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Opinion

Opinion

Capitalist system promotes change

February 5, 2012

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In the basement of the newspaper where I worked during the summers of my youth was a prodigious printing press, a rumbling monster that looked like the engine of a Mississippi River steamboat. Pressmen, their faces and hands smeared with ink, swarmed over it with screwdrivers and wrenches to keep it running. On the floor above them, operators typed at keyboards to produce the actual metal type from which the paper was printed. Those jobs and the printing press itself are gone now, destroyed by technology. Newspapers — and journalists themselves — are also endangered species, their existence threatened by the Internet.

High school nerds in those days brandished devices known as slide rules, which facilitated mathematical calculations. Electronic gadgets have made slide rules obsolete, depriving nerds of their symbolic weapons and slide rule makers of their jobs. The Manor Bread man, who delivered baked goods to our house in a horse drawn van, is also gone, and so is the milkman, gone the way of the dodo. (The gallows and the guillotine have yielded to the gas chamber and the electric chair, though some might not call that progress.)

Numberless trades and businesses have vanished in my lifetime, throwing millions out of work. Where have the makers of buggy whips gone? For that matter, whatever happened to Studebaker, Packer, Nash, Hudson, Stanley Steamer, Kaiser, Frazier and all the other automobile makers who drove buggy makers out of business and are now themselves defunct? Why didn’t the government bail them out as it recently bailed out GM?

“Capitalists quite often invent the technology that destroys their own business,” according to an essay in “The Economist.” Kodak, which built one of the first digital cameras and was “the Google of its day,” has filed for bankruptcy. President Obama recently grieved over the loss of bank teller jobs to the ATM machine. The average life of American businesses is supposedly forty years. Jobs are destroyed, and new jobs are created. That’s progress. But it’s also part of the “creative destruction,” which gives capitalism a bad name.

Which brings us to poor Mitt Romney. He couldn’t possibly have picked a more unfortunate profession than “private equity manager” to decorate his resume for a run to the presidency. Job Destroyer! Vulture Capitalist! Predatory Corporate Raider! To top it off, he blurted out, “I like being able to fire people.” He might as well have said, “I enjoy watching children starve to death.” What gaffes might he issue from the Oval Office: “I like to drop bombs on hospitals”?

Regardless of how many jobs Romney created or destroyed at Bain Capital, no matter if he was engaged in charity on behalf of mankind, there’s just no way to sell the benefits of capitalism to the tender-hearted American public. “Voters and politicians don’t believe jobs should ever be destroyed,” one writer observed. If jobs were protected from destruction, we’d still be making buggy whips and enjoying a mirage of “social justice” — along with a lower standard of living. But wouldn’t buggy whip jobs help solve the unemployment problem? Sure, just like the “green jobs” our entrepreneurial government has promised to pull out of its magical hat.

I have no opinion on Romney’s fitness for the presidency. But I am certain that none of the candidates, including Obama, has any intention of addressing our economic problems, including our Byzantine tax code, unsustainable entitlements and regulatory briar patch. Politicians aren’t going to reform anything — and we would howl if they did. Reform would cost the politicians votes and endanger our precious entitlements. We’d rather console ourselves with promises that can’t be kept than face the music and tighten our belts.

Not to worry, though. Global competition will do for us what we lack the courage and unselfishness to do. Either we undertake the changes necessary to survive and prosper, or we go the way of the buggy whip, the slide rule and the dodo.

Comments

George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Well I guess once again we are in violent agreement on a number of points. For one the CRA did not mandate substandard loans – directly. When the government sets goals and there are perceived consequence for not meeting those goals people may take shortcuts – particularly when there is no consequence to them.
It is not the CRA per see but the link between it, the overall government involvement in the financial services sector and government loan guarantees that removed consequences from specific risky actions. Just why would we be packaging substandard loans into investment grade products that were sold to Fanny and Freddy among others when anybody with a brain understood the risk underlying the transaction. I continue to maintain that government leaders of both parties were aware of the potential consequences and elected to ignore them. I tend to believe it was self-gain and not a desire to help- people find homes that drove that issue although the latter became an easy excuse for the industry (and government leaders) to do what they did.

So back to my argument that both parties are responsible for this mess by mixing a desirable government goal with a guarantee of products without regard to risk – and then not providing adequate oversight.

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jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

There are a variety of different issues here.

One is the CRA - I stand by my position on that. Anybody who feels differently can provide some evidence.

Government guarantees for sub-prime loans are a different matter. I agree that those are a problem, and expose us to too much risk.

The obvious incentive, also, to make those loans, is that the mortgage lenders were able to sell, bundle, and securitize the loans, helped by rating agencies that were paid by the issuers to sell them as AAA securities, which was clearly not warranted.

In fact, the rating agencies are a lynchpin of the whole scheme, without with it could not have happened - the conflict of interest involved when securities issuers pay the rating agencies should be obvious to everybody.

The fact remains that sub-prime loans, being risky, do not fit within the CRA guidelines, and anybody who says that banks made such loans to comply with it is simply wrong.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

It never ceases to amaze me how intelligent people fall for sound bites. I guess because the government said there was WMD in Iraq- there was.

If no one incentivized the mortgage lenders to make sub-standard loans why are there sub-standard loans. Without government guarantees they would have lost their shirts. You can not be called greedy if you do something counter to your own interests

Sometimes poof comes in the form of logic applied to real events.

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jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

None of the people who've argued that the CRA is responsible for this mess have provided any evidence of that whatsoever.

And, the language is clear and concise.

Without any evidence to the contrary, I have concluded they are simply wrong, and that banks did not make unsafe loans in order to comply with the CRA.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Argument: The CRA mandates that all loans are to be made consistent with safe and sound operations of the banks.

Moderate Responds. If I had a nickel for every such statement made by government and business I would be wealthy beyond imagination. The government makes such statements and then sets specific goals for mortgages that are not safe and sound (individuals with low incomes and loans with no money down to mention a few inconsistencies). You then protect the mortgage lender with a government guarantee. Stupid beyond belief. Only ideologically inspired liberals would hold such government action as “harmless”.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 2 months ago

There is a problem with falling into the trap of making Capitalism itself appear to be under attack. I think this is very interesting because the hard right wants us to believe that Socialism is threatening the survival of our nation.

The next step in the logic is to convince people that everything left of hard right is Socialism and must be wiped out.

Social safety nets or help for the mentally ill falls into the category of Socialism and is therefore, "evil" and it is the anti-thesis of the sacred "Capitalism" as it is defined by people who are actually not true capitalists at all when they pay off politicians and hire politicians to sit on their boards and vote on legislation that they themselves write.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

All power to the soviets! (from a source)

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

Agno says: "Right-wing and/or religious extremists are generally threatened, perhaps even emasculated, by the mere thought of an intelligent, accomplished, independent woman."

AAAAAAhahahahaha!!!!

How many intelligent, accomplished, independent conservative women do you want me to source that the extremist paranoid left has trashed beyond comprehension. The list is quite exhaustive. Actually, Ag, why don't you make a list.....I know you know at least ten of them off the top of your head.

You're sooo funny Ag! Thanks for the belly roll laugh!

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

Increasing shareholder wealth is becoming a flaw for capitalism. This is because owners and mangers are not necessarily making the right decisions for the long term health of corporations. Upper level managers are often compensated by stock options, and many shareholders are hands off and are really only looking at the stock price. So in effect, corporate decisions are more often based on short term appreciation of stock. This is not good stewardship.

Take GM for instance. They went on a agenda of buying back stock to drive up share price. It is estimated that a bailout of GM would have been covered if instead these monies were kept in retained earnings. Corporations often inflate earnings by reducing employee costs, because this is often easier than increasing revenues. This definitely has short term benfits, but downsizing can lead to poorer performance and a shortage of good employees who are really assets. Anyone who has worked in a downsized office or one where functions have been outsourced overseas knows what I'm talking about.

Good employees should be viewed as stakeholders, because they are invested in the company by the work and dedication they provide. Shareholders are often unseen stakeholders who are usually not involved or are only interested in short-term returns.

I prefer capitalism if it is not corporate. Paartnerships and small business, is a better form of capitalism.

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Agnostick 2 years, 2 months ago

But... when you think about it... when you read the South African Constitution, or Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the European Convention on Human Rights, or other more-recent documents.... isn't there a good chance that you'll find some of our own Constitution in there, somewhere? Haven't other nations used our documents for reference, from time to time?

So, yes, it might be best to focus on more recent examples, when drafting something new--but it would also be very helpful to go back to some of the "roots," including the United States Constitution.

That being said, I think Justice Ginsburg handled herself beautifully, and represented her nation with dignity, wisdom, and grace.

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Agnostick 2 years, 2 months ago

Off-topic though it is, I'd like to respond to rockchalk's child-like swipe at Ruth Bader Ginsberg @ 1:22pm. I always enjoy beating someone at their own game.

I do not agree 100% with what Ginsburg said--but more on that later.

Right-wing and/or religious extremists are generally threatened, perhaps even emasculated, by the mere thought of an intelligent, accomplished, independent woman. In societies where religious extremists run the government, such a woman would be taken out and stoned, or beheaded. This is true in many Middle Eastern nations; I don't understand why some want a similar situation in America (though maybe with a different religion serving as a foundation).

Justice Ginsburg is just such a woman: intelligent, accomplished, wise. In the clip above, there are a couple of reasons I can think of, for her saying that she would not suggest using the U.S. Constitution as a model for writing another nation's constitution, in the year 2012.

First off, the glaringly obvious: She's speaking with a member of the Egyptian media, for an interview that will be broadcast in Egypt, and most likely viewed by other nations in the region, as well (probably via Al-Jazeera). She clearly wants to avoid coming across as arrogant, boastful, or contemptuous. Would it be better if she said, "If you want a good constitution, you won't find one better than the United States! There's none better on the planet!" Hearing her say something like that, I would be embarrassed.

The best parts about her answer are the other constitutions and documents that she references. While she may have been given the interview questions ahead of time, and had some time to prep, she displays a lot of intelligence here, in citing the documents of other nations.

I differ, though, in that I would have suggested that Egypt look at the U.S. Constitution, in addition to those other, more-recent documents. The U.S. Constitution is messy, flawed, far from perfect--and that is precisely what makes it great. It's a very, very "human" document. I don't know exactly how those other documents look, or what they say, but when you read our Constitution, you see everything, warts and all. You see all the amendments, as well as the amendments that amended some of the amendments! You see the 18th, followed by the 21st a few years later. "Oops.... we shouldn't have acted so rashly." The fact that it's out there, for the world to see, warts and all... speaks highly of our system of government, and of us, as a nation.

[more]

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rockchalk1977 2 years, 2 months ago

Ruth Buzzi Ginsburg To Egypt: Don't Use US Constitution As A Model.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/02/03/ruth_bader_ginsburg_to_egypt_dont_use_us_constitution_as_a_model.html

Why was this flake appointed by Slick Willie Clinton to the highest court in the land?

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 2 months ago

Capitalism is a powerful agent of change.

In this regard it is ultimate anti-conservative engine.

The market forces of human economics crushes all ideologies before it, whether those are religious, economic, or social in nature.

Yes, God says to not eat pork, but we just love it so much!

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Ok, somebody made risky loans. Ok we use the term wall street to cover the large number of mortgage providers that are nowhere near Wall Street.

I continue to maintain in the face of all sorts of people demanding more government involvement that such involvement must come with a policing element to make sure that what is intended actually occurs.

The government offers internal classes on implied incentives and a key aspect of that is to make sure your goal will not be undercut by an unintended incentive. Creating a goal to make loans to people with marginal incomes while providing protection to those making such risky loans is a case in point.

If the government is trying to implement social policy through the mortgage market it behooves the government to police the outcome. Now I maintain that the failure to police was a bi-partisan intent so that the members of congress in oversight positions could benefit from the lack of such oversight.

That is exactly why I oppose most increases in government responsibilities because the lack of such oversight seems to be rampant.

It is disputable to argue that all fault in the financial disaster that occurred falls on the back of “wall street” which of course on its face is wrong since the mortgages were made by countless entities (and a few big ones the party in power refinanced after they got caught off base).

Admit it people, there is a down side to giving the federal government ever increasing power as much smarter people than I have observed that power corrupts and ultimate power corrupts ultimately

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Steven Gaudreau 2 years, 2 months ago

Bank deregulation caused the financial crisis.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

you know....whether or not you realize it BAA....and I don't think you do... the backbone of a concerned society is it's ability to lift everyone up like religiously concerned people do. You don't sound concerned or religious....you sound selfish....I'm a Democrat....have been one since 1988....would've voted against Reagan in 1984 if I was 18 and not 14. No Democrat has ever redestributed my earnings. However....Republicans rerouted my earnings to two unnecessary wars and tax cuts for the rich and intentionally confusing Medicaid Part D that costed more than Mr. Obama's stimulus plan and intentionally ran off many seniors due to the donut hole and the intentionally confusing plan options. My father was a minister for forty years and got a liver transplant at 64 years of age. The younger people who got liver transplants in their fifties are financially killed by Medicaid Part D due to the costs of the medicines they need to keep their bodies from rejecting their transplanted organs. You people are soooo selfish and full of it....

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BornAgainAmerican 2 years, 2 months ago

Birthday card received from my wife today:

Sorry...the Democrats took your birthday cake!!! They sliced it up and gave it to people who aren't fortunate enough to have a birthday today.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 2 months ago

20th century liberalism was defined by managed capitalism, and was the policy of every 20th president with the possible exception of GWB.

The energy industry right now is a mess. Capitalism has not been allowed to work. Oil has been subsidized to keep its price low for 80 years, Thus, it is difficult for an emerging market, say wind, to get a foot hold in this subsidized oil market.

It would be interesting to remove subsidies for both oil and green energy and see which one would dominate the market in 50 years.

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

Here is a bumper sticker I read the other day "Only Idiots Need to be Governed".

Unfettered Capitalism would be like playing a sport without any rules or referees. While I prefer Capitalism, I have concern about its flaws. For one, I do not think it values long-term sustainability or conservation of resources. I also do not believe that all of societies needs fit nicely into a profit and loss model. Capitalisim does not address this. That is why I like it, but to me is not the one size fits all answer for everything.

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jafs 2 years, 2 months ago

Again, the CRA mandates that all loans are to be made consistent with safe and sound operations of the banks.

That clearly is not intended to encourage unsound loans, no matter how many times those on the right repeat that.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

life in the bubble of denial is good.....right liberty....why argue with you when live in the bubble?

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Comment: If you're referring to the CRA,

Moderate Opines:

The problem therein was that goals were set. The mortgage industry responded to those goals because they had no risk in the game. They had no risk because the “government underwrote the mortgages through Fanny and Freddy.

I guess you could be narrow minded and find the mortgage providers guilty but I personally hold the government guilty because of the incentive the government provided (guarantees) coupled with the goals set.

The leaders of both parties knew or should have known the likely results and provided the necessary oversight to flag the mess that ensued. They did not because IMHO they all made a bunch of money on the game and left the rest of us holding the bag when housing values tanked.

Yes, I am very distrustful of government because the leaders are just like the rest of us and have mostly their own interests in the game. The old notion of “Mr. Smith” goes to Washington probably never was real and certainly is not real today. The more power you give them and the more fraud waste and abuse there will be. Simple human nature – what is in it for me.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

OK Bozo let us reason together for a moment.

The federalist system established by the founders tried to limit the role of the federal government to those matters specifically prescribed. That meant that no matter what the presumed “majority” wanted (I use the term mop) they could not impose it on the minority (like federal income tax payers now that they are essentially in the minority).

Requiri8ng that those taxpayers fund those impacted by "change" IMHO falls into that category. For example you bought a home you could not afford betting on the continued escalation of prices and low and behold that did not happen and now you are underwater and cannot afford the payments - so those who were more cautious and did not get themselves in that predicament get to pay for your foolishness.

Yes, some people lost their jobs and got had but that has been happening since we formed the Republic. All of a sudden it becomes the responsibility of productive taxpayers to accommodate the change (federal underwriting of high risk mortgages) because a presumed majority (non-taxpayers) demand it. As was recently noted we cannot afford to underwrite with federal largess all the “bad” things that can happen in a capitalist society -there is simply not enough money!

Change happens. The government is now a big time agent of change. Like the market the government is not always a positive agent for that change

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 2 months ago

Good article.

However, food for thought:

Mr Gurley's great great grandson, 100 years from now, posting on the Cerebral Direct brain feed: "Without capitalism, we would still be making internal combustion engines and coal fired power plants to burn fuels that have long since been depleted and that destroyed our planet."

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

The concept of capitalism is very old. It is literally as old as spoken language itself.

In fact, some say it dates to the very first time a woman said to a man, "You wanna?" And at that very moment, the world's oldest profession was born.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

many sources.....american history from high school and college and debating democracy by bruce johansen.....oh, I forget....some people don't read or research....listening to cal thomas, george will, or charles krauthammer is enough fact???? for them....

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camper 2 years, 2 months ago

Capitalism is not your friend, and it is not your enemy. It can be the thing that earned you good money as a horse carriage manufacturer, but in later life unemployed. During the mid nineties it may have helped you in a promising career as a computer programmer, but now an unemployed one whose job has been outsourced to cheaper labor.

Capitalisim is the best economic system all told, in my opinion. I respect it, but I don't worship it and consider it as something holy. It can be tempered by monetary and interest rate policy. It can be stimulated by government intervention and/or guidance (the Keynesian approach as far as stimulatiuon, and the Japanese approach as far as guidance). Tweaking capitalisim and having safety nets is there to temper the cruel nature that sometimes can be capitalism. It is not a move toward Socialism, it is merely to minimize the downswings, the bubbles, and speculation that can and have proven to deal big blows to Capitalism.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 2 months ago

I love how some people misconstrue the immigrants who told off England and refused to pay their fair tax share after England spent much money making sure these immigrants would still speak English instead of French after the Seven Years war. These same immigrants who argued over the Virginia versus New Jersey Plan and created the mythology of the Articles of Confederation that rural anti civil rights people still hold onto today even though they could never raise enough money to create state armies and the like because they still don't want to pay their fair share. The infrastructure failure of the Confederacy during the US Civil War is proof of this. The constitutionalists refuse to acknowledge the point where Benjamin Franklin observed the speakings of the Onandaga Sachem Canassatego stating on behalf of the Iroquois Confederacy laying down the framework of government infrastructure that Franklin would take in and suggest in the Albany Plan in the 1750's. Bruce Johansen speaks of all this in his book Debating Democracy, Native American Legacy of Freedom, which I own. Not long after the US Constitution was enacted, the US Congress was given plenary power over Indian Affairs in the Indian Non Intercourse Act of 1790 which prohibited states from entering into land treaties with tribes without an act of the US Congress. Every colony had treaties with tribes to get land without an act of congress and got away legally with this malfeasance from 1790 to 1973 when the immunity from prosecution for land theft was pierced and destroyed by the Oneida and Cayuga tribes of New York. Tribes from Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts later reclaimed lands due to the actions of the Oneida and Cayuga in the 1970's and 1980's. In short, capitalism is not about rules....it's about exploitation. The high ground that many of these fairy tale hallowed ground revisionists speak about as they try to create this Glenn Beck like quasi reverence is shuhka anumpa (hog talk or hogwash) in my Choctaw language. You stole to get what you have and escape feudalism and being paupers in Europe. There's nothing really enlightening about land theft even if it's wrapped in sanctified justificiation as it was by the Pilgrims after the fall of the Pequot and Wampanoag peoples in the mid 17th century. If these founding fathers were religious as the dimwits state.....why did they advocate the separation of church and state to stop another situation like the Anglican Church in England and the Catholic Church over the rest of Europe??? doing my part to upset the apple cart.....

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

"Redlining" was made illegal. A movement to get away from decrepit, crumbling and crime-ridden neighborhoods underway, so Big Brother steps in to "level" the field (once again) and BOOM! housing crisis. But liberal historical revisionists want to blame this all primarily on Republican's doing.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

"Republicans mismanagement of the home loan system TWICE in 31 years could this be truly coincidence? Let's have some prosecution democrats...." Before you start calling for show trials, consider that Democrats played a major role in leaning on banks to make loans to people who couldn't reasonably qualify for home loans. (from many, many, many, many, many sources)

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tange 2 years, 2 months ago

Capitalist system promotes change The more things change the more they stay the same Capitalist system promotes stagnation

/ it's syllogical

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George Lippencott 2 years, 2 months ago

Good opinion piece. IIMHO we are not just focused on preserving the status qua we are for selectively preserving the status qua. Coal fired power plant operators find themselves on the wrong side of the mob while winter generation of crops on a small scale finds itself on the good side.

Perhaps an understanding of this aspect of human nature might have been behind the founding fathers efforts to constrain the role of government so that mob rule does not prevail.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 2 months ago

We have had a good run over the last century in regards to scientific discovery, engineering and product development. We have done a great job compared to the rest of the world, but we had the benefits of a large and rich new country to exploit and inspired and talented people from all over the world.

It appears that our economy is being ceded to larger and more powerful corporate interests and there are fewer and fewer opportunities for a young "Henry Ford" or "Thomas Edison".

The ladder of upward mobility is getting more and more difficult to climb as more and more wealth is concentrated in fewer and fewer individuals.

Politicians are taking sides in a game where the one with the most money ususally wins and news celebrities are making millions aligning themselves with either a "conservative" or a "liberal" bias and pretending to actually care.

It is an interesting time to be a regular American, not rich, not poor, just trying to survive in a changing world.

I think there is something called the silent majority. I think they want some payback and come election time, it could be hard to predict how they will vote.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

Voters memory seems short at times which is to say when voting for candidates, history of an entire party must be considered.

Let's take a look at some history for which a pattern might well be in place and should avoid repeating. There is logical reasoning behind this thinking.

  1. Republicans mismanagement of the home loan system TWICE in 31 years could this be truly coincidence? Let's have some prosecution democrats.

  2. 1980's opened the door wide to outsourcing backed by USA tax codes... how to change this nonsense? Null and void the tax codes.

  3. Someone was asleep at the wheel 9/11/01 which put a big dent in USA spending thus killed jobs hmmmmmmmmm

  4. Free Trade which in real life is USA jobs going abroad with USA jobs being the chief export A. Clinton's NAFTA was republican thinking ----- why are we still putting americans out of work?

  5. The constant attack on Unions and Union wages reduces economic growth,wages and benefits. Now really how much sense does it make to reduce wages across the board which will be the end result if Unions disappear..... most all of us will be working for less.

  6. The big banks are sitting on the tax dollars that Pres G W Bush shelled out to them thus compromising job growth and stagnates growth in the small business sector. Let's team up, take those tax dollars back and put those tax dollars to work making money for all of us.

Food for thought...

Banks to big to fail hold the world economy hostage = time to break them up cuz they only got bigger.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 2 months ago

Campaigns commence way too early,spend too much corrupt special interest money which now demands substantial and strict campaign guidelines set in stone to end the corrupt system.

Truth in advertising requires 24/7 monitoring before the fact and what cannot pass the test goes to the trash can!

Want term limits? Go to the voting booth without fail and vote in the low spending candidate.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 2 months ago

No one can deny that capitalism promotes change. But that change isn't always for the good, and sometimes, it can't promote the changes we really need.

Raw capitalism did not bring about the changes in civil rights over the last several decades. It thrives on the military-industrial complex, and will resist any attempts to rein it in. And when it comes to seriously addressing global warming, capitalism's only contribution is full-out denial and obstructionism.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes, but what do you do with the 46% of people that can't compete with change?....Hire them in the government? (which btw, are people too) Put them on food stamps? Force banks to make home loans to them? Community organize them into OWS?

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its_just_math 2 years, 2 months ago

Good article Mr. Gurley. Kind of puts a damper on Obama's class warfare rhetoric. My wife is a "venture capitalist" so to speak, as she contracts for a company that does mergers & acquisitions of hospitals and to those who feel it's "vulture capitalism", these people are almost always--if not always--in a position where they're glad to see my wife and her cohorts walk in the door to propose a deal. That to me, is progress and there's nothing wrong with it. Sometimes it means the loss of job---mostly temporarily, but mostly, it is going to insure more jobs are created. But those that Obama has gotten up off of their futons, the OWS'ers, don't quite get this while they throw bricks in cop's faces and defecate on their squad cars.

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cato_the_elder 2 years, 2 months ago

"Politicians aren’t going to reform anything — and we would howl if they did. Reform would cost the politicians votes and endanger our precious entitlements. We’d rather console ourselves with promises that can’t be kept than face the music and tighten our belts."

Passing meaningful term limits would change much of this. The time for term limits is now. Instead of whining about the Citizens United decision, go to termlimits.com and get behind the Term Limits movement.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 2 months ago

The problem is that in a democracy, almost no one votes for an honest candidate.

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