Mr. Tully has gotten to THE foundational problem present in our country today. The fundamental issue of “us vs. them” or “with us or against us”. Ideological rigidity, based in part on a hyper-focus on individualism, is tearing down this nation. First of all, we are ALL a part of American society. None of us are an island unto ourselves. Adam Smith understood this concept 300 years ago. Why can’t we? Secondly, one only has to look at these message boards to see the evidence of this. Otherwise likeminded individuals, anonymously arguing over the minute details of inconsequential topics. Many on these message boards will claim that the current administration is waging “class warfare” with the “rich vs. poor” narrative yet completely miss the fact that Beck (and other talking heads) are using the exact same type of rhetoric to attack unions. Specifically, these pundits promote the idea that union members get pay and benefits not given to non-union workers. This is done to create a sense of envy and unfairness. Instead of thinking critically about the situation, listeners adopt the rhetoric of the speaker and perpetuate the meme.
By the way, (I know it’s off topic) “right to work” is the quintessential example of freeloading. I would think that conservative-minded people would be against this, but it is cheered loudly in these circles. Non-union members receive the same pay, benefits, and protections provided by the unions without paying a dime for th
January 14, 2013 at 9:29pm
Great example of a misleading headline and the typical glee demonstrated by low-information, conservative “thinkers”. There is NO mention of cutting production in the American plants that produce Jeeps, but rather this is an expansion of the business into a new market. Romney tried to roll out this false talking point during the election.
November 15, 2012 at 11:47pm
The evil boss makes money because of the labor of his employees, get it? Metz is yet another crybaby millionaire. I’m sure most people of your mindset think this guy should be worshipped. Perhaps you should broaden your own viewpoint to consider the fact that the equation has two sides.
November 15, 2012 at 11:42pm
All of the comments being made here seem to leave out one very important factor in this equation. The employees. The individuals doing the actual work that brings in the revenue. I am quite sure Mr. Metz is not a poor man, and I am even more sure that he isn’t the one cooking the food or serving it. His employees are a large part of the reason this man has the income he does. How about recognizing the fact that there are two sides to the equation? The ownership/labor relationship is symbiotic in nature, neither one surviving without the other. I realize this concept is a bit too tough for some to understand. Quite frankly, I am getting a bit tired of the “poor old downtrodden millionaires” meme.
November 12, 2012 at 1:49pm
Thank you for making my point. You know nothing of my beliefs or ideology and yet you hurl the typical vitriolic rhetoric simply because I say something you might be against. Ad hominem attacks do not further your own position. Yes, I understand the tax issues involved with the Clinton administration. The personal tax increase was imposed in 1993. 9% points. Capital gains cuts came in 1997. Gingrich made the statement that this increase would stall the recovery and cause a downturn. No such downturn ever occurred. I have the facts on my side and clear historical precedent as evidence.
November 11, 2012 at 9:16pm
I admire your efforts, but they are largely wasted here. I rarely find that I can have an intelligent, well-reasoned debate on this (or any other) message board. If an individual makes any statement that goes against the accepted “conservative” platform he/she is automatically labeled a “socialist,marxist,etc…”. The problem with this medium specifically, and the overall political opinion arena generally, is this “you’re either with us or you’re against us” mentality. Too many people only see the black and white extremes of the spectrum; they cannot identify the fact that there is a huge gray area in between. Small government, free-market, personal liberty conservatives constantly seek government intervention to deny liberty to entire groups of individuals who live a lifestyle they don’t agree with. These same conservatives also seek government intervention in business by seeking incentives for development (hardly free-market is it?). I would suggest researching the subjects of confirmation bias and group polarization. These two concepts explain a great deal of behavior. As to the specific issue of taxes, Gingrich made the claim that the Clinton tax hike would stall the recovery and cause recession. Clinton’s tax increase caused no such recession. Kristol is only pointing out a fact that can be supported by historical precedent.
November 2, 2012 at 10:05am
I apologize for any dizziness I may have caused. I was simply trying to give a thorough explanation of my position. Sometimes we must go beyond what should be necessary to compensate for ambiguity due to the nature of the forum. The bottom line is that both are necessary. In my opinion Rand fails to address this fact. It is a cyclical system where both entities support the other. I am not attempting to put one above the other, but rather I am simply illustrating this fact.
November 2, 2012 at 2:07am
The scenario proposed by Factor is nonsensical. It is completely outside the context of what is understood to be “helping”. I would think that most reasonable individuals could agree with that point. Social programs and bureaucracy are much more relevant to any discussion of this subject. Brook should have refrained from giving an answer to that particular example and instead shifted focus to the broader scope of government largesse. It is was he was referring to.
November 2, 2012 at 1:56am
You make decent points, but you miss the big picture. I’ll use your example as an illustration. The corporation has private property rights. Without regulations to govern the conduct of the corporation it is free to do as it pleases within the boundary of its property. If this company chooses to pollute there is little recourse for those living in the surrounding community. The scenario can quickly become very convoluted. One could use game theory to map out all of the different outcomes. My original point is simply refuting Brooks statement that the suffering of one is not the responsibility of another especially when the latter causes the suffering of the former.
November 2, 2012 at 1:43am
I will agree with most of what you say, but will make one caveat. I strongly believe that those in power, both in Congress and the boardrooms, are still seeking the protections of the rules of incorporation while freeing themselves from the “burdensome” regulations that raise the costs of operation. Would you not agree with that?
November 2, 2012 at 1:36am
The first movie was a very poor adaptation of the book. I’ve read more than one of Rand’s books, Atlas Shrugged being one of them. I won’t level any charges of hypocracy against Rand for accepting government assistance toward the end of her life. My argument against her beliefs are much more foundational. Plus, I’m not saying she was completely wrong in her assertions. However, many people that espouse her positions have very little understanding of what capitalism really is. If our government chose to completely deregulate industry and end subsidies tomorrow we still would not have a true capitalist system.
November 2, 2012 at 1:29am
I believe I know where you are going with the question, I’ve heard it before, but I’ll play along. They mine to earn a wage, to provide for themselves and their family. In the context of AS and my earlier post, the miners, through their labor provide the raw materials for Rearden to produce his metal. No miners, no raw materials, no Rearden metal. The path I see you following is this: Why didn’t one of those miners develop the metal? The person that develops the metal is really immaterial to the discussion. What is important is that without labor the idea is not fully realized. They each require the other. You may say that without the idea the labor isn’t necessary and logically you would be correct. I’m simply saying that once the idea is conceived it requires labor to become fully developed.
November 2, 2012 at 1:16am
Brooks statement about the suffering of one not being the responsibility of another has a fatal flaw. If the actions of the former directly cause the suffering of the latter it IS necessarily the responsibility of the former. For example, a corporation dumps toxic chemicals in the water supply of a locality. The residents of that locality develop diseases as a direct result of this dumping. The individuals in charge of this corporation are simply following policy that is in the best interest of the corporation (i.e. maximizing profits, limiting costs). Without any type of regulation there is NO reason for any corporation to follow any policy that would protect the environment because these types of protections necessarily drive up costs. Furthermore, while the corporations realize bigger profits due to this deregulation society as a whole bears the additional costs. These costs are referred to as externalities. Privatize the profits and socialize the costs.
Sure there's an incentive to protect the environment. If someone harms another or causes damage to their property with their pollution, they're liable. As opposed to what we have now where the company pollutes as much as they're allotted by the govt and everyone's taxes are used to clean it up. Or where individuals are protected by incorporation rather than being responsible for their actions.
Here is your regulation. The people of the town get together and decide to do something about it. They might try to negotiate with the "evil" corporation, they might try to blockade it, they might try to storm it and raze it. Whatever the people feel is in their best interest, they will do, because just like a corporation is a group of people working together for a common cause, the townspeople can work together for a common cause.
The corporation then chooses how to respond. Like you said, they have to do what maximizes profits, and if their factory will start losing WAY more money if it's not producing than if it's producing while dumping toxic chemicals, then they have two choices: either yield to the townspeople or skip town for greener pastures.
If they skip town and the next town hears what happened with the previous town, they will be more wary and keep a closer look on the corporation. In this way, you have both free market, and the people acting in their own best interest. The people will place a price on the corporation by deciding whether or not they want to do business with the corporation, in terms of buying product or sharing land. A huge bureaucracy does not respond to the needs of the people. That's why the founders originally envisioned a federalist system, with a central government to bind the states together, but the states ultimately having responsibility for themselves. Have more power closer to the people down to the town level.
I will agree with most of what you say, but will make one caveat. I strongly believe that those in power, both in Congress and the boardrooms, are still seeking the protections of the rules of incorporation while freeing themselves from the "burdensome" regulations that raise the costs of operation. Would you not agree with that?
You make decent points, but you miss the big picture. I'll use your example as an illustration. The corporation has private property rights. Without regulations to govern the conduct of the corporation it is free to do as it pleases within the boundary of its property. If this company chooses to pollute there is little recourse for those living in the surrounding community. The scenario can quickly become very convoluted. One could use game theory to map out all of the different outcomes. My original point is simply refuting Brooks statement that the suffering of one is not the responsibility of another especially when the latter causes the suffering of the former.
I agree they're in cahoots, but most of the regulations are lobbied for and written by corporations themselves to protect themselves from competition. Keep in mind that when Rand wrote Atlas she was devastated that corporate America didn't accept her philosophy either and why should they? They were a protected class. She advocated a total separation between the market and government and we've never really had that. Corporations don't want that. I think another misconception you have is about her is she really admired the laborers who were skilled in their craft. In the Fountainhead she went on about the bus driver who skillfully navigated the turns of the city. Almost as if she were inspired by his expertise. That being said there are people much further along than I am and there's a little tiff between the Ayn Randers and Libertarians currently going on. I'm still trying to sort stuff out myself.
Well if you bring private property rights, then you have to ask who is granting the corporation that right. If it is a government that the townspeople live under, then there are more options. The townspeople can change the government to their own benefit. The new government could forbid the corporation from polluting (ie, regulation), with threat of taking away property rights. In this case, it is obvious the town is populated by people that see things your way, because not only have they decided to cede power to a government, they have also decided that the government can regulate.
There is another option. Say the government is unresponsive, unchangeable, generally not reflective of the needs of the people. The townspeople can then choose to revolt against the government, declaring that the government has no power over them, nullifying the laws of the previous government, including property rights, and then doing what they feel is best with the corporation. The corporation can then either negotiate with the townspeople, move away, or ask the previous government for assistance. Undoubtedly, since the townspeople revolted, this assistance would come in the form of military intervention.
Like you said, there's many many ways to game theoretically show all possible actions/reactions. I think the point Brook was trying to say is that there should not be responsibility, only choice. If you choose to feel responsible, that is another matter.
A corporation sets up a factory in a small town. Over the course of 35 years, cancer rates spike. A study is done and concludes that the increase in cancer rates are the direct result of water pollution caused by the factory. In your view, the corporation is not responsible for the suffering of the people?
To continue the hypothetical. The townspeople band together, as you say, and attempt to force the factory to close. That is to say, they form a government. The collective will of the people is organized through a governmental system that is democratic in nature, with large groups of people representing smaller groups of people to represent their will.
The corporation then chooses how it responds. You say that it will either a. accede to the wishes of the town, or b. pack up and leave. You forgot option C, which is that the corporation will use its considerable resources to protect its 'property.'
Without a higher government to grant them property rights, the land will belong to whoever can control it. In situation C, the corporation decides that it doesn't want to give up the land. It hires mercenaries and weapons, and defends the factory from the townpeople. The town becomes split. Some want to fight, and do, but they are killed. The corporation goes after the families of those who tried to fight back. Many people leave, but many more stay and live out their lives under the rule of their corporate masters.
November 2, 2012 at 12:51am
What is your defense of Rand’s philosophy? Rand generally got it wrong in Atlas Shrugged. She suggests that it is the idea that is the most important thing and the developers are the kings. What Rand, and all the followers, miss is that labor is required to bring that idea to fruition. Rearden is the perfect example of this. He develops his new metal. Revolutionary? Quite possibly. However, the raw materials necessary for crafting the finished product require labor. Mining and transport specifically. Processing the raw materials into the finished product require labor. Men to run the furnaces and manage the processes. Transporting the finished product requires labor. Rand never shines any light on the required labor. She simply promotes Rearden’s idea. These two entities are dependent on one another. It is a symbiotic relationship. Dagny and Willers are another example of this. Dagny requires Willers’ assistance to help run Taggart Transcontinental. Willers is Dagny’s eyes and ears in her family’s company while she runs the John Galt Line. His assistance is imperative yet he is eventually unceremoniously dumped in the desert and forgotten while Dagny goes on. Again Rand shows favor to the “idea” person while shedding the laborer. And again, the relationship is symbiotic. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject and your defense of Rand.
November 1, 2012 at 8:45pm
@AGGIE: I agree. What is Romney hiding? Even his father released tax returns. I love the reaction generated by your post. These people don’t seem to understand.
@Chick: Romney hasn’t said exactly what loopholes and deductions he would eliminate. He has suggested doing away with the capital-gains tax (which would lower his tax liability to approximately zero). The discussion of Romney’s tax policy has him getting rid of the child deductions, the earned income tax credit, and the home mortgage interest deduction. ALL of which tend to favor the middle class and the poor. My guess is that whatever allows the rich to keep more of their money he will do.
November 1, 2012 at 8:32pm
You’re getting warmer, but I’m willing to bet that if Romney wins the election most of these people will go back to sleep. I could give the reason for that, but I’m quite sure it would be banned.
November 1, 2012 at 8:28pm
How exactly are our troops having their right to vote denied? Is the federal government explicitly stating that the soldiers CANNOT vote?
November 1, 2012 at 8:26pm
Who is in charge of these Congressional committees again? Oh, yes, the Republicans. Ad hominem attacks and goofy nicknames for the president, but no one is discussing the actual issue. Typical.
November 1, 2012 at 8:19pm
The Blaze invokes the Trump name because it draws attention. Trump is an empty suit. If he truly cared about these charities he could easily donate the money without any stipulation and still openly promote the action. I haven’t seen any evidence that he is even considering that. On the contrary, Trump is blaming the president for the lack of that donation. Too many ignorant people can’t see that very simple fact.
@ 2minutes: Is it impossible for you (and many others) to leave the ad hominem attacks out of the conversation? Does calling the president snarky nicknames make you feel that your point carries more weight? (It doesn’t you know). It simply demonstrates a complete lack of ability to argue your points in an intelligent, adult manner.
November 1, 2012 at 8:07pm
Donald Trump is nothing more than a self-promoting narcissist. This natural disaster is having a devastating effect on tens of millions of individuals, and all Trump can do is complain about Obama’s college and passport records. If the welfare of these individuals is that important to you Donald, just donate the $5 million to charity without any strings attached. We all know he won’t do that though. I would think that all of the Beck fans could understand the tasteless nature of Trump’s actions; however, as I read through these comments I see that, as usual, you are all too willing to jump on the bandwagon. I’m beginning to wonder about the true motivation of your vitriol and interested to know if there is no line you aren’t willing to cross to sling mud at the president.