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Cap and Trade is Obama’s Smoot-Hawley

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History repeats itself. It is amazing how similar the 1920s and 2000s have become. First were the unsustainable economic booms; then came the busts. Of course the easy money policies of the Federal Reserve caused both busts. Then there is the government’s response to both crises: public works programs, lots of stimulus spending, more easy money by the Fed, and tax hikes on the rich. To be sure, these policies did not cure what was ailing the economy in the late 1920s and they are not curing our economic ills today. Really, the only dreadful piece of the government’s response to the crisis in the 1920s that is missing from today’s response is trade protectionism.

Hold on one minute. The House this past week passed the president’s cap and trade legislation. Now, I know that cap and trade has nothing to do with trade between countries and protectionism. It is not legislation intended to protect domestic products against foreign competition as the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act was intended to do in 1929. Instead, cap and trade is intended to protect the environment against foreign substances. On the surface, comparing the two measures is a stretch. However, the consequences of cap and trade, if passed by the Senate, will be very similar to those of Smoot-Hawley during the Great Depression.

In 1929, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act imposed duties on thousands of imported products in order to make them less competitive against domestic U.S. products. Naturally, our trading partners placed equally heavy tariffs on U.S. goods entering their countries. This had the effect of raising the costs of all goods at a time when many were losing their jobs and couldn’t afford to pay more for things. It is acknowledged by many economists that Smoot-Hawley and the wave of international trade protectionism that it brought forth was a major contributor to worsening an already sharp economic downturn.

Similarly, cap and trade will raise costs for consumers on virtually every product they buy. Because the goal behind the legislation is to hike the price of electricity and gasoline artificially, in order to lessen their use by Americans; higher prices will appear for everything made in plants that use these resources. This naturally includes everything from food to computers to trucks.

To their credit, Americans are already hoarding their money. A report last week indicated that the household savings rate in this country has jumped to 7 percent – the highest rate in years and up from 1 percent in 2007. Higher prices on goods caused by cap and trade are not going to reverse this trend. As a matter of fact, according to the Heritage Foundation, cap and trade will increase necessary household energy costs significantly, by at least $1500 a year. Cap and trade amounts to nothing more than a tax increase on everyone, including middle class Americans.  Thus, another Obama campaign promise is broken.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act contributed to the crippling of the American economy during the Great Depression. Cap and trade, although not a trade protectionist measure, will have similar consequences during this depression. It will raise the cost of living, which will make consumers further cut back on spending . Production will then decrease further, and unemployment will increase more. Perhaps it’s already too late, but if our so-called leaders would just read the history books, they could save us a lot of economic hardship.

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Your errors:

    1 – Smoot-Hawley had little overall effect on the economy. Why? Read this encyclopedia entry:

    “If…Smoot-Hawley [negatively impacted the economy], was this enough to have made the tariff a significant contributor to the severity of the Great Depression? Most economists are skeptical because foreign trade made up a small part of the U.S. economy in 1929 and the magnitude of the decline in GDP between 1929 and 1933 was so large.”

    You see, import/export was not that great a factor to the U.S. then – not compared to Europe. Foreign trade, when compared to domestic economic issues, was but a relative drop in the bucket.

    2. ‘Cap-and-trade’ will not greatly affect prices. The amount charged those who are not able to trade away their ‘pollution credits’ is (when it comes to major corporate financing) not much.

    And here’s my gripe – if you don’t like ‘cap-and-trade’, then come up with a better way to try to mitigate global warming. Or are you one of those who thinks global warming is false?

    If you are, I’d love to bring you to Mount Rainier in Washington state and show you the Nisqually glacier – which is less than a quarter of what it was in photos from the 1930’s.

  • Clavos

    if you don’t like ‘cap-and-trade’, then come up with a better way to try to mitigate global warming.

    As long as the Indians are growing as fast as they are, and the Chinese keep building coal-fired power plants like a bunch of crazed well, Chinese, the proposed cap and trade scheme will do little to mitigate global warming, but it will make algore a whole lot richer.

  • http://www.joannehuspek.wordpress.com Joanne Huspek

    Al Gore is rich enough. The idea of paying someone money to give you carbon “credits” is odious to say the least. Of course, I’m a cynic and I don’t believe anything anyone tells me. That’s why I pass up the so-called organic section of the produce section. The only truly organic vegetables I know come out of my yard.

    I foresee winters of not turning the heat on at all. Well. Maybe just for Christmas. And I foresee others doing the same, which means they won’t spend their money on goods and services. Just what Michigan needs.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You complain – but you give no solution.

    It’s like the old military maxim – “Either lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way!”

    If there’s a problem, then either support a proposed solution, or (if you don’t like that solution) support a WORKABLE solution of your own, or (if you don’t have a solution) stop trying to hinder those who are trying to solve the problem.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Come to think of it, that’s my problem with conservatives who are opposing universal health care – they don’t like UHC, but they don’t have a WORKABLE solution of their own (no, tax cuts will NOT work), but all they do is complain (“UHC won’t work because A, B, C….).

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I agree, Glenn. That being said, I think TRUE conservatives, not of the Far Right Christian Taliban kind, agree that UHC is something that is inevitable. I’ve submitted my ideas many times about health care reform and those ideas are never addressed because it’s far too complicated to untangle the lobbyist mess that is the foundation of Congressional gridlock. If UHC is to be achieved it has to begin by taking the lobbyists out of the wallets of politicians. Why is it that such a simple concept gets thrown into the trash?

  • Bliffle

    Silas,

    I hate to break this to you, but the supreme court is contemplating rescinding the McCain-Feingold campaign contributions law. The Roberts court feels the it infringes too much on the free speech right of corpporate personhood.

    The only hope we have is to redefine corporate charters and to specifically do away with the odious concept of Corporate Personhood, a rump policy invented in the supreme court cloakroom.

    Talk about ‘activist’ judges!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    This really is deplorable. Not that the McCain-Feingold is doing a good enough job. If anything, it needs be bolstered. A move in the opposite direction can only bode no good.

    Talking about Hope and Change.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Glenn,

    First off, the article is completely right, cap and trade is going to be a disaster if it is effective, and a complete waste of time if it isn’t.

    Second, do something? Like what exactly? One belch from a volcano like Mt St Helens could negate any benefit of reducing emissions, and there are plenty of scientific options for reducing CO2 in the atmosphere that are being explored. That is, if you wanted to remove CO2, whose increase, despite Al Gore’s manipulated graph in Inconv Truth, is really not all that much higher, and well below the upper limits.

    In any case, aside from killing the economy, I’d like you to explain how cap and trade would do ANYTHING for the environment? Go ahead, I dare you.

    Silas,

    Easy with the stereotypes my friend. The taliban beheads people and stones women. There might be some Americans who take their love of god very seriously, but nothing approaching Taliban like behavior. When you equate the two, you disrespect fellow Americans of faith, along with the victims of the Taliban. Please refrain from such moral equivication especially when none exists.

    But I wanted to talk about the last aspect of what you said. Why would UHC be inevitable? Let’s hope, for the sake of your family and mine, that UHC never ever rears it’s ugly head. I fear with the election of Obama that this might be a done deal and if so, we will all pay the price of 53% of Americans voting in ignorance.

  • The Obnoxious American

    One last thought. McCain-Fiengold should be scrapped. It IS a travesty of the first ammendment and it is rife with unintended consequences which are starting to come to light now.

    I think there should be a single campaign reform, and this would be exclusive and replace every other law. A politician can raise however much money he wants, from whomever he wants, so long as he is required to disclose every last penny, including where from it came. If the American people can see who is truly backing a candidate (and unlike during the Obama campaign, pay pal tricks won’t cut it), then who needs all these other rules. Voters can “consider the source.”

  • Clavos

    Glenn,

    I don’t have a “solution.” In reality, nobody, including Obama and Congress, does. It’s not my job. I’ll be glad to find and sell you a $4M yacht, I’m very good at that, I can give you lots of very enthusistic references.

    But, as a citizen (but not a patriot), I have a right to complain about where and how the government proposes to spend my money (and they get lots of it) without having to present my own solution. As I said, it’s not my job, it’s the job of the clowns in the government, unfortunately.

    What I have proposed is that we give the whole problem a hell of a lot more exploration and discussion before rushing headlong into a “solution” that appears to exacerbate our financial problems beyond repair, while lessening, not improving, health care for all but the 47 million currently uninsured.

    That’s not a “solution” in my book.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Vice versa. The First Amendment is a travesty to the extent that it allows corporate interests to have the kind of hold on political power that they do. Those are the unintended consequences. The collusion between private and public interest is precisely what you don’t want and the principal cause of our downfall. Yet, your interpretation of the First Amendment is precisely what perpetuates this ignominy.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Roger,

    Perhaps you don’t understand the first ammendment. “Corporate Interests” is a evil way of saying “people” and people have the right to free speech. It really doesn’t matter whether free speech is engaged in by individuals or groups (who are bound either by profit or not), what matters is that if these individuals or groups put a lot of money behind a candidate, the public should know about it. That is ALL that is needed here. More laws = more loopholes, and won’t actually fix the problem. We just need real transparancy (not the Obama version).

  • Baronius

    Outstanding, Kenn.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    From free speech to funding political campaigns is quite a leap. It perpetuates nothing but corruption.

    The simplest way to cut this cancerous growth: equal money allowed to each candidate running for office. Not a proliferation of laws – just one!

  • Bliffle

    A corporation is NOT a person. You cannot send it to death row when it kills people. It is not taxed on income, as a person is. It does not speak with the voice of ALL it’s interests: a management speaks with an opinion that is administered upon ALL it’s constituents. Individually, those constituents have little or no voice in that aggregate opinion: it may represent just the opinion that benefits the executives.

    A corporation is NOT a person, and the masquerade of Corporate Personhood is a ruse that creates a sort of Frankenstein monster, that by it’s own proclamations is amoral and owes no allegiance to society. This insensate thing and it’s numerous supporters are quite proud to announce that amorality, invulnerability and disloyalty to all.

    A corporation is a man-made machine, not a person. A human cannot make a person. A person cannot even make a worm, so we cannot expect that mere man can make a human.

    As it currently exists, a corporation bears none of the responsibilities of a person but does have some of the privileges of a person. Nothing could be more attractive to a criminal, and so we see that it has proven when one after another of our corps are discovered to be so venal as to potentiate the collapse of business and society while fabulously enriching a select few at the helm.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It is highly dubious to claim constitutional protection for the ‘principle’ that the person or interests with the most money to spend on behalf of politicians should be the person or interests with the greatest political influence.

    This is fundamentally anti-democratic [small d], and that was the original impulse behind McCain-Feingold, back when John McCain used to be an innovative legislator and non-partisan truth-teller.

    The fact that members of congress spend so much time and effort raising money, rather than working to improve the lives of their constituents, was surely not the intention of the authors of the constitution.

    Hiding behind the first amendment on this issue is bogus.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In total agreement, Handy. Welcome back.

  • Bliffle

    I fear that McCain-Feingold is the wrong solution. We cannot solve the many vices of current corporations by regulating them in the margins. The entire notion of ‘incorporation’ must be revised. There’s no good reason not to, except for the enormous power they have to resist.

  • Baronius

    Does anyone here believe that the environmentalist lobby bought the votes for cap and trade? Probably not. Money from good guys isn’t corrupting, after all.

    “The fact that members of congress spend so much time and effort raising money, rather than working to improve the lives of their constituents, was surely not the intention of the authors of the constitution.”

    It certainly wasn’t the intention of the Founders to limit political speech before an election. If free speech meant anything to them, it meant that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Fuck Founding Fathers. They haven’t envisaged the whoring politicians in the pockets of corporate interests.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    You do indeed have the right to your opinion, and you have the right to voice your opinion. My point was that in real life it is generally NOT helpful to complain about something if you don’t know how to make it better.

    You also said, “What I have proposed is that we give the whole problem a hell of a lot more exploration and discussion before rushing headlong into a “solution” that appears to exacerbate our financial problems beyond repair, while lessening, not improving, health care for all but the 47 million currently uninsured.”

    We’ve been ‘discussing’ and ‘exploring’ for at least two decades – and look where it’s gotten us. Must we continue on through an entire generation of uninsured before we take action with the best available plan?

    We’ve been talking about it for at least twenty years – it’s high time we DID something about it.

  • Clavos

    My point was that in real life it is generally NOT helpful to complain about something if you don’t know how to make it better.

    I understood your point, Glenn, but obviously don’t agree with it. On the surface, at least, it seems you’re saying that if one is unhappy about something, one should not express one’s unhappiness unless one first can come up with a solution.

    What nonsense. And oppressive to boot.

  • Clavos

    Must we continue on through an entire generation of uninsured before we take action with the best available plan?

    No, but when the best is at most mediocre, we shouldn’t succumb to a false sense of urgency, either. It is far more difficult to undo a bad plan than to craft a better one from the beginning, particularly where the government is concerned; once the bureaucrats put their hands on a policy it is impossible to wrest it from them.

    The only reason Obama is in such a feverish rush to implement his camel of a plan is he has one eye on the polls and realizes that in just a few more months he’ll have to have something much better in hand to get it passed.

    I say, let’s wait for that moment. Then, maybe, just maybe, with a more level playing field, we might actually be able to come up with something better.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Totally agree with Clavos. Obama ran for the privledge, he wasn’t annoited, and his job is to resolve issues, not create new ones. If I have an issue with what he is doing, I can state that without providing alternative options.

    That said, usually when someone trots out this bromide, that all GOP can do is complain and not offer solutions, usually there are tons of alternative options that are just not being listened to.

    Remember? This same tactic was last used during the (non) debate over the stimulus. Obama routinely trotted out the strawman that the GOP was the party of “no” when in fact the GOP just didn’t want to spend trillions on liberal special interest projects. Try again.

    And bliffle, no, a corp is not a human and cannot be put to death. And I never said that. What I said was, it is made up of humans (and they can be put to death incidentally, such as madoff recently). The fact that so many liberal-cum-communists like to ignore is being a CEO of a corp doesn’t mean your corp can do anything it wants.

    At the end of the day, this is a silly point to argue. Freedom of speech applies to all and that even includes the businesses that you so love to deride. Hence why we have multinational conglomerates who own media, and those media are free to speak under the first ammendment.

  • Baronius

    Roger, you were in total agreement with Handy, who brought up the Founders.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I haven’t read that part, I guess. My agreement then concerns the liberal – funny I should use that word, which accords with conservative thinking – interpretation of the First Amendment (especially in this day and age).

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    For those interested in real discussion of the first amendment, as opposed to phony doublespeak in defense of the rich retaining their political clout, I recommend the wonderful documentary that debuted on HBO last night: Shouting Fire: Stories from the Edge of Free Speech. Great stuff.

    I also find it amusing that cap-and-trade, a market-based concept if ever there was one, causes such frothing at the mouth among our conservative friends.

    As usual, as always, apparently, if Obama is fer it, then they’re agin it. That’s the main principle I see at work in the rightist/libertarian bloviations that still predominate on this site. I had been away for a few months. Not much has changed.

    There’s very little nuance or middle ground in the discussions, just caricature, name-calling and vast oversimplification of every complex issue.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And, sorry, can’t resist:

    Viva Franken!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    There’s nothing magical about it, Handy. The Republicans are a party of wealth; and the only thing that matters is preserving their advantage. Consequently, you stoop as low as need be, never mind the quality of the argument.

    Clear thinking has never been a virtue. Personal advantage always has been. And so you do whatever it takes, and no matter how ridiculous you come across doing so.

  • The Obnoxious American

    you anti corporatists are so full of it. Ever heard of opportunity? This is what the GOP favors. And it just so happens that in order for there to be opportunity, and the resulting wealth, then you need a vibrant and free private sector. Government never made anyone rich, happy or even contented.

    The point so many of you wealth haters miss is that poor people in America, aside from having the best standard of living in the world of poor people, choose their existance. Nothing stopping them from reaching for the stars, except for them. And that’s their right, just like it’s my right to reach for the stars if I choose. It’s a disgrace. If you don’t like the free market, then move to a country with a closed economy, and start a blog (if you can) and report back as to how you’re liking that.

  • Baronius

    Roger, this is the same kind of simplistic argument as was in that spousal-abuse video you recommended. You ascribe values to a party that no human being would have. Of course Republicans sin in defense of the rich; that’s their thing. Never mind that a lot of Republicans are rural and below-average earners, they must be being duped. In fact, that’s probably proof of another sin the Repubicans commit, leading dumb poor people astray.

    I think that you and Handy are wrong, not evil.

  • Bliffle

    OA is wrong again:

    31 – The Obnoxious American

    you anti corporatists are so full of it. Ever heard of opportunity? This is what the GOP favors. And it just so happens that in order for there to be opportunity, and the resulting wealth, then you need a vibrant and free private sector. Government never made anyone rich, happy or even contented.

    Opportunity is not enabled by corporations. Quite the opposite, corporations do their utmost to stomp out the competition of opportunistic entrepeneurs, and attempt by fair means and foul to control innovation.

    Small businesses have far more to fear from the corporations who covet their share of business than they do from the government.

  • Bliffle

    A crucial element of any cap/trade proposal involves the initial distribution of Rights. The corps try to get allocated Rights commensurate with their past pollution numbers, but probably the Rights will be auctioned off. No one seems interested in distributing the Rights equally among the citizens, which one might think more equitable since it is the citizens who will be breathing the bad air. Besides, the money flow is wrong: money should flow from bottom to top, as every Corporate Statist knows.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    OA is wrong???

    You’re kidding! I’m incredulous!!!

    Oh, wait a minute…I thought you said he was… ‘right’. That’s okay then. Never mind. Carry on.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Well, Cindy, he is right — far far far far far right.

    And as far as being anticorporatist? I hate GE, I hate WalMart, I hate Archer Daniels Midland. I detest Bank of America. Yep, I’m a moonbat.

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    Boycott Capitalism!

    *has a breaking news story in pending…walks back and forth…sighs….looks at the clock…taps foot…rolls eyes…wonders whatever became of instant gratification…goes out for a cherry martini*

  • http://twitter.com/tolstoyscat Cindy

    …or two :-)

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    There are many directions to go with ‘instant gratification’ but I’ll just leave it alone. Mark Sanford seems to be the champion of “IG” these days.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Never mind that a lot of Republicans are rural and below-average earners.”

    Of course there are lots of them, too. There’ll always be fools. They may be dirt-poor, but if they’re better off than some others, it’s enough for a low-life to think they’re OK.

    And there’s nothing simplistic, BTW, about Lakoff’s video. Just because it gets down to basics don’t mean it’s simplistic. Most elaborate theories and ideologies, whether of liberal or conservative bent, arise from simple (read: basic) assumptions about human nature and very simple (again, read: basic) feelings and emotions. Sophistication of thought is no indication of sophisticated origins. It’s more like a mask for the primitive in us.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What you’ve got to do, Silas, is bring some of those people in line. Of all who pretend to represent conservative thought on this side, you’re rendition of is is indeed most enlightened.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    “The point so many of you wealth haters miss is that poor people in America, aside from having the best standard of living in the world of poor people, choose their existance.”

    1 – The poor in America do NOT have the best standard of living in the world of poor people. THAT particular award, OA, would belong almost any of the poor in Western Europe or any of the major nations of the British Commonwealth. How do we know this? Easy – Universal Health Care.

    If you travel to some of these countries, you’ll notice something: ALMOST NO HOMELESS!

    So…if our poor people have it so good, why do THEY have so few homeless?

    2. They ‘choose their existence’? Dude, you need a urinalysis in the worst way. I’m sure all the inner-city kids CHOOSE to grow up in the slums with the highest rates of crime and drugs, CHOOSE to attend the very worst schools in the nation, CHOOSE to join gangs when the choice is “choose or die!”, CHOOSE to sell their bodies on the street because their parents didn’t (or couldn’t) ensure they got even a high-school education….

    OA, you’ve got a LOT to learn about this nation of ours. It’s a wonderful nation – but we don’t have the highest standard of living, we don’t have the longest life expectancy, we work the longest hours of any nation on earth, we have the fewest vacation days of any industrialized nation, we always score among the lowest in academic competitions.

    We ARE great. We ARE the strongest defender of freedom. BUT we CAN do a whole heck of a lot better.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I never said anything about Republicans per se [in this thread I mean], although Roger did.

    I do not ‘hate’ wealth, or corporations.

    I object to the fallacious use of the first amendment to defend the expenditure of money to gain political influence.

    In the artificially rarefied atmosphere of Blogcritics, I often am branded a ‘leftist’ because I defend the president against the [silly, overstated] attacks he receives here on an eye-rollingly regular basis.

    But I distrust rigid ideology, on the right and the left. The ‘arguments’ on here, with their almost total lack of give and take and nuance, turn into repetitive declarations of either ‘capitalists suck’ or ‘government programs suck.’ No one acknowledges any value in the other side’s argument, no one learns anything, no one gets anywhere.

    Phooey.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    OA’s blaming the poor for being poor does earn him a special place in hell. Pretty damn despicable, as well as obnoxious.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, Handy, I’m glad to hear then that you’re being evenhanded. Silas Kain is too. And I’d like to say I’d consider myself in the same category as well.

    Anyways, that’s a start.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    OK, I had a lot of commentary to wade through here. With regard to my colorful description of the Far Right, “Taliban” may be too harsh in some minds but not in mine. The Far Right along with their Radi-Christians have done more damage to the fabric of our society than liberals could dream of. Granted they don’t usually resort to physical violence or deprivation of rights. Stand on the sidelines and watch protestors blocking women from going into a Planned Parenthood Clinic. Listen to what these people shout out to these young women who are making such a deep, personal decision. Where’s the compassion? These same people who try to convert us to the religion of Christ use tactics opposite to the core of His teachings.

    I totally agree with the Far Right when it comes to a strong defense is essential to our national security but that’s where it ends. On the other side of the coin I find the Far Left just as dangerous because they’ll stoop to the same tactics with equal parts of hate and spin. I liken the Far Left to the Bolsheviks. And we all know how that turned out.

    Now back to conservatism. I was a mere lad when Barry Goldwater ran for office. Let me assure you, even in the 4th grade, I looked to Barry Goldwater as an American hero. Even my Great Grand Aunt Sarah, the consummate Irish Catholic Democrat, thought that Barry Goldwater was more like JFK than his successor. And, as we study the history of this nation during those times, we learn more about how right she was.

    Let’s take a stroll down memory lane with some quotes:

    “I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass.”

    “To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable.”

    “You don’t have to be straight to be in the military; you just have to be able to shoot straight.”

    “I won’t say that the papers misquote me, but I sometimes wonder where Christianity would be today if some of those reporters had been Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”

    “It’s wonderful that we have so many religious people in our party, … They need to leave their theologies in their churches.”

    “The rights that we have under the Constitution covers anything we want to do, as long as its not harmful. I can’t see any way in the world that being a gay can cause damage to somebody else,”

    “A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”

    So, do you like or agree with any of the quotes? They are ALL Barry Goldwater. You see, the Far Right would have you believe that they are upholding the tenets of Goldwater Conservatism. Puh-leeze.

    There can be a civil political debate in this country if we would just stop subscribing to the sensationalism of Cable News networks and tabloid journalism. FOX News is a complete joke not to mention an insult to our collective intelligence. MSNBC is the DNC Channel for dummies and CNN is trying to stem the erosion of viewership but isn’t having a good time doing it.

    If there are any young citizens checking out Blogcritics who are unsure about the direction of this country, I urge you to refer to history. Go to the library, read some old newspapers. Learn how Americans once derived their information. Get on the Internet. Search. Ask. Explore. Feel free to seek counsel of those who are older and ask for an honest assessment of what they’ve been through. You see, in the privacy of our homes, you may hear a different tale than that which is repeated for public consumption.

    We live in a 30 second sound bite culture. Our newspapers are thinner than the tissue paper used to wrap the expensive useless presents we buy. People Magazine and The National Enquirer are the news sources of choice for far too many Americans. And, my friends, we did this to ourselves. We bred these generations and now it’s time for us to undo the damage.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    Bliffle, even if you reject the idea of a corporation as a person, it is still an organization which represents the interests of people — its stockholders — who can assign it the authority to speak on their behalf, in which case it should enjoy all of the protections that they would when exercising free speech.

    There’s no functional difference between a corporation and a union and an interest group like the NRDC or AARP. All of them are entitled to free speech and should be allowed to spend money on behalf of their constituents.

    dAve

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    There’s no functional difference between a corporation and a union and an interest group like the NRDC or AARP. All of them are entitled to free speech and should be allowed to spend money on behalf of their constituents.

    I totally agree, Dave. Let them spend all the money they want. Let them go broke. Congress will legislate a bailout bill and Barack Obama will sign it.

  • Clavos

    Silas,

    My first vote was in the 1964 election. I was in basic training in the Army at the time, got my absentee ballot sent from Florida, filled it out, and took it to my company commander, a VERY young, brand new Lt., to be countersigned (like a notarization — required by Florida law at the time). He, unlawfully — but he was the CO and I was recruit — looked to see who I was voting for.

    He looked up at me and said, “What are you, crazy? You’re voting for Goldwater?? Don’t you know that if you vote for Goldwater, you’ll wind up in Vietnam???

    I didn’t change my vote, despite the Lt.’s diatribe.

    And you know what? He was absolutely right — a year later, I was in Vietnam!

  • Bliffle

    Dave:

    “…even if you reject the idea of a corporation as a person, it is still an organization which represents the interests of people — its stockholders — who can assign it the authority to speak on their behalf,…”

    Except that the officers who compose the agenda dictate to stockholders what they are going to promote, even in the face of strong opposition by shareholders.

    That assignment of authority is coerced from shareholders the same as the surrender of intellectual property is coerced from employees.

    “… in which case it should enjoy all of the protections that they would when exercising free speech.”

    What a joke: they suppress free speech at shareholders meetings to coerce compliance with views that they (the execs) see as favorable to themselves (without necessarily even being beneficial to the corp itself) and then they demand ‘free speech’ for their views, and through the magic transformation of money into ‘free speech’ are able to bribe politicians!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Clav,

    I cast my first Presidential vote in 1976 at which time I voted for Gerald Rudolph Ford. In 1980 and 1984, I proudly voted for Ronald Reagan. I have no regrets for all three ballots. Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come since 1964? We’ve come so far, yet we’ve learned nothing in the process.

  • Clavos

    Depressing, isn’t it, Silas.

  • The Obnoxious American

    First off, as a kid who grew up in an inner city slum, I can speak with first hand knowledge that YES, people choose their own destiny. What is to stop any kid from any slum anywhere from getting a job, even an entry level one like I did, and working their way up? To suggest that in free, capitalist America, some invisible GOP boot is holding people down, or to say I’ve earned a place in hell for making the exact same case for individual responsibility that even Barack Obama himself has made at times, is the most absurd thing I’ve heard all year.

    To call me far far far right is even more absurd. I guess if you’re comparing me to some of the straight up, American hating commies in this thread, then yeah, I’m far right. But given a cross section of American voters, I’m smack dab in the middle. The vaunted Independent, which is how I am registered incidentally.

    Maybe EU’s poor are better off than here. I doubt it but I’ll grant you that it’s probably a slim difference in any case. So friggin what? Do you want the European economy? Do you realize that the EU countries have been MOVING AWAY from the direction we’re headed? Ever ask yourself why? Europeans think we’re INSANE for cap and trade, they think we’re nuts for trashing our health care system. Leaders of these nations have cautioned Obama on his path. So what the hell are you talking about exactly?

    Blame the messenger, go for it. You’re viewpoint is exactly what is wrong with America today. I can still remember when most Americans felt that if you wanted to acheive something you should get off your butt and make it happen. No more. These days, thanks to the likes of those in this thread, people need to get off their butts and head to the government cheese line. Disgusting doesn’t even describe it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    OA –

    I’ve heard this one before, too, from my neo-con friend.

    So that is your statement:

    Kids CHOOSE to grow up in inner-city slums.
    Kids CHOOSE to go to some of the worst schools in the nation.
    Kids CHOOSE to join gangs (even though the choice is “join or die!”)
    Kids CHOOSE to not get a good education.
    Kids CHOOSE to have parents who can’t ensure they get a good education.

    OA, maybe you did work your way out of poverty…but you know what? You’re the exception to the rule…and because you did it, you can’t see any reason why everyone else can’t do it.

    Everybody else ain’t you – and many of them face challenges that you likely haven’t faced. For instance – are you white? Try going to a make-up artist and becoming black for a week and see the difference in how whites treat you. If you’re going to claim there’s no difference, then you’re simply showing your ignorance.

  • Arch Conservative

    OA it’s no use arguing with people whose capacity to make excuses for others refusal to take responsibility for their own lives is boundless.

    We’re becoming of infantilized whiney little pussies. All blaming society and waiting for the next government handout.

    Everyone’s got a sad story. Everyone’s a victim of society. It’s impossible for anyone whose experienced alittle adversity in their life to succeed.

    Oh………woe is me.

    More than any one political or social issue that is my biggest gripe with the cancerous liberal moonbat ideology that currently afflicts our society……..that they expect so fucking little of people.