There's only so much stupid one man can take

Carla Axtman

Campaigns are all about buzzwords. Some candidates are terribly fond of "socialism", I suspect because they figure their audience doesn't really know what it means and it sounds scary. Then there's "accountability", which seems to be the word-of-the-day for Jeff Lawrence, an Intel exec. running against Earl Blumenauer in Oregon's 3rd Congressional District.

To use a common (but never old) phrase, I don't think that word means what he thinks it means.

Blumenauer has to run for office every two years. He's accountable to voters every time his name appears on the ballot and they can feel free to vote him out when they decide he isn't getting it done.

Lawrence doesn't seem to grasp this concept, as demonstrated in this Willamette Week endorsement interview video. There's only so much stupid one man can be expected to take, and Blumenauer has clearly reached his limit with Lawrence.

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Wel-l-l-l if your policy positions can be written on your hand for quick reference, you're not going to be able to internalize responses that run to entire sentences, or heaven forfend, even short paragraphs.

    Reminds of the classic scene in "Amadeus" where the king, upon being presented with a new composition, nods off during the performance and then castigates Mozart, telling him "Too many notes" and Mozart's response: Which notes should I remove?

    • (Show?)

      Bruce, what is "economic serfdom"?

      • (Show?)

        A situation in which most working people are not able to earn enough to enjoy a decent standard of living and have no meaningful opportunity to better their condition either through collective action or through individual initiative.

        • (Show?)

          Who defines a decent standard of living? What is a meaningful opportunity and who decides what is meaningful? Sounds like you are ready to give up a lot of our rights for a some dream where the collective decides what is meaningful and decent. A very dangerous path if you ask me. You are very wealthy compared to most of the world. How much have you given to developing countries this year?

          • (Show?)

            "Sounds like you are ready to give up a lot of our rights for a some dream"

            "Liberty and justice for all" is a dream and probably always will remain a dream, but that doesn't mean we should stop striving to make it come true. Or are you saying we should?

            • (Show?)

              Please look up liberty and justice in the dictionary and explain to me how the ties into a collective definition of meaningful opportunity?

  • (Show?)

    You're not going to cast someone in a negative light in Oregon's 3rd by calling them a Socialist. Not going to happen. I don't think most people in the 3rd have a problem with Socialism or Commune-ism. Earl has a lock on the 3rd as long as he wants it.

    • (Show?)

      Ah, most everyone in the 3rd, outside of the fringe have problems with Communism.

      • (Show?)

        I think it's more widely accepted in the 3rd than you think...although it may not be popular to talk about.

        I could see Castro besting Earl in an election - help us with Healthcare - but no one else could easily do it.

        • (Show?)

          Yeah, all those commies in Gresham, Wood Village, Troutdale and northern parts of Clackamas County like Milwaukie. Not to mention in my neck of the woods (North Portland). Yes, the 3rd is all just like inner Hawthorne Ave. hippies.

          (rolls eyes)

          While the 3rd is very safe Democratic territory, let's not help the GOP myth that liberals and progressives, and the Oregon 3rd are all borderline communists, which is too stupid an assertion to honestly. Let's remain reality based shall we?

  • (Show?)

    Calling Earl a socialist in a part of the country that loves socialism and hates financial liberties is probably not smart, but I am surprised he did not mention Honeywell which is a gps manufacturer for the military that is one of Earls top campaign contributors: http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/contrib.php?cycle=2010&cid=N00007727&type=I and how Earl is working towards getting a GPS in every car to track mileage for tax purposes. What a windfall for Honeywell who will get to make the GPS systems. Can anyone say Military industrial complex bought and paid for? Here is an article on it: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/uncle-sam-eyes-vehicle-tracking-tax/ Talk about pro military industrial complex and anti-green. Not cool if you ask me.

    • (Show?)

      So Earl Blumenauer is a bought and paid for puppet of the Military Industrial Complex?

      Bwhahahahaaa.

      Yes. He has had his precious bodily fluids sapped and 'inpurified'.

      • (Show?)

        Mr Gore, please just look at the facts. Let go of your investment of what you think is right and simply look at the facts. He gets money from Honeywell, Honeywell is part of the military industrial complex, he is paid by them yes or no? He is trying to pass a law that will benefit them. What did I miss? You guys just laugh and call names and make fun. Use your minds please.

        • (Show?)

          I do look at the facts. And your rhetoric is spectacularly silly. By your logic, anyone with a Honeywell thermostat in their home, or installing an industrial solar panel (they make those too) are finical backers of the military industrial complex, right?

          If Honeywell is "buying him off" because of his allegiance to the military industrial complex agenda, they certainly spent their money poorly since Earl has voted against multiple war resolutions and numerous defense authorization budgets as well.

          BTW, the Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers' PAC donated as much as Honeywell's PAC did. So does he work for blue collar unions or for Honeywell?

          Also when broken down by industry, Defense Aerospace ranks 31 on donors by industry, far below industries that represent working people.

          As I said at the outset... your statement and rhetoric is laughable.

          • (Show?)

            First of all you can work for more than one person. He is also paid by those interested in expanding public transit for their own profit. It is not either or situation. Its absurd that you would present your argument as such. So he works for the unions but can't work for honeywell? Go figure. and yes he can vote against certain agendas that other pacs have more power in. Having a honeywell thermostat is not the same as being paid. Your logic is not logic at all. Honestly you make little sense and are avoiding the fact that one of his top contributors have interests contrary to your own. I don't want a gps in my car. Maybe you do, but please stick to the facts.

            • (Show?)

              Really? Honeywell's solar power projects are against my interests?

              Glad you cleared up what my interests are for me. Can you bend spoons with your mind as well?

              • (Show?)

                I did not mean it that, way I just assumed you were against the military industrial complex. My bad. Solar panels are great, but I would not buy them from Honeywell. Check out nanosolar. I do believe in shopping in a way that supports liberty minded businesses. I have yet to hear anything bad about nanosolar and they have a better product.

    • (Show?)

      Ladies and gentlemen, the classic example of: "Socialism": I don't think that word means what you think it means.

      This has been a public service comment.

      • (Show?)

        Carla you don't like the idea of public health care? nor public schools nor public transportation nor the property tax nor the income tax? Please do a search on the planks of the communist manifesto than look in your district and see how many people like those planks. My point being is people are ignorant of what socialism is (Not me, but you guys) Here are some planks of the communist manifesto, tell me if they sound familiar..

        1. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax

        2. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

        3. Centralization of the means of communication and transportation in the hands of the State.

        4. Free education for all children in government schools.

        I know you won't call names Carla, but the word means exactly what I think it does. I used to live in a Socialist country and many people in the Willamette valley love the idea and that was my point before the nasty name calling began.

        • (Show?)

          What nonsense. Adam Smith, the founder of capitalism called for progressive taxation with the foundational work on capitalism The Wealth of Nations:

          The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. A tax upon house-rents, therefore, would in general fall heaviest upon the rich; and in this sort of inequality there would not, perhaps, be anything very unreasonable. It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.

          You talking nonsense.

          • (Show?)

            Ugh... "you are talking nonsense". Preview is your friend Mitch.

          • (Show?)

            Government schools have done you a great disservice. Adam Smith is not the founder of Capitalism though they present it as such when you study the Wealth of Nations in schools. Captialism also has many facets including mercantilism and fascism. When I speak of capitalism we are speaking of a free market society in which everyone has an equal opportunity to bring their goods to market. In free market capitalism there is no graduated income tax thought Adams did touch on that in his overview as an idea his book is not the end all in defining Capitalism though it is worthy of reading. That idea of his was later incorporated by Karl Marx as a great tool to facilitate Statism. Are you saying it was not? Adams though taxing the rich was not an unreasonable idea, Marx agreed with that aspect of his ideas. It is by no means a rule of Capitalism. It was just another bad idea that did not make into the original Constitution. We have a difference of opinion. Are you going to survive that?

            • (Show?)

              Adam Smith isn't the founder of capitalism? Wow...guess you've got some news to break to every economist and historian in the world. Because they all would pretty much call BS on that.

              • (Show?)

                There is no one inventor of Capitalism to say so is absurd. He was espousing a system alternative to mercantilism. This is like saying the founding fathers invented freedom. There is not one single source you can derive from and say ah yes this is perfect capitalism. You could even argue capitalism was invented before or after. Read Rothbard for example. You guys are trying to hard to make everything black and white when it is all shades of grey. Truth exists at a deeper level than just pointing and say ha look its the pure truth. Will you survive if my studies which I think are broader than yours, lead me in a different direction? Or can you only live if I submit to your limited knowledge and declare it a perfect fact and nothing more or less?

                • (Show?)

                  The basic root ideas of capitalism came from Smith. That's why he's called the "founder". Just like one could rightly say that the Athenians were the "founders of democracy"...because they were one of the first to come up with democratic ideas and use them.

                  Rothbard doesn't even make sense in this context. Capitalism was already entrenched in American economics when he came along. The guy wasn't even born until the mid-20s and died just over a decade ago. He's certainly not the founder of the economic construct of Capitalism. Rothbard himself would have scoffed at this.

                  I get that you think your studies are "broader" than mine. Okay. Whatever gets you through the day. But you're either really poor at interpreting what you're reading or you lack the ability to place it into appropriate context. Or measures of both.

                  In the last two days I've schooled you in the basics of the US Colonial/Revolutionary system and the Founders--their beliefs and implementation--with source citations. You've babbled about Karl Marx.

                  Like I said, whatever gets you through the day. But your inability to discuss and source basic US and world history in the context of what you're saying demonstrates a fundamental lack of knowledge. I agree that there are shades of grey (especially with Jefferson--who was a guy keen on "do as I say, not as I do"). But there are some basic beliefs articulated by our founders and actions specifically taken by the states early on of which you are either completely ignorant or choose to ignore.

                  Will we survive if only you choose to cherry pick your education in this way? Most certainly. If this mushrooms into how most Americans conduct their studies? Then no, I don't think we will.

                  • (Show?)

                    Social and economic system develop they are not founded by one person. They transition through trial and error and hey begin to branch out. One person never holds the key to everything. The ideas of a progressive income tax & property tax as well as government schooling eventually made its way into the works of Karl Marx as a tool of communism. With the good there is always bad just as the collective powers of slavery and tariffs made it into our Constitution a document that was supposed to support liberty. I will give you this, the works of Adam Smith are often looked are look at as a source for understanding capitalism, this is true, but it is by no means the beginning of the concept for free markets nor is it the end. You cannot quote him and things he purports simply as ideas and say hey That is capitalism. Just like I cannot fairly say hey that is Marxism, but I can say it is a plank of the Communist Manifesto and present it as evidence there is a transition to Communism going on. If Marx though the property tax and income tax and public schools were necessary to implement total state control, we need to look at that seriously. Economies, and social systems around them change and so do concepts. So in all fairness you cannot declare we are not in danger of losing our social and economic liberties, when all the evidence is to the contrary. Liberty is not expanding in this State or Country. I am not asking you to just simply believe what I am saying, I am asking you to just look around and examine what I am saying for yourself. Read texts and studies you do not agree with, just to see more. That is what I am suggesting. There was a time when people though these ideas were good, but as we learned more about freedom and economies we learned that some of these ideas are very poor and lead to a loss of freedoms. Things change, we learn more as we go along....

                    • (Show?)

                      You're at the point now of arguing just for the sake of it. It doesn't matter how often you're demonstrated incorrect--you simply come back and move the goal posts.

                      Just because Marx wrote something down, doesn't mean its bad or wrong. Especially when its something our nation adopted and used to great success--and for very important and legitimate reasons. Marx is only a boogeyman because you make him that way. Your fear of him and anything he's written is completely irrational, IMO.

                      We don't "need to look at it seriously" just because Marx said it. That's like saying if Marx said he liked cheeseburgers, we'd have to seriously reconsider the eating of cheeseburgers. It just senseless.

                      • (Show?)

                        Ok so at least you admit that you are not afraid of Marxist ideas. Can you please take it to the next step and admit you are a Socialist? You are almost there. BTW we are not succeeding here in America if you have looked around lately. And if you search around on the net you will find many educated people who concur with me that Smith is not the founder of Capitalism, just a core contributor. I am not alone. Just like you think we created a Central Government instead of a Federal one and have the guts to write that in an open forum like it is fact. The Adam Smith bit is opinion, but you are denying facts as well. Every nation that has tried socialism has faced repeated failure. It does not work. If you want to live like Soviet Russia did, I guess Marx is not the bogeyman, but I say no thanks and let me live my life without your restrictions, oh I forgot you already won, your restrictions are all over lives and most people are too indoctrinated to even know it. When people question it, they call them radicals instead of listening. You do not own your labor nor your home nor can you in most States choose not to send your child to school and people aren't aware of the implications of this... How Orwellian.

                        • (Show?)

                          No--I'm not afraid of any ideas, whether they be Marx or Jefferson. Ideas are simply something thought about.

                          You're the one babbling on about how public education is "Marxist" and inferring that it ought to be eradicated because its "socialism". You're terrified of it.

                          Again, just arguing for the sake of arguing and continuing to move the goal posts. Its dishonest.

                          I'm sure there are many "educated" people who agree with you about Smith. That's perfectly meaningless--especially if they choose to cherry-pick their studies as you have.

                          Your comments have demonstrated a cowardice so embedded in your ideological world view that you'd throw our entire nation out because Jefferson and Marx believed in some of the same ideas. It's sad and ludicrous.

                          • (Show?)

                            I am sorry you have misunderstood me Carla, I am just proposing we examine the facts from all angles.I do not wish to close public schools, but am saying we need to look at what they are doing and maybe offer some alternatives. The same with some forms of taxation. I am not proposing anarchy or the eradication of something that has been in place for over a century now, but saying, hey lets examine this in a new light. Is this really in our best interest? Does this really serve society in the best way? Can we achieve a higher literacy rate and more freedom doing something else? I just want to open the discussion, not eradicate something and offer nothing in return. Anyway I am going to leave this post alone now. This is your post and I am only asking questions and promoting open mindedness and questioning the status quo and I really wanted to talk about Honeywell, but we got off topic when I used the S word. You can call me coward or whatever, I have proven myself in life not to be such. If you were physically attacked Carla, I would stay and fight to defend you even if you were cursing me the whole way. When we talk again in the future, I Hope it will be more civil. Have a good day, Mark

                            • (Show?)

                              Again, you have moved the goal posts. If you wish to have a civil, honest discussion, you'll need to stop doing that.

                              There's no way forward in a positive manner without it.

                  • (Show?)

                    Captalism had been around for a very long time before Adam Smith came screaming into the world Carla and I thought the Rothbard reference was inciteful and right on the money. Mark wasn't holding Rothbard up as the "founder" or creator" of Capitalism Carla re-read what he wrote again.

                    • (Show?)

                      Some of the loose ideas were there before Smith, certainly. But virtually every credible historian and economist cites Smith as the "founder/father" of Capitalism.

                      I read what Mark wrote the first time, Chester. I suggest you read what I wrote in response again. This time do so carefully.

              • (Show?)

                and they would be wrong ...First off capitalism was not "invented" or "founded" by anyone but came into being as an outgrowth of human nature and it goes back just as far. I don't know of too many real economists (none actually) who would agree with your viewpoint Carla

                • (Show?)

                  Golly Chester, I guess those poor souls who spend their careers studying history and economics don't know what they're talking about--how could I possibly believe them over say...you?

                  Good grief.

                  • (Show?)

                    Oh let's see, how about because I am one of those poor souls Carla Doh!

                    • (Show?)

                      Seriously? And you STILL thought TARP didn't come from the GOP?

                      Jeezus, man.

                      • (Show?)

                        I know who pushed for TARP and I know who voted for TARP and who was ultimately responsible for passing TARP Carla you need to stop reading headlines and start digging a little bit deeper. You guys want to excuse Kitz's horrible record because "well the republicans were running the show ... it's not his fault" then you want to blame Bush for everything the Pelosi congress did to this country from the time they took over on 06 till he left office. I know W wanted TARP and I know the Paulsen wanted TARP but I also know that Bush also spent 8 years warning congress about Freddie and Fannie. There were numerous things Bush wanted that congress said no too because Nancy and Harry and Barney were too busy telling us all how solid Freddie and Fannie were. In case you haven't figured it out by now the president of the USA is a puppet. We haven't had a real President in this country since Kennedy and we all know how that ended right? Which party is bought and paid for by wall street carla...that's who passed TARP. Jeeezuz`

                        • (Show?)

                          Chester:

                          TARP came from Paulson and Bush. Both Bush and Paulson pushed for TARP, using their bully pulpits:

                          http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,425261,00.html

                          http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122969743282721629.html

                          In fact, the Dems in the House weren't going to give Bush TARP because they wanted tighter rules, but eventually relented:

                          http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/business/economy/04bailout.html

                          http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/03/news/economy/house_friday_bailout/index.htm

                        • (Show?)

                          Bush also spent 8 years warning congress about Freddie and Fannie.

                          And yet, with total control the first six years, did nothing

                • (Show?)

                  As much as Chester and I disagree . . . I have to follow him on this one . . . Chester you don't have to go outside pigs aren't flying . . . It's just a cold day in hell and I had to come up here to warm up.

                  Otherwise it looks like I have to get into a new profession (well at least according to Carla).

                  I guess also by her logic that the Brits just immediately and spontaneously began to speak middle English in 1066 because the Normans invaded England . . . That would be an interesting sight to see

                  As much as I hate Thomas Sowell the guy is a wealth of Knowledge when it comes to classical economics and I quote

                  "These founders - principally Adam Smith and Dvaid Ricardo, but with major contributions by T.R. Matlhus and Jean-Baptiste Say - were of course not the first people to write about economics, nor the first to write about it with depth and sophistication. The great philosopher David Hume wrote knowledgeably about economics with an understanding that a modern economist would have to respect and that today's politicians could learn from. Moreover, he even ventured to dissent - quite correctly - from his friend Adam Smith's statement about the relationship between economic rent and price. Decades before The Wealth of Nations appeared in 1776 there were other able treatise on economics by Ferdinando Galiani (1751) and Richard Cantillon (1755), as well as insightfull economic writings by various members of the school of Physiocrats, who coined the phrase laissez faire, so often associated with Smith. What Adam Smith and David Ricardo acconmplished was to establish an enduring school of disciples, revisionists, and epigoni. Not only the economics of their time built upon their work, but so too has the economics of the twentieth century, however much of the outward form of their ideas has changed without changing the essential substance. "

                  The best you can say Carla is that Smith was a principle founder of the study of economics but not the founder of economics/capitalism.

                  • (Show?)

                    Mmm...no.

                    Adam Smith: the father/founder of Capitalism:

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

                    http://economics.about.com/od/famouseconomists/a/adamsmith.htm

                    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/glasgow_and_west/7968697.stm

                    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w4r517r194g11357/

                    http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2007/0507/086.html

                    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/11/the-very-best-short-summary-of-adam-smiths-life-and-work.html

          • (Show?)

            I guess I'll stick this in here Mark. Though he is rarely referred to as the "founder" of capitalism in economics texts, just google the phrase "the father of capitalism" and you'll find plenty of references to Adam Smith... I can't believe you're suggesting otherwise! I've two economics texts that refer to him as the "father" of capitalism.

            Moreover, as Mitchell suggests here, Smith also espoused ideas that are utterly rejected by modern day capitalists - rejected because those notions were rightly seized on by Karl Marx to establish his own conception of an economic theory.

            Adam Smith believed that VALUE was the product of LABOR. Not something a modern capitalist would agree with - a beautiful irony here is that Marx used this idea to demonstrate that the modern capitalist's use of labor as a commodity would lead to valuing something on the basis of price rather than actual usefulness...

            Hmmm. Jeez, and I found that out in a book by Thomas Sowell AND a Wiki article.

            Sorry if this doesn't quite belong as a response to your comment Mitchell (since I'm talking to Mark), but Mark's comments tend to be pretty wide ranging...

            Cheers.

        • (Show?)

          The question isn't whether or not I "like" those things. The question is whether or not our country is in a transition toward socialism.

          Let's at least make some effort to stay on topic, please.

          We've had public education in this country since before the Constitution. So if you believe that public education is socialism..that hardly qualifies as a transition. It's been there from the get-go, and articulated by the founders to be a key factor in keeping our society free.

          The centralization of communication may be happening, but it's not controlled by government. It's controlled by the corporate industrial complex. Welcome to capitalism on steroids.

          Btw, you're missing a whole bunch of other stuff in order to make the country qualify as moving toward socialism or communism. If that's all you have--you're way short.

          • (Show?)

            We haven't had public education from the "get-go."

            "Until the 1840s the education system was highly localized and available only to wealthy people." see this.

            A broader discussion that opens with, "State schools, also known as government schools or, in the United States and Canada, public schools," can be found here.

            Though I don't agree with Mark, I think you're either ignorant of a few facts or are being disingenuous about "public" schools. It wasn't until the mid to late 1800's that government schools were available to most school age children.

            Cheers.

            • (Show?)

              Yes, it took the first 50 years or so to get it established and open to all--but in fact, half of the states had provisions for public education in 1791. In addition, the first public secondary school was open in 1653 in Boston.

              So yes, we have had them from the "get-go". Were they widely available at first? Absolutely not.

              • (Show?)

                Parse it how you will. It was three colonies that had provisions for a precursor to "public schools," i.e. government supported schools - those precursors were established and funded by the Puritan and Congregationalist churches in the New England colonies of Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. Although they allowed most any children to attend - new immigrants found both the religious core subjects and the mandatory English objectionable. As a consequence, by the 1800's private schooling became the norm.

                By the way, Boston is also the home to the first "public primary school" in 1635. Also established and funded by the Puritans.

                • (Show?)

                  Parse it? Hardly. They were schools that you admit any child could attend. That is the very essence of public school. At that time, the British government wasn't funding schools in the colonies, so the local church did it. But it was, nonetheless, public.

                  Many places in the US couldn't afford government-funded public school. Nevertheless, they existed throughout the states. But even by the 1840s, Horace Mann and Henry Barnard were calling for free public education for all--and working to get there.

                  As I said, we've had public education in this country from the get-go. It certainly was not exactly what we have now--a nationwide thing. But it was there, and a key part of what our founders believed was necessary to maintain a free society.

                  • (Show?)

                    Your right, it certainly wasn't like what we have today - in fact, it would be much, much closer to the sectarian or parochial schools of today. No wait, it would be virtually the same as most of the parochial schools of today - available to the parishioners, as well as other children of the community, though they were required to pay for the service if able, if not, the church covered the cost.

                    From my first comment on, not only have I not denied the existence of schools, nor did I even suggest that they weren't available to members of the school's community, but I also agree with much of the information you're using to argue your position - as it is located in the two links I provided. I agree with those elements.

                    My point, since it seems not to have been clear, was that your use of the term "public schools" and what is generally understood to be public schools today are two very different things. That is why I included the second link and it's opening sentence - public schools are understood by most people to mean schools funded and operated by the government:

                    "In most of the world, excluding England and Wales and some Commonwealth countries, a public school is an educational institution that is funded with tax revenue and most commonly administered by a local government or government agency. In England and Wales, the equivalent term would be state school." ~ a wiki definition

                    • (Show?)

                      Actually, not virtually the same as private, parochial schools at all. The public schools didn't charge tuition. At least Boston Latin didn't and still doesn't--whether families can afford it or not.

                      Boston Latin School's website also notes that it was founded by the Town of Boston and that public funds (as in tax money) were used to support the school. This included a head teacher's salary, a house and an assistant teacher's salary:

                      http://www.bls.org/podium/default.aspx?t=113646

                      • (Show?)

                        Virtually the same as MOST, not all Carla, most. And yes, your right, Boston Latin didn't charge tuition. Something about moving the goal posts, right? Like I said, my main point was a distinction drawn between your use of a term and the common understanding of that term.

                        Cheers.

                        • (Show?)

                          I said we had public education from the "get-go", and it meets your definition of public school: an educational institution that is funded with tax revenue and most commonly administered by a local government or government agency.

                          Boston Latin School was funded by local tax dollars, not tuition and oversight was conducted by local government.

                          Cheers backatcha.

    • (Show?)

      Hey Mark. Even though you are a idiot nutcase who obviously has absolutely no clue what the definition of "socialist" is, I do agree with you that putting a GPS in cars as a mileage tax is a bad idea.

      The gas tax is the only actual carbon tax we have in the US. The best way to address the disrepair of our highways, along with decreasing the effects of climate change, is to substantially increase it.

      And if, in response to that, people start using more fuel efficient vehicles, then all the better.

      • (Show?)

        "Hey Mark. Even though you are a idiot nutcase..." thanks for letting me win. When we must call names it proves we have no intelligence of our own to counter arguments. Can you tell me what the definition of socialism is? Mr Maurer I will not lower myself to your standards by calling you names, but it is is true many Oregonians do love socialism. Let us look at one definition: : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

        Here is another definition: (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

        And yet another: a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.

        Now use your mind instead of your anger and try to figure out how that applies to Oregon's tax and land laws. If you tax something, you have the power to destroy it so in theory if you tax something directly, you do own it in a way because if the community has a right to part of something, it in fact can through the power of government have it all.

        In closing, increasing taxes is not the only solution to fixing issues contrary to what you have been taught in government schools. There are such things as technological advances in construction of roads and car manufacturing that can play a role in costs. The free market is not all bad Steven.

        Next you'll find some typo of mine and criticize that. So much for intelligent conversations.

        • (Show?)

          "If you tax something, you have the power to destroy it so in theory if you tax something directly, you do own it in a way because if the community has a right to part of something, it in fact can through the power of government have it all. "

          So, by your "logic," any taxation at any time for any purpose equals "socialism."

          Uh, yeah, sure, whatever.

          • (Show?)

            You almost go it. Not all taxes are socialist in nature, but can be collective. There are collective rights in the Constitution such as the ability to tax (but not all collectivism is Socialism just like not all illnesses are the flu), but in the original Constitution there was no labor tax and the feds were never granted the power to tax land nor did the Federal government have the right to take money from one person for the purpose of bettering the life of another to the extent it is doing it today. There was no power for example to force someone to pay for their own or as it is today someone else's retirement, so no.... taxation does not equal socialism. Taxation is needed to fund the State. The socialism comes in on how those taxes are collected and used. It was never intended that the government be able to determine winners and losers and facilitate social welfare programs. Once this box was opened the sky is the limit because those powers can be used for both good and bad. Once the collective has that power the Republic is lost to mob rule.

  • (Show?)

    From Webster's:

    Definition of SOCIALISM 1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

    2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

    3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

    • (Show?)

      Exactly, Ed. It would be refreshing if candidates (and blog commenters, for that matter) stop tossing the term so casually.

      • (Show?)

        The Red Menace has been a favorite bogeyman for the right-wingers in America for well over a hundred years. Now that the Soviet Union has collapsed and international communism is no longer a credible threat, they have redefined "socialism" to mean "any government policy or program that benefits ordinary working people" and are trying to make it serve as the new Red Menace.

    • (Show?)

      Ed when you apply those principles deeper and look at the broader ideas of socialism, the concepts are very much promoted in this forum. Yes your simple definition tends to lead to your concept being correct, but read my posts above for a larger picture as well as read the communist manifesto yourself. People need to stop saying what they are told to believe and research things for themselves. The income tax, public schools, the property tax etc are all parts of the socialist system and are in fact socialist in nature. Measure 66 and 67 a tax on the rich for example were total class warfare based socialism. The whole cake does not have to be socialist to be called that, just part of it. The Democrats have taken on the Socialist agenda there is no doubt about it. It's just that your concept of what that is, is not complete.

      • (Show?)

        I have tried to tell people to stop believing what they hear and to get involved and believe what they see with their own eyes as processed by their own brains. Sort of like yelling at the tide not to come in and just as productive. That's why you tend to see comments resembling popular talking points and when those are used up then out comes the name calling. You were correct when you said "Thanks for letting me win" (or words to that effect) as soon as the name calling started.

  • (Show?)

    One guy says: "The only reason I can't come out of nowhere to become a Congressman is that the system is unfair, and, nothing personal, but Earl is unfair too." The other guy says that Earl should have risked the good to hold out for the perfect. And finally, Ms. Lopez (I assume that who she is) says "(irrelevant talking point unmoored to any fact)."

  • (Show?)

    I think people understand what Socialism means more than you give them credit for. I agree with the definition Ed provided, and that's the heart of the issue. Many Republicans don't want that much government involvement in their lives, or the restriction of individual property rights. And they certainly don't want the state to control the production and distribution of goods and services.

    I don't believe most liberals in America are anti-property rights, but the Obama Administration and many "progressives" do indeed prefer a society with more restrictions on the free-market system, and a greater involvement by government in general (i.e., healthcare, TARP, GM, etc).

    There is a basic fundamental difference between Conservatives and Liberals in regards to the level at which government should be involved in our lives.

    • (Show?)

      Jason, what is the government making you, personally, do (other than paying taxes) that you don't want to do? What is it preventing you, personally, from doing that you want to do?

      We're always hearing right-wingers wail about how the government is taking away their "freedoms," but when I ask what specific freedoms are being or have been taken away, I get only vague answers -- if any.

      • (Show?)

        It's the same with people talking about how bad Oregon is for business. When you ask them for specifics, you rarely ever get an answer.

        • (Show?)

          It depends on who you compare Oregon to. If you compare it to NY Oregon is probably better, if you compare it to Nevada its not. There are worse places to do business than Oregon, but we could make some changes with our income and property taxes to make it better. The State government is not the end all when it comes to solving issues. In fact it normally makes them worse.

          • (Show?)

            Yet Nevada has a worse home foreclosure rate, unemployment rate than Oregon.

            • (Show?)

              Their economy is obviouslty tied to gaming which doesn't do well during a recession ...come on.

              • (Show?)

                So? A lot of Oregon's economy has been tied to timber, which also doesn't do well during a recession. Yet Nevada's economy is much worse than ours.

                C'mon..is that all ya got?

                • (Show?)

                  Is that all I got? lol.. No... is that all you got?

                  Nevada is a two trick pony Carla gaming and mining. Nevada gaming has paid between 40-50% of the cost of government (consistently) for a long time. As a result of the downturn in the gaming industry Nevada's government faces a historic fiscal reckoning of biblical proportions, their deficit is about 50% of their annual budget and their economy follows consumer spending trends. So they won't be able to bounce right back after we finish the long second leg of this recession. Does the timber industry in Oregon pay for 40-50% of the cost of government? ahhh NOPE! Not even close. Contrary to what you think you know The Forest products industry had it's first quarter of job gains in 4 years ..LAST QUARTER! So much for that theory ...

                  • (Show?)

                    Damnit I just lost a very long and intentionally very boring comment that said something very similiar to Chester.

                    to make a death defyingly boring story short go here to look

                    Oregon http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.or.htm

                    Nevada http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.nv.htm

                    You will see that Nevada's economy as defined by number jobs depends/depended a lot more on the housing and gaming industry than Oregon did on most any sector.

                    Click on the dinosaur looking thingy to look at the historical data.

                    If you still don't believe me I shall commence with the name calling you silly english kanigit.

                  • (Show?)

                    How many ponies do you think Oregon has, exactly? In fact, Oregon government is HIGHLY dependent upon timber receipts. Why do you think there's been such an enormous push by our federal delegation for county timber payments--especially for school funding? It's how we're structured.

                    I agree that gaming is the biggest source of government revenue for Nevada. But Hawaii is also highly dependent on tourism (like gaming, outsiders show up and foot the bill) and isn't in the same fiscal dire straits as Nevada or Florida. So the correlation that its about their big, main revenue source falling short doesn't correlate.

                    • (Show?)

                      Yes it does Carla look a little deeper and truth be told Oregon is only in better shape than Nevada because we have an income tax and they don't. Nevada reports 14% unemployment and Oregon is supposedly pushing 11% we all know that calculating those figures the way they do render them almost meaningless in measuring the true numbers of unemployed. I am glad o see that you dropped your silly adam smith idea

                      • (Show?)

                        I would listen to Forest on this one Carla he is the PhD candidate in Economics I don't start mine until next year.

                      • (Show?)

                        So now it's not the drop in gaming revenue--its the lack of income tax that's the problem? That didn't take long. Not sure that does it either. Florida's almost as bad as Nevada, and they have an income tax, albeit corporate, not personal.

                        Nevada is at 14.3% unemployment. Oregon at 10.6%, for accuracy's sake.

                        Since this thread was about "doing business" in the state--and the point was that Nevada's financial problems are much worse than Oregon's--seems like your excuses for Nevada's problems aren't flying.

      • (Show?)

        Bruce that can't be a real question. You must be retired and not be producing anything or go anywhere and be aware of any laws that have been passed in the last 20 years. This can't be real. Do you propose that this nation also lost no freedoms under W?

      • (Show?)

        I don't know if the BlueOregon post area is long enough for my list! This is not a Democrat or Republican issue; they are both complicit.

  • (Show?)

    I believe the gentleman to the right (physically) of Blumenauer and the GOP candidate is Michael Meo, who is the Pac Green candidate in the 3rd district.

    Meo is a man of integrity. He spent a couple of years in a federal lockup in the early '70s for refusal to participate in the military selective service. That is service for which a person should be thanked, considering the nature of the genocide in SE Asia.

    Anyway, if you want a strong voice in opposition to US Empire and ridiculous military spending, if you want a voice that recognizes that Israel continues to steal Palestinian land, vote Meo.

    These are stands that you will not get from your Democratic candidate.

  • (Show?)

    Bruce,

    Here are some examples of what many Republicans would consider too much government involvement:

    1. Mandated Healthcare
    2. TARP
    3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    4. Government forcing a private company CEO out of their job (GM)
    5. METRO
    6. PERS
    7. Expansion of DHS
    8. Taxation (66&67)
    9. DLCD
    10. Oregon's land-use laws

    These are just basic examples of areas in which government plays a much larger role in making decisions for the general public and/or local jurisdictions. Most conservatives believe in a system with much more limited government intervention than we have in Oregon, or than what the Obama Administration supports.

    In dealing with small businesses looking for capital, I can unequivocally tell you that most government programs (State and Federal) are so restrictive or cumbersome to apply for, most people don't even bother. The point is that government programs tend to be more costlier, inefficient, and convoluted. That's just how government operates by nature. So in my own personal view, government is not the most efficient means for conducting business.

    I'm certainly not a laissez-faire supporter, but I'm certainly one who believes the free-market system works best when there's limited government intervention. There certainly is good justification for the government to be involved at some level, a stance I support based on the writings by Sean Flynn, Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkley.

    When I was in training for economic development a professor I had said: "We don't create jobs. We prepare communities to create jobs."

    It's not the government's job, in my opinion, to create jobs. It's the government's job to support businesses that create jobs. It's my opinion that when government gets involved it tends to take control and tell people (businesses) how to do things. I just don't agree with this approach.

    "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

    I believe government (not all the time, but much of the time) gives handouts to people without requiring personal responsibility or adequately preparing individuals to provide for themselves.

    Before suggesting that I don't care for the less fortunate, let me say that I serve on a board called The Partnership to End Poverty. My wife and I give to a local soup kitchen, and I support non-profits that provide medical, health, and other services for those less needy. I believe privately-based organizations are a much better fit for solving some of the world's social ills than the government. I'd rather see government provide small amounts of contributions to groups like this, rather than spend it on their own departments which have huge overhead costs, and major bureaucracy attached.

    In general, all I'm suggesting is that liberals believe government should play a larger role in the lives of Americans than do conservatives.

    • (Show?)

      Jason: there is a vast difference between "too much government involvement" (an objective descriptor phrase, at best) and "socialism", which has a distinct definition with verifiable parameters.

      That's the crux.

      • (Show?)

        Complete socialism might have verifiable parameters, but the transition period between Captialism and Communism also know as socialism is a slow growth towards statism and we are well into that period.

        • (Show?)

          Huh?

          We're either socialist or we're not. We're either communist or we're not. There's no "slow growth period" and certainly no evidence that there's any transition in that direction.

          Don't you ever get tired of being scared?

          • (Show?)

            Its really not about fear. If you observe something and state it, you are only a messenger. Your Quote: "We're either socialist or we're not. We're either communist or we're not. There's no "slow growth period" and certainly no evidence that there's any transition in that direction."

            Please read the works of Karl Marx communism is brought about in free societies via incrementalism, that is slowly passing laws that lead to collective control. You should read all the schools of economics even ones you do not agree with before you make such a bold comment Carla. We are clearly headed towards Marxism and the fact that an educated person such as yourself clearly thinks we are no, shows that their methods are working. Any person who can see all the fact could not deny the State is expanding at the cost of personal liberty in both the economic and social spectrums. If I told you a car was going to hit you, and it clearly was,and you said no its not, would you still ask me if i am tired of being scared? Don't attack the messenger, do what intelligent people do and research it for yourself.

            • (Show?)

              Yeah, it's very much about fear. You're afraid of Communism, Socialism, Marxism. They're you're boogeymen.

              You're dangling the loss of "personal liberty"--as the cheese in the trap. As if somehow taxes and public schools, embraced just as closely by our founders as by Marx, are the catalyst for ending the freedoms provided at the inception of the nation. It's utter nonsense.

              • (Show?)

                No I simply declaring the facts. They challenge your plan for your fellow humans. I say central planning can be dangerous. I want you to be fre Carla, you do not wish to she same on me except maybe in social aspirations. Once area where we might agree. However, you cannot have social freedoms for long without economic ones.

                • (Show?)

                  You're yanking the chain of fear, Mark. "..can be dangerous.." is a fear statement. Accusing me of not wanting you "to be free" is a fear statement.

                  It's about you being afraid...and trying to project that fear on to the rest of us.

                  I'm just not that cowardly, Mark. I don't respond to the cudgel of fear statements in the way that you do.

          • (Show?)

            Wrong again Carla economies don't just wake up one morning only to find out they converted to socialism during the night. I don't know where you get your info but I would change if I were you. Countries either creep, slide or are pushed into socialism. Surely you are familiar with the concept of creeping socialism? Thats what has been happening in the US for a while now. Creeping socialism in this country has been disingenuously thrust upon the American public by progressives convinced they knew what was best for us the unenlightened "small people" that most of us didn't notice our freedoms slowly eroding. The work a day man handing over to the government his autonomy — and hard-earned livelihood — to foot the bill for the progressives Utopian, feel-good social-engineering schemes that we should know by now are DOA under the best of circumstances. right?

    • (Show?)

      "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime."

      I agree, unless the pond in which he is fishing has no fish. Then he is screwed.

  • (Show?)

    Jason Carr, I note that your list of alleged government overreach doesn't include a federal military budget that's equivalent to the next largest fifteen national military budgets and, also, your list doesn't include US military bases in scores of countries.

    Anyway, the limited government deal never worked out under capitalism. There were too many deep recessions and depressions (the Great Depression being only the most infamous) prior to the establishment of the Keynesian theory in US government.

    As Richard Nixon said, "We're all Keynesians" (this was before the GOP went all Godly and otherwise insane).

    If we hadn't had the usual, massive government spending, accompanied by recent emergency measures, we'd again be faced with massive privation and offical unemployment at at least 25%.

    Our problem is that our government dollars are too much focused on things that are not forward-looking (such as wasting way too much on the military).

  • (Show?)

    Carla,

    I agree with you. I don't think Obama is a Socialist, as some of my Conservative friends do.

    However, I can certainly see how an increase in government involvement could lead one to fear a movement toward socialism, or that some policies of elected leaders reflect socialism - but that's not a view I hold.

    • (Show?)

      Funny, three of the things you listed the GOP created (TARP, Oregon land use laws, DLCP) back when the GOP was sane (the later two at any rate) and are you really saying that Medicare (a.k.a. "Mandated Healthcare") is too much government involvement?

      BTW, is the Alaska Permanent Fund (and actual collective) "socialism" in your view?

      • (Show?)

        The GOP created TARP? Mitchell that statement is so false it defies logic. (not familiar enough with oregons land use laws to comment) The only body with the power to spend money is congress and from 06 forward the check book has been in the death grip of the left

        • (Show?)

          Bzzzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong again, Chester. TARP was created by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson:

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

          • (Show?)

            Bzzzzzt TARP was a spending measure Carla and as such could have only been passed by congress which at the time was NOT controlled by the republicans ... TARP was a $700 billion bailout for Wall Street. 34 Senate Republicans voted for the bill. 91 House Republicans voted for the bill.

            • (Show?)

              LOL..so the GOP President and GOP Secretary of Treasury incepted the idea..used the bully pulpit for days to rally Congress..got it passed...and now it's NOT a GOP creation?

              I agree it was a big bailout..but the GOP came up with it, pushed for it and worked to get it passed. And then your GOP President signed it.

              Stop pretending we're all too stupid to know this stuff. It's just insulting.

              • (Show?)

                I know who pushed for TARP and I know who voted for TARP and who was ultimately responsible for passing TARP Carla you need to stop reading headlines and start digging a little bit deeper. You guys want to excuse Kitz's horrible record because "well the republicans were running the show ... it's not his fault" then you want to blame Bush for everything the Pelosi congress did to this country from the time they took over on 06 till he left office. I know W wanted TARP and I know the Paulsen wanted TARP but I also know that Bush also spent 8 years warning congress about Freddie and Fannie. There were numerous things Bush wanted that congress said no too because Nancy and Harry and Barney were too busy telling us all how solid Freddie and Fannie were. In case you haven't figured it out by now the president of the USA is a puppet. We haven't had a real President in this country since Kennedy and we all know how that ended right? Which party is bought and paid for by wall street carla...that's who passed TARP. Jeeezuz`

                glad to see you finally dropped your point that "we are either socialist or we aren't there is no in between" argument ;)

                • (Show?)

                  Ahhh..the conservative goal post debate shift.

                  Bush and Paulson invented TARP, pushed for TARP hard--and when the US House of Representatives wouldn't vote for it (under Dem control, fyi) because they wanted tighter rules, Bush and Paulson used the bully pulpit to pressure them into it.

                  Just like Mitch said, TARP is a GOP invention and the GOP pushed to get in place--even while the House Dems were pushing against it.

                  http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/03/news/economy/house_friday_bailout/index.htm

                  In fact it was Obama, not Bush, who enacted actual oversight of the money:

                  http://www.politico.com/blogs/joshgerstein/0409/Obama_signs_TARP_oversight_bill.html

                  It's also been wildly successful by a number of objective measurements. Specifically,as a program to stall a financial panic and prevent a financial collapse.

                  You guys ought to be embracing it--rather than beating it up:

                  http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0910/42135.html

                  http://dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/as-tarp-expires-a-look-at-its-flaws-and-success/

                  http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2010/09/15/lincoln-national-a-tarp-success-story/

                  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/31/AR2010033103710.html

                  You're being awfully general about Kitz, btw. We can point very specifically to TARP as a Bush/GOP program because they invented and pushed it. Which things did Kitzhaber invent and push through the legislature do you think are part of a "horrible record"?

    • (Show?)

      Regarding Obama, most policies we would call socialist were in place before Obama. Some of his ideas are leaning socialist, but Obama like W is a corporatist if you had to put him in a specific category.

      • (Show?)

        Name these socialist policies please.

        • (Show?)

          I already posted the previous socialist polices. 5 of them are in the communist manifesto including the property tax, the income tax, public schools, a central bank with fiat currency and public transport. To clarify for others who do not read. I did not blame these on Obama. Obama is a Corporatist like W was. Read the works of Karl Marx before you claim we are not in a transition period between capitalism and communism. You have not read these works, yet you challenge us as if you have.

          • (Show?)

            Then I guess this makes Thomas Jefferson a communist. He was a vocal and ardent advocate for public schools--and created the University of Virgina as part of that vision. And after the debacle of the Articles of Confederation, which didn't allow the federal government to tax, they created the US Constitution, which did. Further, the individual colonies themselves were enacting property taxes prior to the Revolutionary War. Is that part of the "transition" too?

            Seriously, it's time to put down Karl Marx and start reading about your own founders and history.

            • (Show?)

              Hi Carla, I have thought about this exact point extensively long before you mentioned it. I am a fan of Jefferson myself and yes he was a supporter of public schools. No one is perfect and some people have very good intentions with bad ideas. Keep in mind the principles of collectivism vs individualism did not exist until a few decades later. Socialism did not come into being until the mid 1800s. So you can't revise history and call him a Marxist. The communist manifesto was not written until decades later. You are way smarter than this. Please study up.

              • (Show?)

                The principles of "collectivism" were documented well before the Colonial era in the US. In the First Century, Christ's disciples practiced a form of socialism (See Acts 4:32). These same ideas were also part of Plato's "Republic" (360 BC) and Thomas More's treatise, "Utopia" (1515).

                You dismiss the advocacy of public education by Jefferson as "no one is perfect", but Jefferson, Madison and a number of other of their contemporary founders believed public education was one of the key ways to preserving a free society. This wasn't just some one-off idea that Jefferson cooked up by himself. It was integral to the founding fathers' vision of how our nation could remain free.

                Further, Madison, Hamilton and Jay all agreed on the need for centralized government power to tax (see also The Federalist Papers, specifically Federalist 30-36). And the colonies had already enacted property tax. Those poor Communist devils, eh?

                These were practical men of vision who lived through the inherent problems of a weak, centralized government under the Articles of Confederation. That's why they scrapped it.

                This wasn't just a bunch of "good intentions".

                Crack some US history texts and read the correspondence of our Founders. You're so busy hand-wringing over Karl Marx that you don't even understand what your own founding fathers incepted and implemented.

                • (Show?)

                  I think it was Socrates that once said defined your terms. I think you are confusing your terms in this matter in two matters and two meanings of the same word. When I speak of collectivism I speak of it in the political terms as a contrary force to individualism. Here is a video series to better explain:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMYicq_SN1E

                  The very word socialism did not exist until the 1800s btw. Also voluntary sharing does not fall under the realm of socialism. Socialism requires the coercive power of the State. If we found a collective under voluntary circumstances it is in fact not collectivism if you look at the definition of such. The ism added to the end turns it into a political force of coercion. A better term for voluntary collective work is cooperative.

                  So we must agree which terms we are using. Also the terms in which you are entering this debate are not clear. Do you wish to convince me the public schooling and property tax are not part of the Communist manifesto which was written after the period of Colonial America? Do you believe it is not possible for someone to take an idea from a free thinker and incorporate it in his work of Statism? Torture was also part of Royal England and some colonies, does this make them supporters of the Patriot Act? or do you wish for me to agree with you that it the property tax and government schools are the only way to keep a society "Free" Also please define free while you are at it. I have read plenty of US history including the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution and the Federalist papers. I have read the works of Bastiate and de tocqueville etc etc. Just because I mentioned Marx does not limit me to that as my only reading material. Lets open our minds please. I think you are projecting your own concepts on to me instead of reading what I am saying. Please define your terms. It is not I who has not been reading.

                  BTW they were not trying to create a Central Government, they were trying to create a Federal Government. Hence the term Federalist papers. If you look at the methods of taxation they were tying to implement, the final agreements did not include a Federal Property Tax nor a Federal Income Tax on labor nor a Federal School System. It is not I who does not understand.

                  • (Show?)

                    I'm not going to haggle over terminology with you. Collectivism, in general, is a theory advocating collective control especially over production and distribution. That is essentially the Webster's definition.

                    The theories of collectivism are ancient, as I've cited. Some of it was later named "socialism", but the ideas behind it are very old.

                    I'm not here to convince you of anything. What I'm saying that if you're concerned that public schools, property taxes, etc are bad because they are "Marxist", then you've got a problem with the very basic foundations of the United States. Just because Karl Marx wrote it down, doesn't make it his providence. Public schools exist under capitalistic societies. The US is 250 years of proof of this.

                    Do you deny that our founders considered public schools an integral part of keeping a free society? If so, please source. I certainly have.

                    And btw, YES, the founders were trying to create a centralized government. In fact, George Washington and Alexander Hamilton were fervent believers in making the change. We already HAD a federal government before the Constitution. It was called the Continental Congress. We were then governed under the Articles of Confederation.

                    The term "Federalist Papers" does not stem from the creation of "federal government". It comes from "Federalist"--which was the original and accurate name for the series of documents.

                    This is basic US history, btw.

                    What they were "trying to create" was the power of a centralized government to be able to tax its citizens in order to create an army, build roads, oversee interstate commerce, etc. The intent on HOW they wanted to do it is actually an argument that most expert historians don't agree on--so its arrogant and presumptuous for you to declare that you do.

          • (Show?)

            So Adam Smith, the founder of capitalism, Thomas Jefferson fierce advocate of public education were pro-Communists.

            (shakes head)

            Your statement is absurd.

            • (Show?)

              You are still revising history there. Two ideas that were rejected by the founding fathers in the Constitution were later adopted by Karl Marx in the communist manifesto. I am not surprised that no one wants to define their terms, just question history and facts. Many ideas were considered, but those two very poor ideas were rejected. Rejected I say. Many ideas were discussed and there were people in NY who were against the Bill of Rights being included for example. The final document however supports my position that that the general consensus was against those two taxes. The idea of land owners being the only one who could vote was tossed around too, but rejected. And yes they created a Federal Government not a central government, though it was more centralized than the Articles of Confederation. The next thing you will propose is that the Constitution was written to empower the Federal government not limit it. Do you believe that as well?

              • (Show?)

                And some ideas embraced by Karl Marx were embraced by our Founders and have been part of the US since before the Constitution. So what?

                Every credible historian considers the adoption of the Constitution an effort by the Founders to create a centralized government. We already HAD A FEDERAL GOVERNMENT prior to the Constitution. Just the ability to tax alone centralized the government. This is just basic.

                The Constitution both empowered the centralized government AND restricted it. It enumerated specific powers that were previously not there--and left other powers to the states.

                You lack much of the basic knowledge and understanding of US Colonial and Revolutionary history. You can't or won't cite sources (except for Karl Marx--whose every notion appears to be bad, even if it was adopted by our founders).

                I'm sorry, but you're completely out of your depth here.

                • (Show?)

                  We had a confederation it was created under "The Articles of Confederation". It was not a Federation as we have today, but a Confederation hence the name. The Federalist was a series of essays later to be called the Federalist Papers in support of creating a Federal Government. In fact our government today is called "The Federal Government of the United State of America" I am totally dumbfounded by your statements above. Google The Federalist Papers, the Articles of Confederation etc. I won't bother myself to insult you Carla. Just research it please.

                  • (Show?)

                    The base definition of "federal government" is one in which powers are divided into a federal body or bodies to address national needs. The Continental Congress was the federal legislative power at that time, set up to address the needs of the nation.

                    This is the structure that was in place under the Articles of Confederation, Mark.

                    I own a copy of the Constitution, the Articles of Confederation--and a copy of the Federalist Papers, all of which I've read numerous times.

                    Interesting that you're dumbfounded. Perhaps had you bothered to crack these documents along with a few history texts, instead of just Google, you might be less stunned.

              • (Show?)

                Jeez Mark, the constitution was written to do both. It delineates the powers and rights of the federal government, the state government, and the people generally and specifically.

                By definition, the difference between a confederation and a federation (our federal government), is that membership in the federation is NOT voluntary. This definition alone should make it clear that the founders were seeking to strengthen/create a stronger central government. The essays in "The Federalist" demonstrate that - and seriously, you should read the "Anti-Federalist" essays that argue against that stronger, more centralized, FEDERAL government.

                Heck, Lincoln's insistence on the primacy of the Union speaks directly to the notion of a confederacy not being an option under our constitution.

                Cheers.

            • (Show?)

              No Mitchell once again your statement is absurd. Did you read all of those comments and then come to this conclusion?

  • (Show?)

    Jason, you wrote:

    "....Before suggesting that I don't care for the less fortunate, let me say that I serve on a board called The Partnership to End Poverty. My wife and I give to a local soup kitchen, and I support non-profits that provide medical, health, and other services for those less needy. I believe privately-based organizations are a much better fit for solving some of the world's social ills than the government"

    If all businesses and Corporate entities followed your example, we'd not be having this argument at all. Supply side Econ assumes a certain amount of altruism among its practitioners, but the simple truth is if that were the case, this 30 year slide into SupSide would have produced Utopia and not an economic nightmare.

    We would not see:

    • CEO's scoring 9 figure Golden Parachutes.

    • Companies that cut corners and gamble on worker and environmental safety (BP, Massey Mines, etc... )

    • A health care industry that regards health as secondary to the bottom line.

    • Jobs outsourced by the 10's of millions.

    • A crumbling infrastructure as governments can't afford the repairs. Major industry, which has reaped the rewards of playing in the American system of tax-me-less for all these years, isn't exactly stepping up to fix pipelines in California or bridges in Minnesota.

    The Tax cutting/make Government small themesong is old and sour. The BushCo tax slashing has NOT inspired the wealthy to invest in private industry jobs to this point, what in Gawd's green earth would make anyone think that continuing same ol'/same ol' will produce different results?

    Here's a visual... What has Tiger Woods done w/ his enormous fortune? (BTW, don't think for a minute that superstars in sports and entertainment don't incorporate)

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/09/29/tiger-woods-billion-business-sports-tiger.html

    The guy, (pre-divorce) moved to Florida (tax haven), accumulated 8 mansions, a number yachts, at least one jet, and reportedly, an entire island somewhere in the warm latitudes.

    Now this is a symbolic comparison, but the bottom line is this: when the mega and uber wealthy make boo co bucks, those glorious dollars DO NOT translate into a private stimulus package. They stock up on goodies.

    After 30 years of striding to the SupSide Econ of the right, it's time that America understands THIS reality: tax-cuts-as-job-creators is 5 star bunk.

  • (Show?)

    Jason, you wrote:

    "....Before suggesting that I don't care for the less fortunate, let me say that I serve on a board called The Partnership to End Poverty. My wife and I give to a local soup kitchen, and I support non-profits that provide medical, health, and other services for those less needy. I believe privately-based organizations are a much better fit for solving some of the world's social ills than the government"

    If all businesses and Corporate entities followed your example, we'd not be having this argument at all. Supply side Econ assumes a certain amount of altruism among its practitioners, but the simple truth is if that were the case, this 30 year slide into SupSide would have produced Utopia and not an economic nightmare.

    We would not see:

    • CEO's scoring 9 figure Golden Parachutes.

    • Companies that cut corners and gamble on worker and environmental safety (BP, Massey Mines, etc... )

    • A health care industry that regards health as secondary to the bottom line.

    • Jobs outsourced by the 10's of millions.

    • A crumbling infrastructure as governments can't afford the repairs. Major industry, which has reaped the rewards of playing in the American system of tax-me-less for all these years, isn't exactly stepping up to fix pipelines in California or bridges in Minnesota.

    The Tax cutting/make Government small theme-song is old and sour. The BushCo tax slashing has NOT inspired the wealthy to invest in private industry jobs to this point, what in Gawd's green earth would make anyone think that continuing same ol'/same ol' will produce different results?

  • (Show?)

    Sorry about multiple posts. Apparently "internal service error" means "I'm posting, but not telling you."

  • (Show?)

    Carla, I don't think you realize how good we have it here. Look around! Compare your situation with those in most other parts of the world. Our prosperity is due to that '5 star bunk' you talk about.

    What a privileged life you must live, that your top complaint is that someone makes more money than you think they deserve. Many people in the world are wondering where their next meal is coming from!

    • (Show?)

      Ed:

      You know nothing about me, so please stop your elitist assumptions. Not only is it insulting, it's arrogant.

      And while we're at it, stop putting words in my mouth (or my comments, posts, as it were). Not only have I not been commenting about others "making more money than I think they deserve", I don't recall even thinking it.

      Get off your high horse and join the rest of us, please.

    • (Show?)

      Oh...maybe you were referring to Carla Hanson, not me. I saw "Carla" and since this was my blog post, thought you meant me.

      Apologies.

  • (Show?)

    Carla says "but the bottom line is this: when the mega and uber wealthy make boo co bucks, those glorious dollars DO NOT translate into a private stimulus package. They stock up on goodies."

    Carla, please elaborate on where these 'goodies' come from? Do the uber rich make them in their garage, with their own bare hands, through the sweat and toil of their own labor? Probably not.

    They buy these goodies from businesses like mine and many others. It is wealthy people that drive much of the economy. And if you provide something of value, be it a service or product, you benefit from that (directly and/or indirectly). As I have told most of the people I work with, it is the wealthy people in this country that purchase our goods and services.

  • (Show?)

    Ed says

    "As I have told most of the people I work with, it is the wealthy people in this country that purchase our goods and services."

    This is an interesting comment, Ed, and may well be an appropriate description of the business you operate. But the comment also illuminates that your perspective is limited to the corporations with whom you conduct business. You provide high-priced widgets and services to those that can afford such services.

    Great.

    But there is a whole other world out here scuffling in a tapped, Bushed economy. We ARE living in the Nth chapter of SupSide/trickle down/ALL-for-ME Econ, and while some have prospered (you), & some get by (me), there are more and more folks slipping off the economic edge.

    Now, it's estimated that 50 million Americans are w/out health care; foreclosures in almost every state are at record highs. Public schools are being closed at alarming rates - not because there are no kids, but because there is no money to keep those schools open. Even public safety has been axed: in Colorado Springs they shut down much of the street lighting; in Oakland, CA, a significant portion of police officers have been laid off.

    You say "... It is wealthy people that drive much of the economy."

    And at what cost? I have looked around - well before you suggested - I see good folks losing their jobs, their health insurance and their homes. I'm not citing stats here; these are people I know.

    The wealthy have driven the economy alright, right into the damn ditch. Funny how the view still seems to be so pristine from inside the car.

  • (Show?)

    A final thot for Ed. Either you don't or don't want to see the deterioration around you. If you do acknowledge the economic struggles so many face, then you must determine what you truly mean by "The wealthy drive the economy"

    If you are satisfied with things as they are, then you are admitting that you prefer an increasingly stratified economic structure with a significantly weakened middle class. As long as a certain portion of citizens - the wealthy, with whom you identify - have access to the American dream, you may happily cloister yourself off in gated communities (or villas) with private security. You do not concern yourself with the way others must live.

    But, if you think that the American economy should provide for all - or at least do a better job for more, then you have to face the fact that right now, it's not. So then, the wealthy who, as you say, drive the economy, better start steering a different course.

    • (Show?)

      You just can't have an economy without demand, and you can't "stimulate" the economy without increasing the spending power of the masses. We've run this experiment already.

      • (Show?)

        Susan, you are right. People need jobs that provide a valuable return for them and for those that receive their services. We may not agree on how to get there, however.

      • (Show?)

        wouldn't lowering taxes have that effect Susan?

        • (Show?)

          nope.

          Tax cuts for the wealthy and for big corporations have been in place for years..and yet here we sit with big nationwide unemployment. Why? Cuz businesses and wealthy individuals are hoarding cash, not spending it.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/26/business/economy/26earnings.html

          http://abcnews.go.com/WN/big-spenders-company-profits-translating-workers/story?id=11290736

          • (Show?)

            hmmm, I thought we were hoarding gold...did you know that we could have suspended all federal withholding for the rest of the year when the stimulus bill was passed and ran a smaller deficit than the one Obama ran by taking 1 trillion dollars on the arm (printing it) and passing it out to all of his supporters. That would have provided the increased spending we needed don't you think? Do you know whay small businesses and wealthy individuals are hoarding gold (and cash) right now? Because obama keeps preaching jobs then immediately raises taxes or does something else (passes new huge multi 1000 page laws that no one has read or understands the implications of ) and generally doing every7thing possible to keep that money on the side lines until people are more comfortable with what the future holds ...thats why? The hoarding of cash / gold isn't the why ...it's the what

            • (Show?)

              If we'd suspended federal withholding, what makes you think that corporations wouldn't just be hoarding that money too?

              The small business bill just passed by Congress and signed by the President LOWERS TAXES on these businesses:

              http://www.mybanktracker.com/bank-news/2010/09/16/obama-small-business-bill-passes-senate/

              Its almost like you have no idea what you're talking about.

              • (Show?)

                how would a corporation hoard money that is no longer being withheld from my check Carla? The answer to every problem isn't a government program ... I assure you I am light years ahead of you on this topic. Small business wants the government to leave them alone!! Do you think the healthcare tax bill was a job creator or a jobs killer? How about cap and trade? why would any sane person even consider either of those bills during a recession like this? why would any sane person consider raising taxes during a recession?

                • (Show?)

                  They'd do it by not paying it out, Chester. Instead of using that money to pay the IRS for your withholding, they'd hold on to that money in the bank instead of using it to hire people. Just like they're already doing with their massive profits.

                  http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/07/28/pm-rise-in-profits-more-hiring-not-exactly/

                  http://www.alternet.org/economy/147653/corporate_profits_return,but_there%27s_nearly_zero_hiring

                  http://www.epi.org/economic_snapshots/entry/corporate_profits_have_recovered_but_job_market_still_depressed/

                  Yes, yes..you're way ahead of me..blah blah blah..regulation..blah blah blah..

                  moving the goal posts..blah..blah..blah

                  • (Show?)

                    Just to moderate here both of you guys are right and wrong here. If you can survive the boredom then please read on.

                    First Carla. . . Corporations or at least publicly held corporations don't hoard money. American corporations are highly and in my opinion way too stock-holder oriented. They have two ways of spending their profits. They can give it shareholders which would increase their stock value (but decrease likewise if they lower their dividends later on). Or they can spend it to reinvest in their company (ie. expand, renovate, develop, R+D, etc). Holding cash and cash equivalents is not an option or else informed stockholders (ie. pension fund managers, investment banks and the like) would dump the stock and the board (who are required by law to be invested in the company) would lose out and the C-level employees whose pay packages are generally tied to stock performance (eg. stock options) would either lose out (in their paycheck if they aren't fired by the board). Besides one of the smartest things to do during a recession if your company is doing well is to go shopping for competitors, buying them out and renovating them.

                    In any case here is what the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office CBO says about cutting taxes.

                    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/88xx/doc8893/blog-econstimulustable.htm

                    To save you time it more or less says keep taxes lower on 250k and below keeping taxes low on 250k and above makes no sense.

                    I think you'll both be interested in seeing what actually qualifies as a small business. It's not really you're mom and pops store around the corner. The definition is kinda complex depending on the industry but a company is considered a small business employeewise and generally speaking if they have less than 500-1,000 employees.

                    http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/serv_sstd_tablepdf.pdf

                    As for Cap and Trade (CnT) and Healthcare . . . Well here the devil lies in the details. If the gvmnt implements CnT and uses the money as a revenue source then yeah what will happen is it will be more expensive to produce here than in Mexico and industry (as it already has) will move elsewhere. However if the income is used to incentivize underfunded industries and research such as parts of the green industry then CnT won't hurt the economy and may (depending on a number of variables) actually improve it.

                    I started to write about healthcare but then the system said I was too long winded (literally) so to make a long story short. Healthcare will see higher short term costs but lower costs in the mid-long term.

  • (Show?)

    Carla (Hanson, that is :) )

    I don't see things in terms of upper, middle, and lower class.

    I agree, there is a tremendous amount of waste at all levels of government. While we are closing schools and turning off street lights, we are funding studies on the sexual habits of grizzly bears. We have people in government jobs being instructed by their supervisors to take eight hours to do a one hour job in order to justify their position. It is sad, and unfortunately this is inevitably what happens when bureaucrats take someone else's money and spend it on another someone else.

    I agree that we have issues. We have a government that spends beyond its means. And we have had millions of citizens join in. The two of us arrive at different conclusions on how to fix it, however.

    I prefer that decisions on what to do with an individual's property remain largely with that individual. And I take a lot of pride in investing that property in an attempt to provide an increasing number of rewarding, challenging, good paying jobs for people (sorry for focusing on my own self-interest there).

    I think some would prefer to take more of my property so that they, not me, can decide how it is best used. Simply put, I think that is immoral.

    And BTW: I don't live in a cloistered, gated community with private security. I live in a regular rural area, and my kids go to public school. In your stratified view of the world, I am pretty much middle class, working my butt off to be upper class, and enjoying every minute of it. :)

Video

connect with blueoregon