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America's Excuse Book: Take Your Choice, Victim Or Heartless Hypocrite

Tyler Durden's picture





 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

Yes, there are injustices and imbalances of power and wealth that we collectively need to remedy. But the way to do that is to embrace fact, responsibility, choice, consequence and thrift rather than deny those realities in favor of a false dichotomy of victim and non-victim.

...

Are the "poor" really too poor to buy fresh ingredients? Let's start with the fact that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49% of Americans Get Gov’t Benefits; 82 million in Households on Medicaid. That means roughly 156 million Americans out of 317 million total population are receiving cash benefits (i.e. direct transfers) from the Federal government. Approximately 57 million receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits.

Over 47.6 million people get SNAP food stamps, a non-cash benefit that acts just like cash at the grocery store. Clearly, the vast majority of those with low incomes receive government cash or equivalent benefits.

How many "poor" people routinely buy fast food meals that cost $3 or more? How many buy frozen waffles, chips, snacks, frozen pizzas, etc. with food stamps, purchases that add up to way more money than the ingredients of the Thanksgiving dinner that so enraged the reader? How many households would it take to pool some food stamps to spend $130 to make 40-50 servings of a great, healthy home-cooked meal?

The excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers seek to divide the populace into two (and only two) classes: victims and non-victims, who are by definition heartless hypocrites (or worse).

Luckily for the excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers, America's Excuse Book runs into the thousands of pages. There are excuses for literally everyone and every situation; almost everyone can stake a claim to victimhood.

People have written me that the "poor" don't have stoves/ovens, and this is why they are forced to eat junk food. Really? What percentage of people in America live in dwellings without stoves/ovens? People in residential single-occupancy (RSOs) flophouses, perhaps, but precisely how many people of the 317 million Americans have zero access to a single burner?

I suspect the number is quite small.

As I have noted before, 2 billion people in China and India prepare meals with one burner and a wok. If I didn't have an oven, I can prepare a nice meal with a single-burner camp stove and a small wok. So can several billion other people.

This kind of refutation of victimhood enrages the excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers because it demolishes the primary claim of victimhood: that people have no other choices--in other words, denying that the vast majority of situations offer a range of choices, and that choices have consequences.

The basic assumption of excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers is that victimhood arises not from choices but from Fate or the heartlessness of those with "more."

Let's distinguish between Fate and consequences of choices. A person who discovers they have a brain tumor had no choice in the matter--the cancer was a matter of fate. A person who is obese due to poor dietary and fitness choices and presents their sleep apnea, diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. etc. as fate is avoiding the causal connection between their lifestyle and life choices and their health problems.

Can we deny that most people have choices, even in poverty? Can we plausibly claim that poverty is all Fate and choice is inconsequential? If choice is inconsequential, then isn't our entire system of government and all major religions completely false, because they are all based on human will and choice being consequential?

If a person with low income chooses to stop buying fast food, junk food, sodas, snacks, chips and convenience food and only buys and prepare real food low on the food chain, they will instantly become wealthier because real food that is prepared and not thrown out is significantly cheaper than fast food, junk food, snacks, etc.

If the low-income person also stops smoking, they will also instantly become wealthier.

Since all that's needed to prepare the great cuisines of Asia is a single burner and single wok or equivalent, we don't need much to prepare healthy, tasty real-food meals. (I've posted photos here many times of my one-wok meals.)

If low-income (i.e. poverty) is fated, or the result of institutional forces that cannot be overcome, then how do we explain the multitudes of immigrants from every continent who arrive in America essentially penniless and who somehow manage to improve their lives despite low income, unfamiliarity with English, a dearth of institutional or family connections, etc. etc. etc.?

How is a low-income immigrant family able to pay off the mortgage on the family home in a few years while others blame the system for their heavy debt loads?

Since wealth creation is increasingly based on human and social capital and learning on one's own, the low-income person who stops watching TV and spending hours on social media will instantly be "wealthy" in terms of time that can be invested in building human and social capital--subjects I have written about extensively here, precisely because they require essentially no money other than an Internet connection. Building human and social capital is mostly a matter of effort and time. Anyone can improve their human and social capital and thus eventually their income and financial security.

Surveys routinely find that typical Americans spend 4-6 hours a day watching TV or other entertainment. The individual who chooses to take those 28-42 hours a week and invest them in mastering a new skill, seeking mentors, becoming a mentor--all the building blocks of human and social capital--will soon find that there are multiple returns on their investment of time and effort.

This kind of refutation of victimhood enrages the excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers for another reason: we know from psychology that two primary psychological defenses against accepting responsibility are transference and projection: if we can project our own ills onto others, we feel justified in our self-pitying victimhood.

If we can transfer the source of our problems (i.e. our own issues and failures) onto someone else, then we feel blameless for our own difficulties, i.e. being a victim.

This is why troubled families will often subconsciously select one child as the "cause" of the family's difficulties. If everyone blames this one child, they are magically free of responsibility.

This is the root psychology of the permanently-enraged excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers, i.e. those who have memorized entire chapters of the Book of Excuses: people are victims not from their own choices or a combination of choice and the fate that everyone is exposed to just by being alive, but because the non-victims are heartless hypocrites clinging greedily to everything that victims don't have access to, for example, a potluck Thanksgiving meal that costs $3.25 a serving.

Did the person who claims to be denied access to a $3/serving meal really do everything in their power to forego counterproductive or wasteful spending so they could spend their food stamps or cash on real food? Did they devote their spare time to building human and social capital, for example, learning how to cook, sharing meals with others, teaching others how to cook once they had learned, etc.?

Everyone who feels enraged by the previous paragraph has to ask themselves: what is the real root of your outrage and your need to make excuses for everyone with difficulties resulting from choices made in response to their circumstances?

The question is always: is there absolutely nothing that a person can do to improve their circumstances? Are there things that could be learned for free that would improve their life? Is there absolutely nothing they can do on their own behalf in terms of building human and scial capital, both of which require only effort and time? Are there absolutely no alternatives or choices, even in the smallest details of everyday life?

Stripped to its essence, the outrage of excusers, enablers and guilt-trippers is phony and self-righteous, a classic psychological defense against having to accept responsibility: blame the heartless who "should" be giving their own meal away (if you don't, you're a heartless hypocrite, you heartless hypocrite!), blame Fate or something/somebody, do anything but accept that there are choices and that choices have consequences, both short and long-term.

I have a number of disabilities that are "good enough" to claim membership in the victimhood class (one famously "owned" by a Steinbeck character) but they are none of anyone else's business. I think it's self-evident that victimhood and the sense of enraged, self-pitying entitlement it fosters is a dead-end, ethically, spiritually, psychologically, politically and financially.

According to Social Security, I have earned $543,718 in 43 years of ceaseless toil (2013 is not yet included, of course, so I have been working for 44 years), generally working 50-60 hours a week in multiple endeavors. That is $12,644 per year. That was a decent wage in 1977, now, not so much. Inflation makes it difficult to adjust previous years' income into "today's dollars," but however you figure it, it isn't the lifetime earnings of a "wealthy" person. And no, I have never received an inheritance or made a fortune in capital gains or made a ton of unreported income in the black market, nor did my wife have any advantages or unearned wealth.

(In fact, she dropped out of college to spend three years working 60+ workweeks in low-paying jobs to save the money to buy her single-parent mother a modest home. In other words, clearly she too is a heartless hypocrite for daring to spend hours preparing a meal from scratch for family, friends and neighbors.)

Thank goodness some people are so saintly and godlike that they can discern heartless hypocrites without knowing a darn thing about the people they so assuredly toss into the heartless hypocrite class. Now I know how the Inquisition worked: the saintly sinless fingered the heartless without needing any facts.

In 14 of the past 20 years, my net taxable wages were less than $10,000 a year.

In other words, by official measures, I have been "poor" for much of my working life.

For the vast majority of those who choose to write for money (as opposed to pursuing an unpaid hobby), one consequence of that choice is a low income. Choices have consequences; there is nothing mysterious about this causal link. If you want another consequence, fire up your will and make another choice.

Changing one's circumstances for the better generally requires not months of unceasing discipline, work and effort, but years or even decades of unceasing, dedicated toil, and daily sacrifices of present-day convenience for future benefits.

Improving one's circumstances (health, mindset, spiritual attainment, financial security, networks of colleagues, circles of friends, etc. etc. etc.) is the same process as getting good enough at something that people will pay you to perform that service or make that good for them.

Sometimes it requires moving to a new locale, changing careers, studying hard, and distinguishing between conveniences that are assumed to be essentials but that are actually luxuries that can be sacrificed for thrift in service of long-term goals. In all cases, it requires accepting risks: risks of failure, risk that the study might not pay off, risk that some accident could derail your plans, and so on.

Victimhood is not just a rejection of choice and consequence, but of risk--yet risk is ever-present and cannot be disappeared. Risk can only be managed and hedged, and only imperfectly at best.

Another big chunk of my life was spent working for low-paying non-profit groups advancing causes I believe in. The low pay was a consequence that went with the choice of advancing causes one is devoted to furthering.

When I was a builder in my youth, I gave jobs to vets and guys with criminal records-- marijuana dealing convictions, petty theft, that kind of thing. This choice opened the door to various risks and potential non-financial rewards. The reality is that "there is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity." Some opportunities you take, others you give.

Alas, earning a modest income doesn't preclude one from being tossed into the "heartless hypocrite" class if your ceaseless toil includes being extremely thrifty and making your own Thanksgiving meals with family, friends and neighbors. That you have have something others do not makes you a heartless hypocrite, regardless of your own frailties, disabilities, income or indeed, any other fact.

Here's your Excuse Book, America. There's something for almost everyone. Luckily, there is still an infinite abundance of excuses, guilt-tripping, victimhood, rage against those with "more" (never mind what they sacrificed to build it) and denial of choice, consequence, risk and fact.

Sadly, there are consequences to the pursuit of victimhood and the denial of will, choice, consequence, risk and fact, and they will be consequential indeed.

Yes, there are injustices and imbalances of power and wealth that we collectively need to remedy. But the way to do that is to embrace fact, responsibility, choice, consequence and thrift rather than deny those realities in favor of a false dichotomy of victim and heartless non-victim.

If those are the only "choices" left, America, count me out.

 


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Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:03 | Link to Comment robertocarlos
robertocarlos's picture

I'm a victim of circumstances as we all are. You can stay here, I'm going to Mars.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:14 | Link to Comment Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

But the Government and he media WANTS AND CREATES VICTIMS so they can "save" them with even moar miracle programs to have moar control.

We wouldn't need so much government if the sheeple were capable of making smart choices. Thus the "dumbing down" of America than began in the 70's

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:20 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

I wonder what it would cost to carry some huge percentage of our nation's population on the dole.  I mean literally CARRY them.  Food, housing, utilities, pocket money.  Nothing exotic, just a basic minimum standard of living.  Say, $25K a year per person.  And let's multiply that by 200MM people (roughly 2/3 of the US population).....

Hey, that's like $5 Trillion dollars a year!  

On second thought, let's not do that.  Fuck the leeches.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:45 | Link to Comment tempo
tempo's picture

My 20 year old grandson is a HS graduate w a C average. He is now is college w a C- average. He has no major and takes the minimum hours to qualify for financial aid, food stamps, and obamacare. He usually doesn't attend classes, eats out all the time and will stay in college for at least 6 years and never expects to have a full time job or pay off his student loans. He sleeps till noon, has the latest iphone, xbox, 400 channel HD TV, plenty of weed beer,and sex. He will move back home if kicked out of college where Mom works 2 part time w/o any benefits. He would like to be a full time protester for Obama. He is a victim of the system that keeps young men from ever growing up and being told they are special entitled kids.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:18 | Link to Comment Nemo DeNovo
Nemo DeNovo's picture

Not surprising at all, your post that is.  The Zombie Apocolypse will soon be in full effect, get ready folks almost time to "Thin the Herd"

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:25 | Link to Comment NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Haven't you told this story at least 3 times in the last couple days?  I'm getting huge deja vu here.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:44 | Link to Comment OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

I love when people brag about their grandchildren.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:03 | Link to Comment YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

You just cost me a new cup of coffee and the dry cleaning bill for my suit. It's everywhere!  Well worth the hearty laugh. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:49 | Link to Comment AgLand
AgLand's picture

How DARE he get sex -- that is just 'unfair'!

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:03 | Link to Comment Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

Why don't you take him fishing?

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:32 | Link to Comment ebear
ebear's picture

Bumper sticker!

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 18:16 | Link to Comment tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

Not to stir things up but if his mom was your daughter, wouldn't that hint at you failing somewhere along the way as a father?

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 18:20 | Link to Comment Miss anthrope
Miss anthrope's picture

HAHA  way to work it!

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:57 | Link to Comment Exponere Mendaces
Exponere Mendaces's picture

Unless you're trying to live off of social security alone, I doubt anyone here knows what "poor" really is. It doesn't mean not eating at that restaurant you really like less than once every month. The goalposts are set much lower, for a lot of things.

This is a financial blog catering to gold hoarders and preppers with the cash to make such purchases. Hardly a "poor" one among them. Unless you're telling me people forge their own firearms, or mine and refine their own ore.

Give me a break ZH, you're like that kid that moves into Willamsburg Brooklyn, complaining that there are still street vendors next to your organic muffin shop.

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 19:43 | Link to Comment Keyser
Keyser's picture

Poor in the US = Middle Class in the 3rd world 

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 19:59 | Link to Comment drstrangelove73
drstrangelove73's picture

I grew up poor in Mississippi in the 1950's.
I worked hard,excelled in school,worked 2and 3 jobs at times got through professional school and have worked 50-60 hrs a week in my own business for 30 years.
This essay is straight on down the middle right,and you are clueless.
Next

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 04:07 | Link to Comment Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

I've been poor, and I bet a lot of ZH people have too.  So what?  It's not a virtue to be poor or to have been poor.  Are you trying to live off of social security alone?  If so, I bet a lot of people on here would try to give you advice or tips on how to manage.  If not, what's your point?

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 06:02 | Link to Comment Oracle 911
Oracle 911's picture

I'm a victim too, usually to someone's laziness, idiotism and malice. Usually that someone is ME, except when it comes to malice because I'm NOT a masochist. Footnote: I'm fighting back, when I'm facing malice.

 

I hope, it is credo for most of ZHer's.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:05 | Link to Comment Dollar Bill Hiccup
Dollar Bill Hiccup's picture

Liberate the poor from poverty.

Teach a man to fish ...

Everyone can't learn to fish at college.

We need vocational schools, apprenticeships, and avenues of education which are not for profit, but for students to become self reliant.

Everyone can't be a salesman. This country is a country of salesmen. Cheap hustlers abound.

Out with the hustlers and the carnival barkers.

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:22 | Link to Comment bwh1214
bwh1214's picture

If the government weren't involved in education we would have plenty vocational schools. Most of our country is soft, saying things like “do what you love and money will come”, that was only while we were living on the products produced by other nations, bought with credit. That’s why our schools pump people out that can’t actually DO anything, poli sci, sociology, sociology, most business degrees, economics ect. What schools have the best ROI, vocational schools, Maritime Academies, Blank Schools of mines (not minds, mines as in coal, copper, iron or ect). If the government wasn’t subsidizing school loans school would be cheaper, people that shouldn’t go wouldn’t, and people would go so school for what would make them money on the other side, not for who had the nicest dorms, gyms, social centers ect. Not for profit, you have got to be kidding me, so who is going to coerce schools to be not for profit? You, you want to not allow schools, teachers the producer of the product of education to profit from their work. Screw off, I normally don’t get mad at comments on zero hedge but you sir are a dumbass.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:44 | Link to Comment Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

The education establishment is deeply entrenched in the West, with it are costs of infrastructure, wages, and pensions.

Developing countries will have the ability to use online education to a much greater degree and save large sums of money.

The Prussian school paradigm is about to be broken.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:27 | Link to Comment Antifaschistische
Antifaschistische's picture

Is this a book of excuses, or is this Obama's Presidential Campaign Target Audience for reelection?

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:04 | Link to Comment RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Please find the enclosed paid postage envelope.  Please send me my time back.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:19 | Link to Comment prains
prains's picture

Ho Lee Fuk was that a pile of shit to read, pulled out early, got dressed and left nothing on the dresser

Thanks for nothing, maybe stop writing articles for the rest of your life

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:35 | Link to Comment ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

He can whine about it here:

http://ho-lee-fooks.com

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:05 | Link to Comment Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

This is raycissssstt!!!!! There I said it bitchez!!! /s

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 20:04 | Link to Comment drstrangelove73
drstrangelove73's picture

Thanks for saying it first.
The Oprah say even implied criticism of Hussein is raycisstt

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:07 | Link to Comment I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

I saw people buying cookware on Black Friday. I think they are aready to cook or at least a show piece when guest arrive. It is the Amerikan way. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:07 | Link to Comment NOTaREALmerican
NOTaREALmerican's picture

There are those who make excuses for those at the bottom (aka "the poor") and those who make excuses for those at the top (aka "the job creators").

Some people have guilt, some people worship assholes.  

The human brain is a funny thing.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:07 | Link to Comment williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

UNITED WE STAND

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:39 | Link to Comment RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Turnabout is fair play.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:48 | Link to Comment wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

I'm still trying to choose a WB7 original for my backside!

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:08 | Link to Comment bwh1214
bwh1214's picture

The shift that must be made is from those that don’t produce to those that produce.  If that change is not made the producers will stop producing and society will wither on the vine. 

It comes down to “what is power?”.  Power is the ability to give something to someone that they desire or take away that something.  This is not always a bad thing, such as a father/breadwinner in a family having the power because he/she has the power of the purse strings, as long as he/she has the families best interest at heart..  Currently the government has the power to give people who don’t produce things such as retirement, social security and healthcare.  Unfortunately the people providing the goods, farmers, home builders, doctors nurses, miners ect. are dis-incentivized because they are taxed to give to the people receiving.  This disincentive causes them to produce less and less, and even go on the receiving side.  Eventually this will cause the dollar to lose value when people give up on producing.  Inflation can be caused by not just an increase in money supply but a decrease in production.  That is when the government loses its power to give and take things away and the power is returned to its rightful owner…the producers here in America but also the producers in China and anywhere else we run a trade deficit with. When the government loses this power they cannot gain votes by taking from one group and promising to give it to the majority, the tyranny of the majority dissolves and hopefully the world will be fair again.  The governments will not give up this power freely and will try every trick in the book to prevent it, but the process is inevitable, fair, but also very painful. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:14 | Link to Comment Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

This article fails on many levels.  The amount spent on corporate welfare DWARFS what we spend on social welfare programs.  Any legitimate concerns about how people on social welfare spend their money doesn't mean shit.  This is a red meat/red herring issue designed to divide us.  This is like people bitching about abortion with millions of 'post-term babies' starving in the streets.

So to the author, until we reign in corporate welfare, STFU. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:17 | Link to Comment Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

I agree.  Plus a lot of social welfare is in fact corporate welfare as has been noted here many times before.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:23 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Number wise, sure, the social welfare recipient is nothing compared to, say GE corporate welfare. But remember, a lot of these SNAP recipients are ADVOCATES of the welfare state which mean they ADVOCATE stealing the labour of one that's able to fish so they can eat fish on his dime.

At this point, they are open to criticism, as much as GE, Goldman Sachs are.

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:30 | Link to Comment Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

Yes, the corruption of corporate welfare has spread it's tentacles into social welfare, without a doubt.  If we were living in prosperous times where minimum wage, American wealth and other measures of prosperity showed signs of life, I would be more apt to criticize social welfare recipients.

I know it's fashionable to rip on the lazy poor people shopping at Wal Mart while talking on their iPhones, but stop and think for a minute.  Is the American Dream even still possible?  What other options does Sheople Nation have?  Our middle class is in the process of vanishing. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:32 | Link to Comment Toronto Kid
Toronto Kid's picture

Dude, you are making it sound like the majority of Westerners do not have it extremely good. Dunno about yours, but my great grandparents would have been thrilled to have such luxuries as clean running water, state sponsored sanitation, free education (up to a point), warm homes, etc.

Weren't we all giving thanks for what we have a few days/a month ago? When are we all going to stop cauterwauling about how good 'someone else' has it?

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:46 | Link to Comment Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

And what if I told you my grandparents are from Detroit?

Detroit is a little light on clean running water, state sponsored sanitation, free education and warm homes these days. Yes indeed, so much to be thankful for. 

There was an article posted here on ZH how over-leveraged Chi-Town is next up for the Detroit treatment.  Detroit is what happens when corporate welfare runs amok, and banks structure how a city operates.

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:31 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

Unions....

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 20:08 | Link to Comment drstrangelove73
drstrangelove73's picture

You left out the part about Coleman Young

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:28 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Good point. The Westerners are the one-percenters if we count in all the people from developing and third world countries. But another point is that the trend in the West is going either sideways, or down. While for the third world, it's been up, albeit from very low, for several decades.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:33 | Link to Comment bwh1214
bwh1214's picture

Ok so we have about a 3.5 trillion dollar federal budget, 1.6 trillion is paid out in social security and medicare, the rest of the entitlements gets us to half the budget, another .8 trill on the military, then the other services that government provides to all not just some.  So out of the few hundred billion left where is this “corporate welfare” you speak of.   Not to mention the chunk of taxes that corporations pay off the top.  Allowing a company to keep its money for investment, to pay its employees, or shares holders is not welfare.  I’m not saying there is not crony capitalism, there is in health care, education, defense, but most of all in banking who top them all, but the rest of the corporations pretty much just provide great services for the American people, or at least ones that they want.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:44 | Link to Comment Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

GE received an $8B REFUND from the IRS.  Your simplistic view of the nation's "budget" doesn't account for the fact that multi-national corporations are taxed much, much less than the average citizen.  Also, the $750B taxpayer funded bail-out of Wall Street doesn't show up in your budget figures, now does it?

 

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:33 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

So because there is a bigger evil all small evil is excused?

Grow up.

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:55 | Link to Comment Bob Sacamano
Bob Sacamano's picture

Pretty sure the refund came from the net loss carry forwards (i.e., they lost piles of money in 2008-2009) -- just recovering taxes paid by using prior losses. 

Regardless, we should get rid of all corporate taxes since ONLY INDIVIDUALS pay any corporate tax -- customers and shareholders -- 100% of which are ultimately individuals.  Corporations just remit taxes ON BEHALF of individuals.  

And the added benefit of no corporate taxes would be a) individuals would more clearly see what government costs them instead of having taxes buried in the price of what they are buying and b) corporations would likely significantly spend less trying to influence politicians (despite the fact any corruption on this front rests ultimately with the person ACCEPTING the pressure to be corrupt). 

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 18:25 | Link to Comment bwh1214
bwh1214's picture

Really an 8 billion dollar refund? I don't think they should get it back but that said that is one of the very few companies that get anything back and pretty much all pay corporate income tax which is just double taxation on the employees and shareholders. That money is rightfully there's. Did you not notice that I said entitlements amount to 1.8 trillion, corporations on balance pay into the government no matter what the GE refund is. As far as your bailout yes it is complete bull, but the government is the one who allowed it. And the reason for it was a monetary system the government allows. Corporations make money, in capitalism usually money is made by providing a good or a service and bettering life for all but in capitalism a corporation will make money any way they can. Fractional reserve banking is fraud, it wouldn’t be if they were not demand deposits but as long as they are it is fraud, legal, but still fraud. Who said its legal, the government. It is not the corporations, that is the problem it is the government. The corporations will play by what ever rules/laws are put in front of them.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 22:16 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

Let's ask Charles Rangel just how many of his Corparate "Buddies" suggested IRS regulation changes to him...

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 04:16 | Link to Comment Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

bwh,

The anti-corporatists don't believe in math or truth or facts, they just believe in down arrows and parroting their party line of CORPORATIONS ARE EVIL.  Of course, corporations in America pay higher taxes than anywhere in the world, and of course those taxes are passed down to the customer, which you'd think people would understand is an inherently bad idea.....

But, sadly, no, the anti-corporatists would like to live in a third world country.  Unfortunately, they won't move to one.  They want to turn our country into one.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:42 | Link to Comment Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

Yeah, yeah...been there, done that.

It's all the "evil corporations", right?  The horrible "banksters"!  Tax the rich!  Tax the rich!  YAY government!!!!! etc., etc., etc...

Obviously you're playing the victim-villain game yourself.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:52 | Link to Comment Blood Spattered...
Blood Spattered Banner's picture

Your petty attempt at labeling me as some pro-government liberal is baseless.  Why don't you go stir up some shit on Huffpost or Drudge Report, and get the fuck off ZH?  Your partisan attitude is not welcome here.  There are plenty of other sites to play the "Red vs. Blue" game.

Fuck taxes.  We're taxed entirely too much as a society.  Considering that a majority of our tax dollars are used to fund illegal wars and keep Wall Street solvent, I welcome the day America protests taxation en masse.  *gasp*, I even think the rich are taxed too much!

Our government has become so bloated and corrupt.  Instead of trying to solve the gigantic problem of corporate rule/fascism, people still want to crucify food stamp recipients?  We're truly fucked as a society.

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 01:23 | Link to Comment Kreditanstalt
Kreditanstalt's picture

"...a majority of our tax dollars are used to fund illegal wars and keep Wall Street solvent..."

HALF true.

Would be a nice aid to playing "I'm a victim" if it were entirely true.  Then you could point fingers at "evil" rich, "evil Tea Party", "evil "banksters" and so on, while applauding the governments...so simple!

But in reality it's the social welfare spending that's the greatest contributor to bankrupting the governments: Medicare, Medicaid, government employment, government housing SNAP, Social Security consume the majority of the budget.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:48 | Link to Comment Czar of Defenes...
Czar of Defenestration's picture

Waaah!  Waaaaaaaaaaaah!!!  WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

Baaaaaaanksters!!!!!

Yeah, uh huh.

With the next article here on your beloved "banksters," I won't be holding my breath to hear you criticize all the millions of societal parasites at the other end of the economic spectrum as "being equally to blame."

 

Occupoopers are *soooo* predictable.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:14 | Link to Comment Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Ten bucks says the author has tried to suck his own cock.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:07 | Link to Comment Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

With all the down arrows I can only presume there are nothing but a bunch of banker loving faggots up in here. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:34 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

$10 bucks says you have sucked your own cock sweety.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 18:22 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Hell, I'll pay $10 bucks to tape it and put it on You-tube.

Gotta admit it would look funny as hell.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:35 | Link to Comment Toronto Kid
Toronto Kid's picture

I'd be astonished if most fellas on this site haven't at least tried to do so at one point or another.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:50 | Link to Comment OldPhart
OldPhart's picture

There once was a young man from Nantucket

who's dick was so long he could suck it;

and he said with a grin

as he wiped off his chin

if my ear were a cunt I could fuck it.

 

not the limerick king

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:09 | Link to Comment ebear
ebear's picture

I once saw Ron Geremy do that in a porn video and thought,my god, the injustice of it all!

But seriously, the author's basic argument is I did X, Y and Z, so why can't others do X,Y and Z? The very definition of self-righteousness., so yeah... glass house. 

 

 

 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:17 | Link to Comment Surging Chaos
Surging Chaos's picture

This article seems to conveniently forget to take into consideration of how we got here. Specifically, the fact that 100 years of the Fed and 40+ years of fiat currency have reached the end game.

The warfare/welfare state will persist as long as the banksters continue to pull the strings.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:31 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

The warfare/welfare state will persist as long as there is a state.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:43 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The warfare/welfare state will persist until the unicorn shits it's last imaginary FRN.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:46 | Link to Comment Surging Chaos
Surging Chaos's picture

Sadly, this is true. The minarchist in me came out from my previous post. ;-)

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:24 | Link to Comment alangreedspank
alangreedspank's picture

Minarchism is tempting, for anyone. You shall be forgiven :)

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:17 | Link to Comment I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

 

Government Spends More on Corporate Welfare Subsidies than Social Welfare Programs

http://thinkbynumbers.org/government-spending/corporate-welfare/corporat...

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:41 | Link to Comment RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

The link you posted quotes numbers which while large, vastly underestimate the amounts of welfare given to corporations.  By at least 10X and more likely 50-100X.  100 Billion/year?  Haa. 

85Billion/month for Banksters alone.  That does not even take into account free money, guaranteed interest rates for parked money.  Reduced risks in all their investments, etc, etc.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:51 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

The problem is not that the Government Spends More on This than That.  The problem is it takes or borrows your private money and redistributes it as it sees's fit.  Every maggot then lobbies the gov for their fair-share of the loot.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 20:19 | Link to Comment ToNYC
ToNYC's picture

Caged birds angry at their feeders, protecting them from the danger of the wild. If the cat could fly, I could just die...Tangled up in Blue.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:18 | Link to Comment MayIMommaDogFac...
MayIMommaDogFace2theBananaPatch's picture

On calories per dollar basis, Little Debbie will trounce broccoli every time.

Plus, broccoli is lacking that deeply-pleasurable addictive quality that refined-sugar adds, so there's that.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:16 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Nobody puts little Debbie in the corner.

you threatend the GMO wheat addicts fix, so they downvoted you, bro.

 

 

Tue, 12/03/2013 - 04:22 | Link to Comment Serenity Now
Serenity Now's picture

I call them Miss Debbies, and a Swiss Cake Roll will make you slap somebody.  LOL.  :)

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:18 | Link to Comment ChaosEquilibrium
ChaosEquilibrium's picture

....and your excuse is.....What?...that you needed to work so long and so hard....that you were unable to invest a small amount with compounding interest????...and now you call capital gains and inheritance as sappy money?......maybe you are just "dumb money"....who can cook a meal from scratch! WOW...We are ALL Saved!

 

Gee you glass house looks so pretty from the outside!

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:21 | Link to Comment ebear
ebear's picture

"Gee you glass house looks so pretty from the outside!"

Recycled pop bottles.  Won't save the planet but it sure gives you something to be smug about.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:20 | Link to Comment Freewheelin Franklin
Freewheelin Franklin's picture

I think H.L. Mencken sums it up nicely:

 

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

 

As long as there is power to be gained by politicians who claim to want to help "victims", there will, surely, always be victims. 

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:24 | Link to Comment are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

Idiotocracy is on track.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:30 | Link to Comment falak pema
falak pema's picture

America's Excuse Book doesn't impress this trend :

Edward Snowden revelations prompt UN investigation into surveillance | World news | The Guardian

UN's senior counter-terrorism official says revelations 'are at the very apex of public interest concerns'

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:40 | Link to Comment Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

What a whole load of shit.

Listen up Mr Smith, stop bailing out the very top and socialising their losses and then we can talk fuckwit.

The whole fucking shebang starts and finishes when morality is ignored.  You cannot have private entities doing such private, yet immoral and outright wrong thieving practices, and when caught out, when said fucking scum should have gone under then over written by the populace in general, then you cannot complain when these socialisied losses become part of our lives you fucking hair brained idiot.

You preach for one wok burners for us plebs, but say fuck all about the fucking griffters who cause you to use one??  You have a hole in your head where your arse belongs son.

Dis-allow money created from thin air, in infinate amounts, to be placed on the back of the populace, with interest to be paid by us fucking quick catching on fuckers in the first place you idiot.  Now fuck off and take your one burner wok with you.

Fuck compounding, debt interest, you, and the horse it rode in on you cunt.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:06 | Link to Comment Sweet Chicken
Sweet Chicken's picture

Awesome +1

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:22 | Link to Comment Inthemix96
Inthemix96's picture

Rightey hoe then two down votes.

Mr smith and his wife then??  Come on then son, come debate the master debater 96.  You dont think fractional reserve lending leading to one wok burners should be out-lawed then?

What fucking spineless shits you so surely are.  You cannot back up the fraud you support??

Your day is coming swines.  Tick fucking tock you cunts.

Tick fucking tock.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:42 | Link to Comment Czar of Defenes...
Czar of Defenestration's picture

So true.  Even the fakers are trying to identify as victims:

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2013/11/that_viral_poverty_thoug...

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 15:44 | Link to Comment wisehiney
wisehiney's picture

The Hobo Kings cooked with a coffee can.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:21 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

and the Mambo Kings cooked with those red hot costumes

aye carramba!

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:14 | Link to Comment LFMayor
LFMayor's picture

Excuses?  Who cares.  Death doesn't give two shits about excuses. 

Hasten the collapse to rid us of the parasitical burdens.  Then we can devote this effort, energy, thinking, or as some call it "money" to getting the fuck off this rock and seeing what's really out there.

If we hadn't been spoon feeding the goddamn leeches we'd be walking on Mars already, dammit.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:24 | Link to Comment justtotaketheedgeoff
justtotaketheedgeoff's picture

Mr Hugh-Smith - I concur. Actions have consequences. People make choices and they must own the results.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 16:38 | Link to Comment kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

"...land of the free, home of the brave..."

Need I say more?! LOL

 

"Ignorance of the Constitution and 'following orders' is no excuse."

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:19 | Link to Comment Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

In 14 of the past 20 years, my net taxable wages were less than $10,000 a year.

This sounds like a lecure from someone who didn't have much ambition himself.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 17:45 | Link to Comment DOT
DOT's picture

Altogether a good exposition of the importance of making informed choices and the management of the consequences they bring. Too bad staying on topic is seen by the apologists as an endorsement of the exogenous. The existence of sociopathy does not excuse being a self important ass.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 18:30 | Link to Comment shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

"I didn't plan on being a crack ho...It just happened.

Now gimmee mah free shit."

 

"I cooks them Frito pies."

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 18:52 | Link to Comment A. Magnus
A. Magnus's picture

The Pentagon 'MISPLACES' $8.5 TRILLION FUCKING DOLLARS SINCE '96, but NOBODY bitches about that. Not a fucking soul. They've been paying $500 per toilet seat since the fucking 80s ripping the taxpayer SEVERAL new assholes in the process.

But that's NOT a problem. All you get is government asskissers making excuses about how paying over TEN FUCKING TIMES the market rate for a product is somehow 'providing goods and services.'

Admit it, state apologists: You fucking LOVE it when some asshat WASTES the money taken from you at gunpoint to pay a bunch of inbred banker fucktards - so long as the people burning your money wear nice uniforms with shiny medals on their coats. Doesn't matter if they haven't actually protected the country in over half a fucking century, you just like eating military dick like fucking programmed douchebots.

I don't need a bunch of goose-stepping cocksuckers to kick up hornets nests around the globe while wasting over $0.50 of ever tax dollar extorted from me on bullshit kickbacks to ANTI-CAPITALIST AND UNCOMPETITIVE piece of shit elitist contractor companies. Maybe big government ballsack lickers do, but I don't. I can handle the 'free shit army' just fine; what I can't handle are a bunch of fed-loving, blue-blood sphincter felching, fake capitalists telling me the state isn't the problem, it's the 'freeloaders'...

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 19:53 | Link to Comment Reaper
Reaper's picture

I am the victim of government, its enabled slackers, its enriched cronies,its wasteful schemes, its lifetime employees, its lifetime politicians protected by its corrupt prosecutors, judges and courts. I owe them nothing. They owe me.

Mon, 12/02/2013 - 23:09 | Link to Comment zebrasquid
zebrasquid's picture

$10,000 a year? Who is going to pay for your long term care if you live until 90? Obviously, not you.
So what page in your excuse book is yours on?

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