Friday, September 25, 2009

Chicken Soup For The Conservative Soul Part II

Thomas Sowell - Welfare c. 1980:




Shelby Steele - Message To Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive Fundamentalist Racism Chasers -- YOU are the Uncle Tom (pay close attention UTS)



I grow so weary of the same arguments over and over. But the truth can't be repeated enough. Hopefully, the soundness of the arguments put forth by these great men will inspire someone to leave the psychological plantation and embrace freedom.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

The same money used to fund welfare is the same money that is used to pay your bills. Maybe the government should stop funding you since you are so finacially stable. Let's see how well you do!

JMK said...

WoW! Government workers are equivalent to welfare recipients?

Hmmmmm....I never considered that...alright, yes I have....long ago, in fact.

So let me think about that a second......OK, second's up - NO, they're NOT equivalent at ALL.

Government workers from the secretarial staff at motor vehicles to the aerospace engineers at NASA to the troops in the Armed Forces ALL provide a SERVICE in return for pay/EMPLOYMENT. They all WORK 40 or more hours per week doing jobs that are consigned to the public/governmental sector.

Welfare recipients do not.

See the difference there?

OK, in your case, probably not. The DIFFERENCE is between one group (government "WORKERS") that exchanges labor for pay (WORK), while the other (welfare recipients) are a group the government takes government funds in lieu (that means in spite of, or without) of work. They are deemed to "have no marketable skills," but of course, that's untrue. They merely possess an aptitude for unskilled labor and their are many, MANY jobs going begging in that area, ergo the illegal immigration problem.

If all welfare were ended tomorrow, the group that would suffer the MOST wouldn't be the welfare recipients themselves, most, if not all of them would find work, whether they had to move hundreds of miles away from home to do so, or take jobs like working in slaughter houses, or low-pay, low-skilled agricultural jobs, BUT the army of social workers would find it much tougher sledding. Most of them can't boil water or change a tire....so finding some sucker to overpay them for their obvious paucity of actual skills would probably be a difficult, if not impossible undetaking.

The BEST thing that ever happened those dependent upon welfare and other forms of public assistance was Welfare Reform and WORKFARE. In NYC the welfare rolls dropped by 1/3 overnight and ultimately fell from 1.1 MILLION to under 400,000! That's saved the city some $17.5 BILLION per year over that period. ($25,000/year x 700,000)

A lot of that was due to the eradication of what was euphemistically called "double dipping" - recipients collecting public assitance from multiple Municipalities, the rest was due to formerly dependent people finding that they COULD actually do better WORKING, while actually feeling a lot better about themselves as well.

Just as wealth creation is the result of a specific set of human actions (thrift, innovation, critical problem solving, planning, self-discipline, etc.), so is poverty.

Recklessness, irresponsiblity, the inability to delay gratification and the tendancy toward being "impulse-oriented" (that means not thinking or planning before you act) tend to result in poverty.

Professor Walter E Williams awhile back published three simple rules for avoiding poverty; (1) finish HS, (2) get a job and stay with it (until or unless you find a better one) and (3) don't have children before you Marry, and when you do Marry and have children, STAY MARRIED.

People who follow those THREE simple rules are almost NEVER caught up in the cycle of dependency programs.

No wonder you didn't put your name to that ridiculous post.

JMK said...

TYPO: "The DIFFERENCE is between one group (government "WORKERS") that exchanges labor for pay (WORK), while the other (welfare recipients) are a group takes government funds in lieu (that means in spite of, or without) of work..."

Conservative Black Woman said...

Anonymous~I'm not a government employee, so you statement certainly does not apply to me.

I wish your assumption that I am financially stable were true, unfortunately if either myself or husband should lose one of our jobs in private industry we would be in a world of trouble (we have a college age child). However, I would scrub toilets seats in truck stops, walk dogs, work temps, do just about any legal money making activity I could before I would consider taking a trip to the Dept. of Human Services...but that's just me....no judgement for those who would as long as it's deemed a temporary solution.

Joe Fireman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMK said...

"I'm not a government employee..." (CBW)
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I didn't mean to assume that either Robin. I figured that THAT'S what anonymous meant, BUT I'm suddenly struck by the very unsettling thought that they COULD HAVE meant, "since ALL the U.S. currency is printed by the government, where it goes is immaterial and is and should be directed by the U.S. government."

I certainly HOPE that's not what that poster meant, because that is so staggeringly, astoundingly dumb, that it would mark it's author as an "ignoramous for life," or Joe Biden, but that's just redundant, besides, Joe Biden is a professional ignoramous...he actually gets paid to spew dumb things.

IF that is what the poster meant, then I am reluctant to even respond, but I'd have to say, (1) the government doesn't OWN the money it prints, in fact the Federal Reserve is NOT a government bank, it's a consortium of private banks, and they control our money supply, and (2) the government doesn't direct or dole out that currency, it's merely put into circulation, where it is PAID out for WORK, within a job-market that pays widely varying amounts for various and different jobs and skills. That's why a thoracic surgeon, on average, earns more per year than 39 NYC schoolteachers, or 36 NYC cops, or 38 NYC firefighters, or 36 long-haul truckers. Skills are valued in proportion to the number of people around who can master them.

They are NOT valued according to any government decree.

I agree with you Robin, in that I too "...would scrub toilets seats in truck stops, walk dogs, work temps, do just about any legal money making activity I could before I would consider taking a trip to the Dept. of Human Services..."

Thankfully most people seem to think exactly that same way.


P.S. I'm hoping that anonymous was inferring that you were a federal employee and NOT that all the U.S. currency in existence belongs to the government because the latter view is so far beyond dumb that it actually borders on actual psychosis.

I'm thinking it's the first (assuming you were a federal employee) because anyone dumb enough to believe that all U.S. currency belongs to the government would be way too impaired to know how to type.

ar said...

I have a sign on my forehead; It reads: ask stupid for money.

If i refuse to give someone money and instead give them directions to a job, it really angers the one not really looking for a job.

"Go to the ATM", i was told.

I took a breath to gather thots and quell anger; i needed more information. I've worn the funny sign on my forehead for years. No matter where i am, i look like the guy to ask for money - i hate it.

"There he is! He's the guy. Now, go get his money."

A couple minutes into the conversation and i found out he was yanking my chain. Not interested in work - he was at work with me so i wanted to make his job miserable, today.

"DO I HAVE A SIGN ON MY HEAD OR SOMETHING, that says ask him for money?"

From his reaction, i gathered i was just the next one that came along - funny, the second time this week and fouth time this summer.

Maybe i should spend some of the cash I EARNED on a cane and start limping.

You're right. I can't. It would be lying, cheating. (sigh)

Attorneymom said...

I was able to get some ish off my chest on The Manning Report with Pastor James Manning. After that show, my political career is over. LOL. Check it out.

Part I
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEa2JwcRIgo

Part II
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bfz5Q3fu2N0

Part III
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_LkxXN1z1Y

Part IV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTLhTjZlC4U

Part V
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbhI8FoEIRc

Part VI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39lYlZcQWl4

mamaneeds2rant said...

I LOVE Mr. Sowell. Why couldn't he be President? Many of us "racists" would be proud to call him President!

Conservative Black Woman said...

mamaneeds2rant~lol...some of us "Uncle and Aunt Toms" would be honored and proud to call him Mr. President any day.

uptownsteve said...

Sowell and Steele.

Drs. Sambo and Quimbo.

uptownsteve said...

"I grow so weary of the same arguments over and over"

No you don't CBW.

Pounding away at the same old racist dig whistle issues like "welfare" (the rolls have been cut back drastically over the last 12 years and the beneficiaries have always been predominately white)......

"Affirmative action" in public university admissions has been virtually dismantled. Indeed outlawed in the two largest states California and Texas... and

"Black Militants". ROTFLMBAO!!!!

What in God's name are you talking about CBW?

Whose a militant?

The President is black. So are the Chairman of the Ways and Means and Judiciary Committees.

The 3rd most Senior Democrat in Congress is black. 2 black Governors. 1 black Senator.

In other words blacks are right at the center of American governance and culture.

The only ones on the outs are you black conservatives who still RIDICULOUSLY choose to cling to a failed ideology and imcompetence politics.

But you keep on the with the old reliable black bashing and negrophobia to convince your white right patrons of how independent you are.

If it was so truly tragic it would be funny.

Paul Ervin said...

the reason all those white people working at walmart in tenn are not rich is because the gov't taxes them to give to the blacks on welfare driving to the welfare office in their Cadillacs...

JMK said...

"the reason all those white people working at walmart in tenn are not rich is because the gov't taxes them to give to the blacks on welfare driving to the welfare office in their Cadillacs..." (Paul Ervin)
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Now THAT is actually a good bit of actual, humorous sarcasm.....and they say liberals don't have a sense of humor...

Actually YOU can NEVER get rich working for someone else.

That's why "the rich" come almost exclusively from the entreprenurial class.

The reason people working in McDonald's, Walmart, etc. are "poor" is NOT because they are taxed too much (in fact, such low-wage workers aren't hit with the income tax bite much at all....the top 10% of income earners pay 72% of all income taxes in this country), it's because such low-wage jobs pay low wages because virtually ANYONE can do them and thus there is more of a demand for those jobs than there is a supply, which drives the wages of those jobs down.

The problem of poverty is generally a paucity of skills. A paucity of skills is generally indicative of other problems, poor impulse control, a penchant for recklessness and irresponsibility and the inability to "delay gratification" - think ahead and plan for the future.

While high tax rates, for ANY reason, do actual harm to ALL wage earners, they DO tend to hurt those with the least amount of disposable income the most. The top 10% of income earners, as you'd expect, tend to have the MOST disposable income and they tend to defer more of their income in tax-deferred vehicles as tax rates rise (which is why tax revenues go UP when tax rates are cut and revenues shrink when tax rates go up), those in the bottom 90% have less disposable income and less ability to protect themselves from tax hikes, so they tend to bear the brunt of the pain when tax rates rise.

uptownsteve said...

Can't "anyone" be a fireman?

If not, why not?

Discuss.

JMK said...

"Can't "anyone" be a fireman?

"If not, why not?

"Discuss." (UTS)
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There's nothing to discuss. Your "point" is pointless."

ANYONE "can" be a fireman, or a cop, or a math teacher, but those positions are strictly LIMITED by any given Municipality's budgetary restraints. Government must deliver its services in the most cost-effective way necessary.

That's why they're accessed via various Civil Service Exams. OK, that's not the ONLY reason, as the Civil Service Merit System came into effect to counteract the pernicious effects of the rampant patronage, nepotism and cronyism of the day before that system was implemented.

Can ANYONE be a math teacher?

I could....I have a M.S. in mathematics and I have a another in Environmental Sciences and working on one in Emergency Management.

Can ANYONE become a firefighter or cop?

Only if they have impeccable judgment and that judgment is generally linked to a decent degree of both intellect and education. It requires a 115 IQ to actually complete College level work, with the only exceptions to that being in the "humanities and soft sciences (ie. social work), where a person with an average IQ (100) can probably complete that work....for physics and some of the other hard sciences (like chemistry) requires an IQ above 120 to fully complete such work..."fully complete" means to do the work independently and get through the course requirements and be able to functionally put that information to use.

I AM glad to see that you didn't take issue with the fact that "The problem of poverty is generally a paucity of skills. A paucity of skills is generally indicative of other problems, poor impulse control, a penchant for recklessness and irresponsibility and the inability to "delay gratification" - think ahead and plan for the future.

"While high tax rates, for ANY reason, do actual harm to ALL wage earners, they DO tend to hurt those with the least amount of disposable income the most."

Here's another fun fact, the top fifth (20%) of U.S. households (with incomes above $84,000) perform a third (33.3%) of all labor in the economy. They contain the best educated and most productive workers, and they provide a disproportionate share of the investment needed to create jobs and spur economic growth. Nearly all are married-couple families, many with two or more earners. Far from shirking the tax burden, these families pay 82.5 percent of total federal income taxes and two-thirds of federal taxes overall. By contrast, the bottom quintile pays 1.1 percent of total federal taxes.

Paul Ervin said...

@ JMK

Thank you for the compliment. But let me hit you with a radical idea? Have you ever thought labeling people as either/or Conservative - liberal...or...rep - Democrat as a galactic level way of simplification? Sort of like, "i am tall". 6'3" is in the 99th percentile for men's height in this country, but some people would look down (literally) n the top of your head. - Just food for thought.

Paul Ervin said...

Also at JMK :

You will always be working for someone else. I have seen Small Business owners go bankrupt within 5 years and we all have heard about the CEO pay for the largest wall-street firms. I think someone making 5 million a year getting a 24 million dollar severance package (he got fired - thus he was working for 'someone"). if you can find one contradictory example, it renders the entire theory moot.

Jonathan said...

JMK: "So let me think about that a second......OK, second's up - NO, they're NOT equivalent at ALL."

Not so fast. They are equivalent in that they do nothing to grow the economy. They only withdraw from it. Government employees per se are not the problem. The problem is when 50 percent of the salaries paid in the country are generated by tax revenues, not profits. This is not the formula for a healthy economy.

The space program needs to be done another way. Education needs to be privatized. All the useless departments need to be defunded.

Or, we just keep going the way we are going until the economy fixes itself naturally....

... in the same way that natural forces fix a dam that is cracked and isn't repaired.

Time and nature always fix everything.

Jonathan said...

Paul said:

"the reason all those white people working at walmart in tenn are not rich is because the gov't taxes them to give to the blacks on welfare driving to the welfare office in their Cadillacs..."

What do you mean by this? Those people of any color working at Wal Mart are mostly paying next to nothing in taxes. And they probably get more money back than they pay in, depending on their state. Heck, lots of THEM might be on welfare themselves.

JMK said...

"Have you ever thought labeling people as either/or Conservative - liberal...or...rep - Democrat as a galactic level way of simplification? Sort of like, "i am tall". 6'3" is in the 99th percentile for men's height in this country, but some people would look down (literally) n the top of your head. - Just food for thought." (Paul Ervin)
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That's not a "radical idea," what it is, is confusing "labels" (like liberal, Conservative, Democrat or Republican, which are very legitimate, in their own right) with economic statistal groups (like the top 20% of income earners, which are undeniably legitimate because they are the result of accurate data analysis.

People ARE indeed divided ideologically along liberal and Conservative lines.

The FACT of the matter is, "the top fifth (20%) of U.S. households (with incomes above $84,000) perform a full third (33.3%) of all labor in the economy. They contain the best educated and most productive workers, and they provide a disproportionate share of the investment needed to create jobs and spur economic growth. Nearly all are married-couple families, many with two or more earners. Far from shirking the tax burden, these families pay 82.5 percent of total federal income taxes and two-thirds of federal taxes overall. By contrast, the bottom quintile pays 1.1 percent of total federal taxes."

The fact that (1) income is the least effective generator of wealth, is immaterial to that fact....the top 1/5th of income earners actually DO 1/3 of the labor in this economy and (2) the fact that the truly wealthy DO NOT rely on income for wealth and that there is little overlap between the top 10% of income earners and the top 10% of the wealthiest Americans, only bolsters MY position that income taxes serve PRIMARILY to keep high skilled, high wage-earning citizens from any real degree of wealth.

The real "radical idea" here is that anyone who really thinks about what I've offred will agree with me.

And that anyone includes you....if you really think about it.

MrsGrapevine said...

@ Paul Ervin:


I really think your comment was planted just to stoke controversy, but I will give your ignorance the benefit of the doubt.

1) 38% of welfare recipients are white, with blacks coming in a close second. It's not the amount blacks on welfare, it's the proportion to race.

2) If you work full time at wal-mart you don't make enough money to carry a task burden, unless you're management. Even if your taxes are taken out of your check each month; it's refunded in the form of earned income tax credit. They are loaning the government money interest free, and because of their low wages, they will receive a refund that can equal more than what they put in. Most people don't adjust their taxes to take their money upfront. But certainly people working at Wal-Mart in Tennessee as their main income, is not paying for "blacks" welfare.

3) Cadillacs are so out dated as a stereotype, stereotypes have evolved since the 70's; please next time use more creativity if you're going to be negative, that way you at least sound like you have some form of wit.

JMK said...

"They are equivalent in that they do nothing to grow the economy. They only withdraw from it. Government employees per se are not the problem. The problem is when 50 percent of the salaries paid in the country are generated by tax revenues, not profits. This is not the formula for a healthy economy." (Jonathan)
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That's true, but (1) it's a separate and distinct issue from the comparison of government WORKERS to welfare recipients and (2) is NOT entirely accurate, in that some work (ie. police work and the military) is Constitutionally consigned to government.

While we DO have far too many govenment jobs and far fewer private sector jobs then we need, there are some things government must do.

For instance, a privatized educational system would only work in the sense of Corporations forming cooperatives to pay for education and training with the goal of providing them the workers they need...in the end, such a corporate system would be open to the same sort of abuses as our current governemntal one.

In fact, much of corporate America have very much been behind the leftward tilt in this country. GE owns NBC and its fringe, kook-factory MSNBC and pushes a GE agenda 24 hours a day.

America's banks LOVED the government's pushing "low-income mortages," they loved the 0% down FHA mortgage, and they REALLY LOVED Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac increasing its share of the mortgage market from 24% (already TOO high) in 2001, to 51% by 2008! Hell, many major banks (Citi, Chase, BoA) have loved ACORN.

So don't kid yourself in thinking that much of Corporate America isn't left-leaning.

Socialism ultimately benefits the most, those who are on top at that time...as it cements the game in place. Big, slow-moving, inefficient companies that are long established benefit and so do those who are already very rich...socialism cements their gains in place.

MrsGrapevine said...

@ JMK:

I agree with you too often, but I do wish you were a Christian. You should probably give Jesus a try. Start by reading the bible without religious influences or a particular denomination. All to often, I'm actually finding Conservatives that are atheist and agnostic. I don't know if it's a trend, or if the Conservative right is too often defined by the religious right as well.

These labels are quite confusing, because I'm not a liberal on every issue. Sometimes I think people choose labels because they feel it's the lesser of to evils.

I have Christian Conservatives ask me why I'm a liberal, and respond because, "I'm a sheep amongst wolves. I know the wolves from the sheep." In the Conservative party, "You're a sheep amongst 'wolves in sheep clothing' ". Ha Ha! They never like that answer.

But in other words too many people claim to have the spirit God, and mislead people in their doctrine. I appreciate their zeal, but misrepresenting the bible for political gain, is probably as great of a sin as blasphemy. I don't think you build a Christian nation through politics or government (man's way). I think you build it through the church (God's way). Romans teaches us to obey authority because authority is hear to maintain order, but it never told us to worship authority. You can't make people worship God through law. That's why drugs are illegal, and yet people are still high.

Anyway my point of all this is to ask. What are your views on abortion, gay marriage, and the death penalty? Last, where does your code of morality come from? What holds you to that standard?

JMK said...

"I agree with you too often, but I do wish you were a Christian...All to often, I'm actually finding Conservatives that are atheist and agnostic." (MGV)
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I think your first statement was meant to be "I DON'T agree with you often...

But the fact is that I'm NEITHER atheist nor agnostic. Atheism is as faith-based a belief-system as any religion. Agnosticism, acknowledging that "I DO NOT KNOW," is actually the most purely logical or empirical approach by man to the existence of a Creator or God.

As I said, I am spiritual in that I DO believe in a Creator/God or Life Force, I DO NOT beleive in any organized religion...as they are all ultimately manmade.

While this is probably the wrong forum for me to go into any depth about my own spiritual beliefs, I have come to the same conclusion that an increasing number of scientists have (even Einstein came to that conclusion) that there is an over-arching organization and structure to the universe, indicating the existence of a divine Creator or controlling consciousness.

As I said, I've read Jesus' philosophy and found it runs completely antithetical to our human natures.

The vast majority of self-procalimed Christians I've met, DO NOT treat people, as Jesus directed, "Better than they treat you," they DO NOT "embrace their enemies," but instead, they tend to treat others the way they are treated, which is as our human natures tend.

Worse still, too many "Christians" seem to lean on that crutch of "I'm already forgiven" (apparently just for claiming to believe) and so there's the built-in excuse to fail and never live up to the standards they profess and often expect of others.

I accept that what came before and comes after this life is the default or "normal" state for the immortal soul...and that what we call death is merely the dissolution of this corporeal body, just as aging is the decaying/dying process of the living body. I don't pretend to know what the purpose of this temporary physical existence is, but I also accept that no one else (including those who started these religions) knows either.

You call government "man's way," well, the Church is MAN'S way too...as ALL religions are manmade and man-directed.

As to "Anyway my point of all this is to ask. What are your views on abortion, gay marriage, and the death penalty? Last, where does your code of morality come from? What holds you to that standard?"

(1) I support aboriton on demand up until the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb (about 20 weeks), on the grounds that a unwilling parent is also an unfit parent, at least at that time. (2) I support Civil Unions but oppose "gay Marriage" on the grounds that it could be used as a backdoor assault on the free exercise of religion (some gays have expressed the desire to sue Churches to force to Marry them) and (3) I support Capital Punishment for murder, and repeat child-rapists...on the grounds that some actions require that the perpetrator forfiet his/her own life in response.

Your last two questions on my moral code and what holds me to it, would require a response far too long for such a forum...you could email me, although I'm trying to write an account on exactly that issue.

Jonathan said...

JMK said:
"For instance, a privatized educational system would only work in the sense of Corporations forming cooperatives to pay for education and training with the goal of providing them the workers they need...in the end, such a corporate system would be open to the same sort of abuses as our current governemntal one."

Well, folks of influence would certainly try to make it that way, which would ruin it. However, the current "small business" model for private schools works well and provides both consumer competition, academic excellence overall, security, accountability and manageable learning environments. Having the government in control of education is extremely dangerous, especially with the increase of federalism. I think we are seeing the tip of the iceberg with the Obama Personality Cult in school, with where it could ultimately lead.

Here again, this should be left up to the states, and if it were, I wager we would see many interesting approaches being tried to education. In most cases, the results couldn't be worse than the current model.

The DoE needs to abolished and the leftists need to be run out of academia with renewed enforcement of the Smith Act against subversion and sedition. Otherwise, we don't have a prayer of rescuing this country.

Paul Ervin said...

@ MS. Grapevine

you are not very bright, are you?

JMK said...

I tend to agree with your Libertarian sentiments, but while the small private school model works more efficiently (in NYC both the Catholic schools and the Yeshivas deliver better results for about half the price of public schools), but that model has not worked well for low-income workers and he dependent poor.

Education and healthcare have been huge dilemmas for our highly regulated market-based economy. We already give away BILLIONS in advanced healthcare to people unwilling/unable to pay for it...so a strictly rationed and tightly restricted expaded public option would allow the government to cut costs by rationin care on all "free" public options. Likewise, the plight of the low-wage workers and the dependent poor keep government heavilly involved in the field of education.

Yes, the DoE could be eradicted and education made more localized, but some degree of government involvemen will probably always remain.

As to the "cult of Obama," I'm not so sure about that.

I do tend to view BOTH G W Bush and Obama as very similar men. Both are affable, pleasant enough fellows, BOTH are ardent Keynesians, who securely believe that every problem has a solution best administered by a well-intentioned government.

Yes, President Obamas odd circle of friends from Bill Ayers (who is said to have ghost-authored "Dreams of My Father") and Jeremiah Wright to Van Jones and Mark Lloyd are disappointing, to say the least, I think he is more a naive social reformer, rther than a radical rvolutinary as some pain him.

I coud be wrong on that, the Obama administration to date has adhered pretty closely to the Bush Doctrine in the war on terror and while it's been MORE Keynesian than the very Keynesian Bush, sadly it's been more a matter o degree, rather than direction.

Smile said...

Thomas Sowell
Shelby Steele

These two are an example of America's best.

MrsGrapevine said...

@ Paul:

It's MRS...

Thanks

Smile said...

The 20% (at the bottom) isn't supposed to reference the same people, the same group, the same local, the same family, the same demographic.

When it does, that is the problem.

Most people aren't born with a silver spoon. Most who acquire more (in any area whether education, monetary, experience...) first had less. That speaks to most everyone.

When the 20% is (or is treated as) a fixed, what keeps it fixed is the question/problem. We all have been the 20% but it has/should have changeover.

If changeover is stagnated, slow, nonexistent, this is the problem that is trying to be addressed. It isn't a question of whether there is that group, it's a question of it being stalled, like a permanent storm.

Focusing on the 20% alone as the issue isn't the actual issue. The focus is/should be why the 20% situation isn't more of a hallway and a part of the road toward a different place rather then as the whole map.

In its most organic state, the percent might not significantly change, the individuals will.

JMK said...

"The 20% (at the bottom) isn't supposed to reference the same people, the same group, the same local, the same family, the same demographic.

"When it does, that is the problem.

"Most people aren't born with a silver spoon. Most who acquire more (in any area whether education, monetary, experience...) first had less. That speaks to most everyone." (smile)
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Not entirely.

In EVERY country, in every economy, there is a bottom 20%, many of those DO remain the same over genertions because poverty is mostly due to various traits that are partly developped and partly inhrited, such as skill levels and aptitude, motivation and self-discipline and creative/innovative potential.

Government action DOES tend to slow down or even cement these groups in place, keeping the poor poor and the more well-off, established and better-connected better off, but there is often more movement downward from the upper classes and far more fluidity in either dircetion from the middle, and generally less from the lowest 20%.

Those in the bottom 20% virtually NEED both great intellect AND great determination to move out of those surroundings where everyone and almost everything in that environment seems to conspire to pull people back down....kind of like the "crabs in a barrell" situation.

But for tax policy, it IS vital to focus on the various income percentiles. First because INCOME is NOT the same as WEALTH (income has always been one of the least efficient and effective generators of wealth) and second because to assess the "fairness" of a given policy, we have to be able to look at the INPUT (income) AND OUTPUT (labor) of those groups.

The fact that the top 20% (1/5th) of American income earners produce 33.3% (1/3) of all the labor in this economy is important to know, because it explains why those folks earn as much as they do.

Smile said...

Yeah, what I said :)

Except, "Those in the bottom 20% virtually NEED both great intellect AND great determination to move out of those surroundings where everyone and almost everything in that environment seems to conspire to pull people back down....kind of like the "crabs in a barrell" situation."

Most of us don't benefit from this crabs in a barrel thinking, because we're not crabs. Most of us, without formal education but great determination, have what it takes to 'make it'. Versus those who have superior intellect without better crab thinking and determination, do not have what it takes. They have all the intellectual capacity to complain but not the character to make the difference.

P.S. I'm not including a zero sum game of comparisons to what I have versus what you have or the never ending cycle of unhappiness.

Jonathan said...

Soon, America may find out two unpleasant realities given the current direction of events:

There are an infinite variety of societal arrangements imaginable, some of them where the top and bottom are upside down.

The top is only a relative term based on everything below it. In Somalia, anyone who manages 700 calories per day is "on top." And it takes every bit of intellect imaginable to make that goal.

JMK said...

"Most of us don't benefit from this crabs in a barrel thinking, because we're not crabs." (smile)
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WHAT???

The "crabs in a barrell" situation is NOT a benefit to ANYONE. It IS, however, an unfortunate part of human nature. When a poor or middle class person seeks to move up, those around that person often reflexively pull that person back down.

Individually, crabs CAN climb out of the buckets crab fishermen keep them in, BUT, as any one crab nears the top, the others climbing, invariably hook onto that crab and pull it back down into the bucket.

That's not a benefit, BUT our human natures were such that 1,000, even 10,000 years ago, probably 95% of people acted in that way, just as today, just about the same percentage acts the same way and we can rest assured that 1,000 or more years from now, it'll still be the same.....because human nature remains the same.

Wealth is ALWAYS created by specific human action. Specifically applied intellect, driven by a self-motivated and self-disciplined spirit. Increasing one's own prosperity is a very arduous task.

Likewise, poverty is ALWAYS created or generated by specific human action as well. Poverty or decreasing one's personal prosperity is a LOT easier, it's the difference between the EFFORT needed to CLIMB and allowing GRAVITY'S pull to allow you to FALL.

Again, when discussing tax policy (the only time I've looked at the various income percentiles), it IS vital to focus on the various income strata. First because INCOME is NOT the same as WEALTH (income has always been one of the least efficient and effective generators of wealth) and second because to assess the "fairness" of a given policy, we have to be able to look at the INPUT (income) AND OUTPUT (labor) of those groups.

The ONLY thing that actually SLOWS down or impedes the movement of highly motivated, high achieving people from climbing UPWWARDS and the less motivated, less vigilant well-off scions/heirs to previous high achievers falling is government action.

Government responds to those it is BEHOLDEN TO, those who FUND it...the wealthiest and best-connected among us. That's why ALL government action ultimately harms the middle by foisting the bulk of the burdens on them, while cementing the gains of those already "rich," and keeping the poor dependent on government largesse for their basic sustanance.

JMK said...

"There are an infinite variety of societal arrangements imaginable, some of them where the top and bottom are upside down." (Jonathan)
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That scenario ALWAYS appeals to those on the bottom now, Jonathan...

The worst mistake ANYONE can make is to assume what's in another's personal advantage.

Wall Street has long given far more to liberal Democrats than to Republicans. This year is no different. Since the start of 2009 Charles Schumer has taken in $1.65 MILLION in Wall Street money, more than double what any other Senator has taken and more than FIVE times what any Republican has been given by the Wall Street crowd.

Believe it or not, there are foolish Libertarians (I was once one) who rail that, "THAT'S not in Wall Street's best interests!"

It most certainly IS in Wall Street's best interests. Regulation primarily serves to keep OUT newcomers that established businessmen and investors don't want to let in. It also helps cement in place the gains those folks have already made.

It would ultimately also foist a ponderous burden on an already swamped middle class effectively thwarting them from moving upwards...AND, eventually, with federal, state and local revenues declining, it'll force massive layoffs in the public sector, which also benefits the investor class.

I've heard so many great arguments about "how we cannot go on with such a highly rigged and regulated market," but that's untrue. That was said during the 1930s....and we maintained the highly regulated market devised back in 1912 by Bernard Baruch and J P Morgan, it was said back in the 1970s, and aside from a little Supply Side "letting off steam," we still maintained a very highly regulated market-based economy through the Reagan-Bush Sr-Clinton-Bush Jr years.

Yes, sadly many of the same miscues of the Carter administration are being repeated now....but we're neither moving toward a command/government-run economy, nor going to collapse into a chaos from which a truly free market will evolve.

I once fervently hoped for somethin like the latter, with as little dislocation as possible, but the regulated market has proven to be far more resilient than most Libertarians (and socialists...though I'm never surprised by their lack of acumen) beleive.

ziggy said...

JMK you said,
"....but we're neither moving toward a command/government-run economy, nor going to collapse into a chaos from which a truly free market will evolve."

Explain why you say that we are not moving toward a command economy? Thanks.

JMK said...

"we're neither moving toward a command/government-run economy, nor going to collapse into a chaos from which a truly free market will evolve." (JMK)

"Explain why you say that we are not moving toward a command economy? Thanks." (ziggy)
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A fair question, here's why I say that;

(1) Even the most liberal Americans today acknowledge that the command economy DOES NOT and CANNOT work. The former USSR, Bulgaria, Albania all proved that conclusively.

(2) The government has bailed out banks but isn't running them...in FACT, numerous beanks have paid the TARP money back early in order to get out from under the pay restrictions that came with it.

(3) The auto bailout hasn't resluted in a government take-over of the auto industry, quite the reverse. A deal was brokered between Fiat and Chrysler, GM was allowed to re-organize and Ford, which took no government funds has recovered the quickest and is the best positioned American car maker today.

(4) A government take-over of these industries would be disastrous and wouldn't bode well for America's future. It would doom us to finacial ruin.

(5) The Bailouts have been argued both ways, as ruinous and as necessary, and given the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and what was a growing financial tsunami at the time, the intervention seemed necessary at the time to stabilize what was a growing cataclysm, caused by govrnment's reckless and irresponsible meddling in the mortgage market. Government since the early 1990s had schemed to expand mortgage lending to more low-income people....a "noble sounding" but reckless idea. The 0% down FHA mortgage coupled by the fed pressuring Fannie and Freddie to BUY/guarantee all those new and high-risk subprime loans (the fact that Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's share of the U.S. mortgage market went from an obscene 24% to an unprecedented 51% between 2001 and 2008 proved that) was the cause of the subsequent global credit crisis.

Government delivered the TARP funds in the form of "loans," and is looking for repayment, NOT ownership/control over those companies and industries.

Attorneymom said...

Let me tell you something. Affirmative Action may have gotten me in the door of law school (along with my grades from undergraduate), but it damn sure did not help me graduate or pass the bar exam. I had to sit my azz down and do the work in order to earn my JD.

If you Negroes think we still don't need the protection of law, then you are sadly mistakened. America has not mastered the judging folks by the content of the character yet. CBW, you know that I am a living example (victim) of this.

JMK, I love you, but I do not need your take on this one. I am taking to the Negroes on this response.

MrsGrapevine said...

@ JMK:

I don't think you are saying anything that they haven't heard before, I think you just say it
in away that they understand.

Q)Why would liberals want a socialist government or government-run economy when all examples of communism has failed?

A)They don't. The only "communism" nation is China, and they're "communist" in title. The only reason China is the exception is because they employ elements capitalism to support their economy. China also has over a billion people, which means cheap skilled labor. But other than China, communism and government-run economy has been a complete failure.

Q)Why would liberals want a government take-over when a large percentage of their income comes from the private sector?

A)Look up the richest people in congress and senate, I guarantee the top tier is mostly "liberals". How did Obama make the bulk of his income? The private sector.

Q)What percentage of the private sector is owned by the government?

A)The answer to this question, will tell us if we're really a socialist country or not. I think Conservatives would be very surprised at the answer.

Q) How does the current tax burden stack up against the past.

A) Again, I think the answer would be quite shocking to Conservatives, considering we have been at war for the past 8 years.

MrsGrapevine said...

*I meant to say China is the best working example of a "communist" nation, not that China is the only "communist" nation.*

JMK said...

"Let me tell you something. Affirmative Action may have gotten me in the door of law school (along with my grades from undergraduate), but it damn sure did not help me graduate or pass the bar exam. I had to sit my azz down and do the work in order to earn my JD..." (AM)
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There's a difference between anti-discrimination statutes (barring overt discrimination based on race, religion, ideology, gender, etc) and statutes that actually discriminate (base preferences on arbitrary things, like race) such as the race-based preferences of AA.

My wife is black. She went to Baruch College, got her accounting degree and passed the four part CPA exam, and while she laments the dirth of black CPAs, her own ability to pass that exam PROVES that such exams are NOT barriers to any race, just to those who don't work hard enough. Maybe there just aren't that many blacks interested in accounting. Who knows? One thing's for sure, the paucity of black accountants is NOT due to "racist barriers" like the CPA exam and the arduous accounting curriculum in College.

It's the same with the SATs and all other standardized exams. The SATs are, in fact, excellent predictors of a HS students projected grade-success in College. Those who score higher on that exam tend to do better in College, those who score lower, tend to do worse.

There ARE all sorts of actual/real discriminatory practices ongoing in employment, NONE of the legitimate complaints are in any way related to any standards used for employment.

In NYC right now a white driver/dispatcher for the DoT (Dept of Traffic) is suing the city and two black supervisors for their "conspiring to bar his promotion," him despite having the qualifications needed and he claims both supervisors often made "disparaging and racist comments against whites."

I am ALWAYS skeptical of such complaints, and I'm very skeptical about this one for the same reasons I'm skeptical of most others - such claims of abuse and victimization are always used to victimize others (in this case the two black supervisors) and cater to the self-serving interests of the complainant, who may have "the basic qualifications," but been rightly passed over by BETTER or MORE QUALIFIED competitors.

Does actual racial and other discrimination actually occur?

I'm sure it does.

Does it occur often?

I very much doubt that. I think it's a relative rarity.

That's why ALL such discrimination cases should be INDIVIDUAL cases, with the full burden of proof on the individual.

Is it more likely than not that there is more discrimination toward blacks from whites?

I'd honestly say, I'd think it the reverse. I agree with Larry Elder's assessment that, "blacks are more racist than whites," although I'd put it "more color conscious and color-bigoted," instead of the over-used and nebulous "racist."

Is anti-black discrimination worse than anti-white discrimination?

Absolutely NOT.

Morally they are EXACTLY the same, since there is no acceptable justification for either, but from a societal view, you COULD argue that anti-white discrimination is "more corrosive" and more harmful to the national fabric, given that whites are around 70% of the population. In my view they are EXACTLY the SAME and are equally pernicious and immoral.

Race-based preferences are NOT anti-discriminatory, as they actually...(funny story)...DISCRIMINATE based on....uh RACE. Calling a racially discriminatory policy "anti-discrimination" no more makes it so, than calling a pig a bird, allows that swine to fly.

JMK said...

All good MGV, but China is NOT a "communist economy" today.

In fact it is more Capitalist than we are!

Ted Koppel of of all people did a great documentary on China recently entitled, The People's Republic of Capitalism,"

It is that opening up of their economy to free market principles and global free trade that has transformed that nation FROM an economic basket-case into a powerful economic engine. Because of its new-found Capitalism, China is now moving over 10 MILLION people per month out of rural/peasant poverty.

JMK said...

TYPO: "All good pointsMGV, but China is NOT a "communist economy" today.

MrsGrapevine said...

@ JMK:

Agreed, That was my point about China. I said it earlier. Quote:"The only reason China is the exception is because they employ elements of capitalism to support their economy."

I saw a documentary in which Hu Jintao said the success of his country was due to free market enterprise and capitalism. But, only those parts that work best. LOL!

JMK said...

"Agreed, That was my point about China. I said it earlier. Quote: "The only reason China is the exception is because they employ elements of capitalism to support their economy."

"I saw a documentary in which Hu Jintao said the success of his country was due to free market enterprise and capitalism. But, only those parts that work best. LOL!" (MGV)
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I saw that point of yours and you're right about that, I just didn't want anyone else to get the impression that China was "the world's only successful Communist country, because of economic communism," as it's been, ironically enough, Capitalism that's turned their economy around, despite their totalitarian government.

Oddly enough, today's China is not all that different than Pinochet's Chile or Sukarno's Indonesia, repressive political regimes coupled with economic freedoms...a weird combination.