Thursday, March 26, 2009

"It is a society steadily transitioning toward statism."

So says Mark Levin about American government in his new book, Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto. I looked over the book a while back after Glenn received an advanced copy but didn't read it thoroughly due to time constraints. It looked pretty good then but when I saw it was up to #1 on Amazon, I decided to give it a second read. I'm glad I did. For his "Conservative Manifesto" is a wake-up call to all of us who care about individual freedom and resisting the transition to statism.

Mr. Levin gives some thoughts on what conservatives need to be doing. He describes why many conservatives don't become engaged in public matters but explains why it is important to change:

The Conservative must become more engaged in public matters. It is in his nature to live and let live, to attend to his family, to volunteer time with his church and synagogue, and to quietly assist a friend, a neighbor, or even a stranger. These are certainly admirable qualities that contribute to the overall health of the community. But it is no longer enough. The Statist's counterrevolution has turned the instrumentalities of public affairs and public governance against the civil society. They can no longer be left to the devices of the Statist, which is largely the case today.

This will require a new generation of conservative activists, larger in number, shrewder, and more articulate than before, who seek to blunt the Statist's counterrevolution--not imitate it--and gradually and steadily reverse course. More conservatives than before will need to seek elective and appointed office, fill the ranks of administrative state, hold teaching positions in public schools and universities, and find positions in Hollywood and the media where they make a difference in infinite ways. The Statist does not have a birthright ownership to these institutions. The Conservative must fight for them, mold them, and where appropriate, eliminate them where they are destructive to the preservation and improvement of civil society.


We are already seeing people who have never been politically active taking part in tea parties across the nation. You will often hear that these tea parties "don't matter" but in reality, the tea parties are a "mind hit." That is, they are not what people expect. Lefties form groups and rally--building connections and networks of grassroots activists who can be called on when needed. Conservatives typically stay home. But not anymore. Moms,Dads, business people and others are taking to the streets and forming connections with each other and learning to organize against the statists of the world.

If there is a tea party near you, attend. I plan to.

Labels:

85 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

I don't know, I really don't. It would be hard for me to reverse my pretty much lifelong aversion to public protests. When I started seeing them in college, I had a typical reaction (for a non-hippie): What do you think you're really accomplishing there? Don't you have something more productive you should be doing? Don't you know what a mindless drone you sound like when you chant slogans? Why don't you get the hell out of my way so I can get to class?

I would still ask those questions of myself at a tea party, and the answers might not be satisfactory. And what do those leftists do with their connections to other activists other than plan the next silly rally? It's hard for me to believe a tea party will convince any lefties out there of anything, any more than the nuclear freeze rallies convinced me.

I recognize that organization-wise, I am exactly the problem here. But I think there are probably more than a few of me out there, and we're going to be hard to rouse out of our practical mind-set. I'm politically active, but not in a sign-carrying way. I'm not saying that's a good or bad thing, I really don't know.

2:51 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

I did some protesting in college, so it's old hat to me. I went to the Cincinnati Tea Party and took my 16 year old son, too. I, as a result of the pictures I posted, hooked up with a couple of conservative bloggers in the area.

I plan in continuing on being as active as possible. I regularly email my congressperson and senators. I don't have much time for organizing protests but I can usually spare a few hours to participate.

3:26 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...

Peter,

I understand where you are coming from. I feel the same way whenever I see protests etc. But the tea parties are more about letting those Congressman and women know that people are watching them --many of the protests are people marching to their Congressperson's office and letting them know how they feel. Fear that they may lose the support of their constituents is real and a a motivator for change, if needed.

And, the connections do matter--it is not to build the next rally and I don't think the tea parties are to convince the lefties of anything. They are to let those of us who have other ideas--independents, conservatives, libertarian etc. know that there are others like them out there and we will not be silent.

3:39 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Mia said...

Hey, I plan on being in Knoxville on April 15th (at least I think that's when the Tea Party is). I've always been a conservative but have often envied the liberals who get to picket, have sit-ins, carry signs, and do chants. way it is being challenged now. They always seem to be "fighting" for something.

3:55 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

No book, not The Bible, and not Atlas Shrugged, can undo the fundamental human dynamic that makes the liberal more likely to become politically engaged than the conservative.

This comment to this post sums up the reasons in a classically simple fashion.

5:12 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger David said...

It's not a tea party, but a rally is planned for April 1 in Washington DC, for the purpose of explaining to Congress the damage being caused by the poorly-thought-out Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This legislation is doing serious harm to businesses--especially small businesses--including books, toys, clothing, sporting goods, and homecrafting.

See this for an example of unbelievable arrogance on the part of a Congresswoman who has been a major CPSIA supporter.

Getting CPSIA adjusted is really important, and not just for people in those industries. Anyone who can possibly attend, please do so.

Also, the cherry blossoms should be out.

5:45 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger delagar said...

I thought you people were going Galt. When does that start?

9:41 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

That's nothing to joke about, delagar.

The world is going to sit up and take notice when the motley collection of retirees, housewives, sensitive therapists and Pajamas Media Presenters finally decide to Go Galt.

9:45 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

It's like the annual homemaker strike day - when no one really notices.

9:47 PM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

FWP: I wish I could disagree with your opening statement, in your latest post above.

I certainly like your blog, as troubling as it is.

Those who do not understand going Galt likewise don't understand socialis.

I wonder what Obama's daughters will think of him once they're old enough to realize what he has done to them. That is unless he already assumes his daughters will automatically have jobs as government bureaucrats when they come of age.

People who do understand are simply going to stop having children. That's why there is no fence, and won't be a fence.

Looking at the current state of affairs, having my three wonderful children is the biggest regret I have in my life.

6:07 AM, March 27, 2009  
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8:21 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

We are having a tea party here in Nashville on the 15th. I have blocekd off some time to go and photograph and protest. I will send pjtv some pics.

The interesting parallel development is the number of states that are making sovereignty resoloutions. Perhaps the states will begin to flex their muscles and independence. There ceratinly has been a worldwide trend toward larger unions breaking off into smaller ones. Here, thankfully, the splitting does not appear to be racially motivated.

Trey

9:20 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

Levin may have it right. Perhaps not. I see a fundamental contradiction inherent in organizing to defeat statism, which is something like fighting for peace etc. Not all conservatives are small government folks, the moral conservatives (the so-called 'religious right') are just authoritarians of a different stripe.

I'm beginning to accept that the natural order of things is for all governments to grow like souffles until they inevitably collapse suddenly from size and bureaucratic inefficiency. A brief period of enlightenment follows after which the dogooders get reorganized and once again begin to mandate their personal vision of utopia using the force of the state.

Well somebody just slammed the oven door, we are in deep doo-doo. If there are solutions to this conundrum I believe they consist of individual acts, not mass movements. Thus John Galt.

9:45 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

Expanding on these thoughts - my great grandparents landed in America and went west well over a century ago. At that time, as long as they didn't rob a bank or kill someone, they had little contact with FedGovCo. They could eat, drink, shoot, go where and what they damn well pleased.

I just spent two weekends laboring over my taxes. My son is in a long line somewhere getting a mandated sticker for his windshield. Half the hours of my life today will be devoted to earning yet more largess for the federal leviathan.

We are in the end stages of the current cycle, FedGovCo will grow until it becomes unsupportable by any means. The dollar fell 1% yesterday...

9:54 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Doom said...

It would be fantastic to see a Renaissance of conservativism. Honestly, though, I think it is too late. As someone who had been beating the warning drums for a decade or two now, I have given up. I think the people slept right through their enslavement. Waking up in a cage is a little late, methinks.

But if someone wants my well used drum sticks, they are sitting in the evidence room at their local thought police station.

11:33 AM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Wayne said...

uncle ken - the tired saw about "fighting for peace" conflates the issue. You fight when you must, so you can have peace while you can. The human psyche does not currently allow for perpetual peace. Both fighting and peace are temporary conditions.

Likewise, organizing to defeat statism is a temporary thing. We still have a wonderfully well-thought-out document in the Constitution, giving the blueprint for our system of government, and I believe that most conservatives (both the religious and the not-so-religious) would be satisfied with backtracking on the majority of laws and policies that are based on misrepresentations of that document.

It is not likely to happen, however, because there are probably too many people who either believe as you, or as Peter at the top, to enable us to decisively overwhelm the resistance of the Statists. Hopefully, we'll be able to gather enough together to stop the bullet-train-ride into oblivion on which we have embarked.

12:28 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

Oh I have no problem whatsoever with the Constitution. It is beautifully written in lucid and explicit language. Would that we acknowledged it - instead it has been 'interpreted' to death. It is now estimated that over 70% of FedGovCo spending is extra-constitutional.

Example: the word "education" does not appear anywhere - geez that must mean education is left up to the States! So what does the Dept. of Education do? How much energy has the Dept. of Energy found?

But I digress -the question is can we get back there from here without a complete collapse of the economy? And would we embrace our founding principles again if we did?

The only hope I see within our present corrupt system would be to turn out all 535 of the venal sons of bitches currently occupying Congress and start over. Good luck on that!

12:41 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Wayne said...

Didn't mean you had a problem with the Constitution, just that you stated you don't think "organizing" was going to do any good. Therefore, the implication being that you would not be part of said organizing, which reduces the number of people who are gathered together to push back.

12:54 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

Wayne I've been pushing back my whole life. Not gonna quit now, just abhor lineups, groups, mass movements and check-off boxes.

Good luck to both of us :-))

12:59 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

.ps I am currently organizing my Earth Day (4/22) efforts to include cranking up the BBQ, turning on every light in the house, ramping the stereo up to Speaker Destruction levels and performing smoky driveway burnouts in my insanely over-powered bored, ported, polished and balanced gas-sucking V8: the KenMobile.

There is more than one way to fight!!!

1:06 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Rob Fedders said...

Lol! Uncle Ken.

Here in the Democratic Socialist State of Canuckistan, us Western Canuckleheads are all going to clean our ovens, lol, cranking them up 900F.

1:17 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Wayne said...

.ps I am currently organizing my Earth Day (4/22) efforts to include cranking up the BBQ, turning on every light in the house, ramping the stereo up to Speaker Destruction levels and performing smoky driveway burnouts in my insanely over-powered bored, ported, polished and balanced gas-sucking V8: the KenMobile.

Oh, HELL YEAH!

1:18 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger RR Ryan said...

Uncle Ken-that's just silly. Get bigger speakers. I reccommend Mirage or ADS.

3:10 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Shirley Vandever said...

I am similar to Peter. I often wonder what "protests" or "rallies" actually accomplish.

But this is different. I have become very actively involved in the TEA parties being organized here in Delaware for the 15th. We have to do something, and the liberals are way ahead of us. We have to change.

As an interesting (at least to me) aside, I am also active in the motorcycle rights arena. Every year we have what is called a TEA Party.

What does TEA stand for?

The Extreme Activist.

I think we all need to become "extreme activists", even if it is behind the scenes. We have to start acting instead of just complaining. How each of us act depends on our own personalities and abilities. Just do something.

3:52 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

What are you people protesting against exactly?

I have voiced my opposition to people who EARN money being taxed (income tax). I have also stated that if the government HAS TO tax anyone, it should be people who don't produce (trust fund boys, inhereting housewives and the like).

That is exactly what Ayn Rand thought, and in fact, read the part about Hank Reardon filing a divorce against his wife - a parasite off him who was secretly aligned with the other side. And Philip, who just leeched off him.

I pretty much write word-for-word what Ayn Rand writes and thinks, and the prior response from Helen was:

"Deal with it" when I talked about people who DIDN'T earn their money and maybe taxing THEM before people who earn their money.

I have to think an agenda is afoot here.

If Helen is in favor of people who didn't earn their money by producing something for society ... keeping it, then she ought to come right out and say so.

Here is my stance (I've never varied):

The best thing is no taxes.

If you HAVE TO tax someone, tax the people who didn't earn it. That already excludes an income tax.

4:43 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Someone explain this to me:

I saw a girl bragging about a guy giving her a necklace in an attempt to "win her over". She was just laughing about what a geek he was, and she bragged about selling the necklace for $17,000 on eBay. She kept it all.

Marc is a computer programmer. He worked overtime, and the amount he got working overtime came to $17,000. He got $11,050 after his marginal tax - the rest went to the government.

Now please - someone explain to me why princess kept everything under the current tax laws, whereas Marc kept about 2/3.

And that's how the tax law is through and through. Bag a rich guy? Don't pay a penny. Actually do something in life? Pay the full amount.

4:50 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Acksiom said...

So, JG. . .after not only being my father's sole caregiver for over 13 years after his massive stroke, but also overseeing and helping with my mother's care following her collapse in late 2005, so that I had virtually no time or resources to build a career and family of my own throughout my thirties and early forties, I should nevertheless be taxed first and most simply because I didn't "earn" what I've inherited from them?

Fine. Convince me. Show me how it's at all fair that I should have to start all over again at the bottom of the job market simply because I didn't "earn" what I now own.

Also, you should try explaining to us exactly how and why orphaned minors should get one red cent less than their parents' wealth. And also why life insurance policy payoffs should be taxed before income.

Just for starters.

Oh and BTW -- no, you don't "pretty much write word-for-word what Ayn Rand writes and thinks"; I'm more familiar with her body of work than most and I know better. Your blatant disregard for the fundamental primacy of private property rights is, if anything, in direct opposition to what Rand wrote and thought.

5:10 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Acksiom:

You cite a very specific case and then want to be compensated for that. Most cases are not like that at all ... which you probably know, but you have to come up with a 1 in a million case.

Life happens.

At my job, I put my work aside and attended to a woman who was choking. She would have clearly died had I not intervened. I saved her life.

I was nevertheless taxed at the full income-tax rate for those salary hours at my workplace. Do you find that fair? I don't.

But I also don't think it reflects the overall income-tax situation.

Right, Bunky?

5:14 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

And save me your self-righteous blather about how you are more Ayn Rand-y than I am.

Either argue a specific point or shut up. I don't care if you're a brilliant theorist - not when you are trying to bully.

5:16 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Here's my idea once again:

The best thing is no taxes.

If you HAVE TO tax someone, tax the people who didn't earn it. That already excludes an income tax.

----

Everyone seems to have a problem with it. Fine, then no taxes.

But if you are going to have taxes, are you REALLY arguing that producers should be taxed before non-producers?

Well, that's how society is now. Income tax is heavy, gift tax (to those who RECEIVE) is non-existent. Just like most of you apparently want it.

5:18 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

I have no idea WHAT you people are protesting against then.

I think it's an increase of a few percent in the income tax. And almost no one writing here (I strongly suspect) is even in that bracket. And some of the vociferous posters are leeching off a big-earning spouse.

Bizarre is not the word for it.

5:20 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Here is the saga of Candi and Mike (completely separate people):

Candi has a kind of rich daddy, and she'll inherit a million or so when he dies. He pays for her room and board and tuition right now in a college town. Candi is kind of cute, and guys routinely pay for dates in nice places. One old guy was infatuated with her, so Candi though she could maybe play him without having to sleep with him - he gave her a nice car as a gift, but then he drifted away as Candi didn't "reciprocate".

Candi has enough money, but then she met a good earner. He worked full-time, Candi was a homemaker, and she not only had everything paid for in spades when he was alive, he died later on and left his money to Candi.

-----

Mike was dead set on going to medical school, and he worked summers as a roofer (pick up a tile, bend down, nail it, stand up with a painful back, pick up a tile, repeat a thousand times ...). He also worked in restaurants and a bit of construction during school. He got through college and went to medical school. Same deal - working when he could. Then a residency ... he kind of liked the emergency room so he stayed there. He is a good worker and producing something for society.

----

EVERYTHING that Candi received was tax-free.

EVERYTHING that Mike received was taxed.

Mike has always worked and has produced a lot for society. Candi is a little hooker who has just taken and taken from people and society.

----

And people here think that's just spiffy. But you're going to have a tea party because the top rate (which no one here is probably in) is being raised a few percent.

Maybe a spouse of someone here is in that bracket, so she will have to put up with spending a bit less of the stupe's money.

5:59 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

@JG: "If you HAVE TO tax someone, tax the people who didn't earn it. That already excludes an income tax."

OK so you want to confiscate private property. Currently 45% of federal revenue comes from income tax, most of which is paid by the top 5% of earners. The bottom half pay only 3% of all income taxes now. Another 35% of federal revenue is payroll tax (Medicare and SS) and most of the rest is corporate tax, really just a hidden consumer tax.

Tax, tax tax - any way you slice it we are drowning in tax. Instead of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic the solution lies in addressing the problem. The problem is we are drowning; drowning in far, far too much government.

We can no longer afford our federal state. As taxes rise to oppressive levels revenues will fall and the state will eventually collapse. Then it really won't matter who got what how.

6:06 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

Step 1: No tax.

Step 2: If you HAVE TO tax someone, tax the person who doesn't produce instead of a person who is producing something for society.

---

I'm not in favor of taxing ANYONE.

AT ALL.

But if you have to tax someone, tax the dufus who gets money without working for it, instead of the person who gets money by working for it.

Is that really hard to understand or something?

Can people really interpret that to mean that I am in favor of taxes?

Apparently so. I don't know how to say it more directly.

NO TAX. IF TAX, TAX LEECHES, NOT PRODUCERS. BEST NO TAX THOUGH.

6:11 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

That would not only be moral (to tax leeches, not producers) it would also be good for the economy.

Or are we concerned that leeches are going to "go galt" while the producers keep working (because the latter aren't being taxed).

I know that I'm petrified that a "homemaker" (i.e. long-term prostitute) sitting in luxury is going to "strike". But it wouldn't be as funny if people providing real services just quit.

6:15 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Acksiom said...

JG, how is it not the case that she only kept the whole eBay sale price through unlawful tax evasion?

By your apparent reasoning, children should pay taxes when they receive food, shelter, and clothing from their parents. The kids certainly didn't earn any of it.

"Life happens"? Aaaaand that would be meaningfully different from Helen's "Deal with it" about which you're complaining. . .how, exactly?

To say nothing of the two abstract generalized countercases I presented in addition to my own -- which is hardly "1 in a million", I can assure you. Ask around the family caregiving community; they'll tell you the same thing -- there are far, far more than just 300 people in the usa in my situation.

So again, let's see you try explaining to us exactly how and why orphaned minors should get one red cent less than their parents' wealth. And also why life insurance policy payoffs should be taxed before income.

Bully you? Nice misrepresentation there. Sorry, no, I'm not asserting anything about our relative "Rand"-ness; I'm just telling you I know better than what you claim. And calling you out to defend your bizarre propositions is not "bullying" you, and I am arguing specific points.

As to what we're protesting against, it's primarily the INSANE increase in State debt and annual expenditures involved. It's not just a couple of percentage points when the overall generation of wealth is going to be grossly diminished in perpetuity just to pay off TRILLIONS in deficit spending.

If you don't understand that yet, then let me put it in terms you should: it's exactly the kind of recklessly irresponsible credit-abusive spending by the State that you rail against on the part of lazy incompetent housewives and gold-digging whores-in-all-but-name.

Get it now? In effect, the legislative and executive branches of the Federal Government are trying to turn us ALL into "dispossessed dads"! THE WHOLE FREAKING NATION, JG! Us, and our children, and their children, and their children's children included!

In men's issues terms, this gargantuan expansion of State spending is like a permanent increase in a dispossessed dad's assigned child support payments from the Anti-Family Court.

Understand? Just as the Anti-Family Court virtually never lowers child support payment assignments, the government virtually never lowers budget expenditures once those have been assigned. And that's not theory; that's historical fact! We've seen it over and over and over again; Rand herself pointed it out repeatedly!

It's far, far more than just "a couple of percentage points." It's literally -- not figuratively, not virtually, but yes, literally -- TRILLIONS of dollars of national debt.

THAT is what people are protesting agaisnt, and why. If you understand what the F4J folks have been protesting against, and why, then you can understand why the Tea Party protests have been catching on around the country. The silent majority has been content for decades to let the leftist/marxist/tranziproggie whackadoos eat up some of the excess wealth being generated because we've been doing so well for so long that we've been able to indulgently afford them their wasteful, destructive idiocies.

But what we're dealing with now is totally different matter. We're facing an expansion of State power of massive degree and kind, something far larger and more serious than just letting a bunch of ivory tower academics and media talking heads spew irrational dystopian nonsense. The Obama administration and the Democrat congress think they have a national mandate supporting them and their plans. They're wrong; they only have a mass news media echo chamber mandate supporting them. And I think they're about to get a shocking surprise.

You say it's just a few percentage points more from earners in the top bracket, probably none of whom are posters here. . .well, you're right; you do have no idea what we're talking about. The people who understand what we're facing know that there is simply NO WAY that "a few percentage points more" on the top earners can possibly pay off this proposed national debt. And you have no grasp of the scale of the problem if you think it can. People here know that they, even though they're not in the top brackets, are also going to get economically shafted by this, because of how the whole economy is going to be crushed under this weight of debt. It's not just the rich fatcats who are going to suffer if this collectivist wholesale restructuring of the usa isn't stopped. It's everybody.

If you can understand what the F4J folks are protesting against, and why, and map across from that to the Tea Party protestors, then maybe you can start coming to grips with what's really going on here.

6:39 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

JG,

You're idea is daft. Wealth taxation would only cause wealth to flee from the United States. In order to have a Capitalist system you need available capital. You think it's hard for American businesses to raise funds and to get a bank loan now? Wait till a wealth tax comes out.

Further, it encourages whatever capital that does not flee to foreign shores to be spent as there would be little long term reason to save money anymore.

You may think that the leeching housewife isn't doing any good with her husband's millions but her bankers sure are using her money. Using it to make loans(and if the Fed Gov wasn't involved, probably typically good loans).

JG, you're generally on the up...but this idea has so many unintended consequences that I'd make it far worse than any income tax could hope to be.

6:40 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

JG:

Either argue a specific point or shut up. I don't care if you're a brilliant theorist - not when you are trying to bully.
5:16 PM, March 27, 2009


This is rich coming from the side that is about to burn London to the ground:

Anarachists threaten to lynch bankers, Burn London at G20 meeting

7:24 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Roman Wolf said...

You're idea is daft. Wealth taxation would only cause wealth to flee from the United States.

Interesting theory, but what about practice? Where will our rich people go? Singapore, Cayman Islands? I'm pretty sure there are limited slots abroad and not all of our rich people will be willing to learn a new language and live in a tropical climate to avoid the new wealth taxes. Let's face it, the taxes would have to get really crushing to provoke such a capital flight.

7:25 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

With all the world's governments trying to take their countries socialist, there won't be any tax shelters, any other countries to go to where things are better. That's the whole point, to equalize the misery of the masses.

One common currency as China, Russia, and now the U.N. are flapping about? There's only one step left after that.

They have us staring at the trees so we won't see the forest. Like I read somewhere else recently, we're going to wake up one morning and find ourselves in a cage - and not really know how we got there.

7:27 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

br549:

I feel like we are almost in a Twilight Zone episode. Remember the one where humans were kept in a house cage for the Martians? Or better yet - "To Serve Man"?

7:29 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger RR Ryan said...

Exactly. "It's a cookbook!"

7:50 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Alex,

In practice it would be even easier. Contrary to what's being said here, there will be countries that modify their tax policies to welcome the wealthy in the event of a wealth tax. Many groups of the rich wouldn't even be hit by one because they keep their wealth in a trust(the Kennedy family being the most noteworthy) unless you tax corporate wealth as well(which would be a disaster for R&D and the manufacturing sectors). Lastly, the way many wealthy people will pass on their wealth would be to simply hire their children and wife and pay them a salary. You may say that the wealthy will never bother and I'd say that your wrong. They already pursue elaborate ways to shelter their income and wealth(of course the most noteworthy example I can think of is the Kennedys).

Simply, a wealth tax would harm the very thing that we need most, investment, and encourage the very thing that would bring this country down, capital flight and frivolous spending.

Lastly, the reason why income is taxed is simple, it's easier than taxing wealth. And yet the IRS still has plenty of trouble enforcing their tax code with their neanderthal tactics. Wealth would simply be far harder to tax at the end of the day.

8:18 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

I almost forgot, if such a wealth tax was put in place and capital did indeed leave the United States it'd have much the same effect as a credit crisis(such as we have today or in the Great Depression).

Basically, credit supply would seize up, in this case by the simple lack of capital in banks. However, demand for good loans would remain high because of corporations wishing to invest in machinery to increase productivity and people wishing to buy homes or cars(as a personal matter, I'm against financing car purchases on the whole) to get to work.

Our current credit crisis is simply caused by the lack of liquidity and the inability of many to pay the loan that they received(and in my opinion, the bank should eat the cost or declare bankruptcy).

But in the end, both cause the same thing, a credit crisis.

8:30 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Roman - then the rich should have 100% of their assets confiscated if they engage in such un-American activities such as shirk their duties to other Americans.

9:00 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

Acksiom sez:

"... how is it not the case that she only kept the whole eBay sale price through unlawful tax evasion?"

-----

Let's see: She owns a necklace and sells it on eBay. What tax is she subject to?

As far as I can tell, there is no tax that she is evading.

9:01 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Sorry Alex, you're not even answering the primary question(if it would make the US economy better; I've quite clearly pointed out the massive problems with it), merely a secondary one(how to enforce such a tax, which has it's own problems).

Further, your answer doesn't even while it might solve the problem of enforcing it on people currently with amassed capital, it'll end up causing a brain drain. What smart entrepreneur would stay in the US with the next great invention only to get the wealth from his patent taxed out of him(either over time or when he dies)? Most entrepreneurs seek out money so they can give their kids better lives than they had.

Of course to solve that problem you can merely close the borders forever and never let people leave but that sorta kills what most us small government conservatives are about, doesn't it?

9:26 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Acksiom said...

Um. Dude. If she's a usa Citizen and doesn't report it, she's at the very least evading income tax. It doesn't matter whether the property is originally acquired through gift or purchase; the money received from its sale is still part of that year's income for the seller. That's why it's called "income" tax, instead of, say, "paid compensation for working tax".

Real-world forex: back in 2005 after my mother's collapse, I had to sell off about 3.5K worth of furnishings and antiques in order to both cover bills and reduce storage expenses. And yes that was considered income, and yes we were taxed on it.

To parallel JG's invalid example, if it had been 3.5K in sales of furnishings and antiques on eBay after having conned a desperately lonely old woman into giving them to me just by visiting her for a few hours a few times a year, would it still have been considered income?

Yeah, you damn skippy it would, and the same thing goes for that 17K necklace.

9:52 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

Acksiom:

You're neglecting the cost basis.

What would her income tax be on a necklace that she received as a gift that she immediately resells as a non-commercial seller on eBay (take any marginal rate you want)? What is her cost basis? 17-17=0.

10:03 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

The 3.5k worth of furnishings and antiques had a cost basis. If you actually reported the 3.5k as income (without deducting the cost basis) and actually paid income tax on that ... you better get an accountant dude. You're doing it wrong.

10:05 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

I'm not necessarily proposing a concrete new form of taxation, I was just stating a principle above that I feel is right (if given the choice, you should tax people who get their money without providing work or something in return instead of people who work or provide something for society).

That just seems utterly obvious to me from a moral point of view, and I am surprised that I get such opposition back.

As far as a concrete tax plan, I'd be happy with a national sales tax INSTEAD OF an income tax. At least the IRS would not be hassling individual people.

Everyone also seems to be opposed to that for some reason. I have no idea why, it would be great not to have to bare your soul the IRS and to keep all of the money you earn.

10:48 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

"Where will our rich people go?"

Anywhere they want to. They are rich.

Trey

10:56 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

I just want to stress:

There is a big difference between people who are rich from producing something and people who are rich just from a transfer (desired or not) of money from other people. Thomas Edison would be in the first category; Heather Mills would be in the latter category.

People who produce something - whether rich or getting rich - are worth retaining.

People in the second category have no value in terms of contributions to society. They are welcome to go to Singapore or wherever they want to go. Even the argument that their capital is doing something for society doesn't have much to do with where they live. You can live in the United States and invest in a company in Hong Kong or live in Hong Kong and invest in a company in the United States.

11:06 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

The issue I sometimes have with blanket statements about catering to "the rich" involves the following:

A LOT of people are in the second category above (in fact: the majority or vast majority, start with the fact that rich guys almost always have wives). They are pretty much worthless. Their capital is going to be invested somewhere in any case, no matter what they do, in fact no matter who it belongs to.

And I'm saying that because there seems to be some kind of unfettered worship of "the rich" on this board and other places without making a distinction between the two categories. The distinction is important.

11:12 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Acksiom said...

[sigh]

Of course I'm "neglecting" the cost basis. I'm also "neglecting" the gift tax for which the so-called geek might have been liable. Why? Because I don't know how much the basis was.

You're assuming that the basis of the necklace was 17K. I didn't. You shouldn't. Forex, if the so-called geek received it as a gift, the basis would have been set by the ownership of the giver, and could easily have been lower than the eBay sale price.

As to my real-world example, yes, of course there was an increase from the basis; that's why we were taxed on the income ITFP. The actual value of the pieces sold was considerably higher than 3.5K. I also "neglected" to include the appraisal, transport, and estate sale fees fees, too. Ya wanna bite at my ankles about that as well?

Likewise, that's also partially why I framed my parallel fictional example as a gift from a lonely old woman instead of an inheritance from her: because while inheritances do reset the basis, gifts don't.

But fine, whatever; my answer was insufficiently complete and less than satisfactorily phrased. Oh, the horror. The horror. The funky, funky horror.

There you go, littl'un; [Deborah Foreman voice] happy now?

Oh, and JG? We're still waiting for you to try to explain to us exactly how and why orphaned minors should get one red cent less than their parents' wealth, and also why life insurance policy payoffs should be taxed before income.

11:15 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

"We're still waiting for you to try to explain to us exactly how and why orphaned minors should get one red cent less than their parents' wealth, and also why life insurance policy payoffs should be taxed before income."

---

You're an intense guy, Acksiom, and also always self-righteously right. Kinda sorta.

I'm missing the impact of your questions.

With regard to orphans, aside from the sympathy angle, I don't quite get how they would differ from anyone else in the argument about receiving wealth that you didn't work for. If the parents didn't have any money, the state will be paying for the orphans. Philosophically, I just don't get your point.

With regard to life insurance policy payoffs, the idea is that the man (I assume the man) is buying a contract from post-tax money to have his wife supported in case he dies. You could argue that philosophically either way: He wants to have someone else support the lazy woman (sorry, but I'd never have that type of woman or buy life insurance for her, and my disgust has to be aired) ... or ... he's passing his wealth in that way. In any case, she's getting a free ride. Philosophically, that's what's happening.

As far as concrete taxes go, Congress could tax it or not.

11:25 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger JG said...

With regard to the necklace, I think the point is more that she is getting the GIFT tax free.

She then owns a necklace worth (let's say) 17,000.

Arguments about the mechanics of taxes on selling something she already owns are a diversion.

(But if she immediately resold it, I agree that that would be tangible proof of the market value of the thing, which would be exactly the cost basis because she JUST GOT IT, aside from the fact that non-power-seller people don't declare casual sales on eBay in reality. Tax = 0).

11:31 PM, March 27, 2009  
Blogger Acksiom said...

"You're an intense guy, Acksiom, and also always self-righteously right. Kinda sorta."

Kinda almost always, actually.

And it's really not so much self-righteousness. It's more a very quickly reached absence of patience with people's refusal to provide the simple, easy, obvious, and inescapable answers to questions that don't just happen to invalidate their positions.

After, y'know, way too many years of putting up with that already. Tank's dry, Rockatansky.

The orphaned minors differ meaningfully in that they're being unfairly penalized under your system because of how they couldn't be producing and contributing ITFP, what with being orphaned minors and all.

They differ in that they CAN'T WORK TO BEGIN WITH. Penalizing them for not working when they can't work simply isn't a sustainable proposition.

At the other end of the abstract line of reasoning here are the cryonics bettors who have had their heads frozen and their assets invested in trusts in the long gamble that someday science will make it possible to revive them. Where do they fit in your system?

As to life insurance policies, you assume incorrectly. Forex, a policy's beneficiary could be a non-profit activist organization such as NOCIRC. So why exactly should that non-profit's assets be taxed before the profits of a capitalist corporation are, let alone those of an individual Citizen?

The impact of my questions is simple: the only people you ever characterize your system as targeting is lazy housewives and such.

I keep presenting countercases of other people who would be negatively and unfairly impacted under your system -- caregivers like myself, orphaned minors, life insurance beneficiaries -- and you keep trying to drag it back around exclusively to lazy housewives and trust fund weenies and such, as though they're the only people who would be penalized.

Well, they aren't. That's the impact of my questions. And those are just the countercases that come to mind without making an effort.

As I said above, under your system, children would be apparently be taxed for receiving food, shelter, and clothing from their parents. How is that supposed to make sense? Children are, after all, the ultimate free riders in any society. At least old people can, in comparison, be expected to have some knowledge and wisdom resources to contribute, and maybe even a bit of production such as knitting or whittling. For the first few years, children just suck transferred resources down in huge gulping gulps with no contributing or productive returns whatsoever!

A ridiculous statement, yes, but only because of the ridiculousness of your original proposition, of which it is merely a obvious logical extension.

12:37 AM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

@JG: "As far as a concrete tax plan, I'd be happy with a national sales tax INSTEAD OF an income tax. At least the IRS would not be hassling individual people."

Now you're talkin'! Of course it would never happen, for the sole reason that moving from a tax on production to a tax on consumption disembowels Congress. The reason our current tax code occupies 12 feet of shelf space is that our elected representatives get to pick winners and losers, thus garnering both unlimited power and wealth in the form of "campaign contributions"

That's why such effluvia as farm subisidies - they're not for farmer Brown, but for Archer-Daniels-Midland. ADM is a huge political donor to both sides. Think corn, think ethanol, not only your garden is green - so are the Benjamins.

4:07 AM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

@JG: "People in the second category have no value in terms of contributions to society."

What - the rich don't spend their money, thus employing others for goods or services, boats, cars, real estate, jet fuel, haircuts?

Wealth envy is based on the false notion that wealth is a zero sum game. Just because you succeed does not mean I cannot. Wealth is produced, (and recently lost) in a complex society. It is not a fixed pie that can only be divided and redistributed. Economics 101.

4:12 AM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

It's pretty complicated, eh? I can only imagine what is yet undiscovered in the bailout plan. I still think tax shelters will become targets. Obama is already after Swiss banking. The powers that be are already making headway into sales tax applied to out of state Internet purchases. Bill Gates wants every single click of the mouse to cost us while surfing.

While what uncle ken says is true (about production of wealth) not too many understand or believe it. And an even smaller group is capable of doing it. The answer in their eyes is to confiscate it and spread it around. It is much easier to confiscate income than it is wealth. Our paychecks are raped and ravaged before we even get them.

I still don't know why it is called a "sales tax." Easier to make the consumer swallow it, I suppose. It's a purchase tax. As long as a company is managed well enough, all costs are passed to the consumer. Always have been.

6:08 AM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

I just got this book yesterday. Ordered it from Barnes and Noble, after seeing that it was already No. 1 on Amazon, I thought I would increase its sales elsewhere.

Just started reading it this morning, and after only a few pages I have to say it is very succinct and well written, cogent in its analysis and irrefutable in its argument.

As far as these TEA parties go, I don't think there are any down here in South Texas where I live. Or at least I haven't heard of any. But if there were one, would I go to it? I'm not sure. It would depend on where it was held and how much work I had to do at the time.

While I certainly agree that conservatives need to become better organized politically in order to resist and reverse the ongoing encroachment of Statism and its concommitant attack on individualism, freedom and liberty, I'm not exactly sure how that can come about. As Levin points out, in his first chapter, there is no definitive conservative movement, but rather several competing philosophies striving for dominance--paleo-con, neo-con, social con, libertarian, Randian. Without a leader who can bring these disparate groups together into one over-arching movement, I don't see how it can work. More's the pity.

But, you know, it was the same at the Founding, lots of competing philosophies that finally came to agreement on a certain set of principles. So I guess it could happen. But it will take a singular moment, which means a specific time when the people come to know and understand that their freedom and liberty is really and truly at stake. Perhaps we are approaching that time now, I don't know. But when it becomes painfully obvious to the American people that they can either come together and fight to preserve their country or lose it altogether, then the shit will hit the fan, as it were.

Anyway, as to the above comments, I find it rather tedious how one unnamed commentator continues to hog the blog, and isn't very well liked because of it, and because of the inanity of his comments, which are unworthy of responding to. However, I will take issue with Roman Wolf's diagnosis of the current economic crisis, because it is incorrect.

This is not a liquidity problem. This is a solvency problem. The major banks, particularly Citigroup and Bank of America, are insolvent. Pumping liquidity into them is not going to solve the problem, merely prolong their inevitable collapse and thereby increase the pain. They need to be seized, broken up, recapitalized and reprivatized.

For anyone interested in understanding the financial crisis, there is no better place to go than here.

http://baselinescenario.com/

Especially important is the link to their article in the Atlantic, titled The Silent Coup. This is an absolute must read. There are also articles in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair along the same line.

What is happening is this. The financiers are looting the taxpayers to prop up the shareholders of insolvent banks, with the willing help of their accomplices in the federal government. And that will not end well.

An informed populace is a free populace. The price for freedom is eternal vigilance. And the tree of liberty must be nourished from time to time by the blood of patriots and tyrants. Or something like that.

9:41 AM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

How about just going Constitution?

Repeal the 17th amendment. Repeal income tax. Make the commerce clause mean what it says; Congress may regulate only actual interstate commerce and foreign trade.

Our system was designed to put checks and balances on those in power and to stymie their ability to become what they have become. That system is out-of-whack due to romantic and naive notions about direct democracy and the socialist impulses of governments, both liberal and allegedly conservative.

12:11 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Roman Wolf said...

Gawain,

You're correct. I actually meant to say solvency and not liquidity. Then explain a solvency crisis...not liquidity. As I've said, the banks aren't too big to fail, they're too big not to fail(simplistic yes, but it gets the political point across).

It's been a bit of a long week for me. So please forgive my error.

12:21 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger vnjagvet said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:21 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger vnjagvet said...

The only time I got involved in group protest was in September 2004 when I participated in a Vietnam Veterans' demonstration in DC opposing Kerry's election for President.

The protest exceeded the organizer's attendance expectations and was a very satisfying experience; especially sweet in November when vets overwhelmingly supported President Bush and Kerry lost out on his attempt to report for duty again.

The cost of a round trip from Atlanta, a night in a hotel, and even the coronary arrest I suffered the Monday after I returned were all well worth it.

The tea parties seem to be tapping a wider distribution of the population than the VN Vets' 2004 anti-Kerry movement. The changes BHO, Pelosi and Reid are trying to effect are a real threat to a way of life many of us are committed to.

It sounds like Mark provides a well thought out philosophical base for the tea party movement. I hope it catches on even more.

6:28 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger MD said...

What are you people protesting against exactly?

I'm attending my local April 15th protest to encourage Republicans to revert to fiscal conservatism. When they regain power in a couple years, I want them to be led by people like Jeff Flake and Paul Ryan, not Trent Lott and Ted Stevens.

9:34 PM, March 28, 2009  
Blogger Franco said...

Because conservatives aren't normally protesters, attendance at these rallies send a significant message. Their continued growth sends another message.

At some point it does become meaningless, like the endless protests of the left (though the media makes fine use of them for propaganda purposes) but we aren't there yet. How 'bout growing to at least the point where the MSM is forced cover them?

As to the other debate here, sorry I couldn't read it all - but people have a right to earn on behalf of their children and while I would support a small 10% inheritance tax, in a free economy those children will either maintain or build on the parents wealth and enterprise, or transfer the wealth to someone else, who will pay taxes on the transfer as income anyway.

8:17 AM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Adrian said...

Good grief. There are two kinds of people in society: producers and nonproducers. For the nonproducers to exist, there must be some mechanism by which wealth is transferred from the producers to the nonproducers. So, yes, even if you taxed the nonproducers exclusively, it would just cause that mechanism to kick in and transfer more wealth from the producers to the nonproducers. All taxes are ultimately taxes on producers, because they are quite simply the only ones that can pay any tax of any kind. If nothing else, they will simply end up giving the nonproducers what they need in order to pay the tax.

With all that said, though, JG was clearly not talking about any of that, so bringing that kind of stuff up ("So would you tax children, then, simply for existing??") is kind of non sequitur and argumentative.

11:35 AM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger michaelt said...

I agree that this is about more than Levin's book. It's about public engagement and it has much of the character, albeit mature, of 60-70 era protests. Only this time it is not a clash of generations but a clash of ideals.

My son was one of the organizers of the Cincinnati Tea Party. He and people of like character, ideals and commitment are the next great generation. They are standing up and being counted against significant odds. Perhaps we will see a return of the era of Statesmen and not simply politicians.

12:11 PM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger By The Sword said...

Rich people don't pay taxes. They buy off the politicians and the rest of us pay the taxes. The rich have already gone "galt".

1:15 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

by the sword, you blade's a little dull. But of course, you know your opening statement above isn't true anyway.

So are you mad because of your false belief that "rich people don't pay taxes", or mad because you're not rich?

A good friend of mine gambled everything he had and started an industrial distribution business four years ago. It has taken 16 hour days, 6 days a week for those 4 years to get his business going. A lot of no money left, with lots of month left. He now employs over 20 people, making good wages, who did not have jobs before he took that chance. He also employs another 10 people who are making considerably more money than they were making before coming to work with him at his fledgling business. He now pays more in taxes per year than I earn in a year. Equally, he could have lost everything he owned, and came close more than once.

Trust me, if you walked into his place of business with the attitude you have, his employees would laugh at you, and show you the door.

And trust me, the government didn't do a damned thing to help him.

6:39 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

Br549:

If it's a direct line from start to finish, and if you worship "rich people" (as you do), then why are you telling a story about SOMEONE ELSE and not about yourself?

You just have to want to be rich and then put a little elbow grease into it. Since you are droning on about the virtues of rich people, why aren't you rich?

And you forgot the next part of the story: The guy was putting in so many hours that his wife divorced him - she got a good chunk of his assets, part of his income stream (alimony) AND half ownership in the company since it was started after the marriage and is thus community property.

She went on to bring the company down, but the guy didn't care anymore because he was depressed and suicidal. A heart attack ended it, but at least the ex-wife didn't get the crumbs that remained because they were already divorced.

9:55 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger Alex said...

Live by the sword, DIE by the sword!

9:57 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

Sometimes rich people don't pay taxes. Howard Hughes was pretty famous for giving "direct contributions" to candidates and getting something in return (one of them - with a cloud over him in the 1950s, but it was never really proven - was Richard Nixon).

In one case, Hughes didn't want to pay a particularly odious transfer tax. This is unbelievable, but true (find out about it): A bill was passed with a small rider that people in a particular small group by characteristics(which Howard Hughes was a part of) didn't have to pay the tax. It was just stuck on to the end of a large bill, and apparently (as we saw recently), congressmen don't read the bills anyway.

As an example.

And there is a reason why the tax laws and regulations are so complex - they could be really simple - and that's because concessions are made to people and businesses. That's how it works.

10:00 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

I'm not going to hold my breath until br549 explains why, if you only need the motivation to get rich and some elbow grease, he is not rich.

But I will say that the worship of the "rich" on the part of some people here is childish.

If you really had some money yourself, you would see that there is nothing magical about it, and it doesn't make you a God. EVEN IF you earned it yourself.

Childish.

10:03 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger uncle ken said...

@Adrian "There are two kinds of people in society: producers and nonproducers. For the nonproducers to exist, there must be some mechanism by which wealth is transferred from the producers to the nonproducers."

Oh, really? If we posit a society in which no mechanism existed to transfer wealth, aside from voluntary familial sharing, enlightened charity etc., I suspect we might see a rapid reduction in the numbers of non-producers. Production would soar.

As evidence I cite the destruction of African-American familial society and the rise of the multigenerational matriarchal welfare dependency associated with the War On Poverty, which we have now waged for 40 years.

The War, and Poverty continue. Yet you persist in advocating forcible enslavement of the productive ("there must be some mechanism by which wealth is transferred").

Slavery consists of the forcible theft of one man's life for another's benefit. Socialism also consists of the forcible theft of one man's life for another's benefit, but you get some time off for good behavior.

Lincoln, where are you now that we need you?

10:24 AM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

It's OK to breathe MB. I'm not rich, but I make a good living. Evidently more than you, if you have time to post during business hours. I mean, if you want to throw barbs.

Worship is a harsh word. But yes, I respect people who have built a business from nothing, taking the chances this fellow took for instance. He believes in himself, and went for it. He now employs over thirty people. All of them doing better than they were before, many by a long shot. I think that's great. Small business employs the majority of people in this country.

But what's your point? I fail to understand what you are driving at.

12:37 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Perhaps we need to define paying taxes a little bit, too. There is no one in this country who pays no taxes. There is no way to avoid that.

12:40 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

Br549:

"... if you have time to post during business hours."

---

First off, I'm not in the United States - different time zone. Secondly, I suspect there are some people in the world who have the time to make a post - even during business hours - and are still rich.

Your attempt at a "barb" isn't even logical. Or funny.

---------

"But what's your point?"

---------

You represent "getting rich" as a function of elbow grease (long hours).

Since you "worship" (I agree it's not precise, but I can't think of a better word right now) rich people, I don't know why you wouldn't want to get rich yourself. And if you wanted to, all you have to do is put your shoulder to the wheel and your nose to the grindstone.

So why haven't you? Are you just some kind of vicarious voyeur?

12:53 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

And if your answer is some kind of an admission that there is some kind of luck that is also involved - in addition to the hard work - then how much?

If there's just a little involved, you must be a hard-luck fellow if you worship the rich so much and want to be with those cool people.

If a lot is involved, why are you worshiping them?

12:56 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

It is much more than elbow grease and long hours. And I may well be wealthy in comparison to you, considering the anger you are harboring against "the rich" for some reason.

I would have to go back through my posts and read between the lines I wrote to retrieve what you have read from them. Perhaps some day, as the threads are logged.

You are not in the U.S. You are not an American? Then you may not understand how I personally feel about an individual who has made something of himself (herself) through effort and will, and happens to employ many others at the same time. Yes, I think it's great - as I said. Jealous? Angry? I'm happy for him. This particular nation came into being because of people willing to take the chance to cross the big pond in the hopes of a better life. I am hopeful it will return to those ideals.

I don't know why you're mad at me, and couldn't care less. I don't know what you're trying to draw me into, but I'm not biting. The fact you're not a citizen of the U.S. and a neighbor just means your opinion doesn't move the needle on my give a shit meter one little bit.

5:32 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger MB said...

"The fact you're not a citizen of the U.S. ..."

---

I know you're not a feminist but you have the same kinds of illogical leaps and assumptions as they do. One false assumption after another.

I didn't say I wasn't a US citizen. I said I'm not in the United States (right now).

Since my opinion doesn't mean anything to you, I'll let you get back to your worship.

6:05 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger CubicZirconiaJim said...

Wow! What a difference a few months make. Infighting, rancor, and posturing over who is the 'randiest'! This is so ripe for just deserts.

I do not know where to begin so I will remind everyone that (casino/crony style) capitalism, particularly in the financial sector brought us to this precipice. Yes those Masters of the Universe lost their shirts and flew in, cap in hand, to big DC.

You libertarians can gnash your teeth but it does not change the fact. Left wing, so-called, statists had nothing to do with this one. Castro did not send the stock market into a tailspin. Neither did your version of the 'enemy within'. This falls clearly at the feet of bipartisan Washington/Wall Street fat cats.

Ms. Rand would be so proud. Were it not for peak oil which we only had an appetizer for last summer (and Knoxville TN USA broke all previous records, remember?) coupled with global warming which Rush said was a hoax like the hole in the ozone...Cabalitism might sputter along for another generation. But when there is no fast food and precious little food at all; no basic services a la Iraq, the G-20 protests will look like a Sunday afternoon 'tea' social. And, yes, despite Secret Service contrived any and all available police brutality, Leftist progressives are quite skilled at making protests fun as well as serious.

All the best!

10:51 PM, April 01, 2009  
Blogger peter.w said...

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10:20 AM, May 01, 2009  

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