Friday, September 19, 2008
And now a prediction: Give all failing industries time to approach the government for a bailout. They will all line up, and less efficient they are (negative profits and enormous numbers of employees), the more likely they will become part of the new "don't let anyone fail" government of ours. Expect auto and airline industries at the front of the line.
I expect inflation to go through the roof, since these paper bills we hold apparently have no value at all since the government is giving them away to purchase failed enterprises and prop up stock prices. Run for the hills!!!!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
I'm not certain what magical image America had prior to the Iraq war, except for the image of the poor victim for a couple of weeks following the World Trade Center. Would Europe prefer that the United States had taken a different path following the attack? Most believe so.
I ask a specific question. Would the world be better off with Saddam Hussein and the Taliban still in power? Is there a belief that diplomacy would have cured the ills in those areas? If diplomacy removed the Taliban or Saddam, it truly would have been "magical." Just look at the success of diplomatic efforts in North Korea. I am not proposing that this war was run in the correct way, only that any efforts less than war would not have been effective at getting the same result.
As it happens, the fighting in Iraq is giving the world the results of an interesting experiment. The experiment wasn't intentional, but it exists nonetheless. Can a nation that is attempting to run a "moral" war, win that war? Can civilian casualties truly be minimized? Obviously, trying to run a "moral" war has been much less effective than the traditional manner. That doesn't mean it's not worth trying.
Let's ask a different question.
Does the image of America matter? Not the actions, but the image. If the United Nations gives any clue, those nations with the worst reputations and records get to rule on human rights. Apparently, the more awful one is in the world, the better one fares in the UN. Why should that be?
One possibility is the US is a horrible juggernaut that trounces over the people of other nations and all they can do is beg for mercy. If that's true, it has been the single most ineffective use of power by any nation in history. I mean, what if we really tried to do what we are accused of doing? I can't imagine a less effective way to do it. I think there is a much more accurate answer.
In the immortal words of Lord Palmerston, "We have no permanent allies, only permanent interests ." Nations do not follow or agree with other nations because they are pleasant, only because they have something they need. This is why the world pays more attention to 500 deaths in the Middle East than 50,000 in Rwanda. It's not a kind world. If the US wants to be popular, it can always give away money, land, and sovereignty to other nations and it's popularity will skyrocket. It is always easier to avoid fighting a difficult fight than standing up for one's principles. The world is annoyed with the US because it was willing to stir up the hornet's nest of the Middle East while Europe was willing to quietly turn it's back on the situation there.
If we must err, let's err on the side that is least likely to harm freedom in the world. When the United States becomes isolationist and allows Europe and Asia to control their own affairs, it inevitably ends up in a World War as the most aggressive power comes to control (historically this has been Germany). When the US is active, the USSR falls, South Korea maintains itself, or the US ends up with a bloody nose like in Vietnam. Choosing between these two historic options is not difficult. Take a messy war like the one in Afghanistan any day over a World War with a real power. Fortunately, success in foreign policy is not a popularity contest. I fear Machiavelli had it right when he said it was better to be feared than love. May the US be the most just and least popular ruler the world has ever seen.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
"Under the new law, anyone with droopy pants that show skin or underwear faces legal action."
Somehow I doubt there is a law on the books preventing someone from going out in a bikini, but if you cover that up with saggy pants, it's a fine for you. Nicely done, outlawing styles of dress that offend. What could be wrong with that? Is this what we need government for?
Shame on you, Mayor Thomas Masters! And shame on the voters that passed this bill!
This is interesting. The black vote entirely votes Democrat. According to Time, nearly 80% of blacks voted for the Democratic Party in general elections.
If one were to avoid the question of blacks simply voting for a black candidate, and whites voting for a white one, and instead focused on blacks voting for the candidate that is most in line with the Democratic party, is it possible that Obama is showing the inclination of the Democrat faithful to vote for him? After all, what could represent the faithful more than the black vote? Would Hillary, by taking large sections of the white vote, be more likely to take the white vote in an election, which is more likely to be swing votes or centrist? Has she become the "Republican" in the race for the nomination?
Perhaps Republicans should be cheering Obama as a candidate, as he appears to be taking less of the centrist vote and may continue on that path if he is the Democrat nominee. After all, McCain is about as centrist a Republican as the Republican party has put forth in decades. I am beginning to suspect Hillary would pose a stronger threat to a possible Republican victory than Obama. It's also hard to consider a victory by McCain a victory for Republicans... it would probably just be a loss for Democrats. Will I really have to choose between, in the immortal words of South Park...
But one reason that is given is he is planning to use his office as a bargaining chip with prosecutors. This part makes no sense to me.
Why should his resignation of his office in ANY way change the way the law treats him in a plea deal? Would it make sense for a CEO to tell a prosecutor he would resign in the same circumstances? What about a convenience store clerk? The idea of a convenience store clerk using his resignation as a bargaining chip is absurd. Why should the prosecutor care? And by the same token, why should a prosecutor care if Spitzer stays or goes?
Has the law been upheld if a felony is reduced to a misdemeanor or if jail time is avoided by a guilty party because they held a position of high power in the government? I say no. That sounds to me like an excellent reason to go exactly by the book.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
I have the answer.
There is a downside.
Banks can't get liquidity because people don't think they're worth the risk. There's no free lunch.
Allowing companies to fail is a good thing. Propping them up encourages failure. Who do you think will foot the bill if these risks, that the market has deemed not worth supporting, fail? The answer to that is whoever gave these banks the loan. In this case, it's your government.
Mark my words. Whenever the government invests in the markets, it takes risks the market participants are unwilling to bear. It buys high and never sells. We should be careful that the cure is not worse than the illness. When a bank goes under and doesn't repay the loan to the government, the next question you will hear is whether the government should support the bank and effectively add to a bad trade. We should stop rewarding failure.
After we take the medicine of recession, if it even comes, our economy will be stronger for it. There is no way to buy your way out of it. Trying to do that will only hurt us more in the long run.
Monday, March 10, 2008
I can't help it, I just think this is hilarious. So much for cleaning up Albany with a prosecutor! At least he's doing New York proud by not knocking on the door of his stall for gay sex in a bathroom. How the mighty have fallen.
I'm commenting on this prior to his press conference, so maybe this won't be as steamy as I hope. Personally, I'm hoping for an arrest at his home and a perp walk in front of his family, a humiliation he visited on many of those he prosecuted who were not allowed to surrender to the police.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
At this time, there are two distinct aspects as to whether or not the United States should use coercive interrogation techniques, aka torture. 1. Does it work? 2. Is it moral?
Many say it doesn't work, but personally, I'm convinced that I'd talk hours earlier if someone hurt me than if they did anything but. I'd like to think I'm stronger than that, but torture techniques have been improved upon for millennia and I'm confident I can deal with psychological pain far longer than physical pain. But that's not the issue at hand. If it doesn't work, we won't do it, and if it does, that doesn't make it morally correct. For the sake of getting to the core of the moral argument, let's assume torture works.
This is not a simple issue. Obviously there are levels of coercion, from sleep deprivation and imprisonment to the iron maiden and beyond. Some have permanent physical and/or psychological effects, other do not. In addition, there are many reasons given for the motivation to torture, from those who would use it as a punishment, a deterrent, an incentive, an interrogation technique, or a number of other reasons. I have intentionally left out entertainment and many of the other macabre reasons people have used torture in the past as I'm trying to focus on one particular aspect of torture. That aspect is torture as an interrogation technique. That's what this bill was about.
The question is, if torture for interrogation can be proven to save lives, should we prevent our CIA or military from doing it anyway? It's a difficult question, especially given the usual hypothetical: What if torture was used to glean information on the location of a nuke in a major American city and the information ended up preventing the catastrophe? Most people agree, and I suspect most Democrats as well, that torture would be justified in those circumstances. I certainly believe this.
If we make torture illegal under all circumstances, and design our laws to follow what we see as moral, can we be convinced that a government bureaucrat will risk breaking those laws to his own personal detriment? Or will he be more likely to do as our soldiers did when they had Osama bin Laden in their sights many years ago? Apparently we didn't fire because we required confirmation. When that confirmation arrived, the opportunity was gone and so was Bin Laden.
Of all the people we want to steadfastly follow our laws, none are more important than those with the guns in our government. Our military MUST be held responsible for its actions and must follow the laws and orders set by civilian authority. There must be NO misunderstanding as to what is allowed by our troops. We cannot have a loophole that is understood that under certain circumstances "It is okay to break those laws, all will be forgiven."
If we all agree that there are certain circumstances where torture is acceptable (think nuke in New York City), let's spell them out. This is too important an issue to insist on making it illegal, while simultaneously saying that in extenuating circumstances it is both acceptable and expected. Anyone who votes for the bill making torture practices illegal should answer the direct question of "Is torture EVER acceptable?" with a resounding "NO!" I sincerely doubt the many lawmakers who voted for this bill feel that way. The answer should not be "let's make it illegal, but expect extremely good and patriotic men will risk the consequences by breaking this law when it seems in the nation's best interest." Our military and foreign policy need clarity. I don't want to hear that we could have prevented losing a city if we'd gotten the information a few hours earlier, but the subject was still resisting talking in his comfortable cell and our men were proudly following our laws.
We are a nation of laws and not of men. At least, we strive to be a nation of laws. We build statues of lady justice, whose eyes are blind to those who stand before, and we wish all to be equal before the law. We should not place laws on the books that are intended to be broken by our own government, with the punishment to be withheld by the whim of the State after the fact. That's a slippery slope I'd rather not slide down.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the nation's ability to lead the world depends on its morality, not military might. "We will begin to reassert that moral authority by attempting to override the president's veto next week," said Pelosi, D-Calif.
In the final analysis, our ability to lead the world will depend not only on our military might, but also on our moral authority.
Emphasis added by me.
There is a difference, and when I originally read the misrepresentation, my head almost exploded. It was bad enough that I had to go to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's blog just to confirm it.
Saturday, March 8, 2008
And yet... I wonder if some health cost issues are similar? People say drugs are more expensive today, but I think they're just talking about new drugs. I'm willing to bet that drugs haven't increased in price a bit in 10 years if one were willing to use the drugs available 10 years ago. Perhaps the the cost of drugs to receive the best available today should not be compared to the overall cost of drugs from 10 years ago. The inflated cost may be the result of "newer and better." If you want the same old 10-years-out-of-date drugs, I'm sure you can get them cheaply today. (I'm not saying expired, just the same drugs available then.) If you want drugs from the '90s, expect to have a '90s lifespan as well. Sort of like a computer form a decade ago... today charities don't even accept them.
Friday, March 7, 2008
Congratulations are in order to Obama's camp for the rapid recognition of the inappropriateness of this comment, the immediate apology, and the resignation of the offending party. I am honestly proud of this response, which would be expected from a principled candidate running a principled campaign. I am not an Obama supporter, but this is the single most impressive item of integrity I have seen coming from his camp to date. It is the correct response of a politician who does not approve of what his advisor said in front of the media. It is the standard for the industry.
On a separate note, does this portend a joint ticket of Obama and Hillary (I don't know yet which one leading)? Certainly one could not have a joint ticket if one were to support an advisor who called one's president or vice-president a monster. Of course, if Reagan-Bush tells us anything about political bedfellows, one may say "voodoo economics" and still work for the shaman in charge.
And the drinking game's called "Gas Chamber!" Sweet!
(Don't misunderstand, real gas chambers aren't cool, but as a name for a drinking game... awesome)
I agree, recession is likely to arrive, but ups and downs are a natural part of markets and economies. But if we call this a recession and panic, I expect heads will start exploding if we are visited by a real economic downturn, with 10% unemployment and GDP growth that ACTUALLY drops below zero.
Some perspective please. Let's try not to go to the emergency room when the weather's cold and our noses start to drip. Runny noses and cold weather are a part of life. It's not the plague, at least not yet.
I'm unimpressed. Glory in war comes from extraordinary courage or success, and probably many other things that don't roll off the tongue so easily. Falling on a grenade or taking out an enormous number of enemy soldiers before succumbing to your wounds, that sort of thing. I think it is past time that Hamas reconsidered acting as though enemy civilians are soldiers. It is hard to imagine the atrocities the Israelis would create if they treated the civilians in Gaza as soldiers as well. There would be Israeli heroes who had killed thousands of enemy combatants with the push of a button and a well placed bomb. We should all be thankful that this answer to the heroes of Hamas is unacceptable to the Israelis, but none should be more thankful than the Palestinians.
Let's be clear on what has happened here:
A sovereign government (Hamas in Gaza), in prosecuting a war against another sovereign government (Israel), successfully infiltrated a soldier across the border into a school in Israel and killed 8 civilians (students at the school) before the soldier was killed himself. Hamas is celebrating this action and has labeled the soldier a hero.
I believe everyone (both Hamas and Israel) agree that this is what occurred.
The Israeli government and Hamas are at war. I cannot see this described any other way when one side of a conflict is celebrating the intentional and planned death of another nation's civilians by it own soldiers. It seems, based on this admitted and intentional action, that there is nothing Hamas is unwilling to do to the Israeli populace in an effort to achieve its goals. I have intentionally left out the reasons for this war, whether the action was in response to other actions by Israel, whether the nation or the border itself is legitimate, whether Jews should be allowed to live in the Middle East (or at all), or any of the muddier aspects of this conflict. I am focusing purely on the act itself, which was specific and achieved an intentional result.
I am not a military strategist, but I am willing to assume that Hamas is achieving some military goal through this soldier's act. Perhaps this it will be this act, when combined with many other acts and a successful overall strategy, that will win the war for Hamas. Let's assume this is true. Let's give Hamas the benefit of the doubt and assume that this sort of action leads to less bloodshed in the long run and will give the Palestinian people the land and lives they believe they have always deserved. That this act will lead to justice for the Palestinian people as they see and desire it. If this is true, we may continue to condemn the action, but we cannot reasonably expect Hamas to remove this military option from the table or cease this strategy.
But I don't like it. I think killing civilians, with the intention of killing civilians, is utterly reprehensible. So the question becomes, "How can this strategy be removed from the table?" Obviously, this strategy forwards the goals of Hamas or they wouldn't be doing it, admitting it, or celebrating it.
I have the obvious answer. Whatever actions Israel has been taking to prevent this strategy are not working. These actions will not work until Hamas says, "We will not try to kill Israeli civilians," or at least "The soldier who crossed the border was not ours," as Iran says on a regular basis in Iraq. To get Hamas to say this requires Israel to bring Hamas to the negotiating table, even while the nations are at war. These negotiations will be over how the war will be prosecuted. Since Hamas will never voluntarily go to the negotiating table, it would require Israel to negotiate unilaterally until Hamas comes around. For example, if Israel said, "Every time a soldier comes from Gaza, successfully kills Israeli civilians, and is admitted to by Hamas, the nation of Israel will react by notifying the populace of the the first town on list A, that they have one week to evacuate before the town becomes a replica of Dresden." This sort of strategy was very effective in ending the resistance of the Japanese (who intended to fight to the last man) to coming to the negotiating table at the end of World War 2. Japan had suicide bombers of their own and a tremendous devotion to their cause. After "Fat Man" landed on Nagasaki, the Japanese lost their will to fight.
Of course, Israel can afford to be kinder and allow residents to evacuate before obliterating a town. I have a suspicion that by the time the 4th or 5th militarily strategic town had been razed to the ground, Hamas would no longer be sending soldiers into Israel.
Is this a moral solution? Not great. Is this an acceptable answer? Maybe. Is this overkill? Very likely. Would this create a humanitarian disaster? Probably a small scale disaster. Is it morally reprehensible to destroy civilian property (and likely unintentionally kill civilians in the process)? I think so. I think this may not work at all. But what is clear is that, for Hamas to stop attacking Israeli civilians, the strategy of killing civilians must be shown to be a losing strategy. Hamas must WANT to stop killing civilians, even though it may mean they are losing what they have considered a effective strategy to prosecute their war with Israel. Ideally Israel should not lose its own humanity in the process.
If the USA had not dropped atom bombs on Japan in 1945, how many more lives would have been lost? Those cities were both strategic and civilian targets. The issues involved here are far from clear. I just can't get past the idea that the Rape of Nanking or the intentional execution of civilians by Hamas is a strategy that should be allowed to survive in war during the "Pax Americana." As Churchill observed, history is written by the victors, and I'm awfully glad we won that one.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
I suspect the discount for stolen goods must give a smaller margin to the fence, now that goods can flow easily to buyers who are used to buying from individuals on eBay. Who needs a fence when you can sell the goods yourself just by getting an email account? Still, high end goods would require someone with talent to move them, as few would buy incredibly expensive items over the Internet.
On the subject of fences, isn't it interesting that free nations construct them to keep undesirables out and authoritarian nations build them to keep their brightest from leaving? If socialism makes such good policies, why do socialist nations fall all over themselves to prevent their citizens from fleeing? If capitalist inequality is so unjust, why are people scrambling to enter with just the shirts on their backs?
Free trade is the cornerstone of a successful economy. Glance at any nation that cuts off trade or increases tariffs and it's obvious the damage that occurs instantly and deeply. There is a reason we isolate the economies of our enemies and embargoes work so successfully.
Why would we voluntarily embargo ourselves? The answer is simple and absolutely corrupt. The purpose of eliminating NAFTA would be to protect those jobs that cannot compete in the global marketplace at the cost of the US consumer. It prevents the consumer from buying the best goods in order to benefit those that cannot compete and protecting those jobs that should no longer exist. It is nothing more than a handout to those businesses that would close their doors without it. We've been down this path before. Remember the lesson of the Smoot-Hawley tariff. Want to guarantee a depression, raise tariffs... it works every time.
Sometimes you see a musician fall and wonder how badly their lives can get screwed up. I have to admit though, taking one look at Amy Winehouse or Britney Spears makes you realize how much farther they can drop. It's like it's a contest to hit bottom, but my money is on Winehouse to hit bottom first. Sure, you can get locked up in a psychiatric ward or date your paparazzi or molest some kids and have your face fall off (yes, I know he was never convicted, but that doesn't mean he wasn't guilty)... but unless you're smoking crack too, you're barely in the running these days. Michael Jackson's so normal now, he doesn't even make headlines.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
I'm sorry to report that Mr. Buckley is no longer with us. His mind, wit, and life made him a role model for many and he was a modern-day Renaissance Man. Taken straight from the news story I read on Brietbart, in his own words:
"I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition," he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. "I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?' I couldn't think of anyone."
I couldn't agree more.
I have to wonder:
Why have we decided to single out the middle class as deserving special treatment to benefit them, to the detriment of the economy? They've almost become as sacred as children when the phrase comes out of a politician's mouth. And when was the last time the government did anything other than deregulation or tax cuts that assisted the economy or averted recession?
I was waiting for the phrase "Buyer Beware" or for someone to mention that the markets are really quite good at taking care of themselves. Not one person stood in favor of free markets, not one, though it appeared Ron Paul was going to, but couldn't stop droning on about our currency ponzi scheme. Fortunately, nobody was listening, so the pyramid still holds and our paper currency, which is based on the value of nothing whatsoever, still has value.
Since these are the people in charge of regulating our economy, it stands to reason that a flood of regulations and dabbling in the markets will be forthcoming.
Also, I saw "No Country for Old Men" and wow, really amazing! I hope they make a bunch more like that one. It was a lot more exciting than the Fed meeting.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Thanks to http://www.wwtdd.com/ for bringing it to my attention on a slow news day.
I'm certain they'll be caught, sounds like an inside job and there are 7 guys involved, but I'm impressed. Usually I think I can do a better job than the burglars, but this time, hat's off. If they don't get caught, it'll be a major embarrassment for the Italian police.
Unlike every other good, whether it is TVs, food, cars, or light bulbs, we've decided we want houses to be expensive, and that higher prices would be good for us. We're like oil producing nations hoping for a bump in the demand for gas. And yet, lower prices mean that in the future, if we buy a home, we can spend more on everything else in our lives and pay less for our mortgage. How can that be a bad thing? To me, that sounds like a boon for future generations.
Personally, though, I want my apartment to double in value, for me to sell it, then buy it back on the bottom of the market. A few times. Future generations be damned. And I want my internet stocks to go up to pre-bubble values, too.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Print all the money you like, and put in price controls so gas costs 23p/liter and a car may be had for 30 pounds. Enforce the price controls with guns and courts. What could go wrong? In the face of obviously unwarranted criticism from fools, Mr. Mugabe has effectively disarmed his opponents by stating their claims were based on "bookish economics." Genius!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Here's a quote from the UN report.
"The U.N. nuclear monitor released a report last week saying that suspicions about most past Iranian nuclear activities had eased or been laid to rest." Sweet!
Here's UN Director General Mohamed ElBaradei talking about the one issue not yet laid to rest
"...with the exception of one issue, and that is the alleged weaponization studies that supposedly Iran has conducted in the past."
I think we may owe them an apology. Of course, we might have to retract that apology if Iran then takes it upon themselves to follow through with their predictions about our ally Israel.
After all, it has been almost a year since Iranian president Ahmadinejad said "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation. The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm." He must mean a single storm of happiness and freedom. I'm sure "one storm" couldn't possibly refer to anything else. Ahmadinejad has such a poetic way with words. With the UN on his case, I'm sure we can trust this man to keep his nuclear ambitions entirely with the realm of a civilian nuclear program and we will owe his nation an apology. If we're wrong, it's not like he's implied he'd wipe one of our allies off the face of the map.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
"O frabjous day!"
It sure beats the alternative of shooting and missing. I didn't even know we had that capability, but now the whole world knows. Perhaps that will add a few years to the Pax Americana, with enemy nations always aware that we can violently confirm the adage "What goes up, must come down," regardless of who put it up.
As far as an arms race with China goes, whatever gave you the idea they were not running as fast as they could? Why, just a year ago they used a military missile to shoot down a satellite in high orbit! Let there be no mistake, the arms race is a race that all nations take part in and have taken part in for all time history. There's no winning, but never doubt the importance of the good guys remaining in the lead.
According to Jamie Johnson, a member of the wealthy Johnson & Johnson family, the super-rich are thrilled with the economic slowdown and drop in stock market value because it "has resulted in a thinning of the aristocratic ranks." Apparently this means the rich are getting richer and income inequality is on the rise. The wealthy will be taking baths in their own money as orphans are thrown out into the snow. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!
The complaint of the wealthy in the 7 year bull market mentioned by Johnson is that the ranks of the wealthy are getting too crowded. Did the Bush years cause the worlds richest people to feel their elite position has been threatened by so many newcomers? Did the tax cuts shake the faith of the wealthy in their positions of power? Did inequality decrease under Bush according to the anecdotal opinions of the super-rich?
Let's not forget, even though the wealthy wear monocles and are all old fat white men with moustaches and big cigars (kinda like the Monopoly guy), they're just as concerned as the rest of us when their neighbors compete with their success. Apparently wealth alone doesn't except one from keeping up with the Joneses.
Johnson goes on to mention that as soon as the recession hits, his rich friend who hates the competition for the benefits of wealth will be the first to buy. Let's hope the rich buy a lot in the possible coming downturn... sounds like exactly what was hoped for by the recently passed stimulus package that intentionally excluded the wealthy. Who knows, if the super-rich are successful enough in "trying to fatten their own wallets and further insulate their lifestyles" by buying real estate, high end goods and expensive services most can't possibly afford, they may just prevent the economic downturn the rest of us all fear. I propose a toast to the wealthy going on giant spending sprees! Maybe if they buy enough in the downturn, companies won't even have to cut jobs for us poor peasants who "need" our incomes.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Everyone who paid taxes received a tax break under the Bush tax cuts... is it a surprise that the wealthy, who pay by far the most taxes as a percentage of income, in total dollars, and even when they die, received billions when they received back a portion of what they earned?
As far as those who don't need them or don't ask for them, ask the next wealthy person if they'd rather work until the middle of July or the end of July for the government before they earn their first day's labor for themselves and see what they say. The idea that the wealthy don't desire tax cuts is patently absurd, but I'll chalk that up to rhetoric because it sure sounds like a good excuse to take from someone what they don't want or need and give it to those that need it. Show me a wealthy person who doesn't want or need their money and I'll show you someone who's ready for a great Vegas weekend and won't be wealthy for long. A fool and their money...
In a nation where few can agree on politics, there is no doubt everyone would prefer that their personal taxes be lowered.
Anecdotally, I don't know a single wealthy person, other than Warren Buffet, who wouldn't enjoy receiving more of their own income, and if Mr. Buffet doesn't want to keep his money, he is (and has always been) free to donate his own money to the government as he likes, though as an intelligent and successful businessman it seems unlikely he would choose to give to such a wasteful organization freely.
It is unfortunate that the wealthy in our society are singled out for punishment for their success, or the success of their families, by being enslaved to work for the government for more time out of every year than any other member of our society. People earn what others are willing to pay them for their work and time. Has Mr. Obama decided the government is better to decide who should be paid and how much based on their "need?" Would he prefer the government distribute the fruits of the labor of the wealthy to those whose work in our society has been deemed less valuable? Unfortunately, though this is no surprise for a Democratic senator, this appears to be the case. If he becomes president, sincerely I hope he chooses my contributions as worthy of receiving extra income above and beyond their market value.
Who will speak up for the wealthy? Who will say, "This is unjust, they have as much right to the fruits of their labor as anyone else?" Sounds selfish, doesn't it? Unpalatable? Without the wealthy enjoying the fruits of their labor, they will just go away, and take with them all the businesses, jobs, capital, and tremendous quality of life they bring to our nation from the lowest to the highest, but especially to themselves. Envy is not a decent quality, and even if it is held by the majority against the minority, it does not gain any moral weight, not one ounce. At the core of capitalism is an understanding that equality is not justice. It is the freedom to produce that is important, the keeping of one's own property, not the equal distribution of what is produced through the taking of property from others.
One need look no further than that almost perfect experiment in capitalism versus socialism that ended just a few short years ago in Germany. West Germany, under imperfect capitalism, was filled with wealth and inequality. East Germany, under socialism, was filled with universal poverty and equality. Only one side of the Berlin wall was designed to keep people in. The same people, the same history, different political systems. In East Berlin, the was a totalitarian state with an iron grip on its people, a place where the Trabant was made for decades, where progress halted in its tracks and people risked their lives just to escape. Shame on those who would turn our nation into an equivalent East Berlin with their socialist policies. We should never forget where those policies of socialism, based purely on equality, will lead.
It's time someone stood up and said, "This is not what government should do! This program, that regulation, and the other tax are all sending ripples through our lives and damage everything they touch!"
Let's no longer pretend socialism is an acceptable course. It is no more and no less than the taking from those who produce at the barrel of a gun. Every economic law and regulation that is passed should consider that fact seriously. May we never forget that the only reason the government passes and enforces laws is because it has the guns. We must be ever vigilant that those guns are used with the utmost care and only in the most extreme cases, or, as we have seen in our time, East Berlin awaits!