Saturday, July 03, 2010

Single Most Important Economic Issue of Our Time

"The landscape of capitalism may seem solid and settled and ready for seizure, but capitalism is really a mindscape.  Volatile and shifting ideas, and the human beings behind them-- not heavy and entrenched establishments -- are the source of our nation’s wealth. There is no bureaucratic net or tax web that can catch the fleeting thoughts of the greatest entrepreneurs of our past. Or future.

Wealth is valuable only to the extent that others think it will be valuable in the future, and that depends on running the fortune for the needs of the customers rather than for the interests of the owners. Its worth will collapse overnight if the market believes the company is chiefly serving its owner, rather than the owner serving it, or that it is being run chiefly for the managers rather than for the people who buy its wares. Look at the recent BP debacle and see for yourself.
 
The wealth of America isn't an inventory of goods; it's an organic, living entity, a fragile, pulsing fabric of ideas, expectations, loyalties, moral commitments, visions, and people. To vivisect it for redistribution would eventually kill it. As Mitterrand's French technocrats found early in the 1980s, the proud new socialist owners of complex systems of wealth soon learn they are administering an industrial corpse rather than a growing corporation.

That is why the single most important economic issue of our time – and one that impacts the poor and middle class alike – will be how we treat the very rich among us.

If the majority of Americans smear, harass, overtax, and over regulate this minority of wealth creators, our politicians will be shocked and horrified to discover how swiftly the physical tokens of the means of production collapse into so much corroded wire, eroding concrete, and scrap metal. They will be amazed at how quickly the wealth of America is either destroyed, or flees to other countries."

~Ziad K. Abdelnour, President & CEO Blackhawk Partners, from his essay "Why We Need the Rich: A Message to Americans – and Our Leaders in Washington DC – On Wealth Creation by a Wealth Creator."

49 Comments:

At 7/03/2010 8:40 AM, Blogger Dr William J McKibbin said...

Dr Perry, the rich in America do not need anyone's help -- they are doing quite fine, trust me -- what is needed is greater concern and empathy for the masses who are now confronting the long-term prospects of a reduced standard of living in America -- and when I say the "masses," I am including anyone who earns less than $1 million per year -- we of the "masses" have no reason to join in the smugness of the rich as they have their own ways of watching out for themselves -- regretfully, the masses are unlikely to change their plight in the coming years anyway -- hard evidence available at:

http://wjmc.blogspot.com/2010/07/percentage-employed-in-us-continues.html

Thank you for the opportunity to comment...

 
At 7/03/2010 8:44 AM, Blogger Dr William J McKibbin said...

PS: A better use of our time as educators is to worry about our own -- read this for more:

http://wjmc.blogspot.com/2010/04/are-unions-courting-adjunct-faculty.html

Fortunately for you and I, we have already succeeded in our careers -- however, the plight of future educators is real, and indicative of the broader problems now being confronted by society-at-large.

Thank you again for the opportunity to comment...

 
At 7/03/2010 8:58 AM, Blogger The Balf said...

The definition of who is rich is relevant here. In Canada CEOs, doctors, etc. are paid much less than their American counterparts, yet they lead very comfortable lives and the gap between rich and poor is not as great. American CEO remuneration is in many cases obscene.

 
At 7/03/2010 9:31 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

I think Dr. McKribbin is right about one thing: the rich will probably do just fine. But if the "masses" think they can get prosperity by looting the rich, then they will simply end up with no rich to loot.

The problem is the state. People complain about big business lobbying and corrupting government, manipulating the system for their own ends at the expense of the masses, but never seem to realize that if the state did not have the power to coerce and change the system there would be nothing to lobby.

Incompetent businesses do not last, unless propped up by government through subsidies, or anti-trust, or largesse, or any of the numerous ways that the political con men dole out the money confiscated and plundered from the masses. You may campaign to elect a 'better' class of politician, but you'll still be a slave to the state and whomever happens to be in charge at the time.

 
At 7/03/2010 10:01 AM, Blogger Jason said...

Dr. McKibbin, I agree that the rich will take care of themselves. However, every government program or effort to take care of the masses has been a free for all orgy of choosing winners and losers. And I believe the results of those efforts are clear: an entitlement state with no limit or exit. Essentially, we've taken needy people and made them wards of the state, and burdened a shrinking class of contributors with the check.

Frankly, we need the rich more than ever before. What must happen is facilitation of the fabulous wealth, held by a relative few, to new industry and job creation - this is the best way to help the masses. How that happens is for people above my pay grade to determine. However, I am sure that will not happen by embarking on a crusade of social engineering through wealth distribution. And this, in my view, is the point of the article and post.

 
At 7/03/2010 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My god, how on earth did we ever function as a country in the '50s when the top income tax rate was 91%? Even a dirty liberal such as myself thinks that's ridiculous.

 
At 7/03/2010 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Frankly, we need the rich more than ever before."

Go to Mexico - they have one of the highest number of billionaires in the world. It's a huge wealth gap down there.

 
At 7/03/2010 11:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been visiting Mexico City since the '70s. Mexico is the best case study for why we need a robust middle class. Mexico has no middle class and therefore no social stability.

 
At 7/03/2010 11:59 AM, Blogger DL said...

Anonymous @ 11:17

“how on earth did we ever function as a country in the '50s when the top income tax rate was 91%?”

How? Deductions, and loopholes.

Far too many people equate higher marginal tax rates with more money collected; failure to understand why the former does not lead to the latter is indeed part of the problem.

 
At 7/03/2010 12:06 PM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

In the 1940s through the early 1960s, the top federal income tax rate was 90 percent. It dropped down in the 70 percent range in the 1970s.
Our economy grew and we had low inflation in those days.
There were deductions--if you used your income productively.
I do not suggest we go back to such high tax rates. But the wealthy are doing quite fine--when second- and third vacation homes become the norm, I find it hard to cry for the better off.
We might want to wipe out the home mortgage interest tax deduction, to reduce this over-investment, misallocation of wealth into housing.

 
At 7/03/2010 12:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Canada CEOs, doctors, etc. are paid much less than their American counterparts, yet they lead very comfortable lives and the gap between rich and poor is not as great. American CEO remuneration is in many cases obscene.

In Korea and Taiwan workers are paid much less than their American counterparts, yet many lead comfortable lives and enjoy a broadly improving standard of living. In America, non-unionized autoworkers profitably produce quality cars at a competitive price and factoring in bonuses make as much as or more than their unionized counterparts, who have run the companies they work for into the ground.

What an American CEO is paid is the business of the shareholders, not the government. As for the "gap between rich and poor", think of it as your potential. The Soviet Union managed to nearly wipe out the gap, reducing everyone to near destitution. I'm sure that they took comfort in the fact that they were all "equal".

Marxist dogma is in all cases obscene!

 
At 7/03/2010 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

DL said,

"How? Deductions, and loopholes."

You mean like right now?

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1249465620080812

Here's a good piece that discusses the % of Federal outlays paid by corporations since the '50s. We've slid down a long way.

http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_welfare/real_tax_rates_plummet.php

"This disposition to admire, and almost to worship, the rich and the powerful is the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments." - Adam (yes, that) Smith

 
At 7/03/2010 12:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... the rich in America do not need anyone's help -- what is needed is greater concern and empathy for the masses who are now confronting the long-term prospects of a reduced standard of living in America.

If, in fact, the "masses" are confronting a reduced standard of living, it is not as a result of the actions of "the rich" - as defined as those who have created, own or operate businesses. The rich are a source of wealth, contributing far more to the material well being of society than those who spend their time bashing them.

No, the "masses" have far more to fear from those who profess "concern" for their plight. The government and it's constituency of entrenched, unionized parasites have organized against the people and are now taking an ever increasing share of the wealth produced by the private sector, leaving the "masses" poorer as a result. The only "successful" people under a socialist system are the bureaucrats and the politically connected.

As Ayn Rand said, first they come for the businessmen, “All the other social groups — workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers — exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars.”

We have seen the leftists who infest our social, educational and political institutions wage a war on this class of Americans. The very men whose dreams and sweat built this nation are routinely vilified by Hollywood, the press and the pseudo intellectual elites at our universities.


Fortunately for you and I, we have already succeeded in our careers -- however, the plight of future educators is real, and indicative of the broader problems now being confronted by society-at-large.

"... the plight of future educators ..."? What about the plight of the children whose potential is being snuffed out at state-run schools? We spend more on education than any nation in the history of the world and look at the results. Read up on the Detroit Public School System and get back to me about how we should all be worried about the plight of our "educators". Or, read this article in the NYT revealing one of the reasons for the "masses" lack of prospects:

All candidates at Ben Venue must pass a basic skills test showing they can read and understand math at a ninth-grade level. A significant portion of recent applicants failed, and the company has been disappointed by the quality of graduates from local training programs.

The New York Times

If you want to know why the "masses" are "confronting the long-term prospects of a reduced standard of living in America", then, as an "educator", you need only look in the mirror.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment...

 
At 7/03/2010 12:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

... the rich in America do not need anyone's help -- what is needed is greater concern and empathy for the masses who are now confronting the long-term prospects of a reduced standard of living in America.

If, in fact, the "masses" are confronting a reduced standard of living, it is not as a result of the actions of "the rich" - as defined as those who have created, own or operate businesses. The rich are a source of wealth, contributing far more to the material well being of society than those who spend their time bashing them.

No, the "masses" have far more to fear from those who profess "concern" for their plight. The government and it's constituency of entrenched, unionized parasites have organized against the people and are now taking an ever increasing share of the wealth produced by the private sector, leaving the "masses" poorer as a result. The only "successful" people under a socialist system are the bureaucrats and the politically connected.

As Ayn Rand said, first they come for the businessmen, “All the other social groups — workers, farmers, professional men, scientists, soldiers — exist under dictatorships, even though they exist in chains, in terror, in misery, and in progressive self-destruction. But there is no such group as businessmen under a dictatorship. Their place is taken by armed thugs: by bureaucrats and commissars.”

We have seen the leftists who infest our social, educational and political institutions wage a war on this class of Americans. The very men whose dreams and sweat built this nation are routinely vilified by Hollywood, the press and the pseudo intellectual elites at our universities.


Fortunately for you and I, we have already succeeded in our careers -- however, the plight of future educators is real, and indicative of the broader problems now being confronted by society-at-large.

"... the plight of future educators ..."? What about the plight of the children whose potential is being snuffed out at state-run schools? We spend more on education than any nation in the history of the world and look at the results. Read up on the Detroit Public School System and get back to me about how we should all be worried about the plight of our "educators". Or, read this article in the NYT revealing one of the reasons for the "masses" lack of prospects:

All candidates at Ben Venue must pass a basic skills test showing they can read and understand math at a ninth-grade level. A significant portion of recent applicants failed, and the company has been disappointed by the quality of graduates from local training programs.

The New York Times

If you want to know why the "masses" are "confronting the long-term prospects of a reduced standard of living in America", then, as an "educator", you need only look in the mirror.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment...

 
At 7/03/2010 12:49 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I don't have a problem with the rich at all. With all that money, though, comes power. That power can be abused and corrupt the rich if it is not checked by an opposing power.

I realize a lot of people do not like labor unions--especially here--but you need to do something for yourself to get some power. Labor unions are one choice, but not the first choice I would recommend for the 21st century. Education, motivation, and innovation will be the keys to being successful now and in the future for those who are alive today. So, go getcha some today. But make sure you learn how to think for yourself and not let powerful and other people--even and especially college professors--tell you what to think.

 
At 7/03/2010 12:57 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Hmmm, I'm thinking some folks missed the point of the commentary in this posting...

Consider the wisdom of Margaret Thatcher: "...Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people's money"...

Elections have consequences...

Do Powerful Politicians Cause Corporate Downsizing?

 
At 7/03/2010 2:39 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

the reduced standards of living of the middle classes have more to do with having lived beyond their means for too long than anything else.

the consumer debt led expansion is over. now, rather than spend more than you earn, you have to spend less and pay down debt. credit is scarce and debt burdens substantial.

they had a helluva party, but now it's hangover time. nothing can make that go away. the mistake is calling the debt fueled consumption binge normal. it wasn't. that was aberrant.

household debt approached 100% of GDP in 2007, a level only seen once before in the US. that was 1929... household debt rose 160% from 1994 to the 2008 peak. meanwhile, US GDP growth per additional dollar of debt was crashing as too much easy access to credit led to increasingly marginal investments.

sorry kids, but the bill is here. nothing is going to make it go away. we played, now we must pay.

nor are governments going to be able to bail us out. G7 net government debt is 120% of GDP. that's a big problem given that around 90% of GDP tends to be where the debt spiral takes off where reduced creditworthiness drives increased borrowing costs which in turn worsen deficits which reduce creditworthiness further.

absent unprecedented intervention in US and EU debt auctions (actual auctions, not just open market operations) we'd already be seeing this. when you have the fed buying 40% of auctions and china buying aggressively to manage their currency, you can hide a multitude of sins, but only for a while...

this is going to be the generation that must live through the great de-leveraging. nothing can stop that now. better to accept it and get used to it. it's not going away.

 
At 7/03/2010 4:28 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Anon 12:42pm
How do you turn the children of low intelligence idiots into high achieving mental giants. YOU give the impression here that you know. So0 let us all into the secret.
You should get around the world a bit it doesn't take too long to realize that US educated person is still generally a cut above the rest. Often by quite a large margin.

 
At 7/03/2010 4:32 PM, Anonymous Mo said...

I don't have a problem with the rich at all. With all that money, though, comes power. That power can be abused and corrupt the rich if it is not checked by an opposing power.

I think we need to keep in mind where coercive power really lies.

Economic power is a genuine power, but its power is limited by the voluntary choices of the parties involved in the transaction. I could offer you a million dollars to shave your eyebrows and declare your love for Immanuel Kant on YouTube. You could accept or not.

Political power is different. It is the power to compel others, and it does not require the consent of all of the parties.

Of course it’s a common phenomenon in mixed economies for some wealthy individuals or corporations to use their economic power to influence the political process, and sometimes that is a bad thing. But even here remember what makes that possible: either corrupt politicians who accept bribes or politicians, corrupt or mistaken, who politicize the economy in the first place.

 
At 7/03/2010 4:51 PM, Anonymous grant said...

morganovich 2:39pm
Very pertinent accurate posting. To the point and-- OH! So! True.

 
At 7/03/2010 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Capitalism is really a mindscape-the human beings behind them-not heavy and entrenched establishments"...Mark Perry, you had me excited with these words! And then they came back to earth with a thud. You weren't thinking outside the box so think outside the box now. If you only would, you would realize that we have not even tapped into the potential wealth creation that exists for both healthcare and education because we have allowed both to be defined by the few, the rich, who are not truly interested in running these enterprises by capitalistic principles, but maintaining such high barriers for entry or use that both governments and individuals are bankrupted. By saying "respect the rich" you are basically saying don't rock the boat, just keep things as they are right now...in other words never mind the mindscape, the ability to transcend heavy and entrenched establishments, the human beings behind it all. Cheers!

 
At 7/03/2010 5:53 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Mr. Abdelnour forgets how easily it can be pursued and repatriated. Very.

He suggests worship, and that is not an option.

 
At 7/03/2010 6:03 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 7/03/2010 6:54 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Mo,

I could not refuse to shave my eyebrows for $1 million, and I'll throw in declaring my love for Kant on YouTube for free. I'm not cheap, but I can be bought.

All kidding aside, political power, at least at the higher level, is determined by the ability to get elected. That takes money, and the chances of getting elected are usually proportional to how much more money you have than your opponent. So the only question is one of strategy. Should you try to get a lot of money from a few people or a little money from a lot of people?

I think this says it all: Knowledge + Money = Power

The dumb and poor don't stand a chance to have any intrinsic power, but they might end up with altruistic people to throw them a bone instead of sticking them with one.

 
At 7/03/2010 8:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do you turn the children of low intelligence idiots into high achieving mental giants. YOU give the impression here that you know. So0 let us all into the secret.

You can start your education here, and here.. There's more here and here.

So0, maybe it is you who needs to get out into the world a bit more. There is nothing wrong with the kids except that they are trapped in low performing state-run schools. They are being "taught" by the "low intelligence idiots" and their potential is squandered to benefit the teachers unions.

Read up.

 
At 7/03/2010 8:46 PM, Anonymous Mo said...

political power, at least at the higher level, is determined by the ability to get elected. That takes money, and the chances of getting elected are usually proportional to how much more money you have than your opponent. So the only question is one of strategy. Should you try to get a lot of money from a few people or a little money from a lot of people?

I think this says it all: Knowledge + Money = Power

The dumb and poor don't stand a chance to have any intrinsic power, but they might end up with altruistic people to throw them a bone instead of sticking them with one.



So to avoid the danger of political power, we must have poor, ignorant and dumb politicians

 
At 7/03/2010 9:37 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

One of the biggest issues is that the shareholder of big companies has no power except to sell the stock. Bring in mandatory say on pay, i.e. stockholders must approve the 10 top folks total pay package, and in addition allow stockholders to nominate directors. If you can convince 51% of the shares of a company that a policy that runs it into the ground is correct is that not the right of the 51% to do so? (Actually would never happen, because the institutions would be sued for failing in their duty to their holders).
In essence make the use less of a management kleptocracy and more of a true capitalist system. Management runs companies for its own good and only secondarily cares about the stockholders.

 
At 7/03/2010 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Point 1-

I can safely say is that I've never gotten a job from a poor person and I don't know of anyone who has.

We need all the job creators we can get in the US right now and we shouldn't be punishing job creators or pushing the jobs they create elsewhere.

Point 2 -

The state of economic education is absymal - history education is pitiful. Do we even teach the concepts of free-enterprise anymore?

When 40-50% of high school graduates being essentially non-functional in terms of working even simple jobs, much less skilled jobs, we're spending a lot of time and money in the educational system producing idiots and morons.

 
At 7/03/2010 10:47 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Anon 8:14pm
Could you please choose a posting name so when you post i can avoid you

 
At 7/03/2010 10:54 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Benny the man 8:06pm
The American tax system is 100 years out of date.It is one of the areas that Obama should have put on his agenda for reform but instead he dodged it along with a whole lot of other issues that are also dated.

 
At 7/03/2010 11:19 PM, Anonymous grant said...

Anon 9:47pm
Thank you for confirming what I previously said that the sons and daughters remain idiots because they started out as idiots because they are the descendants of idiots.
You are excused that you haven't been able to reform idiots to be geniuses because they were never expected to reach such a high level of academic achievement except by you and their idiot parents who don't live in the real world.Anon get real you can't work miracles.
If more parents were realistic they would set their kids on a career path that is realistic for them to achieve.

 
At 7/03/2010 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it wasn't for government rewards for (the) [staying] poor (i.e. Food stamps, housing assistance, various tax credits, wellfare, endless unemployment benefits, Medicaid etc. etc.), the MASSES would have been RICH by now...

 
At 7/04/2010 12:23 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What an American CEO is paid is the business of the shareholders, not the government.

Yes! Yes! Yes!

 
At 7/04/2010 12:30 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Mr. Abdelnour forgets how easily it can be pursued and repatriated. Very.

He suggests worship, and that is not an option.
"

You know, sethstorm, I'm used to your blathering, so I don't expect your comments to be coherent, but this one takes the cake. What are you really trying to say here?

 
At 7/04/2010 4:26 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Revised for Ron H.:

"Mr. Abdelnour forgets how easily assets can be pursued and repatriated. Very.


Mr. Abdelnour suggests worship of the rich in his manner of speech.

---

When 40-50% of high school graduates being essentially non-functional in terms of working even simple jobs, much less skilled jobs, we're spending a lot of time and money in the educational system producing idiots and morons.

The more reason to not consign them to drudgery based on lack of post-secondary degree attainment.


I can safely say is that I've never gotten a job from a poor person and I don't know of anyone who has.

Then you haven't worked for a (small-medium) business where the owners pay themselves last.

 
At 7/04/2010 9:54 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Mo,

All power is not necessarily dangerous, but knowledge and/or money are usually necessary for power. Even if it is not always necessary, the knowledgeable and rich are usually happier than the dumb and the poor.

We can test my theory if you send me the $1 million you owe me for shaving my eyebrows and any other money you have left. We can fill out before and after "happiness" surveys and see what conclusions we draw from the experiment.

I don't think you will get too many people to argue that you don't need big $$$ to win an election to a high position regardless of how great a message you have.

 
At 7/04/2010 10:25 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"He suggests worship, and that is not an option"...

Only in the minds of the delusional or those with an inadequate command of the English language...

"The more reason to not consign them to drudgery based on lack of post-secondary degree attainment"...

Per his usual style sethstorm is wrong again...

Its exact reason why these losers should be doing the drudge jobs since they wasted their time in taxpayer or parent funded schools...

Now we're wasting extorted tax dollars on educational band aids...

 
At 7/04/2010 1:59 PM, Blogger bix1951 said...

The Spanish Civil War is an interesting study
Republicans(socialists) against Nationalists(landowners and priests)

It included a lot of killing.
A lot of bloodbaths.
Something to be avoided.
Ended with a 40 year dictatorship

 
At 7/04/2010 6:42 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


juandos said...

Per your style to provide only a character attack.

He speaks as if he was asking to not be questioned. How dare we object to Mr. Abdelnour and the people he represents? That is the worship he asks of his kind.

 
At 7/04/2010 6:45 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Its exact reason why these losers should be doing the drudge jobs since they wasted their time in taxpayer or parent funded schools...


Yow. Your arrogance is showing.

 
At 7/04/2010 7:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"When 40-50% of high school graduates being essentially non-functional in terms of working even simple jobs, much less skilled jobs, we're spending a lot of time and money in the educational system producing idiots and morons."

Why, thank you, sethstorm, this makes perfect sense. I would never have guessed from your previous comment that this is what you really meant. It's quite an indictment of our education system.

Actually, I would only quibble with your characterization of the products of the education system as idiots and morons. They may be uneducated and unskilled, but surely they can't all be idiots & morons, can they?

Thanks for the english translation of your comment. I know it's extra work, but please continue to provide it, as I don't understand your other language.

 
At 7/04/2010 8:42 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Its exact reason why these losers should be doing the drudge jobs since they wasted their time in taxpayer or parent funded schools...


Yow. Your arrogance is showing.
"

It's not arrogance, seth, it's exasperation. We taxpayers spend over $100k on each child that completes 12 years of public school. We would like to believe that we are getting SOMETHING for our money. When someone wastes 12 years and our money, we get cranky.

If students and their parents haven't figured it out after 12 years, they are on their own, and get what they have earned. I hope that one of the last lessons given in high school is to teach them to say, in a pleasant voice, "would you like fries with that?"

Any further education or training is on their dime, not mine.

 
At 7/04/2010 8:52 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

sethstorm, I'm disappointed. I just realized that you provided me with a quote from Anon @ 9:47. You didn't translate your own language to english at all.

I guess I'll have to keep struggling to understand what it is you're comments mean.

 
At 7/04/2010 10:51 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


It's not arrogance, seth, it's exasperation.

Exasperation? Well, you lost your excuse when you justified them being in drudgery.

Either have private entities directly hire them in something that will exceed unemployment/welfare, allows them to build a sense of dignity, or just extend unemployment to infinity. Even if you think they are worth less and you think they deserve less.


If students and their parents haven't figured it out after 12 years, they are on their own, and get what they have earned.

Congratulations, you just contributed to the problem, not the solution. You want to dispose of these people. You think they deserve drudgery. Then you'll probably use some snark to justify it.

They'll more likely learn a use of firearms that is most displeasing to your existence. And your possessions. Then go on and repeat. The only phrase that will be uttered will be "Where do you want it?".

Of course, had there been no disregard for those citizens, there would be no problem. However, you seem to think that they deserve drudgery and only drudgery so that they get out of it.

 
At 7/04/2010 11:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Congratulations, you just contributed to the problem, not the solution"

The Problem, Seth, is that after being exposed to a 12 year attempt at my expense to provide them with education and skills, they have refused the generous gift I have provided. The solution, Seth, is for them to now accept drudgery, or improve their lot in life on their own. I certainly don't owe them anything. There are opportunities for those who decide that it is their own responsibility to improve their lives. Not everyone is a self pitying crybaby like you.

Sense of dignity? That comes from managing your own life and making your own future. They will provide their own sense of dignity if they want one.

"They'll more likely learn a use of firearms that is most displeasing to your existence. And your possessions. Then go on and repeat. The only phrase that will be uttered will be "Where do you want it?"."

That's funny. If they haven't learned anything of value in 12 years, what makes you think they can learn the use of firearms?

If they do manage it, however, and threaten me or my property, their tender young lives might be cut short. I, unlike them, DO have some useful skills.

"Of course, had there been no disregard for those citizens, there would be no problem."

They have disregarded themselves, not I.

"However, you seem to think that they deserve drudgery and only drudgery so that they get out of it."

That's right.

 
At 7/05/2010 4:43 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Ron H. said...
Use whatever bits of the English language to demonize me, but don't expect to have your point be any more clear.


That's funny. If they haven't learned anything of value in 12 years, what makes you think they can learn the use of firearms?

They already have figured firearms out.


They have disregarded themselves, not I.

Hardly the case. Disregarding them only makes things harder for you. Not them.

 
At 7/05/2010 2:04 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

sethstorm said: - "Use whatever bits of the English language to demonize me, but don't expect to have your point be any more clear."

So, my point is perfectly clear? It can't "be any more clear"?

I have to ask, because YOUR point is NEVER clear.

 
At 7/05/2010 10:49 PM, Blogger Ken said...

"My god, how on earth did we ever function as a country in the '50s when the top income tax rate was 91%? Even a dirty liberal such as myself thinks that's ridiculous."

The country functioned just fine in the '50s, even with a top rate of 91%. The basic thing that happens at this high a tax rate is that the wealthy go way out of their way to reduce their taxes. The wealthy have so many tax loopholes to jump through that most taxpayers don't have, that in the end no one probably has even come close to paying such a ludicrous rate. It's been fairly well established that having a substantially reduced tax rate reduces the need to reduce taxes one pays. The lower the tax, up to a point, increases the tax revenue to the government. There's less of a need for the wealthy to reduce their taxes.

In a way, Ziad Abdelnour's essay's conclusion seems to miss the mark. Haven't the wealthy always been smeared, harassed, etc? They always survive. And it's not really the wealth creators are the real object of scorn. It's the wealthy that don't create and simply live off their wealth, traveling, partying or whatever, but not contributing much to society that spoils it for the rest (so, what else is not new?). Having a reasonably high income tax for the wealthy is not unreasonable. Especially since it is the lower income earners who do bulk of the work that directs wealth to the wealthy.

The lower income earners among us are paying an extraordinarily high tax rate in relation to the wealthy, simply because the wealthy do not pay an equivalent social security tax on their earned income and little or no social security or medicare tax on their unearned income. Nothing fair about that.

So, Mr. Abdelnour, where's the beef, really?

 
At 7/06/2010 10:19 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Per your style to provide only a character attack"...

Ahhh, the pathetic whine of someone who has a proven track record of ignoring the facts and not coming up with anything credible ever to bolster his argument...

Yet sethstorm still gropes on blindly: "Yow. Your arrogance is showing"...

Hmmm, now that's interesting that you can confuse arrogance with outright disgust...

 

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