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Sucking Up to the Bankers: A Bipartisan Lovefest

Posted on Jul 29, 2008
Obama and economic advisers
AP photo / Jae C. Hong

Sen. Barack Obama meets with his economic advisers Monday in Washington. From left: former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, Obama, Service Employees International Union Chair Anna Burger, former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine.

By Robert Scheer

This is a time to condemn the bankers, not to embrace them. They are the scoundrels who got us into the biggest economic mess since the Great Depression, lining their own pockets while destroying the life savings of those who trusted them. Yet both of our leading presidential candidates are scrambling to enlist not only the big-dollar contributions but, more frighteningly, the “expertise” of the very folks who advocated the financial industry deregulations at the heart of this meltdown.

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Republican candidate John McCain even appointed as his campaign co-chairman Phil Gramm, who went from being chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, where he sponsored disastrous legislation that empowered the banking bandits, to becoming one of them at UBS Warburg. Gramm was forced to resign from McCain’s campaign only after he went public with his contempt for the financial concerns of ordinary Americans, calling them “whiners” and perpetrators of a “mental recession.”

But Gramm and the Republicans couldn’t have done it without the support of leading Democrats. The most egregious of Gramm’s legislative favors to the financiers took the form of legislation named in part after him—the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which became law only after then-Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin prevailed upon President Clinton to sign the bill. The bill’s immediate major effect was to legitimize the long-sought merger between Citibank and insurance giant Travelers. Rubin’s critical support for the bill was rewarded with an appointment, within days of its passage, to a top job at Citibank (later Citigroup) paying more than $15 million a year.

That is the same Rubin with whom Democratic candidate Barack Obama met, along with other influential advisers, on Tuesday to figure out what to do about the sorry state of our economy. But what in the world did he expect to learn from Rubin? And why did he appoint Rubin’s protégé, Jason Furman, who ran the Rubin-funded Hamilton Project, to be the Obama campaign’s economic director? Hopefully, during their encounter Tuesday, Rubin offered himself as a contrite model of everything that the candidate of change needs to change.

After all, Goldman Sachs, where Rubin spent 25 years of his business career before entering the Clinton administration, has been one of the prime corporate villains in the financial shenanigans that led to the subprime mortgage scandal. As co-chairman of the firm, surely he had knowledge of the financial hanky-panky that would prove so disastrous down the road. Indeed, as Treasury secretary, he favored an extension of the deregulation that enabled this explosion of banking avarice. Not surprisingly, the current Treasury secretary, Henry Paulson, also previously headed Goldman.


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When Rubin assumed a top position at Citibank after his stint at the Treasury, he was not above influencing his former employees in the government. In one notorious instance during the fall of 2001, when Enron was going down the tubes Rubin telephoned a Treasury undersecretary and asked him to consider intervening with credit-rating agencies to hold off downgrading Enron’s ratings. When the story was leaked, some media accounts noted the possibility of a conflict of interest because Enron owed Citibank $750 million, which it could not pay if bankrupt.

Despite his skills and his vaunted position as Citibank’s chairman, Rubin was not spared the disastrous consequences of Citibank’s own wild financial manipulations, which, if anything, exceeded those of Enron. Tens of billions in bad mortgage and credit card debt placed the bank at the forefront of the current economic crisis, and so it is weird that Obama would now turn to Rubin for advice.

It’s even weirder that the presumptive Democratic nominee would pick Rubin’s man Furman as his campaign economic director at a time when cleaning up the mess left by the bankers is the highest priority. Furman hardly distinguished himself four years ago in that role in John Kerry’s failed presidential campaign, with its muffled economic message that could not be blamed on the candidate’s stiff style alone.

The bigger problem is that folks such as Rubin and Furman, perhaps best known as an economist for his bold but woefully misguided defense of the Wal-Mart business model, clearly do not feel the pain of the voters who are losing their homes.

But then again, why should Rubin, or Gramm on the Republican side, be expected to care when he has made so many millions off the suffering of those voters? Not good at a time when we need a presidential candidate who sticks it to the bankers instead of sucking up to them.

Robert Scheer is author of a new book, “The Pornography of Power: How Defense Hawks Hijacked 9/11 and Weakened America.”

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By chuckie2u, August 6, 2008 at 6:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who has the guts to investigate the Bankers? It would be nice to know the players in the Federal Reserve system and who is raking in the cash. The current subprime mess is being HELPED by the TAX payer with the money going back into the pockets of the people who caused the problem in the first place.
It is always the same,the public gets the screw job and the bankers and politicians get the money.

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By KDelphi, August 4, 2008 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

I should explain some stuff. Obama’s is “just fine”—your standard politician—no, in the last 2-3 mos., he’s shown himself to be worse than the avg. (Guns, death penalty, FISA, Iraq—OUT IMMEDIATELY—I mean, l6 mnos….; is he “better than McCain? Yeah, probably. But I dont honestly think we even know. The “fans”, the press, NO ONE has demanded ANYTHIGN of him. He seems to be a “nice guy”. He’s smart (maybe we need a NON Blue Blood for a change, eh??_)He has “a beautiful famiLy”. OK—now, can you honestly (go back to 1999 in your mind) say that most people did NOT think these things abou tDubya? Is Obama like W?? NO!! Nobody (so far) is!!NOT Bush or McCain is not a qualification. I would be ALOT better than W. Everyone says Dubya is “stupid”—no he’s not. He’s worse than useless. He’s an asshole, murderer, spoiled—I cant say how much I detest him. I would like a person who is/has been POOR before. I’d like someone who went to BumFuck State. I’d like someone not a multi-milllionaire. I’d like public finanacing so more people could run. I want an END to the two-party system of aristocrats. I want a return to eh COMMONWEALTH. I want the oil cos. and private industry OUT of our public parks, our “wars” (and us out of them too!), our disaster recovery, our public schools and our CHURCHES out of our govt! I dont dislike Obama “cause he’s a Muslim” (way to win over Muslims~!)or he “doesnt talk to Chavez” (I wishhe would!). I am disgusted with big-mouth “Christians” like Rev. Wright , “Charter” schools that bring back segregation and teach that there were baby dinosaurs o teh Ark (!!), “faith based” initiatives (“see how well the charities are doing in N.O. and Baghdad? Now we can be relieved of our governmental responsibilities! Cut out that prog.”) I want CHANGE not “changeeeo, hopeeeeooo, bull shittiiooo”. Know what I mean?? Peace! OK? I just wanted better, and after 8 yrs of W I thought we had a right to expect it. Everyoen says they are tired o Ohio deciding the elections—(so am I!) But, I"m also tired of IOWA and NH (I used to live there—dont tell me either state is representative!) declaring it over and teh DLC throwing out delegates.So, Obama doesnt “need Ohio, Pa, Mich, FL, etc.” (That’s what his “fan” I talked to before the primary said! Its not liike I havent tried—i sent him a 3 pg. list of things to coverin Ohio to win—no, they’re gonna take the Deep sOUTH—Ga., Ala., Miss., etc.—sure , good luck. If you make it known that yo dont give a damn about the working class—why in the hell woudl they vote for you? How wil things ever get any better?? I worked with in 2004-06. Now, the DLC doesnt even want my help in the locals. That’s fascist—I’ve tried, and they wont/ I didnt leave the Dems—they leftme!!

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By jersey girl, August 4, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

Kdelph: ‘If Dems cant landslide it after 8 yrs f W—they should disband.I might vote for Obama—if everyone would stop telling me to”

Amen K !!  I’m sick of people telling me that it will be MY fault if McCain wins. It will be nobody’s fault but Obama’s if McCain wins.  I didn’t tell obama to be a war monger, I didn’t tell obama to destroy the fourth amendment and I didn’t tell obama to take money from the likes of goldman sachs, lehman brothers and the nuke industry.  I also didn’t tell Obama to praise Ronald Reagan either! Gimme a break…..

I say vote your conscience K and don’t let anyone talk you out of what your gut tells you smile

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By jersey girl, August 4, 2008 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Kdelph: I’m still here !  And I’m still voting for Nader.  Jim I don’t agree about the supreme court. It was the dems who brought us Alito and Roberts with a few praising them. Do you really think Obama will pick a left leaning appointee considering the way he’s been campaigning? I see him picking at best a centrist and at worst a right leaning centrist.  After all he’s making noise about more war and when he voted for the fisa bill(also patriot act) I lost all hope that he is anything but the rebirth of ronald reagan who he made a point to praise not that long ago.  Besides, the republicans won’t let a left leaning judget get by them.  They aren’t the wimps the dems are in that regard.  So I see the supreme court thing a red herring.

Obama is not who he says he is.  He’s nothing about change and all about maintaining the status quo. He passed that fisa bill because he wants the same power bush has amassed for himself. Honestly, I believe Obama and McCain to be two sides of the same counterfeit coin. 

I’m done with the co-conspirators aka the democratic party.  I’m voting for a man who exemplifies everything I want in a president..Ralph Nader. The stranglehold of the duopoly has to end somewhere.  For me it ends in ‘08.  Glenn Greenwald’s article on this subject was fantastic and explains perfectly what I’m feeling about the dems and the upcoming election. If you haven’t read it already check it out.

PS:  I go to rawstory all the time for news articles but never paid checked out the comments section. I will most certainly do that now.  Thanks Jim !

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By KDelphi, August 4, 2008 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Jim C—-It was not an email (I havent been online thaT long—my sister says i assume too much and forget there’s no inflection online—)it was a letter (handwritten) to the Dayton City Paper—you may not even get it up there. It’s online—but this was back in January. I wrote that I wasnt voting for Obama (I was rooting for Edwards then) for reasons that had nothign to do with his non-European name nor skin color (somone had written a letter there that pretty much said everyone that supported anyone else was stupid or racist—).It was lack of a good HEALTH CARE plan (try Medicaid for a coupla mos…) and that he wasnt very “firm” (dont remember EXACTLY) on things—I didnt care about his looks, his religion, his hoops, his “farting in his sleep” nor his “beautiful wife”—I wanted to know what he planned to do with this Third World status we’re falling into—well, no—the neo-cons pushed us… The editor called me and said he liked it—could he print my name—I have an unusual Scandanavian-Am. name—easy to find in Dayton phone book. But, naively, I figured, its my opinion, and reasonable questions, right? WRONG! apparantly. I got 2 snail mails with no retutrn addresses or names. They were cruel, nasty, and assujmed some terribl sshit about me that my black c-workers would find very surprising (I’ve had recent surgery—my fourth—so I dont go out much—all I see for wks. is ex co-workers—we worked with disabled, so they understand. I dont realy want friends arund telling me “how great it looks”. It doesnt. I DID think about Obama—I thought about Gore. He shouldve fought harder. I campaigned for Kerry, even thought I didnt like him much. I’ve been a Dem since I was l8, until SP-USA decided we had to decide. In 2007, I went back, but voteed in the Primary. I thought6 Hillary might deliver on healht care. I’ve worked with Viet vets who died in the VA waiting for care—its just not right, period. And liberals (lol) who dont support healt care for all should be ashamed.I stand by that, if Dems cant landslide it after 8 yrs f W—they should disband.I might vote for Obama—if everyone would stop telling me to—I tend to be contrary that way—lol. Peace. Rus—sure , progressives and Dems are “bigoted and hateful”—when did GOP have a minority candidate?? When?? Get back to me, OK? No, Rice and Watts dont count! I KNOW Dubya is mentally disabled, but he’s NOT a minority (unfortunately). Now there’s Larry Craig—its hard to respect a gay person that wont come out and always has to PAY FOR IT!! Doyou?

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By Jim C, August 4, 2008 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

They’re just trying to help the poor filthy rich and those whiny selfish workers complain , can you believe it .............................................................................Companies Tap Pension Plans
To Fund Executive Benefits
Little-Known Move
Uses Tax Break Meant
For Rank and File
August 4, 2008; Page A1

At a time when scores of companies are freezing pensions for their workers, some are quietly converting their pension plans into resources to finance their executives’ retirement benefits and pay.

In recent years, companies from Intel Corp. to CenturyTel Inc. collectively have moved hundreds of millions of dollars of obligations for executive benefits into rank-and-file pension plans. This lets companies capture tax breaks intended for pensions of regular workers and use them to pay for executives’ supplemental benefits and compensation.

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By Jim C, August 4, 2008 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi , First , I’m not a big Obama supporter , but I can give you two reasons to vote for him . 1. the supreme court ( and federal ) , any more right wing justices and this country is done for . So whether you’re pro Obama or not you would have a hard time arguing he wouldn’t make much better court picks and that is huge . 2. Not voting for Obama is the same as a vote for mccain , that goes for throwing your vote away on a third candidate also . So , if you want to wake up the day after the election and find out we are going to be under the tender care of john mccain for the next four years because you and others either didn’t vote or through yours away , I can’t stop you . But I would urge you to think about it .

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By Jim C, August 4, 2008 at 9:23 am Link to this comment

Rus7355 , well , I’m glad you cleared that up , and I thought you just had your panties in a wad , silly me . As to your ignorant and petulent comment about those nasty liberal sites , that is at best comical . The posters who get vile and nasty on the site I was refering to are the right wing trolls . Feel free to check it out , pay special attention to posters , Kevin , Frank M , red neck red state and so many more . You can probably find them on some of your favorite sites also, contributing to the high minded love fest you refer to . They’re but a few of the quasi fascists I was speaking of . I’ve also been to some of those reasoned , enlightened right wing sites you mentioned , I can see how you would just blend right in . You could spew your incomplete cherry picked statistics and make factually challenged statements until your little conservative hearts content , no doubt cheered on and unchallenged . Here’s one Russ , if you can bring yourself back to the original discussion and stop throwing your little tantrum . You attempted to show that the top 1% made about 20% of the wages , which is kind of true , but only with a very selective use of the numbers and ommission of other relevent facts . Did you ever check what the bottom 50% of the wage earners make ? Less than 20% of the total wages Russ . If you would like to get back to the actual disussion and stop pouting I’d be glad to Russ and I’m glad that you at least understood that I made my point .

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By Jim C, August 4, 2008 at 7:06 am Link to this comment

KDelphi , you sent a letter to the editor , of the Dayton daily news ? If so I read it , I read them all . How did you get your e-mail address published , or did you just sign your name and they figured it out ? Not to rub it in , but what were you thinking , though I have to admit , I made a similar mistake once . I accidently posted my e-mail address on a financial site in a comment , I didn’t realize it was optional and would be published . The e-mail box was soon filled with spam ,  it took me a while to figure out what happened , luckily the address I used was a throwaway I use when I have to give it . Out of curiosity , I take it you wrote an anti Obama letter , though I guess it wouldn’t matter , you would get hammered by the followers of whoever you skewered if they could get your address .

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By KDelphi, August 4, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Just checking to see if Jersey Girl, JimC, or others werew still using this thread….today ias Obana’s birthday!! And, our dear Gov, Strickland, Jim C! They are going to be doing phone bAnks all day long—-just curious (they asaked me to help—I’m out of town anyway—-and its such a “JC Superstar” mentalilty—they wanted me to bring stuff toa BAake Sale once before—-I’m a good cook (blu3e ribbons at county fairs in the past!), I cant afford to bakwe for a multi-millionaire right now! Honestly, at least, in places like Ohio, I think people have been “Obama-ed” half to death!A Town Hasll Mtg. whewre he would actually answer all questions, on the stump, wqould be REALLY helpful—this recieves screeches like, “How can we submuit our babe to these open….”  BABE! WHOSE Babe?!@ Or ’ “But he is the ‘the blessed child”  “saying cant i eat my waffles in peace, when I prefer organic egg whites” and “cant i just be president” (in the same vein, I suppose).And, when he gets done—go smoke a pack and half of Marlboros and chew on arugula for teeth cleansing, naturally!!!! Its SO bizarre. Jim C—I have a favor to request, if youre around—convince me that I need to vote for Obama—-why? Seriouly-“fire me up!”. LOL “Coups de, ‘08! “Etat-why wait??

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By KDelphi, August 3, 2008 at 5:21 pm Link to this comment

I’m over at my ex’s daughters to see my ex mother-in-law in the hos….fun! Its feels wierd, but I still love them, and she still thinks I’m her daughter-in-law, I think, even though I’ve told her—it doesnt matter. I really like my ex-stepdaughter, anyway. I’ll go to that website soon. I have to get my email name changed—its my ful name (which is unusual) and people sem to find my emai box and fill it with threats. I got a bunch of unsigned ones from Obamaniacs when I sent a Letter to the Ed. of the Dayton City aper! Not ONE of them signed their name and put a return add! That;s when I decided I didnt watnt o support Obama, even If my choice couldnt win—it was so craopy and cowardly—so was the “Yes we can!” drowning peopel out at the town mtg. the other day—remind me of Dubya’s “USA!” crap! But, even relatives are on me to vote Obama—I dunno. I REALLY like Nader or McKinney and people that are mad about me not voting Obama are ones that votd Nader in 2000! I’m gonna go wartch “Big Brother” with Wendy (YUK!) LOL

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By Jim C, August 3, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

JG and JD , Raw story , you’ve never been there ? It’s a good site , one of the best for news . Their boards are for the most part unregulated and the stories tend to circulate more quickly , they keep threatening to start registration , but so far they haven’t . It can get ugly on occasion , racist , sexest , vulgar , crude and insults almost rise to an art form depending on the topic , a lot of the posters over there would be banned from most boards . There is no such thing as a sensitive topic , sometimes you have to wonder if some asylum is giving computer privilages and trolls abound . One thing for sure , over there you’re not in Kansas anymore . Another thing for sure , Russ wouldn’t care for it one bit , he thinks I was being mean to him . The reason I said ” they don’t have registration yet ” is because someone occasionally wanders over , makes a comment , gets them handed to him in no uncertain terms , then complains about it and they threaten to start registration . If you’ve never been there , check it out . You’ll see a few familiar names , Independent is a regular poster . You may get lulled a bit , again depending on the topics and whose posting . But if you stick around you will see what I mean .

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By jersey girl, August 3, 2008 at 6:39 am Link to this comment

Kdelph..yea! I wanna go too. Do tell Jim. But I want to do more than watch smile

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By KDelphi, August 3, 2008 at 6:20 am Link to this comment

Amen Where is this no holds bareed site? I’m not sure I want to get back in a net slam dance—but I “like to watch”

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By Jim C, August 2, 2008 at 8:04 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355 , actually , my original reply had little or nothing to do with Obamas tax proposals , I am a luke warm Obama supporter , his views on fisa , faith based tax give aways and his propensity to flip off his base leave me cold . I will be voting against mccain more so than for Obama . What we presently have are a very conservative party that is essentially the political arm of corporate power and a conservative party that has been leased by corporate power , I agree with Nixon a 50% top rate is about right . I also believe corporations pay far to little . From the 50s to the late 70s they paid about 40% of the taxes and did just fine thank you . In fact if you are into history you will find that the country as a whole was thriving when the top rate was 90% and corporations carried about half of the tax load , go figure . What I took issue with in your original post were the comments about europe etc . The comment about how they are worried about china and russia showed an amazing ( I’ll be nice here ) misunderstanding of world views . It has been well established that the europeans ( in poll after poll ) and most of the rest of the world when asked who is the biggest threat to world peace and the most dangerous player on the world stage it isn’t the russians , it isn’t the chinese or the arabs . They’re worried about us . They see us as jingoistic and frankly dangerous , can you blame them ? It’s not the russians or the chinese invading other countries and inflaming the middle east , it’s us . You seem to literally sneer at the very idea that europe isn’t arming to the teeth , which begs the question , why are we ? To fight saudies with box cutters ? . You might want to get a copy of Eisenhowers ” cross of iron ” speech , he saw this comming . As far as the cradle to grave comment , to some of us thats the mark of a humane society . What a concept , that the citizens of a country would prefer a government that treated it’s citizens with the same concern and compassion as a family would . By the way , the countries that are the most liberal and have the closest to what you would refer to as a ” welfare state ” are also the happest and most satisified with both their lives and government . Go to the other end of the spectrum and you’ll find the most conservative countries arn’t quite so content ( been to a stoning or amputation lately ) , those are your true conservative values , punish , punish , punish and repress , unless your rich of course .  I’m also sure business couldn’t thrive unless it’s allowed to prey on the population like wolves on sheep . We’ve turned from a paragon of freedom and democracy to a torturing , pillaging out of control world pariah . And as for bush being ” a swaggering cowboy ” oh please , if it wern’t for daddy the only thing that callous little creep would be doing is asking ” do you want fries with that ” . To sum up , you mentioned that we have different world views , you might be right . I believe the government should make sure that all of it’s citizens have the neccessities , housing , healthcare , education and the peace of mind that goes with knowing that if you fall you won’t be left or abandoned . That the well born , well off , corrupt and just plain greedy will be kept in check . I gather you’re more for a wild west law of the jungle let greed rule and if you can’t keep up , tough luck kind of guy . Just remember , the west was a cruel place before it was civilized and the jungle is a forbidding place unless your an animal or wish to live like one . Perhaps we can pick up similar discussion on another thread , this one seems to be about spent . You must try to be less sensitive though . Part of it may be I am used to posting on more aggressive bare knuckles boards . I noticed Independent posted on this thread , he would understand , where we usually post it’s a brusing , no holds barred take no prisoners fray .

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

Now Rus is capitulating after being completely out of clever stuff—you are clegver though! I hope it gets you thru the next Great Depression, created by Oil Boys—not men. Men work a living as do decent women. Ihope yu come to realize that these peoel do NOT have the best interests of the uS in mind. If they did, they wouldnt have houses all over the world to escape to from teh Hague to. Check out Dubya’s new island off Dubai—maybe he’ll invite yu there sometime. Just liek Obama is gonna invite everybody to the White House for basketball—NOT!

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

Jim C—I know where yure talking about…guess what?? I got Rus to respnd to me!! It’s true! I’m the luckiest girl in the world~!

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 4:20 pm Link to this comment

Yes—its been my dream ever since we met—to solicit a response from you!! Actually , this was an intelligent thread (a rarity nowadays) for awhile—but, I guess nothin’ good lasts forever….Thanks for fulfiling my dream…youre such a great guy—what an honor..

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By Jim C, August 2, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355 , the ” facts ” you gave were quite selective and incomplete , conservatives love to go on about ” income tax rates ” as they apply to regular income ( wages ) . The ” opinions ” I gave you were right out of the tax code , long term capital gains are taxed at 15% and that’s the bracket the wealthy and well born move their money and income into . Do you really need references ? If you do your own taxes you should already know , do you have an IRA or similar retirement account ? If you do the whole concept behind that is to 1. use compounding interest to grow the account 2. put the funds in pre tax ( except with a Roth ) then when they’re drawn on in retirement they are taxed at the the long term capital gains rate , like the very rich do with the bulk of their earnings . The rich are simply able to game the system in that and many other ways . Fica is the largest tax bite for most people and the average citizen pays it on their entire salary , the very well off only pay on the first hundred thousand or so . Since it is only paid on ” income ” the wealthy have figured out a vast amount of ways to defer income thus turning it into capital gains avoiding both the real tax rate and fica . Its all about how and when you get paid as to how much you actually pay in taxes . Since you seem to be getting your facts from the big book of conservative numbers , look this one up . What is the total percentage of income is paid by the various tax brackets . I mean every thing , sales tax , property tax , license fees which are also a tax etc etc . What you’ll find is the very wealthy have figured out how to avoid taxes most of us pay , lease a car and charge it to the company for instance . Then the company gets to write it off as a business expense giving said rich guy a basically free car at taxpayers expense that also includes insurance , tags , everything . Case in point , you may remember early in the bush admistration when they had tax credits for hummers and other suv’s . This allowed companys and anyone who could figure out how to charge them off as a business expense to have a free suv essentially paid for by the taxpayers . They even called it ” the hummer loophole ” . KDelphi might know of a tax rightoff right here in town . The big mcmansion on stroop just past southern blvd with the dolfin statues around the fountain in front . NCR originally owned that and charged it off as a business expense because they let visiting bigshots use it . Nice game if you can afford to play it . Well , I’m feeling a bit emotional so I think I’m going to go out and cut the grass . Oh , one more thing ”  The facts I shared here regarding the overall tax bill paid by the upper, middle and lower socio-economic classes comes directly from the IRS.” What you don’t seem to get is that the total tax ” bill ” is offset by tax rebates , depreciation , right offs and other games and loopholes . The money they pay in with one hand doesn’t count the money their taking back with the other . While it may be easy to figure out how much the kid that works at Mcdonalds pays in taxes it’s much more difficult to put a real number on the big boys . They are masters at smoke and mirrors , holding up an apparently big tax bill but failing to mention how much the government gave them back .

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

I have to visit a sick relative (stupid thing to do, right Rus? Yeah, not self serving cause they dont have any $$). Try to use the time constructively Rus. Go to Wickipedia and look up some REAL stat. Or call a Statistics Prof. at a college that isnt based on the internet or called “Messiah” or “Liberty Bible Baptist”. Avoid any schiool with Pat Robertson ior Ashcroft teaching there. Better yet, go join the Marines, and you can go to school, if you survive—you believe in the cause so much, if you wont pay for it—go fight it! No, I wouldnt wish that on anyone. BBs

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

LOL!!!! Rus, Rus, Rus../..if I wanted shit from you I’d cut off your head and scoop it out! You have been “schooled” (but seeem unable to comprehend) that statistics can say whatever you want them to! In terms of capital gains tax, PERSONAL income tax, estate tax, etc., the super rich are paying less than they have since the 1920s—and you know what happened then—wait—do you?? How old are you? Did you go to school..I used to work with the mentally disabled. But most of them KNEW when they were being screwed and complained! You must be !) really rich and selfish as a psycho-boy 2)part of the Bush/Cheney/Rummy/Delay/Ashcroft/Saud/mafioso group of Skull and Bones variety , who believe God wants you to be a millionaire—God (if there is one) did not invent money. If you’re a Christian, Jesus said to “GET THE MONEY OUT OF HIS FATHER’S HOUSE!” (ie: faith-based intitiatives and no child’s behind left). You have been taught that, in fact, the rich cheat, hire great tax attornies and dont give a damn what happens to New Orleans, Baghdad, Afghanistazn or even YOU—unless youre one of the above. Daisy, crawl back into your money and bury your head in a pool…the ghost of Fitzgerald says youre an asshole. You thinkthat the cream rises to the top, isnt only HOPE that floats! Have a SUPER day!  ; 0   I hope youre better looking tha your soul—I’m so tired of people like you—BUT your time is coming to an end. I was SO glad to hear about Stevens and when Kay Hutchison said, “Its no fun being in the minority”....booooohooo. Cry me a river. You never cry for anybody else. The stock mkt is the US’s “Shock and Awe”. Second one will be when the poor decide not to take it anymore. Viva Amerika Libre! (Not “scary”—-just sick of it)

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 8:49 am Link to this comment

Jersey Girl—Nader/Gonzales ‘08 to prevent Third World status of US! Subjigation to Big Oil and Chinese govt (the peopel are OK). It is TIME folks! Havent we had enough of this crap? If you havent, you dont care abou tyour country or you are ignorant of the facts…

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 8:46 am Link to this comment

Trickle down economics is “piss on the poor”! The neo-cons have worm out “gay marriage” ( how they won Ohio in 2004!—J.Kenneth Blackqwwell), guns (Obama now agrees with them), abortion (they see that their nominees dont do what they send them there to do anyway, cause all they care about is MONEY!! Check out NOW and Bill Moyers last night on if youdoubt it)—so—divide up poor whites and black (old as the hills), and “Drill here , drill now”! Yeah, right on the only US coral reef in Fla. Should help the tourist industry alot—I used to scuba dive (still caN—cant afford it). We need to take the subsidies back fromt eh oil cos, and subsidize elec. cars and hybrids for the poor. Stop subsidizing people that dont need it!@

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By Jim C, August 2, 2008 at 8:10 am Link to this comment

Rus7355 , Interesting , you’ve stopped debating the subject altogether . You also fail to explain exactly what it is my mind is blind to and why I think as I do , some feat for someone who doesn’t know me . In fact you’ve abandened any attempt at defending your positions .  If you look at your last three posts not one word about the original subject . I’ll tell you what , I’ll consider anger managment class’s if you’ll explain why it’s reasonable for Exon to get tax breaks when they have had the most profitable two years in the history of the world ? Or why it’s fair for billionaires to pay a smaller percentage of their total income in tax’s ( of all kinds , not just income tax ) than somebody that wears a paper hat at work ? Why it’s OK for the likes of Paris Hilton , george bush , steve forbes and their ilk to have a 15% total tax rate on their trust funds and pay no fica tax ? Why taxes haven’t been raised to support a unneccessary war that is only benefiting oil companys and military contractors , for the first time in history I might add . Just trying to loosen you up dude . While you say you know why I think like I do , I have to admit , I have no idea why you think like you do . Your entire original post was nothing more than a defense of the ” trickle down theory ” the most thoroughly disproved , discredited and disasterous economic policy in history , bar none . I won’t hold my breath waiting for a cogent response , I’ll assume it has something to do with my being angery.

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By webbedouin, August 2, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

This just in:

Another Bank Bites The Dust

Federal regulators closed Florida’s First Priority Bank on Friday, marking the eighth bank failure of the year.

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By jersey girl, August 2, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

KDelph:  Nader/Gonzalez ‘08 !!

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By KDelphi, August 2, 2008 at 6:17 am Link to this comment

Sigh….it was fun while it lasted. Maybe see you guys at At least check it out—out with Boner!!

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By KDelphi, August 1, 2008 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

Ah, Rus—some young guy who still believes that someday he’ll be rich and that wil make him happy above all else…Jim C—I was making fun—it is obvious yu are a capitalist. I am not—but the type of capitalism you descrbe is one that we can al live with. There is NO Democracy without a middle cl;ass. If we dont regulate the greed, we’ll be a Third World Country, if we’re not already FUBAR.Health care and housing are already sub-par for the majority.If this doesnt change the Capts, if INdustry should worry about a coups de ‘etat, I’m not sure thei generation is willing to take it as easil7 as the Viet Vets. In Vietnam, at least the rich were pAYING for the war and the poor were fighting it (w/ a few exceptions) This is the first war thatr is paid for and fought, largely by the poor. It is criminal and th4e “administration” should be treated as such—indigted for war crimes. Impeached. But the Dems dont have the balls. They wont do things that “shock teh conscience”?? You havwe to assume a conscience—I see none present. No, didnt asee about Delphi—maybe I’ve seem so much I dont pay atention to it anymore!!

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By Jim C, August 1, 2008 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi , I’m not ” anti capitalist ” , I just understand economics and that unbridled greed is toxic . A market that is unregulated is like allowing a four year old to play with matchs , no good comes from it . I am also a Keynesian , he understood that order must be kept for business to thrive . The best environment for business is when there is a large middle class who are well paid and prosperous , they are who buy goods and services , without them the economy stalls ( who’s going to buy there crap ) . You also have to keep the worst instincts of business in check or they will foul up everything for everybody with selfish self interest and raw greed . What conservatives really yearn for are the good old days when there were aristocrats and serfs . They find the idea of a middle class that has any say over the ” upper ’ class’s is an abomination . To them they are better than and should be served by the lower class’s who are destined to be worker units and cannon fodder . In other words Calvinism . I also believe that no one should be left behind or out . If we who are well off by luck , labor or wits and have to pay higher taxes to make sure everyone is cared for , fine . That is what a civil humane society does . Dog eat dog is for animals , not men . What these ” wild west ” types don’t get is the idea was to civilize the west , not visa versa . so , am I a capitalist , yes , but a civilized one . Delphi was in the paper today , did you see the article ?

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By Jim C, August 1, 2008 at 4:32 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355 , I didn’t make any ” excessive stock earnings ” I took huge risks and paid what was due ( though I will admit I avoided the AMT . legally of course , or rather my accountant did ) . I have taken a beating so far this year , but I’m a big boy and nobodys going to bail out my losses . What ” personal attacks ” ? You think I’m emotional and angry ( I notice you didn’t bother to challenge my points ) and I think you’re , shall we say , misinformed , misguided or both plus you really don’t understand what your talking about . I will admit I can sometimes go for the jugular when I get in a debate with someone spewing misleading rightwing garbage , but hey , nobodys perfect . As far as ” my opinion ” , If I give opinion I’ll make that clear , what I gave you are facts , easily checked , as I stated Gates sr agrees and Warren Buffet has said the same thing . I’m sure you remember when he said ” something is very wrong when I pay a lower tax rate than my secretary ” . If there are errors in my post , please , point them out . You’ll find I’m quite careful to have my facts straight and I never regurgitate talking points or state opinion as fact , unlike some . So I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings , but if you toss nonsense out on boards sometimes you get taken to task for it .

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By jersey girl, August 1, 2008 at 4:18 pm Link to this comment

Jim:  Bravo! Well stated.

Russ: Calling people too emotional when they are making perfectly valid points that you can’t answer is a lame ass excuse, mister. 

If you are pleased with the state of our union today than you are either incredibly stupid or a nazi in training or most probably both.

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By KDelphi, August 1, 2008 at 3:25 pm Link to this comment

Wow, Jim C.—youre my kind of capitalist—an “anti-capitalist” capitalist!! lol.seriously, its not working capitalists that are the main prob. The wealthiest selfish pigs did almot NOTHING to get where they are, and if they had to compwete with the rest of us—theyd be broke,.Thaniks for fleshing out the stats…I cant stand them. Anyway…reading the other posts , can I recommend Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine”—I’m reading it now. I was reading it in the drs offic to day, and he came itn and i was crying—-about how little these people really care about youi & me, the “Am. way” (right!), freedom. the soldiers, the civilians, and how far they will go with their global agenda.Also, “In Defense of Food”. Theyre on sale at Amazon or Credo (former Working Assets phone service—they give 1% to charitable causes you get to pick and free Ben & Jerry’s, if you want. Not much, but it beats nothing…

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By Jim C, August 1, 2008 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

Rus7355 , well , you proved one thing , if you want to play with numbers and cherry pick statistics you can make them say pretty much anything you want . So lets just keep it real simple . The richest 2% of the population do pay over half of the ” income ” taxes , that is correct , but , they also control over 70% of the countries wealth and ( gag ) earn over 40% of the wages . We currently have the largest disparity in wealth since the 1920s . While the wealthy do pay more in ” income taxes ” their total actual tax contribution is far less . They pay only limited fica taxes , the wealthy almost always figure out how to write off expenses the rest of us have to pay , cars , travel , meals , vacations , various depreciations , home offices and on and on and on . You are also using a standard conservative ruse , you only refer to ” income ” taxes . Allow me to explain your error . Lets say a conservative ( we’ll call him chimpy ) earns , oh $500.000 a year in regular income ( wages ) he will pay about 35% at his top rate on everything over around $60.000 , wow , poor chimpy . But say chimpy gets , oh , one million in stock options , defered of course and another two million in long term ( held over a year ) dividends on stocks , bonds or other investment instruments held over a year . Do you know what his rate is on the three million , 15% period , thats it . So please , go cry for the poor abused rich on someone elses shoulder . I understand such things bub , I am a long time invester and a wage earner . In 2006 I made around six times as much from my stock portfolio than from my wages . I paid around 27% I believe on ” income” and 15% on long term capital gains which was much , much more . I also get tired of the tired bs about how our poor corporations are so over taxed , they always whine about the socalled 35% rate , yeah , but what they leave out is that none of them pay that rate . Do you know that many of our largest corporations not only pay 0 taxes but many actually get rebates . Corporations today pay less than 7% percent of total taxes and seldom pay at a real rate of more than 20% . I was watching some oil company exec telling his tale of woe the other day and he claimed his company was paying over 40% in taxes , pure bullshit , the real number is also less than 20% and thats only if you don’t figure in the rebates , breaks and rediculious depreciation allowances they get . I understand such things as I am heavily invested in oil , oilfield equipment and drillers including PBR,BHI,CNQ and SLB to name a few , my other investments are mostly high tech small caps . So go spew your disingenuous stats and misleading numbers to someone else who doesn’t understand such things , like say most poor stupid middle class republicans who swallow such crap hook line and sinker . If you want to argue the points I made there are others who can back me up and feel the same way , Bill Gates sr , the late Percy Ross , Warren Buffet , Ted Turner and Bill Gates jr to name but a few . As for yor laughable ( or pathetic ) comments about global warming , you may want to debate that with T Boone Pickens and the world scientific community . You made the comment that ” I seem angery and emotional ” , well , maybe . But I’d rather be either than ignorant and illinformed . Yep , I suppose I am emotional , anyone who isn’t angery at’s whats been going on in our country either isn’t paying attention , gets their information from , oh , say , rush limbaugh or has their head planted firmly up their ass .

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By jersey girl, August 1, 2008 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

webb: I don’t think you’re crazy at all. Everything you said is true. It’s just hard to implement it all though I have been working on it.

My b/f and I always say we’re gonna go find a spot in the mountains somewhere away from all the madness but I would have to drag the entire family with me and I don’t think they’d go peacefully. lol

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By webbedouin, August 1, 2008 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

JG, Can it be stopped???

I dunno.  I do think there are many things one can do to help lessen the impact on themselves and their circle of friends & relatives. 

These disaster capitalists have thought about it long & hard and have plenty of reforms to stuff down our throats when chaos becomes the order of the day.  And likely the sheeple will bend over & comply for the most part.  Hope to see you at the labor camp.

Some of the things i suggest may not go over well with many people.  Do know that i am practicing what i preach.  At least you’ll get a good idea of how crazy i am.

Head for the hills.

Get out of the banks and federal reserve notes.  Keep enough on hand to pay the bills, move whatever savings you have into physical possession of silver & gold.  Because there is less silver than gold around…  There is less than an ounce of silver to go around to everyone in the world.  So find a reputable coin dealer.  It is easy to go back & forth between currency & PM’s once you get the hang of it.  Suggest you use cash for the transactions.

Do not use safety deposit boxes.  They have already been compromised by DHS.  During the depression, you could not open one without a duly appointed Federal representative present.

Stop eating oil.

Grow your own food and break the supermarket cycle of shipping foodstuffs 1500 miles to the consumer.  While you’re at it, get out of the supermarket.  Find local organic farmers and buy direct from them.  Form a group (co-op)to buy direct from wholesale organic distributors.  This really helps with expenses.  You can find distributors by just reading the labels on organic produce.

Do not eat food that your grandmother would not recognize.  Stay away from processed foods (canned, boxed & bagged), even those in the organic food store isles.  All of the food sold regular supermarkets is tainted.  Oil fertilizers, oil pesticides (do everything you can to get off oil) and imitation dead foods laden with enzyme inhibitors (such as salt), “inert” ingredients & chemicals.  Mostly supermarkets are selling very slow acting poisons disguised as food.

Avoid any food containing High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Whether or not it is good or bad for you is open to debate.  It does show that the manufacturer of the “food” is more of a chemical engineer than a “food” producer.  HFCS is the blatant signal.

Don’t eat the beef, the fish or the pig.  (That is, unless you know the meat’s source, even then in moderation.)  One can not support over-fishing of our oceans and/or Concentrated Animal Feed Operations (CAFO).  CAFO’s will pump the animal full of growth hormones and anti-biotics.  You do not want these in your system.  Look at how fat (and often kinda mesmerized) the people shopping in the meat department are.  But even if you are eating nothing but the best animal protein, the animals revenge (karma) will give you obesity, diabetes, clogged arteries, heart disease and cancer.  Vegetables will clear all of those problems.  Your doctor will not tell you this, he’ll just control these symptoms with drugs.

It is said that 50% of our clean water is used in CAFO operations while the waste streams from such operations pollute the other 50%. 

We have not as yet gotten off the grid, however, that is the plan we are working toward.  We have wind, sun and 6 months @ year of running water.  Suspect we’ll be using all three as time & a half goes by.

And finally, break the AMA/big pharma monopoly, Gerson Therapy ( will cure almost everything that can possibly ail you.

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By thebeerdoctor, August 1, 2008 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

re: Kdelphi

Or perhaps Bela Lugosi: “They say I dug up bodies… so they say.”

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By KDelphi, August 1, 2008 at 10:16 am Link to this comment

Maybe he’s Gary Busey—he’s been caling in C-SPAN drunk or high or something…or maybe its our Fearful Leader , sprintin’ to the finish (of his own country!)

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By thebeerdoctor, August 1, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

re: Rus7355

Are you really Steven Colbert? Your post reminds me of one of his rants on The Report.

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By KDelphi, August 1, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment

By the way—I’d only support Obama if he were the last candidate on earth (I was incensed by today’s Town Hall Mtg. where Obama pulled a “Dubya”—“Yes we can!” vs. “USA!”) except John McCain…i can sti write in Nader or McKInney. Dont ASSUME anything! Obama uis NOT a “liberal”. And he’s CERTSINLY not a Socialist. Re-distribution of income?? You bet yer ass! Cklass warfare? As your hero would say, “Bring it on!!”

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By KDelphi, August 1, 2008 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Yes! Bravo, Jim C! As my mom, used to say, “That’ll learn “em, dern ‘em!”. And , as I used to say, “I took Statistics in college—you can make them say anything. Blow me, Rs.”.We spend 10x what the rest of the world does PUT TOGETHER ion “military”—and, by that, I dont mean bay wipes for soldiers. (They have to ask for CARE pkgs.) For contractors, OIL “men” (“girlie men”), and “cosboys” like W, whom Pres. Fox said was “Terrified of horses” and “the most arrogant man he’d ever met”.Oil is UP, because 1)we encouraged the Chinese to “capitalize”—and, guess what? They’re better at it than we are! oops! 2)we keep invading the oil-rich countyries and pissing them off 3)The HOuse of Saud has Dubya by the balls (and the “fortunate son’s” heart {if he has one} and mind {ditto} followed! They bailed him out of his dry oil welkl debacle. Daddy bailed him out of th basebal one 4)Americans scream everytiem they’re asked to sacrifice—except poor people. There they are on TV , filling up their GIANT car, refusing to go 55MPH, on their cell phone, eating a giant burger, giving thei r countrymen the finger, tyelling about oil prices and “Drill, dril , dril!~ ” with Rush on the radio….PUL-EEEZE andnot a dime for the peole that are REALLY hurt by this—people who have to drive afor a living, who have mo other meanms to get to work, cant afford a hybrid (lets subsidize those instead of oil!! Give pooe peop;e $$ to buy them!), or are sick and cant turn on the ac. Its strange, if youre born with $$ in this country (or get it from some nefarrious means—“health ” care, war) the govt GIVES YOU MORE!! If youre poor—GUVE YOUR $$ TIO THAT RICH GUY!!

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By Jim C, August 1, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Rus7355 , thank you for one of the most inaccurate , disjointed and just plain stupid posts I have read in a while . Redistribution of income , you mean not allowing the top 1% to hoard 70% of the countries wealth by revamping the tax structure so they actually have to pay their share , if so , I’m all for it . ” Europe is weak militarily and won’t invest in its own defense.” No europe has the sense not to spend 50% of its budget on a bloated , unnecessarily large military that that sucks up resources and is larger than the rest of the worlds combined . Justified by the way , to fight a tactic ( terrorism ) . You’re right , we import bags , eye glass’s and damn near everything else , all we seem to export are weapons and jobs . You seem enamored with misconception that bush speaks spanish , no he doesn’t , just ask any spanish speaker that has ever heard that idiot attempt it . The moron can’t even speak english . As for your 5th mindless little rant , so you don’t believe global warming is a problem , you think it’s a good idea to keep spewing polution unchecked ? So you think burning coal and turning out tons of nuclear waste that lasts for tens of thousands of years is a better idea than moving to renewable energy ? Please tell me you’re kidding , it pains me to believe there are really people that ignorant . As far as putting bush ” behind us ” , no , not behind us , in jail where he so desperatly needs to be . Yeah , bush is a cowboy , a connecticut cowboy who never did an honest days work in his miserable life . I assume by the ” actor ” comment you were referring to the drooling dumbass ronald reagan , the problem was is that was all he was . Jesus what a fool , thanks for the laugh .

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By KDelphi, August 1, 2008 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

Jim c—They think anybody (esp. a woman) who isnt in total support of Obama is one of those PUMAs , some of which, support McCain. Iguess..I said, “I would NEVER support Mccain” and they just dont care. If youre not totally “on message”, forget it. Its true that, with the re-districting they did under Taft (The Thief), it would be very difficult—but it could be done. She may be a weak campaigner—i havent seen anything about her,.But, if she turns down volunteers and doesnt have much money—she’;l; sutrely lose. The stats on German gold and silver, are scary stuff, if yu read them a certain way. TYou ever read “It Cant happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis? (Jersey Girl—Joe Conason quotes it voluminously in “It CAN Happen Here” 2007—have you read it? If you like Chris Hedges’ “Am. Fascists”, you’ll like Conason, I think—spec. atten. to Buzz Windrip, professional common man)Jim C—I’m afraid we’re stuck with Boehnmer—I called hinm after a C-SPAN covered vote once and tood him that, if I had the money and wasnt sick, I was gonna make it “mylife’s missions to see him defeat3d and make him miserable” (A little grandstanding, dont you think?? LOL I was pissed!)Sortve Thelma and Louise…not really…lol.He was arguing whether the Patriot Act was “patriotic” (patriotism to them = nationalism)and I said that it was against the law and that , although, some peopoe might htihk it was “patriotic to take out the pres.” (I WAS PISSED! OK?) that , that TOO, was against the law, and “should not be done”. He said , “Are you threatening the prez. of hteusa…blah blah” I said, “No, I’m suggesting that even if its patriotic dont do it!?”. We got in a yelling match! Thats when I sadi that—I still think its funny. My friend was here and looking at me like i was crazy!! Maybe I am.

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By Jim C, August 1, 2008 at 5:23 am Link to this comment

KDelphi , Why did they think you were a Mccain supporter ? As far as Boehner , I just call him an embarassment . The guys a stumbling drunk , he has a penchant for geting hammered then heading straight for the nearest TV camera , stareing into it with bloodshot eyes , blubbering and sluring his words incoherently . How he keeps getting reelected is beyond me , the fact the dems don’t put up a strong candidate doesn’t help . I doubt if Mitakides has much of a chance of taking out smiling corporate Mike , his district was custom designed for him just like Boehners , plus the fact shes a weak campaigner . I also love heading south of the border , but I usually go to mexico , this was the first year I haven’t gone in ten years . I enjoy just roaming the streets of Playa del carmen . Dayton isn’t such a bad place , but I guess it depends on the circumstances , but that kind of goes for anywhere .

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By thebeerdoctor, August 1, 2008 at 4:53 am Link to this comment

re: Jersey girl, webbedouin, everyone

New article by William Greider applies to the topic of this post, here is the link:

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By thebeerdoctor, August 1, 2008 at 4:40 am Link to this comment

re: Jersey Girl

“There was a door to which I found no key,
there was a veil through which I could not see.
A little talk awhile of me and thee,
There was… and then no more talk of thee and me.”

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By jersey girl, August 1, 2008 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

Webb:  I see the same thing you do. There will be food shortages, possibly another false flag attack (what are those tens of thousands of plastic coffin liners for?) and martial law.  Bush will of course then cancel the elections. 

And look at those german gold/silver prices. The same is happening here.  We are indeed becoming Hitler’s Germany, “brave new world” and “1984” on steroids.

The question now is, what the hell are we going to do to stop it before it’s too late?

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

German Mark prices of Silver and Gold from January 1919 to November 1923:

Jan. 1919 Silver 12 Gold 170
May. 1919 Silver 17 Gold 267
Sept. 1919 Silver 31 Gold 499

Jan. 1920 Silver 84 Gold 1,340
May 1920 Silver 60 Gold 966

Sept. 1921 Silver 80 Gold 2,175

Jan. 1922 Silver 249 Gold 3,976
May. 1922 Silver 375 Gold 6,012
Sept. 1922 Silver 1899 Gold 30,381

Jan. 1923 Silver 23,277 Gold 372,447
May. 1923 Silver 44,397 Gold 710,355
June 5, 1923 Silver 80,953 Gold 1,295,256
July 3, 1923 Silver 207,239 Gold 3,315,831
Aug. 7, 1923 Silver 4,273,874 Gold 68,382,000
Sept. 4, 1923 Silver 16,839,937 Gold 269,429,000
Oct. 2, 1923 Silver 414,484,000 Gold 6,631,749,000
Oct. 9, 1923 Silver 1,554,309,000 Gold 24,868,950,000
Oct. 16, 1923 Silver 5,319,567,000 Gold 84,969,072,000
Oct. 23, 1923 Silver 7,253,460,000 Gold 1,160,552,662,000
Oct. 30, 1923 Silver 8,419,200,000 Gold 1,347,070,000,000
Nov. 5, 1923 Silver 54,375,000,000 Gold 8,700,000,000,000
Nov. 13, 1923 Silver 108,750,000,000 Gold 17,400,000,000,000
Nov. 30, 1923 Silver 543,750,000,000 Gold 87,000,000,000,000

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 8:56 pm Link to this comment

Jim C—Yep! Actually, the Delphi is from 1999—I went to the Keys, learned to snorkel/scuba, swam with manatees, dolphins, etc. FELL IN LOVE! With a dolphinm (who had 13 children)named Delphi—swam with his pod about 100x. Then, got a guy to take me out on his dive boat to Bahama Banks for 2 wks. to swin with spotted dolphinsw—friendliest in the world. Havent been able to afford a trip since 2004—got in a motorcycle wreck and the kid that hit me was drunk and RICH (an attorney’s oson—a crooked atty.)He got a $50 fine for failure to yeield the right of way—and i’m stil not back to work. IO have an MS (after dropping out of hs at 16 to marry an idiot)and I cant really use it—I need Medicaid. It sucks. But not as bad as Turner the TOOL! I tried to volunteer to work for Jane Mitakides to defeat him—I had called around primary time with questions about obama (the DNC local). I called to help with Jane last wk. I was told that, “since i supported McCain” (!!) I was “not welcome”. They invited me to a Unity Picnic tonite—just to much, man. The Dems just suck! Boehner is a BONER (thyats what we call him here), but he’d be hard to get rid of—esp. when the Dems “dont need any help”. As Samuel L. Jackson said, “Yes they deserve to die, and i hope they burn in hell!”. Also, “I’m tired of these mother-fing Republican in this mother-fing aitport bathroom!”  said,

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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi , It is a small world , the Delphi did make me wonder . Do you have the good fortune to be represented by Mike the corporate tool Turner or that drunken sot John Boehner ? Boehners my ” gag ” misrepresentive . Did you notice all of the excitement the other day when Mccain was at , of all places , Youngs dairy in Yellow Springs ? If you missed it don’t feel bad , a lot of people did .

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By bc41, July 31, 2008 at 7:23 pm Link to this comment

I remember an argument made in favor of deregulating the Savings and Loan companies.  It was that, “some real estate investors know how to leverage their investments, can spur economic growth, and should not be stifled by government regulation.  Owning one home should be considered a commodity, a reasonable need to facilitate American culture.  The issue is that food, basic one-home shelter, utilities, social security and the like should be removed from speculation schemes.  Those are large investments that effect everyday people, let business work with the others that stimulate economic activity.  That preserves family and individual values, isn’t that better than dividing a nation of haves and have-nots and creative ideas that should not land us in depression, if we’re doing it right, yipes.  Europe is so much more smart about making life better for all its people. Let’s face we are more tribal.

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By jackpine savage, July 31, 2008 at 6:06 pm Link to this comment

Banks too big?  Put your money in a credit union.  Cut up all those big bank credit cards.  Some of these banks make 79% of their profit by charging you usury rates.  Try Sharia banking for a mortgage.

If none of these possibilities go far enough, there’s always the old coffee can buried in the backyard.  There is no law of nature that says, “Thou shalt participate in the fractional reserve banking system.”

There are many nice places to live in this world, and doing so is well worth it.  But remember that as an expat you are somewhat immune to your surroundings.  Every place has its problems; you just don’t notice them so much when they are not, directly, yours.

But maybe we should work on making our home more like the homes that we covet.  We have all the power in the world.  We don’t exercise that power enough or in sufficient numbers.  We act weak, so we are treated as weaklings.

Nothing is too big to fail.  Not Rome, not the British Empire, not the USSR, not the USA, and most certainly not a couple of banks playing with fake money.

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 6:02 pm Link to this comment

This thread is interesting—I wonder how long they’ll keep it open?- Just shows the debate you can have when people are not totally committed to a single persson solving this country’s prob.! Yes, the UK is a mess with the cameras and stuff—that’s why I wiol not get a Natl ID Card0—its just the staart.I know people on the “:Questionable Citizens List” (I may be after protesting the war with the AFSC (Quakers—I went to a college) at WPAFB. They werw taking videos—Larry Gara (heard iof him??) said, “You better get out of the way, That cop is taking my pic”. I instinctrively moved away and then, I thought , “F them! ” and I stupidly (probably) moved bakc over and put my arm around him. Anyway , the AFSC, Sea Shepherd (They held Capt. Canning’s wife for 2 mos fopr not turning ovetr the membership list!), Greenpeace, Earth Firwst, Universalist Church, Special Olympics (I’m NOT kidding!! Cause it was proposed by the KennedyZ!!), you wouldnt believe it!! SP-USA—of course. And now, the Dems list of people who voted for “o.ther than Obama” just is the last straw! Scandanavia is more “open”—but i’m biased. The Danish guy who drew the cartoons (they werwe in our loca free paper—not very funny, realy, but he has every right to draw them , I feel) and, after 6 Danes were killed over it at the Embassy in Iraq, Dubya says the Danes “should apologize”—and her, they’ve been with us MORE THAN THEY SHOULD have I think! Thanks of a grateful nation. The Ambassador says, “Whats the point now?” Whats the point indeed!

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Well yeah JG, it would seem like that’s the plan, collapse the dollar and come up with a new alternative.  A new fiat currency.  The ultimate aim is a one world currency.  So we go through a few consolidations along the way.  And once we have the one world currency we can fully control the price of gold & silver and there is no more inflation benchmark.  Inflate, Inflate, Inflate.

Of course the problem with “Inflate, Inflate, Inflate.” today is there are too many other standards with which to measure it.

On the other hand, there are these two elements that have been money for 5000 years and are easily fungible today.

BTW:  the technical description of inflation is an increase in the currency supply.  It is that increase in currency that makes the cost of goods appear to rise.  To many notes chasing too few things.

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment

KDelph:  “I think UK spies on and holds people way to much.”  Absolutely !! Have you seen the talking cameras on the street telling people to pick up their flippin trash?? Talk about big freakin brother!

Funny isn’t it how our allies have all been taken over by fascist types. England, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico… amazing.  If I were a tin foil hat wearer I’d smell a conspiracy…...............
If I liked the hot weather, I’d move to Venezuela smile

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

webb:  The collapse of the dollar and the rise of the amero?  Can you say North american union ? What appears to be chaos is most probably a well planned demise of the sovereignty of the U.S. by the elite. With the European union and the North American Union the nwo ruling elite will find it much easier to control we the proles. Right?

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 4:19 pm Link to this comment

Dayton Ohio! (Oh hell hole—-I cant sell my house) The UK is aniother matter entirely, I think. For one thing, Brown is NOT a liberal (i dont like it that that word has becom e dirty word—I thibnk its a way to let Blue Dogs and oBama “reach across the aisle” and say things LIke “reagan was a great guy”—more like a “reach around”); he is also answerable to Parliament (a big mistake the founders ,ade, is the PRESIDENCY); he is also not the “head of state”, so it is harder for him to do stupid stuff like that. I think UK spies on and holds people way to much. But, try to let big corp. run all over the British like they do here—they would NEVER put up wioth it. Our govt wouldnt be apying on or hoolding people illegally if the Am. people would stop them…

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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 4:11 pm Link to this comment

Thebeerdoctor and Independent , I keep hereing the mantra ” they’re too big to let fail ” . If thats really the case , then I would say they’re way way too big to let operate without strict regulation and close government oversight . It would also beg the question , perhaps letting a private company get that big is a bad idea in the first place , break em up .

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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi , out of curiosity , which Dayton ?

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By thebeerdoctor, July 31, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

Well this is a lively thread and that is quite understandable. yellowbird2525 makes a very important point that the people who founded this country never intended for big business, and most importantly, big banks, to have a strangle hold on the nation. But that is most certainly what has happened.
It might be wise to forget about applying some label to the procedures necessary to return the government to the status of “we the people”, whether it is called liberal, socialist, conservative or libertarian. These labels are used to divide everyone from taking direct action. Consider this: in England it is the labour Prime Minister of Gordon Brown who wants to extend the government’s ability to hold people without charge. It is the Tory and Liberal Democrats who vehemently object to the erosion of their civil liberties and the rule of law, stating as opposition leader David Cameron pointed out, that if you buy into destroying your freedom, the so-called terrorists most certainly win.
Jersey Girl is correct on this most salient point: the two party system is in fact a one party system. Abandoning them and their agenda is essential, if anything is to be done about this awful mess.

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

It was funny—a little scary at the time…I wish I could go back! My cousins are all married/involved with kids and stuff ( I dont have any) and my uncles and aunts are getting old. I wrote to see if its possible to com ether and live awhile—my uncle Carl said I was “most welcome” but that unless I had a degree in pc’s or engineering I prob. wouldnt be able to stay—Iceland is worse! The dollar is just worth so little!!My degree is in Social Work—I dont speak Danish, althugh they all expected me to. Its a tough language-Icelandic hardest of all—byt everybody speaks English . They get tired of it though…it is sad. I am sad for the uS alot these days. People I met do NOT, for the most part hate Americans—they DO hate our govt—and so do i!

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

Hey Indie, the word i got on Bear Sterns is that, unlike Lehman Bros, it was not a member of the Fed and was thereby expendable.  Lehman Bros on the other hand was bailed out.  The Fed takes care of its own.

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 2:36 pm Link to this comment


“but it was the day a ship with 15,000 Italian sailors on it came into port after l8 mos at sea!! In my French see thru dresas , they thought I was a hooker”

omg.. that’s so freakin funny !  Italian sailors no less..ha!  I’d love to be living in Denmark right now.  Iceland also has a high standard of living.  I think I’d like to live there too.  Right now, almost anywhere but here sounds good to me.  Which is really sad, huh?

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Looks like we “waited thenm out” , folks! Must not gbe THAT much of an “old bag”. Guess they’re getting ready for the Unity Dinner Picnid in Dayton tonight and everywhere! First they were to be Freedom Forums (but we know how much both parties reallylike free speech!), but people took it seriously—now its a UNITY picnic! I had been calling and complaining that I left the SP-USA for nothing , that DFems didnt want to hear from anyone niot supporting Obama, so I get an invitation to “Joinin suporting our Number one goal—electing Obama President!”. Not what I had in mind….projectile vomit here…sorry

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Jim C you are correct! Esp. about Denmark (lol). I lived there for a year and all my aunts and uncles are there—or Norway. They DO have a much superior standard of living—I worked in a Sports Camp with disabled kids—I broke an ankle. A local dr. in Korsor treated it—he acted like I was an idiot to try to pay! I ran out of my throid meds. (yes, goiter belt—hehe)—No Prob!! In ITALY—I got heat stroke in a train station (napoli—i was dressed too warm for 100 degrees—but it was the day a ship with 15,000 Italian sailors on it came into port after l8 mos at sea!! In my French see thru dresas , they thought I was a hooker (LOL) so I changed, passed out, the conductor puit me up for the day and a dr came to the station. We CAN do this (Yes we can!—Sorry..)People just have to MAKE it happen! Love you guys 8 (look sideways—eternity sign)

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment

Jim, KDelph, webb…LOL.. I love you guys !

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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Jersey girl , Give me an O , give me a B , give me an A , give me an M , give me an A , Obama , Obama , Obama , he’s the man !!!!! Sorry kid , I just couldn’t resist it .

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By independent, July 31, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

What is obvious is that the two parties are united in using public money to ensure private profits - but we may have to dig a little deeper to see why a bank like Bear Stearns is allowed to fail so long as it is for the benefit of another rival company like J.P. Morgan Chase.

We need only go back to the “progressive” revolution of the 1910s.  While there were some token moves toward social equality among genders, etc… the primary bulk of the legislation in this revolution was to institutionalize a system of nationalized finance controlled by a small group with unelected and transferable power.

If we suspend our skepticism for one moment and believe than an individual candidate or party represents freedom and truth, we will fail to see five harms from that party for every one benefit we receive.

-Someone mentioned that the end result of all capitalist and free market systems is one singular company / monopoly.  Looking at American history, I would say that this process toward consolidation would have imploded long ago had it not been for constant government intervention *on behalf of the monopolists*

While the republicans hide behind the banner of free markets, they work for fascism.  Similarly, while the democrats hide behind progressive populism, they work for regressive taxes (social security, gas taxes, medicare, proposed universal healthcare payroll taxes - these are all flat taxes or even worse - regressive.)

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Today’s Jim Willie…

As vacation season approaches in the Untied States and Canada, the task of reading should give way to looking at pictures to tell a story, or gazing at scenery from a lodge or campground, or lazy afternoons at the beach. Among the many stories out there in the financial ethos, the one that strikes as most important is the bank sector. The selective enforcement of restrictions on shorting bank stocks sticks out like a child suffering acromegaly (Frankenstein disease) in deformity. Its blatant criminality has given the US financial sector its latest (and not last) black eye. This one is a loud banner of corruption waved for the entire world to see, put in the open. In fact, one can easily make the argument that price controls have finally come into the open. More on this in the August Hat Trick Letter. For the financial sector, price controls elevate prices of various securities. The Plunge Protection Team routinely rescues the S&P500;stock index, while JPMorgan routinely lifts the price of USTreasury Bonds of many types. The price controls, now in the open, will gradually find toeholds of political support in the tangible economy, like with gasoline and heating oil, if not natural gas. The issue of survival is critical, for home heating, as shutoffs are not acceptable. The upcoming widespread price control movement is a cinch, a lock, a guarantee to be seen. It ensures grand grotesque shortages to be suffered in the USEconomy, resulting in eventual rationing. The forced ration programs will invite violent response, growing disorder, and eventual chaos. An endless recession is what my forecast calls for, as the nation gradually slides into conditions leading to martial law. The irony in my view is that the US public will beg for martial law in a return for order.

The syndicate in power, widely entrenched in criminal enterprise (both financial and black market trafficking), which has assumed control of the USGovt administration and security organizations and military, might not wish to pass the power baton. Business is too good. They might relish and even salivate at the prospect of martial law. Gold and silver prices will love it, since the banks cannot thrive or even remotely recover in such a limited business opportunity environment. In fact, Wall Street banks have only one business left, managing their demise, as stock and bond issuance has all but vanished. Hatemail continues to my inbox, without much acknowledgement that my forecast in 2006 of a destroyed insolvent US banking system being correct. The bank conditions will lead to growing chaos, a pathogenesis few seem capable to discern.

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 1:33 pm Link to this comment

Few people can also foresee that the many bank bailouts planned for the US national corporate structure make certain a continued decline in the USDollar. With a continued weakening of the USDollar comes greater cost pressures throughout the strained USEconomic landscape. The bankers with their bailouts are buying time before the next US November presidential elections. Whoever wins will have a single agenda: to manage crisis, not to enact new policy. Crisis removes the luxury of an agenda via mandate. A national energy independence program is a great idea. Let’s see if the syndicate in power, which is beholden to military and energy firms, is willing to pursue other energy solutions. The US is dead last among industrial nations for pursuit of unconventional energy apparatus development, with neither nuclear nor natural sources deployed to any meaningful degree. So, the US Federal Reserve encouraged industry to depart our shores and to build an entire economy upon a housing bubble, complete with the reckless insanity of a risk price model in the process of dissolving. So, the Wall Street banks served to destroy the bank system viability, a result of their reckless lending and fraudulent bond package sales on a global basis. So, the big oil firms served to destroy the energy system viability, by preventing almost all efforts to diversify. Thus is the basis of my conclusion that the US is slowly being recognized as a failed state, in a march to Third World status. A puppet government head and compromised Congress enabled the devastation. Even people here in Costa Rica almost daily ask me how the Untied States managed to ruin its country. My experience is that taxicab drivers, shop keepers, and head waiters at restaurants (all eager to discuss matters) in Costa Rica are better informed about the USEconomy, the US banks, and US leaders than the American public!!!


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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 1:31 pm Link to this comment

KDelphi , with communism , the state owns and controls everything , land , press , industry , there is one political party , no private property and all decisions are geared toward the good of the state . In democratic socialism , you can still have private business , private property etc but enterprise is regulated so it serves the interest of the public , not just CEOs , shareholders , those who are born well or are overly aggressive . The main job of government is to make sure business doesn’t go preditory and that the population has its basic needs met . They tend to look at the citizenery more like a huge family , thus not allowing anyone to fall below a certain level . Yes , there will always be people who are lame , lazy etc , probably 5% or so but they believe even those should have basic resources . Those systems generally see being humane to all as a public commitment . Denmark is a decent example as are several other european countries . their living standards are as high or higher than ours and their people tend to feel that the government serves them rather than special interests .

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment

Not to speak ttoo soon (knock on wood), but, Jersey Girl, I believe you are correct!! Puffy party time! Oh, shit, the upper 5% bought up al the champagne. Have some Thunderbird (blaaaahhh..) The closest I’ve seen to a thughtful blog since I gave up and went to ones in the uk, eu or Canada! Also, HuffPo and other I used to go to are ridiculous. PUMA is GOP inspired and grouchy. Th Nation blogged out for obama (oh, now they wrote him a letter!!), and even David Korn—everybody—seems onboard for Obama! And not just onboard—totally on message!! Even my SUNY/Purchase sister who is a prof. in Women’s Eco.!! I’m amazed…sad, too.

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment

Yeah they just concentrate on articles that have Obamalama in the title.  Or else they’d be over here telling us how Obama would save the economy.

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 12:07 pm Link to this comment

Hey guys..not to change the subject or anything.  But do you sense a new freshness in the air around here?  The room is clear of the Obamatized ! (at least for now)

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By yellowbird2525, July 31, 2008 at 11:37 am Link to this comment

NOT for the wealthy; NOT for the Big mega corps; But for the PEOPLE (majority of the legal citizens here in the USA); unfortuately today the elections are RIGGED; it costs $40,000 to $70,000 just to run: & you WILL NOT win if “the powers that be” decide you are not bribeable or malletable to THEIR agenda; IF a vote is put down by the people, it is “overturned” claiming “we know best” Nazi mentality that seems to be the way our nation is being run & direction unfortuately; and the people do nothing; WE have been told there is only communism OR democracy; the lawless “leaders” will put a law on the BOOKS to never enforce it; lately they have been subpeoning original internet archives & changing them; or even like Clintons did: bringing back $800,000 per George Stefanopholus for Hillary’s campaign who supposedly was against it; they claimed “bipartisan” agreement signed Colombia Trade Agreement in 2006; as of 5/1/08 it was still not fully loaded onto the internet but is now with back date of 2006; know this is false cuz I went to demonstation against it on that date; & it had NOT been signed; same is going on at St levels; openly on TV for “staged” town hall meeting one st senator said to st legislature that he might want to “delete” some old laws; taking care not to implicate the Govenor; claiming “democracy” means we can do whatever we want to until the people object strongly enough; and “no one else has a better plan” so we are going with this one; re the water: read Blue Covenant & Blue Oil; Who’s land is it anyway and who’s water is it anyway in news in So Oregon; legislators signing “documents” to mega Corp’s because while water is a human need it is not a human right. Supposedly “elected” officials have the “right” to decide that the water & land belongs to THEM & not to the people; it is happening here in USA today folks; you will not see or hear of it on regulated TV owned by mega Corp’s working with Gov hand n hand; LOOK at India: promising it’s people it made a car for $2500 with 50MPG cars; it voted AGAINST the World Trade Agreement to prevent the mega Corp’s & USA from harming their country futher; HURRAH! a COUNTRY that PROTECTS it’s citizens! (THIS is what is needed today in the USA;)

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

JimC—I think you are correct, at least so far. That’s why there are no true Communist countries—peole are too selfish. Castro had a great idea—then, he decided onoy he could implement it. Chavez is working on the same thing. That does not, however, and I think you wouold agree, give the CIA and Blackwater license to go kill those leaders and their allies. Big Oil hates Chavez so much because he centralized oil and tried to buy out US, EU Chinesse and other Big Oil to take over ownership—BP and Exxon, esp., refused and they’ve been trying to kill him ever since. I also like that, when they had an honest referendum, over whether he should be allowed to be “pres. for life”—the pundits were gearing up—“Gee , I wonder whether he’ll winit—hehehe. Oh, he didnt…duh”. Freer and fairer than OUR elections have been lately! That’s why, when I hear “Communist” China I watn to barf—they never have been, never will be and treat their people like shit. But, so does our govt—not quite as bad—yet.What would be best for the US, I believe , would be a regulated Democracy.Socialist Democracy like the EU. In places where there is a high poverty rate (coming soon to a town near you!), capitalism is a DISSATER! Enron PRIVITIZED the water in Bolivia for awhile—you had to put a coin in a meter to drink (ie. our water bvill—yet oil is free to oil cos., oplus subsidiZed). People rioted and Bolivia droped Enron (thank God), It is for things oiek this that we are hated. But, on the whole, agree. Charge all you fing want for designer shoes, if people are dumbenough to buy them. For foos, houasing, health care, etc. It’s murder—plain and simple. And I hope Bush & Co. are charged—no thanks to Dems.

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By Max Shields, July 31, 2008 at 9:39 am Link to this comment

By BobZ, July 31 at 8:32 am #

I understand every word you said. And your last post provides the assurance that my point was on the mark.

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By BobZ, July 31, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment


You need to learn to read before spouting off your ridiculous opinions. Your interpretation of my comments were totally off the mark.  I think maybe you are the one living in a “dream world”, since you don’t seem to understand how people get elected to the highest office in this land. They don’t do it by appealing to the extremists in the two mainstream parties.

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By samosamo, July 31, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

If Kucinich is on the ballot, which I doubt, I would vote for him, same for Ron Paul.
But I will have to wait until I see a ballot before I vote and hope there is a choice for president otherwise I will vote against my 2 white boy conservatives that want to keep the status quo on everything including the msm strangle hold and the inability of anyone except conservatives voicing an opinion through the media.

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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 9:02 am Link to this comment

KDelphi , correct , with one addendum , the communist style of government leads to the same end as unbridled , unregulated capitalism , or its final result , fascism , a small elite ruling class with everyone else working to support the system and of course the elites . Socialist democracys work quite well however as they favor the welfare and wishes of the majority while keeping would be aristocrats in check .

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

That’s one reason I’m so disappointed—after 8 yrs. of Dubya, I expected (and we prob. could have) we would go with a more progressive nominee—like Kucinich. Or, at least, Edwards. That’s why the Dems need to be taught the lesson they never seem to learn—you cannot throw the avg. perosn under the bus and dis your base as “stupid” and not ex[pect alot of them to become Reagan Dems. (ouch—that word hurts!) The “stupidest” thing is that the DLC etc. seem to think that peope didnt support O because he is “too liberal”—what joke! Th Nation says, “Well, Jim Webb would please blue-collar workes (ie stupid, uneducated) in Ohio and the Rust Bewlt” Thanks alot!

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

I agree with Max Shields et al, in part. What I am basically advocating is a Socialist style Denmocracy (the 2 party system is shit), in which, at least, the necessities of life, are regulated. When the economy no longer serves the people—the people need to change the edconomy. We are in no way beholden to capitalism. Its certainly not in the Constitution. My taxes go to suport this ing war, Charter shcools, faith based initiative, No Child’es behind left, Black water—AAUUGH!I was going to say to beerdr that O is not supposed to be rep./ Wall St. and then I saw what yu are saying. Btw, Wall S has done pretty well, even with the recent roler coaster.O says he “loves the mkt” (MoJo). I’ll bet so! He does ok.As fotr “capitalism raising more people out of dispair and poverty”—I’d have to see stats on that—and what would be your “Control Grou[p”? Whenever capitlist countries “help” other people, its always out of self interes. Hell, even “Christians” anymore (alot of them) seem to do it for “a reward on jusdgement day”. That’s mothing to be proud of. YES, people do do things out of empathy and altruism—but not when it is called stupid, anti-capitalist, etc. I heard a US soldier say that freedom was “being able to go to McDonald w/out getting blowed up”. You KNOW whats wrong with that.

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Samo: “No, your methods have failed and down you go!’
That would get my vote and support. Stand up to these worthless creeps that just think like a CEO that, ‘oh,well that didn’t work but here’s my multi-million dollar pay off and now to find another honeyhole.”

Kucinich is the man who would have said “no”.  That’s why they marginalized him and tried to make him look foolish.  We do still have a chance to at least show the bastards we’ve had it up to here with their conspiracy against the working class..Vote Nader/Gonzalez or any 3rd party for that matter instead of the corrupt “one party” system.

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By yellowbird2525, July 31, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

democracy due to the graft & corruption of the USA Gov working hand n hand with mega Corp’s has become the most despised name on the planet & for good reason: our nation was originally set up for all taxes to be paid for by Big Business: instead, after a 1 x tax was put on after the war, the Big Boys went to the Congress; and reversed it; instead, today in Oregon on 5/08 electric bill there is a charge now saying we are going to be paying Corp’s taxes; (remember Ronald Reagan voiced this: no Corp’s should have to pay taxes); the FDA is a joke: it works hand n hand for whatever works for the guys with most $; consider this: even the EPA has come under attack for allowing the pollutants to do whatever they want to do; IF the Fed & St’s are so broke: why do they have so much $ that they give to “immigrants” under heading refugees with benefits? And why are they now going to even pay for all collages in Oregon: (except for legals of course); it is a SCAM folks: because of the power of PRINT & IMAGES what you see on TV is carefully monitored & “staged” for you; ever heard of laundered $? How do you suppose that the “overpayment” to Corp’s gets BACK to the Gov? Easy to manipulate figures on paper; and all the “lost” equipment; never was there to begin with. Only on paper. Every other country on the planet knows what is going on in the USA except for most citizens. Claiming “freedom” is the goal of the USA in Iraq, Iran & the “world” (bush) the problem is that the citizens in the USA are only free for every single Corp or business to target, exploit to the max, working jointly together with our Gov’s knowledge & approval & even to the point of working hand in hand to DECEIVE the people. Rice runs over seas & admonished “no Gov should abuse it’s people”; well, according to the rest of the world WE are slaves, & the most abused folks on the planet earth; instead of being run for what is the BEST for the people of this country: it is being run for what is the worst with our leaders blessings; we may have FREEDOMS but we are NOT free; nor even well governed; I have sat & watched them LAUGH at us (St Congress); they cannot believe we are so incredibly stupid to fall for all their “gimmicks”; we do not need Mafia; folks; our Gov has them beat all to heck & beyond. Claiming “this is the way democracy works”; NOT; it is the way our GOV elected to allow it go go; we are People of Worth in an anti American Gov; it is STAGED folks: laws had to be “set aside” to allow this to “supposedly” happen: like the WMD in Iraq; gosh, some folks are still under the impression that Al Quieda is whom we are fighting there! (NOT SO) no links at all with Al Quieda per exhaustive indepth study the Gov refused to put on internet as promised; they DID let out the blub that “Suni’s want to be known as Al quieda; it is ALL LIES, FALSE PICTURES, folks; read independent media for facts! you will not find them on Corp working with Gov owned newspapers & Tv stations;

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 8:36 am Link to this comment

And it IS FUBAR—FUBAR is what it is….

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By Max Shields, July 31, 2008 at 8:33 am Link to this comment

By HyperionsMadness, July 31 at 6:51 am #

You mentioned food. Our food system is the first thing that needs to change and it needs to be integral to our new economy. An alternative food system will be local, local fresh distribution systems are being developed and must be connected to local farmers (as local as you can get). We need a complete revamping of our economics. Growth as we know it is not sustainable - PERIOD.

Capital is simply the means to production. Capital exists in all economics. Anything with an ism begins to take us into the terrain of ideology and then to a fundamentalist dogmatism that has become the dominant narrative in the West (TINA - There Is No Alternative cried Margret Thatcher). But there is an alternative. What is bad about any economics is when it becomes preditory. US Capitalism is a preditory system which is nothing short of a full blow monster roaming the earth, plundering and killing at will.

As such it creates enemies and strengthens its resolve by injecting fear and dominance. That is not an economy it’s…well I said it - a MONSTER.

Human scale economies reduce materialism to a tiny fraction of the total economy. It is based both on local and universal human needs. Manfred Max-Neef has provided the framework. But sustainable economics begins the healing process and reconnects human life with all natural life. Today we walk around puffed up (think Obama prancing around Europe and acting like he’s the new King of the World in his shirt and tie).

Until we reconnect with the web of life we will continue on a downward spiral moving toward extinction.

I’m optimistic, but only so far as we turn away from the abstract nation-state monster begin locally to reknit our communities and bring about a natural economic order.

Again, food is central. As the bumper sticker says: No Farms No Food. Anything short of human-scale economics is just more of what we’ve got.

Sometimes children see it clearer 13 year old Severn Suzuki:

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

HM i don’t really disagree with you’re out look here, but i would argue that it was cheap oil that allowed the major progression in well being of the average American, as well as propelling the world’s population from 1 to 6 billion.

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By samosamo, July 31, 2008 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Another cave in. All it would take is a real person becoming president to look all these classless pricks in the eye and say ‘you know what? Your actions have brought on all manner of unwanted hardship and you are begging or threatening me to bail you out at the people’s expense just like the Savings & Loan crisis which most of you have forgotten about but just like the sneakthief it is, it is still lingering around reeking havoc with the new generations that don’t even know what they are paying for. Kinda like a blowback of some sort. No, your methods have failed and down you go!’
That would get my vote and support. Stand up to these worthless creeps that just think like a CEO that, ‘oh,well that didn’t work but here’s my multi-million dollar pay off and now to find another honeyhole.’
Straight out elitist white boy country club bullshit!
I would also direct your attention to the body language splayed out all across that photo above and see if you can read the messages jumping off their faces, including obama’s. None of it is inspiring.

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By thebeerdoctor, July 31, 2008 at 8:22 am Link to this comment

Sorry I am late to this thread, hello Jersey Girl, Max, webbedouin and all…
There are several matters here. The reason Obama thinks Robert Rubin is the best and brightest is probably because when Newt and congress tried to shut down the government, Rubin knew where unused funds could be found to keep it running. The fact that he partially enabled the stock market to get fat and happy during his tenure as Treasury Secretary, helped him to get the nickname Saint Rubin on Wall Street. This is understandable strategy for Obama, who probably longs to be a two term president like Bill Clinton, where the stock exchange soars from criminal speculation, but not before the key players had a run of the table, cashing in by dumping ridiculously priced stock… DNC’s Terry McAulfie is a prime example.
The other thing about Obama is a money class issue. The wealthy liberals feel comfortable supporting a brown skin man, it relieves any responsibility to have to show any empathy for those disposable Americans… you know, my folks, the peasants. So it is not surprising that successful celebrities, from Tom Hanks to Michael Moore. embrace Obama’s candidacy. After all, Ebony magazine has said that Barack is Number 1, on the list of the top 25 “Coolest Brothers Of All Time”.
On the business of Ron Paul which is mentioned quite a bit on this thread. The libertarian philosophy which advocates free markets suffers from a terrible flaw. That flaw is that economic libertarianism can only successfully operate when the participants act in their own enlightened self interests. Although they think capital represents freedom, monopolized capitalism most certainly does not. Gresham’s law is a fact.

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By HyperionsMadness, July 31, 2008 at 8:04 am Link to this comment

Jim C: Right on, most of the problems in the world would be well on their way to being fixed if there was simply a commitment to hold people accountable to the same standards

Jersey Girl: That’s exactly why even though I majored in History/Political Science i chose not go into those fields for a career. To much Ivory Tower syndrome going on all over the place…

Webbedouin:I know you are being sarcastic, but capitalism did give more people the chance to make their lives be something other than nasty, brutish, and short than at any other time in the history of humanity. As with most things taken to great excess the benefit to all tipped over into the benefit of the few…

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By Sonnydee1945x, July 31, 2008 at 7:59 am Link to this comment

If you want to stop them then stop supporting them. money is all they care about so hit them where it hurts.

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By KDelphi, July 31, 2008 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

I agree with Jersey Girl and Max, BUT, its the least we can do. I simply dont believe in a capitalist system. And, if poor and working class peole in the uS knew what it REALLY meant, they wouldnt either. The neo-cons and rich people inthe press and Blue Dogs have all convinced them that its Communism (there is NO true Communist country in the world today—or for any length of time—EVER! People are just too selfish), which they equate with monopolies and totalitarianism; or totally “free mkts”. And, anyone who “believes in the free mkt” (ie. Rich, selfish peole or people wh are ignorant of what it means)under supply side economics of the Friedmans school, has to explain to me these things: the horrible Rx Drug Bill that disallows bargaining for quantities or generics; Medicare “Advantage” (for the corp. that can getr it in on it);The “competition” in gas, oil, elec. , water and utilities mkts. cable tv, search engines (in reality); The Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae, etc. BS; the union busting of the GOP and the Taft-Hartley Actr employed by Reagan-zap!;your “choices” in health care coverage if you’re old , disabled or sick;your “choice” to go bankrupt, like Dubya got bailed out by Uncle Abdullah, but we cant even keep our house, even if its med. bills; choice of knowing where food comes from; the ridiculous subsidies to oil cos. (who made $40 billi9on this yr.—record for anyone, forever!!), car cos, agri-business; the “contractors” hired by Daddy Warvbucks (Cheney)to build crappy stuff and use people from Sierra Leone as slaves who were told they wer going to Dubai to work; Blackwater getting $150,00 a yr. , and areunder NO law, ANYWHERE—not US law, not Iraqi law, not Military Commissions—nothing. And they shot and killed people in New Orleans for taking bread and pop,after the dumbass gov. deputized them. Look for them to be used on YOU soon.

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By HyperionsMadness, July 31, 2008 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

Max Shields:
I agree entirely with what you said. Those three economists(well 2 since Hurwicz passed earlier this year) that i refer to actually seem to be attempting to re-evaluate the traditional economic model by expanding game theory to help determine social well being as it relates to economic theory. There is still a long way to go before economic theory realizes that numbers and probabilities cannot replace humans, but at least people are trying to use the theories to create a better abstract notion of our existence.

It’s always staggered me that land is treated the way it is today. Land determines everything, even though presently we can have golf courses in deserts and hotels in oceans, being able to truely manipulate land is only a recent development. Through the benefits of interstate commerce, and on a wider level global commerce, people have access to items that they would never normally have. I think that is the main reason why most people never think about land and what it truely means other than some place to plop a house down and call it your own. This lack of thought about the nature of land is going to lead to huge repercussions as we fall further down the energy abyss.

On a local level, i’m in Georgia btw, think about when it becomes too expensive to get food and essentials from everywhere except the surrounding states. It’s going to be a nightmare trying to figure out how to return to a localized economy that con provide food, shelter, clothing, etc… On a global level we are facing a water/food shortage world wide that no one is even thinking about because the developed world takes those two absoultely essential items for granted.

I dont like being a doomsayer, but all signs seem to be pointing that we are FUBAR unless tremendous action is taken during the next 2 decades. Which given the lack of global leader ship it’s going to be too little too late and if we survive, people in the future will view this the same way the black plague is viewed except humanity will be to blame…

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By webbedouin, July 31, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

All in all you have to admire the capitalist system as it has developed.  They have managed to privitize the profits and socialize the loses.  The best of both worlds at the expense of the taxpayers. 

Thank you sir, may i have another!

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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 7:35 am Link to this comment

Hyperion:  I agree with Max. Intellectuals tend to live in the paper world.  Their theories, though they look great on paper, don’t always pan out as well in the real world. It’s obvious we need a total revamp on our thinking as far as the economy goes.

I think Jim’s comment is the simplest and most correct answer. Hold the bastard corporations responsible !

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By Jim C, July 31, 2008 at 7:11 am Link to this comment

Ya know , if we would simply start seizing the profits from these pigs when they pull something like this it would go a long way in discouraging the behavior . If they understood that if they put together some scam like this and if blows up there would be no profit ( and maybe even a stiff fine ) it would certainly be a disincentive . While we’re at it we could put them in jail too . Gee , what a concept , take back their ill gotten gains and put them in jail . It’s what conservatives clamor for isn’t it , personal responsibility and tough on crime , Whats good for blue collar crime should be just ass good for white collar crime don’t you think .

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By Max Shields, July 31, 2008 at 6:56 am Link to this comment

By HyperionsMadness, July 31 at 4:43 am #

In short we should avoid all monopolies impacting the public.

But the problem is deeper. Like democracy, markets are based on trusted relationships. This is not possible on the scale that we play the free market game.

The issue with most of the economists up for or having received a Noble Prize (with rare exceptions) is that they follow the neo-classical economic programme. Their work is buried in mathematical models that have almost nothing to do with real life exchanges. Neo-classical economists have eliminated the most essential component from their models: LAND. Land (all natural resources) is subsumed under capital. When Land is not a discrete part of economic thinking it becomes a “tool”. Land is NOT a tool. Access to land is the most essential element to any economics - absent that we have conflict, poverty and war.

That is why local living economies reflect a people oriented economics which is based on recipriocity and trusted relationships on a human scale. The abstraction of economics is what got us where we are - in one hell of a mess. A global and even national economy cannot ever provide that. I would go further: ECO-nomics would provide a deeper and sustainable economy, one that is not based on (un)economic growth (it actually costs more to “grow” the economy).

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By HyperionsMadness, July 31, 2008 at 5:43 am Link to this comment

Jersey Girl: One thing i dont think i made clear in my post…
I’m not saying that privatized commodities shouldn’t be regulated, both private and public should be regulated, but there should be different levels of based on the product being considered. Unfortunately this actually requires people to take time and think about things, it’s much more convenient for someone like Bush to say let the market sort it out because i enjoy playing golf while the country burns…

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By HyperionsMadness, July 31, 2008 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Paolo: I think i get what you are trying to say but doesnt the regulation to prevent harm make the markets not free? Shouldnt it be called somehthing else like fair trade?

Jersey Girl: Like with most things, there is no clear cut one way is better than the other. The most recent work done on economic theory about privatisation and free markets shows what should be ovbious: Public goods do not do well in a privatized, free market because “consumers are not perfectly informed, competition is not completely free, and privately desirable production and consumption may generate social costs and benefits.”

Private commodities typically do well because if a consumer gets screwed by a bad product like say a poorly made car or refrigerator, it’s just one person. If enough people get screwed by it, in this day of unprecedented access to information people will typically find out and not buy the product. the company then has to either fix the problem or die.

The problem is that when public goods like healthcare, the quality of the environment, education, etc… go bad, the effect is typically devastating to hundreds of thousands of people both in the short and long term. This is kind of a crude analogy, but i think it makes the point clearly. If your refigerator goes bad sure you’ve got to shell out money for a new one and deal with rotting food, but if the hospital is poorly maintained and you get a staph infection you could die.

The three guys who are working on this are Leonid Hurwicz, Eric Maskin, and Roger Myerson, Americans who just won the Nobel Prize in Economics last year for mechanism design.

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By Marc Schlee, July 31, 2008 at 3:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American voters!

Strike, bring the government and economy to a halt until we are granted the power to dismiss politicians mid-term.



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By jersey girl, July 31, 2008 at 2:47 am Link to this comment

Paolo:  Ok,fair enough but as you say:

“You reflect a common misperception. Ron Paul advocates a society in which business is free to produce products and sell them for a profit, so long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. Clearly, spewing toxic chemicals into the air infringes on your rights, and should be forbidden by law. “

If there is no oversight (which would be regulation) And here I agree that regulation is only as good as the people who appoint them to regulate.  Who will then decide whether the company is infringing on the rights of others?  If they are, who will be there to stop them?  I’m assuming Paul expects the public to just not buy their product. But the public as a whole may not find out they are producing a “poisonous” product until many of them become sick or die.  That happens now of course, but how will that change with privatization?

Btw another thing that bothers me about Paul is that he voted against raising the minimum wage every single time.  Expecting conglomerates to pay their workers a fair wage is just foolish.  Most companies, maybe not all but most, don’t give a damn about their employees as long as they produce their product for them at the lowest overhead.

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