Thursday, December 8, 2011

The King's "New Socialism" Speech


President Obama is a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen.*

In Kansas, Obama railed against nefarious forces

“They want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years,” Obama said of the GOP. “And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.”
Just who are the people who believe this? I don’t know any. Playing by your own rules is perfectly ok in your own domain, but it has no place in a free marketplace. Free market capitalism is predicated upon a known set of rules that everyone must follow. You can’t steal from others or murder your opponents, for example. You can’t lie to your business partners or customers. And what specific policies “stack the deck against middle-class Americans?” Give us specifics!

Mickey Kaus (America's smartest liberal) homed in on Obama’s attempt to shame corporations into what Kaus calls patriotic charity: staying here and hiring people even if you have to lose money or forgo greater profits or productivity gains to do it:
A patriotic Charity Economy is a conveyor belt to corporatism!
After all, what happens when the factory of celebrated businessman X who recognizes his patriotic obligation to employ Americans at $20 an hour is faced with competition from uncelebrated, selfish businessman Y who employs Chinese ex-peasants at $2 an hour? Businessman X is going to need a “partnership” with government, sort of a pre-bailout bailout. Obama doesn’t seem to have a problem with this sort of cozy arrangment. (Kaus – Obama’s Charity Capitalism)
An Unfair Presidency

Obama compared capital gains tax apples to personal income tax oranges, excoriating greedy CEOs for paying less taxes than their secretaries (a blatant lie).

He decried a system of laws that does not treat everyone equally, as his administration favors certain companies (Solyndra, GM) over others.

He hectored companies for using modern technology like ATMs, digital phone switches and that newfangled contraption known as the internet, while his armed agents raid workplaces and he shuts down job-creating factories and pipelines.  And then he taunts his pornographic lover Big Biz for not hiring. The man is a walking, talking BS machine.
But by Obama's own measure, the country has gotten more "fair." The richest 1% now pays almost 40% of all federal income taxes, up from 25% two decades ago, while the bottom half pays only 2%, down from 6%. The federal regulatory state has never been as big, and government spending as a share of the economy is at record levels. (IBD)
Here’s the kicker:
the only winners since Obama took office have been corporations (profits are up 68%) and Wall Street investors (the Dow's up more than 45%). The rest of the country has gotten the shaft. (IBD)
I’d like to see him try to get reelected running on that...

As Socrates would say, let’s define our terms

Just what exactly is “fair?” Or a better question, what specifically is unfair here in the US? Wage disparity? Unequal outcomes? Can it be traced back to a root cause?

East coast Massachusetts kids named Kennedy have about a 100% chance of going to an Ivy League school, regardless of how dull they may be. Silverfiddle kids have about zero chance. Is that fair? Who knows? Who cares? It’s all a waste of time. We are individuals, our needs and wants are unique, and our efforts produce disparate and varied outcomes.

Now, if we find that a certain class of people is rounding up other people and kicking them and their progeny down a hole so as to keep them from pursuing their American dream, that would be unfair. I don’t see that happening in this country. We are not all born into identical circumstances, so equalization would be quite a task. Everywhere it’s been tried, those on top were dragged down, rather than those on the low end being elevated.

Rather than all this inflated fascistic rhetoric designed to whip the proles into a revolutionary frenzy, how about restoring the rule of law? Forcing Big Banking and Corporate America off of the government teat? How about getting the federal government’s snout out of every corner of our lives and allowing us to solve our problems at the lowest level?

Even the venerable bastion of corporate statism, The Washington Post, gave Obama’s Robespierre acid trip flashback in Kansas three Pinocchios for its bald-faced dishonesty.

* - William F. Buckley’s description of John Kenneth Galbraith

Further Reading:
Harsanyi – Obama vs Capitalism
NY Times – Obama Tongue Bath
IBD - A Lesson in Fairness for Obama
Obama Urges Fair Play

37 comments:

jez said...

"East coast Massachusetts kids named Kennedy have about a 100% chance of going to an Ivy League school, regardless of how dull they may be. Silverfiddle kids have about zero chance. Is that fair?"

The answer's "no," isn't it?

"Who knows? Who cares?"

You don't care about that?
If the ivy league intake misses out on exceptionally bright Silver Fiddles but is overrun by dim Kennedys, I care about that, and I'm not even American!

It matters to anybody who cares about upholding academic standards, never mind equality of opportunity.

"Everywhere [equality's] been tried, those on top were dragged down, rather than those on the low end being elevated."

Increased acceptance of the lower classes into university in post-war Britain pretty successfully increased social mobility.

The university game has got much too big nowadays, it's got to the point where we need to be much more selective about who goes, not less; but that selection should be based on academic ability, not how wealthy or how much of a toff your dad is.

Ducky's here said...

Silverfiddle kids have about zero chance. Is that fair? Who knows? Who cares? It’s all a waste of time.

---------

Social mobility has been a hallmark of the democracy. It is disappearing and you sit on your hands and say, "so what"? I imagine in your next breath you'll tell us what a patriot you are and how much you care about America.

Silverfiddle said...

Ah, but the portal to success is no longer controlled exclusively by Ivy League universities.

Social mobility is not disappearing. OEDC studies show it has decreased, but not dramatically. People like you Ducky, also fail to not how much downward movement there is from the top. People on top here don't always stay there.

They also don't yet know exactly what is behind the numbers.

Standards of living are measured by more than just financial remuneration and we import more poverty than any other nation in the world.

Bastiatarian said...

>Just what exactly is “fair?”

In any rational sense, fair means that I pay the cost (the market value or the mental and physical effort of acquisition) of the goods and services that I both want and receive, and that I'm not forced to pay for goods and services that I either don't want or don't receive. It also means that I am solely responsible for the consequences of my own choices, and that others are solely responsible for the consequences of their own choices; they're not forced to take responsibility for mine, and I'm not forced to take responsibility for theirs.

Jack Camwell said...

Silver you have to admit that trying to block the payroll tax cut extension while simultaneously trying to give more tax cuts to the wealthies Americans was pretty asinine.

Even so, as you pointed out it's not as though the Democrats are blameless for the problems we're experiencing. Many Democrats in congress are rich, part of the 1%, and some people like to pretend that their wealth is somehow cleaner than everyone else's. They gained just as much from our jacked up system as any wealthy Republican.

And Ducky, how much economic mobility does a lave operator deserve compared to, say, a teacher? In a stratified society, not everyone can have an equal rate of mobility. I agree that we should do things to make sure that no one is being held back by external forces (i.e. the only thing holding someone back is him/herself), but lets not pretend that everyone somehow is going to significantly improve their lot in life.

Chakam said...

Bast,

You said:
"In any rational sense, fair means that I pay the cost (the market value or the mental and physical effort of acquisition) of the goods and services that I both want and receive, and that I'm not forced to pay for goods and services that I either don't want or don't receive."

Imagine that as a concept for our government. Wow! I mean, I could stop paying into SS, and Medicare, since I neither want nor need these things.

If only proper governance was available to us that adhered to what you said here. *sigh*...but no. We have the Socialist and/or Marxist in Chief and the puppet theater of the Democrat Party in America. Fah.

Ducky's here said...

But by Obama's own measure, the country has gotten more "fair." The richest 1% now pays almost 40% of all federal income taxes, up from 25%

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

What value is that statistic if you don't include the increase in wealth of the 1% and the proportion of the wealth they control?

You keep trying to slip that kind of junk past us, Silverfiddle, and I'll have to assume you're numb from mourning the death of 9-9-9.

Ducky's here said...

And Ducky, how much economic mobility does a lave operator deserve compared to, say, a teacher?

-----

I'm talking about mobility into the middle class. if you don't realize it is disappearing please start paying attention.

Mobility built the country. The lack of that mobility will destroy it.

Mark Adams said...

"Silver you have to admit that trying to block the payroll tax cut extension while simultaneously trying to give more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans was pretty asinine."
Some have missed the point on that subject.
First, it's not giving more tax cuts to anyone. It's an extention of what they pasted about this time last year and no one is trying to block payroll tax. Republicans want it paid for by spending cuts, because we have lost sight of the fact that we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.

As for the President’s remarks on "It doesn't work"... That sure should put the last nail in the coffin of those who say Obama is not a socialist. Unbelievable that a sitting President has said this about 235 years of capitalism and free market history. If it didn't work, the nation would have long been gone by now.

Jersey McJones said...

Only a moron believes they exist in their own vacuum.

"Wow! I mean, I could stop paying into SS, and Medicare, since I neither want nor need these things."

Retarded.

Only a moron would rides on the retarded assumption they will never need these things.

Silver, you genius, the top 1% control 42% of the wealth. So by your own standards of fairness, they are not being taxed enough.

JMJ

Mark Adams said...

"the top 1% control 42% of the wealth"
And the top 2%-20% own 50% of the wealth. Guess where Obama's income lies, Jersey? In that 2-20%

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey, you make a common statist mistake of confusing income with wealth. I don't blame you, you listen to msnbc and voted for Obama, so I'll type slowly...

Wealth is not routinely taxed unless it changes hands or something like that.

You keep throwing around the word moron, but it appears you didn't read the post.

Infidel de Manahatta said...

That's socialism in a nutshell: The top are dragged down instead of those on the low end being elevated.

And this is our dear leader's vision for America?

Time to move to a free country like China.

Anonymous said...

One of numerous parables making the rounds through email:

"An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan". All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.... (substituting grades for dollars - something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that SOCIALISM would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.
It could not be any simpler than that.


If you dismiss this as "simplistic," or fail to see the logic in it, you, perforce, must be a leftist.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

The truest most irrefutable observation made by a politician in my lifetime came from the lips of Democrat John Fitzgerald Kennedy, who may have been a bounder, a fourflusher and a cad, but was certainly not not a dimwit:

"LIFE IS NOT FAIR."

That was true, true today and it will true throughout all Eternity. GET USED TO IT. No politician is fit to change the will of Almighty God.

~ FreeThinke

Z said...

"We are not all born into identical circumstances, so equalization would be quite a task."
And will never work.......but this is really a huge part of the difference between Conservatives and Lefties.... 'equal' among leftists seems to be what INfidel said above...everyone dragged down to some mediocre level of Mao jackets that the country can afford to dole out pitiful stipends to.
'not all born to identical circumstances' is realistic and the backdrop for understanding that some will rise through sweat or education or both.. ...but it doesn't mean they have to hate or bring down those who made it. Well, not until lately it hadn't, anyway.
good post, SF

Ducky's here said...

I enjoy it when the fringe right decides it knows what the left thinks and then proceed to make absolute fools of themselves.

Why does upward social mobility means everyone is dragged down to mediocrity? I'd really like to read some right wingers explanation.

Now the FACT is that class mobility distinguished America from European cultures but that mobility is gone.

I leave it to the short bus gang on the right to explain why that is a good development.

liberaldude said...

The top 1% paid less in taxes that the rest of us did in income.

Reagan taxed the wealthy at 90%.

Silver is a parrot.

Silverfiddle said...

Libdude: I'm ignoring you because as usual, you don't even have your basic facts straight. Reagan did not tax the wealthy at 90%. You would be helped by at least minimally researching the leftist talking points you ingest and mindlessly regurgitate.

Ducky: You mix apples and oranges. Upward mobility is a distinct issue from making everything "equal" and "fair." Attempts to do that have always failed.

I gave you a tip to help you out of your ignorance, but you ignored it. Go look at the OEDC economic mobility study before opening your mouth further. You are embarrassing yourself.

Chakam said...

JMJ,

"Only a moron would rides (sic) on the retarded assumption they will never need these things."

No, only a moron would need the government to take care of them when they should be taking care of themselves without the need to suckle at the Socialist teat.

JMJ, you used the word faggot on Rational Nation USA and now you use the word retarded. You are truly a liberal.

Lisa said...

Just what exactly is “fair?

Fair is a populist term to get an electorate to believe they have no chance in life because it's not "fair" that some people have money and they don't.

I bet most people hearing that believe that is the case.
They probably believe all the rich people should pay for everything for them right down to their gas and their mortgages.
As a matter of fact some OWS protesters were demanding Bank of America pay their tuitions.

Finntann said...

Fairness? There is nothing fair about progressive taxation.

For 2011 married filing jointly, a couple that makes $69,000 in taxable income pays $10350 while a couple that makes $70000 pays $17500.

How does that effect upward mobility? If you are that person with $69,000 in taxable income, and I offer you a promotion and a $5000 raise, would you take it?

Know this... at $69,000 you have to jump to $76150 to keep the same take home pay at the end of the year.

That's something of a simplification as the more intelligent among us would take the $5000 and push it into a tax deferred investment, still you won't see any benefit from that promotion for years.

Why? Does the couple making $70,000 use more services? Cost more? No, it's as SF calls it, "government mandated charity". You take that extra $7150 and use it to buy votes with your entitlement programs.

Now I'm not heartless, people below the "poverty level" should pay no taxes... everyone else should pay the same. But there should be one "poverty level". You shouldn't get more from your fellow citizens because you choose to pop out four kids as opposed to two. Last time I checked we weren't in any immediate danger of extinction.

Set the poverty level for a family with two kids (the replacement rate) and apply it to everyone, have one or none, well I guess you got more money in your pocket, have three? Well that's your choice.

Until everyone is held responsible for their own actions and choices, this country ain't goin nowhere. Instead, we reward the inept and penalize the successful, in private and now in corporate life.

As to the difference between the income tax rate and capital gains rate, you need to decide if you think the preferential rate given to long term capital gains to provide incentive for investors to make capital investments is worth it, it's a simple cost-benefit analysis problem.

Cheers!

Ducky's here said...

For 2011 married filing jointly, a couple that makes $69,000 in taxable income pays $10350 while a couple that makes $70000 pays $17500.

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

No, both couples pay the same rate up to a limit. Income over that limit but only the portion over the limit is taxed at a higher rate.

The fringe right should catch a clue. Buy a freaking vowel and stop embarrassing yourself.

You have no freaking conception of progressive taxation but you are against it. Typical fringe rightie.

Z said...

Ducky, you didn't grasp what I said.

Jersey McJones said...

This whole post is so friggin' silly.

Obama is facing an economic crisis STRIKINGLY familiar to what Roosevelt faced. Roosevelt was right about how to deal with that and if anything always believed he could have done more and hence that speech some years later. So, Obama facing those STRIKINGLY similar problems offers THE SAME types of answers, and yet people today who call themselves "TR Republicans" are against that!

Stupid hypocrisy.

JMJ

Chakam said...

JMJ,

A TR Republican is a progressive Republican, which makes them jackasses.

Progressives, be they the Socialist/Democrat type or the Big Government Republican type are still just anti-Constitution, America-hating progressives.

Teddy Roosevelt had some cool sound bites, but he was just another progressive.

Do some research, genius. Your attempt at mockery has backfired on you due to your inability to think before you speak.

Anonymous said...

Funny! Taxes were as high as 70% during the Eisenhower years, yet "The Rich" were better off then than they are now -- at least they lived better, ate better and had more fun. At least my rich relatives certainly did.

Now why would that be the case?

You have to have 10-million on ice today to live as well as they did on a mere eight-hundred thousand then.

Clearly inflation has devalued our currency to disastrously low levels of purchasing power.

"The farther ahead we go the behinder we get."

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

It isn't "fair" that I happen to be strikingly handsome and have beautiful coloring, but what should I do to make it up to those less well favored? Have my face surgically altered to scar my cheeks and blunt my features? ;-)

Should those with high IQ's be expected to pretend they are stupid so the less intelligent won't feel bad about themselves?

Is it morally wrong for Mrs. Glassman to wear a 5-carat diamond ring, when poor Mrs. McGillicuddy's husband could only afford to buy her a Zircon? Should La Glassman be forced to turn her ring in to the government to have it broken down into tiny diamond chips so every woman in town could share her husband's wealth "equitably?"

Just exactly how far should arbitrary, rigidly enforced standards of "fairness" and "equity" be expected to go?

At the rate we are going tall people will soon have to get their legs cut down to spare the feelings of shorties.

~ FreeThinke

Finntann said...

Ducky, I stated that the example was a simplification, perhaps not adequately so, but based on tax brackets it illustrates a point.

You dodge the main point...
why should different levels of income be taxed differently?

Why should one person pay a higher rate and thus a greater percentage than another?

Because you say so? Depending on which source you prefer to use anywhere from 30% to 43% pay no friggin income tax at all. This is fair?

Put aside unequal starting points and explain this:

Twin brothers, raised in exactly the same circumstance are faced with the same set of choices in life. One is serious, the other lackadaisical.

One works hard, saves his money, goes to college, earns a degree, works hard, earns promotions, makes all the right choices, and winds up making $150,000 a year.

The other parties, does drugs, quits or is fired from job after job, makes all the easy choices, and winds up making $17,000.

The first brother is penalized for doing everything right by having to pay not only his share, but his brothers as well.

As I said, you reward the inept and punish the successful by making them pay for the inept.

You can actually sit there and rationalize thst the rest of us should pay more because some imbecile like Angel Adams (See Monday's post) can't keep her frigging knees together?

There are a lot of problems in society today, most the result of inept, incompetent, and corrupt government policies. The middle class is getting screwed from both ends buddy, and the biggest screwing isn't coming from the 1%, it's coming from the 30-43% who don't pay their share and their progressive enablers.

Jersey, the difference between Teddy and Barry is Teddy wasn't in hock up to his ass!

The surplus (+)/deficit (-) tally for Teddy Roosevelt was:

1901 +63
1902 +77
1903 +45
1904 -43
1905 -23
1906 +25
1907 +87
1908 -57
1909 -89

Or a net tally of +85

Your buddy Obama gonna be able to claim anything close?

http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy06/pdf/hist.pdf

Try Again.

Finntann said...

Oh and Ducky, while you're at it, explain how seven states (including Massachusetts) can run on a flat tax and the federal government cant.

I'll also reiterate what I said before: There should be an income level "poverty" (unadjusted for lifestyle choices) below which income should not be taxed at all.

An exemption for poverty

A flat rate everyone else pays, unadjusted for marriage or children. No Married filing jointly, no head of household. You want dependents? Well their your dependents you pay for them.

Inherit? You pay the flat rate just like any other income.

A flat rate for all corporations.

That wouldn't work for you though would it? Because then you couldn't buy votes with other people's money, could you?

Bastiatarian said...

>Stupid hypocrisy.

>JMJ


The two lines above, my friends, together constitute what we call "redundancy."

Mizz Anonymous said...

You are right, all this Jackass-In-Chief knows how to do is make speeches, go on vacations, and campaign. If the left thinks that we are going put up with him, and just stand aside and shut up and let the Barack Obama regime just walk all over is and our constitution, they have another thought coming. All this Jackass-In-Chief knows how to do is to make speeches and campaign, he don’t know a thing about leadership or how to be an American.

dmarks said...

"You have no freaking conception of progressive taxation but you are against it. Typical fringe rightie."

Actually, there are no fringe righties here. All of the views here are mainstream.

As for the graduated income tax, one of the problems with it is that someone along the way labelled it as "progressive", trying to propagandize the name to somehow mean "good".

If we use progressive = good, then the most progressive tax policy is to have the government steal less from the people: keep reducing tax rates. A real good idea.

Country Thinker said...

I like your take here, Silver, and appreciate that you were able to keep it brief. As you know, I was unable to!

For the most part the speech could be broken down into two types of statements: 1) those that were wrong and/or misguided, or 2) those that were correct, but insincere.

Let's face it, he's a crony crapitalist of the highest order. To "play fair" means to donate to his campaign and submit to his demands.

Silverfiddle said...

Country: You gave us an excellent in-depth analysis. As you said, there was so much wrong with this speech, one could write a book on it!

liberaldude said...

Silverfiddle is a tool and so easily pwned!

Silverfiddle said...

Ooooh! You really got me there!