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Edward, we're going to use some new rules to speed things up. From now on, anytime you repeat something that's already been corrected, it simply gets deleted. For example, supply side economics is about creating jobs and opportunity with capital wealth rather than taxing it. So as soon as you start nonsense like "the money doesn't trickle down", it just gets deleted. The goal was never to trickle the money down, so of course it doesn't trickle down. Attacking supply side from the premise that it should trickle down is what's called strawman argument, and I'm just going to delete it. Your posts will soon become much shorter Just in case you forgot what you wrote, here it is-Sounds like you have a real problem with freedom, my friend. Maybe you can get someone to construct you a cell where you'll always be safe from it. You did in fact address me as ur friend. Rather than calling you something more accurate, honest and politically incorrect, I did address you as "friend". But I said I never thought of you as a friend, and you've pointed out nothing to disprove that I ever did, or that I said I did. Again, an example of something I should delete, but which I will leave here so that we both understand each other. If your position is correct, Edward, then you should be able to win your argument without such bullshit, right? Some of my views may be left of center, but i am not a leftist, calling me this proves only that anyone who has a different opinion other than yourself is bad and evil. Actually, above you have referred more than once to yourself "and other liberals." These references were not in the context of classical liberal libertarian views, but in the context of leftist progressive liberal viewpoints. You "and other liberals" are leftists. Whether that is because you are stupid or dishonest is unimportant to me. And there really is no need for calling me worse, i have yet to insult you in any way, unless the statement off ACTUAL facts is offending to you. As I said, your viewpoints threaten shrinking liberty that I value dearly. That makes you offensive and threatening to all who embrace freedom. As for "facts," it is a fact that some marginal tax rates are much lower than when they were upward of 90%. And even if it is a fact that (some) infrastructure is crumbling, it is not automatically a fact that infrastructure crumbles because we need to raise taxes, or that raising taxes will improve infrastructure. The truth is that infrastructure depends on where government spends, and that in itself is an entirely different animal than what it taxes, as anyone who's ever heard of deficits will know. Therefore, it's strawman argument, and accordingly subject to deletion, to argue that infrastructure crumbles -- or that jobs leave the country, or your state or your county -- because we need to tax "the rich" more. Or because we're not taxing them enough. please name some of these facts that i stated that are not factual, I will gladly explain where the "fact" came from, little hint-i like the CBO, S&P commodity index, alot of my information comes from these sources Examples provided above. How bout for starters lets get rid of Dodd Frank, since both of those figures can be reguarded as corpratist and the law is water down to say the least, and bring back the Glass Stegal Act Even better, let's repeal them both, and continue to enforce fraud and theft as illegal. Everything someone does that's not honest business is either theft or fraud, and therefore we do not need any special laws which really only serve to make some of the theft and fraud legal. If it's theft or fraud it's all wrong -- no special regulation needed. Also lets make the Neal Bortz model of the Fair Tax an actual law You are truly an idiot. Under that model no capital investment or gain is taxed. Only consumption would be taxed, and the effective tax rate on the rich would be nil. lets repeal every single deregulation that has been undone since 1980 No way. Bad laws should stay off the books. Nobody deregulated theft and fraud. Repeal everything except theft and fraud, and then enforce it where necessary. No loopholes. and finally just for the hell of it; lets legalize marijuana-lots of money to be maid there. I'm leaving this one in because only an idiot uses the word "maid" in this context. Huh, so if the top 1% of americans has 80% percent of the wealth, this doesnt improve their welfare, really, if money doesnt improve your welfare, what does, they dont give people welfare tires, or welfare windows, they give them welfare MONEY. I seriously doubt the top 1% have 80% of the wealth. However, that "wealth" is not money; it is stocks, bonds, real estate. And the 80% part (or whatever the actual value may be) is just the fraction this accumulation represents when measured in the same dollars you just happen to use to measure other items. If a baker bakes a hundred dollars worth of bread, and then just keeps the money, then that's bread other people get to consume at his expense. Now, if the baker uses the money to buy consumables, then whatever he consumes entitles the people who produced those consumables to some of his bread. But if he uses it to buy another oven, then on paper his "wealth" goes up by the value of the oven. And there's less bread for many of us because the extra hundred dollars worth that was produced is sent to the people who made the oven. But in the end the baker does not consume this wealth, he simply tries to increase its value in ways that are beneficial to workers here (or in Jakarta, if he uses foreign labor to operate his ovens). Owning bakeries full of ovens can not rationally be blamed for people not having enough bread to eat, and therefore we should not have policies -- such as the ones you support -- which rely on the premise that accumulations of capital deprive the poor. And the reality is that most of the wealth of the super rich is in forms that the less rich will not buy. The poor won't buy stocks and bonds. They won't buy ovens to bake bread -- they consume and waste their wealth, because that is the very definition of poor, except for an incredibly tiny minority of poor who are actually incapable of providing for themselves. Uh no, if the world goes in the toilet, money probabley will have no value, neither will the "CAPITAL" you speak of. First, if the world goes in the toilet, the capitalist's ownership of capital is liquidated by law to pay incomes. Therefore capital is not income itself. Income is that which the capital guarantees. Capital is Money, flat out No. You will not find that in the definition of capital or money in any economics text anywhere. Simply incorrect. After the ovens are sold to pay bakery employees, and after the monetary system completely collapses, the oven retains its ability and usefulness for baking bread. Money doesn't bake bread -- ovens do. Capital does. if your capital grows then you have more money. No, if your capital grows then your capital gained value compared to other things of value. But this is quite different from having the measure of an asset's value, in dollars for example, appear to rise because the dollars themselves have been inflated. If you have more money now then you did before, this is an INCOME. You EARNED it, other wise you wouldnt have DONE it, remember your speech. No. If you worked and you were guaranteed a wage, that's income. If you bought a stock and then sold it later, then that is a capital gain. The fact that both transactions are exchanges of money does not make them both income. Of course, if you choose a simplified definition of "income" as money coming in, then any money is income. In that case, why only count the profit from a stock sale, when the entire proceeds are income? You work today, and a capitalist is on the hook, by law, to pay you tomorrow. If you invest your wealth in forms of capital, no such guarantee exists, and in fact by putting it on the hook you have a liability. And don't forget that for every dollar invested in a successful company, much is lost on companies that flop. Capital gains allows investors to partially amortize their losses in discounted taxes on their gains. It is right that capital gains are taxed less. the constitution does not state how our economy will work, but it does say that government can regulate, tax, etc, all things which conservatives say is big bad leftism, or communism or whatever. The constitution does not say the government can decide how the economy works. And the powers it confers upon government are explicitly limited by the ninth and tenth amendments. The fact that much abuse of various constitutional clauses occurs does not mean the original intent of the constitution has changed. Government is intended to be firmly reined in by the Constitution, which states that unless specifically granted therein, rights belong to the states and the people first. Please name three congressmen, senators, state reps, state senators, members of the presidential cabinet or administration,(hell i'll even take a mayor) that are democrats and said they are Marxist. I didn't say it's politically correct to admit one is a Marxist. But it's easy enough to compare the planks of Marx's Communist Manifesto to the planks of the Democrat party. Marxist thinking is prevalent among liberals -- and this has not always been the case. if repubs have moved left as you clearly stated, and left means spin more money, why are they trying to cut, they should be trying to spend. No, it means their ideal of smaller government is not as small as it used to be. Republicans are far more supportive of the welfare state than they were. Paul Ryan has a plan for saving Medicare. That is conservatism moving left. I desperatly need this explained. You desperately need to buy an economics book. If [supply side] jobs dont create revenue, I didn't say they don't. I said they might not create as much revenue as the revenue forfeited in a tax rate cut designed to create jobs. Remember, a rate designed to create jobs will not necessarily be the same as a rate designed to increase revenue. It is dishonest of you to connect dots and tie things together in ways that they are not actually related. and tax cuts dont create revenue(as they are cuts) No, tax rate is only a factor of revenue, which is multiplied by the activity that is taxed. Since it's a mathematical certainty that there will be more activity at lower tax rates, it is only after comparing the final revenue against the original revenue that we can determine whether a lower rate has actually cut tax revenue. even though before 2001 we could pay for everything, we cut taxes and lost jobs, started 2 wars. Now we cant pay for it, you say we have a spending problem-THAT IS A REVENUE PROBLEM. What "can't we pay for"? A revenue problem is really only a problem if it's somehow holding up spending. Spending is at all-time record levels. When we really "can't pay for it", won't that be characterized by less spending? I want less spending, less government, more freedom. I even want it for you, even as I know you can't possibly realize that's a good thing. We have been getting rid of environmental regulations since 2000 Really? So what can I do now that was illegal in 1999? Glass Stegal is gone Is it? Many provisions have been replaced and repealed. I cannot prove with certainty that nothing from the entire act remains in effect, however, and in fact I'm sure many elements do. McCain Feingold is gone I don't really consider rules politicians place on themselves and each other to be "regulation." I want all the new regulations you speak of so that i can compare them to the ones that are gone, I cant wait to see the outcome. Have you tried getting an offshore oil lease lately? Before NAFTA, it was less profitable to outsource labor, And it was also more expensive to live. A majority of people live better and more cheaply every time a small number of workers loses their jobs to another venue. The goal is to find work earning the money that was saved when your job left -- the people who are saving that money are going to spend it somewhere. Imagine if we'd never "outsourced" all those 18th century farming jobs to tractors and combines. Would we really all be better off if everyone still worked on farms for fourteen hours a day? Instead of recessions and bubbles, we have continuous growth. There's a vast, huge, massive economic following which finds plenty of convincing evidence that regulated central banking which controls interest rates is the leading source and cause of the business cycle. Government regulation -- not free trade. And if you consult a history book, you will find that there were no bubbles or recessions between 1950 and 1980, when we were heavily regulated, and heavily taxed. From Wikipedia -- Recessions: 1953, 1958, 1960-61, 1969-1970, 1973-1975, 1980. And yes, those Carter years were really some of the best, weren't they?
Toggle Commented Mar 20, 2012 on understanding class warfare at Who is John Galt?
"First off I cant' be friends with someone who names himself after a fictional character in a fictional book. So please dont consider or address me as your friend. Thank You." I've never thought of you as a friend. You're a leftist who wants to enslave me. And you could stand to be called worse. "Its awesome that you took the time to read my entire argument and even itemized your explanations of my arguments." Because there were just too many problems with it to answer all in one graph. "First off i would like to respond by saying that since you did not point out any factual errors then i will presume that there were none." (Should you really say "First off" twice in the same post?) The problem is that you don't make factual argument. You lay down some valid facts with other "facts" that may not actually be factual, and then draw faulty conclusions, all in support of policies that would arguably result in a more miserable reality for all of us. "Also, I have never had a problem speaking my mind or doing exactly as I please(with the condition I do no one any harm), so your little snyde remark is baseless, without merrit, and illistrates either conservative arrogance or conservatice fear(you can decide for yourself what your emotion will be, i dont tell people what to do. Thats what a conservative does)" (Spell check, anyone?) What are the policies you favor, if not more rules enforced by the guns of government telling people what to do? "You said you dont care how much paper money they earn. Thats fascinating to me as we in America do not pay people in gold,or wheat, or anything other than paper money." It wouldn't matter what the money is made of. The point is that when one person holds money instead of consumables, it cannot possibly preclude anyone else from consuming. Furthermore, since this is always a comparison of the welfare of the haves compared to the welfare of the have-nots, money which the haves aren't actually consuming is not bettering their welfare. The only valid comparison is what people are consuming. "I can respect your point of view of the subject. However, capital gains are income, PERIOD." No. They are the growth of capital, which is something different. PERIOD. But if you need a distinction, consider that if the whole world goes into the toilet, wage income that has been earned is a right. Capital is what would be forfeited to pay it. See the difference? "...we can trickle wealth down, just like conservatives want." We neither claim nor desire that wealth "trickles down." "Now you and me are talken the same language. I and many other liberals agree there should be no income tax on the individual. However, if I have to give up something then so do you, get over it and yourself." If you agree there should be no income tax, then you are not "giving up something". It's win-win and I don't owe you anything. "Next I have some conserns over a remark you made to portion of my arguement.I said ("Lets raise the tax rate on the top 1% from 35 to 55 so that we can actually fund our government as well as our nation."). You replied (Hey, I'll return to Clinton/Gingrich tax rates if you'll return to Clinton/Gingrich spending. I'm thinking you're gonna have a bigger problem with that deal than I would.)" Except that I never said the Clinton/Gingrich tax rate was 55%. I wouldn't dream of going to 55%. But I hear from a lot of liberals that the Clinton years are the gold standard of liberal-led prosperity. So I'm offering to return to those tax rates in exchange for those levels of spending restraint. And, as I predicted, this is a problem for you. "You said this in responce to my idea that it would be best for all Americans, if we made unprofitable to outsource labour. It is true that all comodities produced abroad that came back to America would be more expensive. However, they would have to employ Americans and pay the a decent wage. This wage would be more than the less than a dollar a day foriegn workers usually recieve in the third world, and the communist world." Less than a dollar a day? This is one of those questionable "facts." Got a link to that? The bottom line is that we produce and we consume. You're suggesting we'll live better by eliminating a very efficient source of production, and replacing it with one that's less efficient. I suppose that some people could live better by taking jobs from Jakartan families, but we shouldn't pretend that most of us would be better off. The price of everything you bring back to the US would go up, and therefore everybody who currently has a job would have less disposable income after paying for those goods. Basically, you're subscribing to a number of recognized economic fallacies. "But thats me, the liberal who reads facts not bullshit, and bases his opinion on said facts." You read facts, you spout bullshit, and your opinion relies on faulty conclusions and well-known economic errors. "Its odd to me though, as the republican party has moved farther and farther right" Has the Constitution moved any further to the right? I hadn't noticed that. I think you need to correct your perspective. It's currently fashionable for a Democrat to be a full-blown Marxist, and I'm pretty sure that's a significant change from recent history. I submit that conservatives have moved leftward except for taking a recent much-needed stand, while liberals have been heading full-steam-ahead to the left for a couple of decades. But judge for yourself: Could you imagine a Democrat today saying "Ask not what your country can do for you..."? "I am a proud member of the Libertarian Party." Which in no way precludes you from being an idiot. "I know trickle down is based on the joke that if we tax less we get more." I think you're confusing the Laffer curve with supply-side economics. The Laffer curve states that there is an optimum tax rate above which revenue falls. Supply side says that if capitalists have more surplus wealth the investment will create jobs. There's no guarantee that those jobs will create more revenue than the tax cut. But those jobs may be more important than that, no? Or perhaps you should ask somebody who doesn't have one, if you need it explained. "This is the same to me as saying, if you turn the water off it will fill the cup up quicker, we just gotta stick with it." No, because that's not what we're saying. But it is good proof that you do not understand supply side principles, and therefore look foolish criticizing them. "For my entire lifetime, since 1986, we have had less regulations than more, and lower tax rates than higher. If this is or was supposed to make us better, or to free the beast from its chains, why hasnt it worked." We've had more regulation overall. Every year. You can't name one failed program that was ever repealed when it was augmented by yet another program. More regulation all the time. Never less, even if some particular rules have been rolled back from time to time. "In rural virginia and North Carolina, standard of living has only went down since 1980, the old mills are gone to china, the roads suck, and attracting new industry has become a joke. I would love an explanation how deregulations made anything better for the common man or the middle class man or even less fortunate individuals. Please omit telling me about how things got better for the richest." And I would love an explanation of how the previous successes were due to regulation. I think you're committing another one of those fallacy thingies. "My points are all based on facts." Some. "My opinions are all based on facts." Uneducated inferences subject to false premises and logic errors. "I noticed that this was not the case with your rebuttals." True, no factual or logic errors on my end. But thank you for playing.
Toggle Commented Mar 16, 2012 on understanding class warfare at Who is John Galt?
-Detah: Are you endorsing Social Security and Medicaid? If it was up to me those programs wouldn't exist -- certainly not at the federal level. However, we can only effect change from wherever we actually happen to be, and we happen to be in a reality where millions of active voters rely on decades-old programs. I just think it's helpful for those people to understand who decides whether to fund their entitlements, and who's actually been threatening them when money gets tight. There's no reason those voters can't be on our side. After all, we're certainly on their side, whether they know it or not.
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2012 on "to spend is to tax" at Who is John Galt?
"it is not class warfare to expect the rich to pay more in taxes than I do." Class warfare is about how you justify it. "Our nation, from the year 1952 til 1960 taxed the richest 1% at 91%, from 1961 til 1972 at 75%, and from 1972 til 1979 at 69%. The nation prospered, the middle class thrived with the investments in infastructure that made it very easy for middle class and lower class incomes to find and keep work." In other words, tax rates were lowered several times and the nation continued to prosper. Doesn't exactly prop up your fallacious conclusion that the correlating tax rates were ever the cause of the prosperity. "under Regan the National debt tripled." Reagan was promised spending cuts by a Democrat Congress in exchange for tax hikes. The cuts never came. All spending originates in the House of Representatives. And the fact is that those deficits and that debt were peanuts compared to what Obama's doing today. "We also learned the hard way that trickle down economics does not and has never worked." Conservatives do not call it trickle down economics. It's called supply side economics, and there's nothing magical about it. It's just another way of saying that you can't get a job from a poor person, and that you can't consume something before it's been produced. These are not meaningless cliches -- they are reality. "(Also, would we prefer the rich not to indulge themselves? The more they indulge (and spend) the more that middle class businessman can sell.)" Not the principle behind supply-side economics. The "rich" are already presumed to spend all they want. The purpose of the added income is to allow them to increase their investment in ventures that create jobs. "previously stated that in theory that if rich have more money they spend more money." Not under the definition of being rich. If the rich have more money they save more money. Robert Reich's own definition of "rich" is someone who spends the same regardless of how high his taxes are. "This would seem logical and completely true however, Ayn Rand never forseen a day when the rich men in the U.S. who own the businesses would outsource everything to a communist country, thus eliminating the people this wealth would trickle down upon here in our country." Whoa -- an admission that the money is invested rather than spent. Second, if some kid in Jakarta can do your job, then you need to learn to do things children in the third world can't do. You have no "right" to that job. Not to mention all the educational advantages and opportunities you enjoy over Jakartan kids... "Further more, when the taxes go down for the richest 1% who originally the most of the tax burden was placed, the middle and lower classes are blessed with the burden of making up the difference." Nice theory. In practice, the rich pay an increasing percentage of the income tax burden, and everyone else's share has grown smaller. And I reject out of hand any bullshit about payroll taxes since those funds go to entitlements which benefit the rich least of all. "then raised taxes to 36% which did not stop the rich from getting richer" Stop right there. Why is that even a consideration? What sort of person uses that as a milestone, exactly? "but was beaten by Clinton who also raised taxes to 39% almost 40% and made welfare a new system, and made needed cuts where he could, and instituted new regualtions on manufacturing. Under this 12 yr tenure of tax raises and more regulations, the U.S. had its longest economic expansion in history." Internet bubble. Republican Congresses. Welfare reform. Government shutdowns because the Republicans wanted less spending while Democrats wanted more. You give Clinton too much credit for Newt Gingrich's work. "Currently the tax rate on the top 1% of income in America is 35%." And you think the tiny little 4% between now and Bill Clinton's 39% is really making all the difference, huh? Ignoring percentages, are you suggesting the federal government is taking in fewer real dollars than when Clinton was President? Spending fewer real dollars and providing less real dollars in "services"? "the richest 1% get wildly richer every year." Does that make the rich villains -- or role models??? "How about instead of all the stuff we do now, lets make it unprofitable to outsource american labour, which will lead to the rich getting richer." It would also make all goods more expensive, meaning that everyone else will have to accept a lower standard of living in order to make it happen. Furthermore, I believe economists have shown that it would be cheaper to just give money to the displaced than to subsidize the losses of bringing the jobs back here. "Lets raise the tax rate on the top 1% from 35 to 55 so that we can actually fund our government as well as our nation." Hey, I'll return to Clinton/Gingrich tax rates if you'll return to Clinton/Gingrich spending. I'm thinking you're gonna have a bigger problem with that deal than I would. "And finally eliminate any difference between a income and a capital gain." 1. Why tax income? That's like taxing work. When someone makes a lot of money that doesn't limit how much anyone else can make. Tax consumption, because when someone consumes something they do limit the ability of others to consume. 2. Capital gains should be taxed at lower rates for several reasons. The time value of money, risk, inflation. I can earn money while gaining no wealth due to inflation, and yet I still have to pay taxes on the "earnings." Capital gains should be taxed at the lowest rates of all, and rational arguments can be made that any and all reinvested earnings or gains should be exempted from tax until spent on consumption. "To this day ask yourself what is that thoses 400 people who make up the top 1% do that entitles them to 80% of all income earned in America since 1980." I don't care how much value, in terms of worthless paper money, is used to measure their earnings. Magically, they do not consume such a disproportionate share of the wealth they create, and that's all that really matters. The amount of money one person makes does not limit anyone else's ability to make money. Sounds like you have a real problem with freedom, my friend. Maybe you can get someone to construct you a cell where you'll always be safe from it.
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2012 on understanding class warfare at Who is John Galt?
It doesn't have to say rationing to be rationing. The general strategy of the PPACA is to eliminate "unnecessary" care, where "necessity" is determined by a ratio of cost to effectiveness. Additionally "effectiveness" does not just mean how well a treatment works, it can also refer to what percentage of patients benefit from the treatment. The Independent Medicare Payment Advisory Board (commonly referred to as IPAB) -- which is mentioned repeatedly in the PPACA -- is charged with assessing the "effectiveness" of treatment given to seniors. Therefore, treatment which is deemed to be costing too much money, particularly in consideration of the total number of patient-years of life added by the treatment, is subject to being withheld on the basis of "effectiveness." In other words, Grandma will be told to "take a pill." Furthermore, the pressure on IPAB to raise the bar is compounded by the half-trillion dollar cuts to Medicare funding that it is charged with ration... um, allocating. All of which makes you either very stupid or just another lying liberal. I hope your Mom doesn't get real sick any time soon...
Toggle Commented Feb 16, 2012 on condescension of a liberal at Who is John Galt?
"I may sound like a liberal douche, but as a writer I'm Republican - I enjoy showing people scary things and frightening them with stories." Translation: I may sound like a liberal douche, but as a writer I'm the liberal douche stereotype of a Republican, because we liberals think being Republican has something to do with scaring people. Liberal douche.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2012 on like the movie? buy the book. at Who is John Galt?
Dear Too stupid, You have provided nothing to substantiate your mischaracterization of libertarians as people "who believe that they alone create their own destiny free of any and all social context and constraints". The existence of trade acknowledges that mutual cooperation is essential to prosperity. We support trade. Therefore your above statement is simply not our view. Additionally, you're relying on several collectivist premises that libertarians do not share: 1. "Value" is determined by third parties, or by the state. In fact, the value of something is whatever others are willing to pay for it voluntarily, and the state has no business interfering. 2. People who produce no value are "owed" something, and it is the state's job to provide it. No. People who produce no value are necessarily dependent upon those who do, and the relationship should reflect this reality -- not your fantasy that those who do produce somehow owe anything to those who are only a burden. 3. "Debt to society" can never be paid in full, and society deserves a perpetual share of whatever the individual earns. Hogwash. If a person pays for everything he uses, then no further debt is owed from whatever he makes of himself from the tools he purchased free and clear.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2011 on who is john galt? at Who is John Galt?
Too funny said: Just imagine, a legion of fools who believe that they alone create their own destiny free of any and all social context and constraints! Really? I don't believe that at all. Who here believes that? That would be funny. Oh, but then I guess if you explained things as they really work you'd have a much harder time attacking it, huh? Or maybe you should just change your name to "Too stupid" instead...?
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2011 on who is john galt? at Who is John Galt?
Yes, he is my president, which is why I expect better from him. I've read his oath of office -- he's not living up to it. That's what we get for giving the job to a man who thinks freedom itself is an injustice. You want to "work together"? So do I. But you've got a president who doesn't think everyone should work. He thinks it's better if we help some folks by just "spreading the wealth around." I'm an American. Are you? Do you even know what it means to be an American? I can tell you this -- it doesn't mean that I should meet you halfway on socialism. It means you pull your own weight. You need to lose.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2011 on "to spend is to tax" at Who is John Galt?
1. People don't want "money." They want the things money can buy, or the security of knowing they have the reserves to buy those things, or the power the money commands over others -- typically over others who work. Money itself is typically worthless paper, but even if it were gold it would have very limited utility on its own. It's only worth something if people are willing to exchange it for other things. 2. You are wrong on this. Money has variable value. There is in fact no limit to how much money can be had, but keeping money scarce is one important factor to its value. Wealth is not measured in terms of how much money you have, but rather by what fraction of the total money supply you hold. We measure wealth in monetary units like dollars only because we have a common sense of the scarcity of those units. 3. Even when two people have, say, a million dollars each, one of them likely has some advantages over the other in acquiring more. Giving everyone an equal starting point will not eliminate this advantage. Most people who have a million once had much less. And when they had only a thousand, their money did not give them any particular advantage over others who had only a thousand -- yet only some will go on to acquire the million. Life itself is unfair. 4. We are all born with zero. Whatever we have after that is given to us. If a parent gives his child a fortune at birth that is not some "inequity" involving the child; it is a perfectly just and hard-earned right belonging to the parent. I don't particularly care whether people work hard for their money. Some people are just so pretty to look at that others simply give them money for the privilege. That's between them. But I do know that I work for mine, and as such I see no evil in loving my money as a form of pride over the value of what my effort is worth in either the work of others or -- if I so choose -- the time of pretty people who sell me nothing but the privilege of looking at them. Money's value originates in the fact that people will work for it -- it was designed for people to use to exchange their labor. That one does not necessarily need to work or produce in order to acquire money from others is of no consequence -- those who do produce have earned the right to give it on whatever terms they choose. What is of consequence is that the exchange of value -- your work for my good looks, or your work for my off-the-cuff thoughts, or your shirking at the office exchanged for my back-breaking labor digging ditches -- what's of consequence is that these exchanges be voluntary and consensual. Not coerced.
Toggle Commented Aug 7, 2011 on welcome! at Who is John Galt?
From where do you get the premise that to trade with your fellow man is to "take advantage" of him?
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2011 on who is john galt? at Who is John Galt?
Read the site. I never equate money with wealth. Furthermore, I said "earn." Additionally, barring rents protected by government, anything one does to accumulate money absent force or fraud is value to someone -- even if the rest of us cannot perceive the value. All that matters is that the value is perceived by whoever's paying for it. Finally, "perceived" inequity is not actual inequity, and inequity that results from free and informed trade is not "unjust." Meaning that even legal attempts to "correct" the inequity are still quite often an injustice. We are all best advised to keep our eyes on our own wealth. If our own money is not being stolen, then it's really not our business as individuals how much someone else has, except perhaps to the extent that he is an example for the rest of us. Nice try, but you will not turn inequality of wealth into a de facto excuse to redistribute it.
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2011 on welcome! at Who is John Galt?
Tony, if a person can earn a million dollars a day, he must be doing something pretty valuable, wouldn't you agree? And I'd go further to say that the wealth he creates in exchange for that money is valuable to innumerable people, when you consider all the jobs his income must create as well. Now, if you feel that's "lustful" or "greedy" you can set up a tax rate that becomes punitive above, say, $10 million. In that case, what happens to everyone else -- everyone who directly or indirectly benefits from this high achiever's earnings and productivity, when he decides it's only worth his while to work for ten days per year, sandbagging his subsequent earnings for next year's allocation of wealth? The truth is that we benefit immensely from such a person's contribution, and in a sense he makes that contribution for mere paper. We'd be fools to lessen his incentives to work because of economic fallacies or ignorant envies. We are not all equally capable. America's unique wealth comes from the fact that our most capable, productive and valuable producers see fit to work as much as they can. And an effort to limit how much money they can take is a message from the rest of us that they shouldn't work as hard.
Toggle Commented Jul 20, 2011 on welcome! at Who is John Galt?
That's weird, Larry, because in my copy of Atlas Shrugged there were characters who were invited to set their own price for their labor. But those characters were the most competent workers. Also, I should point out that five cents an hour was once a lot of money. I don't just want to return to paying people five cents to work -- I also want to return to five cents having a lot more value than it does today.
Toggle Commented May 24, 2011 on the "poor" at Who is John Galt?
"Now all we have to do is to estimate the cost for the current financial crisis and we'll have a starting boundary." Do not confuse the cost of fraud prevention in a free market with the cost of preventing it in a market where government is enabling fraud. The current crisis is the result of specific policies, making that particular fraud (and its prevention) costs of those policies -- not the costs of preventing fraud. "I think what we're coming towards here is that either you and I do have the responsibility to pay for all education (i.e. the destruction of private education) or that anyone who doesn't pay in is a parasite." False choice -- and false premises, too. I benefit from everything that enables someone to create more value. That does not make everything that enables someone to create value my responsibility. Each individual competes with others who may choose to take responsibility for themselves. Each individual should pursue his own education as if failing to get one will leave him less competitive -- because I have the option of trading with someone else who will. Your goal is not to make better trading partners; it is to absolve people of responsibility -- or, more accurately, to distribute the responsibility for the irresponsible across those who take responsibility for themselves. We're trying to weed out the very behavior that you're subsidizing. The acid test here is that I am willing to lend money to people who could better themselves, or to give them vouchers to obtain private educations, and to allow people willing to pay for their own kids' educations more say in how their money is spent. You are not in favor of any of these things which produce better traders, because your goal is to relieve people of the burden of their own (or their kids') educations. The world needs ditch diggers, too. I believe I benefit plenty already from people who do not see the value in paying for their own education. And I can think of no better way to figure out who society's janitors and car-washers ought to be. Furthermore, I don't say this because I want there to be more janitors and car-washers. I say it because I want people behaving as if a life as a janitor or a car-washer -- and all the poverty one would expect of such a life -- is a very real, motivating possibility. Because we get a bunch of whining, useless liberals when it is not.
"The problem with your second argument is that the "few" cases of corporate malfeasance have a disproportionate effect on those who have done nothing wrong or have no connection to it. So our obligation to prevent Enrons and market gambling is much higher than you may realize." No, I'm saying that it may still be cheaper to protect the victims of such malfeasance than to waste hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs to prevent them. Even if some aspect of this victimhood is "disproportionate." "Accusing someone of fraud is not the same as having checks in place to detect or prevent fraud." True, but there's no justification for increasing the fraud prevention cost burden on the innocent public above the expected cost of actual fraud. "if you benefit from the products of public education, even indirectly, do you not have a responsibility to pay into it?" If that was true, then I would have the same responsibility to pay for private education, which I clearly do not. Such is the difference between something I have an actual responsibility to pay for, and something that's being billed as a public good for the express purpose of forcing me to pay for it.
"Do you not benefit if a publicly funded school produces a Mozart or an Einstein from someone who might have been too poor to get an education in the first place? Or if a public hospital saves the life of a skilled worker who would not be covered by insurance due to a pre-existing condition?" There's no angle to that argument which changes the individual's right to decide for himself whether to contribute to the cause. "The assumption is made that those who have came by it honestly, by adding value. I think the people at Enron would disagree. This is why there is a need to regulation in the marketplace, to critically analyze whether the value is actually there or not." Ever heard the saying that it's better for a hundred guilty men to go free than for a single innocent man to be wrongly punished? The assumption is made that most who have came by it honestly because most did. Isolated Enrons do not change that. Furthermore, there's a point at which the cost of making sure there are no more Enrons becomes higher than the cost of an occasional Enron. And when most business must be regulated because of only a few examples of malfeasance, you hit that point pretty quickly.
The goal of the original exercise as I remember it, Anonymoose, was to demonstrate that progressive liberalism cannot be described as something that sets anyone "free" from any actual oppression. And no, I don't count any expression of politically incorrect free will -- prejudice, discrimination, unfairness, favoritism, inequality -- as oppressive, unless it comes from government. Since all of liberalism is about using government to restrain private institutions and to override free will, it cannot reasonably be associated with freedom. Liberalism is antithetical to freedom.
Toggle Commented Apr 18, 2011 on fill in the blank at Who is John Galt?
Tony, is someone's love of the value of what they produce through hard work really the root of all evil?
Toggle Commented Apr 17, 2011 on welcome! at Who is John Galt?
David, resources are technically finite, but considering the tiny biomass that is all of humanity on a massive planet, they are much less finite from a practical standpoint. Furthermore, human productivity is not only extractive, it also includes the science of economizing and rearranging resources to their most valued needs. Finally, your "fair share" is the share you earned. I suspect your idea of "fair share" involves long division and the number of people on the planet. Absolutely not so -- no way, no how. That's not where productivity comes from.
Toggle Commented Apr 11, 2011 on free money at Who is John Galt?
I'm definitely onboard with the "separate but equal" vision. My objection is entirely about privacy/modesty issues. It's purely a matter of accommodations. Homosexuality does not disqualify anyone from doing the job, though it does make them unsuitable for some living arrangements. I can imagine my own reaction to being berthed with a bunch of twenty-year-old girls -- and I can imagine their reaction, too. If someone's going to propose that we admit guys to male quarters who are liable to feel the same things I'd feel staying in female quarters, then I'm just going to insist on the same privacy that's afforded the females -- he needs to find someplace else to bunk. Out of respect for my privacy, just as my male berthing respects the privacy of women.
The problem, GJ, is that the female solution doesn't work for gays. You can't isolate them in their own berthing area -- you have to give them individual quarters. If gays are equally qualified, then they are still not an equal value for the military simply because they are more expensive to accommodate. My point is that the military does not need gays to accomplish its mission, combined with the fact that said mission is not to provide jobs. In the purest sense, the military does not discriminate against gays -- gay Americans are defended by the military exactly like everyone else is. "Discrimination" relies on the premise that it's a jobs program. The military is a duty; not a right. If your lifestyle's not suited to that duty, it doesn't mean your rights have been violated.
You could also argue that a parable is fiction, but that doesn't mean it doesn't speak the truth. Conservatism holds that the Constitution means what it says -- is that fiction too? And every rationalization you use to legitimize liberalism -- isn't that all just fiction you tell yourself, Mr. AK?
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on fixing the 17th amendment at Who is John Galt?
Well, it was a given that some people would already know. But it doesn't hurt to put info here since a couple hundred people a day find this site by simply Googling "Who is John Galt?"
Toggle Commented Nov 5, 2010 on atlas shrugged, the movie at Who is John Galt?
Not exactly. The dollar value of a wealthy person's compensation is much more "disproportionate" than his consumption. The CEO may get paid a value that is 500 times the mail clerk's check, but he does not live 500 times as well. The value of his home may be biased by a better view, for example. That premium is not dependent on how much more expensive it is to develop a lot with a good view, it's dependent on how much more money one person may have, compared to another, to pay for the view. My point is that just because we value bread at a dollar a loaf does not mean that an extra million spent on something by a rich man equates to a million fewer loaves of bread for everyone else -- which is the basis of all income equality argument. An implication of decreasing marginal utility of accumulated wealth is that meaningful bumps in wealth are not linear. Plus, the highly compensated save a lot more of their wealth. When a rich man invests more than half his earnings, he's absorbing a necessary risk in order to make that money available to someone less wealthy,and invariably that's where all the capital lent to the mail clerks, restroom attendants, burger flippers and window washers comes from. It's not a strawman if it really is what's driving liberal policy. And it is.
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2010 on free money at Who is John Galt?