Economic Democracy Reduces Poverty

Elizabeth WarrenWhen I hear Elizabeth Warren explain to an audience that no one makes a fortune in America all on their own, I can’t help but wonder why it has taken so long for this argument to surface. Warren praises those who build factories and employ workers, but she reminds entrepreneurs that they did so using an infrastructure paid for by taxpayers and that the workers they hire were also educated with taxpayer money, not to mention the legal system that makes business possible.

When a person purchases a turnkey business, say a fast-food franchise, they pay a percentage of gross income to the company headquarters that put the package together. A progressive income tax is fundamentally a franchise fee on public investment, and those whose success reaches the stratosphere of financial reward should take pride in paying it.

The complex moral concern at the core of this argument is precisely the reason I don’t want as president of the United States a person who claims primarily to be a businessman or businesswoman. The federal government is not a business; it’s much more important than a business on too many levels to list. That’s why America isn’t a large corporation, although I expect some people wish it were.

I don’t want a president whose fundamental orientation toward life is the business model. Life beyond business is what makes living truly worthwhile, and our species has lived for thousands of years with many divergent forms of economic exchange. What we have today, for all practical purposes, is new and is still being tested, and for a large percentage of our population, it is failing because it is rigged by the winners.

Business depends upon efficiency and the ability to operate at a profit. While these attributes are certainly important to government, they are very often beside the point of what government must accomplish. First off, many of the biological forces that impel and drive the actions of human beings are neither profitable nor efficient. Having children is one glaring example. Raising children is not efficient, and it’s certainly not profitable. War is not in any sense efficient, although for some, it is profitable.

Health insurance is another matter which, in my view, leaves no room for profit when that profit depends upon denying citizens needed medical treatment. The government has many functions that are incompatible with profit. The infrastructure we all depend on daily as we go about our lives is a product of government effort, as is the general maintenance required to keep it functioning.

Extremely low wages do not reflect the real worth of the job for which they are paid. Low wages are expressions of power, namely a lack of it. Having a substantial population of working poor people is a surefire way to avoid real democracy

It’s not uncommon to hear our economic system compared to a religion in which free-market zealots qualify as prophets. And it’s not surprising that so many people assume there is something divinely inspired about capitalism. The very familiarity of what we grow up with can assume a religious or spiritual role. We internalize a sense of reverence for our economic system simply because our whole emotional selves are caught up in the experience, whether our familiarity is positive or negative, or whether we are rich or poor. You’ve only to listen to champions of laissez faire capitalism to appreciate their fervent belief in the system’s divine worth.

But the truth of the matter is that many aspects of our current economic system are arbitrary, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that some of them are corrupt. Champions of status quo economics use the word freedom lavishly as a defense for their actions, regardless of the financial or legal advantage they have lobbied into law for themselves. But are people really free who are engaged in seemingly meaningless jobs that someone must do but that don’t pay a living wage? Are they free if they can’t go elsewhere because they will lose their health insurance, even though it offers pitiful coverage to begin with?

In his book Land of Desire: Merchants, Power, and the Rise of a New American Culture William Leach pointed out that the consumer capitalism we take for granted may have been “among the most nonconsensual public cultures ever created,” because it was put in place by elite commercial groups who were in the right position at the right time. People learn to think a system is fair simply because they have become used to it over a long period of time. The same phenomenon causes people to learn to judge themselves by standards they do not even agree with but apply habitually. For example, they may not think they belong to an inferior class or race, but unconsciously they may feel as though they do because they’ve internalized a cultural prejudice simply from long-term exposure. Our economic system may indeed be powerful, it but suffers egregious inequities.

The number of possible methods for conducting our economic business is staggering, and yet we tend to think our current system is the only practical way forward. Imagine following the advice of Silvo Gessel, a merchant of Germany and Argentina, who argued in 1890 that you could move far more goods by reversing the practice of interest payment on capital principle. Gessel suggested that instead of paying interest to those who held onto money, citizens should instead pay a circulation fee for hanging onto it, thus changing private gain to public profit.

In her book Interest and Inflation Free Money: Creating an Exchange Medium That Works for Everybody and Protects the Earth
German author Margrit Kennedy suggests that modifications to a system like the one Gessel advocated could go much further in bringing about social justice than any kind of government aid program to help the poor. Methods like these can result in having currency circulate through an economy hundreds of times instead of 21 to 25 times, as is normally the case. Kennedy’s book provides the details necessary to put a program like this into action.

Economic Democracy Reduces PovertyOr, imagine a system with two kinds of currency: one for needs and one for wants. The first to be available electronically; the latter would be common currency like what we have now, but the former would expire if not used in a specified amount of time. For another example, Fareed Zakaria suggested a value-added tax awhile back that would eliminate the federal income tax for most Americans while balancing the budget over time. My point is that an economic system can be rigged for fairness and equitable distribution just as easily as it can to give an advantage to greed.

Extremely low wages do not reflect the real worth of the job for which they are paid. Low wages are expressions of power, namely a lack of it. Having a substantial population of working poor people is a surefire way to avoid real democracy, because it ensures that the people with the most to gain are too busy just scraping by to protest. Moreover, they are very likely to lack the education they need to articulate their unfair disadvantage effectively. This is true, of course, up to a point: revolution.

Here is one quick way out of our current economic slide:

  • Take the cap off of Social Security.
  •  Collect Social Security taxes on all earnings.
  •  Roll back the retirement age to 65.

Increase the amount of the monthly Social Security benefit so that each recipient receives an income near the top of today’s maximum Social Security payout, regardless of how much they paid in. People who have worked all of their lives at low wages deserve a dividend for having made life easier for those who have earned more and benefited from the low prices of the goods and services that the low wages made possible.

This may seem inefficient. It may not be considered good business. But as a foundation for a just society it is much more important than the business of business, period. It would have the distinction of making America a great country. It would clear the way for thousands of younger workers to enter the workforce while making it possible for others to retire. It would, in effect, make freedom ring.

In a society where all of the rules of business are made by those who reap the greatest rewards from the results, there has to be a method of providing equity for everyone else or there can be no common good or common ground. Call it the redistribution of wealth if you wish, but I prefer a just distribution of wealth, which is precisely what it is. Without a method of establishing and maintaining a moral foundation of equity in a society rigged by the winners, an incessant emphasis on the notion of freedom is at best little more than fraudulent propaganda and at worst a seething contempt born of mortal insecurity and the existential angst that comes with the human condition.

Economic Democracy Reduces Poverty

Charles Hayes

Providing a liberal or existential education to the population at large is a reasonable and necessary remedy for this situation. It is the only hope we have of getting citizens to understand the complexity of human behavior and how easily we are turned against one another as a tool of business or when confronting any special-interest group with an agenda. On the one hand, we need to create jobs for full employment, and on the other hand, we would be much better off environmentally and socially if many of the jobs created were left undone or unperformed. It takes a great deal more than business savvy to create a viable democratic civilization.

Charles Hayes
Self-University

Comments

  1. Ray Bishop says

    Charles you are as young as the frog who keeps jumping and I feel confidant your contributions inspired many to jump a little higher. Don’t be bothered by the rest as the saying goes “you can give the frog the idea but you can’t make him jump if he is numbed by the heat”.

  2. Jack says

    Elizabeth Warren is right. People who become wealthy in this country do so because the middle class creates and pays for the stability that allows and facilitates wealth accumulation. But that doesn’t mean we should take some people’s earned income and give it to others who can’t or won’t work. Setting aside the problem of wealth creating wealth (rich people get richer without having to work), we have to be aware of the opposite dynamic, which is that a welfare society provides incentive to not be productive.

    It’s perfectly reasonable to tax investors and the super rich in order to pay for the orderly society that makes possible their increase in wealth. But those funds should pay for the kinds of things that keep society functioning: roads, infrastructure, governmental functions that protect the populace and enhance communities, such as the EPA, National Parks, FDA, national security, etc.

    The problem is that liberals and our Democrats always want to force everyone who works for a living to pay for our massive welfare society. (Both the repubs and the dems force us to pay for corporate welfare, but that’s another problem.) The resulting intergenerational welfare cycle is that millions of working people look around at their neighbors who are deliberately refusing to work and choosing to suck off the public teat, and they go vote for Republicans in a desperate attempt to limit the cost and force accountability. Neither solution works, because our Republican elected leaders cheat us as well.

    What we need to do is to alleviate the burden on the working and middle classes by taxing the rich more. But we also need to decimate our current welfare system. Why are we paying people’s rent for decades? We don’t want people to die, but do we have to make them so comfortable on welfare that they deliberately choose to remain (or appear to remain) poor? HEAP was supposedly created to prevent the elderly and poor from freezing, but now we’re paying for air conditioning for young people who could certainly work for a living (or declare the money they’re making under the table). Look around you! How many people on welfare refuse to get married so they can appear to be poor, single parents? How many welfare recipients can somehow still afford cable TV, cigarettes, alcohol and drugs? This is what is maddening to Americans who are willing to work for a living – seeing their neighbors cheat the system. We don’t have to make it quite so comfortable to be poor in America. I’d rather fund college educations for everyone than pay for rent and utilities so the “poor” can spend their own money on drugs, cigarettes and nice cars.

    We’re a rich nation; our citizens shouldn’t be at risk for death on the streets. But we can help people without getting ripped off, which is something working stiffs would actually support. Section 8 should be eliminated, and people should be offered small dormitory rooms with survivable temperatures and access to food, but with a requirement that they stay drug and alcohol free and do their share of work maintaining communal living facilities, and as well. Building these facilities will provide government funded employment across the country. Give everyone free education in public universities, but require that all students work to support those institutions, including the rich if they attend. If the rich don’t want to take their turn cooking and cleaning, they can attend a private college instead. Like the kibbutz model, people create a more stable society when they’re engaged and participating in its ongoing development.

    This is just one way to reverse the massive dependency on welfare that drives half our electorate to vote for right wing candidates. I’m sure if we reign in the left wing’s naïve welfare mentality, we can come up with solutions that support most of our population without “giving away the house” with welfare programs.

    Ideas anyone?

    • says

      I’m not unsympathetic with your point of view. But things are a bit more complicated than what you portray. I think what most progressive want is an equitable society, period. You write about the middle class, but mention nothing about the working poor. In my view any job that needs doing requires a living wage or it is a task better left undone. I’m old enough to remember fifty years ago when a job at the corner gas station paid enough to support a family. Had that equity not been siphoned away by special interests we would not be having this conversation.

      • Ryder says

        Equitable means that if you don’t work, or choose work that is not valued by anyone (like producing bad art), and instead simply consume, then you should “fall behind”…. when compared to those that choose to consume less, and work more productivly.

        Equitable means that to those that take risks, and put their savings on the line to create something… the rewards are greater than to those that play it safe, and simply trade their labor for a steady income so that they can become consumers.

        Equality of outcomes is only possible when people have nothing. The equal sharing of misery.

        Since the wealthiest Americans pay the vast bulk of taxes…. The wealthy have built the infrastructure in America where it has been funded by taxes… And constructed it outright in the case of things like the cell phone infrastructure, optical data infrastructure… air travel and freight, alternative energy, trucking, package delivery, radio and television communications and on and on.

        The users of said infrastructure often pay for its expansion and maintenance directly…. Fees to operate trucking on public roads… radio and tv licensing, etc.

          • Ryder says

            How can you give a wage to people that don’t work? Or people that work for themselves. Did Steve Jobs make wages?

            Equitable infers equation…. One side balanced with another… When you say it is just the wage side, ignoring the other side of the equation…. Then you are already operating outside the bounds of equity….

            In othe words, your position makes no semantical or reasoned sense.

            To make matters worse, “living wage” has no working definition. If I were to throw out several different numbers to you and people that believe as you do, you would not agree which “wages” are “living” and which are not.

            $5 an hour? $10? $11.75 $15?

            You don’t know, and neither does anybody else….

            But probably, a “living wage” is always a little more than what they are getting now.

            When you always want more, isn’t that the definition of greed?

            And you can stop with the insults any time.

            • says

              Coming up with a living wage is not rocket science, although I suspect getting past conservative talking points is. You haven’t refuted the gist of my essay you just keep changing the subject with the usual talking points. We have a huge imbalance of power in this country and throughout the world. Moreover, there is no such thing as a free market, never has been and never will be. Fifty years ago we had enough equity built into the system that most jobs paid a living wage. Today they don’t and it’s not because of the free market, it’s because of greed.

            • says

              I apologize if my comments have offended you. No doubt my age is showing. I have great difficulty in keeping my temper when I’m reminded of what has occurred during my lifetime. Like the frog in a pot of water slow to boil we have become a society that has become used to the notion that big companies losing money routinely reward their executives with hundreds of millions of dollars while we have people complaining that people working at below poverty wages would likely never be satisfied with what they are paid. The word earn is used very deceptively today and it’s no wonder the frog is cooked before he has a chance to jump out of the pot.

            • Ryder says

              Charles, I challenge you to locate any set of conservative “talking points” on the web anywhere… that could be the source of what I’ve just said. You’re just making noise. I don’t do talking points, and wouldn’t know where to find them if I wanted to. And I’m fairly certain that there *aren’t* any covering what I just said because I deal almost exclusively with original thought.

              Somehow I doubt that you spend *any* time looking through “conservative talking points” (why would you? what a horrid waste of time), and are simply saying it in order to marginalize my points without having to take them on directly (in other words, intellectually dishonest).

              Again, I challenge you to produce a link to any such talking points.

              I’ll wait.

            • says

              Talking points is really the wrong way to characterize it. What I’m talking about is really the Looney Tunes Ideology that everything private is good and everything public is bad. It’s a residue of Objectivism which is the work of a kook, but has great appeal to egotists and people who know very little about cause and effect.

            • Ryder says

              Tell me about cause and effect.

              What has been the effect of progressive attempts to end poverty? All we had to do was “break the cycle of poverty”, which is something you certainly must be familiar with given you age. Has it been broken? No… numerous generations… having consumed TRILLIONS of dollars of government mandated “charity” have DECIMATED black America… which is not only STILL impoverished, but is now trapped in poverty AND government dependency… having lost it’s pride… black America has chosen to stop raising future generations in a complete household.

              The KKK could not have devised a more horrific scenario than that delivered, at great expense, by progressives.

              Public education is owned by the progressive left… the teachers unions… the administrations… the curriculum… all of it, firmly controlled by the progressive left for decades now… spending at soaring heights when compared to other nations… with declining results and a thirst for even still more money… Progressives have turned public schools into a system for the ADULTS working in education, as opposed to the students inside it.

              SS is literally a Ponzi scheme… by definition (look it up, if you dare). Anyone doing such a thing in private spheres would be sent to prison… yet the government can do it by design…

              The government long ago became the primary player in home mortgages… well before the housing market collapse… playing the key role in the housing bubble that eventually imploded… Fannie and Freddie (both created by Congress) own even more of the housing market than before the collapse.

              The list of examples of KNOWN progressive failures is so long it literally takes books to catalog.

              When the US was a backwater colony… some very brilliant and studied men fought for our freedom and created for the first time in the history of man a nation founded on the rights of the individual granted by nature… outside the reach of man, and a government that had NO power other than what little was explicitly given it.

              This was the most radical and progressive idea ever in the history of nations… self government and natural rights.

              Fast forward a couple hundred years…

              Progressives want to turn back the clock on the most powerful nation to ever exist… expanding the power of government into all aspects of personal life… and to move back to failed socialist models responsible for murder on a massive scale, all characterized by centralized power in government…

              Imaging the irony in that… conservatives working to conserve the most progressive and successful idea in human history… and “progressives” trying to push us back to powerful central government… the key agent in unimaginable levels of human suffering.

              I know cause and effect very well, my friend. Tell me what progressives predicted the housing collapse? Give me a link… I can send you SEVERAL links of conservatives predicting the housing collapse many years in advance with very specific details.

              You are outgunned daddy-o.

            • says

              You continue to make my point. This stuff sounds like something right out of Beck University. You prove repeatedly that you don’t know what you are talking about. But in Beck University you could get tenure. That black America chose to stop raising children in a complete household is the most ridiculous thing you’ve come up with yet. The American middle class was a purposeful effort put in place with a huge government investment. Yahoos that use the term daddy-o has been trying to dismantle it ever since.

      • Jack says

        Charles says:
        “…things are a bit more complicated than what you portray. I think what most progressive want is an equitable society, period. You write about the middle class, but mention nothing about the working poor.”

        I AM in the working poor. I make minimum pay, if I’m lucky. I work with illegal aliens who make more than me because they’re younger, and every one of them has children with girlfriends who live in Section 8 housing. They won’t marry the mothers of their kids because she’d lose her welfare “benefits.” The adults are illegal aliens, but the kids are “instant citizens” by virtue of their parents illegally living in this country. These kids bring their law-breaking parents not just Section 8 housing, but free furniture, free food, free healthcare, free utilities via HEAP, and any other social service they want. The mothers don’t even bother to work. Why should they? They have their housing and living expenses paid by America’s taxpayers, and the father of their children bringing in plenty of under-the-table cash for cigarettes, drugs alcohol, expensive clothes, TV and other entertainment packages. What’s equitable about people from other countries coming here illegally and living off those of us willing to work and pay taxes? Even among legal citizens, abuse of social services is rampant. We’ve created intergenerational welfare systems that have resulted in a breakdown of the family unit. Why get married when you can get more money for pretending to be a single parent?

        We need to stop corporate welfare, and we need to wrest control of our government back from the banksters and plutocrats who buy off our politicians. But to do so, liberals need to realize they’ve created non-sustainable welfare systems that do NOT help our society. We’re encouraging deliberate self impoverishment, we’re offering incentive for foreigners to break into our country and have babies, and, most importantly, we’re driving moderates to vote for right wing politicians. How is that working for us?

        Sure, life is complicated; so are politics and economics. But c’mon Charles, look around you. How did Reagan, Nixon, Bush & Bush II garner so much electoral support from moderates? They were mad that progressives and liberals refuse to recognize the abject failure of the welfare society, and have no intention of stopping their onslaught against the working and middle classes.

        If we stopped giving away the house to the cheaters and the deliberately impoverished, if progressives stopped being so damn naïve about welfare, we’d gain the support of moderates and independent voters, and finally have a chance to take back our government from the plutocrats that are destroying us all.

        Or we can spend the next 10-20 years arguing about how complicated it is, and tell ourselves we’re being “nice” to those poor illegal alien kids who just want the Dream Act so they can “earn” citizenship by bumping American citizens out of university seats (and dollars), and of course we can convince ourselves that welfare REALLY DOES WORK, even if it means paying someone’s rent for 30 years while they get to spend their own money on cigarettes, drugs and alcohol… Yeah, right, that’s why moderates think liberals are stupid.

  3. Ryder says

    “When I hear senate candidate Elizabeth Warren explain to an audience that no one makes a fortune in America all on their own, I can’t help but wonder why it has taken so long for this argument to surface. ”

    It may be more of a hearing issue…

    This idea is something that conservatives understand in the infancy of their intellectual lives. A basic, structured society is necessary for a sound and healthy economy. This means that society needs to be ordered to some extent, and toward that end we have one fork of civilization: Do all that you agree to do. In other words, contract law.

    This is where a free people can agree to trade anything they have for another thing…. including their time, expertise, and muscle.

    It also requires a moral and ethical society… where people most often *don’t* try to steal the property of others, and respect the rights of fellow citizens.

    Almost all taxes are paid by the wealthy… our tax code has seen to that. Nearly 50% of Americans pay no income taxes at all…. Our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world.

    What bothers me most about this article is where Mr. Hayes equates America to the Federal Government. This is horrendous, and is a common mistake that progressives make. Example: when progressives say: “Society should help the homeless”… they don’t actually mean that. They mean that the government, not society, should help the homeless. To non-progressives, society helping the homeless is about a social value where *individuals* do good deeds to help those in need. To progressives, “we” or “society” always means government. This is of course a bastardization of the term, but that is what is meant.

    It further bothers me that Mr. Hayes believes America to be a democracy… for certainly it is not… and very much by design. The founders LOATHED democracies… and the word never appears in our founding documents. A democracy, it has been said, is when two wolves and a sheep vote on what’s for dinner.

    What Mr. Hayes misses in the rest of his article is the simple fact that his solution is pure Marxism…. from those who can, to those who need… and as plain fact shows, that path never lays a solid foundation, and instead creates a society in decay and impoverishment that is so painful that people in those countries risk their lives every day to try to get to the United States.

    No thinking person should entertain for even a brief moment the notion that taking from the productive to give to the non-productive is a path to prosperity. All countries that attempt this on any large scale are doomed… and as we have headed down that path to an ever increasing extent, you will notice that our debt has increased in concert, and our prosperity has weakened.

    In other civilizations, there is no such thing as becoming non-productive… no such thing as “retirement’ If you were alive, you worked, and would strive to be of use your entire life.

    That Mr. Hayes thinks that people should PLAN to be non-productive, and be paid for it, especially when such generations voted for leaders that have sent us to a hellish nightmare of debt, is bizarre in the extreme.

    There is only one way to dig yourself out of a hole like this. Work. Work very, very, very hard…

    These pitiful claims on the wealth you see around you… to be taken by force for your benefit, is an old and ugly idea that should have died after America’s rapid ascension from a backwater British colony, to the greatest super-power the world has ever known in under 200 years…. especially an economic power… where the riches of the nation are so vast that even the poor are fat…. never having known a day of hunger in their lives with astoundingly few exceptions.

    No… Mr. Hayes is having to try…. very hard… to twist history and reason to the breaking point, where we would forget that we are the most prosperous nation to ever exist… a nation founded on the freedom to succeed or to fail, and the liberty to act at will, without the consent of another, secure in property and all natural freedoms and rights.

    There are countries that behave as Mr. Hayes hopes America to be… and I think for educational purposes, he should live in such a nation, and then get back to us.

    • says

      You have one thing almost right. Social conservatism and intellectual infancy are one and the same. When you use the word earn you need to use italics, bold, underline, all caps, quotation marks, and a weird font. You folks can’t tell the word earning from looting.

    • Julie Thomas says

      Ryder says There are countries that behave as Mr. Hayes hopes America to be… and I think for educational purposes, he should live in such a nation, and then get back to us.”

      I wonder what countries you are referring to here Ryder. I am from Australia where it is not paradise but things seem a lot better for us than they are in your freedom loving country. LOL It seems that there is an awful lot of ignorance in your country about the rest of the world. I actually read a post from warning people that Australia didn’t have soft toilet paper!

      But we do have a heath care system that looks after all of us and despite our governments of both left and right having fallen for the con that ‘the market will provide” we have managed to keep enough of our state managed social security systems so that we have far fewer problems than you seem to have.

      I believe that Sweden, that hotbed of socialism, is also doing well socially and economically.

      Keep your freedom and individualism and your delusion that any one of you can become president Hahahahaha. We are happy with our ‘socialism’, our gun controls, and our security; do you know what the crime rates are in our respective countries? Maybe all that self-reliance you worship, doesn’t breed good honest peoples eh? Maybe people need to accept that we all have an obligation to each other and that old socialist adage; from each according to their ability, to each according to their means, is worth understanding?

      • Ryder says

        Cuba, N. Korea, China, Venezuela, Syria, Laos, Zambia, Turkmenistan…

        Sweden is a constitutional monarchy…

        The economic strength of Sweden is that they are an engineering centered manufacturing nation… in other words, they don’t hate industry like the political left in the US does. Our problems stem from our use of massive socialized programs, and a hatred of industry that drives the highest corporate tax rates in the world and a highly aggressive legal environment within which they must operate. Our border with Mexico is keeping our agriculture industry in the stone age, where field workers pick food like slaves used to pick cotton… Your wine industry, on the other hand, is essentially all mechanized, with some of the best harvesting equipment on the planed manufactured there. Were you bordered with Mexico and were still picking your food with manual labor, you might not be doing so well… not to mention the Mexican gangs and drug cartels that plague our SW, not to mention the crippled schools that are tasked with somehow educating many millions of children who’s parents are not here legally, and don’t speak English… and who’s presence in the classroom hold back the net progress of the entire class while they try to play “catch up” with these children.

        And you are mistaken if you believe that the US is a freedom loving country… on the contrary, much political unrest exists in the US specifically because of the encroachments on freedom by government and the large socialist mechanisms already in place… Your entire Federal budget is roughly half of just ONE of our social programs (Medicare). If we cut our Medicare by 50%, we could literally run your entire federal infrastructure.

        You say “keep your freedom”. How little you seem to know. Australia ranked third on the WSJ’s Index of Economic Freedom, while the US ranked 9th, and has consistently ranked higher than the US.

        I think Australia is a great place… and one of those reasons is that it has a modern agriculture infrastructure that is responsible for a massive part of your economic success, especially in exports, and second, your high rankings in economic freedom.

        I suggest you learn from where Australia’s success springs, so that you don’t lose it like we are. If you want to fall behind… crack down on business… sue the hell out of them, slap them with the highest corporate tax rates in the world (our top corporate rates are THREE TIMES what yours are… that’s right… 300%)… then build massive social programs that consume a third of your GDP… and soon you will experience what we are living in today.

        • Julie Thomas says

          Well, I’m not sure what your point is. I don’t know a lot about our economy, our benign government looks after that for us and I don’t have to worry much, but I’m fairly sure that our economic pundits attribute our success to our commodities.

          We are selling the farm for our economic success and it depends on China. The biggest political fight we have at the moment is about putting a carbon price on emissions and the right is losing.

          I suggest that our real success springs from our commitment to the values of looking after the unfortunate and being ‘fair’ to people. I think we have a different culture to yours and our culture finds it easier to understand that your use of ‘freedom’ is a flawed and self-serving version and that the individual is nothing without the other.

          The answer is not less tax; it’s more understanding of the real causes of your problems. We will never allow any 1% to take us for everything.

          • Ryder says

            There is no such thing as the 1%. It is a line invented from thin air in order to define the terms of class warfare. Nothing more. It could have just as easily been drawn at 2%, 5%…. Wherever.

            And there is no “they”… The top 1% is not a fixed group of people. On day Barack Obama isn’t in the top 1%, then the next day he is. It is a constantly changing group…

            And the notion that this 1%, whoever they are, are “taking” is a foolish notion.

            Tell me, where is all of this wealth that the one percent “have” right now?

            Do you think they put it on their beds and roll around in it?

            I tell you this: they don’t have it. I do (among others). Until you come to grips with the naked truth about precisely where this 1% wealth IS, then you will never understand the absurdity of the idea that “they” have taken it…

            To the extent that some wealth is ill gotten, for certainly this happens in every land throughout time, most all of this wealth is currently collected through mechanisms of powerful government…. Where the wealthy and connected use these back door means to simply have money taken by government, by force, and delivered to them…. The US GOVERNMENT has been bailing out failed banks around the world… not just the US, And channeling money into the pockets of the “well connected”.

            The problem is not that people accept this money, it is that government HAS it to hand out in the first place (instead of leaving it with the people that earned it), and further, that they are willing to hand it out.

            This “taking” is serious…. the taking of the livelihoods of workers for distribution to the connected and powerful, all by the government.

            The US looks after the unfortunate, historically, more than any nation on earth, but sadly has shifted the mechanisms to do this away from the individual to the state. It is well known that the those that lean to the political right is far, far, more generous in giving to the unfortunate than the political left by every measure…. be it time given, percent of income given, even units of blood given…. And by very wide margins. The progressive leftists don’t have a any credibility with respect to looking after the unfortunate, because they do comparatively little of it.

            Look at the Occupy movement… That is NOT a group of “givers”. They are takers…. calling for their debts to be paid by others…. Or for high wages or jobs regardless of their ability to do anything. Professional freeloaders both unable and unwilling to pull their own weight… while they consume.

  4. Jay Levenberg, Esq. says

    Ms. Warren says she doesn’t want someone as President whose fundamental orientation in life is the business model. That’s quite interesting and informative concnerning Ms. Warren. We have a President now that knows nothing about business and it shows. Without someone who cares about business and how to make a profit, this country is going to fail much like Greece and Italy. In those countries, they worried little about business and much more about generous pensions and holidays for workers. Anyone would want to work in Greece or Italy because, in effect, you don’t have to work. It would be wonderful if we could have all the benefits without anyone grinding it out each day trying to run a successful business. We better start to hear some balance from those on the left or they will leave us a country no better than Greece. For those on the right, business is not all what we are about. Other things are important. A more balanced approach would be welcome from both parties.

    • Julie Thomas says

      To pick only Greece and Itally, which are very different in the reasons they have failed economically, shows how ignorant you are of world affairs. Try looking at the situation in other European nations, like Sweden or Germany. They are doing so much better than your country is, despite having to bail out those European nations that were mismanaged.

      But even little old me, from Australia, understands that it isn’t any lack of business sense on the part of your presidents that has led you to such a lousy situation. But then, being a small powerless country, we do take an interest in the rest of the world and there has been much in our media about your failure and thank god, we are taking note and the free market is now a dirty word for many who once thought it was a good idea.

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