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Letter: The U.S. moral compass has been misdirected

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  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 9:46 a.m.

    You proved me wrong? Really? You do understand what that means don't you? You have done nothing but to present a headline. So I'll give you a headline:

    Highly Questionable Medical Bankruptcy Figures from Fraser Institute- Bob Lawless, Credit Slips.

    But it doesn't matter. You already pointed out the flaw of your article. I'll quote you, "it does depend on the year you look at"

    Ding, ding, ding, ding. We have a winner!

    Yes, like you say, it depends on the year you look at, that Redshirt, would be called a flawed conclusion. The other problem with the article is that the study it refers to is way to simplistic. It does not look at the cause behind the bankruptcies, just the total amount. That does nothing to show WHAT causes the bankruptcies.

    You got one of the problems with the study. Hey, with just a little more thought you might have got the other problem all on you own.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 8:12 a.m.

    To "mark" explain how it is flawed. From what I could find, the data was valid (it does depend on the year you look at).

    Prove it. So far you have nothing but your opinion. I have backed up my opinion with some verifiable evidence.

    So far you appear to have your fingers in your ears and are singing because you don't like the fact that I, a conservative have again proved you wrong.

    If you have any evidence to show something else, present it.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2012 1:04 a.m.

    Really, Redshirt? I did look into the data, and it is flawed. Like I said. The article you refer to has some problems. And that is not an excuse, lame or otherwise. Did you look into the data? No, really, did you? I'll say it again. It is flawed. I looked into it. You should do the same.

    Of course, that leads us to the question: are you able to look at things critically?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 6, 2012 9:07 a.m.

    To "mark" your lame excuse for not looking into the data presented is rather sad.

    If you do some lookin on the internet, you will find the same data presentd in the paper. You may not agree with the article, but the fact remains that Canada and the US have similar bankruptcy rates.

    Are you going to actually look for the data or just complain and show that you are biased against people who present facts you don't like?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 10:36 p.m.

    Redshirt, your article you refer to about bankruptcies in the USA and Canada is rather flawed. You might want to look into the article a bit more, and read about the writer and the group that is behind it, as well as reading some critiques of it.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    The real question each of us should be asking is what sort of America do we want for our kids and grandkids? That "traditional America" is fast evaporating and along with it what is left of the American dream of home ownership and personal freedoms. Following this socialist model isn't going to take us to a good place - in fact we could find ourselves hopeless and broke just like Greece in a surprisingly accelerated time table.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 11:03 a.m.

    To "Res Novae" no, Medical Bills are not an excuse for overspending. The people have already overspent. They are using Medical Bills as an excuse for declaring bankruptcy.

    You obviously didn't read or comprehend the study comparing bankruptcy rates in the US to Canada. The study found that Canada has nearly the same bankruptcy rate. So, if medical bills account for 1/2 of US bankrupcies and Canada has univesal care, why doesn't Canada have 1/2 the bankruptcy rate that the US has?

    What you fail to recognize is the simple fact that you can google the statistics yourself. The fact remains that the Canadian bankruptcy rate is nearly the same (possibly higher) as the US rate. If it is Medical bills that cause the problem why does Canada have so many bankruptcies?

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Dec. 5, 2012 10:05 a.m.

    Redshirt,

    You're citing a right-wing thinktank article quoting portions of another right-wing thinktank study in Canada? I'm looking at a peer-reviewed Harvard study. You stick to your confirmation bias, I'll stick to mine.

    As an aside, Utah has one of the highest bankruptcy rates in the nation. The primary cause: medical bills. See Johnson and Wright's article "Are Mormons Bankrupting Utah? Evidence from the Bankruptcy Courts" published by the Suffolk Law Review in 2007 (The answer to their question is no, if anyone's curious).

    Medical bills as an excuse for overspending? That's your unsupported assertion, nothing more. I'm inclined to believe the reasons people put down on legal documents submitted to the court -- bankruptcy judges hate perjury.

    Bankruptcy law isn't my area of practice, but I'm pretty confident that I understand what liquidation means in a bankruptcy proceeding. It is far from painless.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Dec. 5, 2012 9:23 a.m.

    To "Res Novae" see "U.S. MEDICAL BANKRUPTCIES A MYTH; PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY RATE HIGHER IN CANADA" National Center for Policy Analysis.

    People use medical reasons as an excuse.

    The fact is that even under "liquidation" people don't lose everything. Maybe you should talk with your lawyer friends about what it really mean, and what is liquidated.

    It is just an excuse for overspending. It is like many who leave the LDS church by saying that they were offended or something else like that. They were looking to leave, but didn't have the excuse yet to leave that didn't make them look stupid. The same with people who claim medical bills for bankruptcy. Many don't want to admit that they were spending too much, and now have a way to get out.

    To "mark" the $50,000 was a quick number to type. The fact remains that the typical Obama voter was somebody who pays no income taxes to the Federal Government.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 6:06 p.m.

    Redshirt, people making 50,000 are year are making over average. They pay federal taxes. They are not "takers". Don't be silly. You didn't mention how much the average Romney voter made. Of course people that only make 20,000 are not takers either. Neither are people that make less. That is about the dumbest argument Rebpublcans make. And I hope they continue to lose elections because of their stance.

    To say that people that go through bankruptcy becausd of medical can not, and do not lose a lot shows an extreme disconnect from reality. I personally know people that have lost almost everything because of medical bills.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Dec. 4, 2012 5:30 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701,

    My colleagues at my former law firm who handle bankruptcy cases would disagree that having their clients' assets liquidated by a court means they "lose nothing" in the process.

    But that wasn't the point. I was answering the challenge to show that medical bills are responsible for anyone's bankruptcy. They not only are responsible, they are *overwhelmingly* responsible for the majority of bankruptcies. Don't move the goalposts to sustain your argument.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Dec. 4, 2012 2:35 p.m.

    Redshirt: DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 4, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    To "UtahBlueDevil" it isn't disdain for people who voted for Obama. I hate the lies that your ilk perpetuates. When people like "atl134" claim that the average person who voted for Romney are the poor that pay no taxes based on county information, when the truth is that the average Obama voter is the taker.

    Why do you hate people that correct the lies that your ilk believes?

    The symbol of a donkey for the Democrats takes on a different meaning because of you and your ilk.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Dec. 4, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    Redshirt - your disdain for anyone who voted for Obama is clear, and i just don't get it. This crowd of "takers" as you call them used to be called blue collar workers, the bread and butter, the heart of the American of old. These are the people who built our houses, repaired our roads, taught our kids, delivered our mail and fixed our cars. They used to be looked as those who do the jobs others don't want to - so that they can provide for their families.

    Now they are spit upon with disdain as takes, socialist, free-loaders, because others think somehow they are subsidizing unfairly these peoples lives. And yet these same people have no problem shopping at the mega stores that offer lower prices because they pay lower wages.

    All that Gallup's poll shows is that it was average Americans that voted for Obama. The national average wage index for 2011 was $42,979.61. So what gallup poll says is average people voted..... those that you brand as people who just want "free stuff".

    Republicans Pride - takes on all kinds of meanings.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 4, 2012 7:34 a.m.

    To "atl134" the demographics, which eliminate location, show that the typical Obama voter makes less than $50,000/yr (Gallup found this out.)

    Apparently the takes did vote for more "free stuff".

    To "Res Novae" the statistics also show that most people who file bankruptcy get their debts restructured, so that they not only lose nothing, but they also can afford to eat and pay their bills. You can let this go.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:47 p.m.

    Res Novae
    Ashburn, VA
    @ red state pride: "Also can you provide a specific example on anyone who has gone hungry or bankrupt because of medical bills?"

    ===========

    Agreed!

    That was about the most absurd comment I've ever heard.

    Thanks again for calling him on it!

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Dec. 3, 2012 5:54 p.m.

    @ red state pride: "Also can you provide a specific example on anyone who has gone hungry or bankrupt because of medical bills?"

    Studies repeatedly show that the #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US is due to medical debt, accounting for almost 2/3 of bankruptcy filings.

  • Res Novae Ashburn, VA
    Dec. 3, 2012 5:36 p.m.

    "He went on to suggest that we don't have any great leaders like in the past and it would only take one great leader to pull us out of the hole we are in."

    Careful. Some of the greatest threats to democracy and freedom have been conceived by that seemingly benign statement.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Dec. 3, 2012 5:00 p.m.

    continued:

    They would get their medicare protected for 10 years then force the younger generation to use vouchers that will not be able to meet the cost of coverage. Never mind the fact that the issue with Medicare is the amount of seniors that will enroll in the plan over the next 10 years is what is driving the real costs.

    Yes, the moral compass of this nation is misdirected. When people demand their Medicare and social Security be protected and then curse anyone else that may need it as well. Sad.

  • Turtles Run Missouri City, TX
    Dec. 3, 2012 4:59 p.m.

    Many people call the people that lived thru the Great Depression, won WW2, and built the infrastructure of our nation the Greatest Generation. I agree with that assessment.

    Unfortunately, the Greatest Generation raised the most selfish generation as well. Their kids grew up feeling that they are entitled to a modern nation without having to pay for it.

    When their parents paid tax rates much higher than today, they complain of being TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY (TEA Party). They want a society that forces the younger generations to sustain their standard of living at the cost of their own. That is why they approved of the Medicare plans being proposed during the campaign for POTUS.

    to be continued........

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:56 p.m.

    Out of the 10 states with the highest percentage of people in the state among the 47%, Obama won 1 (Florida). Romney won the other 9. Goodness, if Obama cleaned up among the 47% he'd have won around 400 electoral votes.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 3, 2012 3:11 p.m.

    To "Open Minded Mormon" for somebody who claims to be open minded, you sure sound closed minded.

    D&C 1:38 "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" Keep that in mind while reading the following:

    "Remember that the gospel of Jesus Christ is not compatible with radicalism or communism or any other of the “isms.” There could be those who would profess to be your saviors." - President Spencer W kimball in Our Paths have met Again

    "Communism and all other similar isms bear no relationship whatever to the United Order. They are merely the clumsy counterfeits which Satan always devises of the gospel plan. Communism debases the individual and makes him the enslaved tool of the state to whom he must look for sustenance and religion" - Heber Grant, First Presidency Message April 1942.

    "Another notable counterfeit system to the Lord's plan is collectivized socialism... Communism in practice is socialism." President Benson A Vision and a Hope for
    the Youth of Zion

    "I attended a second lecture on Socialism...I said I did not believe the doctrine." Joseph Smith

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 3, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    Redshirt1701
    Deep Space 9, Ut

    When the prophet finally says throw rocks, THEN we'll throw rocks.

    Until then, drop the rebel rousing rhetoric.

    I believe Pres. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet -- not brother Glenn Beck.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 1:04 p.m.

    Good article and hits the nail on the head. I heard a discussion the other day by a particular commentator which exposes how so many in this country are still missing the point. This guy was asking "where are all the great leaders"? He went on to suggest that we don't have any great leaders like in the past and it would only take one great leader to pull us out of the hole we are in. Well this guy was half right. We certainly don't have a leader in White House nor do we have one in the senate. However to elect a great leader it takes a great people and that is where America has fallen. Bad leaders don't elect themselves - bad people elect bad leaders. America still has a portion of good people - even millions - but there are more that would qualify for the "bad bucket" than the good which is a major change from the 1940's and even up to the 1990's. America has tipped to what is now a socialist country largely. Like Europe America has fallen into a black hole - most likely unrecoverable and it all has to do with integrity.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 3, 2012 12:48 p.m.

    To "LDS Liberal" being a hippie and throwing rocks at police does not count as a war.

    Would you (and Emajor) fall for the opinions of the church you claim membership in? If you do, you will have to be a conservative because LDS doctrine is more inline with modern conservativism than your socialist/liberal dogma.

    First, you have the multiple prophets that have declared Socialism to be wrong. The prophets that have said that socialism and communism are wrong include Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Heber J. Grant, Spencer W. Kimball, and Ezra Taft Benson.

    You also have scriptures like D&C 134:2 "We believe that no government can exist in peace, except such laws are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free exercise of conscience, the right and control of property, and the protection of life." which are contrary to socialism and communism.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 12:17 p.m.

    Screwdriver

    Reasonable fair taxes are part of living in a functional society. Living off the work of someone else is freeloading.

    Middle class folks are not rich, but do pay about 40% of their income to taxes. This is not reasonable.

    People who pay no income tax benefit from infrastructure the taxpayers provide, but that is not freeloading because they are not living off it. It is when people want government funds to pay for their personal living expenses that they are freeloaders.

    You clearly don't even consider what conservatives are saying and your point is silly and out of touch with the real conservative values.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Dec. 3, 2012 11:01 a.m.

    To suggest that the amassing of wealth is the same as capitalism is to display a thinking error. The current economic environment in these United States is not true capitalism but only the use of capitalism to amass wealth. True capitalism embraces restraint because it is dependent on having a class of consumers who buy what is produced. The unfettered collection and hoarding of wealth by those who produce nothing is anti-thesis to capitalism.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 3, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    Doesn't it seem odd to anyone that conservatives can both argue that taxes = stealing and that 47% of the population are "freeloaders" for not paying income tax?

    That's what you wanted...How flakey.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 3, 2012 6:30 a.m.

    The conservative Utopia dream marches on past election cliff.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 10:07 a.m.

    @ Mountanman 7:09 a.m. Dec. 1, 2012

    You are right The US has been *transformed* & here is how the GOP did it...

    entitlements (Corporate tax credits), redistribution (Credit default swaps and other Wall St Ponzi schemes), class warfare (top 1% angelic 47% bad) , big intrusive government (Patriot act, DHS, TSA) and massive debt (because invading Iraq (twice) & Afghanistan wasn't cheap).

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 2, 2012 8:34 a.m.

    As far a I can tell the effect of lower rates or higher deductions allowed is exactly the same to the bottom line of the tax coffers that run the government. We are arguing about the deck chairs as the ship takes on water. The difference between the letter writer and myself is that I believe that BOTH parties have some truth in their positions, where as Frank sees the scene as black and white with the right possessing the "right view" and the other side as evil. Hence no discussion or compromise is possible. As far as who donates to which party, please get real: the big money flows to whichever side will do their bidding... the big boys are amoral politically. They do not care which side "wins" only that they get their place at the public trough and their viewpoint enacted into law.

  • Christian 24-7 Murray, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    Grover's flaw in his post is that it is his party that opposes ending the deductions which allow GE to pay no taxes. Instead his party wants to raise tax rates, and GE will still deduct it all away and pay nothing. But it donates a lot to the Democrats!!!

    Who is serious about the financial solvency of the nation? Come on folks, lets get real.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:20 p.m.

    It sounds like SNAP is good for those that need it. Perhaps too many people are using it or taking advantage of it that might not need it. But I am one that thinks some safety nets are good for a variety of reasons. I think that the program could be streamlined but I'm not for eliminating it altogether which I'm sure might be at odds with red state pride. I also think we should get our military out of foreign countries and use our troops to help defend our borders and help with disasters when they occur.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:16 p.m.

    Commenters on DN should remember 'do unto others as you would have others do unto you' or, in other words, judge not lest ye be judged'.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 1, 2012 5:21 p.m.

    re:eagle
    SNAP is the food stamp program. (Supplemental Nutirition Assistance Program). It is a federal program, but state-administered. I know a person here with MS whose sole source of income is approx $950 from disability who exceeds the income limits for SNAP.

    re:Iron&Clay

    In political matters, Ezra Taft Benson was a believer in the John Birch Society calling it "the most effective non-church organization in our fight against creeping socialism and Godless Communism." In fact, his son became the head of the UT John Birch Society. Benson was on the extreme end of the Republican Party at the time. In 1965, on returning to Salt Lake (from Europe) he stated; "Before I left for Europe I warned how the communists were using the civil rights movement to promote revolution and eventual takeover of this country. When are we going to wake up? Now, Brethren, the Lord never promised there would not be traitors in the Church. We have the ignorant, the sleepy and the deceived who provide temptations and avenues of apostasy for the unwary and the unfaithful."

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 5:05 p.m.

    red state pride:

    I'm not sure the tea party would want either program in which you speak. I have no idea what SNAP is but I'll take your word for it. So some government programs work and some don't. But some actually do and those that say NO to everything must realize that. Also, there was no promise of a G.I. Bill so I suppose it was an idea generated by somebody somewhere in government, perhaps Truman. Bottom line, somebody thought government action in this way could do a lot of good and it did.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 4:41 p.m.

    @ eagle- yes the GI Bill was a successful program but the key point is that the former soldiers who were eligible for it actually performed a vital service for America. They soldiered for low pay and the GI Bill was a benefit they earned- part of their compensation. Now you can qualify for a SNAP card just because you happen to have been born in the US. Do you see the difference?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 1, 2012 2:13 p.m.

    If I had a time-machine....

    I'd take each and everyone of these ultra-Cons yearning for the Good 'ol days,
    and send them right back where they belong!

    It wasn't as rosy as you might think.

    I for one,
    I'm for eternal PROGRESSION, not regression.

    Keep moving Foward.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    A few points Frank.
    1) The 47% pay no federal income tax. They still pay state, property, excise, sales and payroll taxes.
    2) Many rich Americans are part of that 47% as with tax shelters, tax credits, deductions and depreciation they pay no federal income tax.
    3) In your good old days, a majority of white Americans tolerated the racial discrimination and segregation. Discrimination of any kind is lacking a moral compass.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 1:37 p.m.

    The moral compass that is in place as far as those who rule this world through the control of a credit based monetary system is:

    Those that have the Gold make the rules. (Golden rule)

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 1:30 p.m.

    "Ezra Taft Benson warned Americans about collectivist sentiment in the Eisenhower cabinet and the state department who promoted Communist revolutions of Mao and Stalin back then and creeping socialism in America."

    Ezra Taft Benson also spoke out against subsidies to Big Ag and Big Oil yet how many Utahns support these things? How many Mormons would be upset if the government took away their Big Ag and Big Oil handouts?

    I just want to see consistency from repubs. If they hate handouts to poor people then they should also hate handouts to rich people too. Ger rid of student aids? Sure, just as long as you raise Mitt's tax rate back up to what they were in the 50s.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:39 p.m.

    The only "moral compass" I need is "Do unto others as I would have them do unto me".

    Therefore I support same-sex marriage.
    I oppose CEO-takes-all capitalism.
    I support the right of women to choose whether or not they'll bear children.
    I oppose the Christian take-over of the US government.

    If you would discriminate against others, deny women their free choice, allow CEO's to make over 400x the wages of their employees, you have no "moral compass".

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    Nothing has changed from 1950's America.
    Ezra Taft Benson warned Americans about collectivist sentiment in the Eisenhower cabinet and the state department who promoted Communist revolutions of Mao and Stalin back then and creeping socialism in America.

    The only difference between the Republicans and the democrats, between Bush and Obama in the 21st century is that Bush was leading the country towards the collectivist destination as a hypocrite and Obama is doing it as an avowed Socialist. They are both socialist.

    Obama and Bush have both worked for the government ownership and control of everything with the profits from big government debt going to their employers.... the international/Federal Reserve and wall street bankers.

    Nothing has changed.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:29 p.m.

    LDS Liberal,
    "The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members."

    I agree with that. And I am not terribly familiar with the Book of Mormon or the examples you cited, but I have read King Benjamin's sermon and was both impressed with its morality and surprised at how dissimilar it was to modern conservative fiscal positions in the US. I am frankly amazed so many conservative LDS people can be so vitriolic and condescending about the working poor and disadvantaged when that long, oft-cited passage is in their own scriptures. In fact, from what I remember of reading the Book of Mormon, there were an abundance of passages telling people to help the poor without any mention of whether it was the role of government or whether the poor were "deserving".

    Then you have the age-old "camel through the eye of a needle" analogy that many wealthy and wealth-chasing Christian conservatives seem to pretend doesn't exist. That very Biblical passage should have John Boehner & Mitch McConnell accusing Jesus of class warfare, but they are strangely silent on that.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    Like most of his letters, this one is "over-felt" but "under-thought". Why is it a sin for those who owe no income tax to pay no income tax? Just once I would like Frank to hold forth on why it is just fine for General Electric to pay no tax on billions in income, but not ok for Joe Lunchbucket to do the same? Again, isn't the mantra of his party never to raise taxes even as they bemoan the demise of the greatest Country in an ocean of debt? Is there a possible line of logic here I am missing??

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:10 p.m.

    Stalwart Sentinel, what you say is mostly correct, but I hope that you'd recognize that what's really important is for all of us -- liberal or not -- to carefully examine all ideas that come along.

    Not all are good ones.

    If most of us will carefully examine ourselves, we'll probably find that our ideas and opinions are a mixture of liberal, conservative, and moderate ideas.

    The true application of wisdom requires that all of us look carefully at ideas coming from all sides and try to use good judgement to choose those we will support and those we will oppose.

    That takes effort, though, and too many of us are simply willing to let others make the decisions for us when we blindly accept the propaganda of either side.

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:55 a.m.

    I believe a poll was released just yesterday which confirmed that 51% of Americans support same-sex marriage and only about 4 in 10 oppose it. That poll is not an outlier either, it is steadily becoming the norm.

    The thing conservatives don't seem to understand is they are not just fighting liberals, they are also fighting against time itself. Over time, our society always moves towards progress and that inherently defeats conservatism. For us liberals, every social issue is not an "if" but rather a matter of "when." Keep your heads up, liberal Utahns. The day will soon come when the letter writer will be the minority in your state.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:37 a.m.

    Reading it again, something else really irritates me about this letter. Mr. Overfelt exaggerates the positions of many who vote Democratic in this nation, suggesting we feel capitalism is "evil" (capitalism is fine, outright greed is the problem), that we have no desire to contribute to the nation, and peddles the mythology of a morally pure America of the 40s, 50s, and 60s. The America that never existed except in the minds of certain conservatives.

    Mr. Overfelt's entire lecture on our lost moral compass uses so many patently dishonest examples that it ought to be printed verbatim in the dictionary next to the word "irony".

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    I wonder how many veterans of World War II used the G.I. Bill to get a head start. It is a government program and a darn good one that helped veterans out-deservedly.

    It is time to for many conservatives to take off the blinders. Government has aided many people for a long time.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:27 a.m.

    Communitarianism is the form of government espoused by the original conservatives, the followers of John Adams. In this system everyone relies on the efforts of the community to better their own lives. Children get in less trouble when their neighbors are keeping an eye on them as well as their own children. When someone's barn burned down the entire community pitched in to help build it back knowing that they could be in the same situation at a future time. Times have changed as have the circumstances of our lives, but the concept is still a strong one that should be practiced. In a true communitarian society everyone relies on the government and contributes their part to make our nation, states and communities strong, just like the old days. Everyone benefits because everyone contributes. Independent cowboys end up living lonely lives.

  • Emajor Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 11:25 a.m.

    Frank,
    I'm hoping your 47% error is an accidental misunderstanding rather than an intentional lie. The 47% is referring to people with no federal income tax liability. This includes seniors, working poor, families of 4 earning less than $50K a year. Many of these people still pay payroll taxes. Mitt Romney helped torpedo his own campaign with that statement (and for good reason--it was chock full of arrogant inaccuracies), but it looks like some of his supporters still lack the motivation to look up who the 47% really is. In fact, a fair number of that demographic probably voted for Romney.

    Politifact broke down this statistic and their analysis is easily looked up if you are having difficulty understanding the difference here. Would take less time to educate yourself on this than it did to pen this letter.

  • William Gronberg Payson, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Mr. Overfelt's moral compass is not pointing towards the present location of the magnetic north pole. It is a fact that the north and south magnetic poles are moving. Situation ethics also causes the moral compasses of many letter writers to move. No person (I am a person) or groups of persons have a monopoly on the truth, situation ethics or moving moral compasses.

    Mr. Overfelt's moral compass is totally challenged when he states the following:

    “When 47 percent of the population is dependent upon government for their very livelihood and doesn't contribute anything to the tax base, ...”

    Why is the truth NOT good enough Mr. Overfelt??

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    @one old man- how are banks and "Wall Street" practicing "unchecked capitalism"? Is there no regulatory oversight? The Dodd- Frank legislation brought to you by Democrats simply ensured that previously "too big to fail" banks would become even more too big to fail and small, community banks would be crippled. John Corzine former CEO of Goldman Sachs was the Democrat Governor of NJ. Loyd Blankfein current CEO of Goldman Sachs is pretty tight with the White House. I wonder why?
    All the hotshot super rich on the Board of Directors at Costco who all vocally support Obama's plan to raise taxes on the rich just voted to borrow 300 billion to pay out to shareholders this year to avoid increased tax rates on dividends coming next year. Is that enough hypocrisy for you?
    BTW- I bet that book you recommend contains one word: Republicans.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    Frank and most Conservatives seem to be worried about the erosion of our Society.
    To suit their political agenda, they select and choose what they deem to the cause of it, and judge other behaviors accordingly.

    The TRUTH is this --

    "The measure of a civilization is how it treats its weakest members."

    The Nephites, Greeks, Romans, ect... or any other civilazation who tramples the poor, needy, sick, elderly, children, [or any other MINORITY] under their feet are doomed to destruction.

    The end of the Book of Mormon has the once great Nephites - who had the truth - dispising the these, and loving WAR more than Peeace. They went on the OFFENSIVE.

    In the end - the poor, commune living, pipe smoking, long haired, near naked, "liberal" Lamanites won, and kept possession of the promised land of inheritance.

    I'll follow who God has judged will inherit the land,
    and not fall for Conservative opinions.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:53 a.m.

    Red State (is that a communist state?) asks if we can identify any business practicing "unchecked capitalism." Yes. Banks and Wall Street are almost unchecked. Unchecked enough that the damage they do is horrendous.

    He then asks if anyone knows anyone who has gone bankrupt because of health costs. Yes. Several people including two of my own children.

    Then he adds parenthetically that in order to qualify for his definition they may not have internet or cable hook-ups. Yeah, right.

    But then, I guess there is some hope out there that at least some intelligent life exists in Utah when 1Conservative confesses that he is beginning to see the light.

    Again, may I recommend that everyone who posts here get and read the book "Who Stole the American Dream," by Hedrick Smith.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:41 a.m.

    Frank Overfelt has just written the perfect Conservative manifesto.

    He covered "going back" to just about everything black & white thing the movie "Pleasantville" had to offer.

    Selective reasoning I'm sure to remember the good, and forget the bad...
    Leaving out Segregation, Civil Rights, lynchings, family violence and abuse,

    It wasn't a rosy or picture perfect bak then Frank.

    "Leave it to Beaver", "I Love Lucy" ect, were TV shows - many of the actors were real life alcoholics.

    BTW - Speaking of the "good wars" - We fought AGAINST ultra-far-right-wing-Conservatives back then who longed to go back to the Good 'ol Days.

    But I will agree - Republicans now have us starting Offensive Wars all over the world for OIL and other plunder, rather than for peace, Freedom and the Constitution of the United States [that "blankey-blank piece of paper" of paper as GW Bush referreed to it.]

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Legalizing same-sex marriage is a sign that the majority of Americans have achieved moral clarity about the importance of the equal application of civil rights to all American citizens.

    Decriminalizing marijuana is similarly evidence that the public recognizes that including marijuana in the "war on drugs" is ruinously expensive, ineffective and a breeding ground for violent drug gangs.

    I've read enough of Frank's letters over the years to conclude that were he alive in 1920 and 1933, he would similarly claim that our nation is morally adrift because women won the right to vote and Prohibition was repealed.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:30 a.m.

    Isn't old fashioned HONESTY still a moral value?

    If so, why does this writer lie when he writes: "When 47 percent of the population is dependent upon government for their very livelihood and doesn't contribute anything to the tax base."

    That is an outright and bald faced lie.

    There was a study done awhile ago that determined that at least 91% of all Americans, including those at the highest levels of income, benefit directly from more than one of the "programs" many claim to despise.

    When someone like this letter writer lie to try to make a point about morality, they lose all credibility with intelligent people.

  • 1conservative WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:18 a.m.

    Americans need a hand up, not a handout. I'm starting to agree more and more with the Demos. on the DN forum. I don't agree with EVERYTHING the demos. propose; BUT- I think we should give Obama our best support we can muster for the next 4 yrs.

    Unethical business persons are causing more and more problems for the general population.

    Can Obama and the demos. turn things around?

    I hope so.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 9:19 a.m.

    @Owen- can you tell us one industry in America where we have "unchecked capitalism"? Also can you provide a specific example on anyone who has gone hungry or bankrupt because of medical bills? (anyone who doesn't have a cable/internet package that is)

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:32 a.m.

    Go to the library and check out the books The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, if you can find them. You will find some disturbing parallels with how the U.S. is now going. All you whiny liberal/progressives need to find another hobby.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 1, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    Ah, the good old days when a "man" could get a job at Kennecott support his family pay his taxes,( remember evethough he deducted his mortgage and his tithing.. rates were so high that he still had to pay), take a vacation..all because his income and job were protected by the union. Or..maybe you could go to school and become a white collar worker..all on Uncle Sams dime..GI bill. In fact Frank almost everyone in the neighborhood where you grew up did just that got their start via the government. Doesn't matter they had to serve in the military to get it..they succeeded because of the government.

    Now we get to work for MR and his friends making $15 an hour no benefits, and no future and have to endure being called immoral by the likes of you because we fall below the poverty level and don't make enough money to pay taxes if we take a mortgage deduction. No worry though Repbulicans are proposing taking away that deduction so yipee we get to join the ranks of tax payers..we still make $15 and hour and have no benefits..but were moral.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 1, 2012 7:09 a.m.

    America has been "fundamentally transformed" and declining in every way that a country can decline, morally, culturally and economically. How did the Democrats do it: entitlements, redistribution, class warfare, big intrusive government and massive debt. Its only going to get worse, so hunker down because as the author said, the compass is still pointing the wrong way!

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 6:09 a.m.

    Unlike many many sore-losers in Utah, I am so happy every morning when I wake up and Barack Obama is President.

    We all saw first-hand the so-called "morals" of Mitt Romney. Bullet dodged!

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 5:08 a.m.

    Lies! 47 percent do not rely on the government. They simply have no tax liability and simply take the deductions and credits that are allowed under law.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Dec. 1, 2012 12:53 a.m.

    When unchecked capitalism is worshipped until 5 percent of the population owns half of everything (including the legislators and judges) while thousands go hungry or bankrupt to pay medical bills, our moral compass has indeed been misdirected. This downward cycle is well-known.

    When bigotry is sanctioned and our grandfathers tune into a a steady stream of duplicitous fear mongering, the U.S. is on a troubled path that the next generation will correct.

    This is history's greatest nation. It's future is bright. Neither fear nor despair serve anyone.