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I Don't Recognize My Country Anymore - Page 8

post #281 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

I reject the false dilemma that rule by majority and rule by minority are the only two options. So did the founders of my country.

 

The founding fathers wanted checks and balances within the government, but they weren't actually trying to prevent the rule of the majority. 

post #282 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


Violently?

 

How else would the State impose its will on the people?

 

Is that how your taxes are collected? They come around and threaten you with violence?

 

Democracy, with or without a constitution, is a social arrangement, under which the participants agree to support the will of the majority (to the extent that they follow applicable laws), while retaining the freedom to try to modify the majority view. A constitution, if present, sets boundaries on what the majority can choose. Those for whom this social arrangement is unacceptable can leave or attempt to disrupt outside the freedoms of the arrangement, in which case they may be sanctioned or detained.

 

But you know all this, and for most people outside the libertarian fringe, this is the kind of society that they want to live in. Even those wanting secession only wish to change the geographical scale of the arrangement.

post #283 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

The founding fathers wanted checks and balances within the government, but they weren't actually trying to prevent the rule of the majority. 

 

It can be argued that the checks and balances were intended to prevent BOTH rule by majority and rule by minority.

 

 

"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." -- Thomas Jefferson
 
Note he did not mention rule by majority.
 
The third option you are ignoring - the option the founders attempted to implement - is self governance.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #284 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


MJ1970 will destroy all your arguments with devastating ripostes such as "delightful" and "how cute". You cannot prevail in the face of such firepower. Give up immediately.

 

muppetry, I've thought of you as one of the more moderate, thoughtful posters since you started frequenting PO. This is a little beneath you, don't you think?


Yes - thank you - I try to be. I'm not immune to frustration though. I apologize for the lapse.

post #285 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Is that how your taxes are collected? They come around and threaten you with violence?

 

Try not paying your taxes and tell me what happens.

 

Quote:

Democracy, with or without a constitution, is a social arrangement, under which the participants agree to support the will of the majority (to the extent that they follow applicable laws), while retaining the freedom to try to modify the majority view. A constitution, if present, sets boundaries on what the majority can choose. Those for whom this social arrangement is unacceptable can leave or attempt to disrupt outside the freedoms of the arrangement, in which case they may be sanctioned or detained.

 

But you know all this, and for most people outside the libertarian fringe, this is the kind of society that they want to live in. Even those wanting secession only wish to change the geographical scale of the arrangement.

 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

 

Yes, most people are content to be governed by others. Some, however, believe in the radical notion that self governance - liberty - is ideal.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #286 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post


Yes - thank you - I try to be. I'm not immune to frustration though. I apologize for the lapse.

 

We all have those lapses. No worries. 1smile.gif

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #287 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

The third option you are ignoring - the option the founders attempted to implement - is self governance.

 

Self-governance? How do you explain the three branches of the government then? Why would the founding fathers create an elaborate system for passing and enforcing federal laws that apply to every citizen of the country? How do you explain the "United" part of "United States"?

post #288 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jameskatt2 View Post

Americans voted for good over evil, for God over Satan, for love over hate, for charity over greed.

 

Unless you're an unborn child. Then you might see it as evil over good, Satan over God, hate over love, and greed over charity.

The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #289 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

Self-governance? How do you explain the three branches of the government then? Why would the founding fathers create an elaborate system for passing and enforcing federal laws that apply to every citizen of the country? How do you explain the "United" part of "United States"?

 

The founders envisioned the United States as just that: a loose federation of autonomous nation-states. They were united by the need for common defense of their individual liberties and property, which is what the federal government was intended to provide. The federal government was intended only to have the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Those powers were very limited and supposed to remain very limited.

 

However, as Congressman Ron Paul said in his farewell speech to Congress earlier this week:

 

 

"The Constitution established four federal crimes.  Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands.  No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code.  Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China.  I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws.  Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.
 
The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year.  When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist."

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #290 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

The founders envisioned the United States as just that: a loose federation of autonomous nation-states. They were united by the need for common defense of their individual liberties and property, which is what the federal government was intended to provide. The federal government was intended only to have the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Those powers were very limited and supposed to remain very limited.

 

However, as Congressman Ron Paul said in his farewell speech to Congress earlier this week:

 

 

"The Constitution established four federal crimes.  Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands.  No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code.  Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China.  I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws.  Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.
 
The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year.  When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist."

 

I would refer Ron Paul to the three branches of the federal government. If the founding fathers didn't intend for the federal government to pass, repeal or enforce laws on behalf of the citizens of the United States, then they wouldn't have created such an elaborate structure for doing just that. "Limited powers" isn't the same thing as "no powers".

 

What Ron Paul really wants is freedom FROM the Constitution, i.e., the federal government doesn't have the power to enforce anything within the private sector. That's his false idea of "simplifying" people's lives. In reality, in would make things even more complicated by allowing every private entity to make their own individual rules.


Edited by foregoneconclusion - 11/16/12 at 9:05am
post #291 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Is that how your taxes are collected? They come around and threaten you with violence?

 

Try not paying your taxes and tell me what happens.

 

Quote:

Democracy, with or without a constitution, is a social arrangement, under which the participants agree to support the will of the majority (to the extent that they follow applicable laws), while retaining the freedom to try to modify the majority view. A constitution, if present, sets boundaries on what the majority can choose. Those for whom this social arrangement is unacceptable can leave or attempt to disrupt outside the freedoms of the arrangement, in which case they may be sanctioned or detained.

 

But you know all this, and for most people outside the libertarian fringe, this is the kind of society that they want to live in. Even those wanting secession only wish to change the geographical scale of the arrangement.

 

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

 

Yes, most people are content to be governed by others. Some, however, believe in the radical notion that self governance - liberty - is ideal.

 

My second paragraph tells you what happens if you do not live by the rules of your society. They do not come around and threaten you with violence. Society attempts to persuade you to pay by due process through the courts. If you refuse to pay, and yet continue to consume that which society provides (roads, education, etc., etc.,), then that is theft. What should society do with thieves, in your opinion? Excuse them because they didn't vote for the government and object to their taxes being used to help others as well as themselves?

 

Your democracy slogan is just a slogan - designed to obfuscate.  You eschew "socialism", in which, presumably, your two wolves spend an inordinate amount of their own resources ensuring that the lamb is taken care of, and then accuse democracy of being mean to the lamb? This is just more sophistry to justify the essential selfishness of the idea of just looking out for yourself. I would suggest that you don't really care at all about the fate of the lamb, because you want to be left alone to be a wolf.

 

I have never understood the level of desire to be so independent that compromise with others (which is what living in a civilized society entails) is abhorrent. Each to his own though, but given that most people do want to live like this, I'm afraid that the onus is on those who don't to go and find somewhere else that suits them better.

post #292 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

Self-governance? How do you explain the three branches of the government then? Why would the founding fathers create an elaborate system for passing and enforcing federal laws that apply to every citizen of the country? How do you explain the "United" part of "United States"?

 

The founders envisioned the United States as just that: a loose federation of autonomous nation-states. They were united by the need for common defense of their individual liberties and property, which is what the federal government was intended to provide. The federal government was intended only to have the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Those powers were very limited and supposed to remain very limited.

 

If the federation were dissolved, wouldn't all your objections about democracy then just equally apply to the state governments? Smaller democracy, but still democracy.

post #293 of 455

Yes, George Will predicted a "321-217 Romney landslide."

How wrong can one man be?

To get to root cause, I think we need to follow the bullshit. As a former Republican, it is a bit clearer to me. It's apparent that Democrats & Independents believe that fundamentalist Republicans have a great desire to tell people how to live and what to do - and are full of it, to the brim. Americans have an inherent dislike of being told what to do. Let's look at where Republicans say one thing & then do another. I believe these actions and statements irritate many reasonable Americans.

When Republicans claim they want limited government but then pass laws that put government squarely into women's vaginas, or demand drug tests for unemployment compensation, Democrats and Independents understand that's just more bullshit.

Most reasonable people think that drug tests for private employment are a good thing because somebody else is giving you their money, and they deserve to know it's a good investment. But we all pay into the unemployment insurance fund, so in essence it's our money. For the government to put additional strings and be awarded a deeper look into our private lives just to return our own money, well, that's basically Republican bullshit. Say one thing, do another. Another opportunity to tell us what to do.

Most reasonable people see the Republican effort in creating and pushing new, restrictive voting laws and granting big brother new powers over us as additional Republican bullshit. Just another place in America where we must show the officer our papers, eh? Like the Department of Homeland Security, the largest government department ever, created by a Republican. A huge opportunity to order us about. The party that believes in limited government creates the largest government department - ever. Now, that's some kind of bullshit.

When Republicans tell us that they support small business, and then overwhelmingly pass the Bankruptcy Reform Act, which wrecks the greatest entrepreneurial engine the world has ever known, people know better. What used to be a magic safety net (albeit humiliating) for taking the ultimate risk has been turned into a brutal debtor's prison by the Republicans. Since this was passed, creation of start ups has declined every year, and employment along with it. We know this was not in favor of small business; this was for the Republican party's banking and credit card corporate benefactors, and most reasonable Americans view this as more Republican b.s.

When Republicans tell America that government services should be outsourced (e.g., FEMA), reasonable Americans view this in a simpler, more elegant formula: the party that thinks government is bad will deliver bad government. Otherwise, they prove themselves wrong.

This self-defeating Republican philosophy has taken America full circle from the HIGHS of the greatest accomplishments of all time - the interstate highway system, the Panama Canal, the Apollo Space Project, World War I, World War II, the Marshall Plan, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, railways across the country, inventing the TV system, the telephone system, nation-wide power distribution, the airlines, the automotive industry, so many cures for so many horrible diseases, splitting the atom, visiting Mars, inventing the internet - gigantic, remarkable tasks where government and industry partnered - to the LOWS, the top disgraces & most expensive losses of all time - industry left alone to run amok - the horrors of Silverado, Qwest, Enron, Worldcom, Tyco and many many others - including the latest Wall Street corruption and staggeringly expensive mortgage sham. This is private enterprise left off that leash. When no one is minding that leash, we all pay.

When Republicans rail loudly against so-called socialism, folks see that as bullshit, too. Those of us old enough to know better look back and recall the creation of the HMO and "wage and price controls" - the two greatest socialistic maneuvers of the past 50 years - both brought to us by Republicans. We're still suffering the socialistic HMO system, a total disaster, and the Affordable Care Act tries to reverse some of that socialism and deliver market based cost containment and open-bid controls. Republican wage & price controls hammered the US economy for more than 30 years, leading us into high double digit inflation in the 1970's.

Jo Jo Goldwater was a founder of Planned Parenthood and had her famous husband's full support. Yes, a Republican founder of Planned Parenthood - back when Republicans truly believed in individual freedom. Nelson Rockefeller was a highly moderate conservative, and had a bit of social liberty to him. Ronald Reagan raised taxes, and was furious when he learned that GE had paid 0 taxes in 1983: "I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan’s 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent. None of these Republicans could get on their party's ballot today, they were simply too reasonable and pragmatic.

William F. Buckley, perhaps one of the most brilliant conservatives, and a favorite writer of mine, wrote that "deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth." He saw where the Republican party was going, and tried to warn us.

Most business owners understand that money trickles up, not down. It's shit that rolls downhill, not cash.

At the end of the day, the smart people should end up with the money, unless the government allows the uber rich to opt-out of our system. Tipping the playing field to one end hurts the majority of Americans, small business & start ups. Reasonable people understand this; Republicans make it their party's #1 Goal.

When the Republicans cling to this outmoded, upside-down economic theory, reasonable Americans see this as more Republican b.s. It's simply a smokescreen to deliver a mountain of money to the party's extensive, rich benefactors. The entities that truly OWN the Republican party. People understand this.

You can point blame at the demographics, at a smarter Democratic organization on the ground, or unlikeable candidates who talk about ladies parts, and in some measure, all of these carry a grain of truth. But only a grain.

The real bottom line is the bullshit and the bright white stage light that illuminates it every election cycle. This is why the Republican party has lost the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections.


Edited by matt_s - 11/16/12 at 11:14am
Hot tub blonde, pouring champagne: "Say when..." Dangerfield: "Right after this drink."
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Hot tub blonde, pouring champagne: "Say when..." Dangerfield: "Right after this drink."
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post #294 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

I would refer Ron Paul to the three branches of the federal government. If the founding fathers didn't intend for the federal government to pass, repeal or enforce laws on behalf of the citizens of the United States, then they wouldn't have created such an elaborate structure for doing just that. "Limited powers" isn't the same thing as "no powers".

 

On the other hand, "limited powers" isn't the same thing as "discretionary powers". The powers of the federal government were spelled out in the Constitution. Per the 10th Amendment, all powers not granted to the government by the constitution were reserved to the states or the people. The federal government has far exceeded its constitutional limitations, even taking into account the additional constitutional amendments ratified after the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments).

 

One example: the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without due process, a direct violation of the 1st and 5th Amendments to the Constitution. The passage of the NDAA is the result of your dearly held concept of "majority rule".

 

Quote:
What Ron Paul really wants is freedom FROM the Constitution, i.e., the federal government doesn't have the power to enforce anything within the private sector. That's his false idea of "simplifying" people's lives. In reality, in would make things even more complicated by allowing every private entity to make their own individual rules.

 

It is obvious that the Constitution, insofar as its purpose was to limit government power and abuse, has failed. That said, Ron Paul has consistently advocated for a return to the Constitution as the starting point for the birth of a free society. What Ron Paul really wants is liberty.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #295 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

My second paragraph tells you what happens if you do not live by the rules of your society. They do not come around and threaten you with violence. Society attempts to persuade you to pay by due process through the courts. If you refuse to pay, and yet continue to consume that which society provides (roads, education, etc., etc.,), then that is theft. What should society do with thieves, in your opinion? Excuse them because they didn't vote for the government and object to their taxes being used to help others as well as themselves?

 

In a free society, individuals would be free do to as they please so long as they do not initiate aggression against other peaceful individuals and infringe upon their natural rights. Some believe that the only legitimate and proper role of government - if there is one at all - is to secure and protect the rights of the individual (some of which have been spelled out in the founding documents of the U.S.) and defend its citizens against aggression, both foreign and domestic. When government exceeds this very basic role, it is not only immoral, it is illegitimate.

 

And what is "society" but a group of individuals? Why should you or I or anyone else be obligated to obey the rules of a group of individuals merely because the majority of them decided those should be the rules? By your reasoning, Rosa Parks should have shut her mouth and given up her seat on that bus because those were the rules of "her society" - because that's what the majority wanted.

 

Quote:
Your democracy slogan is just a slogan - designed to obfuscate.  You eschew "socialism", in which, presumably, your two wolves spend an inordinate amount of their own resources ensuring that the lamb is taken care of, and then accuse democracy of being mean to the lamb? This is just more sophistry to justify the essential selfishness of the idea of just looking out for yourself. I would suggest that you don't really care at all about the fate of the lamb, because you want to be left alone to be a wolf.

 

You couldn't be more wrong about my intentions.

 

Quote:
I have never understood the level of desire to be so independent that compromise with others (which is what living in a civilized society entails) is abhorrent. Each to his own though, but given that most people do want to live like this, I'm afraid that the onus is on those who don't to go and find somewhere else that suits them better.

 

Why do you associate the desire for liberty with selfishness and isolationism? Liberty - in and of itself - requires free and voluntary association between consenting individuals or groups of individuals - "consenting" being the key word, here. Free markets and freedom are essentially one and the same.

 

And it's sad that you had to resort to the "if you don't like it then leave" card.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #296 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

If the federation were dissolved, wouldn't all your objections about democracy then just equally apply to the state governments? Smaller democracy, but still democracy.

 

Not necessarily, especially if the states had been allowed to evolve as independent nation-states as originally intended.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #297 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

On the other hand, "limited powers" isn't the same thing as "discretionary powers". The powers of the federal government were spelled out in the Constitution. Per the 10th Amendment, all powers not granted to the government by the constitution were reserved to the states or the people. The federal government has far exceeded its constitutional limitations, even taking into account the additional constitutional amendments ratified after the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments).

 

One example: the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without due process, a direct violation of the 1st and 5th Amendments to the Constitution. The passage of the NDAA is the result of your dearly held concept of "majority rule".

 

-----

 

It is obvious that the Constitution, insofar as its purpose was to limit government power and abuse, has failed. That said, Ron Paul has consistently advocated for a return to the Constitution as the starting point for the birth of a free society. What Ron Paul really wants is liberty.

 

The NDAA had bipartisan support (especially within the Senate), so it's not a very good example of the elected majority abusing the elected minority. Rather, it's just an example of bad legislation. However, the question to you would be this: if the powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states, and you believe the NDAA is outside the powers of the federal government, then does that mean the states could pass NDAA style legislation?

 

As for Ron Paul, he is always VERY careful about the way he words his support for the Constitution. He usually says that he PERSONALLY supports the rights framed within the Constitution, but he also says the "pursuit of those rights", i.e. federal enforcement, should NEVER violate the right of private property or private decisions. So he basically wants the private sector to be able to ignore the rights framed within the Constitution at will. That's not really going to create more "liberty" for the individual citizen. It just creates a hodge-podge of local laws that are just as likely to discriminate against you as protect you.

post #298 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

The NDAA had bipartisan support (especially within the Senate), so it's not a very good example of the elected majority abusing the elected minority. Rather, it's just an example of bad legislation. However, the question to you would be this: if the powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states, and you believe the NDAA is outside the powers of the federal government, then does that mean the states could pass NDAA style legislation?

 

I cited the NDAA as an example of government exceeding its constitutional bounds. Which party has majority control of government is now irrelevant because for the past 100 years the growth of government beyond its constitutional bounds has been steady, regardless of which party had control of what.

 

To answer your question, theoretically yes, but it would depend on each state's own constitution (assuming they aren't ignored as the U.S. Constitution has been).

 

 

Quote:
As for Ron Paul, he is always VERY careful about the way he words his support for the Constitution. He usually says that he PERSONALLY supports the rights framed within the Constitution, but he also says the "pursuit of those rights", i.e. federal enforcement, should NEVER violate the right of private property or private decisions. So he basically wants the private sector to be able to ignore the rights framed within the Constitution at will. That's not really going to create more "liberty" for the individual citizen. It just creates a hodge-podge of local laws that are just as likely to discriminate against you as protect you.

 

Do you believe our rights are granted by government?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #299 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

My second paragraph tells you what happens if you do not live by the rules of your society. They do not come around and threaten you with violence. Society attempts to persuade you to pay by due process through the courts. If you refuse to pay, and yet continue to consume that which society provides (roads, education, etc., etc.,), then that is theft. What should society do with thieves, in your opinion? Excuse them because they didn't vote for the government and object to their taxes being used to help others as well as themselves?

 

In a free society, individuals would be free do to as they please so long as they do not initiate aggression against other peaceful individuals and infringe upon their natural rights. Some believe that the only legitimate and proper role of government - if there is one at all - is to secure and protect the rights of the individual (some of which have been spelled out in the founding documents of the U.S.) and defend its citizens against aggression, both foreign and domestic. When government exceeds this very basic role, it is not only immoral, it is illegitimate.

 

And what is "society" but a group of individuals? Why should you or I or anyone else be obligated to obey the rules of a group of individuals merely because the majority of them decided those should be the rules? By your reasoning, Rosa Parks should have shut her mouth and given up her seat on that bus because those were the rules of "her society" - because that's what the majority wanted.

 

Quote:
Your democracy slogan is just a slogan - designed to obfuscate.  You eschew "socialism", in which, presumably, your two wolves spend an inordinate amount of their own resources ensuring that the lamb is taken care of, and then accuse democracy of being mean to the lamb? This is just more sophistry to justify the essential selfishness of the idea of just looking out for yourself. I would suggest that you don't really care at all about the fate of the lamb, because you want to be left alone to be a wolf.

 

You couldn't be more wrong about my intentions.

 

Quote:
I have never understood the level of desire to be so independent that compromise with others (which is what living in a civilized society entails) is abhorrent. Each to his own though, but given that most people do want to live like this, I'm afraid that the onus is on those who don't to go and find somewhere else that suits them better.

 

Why do you associate the desire for liberty with selfishness and isolationism? Liberty - in and of itself - requires free and voluntary association between consenting individuals or groups of individuals - "consenting" being the key word, here. Free markets and freedom are essentially one and the same.

 

And it's sad that you had to resort to the "if you don't like it then leave" card.

 

If I could picture the society that you are trying to describe in any practical sense - including some detail of how to live with the population density that we have and the infrastructure support that most people take for granted - without the coordinated mechanism of a government to implement it, then we could take this discussion further. If you could point to any instance where a society of that kind has been successful then we would have something substantive to debate.

 

Without that, all I see is a dream of being "free" of any duty or restriction that you dislike, and with no obligation to care about anyone else beyond generously asserting that they should have the same rights and you won't attack them. But most people want more than that, and your goal would deprive them of theirs. While most people are debating the pragmatic detail of how to run society, you appear to want to get rid of it altogether for what seems to me to be a complete illusion of freedom.

 

In a cooperative society, one cannot just opt out of any or all the elements of cooperation that one personally dislikes. That path leads to anarchy, and anarchy has never, as far as I am aware, led to a sustainable civilization. Hence the hard choices of embrace it, try to improve it, or find somewhere else where the population shares your views. It's not happening here, so what else can I say?

post #300 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

Do you believe our rights are granted by government?

 

Perhaps you could explain the fascination around here with this question. Isn't it clear that in the US, some rights are defined in the constitution (sometimes a bit vaguely, which makes it difficult to interpret), while government is empowered to enact restrictions that do not infringe on those rights?

 

Where are you going with this?

post #301 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

I cited the NDAA as an example of government exceeding its constitutional bounds. 

 

---

 

Do you believe our rights are granted by government?

 

You made a derogatory remark about rule by majority in regards to the NDAA as well, as if it were rule by majority that created it. In fact, it was both the majority AND minority creating it.

 

And, yes, our rights are granted by the government, because it's the government that enforces them. That's why Ron Paul wants to eliminate the ability of the federal government to enforce those rights outside of the public sector. No enforcement = no rights...unless you have the wealth or the power to buy or enforce them yourself. To the wealthy and powerful, that might mean additional "liberty". To the average person, it means you're subject to the whims of the wealthy and powerful.

post #302 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

If I could picture the society that you are trying to describe in any practical sense - including some detail of how to live with the population density that we have and the infrastructure support that most people take for granted - without the coordinated mechanism of a government to implement it, then we could take this discussion further. If you could point to any instance where a society of that kind has been successful then we would have something substantive to debate.

 

Without that, all I see is a dream of being "free" of any duty or restriction that you dislike, and with no obligation to care about anyone else beyond generously asserting that they should have the same rights and you won't attack them. But most people want more than that, and your goal would deprive them of theirs. While most people are debating the pragmatic detail of how to run society, you appear to want to get rid of it altogether for what seems to me to be a complete illusion of freedom.

 

In a cooperative society, one cannot just opt out of any or all the elements of cooperation that one personally dislikes. That path leads to anarchy, and anarchy has never, as far as I am aware, led to a sustainable civilization. Hence the hard choices of embrace it, try to improve it, or find somewhere else where the population shares your views. It's not happening here, so what else can I say?

 

I think you are conflating libertarianism with libertinism and are ascribing characteristics and intentions to me that I have never exhibited nor expressed (to my knowledge).

 

I could attempt to allay your fears over the notion of a free society, but I think most, if not all of your concerns are addressed in the following works:

 

For a New Liberty, by Murray N. Rothbard

 

The Machinery of Freedom, by David Friedman

 

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat

 

There are many more excellent works out there, but these are a few that have really helped me understand how a free society could work. I encourage you to read at least the first one, which I found to be a good and thought-provoking introduction to libertarian philosophy.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #303 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

Perhaps you could explain the fascination around here with this question. Isn't it clear that in the US, some rights are defined in the constitution (sometimes a bit vaguely, which makes it difficult to interpret), while government is empowered to enact restrictions that do not infringe on those rights?

 

Where are you going with this?

 

It is important to me to know whether people believe the government is a granter of rights or a protector of rights. Knowing that is helpful to me in conversing with them on the subject of government.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #304 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

I could attempt to allay your fears over the notion of a free society, but I think most, if not all of your concerns are addressed in the following works:

 

For a New Liberty, by Murray N. Rothbard

 

 

 

Rothbard referred to his own ideas about society as "anarcho-capitalism". Some of the "highlights" of anarcho-capitalism include the complete lack of political representation of any kind, and a legal/judicial system that is completely run by private companies who are somehow in "competition" with each other. The whole thing is supposed to work simply because everyone agrees to be "non-aggressive" and that all individuals are "sovereign". It basically sounds similar to Alan Greenspan's hopelessly naive idea about private markets self-regulating, which after the global debacle of 2008-2009 he had to recant.

post #305 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

It is important to me to know whether people believe the government is a granter of rights or a protector of rights. Knowing that is helpful to me in conversing with them on the subject of government.

 

Representative government is quite obviously both of those things at the same time. The Constitution didn't write itself, and there's no reason to write it if it's not going to be enforced.

post #306 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

Rothbard referred to his own ideas about society as "anarcho-capitalism". Some of the "highlights" of anarcho-capitalism include the complete lack of political representation of any kind, and a legal/judicial system that is completely run by private companies who are somehow in "competition" with each other. The whole thing is supposed to work simply because everyone agrees to be "non-aggressive" and that all individuals are "sovereign". It basically sounds similar to Alan Greenspan's hopelessly naive idea about private markets self-regulating, which after the global debacle of 2008-2009 he had to recant.

 

Are you seriously, with a straight face, claiming that Alan Greenspan is an anarcho-capitalist?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #307 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

Representative government is quite obviously both of those things at the same time. The Constitution didn't write itself, and there's no reason to write it if it's not going to be enforced.

 

So what of the assertion in the Declaration of Independence that rights come from our Creator (or nature, if you don't believe in God) and are inalienable?

 

Do you not believe that our rights exist independent of and antecedent to governments, as the founders did?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #308 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by muppetry View Post

 

If I could picture the society that you are trying to describe in any practical sense - including some detail of how to live with the population density that we have and the infrastructure support that most people take for granted - without the coordinated mechanism of a government to implement it, then we could take this discussion further. If you could point to any instance where a society of that kind has been successful then we would have something substantive to debate.

 

Without that, all I see is a dream of being "free" of any duty or restriction that you dislike, and with no obligation to care about anyone else beyond generously asserting that they should have the same rights and you won't attack them. But most people want more than that, and your goal would deprive them of theirs. While most people are debating the pragmatic detail of how to run society, you appear to want to get rid of it altogether for what seems to me to be a complete illusion of freedom.

 

In a cooperative society, one cannot just opt out of any or all the elements of cooperation that one personally dislikes. That path leads to anarchy, and anarchy has never, as far as I am aware, led to a sustainable civilization. Hence the hard choices of embrace it, try to improve it, or find somewhere else where the population shares your views. It's not happening here, so what else can I say?

 

I think you are conflating libertarianism with libertinism and are ascribing characteristics and intentions to me that I have never exhibited nor expressed (to my knowledge).

 

I could attempt to allay your fears over the notion of a free society, but I think most, if not all of your concerns are addressed in the following works:

 

For a New Liberty, by Murray N. Rothbard

 

The Machinery of Freedom, by David Friedman

 

The Law, by Frederic Bastiat

 

There are many more excellent works out there, but these are a few that have really helped me understand how a free society could work. I encourage you to read at least the first one, which I found to be a good and thought-provoking introduction to libertarian philosophy.

 

Thanks for the recommendations.

post #309 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

So what of the assertion in the Declaration of Independence that rights come from our Creator (or nature, if you don't believe in God) and are inalienable?

 

Do you not believe that our rights exist independent of and antecedent to governments, as the founders did?

 

I'm a realist. You can talk all day long about inalienable rights, but when it comes down to it...you need a functioning representative government with the power to enforce those rights to have any real prospect of experiencing them. And even then, it might take hundreds of years before it really happens for everyone within your society, as in the United States. 

 

As for Alan Greenspan, he literally seemed to believe that the private markets were like a giant poker game, where everyone at the table had an interest in keeping the others honest. He didn't seem to comprehend that some of the players might team up to dupe the others. That's very much like Rothbard's naive ideas about private interests running everything in the world and expecting them to honor some sort of binding promise of "non-aggression" and personal sovereignty.

post #310 of 455

Testing 

post #311 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by foregoneconclusion View Post

 

I'm a realist. You can talk all day long about inalienable rights, but when it comes down to it...you need a functioning representative government with the power to enforce those rights to have any real prospect of experiencing them. And even then, it might take hundreds of years before it really happens for everyone within your society, as in the United States. 

 

As for Alan Greenspan, he literally seemed to believe that the private markets were like a giant poker game, where everyone at the table had an interest in keeping the others honest. He didn't seem to comprehend that some of the players might team up to dupe the others. That's very much like Rothbard's naive ideas about private interests running everything in the world and expecting them to honor some sort of binding promise of "non-aggression" and personal sovereignty.

 

Glad to know where you stand. I disagree and think we should give liberty a try.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #312 of 455

If the founding fathers were alive today, the constitution would be a different document. 

post #313 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejfk View Post

If the founding fathers were alive today, the constitution would be a different document. 

 

If the founding fathers were alive today they'd be in prison (or wouldn't be alive after all) because they'd be considered "terrorists" with their "extremist" anti-government views.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #314 of 455

When I realized that Rasmussen did not count households that had "cut the cord" in their tallies and that Gallup only counted 15% in their tallies, I had two points and being a mathematician I created a line.   That line pointed to the public policy polling being spot on which it was.  

 

Every Republican follower has been "fleeced, exploited and lied to by the conservative entertainment complex...."  David Frum former GW Bush speech writer. 

 

http://youtu.be/jQnCVWDLmxk

 

---

In an age where information is available on your figure tips 24/7, those who curate real facts and make their personal and business decisions based on those curated facts win...

post #315 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

 

If the founding fathers were alive today they'd be in prison (or wouldn't be alive after all) because they'd be considered "terrorists" with their "extremist" anti-government views.

This is not true at all. Many of the founding fathers were about a strong central government.  They were called federalists. Alexander Hamilton for one, got his wish and a US National Bank that was owned and operated by the government was created.  It lasted until Andrew Jackson privatized it due to dirty cronyism between the US bank and tariff collectors. The Democrat-Republicans were about having the powers rest with the states. We have been arguing over this for 240 years. 

 

Do you homework and start being a free thinker. 

post #316 of 455

I worked for Governor Mitt Romney as a civil servant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and believe me he is no accomplished or "experienced" governor. He was responsible for balancing a state budget each year of his term which by the way is required by state law. Every Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and there were 10 under whom I served also balanced the budget. No big deal. In this respect Mitt Romney is an "also-ran."

 

Governor Romney was not the "idea" man behind nor was he as responsible for the Commonwealth's health care plan as was the Massachusetts' Legislature and other advocacy groups. Check the history. Without the agreement, creative opposition to elements of the plan that were too regressive, the universal coverage of this plan would never have happened. In November 2004, political leaders began advocating major reforms of the Massachusetts health care insurance system to expand coverage. First, the Senate President Robert Travaglini called for a plan to reduce the number of uninsured by half. A few days later, the Governor, Mitt Romney, announced that he would propose a plan to cover virtually all of the uninsured.

 

Check a more complete history on Wikipedia. 

 

The Massachusetts experience with universal health care is a very positive experience with little help from Mitt Romney.

 

If you don't recognize your country now, try living in a country in the Eurozone, or Asia or Central or South America.

post #317 of 455
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JMCII View Post

I worked for Governor Mitt Romney as a civil servant in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and believe me he is no accomplished or "experienced" governor. He was responsible for balancing a state budget each year of his term which by the way is required by state law. Every Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and there were 10 under whom I served also balanced the budget. No big deal. In this respect Mitt Romney is an "also-ran."

 

Governor Romney was not the "idea" man behind nor was he as responsible for the Commonwealth's health care plan as was the Massachusetts' Legislature and other advocacy groups. Check the history. Without the agreement, creative opposition to elements of the plan that were too regressive, the universal coverage of this plan would never have happened. In November 2004, political leaders began advocating major reforms of the Massachusetts health care insurance system to expand coverage. First, the Senate President Robert Travaglini called for a plan to reduce the number of uninsured by half. A few days later, the Governor, Mitt Romney, announced that he would propose a plan to cover virtually all of the uninsured.

 

Check a more complete history on Wikipedia. 

 

The Massachusetts experience with universal health care is a very positive experience with little help from Mitt Romney.

 

If you don't recognize your country now, try living in a country in the Eurozone, or Asia or Central or South America.

 

Well, you certainly sound credible.  

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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post #318 of 455
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

There will be plenty of time for analysis about the "why" of last night's election.  Clearly, I was wrong...as were several pundits I have come to respect for their expertise.  Say what you will, Karl Rove and Dick Morris know their jobs and have always delivered accurate results. But I'm sure we will discuss the reason for the outcome later.  

 

What I don't understand is the "how."  How is that we reelected a President who has failed in almost all measures of his job? How is that we reelected a former community organizer with a radical past?  How is it that people voted against an experienced governor and business leader with a sterling personal background, and voted for the guy that ran a small, angry and divisive campaign?  How is it that for the first time since FDR, we re-elected a President with more than 7.3% unemployment?  How is it that the American people ignored Benghazi?  How did we reelect the President when the top concern of voter was the economy and only 4 in 10 said we were on the right track with it?  How were the final national polls off by at least 5%?  How was the anecdotal evidence so wrong?  

 

I honestly don't recognize the country that voted for this man.  I don't recognize a country that voted for pessimism instead of optimism.  I don't recognize a country that voted for More Free Crap™, trillion dollar deficits, and higher taxes.  I don't recognize a country that voted for a man who went overseas and apologized for America...a man who was caught on an open mic essentially telling Vladimir Putin he'd give away the store on missile defense after his last election.  I don't recognize a country that reelected a man who promised skyrocketing energy prices and bankrupt coal companies...and delivered on his promise.  In the America I grew up in, this election wouldn't even have been close.  We had better judgement.  We demanded more of our leaders than "it could have been worse."  We didn't hate business, the rich and oil companies.  We didn't essentially take over auto companies and give them to the unions.  We wouldn't tolerate a President who called his opponent a "bullshitter" and whose campaign all but called his opponent a murderer.  

 

I don't know where this leaves us.  I do know that unlike Michelle Obama, this is the first time I'm not proud of my country.  

Well you must be referring to the 7.3% that Regan was re-elected with.  Strangely it was the same rate that Carter was called weak because of at the end of his term.  Regan also presided over the highest in U.S. history at 10.8%.  President Obama didn't let us get to that horrible place again though we were headed there. the lowest rates have always been by Democrats with the Republicans pushing the other way.  The lowest was 2.5 in 1949 ( Democrate)  3.5 in 1968 (Democrate)  all other were higher and Republican.  

The economy has been improving every quarter except one for the last three years. Bush II came in to office with an unemployment rate of 3.

8% we were at 7.4% by January of 2009 and with a vertical trajectory. Even those numbers were soft because of all of the soldiers and national guard deployed to fight two wars. By May 2009, which is before the any of President Obama's policies could be enforced, the rate was 9.1%. That means that Republican policies increased unemployment by 5.3% over 8 years. The rate topped out at 10.1 percent in Novermber of 2009 and is now down to 7.8%. It took 8 years to create the mess, a year to stop the bleeding, now 3 years later we can see the effects of common sense. It will take these 4 years to finish the repair. I 'm just glad the rest of the nation saw through the Right wing lies and re-elected the man who saved us from the second Great Depression.
post #319 of 455

I believe, SDW2001, that you are experiencing cognitive dissonance—along with apparently the entirety of Utah.  I haven't read through the umpteen pages of this thread, nor will I, but the conventional wisdom seems to be that the conservative media complex (talk radio + FOX news + conservative internet, etc), which started out as a pushback against what was very likely a real media bias way back when, has been so effective that a) it has become the mainstream and b) conservatives have spent a long time only watching/listening/reading conservative media and largely only talking to other conservatives.  It's not surprising, then, that the sentiment conservatives are expressing is that they don't recognize their country.  They don't.  Because they haven't been seeing their country. I'm not saying all conservatives.  I'm just saying that the news and commentary you listen to partly determines how you "see" the America around you (especially when the conservative media complex is mostly designed to create angry white men), and if the news and commentary you've been listening to/reading hasn't been interested in or based in the "reality-based community," what you see when you look around won't necessarily be accurate.

 

I say this in all kindness, SDW2001, but if you want to recognize the America that's all around you, stop listening to the pundits—especially the partisan ones.  They usually don't know what they're talking about.  I can't imagine any job (other than on Wall Street or in the econ department at U Illinois-Chicago) where you can be so wrong so often and still have a job.  Turn off your talk radio.  Turn off FOX news before 10:00 and after 5:00.

 

It's going to be interesting to see what the GOP and the conservatives learn from this.  Perhaps they will moderate back to the center, where we badly need them to be.  Perhaps they'll just bank on creaming the Democrats in the 2014 midterms (which they will do). I tend to think whatever change they make will take a generation, at least, since they've spent 40 years building and strengthening the coalition they have now—which is currently boxed into the same map as the old confederacy—and Obama has won two elections now without needing the South.

 

Anyway.

 

I'm not back. I'm not staying. I probably won't respond to any replies. I didn't come to gloat. I just wanted to poke my head in and see what y'all were talking about and to dip my toe in the water again.

Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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Gangs are not seen as legitimate, because they don't have control over public schools.
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post #320 of 455
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

Well you must be referring to the 7.3% that Regan was re-elected with.  

 

Yes.  

 

 

Quote:
Strangely it was the same rate that Carter was called weak because of at the end of his term.

 

Carter was weak for many, many other reasons.  

 

 

 

Quote:
Regan also presided over the highest in U.S. history at 10.8%.

 

Yes,  and it came down rapidly over his first term as a direct result of the actions he and Congress took.   

 

 

Quote:
President Obama didn't let us get to that horrible place again though we were headed there.

 

First, what did he do to "not let us get there?"  Secondly, we did get close to that level.  

 

 

Quote:
the lowest rates have always been by Democrats with the Republicans pushing the other way.  The lowest was 2.5 in 1949 ( Democrate)  3.5 in 1968 (Democrate)  all other were higher and Republican.  

 

That's just a silly, partisan, narrow-minded comment.  It ignores all policy decisions, other measures of economic health, global and national events, etc.  

 

 

 

Quote:
The economy has been improving every quarter except one for the last three years.

 

That's highly debatable.  2012's growth has been slower than 2011's, and 2011's was slower than 2010's.   I think you meant to say that GDP has been growing every quarter, which is true.  However, that's not synonymous with "improving."  

 

 

 

Quote:
 Bush II came in to office with an unemployment rate of 3.

 

False.    And understand that employment is a lagging indicator, which means that the effects of the late 2000 recession aren't reflected.   

 

 

Quote:
8% we were at 7.4% by January of 2009 and with a vertical trajectory.

 

Also false.  From wikipedia:  The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.3% in January 2001, peaking at 6.3% in June 2003 and reaching a trough of 4.4% in March 2007.   

 

Does Bush get no credit for this dramatic decrease?  

 

Quote:
Even those numbers were soft because of all of the soldiers and national guard deployed to fight two wars.

 

I don't know what the effect of that is.  I don't think it's significant.  

 

Quote:
By May 2009, which is before the any of President Obama's policies could be enforced, the rate was 9.1%.

 

That's true.  

 

Quote:
That means that Republican policies increased unemployment by 5.3% over 8 years.

 

No, it does not mean that, especially since the Democrats controlled Congress since January of 2007.  It does not mean that, because when Republicans actually ran the show, unemployment decreased as described.  I'm not even crediting them entirely...most of it was the health of the overall economy, which to be fair was aided by the Bush tax cuts.  

 

 

Quote:
The rate topped out at 10.1 percent in Novermber of 2009 and is now down to 7.8%. It took 8 years to create the mess, a year to stop the bleeding, now 3 years later we can see the effects of common sense. It will take these 4 years to finish the repair. I 'm just glad the rest of the nation saw through the Right wing lies and re-elected the man who saved us from the second Great Depression.

 

lol.gif   Yes, those Bush years were just terrible, weren't they?  Oh, wait.  GDP growth was strong for most of his term, as was employment.  Incomes rose.  Tax revenue rose.  Then we hit a major recession and financial crisis at the end of his term.  So tell me...what did Bush and GOP do to cause the recession and the crisis?  

 

And what's this...common sense?   Trillion dollar deficits, an $800 billion dollar pork-laden "stimulus," a 2,700 page $2 Trillion healthcare bill rammed through Congress and not a single vote on either side for the last two WH budgets?  That's "common sense?"  $16 Trillion in debt?  Calling $4 trillion in debt over 8 years "unpatriotic," then adding $6 Trillion in 4 years...that's "common sense?"  

 

You're funny.  

 

 

I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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I can only please one person per day.  Today is not your day.  Tomorrow doesn't look good either.  
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