BON JOUR

No, I am not a French model meeting my American girlfriend while wearing a prominent fanny pack. But that commercial is notable for the lines,

“They can’t put anything on the internet that isn’t true.’

“Where’d you hear that?”

“The internet”

Well folks let me tell you that, at least in terms of chain emails or the infographics people post on  Facebook, NONE OF IT IS TRUE!

Okay that is an exaggeration but a startling number  of these “facts” are not true at all or present gross distortions of reality.

For political type chain emails  my estimate, based on what I’ve received, is that 99% are mostly lies. Admittedly I have not kept a scorecard, but when I find one in my inbox I always do fact checking and nearly always hit “reply all” so that everyone in the chain of recipients is informed of the truth.

Since almost all of these I receive are from right wing believers (really daydream, i.e. fantasy, believers) I take great delight in debunking these lies. And it is all so easy to do. My main source of debunkery is Snopes.com. It is especially useful for these chain emails and infographics.

Now the problem with Snopes is that for some reason the right wingnuts have been fed the lie that the married couple behind Snopes, David and Barbara Mikkelson, are liberals with an extreme liberal agenda. It took Factcheck.org to debunk the spreading email that put those lies out there. 

 http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/snopescom/

But Snopes is equally valuable for nonpolitical debunking. Here you’ll find a posting on a web site called Health Digest which dispenses some advice about drinking water but more importantly about taking an aspirin if you’re having a heart attack. While that is basically true the devil, as always, is in the details. http://www.facebook.com/#!/healthdigest  And the details are that following the recommendations here one could endanger oneself.  http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/aspirin.asp

These things pop up so often that one can barely keep up. But whenever I seek to debunk them, it rarely takes more than five minutes of investigation to find legitimate sources to disprove the assertions.

Now my only reason to make these complaints and endeavor to enlighten is that I like to deal from the truth. No matter the issue no differences can hope to be resolved if there are not common facts being applied to the discussion.

It is of no concern to me whether these misfactoids emanate from liberals or conservatives, whether from friend or foe, whether from god or mammon.

This would be the longest blog post of my life..or anyone’s life…if I were to provide any more detailed  examples. But rest assured I have researched enough to state the following:

  • As despicable and dysfunctional as Congress may be, its members do pay for their health care coverage, they do pay Social Security taxes like the rest of us and they do not retire to a yearly stipend in excess of their current pay for life or any other period.
  • Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, and Andy Rooney did not produce the diatribes attributed to them.
  • Mr. Rogers did not have a secret life as a sniper in Vietnam with numerous kills.

I had paused here to fix my dinner and relax and turned to Facebook to catch up before returning here to finish. VOILA! Three posts right away deserving of debunking.

No, a Diamond Rio song was not banned from radio for being politically incorrect. It had not even been released as a single or on an album when this claim first appeared. Kind of hard for stations to play something they can’t get.  http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/diamondrio.asp

No, if you are on the highway and suspect a fake cop is trying to pull you over do not dial 112. Use good old 911. http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/fakecop.asp

No, U.S. currency was not designed so that when folded a certain way images of the WTC towers, before, during and after 9/11 are shown. That they do seem to have such images is the product of fertile imaginations and basic design elements common to U.S. bills. Just look what can be done by folding some European currency or a Land O’ Lakes butter wrapper.  http://www.snopes.com/rumors/20bill.asp 

It took me less than twenty minutes to read those posts, find the debunking info and post it on Facebook and then report it here.

All you lazy asses can do the same and save yourself from embarrassment.

I’m running late for a photo shoot.

Adieu

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Comments

  • Tourist  On March 20, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    “No matter the issue no differences can hope to be resolved if there are not common facts being applied to the discussion.”

    It depends on what the meaning of “resolved” is.

    Beware all absolutes.

  • Devildog  On March 20, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    Include me among the “lazy asses”. Since I, unlike UMOC, am not out to save the world, I don’t read those emails and, despite UMOC’s urging, will not take the time to read them, determine errors of “fact”, and respond to “reply all”.

    • umoc193  On March 21, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      That’s fine for you if you simply ignore those emails. But when I receive one I figure the person forwarding it to me endorses whatever is contained therein. Since these are my friends I like to inform them with the truth.

      Sometimes I receive a thank you. A few times someone who belonged to the “all” to which I replied have responded with a cussing out or trying to support the email, but on occasion some of them have sent me other examples for vetting before they forward, as have a few of my friends.

      I do have some conservative friends who have ceased forwarding political posts which leads me to conclude that they “can’t handle the truth”.

      I’ll give an example in the extreme of misinformation/lies contained in one. In 2009 when the ACA was being debated and amended, etc. I got an email forwarded by a woman I know in N.J. it contained a number of allegations of provisions included in the pending bill, along with page number references. There were about 30 of them in all.

      I found the bill on line and examined each page referenced and NONE, that is ZERO, of them contained the provisions alleged. In fact a few of the subtopics covered in the email were found on the cited page, but the complete opposite was provided for.

      With that kind of shit circulating to who knows how many people as well as the politicians who outright lied about the bill’s contents it was near impossible for millions to make a rational, fully-informed decision as tyo whether they would back the law or not.

      There was nothing wrong per se with opposing the ACA except I have never heard anyone give an honest reason for such opposition that was not based on the lies spread about the law.

      • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 12:32 AM

        UMOC, I told my “friends” not to send me political emails, and not because I “couldn’t handle the truth”. Just like you to think that’s why your conservative friends no longer send you emails. Tedious, tendentious, accusatory, full of it-any of those a possibility?

        Near impossible for millions to make a rational decision re Obamacare. Are you serious. How many people do you think actually knew enough to make a rational decision?

        Those politicians who lied-all on the right?

        So, ” you have never heard anyone give an honest reason for such opposition that was not based on the lies spread about the law”. So like you UMOC, so like you.

        • umoc193  On March 25, 2013 at 6:52 PM

          Prior to passage and then afterward before the Supremes ruled last summer, I frequently asked people why they were opposed to the law and none of them gave cogent reasons for opposition, instead merely repeating “government takeover of health care”, “death panels”, etc. Maybe a few mentioned the mandate but became stonily silent when its origin as a conservative idea was presented to them.

          In a larger sense, if one takes a position, for or against, on an issue based on facts A,B,C, and D and only for those reasons, perhaps if they are shown that A,B,C and D are all not really facts, they might, if they are reasonable people, at least consider a change of mind. Short of that if they explore the issue sufficiently to find a legitimate basis for opposition, I can deal with that.

          But even on the ACA anyone who did not want to wade through the legislation itself (and frankly, most legislation is difficult to read and absorb, at least before it is codified) could find excellent summaries by impartial analysts.

          But again what I find telling is that so much of the opposition appeared to be based on hating Obama, not on anything rational.

          • Devildog  On March 25, 2013 at 8:04 PM

            Of course we all hate Obama. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be racists. You of course hated Bush and worked and prayed for him to be a one-term president but clearly for valid reasons.

      • Tourist  On March 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM

        Devildog, I had little use for Bush politically and as an embarrassed to my country, and I will never forgive him for squandering global unity in our favor or turning “Let’s roll” into a sports slogan, but I am also on record saying this a number of times: Bush in New York with the megaphone on the pile of rubble was magnificent. If his becoming a hero would help get us through that, fine by me. I was in.

        Obama? He’s a Marxist Muslim from Kenya who wants to turn America into a dictatorship and surrender our sovereignty to the United Nations.

        That’s the difference.

        • Devildog  On March 25, 2013 at 8:44 PM

          So Tourist, squandering global unity and let’s roll are your main stated reasons for you”great” dislike about Bush but the main criticisms of Obama are related to Marxism and “Muslim” and the unstated racism. Nothing to do with Obamacare and governments bailouts and other policies (that went well beyond TARP, which was roundly criticized by many on the right. How does squandering global unity compare with squandering domestic polical capital, which he had plenty of after the election, and which led to further and greater destruction of the political process.

          Look to UMOC and his Bush statements of hatred to note that he is as far left as some the people you despise are far right.

        • Devildog  On March 25, 2013 at 8:47 PM

          Further, Tourist, how is our current standing with”the world”, even despite the great job done by O and Hillary. Really, what the hell did she accomplish? Where is it better in the world than it was pre 2009?

      • Little_Minx  On March 28, 2013 at 8:28 PM

        “Reply to all” with a contradictory, reliable fact-checking sometimes cures the sender (eventually).

  • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 1:07 AM

    “ . . . I found the bill on line and examined each page referenced and NONE, that is ZERO, of them contained the provisions alleged. In fact a few of the subtopics covered in the email were found on the cited page, but the complete opposite was provided for.”

    I have had similar experiences. It’s the wingnut lying machine. It’s like no other. I’ve mentioned this before: Back when I first started getting those emails, I, too, answered some of them, to “all.” I did not get as much abuse as I expected. What I mostly got were demands (one said please) to be taken of *my* list. They just didn’t want to hear it.

    But not every conflict is of that nature.

    Re “resolve” (my first comment above): We can agree based on mutual understanding. We can agree for the wrong reasons. We can disagree accurately. We can disagree *and* misunderstand each other.

    There was a little homily that aired regularly on the radio a million years ago that went something like this: “I refuse to worry about anything except on Wednesdays. When I’m faced with a problem, I write it down. When Wednesday comes I look at my list. By then, most of the problems aren’t problems anymore, or I realize they weren’t worth worrying about in the first place.”

    Today’s Americans are not going to settle their differences. Our best hope is that enough people will calm down and move on, turn back to what they were doing before, and that the differences will return to the back burner. Democracy is not clean or efficient. Society muddles through. Agreeing to disagree means to a great extent letting people continue to believe what they want to believe.

    There’s an article in the P-G today about an NFL rule change on hits with helmets. The teams voted 29-1 in favor of it. “Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said those types of forcible hits by running backs needed to be eliminated . . . . ‘I think it’s obvious that we all want those types of plays out of the game,’ Tomlin said.” As I write there is not a single comment to the article agreeing with the new rule. *One* makes a neutral point about it. Typical of the rest: “Lets just start calling this soccer and get it over with.” “Tennis anyone?” And – wow! – “Pretty soon, it won’t be footbball anymore. Football ain’t safe! Who wnts to robbed by over paying for tickets to see watered down football?”

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/steelers/nfl-overwhelmingly-adopts-new-helmet-rule-680096/

    Right! Who wants safe? Coexistence is for wimps.

    • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 1:40 AM

      So, if all the wing nuts (your word not mine) are of the right, is that a recent phenomenon because the president is of the left (putting aside that he is partly Black). Is it inherently more prevalent on the right because the right attracts wing nuts. Were there more wing nuts on the left than on the right when Bush was president. UMOC, please note that this is asking for an opinion not a fact but you can buttress your opinion with facts if you so desire.

      When I took boxing as a P.E. elective in college, we boxed using oversized gloves and weren’t allowed to use our guard hand to go head-hunting. Now that was safe. Recognizing that college gym is quite different than the pros, if safety is the be all and end all, should that be adopted for the pros. Implementing rules for safety has its limitations so as not to destroy the integrity of the game but I don’t know what those limitations are.

      What so great about “co-existence”-are there not exceptions that deserve to be recognized. Same goes for compromise.

      • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 1:51 AM

        Devildog,

        “So, if all the wing nuts (your word not mine) are of the right, . . . .”

        Wingnuts are of the right, by definition. We’re Moonbats.

        “. . . is that a recent phenomenon because . . . .”

        Whence the change is a very interesting question. I suspect the ratcheting again goes to Karl Rove, who also introduced “attacking their strengths.” Maybe the only way he/they could think to attack a legitimate strength was to lie about it. Don’t know.

        “What so great about “co-existence”-are there not exceptions that deserve to be recognized. Same goes for compromise.”

        Yes! Yes! Yes! There are limits. There are lines. You bet!

        Are we there?

        • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 2:10 AM

          Did wingnut and moonbat originate here or elsewhere.

          We’re never “there” regarding this or any other matter.

          Just heard on local 11:00 news that Koch brothers want to buy the L.A. Times. Critics claim they want to turn it into Fox News. The Kochs have a lot of nerve wanting to convert the Times from MSNBC to Fox.

      • umoc193  On March 25, 2013 at 11:58 PM

        Some interesting thoughts, DD in your 1:40 a.m. 3/21 post about Tourist’s mentions of “wingnuts” and NFL rules changes.

        When Bush was Prez I’d see some pretty ridiculous or at least irrelevant claims about him but it was negligible compared to the volume of crap circulated about Obama.

        I can give a few quick examples.

        1. Obama was scorned because he exited AF One talking on a cell phone while saluting one of the guards. But until I factchecked that (it was true) I never knew that Bush made that same exit and salute while holding a puppy under one arm.

        2. Michelle Bachmann alleged that Obama was carrying on a “royal presidency” (and Jack Kelly milked a preposterous column out of it) by spending $1.4 billion a year on all White House expenses. While it is hard to ascertain precise spending levels some reasonable estimates of what the costs were under Bush placed them at about the same level. But the former was a speech on the Senate floor that became a popular meme while any grumblings about Bush’s WH spending remained just that—grumblings.

        3. There was some noise about Obama not going to the D-Day Memorial service at Normandy every year but since it was established…I believe when Nixon was Prez (going from memory here) only four times has any Prez gone to that ceremony, none more than once. But the only time I ever even heard about it was Obama.

        • Devildog  On March 26, 2013 at 12:23 AM

          And UMOC, what is your point-is it that Obama is being treated worse by the right than Bush was by the left because Obama is Black. And was Bush treated worse by the main street media than is Obama because Obama is Black or because Bush is White.

        • Devildog  On March 26, 2013 at 12:54 AM

          F,ureter more, try this one on for size. While some (you can call them wingnuts should you so desire) claimed that Obama was not Constitutionally eligible to be President based on his birth, it seems to me that many, many more (who you would not call moon bats) claimed that Bush did not win/lost the election-I would guess that you were one of them.

  • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 2:24 AM

    Devildog, not here. I’ve heard them for years, though Moonbat never very much. Wingnut comes from “right-wing nut.” Not sure what Moonbat is supposed to convey.

    Never “there” — there being the line? That’s what we have to keep telling ourselves.

    NOTHING POLITICAL: What’s the reputation in your time zone of the L.A. Times? The few articles I read (clicked from Google News) are usually pretty poor.

    • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      Not a local rep but a national wingnut rep-left coast, poor man’s version of the NYT. The troika-NYT, WashPost and LA Times.

      Goodnight George.

  • toadsly  On March 21, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I rarely get my lazy rear into gear. Reality is little fun.

    • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Hey, Toadsly! How goes it? Reality is little fun? Maybe you need a hobby.

      (Quote)

      Of all the results announced so far, this may be the most provocative. We expect the Universe to be pretty smooth on large scales. Those early fluctuations should be random, so when you look around at this ancient light, the pattern should be pretty random.

      And it is! . . . . Kindof. The distribution is random, but the amplitudes of the fluctuations are not . . . . A simple model of the Universe says that shouldn’t happen. The Universe is lopsided on a vast scale! What can this mean?

      . . . Right now, we don’t know, and there are far more ideas for why this would happen than we have data to test for . . . . Another idea, and one that is terribly exciting, is that we’re seeing some pattern imprinted on the Universe from before the Big Bang.

      (Unquote)

      http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/21/age_of_the_universe_planck_results_show_universe_is_13_82_billion_years.html

      There’s a link in the article for more on “before.” The article itself goes on:

      (Quote)

      As a scientist, of course, I like it when we get better measurements, more detail, refined numbers. That’s how we test models, and it helps us understand our ideas better.

      But I’m human, and a big part of my brain is still reeling from the fact that we can accurately measure the age of the Universe at all. We can figure out what’s in it, even when most of it is something we cannot see. We can determine not only that it’s expanding, but how quickly.

      And best of all, we see that the Universe is doing things we still don’t understand. It’s showing us that there is still more out there, things occurring on so vast a canvas that it both crushes utterly our sense of scale and expands ferociously our imagination.

      . . . I still hear some people say that science takes the wonder out life. Those people are utterly and completely wrong.

      Science takes us to the wonder.

      (Unquote)

      Where’s Richard?

      • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 4:29 PM

        Tourist, I neither know nor care what the article or your post is saying but if there is somewhere within a question being asked, I know the answer(which should be obvious to all). The answer-man-induced global warming.

        On this anniversary of Obamacare, were not two main objectives insuring the 30 million uninsured and reducing healthcare costs. How are we doing//will be doing on those two counts. It appears to some (not all wingnuts) that the cost curve has not/will not be bent and the uninsured might increase not decrease due to Obamacare.

      • Anonymous  On March 22, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        Hi, Tourist! The more we learn, the less we know. I suppose my glass is always half empty. Richard’s fine. Universe is 100,00 million years older than we previously thought…I wonder, in a thousand years, if this new estimate will be laughed to scorn? Still, nothing is more humbling than looking up into a clear, night sky!

      • Anonymous  On March 22, 2013 at 11:57 AM

        Hi, Tourist! Richard is fine

  • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    Devildog, maybe the Democrats should have rammed the original proposal down your throats.

    • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Tourist, am I correct in inferring from your comment, which was posted in response to my question, that you believe the cost curve has not been bent by Obamacare and that the Act will create more uninsured rather than fewer?

      • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        You are not.

        • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 5:19 PM

          Well, then, please excuse my ignorance in not understanding what you meant.

  • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    You’re excused.

    • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 5:30 PM

      Domo arrigato gazaimous. Spelling?

      • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 5:41 PM

        Devildog,

        “Domo arigato gozaimasu, President Obama.” America has “healthcare” for the first time in history. Major achievement. Perfect? Hardly. Adjustments and improvements with experience and time? To be expected. That it is a far cry from what it could have been? Entirely “your” fault.

        “Want him to fail.” “One-term president.” “Not one vote.”

        • Devildog  On March 21, 2013 at 5:59 PM

          Tourist, you can blame whomever you want but “America has healthcare”. If you mean Americans have health insurance, no we don’t. There will be more without insurance because many employers will drop it for their employees and pay the penalty and young people will opt out. Prediction-more uninsured rather than fewer.Leaders find a way to overcome obstacles, even be they obstinate. You can claim whatever you want, including racism, but I have seen no indicia of leadership from our “esteemed leader”.

  • Tourist  On March 21, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    Contemplate: “drop it and pay the penalty.”

  • Anonymous  On March 22, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Yeah, and the more we learn the less we know. I’m always “glass half empty.” If we were infinite creatures, we’d still croak, due to boredom. Richard’s fine. Nice talking to you, again!

  • Anonymous  On March 22, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Hi, Tourist!

  • toadsly  On March 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Still screwed!

  • Tourist  On March 22, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Cheers, Gang! I don’t think many people seriously doubt that there was an event of some sort that we call the Big Bang. But who has ever been happy with the “before that?” answers? The best and worst at the same time (oops) has been that time is a property of the universe (that’s why they call it space-time), and, until there was a universe (Big Bang), there was no meaning to “before.”

    But the question is meaningful in our frame of reference, so what’s the answer in our frame of reference? Actually, if the answer is “from another dimension,” we in three dimensions would see it coming out of nowhere – something from nothing – so that makes sense. But that may not be it either.

    Other ideas range from a series of Bang-Crunch-Bang oscillations to a little alien kid’s terrarium, each ending at turtles all the way down, and most offered without evidence. Fair enough.

    The article I linked to looks at an observed/measured, unexplained irregularity in our universe and notes it as possible *evidence* — this is not new – of a “pattern imprinted on the Universe from before the Big Bang.” You know, like GIGO.

    That artlcle links to one from 2008 by Sean Carroll.

    http://www.preposterousuniverse.com/blog/2008/06/08/the-lopsided-universe/

    To which commenter Sam Cox adds:

    (Quote)

    This is just excellent! I heartily agree that if a multiverse, or phylogenically developing repeating similarverse exists, we WILL be able to detect it.

    The math has been around for years. Some pretty direct evidence (mass distribution) not related to the CMB [cosmic microwave background] is available and we understand the engineering necessities related to the existence of complex information and structure in the universe. Considering these circumstances, the fact the the CMB contains evidence for possible pre- big bang existence should really not be a surprise at all.

    You are not ready to be assertive about the connection . . . . Still, for the reasons I listed above, I believe personally that the nature of time process in the universe is linked to this observation and its pre-big bang implications…

    (Unquote)

    Personally, I think the answer could just as easily be chaos theory, the butterfly in Beijing – which I *think* is a little different – but I have no evidence.

    ===

    For most of my life, it started with the Big Bang (my first professor still believed in “steady state”). The challenge was to make sense of that, not go backward beyond it. There was nothing before. Now there is “before.”

    It’s almost routine. In my lifetime!

    This is why I want to live forever.

    • Devildog  On March 22, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Tourist, I didn’t respond to your “contemplate” because then, and now, I was/am intimidated by your intellect and obtuseness. But now, I ask the question-who cares/why care. If I’m non-religious though not necessarily anti-religion, does that mean I can’t be a wingnut? I hope I’m not disqualified.

  • Tourist  On March 22, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Devildog,

    Who cares about before the Big Bang or who cares about the Ford Pinto? If I’ve been confusing in any way, I salute you for being competitive.

    What does “many employers will drop it for their employees and pay the penalty” say, and about whom? I’m not suggesting they have to care or do “what’s right.” How about just obeying the law? It’s cheaper not to? Is that this:

    “We wanted to live our lives by a certain code, and we found it in the Corps.”

    (Estimated number of fiery deaths) x (Going rate for fiery deaths (jury awards)) is less than (Cost of repositioning gas tank) ; therefore, do not reposition gas tank.

    • Devildog  On March 22, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      Now Tourist, for one of the very few times, you have disappointed me. When I couldn’t understand you, I was not disappointed-I attributed it to my shortcomings. But when you bring in the Pinto, where Ford was found to violate at least civil law, and analogize it to employers “dropping out” in ACCORDANCE WITH THE LAW, you are way off base. I thought you looked up eleemosynary. What law is being violated?

      Furthermore, as I said, there will probably be more uninsured with Obamacare after than before and, as reported today, healthcare costs will greatly increase including, but not limited to, insurance premiums. So much for bending the cost curve. But, according to UMOC and I believe you, it was a giant step forward. It was not (I think, not a fact) and its forced passage poisoned the well.

      Yes, I found it in the Corps but I also found it in the pharma company I worked for for 25 years, much more than the five years as a civil servant in DC. While I went to law school at night. What movie was that?

      • Tourist  On March 22, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        Devildog, I think working and going to law school at night was “The Day the Earth Stood Still,” but I could be wrong. Going to law school in the day and working at night was definitely “West Wing.”

        What law is being violated? Presumably this one, but I haven’t read it. You tell me. You said employers would be electing to pay the penalty, and it rings a bell that laws are sometimes structured as compliance versus violation/penalty. A while back in “these blogs” a small-business owner explained to the readership how to keep long-time part-time employees (a.k.a. variable costs) below the threshold for benefits. Same thing. The tea party urged small businesses to not hire while Obama was in office. Same thing. The gas tank? Same thing.

        Thus my question: What does it say, and about whom?

        Don’t worry. They’ve got your back.

        By the way, by my count of your claims, I have disappointed you far more that a “very few times.”

        I’m escaping before I have to acknowledge any of your points. There are cherry blossoms to drink beer under in my time zone.

        • Devildog  On March 22, 2013 at 9:27 PM

          UMOC, please help on this issue as you are the expert. Don’t employers have a choice (those who have more than 50 employees) of providing a plan meeting certain requirements, as do individuals (the individual mandate) or pay a “tax”.

          Tourist, see what I meant. I have no idea what the hell you first paragraph means (and not only because I never watch West Wing” or any tv serial program) and I feel intimidated again. How many times is a very few times? Besides, which, just saing you have disappointed me shows some measure of respect for you. And now, I’m off-to give my dog (Scooter) some exercise.

        • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 1:26 AM

          Tourist and UMOC, I believe the individual mandate (tax) applies to individuals not employers. If an employer drops insurance coverage it is required to provide, it will be “assessed a fee of $2,000 multiplied by a number based on certain factors including the number of employees involved (very complicated). $2,000 will, of course, be much less to the employer than providing coverage. The employer might also terminate some employees or reduce them to part-time to eliminate the $2,000 charge.

          In any event, the analogy to Pinto is totally unwarranted and I reiterate my “opinion” that there will be more uninsured and not only will the cost curve not be bent in a favorable manner but it will be bent in an unfavorable manner. Place the blame where you want but that’s my prediction.

          • umoc193  On March 23, 2013 at 2:04 AM

            For everyone,

            I have been having some problems both with my computer and personally. I am not ignoring any questions posed to me and I hope to get caught up sometime later today, afternoon or evening. You all appear to be doing just fine without me but I know you’d like continued input from me. I’m really interested in reading and distilling all your coments and responding where necessary.

            Thanks for keeping up.

    • anonymous  On March 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM

      If the cost of obeying the law is greater than the penalty (cost) of disobeying the law, why would anyone with any common sense obey the law? Am I missing something?

      • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 3:23 AM

        Umm . . . ‘cause it’s the law? ‘Cause there’s some purpose behind it? ‘Cause it’s how we try to do things?

        Why repay the loan if there was no collateral? Why pay any of your debts if you can go bankrupt?

        There’s a time and place for economic calculations, but is everything in life an economic calculation? That’s an actual question.

        • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 11:03 AM

          When I asked what movie that was, I was referring to your quote about living lives by a certain code found in the Corps and you come up with a movie and show i didn’t see and going to law school at night vs. day and I was supposed to get it. I was thinking of something like A Few Good Men. Thanks though for thinking I would get your obtuseness.

          We could discuss not compling with a law under certain circumstances but that has nothing to do with the Obamacare situation. I initially used the phrase pay a penalty, which I don’t consider violating a law in this case but the accurate phrase is assessed a fee, which should eliminate Torist’s moral issue in this matter.

  • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 3:18 AM

    “Tourist, see what I meant. I have no idea what the hell you first paragraph means . . . .”

    Devildog, I’m getting concerned about you. That’s the paragraph where I said: “Devildog, I think working and going to law school at night was ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ but I could be wrong . . . .” It was in direct response to and came immediately after – an inch apart on the screen – you said: “. . . five years as a civil servant in DC. While I went to law school at night. What movie was that?”

    Okay, yes, there was an hour between them. Is that it? Short-term memory? Because, really, then, it’s okay. Everyone forgets. Old people just worry about it more.

    As for our mutual “respect,” I could do with a group reset of that, and “benefit of the doubt,” not least because we’re a pretty tiny group.

  • anonymous  On March 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

    Tourist: ‘Umm . . . ‘cause it’s the law? ‘Cause there’s some purpose behind it?’

    Are you saying that people should blindly obey laws whether they agree with them or not? I mean, is this a philosophical position? If so, I guess you would support the racists that attempt to justify laws such as the Jim Crow laws.

    • anonymous  On March 23, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      I didn’t mean to dismiss your question.

      ‘There’s a time and place for economic calculations, but is everything in life an economic calculation?’

      Let’s see. I would think it would be safe to say that a business owner’s main objective is, you know, to keep the business open. Given this, I would think that at least 99% of their decisions are based on economic calculations.

      As far as individuals are concerned, Well, I would think that for most people to live the life they want, there are significant financial considerations. I mean, most things aren’t free and those that are free, well, they’re free for a reason.

      Now an argument can be made that there are more imprtant things in life than satisfying material desires. While this may be true for people living in a commune in the 1960s listening to Joan Baez music and singing Kumbaya, I don’t think most people make too many decisions that aren’t based on economic calculations.

      • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Hi, anonymous. What about Ben and Jerry. They were in business to do good for humanity. That’s why they charged so much for a simple ice cream cone and made excessive profits. So they could do good with all the money they made. And then they sold the company to an evil corporation not interested in doing good but now Ben and Jerry have even more money to do good. Economic considerations are not what drove their actions- it was all about doing good, and there are many, many business people driven by the same motive.

  • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Hello, Anonymous,

    “Tourist: . . . . Are you saying that people should blindly obey laws whether they agree with them or not?”

    My parents taught me to. They also taught me to think for myself. Hmmm.

    As the starting point, yes, we obey the law. That’s why we say “rule of law,” with no one above it and all that. If we pursue this, is there going to be a difference between agreeing with a law and liking it? If you simply ask the same question about the people against whom laws are enforced for *your* benefit – your benefit including that you live in a functioning civil society (I keep telling myself) – it should answer itself.

    “I would think it would be safe to say that a business owner’s main objective is, you know, to keep the business open.” (Our Anonymous)

    “The worst crime against working people is a company which fails to operate at a profit.”
    – Samuel Gompers, founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL)

    If I may:

    A Fortune 10 whale swallows one of its overseas distributors, the modestly profitable S.S. Minnow with 700 employees, and installs new management, because modest profitably won’t do. Two years later sales are up by 30%; profit is up by 125%; employment remains the same (hiring to replace departures; same benefits). The parent gets most of the new money in dividends and payments for the products it sells to the subsidiary. Had management also cut jobs, even more money could have been channeled to the parent, whose earnings per share would have further increased at some decimal place out to the right. Assume jobs could have been eliminated without negative effect (I mean on the company) and that, if necessary, employment could have been increased again later. Assume that you are directly or indirectly invested in the Fortune 10 parent. Did the subsidiary’s management betray the parent and you by not firing people when it could have?

    Hypothetically.

    • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Not eleemosynary but any good management will take a long-term view. I’ll leave it to Anonymous, if he desires, to answer your hypotheticals but I would give new mgt. pretty good bonuses. The object of a publicly traded company is not to make as much money in any given year but to make a steady, acceptable predictable increase in sales and profits each year. That’s what benefits shareholders the most. Surprised your hypothetical doesn’t understand that. What is your background?

      • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 6:53 PM

        Sorry, sir, but I said this: “Assume jobs could have been eliminated without negative effect (I mean on the company) and that, if necessary, employment could have been increased again later.” That, within the single paragraph, was supposed to tell you there was no business reason to not cut jobs then.

        You: “. . . any good management will take a long-term view . . . . The object of a publicly traded company is not to make as much money in any given year but to make a steady, acceptable predictable increase in sales and profits each year. That’s what benefits shareholders the most.”

        Oh, that it were so! And sometimes it is. It depends on who your shareholders are. Also, not to put too fine a point on it, bonuses are based on formulas.

        • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 7:23 PM

          Tourist, in a publicly traded company, it, its management and its shareholders depend on how the mavens on Wall Street perceive the prospects of the company to be and they perceive it to be exactly how I described it. Having a great quarter or even year means little compared to your future prospects. If your can find a company that will increase its profits say 5% every quarter, invest in it and you will become wealthy (if you already aren’t now). I am very well aware how bonuses are awarded and how there is room for exceptions. I’m also very aware about internal workings of major corporations, including the setting of profit plans for the coming year and how managers, including top management seek to level performance-don’t make too much money in any quarter or year. Apparently, you don’t-but I’m sure you are very knowledgeable in other areas.

          By the way, to eliminate jobs now and rehire people later is the stupidous thing management can do (if foreseeable. What did you say your background is? Losing trained employees then hiring new ones and have to train them? Really now! But the opportunity to get rid of some dead wood is another matter.

  • anonymous  On March 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    First – obeying laws. I think I might be missing your point but let me give it a shot. Who is deciding that the law is to someone else’s benefit? If I don’t buy health ins. and instead pay the fine because I believe that this is most beneficial to me, don’t I have the right to not buy the ins. and pay the fine. Yes, I am breaking the law, but I am doing so because it benefits me and I am willing to accept the consequences. And while disobeying the law may have some indirect negative effect on other people (in this situation, pay more for health care), isn’t this just an unintended consequence associated government intervention into the private market in general? Since the benefits to breaking the law are obvious, whether someone breaks the law requiring them to buy health care becomes a moral decision. I think we are at a point in history where it has become obvious and accepted that some people benefit and some people are hurt when the govt intervenes in the private sector. Many of the people benefitted by govt policies are already wealthy. Given this, I think most people would dismiss issues of morality in this situation. What this ultimately demonstrates is why laws like Obamacare should not be implemented – the costs associated with the law of unintended consequences that the law creates outweigh the benefits of the law.

    Second – Your hypothetical. The agent has a responsibility to the principal. This is how companies grow. While it may not be true in every situation, when companies grow, they hire more people. Then some of these people start their own company and they hire people. And this is why, in general, 160M people have jobs in this country.

    Now are there certain situations in which people lose their jobs when companies grow – absolutely. But this is very much the exception, not the rule. As I said, there is a reason why 160M people have jobs. People lose jobs, it’s a fact of life. But it is better to focus on the greater good that companies provide.

  • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Devildog, please don’t be offended when I say I’d hire you in a minute and give you substantial decision-making authority. I like the way you think. You are not, alas, representative. Scratch that. You are representative, but not of prevailing practices.

    A serious problem/limitation in our discussions – these, yours, mine – is that there are examples for everything, every kind of person, every kind of situation. We pick what we want and present them as controlling wisdom. I know I do.

    Two things you said: (1) “to eliminate jobs now and rehire people later is the stupidest thing management can do (if foreseeable).” (Good qualifier there.) Would that include assembly-line layoffs till demand picks up? Supermarket check-out clerks? Home builders (construction)? How hard is it for a GM salesperson to learn to love Fords?

    Your point is great but it assumes universal conditions: loss of valuable (difficult, particular) skills, limited replacement pool, expensive training. The S.S. Minnow was a distributor. Let’s pretend it distributed branded, generic machinery, that the workforce was basic sales and repairs (mechanics, not engineers), and that the Minnow’s success (before and after the management change) in a mature, stagnating market was at the expense of competitors whose still and former salespeople and mechanics Minnow could easily hire.

    Granted, I did not say most of that the first time. Granted, also, that Anonymous did not exactly say that the “only obligation of a company is to its shareholders.” But we hear that frequently, and that is what I was attempting to address.

    (2) “. . . how the mavens on Wall Street perceive the prospects of the company . . . . Having a great quarter or even year means little compared to your future prospects.”

    Yes, part of Wall Street thinks/operates that way. Part does not. You: “If you can find a company that will increase its profits say 5% every quarter, invest in it.” Yep! And hold it when 5% falls to 4% and even 3%, because that’s still pretty good and you have faith in it’s long-term strength and prospects. No argument if that’s the case. But others would dump it all in an instant if a 5.2% opportunity arose, and dump that in turn.

    Dog, I do not think we are disagreeing (much). It’s just that the same people who demonstrate on-the-ground common sense (you) often insist their principle is the market (you). A pure market is about maximum economic efficiency and survival of the fittest. A pure market is the jungle.

    Art, not science.

    ===

    I’ve taken the counterargument too far. No one, at least here, is arguing what I am arguing against. Which makes the question. where is the common ground?

    • anonymous  On March 23, 2013 at 9:16 PM

      ‘Anonymous did not exactly say that the “only obligation of a company is to its shareholders.” ‘

      Uhhh…. Yes, I did. The shareholders are the principals. What I am saying is that, in general, the best outcome (for owners, workers, everybody) results from this relationship between the principal and agent. I am not saying this is always the case but intervention in this relationship should be highly limited since this almost surely will result in a worse outcome.

      • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 9:32 PM

        Anonymous, then I have to disagree. You’re arguing shareholder theory. I go with stakeholder theory. See also “jungle.”

        I’m thinking about your other comment, which is also interesting. I’ll be back

        • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 10:20 PM

          A little personal history. About 20 years ago, when it came to be in vogue, our executive committee met to come up with a mission statement. Others talked about being ” nice” to our employees, customers, the public, etc. I insisted that our mission was to enhance shareholder value and that the way to do that, the means to accomplish our mission, was to do all those nice things (for long term benefit). I lost the argument. Too bad Anonymous wasn’t our CEO at the time because I think he would have agreed with me.

    • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Tourist, you say that I am not representative of prevailing practices, and I assume your opinion is because of terminations that have occurred over the last few years, but I believe I am (I still would like to know your background-why will you not give it-I believe your have no inkling of how business operates).

      To your question, the answer is yes, yes, yes. Managers will keep their good employees if at all possible to get through bad times and try to get rid of deadwood when possible. I believe any general contractor will try and keep his good people as long as he can survive with that even if it cuts into his profits. A supermarket manager will cut clerks mainly because they don’t have enough work for them not for a short-term profit. Companies of course have found they can do without the number of employees they had. Should they keep them for altruistic purposes? See anonymous!

      A jungle? I don’t think so. Again, see Anonymous? Again, what is your background. Curious-you don’t have to be specific. I’m guessing academic related.

      • Tourist  On March 23, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        Devildog, you may be a hell of a kisser but you’re a lousy guesser.

        • Devildog  On March 23, 2013 at 10:35 PM

          Can’t draw you out can I. What are you embarrassed/ashamed of? Well, if I can’t guess right in the affirmative, I feel confident about guessing in the negative-definitely not emplyed in a publicly-traded company.

  • anonymous  On March 23, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    I want to alter the beginning of my 8:14P post. I said ‘If I don’t buy health ins. and instead pay the fine because I believe that this is most beneficial to me, don’t I have the right to not buy the ins. and pay the fine.’

    I would like to replace ‘don’t I have the right’ with ”don’t I have the freedom to choose’. In the starkest example – I don’t have a right to kill someone but I do have the freedom to choose whether to kill someone.

  • Tourist  On March 24, 2013 at 12:48 AM

    Anonymous, to your alteration to your comment, before you made it I was going to say that you at least had the “power.” If you want to say now “freedom to choose,” I’ll agree with “free will.” But you’re giving as your example – where you say you have no “right,” so presumably the circumstances make it wrong – the choice to kill.

    If this is philosophy, I guess so. But I don’t see where debating that kind of “freedom” gets us. I know you are using it as a stark example, and implying you wouldn’t do it. But take something at the other extreme: your freedom to choose to jaywalk and risk a citation. That you might do. And if you’ll do that as a matter of freedom, how can “I” be sure you won’t kill as a matter of freedom? I think this is why “we” gang up and pass all those tyrannical laws limiting freedom in the first place – because that view of “freedom” (anarchy?) is not something we want seriously entertained. Sorry about that. Live with it. Or try Montana or Wyoming.

    People break laws, and it may be that the cop won’t be bothered by the jaywalker, but how can we openly say you are “free” to jaywalk – “free” to decide which laws you will obey – any more than we could acknowledge you are “free” to kill? For our system of laws to work, the principle has to be: all of them.

    When the law says you have to buy insurance, that one, too.

    I credit you with recognizing this: “Yes, I am breaking the law, but I am doing so because it benefits me and I am willing to accept the consequences. And while disobeying the law may have some indirect negative effect on other people (in this situation, pay more for health care), isn’t this just an unintended consequence associated government intervention into the private market in general?”

    My answer is: (1) You may call it “government intervention into the private market” but “we” – society – can’t leave it to you to decide. (2) Yes, indeed, what about that “indirect negative effect on other people”? (3) If “breaking the law” plus penalties is not a sufficient deterrent, maybe the penalties have to be adjusted. That wouldn’t be my philosophical first-choice, by the way, but the needs of the many outweigh the need-to-be-free of the one. (Devildog, Star Trek.)

    ===

    “I think we are at a point in history where it has become obvious and accepted that some people benefit and some people are hurt when the govt intervenes in the private sector.”

    People benefit and people are hurt when the private sector is left to its own devices. Business has no other obligations than to its owners/principals, you say. We can do better.

    “What this ultimately demonstrates is why laws like Obamacare should not be implemented – the costs associated with the law of unintended consequences that the law creates outweigh the benefits of the law.”

    Would you say the same about Social Security, or clean-clean air and clean-water laws? Industrial safety? Even with Obamacare, there is no reason yet to agree that that is true – that unintended negative consequences are greater – and no reason at all to agree that it’s always true.

    • Devildog  On March 24, 2013 at 1:06 AM

      Nice philosophical discussion but all misplaced because being assessed a fee for not engaging in a transaction is not akin to breaking a law and being penalized, monetarily or otherwise. A tax not a penalty?

    • anonymous  On March 24, 2013 at 2:37 AM

      My basic response goes back to my initial question that you didn’t answer – would it be wrong to violate the Jim Crow laws? Complying with a law just because it is a law is antithetical to the foundations of this country’s founding. After all, George Washington would have been beheaded in a London courtyard if the Brits won the Revolutionary War.

      Devildog is correct, not buying ins. isn’t violating the law. I would never find myself in a courtroom if I didn’t buy ins. (not necessarily true if I murdered someone or even jaywalked)

      I do think that you will be very surprised by the number of people on the right and left that make a decision that they feel is in their own best interest when it comes to the ACA. With that said, conservatives should not necessarily rejoice over the possibility that ACA will be a failure. The next step is single payer – if you are reading UMOC, please stop salivating. You’ll get drool on your keyboard.

      Other comments
      -Obamacare isn’t govt intervention into the private sector? If it isn’t, what would you call it?
      -‘what about that “indirect negative effect on other people”?’ – Obamacare itself will have indirect and direct effects on millions of people and as we will see, many of these effects will be highly costly.
      -‘the penalties have to be adjusted.’ – the obvious argument is that this would make things worse
      -‘Business has no other obligations than to its owners/principals, you say’ – I also said this is best for everybody (including workers) and, with limited exceptions, ‘we’ cannot do better. There is a reason why the US is the wealthiest country in the history of the world and it doesn’t have much to do with policies like the stimulus.
      -‘Would you say the same about Social Security, or clean-clean air and clean-water laws? Industrial safety?’ – In general, yes. 1) SS was never meant to be used as a retirement account. 2) There are pictures of Pittsburgh from the 1950s where the sky is black from the steel mill smokestacks. Compare that to Pittsburgh today. And yet, the air still isn’t clean enough for those on the left. 3) While you always want to be as safe as possible, there has to be cost-benefit analysis when it comes to workplace safety. After all, the safest thing we could do is eliminate the industry. Since we aren’t doing that, we must be setting the safety standard in a way that there is some degree of risk. Therefore, we are putting a human price on safety.

      While nobody likes to talk about it, enforcing workplace safety laws costs firms money and resources –> negatively affecting economic growth. You can’t acknowledge workplace safety standards without acknowledging how these standards affects job growth. And we’re not just talking about jobs. Someone without a job is more at risk health-wise, more likely will create family issues and may resort to criminal activities for survival

      It all comes down to attempting to satisfy unlimited wants with limited resources – while liberals like to refute the idea of limited resources, history tells us there is no such thing as a free lunch.

      • Tourist  On March 24, 2013 at 5:02 AM

        Anonymous, honestly, I appreciate your willingness/determination to answer the questions and hold me to answering yours. To your first paragraph: Jim Crow was wrong, thus it was right and brave to violate it; so history shows. George Washington was a traitor to the Crown, he won, mercantilism (colonies exist for the benefit of the mother country) fell out of favor (as did slavery, eventually), and he is revered; so history shows. Gandhi, the same. John Brown, Jim Jones, David Koresh, the Unabomber? Not so much. If the tea party pulls it off . . . . Let’s see. Till then, “Complying with a law just because it is a law is antithetical to the foundations of this country’s founding” is a tad overstating the case, or an absurd overstating of the case, take your pick, but exactly the kind of red meat I would be throwing out – inflammatory propaganda unless you really are an anarchist or freshman, and I don’t think you are a freshman because of this: “With that said, conservatives should not necessarily rejoice over the possibility that ACA will be a failure. The next step is single payer.” Are you an anarchist, then, or a propagandist?

        Bringing me to: “I do think that you will be very surprised by the number of people on the right and left that make a decision that they feel is in their own best interest when it comes to the ACA.” Surprised? At people acting in their own best interests? Gimme a break! I have talked around here about people on both sides going out of their way to misunderstand each other. When a partisan like me makes a statement like that, it generally means the target is my own side. This time I’m going to whine and say the victim is me. (Devildog started it.)

        In your “Other comments,” you’re basically saying liberals have everything wrong, and you’re celebrating the jungle.

        Am I right? I don’t want to misunderstand you.

      • Devildog  On March 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM

        As I think Anonymous alluded to, life is making cost/benefit decisions and one of the major differences between right and left is which part of the divide you fall. The left seems to fall on the side that wants (big) government to intercede to make things better/safer for everyone when it so often is counter-productive. Best recent example-Keystone Pipeline. It’s not that liberals have everything wrong but this basic difference makes them get almost everything wronging that even if there basic idea may by okay, they just seem to always overreach in its implementation.

        Interesting that both Anonymous and I predict a single-payer system in the future(not necessarily my future).

  • anonymous  On March 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Let me see if I got this right – you’re equating the unabomber to the Tea Party. Yeah, that seems reasonable. Well, no, it is actually ridiculous. I equate The Tea Party to the Founding Fathers. Considering how much liberals want to tear up the Constitution, you might agree although for very different reasons.

    ““Complying with a law just because it is a law is antithetical to the foundations of this country’s founding” is a tad overstating the case” – really?

    -The Founding Fathers did not comply with the established law
    -The definition of foundation which I am using is the following: the basis of something such as a theory or an idea. This would be the desire to establish a democracy.
    –> I don’t think one can argue the statement. I might be willing to change the statement to ‘Complying with an ‘unjust’ law just because it is a law is antithetical to the foundations of this country’s founding’. Then we can discuss the definition of ‘unjust’ – I don’t think we’ll find too much agreement but at least this would be open to discussion.

    Let’s see
    -If I go to the SS wiki page I see that SS was established because poverty rates among senior citizens exceeded 50 percent and the average life span was 66 years. This program like all govt programs are implemented to ‘fix’ the current problem. As a result, they are static in nature and would not be appropriate for future ‘steady’ states. This creates quite the conundrum since it is impossible to know what future steady states will look like, esp. when ‘steady states’ are never steady.
    -I said that the sky was black in the 1950s and is not now. I say that the only way to ensure no coal mine deaths is to eliminate the industry and that the continuation of the industry is, by definition, putting a price on human life. These are facts.
    -You call it ‘celebrating’ the jungle. Again, I guess it depends on one’s perspective. Conservatism is the reason this country is the wealthiest country in the history of the world. It is the basis for this country’s success. You are calling conservatives ‘anarchists’. And you want to come to some consensus on the current issues of the day? Liberals are the ‘anarchists’. O is ruining the country. Thank God the House is Republican. I think we can make it another 3.5 years without this country crumbling as a result of O’s vision.

    Until someone invents a way for humans to nourish themselves without stopping other activities, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Liberals will never understand this.

  • anonymous  On March 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Devildog

    Re: Single Payer. Once the govt implements a program, instead of accepting that it was a failure and dismantling it, they attempt to ‘fix’ it.

    The only real hope is that the ACA fails miserably (the likelihood that this will happen will definitely be somewhat dependent on people acting in their own self-interest – Tourist) and the u-rate is still above 8%. Maybe people will realize how much of a failure liberalism is if this occurs. I think the GOP will maintain the House. However, beating Hillary even if this results will be difficult. If the GOP can win the prez in 2016, I think the odds of dismantling it will increase dramatically.

    • Devildog  On March 24, 2013 at 5:52 PM

      Anonymous, I agree. But even worse than trying to “fix” it is doubling and tripling down on the initial gamble. Something like the definition of insanity. Throw more money at the problem.

  • Tourist  On March 24, 2013 at 8:37 PM

    Devildog says: “The left seems to fall on the side that wants (big) government to intercede to make things better/safer for everyone . . . .”

    +++ Yes, from the perspective that government is not my enemy, but my government.

    Devildog: “. . . when it so often is counter-productive.”

    +++ Question: Is “counter-productive,” and correct me if I’m wrong but I think we’ve heard it also as “unintended consequences,” what Anonymous means when he says: “While nobody likes to talk about it, enforcing workplace safety laws costs firms money and resources –> negatively affecting economic growth. You can’t acknowledge workplace safety standards without acknowledging how these standards affects job growth. And we’re not just talking about jobs. Someone without a job is more at risk health-wise, more likely will create family issues and may resort to criminal activities for survival”?

    +++ Workplace safety leads to crime? Is that the argument? Well, it gets there step by step so it must be true. I was more right than I thought. It’s a jungle either way.

    Anonymous says: “I equate The Tea Party to the Founding Fathers.”

    +++ To our heroic icons? Of course you do.

    Anonymous (edited): “Complying with a law just because it is a law is antithetical to the foundations of this country’s founding” and “The Founding Fathers did not comply with the established law” and “The definition of foundation which I am using is the following: the basis of something such as a theory or an idea. This would be the desire to establish a democracy” and “I don’t think one can argue the statement.”

    +++ I thought the tea party’s (please see the note at the bottom) issue was “republic,” not “democracy,” the difference being democracy’s “will of the people” versus a republic’s “rule of law.”

    +++ Anonymous then modifies the statement to: “Complying with an *unjust* law just because it is a law is antithetical to the foundations of this country’s founding.” That’s fine. That was “Jim Crow,” where I agreed, and Obamacare, where I didn’t. Anonymous recognizes that we will disagree over the meaning of “unjust.” So far, the unjustness of Obamacare that demands it be violated is “counter-productive” has “unintended consequences.”

    +++ For the sake of argument, those would be policy effects. Yes, “antithetical to the foundations” overstates the case.

    These, in contrast, at least help bring us together: “Considering how much liberals want to tear up the Constitution . . . . Liberals are the ‘anarchists’. O is ruining the country. Thank God the House is Republican. I think we can make it another 3.5 years without this country crumbling as a result of O’s vision . . . . [T]here is no such thing as a free lunch. Liberals will never understand this . . . . how much of a failure liberalism is.”

    ===

    Note: I occasionally speak negatively of the tea party. Not capitalizing it is not an example of that. For want of something better, I went with the political style guide of the Associated Press:

    tea party
    Lowercase the populist movement that opposes the Washington political establishment. Adherents are tea partyers. Formally named groups in the movement are capitalized: Tea Party Express.

    http://www.ap.org/content/press-release/2011/ap-compiles-political-style-guide

    • Devildog  On March 25, 2013 at 1:14 AM

      Tourist, I will try to correct you as you invited me to do if you did not accurate convey my intent. I did not intend counter-productive to be necessarily synonymous with unintended consequences. I can’t (always) know the motives and knowledge of those who take action but I can determine if that action is counter-productive or opine as to whether it will be such.

      Holding up the Keystone Pipeline has known consequences and is counter-productive, at least in my opinion and in the opinion of every reputable, knowledgeable and, independent expert that exists in the world. Take that UMOC and your b.s. about “global warming experts”. So there’s an example where counter-productive is not synonymous with unintended consequences and I think Anonymous would say the consequences are or should be known but are illogically disregarded.

      • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 2:04 AM

        I would say that counter productive would be in the subset of unintended consequences. Unintended consequences may be good or bad. Counter productive is always ‘bad’. Although if the ACA makes health care worse, the unintended consequence may be its dismantling which would be good.

        What promoters of govt policies and programs fail to consider is that people’s incentives change as a result of the policy. For example, I would be shocked that anyone who would benefit by paying the tax would not choose that route. That people would comply with the requirement because it is the law is pure fantasy.

  • anonymous  On March 24, 2013 at 9:52 PM

    My only response is to correct a bit of ignorance on my part
    +++This would be the desire to establish a democracy
    -I have to admit, I was wrong. The Constitution says nothing about a democracy. It establishes a Republic. I have to admit my beliefs about the role of govt in the economy date to about 1990 – my early 20s. I don’t think I have ever read what the tea party platform is. I watch the news and basically know the party wants a smaller govt. Since my belief is that you can pretty much cut about 90% of all govt programs without creating too many issues, I support this tenet of their philosophy.

    No use continuing our discussion of the other issues. I mean I can show you an infinite number of studies that show a direct relationship between the urate and the crime rate and argue that you can’t have everything. If you want to increase workplace safety (i.e., more regulations), there are costs associated with this. That is, if the govt says you have to be safer by doing X – X must cost money (if it doesn’t, then what is the govt telling you to do; you wouldn’t have to change anything if you were doing X already). Since firms face higher costs it will mean they employ less people (this is a direct effect). If you accept this direct effect (and in all honesty, I doubt you would), then the link between more regulations and crime becomes much clearer. And this is why you can’t have everything – do I have to say it again? There is no such thing as a free lunch. This can’t be argued. Liberals dismiss it as an obstacle but it can’t be argued as to whether it is true.

    Well, I guess I did continue a discussion of one issue. I have to stop doing this. I feel like I am actually banging my head against the table. I am going to take an aspirin.

    • Tourist  On March 24, 2013 at 10:19 PM

      Anonymous,

      “I watch the news and basically know the party wants a smaller govt. Since my belief is that you can pretty much cut about 90% of all govt programs without creating too many issues, I support this tenet of their philosophy.”

      I think you’d find “90%” to be considerably off the mark, but I’d be fine with smaller government, too. I think Obama “ruining the country” and liberals wanting to “tear up the Constitution” don’t help either, whether it’s you talking like that or me.

      Meanwhile, we certainly have substantive differences – one being that “you guys” seem to have some vision of perfection, or else inevitability: “‘We’ cannot do better,” you say. I find that defeatist, or maybe self-fulfilling.

      Old saying (not in my nitpicking sense of “democracy”): “Democracy is the worst possible form of government, except for all the others.”

      I don’t expect it to be neat, clean, easy or efficient, or the challenge ever over.

      “I feel like I am actually banging my head against the table.”

      I feel like you’re reading my mind.

      “I am going to take an aspirin.”

      I like the Giant Eagle house brand.

  • anonymous  On March 24, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    When I say we cannot do better, it is because we look at markets in different ways. My belief is that markets constrict an individual’s or firm’s ability to ‘cheat’ society. This is what happened in 2008. The market revealed the cheaters. The is why markets are assumed efficient. The market worked, it was the people operating in the market that failed.

    When govt replaces market (Obamacare, for example), it becomes almost impossible to reveal the ‘cheaters’. For govt to be efficient, it has to know what the price of a good ‘should’ be in every market. I am putting ‘should’ in quotes because I am assuming that the govt has deemed the market to have failed in determining what the price should be. It is beyond me to believe in any way that a bureaucratic institution that often times cannot get out of its own way would be able to determine what the price of a product ‘should’ be in 100s (1000s?) of markets. The likelihood that this can occur has to be infinitesimal.

    The beauty of the market outcome is that the market for a good only has to know the price of the one good – this seems a much more likely proposition.

    This is why I say that ‘we cannot do better’ – the market provides infinitely more info, about the true value of a good than the govt can ever dream possible. So when someone says Obamacare will result in ‘better’ health care, I think that the probability of this being true is infinitesimal.

  • Tourist  On March 25, 2013 at 3:36 AM

    I was trying to figure out what in all that has been said recently to try to respond to. I would like to hear more about the market making it easier to catch cheaters, because that idea is new to me and there is something intuitively right about it, at least in theory. I would like to hear some examples, and maybe which cheaters Obamacare is going to make it harder to catch.

    Related, I think: We just heard that idea about the market. We also hear that by picking its winners and weeding out its losers, the market achieves the most efficient use of resources. We hear that the market provides the maximum total growth for everyone.

    Who decided those are the goals? Simplistically, who decided that the biggest pie distributed very unequally with some people getting none, is better than a merely big pie distributed very unequally with at least everybody getting something? Who decided?

    Most efficient use of resources? How can we even tell? If your own household isn’t complex enough, how about a company? A country? The global economy? The-one-single-best-maximum efficient use of resources?

    The bigger anything is – machine, system, organism – the less precise it operates, and there’s nothing wrong or unnatural about that. What we’re talking about here – trying to avoid repeating the obvious – are elements of the “safety net” that a winners-and-losers market will not provide. This is said to be good on the basis of theoretical efficiency we can never realize or appreciate (there will be nothing ever to compare it with) – without anyone ever explaining why economic efficiency is our highest value and our standard of measure in the first place.

    Art, not science.

    As I said, I was trying to decide what I might be able to contribute to that discussion. Then this came up again.

    anonymous On March 25, 2013 at 2:04 AM
    “That people would comply with the requirement because it is the law is pure fantasy.”

    anonymous On March 23, 2013 at 8:14 PMPermalink | Reply
    Yes, I am breaking the law, but I am doing so because it benefits me . . . . [W]hile disobeying the law may have some indirect negative effect on other people (in this situation, pay more for health care), . . . .

    anonymous On March 22, 2013 at 8:01 PM
    If the cost of obeying the law is greater than the penalty (cost) of disobeying the law, why would anyone with any common sense obey the law?

    Look up “amoral.”

    These are not claims that people are like that. These are claims that they should be. If you don’t mind doing the time, there is no reason not to do the crime.

    At what point in the lifeboat do they start taking extra water and picking out the weak?

    “Indirect negative effect on other people,” my ass.

    • Devildog  On March 25, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Why can’t you guys distinguish between violating a criminal law vs. the civil law? A distinction should be made should it not? Between doing the time and paying a fine or a fee or even a tax. Anonymous, speak up, are you talking about doing a calculus on violating a criminal law or merely civil law, tax law, etc.

    • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 9:19 PM

      I just read your rant on markets and how can we know if they are efficient.

      First – markets reveal cheaters, ‘catching’ them, well, the banks being to big to fail is quite the indication that catching cheaters is another story.

      Second – I think examples from large industries indicates why govt intervention create inefficiencies. Let’s look at the airline industry. Til the early 80s, there was a govt agency that set the price of a ticket. This was implemented when the industry began in order to prop up the airline companies. They wanted the airline industry to be stable and not let one huge airline to undercut smaller airlines and drive them out of business. However the prices were set too high as can be seen by the fact that there were often half empty flights. Since airlines couldn’t compete on price, they competed on non-price factors – comfort, food, attractive stewardesses. When the airline industry was deregulated so now they could compete on price, what happened – airlines dumped the amenities and competed on price. Airline miles have more than tripled since the dregulation as a result. You may argue that people complain about the cramped seats but it appears that people would rather have the low fare than the amenities. If there was a demand for amenities, the market would reveal that.

      Deregulation of the phone companies led to an explosion of advancements in the commumications industry. How much did phone service change between 1950 and 1980 – I think the biggest advancement was from rotary to push-button (I remember when I was 8 years old and I was all excited because we got a push button phone). What has happened since 1980 because of the competition in the telecommunications industry – I don’t think I even know what you can do with the iphone-5.

      I can discuss a field in economics called Game Theory that indicates that even in a 2 firm industry, collusion is highly unlikely. A quick example – 2 firms sell widgets. Assume the cost of producing one is 5 and the 2 firms X and Y agree to collude and set a price where they can obtain the highest revenue. Through market research, they determine that the max revenue is 100 obtained by selling 10 units at 10 each. So each sells 5 units at $5 profit and make 25 in profit.

      A savvy VP at X looks at the situation and says – if we lower our price to 9, we would get all sales. Our profit would be 40 ($4 profit per unit * 10 units). Since collusion is illegal, Y cannot run to the authorities to say X broke the contract. What will Y do? Well, the only thing they can – lower the price. Let’s say to 8 and they make a $30. And it goes on. Any further attempt to go back to the collusive agreement would quickly break down – both just revealed they would undercut the other. It is only where the govt doesn’t allow the price to fall (as in the airline example) do we have inefficiencies.

      Further, your argument about complexity is confusing. I have already talked about how the govt would have to the know what the price ‘should’ be in 100s (1000s?) of markets for Obamacare to improve health care. As I said the likelihood of this is infinitesimal.

      The market for a good only has to reveal the price of the one good – this seems a much more likely proposition.

      In addition, the govt doesn’t have to consider costs – they are half the equation in a private business

      As far as catching cheaters – the obvious bureaucratic waste in itself makes any govt intervention inefficient almost by definition. How many times do we hear about kickbacks on govt contracts. Why does the ABA contribute to the Democratic party moreso than the GOP? What benefits do the people represented by the ABA receive for their contributions? I am not being partisan – same holds true for the NRA, really any lobbyist. All these things do not exist in a market and you can’t really model how these factors affect the market in question. The inefficiencies that result would put any free market inefficiencies to shame.

      Look at welfare, food stamps, unemployment benefits – what percentage of people are obtaining improper benefits or using them improperly? What percentage of people will not even pay the Obmacare fine? 95%? 99%? From what I understand, the young are going to the biggest increase in cost of insurance. But since the young never get sick and likely don’t have a lot of money, they almost certainly will abstain from even paying the tax. ACA covers pre-existing conditions. The young will wait til they get sick – they’ll be covered anyway. There so many other ways that Obamacare changes incentives – part-time work, firms below 50 employees will stay below that to avoid the fines.

  • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 11:42 AM

    ‘Amoral’ to who? I think people may see not paying the tax as being amoral. BTW, I think ‘a lot’ of people will also try to not pay the tax. After all, what is the penalty for that?

    Re: Market. Do you support the privatization of PA liquor stores?

    • Tourist  On March 25, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      Do I support privatizing liquor sales in Pennsylvania? Yes. Why? Given liquor licensing (government intervention), it’s never going to be a free-market example either way.

      Do you think I dislike markets? Or capitalism or free enterprise or making lots of money? Of course I don’t. I just don’t think any of them are so almighty that their negative effects have to be accepted as the price we must pay.

      Of course you or anyone will obey laws or not obey them and you will have reasons for doing so. What this is about is your attempt to rationalize noncompliance on the basis of there being no – inflammatory word here – collective authority over you until you agree to it, and that you should agree only if it’s in your best interests as you perceive them, by saying the system/program itself gives you the incentive to not comply – like you don’t have free will.

      The first letter to an editor I ever wrote was in answer to an editorial on the “irresponsibility” of students failing to lock their bicycles – blaming the victims for tempting the thieves.

      • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        +++it’s never going to be a free-market

        It would be freer than it has been in about 95 years. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the current setup and 1 being the ‘jungle’, privatization would move them to about a 2.5. That it appears that the PGCB is so inefficient, doesn’t this tell you something about govt control of industries in general? If not, why?

        +++Of course you or anyone will obey laws or not obey them and you will have reasons for doing so. What this is about is your attempt to rationalize noncompliance on the basis of there being no – inflammatory word here – collective authority over you until you agree to it, and that you should agree only if it’s in your best interests as you perceive them, by saying the system/program itself gives you the incentive to not comply – like you don’t have free will.

        Tell that to the approx. 99% of people that will choose to pay the tax. This is why liberals will never understand why govt programs like Obamacare never work. You guys don’t understand how powerful incentives are. You know what will happen if the govt increases the penalty? People won’t pay it. People here will do what the Greeks do as a result of high income taxes – not pay the tax and force the govt to arrest us. How do you think arresting everyone will go over?

        Now that I think about it, this actually gives me more hope that the ACA will fail. No matter what the current SCOTUS said, this is the 1st time in the history of the country that the govt has a right to make us buy a good – something that is generally accepted to be unconstitutional. I think if the govt ups the penalty, people will say come and get me.

  • Tourist  On March 25, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    +++it’s never going to be a free-market
    “It would be freer than it has been in about 95 years . . . .That it appears that the PGCB is so inefficient . . . .” (Anonymous)

    I said I agreed with privatization. I then said only that it would not prove anything. I did not say “inefficiency” per se had anything to do with it.

    As for the rest, I get it. It’s about tyranny.

    Parallel: The guys who aren’t comfortable going into Starbucks unless they’re armed – ‘cause you never know. How much of your day do you spend worrying about your liberty?

    “. . . force the govt to arrest us. How do you think arresting everyone will go over?”

    “No matter what the current SCOTUS said, this is . . . something that is generally accepted to be unconstitutional.”

    +++ That’s good.

    “I think if the govt ups the penalty, people will say come and get me.”

    (Quote)

    Secrets of the Right-Wing Conspiracy Playbook

    . . . In the 1980s and ’90s, they channeled discontent with badly malfunctioning federal farming and land-use policies in rural America into uprisings like the Posse Comitatus and Patriot/militia movements and their various offshoots, such as the Montana Freemen. This led to armed standoffs with federal agents and varying waves of domestic terrorism, all of it emanating from the American heartland.

    What these extremists always tell their audiences is that there are simple reasons for their current miseries—inevitably, it is a combination of a secret cabal of elite conspirators running society like a puppet show at the top, crushing the middle-class working man from above, while a parasitic underclass saps his strength from below. This usually plays out, in the worldview of right-wing extremists, as being part of a secret conspiracy to enslave ordinary working people and destroy America.

    . . . Their agenda comes wrapped in an appeal telling people that they not only feel their pain but have the answers to end it. And their strategy works, time and again.

    (Unquote)

    http://www.salon.com/2013/03/23/secrets_of_the_right_wing_conspiracy_playbook/

    • Devildog  On March 25, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      Hmmmm, Tourist. Telling people you feel their pain and you have the answers. And the strategy works time and again. And precisely, whom, Tourist are you talking about? It wouldn’t be Clinton (Bill) and Obama would it?

    • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      Why are they privatizing the liquor stores if it isn’t more efficient? Efficiency includes many of the things people complain about – price, choice, locations where you can buy liquor. These ‘efficiency’ issues are why they are being privatized.

  • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    Wow!! That is quite an interpretation of what I said. Wow!! Wow!! OMG!! OMG!!

    You got out of that right wing conspiracy theories? OMG!! Forget the ballpark, I ain’t even in the same galaxy.

    My belief is the exact opposite. That the govt won’t go after the ones that don’t pay the tax. As a result. the ACA will fail. I have no worries that the black helicopters are going to be flying into my back yard to arrest me for not paying the tax.

    My position is that people will laugh at the idea that the govt will do anything if they don’t pay the tax. That is why they won’t pay it – they can’t arrest everybody.

    You interpreted my comments as to think that I believe the govt will attempt to arrest those that don’t pay. OMG!!

  • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 9:38 PM

    One other argument that shows that govt control of industries is inefficient is the experience in other other countries – USSR and western European countries

  • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    I love how liberals like to lump all conservatives into the same basket – right wing militia nuts.

    Liberals like to say that conservatives are out of touch with reality. Wow!!

    • Tourist  On March 25, 2013 at 11:01 PM

      Re: “lump all conservatives into the same basket.”

      That’s a sometimes-fair complaint, and I give you back all the things that “liberals will never understand.” Two points on it, the first you ought to be able to accept, the second you won’t. One: It’s impossible to discuss almost anything without the convenience of generalizations, and it does not invalidate a generalization that there are exceptions to it. This also works both ways.

      Two: The Maxist-Muslim-from-Kenya stuff, the dictatorship stuff, the sovereignty stuff, the he-wants-WANTS-to-destroy-America stuff, the he-hates-white-people stuff, the he-hates-capitalism stuff, the death-panels stuff – most of it ranges from nothing-of-the-sort to utter nonsense. Not that there aren’t details here and there that can spun those ways (as we also can), but utter nonsense nevertheless.

      “We” ourselves cannot believe each of you believes it all. We believe what unifies you is your hatred of Obama. That’s the only thing that makes any sense.

  • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Somehow I don’t see how you can equate all righties are in the mititia to liberals will never understand there is no such thing as a free lunch

    With that in mind, name one issue that liberals say the market solution is better than any govt solution. Liberals believe you can give everything to everybody. That dismisses one simple truth – resources are limited.

    The only conspiracy theory that interests me is that he WANTS to destroy America. Since his policies are destroying what America has been for about 240 years, I have to assume 1 of 2 things – 1) the theory is true or 2) he is clueless. Even though there are times I may have believed 1), I pretty much accept that he is, in fact, clueless

    • anonymous  On March 25, 2013 at 11:54 PM

      Liberals don’t understand why conservatives believe things like Obamacare will ruin this country. Since one would have to accept that half the people don’t have any common sense to be against something like the ACA, the reason conservatives oppose it is because we hate O. And why do we hate O? There is only one possible reason – O is black.

      We actually believe that the ACA will increase the costs of health care, decrease the quality of health, increase taxes which will lowere employment and lower our standard of living. We truly believe this

      That ‘some’ conservatives supported the mandate in the past is irrelevant. There are conservative health care policies that Democrats introduced but are now opposed to them since conservatives co-opted the policy (see premium-support-based Medicare reform). That some conservatives have evolved given new info.? This is what making ‘effective’ policy is all about.

      Black, white, green, orange, blue – doesn’t matter, the ACA is a train wreck

      • Tourist  On March 26, 2013 at 12:23 AM

        Anonymous,

        “Somehow I don’t see how you can equate all righties are in the militia to . . . .”

        Who even said that?

        “The only conspiracy theory that interests me is that he WANTS to destroy America. Since his policies are destroying what America has been for about 240 years, I have to assume 1 of 2 things – 1) the theory is true or 2) he is clueless.”

        3) We are progressing as we always have down the road from the past to the future, fulfilling our potential step by step. We have not been anything for 240 years or even for one generation.

        “We actually believe that the ACA will increase the costs of health care, decrease the quality of health, increase taxes which will lowere employment and lower our standard of living. We truly believe this.”

        Keeping in mind that in its present form it was not our first choice, it’s too soon to tell. If you’re right, we’ll fix it.

        It’s a healthcare system, for crying out loud! If *that* is going to destroy this great country . . . well, you have very little faith *in* this country.

        This is getting us nowhere.

  • anonymous  On March 26, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    Well, it isn’t only the ACA, it is also his economic policy in general that will lower the standard of living for at least a generation.

    More ‘fixin’? You guys won’t accept minor (almost insignificant) adjustments to SS

    I don’t quite agree that this is getting us nowhere. What we have demonstrated is that there are stark differences between conservatives and liberals in this country. For those liberals (and conservatives) that think conservatives should adopt positions closer to liberalism doesn’t make sense. If Ben Carson made a speech to the NAACP, do you think he will get one vote from them if he ran? The GOP must focus on those women and minorities that have only a weak attachment to the Democratic party. This attachment would be based more on style (O’s rock star image) than substance (which is lacking in the Dem party).

    I think the effects of the ACA, the contimuing stagnating economy and Dems desire to repeal much of the 2nd Amendment will lead to the GOP increasing their House advantage and taking over the senate in 2014. At that point, revisiting the ACA will be on the table.

    • umoc193  On March 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM

      I am still undergoing some difficulties that have kept me from completely catching up on all comments and responding where appropriate. But a quick scan shows that there are some misconceptions about the ACA (or perhaps lack of info) that I can address forthwith.

      Now I know some folks opposed the individual mandate for various reasons. They also object to the tax penalties imposed. But that penalty will not be imposed on everyone who fails to follow the mandate. And the total penalty imposed is limited, for instance due to low income. Thus anyone who ends up paying this penalty will probably save money as compared to buying coverage.

      In addition, the IRS is very limited in collecting this penalty. It cannot levy on a taxpayer, file a lien, or seek criminal sanctions. It can make the assessment of the penalty and issue computer generated notices but the only action it can take to collect the penalty is to withhold it from a refund that is due.

      There were some comments about people actually losing coverage since some employers seem willing to opt out of providing it, or employees may not qualify since they are not considered to be full time. However the mandate will probably not apply due to the income limits but they can obtain coverage through one of the exchanges and have their premiums subsidized. Again this would probably cost less than what they would pay through their employer.

      Too, where the Medicaid expansion is adopted, most of these uncovered employees would qualify for Medicaid. So few Americans would have no way to obtain affordable coverage.

      In the case of those who defy the mandate, as they will likely save by paying the penalty instead of paying for coverage, they can still get coverage if they determine a need for it (say from illness or injury) and cannot be denied coverage under the pre-existing conditions provisions.

      So I beleve your concerns are misplaced. Now that is not saying no one will fall through the cracks…somehow there are always exceptions that meet worse case scenarios. But they will be the exceptions, not the rule.

      For a complete summary of the law that is easy to understand…..http://www.kff.org/healthreform/upload/8061.pdf

      For another reference on the penalties….http://www.inman.com/buyers-sellers/columnists/stephen-fishman/obamacare-individual-mandate-has-no-teeth

      • anonymous  On March 26, 2013 at 5:51 PM

        All these exemptions. I wonder who will end up paying for them? Oh, that’s right, I keep forgetting, in liberalworld everything is free.

  • Tourist  On March 26, 2013 at 5:59 PM

    “In liberalworld everything is free.” “No free lunch.”

    Could you elaborate? Explain what you’re taking about? Put some substance to the charges? Show how anyone actually thinks that?

  • anonymous  On March 26, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    O’s policies didn’t work and now we’ll have trillion dollar deficits for how many years. This added debt will decrease future growth permanently.

    Before you say Reagan had large deficits, the difference is that he actually took the economy out the recession and his policies along with Clinton’s policies led to 25 years of unprecedented growth with balanced budgets. The balanced budgets resulted from policies that created real jobs (not 3M low paying service jobs). High profits and high incomes make for high tax revenue. Large private sector growth means reasonable spending budgets. Together, you get balanced budgets. Low paying jobs and a stagnant economy do not make for increases in tax revenue. Along with the ACA and wasted spending, we have trillion dollar deficits for the next 10 (more?) years.

    Liberals dismiss deficits and debt by taking one off the cuff comment by Dick Cheyney, someone who you guys think is lying any other time he opens his mouth. You guys live on gotcha moments – Akin’s rape comment, Romney’s 47% comment – reveal the dark truth about conservatism.

    I will say this – deficits don’t matter IN TIMES OF RECESSION. Obviously, deficits have to be ignored in times of high unemployment and low growth. The problem is that because we have followed the wrong economic policies and passed Obamacare in the last 5 years, recession is the new normal, we have huge deficits and apparently the solution to these deficits is to slow growth by raising taxes. Except of course, slower growth will result in more deficits.

    Debt matters – Europe has proved this to be true. Maybe you guys are so old that you aren’t worried about what will happen 20 years from now. You pass a train wreck of a health care program to ‘help’ future generations and yet your policies will lower the standard of living in this country forever.

    • umoc193  On March 28, 2013 at 8:37 PM

      Anonymous re: yours 3-26 7:08 p.m.

      Well you certainly are willing to use talking points instead of facts. You claim all Obama has created are low-paying jobs (of course you and your cohorts also claim government does NOT create jobs so how you can blam Obama is beyond me) but that claim is belied by facts. A glance at the March BLS report shows the majority (over 150,000) of the jobs of the 246,000 added for the month were in Professional and business services, construction and health care, not the generally more likely to be paid minimum or low wages in retail and leisure and hospitality sectors. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

      Remember, I do my research so don’t just post shit claims without being able to back them up.

  • Tourist  On March 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    “In liberalland everything is free”? Free?

    The “failure” of liberalism? Already?

    “Will lower the standard of living forever.” Forever?

    Empty. All of it. Still.

  • anonymous  On March 26, 2013 at 7:27 PM

    Apparently, the only clueless person isn’t sitting in the White House. Well, I guess that does explain why he is there.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    (Quote)

    U.S. Steel has agreed to keep making steel in Slovakia for at least five years under the terms of an agreement disclosed Tuesday by Slovak government officials.
    The Pittsburgh steelmaker will receive about $19 million annually for 15 years in renewable energy subsidies from the government . . . . In return, U.S. Steel promised not to make mass layoffs at the plant through at least next year . . . .
    It also agreed to pay the government if it sells the plant in the next five years . . . .
    U.S. Steel shares closed Tuesday at $19.96, up 23 cents.

    (Unquote)

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/breaking/us-steel-to-keep-slovakian-plant-in-return-for-energy-subsidies-680920/

    “Government” three times. Presumably, then, that sucks.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    (Quote)

    Lawyers are the reasons why
    1. your car doesn’t explode when it’s rear-ended.
    2. your baby’s pajamas don’t burst into flames when a heat source is applied
    3. your credit card company can’t bilk you with 1000s of hidden fees
    4. your local factory can’t dump it’s waste water into local streams
    5. your black neighbor has the right to buy his house in your neighborhood
    6. your tap water isn’t loaded with pesticides and industrial solvents
    7. police can’t do whatever the hell they want to you whenever they want to.

    Lawyers are really the only check and balance we have against the totalitarian police state that you liberals have worked so hard to create.

    (Unquote)

    To find it, search it here:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/explainer/2013/03/dla_piper_overbilling_how_did_lawyers_get_such_a_bad_reputation_forrest.html

    It’s all so simple.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Stop the world! They want to get off.

    Sorry about that.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Standing athwart history, yelling, “Stop!”

    • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Stop ruining what took 240 years to build

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    “Let’s look at this from the standpoint of status. What have we got on the spacecraft that’s good?”

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    Is there anything they say that makes sense?

    • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      The wealthiest country in the history of the world – 95% of this wealth occured as a result of the incentives provided by the market. And this somehow doesn’t make sense? To me, the simplicity of the market and the results it has provided make limiting govt common sense.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Is there anything they say that’s affirmative?

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Is there anything they say that isn’t “against” something?

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    They want to LEAD???

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:25 AM

    “We choose to go to the Moon.”

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Small.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:49 AM

    THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    Them?

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Heros in their own mind.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    I never could spell.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    Anonymous, to your two comments to my string above:

    If you have something I want, it’s natural for me to take it. It isn’t natural for us to trade – we had to devise that ourselves. Trading had limitations. I had to wait for my harvest in order to trade for your furs. So we came up with money. Then hedge funds. Now it’s perfect?

    “The market” is what we do. We can do whatever we want, however we want, to whatever ends we want.

    In the same vein, you say it took 240 years to build. I thought it had been perfect until Obama, but never mind that. Again: Now we’re done?

    • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM

      Perfect? When did I say that? Like the Constitution says – In order to form a MORE perfect union. The Constitution provided the framework for this country to accomplish greatness and except when society has deemed it necessary to amend it, things have worked out pretty well. No other country has done it better.

      What is perfect is the framework we have for success. O is just the latest liberal to implement ‘fixes’ that are counter-productive (thanks Devildog). I am not saying that we don’t need any safety net but on a government intervention scale we should be at about 20-30 percent of where we are now to achieve maximum efficiency.

      Done? I think we are just starting. The economic system has provided for the advancement of society beyond the Founding Fathers wildest dreams. From Eli Whitney to Thomas Edison to Bill Gates, it has been Americans at the forefront of technological advances for 240 years. Has the govt contributed? Sure – NASA and the defense industry have been indispendable to our development.

      But the greatness of this country has been built on the freedom of the market which provides incentives for people to maximize the value of their resources. This benefits the owner of the resources obviously. But it also benefits society in general because we achieve maximum output. And as somebody I am sure you admire once said – a rising tide lifts all boats. The more the govt takes away the incentive for investment and innovation that occurs in the private market, the further we drift away from the ability to form that MORE perfect union.

      JFK also said the following: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. I am not sure liberals quite understand what he is saying. I will let you in on a little clue – he is talking about self-reliance – and that is what conservatism is all about.

      • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 7:57 PM

        I could stand and applaud most of what you say – just not the absoluteness of it.

        “What is perfect is the framework we have for success.”

        That’s how we got here, yes.

        “O is just the latest liberal to implement ‘fixes’ that are counter-productive.”

        Presumably that goes back at least to FDR. The current situation notwithstanding, I don’t see our run the past 70-80 years as so bad.

        “I am not saying that we don’t need any safety net . . . .”

        Many say precisely that.

        “. . . but on a government intervention scale we should be at about 20-30 percent of where we are now to achieve maximum efficiency.”

        I’m not sure where you pulled “20-30 percent” from, but that’s policy and politics. Let them haggle. That’s why they are there. By the way, there’s been no answer to my question about why maximum economic efficiency is the be-all and end-all of human civilization.

        “The economic system has provided for the advancement of society beyond the Founding Fathers wildest dreams. From Eli Whitney to Thomas Edison to Bill Gates, . . . .”

        Again, liberalism since FDR does not seem to have screwed it up too badly. Why the sudden frenzy?

        “But it also benefits society in general because we achieve maximum output.”

        Same question – the one about the pies and some people getting none.

        “I will let you in on a little clue – he is talking about self-reliance – and that is what conservatism is all about.”

        There was no Social Security when life expectancy was 35. When miners “negotiated” their wages, families made ends meet by sending their children to the factories. Child-labor and minimum-wage laws hurt the bottom line, you betcha. So did not being able to sell tainted meat anymore. Competition? Monopolists figured out how to put it out of business. We damped that down a bit, too. That’s what “progressivism” is all about.

        “And as somebody I am sure you admire once said – a rising tide lifts all boats.”

        Thank you. I get to use this again – my statement of liberalism in 25 words or less:

        Liberals believe he ain’t heavy; in success without victims; in art *and* in science; that a rising tide *should* lift all boats; that it’s complicated.

        • umoc193  On March 28, 2013 at 9:04 PM

          Tourist let me expound on your response to this “But it also benefits society in general because we achieve maximum output.” from your post of 3-27 7:57 p.m.

          Well it depends on what you consider maximum output. Every reasonable analysis has concluded that American worker productivity keeps growing while wages do not. And no one can say with a straight face that productivity among the 1% has grown as much in proportion that their greatly increased eqarnings are thus justified. It just ain’t so.

      • umoc193  On March 28, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        Anon. re: 3-27 7:21 p.m.

        “But the greatness of this country has been built on the freedom of the market which provides incentives for people to maximize the value of their resources. This benefits the owner of the resources obviously. But it also benefits society in general because we achieve maximum output. And as somebody I am sure you admire once said – a rising tide lifts all boats. The more the govt takes away the incentive for investment and innovation that occurs in the private market, the further we drift away from the ability to form that MORE perfect union.”

        Oh really? When has that ever been true? Businesses and industries have succeeded with governmnet backing and incentives throughout our history, not independent of them.

        Ever hear of the Transcontinental Railroad?

        Ever hear of the Interstate Highway System?

        How much private development was due to the federal government providing funding or taking charge of these enterprises? Do you think Walmart would be able to have thousands of stores without either highways or railroads? Do you think any of our favorite fast food franchises would exist as they do now without interstate highway exchanges?

        Here’s another example of the strange world of Paul Ryan. He keeps touting limited government but he’s never had a job outside of government (or government lobbying) in his life. His family made its fortune with federal railroad building contracts in the late 1800’s then were frequent interstate highway
        contractors and had a huge piece in building O’Hare Airport in the 50’s. Nothing wrong with any of that, but without government all his family builds are splitlevels and outhouses.

      • umoc193  On March 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM

        Anon.

        What JFK was speaking to was not self-reliance in the sense you seem to assume. No one ever quotes his words preceding and immediately following the famous phrase.

        “n your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course. Since this country was founded, each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe. 21
        Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation”—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself. 22
        Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort? 23
        In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world. 24
        And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country. 25
        My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. ”

        In other words he asks all to share in fighting our common…if not enemies…at least problems.

  • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    +++++I don’t see our run the past 70-80 years as so bad

    Could have been better

    +++++Again, liberalism since FDR does not seem to have screwed it up too badly

    Why screw it up at all?

    European countries also experienced growth in the last 60 years but not as much as the US. The reason for that is they have inched further towards O’s vision even faster than we have.

    • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 8:20 PM

      “Could have been better”

      Than history’s richest superpower? You’re hard to please.

      I actually don’t know how you can say that. Do you have some mental picture of “better”? What is it? I don’t mean vaguely “more” if we’d had “less government.” You talk about the “greatness of this country.” What about it is not great enough?

      My life would be so different if I’d only been a doctor.

      • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        I actually don’t know how you can say that. Do you have some mental picture of “better”? What is it? I don’t mean vaguely “more” if we’d had “less government.” You talk about the “greatness of this country.” What about it is not great enough?

        I will answer this with a question – Have we done better than Europe?

        Since I am not sure of your answer, I will answer it. The answer is yes. I think you can figure out why I believe this is the answer.

  • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    I am actually more hopeful than I have been in about 3 or 4 years. The Founding Fathers had it right. The Constitution requires consensus before we pass laws or initiate programs.

    The Dems managed to shove through the ACA without examining its full effects. I am more certain than ever that it is going to fail before it really even gets started and while there is still work to do to make sure people understand why it should have never been passed in the first place, I am hopeful that instead of shoving through some single payer system, that we will actually have a real discussion about health care reform.

    I believe this because the Constitution worked when it came to restricting 2nd Amendment rights, the GOP actually showed some backbone on the sequester and this economy is going to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future. As a result, the GOP has a real shot of not only retaining the House but also winning the Senate in 2014. If this happens, the ACA is doomed even if Hillary wins in 2016.

    Liberalism is a failure – it is only a matter of time.

    • umoc193  On March 28, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      anon

      Your entire post of 3-27 8:24 p.m. is full of nothing save, perhaps, crap.

      You make these rash general statements without so much as an ounce of evidence yet seem to expect pounds of respect for them in return. The goddamned liberals saved everyone’s asses when FDR gained office. And since FDR we have had a mix of mildly liberal and mildly conservative Presidents that have, for the most part, kept us on track. Of course Reagan brought the recession you so proudly claim he delivered us from and tripled our national debt. That doesn;’t even take into consideration the beginnings of our current huge wealth disparity that occurred under, and at least partly due to, his watch.

      The funny thing is you make all these wild accusations in the face of historical fact that utterly reputes your conclusions. Reagan raised taxes 10 or so times while Obama has done it once, and then only on the highest incomes. Reagan raised the corporate tax while Obama has sought to lower the highest rates.

      Your posts are so fact-deprived that the fact nutritionists are as of this moment preparing a warrant for your arrest on fact fraud charges.

  • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 9:29 PM

    Anonymous, I’m not following your reasoning. First, you’re dancing. You said we could have been better – better than (my words) history’s richest superpower. I asked how. You asked back, are we better than Europe, and answered yes. Does that mean your complaint is we should have been “more better” than Europe. That’s what I asked in the first place: What does “could have been better” mean?

    There is not a group of people on the planet that does not think it is special. There is not a country on the planet (excluding the likes of Somalia) where some people don’t live well and others poorly. Not a country on the planet without its attractions and charms and problems. What’s “better,” for whom, and by what measure?

    All those balances are moving targets.

    The country as a whole? That’s the dirt.

    “History’s richest superpower” is *my* description. I like it. Count everything up and we have more. More bombs, too. The continental United States is four time zones wide. Russia is nine. China is five. Size matters. In earlier times, smaller world powers were “empires.”

    How have we failed?

  • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    When did I say we failed?

    If it didn’t occur, how do I know what we could have been. I know we were better than Europe. I believe this occurred because we have less govt than European countries do.

    If we had less govt, we would have been better still. Once programs and regulations are implemented, they not only remain, they grow whether they are effective or not. Because the govt is using limited resources inefficiently, the growth of ineffective govt lowers our standard of living. Between the ACA and the stimulus, you have a whole lot of ineffective govt programs. This is why I say that our standard of living will be permanently lowered as a result of O’s policies.

    • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 10:31 PM

      Nope. You’re talking in circles. You “know we were better than Europe” but you can’t say in what way.

      “our standard of living will be permanently lowered as a result of O’s policies.”

      Then resistance is futile.

      Seriously, “permanently lowered”? Permanently? Lower than what? Than it could have been, I guess. What’s that?

      “how do I know what we could have been.”

      Exactly. We could have been a contender.

  • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Talking in circles? We both agree that the US did better than Europe. My contention is that this occured because we have less govt. Accepting this is true, a logical conclusion is that if we had even less govt, we would have done even better.

    ++++our standard of living will be permanently lowered as a result of O’s policies.”

    Then resistance is futile.

    ?

    I am not saying we are going backwards because of O’ policies. I am saying we would be progressing further without O’s policies. With this said, the ACA, if allowed to fully develop, will make our health care system worse – so this specific part of the economy will go backwards. This will restrict the growth of the whole economy. I am not saying the whole economy won’t grow at all – just more slowly.

    • Tourist  On March 27, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      “We both agree that the US did better than Europe.”

      I didn’t. I said we have more money and stuff. I asked, better for whom, by what measure, etc.? I said it was complicated.

      “?”

      Borg joke.

      “I am not saying the whole economy won’t grow at all – just more slowly.”

      For the sake of argument, possibly. (But forever?) There will, also possibly, be non-economic advantages as well. (Do you ever recognize those?)

      I am out for a while.

      • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 11:14 PM

        +++++I didn’t. I said we have more money and stuff. I asked, better for whom, by what measure, etc.?

        More money and stuff? Well, that would be one pretty big factor.

        From wiki: Standard of living refers to the level of wealth, comfort, material goods and necessities available to a certain socioeconomic class in a certain geographic area

        What country does any better than the US in any one of the standard of living measures or all of them combined for that matter? The US has a comprtitive advantage in all of these measures.

        I will also tell you that we had the best health care system in the world before the ACA. I am not saying that it couldn’t be improved. I am just saying it was the best. The ACA will make it worse.

    • Devildog  On March 27, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      A and T, precisely what is it you guys disagree about? I plead guilty (at times) but is this not getting a little tedious. how about this-some government is necessary, too much government is not only not necessary but can be counter-productive (I just love that word), you two like most liberals and conservatives disagree on where the line should be drawn, Obamacare is not perfect, it needs either some fixing, drastic overhaul or repeal, and time will tell.

      Anything else that needs to be said?

      • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 11:28 PM

        You’re pretty much right Devildog. I think we have beat the dead horse enough.

        Time to move on.

        • umoc193  On March 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM

          DevilDog

          For you from this evening’s Jeopardy

          “Teuffelshunde”

  • anonymous  On March 27, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    Go back to this post – anonymous On March 25, 2013 at 9:19 PM. I discuss how less govt in the airline and communications industries led to higher growth in those industries and, as a result, the overall economy. If those industries were not deregulated, growth in those industries would not have occurred to the extent that it did – limiting overall growth.

    • Little_Minx  On March 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      I’m guessing you haven’t flown lately. After 7 flights in the past 2 weeks, our opinion is that deregulation has led to serious decline in service, including rampant flyer inconvenience. Don’t even get me started on Air Wisconsin, Republic Airlines, Colgan and their ilk…

      • anonymous  On March 29, 2013 at 2:58 PM

        And what about price?

        • Devildog  On March 29, 2013 at 3:28 PM

          Tourist, guess what-we agree. Just saw, somehow, UMOC’s post to me of a couple of days ago about teufelshande. UMOC, I would have won.

          Very, very confusing. Maybe it would work better if people hit comment instead of reply.

      • Little_Minx  On March 30, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        USAirways CANCELLED (not merely postponed) my domestic flights connecting with foreign flights, both going and returning. It doesn’t matter whether one gets a bargain airfare or pays the full rate, all the passengers arrive at the same time, whether on-time or late — i.e., if the damn plane goes at all. If it doesn’t go, then one is still stuck having to book alternative flights: my carefully chosen non-stop home from the East Coast turned into two connecting flights, precisely the sort of thing I’d gone to great lengths to avoid 😦

        • Devildog  On March 30, 2013 at 5:15 PM

          Right on Minx. Most of us can remember how great U.S. Air was before deregulation. Let’s regulate the industry again and come up with a name to run it from his/her government perch.

      • Little_Minx  On March 30, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        I still mourn the loss of the USAir ice cream sandwich at the end of cross-country flights 😉

        • Devildog  On March 30, 2013 at 7:34 PM

          Buy one and take it on the plane. Now I don’t have to pay for other people’s lunches.

      • Tourist  On March 30, 2013 at 7:41 PM

        Please tell me no one is arguing that airline deregulation was all good or all bad.

        I hope this appears in the right place.

        • Devildog  On March 30, 2013 at 8:22 PM

          Tourist, is anything all good or all bad-but I do like not to have to pay for other people’s lunches-even soda and peanuts. Give me some time and I will (maybe) come up with something bad about deregulation. Scoff at this if you would like but I have more faith in airline safety specialists than those in the government. The airline will hire the best and most motivated, pay them more and look out for its good name. Government will retain the others who care more about their safety net.

          Can there be good without evil? A friend of mine likes to ask that question.

      • Little_Minx  On March 30, 2013 at 8:52 PM

        Kind of messy to take an ice cream sandwich on a plane for the END of the flight — not to mention that TSA would confiscate it anyway out of their liquids/gels limitation (unless it’s under 100 grams).

      • anonymous  On March 30, 2013 at 9:04 PM

        Tourist: Please tell me no one is arguing that airline deregulation was all good or all bad.

        Just because deregulation ain’t ALL good, doesn’t mean the airlines shouldn’t have been deregulated. Again, the market is more efficient than the govt. This doesn’t mean we get a ‘perfect’ outcome, just more perfect.

  • Tourist  On March 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    As it was and ever shall be, better this for sure:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willys_MB

    Compared with:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/jeep-takes-radical-new-turn-with-2014-cherokee-design-681101/

    “Jeep needs to win back the suburbanites who have spent the last decade defecting to a newer batch of car-like, fuel-efficient competitors . . . .The CR-V outsold the Liberty by more than three to one . . . .The all-wheel-drive Liberty currently gets 22 miles per gallon on the highway, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, making it one of the worst performers among midsize SUVs. The new Cherokee will get up to 31 mpg on the highway.

    “Finally, Jeep needs the SUV to appeal to customers around the world, not just adventurous types. The Cherokee will be built in Toledo, Ohio, but exported to more than 150 countries, including China.”

    So what? We’re Americans. It’s:

    “. . . an insult to the name and heritage . . . .”

    ===

    In “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” the kids skip school, take Dad’s Ferrari into the city and approach the impassive, weirdly ethnic looking parking-garage attendant. Hispanic? Middle-Eastern? Ferris hesitates, then asks: “Do you speak English?” The guy silently puzzles over the question, a quizzical look on his face, and finally says: “What country do you think this is?”

    Or century.

  • Tourist  On March 28, 2013 at 7:52 AM

    Awaiting moderation? It’s not even long.

  • Little_Minx  On March 28, 2013 at 8:40 PM

    Snopes also debunks the false claim that Fred Rogers always wore long-sleeved sweaters because his arms were covered in tattoos (part of the bogus military sniper rumor). And anyone remotely familiar with Fred’s CV would know that there are no temporal gaps in it where he could’ve served in the military. But some folks don’t like to let facts get in the way of their preconceptions. Harrumph!

  • Tourist  On March 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    UMOC, with respect, in the days of paper, developments were recorded and correspondence accumulated in the file in chronological order. The next document was the response to the previous. Anonymous and I had a discussion above, back and forth for in excess of thirty comments. I’m sure we would both call it useful and were as satisfied with it as we could reasonably be. It stood for readers to follow and judge.

    Now it’s unreadable – broken up by at least four (I’ve lost track) long interjections one and two full days after what they are responding to – what had already been responded to, and that responded to in turn.

    It is self-evidently your blog. But when you cannot be reasonably timely, could you consider adding your thoughts at the end, as we, your hard-working, loyal commenters have mostly learned to do. Thank you.

    Yours faithfully.

    • umoc193  On March 31, 2013 at 7:47 PM

      Tourist

      re: yours at 10:55 p.m. on 3-28 concerning the order in which comments appear.

      I got distracted away from trying to resolve organizational issues and then simply forgot about it. I will address it with my host and inform everyone of my results by end of April 1.

      Part of the problem for me is that I see the comments differently than do you. And of course what I view indicates on which of my entries you are commenting while any responses or additions I offer are made under the “reply” button for your comment.

      Believe me, I appreciate everyone’s comments (even the ones outrageously wrong) and have no desire to burden any of you unnecessarily.

      (I just edited this from the original where I said ‘your” comments, now “everyone’s” I did not mean to imfer I was addressing only Tourist’s comments overall.

  • Anonymous  On March 29, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    I see UMOC has added his 2 cents to the conversation (btw, that is about what his contribution is worth).

    Reagan had no choice but to induce a recession to stop the stagflation created by Carter’s use of Keynesian fiscal policy in response to higher oil prices due to the OPEC oil crisis. The only reason that stagflation has not occurred again is because there was no initial price increase. What is similar is that just like in the 30s and in western Europe since the 50s is that Keynesian policies have short-run effects but do not lead to sustainable recoveries.

    The 80s recession was so deep that short run spending was part of the policy response. However, the key to making the recovery sustainable was the huge decrease in personal income taxes and the 1986 tax reform. Yes, Reagan raised taxes to reign in the deficits that were experienced DURING the recession and in the years during recovery.

    After the recovery, deficits started decreasing almost immediately. Why did this occur? Yes, Reagan increased certain taxes which raised revenue but the personal income tax remained at 25%. The key to economic growth is to provide the correct incentives to invest and innovate. Reagan did this. Handing out tax credits, like O did, doesn’t change economic behavior. If I give you $1000 one time but don’t change your incentives, do you change your behavior? No. You may or may not spend the 1000 but because the same percentage of your income is taken from the next dollar you earn, it doesn’t increase your incentive to work or invest. Providing the correct incentives is the key to economic growth. Reagan did that. Spending a trillion dollars on consumer goods that the govt will inherently overvalue does not create sustainable economic growth.

    It is not just a matter of cutting or raising taxes. It is which taxes and when you cut them. Reagan’s income tax cut and tax reform provided the framework for the growth we had for 25 years. A framework that CLINTON built on through his deregulation – something else O is clueless about.

    Since it was Carter’s (and Nixon’s) failed policies that led to the 80s recession, it was actually Carter who was responsible for the 80s deficits. When it all falls apart in the next 4 years and we have trillion dollar deficits til 2020, if a Repub wins in 2016, you guys will blame him for the deficits – just like you are blaming Bush for the deficits created by O. It is almost why I wouldn’t mind Hillary winning in 2016 – at some point, the trillion dollar deficits will have to be the Dems fault, Although liberals will still blame the House for not raising INCOME taxes – which slow economic growth because of the negative incentives it creates and leads to HIGHER deficits.

    Now UMOC – in your response, please give me the amount of the deficits created when a Repub was prez vs. a Dem and give the unemployment rates under each party – while these will justify a failed economic philosophy in your addled mind, they will lack the insight and understanding necessary to understand how the economy actually works.

    • umoc193  On March 30, 2013 at 1:20 AM

      So, Carter’s policies were responsible for the deficits and runup of debt under Reagan, but Bush’s policies were in no way responsible for the deficits and increased debt under Obama. I see. Perfectly logical.

      TRY AGAIN

      By the way, you are not anonymous.

      • anonymous  On March 30, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        Bush was responsible for a portion of O’s debt. I am talking about the next 10 years of trillion dollar debts

        PS. I posted similar comments twice because the first one wasn’t posted at the bottom of the page like I thought it would be

      • anonymous  On March 30, 2013 at 1:43 AM

        PPS. By the way, you are not anonymous

        LOL – I miss trolling you. Don’t you miss me?

    • umoc193  On March 31, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Anonymous

      I’ll play your silly game. I’ll provide facts on unemployment rates and debt building by party President. Not that it matters since you are allergic to facts in the extreme.

      Generally speaking unemployment has decreased year by year under Democrats and is a mixed bag under Republicans. Since 1948 there has been only one period where the rate as of Jan. 1 was 8% or higher for three consecutive years and that was under Reagan. http://www.multpl.com/unemployment/table

      The national debt as a % of GDP DECREASED under Dems Truman, JFK, LBJ and Clinton and Reps Ike and Nixon, but INCREASED under Ford, Reagan, both Bushes and Obama. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_public_debt

      Of course the debt tripled under Reagan and doubled under Dubya.

      And of course you either lie or simply are uninformed about tax rates under Reagan (my bet is on the former)

      The top marginal rate was 50% most of his terms, decreasing to 38.5% in ’87 and 28% in ’88, never 25%. It then went up to 39.6& during all of Clinton’s time.

      http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html

      • umoc193  On March 31, 2013 at 8:31 PM

        Oh yeah, you have the temerity to allege that the Reagan recession was due to Carter. Fine. Obama’s deficits and addition to debt are demonstrably due to Bush’s policies.

        NAH NAH NAH NAH NAH!

      • anonymous  On March 31, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        You responded by providing the exact info. that I already indicated is meaningless. I guess that is what happens when you have to continue to justify a failed philosophy – just keep repeating ‘facts’ without any analysis of why they are the facts.
        ————
        As for debt under O – I know in one of my responses to your ridiculous posts I said that Bush is responsible for a part of O’s deficits.

        How will you guys blame the trillion dollars deficits for the next 10 years on the GOP?

        • umoc193  On April 1, 2013 at 3:01 AM

          Meaningless? Well, I guess so when the truth and facts mean nothing.

      • anonymous  On March 31, 2013 at 11:03 PM

        You’ll never get it – Reagan decreased the rate from 70 to 50 in his first year – an almost 29% decrease. This, along with corp tax decrease, the ’86 tax reforms and deregulation, led to the recovery and growth in the 80s. And then the rate decreased again in ’88 to 28% – an almost 40% decrease. This set the stage for the ’90s growth (along with Bubba’s deregulation).

        O raised the rate on the top 1% by by about 12.5% this year – this will cost us about .5% GDP growth.

        What do you think decreasing the rate by 29% in 1981 had?

        • umoc193  On April 1, 2013 at 3:10 AM

          And when the top marginal rate bottomed out at 28% that applied to incomes over $30,000, the lowest in history.

  • anonymous  On March 29, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    I see that UMOC has added his 2 cents to this discussion – btw, about what it is worth

    It isn’t just about tax cuts and tax increases, it is the kinds of cuts and increases, Reagan cut the personal income tax by 2/3rds and reformed the tax code – along with deregulation, these policies, along with the deregulation promoted by Clinton, led to the unprecedented growth that occurred for 25 years.

    Reagan’s personal income tax cuts, the 1981capital gains tax cuts and the 1986 tax reforms provided incentives to work and invest. People retained a larger percentage of each additional dollar earned. This is how people make decisions – what are the marginal benefits of an action? Liberals like to say that O decreased taxes but he really didn’t. He handed out tax subsidies – a one time handout. Other than ‘maybe’ spending the handout, these subsidies don’t change a person’s incentive to work or invest. A person still has to pay the same percentage of income out of the next dollar they earn.

    This is why the Reagan recovery was sustained long term and why this ‘recovery’ is dying a slow death – raising personal income taxes will not help (it will actually hurt).

    Note: I know Reagan eventually raise the cap gains tax in 1986 – this was well after the economy recovered from the recession. The ’86 reforms lowered tax rates in general.

  • Tourist  On March 30, 2013 at 5:10 AM

    UMOC, Anonymous,

    I assume one way or another you two will clarify the “not anonymous” thing. I want to jump in while it’s still fun. I have thought for a while that Anonymous was Eagles – thus my Giant Eagle aspirin comment. Bits of Living in Reality had been creeping in, more and more, but I thought it was Eagles channeling LIR. Now it seems – you both seem to be saying and I can see it – that Anonymous *is* LIR.

    If so, I have to acknowledge something along the lines of “good job.” BUT ALSO, it means that all of LIR’s pissing on the pizza was flat-out intentional, only to disrupt every single conversation, which he did – that or his med’s have finally been adjusted.

    Devildog, you may recall my telling you that the conservatives in that iteration of this four-year community “could have used you, no joke.” They were an embarrassment to your cause. Yes, yes, yes, we could not shut them up, or down. That’s all they had. Disruption.

    I had no problem with Eagles then and no problem here with Anonymous. If Anonymous is LIR, he owes “us,” but his/your side more – make that all serious people – an apology.

    I understand that is not how it’s done on the internet.

    • Devildog  On March 30, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Thanks, Tourist. I have no idea what this Anonymous, Eagles, LIR thing is about. What gives?

  • anonymous  On March 30, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    So you are saying this won’t happen?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/26/obamacare-medical-claims-costs_n_2956986.html?1364322627&icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl1%7Csec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D289581

    Disrupt conversation? If you mean actually bringing realism to a lefty blog, then I guess that is true. Funny how lefties convince themselves they are right by running to their blogs to reaffirm their misunderstandings of the economy.

    • umoc193  On March 31, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      So Anon. Insurance claims will grow because more people will have insurance? Gee, what a surprise that is.

      • anonymous  On March 31, 2013 at 10:20 PM

        And the effect this has on premiums that I believe O indicated would decrease under the ACA?

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