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What's The Difference Between Fascism, Communism And Crony-Capitalism? Nothing

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

The essence of crony-capitalism is the merger of state and corporate power--the definition of fascism.

When it comes to the real world, the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is semantic. Let's start with everyone's favorite hot-word, fascism, which Italian dictator Benito Mussolini defined as "the merger of state and corporate power." In other words, the state and corporate cartels are one system.

Real-world communism, for example as practiced in the People's Republic of China, boils down to protecting a thoroughly corrupt elite and state-owned enterprises (SOEs). The state prohibits anything that threatens the profits (and bribes) of SOEs--for example, taxi-apps that enable consumers to bypass the SOE cab companies.

What A Ban On Taxi Apps In Shanghai Says About China's Economy
 

The Chinese mega-city of Shanghai has been cracking down on popular taxi-booking apps, banning their use during rush hour. Until the apps came along, the taxi companies, which are government owned, set the real price for fares and collected about 33 cents each time someone called for a cab. That can add up in a city the size of Shanghai. Wang says the apps bypassed the old system and cut into company revenues.

Much has been made of China's embrace of capitalism, but — along with transportation — the government still dominates key sectors, including energy, telecommunications and banking. Wang says vested government interests won't give them up easily.

How else to describe this other than the merger of state and corporate power? Any company the state doesn't own operates at the whim of the state.

Now let's turn to the crony-capitalist model of the U.S., Japan, the European Union and various kleptocracies around the globe. For PR purposes, the economies of these nations claim to be capitalist, as in free-market capitalism.

Nothing could be further from the truth: these economies are crony-capitalist systems that protect and enrich elites, insiders and vested interests who the state shields from competition and the law.

The essence of crony-capitalism is of course the merger of state and corporate power. There are two sets of laws, one for the non-elites and one for cronies, and two kinds of capitalism: the free-market variety for small businesses that are unprotected by the state and the crony variety for corporations, cartels and state fiefdoms protected by the state.

Since crony-capitalism is set up to benefit parasitic politicos and their private-sector cartel benefactors, reform is impossible. Even the most obviously beneficial variety of reform--for example, simplifying the 4 million-word U.S. tax code--is politically impossible, regardless of who wins the electoral equivalent of a game show (i.e. Demopublicans vs. Republicrats).

The annual cost of navigating the tax code comes to about $170 billion:

Since 2001, Congress has enacted about one new change to the tax law per day. Pathetic, isn’t it? This tax code is a burden and a fiasco and deeply unpatriotic. As Olson’s Taxpayer Advocate Service notes, this code helps tax evaders; hurts ordinary, honest taxpayers; and corrodes trust in our system.

Here's why the tax code will never be simplified: tax breaks are what the parasitic politicos auction off to their crony-capitalist benefactors. Simplify the tax code and you take away the the intrinsically corrupt politicos' primary source of revenue: accepting enormous bribes in exchange for tax breaks for the super-wealthy.

You would also eliminate the livelihood of an entire industry that feeds off the complexities of the tax code. Tax attorneys don't just vote--they constitute a powerful lobby for the Status Quo, even if that Status Quo is rigged, unjust, wasteful, absurd, etc.

It's not that hard to design a simple and fair tax code. Setting aside the thousands of quibbles that benefit one industry or another, it's clear that a consumption-based tax is easier to collect and it promotes production rather than consumption: two good things.

As for a consumption tax being regressive, i.e. punishing low-income households, the solution is very straightforward: exempt real-food groceries (but not snacks, packaged or prepared foods such as fast-food), rent, utilities and local public transportation--the major expenses of low-income households.

1. A 10% consumption tax on everything else would raise about $1.1 trillion, or almost 2/3 of total income tax revenues, not counting payroll taxes (15.3% of all payroll/earned income up to around $113,000 annually, paid half-half by employees and employers), which generate about one-third of all Federal tax revenues and fund the majority of Social Security and a chunk of Medicare.

As for the claim that a 10% consumption tax would kill business--the typical sales tax in California is 9+%, and that hasn't wiped out consumption.

2. The balance could be raised by a progressive tax on unearned income, collected at the source. Most of the income of the super-wealthy is unearned, i.e. dividends, investment income, interest, capital gains, stock options, etc. As a result, a tax on unearned income (above, say, $10,000 annually to enable non-wealthy households to accrue some tax-free investment income) will be a tax on the super-wealthy who collect the vast majority of dividends, interest, capital gains and investment income.

A rough estimate would be 20% of all unearned income.

This would "tax the rich" while leaving all earned income untaxed, other than the payroll tax, which is based on the idea that everyone should pay into a system that secures the income of all workers. This would incentivize productive labor and de-incentivize speculation, rentier skimming, etc.

The corporate tax would be eliminated for several reasons:

1. It is heavily gamed, rewarding the scammers and punishing the honest

2. All income from enterprises is eventually distributed to individuals, who would pay the tax on all unearned investment income.

But such common-sense reform is politically impossible. That's why the answer to the question, what's the the difference between fascism, communism and crony-capitalism is nothing.

 

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Wed, 04/16/2014 - 12:58 | 4665590 RafterManFMJ
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Well, one difference is in a communist state you could be murdered by security forces and nothing would happen to the killers.

Oh, wait...

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:07 | 4665628 flacon
flacon's picture

What they all have in common is that people live at the expense of someone else instead of their own hard-earned labour.

 

And that is especially true of the bankers, politicians, those on welfare and insider-corporations. They make it virtually impossible to NOT be dependent on the rotten system by passing laws outlawing cows from grazing or "owning" your own land (property). 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:08 | 4665645 john39
john39's picture

looking back time, you can see the root of this issue...  some people believe that they are destined by divine right to rule over the masses...  and that this arrangement is 'for the best'...  and as such, nothing they do, no matter how seemingly vile and evil, is a problem.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:18 | 4665692 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Progressive taxes are UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

Taxes are laws and in the US, according to the Constitution at least, all citizens must be treated equally under the law.  You can't have a law that says people with an income of $100k serve 2 years in prison and people with an income of $50k server 1 year in prison.  The Federal Income tax laws are laws regarding how much LABOR one "owes" the government.  Under the current set of laws, some citizens are required to work 25% of their workday for the state, whilst others 35%, and others 15%, etc.

 

Imagine you are in a village of 350 people instead of a country of 350 million people.  How long would it last when 60%, 210 villagers, are doing work?  And less than 50% are contributing their labor to the common good.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:30 | 4665786 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@insanelysane

Well, the current federal income tax rates are progressive, so add that to the list of unconstitutional things.  Remember, the perfect is the enemy of the good....

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:43 | 4665854 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

Exactly, which is why that Grover douchebag guy is full of shit with his anti tax group.  If they wanted to really change something they would sue the US over the progressive tax system.  Instead, just like the article states, they want the tax laws changed in their favor.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:28 | 4666058 strannick
strannick's picture

The principles of Jefferson and Jackson would seem bizarre to Jamie Dimon, Mike Rogers, the NSA and the CIA. However they would surely be nodding in ascent to a speech from Stalin, clapping to Goebbels, high fiving Mao....

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:09 | 4666264 flacon
flacon's picture

Imagine a world where the government would tax each person once a year for simply being alive - we could call it a birthday tax. We could think of it as giving back to the earth what we took from the earth (except that the politicians would get the money).

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:52 | 4666511 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

The principles of Jefferson and Jackson would seem bizarre to Jamie Dimon, Mike Rogers, the NSA and the CIA.

You mean slave owning for both Jefferson and Jackson and instigator of genocide for Jackson?

Seems to me that's right up those folk's alley.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:33 | 4666086 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

So you're under the impression that the progressive tax has never been challenged in court?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:43 | 4666137 Howard_Roark0112
Howard_Roark0112's picture

I'm all for a flat tax rate... except not as long the Fed is around and doing what it does. If we were to move to a flat tax and keep the Fed and the status quo that would be the biggest con in history. 

At the end of the day the Fed esentially prints money for the elite... think about it, why else would they accept a progressive tax rate. Yes a flat tax rate would be fair and just, but only if it comes with other stipulations and reforms. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:06 | 4666263 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Since when did the U.S. have a progressive tax system?  The 0.001% don't pay no taxes.  That's regressive.

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:05 | 4665946 flacon
flacon's picture

contributing their labor to the common good.

 

What "common good"? That sounds Marxist to me. I don't care about anybody else except for me, myself, and my family...... but then... I realize that by COOPERATION I can make ME, MYSELF, and MY FAMILY even wealthier.... so I VOLUNTAIRLY CHOOSE to COOPERATE with others. There is no "COMMON GOOD" - if what I do makes my life miserable for the sake of others then I will not do it. If what I do makes my life better for ME AND MINE then I will do it. This is the law of the universe, all animals on this planet work this way - but us humans have figured out how to COOPERATE and make our lives better than we could do it on our own. There is no coersion here. The other word for VOLUNTARY COOPERATION is CAPITALISM. 

 

When was the last time you gave $1,000 to your neighbour's wife or washed you neighbour's car for him, or mowed his lawn - expecting nothing in return? Sure if you are living in plenty that's easy, but when you are stuggling to even feed your own family, are you really going to be chucking money around to spend on OTHERS instaed of YOU AND YOUR OWN if there is no chance of it somehow coming around and benefiting you in the end? There is no common good - that is a myth. 

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:17 | 4666016 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

In theory at least, you, yourself and your family are to be included among the "common" in "the common good."  "The Common Good" isn't just other people exclusive of yourself.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:23 | 4666032 flacon
flacon's picture

There is nothing in the "commong good" pot of goodies - it is empty except for that which was stolen from those who want to make their own lives better. We hire thieves (politicians) to steal from others so that we can make pretend that there is actually something in the "common good" pot. It's a lie and it's wrong. 

 

I know I am using an extreme example and I hope people realize that. Would you take food off of your starving child's plate and give it to your neighbour's fat son to eat - or would you ask your fat neighbour's son if he would like to EARN some food by doing something for you, for example mowing your lawn. Nothing is free in life and I don't expect others to live their life for my sake and I don't expect to live my life for others sake unless there is some MUTUAL VOLUNTARY agreement between us. :)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:32 | 4666075 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Well, so long as you're espousing the voluntary nature of the capitalist system, then how far do you think your request to your fat neighbor's son is going to go?

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:39 | 4666096 flacon
flacon's picture

You are missing the point. I am not FORCED to give my son's food to my neighbour's fat son - but if we all agree (me, my son, and neighbour's son) he can EARN the food himself. It's not a "request" as you put it. If he doesn't want to get off his fat ass and mow my lawn then he won't get fed by me.

- Is that an example of me exploiting my neighbour using capitalism?

- Or is that him exploiting me by using capitalism?

- Or is nobody exploiting anybody?

 

When was the last time you were at McDonalds as a customer and the manager "requested" that you mop the floors? The answer is never since you are not a VOLUNTARY EMPLOYEE - you are a customer. How hard is it for people to understand this.... yikes. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:13 | 4666297 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

And how did you get the yard?  Why would you give your son's food to a neighbor even if he mows your yard?

PS, generally speaking, the person mowing the yard is the one being exploited...  and is likely only doing it because he has to mow it to eat...  fortunately or unfortunately, eating is about all he'll get out of the deal.  Or were you meaning that you'll give all your surplus property to him for merely mowing the yard?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:18 | 4666322 flacon
flacon's picture

I'm surprised you have enough money for an internet connection. Where did you get your money? Whom did you exploit?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:51 | 4666460 Raymond K Hessel
Raymond K Hessel's picture

FLACON = Genius!!

MachoMan <> Genius!!

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:33 | 4666674 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Well, I got the money from the zero sum game we call the economy...  much of it derived from legal infrastructure that turns my non-productive job into a necessity for many people...  call it whatever you want, but you're dancing around the issue.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:08 | 4667015 flacon
flacon's picture

If you have a job that is NON PRODUCTIVE (ie, produces nothing of value to society) then you are living off of a crony-capitalist (ie, SOCIALIST) utopia. In Capitalism there are no jobs that produce nothing. They simply don't exist for more than one pay period. PERIOD! It is only in the distorted reality in which we live where there are jobs which produce nothing of value to society, but instead DRAIN value from society - and people call that "capitalism"? You've got to be shitting me! ;)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 19:14 | 4667269 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You've crossed the rubicon from economic model to religion at this point...  In religion, the answer for all anomalies is "god wills it"...  similarly here, the answer for all anomalies is "because its capitalism."  Does it have electrolytes?

PS, what you're describing is the perfect distribution of goods and services and the perfectly efficient use of resources.  This has never happened in any economic system, capitalism included.

PS2, there is actually an economic definition for production...  note: virtually all jobs in the economy do not meet this standard.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 20:24 | 4667508 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

You see why Lloyd Blankfein can say he is doing "god's work".

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:21 | 4665714 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Then you find people like CHS who believe in the fallacy of fair theft (taxation), rendering his entire opinion MOOT!

And here I was beginning to think he was recovering from his statist disease.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:55 | 4666202 Philalethian
Philalethian's picture

"What they all have in common is..."

What they all have in common is, they were all created by the bankster empire of dust to use as pawns in war games, pitting all sides against each other. The evil banksters profit after the wars are over and take more power from the people. To control the opposition, you lead it.

All political differences, and the this's and that's are just chessboard pieces for those banksters to play off against each other so they can profit from the conflicts, and chaos. The world domination using the money-god, and the population elimination agendas are always the roots of what is happening on the surface.

When it comes to news and information, it is a lie, or it is the truth. It will empower you, or dis-empower you for control purposes. Decide which feels better, and then embrace that.

Where's cheney?

Where's poppy bush?

All hands on deck!

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:11 | 4665660 Dixie Rect
Dixie Rect's picture

Different Ass-Hats

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:20 | 4665712 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

What's the difference between capitalism and communism?

Under capitalism, man exploits man. 

Under communism, it's the other way around....

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:23 | 4665731 Son of Loki
Son of Loki's picture

Gee.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:25 | 4665749 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

* old joke

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:30 | 4665779 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Any and all of the various forms of government pretty much define man exploiting man.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:36 | 4665811 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Good, you got the joke:  Man exploits man.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:55 | 4665930 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Sure.

Even the middle class, which is getting hammered, exploits others through its want of government.

The innocents are the anarchists and panarchists.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:54 | 4666195 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I dated ann archist in college. she was a mess

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:58 | 4666495 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Ann Teechrist was a handful, too.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:53 | 4666747 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

I remember her. weird piercings all over. constantly lying 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:39 | 4665828 flacon
flacon's picture

Capitalism exploits man vs. man? Really? Is the employee exploiting hs employer by holding the employer for ransom demanding a salary? Or is the employer holding the employee for ransom by only paying him what he is worth to the company? Perhaps in capitalism the employee and the employer voluntairly use eachother for mutual benefit - not exploitation. What a novel concept

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:42 | 4665846 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@flacon

What is this "capitalism" and where does it exist?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:46 | 4665876 flacon
flacon's picture

Well one could start by looking at the black market. Drugs, hookers, arms, barter groups etc. That's where is exists in it's purest form today. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:00 | 4665953 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Capitalism - free markets - harnesses mankind's control freak nature and channels it into having to please customers in order to survive.

That is the opposite of the force that government uses to survive.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:09 | 4665981 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@flacon

Oh, OK, so prostitution does NOT invovle any kind of exploitation or anything and drug cartels are role models for capitalism.  Got it.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:18 | 4666023 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

you didn't know that Thai hooker with the broken nose was an entrepreneur?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:32 | 4666076 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

What a stupid stupid comment.

Those problems are caused by government making them illegal.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:59 | 4666219 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

man exploits man in every system and every substance. Why would drugs be different? The "legal" drug system (and their companies) contain exponentially more crime and exploitation.  

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:47 | 4666929 NickVegas
NickVegas's picture

You did sir, it is all exploitation. They don't call it laborism. Money, capital is slavely. Used to finance standing armies since the Summerians. Print up coin of the realm, and collect taxes in that coin from the serfs under threat of death. That is the basis for the system, and I don't believe anything has changed since the real murky invention of money. Do a little research, you may learn some interesting truths about the human condition here on the planet.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:18 | 4666025 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

I've thought that too, until I considered violent pimps and the nature of drug addiction.  Then the market isn't so free.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:56 | 4665860 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

That's a great theory....flacon.  But like most theories......man fucks it up.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:45 | 4665869 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Men exploit one another.  That's human history.

Every system regardless of how good it is gets overrun, is attacked.

Eternal vigilence is the only defense.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:53 | 4665916 flacon
flacon's picture

So then, what is a better system? Let's hear your ideas please. 

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. to change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." ~ Buckminster Fuller

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:57 | 4665939 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

You asked, so here goes.

There is none, junior.

Now grow up.

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:09 | 4665985 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Get this man a beer.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:14 | 4666003 flacon
flacon's picture

So you agree that Capitism is the best system we can achieve. Good, I was worried that we had a misunderstanding about that. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:22 | 4666042 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@flacon

Why would anyone consider an economic model as the answer to the question, "What is 'the best system we can achieve?'"

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:26 | 4666054 flacon
flacon's picture

Because the answer will come in the form of an economic model. Or another way to put it, an economic model is the answer. They are one and the same. 

 

If I spend more money each month than I earn, I will eventually go broke. That is true. It is also an economic model. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:37 | 4666101 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@flacon

I disagree.  The relationships between people can be explained very well by economic theory; however, there is no Homo Economus.  People are inherently irrational and governed by raw emotions of love, hate, jealousy etc.  For me, the best system that we can achieve gives the most freedom to individuals, recognizing the role of mediating institutions such as the legal system, academia, etc.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:02 | 4666232 flacon
flacon's picture

I don't think that we are too far apart in our thinking. However irrationality based purely on human emotion rather than a rational thought process tends to degenerate an economy. For example I hate my boss - but should I tell her that she is a self-centered bitch and I hate her guts? Sure I could try that - but guess where I'd be.... you got it... unemployed. However I could RATIONALLY try to REASON with her by setting aside my emotions and just thinking about what is best for myself - and that would be to have a conversation about the issues which I face in a clear, calm, respectful way knowing that we each need each other - I need the $$$ and she needs the productivity. 

 

Raw emotions are always temered by the REALITY of CAPITALISM. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:18 | 4666323 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Yes, but the exchange of goods and services does not exist in a perfect vacuum.  The reality is that productivity is likely to be in excess of wage...  since capital controls labor, not vice versa.  (this is true for every system, but I digress).

You might each need the other, but are you on level bargaining positions?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:40 | 4666420 TaperProof
TaperProof's picture

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Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:08 | 4666268 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

There is Homo Econormous but gay porn is only a small part of the economy

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:08 | 4666534 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

So you agree that Capitism is the best system we can achieve. Good, I was worried that we had a misunderstanding about that.

No...junior.  I don't

Every socio-economic system is equal until the corruption of mankind is introduced.  Then...and only then....can you make a distinction about the effacy of any system and really only from the standpoint of how fast the system collapsed to total corruption, dissolution, chaos and death.

Capitalism is no different than communism in the end.  Each ends in the slavery of its people by the elite at the top of the food chain.  The only difference is how we as individuals look at the chains of our own making.....and how much we are willing to put up with our state of self-slavery.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:03 | 4665962 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." - Albert Einstein

Quotetastic!

Until the paradigm shifts we're up a shit creek of our own making with paddles all around that we can't recognize as such.  After the shroud falls away the solutions could be painfully, blissfully obvious.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:27 | 4666055 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Thinking differently, as how it happened with religion:

Panarchism
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Panarchism is a political philosophy emphasizing each individual's right to freely join and leave the jurisdiction of any governments they choose, without being forced to move from their current locale. The word "panarchy" was invented and the concept proposed by a Belgian political economist, Paul Émile de Puydt, in an article called "Panarchy" published in 1860. The word "panarchy" has since taken on additional, separate meanings, with the word "panarchism" referring to the original definition by de Puydt.

De Puydt, a proponent of laissez-faire economics, wrote that "governmental competition" would allow "as many regularly competing governments as have ever been conceived and will ever be invented" to exist simultaneously and detailed how such a system would be implemented. As David M. Hart writes: "Governments would become political churches, only having jurisdiction over their congregations who had elected to become members."

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:49 | 4665887 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

"voluntary" means there's a way off this ride.  Student loan debt, exhorbitant cost of housing, property taxes, rising cost of living in the face of falling wages- all ways to keep the meat running endlessly on the treadmill of profit. 

never forget- you chose this slaves!

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:08 | 4665979 flacon
flacon's picture

Some of those things are voluntary, like student loan debt. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:09 | 4665991 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

And you could live in a van down by the river too.  We're playing games now.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:28 | 4666057 flacon
flacon's picture

No, I agree with you about property taxes. What that means is that nobody owns any property if they have to pay a perpetual infinite tax on something they already "bought". But student loan debt is different - nobody is holding a gun to your head demanding that you go into debt to get a degree. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:35 | 4666094 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Nobody is holding a gun to your head making you buy property...

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:04 | 4666252 flacon
flacon's picture

Well in reality they are. I RENT a house, however I still have to pay property taxes. And since our human existence is one which exists in time AND SPACE we all need SPACE to live - and if they TAX that it's as immoral as them taxing your TIME (or LIFE). Can you imagine a yearly TAX for just being ALIVE?! 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:39 | 4666109 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

We can argue this if you want.  Capitalism requires specialization.  Thanks Fred  Taylor.  Specialization requires education.  Education is fucking expensive. 

I'm talking at the macro level.  Maybe you could make it on a GED, but a modern society can't function on high school drop outs.

We need highly knowledgeable rubes to pull the levers and turn the dials. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:24 | 4665739 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Sorry, but I'm unaware of how capitalism (which is NOTHING more than saving more than you consume and investing the remainder in productive enterprise) has any means for exploitation.

Add least have the sense to call it "crony-capitalism."

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:33 | 4665797 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Simple, because capitalism, communism, socialism, crony capitalism, etc. are all simply ex post facto labels.  Utlimately, they're simply descriptions of how a ruling elite take out the trash and have no practical difference for the vast majority of their populations.  Capitalism has a natural ceiling, the tendency for rational actors to avoid the normalization of profit.  As a result, the natural balancing mechanisms capitalism is founded upon are inherently broken.  Capitalism's means of exploitation are no different than any other economic model (though economic models are, again, never imposing upon a populace, as this entails the opposite cause and effect).  You can argue from an academic ivory tower about the benefits of capitalism, but once it meets the real world, it fails.  All economic models fail...   

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:43 | 4665850 flacon
flacon's picture

Capitalism is VOLUNTARY - so unless someone VOLUNTEERS to be exploited then so be it, but one can not VOLUNTAIRLY be EXPLOITED by very definition - the two are mutually exclusive. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:47 | 4665883 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Have you ever witnessed a market grow?  Does power and influence have a tendency to consolidate or distribute over time?  The perfect competition theoretically possible under capitalism never occurs because the "volunteers" in the system refuse to allow their profits to be normalized... 

So we all have the means to produce every single thing we need?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:54 | 4665925 flacon
flacon's picture

So then, what is a better system? Let's hear your ideas please. 

"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. to change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." ~ Buckminster Fuller

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:03 | 4665963 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Sorry, but resorting to the cleanest dirty shirt argument is a complete and total capitulation.  I agree with you if you're going to go there...  However, this is a far cry from the capitalism nuthuggery you've been posting elsewhere in the thread.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:10 | 4665992 flacon
flacon's picture

Well the title of the article is "CRONY-Capitalism", so I don't know why people are bashing "Capitalism" on this thread when we all agree that there is no other better solution. ..

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:18 | 4666024 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Maybe identifying its limitations will help us to design and implement a better system?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:29 | 4666063 flacon
flacon's picture

The limitation of pure free-market capitalism is the rule of law [or lack thereof]. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:42 | 4666129 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

First, the limitation of pure free-market capitalism is the desire for volunteers to actually compete...  it's more fundamental than law...

Second, your argument is inherently contradictory...  if the lack of a law was a limitation on pure free-market capitalism, then what the fuck does "pure free-market capitalism" mean?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:50 | 4666452 Zerozen
Zerozen's picture

It means government's proper role is to set the rules of the game and make sure no one cheats. Government is the referee, nothing more, and laws are the rules of the game. If the rules are clear, consistent, and provide for a level playing field (no pun intended) then we have a good clean game - capitalism when it's at its best.

That's what he meant. I think.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:55 | 4666689 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

A.  Don't put words in his mouth...

B.  If you can admit that the neutrality of the regulator is a necessity to capitalism (remember, he said the magical pure free market capitalism...  whatever the fuck that is), then you can admit we'll never have capitalism, as the regulator is always corrupted...  incredibly easily I might add.  All you're describing is a perversion of the same thing every other system provides, the rule of the jungle...  it might be in lipstick, high heels, and have a tight form-fitting dress, but it's still a scud.

PS, just because there is an attempt to "level the playing field" doesn't mean it's ever been achieved (or will be).  At the time the government contemplates passing laws, there are already unequal starting positions, most of which will be utilized and continue regardless of the laws in place.  This is one of the incredible inconsistencies of capitalism, on the one hand it revels in the fact that not everyone is equal, but at the same time these unequal positions create cracks in the foundation that eventually causes collapse of the structure.  You might even say that the present complexity of our society is directly the result of those most capable of dealing with it purposely directing its progress towards compexity...  competition takes funny shapes.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:44 | 4666146 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

He who has the gold makes the rules.   

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:18 | 4666021 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

What entity legalized the concept of the corporation, created tax codes that are used as weapons of favoritism, spends trillions of dollars to create loyal toadies, and uses regulations to suppress those not supporting it?

Why, it's government.

You are extrapolating the reality of a almost totally government run system onto a system without government.

In a free society, lording over others would probably meet with disapproval, while charity would equate to status.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:24 | 4666050 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You can't have your economic model exist in a vacuum...  In the world I know, people of all sorts eventually demand someone to lord over them...  and charitable work entails expensive dresses and lots of wine while elitists brush elbows.  You talk about disapproval like it can keep the tide at bay.

The mere act of the division of labor effectively takes the "free" out of society...  the dependence upon others creates unequal bargaining positions, which are punitively exploited...  a hierarchy is designed...  and away we go.

Do you have an example of a "free" society?  Some place where they don't wipe their asses with their hands?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:49 | 4666174 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

You are describing a world where the government paradigm of using force as the basis of its operation has been inculcated into society. As for a "free" society, people of your mindset are violently opposed to others being free of their control. If government supporters weren't afraid of having their belief system destroyed, they would let people be free and then cheer when they failed.

You are a great example of a government created true believer.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:59 | 4666222 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Really?  When was the last time humans lived in groups without hierarchies?  Is there some big difference between a chief commanding me to do something and a golf playing figurehead commanding the same?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:03 | 4666240 Quus Ant
Quus Ant's picture

Yeah.  The chief is in arm's reach.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 21:00 | 4667643 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

You do understand that there are people who aren't wired by nature to accept the authority of the human ant colony, don't you? You accept it, they reject it, so pretend to be a real human for once in your life and let them be.

Your idea of how society should be based is through force, just like animals live. In a past time it was more beneficial than harmful, now it is far more harmful than beneficial and it is time to abandon that savagery of the past.

Others prefer voluntary interactions and the granting of authority temporarily. Like someone who lives up to the meaning of human, not down to the meaning of animal.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 22:16 | 4667963 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

First, the vast majority of the populace is WIRED to accept authority in this way...  among other things, it helped people survive.

Second, the freedom that you're hoping for doesn't exist...  find me a state of anarchy, and I'll show you a place where they wipe their ass with their hand and warlords steal half the food that gets parachuted in...  tell me what game theory would suggest happens when "freedom" requires a perfect trust between unknown parties.

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 00:01 | 4668235 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

"find me a state of anarchy, and I'll show you a place where they wipe their ass with their hand and warlords steal half the food that gets parachuted in"

You are describing a place that HAS government so your comment is meaningless. Government has jurisdiction over all the lands of earth.

Perhaps you can learn something from this about life without law:

Law for the Elephant: Property and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail by John Phillip Reid

This review is from: Law for the Elephant: Property and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail (Paperback)
Law for the Elephant is an incredibly well researched work that deserves much attention. If the myth of the lawless trail riders perpetuated by pulp fiction scribes yet infiltrated the ranks of professional historians up until the publication of this work, this book was their death knell.
Reid methodically debunks one of the most commonly misunderstood aspects of mid nineteenth century life on the Overland trail. His exhaustive use of primary sources and his meticulous notes must brand this book as the definitive work on the subject of property and social behavior on the overland trail from a legal perspective. The weight of evidence regarding the relative lawfulness of the travelers is such that, as presented, nearly half way through the reader is inexorably swayed to its veracity. Reid presents not a modicum or even generous amount of proof, but a crush of evidence. The fact that he was only able to locate three specific journal entries of lawlessness regarding property, while it does not suggest there was not more, is significantly persuasive. The fact that he is able to logically illustrate that these cases of lawlessness may be shown as examples of how legal theory and values were imbued within the lawbreakers, is doubly clever.
Although not a scintillating read, Reid displays a certain deftness for keeping the readers attention through what could have been far drier material in the hands of one not so gifted with the pen. His assemblage of innumerable primary sources is a praiseworthy accomplishment. Quotes from primary sources are woven consistently and seemingly effortlessly throughout the text, creating a patchwork of storytelling by case study.
This is not to say, however, that this is an entertaining read for laity or even the armchair historian. Reid occasionally slips into legalese that may momentarily obfuscate the read for even the professional historian, but a standard or legal dictionary remedies this. Also, Reid believes the average American on the trail possessed a greater knowledge of the law then than previously thought. Although this may be the case, some of what Reid chalks up to proof of extensive legal knowledge seems no more than ordinary common sense on behalf of the traveler. In a broader sense, to be fair, Reid does not delve deeply into criminality other than in regard to property. But, conventional wisdom suggests that the two are closely linked and thus, Reid obliquely strengthens his argument by this subtle correlation. These few minor criticisms notwithstanding, as a work of legal historical scholarship, Law for the Elephant is nearly flawless and is a significant contribution to the historiography of the overland trail.

http://www.amazon.com/Law-Elephant-Property-Behavior-Overland/product-re...

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:32 | 4665793 Cursive
Cursive's picture

@Ignatius

I'm going to use that myself....BTW, have you ever seen the statue of Ignatius on Canal Street?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 18:26 | 4667112 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Yes, and had a picture taken leaning on him.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:57 | 4666463 mccvilb
mccvilb's picture

This article is anti-semantic.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:19 | 4665700 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"2. The balance could be raised by a progressive tax on unearned income, collected at the source. Most of the income of the super-wealthy is unearned, i.e. dividends, investment income, interest, capital gains, stock options, etc. As a result, a tax on unearned income (above, say, $10,000 annually to enable non-wealthy households to accrue some tax-free investment income) will be a tax on the super-wealthy who collect the vast majority of dividends, interest, capital gains and investment income."

Some people argue that this is what the 16th Amendment refers to. Because wages are barter (money in exchange for labor), and not technically "income", that the income tax does not apply to wages.

The argument makes sense, but just try not paying taxes on your wages-- you'll get thrown in prison. So the point is moot.

But this is what happens in governments everywhere-- once you open the door to taxing people's positive cash flows, government's start taking it ALL, regardless of the finer points of legal definitions and the technical wording of the law. We have a criminal enterprise operating under color of law inside the beltway, so they will do what they please.

Of course the founding fathers knew all this, which is why they outlawed ALL direct taxes. Too bad virtually nobody understands what a DIRECT TAX is anymore, or why it is so inimical to Liberty.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:01 | 4665936 sondernauch
sondernauch's picture

Exactly. The worst part of any tax, from a serf's point of view,  is the initial law allowing it. Even if the initial rate is close to zero, the hardest work of the state is accomplished: a gullible majority of the peoples have agreed that every serf should be raped in perpetuity. After that, it's just a question of how often and how hard.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:58 | 4666486 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

They make it virtually impossible to NOT be dependent on the rotten system by passing laws outlawing cows from grazing or "owning" your own land (property).

Listen up, junior.  (flacon)

There is NO SUCH THING AS PRIVATE PROPERTY.  You pay tax on every bit of property you own.  You don't pay your property tax.....Corp/Gov takes your home or land or both.

You don't pay for your renewel of your car tag, your driver's license and/or your insurance....Corp./Gov takes you automobile.

Unless it was cash under the table....you can't buy anything without sales tax being included.  And even IF it were cash under the table, the Federal Reserve is taxing your cash through inflation.

None of your property is truly yours ergo you don't "own" it.

Grow up, junior.  You live in Prison Planet and their ain't a damn thing you can do about it.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:19 | 4665696 aphlaque_duck
aphlaque_duck's picture

When I was in public high school during the 90s, we were taught that all systems can be placed on a linear continuum between communism at one extreme, and fascism at the other.

Is it any wonder that people today can only contemplate some flavor of brutal command economy?

We were never shown that capitalism does not lie between those ideals, but on an orthogonal axis: liberty.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:22 | 4665720 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." -- Lenin

"Ha ha. We've had 80 years teaching the children. You guys are fucked." -- Cultural Marxists everywhere

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:18 | 4666022 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

well normally I would argue "in capitalism bankruptcy exists." (you have to pay for that of course.)

But lawyers simply don't do bankruptcies anymore as even that is politically unacceptable.

So I think the best word to describe all this is "Pretending" and leave it at that.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:29 | 4665766 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Well, it's good to know that at least they taught you about false dichotomies in HS.

My son once got an "F" in the easiest class to ace in his school, "Activism." It seems he had this really bad habit of questioning the teacher's flawed assumptions.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:15 | 4666309 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Your parenting skills are worthy of acknowledgement.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:11 | 4665906 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"We were never shown that capitalism does not lie between those ideals, but on an orthogonal axis: liberty."

Bullshit.

There has never been.....nor will there ever be liberty.  Once the first law was written...which by very definition is a restriction....a boundary...a type of fence.....the stone of liberty is chipped away.

Now...that does not mean I believe we should not have laws against murder because I think we should all be free to murder.  But the consequence of writing laws....of organizing with social and economic constructs.....means every single time liberty is chipped away.

Couple that with man's inherent corrupt nature and every system....including capitalism....even the idea of liberty.....is doomed

Grow up and stop believing in fantasies about freedom and liberty and capitalism.  While all of them are worthwhile goals.....they will never be fully obtained....never fully realized.....and never kept for long.

Way of the world.  Welcome to Prison Planet.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:50 | 4665891 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

....put them alll together and what do you have???   arrogantnarcissistlyingsociopathicobamaism....

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:56 | 4666481 midtowng
midtowng's picture

It's articles like this that keep Americans stupid.

Of course there are differences. At the very least the difference is which group of elites gets rich and powerful.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:09 | 4666545 daxtonbrown
daxtonbrown's picture

People need to be calling this crony socialism, it has nothing to do with capitalism when companies like GM can't fail.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:00 | 4665612 medium giraffe
medium giraffe's picture

Different hats.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:11 | 4666288 ILLILLILLI
ILLILLILLI's picture

Same hat...with multiple bills. You just rotate it around to suit the particular need at the instant.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:02 | 4665617 TaperProof
TaperProof's picture

Good point, all basically the same.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:02 | 4665624 Rising Sun
Rising Sun's picture
What's The Difference Between Fascism, Communism And Crony-Capitalism? Nothing

 

And socialism?  NOTHING

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:38 | 4665823 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

They are all descendants of the alpha-male social hierarchy with various types of makeup applied.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:24 | 4666051 artless
artless's picture

Bullshit.

Most every last prick waving tyrant is a complete beta pussyfied, litlle shit who deep down hates himself, probably his mother, and is so fucking depraved he needs to exert his power over his fellow man to feed his tiny little underdeveloped self image.

A true alpha does something of worth. Needs no adulation from his fellow man and genarally doesn't give two shits what anyone else may think about him or be bothered trying to fuck them over.

Obama. Pussy. Hitler. Pussy. Rahm Emmanuel was a fucking ballerina. GWB was a cheerleader! LBJ. Murdering, lying pussy. Jeffrey Imelt. Pussy. George Soros. Big fucking pussy who need to date and marry young asian women to make him feel like a man. FDR. Nam one fucking manly thing this guy EVER did. Pussy who destroyed thus country. Bill Clinton. Pussy. Hitlery runs THAT show. MAny of the Third Reich were closet gays. Lenin and Trotsky conned OTHERS in to doing their killing for them. Pussies.

Shall I go on?

Ron Paul. Tiny old dude who speaks the truth no matter what. ALPHA MALE.

Jesus. ALPHA MALE. Just ask the money changers.

Don't blame the current shit show on us. We didn't do it. Neither did the INTJ crowd for that matter. Read a little Branden (Nathanial that is ) and you can find out what bunch of assholes are to blame. The depraved selfless assholes who never grew up (emotionally) and remain scared little children in the bodies of adults and with access to the tools of violence and coercion to fuck with the rest of us who having never done anything to anyone JUST WANT TO BE LEFT THE FUCK ALONE.

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:03 | 4665627 Zymurguy
Zymurguy's picture

Within this nice article is the veiled explanation why only a revolution in this country will change anything at this point.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:15 | 4665677 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

Revolutions only guarantee that it will all happen yet again. Violence is NOT a harmonious social organinzing strategy, but rather, a surrender to a different flavor of mob rule.

Simply put, evil can never be defeated.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:26 | 4665756 falak pema
falak pema's picture

simply put that is an abstraction of reactionary thought. 

Jesus and Buddha, alike Arsitotle and Plato, would disagree with you and they lived and died to prove it so.

That's a pure cop out in the name of "sophist" universal truth.  

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:44 | 4665808 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I believe it was Jesus who supposedly said, "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's." AFAIK, he didn't lead any revolutions against power, but rather, preached against supporting it, noting, "My father's kingdom is not of this domain."

Did he whip the money-changers in order to spur an uprising? Or to create the action that ensured the reaction of his crucifixion? And the subsequent reaction that ensures he still exists in our minds today?

As for the rest of them, well, I'm open to disagreement, as I've yet to meet a perfectly coherent person.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:50 | 4665892 Anusocracy
Anusocracy's picture

Competing religious belief systems have over time resolved most of their issues.

The next step in humanizing mankind is to do the same for competing political belief systems.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 15:45 | 4666416 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Both your comments don't address the issue that I was responding to which was the  "Notapplicable" punchline :

...Simply put, evil can never be defeated...

The fact that Aristotle and Plato died of old age and Buddha apparently of food poisoning does not change the fact that ALL 4 of the above mentioned had only ONE aim in life :

To defeat evil. The whole human thread is about value systems designed to fight evil and cynical power brokers keep preaching that evil cannot be.

Choose your side. "Notapplicable" has; and I beg to disagree.  Not saying evil can be defeated but that to abandon that fight is abandoning life.

We never win against death ... but we keep fighting for life.

This is what the USA's founding fathers wanted their nation to be : based on a value system. 

The current dystopia brings the defeatism out in a lot of us. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:00 | 4666500 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

Well....Jesus is Alpha....and Omega.

So I think that argument about Alpha or Beta is moot.

Thu, 04/17/2014 - 04:45 | 4668593 IronForge
IronForge's picture

Now you're encroaching into to realm of Proselytization.

I rather not be a Buzzkill; but I don't want to come here to read Jesus Rantings, either.  I've some tough, centuries-suppressed news to break to you: The Xian Gospels' Jesus Stories don't have hard copies available until the 4th Century C.E.  

It's an Amalgamation of Predecessors (Mythra, Dionysus, Zeus, Horus, Isis, Attis, Dagon (Mitre)), Gnostic Musings, Messianic Musings of the Region - designed as a "Wrapper with an Anchor" to Judaism - in order to mock up some History and to assimilate and supersede it.

What's claimed as "evidence" are fragments and confusions/forgeries referering to the "Chrestus Movement" (Chrestus meaning Good/Useful - similar terms used to describe the Horus/Osirus/Isis crowd) - even writing the "i" over the "e" on some documents revealed by scans.

No Roman Writer of that Time records the Person, Events, or Storyline - in early 1st CE.  A Mocking comment on a possible Myth of a certain Jesus may have floated around the late 1st or early 2nd - again with no source documents citing the event mocked.

While we're at it...
Dead Sea Scrolls - Nothing on the Gospels
Shroud of Turin - Carbon dated to 12th-13CE - presistent w/Church History Appearances.
Claims of Hardcopy - Only fragments that do not distinguish.  The claims of copies of 150 and 190CE refer to some "Epistles", IIRC.
Josephus' entry - Prose anachronistic; and IIRC, only existent on 4th CE and later Copy Editions.

Jesusneverexisted.com, truthbeknown.com, and others are available for further reading.  

I'm not advocating Atheism or Anti-Theism. I'm just making a PSA... ^_^

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:14 | 4666000 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

That's another example of modern dysfuntional equivalence that is so common is our under-educated, over-awarded society.  Buddha died of food poisoning, Aristotle and Plato died of old age.  Jesus is the only one on your equivalence list who died to prove something (if you believe). His resurrection from death.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:34 | 4665804 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

NA, unfortunately gov't will never go away. We can make a better gov't and society for us with more freedom if we work hard. True evil will not go away, but it can be limited.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:44 | 4665853 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

LImited, but only for a limited time, as evil never sleeps. Look where we are today, as a result of ALL past revolutions.

Besides, my point is that government doesn't need to be banished, what it needs is to be delegitimized in the eyes of all.

Only greater evil can defeat evil. Which leads to an even more powerful Beast down the road. One should never do direct battle with the Beast. One can only walk away, serving as the example of how principled moral people behave. Once enough of us do this, the Beast will collapse on its own, as without a supporting host it goes the way of all parasites.

The Revolution of 1776 led us to a world where a handful of people have the power to destroy all life on the entire planet. I would state that NO ONE should EVER have this much power.

The next revolution will be for global control. Good luck keeping the gun pointed away from your head while you fight over control of it.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:37 | 4665821 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Actually human biological nature, human physiology, physics, and thermodynamics determine that it will happen again (so long as thermodynamics permits the rest to exist).

Revolutions, violence, cycles of prosperity and ruin, are inevitable. Revolutions are just one symptom or effect among many, not a cause.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:08 | 4665978 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Bingo...  For whatever reason, the human condition entails being a pinball bouncing from one idea bumper to the next...  and back again.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:40 | 4665836 sessinpo
sessinpo's picture

NotApplicable        Revolutions only guarantee that it will all happen yet again. Violence is NOT a harmonious social organinzing strategy, but rather, a surrender to a different flavor of mob rule.

Simply put, evil can never be defeated.

---

It will always happen again even without revolution. The fact that it gets repeated indicates that "some" good can occur and it also shows that true lessons of the past are never learned by the masses.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:54 | 4665924 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

"Revolutions only guarantee that it will all happen yet again."

Meet the new boss.....same as the old boss.  The Who

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:09 | 4665634 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Bingo!

Seems the question becomes "Do your leaders have balls?"

Time to expatriate to Russia!

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:06 | 4665640 suteibu
suteibu's picture

I suppose the immorality of taxes is no longer an issue.

How about a constitutional amendment creating a flat 10% consumption tax and force the government to adapt its size and scope to the revenue it receives? 

And fuck the "progressive" wealth tax.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:07 | 4665644 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Don't forget to vote Republican

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:11 | 4665659 GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Yeah, that's sure to fix everything. Bush and his republican majority created damned near Nirvana from 2000 - 2006. We even got the Patriot Act during those years. Yeah, voting republican will solve everything. Thanks for the reminder. /sarc

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:15 | 4665681 AndrewJacksonsGhost
AndrewJacksonsGhost's picture

No, don't forget to vote Libertarian or Conservative. If there is an actual true liberal out there, you can vote for them too. Just don't vote for the totalitarians!

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:52 | 4665910 1stepcloser
1stepcloser's picture

Doesnt matter who is voted for, only matters who counts the votes..

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:09 | 4665655 SpasticGramps
SpasticGramps's picture

Only the color of the suit.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:10 | 4665656 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

The President breaks laws that 'he' wrote at his whim.  He covers up major scandals and prtends to be transparent while using the press for his own ends.  He parties with a guy who was trying to deal coke and got caught and now owes about $1.5m in back taxes, yet our government just spent $960,000 on wranglers to round up 400 cows to collect on a $1m debt owed by a rancher in the middle of fucking nowhere who is a politcal nobody and never tried to do a coke deal...what do you call that?

PS And the guy who ordered the action is a 35 year old crony of Harry Reid...fuck are we in trouble.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:52 | 4665912 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

Duh.... what else would anyone expect from a disrespectful immature arrogant narcissistic illegal alien indonesian kenyan muslim sociopathic ignoramus fudge packer only interested in its grand imperial golf life stye....   BTW, how ya all liking your 2013 tax bills courtesy the fudge packer in chief....

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:10 | 4666543 eatthebanksters
eatthebanksters's picture

The IRS will collect more tax dollars this year than ever before.  Yet were are the jobs the president has promised to create for the last five years.  Our taxes rates have gone up yet we have more people on social welfare bene's than ever before.  Obamacare has been a huge tax increase, not just in premiums but in retausrant taxes and real estate taxes (is all this money being spent on Obamacare or on other favors to buy votes?) We are reducing the size of our military in a world that has become more volatile where other regional powers are now flexingtheir muscle. So where is the money going? Solyndra? Fisker? Parties at the Whitehouse?  Vacations for the Obamas (OK so I'm overdoing it.)  Why is ife soooo shitty for so many if the government has soooo much of our money to spend? (and wants more) Oh that's right, its the bloated govenrment.

One thing has improved in the last 5 years of that I am sure...and that would be the president's golf game.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:13 | 4665666 AndrewJacksonsGhost
AndrewJacksonsGhost's picture

The leftwing has for years attempted to say that Nazi's or fascists are rightwing. The problem always comes back to classical political theory. The leftwing always changes the meanings of words and their positions to cloud exactly who they are.

 

Classically speaking in political discussion, totalitarianism is the left and anarchy is the right. Fascism is leftwing just as socialism, dictators, communism, plutocracies, autocracies, etc et al are leftwing.

 

Heck, I am a true liberal but the left has so destroyed that definition that I have to describe myself now as a Constitutional Libertarian. Lefties suck balls.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:26 | 4665753 Mediocritas
Mediocritas's picture

PoliticalCompass add a second dimension to clarify political positions [eg: http://www.politicalcompass.org/uselection2012 ]. I find it to be helpful as the standard left/right line is too simplistic.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:41 | 4665837 TrumpXVI
TrumpXVI's picture

This.

 

And, Fascism is also a radical populist ideology.  Both Italian Fascism (the only "real" brand of Fascism) and National Socialism were radically anti-conservative.  In the case of the Italians, anti-wealthy/land owner class, in the case of the Germans, anti-Weimar/democratically elected government.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:13 | 4665667 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Any "ism" with a central state at it's core is destructive and corrupt. Unfortunately people of all types don't want to rock the boat and allow this corruption to take place just to get along.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:18 | 4665691 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

But just think of how scary the world would be if we didn't empower psychopaths with standing armies and WMDs to protect us from the "other" psychopaths with standing armies and WMDs!

Why, it would be total chaos.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:24 | 4665742 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

That's funny, because In 50 years I can't  remember moar chaos than I'm witnessing right now.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:15 | 4665682 Jaspergers
Jaspergers's picture

Well we are already printing money, why tax at all? Just print MOAR and create the illusion of a tax free country! Best part is foreign holders of FRNs would essentially be paying US taxes too! The only "problems" would be that the elite would contribute more than they are now and the end of the ponzi would come a day sooner.

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:18 | 4665690 brucyy
brucyy's picture

Educating the masses is the only way out. Education , Skills .moth*f*ing brainpower. What can you do ? how well can you do it ? how much can you sell this knowledge ?  Forget all the Ism this and ism that , think about yourself and/or your kids (and yes , grab some metals. If not for you , for them)

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:20 | 4665705 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

A majority of the masses is un-educatable.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:57 | 4665942 brucyy
brucyy's picture

Well , at least now we know where to start looking , i guess. How can we blame the elites for staying in charge when the mass is completely retarded ?

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 16:22 | 4666617 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

That's why we need a pompous ass glowering over us with presidential gold cufflinks taunting "that's why I am richer than you are!"

I feel a warm inside already. Oh wait, that's a taser burn. Nevermind.

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:20 | 4665701 macroeconomist
macroeconomist's picture

Oh yes, communism fascism and crony capitalism are the same, but capitalism itself is the BEST!! And some here still have the face to claim that it is the left wing that changes the meaning of words after such an idiotic claim.

Only a bunch of losers like you believe this is not capitalism at its best. 

Let me correct that statement: It is capitalism, crony communism and fascism which are the same thing. And Austrians are professionals when it comes to distorting the true meaning of words.

 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:36 | 4665815 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture

The elite believe the masses are children who are irresponsible and need guidance; thus capitalism will fail as the smart people dominate the dumb people. Patrick Henry had the right concept. Give me liberty or give me death. Or, my paraphrase, I would rather die a starving free man than a fat slave. 

If you do not yearn for individual liberty, you will never be a proponent of Capitalism. I will remind all, perfection does not exist on earth. 

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:39 | 4665825 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

You sir are an idiot.  Free market capitalism isn't a system.  It is the natural order of things.  Goods and services are valued by supply and demand.  Supply being low for things that are hard to produce and high for things that are easier to produce.  Demand is demand, people either want a good or service or they don't.  All other forms of "economics" are systems, schemes actually, to over rule the natural order of things.  Governments, backed by their military and police, force their order of things to benefit some at the cost of others.

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