Published: Thursday, Aug. 28 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT
"It would be great if we could listen to one another and benefit from our
different perspectives rather than assuming that “this” really means
“that” and the defense of some really means an attack on
others."I agree. I consider myself a Marxist because I think
Marx's sophisticated economic tools need to be part of mainstream economic
theory. Were Marx to be included I strongly believe (based on my own reading of
Marx) that we would have a much better economic map to follow.But in
now way do I see Marx's theory replacing the rest of economics.
Thank you, Ms. Barker, for another common sense essay, pleading with the
American public for civil discourse. It seems like a basic and honorable
request but it also means that if it is implemented, many or most political
arguments will be proven hollow and without substance. A continuing discourse
about what is best for the nation as a whole, not just the benefit of the few,
is the only way to move our country forward. We are and have been a great
nation, but we can always do better.
Great piece again, Mary Barker.
Funny that Mary would use IKEA as an example. Take a look on Wiki at how they
get around big taxes, using non-profit covers ect. No different than the rich
Americans try to do. Waltons, Koch Bros. Buffett ect. P.S. You
know things are getting bad in the U.S. when a corporation like Berger King is
looking to Canada to relocate. Thank you BO. It's been fun but time for
you to go.
History has shown that too much interference by the government in the economy
inevitably destroys the economy. Government should limit itself to the
protection of private property. Charles Dunoyer famously stated
that"one consequence of the industrial regime is to destroy artificial
inequalities, but this only highlights natural inequalities all the more
clearly." Dunoyer continued "superior abilities . . . are the source of
everything that is great and useful . . . Reduce everything to equality and you
will bring everything to a standstill. " This is why state intervention of
any kind must be rejected. Natural inequalities such as differences in
physical, intellectual, and moral capabilities are crucial to an economy of
growth and innovation.The problem with Marxism and left-wing theory
is that they ignore the fact that when a government tries to put everyone at the
same economic level, it fails. This is irrefutable fact. The way to achieve
success is through hard work and study, not government entitlement programs. Shame on those who think that they are entitled to have everything
handed to them, simply because they exist. That is not the American way.
Our economic discourse tends to suffers from non sequiturs. . .
Which is the very basis of "Conservative" reasoning. And
then there's the fact that the word "Socialism" can mean so many
different things depending on Context.Obviously the Marxist
Socialism of Stalinist Russia is not at all similar to the Socialism of Finland
or Sweden, which really have Capitalist mixed economies.And then of
course there's the fact that quite a few "Conservatives" completely
gave up thinking years ago . . . And just recite stuff they've heard on
right wing radio.
GOP CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one, and buy a bull. Your herd
multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income.LIBERAL CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other
to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when the cow drops
dead.ISLAMIC CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You strap
dynamite to them hoping they will save you 2 suicide bomber resources - they
blow up accidentally, you have no cows. FRENCH CAPITALISM:
You have two cows. You go on strike because you want three cows.
JAPANESE CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You reengineer them so they live
for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves. BRITISH
CAPITALISM: You have two cows. Both are mad. RUSSIAN
CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five
cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and
learn you have 12 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of
vodka. CHINESE CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You have 300
people milking them. You claim full employment, high bovine productivity, and
arrest the journalist who reported the numbers.
So Mary Barker produces another sensible, intelligent, beautifully reasoned and
written piece, about the illogic of much of our current political discourse. And
immediately two regular posters provide splendid examples of precisely that same
@GaryO and JCS: You two are talking past each other again. That type of ranting
and insulting people who don't agree with you isn't constructive. You
aren't going to convince anyone you are right with that approach. Seek
first to understand, and find common ground. I'll go first. GaryO, I take
it that you think the European socialism like they have in Finland is the model
that will work best in the US. Is that true? If so, what do you see as the
strengths and weaknesses of their system? Every system has trade-offs, so it
comes down to the value you put on the strengths and weaknesses.
GaryO: to be fair, you should also note that the term "capitalism" means
many things to many people, just as the terms "conservative" and
"liberal" have different meanings. Whenever a person uses one of them to
describe his or her opposition, it's meant in a pejorative sense, not as an
accurate description. I think that's what Mary Barker is talking about. As
a result, we end up inflaming the conversation and talking past one another. Before we can engage in meaningful discourse, all participants need to
agree on definitions of "liberal," "conservative,"
"socialism" and "capitalism." Of course, there's not much
chance of that, but that's the very problem, isn't it?
Logic often has little meaning when politics is being played. Both sides of the
aisle engage in this kind of behavior so you are just purely partisan if you can
only see the misdeeds of the "other side".Ms Barker has
clearly pointed out some misdeeds from the right in the economic debate. I wish
she had been a bit more balanced by pointing out some equally agregious
violations from the left, but I never expect such an unbiased piece from anyone
these days.In the interest of balance, I will point out a couple
from the left but that doesn't mean I don't agree that the right is
often guilty as well.If you oppose minimum wage or unions you must
be "anti-worker". If you think Obama's policies hurt the poor and
middle classes, then you must be racist. If you want the border controlled and
immigration laws enforced, you are "anti-immigrant". Etc., etc.
GOP Capitalism (with due respect to Mountanman's ancient joke): You inherit
two cows and you graze them on public property without paying for the privilege
and then pull a gun on the people's representatives when they come to
collect what is owed to them. You become a hero on Fox News and Mike Lee
worships at your feet.
Conservatives don't know the difference between Socialism and
Capitalism.It's simply a trigger used to insight the boogeyman
under the stairs -- like McCarthyism did with Communism.The
Tea-Party is nothing more than a 21st century version of the John Birch
Society.Guns, Bomb-shelters, and Anti-Government run amok.
Another superb editorial by Mary Barker. And Joe2, the reason she didn't
point out all the misdeeds of the liberals is that most of the non sequiturs
that are damaging our ability to move forward are coming from the conservatives,
who, as GaryO pointed out, have given up on rational thinking in favor of an
increasingly extreme ideology. Having any sort of intelligent conversation with
someone who engages in endless non sequiturs is impossible, as Mary's funny
and spot-on example (snow in Boston) illustrates. Which means we will be in
perpetual gridlock until the Republicans figure out a way to return to reality
long enough to carry on a two-way conversation.
@ Irony Guy. A better definition of liberal Capitalism is the government
redistributes two cows that they confiscated from GOP Capitalists and then the
EPA fines you because your cows exhaled CO2. NSA spies on you, Eric Holder sues
you because you violated affirmative action laws and the IRS targets you because
you donated campaign funds for the "other guy". Your healthcare costs
double with your Obamacare mandates, your cows go on food stamps and have no
incentive to produce any milk and you are forced to borrow money from your
grandchildren to pay for your entitlements. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid say you
never paid taxes for ten years and claim you are being greedy and selfish. Not
very funny but much more accurate!
It would be nice if the regulars on this board would admit that not all people
who call themselves conservatives are extremists, and occasionally even the
extremists can make a good point. If you can't admit that then you are just
as extreme as those you so arrogantly dismiss.
Well said, Invisible Hand, both comments. There are many of us out here in the
readership who would so welcome a thoughtful discussion/debate on the strengths
and weaknesses of the various economic systems and philosophies. Or as SEY
suggests, clarifying words such as "capitalism" and "socialism",
"liberal" and "conservative," sans the mudslinging. However, I
presume you'll agree that here those possibilities are likely wishful
Well said, Invisible Hand, both comments. I think many of us in the readership
would welcome thoughtful discussion/debate on the various economic systems and
philosophies. Or as SEY suggests, the clarification, sans mudslinging, of terms
such as "liberal" and "conservative," "capitalism" and
"socialism." However, I presume you will agree that the
possibility of either here is likely wishful thinking...
Hey Invisible Hand - “ . . . you think the European socialism like they
have in Finland is the model that will work best in the US . . . ”Well . . . Again, I only refer to it as
“socialism” because that’s what other people call it. As Mary
pointed it out, it’s really a Capitalist-centered mixed economy.And that is what we ALREADY have here in the US, because that is what works.
When the US government paid huge amounts of money to Railroads to unite the
nation, that was some pretty serious government interference that set this
nation up for success and advanced capitalistic enterprise.So we
already are “socialist” in that very loose sense, if you want to
call it that. But plenty of people are terrified of the term, so let’s not
call it that.Basically all I’m talking about is good
governance. Let’s do what works.As for Finland, their system
works great for them, and yes we should emulate best practices from many sources
(Why not?), and adapt and apply what can work for us.That’s
just common sense.
"If you oppose minimum wage or unions you must be "anti-worker". If
you think Obama's policies hurt the poor and middle classes, then you must
be racist. If you want the border controlled and immigration laws enforced, you
are "anti-immigrant". Etc., etc."Joe, I'm actually
going to give you the first one about workers. I actually do think that occurs
a lot. The second one is pure nonsense. It's a Republican
meme that Democrats and liberals believe all opposition to Obama is racist. You
got this one backward. That doesn't mean we don't think racism is
present in some opposition.I don't think the third is very
accurate either. The actions of the President himself in enforcing the laws
would tell you the third is inaccurate. Even in the latest kerfuffel he
proposed hiring more agents and possibly using the national guard. Most of the
differences the Democrats have with Republicans regarding immigration are about
effectiveness not appropriateness.
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