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Why the Rich Love High Unemployment
#1
trying again to communicate a simple truth to the right-wing...

Quote:http://www.truthout.org/why-rich-love-hi...1305061465

In the last installment of this three-part series, Mark Provost again examines the myths perpetuated by the ruling class to frame massive transfers of wealth to the rich as well-intentioned economic "recovery" policies. Parts 1 and 2 appeared on Truthout in December 2010 and January 2011. - TO

Christina Romer, former member of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, accuses the administration of "shamefully ignoring" the unemployed. Paul Krugman echoes her concerns, observing that Washington has lost interest in "the forgotten millions." America's unemployed have been ignored and forgotten, but they are far from superfluous. Over the last two years, out-of-work Americans have played a critical role in helping the richest one percent recover trillions in financial wealth.

Obama's advisers often congratulate themselves for avoiding another Great Depression - an assertion not amenable to serious analysis or debate. A better way to evaluate their claims is to compare the US economy to other rich countries over the last few years.

On the basis of sustaining economic growth, the United States is doing better than nearly all advanced economies. From the first quarter of 2008 to the end of 2010, US gross domestic product (GDP) growth outperformed every G-7 country except Canada.

But when it comes to jobs, US policymakers fall short of their rosy self-evaluations. Despite the second-highest economic growth, Paul Wiseman of the Associated Press (AP) reports: "the U.S. job market remains the group's weakest. U.S. employment bottomed and started growing again a year ago, but there are still 5.4 percent fewer American jobs than in December 2007. That's a much sharper drop than in any other G-7 country." According to an important study by Andrew Sum and Joseph McLaughlin, the US boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates in the rich world before the housing crash - now, it's the highest.[1]

The gap between economic growth and job creation reflects three separate but mutually reinforcing factors: US corporate governance, Obama's economic policies and the deregulation of US labor markets.

Old economic models assume that companies merely react to external changes in demand - lacking independent agency or power. While executives must adapt to falling demand, they retain a fair amount of discretion in how they will respond and who will bear the brunt of the pain. Corporate culture and organization vary from country to country.

In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren't everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion. At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability." Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and their communities.

Obama's lopsided recovery also reflects lopsided government intervention. Apart from all the talk about jobs, the Obama administration never supported a concrete employment plan. The stimulus provided relief, but it was too small and did not focus on job creation.

The administration's problem is not a question of economics, but a matter of values and priorities. In the first Great Depression, President Roosevelt created an alphabet soup of institutions - the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) - to directly relieve the unemployment problem, a crisis the private sector was unable and unwilling to solve. In the current crisis, banks were handed bottomless bowls of alphabet soup - the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), the Public-Private Investment Program (PPIP) and the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) - while politicians dithered over extending inadequate unemployment benefits.

The unemployment crisis has its origins in the housing crash, but the prior deregulation of the labor market made the fallout more severe. Like other changes to economic policy in recent decades, the deregulation of the labor market tilts the balance of power in favor of business and against workers. Unlike financial system reform, the deregulation of the labor market is not on President Obama's agenda and has escaped much commentary.

Labor-market deregulation boils down to three things: weak unions, weak worker protection laws and weak overall employment. In addition to protecting wages and benefits, unions also protect jobs. Union contracts prevent management from indiscriminately firing workers and shifting the burden onto remaining employees. After decades of imposed decline, the United States currently has the fourth-lowest private sector union membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

America's low rate of union membership partly explains why unemployment rose so fast and, - thanks to hectic productivity growth - hiring has been so slow.

Proponents of labor-market flexibility argue that it's easier for the private sector to create jobs when the transactional costs associated with hiring and firing are reduced. Perhaps fortunately, legal protections for American workers cannot get any lower: US labor laws make it the easiest place in the word to fire or replace employees, according to the OECD.

Another consequence of labor-market flexibility has been the shift from full-time jobs to temporary positions. In 2010, 26 percent of all news jobs were temporary - compared with less than 11 percent in the early 1990's recovery and just 7.1 percent in the early 2000's.

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The American model of high productivity and low pay has friends in high places. Former Obama adviser and General Motors (GM) car czar Steven Rattner argues that America's unemployment crisis is a sign of strength:

Perversely, the nagging high jobless rate reflects two of the most promising attributes of the American economy: its flexibility and its productivity. Eliminating jobs - with all the wrenching human costs - raises productivity and, thereby, competitiveness.

Unusually, US productivity grew right through the recession; normally, companies can't reduce costs fast enough to keep productivity from falling.

That kind of efficiency is perhaps our most precious economic asset. However tempting it may be, we need to resist tinkering with the labor market. Policy proposals aimed too directly at raising employment may well collaterally end up dragging on productivity.

Rattner comes dangerously close to articulating a full-unemployment policy. He suggests unemployed workers don't merit the same massive government intervention that served GM and the banks so well. When Wall Street was on the ropes, both administrations sensibly argued, "doing nothing is not an option." For the long-term unemployed, doing nothing appears to be Washington's preferred policy.

The unemployment crisis has been a godsend for America's superrich, who own the vast majority of financial assets - stocks, bonds, currency and commodities.

Persistent unemployment and weak unions have changed the American workforce into a buyers' market - job seekers and workers are now "price takers" rather than "price makers." Obama's recovery shares with Reagan's early years the distinction of being the only two post-war expansions where wage concessions have been the rule rather than the exception. The year 2009 marked the slowest wage growth on record, followed by the second slowest in 2010.[2]

America's labor market depression propels asset price appreciation. In the last two years, US corporate profits and share prices rose at the fastest pace in history - and the fastest in the G-7. Considering the source of profits, the soaring stock market appears less a beacon of prosperity than a reliable proxy for America's new misery index. Mark Whitehouse of The Wall Street Journal describes Obama's hamster wheel recovery:

From mid-2009 through the end of 2010, output per hour at U.S. nonfarm businesses rose 5.2% as companies found ways to squeeze more from their existing workers. But the lion's share of that gain went to shareholders in the form of record profits, rather than to workers in the form of raises. Hourly wages, adjusted for inflation, rose only 0.3%, according to the Labor Department. In other words, companies shared only 6% of productivity gains with their workers. That compares to 58% since records began in 1947.

Workers' wages and salaries represent roughly two-thirds of production costs and drive inflation. High inflation is a bondholders' worst enemy because bonds are fixed-income securities. For example, if a bond yields a fixed five percent and inflation is running at four percent, the bond's real return is reduced to one percent. High unemployment constrains labor costs and, thus, also functions as an anchor on inflation and inflation expectations - protecting bondholders' real return and principal. Thanks to the absence of real wage growth and inflation over the last two years, bond funds have attracted record inflows and investors have profited immensely.

The Federal Reserve has played the leading role in sustaining the recovery, but monetary policies work indirectly and disproportionately favor the wealthy. Low interest rates have helped banks recapitalize, allowed businesses and households to refinance debt and provided Wall Street with a tsunami of liquidity - but its impact on employment and wage growth has been negligible.

CNBC's Jim Cramer provides insight into the counterintuitive link between a rotten economy and soaring asset prices: "We are and have been in the longest 'bad news is good news' moment that I have ever come across in my 31 years of trading. That means the bad news keeps producing the low interest rates that make stocks, particularly stocks with decent dividend protection, more attractive than their fixed income alternatives." In other words, the longer Ben Bernanke's policies fail to lower unemployment, the longer Wall Street enjoys a free ride.

Out-of-work Americans deserve more than unemployment checks - they deserve dividends. The rich would never have recovered without them.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#2
quadrat Wrote:
Quote:http://www.truthout.org/why-rich-love-hi...1305061465
...Christina Romer, former member of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, accuses the administration of "shamefully ignoring" the unemployed. Paul Krugman echoes her concerns, observing that Washington has lost interest in "the forgotten millions."
These are the people who crafted the policies now in effect and then got thrown under the bus.

Are they upset that Obama did what they asked, or that he didn't go far enough? Either way, they were wrong. Their policies were wrong. ...And they and the administration are on the wrong side of history. No words can fix it.
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#3
So why did BHO et al, the champions of unions, the "working man", the little man get it so wrong and reward the wrong folks?

Was is a failure of the all wise government, run by intellectuals (the "brain trust") and earnest succors of the common citizen? How could this be?
Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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#4
jt Wrote:...How could this be?

Because he IS the Kwisatz Haderach!

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#5
(05-26-2011, 05:48 PM)WmLambert Wrote:
jt Wrote:...How could this be?

Because he IS the Kwisatz Haderach!

Well, that Spiced up the thread.

S1
I know you think you understand what you thought I said,
but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!
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#6
(05-26-2011, 11:21 AM)quadrat Wrote: trying again to communicate a simple truth to the right-wing...

Quote:http://www.truthout.org/why-rich-love-hi...1305061465


What always amazes me most is how the Utopian Left seems to have a good grasp on all the possible ideal outcomes, as if idolizing the concept of fairy-tale ending, but not knowing how that outcome is best reached. And rather than taking the time to study the best steps in obtaining this outcome, they demand that everyone just 'do something', no mater how ill advised. The only time that this advice works best is when one is standing within the target area, as the enemy is "Firing for Effect". Otherwise, one is best advised to contemplate where to leap before leaping.

And clearly the Utopian Left is all too quick to assign blame, point fingers, and attempt to punish everyone, in the guise of making the guilty pay for the sin of being human. If you read the article, the vast number of misconceptions, finger pointing, and illogical conclusions, are staggering. There are just too many "Seen" actions mentioned by the reader, but almost never any of the countless "Unseen" consequences, which are completely overlooked.

And these people honestly believe they are insightful and part of the small group of intellectuals who 'get it'. But in truth, they are of the many, who lack the wisdom to peel back the crust to see the pie underneath.

And too, they are bound to just "have to regulate things one more time", or perhaps throw more money at it, and everything will suddenly heal itself, as if by magic. And again what they fail to realize is that they would make the very thing they wish, even further from their grasp.

Simply Amazing! And I would thank "Q" for giving us this classic example. However, the reason for his posting it here is intended to be just the opposite. I guess it just shows that no matter how ill the intent, there is always some measure of good that comes from bad.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#7
Damn... can't any of you people respond to this article with something other than insults, ad hominem attacks and stupid right wing rhetoric? Nothing you all are saying here has anything to do with the subject at hand.
The rightist motto: "Facts?... we don't need no stinkin facts."

[Image: Obama08_Logo150.gif]
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#8
Buzz Wrote:...can't any of you people respond to this article with something other than insults, ad hominem attacks and stupid right wing rhetoric? Nothing you all are saying here has anything to do with the subject at hand.

Exactly the opposite. My earlier post noted that the people quoted in the article were people who originally crafted the administration's policy, then got thrown overboard when it didn't work. Not to fall quietly on their swords, they now act like outsiders criticizing something they are experts in. Not only are they not outsiders, but their history proves them to be no experts.

The article Wrote:In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren't everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion. At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability." Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and their communities.

This, is totally off base and without any credence whatsoever. The JP Morgan report said nothing about profits "being everything." It just said that in this climate, actions to save companies from bankruptcy have been forced to cut closer to the bone than ever before. Of course the slanted article makes it appear that cuts to jobs came first - when in truth they came last. Not only are executives acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest, but also to the best interest of their workers. Many companies are willing to take a slight loss in order to stay in business, utilizing rainy day funds when possible - or operate at cost to keep people employed and the company functioning, hoping for a change in government restrictions to allow the market to revive. Many are forced to downsize to stay in existence, yet this article brands them as greedy.

The subject at hand is not the ridiculous assumptions of a hit-piece article - but the danger of accepting such rants without knowledge or understanding.
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#9
WmLambert Wrote:
Buzz Wrote:...can't any of you people respond to this article with something other than insults, ad hominem attacks and stupid right wing rhetoric? Nothing you all are saying here has anything to do with the subject at hand.

Exactly the opposite. My earlier post noted that the people quoted in the article were people who originally crafted the administration's policy, then got thrown overboard when it didn't work. Not to fall quietly on their swords, they now act like outsiders criticizing something they are experts in. Not only are they not outsiders, but their history proves them to be no experts.

O.K... what I should have said is that other than using this article to attack Obama you all haven't addressed the main point of the article. And that main point is that the rich are profiting from high unemployment. And I would point out that Krugman was not one of Obama's advisors and didn't craft Obama's policy.

WmLambert Wrote:
The article Wrote:In the boardrooms of corporate America, profits aren't everything - they are the only thing. A JPMorgan research report concludes that the current corporate profit recovery is more dependent on falling unit-labor costs than during any previous expansion. At some level, corporate executives are aware that they are lowering workers' living standards, but their decisions are neither coordinated nor intentionally harmful. Call it the "paradox of profitability." Executives are acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest: maximizing profit margins in the face of weak demand by extensive layoffs and pay cuts. But what has been good for every company's income statement has been a disaster for working families and their communities.

This, is totally off base and without any credence whatsoever.

You don't know what your talking about... as usual.

WmLambert Wrote: The JP Morgan report said nothing about profits "being everything."

The article didn't state that JP Morgan said this.

WmLambert Wrote: It just said that in this climate, actions to save companies from bankruptcy have been forced to cut closer to the bone than ever before. Of course the slanted article makes it appear that cuts to jobs came first - when in truth they came last.

The article says nothing about companies needing to be saved from bankruptcy. Sure... there are some companies that had to cut jobs to save themselves but most companies didn't have to. They made cuts to raise profits after profits started falling. And I don't how you can claim that companies didn't cut jobs first when that is exactly what happened. If they hadn't then we would not have seen the huge increase in unemployment that happened as soon as the recession started.

WmLambert Wrote: Not only are executives acting in their own and their shareholders' best interest, but also to the best interest of their workers. Many companies are willing to take a slight loss in order to stay in business, utilizing rainy day funds when possible - or operate at cost to keep people employed and the company functioning, hoping for a change in government restrictions to allow the market to revive. Many are forced to downsize to stay in existence, yet this article brands them as greedy.

I'm sorry Wm but cutting jobs, cutting wages and increasing the workload of workers is not in the best interests of their workers. And most companies are not hurting and have been seeing record profits. Fact of the matter is that most corporations are swimming in cash.

WmLambert Wrote: The subject at hand is not the ridiculous assumptions of a hit-piece article - but the danger of accepting such rants without knowledge or understanding.

Obviously it is you who is without knowledge and understanding. But that is nothing unusual as you rarely ever really know what your talking about.

The rightist motto: "Facts?... we don't need no stinkin facts."

[Image: Obama08_Logo150.gif]
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#10
(05-28-2011, 03:54 PM)WmLambert Wrote: Many companies are willing to take a slight loss in order to stay in business, utilizing rainy day funds when possible - or operate at cost to keep people employed and the company functioning, hoping for a change in government restrictions to allow the market to revive. Many are forced to downsize to stay in existence, yet this article brands them as greedy.
If taxes are reduced and more regulations repealed, the additional market capital will not be distributed to workers or stimulate new hiring. Employment was less secure after Reagan deregulated the economy.

Buzz Wrote:Sure... there are some companies that had to cut jobs to save themselves but most companies didn't have to. They made cuts to raise profits after profits started falling.
Precisely. Corporate downsizing is standard procedure, not some final act of desperation.
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#11
Personally,I think John's response is excellent. Forget the debate about capitalism,fascism and socialism,the problem seems to be psychological.

The left has an ideal which is good,but,it simply has never shown how to get there.

Just finger pointing and blaming folks when it is most likely things are bad when normal people make normal decisions based on normal criteria which leads them to conclude I need to protect my assets.

Businesses are not spending because they are NOT IDIOTS.

They will spend on new P&E and employees when the environment is conducive to fostering confidence they are not wasting their assets. That's it.

Looking at our debt levels,personal and public,looking at the continuing real estate depression,looking at the systemic high unemployment rate,looking at the warnings of China and debt rating corps we may have a lowering of our AAA debt rating which will dramatically increase our debt burden,looking at the awful debt levels of many states and considering what a state default can achieve,looking at a war w/o end drain on assets with a new war started,looking at the inability to restrain the insane growth in spending with continued low revenue growth,looking at unbelievably high commodity wholesale costs across the spectrum,yet we're in a harsh recession,looking at an admin in that environment who thought it proper to add ObamaCare to the spending side,one has to be a blind fool to have confidence in this nation's immediate future.
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#12
(05-30-2011, 09:20 AM)Gommi Wrote: If taxes are reduced and more regulations repealed, the additional market capital will not be distributed to workers or stimulate new hiring. Employment was less secure after Reagan deregulated the economy.

Sigh, one more time............a business is in business for one thing only: to make the best profit for the owner/owners of that business. It is called accumulation of wealth. That is first and foremost the main reason why businesses are in business. Are you willing to work for nothing? Or are you working in order to maximize the matching of your skills to that of your best wages? If you are pursuing the later, then you too are being selfish, correct?

And because maximizing wealth almost always includes the hiring of other workers, the more successful the business(think productive), the more workers it will hire. It is FACT! Get used to it, because that is how the world really, really, really, works.

The business cycle is like a train entering a tunnel. The engine is the productive part of the business, and the caboose is the employment part. Employment is the caboose, and because it is at the ass end, it is known as a lagging indicator.

If you constantly think employment, instead of considering wealth creation, you will continue to miss the truth, for the rest of your life. Instead, you will constantly be running around in circles, and never increasing the number of workers you claim to value so much.

If you really want to increase employment, then allow business to reach its full productive potential first. It's commonly called deregulation. Otherwise, you will always be praying for heaven on earth, and never obtaining it. That is FACT!!

Quote:
Buzz Wrote:Sure... there are some companies that had to cut jobs to save themselves but most companies didn't have to. They made cuts to raise profits after profits started falling.
Precisely. Corporate downsizing is standard procedure, not some final act of desperation.

That is how companies become more productive and maximize profits for the owners, who are the real risk takers. Are you suggesting that the ones taking the Real Risks do not deserve, nor have the right, to realize the most from their property?

You do believe in property rights, do you not? Or does that only extend to YOUR property?

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#13
John,

Don't you ever get a little weary explaining wealth creation to folks that automatically equate it to wealth distribution? Their view of business is that of a social exercise providing tax revenue and jobs. Profits are seen as a nasty little side effect ... evil even. From there it gets even more complicated. You need a score card. Oil companies that produce billion$ in tax revenue and thousands of new jobs are 'evil' because they are allowed to write off depreciation of capital equipment ... compare and contrast with GE that has been outsourcing it's workforce overseas for years, pays NO federal taxes and sucks up million$ of public funds for windmills, etc ... is such a wonderful corporate citizen that Jeff Immelt gets a seat at the table of the Obama Administration.

In some ways you can't blame GE. Government policies continue to turn employees into liabilities for employers. Small businesses are particularly wary. Unfortunately, THEY are the engines of job growth ... NOT the GEs of the world ... and they're scared because they have absolutely no idea what today's new hire is going to cost them tomorrow. Meanwhile, the folks that run small businesses (not billionaires like Gates and Soros and Buffett) are getting a target on their back if their income (which generally gets injected back into their buisness) is more than $250,000 ... they are the new 'rich' ... complete with the 'evil' label. Can you blame these guys when they don't want to play nice and hire a extra roofer or glaser or welder or factory assembler that they can't afford?

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#14
(05-30-2011, 12:43 PM)mr_yak Wrote: John,

Don't you ever get a little weary explaining wealth creation to folks that automatically equate it to wealth distribution?

Yeah, it's a G-d Awful pain in the ass,........but someone has to preach to those having an inverted Emotion/Logic Curve.

I was just out running errands and heard Neal Boortz's Faux Commencement Address. I've Got to find it somewhere: it's a real Winner, and I want everyone here to have the chance to hear it. It's In Your Face, candid, and 100% Real Life Oriented.

It's right here.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#15
You may accuse the left of believing that private profits are evil, but as Neal Boortz here demonstrates, conservatives maintain an equally radical view: all government is evil. His diatribe in the video is predictable and insulting. According to Boortz, educated people should have no sense of public purpose but only be concerned with personal enrichment. His suspicion of anything "collective" is absurd.

John L Wrote:
mr_yak Wrote:John,

Don't you ever get a little weary explaining wealth creation to folks that automatically equate it to wealth distribution?
Yeah, it's a G-d Awful pain in the ass,........but someone has to preach to those having an inverted Emotion/Logic Curve.
Boortz' speech is emotionally appealing (which explains the applause), but hardly logical. Conservatives use the familiar rhetoric and narrative that individuals are being oppressed, which simply is not true.

Here is a quote that directly relates to this topic:
Neal Boortz Wrote:If every employer out there paid every employee exactly what they were worth, where is the profit for the employer?
So the free market degrades human value.
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#16
(05-30-2011, 12:43 PM)mr_yak Wrote: John,

Don't you ever get a little weary explaining wealth creation to folks that automatically equate it to wealth distribution...

everything has a purpose, and a destiny. the destiny of the usa is to destroy evil, and john's to dumb you down to gameboy level. otherwise you would long have understood that it's the employees who create wealth.
"You know, Paul, Reagan proved that deficits don't matter." Dick Cheney
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#17
I can't speak for politics,but,in Christianity,the left and right can be demonstrated to be right and wrong on how they approach the New Testament teaching about Christ.

The right over emphasizes the Divine and miraculous to the detriment of the human and our role with humanity representing Christ,the left does exactly the opposite.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if politics isn't this way.
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#18
(05-30-2011, 02:57 PM)Gommi Wrote: You may accuse the left of believing that private profits are evil, but as Neal Boortz here demonstrates, conservatives maintain an equally radical view: all government is evil. His diatribe in the video is predictable and insulting. According to Boortz, educated people should have no sense of public purpose but only be concerned with personal enrichment. His suspicion of anything "collective" is absurd.

Wait! I simply cannot allow you to get away with 'short shrift demagoguery' here "G". Boortz never maintained the view that "All Government is Evil". So called Conservatives, all over, do not believe that either.

Here is, word for word, what Dr. Boortz stated. Please read it, and then tell us where you got this illogical notion that the Right loves Anarchy(as in no government). Here goes:

Neal Boortz, at his Faux Commencement Speech, Wrote:So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes ... a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Please show us where he is incorrect. The only difference between him, myself, you and other Collectivists, is how large the State must become before it is dangerous to its citizenry's Liberties. How much are you willing to tolerate before you rebel Gommi?

Also, why is this insulting to you? Is it because your prize bull(Collectivism) is being gored here? And are you not just a little bit weary of Big Government. Remember, the government that can give you everything, can also take everything away. Do you fee comfortable living under a benevolent, yet still threatening, entity? I for one do not, because I value Liberty as the most prized possession I can maintain.

Gommi Wrote:
MrYak Wrote:Don't you ever get a little weary explaining wealth creation to folks that automatically equate it to wealth distribution?
John L Wrote:Yeah, it's a G-d Awful pain in the ass,........but someone has to preach to those having an inverted Emotion/Logic Curve.
Boortz' speech is emotionally appealing (which explains the applause), but hardly logical. Conservatives use the familiar rhetoric and narrative that individuals are being oppressed, which simply is not true.

"G", Neal Boortz had nothing to do with the post above it. I simply added him at the end, when it came to my mind. Please consider my statement, and the Yakster's comment seperate.

As for not being oppressed, most of us aren't. But if Big Government can, eventually it will be tempted to do just that. That is why they must be kept muzzled at all times.

Tell me Gommi, have you ever been to a circus, where the lion tamer gets his prized lions to perform tricks for him, and almost effortlessly? Do you also think, for one instant, that the trainer is willing to turn his back on those same creatures, or perhaps lay down beside them and go to sleep? Do you?

You, in effect, are doing exactly this, because you are willing to trust the most dangerous beast of all: the State. And there have been over one hundred million innocent people murdered by Collectivist States, all in the name of the Collective. I am constantly amazed that so many are willing to lay down beside the Beast, or even tempt it by placing their heads between it's jaws. I consider that far worse than masochism. It's sheer stupidity.

Gommi Wrote:Here is a quote that directly relates to this topic:
Neal Boortz Wrote:If every employer out there paid every employee exactly what they were worth, where is the profit for the employer?
So the free market degrades human value.

I agree here that he misspoke. I am not trying to put words in his mouth, but I believe he left out some vital words. here let me show you by inserting words which will be in bold:

Quote:If every employer out there paid every employee exactly what the employees thought they were worth, where is the profit for the employer?

His point is exactly mine: businesses are in business to make a profit. Nothing more, nothing less. They contract out with other individuals, who are willing to perform services for wages as a reciprocal payment. Employees make these decision on their own, and are not coerced to this. If they don't like the agreement, they are free to leave the contract, are they not?

So, where is your problem intellectually? And by that I am not referring to your 'feelings' on things. We already know your feelings. I am asking for your logic. Logic is different from feeling.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________
"Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it" - Jonathan Swift, 1710
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#19
(05-30-2011, 10:59 PM)John L Wrote: Employees make these decision on their own, and are not coerced to this. If they don't like the agreement, they are free to leave the contract, are they not?
Yes certainly, in a free market individuals exercise choice. My real concern is that when there is a downward pressure on wages throughout the economy and the only work available is temporary or unskilled, then people's choices are limited, no? I believe that state intervention is necessary to restore market stability.

Quote:And are you not just a little bit weary of Big Government. Remember, the government that can give you everything, can also take everything away. Do you fee comfortable living under a benevolent, yet still threatening, entity?
It is true that leftist social democrats have much greater trust in government than conservatives, though even social democrats recognize that government is fallible. No human institutions are perfect, and it is thus the responsibility of citizens and political parties to scrutinize their leaders' actions. In a well-functioning democracy, all social groups are represented in government, which prevents abuse or exploitation (in theory).

Also, I just realized another contradiction in Boortz' speech. He argues that the purpose of public education is to create a docile, "manageable" population without individual identities or the capacity for critical, independent thinking. Later in the speech he asserts that people should devote their entire lives to hard work and should never question power structures (corporate dominance). So in essence, Boortz is promoting a docile, subservient workforce!
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#20
Gommi Wrote:Yes certainly, in a free market individuals exercise choice. My real concern is that when there is a downward pressure on wages throughout the economy and the only work available is temporary or unskilled, then people's choices are limited, no? I believe that state intervention is necessary to restore market stability.
You are right: in economic contractions people's choices are limited. This seems to be natural to me. For example, if the economy has become skewed, say by building too many houses (or whatever), then the excess must be worked off and people must change jobs. There is nothing else to do, and there will be winners and losers. The government should rescue every loser, since this generates a moral hazard (people do not learn from their mistakes).

If you think that government can wisely prevent the skewing of the economy, then you have not paid attention to the last century of command/control economies, of which there have been many.

Keynesian intervention does not seem to work well, and the so called multiplier is probably small. FDR and Hoover tried huge government interventions and stimuli to no evident effect. The failure of their schemes was because it did not attack the root causes of the catastrophe. (There are some good recent books out about this.) It seems evident to me that that Dodd's financial regulation bill did not attack the root causes of the financial meltdown, e.g. Fannie and Freddie and the CRA. Thus often government action only makes matters worse.

How in the world can you believe that the government can always take incisive correct action after examples like these?

Jefferson: I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.
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