, Straight, Education Network as Safe School Czar, and it became known that he had a history of bad advice to teenagers, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Mark Lloyd, as Diversity Czar, who believes in curtailing free speech; taking from one and giving to another to spread the wealth; who supports Hugo Chavez, people said it didn't matter.


(CONTINUED)

Anonymous said...

PART FOUR

When Valerie Jarrett was selected as Obama's Senior White House Advisor and she is an avowed Socialist, people said it didn't matter.

When Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director said Mao Tse Tung was her favorite philosopher -- and the person she turned to most for inspiration, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Carol Browner as Global Warming Czar, she being a well known socialist working on Cap and Trade as the nations largest tax, people said it didn't matter.

When he appointed Van Jones, an ex-con and avowed Communist as Green Energy Czar, who since had to resign when this was made known, people said it didn't matter.

When Tom Daschle, Obama's pick for health and human services secretary could not be confirmed, because he was a tax cheat, people said it didn't matter.

When as President of the United States , he bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia, people said it didn't matter.

When he traveled around the world criticizing America and never once talking of her greatness, people said it didn't matter.

When his actions concerning the Middle-East seemed to support the Palestinians over Israel , our long time ally, people said it didn't matter.

When he took American tax dollars to resettle thousands of Palestinians from Gaza to the United States, people said it didn't matter.

When he upset the Europeans by removing plans for a missile defense system against the Russians, people said it didn't matter.


(CONTINUED)

Anonymous said...

PART FIVE

When he played politics in Afghanistan by not sending troops early-on when the Field Commanders said they were necessary to win, people said it didn't matter.

When he started spending us into a debt that was so big we could not pay it off, people said it didn't matter.

When he took a huge spending bill under the guise of stimulus and used it to pay off organizations, unions, and individuals that got him elected, people said it didn't matter.

When he took over insurance companies, car companies, banks, etc., people said it didn't matter.

When he took away student loans from the banks and put it through the government, people said it didn't matter.

When he designed plans to take over the healthcare system and put it under government control, people said it didn't matter.

When he claimed he was a Christian during the election and tapes were later made public that showed Obama speaking to a Muslim group and 'stating' that he was raised a Muslim; was educated as a Muslim; and that he is still a Muslim -- people said it didn't matter.

When he set into motion a plan to take over the control of all energy in the United States through Cap and Trade, people said it didn't matter.

When he finally completed his transformation of America into a Socialist State , people finally woke up -- but it was too late.


Add these up one by one and you get a phenomenal score that points to the fact that Barrack Hussein Obama is determined to turn America into a Marxist society.

All of the items in the preceding paragraphs have been put into place. All can be documented very easily. Before you disavow this do an internet search. The last paragraph alone is not yet chiseled in stone. You and I will write that paragraph. Will it read as above or will it be a more happy ending for most of America ?

If you are an Obama Supporter don't be angry with me because I think Barrack Hussein Obama is a socialist. Far too many facts support he is indeed a Socialist.

If you seek the truth you will be richer for it.

Don't just belittle the opposition. Search for the truth. Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Constitutionalists, Libertarians all need to pull together or watch the demise of our still-relatively-free democratic society.

Pray for Americans to seek the truth and take action for it will keep us FREE. Our biggest enemy is not China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. Our biggest enemy is a contingent of Marxist professors who call themselves "Progressives," and unprincipled prostitute politicians in Washington DC who'd sell their granddaughters into white slavery in order to gain another iota of power and incumbency. The government will not help, so we need to do it ourselves.


~ FreeThinke

PS: I don't necessarily believe or endorse everything in that long list, but I believe every bit of it deserves to be considered. - FT

Trestin said...

Comrade Ducky- Yes we are. The solution will take some time, there is no quick fix.

It starts by removing uncle Ben's ability to set interest rates.

The second thing that should be done is allow competing currencies, so long as they are tied to tangible assets.

Last but not least, allow no foreign institutions such as the Fed (Which is actually an extension of the BIS) any role in currency or fiscal policy.

Ducky's here said...

It starts by removing uncle Ben's ability to set interest rates.
-----------------

How would you set them? This strikes me as insanity.

I know, we just go on the gold standard or something?

Ducky's here said...

Oh come on, Freethinker, I'm trying to read the posts but I got to the 20 years in Reverend Wright's church boilerplate.

Do you believe this guy is religious?
Do you believe he went Sundays for twenty years to Wright's church or just showed up once in a while.

This guy is a pol. He does what he does to cultivate the proper image. Wright made him black enough and Harvard made him white enough. The guy is a triangulating con artist who has been a right wing dream.

Where's single payer?

Anonymous said...

Well, Ducky, I think we may agree on one thing -- even if for different reasons.

We don't like Barack Obama.

Whether he's a crypto-Marxist, a closet Muslim posing as a pseudo-Christian, a demi-Negro seeking revenge, a demi-Caucasian seeking acceptance by whites, a typical politician, a grifter, brilliant or dull, humorless and mediocre, he's a consummate hypocrite, a pathological liar, and as unfit to be president of the United States as all three of his immediate predecessors.

That said, I don't think you can just dismiss all those items I piled up with a great wave of the hand as mere "boilerplate." His past associations have been almost uniformly vile, his appointees a bunch of impossible shits, his stated aims inimical to the ownership and enjoyment of private property, hostile to business and to the creation and enhancement of personal wealth. The healthcare initiative that bears his name was as undesirable as it was unnecessary.

And on and on and on far into the night, but I'm tired.

Someday, I'd like to hear your positive views on what you think it would take to make this a better country. All of us spend too much time on these sites calling each other names, and never learn what might be in each other's hearts.

I see curiosity as a great virtue.

Be well.

~ FreeThinke

Trestin said...

Let the market determine the rate. Remember when the left wanted power for the people? Now you want it for the central banks.

Anonymous said...

Trestin,

The Central Bank -- better known as The Federal Reserve -- was a creature of the early Progressive Movement. The true agenda of the "progressives" has always been to accumulate and hold ever greater amounts of Centralized Power. This weakens local governments, weakens the individual, standardizes everything, reduces everyones freedom of choice in all areas, and draws us closer and closer to out-and -out despotism.

The "progressives"appear to believe they know better than anyone else what is good for the people, and that it is, therefore, incumbent upon them -- the progressives -- to seize control and ride herd on everyone in order to force the folk to do what is best for them.

In truth the progressives have had it in mind all along to take away our sovereignty and turn us over to One World Government -- the greatest, most overbearing, most tyrannical from of Centralized Power ever conceived since the days of the Roman Empire.

Who will rule the world? Why the PROGRESSIVES, of course. They are would-be OLIGARCHS. While pretending to work for the Common Good, they've been plotting all along to ENSLAVE the citizens of the world to magnify and glorify and ever increase the store of riches owned and controlled by the OLIGARCHS.

They've had so many of us fooled, because their game is to play all ends against the middle. They have USED everyone who has an ax to grind by pretending to be their friend. In playing this rotten game they have divided most of the world into warring factions -- the "ignorant armies that clash by night" so poignantly referenced in Matthew Arnold's poem Dover Beach.

After each war, each incident of social unrest and each economic crisis these fiends cynically gin up, they ride in playing the part of Knights in Shining Armor to "fix" what they have secretly broken, thus making themselves look like heroes-- even gods -- in the eyes of Everyman. And then, thy HAVE you.

This process is nothing new. Variations of it have been happening since time immemorial, but always on a grander scale.

Plato said this c. 400 BC:

"The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness . . . This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs. When he first appears, he is a Protector. . . In the early days of his power he is full of smiles. . . When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies . . . and there is nothing to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other in order that the people may require a leader. . . Has he not also another object . . . that they may be impoverished by taxes and thus compelled to devote themselves to their daily wants and [be] therefore less likely to conspire against him?"

Chilling, isn't it?

~ FreeThinke