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Opinion

Opinion

Opinion: America’s social contract is at stake

November 4, 2012

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— “Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not.” That was Barack Obama in 2008. And he was right. Reagan was an ideological inflection point, ending a 50-year liberal ascendancy and beginning a 30-year conservative ascendancy.

It is common for one party to take control and enact its ideological agenda. Ascendancy, however, occurs only when the opposition inevitably regains power and then proceeds to accept the basic premises of the preceding revolution.

Thus, Republicans railed for 20 years against the New Deal. Yet when they regained the White House in 1953, they kept the New Deal intact.

And when Nixon followed LBJ’s Great Society — liberalism’s second wave — he didn’t repeal it. He actually expanded it. Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency, gave teeth to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and institutionalized affirmative action — major adornments of contemporary liberalism.

Until Reagan. Ten minutes into his presidency, Reagan declares that “government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem.” Having thus rhetorically rejected the very premise of the New Deal/Great Society, he sets about attacking its foundations — with radical tax reduction, major deregulation, a frontal challenge to unionism (breaking the air traffic controllers for striking illegally) and an (only partially successful) attempt at restraining government growth.

Reaganism’s ascendancy was confirmed when the other guys came to power and their leader, Bill Clinton, declared (in his 1996 State of the Union address) that “the era of big government is over” — and then abolished welfare, the centerpiece “relief” program of modern liberalism.

In Britain, the same phenomenon: Tony Blair did to Thatcherism what Clinton did to Reaganism. He made it the norm.

Obama’s intention has always been to re-normalize, to reverse ideological course, to be the anti-Reagan — the author of a new liberal ascendancy. Nor did he hide his ambition. In his February 2009 address to Congress he declared his intention to transform America. This was no abstraction. He would do it in three areas: health care, education and energy.

Think about that. Health care is one-sixth of the economy. Education is the future. And energy is the lifeblood of any advanced country — control pricing and production and you’ve controlled the industrial economy.

And it wasn’t just rhetoric. He enacted liberalism’s holy grail: the nationalization of health care. His $830 billion stimulus, by far the largest spending bill in U.S. history, massively injected government into the free market — lavishing immense amounts of tax dollars on favored companies and industries in a naked display of industrial policy.

And what Obama failed to pass through Congress, he enacted unilaterally by executive action. He could not pass cap-and-trade, but his EPA is killing coal. (No new coal-fired power plant would ever be built.) In 2006, liberals failed legislatively to gut welfare’s work requirement. Obama’s new HHS rules do that by fiat. Continued in a second term, they would abolish welfare reform as we know it — just as in a second term, natural gas will follow coal, as Obama’s EPA regulates fracking into noncompetitiveness.

Government grows in size and power as the individual shrinks into dependency. Until the tipping point where dependency becomes the new norm — as it is in Europe, where even minor retrenchment of the entitlement state has led to despair and, for the more energetic, rioting.

An Obama second term means that the movement toward European-style social democracy continues, in part by legislation, in part by executive decree. The American experiment — the more individualistic, energetic, innovative, risk-taking model of democratic governance — continues to recede, yielding to the supervised life of the entitlement state.

If Obama loses, however, his presidency becomes a historical parenthesis, a passing interlude of overreaching hyper-liberalism, rejected by a center-right country that is 80 percent nonliberal.

Should they summon the skill and dexterity, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan could guide the country to the restoration of a more austere and modest government with more restrained entitlements and a more equitable and efficient tax code. Those achievements alone would mark a new trajectory — a return to what Reagan started three decades ago.

Every four years we are told that the coming election is the most important of one’s life. This time it might actually be true. At stake is the relation between citizen and state, the very nature of the American social contract.

— Charles Krauthammer is a columnist for Washington Post Writers Group.

Comments

jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

Wow - I really have to wonder if CK really believes the stuff he writes.

1

Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Mr. Kraut has continued to hammer away at his own head again. His analysis is so rife with flat out self delusions it's hard to know where to begin.

-Nationalizing healthcare??? Obamacare is pretty much the opposite of a single payor nationalized healthcare system--it virtually enshrines the private insurance company as the great middleman, providing a whole crop of new customers with the vague notion that through mandatory coverage, rates might drop a little. Why folks think this is nationalized healthcare rather than a reserved seat for the private sector at the government hog trough is beyond me. Providing healthcare has always had a blind spot for the private sector, which has the built-in conflict of interest in both diagnosing the problem and receiving the payment for that diagnosis. This system has developed very efficient machines in the hospital and insurance industries, each finely honed to maximize profit and neither really a check and balance for the other. This is not seriously changed by Obamacare, and to label it otherwise is just silly.

-Ask a teacher about whether Obama's Education reforms are an upending of the No child left behind legacy of Bush or a consolidation of that public education dismantlement program, and you'll get an earful.

-The EPA is not killing coal; cheap gas from fracking is killing it by making it cheaper to burn than coal. Of course, Obama isn't rolling back safeguards about mercury pollution from coal, or giving a green light to wholesale mountaintop removal in the Appalachians. But they have okayed the tar sands pipeline from Canada, re-opened drilling in the gulf, given billions to the clean coal boondoggle, and are letting proceed plans for new ports being built to export coal to other countries, despite the connection between climate change and coal's big role in CO2 emissions.

  • at the end, Krauthammer talks about how Romney/Ryan will return the country to the Reagan legacy, only after saying that Clinton consolidated the Reagan trajectory. I'm amazed that he seems to think that the government intervention Obama (and Bush) implemented was done for any other reason than to salvage a free-fall economy that was the true legacy of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush trajectory. The basic players and dynamics are still in place, doing the same things that they were doing before Obama, just with a few trillion dollars of taxpayor money disappeared so they can continue to play the same game.

There certainly is no evidence of the social contract in Romney/Ryan, which, after all is based on the premise that in order to live in a society, an individual must cede certain individual rights out of consideration to others, knowing that the benefits of the group stepping in to help the individual outweighs the ceding of those individual rights. I think that Hurricane Sandy has reminded folks of the basic benefits of the social contract, which is why Obama is getting a last minute boost in the polls.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Since when has the health industry been a free market operation? It's been an increasingly regulated industry whose players have adapted to every "reform" by becoming even more efficient money concentrating machines. The pharmaceutical, hospital and insurance industries have been at the public trough since way before Obamacare and its only because of their individual and collective greed that healthcare reform was needed in the first place. I don't see the AHA as changing that equation much, except pulling more folks into the system in order to make its services more accessible, with the potential to make it more affordable if serious reforms are implemented at some point.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

But I don't see how deregulating the fee for service basis for medical reimbursement will prevent or turnaround the widespread concentration of wealth and decreased service accessibility that has characterized either the pre- or post-Obama health care industry. Maybe if you cap the amount that pharmaceuticals and medical professionals make, turning them into salaried professionals along the lines of the Kaiser Permanente model, and couple it with financial incentives for improving access for disadvantaged populations, you might have a chance at controlling the runaway inflation and abuse, but that certainly doesn't sound like government control would decrease. Take away the government control and I just see reduced access for the vast majority of folks, which I think is plain wrong in a helping profession like the health industry is supposed to be. If you have a pathway that leads to a more equitable, cost contained and reasonable outcome, by all means share it. I certainly don't see Romney's "solution" as being anything but returning to the old out-of-control system that preceded Obamacare, with a few window dressings like keeping kids on parent's insurance.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Health care costs don't go up because competition is restricted by the government--don't know where you're getting that idea. The system has basically two models: fee for service, and managed care as far as I can see. Neither of them are based on the free market. The health industry has responded to the fee for service model by charging for as many tests, diagnostics and treatments as a given diagnosis will allow, while the managed care model rewards withholding diagnostics and treatments in order to keep the greatest percentage of allowables for a given diagnosis and cherry picking patients for their health, leaving the sicker patients who are more expensive to treat for Medicaid. The only competition involved in either system is to either maximize the number of treatments you can charge or minimize the number of expenses you have to make to keep the largest percentage of allowables provided.

If you are saying to throw out both of these models for a completely free market based on competition, I really don't know what that would look like or operate. We're not selling cars here; we're keeping folks healthy, fixing them up and keeping them alive. Those are very different propositions than selling widgets for a profit.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

So you're saying that all we have to do is take our emotions--and the government--out of health care and it will all take care of itself through the miracle of the free market? First of all, Americans already waste 6-700 BILLION dollars a year on unnecessary medical tests, drugs and procedures according to the National Academies of Science study; if you take away the government interventions, you actually think that this figure will go down? I think you believe in the magic of the free market, not the miracle of it. When I see what deregulating campaign contributions have done to the cost of elections, and look at how folks are already inundated with pharmaceutical ads, I shudder to think what your deregulated "free market" would be like. They already prey on folks emotions big time, so I can't imagine how much worse it would be if you took the governmental restraints away. To assume that folks will look dispassionately at their own health and the health of their friends and families without emotions playing a huge part is not just naive; it's a fundamental misunderstanding of how the marketplace has always worked.

And I think if you think that the cell phone industry is an example of relatively free markets, then you need to go back to economics 100, not 101.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Sorry, I just don't buy it. First of all, way too many consumers really don't know what's important and not important in their health management, so they really are at the mercy of the medical industry for guidance as to what test/diagnosis/procedure/followup is an elective, which is really important, and which is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, which category any given medical procedure fits into depends on the age, illness, prognosis, support network that is available for each person. We're not just talking about a transaction whose value us based on free market dynamics; we're talking about an area where there need to be guidelines, where there needs to be research, where there needs to be multiple considerations that the average consumer is ill-equipped to handle well This leaves them as vulnerable to the unscrupulous or the uninformed as the average voter is who depends on learning about the candidates purely by watching ads on TV. And this is generalizing way less than your generalization that millions of folks would be able to take care of their own health because it would just require a few more decisions, something they could handle.

Without the government, in direct consultation with the industries and academia coming up with regularly reviewed protocol and standards, the health care industry would cost even more, waste even more, and be much more dangerous. And if you weren't addressing the role emotions play in choosing healthcare in this country, then you have just thrown out a major player in how the system works and has developed and will always be an inextricably fundamental part of the marketplace. It also explains how you think that healthcare transactions can be like any other economic transaction, when indeed each transaction is tied to an incredibly complex and dynamic web of other transactions, most of which have a major emotional component.

And the provider almost always has an advantage over the consumer due to their understanding of the system, of their understanding of the body and its physiological processes, and due to their ability to be both the diagnoser of the problem, the one who recommends the way to alleviate the problem, and the recipient of the money from the consumer who is provided the cure. The Hippocratic Oath was created with this understanding as a corrective: at first do no harm. But what has been built up as the health industrial complex goes way beyond being able to be regulated by this admonition, and as a representative for the people, government will always play a critical and essential role in regulating what takes place.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

Did you hear anything I said? Do you not believe that there is an inherent conflict of interest in a system where the person making the prescription is also the one (plus the company he/she works for) who benefits financially from that diagnosis/prescription/treatment? How do you propose to regulate the health care industry if there is nobody watching, setting ethical and criminal boundaries of what is acceptable and what is not, and giving the consumer not only protection but a venue for grievance if not the government? Who else do you expect to provide research monies for things like immunizations where there is very little financial return for the amount invested to develop and disseminate the vaccines? Or to do the heavy lifting for folks who have a rare disorder that won't provide a big enough market for the big boys to make a profit on developing a cure/management protocol?

Furthermore, I never said that competition and market forces don't exist. I said that this is not a "free market capitalism" setting, but there is fierce competition for really big bucks that are available to those who can figure out how to access the money, and once you figure that out, the harder and faster you can crank out the qualifying service, the richer you get. Or the cheaper you can provide the managed care service, the more you get to keep. This leads to folks walking away from providing one kind of service toward providing another kind because of the profit margins involved, not the value of the service, the need, or, dare I say, from pressure from a competitor. So given this finely tuned money machine, for you to say that all we have to do is get government out of the picture and let the free market take over? Talk about ignoring reality....

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Windemere 1 year, 8 months ago

Mostly dead on, Charles. (Though not sure about the "most important election" point.) Romney has little chance of winning, and he's not ideal, but he's a better choice than Obama .

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fiddleback 1 year, 8 months ago

*dead on arrival

It's Sunday morning--aren't supposed to be waking up in the rugged arms of Jason Sudekis after spending the night prancing around his living room demanding sweets?

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

All you need to do is open your eyes and look at the economic path Barry is taking the country - Greece. For that fact alone anyone with an ounce of sanity should avoid voting for the current socialist in chief and let someone / anyone with even a basic understanding of business / economics take over.

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 8 months ago

I see nothing in either candidate's agenda that is even remotely close to challenging the big boys getting bigger and the rest of us sitting increasingly on the sidelines. Why you put your faith in Romney to do otherwise is beyond me. Romney is at least as beholden as Obama, and the multinationals have both bases completely covered to do pretty much whatever they want as far as I can see.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

The social contract isn't at stake-- The New GOP (Grand Old Plutocracy) would just narrow the focus of its beneficiaries to the plutocrats of the 0.1%.

1

1 year, 8 months ago

"This time it might actually be true."

@LOL. There is no way he believes this to be true. Mitt was a liberal governor of a deeply blue state, who designed and enacted the very program there that CK finds so horrifying about Obama's term. Mitt was for abortion rights before he was against them and against gun rights before he was for them. This northern Republican is far more liberal (in the New Deal sense) than the Democratic governor of Arkansas ever was.

I wonder if it will take conservatives 5 years of a Romney presidency - as it did in the case of Bush - to discover that, comforting words and wishful thinking aside, he's not really a conservative.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

He's a plutocrat, not a conservative. Just like Bush.

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1 year, 8 months ago

Perhaps, though when nearly all politicians are plutocrats - no matter the party, the nation, or even the era - the word serves merely as an epithet rather than a descriptor.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

The difference is a matter of degree, I agree-- you can't get the nomination of either major party without satisfying the plutocratic lever pullers that control each that their interests will be protected-- Obamacare is a prime example of the way the interests of Big Health, Big Pharma and Big Insurance were protected, while making marginal improvements in the healthcare system. And his refusal to hold Wall Street accountable for their criminal activities that trashed the economy (for everyone but themselves) is yet another.

But the difference between the two candidates is not insignificant. Despite Obama's obvious fealty to the powers that be, he's still somewhat of outsider. Romney is fully one of them, and would be worse on any and every measure that's important to the average person.

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Windemere 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh my goodness, Bozo and I might, sort of, agree on something.

Romney is a better choice than Obama because it seems he is more likely to reign in the size, spending and power of the federal government. For those who see out of control Federal spending and the debt as the #1 issue (or possibly #2, next to national defense), Romney appears to be the better choice. Don't bother throwing out examples of Repubs spending irresponsibly just like Dems, everyone knows that is true. But the question is which candidate in this election is most likely to tackle the problems?

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grammaddy 1 year, 8 months ago

Most likely the one who has actually LIVED those problems. Not the one born with the silver spoon in his mouth.

1

deec 1 year, 8 months ago

Yeah, it's not like he tied the dog to the car roof for 12 hours or anything.

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KSWingman 1 year, 8 months ago

Nope, but Seamus (Romney's dog) was unharmed and lived to be a happy old Irish Setter. Obama's Chocolate Lab wasn't so lucky.

deec says, "Riding in a pet carrier is bad. Being killed and eaten is good."

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deec 1 year, 8 months ago

I said no such thing. Why do you feel it necessary to make things up and attribute them to others?

However, I don't see any difference between eating Porky Pig, Henny Penny, Bessie the cow or Lassie. Different cultures consider different animals as food.

Forcing a sick pet to ride on top of a car for 12 hours doesn't seem to be the behavior of a person who loves their pet.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/mitt-romneys-dog-on-the-car-roof-story-still-proves-to-be-his-critics-best-friend/2012/03/14/gIQAp2LxCS_story.html

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Neither Romney nor Obama will significantly reduce the deficit or the debt in the next four years (or even the next eight, in Romney's case.) The plutocrats have done quite well for themselves in racking up these deficits over the last 30 years, so why would they change course now?

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

Because at the rate Barry is going there will be no USA in '16

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Yea, yea, we know-- no black man, and certainly none with a D after his name, is capable of anything but pure incompetent evil.

Or is it evil incompetence?

Quick, go turn on Fox News or Rush Or Beck and clarify that for us, could you? (not that you ever turn them off.)

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Windemere 1 year, 8 months ago

Completely unsupported use of the race card. What in Armstrong's comment said or implied "evil"? Kind of pathetic and desperate. I guess haters will hate.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

That's the sum total of his entire postings here. Get a clue.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 8 months ago

Yeah, Armie, best round up the women of your compound and lock yourselves tight in your bunker. Pull those covers tight over your eyes and make sure to do nothing to better your situation, because that'd just prove yourself wrong. Wait for the next dispatch from Teabag Central on how to obstruct or overthrow.

Meanwhile, the rest of us from both sides of the aisle will get back to business, working together and helping one another to make this country great and take advantage of the economic, social and personal freedoms we possess in the land of milk and honey!

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Romneyism by Robert Reich

http://robertreich.org/post/34910261055

  1. Corporations are the basic units of society. Corporations are people, and the overriding purpose of an economy is to maximize corporate profits. When profits are maximized, the economy grows fastest. This growth benefits everyone in the form greater output, better products and services, and higher share prices.

  2. Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits. If workers do not contribute to that goal, they should be fired. If they cannot then find other work that helps maximize profits in another company, their wages must be too high, and they must therefore accept steadily lower wages until they find a job.

  3. All factors of production – capital, physical plant and equipment, workers – are fungible and should be treated the same. Any that fail to deliver high competitive returns should be replaced or discarded. This keeps an economy efficient. Fairness is and should be irrelevant.

  4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth. They should not be used as excuses to constrain the pursuit of profits through regulation.

  5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in. Any person with enough intelligence and ambition can make a fortune. Failure to do so is sign of moral and intellectual inferiority.

  6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled. They should not receive food stamps, Medicaid, or any other form of social subsidy. Coddling leads to a weaker society and a weaker economy.

  7. Taxes are inherently bad because they constrain profit-making. It is the right and responsibility of individuals and corporations to exploit every tax loophole they (and their tax attorneys) can find in order to pay the lowest taxes possible.

  8. Politics is a game whose only purpose is to win. Any means used to win the game is legitimate even if it involves lying and cheating, as long as it gains more supporters than it loses.

  9. Democracy is dangerous because it is forever vulnerable to the votes of a majority intent on capturing the wealth of the successful minority, on whom the economy depends. The rich must therefore do whatever is necessary to prevent the majority from exercising its will, including spending large sums of money on lobbyists and political campaigns. The most virtuous among the rich will go a step further and run for president.

  10. The three most important aspects of life are family, religion, and money. Patriotism is a matter of guarding our economy from unfair traders and undocumented immigrants, rather than joining together for the common good. We owe nothing to one another as citizens of the same society.

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Windemere 1 year, 8 months ago

Whiny and ascribing opinions to Romney that he doesn't actually have. How astute. Thanks for sharing.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

Sounds perfectly accurate to me. Too bad neither you nor Romney are honest enough to acknowledge it.

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Kirk Larson 1 year, 8 months ago

Who can tell what opinions Rmoney has. He's had them all.

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1 year, 8 months ago

You know, if half the things Democrats said about Republicans were true, I'd probably be a Republican.

That said, here's the real issue with Reich's straw man:* 5...Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in.

Mid-witted academics like Reich simply cannot abide the fact that society's rewards (including and perhaps especially admiration) tend to gravitate toward people who make things and move things and dig things, rather than to those with terminal degrees who sit around yammering about how much better everyone else's life would be were they in charge.

Since the days of Plato, it seems, the chattering classes have held an innate belief in cognitive meritocracy - what might be called a talknocracy - that thinking about things and talking about things and writing about things is more valuable then actually making things. And it irks them to no end that most regular people happily live their lives not caring about what their intellectual betters know is in their best interest. They go to work and raise their kids and pay not the slightest mind to Robert B. Reich. It's maddening.

You can see that wounded egghead arrogance in the oft-quoted book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" in which Thomas Frank is just sure that all these dummy voters would be so much better off if they'd just vote in their interest as he defines it. You can see it in Ed Schultz' exasperation that 40% of union households supported Scott Walker in the recall. And good God, I nearly peed myself reading Eisenreich's "Nickled and Dimed;" the clueless arrogance almost dripped from the very pages. You can see it in Obama's "I'm always struck by people who think, well, [my success] must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there." In every case, academics are just furious that the one-percenters get all the rewards, while academics and journalists and technocrats - the second-percenters - do not.

Yes, there are a lot of smart people out there, but none as smart and therefore as important and as valuable as academics. Just ask them.

  • It's a straw man because Mitt is every bit the technocrat that Mike Dukakis was when he sat in the same chair. While Reich and Mitt would argue about how the government ought to tell everyone to buckle up, neither believes that people ought to have the right to drive unbuckled if they wish. Reich's pablum is almost word-for-word what my Iranian communist econ teacher taught me back in the 80s - and it made for great classroom discussion, even as it had exactly zero application anywhere else.
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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

That was a very long-winded ad hominem attack, but little else. That said, it was well written enough to come from a member of the chattering classes.

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1 year, 8 months ago

It's not ad hominem at all - mere criticism of a person is not ad hominem; the criticism must be irrelevant. If I said Reich was incorrect because he was a divorce', that might be ad hominem, but to argue that he regurgitates quarter-century old academic memes because he is an academic is powerfully explanatory. He is saying this because these are the kinds of things academics are trained to say, whether they adhere to reality or not. A comparison of point #1 with point #10 will show that he's merely throwing poo to see what will stick. As for number #7, show me the person who believes they do not have a right to "exploit loopholes" (a nasty way of saying "take perfectly legal deductions") on their taxes. It's mere rhetoric designed to manipulate the emotions of those looking for that kind of reassurance. Talkocracy.

When I say that he is a mid-wit, that is also not ad hominem, it merely explains why you will never hear from him - nor from other mid-wit hacks like Krauthammer or Leonard Pitts - an unexpected thought. They are all so depressingly conventional because they lack that intellectual firepower that occasionally causes the thinker to veer off on a wild tangent. Genuinely smart people read crazy. Half the time it's because they are jumping steps the reader can't follow, and the other half of the time it's because they are really crazy.

Reich will never scare you like that, but rest assured, he's convinced he's smart enough to organize the work of nations, and convincing enough that his readers feel that way as well.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

"It's not ad hominem at all - mere criticism of a person is not ad hominem; the criticism must be irrelevant."

It was, indeed, irrelevant.

It appears that your primary interest wasn't in criticizing the content of what he had to say, but rather in asserting your intellectual superiority over a "mid-wit."

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1 year, 8 months ago

Well, at least I don't claim to be smart enough to tell you how you should vote.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 8 months ago

It doesn't take intelligence to do that, as is so often demonstrated on this forum.

BTW, I didn't vote for either Romney or Obama.

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1 year, 8 months ago

"it was well written enough to come from a member of the chattering classes."

BTW, thank you.

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Kirk Larson 1 year, 8 months ago

Thirty years ago began the Class War against the Middle Class. Suppress wages, raid pensions and benefits, bust unions, cut taxes for the rich, ship jobs overseas, basically the republican business model. Fight back America! Revenge is called for and the best revenge is a vote for President Barack Obama.

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1 year, 8 months ago

Pure symbolic action - Fearing a reaction - Million puppets thrown away -

Sucking up to power - March and whine and cower - Get a job another day -

Fleabaggers surround me - Lunacy has found me - Cannot stop Moonbattery -

-- Metallica, "Moonbattery"

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

From Cappy "Fight back America! Revenge is called for and the best revenge is a vote for President Barack Obama. " I see you and your ilk are now threatening riots ( via twitter ) if Barry loses.

Gotta love the party of caring and compassion, hypocracy at its best / worst...

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Kirk Larson 1 year, 8 months ago

Caring and compassion, yes. But we have to defend ourselves from folks who are actively trying to make us wage slaves and collaborators like you.

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1 year, 8 months ago

It's not only out of Marx but out of the antebellum South. Southern slaveholders found few better rhetorical devices than to compare people who were voluntarily employed with those who were involuntarily so.

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Kirk Larson 1 year, 8 months ago

But wage slave is a capitalist ideal for employees. Keep 'em making just enough so they can't advance or strike out on their own. Make things like health care so costly and with the ability to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions that they'll keep their head down rather than risk losing coverage for their families. Think how many potential entrepreneurs never followed their dream because of a sick child. That's another way the ACA will help the economy.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 8 months ago

I don't see where Cappy threatened rioting in any manner. And as you were the one predicting America's eminent demise if President Obama is reelected, you must be in on some good inside dirt about upcoming plans from the Teabag trenches.

Not to worry, though, we as a nation will show you plenty of caring and compassion after President Obama wins. We'll even let you and Romney come along and sweep up all the tickertape in the streets if you're looking for work after being returned to the private sector.

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

Cappy, I'm sure the National Guard will be happy to keep you in line, on orders from Presdient Romey of course. Pastor - the news is on Yahoo regarding the raggedy masses wanting to riot.

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 8 months ago

"raggedy masses" is no way to refer to your Teabagging friends, no matter how riotous they appear to be trending toward.

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Armstrong 1 year, 8 months ago

Laugh now, the error is ending Tuesday

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Pastor_Bedtime 1 year, 8 months ago

306.9 / 231.1 soak in it. RMoney: 14.9% chance of winning.

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booyalab 1 year, 8 months ago

For those of you who might be wondering "What is this "social contract"? Why have I never seen it before?" Here's a foolproof method for finding one:

You will need-

  1. A young virgin
  2. A meadow on the edge of a deep forest
  3. A golden bridle
  4. Some hunters

The virgin must sit beneath a tree in the meadow on the edge of a deep forest and sing softly. If a social contract is nearby, it will come and rest its head on her lap. Then the virgin must place the golden bridle on its head so the hunters can capture it. But if the social contract still doesn't show up, there's always the possibility that the virgin didn't believe strongly enough or maybe it was too cloudy and the social contract wanted to stay in bed. The main thing is to know that it's always somewhere in the forest, majestically posed on a grassy mound, the sun glinting through a clearing. Mysterious. Proud and protective.

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

I see bozo learned a new word he intends to use to death. Does he have a word-a-day calendar?

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 8 months ago

"About 44 million people in this country have no health insurance, and another 38 million have inadequate health insurance. This means that nearly one-third of Americans face each day without the security of knowing that, if and when they need it, medical care is available to them and their families."

http://www.pbs.org/healthcarecrisis/uninsured.html

There are about 315 Million Americans.

The right wing nuts like to complain about the cost of health care but they are not telling the truth to the American people about the scope of the problem that exists. Simply repealing Obamacare does nothing to fix the problem.

Just like global warming, the right wing is trying to convince people that 82 million underinsured or non insured Americans simply do not exist.

The Republican Party only tells lies. They cannot seem to tell the truth.

The mystery in all of this is why? What is the motivation other than to retain their wealth and power at the expense of average Americans.

Romney is a takeover specialist that raided companies and stripped them and shipped jobs to China. He is an absolute phony. Not a businessman at all but no better than a crook so why do people believe that he is going to help businesses. If we believe that, we should let Bernie Madoff out of prison and put him in charge of the Securities and Exchange Commission. It is full of crooks and con artists anyway.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 8 months ago

Bozo on the Bus originally posted this link about how Romney made his money. It is the best article I have read on Romney.

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829?page=4

I think everyone needs to read this.

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Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

rollingstone. That's not going to be biased at all. LOL.

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jayhawklawrence 1 year, 8 months ago

Apple, the world's most valuable company, pays only 1.9 percent in taxes and leaves a staggering $82 billion parked in offshore accounts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/apple-paid-only-2-percent-income-tax-on-368-billion-in-earnings-outside-us-in-fiscal-2012/2012/11/04/d45c126c-26b9-11e2-ac64-5d52a2c5953e_story.html

This information underscores what Obama was trying to explain about the problem in our US tax structure that is allowing super rich corporations to avoid taxes.

These tax loopholes were created by a Washington culture of "pay to play" politics and back room deals that have become the norm in a country where a class of incredibly selfish and wealthy people disregard average Americans as a class of "serfs" to be taken advantage. They calculate our value by how much we cost per hour and according to that formula, Chinese labor is much more valuable then their own countrymen.

This culture invites corruption.

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

Looks like somebody has disappeared again.

This question of Obama eating dog meat as a response to Romney's actions seems quite off to me.

I read about it - Obama ate dog meat as a child in Indonesia, where apparently that's part of the culture. Romney strapped a sick dog on top of his car as an adult in a country that frowns on that sort of thing.

If I've ever seen a good example of a "false equivalency", this would be it.

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Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

In Soviet N Korea, dog makes you ride on roof.

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Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

"If I've ever seen a good example of a "false equivalency", this would be it."

True that. In one instance, the dog lived a long life. In the other, the dog was slaughtered. Given a choice, I'd rather ride on top of a car than be killed.

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Kirk Larson 1 year, 8 months ago

In one instance, the President, as a child was fed some food with no intent on his part. In the other, Rmoney, a grown man, with an apparently stunted sense of empathy, intentionally strapped a dog in a pet carrier to the roof of a speeding car until the dog became sick from it.

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jafs 1 year, 8 months ago

As a long-time vegetarian, I agree completely. Are you a vegetarian?

Somehow I can't blame Obama as a 6 year old for eating what he was served, but I can certainly blame Romney as an adult for his decisions.

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