Free Markets, Free People

Americans don’t pay government for the ‘privilege’ of being Americans

There’s a quote going around from Timothy Geithner that again demonstrates why he has no business heading the Treasury Department.

In it he says things which are hard to attribute to a Treasury Secretary but certainly indicative of someone who could be labeled a political hack.

The quote in question:

"That’s the kind of balance you need," said Geithner. "Why is that the case? Because if you don’t try to generate more revenues through tax reform, if you don’t ask, you know, the most fortunate Americans to bear a slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American, then you have to – the only way to achieve fiscal sustainability is through unacceptably deep cuts in benefits for middle class seniors, or unacceptably deep cuts in national security." [emphasis mine]

James Pethokoukis literally takes this quote apart line by line and makes the technical argument as to why it is poppycock.  It’s worth the read.

However, I’m most interested in those phrases I’ve emphasized in a more cultural/political/philosophical vein.

Since when do Americans, any Americans, have to pay government for the “privilege of being an American?”

I can’t think of a quote that more starkly differentiates the philosophies of right and left than Geithner’s.  At its base it points to a philosophy that puts the state and collectivism before the individual and liberty.  It is the polar opposite of the philosophy on which this country was founded.  It is a mindset which must constantly be exposed and rejected. 

tim-geithner-beavis-3-e1273328553646We, as Americans, don’t pay anyone for any such “privilege”, and certainly not government.  But the Elizabeth Warrens, Tim Geithners and Barack Obamas of world believe otherwise.

That statement tells one all they need to know about a philosophy that drives this current administration and much of the left.  Americans, apparently, exist to serve government (and pay whatever cost government deems necessary) and not the other way around.  The fact that they’re only attempting to use the “rich” in this case doesn’t mask the fact that they don’t limit this belief to only the “rich”.  It’s just that politically, that’s all they can get away with at the moment.  Make no mistake, they are elitists and collectivists and the path they want to take this country down is a path of limited liberty and no return.

As to the final emphasized phrase, note the false dichotomy.  It is as fallacious as any argument you’ll ever see.  The “only” way to achieve fiscal sustainability is by cutting only those two programs?

BS!

There are entire executive departments, agencies and bureaus which could be dismissed and cut before either of those other areas had to be touched.  There are literally billions of dollars that could be saved by reducing government at all levels.  To pretend that the only solution is to make “deep cuts” in benefits for “middle class seniors” or “national security” is the biggest crock of crap yet foisted on the American people since Al Gore invented his get rich quick scheme called global warming.

Obviously both of the areas mentioned by Geithner are areas in which cuts must and will be made.   But it is pure and unadulterated sophistry to pretend that they alone will suffer if we don’t tax the ‘rich’ for the ‘privilege of being an American’.

I can’t tell you how much Geithner’s words rankle me.  It is people like he, Obama and Warren that must be shown the door (or, in Warren’s case, never let in the door), politically speaking.  They are a danger to liberty and freedom.  The philosophy under which they operate is unacceptable and as I’ve said many times, must be defeated. 

If you value your liberty at all, I suspect you feel the same way.  How we got to this point, where high government officials feel comfortable saying such nonsense should bother you.   It points to a tacit acceptance of their view by many.  To those who love liberty, their view is unacceptable.  It just makes you wonder how many of us are left that actually do value and love liberty, doesn’t it?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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229 Responses to Americans don’t pay government for the ‘privilege’ of being Americans

  • This has been a banner week of the Obami…starting with Pres. Pond-Scum on down…beclowning themselves.

    EXCELLENT fodder for commercials come the general.

    And, to restate an oft-stated point…there CAN BE no justification for Americans to pay nothing for their government. As a matter of simple sound civics, all should pay.

    • @Ragspierre Funny how Reagan was proud of taking the poor off tax roles, saying it was crazy to have them pay taxes and then get benefits that outweigh the taxes they pay. Reagan’s thinking was that it was better to have a higher level under which people pay no federal taxes – that would help them create their own opportunities. So you’re saying Reagan was wrong, had no justification for his view, and violated simple civics. I thought you guys liked the gipper?

      • Reagan was great and all, but he was wrong on a lot of things, That was one of them. By the way, only small minded leftists believe that their leaders can do no wrong.@scotterb

        • @kyle8 I happen to think Reagan was right here (though to be fair, I voted for Reagan in 1980 and was on the convention floor in Detroit when he gave his acceptance speech). My main criticism of Reagan is his embrace of debt to hyper stimulate the economy already recovering due to oil price drops helped start us on the path that led to where we got in 2008. It was a bi-partisan effort, to be sure. Given how intensely criticized Obama is from the left (Republican lite, etc.), you must think most leftists are definitely not small minded!

        • @scotterb

          ” My main criticism of Reagan is his embrace of debt to hyper stimulate the economy ”

          Nonsense, as those of us who were actually paying attention back then know.

      • @scotterb “…saying it was crazy to have them pay taxes and then get benefits that outweigh the taxes they pay.”

        Um…Scotty…

        Take a breath. You are getting a bit oxygen-deprived…

  • I knew something was up when Obama came up with …

    “This is one of the biggest things I’m going to be pushing back on this year, this notion that this is somehow class warfare, that we’re trying to stir up envy,” Obama said. “Nobody envies rich people, everybody wants to be rich. Everybody aspires to be rich, and everybody understands you’ve got work hard to be successful. That’s the American way.”

    This “envy” thing must have polled really bad in some focus group. But that meant that something had to replace “envy.”
    So when I saw the Geithner statement yesterday, I knew that the latest “talking points” must have been distributed around the Administration. I found the “privilege of being an American” breathtaking, but why must only the “rich” be so “privileged” ?

    We new seem to have rights to “gay marriage,” a “living wage,” to “life,” to “”choice,” to “die,” to “know,” to “forget,” to “privacy,” to “be forgotten,” to “education,” to “work,” to “play,” to “bear arms,” to “carry,” to ‘bare legs,” to “health care,” to “research,” to “read,” to “food,” to “organise and to bargain collectively,” to “hike,” to “vote” (even when dead),” to “counsel,” to “free speech,” to “protest,” and to “remain silent.” But alas, citizenship is now a “privilege.”

    • @Neo_ But alas, citizenship is now a “privilege.” >>>>>>>>>>>>> Heyyyyy….if we have to “pay” for these benefits, then did Timmy and Scotty and Baracky just make a case that illegal immigrants should be treated like grand felons? Look at all the services that we “pay” for access to that they’re getting for free! Ok, I’ll play by these rules. Lets start rounding all the service thieves up!

  • Geez, talk about over reacting and misreading words. You get a stable political system, rule of law, protections, an infrastructure, an open market and a whole bunch of things that you don’t get in many other parts of the world. Some people are able to use the benefits America’s system offers to get a lot of money — asking them to pay a higher portion is only fair and just. They couldn’t have made that kind of money on their own, they needed to be part of a stable social system. Geithner is right, and this will ring true with the American people.

    • @scotterb See millionaires and billionaires, Russian.

      What an idiot.

      Note that he cannot make any argument that it is sound civics for half of us to pay nothing for our Federal government.

    • @scotterb 50% of Americans now pay no taxes. “Fair and just” indeed.

      • @The Shark That goes to show how poor they’ve become – to ask them to pay the cost for getting the deficit under control while those who won during the bubble years would be perverse – it would be funny if the GOP tried to make that argument (they’d play into Obama’s hands). That would be class warfare on the poor by the wealthy. Also note how letting the rich keep money did not make them job creators in a sustainable way – rather, they chased ‘something for nothing’ – bubbles – that led to a major economic crisis. Better to have taxed more and used the money for investments and infrastructure, with regulations to avoid the bubbles and the out of control debt.

        • Damn you say some foolish things. It has nothing to do with people becomming poor. It has to do with two changes in the tax code in the last twenty years that removed the tax burden pretty much on all income below 50,000. . . And wether we had a bubble or not has no bearing on the progressivity or “fairness” of the tax code. . . These are always the type of non-arguments you like to make.@scotterb

        • @scotterb ANOTHER idiot statement. WHO do you think inflated the “bubble”? Nobody bitched and moaned when they rode the “bubble” UP, fool. You pays you money, you takes your chances.

          ONLY people like yourself fail to understand that there is a “down” to SOME “ups”. It is a VERY democratic formula.

        • @scotterb Man, you’re good at linking unlinked things. No, you’re awesome at it.

        • As if the tax table is some natural law like gravity and enough ‘poor’ finally managed to be created to reach a mid point of the pay population.

          Now, try and imagine how quantum ANYTHING looks to this guys brain if he can draw these kinds of linkages, this tax table one, the idea that American Business couldn’t be 99% privately owned if Barack Obama was a socialist – it’s mind boggling the links he makes.

        • @scotterb “Also note how letting the rich keep money did not make them job creators in a sustainable way – rather, they chased ‘something for nothing’ – bubbles – that led to a major economic crisis. Better to have taxed more and used the money for investments and infrastructure, with regulations to avoid the bubbles and the out of control debt.”

          ***letting the rich keep money***

          ***job creators in a sustainable way***

          ***better to have taxed more and used the money for investments***

          That’s pretty bad, Scott, even for you. You’re starting to remind me of Al Gore with the elementary school tone, especially when he spoke to seniors. Are you developing breasts like his, too?

        • @martinmcphillips “Moobs” I believe the young people call them. They are the future, you know. The culture is changing…blah, blah, tripey, blaa….facebook.

        • @Ragspierre The bubble hurt the entire country, even people who were not actively “playing” the bubble. Better public policy would have prevented that. The point: lower taxes did not help the economy, it turned into a bubble economy that did more harm than good. And it was driven by a constant stream of debt from 1981 onwards — both governmental and private, as well as deregulation of the financial sector.

        • @martinmcphillips You can’t refute it because it’s true. Yes, I’ve give public lectures on this and that tone may come through at times (too bad the power points can’t). Meanwhile Romney and Santorum go hurling insults while GOP bigwigs realize their party is imploding. You guys on the ideological fringe seem not to recognize you’re on the fringe. You have no clue what’s happening, do you?

        • @scotterb Actually, Erp, ONLY “PUBLIC POLICY” made the “bubble” possible. Just as ONLY public policy instruments made the Great Depression “GREAT”.

          But you IGNORE the valid observation: the bubble was a democratic occurance. LOTS of Americans happily rode it UP.

          ONLY a FEW were protected when it came down, and that by BIG GOVERNMENT.

          So, perversions going UP, perversions coming DOWN. And you are the fan-boi of the perverters.

        • @Ragspierre Ah, the dishonest post-modernist strikes again. I say “better public policy” could have prevented the bubble and you twist it to make it seem like “ONLY” your caps “public policy made the bubble possible.” Then you give meaningless claims like ‘lots…rode it up’, ignoring the point that the entire economy was hurt, not just people who rode it up or down — it was damaging to the entire country. Better public policy could have prevented the bubble economies — less debt, more financial regulation, stricter control over the mortgage industry and especially derivative trade. That’s a very common argument from experts who analyzed this, and you know it. Rather than honestly dealing with this, you want to say that I said “ONLY” public policy made this possible. Utterly dishonest.

          Consider: Joey gets chicken pox and dies from a complication. I say a vaccination could have prevented him from getting chicken pox. Rags says “Scott says ONLY not getting a vaccination made it possible for him to get chicken pox.” No, lots of things made it possible — a vaccination simply could have prevented it.

        • @scotterb And then you’d be the first to want to sue if the vaccination did the 1 in a million on the kid and killed him.

        • @scotterb Goo ness. I’ve been away for a while, and Scotty has gone on the offensive.

          “It was damaging to the entire economy”.

          Yep. And it takes BIG GOVERNMENT to cause that kind of perversion.

          ONLY BIG GOVERNMENT market distortions could cause the kind of perversions we saw in the housing bubble and the resulting financial crisis.

          ONLY the public policy instruments of the FED and the manipulation of an entire currency COULD have resulted in the Great (you saw GREAT, right?) Depression.

          You say a “vaccination simply could have prevented it”.

          I say YOUR “vaccination”…and LOTS of other “medicine” by PUBLIC POLICY…gave us BOTH the GREAT depression and the housing/financial crisis.

          Without them, NO SUCH IMMENSE catacylisms COULD have occured.

          I history, they NEVER DID.

        • @Ragspierre Scott’s trying to pretend government policy to increase house ownership by people who couldn’t qualify for home loans had nothing to do with this.

          That was all just, uh, well, it had nothing to do with it!

        • @scotterb You don’t know the first thing about any of this, from several different directions.

        • @scotterb

          “Yes, I’ve give public lectures on this”

          You actually repeat this drivel in public? Where other people can hear you? Oh, Lordy. Hey, how about putting it on youtube?

        • @scotterb
          ” That’s a very common argument from experts who analyzed this, and you know it”

          Ah, yes. The very same ‘experts’ who were amazingly silent while the bubble was inflating.

          “you want to say that I said “ONLY” public policy made this possible”

          Jeez. The reading comprehension of a sixteen year old fifth grader.

        • @timactual You can still find the Krugman piece where he militates for inflating a housing bubble. Which, shortly thereafter, happened.

        • @looker No, I actually am very opposed to how litigious our society has become. My view on lawyers is about like William Shakespeare’s. I was pre-law but had the luck of working in a law firm as an undergrad and realized how much I did not want to sell my soul for that kind of life. I changed in my senior year and surprised a lot of people by going to Johns Hopkins SAIS instead of Law School. So no, looker, I would not sue.

        • @Ragspierre Sorry, Rags, you’re post-modernist semantics are failing. The market made the perversions, the market and greed caused the rise in derivatives trade. That market was unregulated, that’s why it went out of control. Blaming government is demonstrably false in this case. To say only the government caused market failures is laughable bit of telling “the big lie.” Your ideology is old, stagnant and irrational. Your means of defending it – rhetorical games – shows your intellectual bankruptcy (cue myweeklycrime standing up sputtering ‘he said something bad about someone! See See See, he does say something bad about people sometimes’).

        • @looker Looker, the claim that government policy trying to promote home ownership caused all of this has been thoroughly debunked. The bubble was caused by the market — non-governmental entities decided to create unregulated bonds and bind up mortgages in a way that they thought they were passing on risk. They were driving demand for more mortgages, with no real lending standards. To blame the government shows either that you are so trapped in ideology that you refuse to look at reality and instead fall for slogans, or else you’re just willfully ignorant.

        • @scotterb “…all of this has been thoroughly debunked.”

          That is a lie. Even Bwany Fwank has admitted it.

          There is NO question that BIG GOVERNMENT sent distortions of epic proportions into the market, and the market RATIONALLY responded to PERVERSIONS induced by BIG GOVERNMENT.

        • @Ragspierre Nope, you’re dead wrong Rags. Check out “All the Devils are Here” by Nocera and McLean, or “The End of Wall Street” by Lowenstein. Both will criticize government, government did some things very wrong. That’s what Barney Frank admitted. But to pretend it’s only government is laughable. It wasn’t only government, it wasn’t only the market. The derivative trade that really brought things down wasn’t driven by government policy designed to get people into houses, but by deregulation and a refusal to regulate due to the free market ideology of Summers and Greenspan. Greenspan admitted that his “world view” was wrong: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2009/10/25/greenspans-confession/

        • @scotterb What did I say, idiot? Markets respond RATIONALLY to distortions GOVERMENT induces. You are MISQUOTING Greenspan, and intentionally. That is called a “lie”. Liar.

        • @Ragspierre No, I’m not misquoting Greenspan, and markets did not respond only to government distortions. Trying to blame all problems on the government would be to pretend that markets are magical fairy like creatures who are perfect when left alone. No one who has taken any economics (except maybe a few extremists) would ever claim that. If you read the books I suggested, and watch the Frontline video I point to which SHOWS GREENSPAN MAKING THE QUOTE, you’d learn something. Neither markets nor government are perfect. Markets can’t blame government for all their failures – and in this instance the failure was one of de-regulation or a refusal to regulate.

        • @scotterb Greenspan was EXPRESSLY saying that his historical view of derivatives as risk REDUCTION instruments was proving wrong. Why? Because the GOVERNMENT perversion of the market had created VAST numbers of CRAP mortgages.

          Derivatives had HISTORICALLY been LESS risky…like large insurance pools…and a means to free up liquid capital. GOOD things, you stupid phuc.

          THAT was the context in which Greenspan made his comment. Liar.

        • @Ragspierre No, that his view that “markets get it right” and regulation is to be avoided was wrong. You’re making up context that doesn’t exist, especially your weird claim that government caused all this. You’re a true post-modernist — there is no truth, you simply defend your ideology by twisting words. Very Orwellian.

        • @scotterb So it’s your position that there was no regulation?

        • @Ragspierre Derivatives trade was essentially unregulated. You can see that in the Frontline video linked to in my post on Greenspan, the books I cited above, as well as Michael Lewis’ “The Big Lie.” There were efforts to regulate derivatives trade but they were squashed by the free marketeers of the Clinton Administration. These trades didn’t even need to be reported so no one (except bank insiders) knew the depth and scope of the trade.

          I have seen free marketeers claim that this should be classified as fraud and not market failure. But they got away with it not because of government but because powerful banks have inside information – and when you read the books on how this went down, you can see that even the very top echelon of Wall Street didn’t understand what their derivatives traders had constructed.

        • @scotterb “Derivatives trade was essentially unregulated.”

          Bullshit.

          And derivatives were NOT MORE regulated for the very reasons I recited. They WERE historically LESS risky than the instruments from which they DERIVED.

          Until, of course, the BIG GOVERNMENT distortions of the mortgage market.

          Then you devolve into resort to authority fallacy.

          You are lying respecting Greenspan. He was EXPRESSLY talking about derivatives.

        • @Ragspierre Nope, you’re wrong. In the 90s people saw what was starting and trade to warn that this needed regulation. It was not due to government distortions of the mortgage market, that’s an absurd claim — and one clearly untenable if you read the books I’ve recommended and educated yourself on this. I made a point when this broke to dig in and learn all I could about how this happened. I happen to be one who was warning about the bubble and the unsustainability of the US economy for years — though I didn’t know about the CDOs and CDS’s. Yes, you can criticize government, but this was not caused by government “distortions” by any stretch of the imagination. It was greed, inside information, and banks trying to maximize short term profit. It was ratings agencies refusing to do their work because they didn’t want to lose clients. To say it was “government distortions” is laughable. I’m not going to call you a liar because I think you probably believe it — your ideological faith is strong. You don’t have to post that you’re doing it or let me know, but I urge you to sometime check those books out and learn what really happened. I don’t expect you to change your world view, but you might see that you need to modify it a bit.

        • @scotterb In the 90s, Janet Reno was mau-mauing mortgage lenders to relax their HISTORICALLY SOUND lending practices, moron.

          When you DIAL IN enormous distortions, the market WILL respond. It DID, dumb phuc.

          And I would not wipe my butt with a Nocera book, much less waste time on it unless someone was paying me to fisk it.

        • @scotterb And alas the market was rigged by government Scott. Remember those things you claim that are somehow related, but aren’t, like Obama as a socialist, and American Business being privately held. Well, this is the opposite. The government went in and forced the market to behave a certain way and biased it. The ‘market’ being essentially a life force in itself, reacted to the government finger poking. Had the government not forced the issue of loaning money to risky clients and providing guarantees, the market wouldn’t have happily signed on to losing money. No, all it needed was to believe the bad money loans would be covered.

          Your blame dodging financialists, administration covering hacks, and administration employees can concoct all the studies they want, the roots lay in the loaning of money to people who shouldn’t have gotten loand and the willingness of government to guarantee those loans with everyone else’s wealth.

          Any time government suggests more spending on any program you must ask yourself what their newer, improved product looks like this year to determine where they plan to get the revenue for their expansion. What!!!! they don’t HAVE a product? Why, then where do they get the money?

          Oh my……

        • @scotterb

          “I happen to be one who was warning about the bubble and the unsustainability of the US economy for years”

          Which reminds me of the economists (‘experts’, of course) who predicted 8 of the last 3 recessions.

          The wonderful thing about the business cycle is that eventually all bearish, (and bullish), predictions come true. Thus, anyone can be an economic sage.

        • @scotterb “That market was unregulated….”

          The only unregulated market in the US is maligned as the “black market”, without making distinctions between theft/predation and mutual, consensual exchanges which are technically illegal.

          The government pushed bad mortgages to “level the playing field”. Even the so-called “conservative”, George W. Bush, appealed to the “ownership society”. Barney Frank and his ilk were warned, but they screamed, “Damn the bubble, full speed ahead!”

          Then Chuck Schumer, the Gavrilo Princip of the 2008 crash, used his clout to talk down a bank that his cronies wanted to buy up, knocking over the first domino in a long chain set up by politicians (mostly Democrats, but plenty of Republicans) and the crony capitalists who took advantage of the government guarantees.

        • @scotterb “…the claim that government policy trying to promote home ownership caused all of this has been thoroughly debunked.”

          Take out the weasel word “all” and you’re completely wrong. Propagandists have denied what is obvious to all rational, honest people who looked at the situation.

          There would have been no real market for sub-prime mortgages without the government rules and pressure. The crony capitalists simply exploited the situation created by Uncle Sucker, which provided guarantees which it shouldn’t have. Without those guarantees, most of the loans wouldn’t have existed in the first place.

        • @scotterb “But to pretend it’s only government is laughable.”

          You keep inserting the weasel words “only” and “all”. Why don’t you, instead, address the actual arguments of the people with whom you’re debating?

        • @scotterb “Trying to blame all problems on the government…”

          Again, the weasel word “all”.

        • @myweeklycrime He can’t. So he has to find SOMETHING….

        • @myweeklycrime It’s easier, makes for broader statements, makes your opponents sound unreasonable, unrealistic, and ignorant. Allows for his traditional A or B false choice dilemmas to be posited.

        • @Ragspierre Now you’re trying to claim Janet Reno caused this? LOL! Then you assert “enormous distortions” because of that. Read the books I noted, educate yourself. Your claims are laughable, you either are lying or you don’t understand the situation at all so you’re giving ideological rote.

        • @looker The government did not force loaning to risky clients, that is patently absurd. The big financial institutions demanded more mortgages with more value and got them because they were willing to take all risk off the mortgage brokers and put them in bonds. It was the market, not the government. No matter how many times the right wants to try to bring out the drivel that the government was promoting bad mortgages, it is patently false – and cannot be supported by evidence. Educate yourself looker — or do you prefer the comfort of a simplistic (if misguided) ideology to actually learning the truth!

        • @scotterb Here’s what a lie looks like in the context of this thread, you lying POS…

          “Now you’re trying to claim Janet Reno caused this?”

          I am relating facts, asphole. You can find the documentation yourself. She had a very aggressive role in the process, but nobody said “she caused” it.

        • @myweeklycrime That’s not what caused the run up – it wasn’t driven by government, the big financial institutions pushed aside the government and even Freddie and Fannie (who were far stricter in their lending standards up until 2007, when they decided they needed to mimic the big banks). Educate yourself, blaming the government is fantasy.

        • @Ragspierre No, you’re making vague assertions that do not connect with reality. You’re running around like a goose with your head chopped off, trying hard to avoid confronting facts. Janet Reno was irrelevant. You’re not even in the right decade.

        • @scotterb So, it is your assertion that one day…for no particular reason…INDUSTRY STANDARDS…developed by, you know…THE FLUCKING INDUSTRY…were spontaneously abandoned en masse.

          What a morally and intellectually bankrupt phuc.

        • Clinton administration appointees at agencies
          responsible for enforcing the ECOA and the
          FHA have also indicated an intensified interest
          in the issue of lending discrimination. At the
          Justice Department, Janet Reno appeared at a
          number of high-profile press conferences
          announcing fair-lending settlements. At one
          such press conference in January 1994, announcing
          a settlement with the First National Bank of
          Vicksburg and the Blackpipe State Bank, Reno
          said that “today’s actions demonstrate that we
          will tackle lending discrimination wherever and
          in whatever form it appears. No loan is exempt,
          no bank is immune. For those who thumb their
          nose at us, I promise vigorous enforcement.”

        • But the most interventionist members of the
          Clinton Administration in this area are HUD
          Secretary Henry Cisneros and Assistant
          Secretary Roberta Achtenberg. Cisneros’ department
          has developed rules for lenders that
          encourage them to increase approval rates for
          loans to minority applicants by 20 percent within
          one year; increase minority hiring by 5 percent;
          increase the purchase of goods and services
          from minority and female-owned businesses;
          and adjust compensation structures to
          award staff who effectively serve lower-income
          applicants or those applicants unfamiliar with
          the lending process. Achtenberg, a former civil
          rights lawyer, has pushed for a new arsenal of
          weapons to combat what HUD sees as discrimination,
          including new regulations under the
          FHA. Among these weapons are: new rules for
          government-sponsored enterprises, a program
          to encourage fair-lending agreements between
          lenders and HUD, and a new unit of HUD dedicated
          exclusively to banking issues.

        • @Ragspierre Rags, I can tell you know you’re in trouble when you reach a level of general vagueness that has no meaning – and when you get vulgar and your insults shrill, it shows you’re cornered. I’ve cited the books, explained how and when the CDO and CDS problems emerged, and how these were not tied to (snicker) Janet Reno. Give it up, man, I think you know you’ve lost this.

        • @Ragspierre Over the top – Janet Reno criticizing lending discrimination in 1994 is the problem, not Goldman Sachs and others creating mortgage backed bonds and other obscure financial products that led the country into economic crisis. Your “government caused this” lie is too easy to destroy – even here in a blog friendly to your ideology!

        • @Ragspierre I’m laughing literally now. You are trying to avoid dealing with the reality of the causes of the financial meltdown and bubble by pointing to concerns in the 90s of lending discrimination. I gave you direct causal links, you’re dealing in innuendo and weird efforts to assert causality with no direct link, not even correlation! Thanks for the entertainment — now hurl a few insults my way and you’ll feel better about yourself. (chuckling)

        • @scotterb I have no need to insult you, Erp. I’ve provided direct quotes from Reno, and citations to facts about the Clinton administration’s use of Federal authority to distort markets in the name of reducing “lending discrimination”.

          Everyone who can read can see who is “trying to avoid…reality”.

        • “Janet Reno criticizing lending discrimination in 1994 is the problem…”

          Note, first, the corrupt attempt at de minimus fallacy. Janet Reno did not “criticize”. She was PROSECUTING…using the enormous club of the Justice Department in both civil and criminal settings…AND assuring that banks were stimied in making deals to consolidate…and otherwise follow sound business practice…during the pendency of the litigation.

          What I rightly term “mau-mauing”, especially since MUCH of this activity was OUTSIDE the law.

          Second, ONLY AFTER the mortage markets were infected with CRAP loans did a portfolio of loans become RISKY. Prior to that, they were VERY LOW RISK instruments, due to the fact that they were comprised of SECURED loans, and BY INDUSTRY STANDARDS HAD BEEN VERY LOW RISK.

          Warping the incentives…MANDATING loans to people who could not afford them…changed all that.

        • @scotterb “The government did not force loaning to risky clients, that is patently absurd”

          Yes, it did. Not all of it’s lending was bad, but there’s that ‘all’ word. Banks could have been making these predatory loans you’re alleging all through my life, yet they did not. Something changed the Market.
          It is not patently false, and can be easily supported.

          In a suit against Fannie Mae execs recently brought by the SEC (that would be, the GOVERNMENT….Professor Patently False, ooops)

          “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was,” said Robert Khuzami, SEC’s enforcement director, in filing the suit in New York. “These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions’ exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk.”

          Fannie and Freddie play a major role in the US housing market, providing guarantees for the safety of loans that conform to their standards. Banks and other mortgage lenders are able to issue so-called conforming loans and resell them in bundles to investors (who then reap a stream of income from monthly mortgage payments).
          “According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings. The suit cites similar numbers for Freddie.

          SEC documents on Friday quoted a Freddie Mac legal counsel warning the firm’s CEO in May 2007, “We should reconsider making as sweeping a statement as we have ‘basically no subprime exposure.’ ” In a speech, Syron still used the line, “basically no subprime exposure,” according to the SEC.

          So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion – the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency.”

          http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2011/1216/Subprime-scandal-ex-Fannie-Mae-Freddie-Mac-execs-accused-of-fraud

          In the 1990′s HUD loosened the restrictions on lending to low credit borrowers and in 1996 HUD directed Fannie/Freddie to raise the percentage of their below median income loans to 42%, 50% in 2000 and 52% in 2005.

          Did they do ALL of the damage, no. But the discussion in play is the way in which government mandates and manipulations skewed the market’s behavior.

          If you can’t handle that reality, I would suggest a ski trip with the kiddies where you can discuss the Lorax movie instead.

    • @scotterb PS- So now we’re “paying” for access to those things that have – thank god and the founding fathers – been with us for a couple of hundred years? Pay for play is it now? Seriously? You’re not an American. I don’t know who you really serve, but I know you and I have differing allegiences.

      • @The Shark It’s called taxation with representation. That’s what the founders demanded – no taxation without representation.

        • @scotterb STILL MORE AMAZING idiocy…!!! This one is so stupid, it needs no exposition.

        • @scotterb

          Horse hockey. Those of us who actually paid attention in high school know that the tax structure back then was a wee bit different than today. No income tax, for example. Somehow the founders overlooked all those freeloading rich folks.

          I also doubt that they demanded representation without taxation, which seems to be the situation for about half the population.

          Ph.D. really does mean ‘piled higher and deeper’.

        • @timactual Scotty thinks the half that don’t pay taxes are disinfranchised, have no recourse in the courts, and are DOOOOOOOOMED to Dickinsian bad luck and trouble.

          What a maroon.

        • @Ragspierre More to the point, they apparently shouldn’t pay for the very same privileges the ‘rich’ are paying for.

        • @timactual The founders also realized needs would change and allowed the constitution to be amended. That meant we could change the tax structure. No half way intelligent person would think government now could be like it was in the late 1700′s! The founders were smart enough to realize that. And all this whining that the poor aren’t paying taxes is obscene. It’s like Marie Antoinette saying “let them eat cake.” What, too poor to pay taxes, sniffs the wealthy class looking down their noses, what leaches they are! Yeah, that’s a political winner!

        • @scotterb Lolllllll my irony meter pegged along with your stupid level. I fully expect our founding fathers to rise from the graves to punk-slap you for that one. This one doesn’t deserve the dignity of a fisking.

        • @scotterb People who don’t pay taxes have no skin in the game. People who don’t pay taxes who get to vote get to vote for increased taxes for others and spending for them.

          Greater men than you’ll ever dream of being recognized the problem Scott, which you clearly do NOT. One of them had this to say -

          “Once the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the Republic.” – Benjamin Franklin

          that fact that you can, with that evidence staring you in the face, continue to prattle on about ‘the poor’ says all that needs to be said.

        • @looker I’d love for the GOP to make that argument – let’s take away voting rights of the poor because they don’t make enough money to pay taxes. Show us your true anti-democratic elitist colors! Oh, and those poor vote as much for Republicans as Democrats, and they vote less than anyone else — they do not win elections. It is a Republican myth that somehow the poor voting for Democrats drives policy or Democratic proposals. It’s an effort to pretend that only your side has a legitimate argument and instead of engaging other arguments and ideas dismiss them. I don’t think that will convince too many people — it’s a silly and absurd argument.

        • @scotterb Scott, I already laid out over 70 years of voting history for you – The Democrats practically owned the country for the better part of that 70 years. They did it by getting votes, they did it by appealing to ‘the common man’, they did it by demonizing ‘the rich’. THEY ARE DOING IT NOW. YOU are doing it, right, here, right now.

          The ‘rich’ need to pay more for the same government the poor get, demanding to see my true ‘anti-democratic elitist colors’. Claiming that it’s a Republican myth that pandering to the poor increases the poor vote for the Democratic party.

          You’re doing it, right here, right now. YOU, Chuck, upper 3% of the income in the country claiming I even mentioned tying voting rights to taxation. Nice fantasy you’re working on there Chuck.

          Hey, next big famous post you write, publish a work that outlines how Ben Franklin is an anti-democratic elitist because he warned against the danger of people voting benefits for themselves from the common treasury.

        • @looker The Democrats have been very close to big business and Wall Street, as have the Republicans. Democrats do want to help the poor succeed, that motivates their policies. But have your silly myth that they want to buy votes — it allows you to rationalize rather pathetic and exploitive policies that protect the elite and suffocate the middle class and poor. If that’s the GOP argument this cycle, the Democrats will say “bring it on!”

        • @scotterb It’s not a silly myth – when you offer people something for nothing, you are buying their votes. You can mislead yourself all you like. Just as you mislead yourself that the big problem isn’t spending, it’s that we don’t tax the ‘rich’ enough.

          You’re not really very honest Scott, you’re too smart not to see this stuff, and by denying it the way you do, and for such partisan reasons, you’re demonstrating you’re really nothing but a pawn to an ideology where ‘winning’ is all that matters.

        • @scotterb And of course, the Republicans don’t want to help the poor. Republicans would rather see them die, or perhaps so as not to be wasted, be served up properly for dinner. That’s why the Republicans are pro-life, so there can be MORE poor to serve up for dinner. We can never have too many poor, can we.

    • @scotterb And here I was thinking that whole “free riders” thingy was the rationale for ObamaCare…

    • @scotterb “…asking them to pay a higher portion is only fair and just.”

      And, if the people spending the money only *ASKED* for people to pay for what they get in benefits, you would be right.

      But the IRS doesn’t *ASK*, does it?

      • @myweeklycrime There is no honor among thieves.

      • @myweeklycrime That’s part of being a citizen. You are part a society, you are not just a discrete individual. You have to follow rules agreed upon through democratic means following the constitution. You can’t childishly stomp your feet and say “this is my money, the government needs to ask.” You wouldn’t have that money if not for the system the government defends and has created – if you think it’s your own individual achievement along and not connected to the society you are part of, you are delusional.

        • The delusion is yours. The government belongs to the people not the people for the government. That is why you are an economic fascist. @scotterb

        • @scotterb Anyone for pizza?

        • @scotterb
          ” the system the government defends and has created”

          LOL.

          The government created the system? How did you ever get through high school, let alone college? And you claim to have studied what?

        • @scotterb Ass! we ARE the government, not the other way around. We do not exist at the pleasure of the government, the government exists at the pleasure of the people. It has forgotten it’s place, and people like you never understood it’s place at all.

        • @kyle8 Nobody said the people are for the government, silly. You need to check on your reading comprehension.

        • @looker That’s my point silly. We are the government! WE – society – have made these determinations through a democratic means guided by a constitution. For someone whose opinion did not “win” in the political process to whine about government not being in accord with their ideological whim is delusional.

        • @scotterb “That’s part of being a citizen.”

          It’s part of being a shopowner in a neighborhood where the local mafia comes around to “ask” for protection money.

          “You have to follow rules…”

          That would have been better if you had left it in the original German.

          “You can’t childishly stomp your feet…”

          Calling people who work and earn money childish, while claiming that putting a gun in their faces to pay people who don’t work, is pure Goebbels. You turn everything upside down, attacking the responsible as irresponsible, defending the mafia goons as an artifact of civilization.

          “…if you think it’s your own individual achievement along and not connected to the society you are part of…”

          Strawman. One can honor the innovators and builders, have respectful relationships with family, friends, educators, and engage in mutual, consensual commerce without anyone needing to resort to sticking a gun in the face of others.

          But for you, it’s always a false dichotomy, between obedient good citizen who doesn’t complain about those in charge using force to impose their rules on everyone else, and the caricature of the spoiled brat. There are alternatives to what you portray, but you’re too slippery to even discuss their existence.

        • @scotterb Riiiight, Scott, because you and I, we voted for the EPA, we voted for the Czars, hey Chuck, you and I, we VOTED for the war in iraq.

          You’re a bad man Chuck, you voted for the war in Iraq. You should be ashamed of yourself.

        • @scotterb “For someone whose opinion did not “win” in the political process to whine about government not being in accord with their ideological whim is delusional.”

          Once again, if it’s something with which Scott disagrees, it’s a “whim”. When he likes it, it’s a “principle”.

          But I agree that it’s absurd to whine about an opposing party winning an election if you participate in the election. To paraphrase WOPR in the Joshua Falken persona, “The only ethical move is not to play the game.”

        • @myweeklycrime You’re rambling incoherently there – comparing a successful democracy to Nazi Germany, the mafia, etc. Part of my teaching is to show students how important it is to question authority and not go along with the flow just because everyone else does. But guess what — people who question authority don’t always come to the same conclusions you do — indeed, most do not. The spoiled brat is one who thinks their view on the world is the RIGHT one, and they become unable to even consider and truly engage other ideas.

        • @myweeklycrime If you don’t play the game in a system 90% consider legitimate, then fine — but you can’t make up the rules on your own, you can’t expect others to simply accept your rather odd ideological perspective. My view is the disagreement is good, and so is listening. When you or anyone makes a real argument rather than personal attacks and the I’ll respond with respect and a real argument, considering the opposing point of view. Even if we have intense disagreements, I greatly respect those who can disagree without taking it personally, or seeing people as bad for having a different perspective. That is true principle and intellect. Only a fool would think there is no chance he or she is wrong in their world view or on political issues. Wisdom is acknowledging the possibility that one is wrong. My style of responding to you is because of how easily you simply berate and ridicule people just for having a different point of view. Yet what gnaws at you is the fact that you don’t, perhaps can’t refute my arguments, you can just repeat your ideological beliefs. I think deep inside part of you knows that maybe you got sucked into an ideological “faith” that has holes, but you’ve spent so much time with your ideology that you don’t let yourself question it, that would be psychologically painful.

        • @scotterb Pffffetttt…!!! I just lost a precious mouthful of mojeto…!!!

        • @scotterb “…comparing a successful democracy to Nazi Germany, the mafia, etc….”

          You’re not paying attention (or pretending not to). The IRS doesn’t “ask” people to pay. Eventually, they will take your things by force, lock you in a cage, and, if you resist, actually kill you. Fact.

          The mafia works similarly. Fact.

          The “Nazi” reference was to Goebbels, comparing your propaganda in which victims are dubbed “childish” while the thugs and those who employ or support them are classified as civilized. It wasn’t comparing the US government to Nazi Germany.

          I wouldn’t call the US government a “successful democracy” because (1) that’s a stupid phrase because it is ambiguous–you don’t specify the metric for success nor indicate FOR WHOM this “success” applies (and, likewise, FOR WHOM it doesn’t) and (2) the rampant corruption, deficit spending, foreign military engagements and occupations, War on Drugs, War on Terror, and all of the other instances in which people who are not doing harm to others are being harmed.

          “Part of my teaching is to show students how important it is to question authority and not go along with the flow just because everyone else does.”

          And yet, you stated just above, “You have to follow rules agreed upon through democratic means….”

          So, are your students to be good little worker bees who “have to follow the rules” or should they question authority?

          “The spoiled brat is one who thinks their view on the world is the RIGHT one….”

          If that were the case, then you’d be a sparkling example of a spoiled brat, given the endless stream of condescending pontifications you rain upon the “20th century thinkers”. And, if we go by that definition, that would be the very opposite of people like me, who reject the idea that one group of people ought to impose their “view on the world” onto others, ruling them according to their blueprint. I don’t want to dictate to you how to spend your money, what you do with your land, how you get medical care, etc.. So long as you’re not hurting anyone else, you have every right to live your life according to your “view of the world”. But the minute your “view of the world” involves sticking a gun in your neighbor’s face (by proxy), you’ve crossed the line and you’re the one demanding that your “view of the world is the RIGHT one”. How else could one interpret that? You’re so convinced of your world view that you’re willing to use aggressive force to carry it out!!

          But actually, a spoiled brat is a person who has been given things without having to do the requisite work for them, who feels entitled to keep receiving them, and doesn’t care the cost to others. The person who is willing to pay for the things he wants and uses, but is unwilling to pay taxes for foreign military engagements, drug prohibition, and other things for which he is morally opposed is NOT a spoiled brat. He’s simply standing on principle by refusing to feed an evil government.

        • @scotterb “…90% consider legitimate…”

          Argumentum ad populum, petitio principii.

          “…you can’t make up the rules on your own…”

          Where have I asserted the right to make up rules FOR YOU? As long as you’re not harming others, then it’s not my fraking business what you do. You get to live your life on your own terms.

          Got it?

          Now, if you would simply give me and others the same respect, we’d have no problem.

          “…you’ve spent so much time with your ideology that you don’t let yourself question it…”

          More Goebbels-like reversal of reality. I used to be a Christian, a Reagan Republican, a supporter of US military engagements, drug prohibition, strict immigration enforcement, traditional restrictions on marriage, etc.. The fact that I’m not any of those today is a direct consequence of challenging what I believed. I abandoned those beliefs which were held on faith (no scare quotes) and have purposefully and (mostly) gradually followed a natural evolution to those ideas which stand up to counterarguments. Not that I can recall you or your ilk ever changing my mind, due to your weak arguments and ideological blinders, but many people still do have the capacity to convince me to change my mind.

          So, once again, you’re upside-down, backwards, and inside-out on just about everything.

        • @myweeklycrime Silly guy, all the hyperbolic “sticking a gun in your face” makes you sound a bit nutty — people will raise their eyebrows, smile, shake their heads and get away from you as fast as they can! It’s called society, it’s democracy, and you’re part of it – if you don’t pay your share, you’re a thief.

        • @myweeklycrime No, you can’t claim it’s a logical fallacy since no truth claim is being made. I’m not saying that the majority determine what is “True,” only how things will operate. That’s better than someone with a strange ideology like yours demanding people see the world the way you do. You’re part of society, you can’t demand to be left alone or determine what the line is between “your business” and that which connects to society. You are free to have your particular view on reality – and the way you’ve shifted views, you’d be foolish to think with any certainty that this time you have it right. But you can’t expect others to act in accord to your world view, even in how they treat you.

        • @scotterb “…hyperbolic ‘sticking a gun in your face’…”

          So, you’re saying that if I choose not to pay taxes, I never have to worry about anyone pointing a gun at me? They’ll never resort to that?

          Really?

        • @scotterb “I’m not saying that the majority determine what is ‘True,’ only how things will operate.”

          You’re wriggling around like jello, trying to avoid responsibility for your argument.

          Plenty of terrible things in history were part of “how things [would] operate” at the time. Popularity, whether 90% or 40%, was irrelevant to whether “how things [would] operate” was ethical.

          “That’s better than someone with a strange ideology like yours demanding people see the world the way you do.”

          You lie, once again. I’m not demanding people see the world any way. You can cover your house in portraits of Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and pretend you’re the reincarnation of FDR, for all I care. It’s not my business to tell you what to do.

          However, when you cross the line and violate the rights of your neighbors, they have the right to put an end to it. Presuming to give “authority” by proxy to the IRS to force people to pay for wars they find morally reprehensible is crossing the line.

          “…you can’t demand to be left alone or determine what the line is between ‘your business’ and that which connects to society.”

          Who can decide, better than you, what is your business? So long as you’re not claiming what belongs to another, or another’s freedom or life as “your business”, you get to live your life on your own terms. It is absolutely your right to be left alone, assuming you don’t owe anyone anything and you’re not infringing on your neighbors’ rights.

          “…the way you’ve shifted views, you’d be foolish to think with any certainty that this time you have it right.”

          So says the man who claims to have gone to the GOP convention and worked for a Republican Congress critter.

          I was watching the Penn Sunday School webcast yesterday and he cited someone who defined an “intellectual” as someone who could change his or her mind when presented with new information.

          Unlike you, I’m not groping around randomly or making it up as I go. I’m choosing what makes sense and dropping what doesn’t, which is an act of REFINING my beliefs. Evolution is a method of improving and, unlike your caricature, I’m not claiming to have all the answers. However, when it comes to politics, I recognize that your ideology is intellectually inferior and historically dangerous.

          “But you can’t expect others to act in accord to your world view….”

          Parade around dressed as Marie Antoinette and tell people they should bow and worship you, if that suits you. You need not act in any way that I choose.

          But when you cross the line and do harm to others, it’s no longer you simply doing your own thing. The person you are hurting or attempting to hurt has the right to stop you.

    • @scotterb

      ” asking them to pay a higher portion is only fair and just.”

      They already do. And, by the way, “fair” and “just” just reek of ideology. Not very pragmatic of you.

      • @timactual Watch and learn, Erp. When you resort to terms which have no meaning, we know you’re done. (Not that you will stop…)

        • @Ragspierre Rags, I’ve already outted you as a post-modernist game player who would say anything to promote his subjective ideological whim, including bald lies, with no regard for truth or integrity.

        • @scotterb “Outed”? WTF do you think you’re going on about? You, idiot, you were sent home with your tail between your legs on the issue of the progessivity of the US tax code.

          LOL.

        • @scotterb Holy BatSHIT. I just can’t get over the projection that I…ME…am the “post-modernist”.

          ROFLMAO…!!!! I think Scotty is trying to kill me…!!!

        • @Ragspierre Hardly, I showed how the US has the LEAST progressive tax code, and tax rates in the US are the lowest for the wealthy. Anyone who claims the US is among the most progressive clearly hasn’t made comparisons.

        • @scotterb Liar. I posted the EVIDENCE. You ran like a sissy girl.

        • @Ragspierre Where is the evidence? I’ll go back and look through threads I’ve commented on. When threads go on a long time I often just stop checking them, so I’ll try to find what you say you posted.

        • @scotterb That was a very active thread, liar.

        • @Ragspierre How active a thread is doesn’t matter, if it’s a couple days old I tend not to have time to keep up with all of it and figure “I’ll let them have the last word.” In fact often I don’t go back to threads that have degenerated to a lot of back and forth nothingness so what happened in this thread tonight doesn’t happen — that I get sucked into responding and waste a lot of time. If I don’t see the responses, I’ll not do that. Usually I think “fine, they’ll have the last word.” Here it appears you responded to something I should have noticed so I’ll check it out.

        • @scotterb Yeah, Scotty. You are known for your lack of “not having the last word”.

          Dead horses fear you flogging them.

        • @Ragspierre OK, found that thread and here is my response, also posted there: Nope, the methodology is flawed. As you and others point out, the poor in the US pay no taxes. In most countries they pay taxes and then get more back in transfers, goods and services. That means it appears that the poor are paying relatively more in, say, Germany than here, even though they actually benefit more from the German system. Since only the middle class and wealthy pay taxes in the US, the true rate of progressivity has to look at their taxes.

          That chart also ignores actual tax rates, which show the US wealthy have the lowest rates, and the most wealth (while our middle class and poor are not at the top).

          The GINI index tells what’s really happening. Pre-tax and transfer the US is at .46, post tax and transfer it’s at .38 – a slight improvement. In Germany it is at .51 pre-tax and transfer (more unequal than the US) but at .30 post tax and transfer. Scandinavian states start about the same as the US (.40′s range) but end up around .22 – .24 post tax and transfer. The poor elsewhere pay more in, but get much more back. Our poor don’t pay, but don’t get much back relative to the rest of the OECD.

        • “Nope, the methodology is flawed.”

          Or…”hand-wave”. Plus bull-shit.

        • @Ragspierre Note that I gave a very specific detailed reason, and why your claim is wrong. You didn’t even try. You’re the one hand waving, you’re the one BS’ing, I gave a real argument with data and analysis. Yeah, on a blog like this you can pile on with your ideological cohorts. You can keep your bravado. But I know that you know my argument makes sense.

        • @scotterb You threw a bunch of unreferenced numbers on the page, idiot.

        • @Ragspierre You didn’t respond to the argument, and I have the GINI index graph on the webpage I linked earlier. You know those numbers are right. You know the argument is valid. You’re just running away.

        • @scotterb You didn’t respond to the piece I referred to my post, but with you hand-wave.

        • @Ragspierre No, I explained why the conclusion was flawed with a pretty specific argument. You hand waved.

      • @timactual It’s not pragmatic to want justice and fairness? Really?

        • @scotterb who gets to define “fair”, you?

          Of course we have to use YOUR version of the word fair, right?

        • @scotterb Except you want neither.

        • @scotterb “Fairness” is as “pragmatic” as moon pony fur. Idiot.

        • @Ragspierre North Korea is pretty fair. So is Cuba. And the Chinese rural areas are pretty fair also.

        • @The Shark Right, Shark. If by “fair” you mean “almost universally starving to death…except for the elite”. Then, yah.

        • @Ragspierre Look at the NoKo income equality! It’s the liberal dream! There’s plenty of fairness…….everyone suffers pretty equally.

        • @The Shark EXCEPT the Kommissars, the generals, and people named Kim Il something…

        • @Ragspierre And that’s ALSO the liberal dream….

        • @The Shark Well, sort of, Shark. That “starving to death” part was not a big feature.

          Call it a “known” bug…

        • @Ragspierre You two! they only starve till they’re dead. Chances are they were conservatives who failed to embrace the future anyway.

        • @looker Yeah. “Outed post-modernists”. Eggs broken in the omlette-making process. Collateral damage on the road to the “new and now”. Shoot…just “good and necessary” to the bright new Collective.

        • @looker No, looker! I do not claim any right to define fairness for anyone but me – my own perspective. I’ll defend it, debate it, and then in our democratic republic we’ll have voters make their minds up and vote with that as one part of the equation. That’s my point – no one gets to claim their own view is the right and only one. Smart people debate and respect those with different views and don’t take such things personally. Ideology driven people demonize and sloganize.

        • @The Shark No liberal I know whats income equality. That would be unworkable and immoral. But that’s one way ideologically minded people operate — they pretend that those on the “other side” believe really bizarre and horrible things so they can group them together and not have to engage ideas. Typical.

        • @scotterb No, idiot. You advocate that money be TAKEN from its producers, and used “wisely”.

          Of course, by elitists like your stupid self.

        • @Ragspierre BTW, despite what you may claim about the left or my view, I’ve written pretty clearly what I think about communism — and not just Stalin’s atrocities but the soul sucking horror of everyday life in “real existing socialism”: http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-horror-of-communism/

        • @scotterb Then you don’t get to call it ‘fair’, you get to call it ‘your view’. You don’t get to grab the word fair and set is aside with your own definition of what that means.

        • @scotterb Here goes Quant Erb, trading in his dodgy derivatives of Q and O stock again. If we go back a few days to Bruce’s post on communism (http://www.qando.net/?p=12416) we find Junior CDS (Clear Derivative Style) Analyst Erb opining about the “grand experiment” of communism. Fast forward a few days and after giving it some thought he begins trading his derivatives over the counter at the World in Motion Sickness exchange (http://scotterb.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/the-horror-of-communism/), just slightly altering the “grand experiment” to a “grand bargain” among other slight derivative changes. After being given a schooling at Q and O as usual, his derivative work (now used as toilet paper at Icelandic banks, we hear) starts out by stating that the real horror of communism was not the murder of tens of millions of people but something else entirely and has some jibber jabber about some film wherein people have crappy lives in a shitty system… but weren’t murdered but the truck load.

          Erb went on to trade in some dodgy derivatives of Republican presidential candidates, Chinese armory and a highly derivative issue on prostitution vs ideology.

          The SEC has ordered that the World in Motion Sickness exchange be shutdown immediately for misrepresenting the origin of its derivative products and for debasing the value of human knowledge. However Junior Analyst Erb continues to maintain that he is original, not a thief and that all the girls say he is pretty fly for a white guy.

        • @looker

          He also gets to define ‘pragmatism’, ‘idealogy’, etc. To paraphrase the great sage, Inigo Montoya, ‘You keep using those words. I do not think they means what you think it means. ‘

        • @DocD My post cited above was inspired by a film I showed my class. It’s a bit bizarre to think something at Q & O inspired it. You’re a bit over the top there DocD!

        • @timactual I have a post about William James a few days ago going into “Pragmatism and Principle.”

        • @scotterb

          ” I do not claim any right to define fairness for anyone but me”

          LOL.

          Through the Looking Glass with S. Erp;“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

          I always thought any dialog with Erp had a surreal ‘Alice In Wonderland’ quality to it. We don’t need dictionaries in Erp world. Those ‘Ivory Towers’ are a lot like the Tower of Babel.

        • @scotterb

          “I have a post about William James”

          And I have a set of the Encyclopedia Britannica.
          And your point is….?

        • @scotterb Oh dear, it really isn’t pretty when the self-acknowledged Smartest Man in the Room reduces himself to the Class Clown. Looky here Twinkles, your protestations would be somewhat believable if you had not days before read and extensively commented on a post at QandO on the SAME TOPIC, and you used much the SAME WORDING in your comments as your later post.

          Unless of course we are to now add “causality” to the list of things that apply to other people but not to Smeagol.

    • @scotterb Privilege? What are the illegal immigrants paying for the privilege Scott?

    • @scotterb Offering any free classes for the poor are you? How about your books, offering any completely reduced price versions for the poor to read?

      No, not, are you, hypocrite.

      • @looker Actually, I do live by my ideals. I could have accepted better paying jobs in private universities but choose a public university because I believe in affordable college education for those who lack means. And the amount of time and effort to help students goes far beyond what I could do and still get paid the same. Alas, I have no control over what I’ve written, unless I want to break the law and make copies and give them away, thereby cheating the publisher. Do you really think I should do that?

        • @scotterb you do live by your ideals. Too bad they’re not American ones.

        • @scotterb The standard publishing contract (assuming you used a real publisher and not a vanity press) has a clause that allows the author to reclaim copyright if a book is out of print for six years. The author can then do anything with the material that he or she likes.

          So did you not read your contracts and know that? Or did you perchance use a, um, less than mainstream publisher who doesn’t use standard contracts for books?

        • @scotterb I checked out the wages at your university Chuck, it’s a matter of public record. You ain’t hurtin and you’d have to be working at a bigger name university to do a whole lot better.

        • @scotterb “Alas, I have no control over what I’ve written, unless I want to break the law and make copies and give them away, thereby cheating the publisher. Do you really think I should do that?”

          wait wait, ah, so, you wrote them….for free eh? You received no payment for your work?

          I don’t really care what you do Chuck, my point is you want the moolah as much as the next guy, in addition of course to the vanity of doing it. Cause I’ve seen your stuff, and it’s certainly not because you’re a one in a million expert at anything.

        • @looker Our “changing culture” permist Scotty to PUBLISH in MANY ways. How ’bout it, Scotty…??? Have you considered the VARIOUS options you have, besides the ‘anachronism’ of publishing with a dead-tree house???????????????????

        • @Ragspierre And of course, he works hard, and sacrifices his time for the good of mankind. He says so, and, well, if those rich people gave to charity, or if they gave their time, or…whatever, they’re rich, and so those sacrifices (like his) aren’t sufficient, (but his is), and they have to pay more, because, well, they’re rich. See? Doesn’t that sound fair?

          He really doesn’t know jack all about ‘the rich’, he just knows someone looked at their income, and they’re ‘rich’.

          and at $17,000+ a year Scott, getting an education at UofM Farmington is going to cost out at nearly 70k assuming they can graduate in 4 years (and we won’t discuss if your college is one of those colleges that likes to game the course schedule to prevent a 4 year student from completing in only 4 years).

          70K – that’s affordable to you at a public college, is it?

          and that’s 70k, straight, not with interest. You’re my hero, I can tell ya.

        • @scotterb fun with numbers – got 3 kids? let’s see….$210,000 for their State college education at UofM Farmington.

          Gosh, it’s all so affordable. Perhaps we’ll draw straws to see which child goes to college, aside from the fact that a year’s tuition at your school is almost half a years income for an average family in Maine.

        • @scotterb And now, shall we discuss that crappy, twice the yearly average income salary of yours?

        • @scotterb You live by ideals… but but but a set of ideals is an ideology and that is anathema to you. Or at least it is when other people have their own set. You’ve led us to believe that you are a uber-modern 21st century kind of thinker with no need for ideals, rather you have that thing where you compromise to get what you want, check which way the wind is blowing before flip-flopping, get the latest memo from the White House before post-dating your prescience and generally keeping tabs on what the paymaster says before you make a move… what’s it called again… prostitution? pragmatism? I’m not sure, it all looks much the same from this end.

        • @scotterb “Alas, I have no control over what I’ve written, unless I want to break the law and make copies and give them away, thereby cheating the publisher. Do you really think I should do that?”

          Let’s see. You broke the law to give away someone else’s property when placed in a position of trust. You support the President breaking the law when it suits you politcally (to bomb Libya, but not Serbia). You support lawbreaking OWS leeches because they give you a woody about youth activism and make you start spouting like someone writing an 80s teen movie (really, you broke copyright law in most of your posts about OWS and should send the writers of The Breakfast Club a cheque).

          But when it comes to your own income then it seems the law of the land is just fine. Other times, meh, not so much.

        • @DocD I just felt like a little late evening envy on what Erb’s “got” might be appropriate since he was parroting the party envy line so well. I mean, we don’t care if he and the wife earned it, or he worked hard, or she worked hard or they inherited their wealth.

          Truth is, we don’t know, but I had this dish of sauce and I thought since he was so freely tossing it onto the gander, perhaps it might taste as well on his goose.

        • @looker I’d rather not imagine tasting that goose thanks all the same! However you do have an interesting point. When it comes to other people’s earnings or assets, the wise Prof is all about “fairness” and what other people should do. However when turned back on himself it as all about “law” and what he simply cannot do. Nevermind that he can voluntarily fix any of that stuff by setting up the appropriate contract, or tithing so much of his book income to give books to the “poor”. Nope, one rule for thee and another for me. Professor Merry Hypocrite indeed.

        • @scotterb

          ” I could have accepted better paying jobs in private universities but choose a public university because I believe in affordable college education for those who lack means ”

          Bwahahahaha!

          The Albert Schweitzer of Maine. Foregoing a life of ease to singlehandedly bring enlightenment to the backwards folk in the wilds of Maine. Because noone else except a selfless crusader for truth and progress would take such a thankless job.

          It is to laugh until the tears run down my leg. (At least I hope they are tears. At my age it’s hard to tell sometimes.)

        • @looker I believe my views should reflect analysis and ethics, and should be the same whether my household income is $20,000 or $200,000. That’s why its irrelevant what I make or do with my money or books – that would be argumentum ad hominem. Political opinions rest on analysis and perspectives on ethics and principles. I’m not ashamed being well off, nor would I want any government to come and try to equalize all outcomes since I feel we’ve worked hard and deserve to make more for that reason. But you don’t get that because you don’t engage me on an equal level, you make accusations and assumptions and you don’t listen. I end up responding with the goal of making a point that might make some people think since it’s clear you’re not interested in dialogue.

        • @scotterb Awww… It is altruistic. Gawd love it… It is only trying to give eyesight to the blind… Like the Gypsy Queen we all know him to be.

        • @DocD Exactly. I’m rather sure that some person in charge of ‘law’ came to his house, forced him to sign a contract that directed any wealth from his work to him, and told him very pointedly to do otherwise would have him in court for statute violations of one form or another. So he’s ‘bound’ by law, you see, to get that income and keep it.

          Alas for the poor.

        • @scotterb “I’m not ashamed being well off, nor would I want any government to come and try to equalize all outcomes since I feel we’ve worked hard and deserve to make more for that reason. ”

          Bingo.
          So, you DO actually understand.

          However, you are unable to divorce your need of other people’s wealth from YOUR desire to do good. You expect that government is good license for you to force, via violent means, other people to use their wealth for your good desire for good works. And even though you don’t think you want government to come and equalize ALL outcomes because of your hard work in amassing your wealth, you DO think you want government to go and take wealth from others to equalize outcomes YOU think need to be equalized.

          There’s a whole opportunity to get philosophical there Chuck, could turn your life around.

        • @looker You’re being hypocritical. All Republicans can be accused of the same thing, only they want taxes slightly less, and spending on some other things. Republicans and Democrats mostly agree, they just disagree on the amounts to spend, the level of social welfare spending, the tax rates. You try to create this Orwellian “two legs bad four legs good” world, but reality does not follow your fantasy.

        • @scotterb No, I am not being hypocritical, I’m not advocating taking MORE from the rich. You are. What you do with your money is your business, I’d like to keep it your business. You on the other hand would like to take money from others to spend in ways you approve of.

          We know they ARE going to take money, you want to make it worse.
          There’s only one hypocrite here.

    • @scotterb “Geithner is right, and this will ring true with the American people.”

      this will ring true with idiots who think Barack Obama is in any way, shape, size or form a successful or even competent President.

      Half the tax eligible population doesn’t pay taxes, and his approval ratings are less than half, even people who don’t pay taxes realize this administration is a train on looking for a spot to wreck.

  • Geithner is an interesting creature, to say the least. When he first arrived on the national scene he really carried himself with a “master of the universe” demeanor. Now you see him coming on with that rushed rhetoric schtick. He’s all nerve endings in the face of the fraud and catastrophe he has helped create, but you can tell that he’s settling in with the new sales pitch that catastrophe is the new normal. When I hear him without looking, he sounds very much like the cheesball Marxist Green Party mayor here in New Paltz, Jason West. Geithner and West are not from the same part of the country, but they sound almost llke they grew up in the same town and went to the same school. Perhaps they went to the same political workshops at different points in their life, or caught hold of similar political breezes that influence their styles.

    • @martinmcphillips “…and went to the same school.”

      OR drink the same Kool-aide or subscribed to the same magic thinking. (IF you use “thinking” very loosely).

      • @Ragspierre I bet they both caught the same seminar series, “Revolutionary American tax regimes and parallels in the subtext of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, delivered of course by a PhD (*) in Maine.

        (*) Pizza-headed Defrauded

      • @Ragspierre I bet they both caught the same seminar series, “Revolutionary American tax regimes and parallels in the subtext of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”, delivered of course by a PhD (*) in Maine.

        (*) Pizza-headed Defrauder

        • @DocD “Erb….”
          “Erb….”
          “Erb.,..”
          “Erb….”
          “Erb….”

        • @DocD Took me a while to remember the great and noble pizza defrauding incident where he bravely fought against the oppression of ‘the man’ by giving away ‘the man’s property’ like a thief in the night.

  • This screw up bears more than a physical resemblance to Beavis. He hasn’t got a clue what the hell he is doing. Like an idiot savant playing with numbers.

  • “the most fortunate Americans to bear a slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American”

    *snicker*

    Obviously he didn’t consider himself either fortunate or privileged until the Obama administration. Now, I guess, he has become a proud American. Just like Michelle.

    • @timactual Prior to this it was Tim’s privilege not to pay his taxes. What an excellent spokesperson for people who need to pay for ‘privileges’.

      • @looker Simplistic thinking, looker. THOSE rules are for the little people… How long will you cling to these 20th Century anachronisms…

        Remember: Good and necessary. Watch and learn.

  • Scott, why is it you write books and then sell them for money? How are the poor supposed to have access to them?

    Scott?

    • @looker Books, plural? Or are you counting letters to Penthouse Forum or whatever rag publishes his geopolitical wisdom? Why would the poor even want free access to his autoerotic ramblings?

      • @DocD What used to be called “sanitary paper”…??? The pulpy publications are the best…for those of you who’ve never had the “outhouse” experience.

  • Step back from Erp’s interesting “fallacy of the bubble”. Consider the depths of his depravity, and the shallow swamp of his logic.

    The “rich” should be squeezed to make them “pay” for getting rich, because they were enriched by “the bubble”, and “we have to pay our way out of this mess”.

    Consider the root stupidity; all rich people got that way by “bubble”.

    Next; No rich people got rich by enriching MORE the lives of Americans.

    Next; transferring wealth OUT of the hands of people who earned it…AND have managed to prevent its LOSS…and into the hands of BIG GOVERNMENT will benefit society MORE than leaving it with its creators and stewards (who we know don’t just keep it in a basement).

    Breathtaking stupidity, when you look at it in stark relief.

    • @Ragspierre and, significantly ‘not him’. He’s practicing something that shows he’s a good steward of the wealth he has accumulated and so he’s not anywhere near being the ‘rich’. He’s not the 1%, but I think we can put his yearly take of the (to his mind limited) big pool of wealth comfortably in the top 10%.

      and that’s really okay, that he is,

      except he’s interested in redistributing the income of the other people in his gradient and protecting his and his friends and his relatives, assuring us they deserve theirs, while advocating confiscating and giving away the wealth of others that he doesn’t really know a thing about. And that is the problem.

      • @looker But OF COURSE…!!! And consider this perfidy; that NOBODY gets rich in a vacuum. Well, OK, let’s look under the hood of THAT Collectivist meme.

        First, nobody gets medicore in our society “by themselves”. Nobody gets poor in our society “by themselves”. Since we are all engaged in our society, nobody can be said to get ANYTHING “by themselves”. But the RICH DO GET RICH.

        Second, as Prof. Walter Williams has noted, a capitalist makes money by making someone else happy. In other words, they ENRICH society MORE than they themselves are enriched.

        • @Ragspierre Fear not, Prof Pizza Defrauder will no doubt throw up a post tomorrow on World in Motion Sickness explaining why you’re misguided, deluded and generally stupid. By my count, 96% of all his posts are follow-on derivatives of QandO posts where he gets to rebut you hillbillies without ever acknowledging anything except his own great intellect in finding these topics to lecture about after finding out what everyone else thinks. @looker @scotterb

        • @DocD I have never visited those rarefied precincts, and likely never will. I’m sure he is LESS stable there then here, and he’s out of his FLUCKING mind here!

          “Rebutting” us behind our backs…??? Sounds about right. I think I was accused of cowardice by him just yesterday. Hmmm….

          What a POS.

        • @DocD “World in Motion Sickness”

          Nice.

        • @Ragspierre “I think I was accused of cowardice by him just yesterday.”

          But, but, but, Scott doesn’t engage in those sorts of personal insults. He doesn’t take any of this seriously enough to get angry.

          That reversal of reality is just a small taste of the content of “World in Motion Sickness” (as @DocD so eloquently put it). After just a couple of his long paragraphs filled with run-on sentences, the sheer volume of logical errors and inversions of fact leave one dizzy, with no reference point in reality.

          There simply is no point in reading it. He’s like an ersatz Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

        • @myweeklycrime Harsh. But. TRUE. He’s been particularly…bitchy…the last few days… He may not like having his fanny waxed, and it has been. Oh, yes, it HAS been…

        • @Ragspierre

          “Nobody gets poor in our society “by themselves”.”

          At last! Finally you understand. All that watching and learning has paid off. Yes, the poor become poor because the rich white patriarchal Republicans steal from them. Welcome to the ranks of the enlightened.

        • @timactual Caught me… I was out last night stealing people’s cat food and blowing magic power over them while they slept to make them make bad choices.

      • @looker I’m definitely not in the category of the poor – not the top 1%, but probably in the top 3%. I am not advocating anything that would treat me differently than others who are doing well. Simplistic slogans like “the capitalist gets rich by making someone else happy” (eyes rolling) is just voodoo ideology. It doesn’t really analyze the functions of the political economy and the impact of structure, it just tells a fairy tale designed to serve an ideology that itself has been proven flawed. It’s the same kind of stuff that came from the Soviets, though in different form. Given how little I post to Q and O these days, a claim my posts are derivative (heck, most topics are very much different) is laughable. My readership has been steadily climbing though :-) I can’t think of any of my posts off the top of my head inspired by comments here.

      • @looker I’m definitely not in the category of the poor – not the top 1%, but probably in the top 3%. I am not advocating anything that would treat me differently than others who are doing well. Simplistic slogans like “the capitalist gets rich by making someone else happy” (eyes rolling) is just voodoo ideology. It doesn’t really analyze the functions of the political economy and the impact of structure, it just tells a fairy tale designed to serve an ideology that itself has been proven flawed. It’s the same kind of stuff that came from the Soviets, though in different form. Given how little I post to Q and O these days, a claim my posts are derivative (heck, most topics are very much different) is laughable. My readership has been steadily climbing though :-) I can’t think of any of my posts off the top of my head inspired by comments here.

        • @scotterb “Simplistic slogans like “the capitalist gets rich by making someone else happy” (eyes rolling) is just voodoo ideology.”

          K’. Then explain Steve Jobs, Steven Speilberg, Herman Cain, etc. They offered stuff people FREELY exchanged for VALUE.

          You are fighting the obvious. It is called REALITY.

        • @scotterb “Simplistic slogans like “the capitalist gets rich by making someone else happy” (eyes rolling) is just voodoo ideology.”

          K’. Then explain Steve Jobs, Steven Speilberg, Herman Cain, etc. They offered stuff people FREELY exchanged for VALUE.

          You are fighting the obvious. It is called REALITY.

        • @scotterb You mean simplistic slogans like “fairness” right? Ooops, caught out again!

        • @scotterb Your readership climbed? You forcing those poor kids to read your drivel again?

        • @scotterb “Given how little I post to Q and O these days, a claim my posts are derivative”

          Nice try ObiWan… but “posting” and “reading” are of course two entirely different things.

        • @scotterb “I am not advocating anything that would treat me differently than others who are doing well. ”

          then the probability you are anywhere connected to the average American to collect your opinions of how they feel, especially about this administration, is approaching zero.

          Having the reasons to deal with people in both spectrum ranges, I can assure you the views are more often wildly divergent than not.

        • @scotterb “a claim my posts are derivative (heck, most topics are very much different) is laughable”.

          Actually after writing a comment further down about your communist jag and your own flagrant self-promotion of a work derived entirely from a post here by Bruce, I have to come out and agree with Rags. You are either a liar or pathologically blind to your own life.

        • @DocD That comment makes no sense DocD. I don’t think I ever promoted a work “derived from a post by Bruce.” In fact, my blog is not as focused on political junkie stuff as this, I have a much broader range of topics (philosophy, science, culture, history, psychology, etc.)

        • @scotterb You left out basket weaving and tie-dying…

        • @scotterb

          Wow. A true renaissance man, having so much ignorance in so many fields. Oh, you forgot to mention the focus on yourself.

        • @scotterb Well now, we are going to pretend that just down below we did not link to our own post on communism which is already demonstrated to be a derivative of Bruce’s earlier post on which we commented extensively. We will try and claim that we are not promoting our own “thoughts” by linking back like that, but we are well known for making shit up as we go along.

          And as it happens we have read our posts on science and it isn’t science as we know it, Jim. Likewise the culture and history etc is direly sophomoric, Captain.

  • Wow. This thread is really an Erp tour de force of mendacity and uncomprehension. It cannot be accidental. The only question in my mind is whether the dishonesty is intentional or just a reflexive response to threats to his delusional weltanschauung.

  • Ows, yes, a popular, constructive, broad based movement.., this must be another thing certain members of the pseudo intelligentsia appreciate.

    How about a little urine to punish the rich on Wall Street, who must have been dressed as, uh, policemen, in uh, Denver.

    http://kdvr.com/2012/02/26/5-arrested-in-anti-police-protest-downtown/

    • @looker As I predicted before…OWS will inject a law and order component into the election this year.

      And guess who will benefit?

      • @Ragspierre Well, you know, you’ll want to make sure the precedents have been set for not permitting, or for showing up with strong arm riot ready forces when grammy and grampy trot out that Tea Party Gadsden flag.

        Having a good reason to tilt the tea party officially into the ‘riot’ bin would be helpful to big ears this year.

  • “It is a Republican myth that somehow the poor voting for Democrats drives policy or Democratic proposals.”

    This is one of the more brazen of Erp’s catalog of stupid outright lies. But it sort of deserves spotlighting.

    It is refuted by a simple question: what is the “third rail” of American politics?

    • @Ragspierre Heh, he managed to admit he’s a hypocrite down there in the depths. He didn’t put it that way of course.

      Funny, it’s like listening to Kerry or Kennedy or any of the other limo liberals. Why his wealth is his, and your wealth is the governments, and how his views represent the will of the people.

      it’s so…..so….. Predictable.

      • @looker It would be interesting to see if his tax check is more than the minimum he can get away with. Also be interesting to see what fraction of his income he gives to charity…how many days or nights a month he volunteers, etc.

        That whole “money where your mouth is/talk is cheap” thingy…

        • @Ragspierre Wouldn’t matter. He still yearns to confiscate other people’s property and use it for his own purposes.

    • @Ragspierre “”I’m not ashamed being well off, nor would I want any government to come and try to equalize all outcomes since I feel we’ve worked hard and deserve to make more for that reason. “”
      Here’s the line.
      Classic limo liberals – they worked hard, so…go take stuff from that rich guy over there because he has MORE, and we’re sure he didn’t work as hard, and he may be not be a right thinking progressive to boot.

      • @looker “nor would I want any government to come and try to equalize all outcomes” Ahh the key is the weasel word “all” before “outcomes”. So he gets to choose which outcomes of course… specifically, not his. People like him are the only thing that would get me to vote leftist, just to make sure the smug hypocrites are first in line for the great leap forward. Shite, he isn’t even a producer of anything.

  • The “Obama Western – see if you like it better than old Westerns.

    In the Obama Western, there’s a big land holder with lots of cattle. As opposed to the old western when the rich guy hires armed thugs to destroy business that compete with his, or cuts off water to farmers or other ranchers, or generally uses his armed thugs to, well, do armed thuggery, this guy is just doing business within the standard American dream rules. So, we’ll see early movie shots of him going to church with his family and being nice to other members of the community, donating some of his wealth to the poor, that sort of thing.

    After a bit, we’ll see a new mayor elected, who’s plan is to get the Federal Government to bring in the cavalry to take some of the guys cattle, over and above the amount he’s been giving, to hand out to people in the town. We’ll see towns people agreeing the guy has too much land, and too much cattle, and that he should share his stuff with everyone in the town for the privilege of being a member of the community.

    ‘Everyone’ will agree, and they’ll get the Federal Marshall’s to come in, start rounding up some of his cattle, and maybe sectioning off portions of his property to hand out to people in the town that the Mayor has decided aren’t as well off as others. They’ll offer him no extra pay for any of this, just the reminder that if he wants to continue to live in the community he has to pay extra for the privileges.

    As the sun sets and the movie ends he lets the armed government Marshall take his property and hand it out until they’ve achieved a fair distribution.

    In my directors cut though, we provide alternate endings – he can tries to sell his (remaining) property and moves.
    An alternative is he sells off all his cattle, gathers what portable wealth he can, burns down his own house and moves.
    A third alternate ending is he tries to sell his stuff, but the Mayor and the Marshall’s prevent it by passing new laws and when he tries to destroy it, they arrest him for burning his own ranch.

    Wow, sounds great doesn’t it!!!!!!

    • @looker Slight enhancement… BIG RANCHER employs several people at El Rancho Grande full time. Some of his fellow ranchers augment their scarce income by seasonal work at round-up. He is the largest customer at Myer’s General Store, and the reason the town has a rail-road spur is because of the volumn of shipping El Rancho Grande supports…but the townspeople enjoy MUCH lower transport costs. His deposits at Town Bank provide financing for other ranchers, town people’s homes, and local business.

      He is head and shoulders a BENEFACTOR to the town, just by his success.

      • @Ragspierre Ah, yeah! We can argue that if he hadn’t built the businesses that built the town, he wouldn’t be able to benefit from the town!
        Oh, wait, that didn’t come out quite right, I mean that if the town weren’t there NOW, all those businesses he started before the town was there wouldn’t have caught on and wouldn’t have been….

        Well, somehow we have to show the town as it is NOW is the cause of his wealth before. I don’t care how we do that, and frankly the plotting doesn’t have to be precise, most people will be paying attention to the cool party guest special appearances scenery we’re gonna have when the Mayor hands out the guys cattle and land to those he has decided are more deserving.

        • @looker We have actual models of your movie scenario. The former Rhodesia comes to mind… Not pretty.

          Great example of the positive story is Scranton, PA. You can find it told in the excellent Myth Of The Robber Barons.

        • @Ragspierre No Rags, we’re trying to show the OBAMA western here. The end is happy, everyone gets more, the rich guy learns his lesson (not clear what that lesson is, perhaps that sharing can make you feel good or something a 5 year old can follow). Only in my directors cut will we explore the grimy underside of that grasping rich bastard trying to hang on to his property.

      • @Ragspierre I’m thinking Macolm McDowell for the rich guy, he always plays such a scum bag no one would ever believe he didn’t REALLY deserve t have his property taken.

        • @looker Alex Baldwin for the oily mayor. Rosie O’Donnal (sp) for the old whore who runs the local bordello, and plots with mayor Graspy.

        • @Ragspierre Sean Penn as a local homesteader who’s decision to build on the low flat of the dry wash was stupi….uh….might possibly have cost him his house in unfortunate unexpected yearly spring flooding will be one of the beneficiaries. Fat Mikey Moore as a gruff and lovable bartender who’s dream of owning a couple head of cattle will be realized now thanks to Mayor Graspy.

          We can’t bring in too many of these named guys as players though, we need them for the celeb appearance slots during the party scenes.

        • @looker Could we work in OwlGore as the Elmer Gantry hell-fire social justice preacher and Lindsay Lohan as the town Laudanum ho…???