Moore: America Is Not Broke....[...or is it?...]

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mainebob's picture
mainebob
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Moore: America Is Not Broke....[...or is it?...]

Michael Moore, published a rousing speech yesterday in Wisconsin (March 5th)

"America is Not Broke"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-moore/america-is-not-broke_b_832006.html

It is a great rabble rousing speech....   America is not broke....[wealth] has been transferred"
in the greatest heist in history to the banks and portfolios of the uber rich....

And yet while this is true,   from the lens that CM might use,   America is indeed broke
3E wise.

So how does one reconcile this apparent heist.... Does it even make sense to
support this movement?  Michael concludes with this:

America ain't broke! The only thing that's broke
is the moral compass of the rulers. And we aim to
fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from
now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution
of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote,
and it's the thing the rich hate most about
America -- because even though they seem to hold
all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly
know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are
more of us than there are of them!

Madison, do not retreat. We are with you. We will
win together.

 

Looking forward for more clarity on this from the great minds here at CM.
Thanks!

-Bob O

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soulsurfersteph's picture
soulsurfersteph
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Posts: 204
I'll bite

I was really disappointed by this. I have for many years been a fan of Michael Moore. In fact, I went to see him speak 20 years ago when I was in college, after he had done "Roger and Me."

I think his heart is in the right place but he's incredibly naive, and pretty clueless about our real fiscal problems. He's also still caught up in the false left vs. right paradigm. That's my take.

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dshields
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Posts: 599
Poor Man...

Poor man.  It must be just awful to be Moore.  I guess he has not noticed that America is in serious financial trouble.  I suppose he does not know that 45 cents of every dollar the fed gov spends is borrowed.  I suppose he does not realize that states can not print money and their revenue has been going down while costs have been going up.  I suppose he believes gov employees are a privileged class that gets to escape the nation wide (world wide) reduction in standard of living that is going on by using the taxing authority of the government to forcibly extract more and more of our wages to pay them benefits better than basically anyone in the private sector gets.  Remember, only the private sector produces wealth, the public sector does not.  Na, he is not a poor man.  He is an idiot.  It is people like him that have promoted out of control spending and in many ways put us in the situation we are in now.  I bet he thinks taxes should be raised and energy prices are too low and do not build any nuc plants and don't drill or mine or generate anything America needs to be successful.  Everything is just free, the governmenrt will pay for it all.  Just get whatever you need from the government.  Don't feel like working so you can't pay your rent, get section 8.  Single girl with no husband (in jail for dealing or stealing?), education, or job, just have a bunch of kids.  Get a pile of money from the Obama stash.

I have no mercy for people like Moore.  Rich ignorant big mouth socialists.  I bet every single person who normally checks out this site has a far more in depth knowledge of the problems we face than Moore.  We may not all agree on the causes exactly but we seem to agree on the problems.  Moore does not even know what the problems are much less possible solutions.  For him it just comes down to the government is rich so just get it from the government.  I do not really pay much attention to Moore but I have seen quotes over the years that strongly indicate where his head is at.  There are people who frequent this site that have opposite political views to my own but I have much greater respect for them than I do for Moore.  They are able to make strong arguments to support their views.  I have never heard Moore do that.

 

 

hucklejohn's picture
hucklejohn
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Posts: 281
I think you put your finger

I think you put your finger on it, dshields.  Very well written.  There will always be people that appeal to the lowest common denominator, the folks that think if something comes from the government it's free.  In my state of California Governor Brown wants the voters to approve an extension of taxes.  I have thought this must be insane, that the voters would never approve, especially given the vote against higher taxes just two years ago. But on second thought if Governor Brown can make his appeal to the the half of the population that doesn't pay taxes as well as the government workers he may get his majority.     

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Useyerloaf
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Sounds like you didn't even

Sounds like you didn't even read the speech, it's not about right vs left, it's about taxation and government being controlled by financial elite.

gregroberts's picture
gregroberts
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"America is not broke." So

"America is not broke."

So 400 people out of 300 million have most of the wealth, sounds kind of broke to me.

"And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it."

Make up your mind, is the US a Republic or a Democracy, 51% of the people want to know.

"I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees.

True, but it's now made out of rag.

" It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs."

He's mixing money with wealth, wealth is created by taking raw materials and turning them into something that we value, tree's into lumber, then houses, then furniture, iron ore into iron and steel, then machinery, bauxite into aluminum, then airplanes, money is a tool of exchange. Which would you rather have if you were alone on an island, money, or shelter, food, or clothing, etc?

 "It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system"

There's nothing in the constitution about public schools and saying that the govt can create an outstanding educational system is an oxymoron.

 "that then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. "

These types of people are enabled by being free not public schools.

"And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their fair share of taxes ."

 How much is your "fair share" of your own property.

"the state can't function."

There's a start!

 "The schools can't produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy.

It's none of anyone's business what people do with their own money

"The crash they created cost us millions of jobs."

Who created? We're having a currency crisis, who controls the currency?

  'That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes, reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from circulation."

He's talking about parasitical govt jobs here and mixing up money and wealth again.

"So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them"

So is he saying that without the govt this wouldn't have happened?

Then a bunch of rabble rousing that made me laugh that anyone would buy it, taking the poor pilots sleep away, those meanies.

"The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers.

Hey, we have agreement here.

'And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!'

Michael Moore and GW both believe the constitution is "just a goddamn piece of paper", the only reason he's mentioning it is to grab some of the more ignorant tea partiers into his rabble.

I read the whole article and like any propaganda there is some truth thrown in to snare the unwary, look it up, anyone advocating universal healthcare for all Americans does not believe in individual rights, the constitution, or freedom.

 

earthwise's picture
earthwise
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 846
America is broke and so is Moore's logic
gregroberts wrote:

"America is not broke."

So 400 people out of 300 million have most of the wealth, sounds kind of broke to me.

"And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it."

Make up your mind, is the US a Republic or a Democracy, 51% of the people want to know.

"I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees.

True, but it's now made out of rag.

" It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs."

He's mixing money with wealth, wealth is created by taking raw materials and turning them into something that we value, tree's into lumber, then houses, then furniture, iron ore into iron and steel, then machinery, bauxite into aluminum, then airplanes, money is a tool of exchange. Which would you rather have if you were alone on an island, money, or shelter, food, or clothing, etc?

 "It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system"

There's nothing in the constitution about public schools and saying that the govt can create an outstanding educational system is an oxymoron.

 "that then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. "

These types of people are enabled by being free not public schools.

"And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their fair share of taxes ."

 How much is your "fair share" of your own property.

"the state can't function."

There's a start!

 "The schools can't produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy.

It's none of anyone's business what people do with their own money

"The crash they created cost us millions of jobs."

Who created? We're having a currency crisis, who controls the currency?

  'That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes, reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from circulation."

He's talking about parasitical govt jobs here and mixing up money and wealth again.

"So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them"

So is he saying that without the govt this wouldn't have happened?

Then a bunch of rabble rousing that made me laugh that anyone would buy it, taking the poor pilots sleep away, those meanies.

"The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers.

Hey, we have agreement here.

'And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!'

Michael Moore and GW both believe the constitution is "just a goddamn piece of paper", the only reason he's mentioning it is to grab some of the more ignorant tea partiers into his rabble.

I read the whole article and like any propaganda there is some truth thrown in to snare the unwary, look it up, anyone advocating universal healthcare for all Americans does not believe in individual rights, the constitution, or freedom.

 

+1. 

Great rebuttal, but then again, a buffoon like Moore makes an easy target. Still, a brilliant and funny post! Thanks Greg.

sjdavis's picture
sjdavis
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 21 2008
Posts: 78
Rebuttal to Moore is a joke

What's going on here?  This "rebuttal" post is just as emotionally driven as Moore's speech, chock full of opinion.  Most of what you retort is ideologically "in-line" with the "whatever is opposite of what he (Moore) said."  

Moore just gave a speech to one of the most sustained and largest protests in our country's history.  The event is significant in that people are at least waking up.  The solution is to recognize that and shepherd people to prepare for a future of less prosperity.  Bagging on Moore seems too easy.

For the record, a country is not broke until it can't pay it's bills.  We may be insolvent to those who understand, but until we fail to sell t-bills to cover gov't spending, then we're not broke.  A ponzi scheme can carry-on in plain sight until the flows stop. So whether 400 or 10 people control all the wealth doesn't matter.  What matters is the trend.  How has the wealth among different demographics grown over the decades?

If we're on the path to being broke as a nation, does it make sense that titans of industry have exponentially grown wealth, many times greater than the rest of the people?  If the economy was solid then sure, they should be handsomely rewarded for that success.  But the reality is the eCONomy stinks, has done for a decade, and we're in the midst of one of the greatest asset heists in history.  It took decades, was done by legal means, and was supported by people who have little chance of being wealthy enough to benefit.  That's a lot of wool.  So your first point about being broke is misguided.  Moore was talking about the wealthy buying power, creating the rules and hoarding the wealth.  So "broke" is a relative term.  Reminds me of CM's "sound of one-hand clapping" metaphor.  If a lot of wealth exists, but 99% of the people never see any of it, does it really exist?  As in CM's example of bad debts on the Fed balance sheet, yes it does exist, but rules are created to keep it hidden.

I'm sure you've heard the cookie parable by now.  If not... A Billionaire is sitting at a table with a schoolteacher and a Tea Party activist. On the table is a plate with a dozen cookies. The billionaire promptly scoops up 11 of the cookies. He then turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that schoolteacher. He’s in a union, and he wants a piece of your cookie.”

Also, the "crash they created" is not a currency crisis.  They, in this case, are primarily bankers, which should be obvious.  Housing, derivatives, etc.  Stay tuned because your currency crisis point is not incorrect , but this example is not it.

Your last statement is a gem.  Evidently anyone who disagrees with your view is either un-American, not "real American," or some form of brainwashed.  The appropriate statement would mention lack of funds rather than lack of patriotism.   Again, the rebuttal was emotionally driven.  Moore stood up and spoke to thousands of people at a significant time in American history.  That at least merits a rebuttal based on facts rather than emotion and Drudge reports, especially on this site where people come for knowledge and as refuge from the ideological noise.

soulsurfersteph's picture
soulsurfersteph
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
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Posts: 204
overstatement
sjdavis wrote:

Moore just gave a speech to one of the most sustained and largest protests in our country's history.  The event is significant in that people are at least waking up.  The solution is to recognize that and shepherd people to prepare for a future of less prosperity.  Bagging on Moore seems too easy.

Saying this is one of the largest protests in our country's history is a bit of an overstatement. Also, I'm sure that a lot of those ongoing protesters are professional "protesters" bussed in by the unions from other states. Seriously, that's how Obama won the caucuses in the 2008 election - they bussed union members and college students from other states to overwhelm the Hillary supporters. These people are organized but not in a fair and equitable way. 

I'm sure there are also a lot of naive college students just there caught up in the hype. Heck, I remember getting caught up in a sit-in at my university over campus security guards carrying guns. I didn't even know much about the issue - my friends were going and I had no clue what the plan was. Next thing I knew I was doing a sit-in at the administrative building and on the evening news.

Moore speaks to this young idealism and it's very easy to bash the rich. Let's talk about those evil Koch brothers for a second. They are apparently big philanthropists too - just read an article about the all the work they do to find a cure for cancer. Do you hear that when Moore is bellowing about the evil rich people?

So it's perfectly OK to be a filthy rich financier and manipulator of markets and currencies as long as your name is George Soros and you are donating large sums of money to MoveOn. Hypocrisy!

I'm not saying Wall Street isn't out of control - it is. And a lot of these guys are assholes. But Moore totally oversimplifies and is inciting class warfare with his comments. This is not helping the country. It is dividing it more.

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
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Posts: 854
Running with surgical scissors
gregroberts wrote:

"America is not broke."

So 400 people out of 300 million have most of the wealth, sounds kind of broke to me.

"And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it."

Make up your mind, is the US a Republic or a Democracy, 51% of the people want to know.

"I have nothing more than a high school degree. But back when I was in school, every student had to take one semester of economics in order to graduate. And here's what I learned: Money doesn't grow on trees.

True, but it's now made out of rag.

" It grows when we make things. It grows when we have good jobs with good wages that we use to buy the things we need and thus create more jobs."

He's mixing money with wealth, wealth is created by taking raw materials and turning them into something that we value, tree's into lumber, then houses, then furniture, iron ore into iron and steel, then machinery, bauxite into aluminum, then airplanes, money is a tool of exchange. Which would you rather have if you were alone on an island, money, or shelter, food, or clothing, etc?

 "It grows when we provide an outstanding educational system"

There's nothing in the constitution about public schools and saying that the govt can create an outstanding educational system is an oxymoron.

 "that then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. "

These types of people are enabled by being free not public schools.

"And that new idea creates new jobs and that creates revenue for the state. But if those who have the most money don't pay their fair share of taxes ."

 How much is your "fair share" of your own property.

"the state can't function."

There's a start!

 "The schools can't produce the best and the brightest who will go on to create those jobs. If the wealthy get to keep most of their money, we have seen what they will do with it: recklessly gamble it on crazy Wall Street schemes and crash our economy.

It's none of anyone's business what people do with their own money

"The crash they created cost us millions of jobs."

Who created? We're having a currency crisis, who controls the currency?

  'That too caused a reduction in revenue. And the population ended up suffering because they reduced their taxes, reduced our jobs and took wealth out of the system, removing it from circulation."

He's talking about parasitical govt jobs here and mixing up money and wealth again.

"So they have bought and paid for hundreds of politicians across the country to do their bidding for them"

So is he saying that without the govt this wouldn't have happened?

Then a bunch of rabble rousing that made me laugh that anyone would buy it, taking the poor pilots sleep away, those meanies.

"The only thing that's broke is the moral compass of the rulers.

Hey, we have agreement here.

'And we aim to fix that compass and steer the ship ourselves from now on. Never forget, as long as that Constitution of ours still stands, it's one person, one vote, and it's the thing the rich hate most about America -- because even though they seem to hold all the money and all the cards, they begrudgingly know this one unshakeable basic fact: There are more of us than there are of them!'

Michael Moore and GW both believe the constitution is "just a goddamn piece of paper", the only reason he's mentioning it is to grab some of the more ignorant tea partiers into his rabble.

I read the whole article and like any propaganda there is some truth thrown in to snare the unwary, look it up, anyone advocating universal healthcare for all Americans does not believe in individual rights, the constitution, or freedom.

 

I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes. 

The U.S is supposedly a democratic republic. Isn't it?

http://www.williampmeyers.org/republic.html

The govt CAN create an outstanding educational system. Not that it is, but it sure can. Govt funded or subsidized charter schools seem to be the best bet for success in that area.

MMoore-"That then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. "

G Roberts "These types of people are enabled by being free not public schools."

Really? Education has nothing to do with skill, creativity accomplishment? I feel compelled to practice neurosurgery but have been unsuccessful, thus far. It's good to know that it has nothing to do with a lack of training. I simply struggle under the yolk of an oppressive govt. waiting for the day govt gets off my back. Then I'll run with surgical scissors!

Anybody who advocates universal health care can do simple math. Percent of GDP for Canadian health care, is 7%--and everyone's covered. For the U.S, it's 15% and expected through Obamination-care to trend up to 20 and then upwards to 25%, within a decade. But darn, it's all about the freedom to get sick and die, or lose your house and savings in order to pay for hospitalization. Freedom and choices. It's what makes America great!

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gregroberts
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 6 2008
Posts: 1024
"What's going on here? " Not

"What's going on here? "

Not that hard to figure out.

"This "rebuttal" post is just as emotionally driven as Moore's speech, chock full of opinion."

This is just your own emotional opinion

" Most of what you retort is ideologically "in-line" with the "whatever is opposite of what he (Moore) said."  

Huh?

"Moore just gave a speech to one of the most sustained and largest protests in our country's history.  The event is significant in that people are at least waking up. "

That they might have to pay some of their own expenses?

 "The solution is to recognize that and shepherd people to prepare for a future of less prosperity. "

So people really are sheep ?

"Bagging on Moore seems too easy."

It was.

"For the record, a country is not broke until it can't pay it's bills.  We may be insolvent to those who understand, but until we fail to sell t-bills to cover gov't spending, then we're not broke.  A ponzi scheme can carry-on in plain sight until the flows stop. So whether 400 or 10 people control all the wealth doesn't matter.  What matters is the trend.  How has the wealth among different demographics grown over the decades?"

So defrauding investors is okay with you?

"If we're on the path to being broke as a nation, does it make sense that titans of industry have exponentially grown wealth, many times greater than the rest of the people?  If the economy was solid then sure, "

So it's okay that the titans of industry have exponentially grown wealth, many times greater than the rest of the people when the economy is solid?

.  "But the reality is the eCONomy stinks, has done for a decade, and we're in the midst of one of the greatest asset heists in history.  It took decades, was done by legal means, "

You don't mean our govt, do you?

"and was supported by people who have little chance of being wealthy enough to benefit.  That's a lot of wool.

Back to sheep again

"So your first point about being broke is misguided.  Moore was talking about the wealthy buying power, creating the rules and hoarding the wealth.  So "broke" is a relative term.  Reminds me of CM's "sound of one-hand clapping" metaphor.  If a lot of wealth exists, but 99% of the people never see any of it, does it really exist? "

Yes

" As in CM's example of bad debts on the Fed balance sheet, yes it does exist, but rules are created to keep it hidden."

more fraud

"I'm sure you've heard the cookie parable by now.  If not... A Billionaire is sitting at a table with a schoolteacher and a Tea Party activist. On the table is a plate with a dozen cookies. The billionaire promptly scoops up 11 of the cookies. He then turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that schoolteacher. He’s in a union, and he wants a piece of your cookie.”

You left out the part where the Tea Party activist asks who's cookies they were to begin with.

"Also, the "crash they created" is not a currency crisis.  They, in this case, are primarily bankers, which should be obvious.  Housing, derivatives, etc.  Stay tuned because your currency crisis point is not incorrect , but this example is not it."

Long story short, ever heard of Fannie and Freddie Mac?

"Your last statement is a gem.  Evidently anyone who disagrees with your view is either un-American, not "real American," or some form of brainwashed."

Did I say that? Sounds like you've been reading  your brainbrother darbikrash's posts

  "The appropriate statement would mention lack of funds rather than lack of patriotism.   Again, the rebuttal was emotionally driven. "

To you it would be , not me. Since I'm working on income taxes today I am feeling emotional, but the emotion is anger.

 "Moore stood up and spoke to thousands of people at a significant time in American history."

Stirring up class envy

 " That at least merits a rebuttal based on facts rather than emotion and Drudge reports, especially on this site where people come for knowledge and as refuge from the ideological noise."

From your post I don't think you would know a fact from an emotion and the study of logical fallacies would be a big help in your education.

As long as it's your ideological noise it's okay, right?

sjdavis's picture
sjdavis
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 21 2008
Posts: 78
oversimplified
soulsurfersteph wrote:
sjdavis wrote:

Moore just gave a speech to one of the most sustained and largest protests in our country's history.  The event is significant in that people are at least waking up.  The solution is to recognize that and shepherd people to prepare for a future of less prosperity.  Bagging on Moore seems too easy.

Saying this is one of the largest protests in our country's history is a bit of an overstatement. Also, I'm sure that a lot of those ongoing protesters are professional "protesters" bussed in by the unions from other states. Seriously, that's how Obama won the caucuses in the 2008 election - they bussed union members and college students from other states to overwhelm the Hillary supporters. These people are organized but not in a fair and equitable way. 

I'm sure there are also a lot of naive college students just there caught up in the hype. Heck, I remember getting caught up in a sit-in at my university over campus security guards carrying guns. I didn't even know much about the issue - my friends were going and I had no clue what the plan was. Next thing I knew I was doing a sit-in at the administrative building and on the evening news.

Moore speaks to this young idealism and it's very easy to bash the rich. Let's talk about those evil Koch brothers for a second. They are apparently big philanthropists too - just read an article about the all the work they do to find a cure for cancer. Do you hear that when Moore is bellowing about the evil rich people?

So it's perfectly OK to be a filthy rich financier and manipulator of markets and currencies as long as your name is George Soros and you are donating large sums of money to MoveOn. Hypocrisy!

I'm not saying Wall Street isn't out of control - it is. And a lot of these guys are assholes. But Moore totally oversimplifies and is inciting class warfare with his comments. This is not helping the country. It is dividing it more.

Key word to describe the protest was sustained.  Something like 20 days is a significant protest in America.  But you're right, it was a little overstated considering the duzzi's we've had in our history.  Saying it's "naive" college students and "professional protestors" that are carrying things is oversimplifying the protest.  Good debate tactic though.  Maybe the first week the students contributed, but not still.  They're college students and Madison is one of the best college party towns.  Not going to be there beyond the novelty unless it means something.  

Nobody is saying billionaire's are inherently bad people.  Everybody has good and bad qualities.

Not sure how Soros made his way into the conversation, but there he is.  Guess it's to be expected.

Correct on your last point, Wall Street is out of control.  That's where most people agree.  America is divided, and as soon as people realize the demarcation is Wall Street the more intelligent and effective the debate becomes.  Contrary to your point, Moore did not oversimplify, but accurately simplified this point.  What exactly do you disagree with in this statement?

"...And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it."

 

soulsurfersteph's picture
soulsurfersteph
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 16 2010
Posts: 204
"Drudge reports"

In reading the rebuttal to the rebuttal, I was struck by this line:

"That at least merits a rebuttal based on facts rather than emotion and Drudge reports, especially on this site where people come for knowledge and as refuge from the ideological noise."

Perhaps off-topic, but I don't get why people equate the Drudge Report with an actual newspaper. There are no Drudge "reports." He simply links out to other content from a variety of sources. Many are actually quite liberal. For example, today, he linked out to Rosanne Barr's website. She hates Tea Party people. 

He sometimes writes snarky comments against Democrats in his headlines but other than the fact that he has Ann Coulter on his lists of links, I don't find him to be something only "right wingers" would get benefit from. The reason I go to his website is that he sifts through an amazing number of websites to pull out a lot of interesting stories that you might miss otherwise in your Google News feed.

I would have totally missed this story if it were not for Drudge:

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/03/millions-of-fish-likely-died-of-oxygen-depletion-not-pollution-redondo-beach-officials-say.html

There's nothing right or left about that! It's dead fish! (If anything, it's the apocalypse!)

Of course, his latest headline is: WELFARE NATION ONE-THIRD OF ALL WAGES ARE HANDOUTS But that's not actually linked to a right-wing source. It's linked to CNBC.

At any rate...insulting someone because they base their arguments on "emotional" "Drudge Reports" kind of shows a tremendous amount of ignorance about what's actually on the Drudge website. And certainly we can come up with better forms of dialogue here than these petty "right vs. left" insults?

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gregroberts
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I think the point MMoore is

I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes. 

The U.S is supposedly a democratic republic. Isn't it?

http://www.williampmeyers.org/republic.h...

The govt CAN create an outstanding educational system. Not that it is, but it sure can. Govt funded or subsidized charter schools seem to be the best bet for success in that area.

"MMoore-"That then grows a new generation of inventers, entrepreneurs, artists, scientists and thinkers who come up with the next great idea for the planet. "

G Roberts "These types of people are enabled by being free not public schools."

Really? Education has nothing to do with skill, creativity accomplishment?"

Never said that, just not public schools.

" I feel compelled to practice neurosurgery but have been unsuccessful, thus far. "

So did Jeffery Dauhmer

It's good to know that it has nothing to do with a lack of training. I simply struggle under the yolk of an oppressive govt. waiting for the day govt gets off my back. Then I'll run with surgical scissors!

Do you really believe that I think training and experience are not important? I think people prosper when they are free, I think all schools should be private because when you pay for something directly you tend to take a greater interest in the results. When people think education is free, well, you get what you pay for.

Anybody who advocates universal health care can do simple math. Percent of GDP for Canadian health care, is 7%--and everyone's covered. For the U.S, it's 15% and expected through Obamination-care to trend up to 20 and then upwards to 25%, within a decade. But darn, it's all about the freedom to get sick and die, or lose your house and savings in order to pay for hospitalization. Freedom and choices. It's what makes America great!

So the usual statist solution is to get out the gun and force people to do their bidding. I think that last paragraph is what's known as a package deal, what caused it to be the way it is? Could it be govt interference in the medical system, funny, Lasik is getting less expensive with time, oh wait the govt stays mostly out of that.

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soulsurfersteph
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Posts: 204
filthy rich?
sjdavis wrote:

Key word to describe the protest was sustained.  Something like 20 days is a significant protest in America.  But you're right, it was a little overstated considering the duzzi's we've had in our history.  Saying it's "naive" college students and "professional protestors" that are carrying things is oversimplifying the protest.  Good debate tactic though.  Maybe the first week the students contributed, but not still.  They're college students and Madison is one of the best college party towns.  Not going to be there beyond the novelty unless it means something.  

Of course it means something if it's in the national news and it's a "hip" topic to be riled up about. Doesn't mean the kids are fully informed on the issue. And like I said, the unions are most likely bussing people in, probably in shifts, to keep this thing going. They have a lot of money at stake. During the election, they paid homeless people to show up at certain events. A homeless person is more than happy to go on a bus ride for free food and some extra cash.

I would not even know these things had I not been a die-hard Hillary supporter. So don't make me out to be some right-winger. But we saw the election stolen by these tactics and those of us who were really involved know what happened in 2008 and I'm sure these same tactics are being used now.

sjdavis wrote:

Nobody is saying billionaire's are inherently bad people.  Everybody has good and bad qualities.

Not sure how Soros made his way into the conversation, but there he is.  Guess it's to be expected.

Because it's extremely hypocritical of the left to demonize rich people and particularly any successful business person (or people) who donates to the Tea Party, while ignoring the fact that Soros has been funding a huge number of progressive causes as well as media organizations. In fact, I had been a member of MoveOn until Soros took it over. I didn't even know who he was or what was happening, but I saw how suddenly the site did this fake poll that overnight had them endorsing Obama early on in the election. Members weren't given enough notice to vote on the poll. Hillary people were upset. All I knew is, MoveOn, which had been grassroots, had suddenly been hijacked by something. And if you think Soros doesn't have financial interest in what he pushes via his progressive outreach...ask yourself why Obama would give $2 billion for off-shore drilling to a Brazilian oil company Soros has shares in?

sjdavis wrote:

Correct on your last point, Wall Street is out of control.  That's where most people agree.  America is divided, and as soon as people realize the demarcation is Wall Street the more intelligent and effective the debate becomes.  Contrary to your point, Moore did not oversimplify, but accurately simplified this point.  What exactly do you disagree with in this statement?

Statements like Moore's not only create animosity towards the "filthy rich" but also anyone who owns or runs a business, including small to medium business owners. I am a small business owner. People close to me are small business owners. More taxes will choke us. Moore thinks our problems will be solved by "taxing the rich." I don't agree with that.

sjdavis wrote:

"...And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it."

Except Moore is completely blind to how the people running the unions are also skimming off the top and many are in cahoots with those who keep the corporate Democratic party in power - the same Democratic party that pushed through Barack Obama through caucus fraud generated by those same union organizers - the same Barack Obama who has filled his economic advisory team with Goldman Sachs guys - the same Barack Obama who refuses to prosecute the mortgage and banking fraud, or get us out of Afghanistan, or overturn the Patriot Act.

Raising taxes? Gimme a break. Those who can hire the right accountants won't be affected. We need the fraud prosecuted. But we also need to acknowledge that we can't afford to give infinite entitlements on an exponential scale. (Did you even watch the Crash Course?) Calling for taxing the rich is really calling for taxing small and medium sized businesses while the foxes run the henhouse.

In other words, Michael Moore is a complete and utter fool, playing into the very hands of the people he says he's fighting against.

 

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sjdavis
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Posts: 78
Argument difficult to follow, beliefs are not

Don't think I brought any ideology to the table, unintentional if I did.  The Crash Course makes effective distinction between facts, opinions and beliefs.  I'm simply pointing out the latter.

Some points...

Yes, people, relatively speaking, are sheep.  Surely just about all agree.

Defrauding investors is not ok.  Money flow and regulatory oversight allows the gig to keep going.

Yes, I do mean our gov't.  The one bought by the titans of industry and moneyed elite, which is now beginning to collect dividends.

You proved my argument with your answer here:

"So your first point about being broke is misguided.  Moore was talking about the wealthy buying power, creating the rules and hoarding the wealth.  So "broke" is a relative term.  Reminds me of CM's "sound of one-hand clapping" metaphor.  If a lot of wealth exists, but 99% of the people never see any of it, does it really exist? "

Yes

From your original rebuttal,

So 400 people out of 300 million have most of the wealth, sounds kind of broke to me.

Which one is it?  Does the wealth exist as you say it does in the one-hand clapping example, or are we broke as you say in the original rebuttal to Michael Moore?

Of course I've heard of Fannie and Freddie.  How do they support your "currency crisis" is the "crash they started" argument?  Again, it's just reaching into the well of idealogical points.  F&F are a big problem, but don't support the argument and can only be seen as pushing beliefs in this context.

You're right about the last sentence.  You never said un-American and such, just that those to disagree don't like our Constitution or support freedom.

Your honesty is appreciated relative to the emotion being anger while doing taxes.

No personal attacks required.  Don't know how to take being told I don't know the difference between a fact an an emotion?  What I do know is it's a statement that does not require further thought.

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sjdavis
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Drudge reply
soulsurfersteph wrote:

...Perhaps off-topic, but I don't get why people equate the Drudge Report with an actual newspaper. There are no Drudge "reports." He simply links out to other content from a variety of sources. Many are actually quite liberal. For example, today, he linked out to Rosanne Barr's website. She hates Tea Party people. 

...

At any rate...insulting someone because they base their arguments on "emotional" "Drudge Reports" kind of shows a tremendous amount of ignorance about what's actually on the Drudge website. And certainly we can come up with better forms of dialogue here than these petty "right vs. left" insults?

Good point, perhaps it's branding, just like tissues are Kleenex even when they're not Kleenex.  Drudge has become synonymous with a certain type of messaging, such as the headline liberties you mentioned.

Disagree that the discussion was right vs. left to begin with.  It was simply a "take the right vs. left ideology elsewhere."  Pointing out where a post is based on a belief does not mean you disagree with the ideology.  My belief is that beliefs can start to obscure facts.

CM.com is such a treasure of knowledge and like minded purpose.  The purpose is not to score political points, but to help each other move in a sustainable, resilient direction, while understanding that the ruling class will "get it" later rather than sooner.

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sjdavis
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Taming the budget
gregroberts wrote:

I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes.

Think you're partly right.  I think he means first that the 400 are puppet masters of the economy... shipping jobs overseas and such.  Second, he probably thinks increasing their taxes would solve America's balance sheet crisis.  That would be false, or partly true.  At best, it's only one part of fixing that mess, which needs to include cuts in all three forms of budget - discretionary, non-discretionay, and entitlements.  Raising taxes on the 400 would help more in the short term, but sustainability is an entirely different topic.

gregroberts wrote:

The govt CAN create an outstanding educational system. Not that it is, but it sure can. Govt funded or subsidized charter schools seem to be the best bet for success in that area.

Education needs to improve and charter schools are effective.  It's a big ship that takes time, so there may be new ideas to improve education in the meantime.  And it may not be a one-size fits all.  [sarcasm] Who knows maybe that idea will come from a public school educated mind. [/sarcasm]

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green_achers
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Moore is very frustrating to

Moore is very frustrating to me.  On the one hand, he's a very bright guy, a talented filmmaker, and always raises a lot of valid points.  His take on who is gaming this system for their benefit and to the detriment of the rest of us is spot on, and needs to be heard.  And his take on the political class that protects those is also fundamentally correct.

In addition, it's always entertaining to watch the conservatives knee-jerk reaction to him.

On the other hand, his advocacy always veers off into predictable left-wing territory that I'm pretty sure isn't any better than what he's criticizing.

I guess I'm glad he's out there saying what he's saying, because there really isn't anyone else of his stature raising those points.  The media opinion landscape in this country covers a spectrum from bland social-liberal corporate apologists to psychotic right-wing demagogues and fundamentalist neanderthals.  There sure isn't anyone else out there who gives a rodent's gluteus about the working class.  But I would have a lot more respect for him if he recognized a few gray areas and didn't retreat into emotionalism so much.

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green_achers
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Potato, potahto

Oh, and the whole democracy vs republic thing really comes off as very childish and boring.  Most people in this country, pretty much from the begining, have used the terms interchangably.  No, we are obviously not a pure democracy.  We are a republic, but that term is too broad to really describe our system.  Plato coined the term, and what he had in mind was rule by "philosopher kings."  So the word republic can refer to any governmental system in which people are represented by others.  Our system is technically a constitutional democratic republic.  That means we are represented by representatives that we democratically elect, all subject to a constitution.  (It's actually not quite that simple, either, but close enough for the internet.)  So, for all practical purposes, either word works.

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rhare
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The greatest threat to America is those who can't do math!
gregroberts wrote:

I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes.

sjdavis wrote:

Raising taxes on the 400 would help more in the short term, but sustainability is an entirely different topic.

I think your probably right about what Moore thinks, the problem is that statist types don't seem capable of doing math!

Top 400 richest people, total wealth: $1.37T.  The list begins at about $1B.

So if we not just tax them, but confiscate 100% of their wealth, it's a drop in the bucket.  It might barely cover the deficit for this year. Then what?  How about next year?  Also, who are you going to sell their stuff too?  In order for it to be worth something you have to have someone to buy it?

The problems we face are HUGE! Unfunded liabilities of $100T+.  That's more than all the wealth in the US, that's more than double the total market capitalization of all public companies in the world (~$50T).  So exactly who can possibly be taxed enough to cover the promises?  Remember in the above for the top 400 I said confiscate, not tax, if you just taxed income even 100% your looking at most a few 100 billion.

Hopefully this little bit of math convinces you that the Michael Moores of the world are spewing a lot of hot air and clearly can't do simple math.  Also, this should tell you that in the end, the protestors will loose this battle.  It's not possible to even come close to meeting the promises that have been made.

 

 

 

 

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sjdavis
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Still beliefs
soulsurfersteph wrote:

...A homeless person is more than happy to go on a bus ride for free food and some extra cash.

I would not even know these things had I not been a die-hard Hillary supporter. So don't make me out to be some right-winger...

Please, let's have some perspective. Your post is straight belief-based talking points. You're still trying to minimize the protests. Now they're homeless people and professional protestors, all coercively huddled to the streets of Madison. Before they were students. Why is it all or nothing? Why not admit that a lot of people are sincere in their protest? It says nothing of whether you agree with what they're protesting, just that you acknowledge it's more than just students, or busses of homeless and professionals.

soulsurfersteph wrote:

Because it's extremely hypocritical of the left to demonize rich people and particularly any successful business person (or people) who donates to the Tea Party, while ignoring the fact that Soros has been funding a huge number of progressive causes as well as media organizations.

Two points:

1.  Where did the left vs. right come from?  You're throwing out a label that you have no idea whether it fits.  Again, calling out an ideological post does not mean we even disagree on the real issue.  This place has always been very, very light on ideology, by design.  It's getting more ideological, maybe just the way it is as more people join the discussion.

2.  You brought up the names of Koch and Soros, not me.  My post was in context to the rebuttal to Moore's speech.  He said the top 400, which is what I referenced.  You brought names, yet they're both in the same group.  We "argued" different sides of the same thing.  We agree, the ultra wealthy fund their pet causes.

soulsurfersteph wrote:
sjdavis wrote:

Correct on your last point, Wall Street is out of control.  That's where most people agree.  America is divided, and as soon as people realize the demarcation is Wall Street the more intelligent and effective the debate becomes.  Contrary to your point, Moore did not oversimplify, but accurately simplified this point.  What exactly do you disagree with in this statement?

Statements like Moore's not only create animosity towards the "filthy rich" but also anyone who owns or runs a business, including small to medium business owners. I am a small business owner. People close to me are small business owners. More taxes will choke us. Moore thinks our problems will be solved by "taxing the rich." I don't agree with that.

I very much disagree.  I know enough business owners and "wealthy" people to know that none of them are afraid of animosity.  Why is fear driving this argument?  To most business owners, we have a demand-side problem.  You're supporting a supply-side solution.

Also, you sound just like the unions.  Neither want to reduce benefits.  Replace "taxing the rich" with "right to bargain."

Irony aside, what's the motivation for such adamant support of the top 400?  Some even agree they need to be taxed more - Gates and Buffet for example.  Not that it solves our problems, but the support for the group is what has me puzzled.

soulsurfersteph wrote:
sjdavis wrote:

"...And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we'd have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic -- and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it."

Except Moore is completely blind to how the people running the unions are also skimming off the top and many are in cahoots with those who keep the corporate Democratic party in power - the same Democratic party that pushed through Barack Obama through caucus fraud generated by those same union organizers - the same Barack Obama who has filled his economic advisory team with Goldman Sachs guys - the same Barack Obama who refuses to prosecute the mortgage and banking fraud, or get us out of Afghanistan, or overturn the Patriot Act.

Raising taxes? Gimme a break. Those who can hire the right accountants won't be affected. We need the fraud prosecuted. But we also need to acknowledge that we can't afford to give infinite entitlements on an exponential scale. (Did you even watch the Crash Course?) 

There are bad apples in every organization, unions included.  No argument there.  But again, you bring up another person, Obama, and I agree with every point.  Thanks for listing them so succinctly.  That's an opinion, and says nothing of ideology.

Yes, the fraud needs to be prosecuted, completely agree.  That  documentary that just won the Oscar, Inside Job, is in my Netflix queue.

Yes, I have watched and re-watched the Crash Course.  Thought that would be evident by my drawing a distinction to belief-based posts.  If you remember, it's important to distinguish between facts, opinions and beliefs.  Anyway, entitlements need serious work.  So does discretionary and non-discretionary spending.  It's not a serious conversation until all three are discussed together.  Thus ideology on the left, ideology on the right and everybody else fighting to keep their benefits, whether right to bargain or right to historically lower taxes.

soulsurfersteph wrote:

Calling for taxing the rich is really calling for taxing small and medium sized businesses while the foxes run the henhouse.

In other words, Michael Moore is a complete and utter fool, playing into the very hands of the people he says he's fighting against.

Come on, you just made that up didn't you?  Taxing the top 400 is not the same as raising taxes on small and medium sized business.  If business is your priority, fight to lower corporate taxes.  Here's an idea, if corporate taxes are lower and taxes on wealthy individuals are higher, where would the wealthy invest their money?  A likely guess would be business, which in theory is good for jobs.

The last line directed at Michael Moore, in all it's bold-face glory, makes it obvious that your post is also belief based.  That's my opinion.

Another opinion is that the Tea Party essentially started as anti-Fed and it has since become something different.  These ideological talking points are not the focus here, but those hoarding the wealth sure appreciate the time to keep the spigot open.  

The Fed is the focus.  The budget - discretionary, non-discretionary and entitlements - are the focus.  Community, sustainable systems, energy and resilience is the focus.

But to make budget issues all about unions and greedy teachers is just as insane as saying budgets can be fixed simply by taxing the rich.  One more time now, it's not a serious conversation until discretionary, non-discretionary and entitlements are all in play.  And even then, we don't know if the damage done by the Fed can be unwound gently.

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sjdavis
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Math is fundamental
rhare wrote:
gregroberts wrote:

I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes.

sjdavis wrote:

Raising taxes on the 400 would help more in the short term, but sustainability is an entirely different topic.

I think your probably right about what Moore thinks, the problem is that statist types don't seem capable of doing math!

Top 400 richest people, total wealth: $1.37T.  The list begins at about $1B.

So if we not just tax them, but confiscate 100% of their wealth, it's a drop in the bucket.  It might barely cover the deficit for this year. Then what?  How about next year?  Also, who are you going to sell their stuff too?  In order for it to be worth something you have to have someone to buy it?

The problems we face are HUGE! Unfunded liabilities of $100T+.  That's more than all the wealth in the US, that's more than double the total market capitalization of all public companies in the world (~$50T).  So exactly who can possibly be taxed enough to cover the promises?  Remember in the above for the top 400 I said confiscate, not tax, if you just taxed income even 100% your looking at most a few 100 billion.

Hopefully this little bit of math convinces you that the Michael Moores of the world are spewing a lot of hot air and clearly can't do simple math.  Also, this should tell you that in the end, the protestors will loose this battle.  It's not possible to even come close to meeting the promises that have been made.

Not sure if I'm the "you" referenced here, but no disagreement on the scale of the issues.  I'll just keep repeating though, it's not a serious conversation until the whole budget is on the table - discretionary, non-discretionary and entitlements.

I also agree with your commerce example.  The economy is stuck with a demand-side problem.  We only have supply-side solutions.

Also, not sure the protestors will lose this battle, but the "war" is a different story.  Retaining collective bargaining and preventing privatization of utilities is winning the battle in the short term.  In the long term, there are 3 E's that influence losing the "war."  A serious budget conversation would include entitlements, meanwhile energy will become scarce and more costly regardless of ownership.

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earthwise
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Greatest threat to America is those who can't do math-or history
rhare wrote:
gregroberts wrote:

I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes.

sjdavis wrote:

Raising taxes on the 400 would help more in the short term, but sustainability is an entirely different topic.

I think your probably right about what Moore thinks, the problem is that statist types don't seem capable of doing math!

Top 400 richest people, total wealth: $1.37T.  The list begins at about $1B.

So if we not just tax them, but confiscate 100% of their wealth, it's a drop in the bucket.  It might barely cover the deficit for this year. Then what?  How about next year?  Also, who are you going to sell their stuff too?  In order for it to be worth something you have to have someone to buy it?

The problems we face are HUGE! Unfunded liabilities of $100T+.  That's more than all the wealth in the US, that's more than double the total market capitalization of all public companies in the world (~$50T).  So exactly who can possibly be taxed enough to cover the promises?  Remember in the above for the top 400 I said confiscate, not tax, if you just taxed income even 100% your looking at most a few 100 billion.

Hopefully this little bit of math convinces you that the Michael Moores of the world are spewing a lot of hot air and clearly can't do simple math.  Also, this should tell you that in the end, the protestors will loose this battle.  It's not possible to even come close to meeting the promises that have been made.

 

 

 

 

Thank you.

This "tax the rich" stuff, and "make them pay their fair share" crap is nonsense for the reason you stated and is really getting old. It's straight out of the Marx/Engles playbook and it doesn't work unless the goal is to spread impoverishment equally. And even then it doesn't work: witness the communist elite who lived in luxury while the masses starved. It's nothing but an appeal to crass envy by promoting class envy.

 

 

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soulsurfersteph
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Posts: 204
"belief"
sjdavis wrote:

Please, let's have some perspective. Your post is straight belief-based talking points. You're still trying to minimize the protests. Now they're homeless people and professional protestors, all coercively huddled to the streets of Madison. Before they were students. Why is it all or nothing? Why not admit that a lot of people are sincere in their protest? It says nothing of whether you agree with what they're protesting, just that you acknowledge it's more than just students, or busses of homeless and professionals.

Almost all opinions and "facts" (i.e., selective information) most people profess come from the mainstream media, which does not report the truth on many matters. In the case of the caucus fraud in 2007-2008, the media totally refused to cover the story. I know this because I personally knew the women who were working on a documentary about the fraud and they took the story to the mainstream media - ABC, NBC, FOX, etc.., and they refused to cover it. 

Having read a lot of "on the ground" reports by activists during the election (as I was blogging it) the "facts" in that situation seem to point to a concerted effort by unions to skew caucuses by bussing in students as well as homeless people. The entire ACORN scandal - which was taken up by the right wing - was originally an issue with the Hillary people because ACORN was also recruiting homeless people to vote for Obama.

Now. Given all the information I've assessed over many many months and now years of watching the non-mainstream media over what's really going on with things like protests, I feel fairly confident that the only way they are sustaining those Wisconsin protests is by bussing people in. Of course they would - the unions themselves acknowledge this is a national issue. 

Heck, I knew that before I even Googled it...and sure enough, tons of stories about this, and here's just one:

http://www.wifr.com/home/headlines/Illinois_Union_Members_Bus_To_Wisconsin_Protests_116989728.html

Union supporter Clarissa Lagerstem says, "I am so glad that people as far as Washington are willing to come to our capitol in Madison and tell America how we feel.”

And oh look, MoveOn has been mobilizing people from out of state too! So yeah, when you make "emotional" claims about the historical nature of this protest, I roll my eyes at the contrived nature of this protest. It's contrived. Kabuki theater, created by corrupt unions and the corrupt Democratic party, which could really give a rat's ass about workers in truth, but put forth by propaganda from MoveOn, which is now funded by investment banker/billionaires. The very types of people they claim they hate. Perhaps there's a hidden agenda here? I think so.

Let's see how this connects in a second..

sjdavis wrote:

Two points:

1.  Where did the left vs. right come from?  You're throwing out a label that you have no idea whether it fits.  Again, calling out an ideological post does not mean we even disagree on the real issue.  This place has always been very, very light on ideology, by design.  It's getting more ideological, maybe just the way it is as more people join the discussion.

2.  You brought up the names of Koch and Soros, not me.  My post was in context to the rebuttal to Moore's speech.  He said the top 400, which is what I referenced.  You brought names, yet they're both in the same group.  We "argued" different sides of the same thing.  We agree, the ultra wealthy fund their pet causes.

OK, we agree the ultra wealthy fund their pet causes. But I brought up Koch and Soros because rich people are constantly the bogeymen of the far left, except when those rich people are funding the left's causes. See:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/wiscrecall?refcode=e4

Progressives in Wisconsin are coming together to recall enough Republican Senators to stop Scott Walker's plan. We can win this, but with billionaires like the Koch brothers supporting Walker's plan, progressives in Wisconsin are going to need support.

OK...this is blatant propaganda for a number of reasons. One, are the Koch brothers directly funding Walker at this moment in time? No...they may "support" his plan but where is the direct line of money here at this time? The election is already done. No need to "fund" Walker at this time.

They also make out like they are poor, bereft, powerless "progressives" who don't have big money behind them, when they absolutely do.

The way this is phrased is absolutely ridiculous considering the "rich billionaire" who funds MoveOn. They imply that billionaires are evil and need to be stopped..."so donate money to us, despite the fact that we ourselves are backed by a billionaire"...and not just any billionaire, but a guy who is an INVESTMENT BANKER and FINANCIER as his line of work! 

You'd think MoveOn would have scruples and refuse that money - why trust Soros when they don't trust any other rich people?

So what's the purpose of this fundraising drive? Not to lobby to change Walker's mind but to recall him - it's all about power for the Democratic party.

True progressives would not be supporting the Democratic party - and actually, the leftists who are smart have woken up to these shenanigans and now support the Green party.

I absolutely despise this manipulation of people's emotions.

sjdavis wrote:

I very much disagree.  I know enough business owners and "wealthy" people to know that none of them are afraid of animosity.  Why is fear driving this argument?  To most business owners, we have a demand-side problem.  You're supporting a supply-side solution.

Also, you sound just like the unions.  Neither want to reduce benefits.  Replace "taxing the rich" with "right to bargain."

Irony aside, what's the motivation for such adamant support of the top 400?  Some even agree they need to be taxed more - Gates and Buffet for example.  Not that it solves our problems, but the support for the group is what has me puzzled.

Anytime the tax collector takes your money, your right to keep your money is being taken away. This is not the same thing as allowing "collective bargaining rights" for what is essentially a corporation - i.e., a union, a collective of individuals who are *forced* into the corporation because they need to in order to take the job. Collective bargaining for a group that forces membership on people in exchange for employment is not an individual liberty.

As for "adamantly supporting the top 400" - you don't get it. Michael Moore's rhetoric is part of the far left propaganda to try to add more taxes to the moderately successful. I.e., people who earn more than $250K per year. In fact, on that article I linked above about the fish kill in Redondo Beach, someone commented that this must be God's wrath punishing us for extending tax breaks "for people who earn more than $250,000."

This isn't just about taxing the uberwealthy. It's about grabbing money from hard-working people to support unsustainable entitlements.

soulsurfersteph wrote:

Yes, the fraud needs to be prosecuted, completely agree.  That  documentary that just won the Oscar, Inside Job, is in my Netflix queue.

If the left focused on lobbying the Obama administration to prosecute the Wall Street fraud, I'd be 100% behind that. But right now they are more interested in class warfare instead of distinguishing between hard-working business owners and outright criminals. Not all rich people are criminals, but Moore makes them all out to be like that. The irony is that I think the left, including Moore, is being entirely manipulated by certain rich people who can achieve their agenda better by abusing progressive idealism to get and retain power for themselves. That's how Obama got elected - by pretending to be a progressive. 

If we actually prosecuted existing laws and got the Glass-Steagall Act back in place then we might get somewhere. And let's not forget, Glass-Steagall was removed under Clinton (hate to say it, as much as I have loved the Clintons). Taxing the rich won't solve our long-term problems.

 

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sjdavis
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Real quick, as I haven't

Real quick, as I haven't read the post beyond the first sentence yet... actually read the last paragraph b/c it's just above this text box.  But want to post before I may be inclined to reply to more specific points... I think you're saying most people only know what the mainstream media tells them.  Good point... I practice not using mainstream media daily.  Unless there's a grain of salt nearby.

But to go one step further, when it comes to the facts you mention the media uses, those come from the government.  If you read the reports on this site you know the government numbers are rosy where they need to be.  One of my favorite "just crazy" things I learned from the CC is hedonics.  Nobody in their right mind can justify that, but it's official and is baked in the gov't numbers used by the media.

Also, since I'm looking at the last 2 paragraphs of your post - agree about prosecuting Wall Street fraud.  Restoring Glass-Stegall would be a good show of intention, while unlikely to be a solution.  That damage is done.  Likewise taxing the rich doesn't solve the problem.  Neither does cutting discretionary spending.  Or entitlements.  But add all of that and include non-discretionary spending and it would be a start.

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sjdavis
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Posts: 78
Am i talking to a lobbyist?

Apologies soulsurfersteph, but your post reads like a hired lobbyist.  Talking points and enemies at every paragraph.  Since when did $250k become moderately successful?  That is a damn good living in most parts of the country.  Do you live in Manhattan, LA, SF?

Since when did more than just local people protesting make a "wrong" protest?  I'll be honest, I don't have a horse in this race.  I'm just glad the issues of the time are taking center stage.  My opinion is that Walker overplayed his hand by including "selling of utilities" at the whim of the governor.  Walker first cowered behind selling the bill as necessary for the budget, which was promptly uncovered as a lie.  Then it became obvious it was about collective bargaining.  But in reality, the real sinister plan is to sell rights of way for utilities to whichever no-bid bidder the governor chooses.  If you read anything I wrote earlier, here's the process... 1. buy power, 2 change rules, 3 hoard assets.  That's the story and it applies to both parties.

A couple other quick points...

Are recalls only good when they're of Democratic officials?  If the people of Wisconsin are unhappy with their reps or just realizing they slept through the the election when a corporate lapdog was being put in power, then they have the right to petition for recall within the limits of their Constitution.  I'm sure you agree with that right?  Sure, they should have been engaged in the political process during the election.  But if the Constitution allows for recall and there's enough support to recall politicians, then have at it.

Also, agree the Republican party and Democratic party are equally corrupt.  If true progressives are supporting the Green party then it shows they're lack of will and intelligence.  Green party is a joke.  If progressives want something other than the Democratic party then they need to start thinking of a new, real alternative.  The more likely scenario is we have one party rule before progressives can agree to have a meeting to discuss a new party.

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soulsurfersteph
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sole proprietors
sjdavis wrote:

Apologies soulsurfersteph, but your post reads like a hired lobbyist.  Talking points and enemies at every paragraph.  Since when did $250k become moderately successful?  That is a damn good living in most parts of the country.  Do you live in Manhattan, LA, SF?

If you are a sole proprietor trying to get a business to transition from it being just you, to you plus a staff, $250K is not much when you consider taxes, expenses and the cost of doing business. The more money taken out for taxes, the less money you have to grow and expand your business. And it costs money to hire someone (which can take time if you need someone skilled, and either you must take your own time or pay a recruiter). Once hired, you have to pay that person, perhaps get office space and equipment, deal with employment laws, accounting, taxes, withholding of taxes, and then pay for the bookkeeper and accountant, lawyer, etc.  With all that, the money can go very quickly.

And I did live in LA for a long time and it was very expensive. I also lived in Seattle and the rents and costs for houses weren't much better. Here in Austin it's slightly better but with the growing number of jobs rents are shooting up here and will be at Los Angeles levels soon.

A beach apartment I rented in the late 90s in Los Angeles for $973 probably goes for $2000 or more now. I had a two bedroom apartment in a not so great building that had the section 8 welfare queen I mentioned in another thread here, and that apartment cost me $1450 a month. Three-bedroom townhouses built on my modest street were going for just under a million. A nice, upscale apartment complex in Los Angeles probably starts at $2,000/month for a small one bedroom. 

If you are in certain types of businesses you are expected to look the part, i.e., if you want to get business as a PR person you need to wear nice clothes and drive a decent car in a place like Los Angeles. 

If you are doing consulting work, some clients will expect you to fly out to meet with them to discuss a potential project, and they will not reimburse for the trip if you do not snag the job. So you could spend $1,000 just on a one day trip to try to get new work.

Yes you can write some stuff off on taxes, but that doesn't cover everything!

Business is costly. Cities that have business opportunities are costly.

Punishing people who are trying to build businesses is not the answer. Those small business people are the people who create half the jobs in this country.

At any rate, nice chatting with you...but I am giving up arguing and debating for Lent and now need to wrap this up. :-)

 

 

 

 

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gregroberts
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Posts: 1024
I didn't write this

gregroberts wrote:I think the point MMoore is trying to make is America wouldn't be broke if the 400 members of the uber elite paid their fair share of taxes.

I didn't write this

r101958's picture
r101958
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Posts: 257
What is fair...I wonder?

What is fair...I wonder?

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sjdavis
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Posts: 78
Likewise, nice chatting with

Likewise, nice chatting with you.  I hear great things about Austin, would be a shame if it inflated to LA equivalent.

Good idea for Lent.  Now back to what we all openly agree on, building resiliency for a future with less.

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