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Forum Post: "Entitlements" and Our Dollar Democracy

Posted 11 months ago on Nov. 22, 2013, 6:32 p.m. EST by LeoYo (5866)
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"Entitlements" and Our Dollar Democracy

Friday, 22 November 2013 10:49 By Ellen Dannin, Truthout | News

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20027-entitlements-and-our-dollar-democracy

Patrick Henry's "Give me liberty, or give me death" left no ambiguity about his position on being a citizen of a democracy. Then people understood the power of words and the importance of using words that meant what they said.

But now, in our Humpty Dumpty Looking Glass world, words are shape shifters with no real meaning:

"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."

"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."

Take the word entitlement. Until recently, a person with an entitlement had a valid and enforceable right or claim solidly based on a law or a contract. Now, under Humpty Dumpty rules, a person with an entitlement is a greedy freeloader who should be punished by losing that right or claim.

Today, the masters of the word are the masters of the world. They tell us that people who receive Social Security are to be reviled and their benefits must be cut because they are an entitlement. So too are free breakfasts for impoverished children and unemployment and welfare for those unable to find work in the Great Recession. Feeding into the attack on Social Security are urban legends based on a misunderstanding of how Social Security is funded and what its purposes are. Examples and explanations can be found here http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/benefit.asp , here http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021434590 and here http://articles.latimes.com/2013/mar/08/business/la-fi-hiltzik-20130310 .

Unfortunately, even people who ought to know better fail to fully grasp how Social Security operates. They don't understand that it is an insurance program and not an investment like a personal savings account.

The campaign against Social Security stems mainly from three misunderstandings about its funding and operation: that Social Security is going bankrupt; that Social Security is essentially the same as private pensions, IRAs and 401(k)s; and that Social Security is a tax on a par with personal and corporate income taxes. None of these beliefs is correct.

Another misunderstanding is that Social Security operates only as a program for retirees. Social Security offers far broader protections than that.

Social Security's full name is the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI ). OASDI provides benefits that make our society more decent and humane. In addition to providing financial support to older Americans who have worked and paid their payroll taxes, OASDI also provides support to the survivors of a worker who has died, including minor children who have lost a parent and to those who are too disabled to work.

To keep faith with all these members of our community, we need a robust program that keeps faith with our forebears and that meets our intergenerational obligations. Social Security provides millions of us with true security. FICA - the money we pay to fund Social Security - provides the basis for all of us to live a decent, dignified life within prosperous communities. It is social in the sense that it provides broad support for a good society by keeping people out of poverty.

Social Security is not a limited, confined or private matter; a mere tax; or a handout. Instead, OASDI's benefits track the biblical injunction - repeated many times - that we are obligated to care for the widow, the orphan and the poor.

"Them That's Got Shall Get. Them That's Not Shall Lose."

Meanwhile, fears and rumors about Social Security distract our attention from those who do enrich themselves at the public's expense. A November 7, 2013, study by the Environmental Working Group titled Forbes Fat Cats Collect Taxpayer-Funded Farm Subsidies: Forbes 400 Subsidy Recipients (1995-2012) is an example of an entitlement that truly deserves close scrutiny.

Many of these same billionaires also may have received crop insurance subsidies, but taxpayers have no way of knowing because current law prohibits the disclosure of the identities of crop insurance policyholders.

According to EWG's analysis, more than 40 billionaires own properties that grow crops that are among the most likely to be insured through the federal crop insurance program, including corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton and sorghum. From 1995 to 2012, these five crops account for nearly $44 billion of premium subsidies - about 82 percent of total crop insurance subsidies and more than two-thirds of all acres enrolled in the crop insurance program. In 2008, Congress created a means test that was designed to deny some subsidies to individuals with annual off-farm income of more than $500,000. The year before, Bloomberg News published a report highlighting some of the billionaires who had been receiving subsidies. But lawmakers specifically declined to apply it to crop insurance, which has become the primary government support for farm business income.

Worse, the farm bills Congress is now considering could pay these billionaire "farmers" with even larger subsidies.

There is nothing wrong with farmers' wanting to insure their crops. We depend on farmers for our food, but farming is a risky business. Weather, disease and pests can cause crops to fail. As the old joke goes, a farmer who wins big in the lottery is asked by a reporter what he'll do with his winnings. The farmer says, "Well, I guess I'll just keep farming till I go broke."

But these billionaire "farmers" are not in that situation. They have created a secret system that dragoons the rest of us into subsidizing them while also forbidding us to have information about that subsidy is. Talk about the entitled and their entitlements!

The Difference Between Social Security and Crop Insurance for Billionaire "Farmers"

Today, the annual income of the very rich is so large compared with that of the rest of us that it helps to see the differences in graphic terms. Essentially the same information can be found in the Social Security Administration's most recent table of compensation. The table shows us that 166 people earned $50,000,000 or more in 2012. The average of that group was $97,455,138, so a goodly number of them must have earned well into the nine figures. This table shows income for just one year. At least some of those people must have earned money in other years as well and, as a result, amassed enormous wealth and the power that wealth creates.

One would think they would be embarrassed to force the rest of us to subsidize their crop failure insurance. In fact, they must be embarrassed, because they got the best Congress money can buy to hide this information from us. Is it any wonder, then, that the United States has an extremely unequal wealth distribution, thanks to a Congress that voted the wealthiest an entitlement to hide this information from the public?

Surely, if anyone deserved to have their welfare means tested, it should be this crew. But this will not happen, because they are apparently entitled to their entitlements and to keeping the rest of us in the dark as to just how much those entitlements cost the rest of us. Social Security, that is, OASDI, may look like an individual pension, a savings account or even an investment, but it is none of these. As its full name shows, it is insurance that pays out when an event occurs that can cause poverty. Those events include disability, the death of a spouse or parent and old age.

At the time Social Security was enacted and still today, older people are at high risk for living in poverty. Poverty continues to be a likely fate for those who are retiring during a deep and long recession that has left many people with little to no savings.

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that Social Security has helped bring down - but not eliminate - poverty in old age. Fortunately, for them, they are still entitled to Social Security benefits that provide nearly half of the income for the elderly. This issue affects us all. If we live long enough, we all could face poverty in old age, and so may people we care about.

Copyright, Truthout.

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[-] 5 points by LeoYo (5866) 11 months ago

The Rage of the Angry White Male Continues Its Battle Against Equality

Friday, 22 November 2013 11:45 By Mark Karlin, Truthout | Interview

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20177-the-rage-of-the-angry-white-male-continues-its-incendiary-battle-against-gender-and-racial-equality

Is there hope that the ugly, hateful era of the angry white male might come to an end in the United States?

Michael Kimmel, author of Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era, believes that the incendiary rage of many resentful white males will ultimately succumb to an altered cultural context.

"Angry white men rage for our attention, yes, but that era of assumed male entitlement to all the positions of power and wealth is coming to an end." Kimmel told Truthout. "Men can be dragged kicking and screaming into that inevitable future, or we can accept it and ask what it means for us."

Truthout recently interviewed Kimmel, who is a sociology professor and executive director at the Center of the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University in New York.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5866) 11 months ago

US is Faced With a Feverish Populism of Anger and Hatred

Sunday, 24 November 2013 09:45 By Michael Kimmel, Nation Books | Book Excerpt

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20211-united-states-is-faced-with-a-feverish-populism-of-anger-and-hatred

Perhaps the biggest evolutionary change in contemporary social attitudes in the United States has been an increased embracing of people regardless of gender or gender preference. Needless to say there are many battles to be fought, but as Truthout has documented over the years much progress has occurred. Enormous challenges remain, but the overall arc of gender equality is bending in the direction of justice.

With the sharing of power and acceptance of "non-masculine" values, according to sociologist Michael Kimmel, also comes a backlash. The angry white male is a major force in the ferocious efforts to return the United States to a patriarchal society. Such is the topic of Kimmel's latest book: Angry White Men: American Masculinity at the End of an Era.

An excerpt from the Introduction to "Meet America's Angry White Men":

Rick is one of the men you will meet in this book, men who feel they have been screwed, betrayed by the country they love, discarded like trash on the side of the information superhighway. Theirs are the hands that built this country; theirs is the blood shed to defend it. And now, they feel, no one listens to them; they've been all but forgotten. In the great new multicultural American mosaic, they're the bland white background that no one pays any attention to, the store-bought white bread in a culture of bagels, tortillas, wontons, and organic whole-grain designer scones. They're downwardly mobile, contemptuously pushed aside by fast-talking, fast-driving fat cats and bureaucrats.

And they're mad as hell.

You see them pretty much everywhere these days - yet they're often invisible. They patrol America's southern border, determined to keep out Mexican immigrants. They tune in to venomous talk-radio hosts who translate economic anguish, psychological distress, and political confusion into blind rage. They swarm into populist Tea Party rallies, hoping to find like-minded kinsmen willing to join with them to turn the country around. Some even take up arms against their own country, establishing semiautonomous enclaves and blowing up federal buildings. And, of course, when threatened by external forces, they muster up their coldest steel-eyed Dirty Harry imitation and say, "Make my day."

In suburbia, they're the ones who cut you off on the freeway, screaming with rage if you dare to slow them down. If their kid doesn't make that suburban soccer team or that heartland hockey team, they're the ones who rush out onto the field to hit the coach or strangle the referee - or start a fight with another equally enraged dad. They hiss with rage at their ex-wives (and their ex-wives' lawyers) in family court. Further up the economic ladder, they're the guys seething in the corner of the corporate "diversity training" workshop, snarling that they are now "walking on eggshells" around the office, or stewing when their company hires a woman or a minority, because, they say, affirmative action is really reverse discrimination against white men. And some of their teenage sons are strolling through deserted suburban train stations at night with a bunch of friends, looking for immigrants or gay men to beat up - or kill.

They are America's angry white men. Actually, one might say more simply that they're just America's white men - they just happen to be angrier than ever before in our recent history. Journalists duly record the decrease in compassion and the increase in untrammeled selfishness, and pundits decry the collapse of civility in political discourse, even as they shout at each other at the top of the bestseller lists. One guy's a big, fat idiot! The other is a big, fat liar! The current political atmosphere in Washington has been called the nastiest and angriest in our history.

The past two decades have witnessed mainstream white American men exploding like never before in our history. They draw their ranks from the middle class (office workers, salaried salesmen) and the lower middle class (the skilled worker, small farmer, or shopkeeper). They're the "pa" in the ma-and-pa store, Richard Nixon's "silent majority," and "Reagan Democrats." They're "Joe Lunchbucket," and "Joe the Plumber," and just plain Joe. They feel they've borne the weight of the world on their backs, and they can't hold it up any longer. And now, suddenly, some of these regular guys are reinventing the American Revolution with Tea Party, Minutemen, and Patriot organizations, while others are further out there, organizing militias and joining survivalist cults, waging war on "feminazis," rampaging through their workplaces, promoting protectionist and anti-immigrant policies.

They're listening to angry white men like Rush Limbaugh, Mike Savage, and a host of other radio hosts who lash out at everyone else as the source of their woes. They're trying to roll back the gains made by women and minorities in corporate and professional life and resisting their entry into the ranks of soldier, firefighter, and police officer. And their sons are either busy destroying the galaxy in their video games or actually opening fire on their classmates.

Some explode at work, "going postal" as they slaughter coworkers, supervisors, and plant managers before, usually, taking their own lives. You've heard of "suicide by cop," where a perpetrator pretends to go for his gun and the police open fire? These guys commit "suicide by mass murder": intent on dying, they decide to "take some of them with me."

And when they're not exploding, they're just plain angry and defensive. They're laughing at clueless, henpecked husbands on sitcoms; snorting derisively at clueless guys mocked in ads and reality-TV segments; and snickering at duded-up metrosexuals prancing around major metropolitan centers while they drink cosmos or imported vodka.

They sneer at presidential candidates like John Kerry who speak French, eat brie, and drink Chardonnay. They see nothing but feminized wusses who actually support global environmental policies and negotiation and diplomacy instead of "my way or the highway" unilateralism.

Unapologetically "politically incorrect" magazines, radio hosts, and television shows abound, filled with macho bluster or bikini-clad women bouncing on trampolines. These venues are the new "boys' clubs" - the clubhouse that once said "No Gurls Allowed." These moments allow these guys, who otherwise feel so put down, so "had," a momentary feeling of superiority.

Yet few observers notice the gender of these vitriolic legions. Few, if any, couple the increase in American anger with the growing gulf between women and men. The gender gap - politically, socially, and economically - is as large as it has ever been. It's not "Americans" who are angry; it's American men. And it's not all American men - it's white American men. This is a phenomenon so visible, so widespread, that were it happening with any other group (say, black men or Asian women), it would be discussed incessantly. But precisely because it's so ubiquitous, so visible, it has received hardly any serious discussion.

Now, it is true, one must say at the outset, that some of the most visible angry Americans these days are women, especially those parading at Tea Party rallies. And the patron saint of American anger at the moment is not former vice president Dick Cheney, sneering arrogantly at all potential opponents, but his daughter Liz, and the seemingly omnipresent Sarah Palin. Palin has become a poster girl for right-wing rage - and I mean that more than metaphorically. She is the Betty Grable of the political Right and the fantasy ideal of thousands, perhaps millions, of red-blooded American men. She's salty and sexy, vampy and folksy, strong yet slightly slutty.

And the Tea Party, at 59 percent male, is somewhat anomalous on the political landscape. While the men who overwhelmingly populate the ranks of rage rely on some amount of women's backstage support, the theme of their agitation, the motivation for their mobilization, is a desire to restore or retrieve a sense of manhood to which they feel entitled.

And they're unmistakably white. Former MSNBC political show host Keith Olbermann called the Tea Party the "White People's Party," while Jon Stewart hailed it as "a festival of whites." It's ironic, since the election of Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States, was meant to suggest that America was becoming a "post-racial" society. Instead of the predicted "Bradley effect"- in which white voters told pollsters that they were going to vote for Mayor Tom Bradley of Los Angeles, but then, in the privacy of the voting booth, decided they just could not pull the lever for a black man - there was the "Obama effect," in which more people ended up voting for Obama than told pollsters that they would and afterward congratulated themselves on having transcended racism. (I call this "premature self-congratulation.")

But Obama's election and reelection have actually elicited the most viciously racist public discourse - only thinly veiled behind well-worn code words - in which Tea Partiers and other activists shout racial epithets at elected members of Congress, and half of those partiers believe that Obama has usurped the presidency, having been born outside the United States. Maybe we should call this version of the backlash the "reverse Bradley effect" - having now declared ourselves post-racial, suddenly white people have given themselves more permission to express deep-seated racism. It's as if having a specific target for their rage enables their racism, because they have already congratulated themselves for not believing those racial slurs about "all of them."

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5866) 11 months ago

And you'd see the same thing at all the other rallies across the country, rallies where newly formed groups of mostly white men evoke the spirit of the American Revolution - Minutemen, Patriots, Tea Party - to express their contemporary rage at immigrants, health care, and taxation. Populist movements have swept across America before - most notably at the turn of the last century, with similar contradictory politics, a combination of agrarian socialism and racist nativism. Then, as now, populism combined anti-Wall Street sentiment and anti-immigrant sentiment; together, they fueled an agrarian anger at their "enabling" government bureaucrats. Populisms are always contradictory, because populism is more an emotion than it is an ideology. And that emotion is anger.

Copyright 2013 by Michael Kimmel.

[-] 0 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

Kind of like the people playing "knockout"?

[-] -2 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

This author could use a course in editing as that article is all over the place.

The bigger question is how are we going to pay for all of these people who want social security, healthcare, food and housing? There aren't enough people paying taxes to cover all of these expenses so what is your proposal? Maybe we should turn to socialism where all income goes to the government?

[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5866) 11 months ago

Basic Income http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basic_income

The Union National Cooperative Employment Service http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-cooperative-union/

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

Tax the rich

That should be evident.

Lift the cap on SS contributions and "means test" for maximum benefits.

Oh yeah, and throw CU out the door it never should have been allowed in, never to return.

There's 3. More could be added if you like.

[-] -2 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

Why tax the rich, why not move to a system where all money goes to the government and they provide all of our necessities? Just taxing the rich doesn't solve the problem, does it?

No idea who or what CU is.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

Taxing the rich was in answer to your original question.

Taxing the poor and middle class hasn't worked either, unless you're one of those "small government" advocates.

YES! Taxing them to point where it is no longer profitable to buy our government, or anyone else's for that matter, is the aim.

So yep, it just might cure most of what ails us. It's worth a try anyway.

You skipped over the SS cure.

If you don't know what CU ( Citizens United) is? One must wonder where you've been for the last several years.

[-] 0 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

Mathematically, taxing just the rich doesn't solve the problem as even if we took 100% of their money we wouldn't be able to fund the budget.

Why worry about SS if we go to a system where all revenue goes to the government. Isn't this the best solution.

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

In a nutshell, If they were being taxed like pre-Reagan era, the debt would completely manageable. But, since we let the freeee ride continue so loooooonnnnggggggg, it would be tougher to get it under control. But, let's not forget corporate taxes as well, (who also pay well under than what they report). Watch 'We're Not Broke' for more.

[-] -2 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

Total all government spending for '14 is 6.5 trillion. We obviously don't produce enough income to cover that. The only way to cover that much spending is to confiscate all wealth and have the government control it.

Spending is much higher today than it was in pre-Reagan era so that is not the answer.

[-] 3 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

You seem to subtly be suggesting that this a spending problem only!!..when in fact it is a revenue and a priority problem mostly. The pie is big enough. It's just the corrupt elite are pigging out with tablepoons

Questions On Spending

How much of that 6.5 trillion went towards a bloated military that is infamous for unaccountable spending, and to our never ending wars for hegemony?

How much of that spending went towards quantitive easing and other big-bank bailout schemes?

Then.... why has the term 'government waste & largess' become synonymous only with social programs that benefit people in need ....as opposed to our wasteful military spending and our socialistic banking system?

Questions On Revenue

How much more revenue would we have in the coffers if capital gains were taxed at a higher rate, or if we upped the cap on SS income deductions, or if there was a financial transaction tax?

Lastly (for now) how much more revenue could we pull in if corporations paid their fair share of taxes?

Occupy is about resetting our priorities that have been twisted and rigged by a neoliberal system for nearly 40 years.

[-] -1 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

While your comments are correct it doesn't fix the problem of not enough revenue. The only way we are going to take care of all of the expenditures is to move to a system where all assets are controlled by the State.

If all we are going to do is reset priorities then we will not have enough revenue to cover all of the expenses.

[-] 1 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

The solutions to the problems were in my response. You chose to ignore them, especially the "revenue" end of it..

When we "reset priorities," we also reset the money allocated to them, ie. less money spent on wasteful miltary spending, QE & the like = more money available for social spending, including jobs which benefit far more people on the whole.

I think I'm getting your drift though, 'We better just be grateful for what we have & just give it a little tweak.... 'cause we don't want to take any chances in getting caught in a rip current in the Black Sea, do we?'

I can see that Occupy has graduated to the next more sophisticated echelon of trolls. Now that is a postive development.

[-] -1 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

Your solutions don't produce enough revenue to take care of all of our people.

[-] 2 points by prospector22 (185) from Brooklyn, NY 11 months ago

After rereading all the exchanges you have had with me and other posters on here, I realize that you have very little idea of what 'socialism' means. You can google it yourself though as then it will have more of an impact on you. Yes though, some form of socialism would indeed be much more preferable to the crony captalism that we now have that perpetuates cruelty to the people of the World.

Your phraseology and the defeatism that is taken from it, is either born out of ignorance, or as I suspect out of an agenda for disruption on this forum.

Example 1 - "The only way we are going to take care of all the expenditures is to move to a system where all assets are controlled by the state."

Example 2. - "The only way to cover that much spending is to confiscate all wealth and have the government control it."

Example 3 - "Maybe we should turn to socialism where all income goes to the government?"

And finally Example 4 - "Why tax the rich, why not move to a system where all money goes to the government and they provide all our necessities."

Most enlightened people who happen to be of the liberal pursuasion are able to take "care" of themselves quite well as evidenced by the higher incomes in blue states. All of your statements are idiotic, provocactive and belittling to the noble struggle for justice and a humane system of government that we have embarked on.

At best, you are a naive defeatist, but once again your straw man strategy suggests something more insidious and nefarious to Occupy.

Even so, Happy Thanksgiving 2 U and yours

[-] -1 points by Tanakasan (-7) 10 months ago

You refuse to come up with a solution that works. There is no way we can pay for all of our expenditures by just taxing the rich. So how are we going to do it.

Since you feel that you are so enlightened, maybe you can grace us with real ideas or maybe you have never balanced revenues and expenditures.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

How about you provide a time scale for yours?

How long do you project the full change over will take?

100 years? 200?

In the meantime, prospector22's suggestions are tangible steps in the correct direction.

Will you be running for office any time soon?

You should get started. Time's 'a' wastin'.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125172113.htm

[-] -2 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

The time scale can be immediate. The President could have passed them in his first term when he had a Democratic Congress.

Prospector's suggestions don't do anything. Socialism is the answer. I am seeing now that you folks here don't want the real answer.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 10 months ago

Where's this real answer you speak of?

You didn't really answer the question.

Have ever heard of FLAKESnews?

Perhaps you are reacting for their "wish fulfillment"?

In that case you will have to add in more than just socialism.

Besides, there is FULL ON tyranny in the States that you have not even mentioned.

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[-] 0 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

Yes, and most of that astronomic spending started with Reagan as well. Percentage-wise, most of the budget has not changed. In key areas like military and healthcare, it has changed dramatically. Then, there's the interest. I still suggest the video. I don't see how you can look at the debt pre-Reagan and post-Reagan and say it's not the answer. It's right there in front of your face. Quit crossing your eyes.

[-] -2 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

It still won't pay for all of the expenditures we need. How can we provide every American a house, healthcare, a vacation and retirement? The only way to do it is to move to a pure socialistic system.

Revenue has averaged 18% of GDP while spending is at 21% of GDP so this is not the answer. Socialism is.

[-] 0 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

Well, I don't know that we need to go that far. What you do with budgets is spend where spending is needed. Medical costs need looking into. That's a cost that has risen well above the crowd and frankly, I haven't seen any increase in quality. It's like paying for a Porsche and still getting a Pinto. Also, remove ALL methods by which corporations escape taxation. Let them quit whining about 35% and actually pay it. Then they can whine. When you create a more level playing field, more people want to play. Right now, we're beholden to corporate governance. and it's clear it's not working for most of us.

[-] -1 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

I disagree. If what OWS is saying that we should provide, housing, food, health care, vacation time, and retirement for all of our people then the only way that works is a socialist system. Just taxing people and corporations different rates will not eliminate one group doing better than other groups.

[-] 1 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

well, that's OK. I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm pointing out why capitalism is failing. I was taught that you pay a fair price for a fair product. When a pair of Levi's was made in the U.S., the profit margin was most likely under 100%. But, when you can make Levi's for pennies on the dollar and still sell them for $30.00, you create exponentially unfair margins that create exponentially unfair incomes and expenditures. It then creates companies that make lotsa cash despite their managerial inefficiencies When you have multiple exponential inefficiencies then you create a system with a whole lot more losers than winners. We should make our own clothes. China should make their own clothes. Salvador should make their own clothes. To the extent that international trade is needed, it should be done fairly. Capitalism, and probably Socialism, would both work much better when fairness is exercised. It's the bed fellows and old boys in both systems that create the massive incompetence and unfairness.

[-] 0 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

I don't disagree with your fairness argument however this idea would leave it up to somebody to decide what is fair. There will still be inefficiencies that people will take advantage of. The only answer is to have the State take control of all producing assets and pay everybody the same wage.

I have yet to see or hear anybody else come up with another answer that actually works.

[-] -1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

That's what CATO says, but I'm more than willing to give it a try.

After all, they used their teabagge(R)'s to tax the fuck out of me and I'm worth a whole lot less than the Walton's.

So if it's good for my goose, it would be even better for their gander.

Did you find out about CU yet?

[-] -1 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

I am not sure what CATO is. I am just looking at the Budgeting Office data. I am not here to argue with you, just come up with ideas.

Yes, I read up on Citizens United and the Supreme Court ruling. I don't know enough law to comment.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

Hmmmmm, what "idea" is that and how do you plan to implement it?

If what you say about taxes is true, then why did the teabagge(R)s raise mine?

Keep reading on CU, there's not that much to know other than it allows anyone from anywhere to purchase whoever or whatever laws it wants.

It is democracy by dollar.

[-] -1 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

As I said above, the only way to ensure that there are no differences in incomes and wealth is to have a controlling organization at the top distribute these assets. We should move to a socialistic system as nothing else works.

The Citizens United decision will not matter when we have a system where the government provides every person an education, a house, health care, vacations, and retirement.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

Sounds great........:)

In what city will you be starting your election campaign?

[-] -2 points by Tanakasan (-7) 11 months ago

I think we need to start here with the Occupy Movement. There just seems to be complaining here with no message.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 11 months ago

You misunderstand.

I want to vote for you, if possible.

That city council woman in Seattle needs more like her in office, and so do we.

What district are you running for office in and what office are you running for?

Your message is small and focused and issue free.

So where are you running for office?

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[-] -3 points by lindaloo (-13) 11 months ago

Can you talk about a 21st century socialist paradise that the US could emulate? Sound like a terrific idea

[-] 0 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

I'd settle for Germany.

[+] -6 points by sharmag (-115) 11 months ago

The rich earned their money. People with entitlements get it for free.

[-] 0 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

Plato said that no one at the top of the scale should ever earn more than 20 times that of people on the bottom. If that were the case, I'd put more stock in your assertion. Right now, a CEO gets paid more for taking a shit than his lowest worker gets for an entire year. So, uh, 'NO', they don't earn it. They TAKE it.

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[-] -2 points by sharmag (-115) 11 months ago

You probably don't have any business management experience. CEOs are under immense pressure by the financial and business community, not to mention their shareholders, to perform. Their job is very hard and they are far more skilled and intelligent than the lowest worker. They don't take it, the board of the company sets their compensation. You obviously don't have knowledge of corporate structure either then. Besides, the fact that you mention CEOs when we talk about the rich is very ignorant. Most billionaires are wealthy because they are owners or big shareholders of companies, not for being an executive.

[-] 0 points by nazihunter (215) 11 months ago

CEO compensation is a well-documented subject. I can't think of many jobs where you're not under pressure to perform. I hope that CEOs are more intelligent than their lowest-skilled workers. CEOs, billionaires, shareholders...i won' mince. Give me a few examples.

[-] -2 points by sharmag (-115) 11 months ago

There are big differences between those. CEOs work for shareholders after all. Also, CEOs are under far more pressure than basically any other worker.