Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bill Whittle has a brilliant piece up at PJM: A message to the rich. I agree with every word.


Blogger Derve Swanson said...

I don't know Helen...

I got the point you liked, but it wasn't well written and near the end there, it got tiring to continue reading.

Here's an idea: why don't the people feeling "used" or unwanted who have the money to do so, just choose different paths for themselves?

This whole "I'm leaving and you can't make me stay and pay!!" is starting to get the tinge of a childish runaway to me.

Do they want to be held and comforted? Appreciated for what they have, and recognized/patted on the back for making good?

But, life doesn't do that. You get your thanks and feeling of validation from within -- from your own family and community and the intrinsic enjoyment your choices can afford you.

So if one is unhappy and wants to make changes, why the need for the angry sputtering at others? Just go on that vacation, take that sabbatical, choose early retirement if the time/effort to work are no longer meaningful and the belly is no longer hungry each morning to get up, out and at 'em?

As it is, rants like that really do remind me of suicidal people, who are just absolutely convinced of the pain they'll be causing with their absence, and the underlying belief that life just won't go on as before once they're gone, and boy you'll really miss me then.

Whether it was liberals making similar threats under GWB, or now, I say: "Go. Find a better place if America's promise is no longer holding true to your needs and you think your life would be better elsewhere."

"Take all that money and go be free if you can, to find all the money happiness can buy you."

See, it is possible to ACT without all the melodrama nonsense about making changes to a lifestyle or otherwise just up and leaving.

4:11 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Helen said...


And what different path would that be? If one is successful, the government confiscates your earnings? The childish part is people like you who like the idea of taking from others and giving it to someone who has not earned it. That is the ultimate in adolescent behavior, something that Whittle pointed out and I agree with.

4:15 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

Mary sez:

"We need to stimulate the private sector; instead of penalizing people for providing for their own children by forcing them to pay via taxes to subsidize others, we need to reward their choices and sacrifices by performing so well."


"Everyone who is honest knows that it's much easier to spend and create government goodies, than it is to scale back once the hardest times are over. See Social Security, which was intended to be a temporary government program afterall.

The immigrants get it. The developing countries are hungry too. Sometimes a little hunger, drive and pride can get you places. Worked for me!"


Cool blog, Mary.

4:45 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

The childish part is people like you who like the idea of taking from others and giving it to someone who has not earned it.

Oh my, helen. You've overstepped there, but let me quickly correct you:

In no way do I support Obama's redistribution policies. Is that clear enough for you?

My quibble is that this continuous whine of "I'm going Galt. I'm not working anymore if you're going to tax my earnings -- it's not worth it!!!" needs to be acted on, and not just whined about.

So go. If indeed it's not worth it for you to work over $250,000, check out, buy yourself some nice vacation property, and well ... get yourself a new life. One you CAN be happy with.

But to continue week after week with the "threats" of quitting/leaving/dropping out? I don't get it -- are those people waiting for Timothy Leary to come take them by the hand and lead them on to a life of leisure, or at least fulfillment in ways the government can't touch?

Do you honestly believe that the government controls one's right to be happy -- that with enough money, time and freedom, those ACTIONS can't be actually carried out? (dropping out and establishign something fulfilling?)

That link was a guy whining about how he was poor, struggled, made it, and now doesn't want to pay taxes and continue that lifestyle because of the parasites on him. So shake them off already!

If he really is as successful as he seems, and all these people threatening to go Galt with the means to do so, is it that they've been so tethered to the system for so long, that once released, they really don't know where to run, what to do with themselves, or how to survive on their earnings without income coming in?

I thought those were the kinds of things you learned, or at least planned for, in your teens and early 20s -- what you'd do for your own personal happiness once you made it big.

This whole Galt movement sadly is coming off as "old people with money who can't buy freedom or happiness and instead get some satisfaction about complaining".

I too am against Obama's policies, but I've never given up my life and freedoms to the extent of some going Galt. So I'm not so affected as personal fulfillment has always been a biggie for me/mine up here.

Just act. If you're not sure how, let the freedoms guide you once you walk away. I still am unclear how you and Glenn can "go Galt" though, considering the age of your child and your career obligations. If so, then I guess it's understandable why there's so much talking about freedom, but no real practicing of it.

All the best, helen, just wanted to make clear you've confused me for an Obama supporter, when I'm really just a Galt-action encourager, sick of the talk.

4:47 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Thanks Laura.

I try, though sometimes people don't understand independent thinking, and are quick to label you on this side or that.

For the record, I'm on the side of person freedom. Practiced daily. And luckily, when my needs and wants are met and we've got enough in security savings, we're really not money people or too materialistic.

So it's easy to live a freer life I think, since we own things (ie/my 95 Corsica, small kayaks, a truck, etc.) but our things don't own us. Key distinction, imho, since so many end up on a treadmill living high, but then having to put in the hours to pay for it.

Thx again Laura!

4:52 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Mary, I read your most recent post on your blog, and it was great.

There is a VERY different tone when you write over there. When I read your stuff over here, especially lately, it reads like you have a chip on your shoulder. Not over at your blog that I could see. How come?


6:11 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

As a woman, Trey, you have to be on the defensive here. I've never tricked anyone into pregnancy, never taken a man for his money (we actually still go dutch -- and keep the paying equally,myturn yours as we are equally employed), and I try to be a practicing Christian ... but there is so much hatred in the generalizations against women here, and other groups too.

Half the time, I am just stepping in to write "hey, there might be another side you people ever consider?" because the reasoning and arguments here are so one-sided.

Mostly, I don't like seeing anyone generalize that the good old days are gone, and men and boys must play the societal victim role. They're not -- plenty of outdoor skills, honest sports play, and freedom in plenty parts of America. I think helen and Glenn in their more elite positions in the academy might not be seeing that at all, and are unnecessarily painting all men as victims and all women as victimizers.

If you don't like something, fine change it. Don't just complain ad nauseum. Mostly, we can change our actions in response to wrongdoing, and still walk away happy and free, not forced under another's control -- govt, jobwise, or in personal circumstances.

So you don't like the wife you married? Admit your mistake, pay for your offspring, and find a way out. But don't hate on all women because you chose poorly. (generic you -- Trey accepts responsibility and I don't think plays the victim card.)

Don't like your job or career choice? Go back to school, or otherwise find a different position. Happens to a lot of people.

I don't like blaming unhappiness in one's work role on the Obama administration tax policy, if indeed the person was voicing complaints about the benefits of the profession before Obama even stepped in. It was like the Medicare opt-out threat: if you don't like the government compensation, opt out and practice competitively controlling your choices. Don't moan that the government isn't paying you enough for the good work you do. (or moan for a while, and then change yourself not expecting society or the taxpayers to accommodate your career choices.)

Everyone is replaceable in life. Life goes on. It's not the working class' fault, not women's fault, not gay's fault, not Catholics' fault. It's the fault of people who want to make decisions and then not stand by them.

You make a choice, you take a risk, you create a baby, then you follow it through. Period. Get yourself out, but don't whine and expect others to play clean up. (ie/I'm sympathetic to men who are "trapped" by women getting pregnant, but my sympathies remain with male taxpayers who never take that risk and lie unprotected -- knowingly or not -- with such a woman. Either your judgment failed, or you put 18 years salary at risk for that momentary pleasure. Sorry, but why should taxpayers have to pay for your error?

Ditto those who chose fields that now make them unhappy. Save up a little every paycheck, and one day, you'll be free to find something you still do like to do.

In short, the victim mentality sickens me, and it seem like we're encouraging men now to play that role, like so many women did. I think both helen and Glenn -- through their blogs -- have an incentive to play men this way.

6:27 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Like, where the hell did this come from? Because I post here under a woman's name??? You'd be defensive here too, but I won't keep that from letting me read the offerings.

MB said...
I see Mary out on the porch of the plantation, sipping lemonade and watching the slaves work. Her husband paid for the plantation, and the slaves do all the work on it. She sips lemonade and watches them to pass the time (and she posts on the Internet).

"Why I do declare that some slaves are grown up and know their place. They do their duties and like it. They are the good ones and the other slaves should listen to their advice. Other slaves are trying to get out of their duties."

Mary pauses as she takes another sip of lemonade.

"You listen to a good Christian woman like me. I've got the best interests of those slaves at heart. I'm only telling them what's right."

6:31 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger tomcal said...

I'm with Mary, if you want to leave, quit talking about it and just go. I've tried it, and encourage others to do so as well.

What I learned is that here in the U.S. I am happier than anywhere else, and I haven't lost hope that the remedies against tyrannical government put in place by the Founders will kick in.

And in case anyone is wondering, I am not talking about armed revolution, all sorts of other actions will be taken by the citizenry long before it would come to that.


8:44 PM, April 08, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Mary -- all of the budding young John Galts have to just take action and quit telling everyone ad nauseum about how they're going to do it and how everyone is going to be really, REALLY sorry when the world is denied the talents of [fill in the blank].

Secondly, I think it's OK for (maybe young, gullible) people to have a "hero" and role model in rich people. Not the real ones, and not the REAL way they made their money, but kind of the theoretical ones in movies. Take a close-up look at where the Kennedy money came from, for instance.

But ...

This worship that I see and this thinking that they are some kind of superior species or whatever are just silly. Lots and lots of it here for some reason; it seems to be motivated and initiated by Helen.

I personally don't get it. Apparently some of the people here have not had contact with real, live "rich people", and they are basing everything on what they see on TV or something.

9:00 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

You know, the ironic thing about all of this talk of people leaving the country to avoid being unfairly taxed under penalty of death is that even if you leave the country you are still taxed. Even if you leave and renounce your citizenship, the US government will still hunt you down like an animal and tax you at gunpoint:,,id=97245,00.html.

Unless you totally withdraw from all economic activity involving the US, you will be taxed. Good luck with that.

10:08 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Peter Dane said...

No threats. I did it.

I have mine, nine people are now out jobs, and 6 houses sold. 2 to my kids, and four to developers. That's six less houses for people to live it.

Made a killing. Banked it. Saw it coming and got out before the market tanked winter before last.

Savings and interest? Yeah, not just the next few years, but it's early retirement and leaving some for the kids to boot.

Ya'll have fun with your recession. Lemme know how it works out for ya, 52. We are NOT in this together, nor are we countrymen as far as I am concerned.

Hiklarious thing is - I will be getting tax refunds for the foreseeable future, and have pretty much decided to start tapping the gubbmint tit my damn self. Vote buying liberal giveaway money going to a rich white conservative. LOL!

THAT is entertainment!

Not what I am GONNA do. What I have done and AM doing.

11:09 PM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Good on ya, Pete.

Remember: the inherent value of freedom is its own intrinsic worth. If it's good, it's good. And it doesn't get any better if you have to show if off or if others are envious.

The intrinsic worth of freedom is the fun you're having when nobody is looking! No status marketing needed. We should teach our kids that more when they're young, I think. Probably gets harded to realize as you get older and more brainwashed into what one should find enjoyable in society.

Good luck, Pete.

5:21 AM, April 09, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you an mary have the same psychiatrist? Just read a little of you blog, that's all.

6:00 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Hi br549:

Thanks for visiting my blog!

I don't believe in psychiatrists myself, or medications like happy pills. Do you?

Did I write something above that made you unhappy? Jealous? Or am I misreading your snark?

8:18 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

I have seen the right medication really help people. There are non-medical interventions I like to try first, but especially for serious mental illness like schizophrenia, the meds are a blessing the vast majority of the time in my experience.


9:53 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Hey, everybody's got to make a living Trey. We understand. But like religion, not everybody believes in everybody else's miracles and religions. But hey -- if it works for you...

10:25 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger jimbino said...

I'm an American writing from my second home in Rio de Janeiro, the marvelous city in a rich country full of opportunity, where kids can play real games without being driven to them in SUVs by helicopter parents.

I'm not rich, but I'd sure as hell take an offer not to participate in the USSA socialist state that pretends to have the right to tax me on earnings outside its borders and who has already taxed me for Medicare and Medicaid that are not available outside its borders.

In return for leaving the USSA, I expect to be bought out of participation in Medicare, so that I can seek my own healthcare privately on the Brazilian market, where care is free or much cheaper and where I don't have to spend $100 on a doc to give me a $20 prescription for three Mebendazol tabs that I can get two blocks away free at the local clinic.

10:33 AM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Mary wrote: "Hey, everybody's got to make a living Trey."

Mary, you make a repetitive mistake concerning my posts: you routinely think I am only talking from my perspective.

I cannot prescribe medicine. It is against the law for me to administer medicine. I have never made a nickle off medicine. I am an ologist, not an iatrist if you will.

Same for when you thought I was suggesting that people get married at 25 because that was my perspective. My perspective would be to get married at 30, because that is when I was mature enough to get married. Maybe. On a good day.

But I posted the age 25 because the research shows that marriages at that age are typically MUCH more succesful than ones that occur earlier.

Now it is my experience, and there is ample research, showing that psychiatric medications save lives. Misprescribed and/or abused, they ruin lives. That is why I only refer to conservative psychiatrists who do not throw meds at people.

And I find it interesting that you would confuse my knowledge and acceptance of the benefits of medical treatment with my Evangelical Christian faith. That confuses me, I think you are conflating some things. I think that most people here know me as a Christian, although I tend to not write about that much because it is not often a topic. Over at Althouse I probably write more about that because spirituality and religion come up more.

But for the record, I am able and prone to use more than just my perspective and self-interest when posting. I am good that way. 8)

I appreciate our on line friendship, and as a friend, wanted you to know me a little better. I hope you return the favor.


1:58 PM, April 09, 2009  
Blogger Derve Swanson said...

Actually, I have/had no knowledge of your religion, evangelical Christian or otherwise.

It was an analogy, that if you read closer, I think you'll see.

Some people swear by the miracles of their profession, and that is fine and good for them imo. Just like some people swear by the miracles of their faith, and that is fine and good for them. People can respect that it's working for those people, but not accept it overall.

Ditto your advice upthread to the 18 year old. I'm sorry you didn't like being called on the generic prescription "wait until you are 25." As both I and another woman pointed out, that's poor advice for plenty of mature people who marry (even nowadays) well under 25 and stick together. It doesn't matter what your studies say, or your own personal advice that is true to you. Those people have lived it.

Sometimes Trey you come across as a know it all. You surely are entitled to your opinions, and you are welcome to stick by them when faced with people who disagee. But we also are free to give the expert label and the studies and data to which you refer, equal weight with what we have seen and lived. Personally, I think giving "set age levels are this" advice is silly because it discounts individuality. It would be a shame if you literally taught your children that, and they rejected someone good in their lives to marry at 22 or 23. But your family, your expertise. Something tells me though, at those ages, you will soon realize how much individuality your children will have and how much they too can discount your expert data and numbers if they find the truth in reality to be different.

A good man stays humble, I bet your faith teaches that too.

8:16 AM, April 11, 2009  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

I agree with the frustration expressed in Bill's opinion piece, and can understand it.

However, those who threaten to go Galt should actually try and start making plans. Good luck with that. Other countries have taxes too, or lack of freedom, or enough instability to require you to hire a private security force. The first world countries have more restrictive immigration policies.

I have a leftie friend with unspecified health problems threatening to move to Europe. I asked her, which country, and how's your application for immigration going? Of course she can't get in legally. I also informed her that I owe my life to being in America (and the decisions and frustrated opportunities that led up to that)--because the NHS won't pay for the lifesaving treatment I received. They have a fixed budget and it's too expensive, doncha know.

"Utopia" means "nowhere."

Latin America is trending more left and socialist and there's lots of popular sentiment against wealthy white Europeans (that includes Americans).

There's a really informative website out there written by someone who survived the social collapse that happened in Argentina as a result of the financial collapse. Lots of really good advice to keep in mind in case you flee to Latin America and it all goes to hell.

1:08 PM, April 11, 2009  
Blogger kentuckyliz said...

Just to clarify:

I think we should have the lowest business and personal taxes in the world, and immigration policies aimed at skimming the cream from the world's talent and attracting them here. Our immigration policy is all upside down!

The USA should be the world's tax haven, the society of liberty and opportunity and the place where creative talented people want to go to establish their businesses.

Tax haven countries serve a valuable purpose, to rein in the tyrannical impulses of high taxation statist states.

Let's get all the world's John Galts to come here!!!

1:12 PM, April 11, 2009  
Blogger michael farris said...

"immigration policies aimed at skimming the cream from the world's talent and attracting them here"

Isn't this close to the definition of being a free rider? Getting the fruits of productive adults without having any of the expenses of raising/educating them? Is that really what the US is supposed to be about?

4:18 PM, April 11, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:32 PM, April 11, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Mary wrote: "Sometimes Trey you come across as a know it all."

I have heard that before. It is not something I relish or intend, but I have read it too many times to think it is not true.

I will work on that. I hope you will keep me honest about it.

"I'm sorry you didn't like being called on the generic prescription "wait until you are 25."

Sorry, I was not clear. I have no problem with your disagreeing with me, it was your statement that the asked for advice came from my own experience. As I said, I was NOT ready for marriage at 25. I did not even know I was not ready for it. 30 would have worked for me I think.

I was sharing data, not personal experience. It seems to me that you dig me about my personal life when you disagree with me at times.

I bet it has at least something to do with my coming across as a know it all asshole. But then, as I work on that, I am counting on you to point it out.

Thanks for responding. Have a wonderful Easter.


7:01 PM, April 12, 2009  
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