Amero?

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  1. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    I agree, GSEs are horrible. They're trying to make banks into GSEs with the bailout. Force them to take bailouts then tell them how to run their operations because they took bailouts. Is that capitalism?
    Reread your history, banks have never been anything but GSEs in disguise and have been getting bailed out by the US government since its inception. the whole point of the Fed and FDIC was to ensure a safety net for banks. This is nothing new what we're going through right now.


  2. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    Don't forget the bottom 95%, who have their wages and savings in a state of terminal devaluation, who can't write off their property as a capital expense and whom the government charges rent on that same property for a near worthless education, which then forces said bottom 95% to gamble with their retirement via investments to hopefully outrun inflation so they'll still be able to pay all their taxes to the government and not starve to death.
    Well said. A great argument for the gold standard.


    The rich do not necessarily provide jobs. The rich who invest well and use their resources productively do.
    How many non-rich people provide jobs. Most business owners who emply people are at the very least upper middle class (aka top 5-10%). Given that backdrop the rich provide jobs. I'm not saying all rich people provide jobs, I'm saying that jobs are provided by rich people.

    The rich are just as capable of using their money to buy special favors from the government.
    Only if the government asks for and/or receives their bribes.
    GDP growth is largely irrelevant, it's a statistical artifact and mostly a measure of consumer and government spending which really says **** about the economy in the end.
    Agreed. My point was that rich people drive the economy, not wage earners.

    Large amounts of taxes to the US government isn't a good thing, that money would be better off in the private sector where it would be used more productively. Funding the government that accounts for 40% of all spending in the economy, not counting off budget spending, and has the highest per capita imprisonment rate in the world, a federal code that grows and spreads like some super fungus to stifle economic activity everywhere, a perpetual war department, and an acronym soup of agencies that regulates damn near every aspect of our public and private lives, isn't a good thing in my book.
    Agreed. Taxes suck. However, the same politicians that are raping the rich are paid by the rich. That was my point.

    I'd be happier if the rich revolted and told the government to go **** itself.
    Sounds like the plot of an Ayn Rand book. Rock on!

    Some do, but why indeed are they unemployed and parasitic? Have all human wants been satisfied, has the well of general '**** to do' run dry? Or have they been forced below the line of the productively employable by a ****load of government regulations that have essentially made them dependents on other people? Some I don't doubt are parasitic in nature, a lot have just been screwed by a system which is geared to provide easy money and credit to the higher ups. Some people think this will benefit the poor, they are mistaken. Some understand it's a hand out system, and just don't care. Still some others don't know what the hell is going on.
    As I said above, the bottom 20% of the population get 80% of their money through entitlement programs. There is not "working poor" in the United States. Yes, this is the "great society". No sinking or swimming, just floating and drifting aimlessly.

    The rich take more than their share of welfare from the government. Look at TARP and the current bail out. The only reason these are 'necessary' is because it's become increasingly difficult to accomplish such wealth transfers on the sly through inflation, so direct transfers are now necessary.
    I've compared TARP to getting stabbed in the gut once versus getting punched in the face every day for the rest of your life. Getting stabbed sucks, but your wound heals, a daily punch doesn't. American politicians are averse to any economic pain to the American populace.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    More. Greed exists in all sectors to the point of unethical behavior. It is the government policies though that enable such people and fool others into behaving in ways that lead to mass error and clusters of bad investments like we deal with in the boom bust cycle. The key point is the clustering. It takes no economics to explain why businesses fail and money is lost. People are people, sometimes they're wrong. What needs explaining is why all of a sudden do so many people, with whatever motivations good or ill, make the same bad move and end up screwing the pooch all at once. The answer is institutional bias/incentive to do so, and only the government can provide that.
    Well said. If multiple institutions that have survived and thrived for over 150 years all go insolvent at ~ the same time, there is obviously an external factor that led to their poor risk management.

  4. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    Reread your history, banks have never been anything but GSEs in disguise and have been getting bailed out by the US government since its inception. the whole point of the Fed and FDIC was to ensure a safety net for banks. This is nothing new what we're going through right now.
    Good point. I guess it would be more accurate to say that banks are no longer GSEs in disguise, there now just GSEs.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    How many non-rich people provide jobs.
    Providing a job isn't the only way to contribute to the economy. Being productive in a job is another way one can add to total social utility. And most people who do that are non-rich. The rich entrepreneur is useless without labor to work for him.

    I'm not saying all rich people provide jobs, I'm saying that jobs are provided by rich people.
    Rich people also have the lobbying power to provide us with restrictive regulations and wealth transfers to them, either directly or in the form of inflation. Rich or poor is not a useful characteristic for distinguishing who is a net tax payer (productive citizen) vs a net tax consumer (parasitic citizen). You'll find payers and consumers in both camps, and a rich tax consumer is a lot worse than a poor tax consumer. All the poor tax consumer wants generally is a home of sorts, some deep fried oreos, cable TV, and an occasional doctor's visit. The rich tax consumer wants war reconstruction contracts, infra structure contracts, investment guarantees disguised as foreign aid, federal subsidies and bail outs, etc.

    Only if the government asks for and/or receives their bribes.
    True, but who is leading in a dance doesn't subtract from the fact that it does take two to tango.

    Agreed. My point was that rich people drive the economy, not wage earners.
    And you'd be wrong. Wage earners are the ones who actually produce stuff. Nor is it only necessarily the rich who enable them via capital accumulation, it's the total pool of available loanable funds coming from everyone who demonstrates thrift to some degree or another. Any one person who defers consuming now in favor of savings is adding to the pool of available funds for investment. This is true of the rich as much as it is true of the McDonald's employee with a savings account.

    Sounds like the plot of an Ayn Rand book. Rock on!
    I left out the kinky sex. Any way, I think she was a bad writer overall.

    As I said above, the bottom 20% of the population get 80% of their money through entitlement programs. There is not "working poor" in the United States. Yes, this is the "great society". No sinking or swimming, just floating and drifting aimlessly.
    There's plenty of working poor here, they come across the border. But that's another issue. What I think you're missing though is what choice do those bottom 20% have? Should they live in the street and starve on principle? They can't work for a job that pays less than the minimum wage, jobs that pay more are politicially limited, and thanks to inflation enabled by rich bankers who want even more money than they already have, even if they score one of the limited minimum wages jobs available it's not enough or barely enough to live on. So what should they do? Were I in their position I'd take every advantage I could get, government provided or otherwise. Those are the ****ers who would be responsible for starving me, if they offer a reach around of any kind, I'm taking it.

    Good point. I guess it would be more accurate to say that banks are no longer GSEs in disguise, there now just GSEs.
    Basically yeah. Nationalized in all but name now.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    Providing a job isn't the only way to contribute to the economy. Being productive in a job is another way one can add to total social utility. And most people who do that are non-rich. The rich entrepreneur is useless without labor to work for him.
    While production is important, it is the man who creates the opportunity to work that drives capitalism, not the man who fills the role the producer created.

    Rich people also have the lobbying power to provide us with restrictive regulations and wealth transfers to them, either directly or in the form of inflation. Rich or poor is not a useful characteristic for distinguishing who is a net tax payer (productive citizen) vs a net tax consumer (parasitic citizen). You'll find payers and consumers in both camps, and a rich tax consumer is a lot worse than a poor tax consumer. All the poor tax consumer wants generally is a home of sorts, some deep fried oreos, cable TV, and an occasional doctor's visit. The rich tax consumer wants war reconstruction contracts, infra structure contracts, investment guarantees disguised as foreign aid, federal subsidies and bail outs, etc.
    True, but who is leading in a dance doesn't subtract from the fact that it does take two to tango.
    As I said before. I cannot fault a businessman for exhausting every legal pathway to make money and create advantages over their competitors. I can fault the politician who abuses his position as a public servant to take "donations" from lobbyists.

    And you'd be wrong. Wage earners are the ones who actually produce stuff.
    Wage earners do not create stuff, wage earners use existing processes to manufacture stuff. The production is built on the brains of the creators. Could you really give credit to an assembly line worker for producing an automobile and not Henry Ford? The beauty of the process that Ford created is that basically anyone can step in and learn their piece of the pie in a relatively short amount of time. The wage earners are not driving the train they're passengers.

    Nor is it only necessarily the rich who enable them via capital accumulation, it's the total pool of available loanable funds coming from everyone who demonstrates thrift to some degree or another. Any one person who defers consuming now in favor of savings is adding to the pool of available funds for investment. This is true of the rich as much as it is true of the McDonald's employee with a savings account.
    Well said, everything you said about savings is entirely true. However, at this point in America, most Americans who are not rich and even some that are are extremely leveraged and have an abysmal rate of savings. The average savings rate is -2% in this country. Credit card debt is the norm in this country. The Fed's easy money has made saving an anachronism in this country.

    I left out the kinky sex. Any way, I think she was a bad writer overall.
    I think she has solid plots, but her book's dialogues often read like sandpaper.

    There's plenty of working poor here, they come across the border. But that's another issue.
    I respect anyone who comes here to work. Most Americans used to have the same work ethic that they bring, not anymore.

    What I think you're missing though is what choice do those bottom 20% have? Should they live in the street and starve on principle? They can't work for a job that pays less than the minimum wage, jobs that pay more are politicially limited, and thanks to inflation enabled by rich bankers who want even more money than they already have, even if they score one of the limited minimum wages jobs available it's not enough or barely enough to live on. So what should they do? Were I in their position I'd take every advantage I could get, government provided or otherwise. Those are the ****ers who would be responsible for starving me, if they offer a reach around of any kind, I'm taking it.
    Agreed. They take it on utility. The problem is that the entitlement programs have killed America's historically high rate of social mobility. Since the late 1960s the social mobility of the poor has diminished and continues to do so. I don't think you can necessarily "blame" the poor, but I wouldn't hold them blameless for their predicament. I think more blame should be placed on the "great society" programs and anti-business legislation with which the left has plagued our country.

  7. To me part of the problem is that everything is geared towards keeping the flow of money going to the top 10%. Our entire economic systems is not based on saving, it is based on spending. The government gives a stimulus check and says don't pay off bills or put it into savings, spend it.

    Remember before the Fed was created there was no Federal Income Tax. If you didn't know the fed was created at jekyll island. A secret meeting between the seven riches men in the world. It is estimated those 7 men owned over 45% of the worlds wealth. Not all of them were American, nor are all of the owners of the member banks at this time American. Besides giving these men control of our nations money, it also made sure that New York would always be the power center of America. The Fed was sold to the people with the believe that it would bring market stability. I think we can all say it has failed in that regard.

    Remember it is the is wealthy, the very wealthy who provide the books our children use in schools. Who decide what we learn. Either it be from T.V, newspapers or even in the major universities. There is a very big movement both in the U.S and in the U.N to create a Global Workforce Training. Congressmen Henry Hyde said it best,

    “Children’s careers will be chosen for them by workforce development boards and federal agencies ‘at the earliest possible age.’… All children and adults will be forced to be retrained in order to qualify for work certificates--home, Christian, privately-schooled children included!"

    The new standards fit the “seamless web” of “cradle to grave” learning designed by Marc Tucker. As chief of the National Center on Education and the Economy, which began as an agency within the globalist Carnegie Foundation, Tucker leads the nationwide school-to-work program. In a jubilant 1992 post-election letter to Hillary Clinton, he described the new education program:

    “…regulated on the basis of outcomes… in which curriculum, pedagogy, examinations, and teacher education and licensure systems are all linked to the national standards… a system that rewards students who meet the national standards with further education and good jobs….”

    What happens to those who's life starts out rough but will strive once they leave home?

    If you wish to find out more go here

    The following is a great book about the history of education. How those in power both in government and financial have shaped our education to meet there visions.

    How do you change peoples ideas and values? Education.

    This post has the same title as a book by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt, former Senior Policy Advisor in the U.S. Department of Education, who blew the whistle in the 80's on government activities withheld from the public:
    http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/pages/book.htm

    This terrific book is available for downloading:
    http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com.../DDDoA.sml.pdf

  8. Quote Originally Posted by jonesboy View Post
    ... All children and adults will be forced to be retrained in order to qualify for work certificates--home, Christian, privately-schooled children included ...
    How about you Jones, how do you prep modern kids for this? I doubt there's gonna be a certificate for video games or cell phones. I think this plan sounds very efficient and streamlined to see who's good at what and cross-train the rest, but how would it be achieved?

  9. I think this can show that it is the central government that is destroying the school system. To me that systems sounds like they are herding sheep.

    Compare our current modern day test to an 8th grade test in 1895. Where did things start to slide? Read that book Dumbing Down America.

    Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?
    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895
    Grammar (Time, one hour)
    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’
    5. Define case; illustrate each case.
    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
    7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
    Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. for tare?
    4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
    Orthography (Time, one hour)
    [Do we even know what this is??]
    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
    4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, fei gn, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
    Geography (Time, one hour)
    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of North America
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco .
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
    7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
    Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.
    Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?!
    Also shows you how poor our education system has become!

  10. Quote Originally Posted by jonesboy View Post
    To me part of the problem is that everything is geared towards keeping the flow of money going to the top 10%.
    I could not disagree more. As I said before the bottom 20% of the population lives off the taxes of the rest of the population. Welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Unemployment Benefits, Food Stamps, Public Schools, and Federal College Scholarship Programs are benefits paid for by other segments of the population that ultimately do nothing to benefit anybody rich. We live in a welfare state that tries to fleece the rich to pay the poor. Yes, some rich can peddle influence with politicians, but ultimately, its the poor that are the free loaders.

    Our entire economic systems is not based on saving, it is based on spending. The government gives a stimulus check and says don't pay off bills or put it into savings, spend it.
    Its the effect of Keynesian economics. "In the long run we're all dead" turned into "In 4 years we're all up for reelection". Ignorant economic theory to justify power brokering for bigger federal government dominates Washington.

    Remember before the Fed was created there was no Federal Income Tax. If you didn't know the fed was created at jekyll island. A secret meeting between the seven riches men in the world. It is estimated those 7 men owned over 45% of the worlds wealth. Not all of them were American, nor are all of the owners of the member banks at this time American. Besides giving these men control of our nations money, it also made sure that New York would always be the power center of America. The Fed was sold to the people with the believe that it would bring market stability. I think we can all say it has failed in that regard.
    Everything you said is true. However, what has changed since then is: the US has abandoned free market economics, the gold standard, and Washington has taken New York as the power center in America. The Fed is bad. Washington economic domination. I'd rather have a few greedy bankers dominate the economic matters than a few greedy politicians.

    Remember it is the is wealthy, the very wealthy who provide the books our children use in schools. Who decide what we learn. Either it be from T.V, newspapers or even in the major universities. There is a very big movement both in the U.S and in the U.N to create a Global Workforce Training.
    If that were true, don't you think they'd be teaching an American history that was not anti-business/pro big government. The rich get no benefit from a welfare state in which there vilified. They stand to gain the most in a free market system that lacks government regulation. Kids are taught in school that this system is evil and to blame for all society's ills.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    If that were true, don't you think they'd be teaching an American history that was not anti-business/pro big government. The rich get no benefit from a welfare state in which there vilified. They stand to gain the most in a free market system that lacks government regulation. Kids are taught in school that this system is evil and to blame for all society's ills.
    Remember you have to give a little to take a lot. Yes they talk about the Rockefellers and the JP Morgans monopolies. But then they stop.

    They don't talk about the Rockefeller foundation that has 5% of stock in each of the companies before the break up. That he still maintained major interest in all the companies. And that he still owned out right many of them. lol then shall we move on to the banks and the FED. Bank of America is the bank of the Rockefellers and one of the founding member banks of the FED. The current names of standard oil companies. Exxon, Chevron, Mobil and Amocco.

    Shall we dig deeper into there influence and power?

    But i digress, what many history books are not teaching anymore is the rights of the workers. When they do, it is ancient history, like we have moved so far from that. Unions are looked at as an evil entity.

    What is being taught is socialism. If you are the people who control the money do you really care what the people with no power, no money or influence say? It really doesn't matter who is in power in the government because you control the money.

    Mayer Amschel Rothschild, quotes about Rothschild:
    "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."

    I know you always talk about the poor or the bottom 20%. The government and the elite want poor people. They need people to do the jobs that no one else will do.

    As far as the media and the elite, read this.

    The Media Moguls, the Bankers, and the CFR
    While browsing an online forum I came across a very interesting thread where the posters had done some research on the media.

    What the posters have found is that in the board of directors of some of the 6 corporations that own most of the media, some names appear over and over again; some of them also appear in the board of directors of some very large banks and other financial institutions; some are on the boards of large oil companies, and have relationships with some of the highest people in government, and some are members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by jonesboy View Post
    Remember you have to give a little to take a lot. Yes they talk about the Rockefellers and the JP Morgans monopolies. But then they stop.
    You have got to be kidding me. It goes much deeper than that. Big Government is consistently glorified while limited government is ridiculed. Businessman are written off as greedy, while the politicians that abuse them are glorified as selfless heroes. I'm a history major I suffered through 4 years of studying the "evils of private enterprise". I'll find you a bunch of quick examples of revisionist history if you want.

    They don't talk about the Rockefeller foundation that has 5% of stock in each of the companies before the break up. That he still maintained major interest in all the companies. And that he still owned out right many of them. lol then shall we move on to the banks and the FED. Bank of America is the bank of the Rockefellers and one of the founding member banks of the FED. The current names of standard oil companies. Exxon, Chevron, Mobil and Amocco.
    What you're not acknowledging is that without Rockefeller, Exxon, Chevron, Mobil and Amoco would not exist. Its somehow a conspiracy if Rockefeller gets to keep the wealth he created?

    But i digress, what many history books are not teaching anymore is the rights of the workers. When they do, it is ancient history, like we have moved so far from that. Unions are looked at as an evil entity.
    Unions are an evil entity. No good comes from them. They are organizations built on thuggish tactics to muscle the businesses that grant them an existence.

    What is being taught is socialism. If you are the people who control the money do you really care what the people with no power, no money or influence say? It really doesn't matter who is in power in the government because you control the money.
    I agree Socialism is being taught.....excuse me, taught is a misleading word. Socialism is being indoctrinated in the youth. They do have influence. They can vote. Its not about money, as CDB said earlier.....if it were, Ron Paul would have been the Republican nominee. You need more votes than the other guy.

    I know you always talk about the poor or the bottom 20%. The government and the elite want poor people. They need people to do the jobs that no one else will do.
    You misread what I have been saying. The poor in the United States DO NOT WORK, they get free money from Big Brother. You need a tinfoil hat if you think Obama, the Democratic Congress, and big business are on the same page.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    While production is important, it is the man who creates the opportunity to work that drives capitalism, not the man who fills the role the producer created.
    What good is the one without the other? And the man who creates the opportunity is not always the same man who saved and made the funds available to pursue the opportunity. So the situation is very complex and in reality no one person or class is responsible for the economy.

    As I said before. I cannot fault a businessman for exhausting every legal pathway to make money and create advantages over their competitors. I can fault the politician who abuses his position as a public servant to take "donations" from lobbyists.
    Those lobbyists are hired by businessmen to change the law in their favor, often to everyone else's detriment.

    Wage earners do not create stuff, wage earners use existing processes to manufacture stuff. The production is built on the brains of the creators. Could you really give credit to an assembly line worker for producing an automobile and not Henry Ford?
    Yes, because automobiles were produced before Ford and the assembly line, and despite Ford's genius without the workers the plant would have run a lot slower.

    The beauty of the process that Ford created is that basically anyone can step in and learn their piece of the pie in a relatively short amount of time. The wage earners are not driving the train they're passengers.
    Actually as the division of labor become more complex and specialization proceeds apace the 'wage earner' as you call him becomes more indispensable to the economy.

    Well said, everything you said about savings is entirely true. However, at this point in America, most Americans who are not rich and even some that are are extremely leveraged and have an abysmal rate of savings. The average savings rate is -2% in this country. Credit card debt is the norm in this country. The Fed's easy money has made saving an anachronism in this country.
    True, but like you say that's an after effect of the Fed's policy. Why save what's being devalued?

    I think she has solid plots, but her book's dialogues often read like sandpaper.
    Reread The Fountainhead. She's lucky when she actually correctly identifies capitalism.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    If that were true, don't you think they'd be teaching an American history that was not anti-business/pro big government. The rich get no benefit from a welfare state in which there vilified. They stand to gain the most in a free market system that lacks government regulation. Kids are taught in school that this system is evil and to blame for all society's ills.
    Quite the contrary. It is the union of throne and altar that businessmen want. Remember The Fed was pushed through to supposedly 'restrain' greedy bankers and their desire to inflate the currency. The real purpose was to create coherent inflation so no one bank brought another down and, after FDIC was put in, to get a true lender of last resort in place. Those bankers who supported the legislation were called 'enlightened'. According to the press at the time, they saw past their own greed for profits and put the greater good of the nation before their own. And they got exactly what they wanted. The same went for the Sherman Anti Trust Act. It was never designed to do anything but give failing businesses a legal lever to put political pressure on succeeding firms. But that's not how it was sold to the public. Even though the 'trusts' had lowered prices and increased production faster than any other businesses they were villified and the businesses who supported the legislation were once more called 'enlightened'.

    In other words the history of much legislation and almost all so called progressive legislation is anti business / class warfare propoganda cloaking legislation designed to enable businesses, to manage the market, to grant monopoly, etc. That's what I think you are missing; businesses don't want to compete on an open market. They lobby nonstop for market management and legislation that favors them above all their competitors, that keeps out new market entrants, etc., and they always do this under the guise of legislation that is supposedly for 'the public good'. The ICC is another great example, supposedly pushed through to stop railroads from setting high rates, and when it was installed the first thing they did was outlaw secret price cutting. This did the public no good, but it sure as hell made it harder for maverick firms to bust cartel agreements. The railroads are also the primary player in another so called public good legislative coup, preservation. It was the railroads that funded much of, and probably still do fund, the conservation movement west of the mississippi. Why? Well when you own land out there and you get the government to outlaw building on what's left, you can charge through the ass for development of the land you have, usually received as a government grant too. Again, rhetoric about preserving America's treasured landscape cloaks legislation that was really just aimed at driving up land prices for those who already had holdings in the west.

    Most businessmen are anti business. They want government market management. In their favor of course.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    What good is the one without the other? And the man who creates the opportunity is not always the same man who saved and made the funds available to pursue the opportunity. So the situation is very complex and in reality no one person or class is responsible for the economy.
    Agreed.

    Those lobbyists are hired by businessmen to change the law in their favor, often to everyone else's detriment.
    Lobbyist are useless without politicians to change the laws. Lobbyists are the byproduct of the problem, which is crooked politicians.

    Yes, because automobiles were produced before Ford and the assembly line, and despite Ford's genius without the workers the plant would have run a lot slower.
    Ford's genius enabled the 'common man' to be able to afford the automobile, which enabled him to hire many more employees. Ford paid better than competing unionized companies in order to retain his best people and reward excellence. I agree the employees are important, but the employees aren't even employees without Ford, so I value Ford more than his workers.

    Actually as the division of labor become more complex and specialization proceeds apace the 'wage earner' as you call him becomes more indispensable to the economy.
    I guess.

    True, but like you say that's an after effect of the Fed's policy. Why save what's being devalued?
    You're absolutely right.

    Reread The Fountainhead. She's lucky when she actually correctly identifies capitalism.[/QUOTE]

    I've read it like 4 times. Ayn Rand lucky that she identifies capitalism? Have you read any other books by her. She wouldn't have anything else but capitalism.

  16. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    Quite the contrary. It is the union of throne and altar that businessmen want. Remember The Fed was pushed through to supposedly 'restrain' greedy bankers and their desire to inflate the currency. The real purpose was to create coherent inflation so no one bank brought another down and, after FDIC was put in, to get a true lender of last resort in place. Those bankers who supported the legislation were called 'enlightened'. According to the press at the time, they saw past their own greed for profits and put the greater good of the nation before their own. And they got exactly what they wanted. The same went for the Sherman Anti Trust Act. It was never designed to do anything but give failing businesses a legal lever to put political pressure on succeeding firms. But that's not how it was sold to the public. Even though the 'trusts' had lowered prices and increased production faster than any other businesses they were villified and the businesses who supported the legislation were once more called 'enlightened'.

    In other words the history of much legislation and almost all so called progressive legislation is anti business / class warfare propoganda cloaking legislation designed to enable businesses, to manage the market, to grant monopoly, etc. That's what I think you are missing; businesses don't want to compete on an open market. They lobby nonstop for market management and legislation that favors them above all their competitors, that keeps out new market entrants, etc., and they always do this under the guise of legislation that is supposedly for 'the public good'. The ICC is another great example, supposedly pushed through to stop railroads from setting high rates, and when it was installed the first thing they did was outlaw secret price cutting. This did the public no good, but it sure as hell made it harder for maverick firms to bust cartel agreements. The railroads are also the primary player in another so called public good legislative coup, preservation. It was the railroads that funded much of, and probably still do fund, the conservation movement west of the mississippi. Why? Well when you own land out there and you get the government to outlaw building on what's left, you can charge through the ass for development of the land you have, usually received as a government grant too. Again, rhetoric about preserving America's treasured landscape cloaks legislation that was really just aimed at driving up land prices for those who already had holdings in the west.

    Most businessmen are anti business. They want government market management. In their favor of course.
    I agree with much of what you say here, however I think you logic is faulty due to the fact that you generalize businessmen.

    Burton Folsom, in the Myth of the Robber Barons defines businessmen in America into two groups: Market Entrepreneurs and Political Entrepreneurs.

    Market Entrepreneurs use cost cutting, innovative business practices, and superior products to maintain an edge over competitors. Examples of this are Vanderbilt's steamboats, Hill's railroads, Carnegie's steel, JP Morgan's steel, and Rockefeller's oil. Each of these men revolutionized their industries and brought superior products for cheaper to their customers. Each of these men was also victimized by government: Hill and Rockefeller by Sherman Anti-Trust, and Vanderbilt, Hill, Carnegie, and JP Morgan by government interference in market principles through competitor's subsidies and legal action.

    Political Entrepreneurs are the "robber barons" you're thinking of who use lobbyists and legislative influence to distribute inferior products for higher prices. Historically, Market Entrepreneurs beat the living crap out of Political Entrepreneurs, simply because the Market men focused on their business while the Political men focused on influence.

    Maybe things have changed and Political Entrepreneurs run the show now, but its not fair to forget the Market Entrepreneurs who ushered America into greatness did so despite, not because of the government.

  17. We are batteries powering greed.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    We are batteries powering greed.
    Greed, aka enlightened self interest has historically been a major driving force in a America. One can whine about others having more stuff than them, or they can get off their ass and get more stuff.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    Lobbyist are useless without politicians to change the laws. Lobbyists are the byproduct of the problem, which is crooked politicians.
    Here is where I think you make a slight mistake. Politicians are, in the end, the holders of the blame. But in my view that's because they're the ones with the guns who can give a final yes or no. However their crookedness is often just the result of the environment they are in and the perverse incentives they deal with. They are surrounded by the most peculiar poeople in the world, namely bureaucrats with life time appointments, other politicians at all levels, some of them powermad, others just as confused, and lobbyists. Plus they are cut off from normal informational channels you and I take for granted. Take any human being and put him in that mix and chances are they'd start behaving oddly. A Ron Paul, that is someone who sticks to principle, is a rarity.

    Ford's genius enabled the 'common man' to be able to afford the automobile, which enabled him to hire many more employees. Ford paid better than competing unionized companies in order to retain his best people and reward excellence. I agree the employees are important, but the employees aren't even employees without Ford, so I value Ford more than his workers.
    Here is where I think you make another small mistake. So long as human beings want for anything the opportunities for employment of resources, including labor, are endless. In other words Ford himself isn't as important as the capitalist/entrepreneurial function he happened to fulfill, and without the workers that function is useless.

    I guess.
    Try making your own shoes, then tell me how much the cobbler is really worth. Same goes for undercoaters, spot welders, the guy who wires up motorcycles, etc. As the division of labor proceeds we all essentially become specialists capable of producing a lot more in our specialization than if we had to devote our time elsewhere. Hence the increasing demand for labor in an unhampered economy.

    I've read it like 4 times. Ayn Rand lucky that she identifies capitalism? Have you read any other books by her. She wouldn't have anything else but capitalism.
    As she saw it. In the Fountainhead What's-His-Name refuses to alter his design approach for the market, correct? Capitalism/entrepreneurialism is to serve the demand in the market and to anticipate it, not double guess it. Rand's characters to me at least always seem to have this pretense of knowledge the rest of the world doesn't have. She also seems to me at least to not get some aspects of capitalism. As a system it's most profound and significant feature is the price system which is a genuinely social phenomena. It relies on input from all individual market participants but it's content always transends that of any particular individual's contribution. That's one of the reasons a pure socialist state is impossible, not just inefficient: no one mind or even group of minds can access, handle, or even conceive of the information necessary to make economizing activity possible for a modern society. Rand to me seems to shun the social aspect of the system in favor of individualism. In other words, referencing Atlas Shrugged, to her it's not the function John Galt serves that is valuable, it's Galt himself. She misses the cooperative aspect of the market or down plays it at least in favor of some mythic group of super individuals who hold the whole world up with their creativity.

    I agree with much of what you say here, however I think you logic is faulty due to the fact that you generalize businessmen.

    Maybe things have changed and Political Entrepreneurs run the show now, but its not fair to forget the Market Entrepreneurs who ushered America into greatness did so despite, not because of the government.
    Nor is it fair to forget that usually people aren't one or the other. Rockefeller wasn't above taking government grants, J.P. Morgan pushed through the Fed with Rockefeller in order to essentially steal money they couldn't get via honest loans. Both were instrumental in getting the ICC in as well if I recall correctly, which allowed rate setting on the rails. Folsom's book is a good read and it's a valid distinction, but the topic is more complex. I think even James Hill of the Great Northern Railroad had some government 'help' that he took, even though he bragged about getting little to none. As above with Rand, each of these individuals is a mixed bag, the method and function of their actions is what counts.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by CDB View Post
    Here is where I think you make a slight mistake. Politicians are, in the end, the holders of the blame. But in my view that's because they're the ones with the guns who can give a final yes or no. However their crookedness is often just the result of the environment they are in and the perverse incentives they deal with. They are surrounded by the most peculiar poeople in the world, namely bureaucrats with life time appointments, other politicians at all levels, some of them powermad, others just as confused, and lobbyists. Plus they are cut off from normal informational channels you and I take for granted. Take any human being and put him in that mix and chances are they'd start behaving oddly. A Ron Paul, that is someone who sticks to principle, is a rarity.
    I see a lobbyist as the same as the miniature satan on the shoulder of cartoon tempting them. Ron Paul is a rarity, but so was a Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Just because most of the legislative branch listens to their satan on their shoulder instead of the angel, does not mean they're not culpable.

    Here is where I think you make another small mistake. So long as human beings want for anything the opportunities for employment of resources, including labor, are endless. In other words Ford himself isn't as important as the capitalist/entrepreneurial function he happened to fulfill, and without the workers that function is useless.
    This is perhaps the oldest debate by historians. If Napoleon wasn't there, would France still have taken over Europe? I believe individuals drive the world, not groups and conditions.
    Try making your own shoes, then tell me how much the cobbler is really worth. Same goes for undercoaters, spot welders, the guy who wires up motorcycles, etc. As the division of labor proceeds we all essentially become specialists capable of producing a lot more in our specialization than if we had to devote our time elsewhere. Hence the increasing demanda for labor in an unhampered economy.
    I'm not saying those people are not worthy of respect, but I'm saying the cobbler wouldn't have a job without John Shoe, the creator of shoes. Employees fill a useful role, but creators are more important.

    As she saw it. In the Fountainhead What's-His-Name refuses to alter his design approach for the market, correct? Capitalism/entrepreneurialism is to serve the demand in the market and to anticipate it, not double guess it. Rand's characters to me at least always seem to have this pretense of knowledge the rest of the world doesn't have. She also seems to me at least to not get some aspects of capitalism. As a system it's most profound and significant feature is the price system which is a genuinely social phenomena. It relies on input from all individual market participants but it's content always transends that of any particular individual's contribution. That's one of the reasons a pure socialist state is impossible, not just inefficient: no one mind or even group of minds can access, handle, or even conceive of the information necessary to make economizing activity possible for a modern society. Rand to me seems to shun the social aspect of the system in favor of individualism. In other words, referencing Atlas Shrugged, to her it's not the function John Galt serves that is valuable, it's Galt himself. She misses the cooperative aspect of the market or down plays it at least in favor of some mythic group of super individuals who hold the whole world up with their creativity.
    Hank Reardon created demand by creating Reardon Steel a new and innovative alloy. Dagny Taggart tapped into existing demand by creating a rail line that was previously not there. John Galt created a perpetual motion motor that he did not give to the world, though it was perhaps the greatest value to humanity ever. Had he brought that to the world, he would of cornered the market on all energy products in a brief amount of time. These the entrepreneurs used their own innovation to create value. They are super individuals who hold the world up.

    Another example is the fact that 1% of New Yorkers pay 50% of the city's taxes. Tell me those 40,000 individuals aren't holding up that city.

    Nor is it fair to forget that usually people aren't one or the other. Rockefeller wasn't above taking government grants, J.P. Morgan pushed through the Fed with Rockefeller in order to essentially steal money they couldn't get via honest loans. Both were instrumental in getting the ICC in as well if I recall correctly, which allowed rate setting on the rails. Folsom's book is a good read and it's a valid distinction, but the topic is more complex. I think even James Hill of the Great Northern Railroad had some government 'help' that he took, even though he bragged about getting little to none. As above with Rand, each of these individuals is a mixed bag, the method and function of their actions is what counts.
    I've never read anything about Rockefeller taking government grants. Even if he did however, government handouts were not what made him successful. It was using innovative business model to globalize the oil market and compete internationally.

    I only blame government for giving money to private companies. They control the money, so they're responsible. How can you blame an entity for taking money whose sole purpose is to make money.

  21. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    Greed, aka enlightened self interest has historically been a major driving force in a America. One can whine about others having more stuff than them, or they can get off their ass and get more stuff.
    Why not buy a gun and take what i want?
    OR
    Is "getting things" and harming others in the process the point of life?

    Its the screw others over to get rich piece that i was alluding to with my metaphor with the batteries.

    Im not whining or on my ass i have what i need but see many needlessly suffer because of this inately greedy system.

  22. Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    Why not buy a gun and take what i want?
    OR
    Is "getting things" and harming others in the process the point of life?

    Its the screw others over to get rich piece that i was alluding to with my metaphor with the batteries.

    Im not whining or on my ass i have what i need but see many needlessly suffer because of this inately greedy system.
    Why not rob someone? Well, the most obvious reason is that you will most likely get caught and spend the next 20 years in prison. That's not greedy, that's stupid.

    I'd compare Maddoff, Enron, and Stanford to the guy robbing someone. Its not good business. One stands to gain the most long term by keeping both parties in a given transaction happy.

    Enlightened self-interest is being as greedy as possible without infringing on other people's rights to do the same thing. Its the American way.


  23. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    I see a lobbyist as the same as the miniature satan on the shoulder of cartoon tempting them. Ron Paul is a rarity, but so was a Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. Just because most of the legislative branch listens to their satan on their shoulder instead of the angel, does not mean they're not culpable.
    Jefferson sold out once in office. Generally speaking Jeffersonians are better than Jefferson himself. As for Lincoln, the guy was a ****ing monster. You actually like him? He presided over the biggest centralization of federal power to date, imprisoned people for simply disagreeing with him, gave his seal of approval to outright destruction and slaughter in the south, goaded them into war over the tarrif issue, purposefully excluded the union states and territories from the Emancipation Proclamation in what has to be the most cynical bid for international help to date, read people's mail, censored and closed down newspapers, etc., etc., etc.

    The guy was everything people like Ron Paul are against, I find it strange you mention them in the same sentence. Lincoln was arguably the first modern fascist ever to hold the highest executive position in any country on Earth.

    This is perhaps the oldest debate by historians. If Napoleon wasn't there, would France still have taken over Europe? I believe individuals drive the world, not groups and conditions.
    I believe individuals are incidental.

    I'm not saying those people are not worthy of respect, but I'm saying the cobbler wouldn't have a job without John Shoe, the creator of shoes. Employees fill a useful role, but creators are more important.
    And should that employee be thrifty and invest his money wisely, he is a creator at that point. People like John Shoe only look to employ him because he can create, in other words because he adds to their revenue stream through productive work. There is creation of ideas, and then there is creation of actual, tangible stuff.

    Hank Reardon created demand by creating Reardon Steel a new and innovative alloy. Dagny Taggart tapped into existing demand by creating a rail line that was previously not there. John Galt created a perpetual motion motor that he did not give to the world, though it was perhaps the greatest value to humanity ever. Had he brought that to the world, he would of cornered the market on all energy products in a brief amount of time. These the entrepreneurs used their own innovation to create value. They are super individuals who hold the world up.
    And that's where Ayn Rand was wrong. All an entrepreneur is, is someone who can forecast demand better than other people. Whether it is, as in the character of Reardon, bringing a new steel product to market, or some other person seeing and moving to fulfill some other want, elimination of the individual doesn't necessarily matter. That's not to say the individual isn't important. It's perfectly possible if Reardon doesn't invent product X that no one else would. But product X serves to fulfill a demand that already exists or is perceived by Reardon to exist. Which means it is to some degree evident, and likely not only to one person. Nor is there likely only one solution to meet that demand. The fact is the myriad of nonspecific inputs available, and which are to greater and lesser degrees substitutable for one another, means there's an infinite array of production structures we might pursue.

    To apply this then to say Galt's perpetual motion machine, in the real world like you mention energy is a constant need. Individual X may meet that need one day by figuring out cold fusion. Individual Y may meet it with hot fusion. Individual Z may make a much better solar collector. But do you honestly think X, Y, and Z are the only people who see the potential and are pursuing those avenues? Who invented the phone, Bell or Meuci? If there truly is a demand for something the chances that one person and only one is tryng to meet it are near zero. However one person will in the end be remembered as the first to the gate. For that they deserve the profits they get, but in the end the demand was there and so were the various ideas about how to meet it, so it was only a matter of time.

    Another example is the fact that 1% of New Yorkers pay 50% of the city's taxes. Tell me those 40,000 individuals aren't holding up that city.
    Since the government can only consume by submitting to such a high rate of taxation they are keeping that money out of productive pursuits and ensuring society takes a net loss in actuality. They're holding up the government, not necessarily the city. There is a distinct difference.

    I've never read anything about Rockefeller taking government grants. Even if he did however, government handouts were not what made him successful. It was using innovative business model to globalize the oil market and compete internationally.
    I'm sure the free land rights made a difference.

    I only blame government for giving money to private companies. They control the money, so they're responsible. How can you blame an entity for taking money whose sole purpose is to make money.
    Because by taking money they are using the government to gain an advantage the market otherwise would not have given them. This means they get to buy resources they otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford, and that means those resources are being pulled away from what the market had determined as higher valued ends. What this means in the end is that the actual demand, what people actually want, and the structure of production necessary to meet that demand, are being ignored in favor of political interests that will distort that structure to their own ends for as long as possible. When it becomes clear that the demand is not there to support their operations you get a recession and things have to readjust. Whether by inflation or direct redistribution of wealth it's a bad idea. And the businessman who takes advantage of that bad idea is basically saying, "**** all of society and their well being, I'm superior and should say where this money should go..." Until of course society gets back at his ass through the recession, at which point he doesn't just ask but begs for more money like the car companies are doing right now.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    Why not rob someone? Well, the most obvious reason is that you will most likely get caught and spend the next 20 years in prison. That's not greedy, that's stupid.

    I'd compare Maddoff, Enron, and Stanford to the guy robbing someone. Its not good business. One stands to gain the most long term by keeping both parties in a given transaction happy.

    Enlightened self-interest is being as greedy as possible without infringing on other people's rights to do the same thing. Its the American way.

    The only people who get caught stealing are the people who are small enough to fall under the law.

  25. Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    The only people who get caught stealing are the people who are small enough to fall under the law.
    The examples I gave were Enron, Madoff, Stanford.....I guess those are the little fish?

    Maddoff embezzled 50 BILLION? That's more than the country is spending on infrastructure in the stimulus.

  26. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    The examples I gave were Enron, Madoff, Stanford.....I guess those are the little fish?

    Maddoff embezzled 50 BILLION? That's more than the country is spending on infrastructure in the stimulus.
    Yeah im thinkin the central bankers and FED. Im thinkin drug companies and Monsanto. Many break the law but only the blatantly reckless or elite are exempt. Let us not forget the challenging issue of incorporating ethics and profit to viable buisnesses. Many profit in very unethical ways with a "its not my problem attitude". This "enlightened self interest" perpetuates self motivated profits that will forever enslave many and have us fighting over this globe as it becomes less and less able to support us.
    The environment is one thing but all signs point towards major death of the lower classes due to this.

    The moral ground work that makes a free market work well seems to be eroding.

  27. If you have any faith in your .GOV you're lost man oh man. The government is basically raping your childs future for todays wealth of the greedy and "I ain't give a f*ck" politician.

    It's all conspiracy theory ......until it happens to you!

    Bilderberg Group
    Trilateral Commission
    Council on foreign relations
    Infowars
    Zeitgeist and Zeitgeist Addendum

    Read, Watch, Learn....take action!

  28. Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    Yeah im thinkin the central bankers and FED. Im thinkin drug companies and Monsanto. Many break the law but only the blatantly reckless or elite are exempt. Let us not forget the challenging issue of incorporating ethics and profit to viable buisnesses. Many profit in very unethical ways with a "its not my problem attitude". This "enlightened self interest" perpetuates self motivated profits that will forever enslave many and have us fighting over this globe as it becomes less and less able to support us.
    The environment is one thing but all signs point towards major death of the lower classes due to this.


    The moral ground work that makes a free market work well seems to be eroding.
    Prior to turning the US into a welfare state through entitlement programs, the social mobility in the US was dramatically higher than it is today. The GOVERNMENT through their "social programs", not free market economics has effectively enslaved and disenfranchised the poor.

  29. Quote Originally Posted by RobInKuwait View Post
    Prior to turning the US into a welfare state through entitlement programs, the social mobility in the US was dramatically higher than it is today. The GOVERNMENT through their "social programs", not free market economics has effectively enslaved and disenfranchised the poor.
    I mostly agree, as well with the current bailout BS the people are being robbed. Now consider who is benefitting from this and who is pulling the strings behind this current debauchery.

  30. Quote Originally Posted by somewhatgifted View Post
    I mostly agree, as well with the current bailout BS the people are being robbed. Now consider who is benefitting from this and who is pulling the strings behind this current debauchery.
    The "people" aren't being robbed simply because that money will never be paid back at full value. Its the fiat currency shell game.

    The banks are not the beneficiaries of the bailouts. Losing control and enlisting your corporation as a government entity is not something I'd like to undertake. The government gets to print and borrow massive amounts of capital in order to bailout banks who also have no capital. Its like Enron paying off your credit card debt.

    You give the "men behind the scenes" way too much credit. Who will benefit from all this in the long run? Nobody ultimately. We're entering a prolonged depression that will last multiple years. When the Chinese cut us off, this country's economic system will self destruct.
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