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"Welfare" - The Great Delusion

Tyler Durden's picture





 

We have long argued that at its core, modern society, at least on a mathematical basis - the one which ultimately trumps hopium every single time - is fatally flawed due to the existence, and implementation, of the concept of modern "welfare" - an idea spawned by Otto von Bismarck in the 1870s, and since enveloped the globe in various forms of transfer payments which provide the illusion of a social safety net, dangles the carrot of pension, health, and retirement benefits, and in turn converts society into a collage of blank faces, calm as Hindu cows. Alas, the cows will promptly become enraged bulls once they realize that all that has been promised to them in exchange for their docility and complacency has... well... vaporized. It is at that point that the final comprehension would dawn, that instead of a Welfare State, it has been, as Bill Buckler terms it, a Hardship State all along. Below we present the latest views from the captain of The Privateer on what the insoluble dilemma of the welfare state is, and what the key problems that the status quo will face with its attempts at perpetuating this lie.

From The Privateer

The Great Delusion - “Welfare”

 

For the best part of the last two decades, it has been accepted as an indisputable fact even by the mainstream media that the two great pillars of the welfare state - medicare and social security - will break the government which offers them. Today, every nation in the world makes at least some pretense of providing “welfare” to its citizens. Since the “developed” (or “rich”) nations are those where these systems are most “developed”, these are the nations most at risk of crumbling under their burdens.

 

Welfare has many antonyms, but “hardship” is particularly apt in this context. Wikipedia’s entry on “welfare” ends like this: “... this term replaces “charity” as it was known for thousands of years, being the act of providing for those who temporarily or permanently could not provide for themselves.” As usual, the defining characteristic is missed. Charity is voluntary. “Welfare” as practised by government is compulsory. This makes the two terms opposites. It also brings about the opposite results. Charity is a voluntary act made by those who have a surplus to assist those who do not. “Welfare” is a system guaranteed to end up in hardship for everyone but particularly for those who are forced to be “charitable”.

 

The insoluble dilemma of a “welfare state” is twofold. First, it results in a situation in which the majority of people who vote are partially or wholly dependent on the state for their sustenance. In every “advanced” nation today, those who vote for a living outnumber those who work for one. It is true that not everybody, or even a majority of those eligible in many cases, bothers to vote at all. It is equally true that the “wards of the state” have much more incentive to vote than do those who are to provide for them.

 

The second dilemma is the issue of the unfunded liabilities. The US government divides its budget into discretionary and NON discretionary items. The bulwarks of the welfare state, social security and medicare, fall into the second category. They are considered untouchable. There are only two problems here. First, the unfunded liabilities of these two programs are somewhere in the order of $US 80 - 120 TRILLION. Second, any talk of sharply lower annual deficits (let alone talk of a return to a budget balance) are puerile without MAJOR surgery being performed on medicare and social security. They are gigantic millstones around the neck of the US economy as they are on the economies of all other nations.

 

In the hands of government - “welfare” becomes its antithesis - “hardship”. Today, this is being illustrated in real time in Greece. But no nation can afford a welfare state in the long run.

It appears that the "Captain" is on to something here. A few short hours ago none other than Goldman Sachs was forced to come out with a report attempting to justify this most fundamental social illusion, in "Is Health Spending Unsustainable" - that only Goldman, and potentially the San Fran Fed, could put this question for serious debate when it is well known that the unfunded liabilities associated with such luxuries is in the triple trillion digit ballpark, speaks volumes. Yet, since even Goldman is now floating various "trial balloons", we can only assume that this is about to become a big issue for policy, especially ahead of the Supreme Court's hearings later this month on the constitutionality of the national health care law.

From Goldman Sachs

I. Is Health Spending Unsustainable?

Health spending in the US exceeds that of any other developed nation, topping the next largest spender by nearly half again as much (as a share of GDP). Spending has also tended to grow faster in the United States than elsewhere (Exhibit 1). Unchecked spending runs the risk of destabilizing public finances, reducing competitiveness with trading partners, and ultimately crowding out other productive uses of resources. This is particularly the case if health spending is inefficient (Exhibit 2).

However, the case that health spending is “unsustainable” isn’t as clear cut as the debate has sometimes made it out to be. After all,  dedicating a larger share of future income gains to improving health could be a more productive investment than increasing other forms of personal consumption. Moreover, while health spending within federal programs is clearly unsustainable under current policies and growth trends, whether broader health spending should also be deemed to be growing too quickly depends on whether increased spending improves outcomes and whether it affects the ability of the rest of the economy to grow.

What Drives Health Spending?

From 1970 through 2010, nominal health spending grew at an average annual rate of 9.7%, well in excess of nominal GDP growth of 6.8%. Excess growth was greatest in the 1970s and 1980s, declined in the 1990s, and reaccelerated somewhat in the last decade (Exhibit 3). Continual growth in excess of GDP growth has led health spending to reach 15% of GDP (Exhibit 4). Notably, this has occurred while the out of pocket costs to patients and consumers have declined, replaced by indirect costs such as insurance premiums and taxes that fund public programs, as well as federal borrowing.

There is no single cause for excess growth in health spending, but a large body of research has focused on the drivers of growth and has reached qualitatively similar conclusions, as shown in Exhibit 5:

Technology. Advancement in the state of technology typically increases cost over existing products or procedures, though it may produce savings in other areas. Academic work has typically attributed residual  spending growth to technology, after accounting for other measurable factors. More recent work has tended to find a slightly smaller though still large contribution from technology to total health spending.The exact magnitude is necessarily imprecise in any case, given substantial interaction between the availability of new technology and willingness to pay for it due to rising incomes and greater insurance.

Income. Differences in income explain a good deal of international variation in the health spending to GDP ratio (Exhibit 6). This implies that as societies become richer, they devote a greater share of additional income gains to health rather than other forms of consumption. We find that regressing excess cost growth through 2010 against real GDP growth with a one year lag produces a statistically significant coefficient similar to the estimates shown in Exhibit 5.

Insurance. The RAND Health Insurance Experiment conducted in the late 1970s found an insurance elasticity of 0.2, which implies that around 10% of the increase in real per capita spending growth since 1960 is attributable to increased insurance coverage. A more recent study examining the effect of coverage in Medicare found a much greater effect, suggesting increased insurance coverage could be  responsible for as much as half of the increase in per capita spending. (See Amy Finkelstein, “The Aggregate Effects of Health Insurance: Evidence from the Introduction of Medicare,” 2006.)

Demographics. The contribution of aging of the population to spending growth is more certain but even here there are differences in  estimated magnitude. Clearly, aging will become a more important source of health spending growth over the next two decades, but as spending on the “baby boomer” generation peaks, income growth and technology are likely to be more important factors over the long run.

What do official projections assume?

Despite chronic health spending growth in excess of GDP growth (an average of 2.1 percentage points on a real per capita basis since 1975) official estimates of Medicare solvency had until about ten years ago assumed a long-range growth rate essentially equivalent to GDP. This was eventually increased to GDP plus one percentage point, where it remained until passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following enactment of that law, the official Medicare projections reported annually by program trustees are now based on growth of GDP minus 0.1 percent.

The ACA permanently reduced annual payment increases for Medicare providers and sets in motion a number of payment policy reforms that  could lower utilization, so a reduction in future Medicare cost growth of this magnitude seems reasonable. However, these new lower projections have upside risk given that some of the reduction in growth stems from sizeable payment reductions that might eventually be reversed. Moreover, while the ACA improved Medicare finances, these savings as well as new taxes go to finance insurance expansion, which will raise total health spending in the medium term (Exhibit 7).

When Does Health Spending Become Unsustainable?

One of the difficulties in determining how long health spending is likely to grow as a share of the economy is that the US health care system has not existed for all that long in its current form. Commercial insurance companies only began to offer health insurance on a large scale around World War II (partly due to the employer response to wage controls), and federal health insurance programs (Medicare and Medicaid)were not established until the 1960’s. That said, some trends would likely prompt a reduction in health spending growth:

Public finances become strained. Since health spending totals about 15% of GDP but 23% of federal outlays, when health spending grows in excess of GDP, government spending as a share of GDP will necessarily expand. The demographic mix of publicly vs. privately insured individuals will add to fiscal pressures. Exhibit 8 shows the trajectory of spending assuming that historical excess cost growth gradually slows to zero and that certain cost containment policies are not maintained over the long term.

Whereas the private sector can gradually respond to increased health spending, the public sector—and particularly the federal—reaction is apt to be much slower, leading to deficit spending until changes are adopted. As shown in Exhibit 8, health spending if left unchecked would not only crowd out other spending but would also eventually exhaust all federal revenues.

Of course, we would expect the situation to be addressed long before this happens.

Health spending begins to crowd out real non-health consumption. This is not such a hard test to meet over the medium term, mainly because of the “low” base from which health spending as a share of GDP starts. Real per capita spending growth of around GDP+1.5% would slow but probably not reverse nonhealth consumption growth over the next 75 years, though this depends greatly on real growth and demographic assumptions (Exhibit 9).

Increased health spending begins to weigh on growth, creating a vicious circle. This appears quite distant, if it ever occurs. The main concern here would be that rising health spending crowds out other productive activities (for instance, fixed investment or education), reducing potential output and further increasing relative health spending. Alternatively, higher taxes (to pay for public programs) or insurance premiums (to pay for private insurance) would reduce workers’ take-home pay, with potentially adverse incentive effects at a certain level.

Finally, there is some evidence from businesses that excess health costs reduce employment and output. (Sood et al, find that a 10% increase in excess cost growth (i.e., about 20bps) leads to 121,000 fewer more jobs and $14bn in lost value added. See Neeraj Sood, Arkadipta Ghosh and Jose Escarce (2009) “Health Care Cost Growth, Employer Provided Insurance and the Economic Performance of U.S. Industries,” Health Services Research, Vol 44.)

When the Time Finally Comes…

If costs are ultimately deemed too great (or projected growth too fast) what can be done? The decision before policymakers, employers, and individuals falls along two lines: first, what share of total output should be devoted to health care instead of other goods and services, and second, what is the optimal mix of public vs. private payment for whatever share is decided. This leaves three options:

1. Limit growth in health care costs regardless of payor, because activities that would otherwise be crowded out by health spending are deemed more important. Reaction to rapid growth in the 1980s— health spending consumed around 25% of overall per capita real income growth—led to Medicare payment reductions and broader use of managed care. This, along with strong growth elsewhere in the economy,stabilized the health share of GDP temporarily. Future restraint in health spending is likely to come from elsewhere, particularly given that Medicare cuts were already used to finance new spending under the ACA, so those savings have already been captured. A reduction in the geographic disparity of health spending is one option for future savings—patients in some areas of the country receive much greater intensity of treatment at greater cost than patients in other parts of the country, but show little medical benefit. (See for instance “Health Care Spending, Quality, and Outcomes; More Isn’t Always Better,” Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, 2009) Use of information technology to increase medical and administrative efficiency is another.

2. Allow health spending to rise, but reallocate payment responsibility from the public sector to the private sector, in order to avoid the fiscal consequences that would follow, i.e., tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere in the budget. Since most of the public policy discussion regarding the rise in health spending relates to Medicare, and to a lesser extent Medicaid, it is quite possible that policymakers will find it sufficient to shift the financing burden for health costs away from the federal budget. This could mean an increase in the burden on state governments (they already face growth in Medicaid spending under the ACA), and would almost certainly imply increased cost-sharing for Medicare enrollees, thus shifting some of financing burden back to the private sector in the form of higher out of pocket spending. Under some proposals, such as that offered by House Budget Committee Paul Ryan, Medicare spending would be capped at GDP+1. The Bowles-Simpson proposal would apply the limitation more broadly, limiting federal health spending and the tax exclusion for employer sponsored benefits to GDP+1, though it is not specific on how this would be accomplished.

3. Allow public health spending to rise and reallocate resources to pay for it. While it is unlikely that public-sector health spending growth would go completely unchecked, it is possible that additional health spending restraint could be modest, with a greater focus on reallocating resources to cover increasing state and federal health costs. The result would likely be higher taxes in this scenario, since in 2011 Congress already capped discretionary spending (annual appropriations by Congress) and automatic cuts set to take effect next year would reduce this segment further (we assume these will be pushed back past 2013). We estimate that the primary budget deficit (i.e., excluding interest) will  average around 2% of GDP over the next ten years and it is politically unrealistic to imagine that such a large amount of savings can be found in the 13% of the budget that excludes appropriations, health, and Social Security. The upshot under this scenario would most likely be a tax increase of a magnitude similar to our estimated primary deficit of around 2% of GDP (roughly the size of the 2001/2003 tax cuts set to expire at year end). However, this would be the minimum under such a scenario, for two reasons: first, health spending would continue to rise, requiring additional tax hikes later on. Second, eliminating the primary deficit over the medium term is the minimum—a primary surplus is needed to bring down the ratio of debt to GDP.

The ultimate outcome is likely to be a combination of all three scenarios, though we suspect public policy will focus on the second and third options since they have less ability to influence the growth of privately financed health spending. It is also worth noting that health spending may naturally slow as its ratio to GDP rises; a simple regression of excess cost growth against the lagged ratio of health spending to GDP shows a coefficient of around -0.25, implying a gradual slowing in the growth rate even as the level of health spending continues to increase.

 


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Sun, 03/18/2012 - 13:54 | Link to Comment non_anon
non_anon's picture

Welfare Queens, bitchez!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:04 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

I am just wondering will the welfare recipients starve to death or be killed when the EBT cards are cancelled.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:23 | Link to Comment AssFire
AssFire's picture

I think they call it a "self cleaning oven"...they kill each other and gut the infrastructure. See Detroit and S. Africa actively going the way of Haiti, Liberia, Rhodesia etc..

Hmm, must be a common tread here.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:28 | Link to Comment BW
BW's picture

Iranian oil bourse will start trading oil in currencies other than the dollar from March 20

http://www.dailypaul.com/221481/iranian-oil-bourse-will-start-trading-oil-in-currencies-other-than-the-dollar-from-march-20

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

... and the liberators will be arriving on the 21st.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:47 | Link to Comment BW
BW's picture

UPDATE:
03-17-20 SWIFT FREEZE "exclusion of Iranian banks from international financial transfer networks"
Israel Finance Minister: SWIFT decision may cause collapse of Iran's economy

http://www.dailypaul.com/221481/iranian-oil-bourse-will-start-trading-oil-in-currencies-other-than-the-dollar-from-march-20

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:06 | Link to Comment AnonymousAnarchist
AnonymousAnarchist's picture

Pure evil. The SWIFT freeze will have a devastating effect on the civilian population (worse than any of the previous acts of war).

Off topic, I see ZH has a prominent place on ICYMI's cover.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:23 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

http://www.juancole.com/2012/03/india-trade-delegation-bucks-us-sanction...

 

India Trade Delegation Bucks US Sanctions on Iran

A major Indian trade delegation to Iran has pronounced the trip a success. The development underscores how difficult it will be for the Obama administration and the European Union to impose ‘crippling’ sanctions on Iran.

India imports $11 billion a year in petroleum from Iran, its second-largest supplier. The Indian economy is growing rapidly and the number of cars and trucks in the country is expanding along with it. 70% of petroleum in the world is used to fuel vehicles. The unilateral US and EU financial sanctions on Iran have crippled its international banking access. As a result, Iran is seeking barter arrangements. Instead of important things from Europe, Tehran instead will buy Indian-made goods, essentially bartering them for petroleum. Iran will also buy Indian goods with gold bullion. At the moment, Iran imports less than $3 billion in goods annually from India, but this trade imbalance is likely to be redressed soon.

India has also just exempted rupee payments made by Indian firms for Iranian petroleum from steep taxes, encouraging the trade.

Here are the reasons India is resisting US, European and Israeli pressure to cut Iran off:

1. It is not clear how India would replace the bulk of petroleum products it buys from Iran; international oil markets are relatively tight. India’s monthly imports from Iran are down slightly over the two previous years, but it is hard to see how they could go much lower unless Indian over-all petroleum demand feel (unlikely) or unless the world suddenly produced 2 million barrels a day more than the world demand, also at the moment unlikely.

2. The Indian manufacturing lobby sees an enormous opportunity for India in stepping into the vacuum left in Iranian imports by the US and EU sanctions.

3. Muslim voters are something like 12% of the Indian electorate, and the ruling Congress Party in particular is beholden to the Muslim vote. Indian Muslims generally do not approve of the US and Israeli attempt to isolate Iran.

4. India’s rivalry with Pakistan impels it to seek regional allies to offset Pakistan’s soft power in the Muslim world.

5. India’s economy is sufficiently big and diverse that it can probably arrange for some firms to deal with the US and other firms to deal with Iran, avoiding the worst impact of possible US Treasury Department sanctions. Moreover, Washington may be reluctant to follow through on its threats against India in this regard, since the US has wanted to play India off against China and would be deprived of that chip in global politics if relations soured with New Delhi.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:41 | Link to Comment I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

India , China are not that stupid They perefer to be at peace .

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 18:33 | Link to Comment Onohymagin
Onohymagin's picture

Good comment, thanks.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:49 | Link to Comment non_anon
Sun, 03/18/2012 - 17:33 | Link to Comment RafterManFMJ
RafterManFMJ's picture

 

 

Keep gigglin'; What will happen is all you own will be expropriated and given to the, uh, rainbow underclass - as in:

 

Executive Order -- National Defense Resources Preparedness

 

Oblamo's new BrownShirtz will gladly step up and loot everything you have worked for - Kristallnacht, Bitchez!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:13 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

That doesn't mean I can't clip a dozen of them as they come for my possessions

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:49 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The Bernank has a keystroke for that:  Ctrl-Alt-V (vaporize private banking acounnts)

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:53 | Link to Comment non_anon
non_anon's picture

It's Free Swipe Yo EBT (Explicit)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzspsovNvII

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 16:46 | Link to Comment Landrew
Landrew's picture

Spoken like a true insurance company asshole!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 18:10 | Link to Comment tankster
tankster's picture

Yeah right, it's all the fault of the fat black bitches eatin' their fried chickin' an stealin' yo money!

Take away the extra costs driven by "health" insurers and put the purchasing power into a single payers hands and eliminate skeevy lobbyists, and eliminate corporate and union donations to politicians, and watch how fast health care costs fall.

But it's really all the lazy niggers fault? Keep watching Fox, dope.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:14 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Who said anything about race? Keep watching CNN and PMSNBC ya limpy wrist bitchez

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 01:12 | Link to Comment tankster
tankster's picture

"Who said anything about race?" What does "Wellfare Queen" mean to you? That was one of your God's (Ronald Reagan's) greatest hits!

Just like "A Democrat is just a Republican who hasn't been mugged yet", you Ayn Rand groupies are just one really sick person you care about away from realizing what a scam the "health" insurance business system is.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 05:57 | Link to Comment i-dog
i-dog's picture

 

"you Ayn Rand groupies"

Is this the new theme of the month in the Sockpuppet Bullpen? Cute!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:51 | Link to Comment StychoKiller
StychoKiller's picture

The Govt is subsidizng sick people, and like any other subsidy, you get more of what you subsidize -- why is that so hard to understand?  (Race has very little to do with it)

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:35 | Link to Comment ATM
ATM's picture

Just watch the "disability" dole keep rising!

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:59 | Link to Comment WeekendAtBernankes
WeekendAtBernankes's picture

You don't trust the cops, you don't trust Congress, you don't trust the administration, the justice system, the banking system, the treasury, the central banks, state government, or local government...

Yet somehow you trust the government to run healthcare.

Stick your head back in the sand.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 13:55 | Link to Comment jomama
jomama's picture

interesting infographic on how many hours of minimum wage you have to work to pay rent, by state:

 

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:41 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

let's please not forget that the welfare state applies to both the poor and the ultra-rich via gov cheese food stamps + QE's in exactly the opposite of progressive redistribution of gov rev in form of taxes and such. factor in QE-induced inflation and it's progressively inverted redistribution and taxation = doom and gloom and gold going exponential. 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:57 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Kill.Corporate.Welfare.Now.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:15 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Kill. All. Welfare. Now.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:15 | Link to Comment qqqqtrader
qqqqtrader's picture

Explains why so many may have lost their homes last few years.

Made an easier to compare each state using bar chart... here

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:56 | Link to Comment Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Nice charts.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:55 | Link to Comment Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

I'm headed for Wild, Wonderful West Virgnia............and Banjos.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:16 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

Most low wage workers learn that scamming the system is the only way to survive.  So they forego marriage so the woman can claim to be a single mother and get massive welfare benefits.  The man works and contributes to the family, but all the rent and food is paid for by the government.

 

Same thing the illegals do.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:00 | Link to Comment EmileLargo
EmileLargo's picture

Von Mises once wrote a brilliant article showing how the welfare state ended up fleecing the very people it was meant to serve the most. I wish I could find it. It made a total mockery of the whole concept and showed that had the government been minding its own business, the so-called "beneficiaries" would have actually been better off. 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:06 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

Its not hard to figure out that those on the top, when expenses, taxes, increase, lower the wages and benefits of those at the bottom, finally when even that is too expensive they lay them off.  The more government taxes the less people work, the less REAL GDP is produced.

The only exception is to borrow money, printing works very short term.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:00 | Link to Comment mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

When the "work" of those on top consists of making fraudulent financial securites, this does not apply. Killing them would greatly increase average quality of life.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:51 | Link to Comment LasVegasDave
LasVegasDave's picture

how wrong you are.

ridding society of parasites would greatly benefit the productive class and those who strive to be members of such a class.

junk away, losers

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 16:03 | Link to Comment blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

Anyone who expects to be paid solely for being rich IS a parasite, you dumbass. 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 18:26 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Does the "productive class" include the large percentage of the top 1% that simply inherited their money?   And does it include those who do nothing more than skim money off the top by suckering people into the Wall Street casino?  

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:18 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Which members of the top 1% inherited their money? Give us a rundown of the Forbes 400. If you want to kill the rich, you can start with Soros, Gates, Corzine , Buffett and the rest of the people who put 0bozo in power

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:08 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

The large majority of the wealth of the top 1 percent was inherited.  The names you mentioned happen to be exceptions to the general rule.  But you don't care because your true philosophy has nothing to do with the productive class, and everything to do with entitlement.   I don't want to kill the rich, I'm just tired of douchebags like you defending those who did nothing but be born into wealth.

Look at the source of the Forbes top four hundred richest people:

 

42 % Born on Home Plate:  That's almot HALF:  They inherited sufficient wealth to rank among the Forbes 400 when they were born. 

 

6 % Born on Third Base":   iinherited substantial wealth in excess of $50 million or a large and prosperous company and grew this initial fortune into membership in the Forbes 400.

 

7 % Born on Second Base:  inherited a medium-sized business or wealth of more than $1 million or received substantial start-up capital for a business from a family member.

 

14 % Born on First Base: biography indicates wealthy or upper-class background that was to our knowledge less than $1 million, or received some start-up capital from a family member. Due to the study team's conservative coding rule, it is likely that some of those listed as born on first base actually belong on second or third base.

 

31 % Born in the Batter's Box: individuals and families whose parents did not have great wealth or own a business with more than a few employees. 

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:22 | Link to Comment nmewn
nmewn's picture

So your saying the Rockefeller, Kennedy, Annenburg, Gates, Buffet, Bloomberg etc. families should give their inheritances to the government?...lol...they own it already.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 22:24 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Exactly, clown.  They own it because they inherited it.  Why do you support that?

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:54 | Link to Comment Future Jim
Future Jim's picture

I would have far less incentive to make a lot of money if I know that I'm not allowed to give it to my kids.

I would have far less incentive to make a lot of money if I knew that it would be inherited by a corrupt, biased, wasteful, incompetent governrnent that hated me and my kids.

But, this is really obvious. Isn't it?

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:13 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

Entitlement to your kids, yes?

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:33 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Yes.  You're equating the Govt with parents.  

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:41 | Link to Comment fiftybagger
fiftybagger's picture

Your a pathetic moron.  People have a God given right to do with their money as they please.  If they want to give it to their children that's their business, you communist scum.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:36 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

And that is the balancing act.  You want to incentivize people to continue working, building their empire, to leave to their children.  But you don't want to encourage the establishment of a ridgid hierarchical society with zero upward mobility.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 04:00 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

US citizenism.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:37 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

Should those families live as eternal members of a neo-feudal aristocracy just because one of their ancestors was successful?  Please extrapolate that to its logical conclusion.  Where does society end up?

 

The French revolution, the communist revolutions.  This has all been done before.  Read a fucking book sometime.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 23:36 | Link to Comment TrulyBelieving
TrulyBelieving's picture

So LTER, it looks like the way you see it is that since all of these rich folks didn't really earn their wealth but was inherited, they really don't deserve to keep it. The govt should take it from them and redistribute to those more deserving, maybe to someone like LTER?  You  socialist always find a way to justify stealing, or any other crime you believe to benefit you unless of course, it be against you.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:14 | Link to Comment LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

I didn't say where it should go.  Just stop with the bullshit that the people who inherited it are the "productive class."  If you like Royalty who are born into wealth and privilege, that's your business.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:50 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Royalty are born into a former "Class system" and today they are just subsidized by their Governments.  Wealthy people are not Royalty, they leave money to their kids all the time.  And most of their kids become hippie, libs and commies and blow it all in a couple of generations.  Royalty is not about wealth, it's more genetic like the Westminster dog show.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:28 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

Do you want a competition based meritocracy where each man rises or falls according to his own success?  Or do you want a ridgid class based society lorded over by an ever decraesing number of aristocratic families?

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:33 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

I agree with LetThemEatRand.  The bottom line is that in the absence of significant estate taxes on ineritence, one inevitably ends up with small group of aristocratic families that control all of a nation's wealth.  This is not a new concept and is well demonstrated by basic knowledge of history.  See: the French revolution, the rise of communism in Russia, the various Communist revolutions throughout the world.

 

This is the same reason that property taxes on land and real estate can never be eliminated.  In the absence of property taxes, all private property would eventually be owned by an ever shrinking subset of the population.  Men born without property would live their lives as serfs at best, with their lifeblood and energy going largely to enrich the landed aristocrats.

 

America is supposed to be a meritocracy, not a class based feudal state.  The founding father's could easily have granted themselves and their family eternal land rights to entire states, but they didn't.  And where are the descendants of these great men today?  They are relegated to obscurity rather than being born into an aristocracy because their ancestors purposefully chose a merit based system over the feudal ways of Europe.

 

If you support the elimination of property taxes and estate taxes then you support the creation of a neo-feudal system dominated by a small number of aristocratic families.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 04:08 | Link to Comment AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

America is supposed to be a meritocracy, not a class based feudal state.

___________________________________________________

Feudalism is plural. US citizens indeed focuse on certain versions of feudalism.

This is because US citizenism at its core is classwarfare, the middle class wanting to oust the upper class to take the reins by themselves (awesome result when you read the comments given by US citizens)

The FFs petitioned the King as English men, broadcasting their delusional part that their rights were denied. Of course, these rights as they stated included expanding on Indian land (theft) so yes, quite some divergent thinking with the King.

Now if you look at Carolus Magnus era, nobles did not own their estate. They were leased to them and could be taken back if nobles did not behave. Meritocracy.

Theft is central to US citizens. We speak about people who are the biggest robbers in human history. Theft was glorious when they achieved it. Now, due to their success, and them owning the most, they have to disqualify theft. It is plain as plain.
Thieves have always a distorted perception of private property.

Bear with it.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:33 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

Gates and Buffet were both born into well heeled, wealthy families.  With political connections, judges, lawyers, and the like in their families.  Gates was lent $400,000 cash by his grand father to start Microsoft.

 

For those of us born with nothing, men like Gates and Buffet might as well have been born with their billions already.  We are not impressed that they took their elite educations, elite backgrounds, political and business connections, and massive family wealth, and increased it.

 

Gates and Buffet are simply members of the elite, born into wealth.  They just went from merely "wealthy" to "super rich."

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 08:59 | Link to Comment Apocalicious
Apocalicious's picture

Hm, so the thousands of guys NOT born into wealthy families that went to school, got a degree in computer programming and worked at Microsoft for two decades, who became millionaires many times over BECAUSE of the economic engine that Bill Gates created? What about them? Screw them, because Gates didn't deserve it!!

 

Yes, I'm sure a system that allocates wealth according to your concepts of "fairness" is much more efficient than one that allows are best and brightest to drive capital allocation.

 

Child...

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 12:39 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

Absolutely not.  I would never support a system where bureaucrats in Washington decide how resources will be divied out.  I simply like to point out that Gates and Buffet are not really self made men.  And certainly not indicative of the supposed "American Dream."

 

A man born with nothing that becomes a millionaire after decades of striving in small business is more reflective of the American Dream than a man born into wealth who goes from millionaire to billionaire.

 

And Bill Gates deserves to enjoy the fruits of his labor however he pleases.  But 500 years from now the Gates family shouldn't still be among the richest worldwide, unless successive generations also contribute something to generate wealth for themselves.  Unlike your banking heroes, the Rothschilds et al, Gates understands this notion and is giving away the majority of his billions to charitable endeavors.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:19 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

I can see how that might happen. However, this system has taken over every aspect of life and land on the planet. There is nowhere to drop out to try and live outside the system. Sure you can move out as far as possible to avoid everything, but you will still have to pay property taxes, meaning you must obtain cash of the realm to pay for your freedom. Therefore, I see welfare as just a symptom of a larger problem.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:26 | Link to Comment Gully Foyle
Gully Foyle's picture

GeorgeHayduke

Not really, your problem is you still maintain an ownership mentality.

If you own nothing you become free.

You own shit you are Marley's ghost embodied in homeless with strings of shopping carts.

You carry the bare minimum you can wander anywhere. Usually unhindered.


Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:36 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Good point Gully....as long you you don't wander onto private property, which is everywhere.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 18:57 | Link to Comment New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

BLM land.  Plenty of it in Hayduke's country.  Live out of a pickup truck and move every two weeks.  I doubt the zombie hordes will come to the desert but get some friends doing it too, as a life insurance policy.  Shit, still gotta pay gas though... Solar powered electric car?  Could probably charge the thing in two weeks, but you wouldn't have much room for your stuff.  Friends can help with this too.  The volume and cost of equipment per person decreases as the number of people increases.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:01 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

I like the way you think NWC. It'll be what gets you through as the owners tighten the screws on us folks who like independent thought. Good luck out there!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:43 | Link to Comment New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Thanks.

From Edward Abbey:

"The wilderness should be preserved for political reasons. We may need it someday not only as a refuge from excessive industrialism but also as a refuge from authoritarian government, from political oppression. Grand Canyon, Big Bend, Yellowstone, and the High Sierras may be required to function as bases for guerrilla warfare against tyranny...The value of wilderness, on the other hand, as a base for resistance to centralized domination is demonstrated by recent history."

"We can have wilderness without freedom; we can have wilderness without human life at all, but we cannot have freedom without wilderness, we cannot have freedom without leagues of open space beyond the cities, where boys and girls, men and women, can live at least part of their lives under no control but their own desires and abilities, free from any and all direct administration by their fellow men."

"When the cities are gone and all the ruckus has died away. when sunflowers push up through the concrete and asphalt of the forgotten interstate freeways. when the Kremlin & the Pentagon are turned into nursing homes for generals, presidents, & other such shit heads. when the glass-aluminum sky scraper tombs of Phoenix, AZ barely show above the sand dunes. why then, by God, maybe free men & wild women on horses can roam the sagebrush canyonlands in freedom...and dance all night to the music of fiddles! banjos! steel guitars! by the light of a reborn moon!"

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 20:09 | Link to Comment debtandtaxes
debtandtaxes's picture

i wish i could agree....  tough to live that way with a 6 yr old and a 2 yr old...

amazes me that the lifestyles advocated do not allow for women or children - who are both a bit necessary if any society is meant to survive more than the current generation.  

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:02 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

Actually Matriarchy was prevalent in many of the people who live close to the earth. We've done a good job of destroying any and all knowledge those peoples possessed (as well as their land, resources, etc...). So, what often happens is we project our own cultural biases on everything. For example, so many of us seem to have this one man against the world (Rambo) idea of existing outside of the current industrial culture. The reality is people survive better in groups, but that idea could be construed as...gasp...communism.

I remember reading a letter or essay written by a farmer in the late 1700s. He noticed that anyone who lived with the Indian tribes for any length of time always tried to escape from the European culture and get back to their tribe at the first opportunity. I am not trying to fetishize tribalism or Native American Indians, but it is interesting that their culture obviously provided some sense of purpose or belonging that is obviously missing in from Colonial culture and completely absent from our Consumer culture. My guess is we have no clue about this concept in our "every man for himself" and "I got mine screw you" culture. Perhaps there is a better way if we can remove the blinders, or find withheld or destroyed information. Just an idea.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:23 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

Nobody has a problem with communism as long as it is not...gasp... forced on anyone. You are free to live in a commune and nobody will give a flying fuck. The hippies tried it in the 1960's and it didn't work out too well as they all wanted philosophize while nobody wanted to do the dirty work required.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:32 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

They also tried it as a small part of a larger system that still required them to cough up taxes for the non-cummunist system they were living in. So, they had their own parasite sucking from them. See how this current system is imposed on us whether we want it or not?

Also, do you know they didn't want to do the dirty work, or are you just guessing?

I'm not promoting Communism. Just bringing up ideas. Don't get your panties in a wad.

 

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 00:42 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

You got the right idea.  Don't own land, don't own real estate.  Those are taxable.

 

Vehicles are generally not taxed and registration fees are extremely low.  You can travel all over North America seeing the sights and just living life.  Expenses?  Minimal.

 

Receational vehicles are too conspicuous, and too expensive.  And parking them at "authorized camp grounds" costs money.  Parking a plain white van in the Wal-Mart parking lot over night is free.  Use the free wifi that is everywhere now.  Get a wireless card for your laptop when you're away from civilization.  Use public bathrooms.  Or do your business outside.

 

There are people doing this right now.  Living on a few thousand dollars a year.  Spending months at a time at beaches, parks, resort towns, etc.

 

The things you own end up owning you.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 02:55 | Link to Comment New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

I did this sort of thing for about 9 months.  Highly recommend it.  Never got robbed (but it was '03 and '06).

Go West, young man.  The land itself soaks into the mind and slowly liberates it, like a quarter hit of acid in your orange juice each morning.  Eris lives in the desert and calls to those who stay awhile.

With the recent NDAA, FEMA camp staffing, NDRP, NSA upgrades, federalization of local police, and SWAT teams everywhere it should be clear that the NWO aims to exterminate the liberty movement.  The internet prevents them from grabbing us one by one, and they can't grab us all at once, so they will try to carefully identify the 2% of the population who are most dangerous and grab them all in one night.  Many ZHers will be on the grab list. 

If you live a nomadic lifestyle and keep the battery out of your phone at night, they won't get you in the all-important first roundup.  If you're already in a remote area which can sustain you, you won't have to travel while the VIPR teams are mopping up bugouts on the main roads.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 12:45 | Link to Comment AndTheRest
AndTheRest's picture

I'd love to give it a try but unfortunately the gates of the American police state are clamping down tighter month by month and I need to get out while I still can.  America is a beautiful country with many amazing sights and natural wonders to behold.  But my countrymen have abandoned liberty and embraced the safety of a totalitarian police state.  The culture is corrupt and rotten to the core.  So I find myself with no choice but to seek freedom overseas as my forefathers sought freedom in North America.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 01:23 | Link to Comment Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

Signs, signs, everywhere signs.  No trespassing, No smoking and No Hippies.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLm3HMG8IhM

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Perhaps this one:

www.mises.org/efandi/ch12.asp

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:44 | Link to Comment I am Jobe
I am Jobe's picture

Here you go. I too read it and yeap, so true. Back in 2006 this was written. After 5 years Yippie, the state shows the fleecing

Origins of the Welfare State in America

http://mises.org/daily/2225

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 06:15 | Link to Comment Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture

 

 

 

The Welfare State and the (endless)Warfare State came hand-in-hand didn't they?

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:04 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Send the baby boomers to MENA/Central Asia to die in wars to perpetute the Petrodollar system........problem partially solved

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:10 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

The baby boomers, 1946-64, were not old enough to vote when the Great Society programs, 1965, were implemented into law.  Or Social Security, 1935,or Medicare, 1965.

The one man who could have changed the course of the nation, Ronald Reagan, turned his back on the nation and sold America down the river so he could get re-elected.  Social Security reform, 1983.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:27 | Link to Comment Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Really? Wow, I thought that when Reagan tried to reform SS the democratically controlled senate and congress launched an all out attack during that election year. And, given that no President can sign legislation that does not come from congress, the bill signed was a compromise bill

Hmmm, thank god I went to private school and didn't have one of those union made text books

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:32 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

sophist : why bother replying to econ1996 the man is a racist rube know-it-all - the worst kind of shit around.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:43 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

You got the know it all part right.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:16 | Link to Comment Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Sorry vast-dom, it's hard to keep track of all the trolls around here.   I actually like the ones that add insight, this one is a putz....

I won't feed the idiot again, promise

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:46 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

thx sophist and i too am guilty of feeding it.....no more.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 16:13 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

You're both right.

Congress fought Reagan, and he should have stood on principle - but didn't.

I suggest you both slaughter and grill your sacred cows.  We're going to need to practically start from scratch to fix this.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:48 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

 

Ronald Reagan was a sell out, fraud.  He could have had principals and not signed anything.  Example, Gary Johnson, governor New Mexico, re-elected.

You idiots blaming the boomers for this shit is ridiculous.  Go pound sand up your ass.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:51 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

hey shitbird it's Sunday -- why don't you just go to your local tattoo parlour and get some KKK swastikas or 3rd rate biomechanical tats put on you, rather than sully the 'hedge with nonsense.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:05 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

Oh fuck I must have pissed off the yids.  

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:51 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

No, he was a naive fool who was blind to the evils of greed for the sake of greed...

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:52 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

Yes Flak but boy could he act.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:07 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

Here is some of my acting.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjYLRxHWKiQ

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 16:18 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Amazing, unnecessary brutality.  Easy to make the jump to "long pig" from that, eh?

I have no respect for those who will not give the grace of a quick kill.

You lost some of my respect today.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 17:31 | Link to Comment economics1996
economics1996's picture

 

With all the people, dogs around the hog it would be extremely dangerous to use a gun or rifle.  It is much safer to use a knife, which is why you see the hunters with rifles not using them.

There are three basic types of hog hunting, stalking, which is very dangerous, dogs, like you see here, and “regular” waiting in a blind and shooting the animal.  None of it is especially humane, but neither is a slaughter yard.

Pigs in the southeast are a nuisance animal, breed like rabbits, and the state practically begs hunters to harvest them.  I am sorry if this video disturbs you, it is reality.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:39 | Link to Comment Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Im not going to create a you tube account just to watch, but the picture it did show looked like a nice hog.

Well done, they are a menace.  My son was walking our dog a few nights ago and one started grunting at him from the trees at the edge of the yard, not a good situation and they had to get inside quick- my coonhound/lab is a terror to small varmint types but would be totally outclassed by a boar.  Folks dont realize just how much of a danger and how vicious these creatures are- they will kill pets for the hell of it, I just cant sympathize with them.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:12 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

12 ga, 20 ga,  0.30 cal, 0.45, 0.357, all of those take care of the problem.

Just because an animal is dangerous is no reason to brutalize it.

Serial killers frequently start on animals.  That's a fact, and there's a reason for it.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:10 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

With all the people, dogs around the hog it would be extremely dangerous to use a gun or rifle.

You must be one fuckin' lousy shot.

Sorry, that's a total bullshit fail.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 02:47 | Link to Comment Renfield
Renfield's picture

What kind of fuckwit thinks it's appropriate to post an animal snuff film on a site like this.

What a putrid excuse for a human being.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:45 | Link to Comment smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

following your logic sophist, why dont we just get the government today, to "act" right....oh yea i know why because the people have no say, ..... 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:13 | Link to Comment skistroni
skistroni's picture

Problem not solved. Their wives will get veteran pensions.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:48 | Link to Comment vast-dom
vast-dom's picture

solution: new policy enactment: send the wives into war ASAP and pension prob solved -- those cows sit on their fat asses anyhow let's get them all productive blowing other people's lands up (or just blowing them) already.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:25 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

We could just get rid of those hooked nosed bankers that caused all the problems by stealing the retirement funds

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:13 | Link to Comment Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

Under the UN Humanitarian laws, we'll need to have wheel chair access ramps into the red zones.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment Debeachesand Je...
Debeachesand Jerseyshores's picture

FUCK YOU.  We fought the Vietnam War and the First Gulf War,that's enough WAR for any Generation.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:27 | Link to Comment Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Let's not forget Grenada!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:54 | Link to Comment dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

and Panama.........

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:09 | Link to Comment GeorgeHayduke
GeorgeHayduke's picture

America is having a race to see which one kills is quicker, welfare or warfare. And let's not forget about warfare welfare. You know, "private contractors" and all that.  

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:15 | Link to Comment praps
praps's picture

Welfare only became necessary because a small minority grabbed the bulk of the nation's resources and wealth.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 17:56 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Yep, easy enough to buy off the swarm of little tiny parasites so that the few really big fat ones can get a good tight grip on the host, bear down and suck HARD.

Too bad neither of them has thought out what happens when that host takes a purgative.

Atlas is shrugging, muppets!

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:15 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

There's clearly a few muppets on this board who are going to get an abject lesson in why not to trust government.

LOL

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:19 | Link to Comment SilverFish
SilverFish's picture

Government cheese, bitchez!

Love hearing Rush Limburger rant on and on about low-level welfare queens on a daily basis, yet he wont say a word about wasteful spending going on in the military, as if wasteful spending CANT POSSIBLY happen if the military is the one spending it.

 

He's so douchey, dont ya think? 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:33 | Link to Comment Kayman
Kayman's picture

If your name is on a government check, you are on welfare.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:43 | Link to Comment SilverFish
SilverFish's picture

Thats my point. He'll call out some of them, but not others.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:27 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

You'll call out some but not others

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:57 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Rush is toast.... he has lost 140 advertisers in the past 3 weeks...

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:11 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

He's got thousands of advertisers. Good riddance to those craven fucks.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 18:04 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

And it was probably the most honest and truthful 5 minutes of air time in the history of his radio bloviating.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:28 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

I don't believe it was due to lack of ads. With 20 million listeners he has 5 milnutes of dead air and PMSNBC has 100,000 viewers and is able to fill their airtime with ads? haha

Thu, 03/22/2012 - 12:54 | Link to Comment RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Read the article dim-wit.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:30 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

I don't like the guy much, but with 20 million listeners do you really think he's toast? Grow a brain. 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:38 | Link to Comment jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Yes, the govt is inefficient and always wastes money, but the govt is supposed to maintain the military.  The govt DOES NOT have any constitutional authority to get into the retirement or medical business.  

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 19:42 | Link to Comment Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

Bingo, but with most of the nation being dedicated teat suckers regardless of supposed political affiliation it certainly wont get out of them without a meltdown.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:30 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

The government is supposed to maintain a military for self-desfense, not empire-building. Cut the military by 70%

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The real issue is as follows...

Given chronic industrial overcapacity and our ability to produce more consumer items that we can possibly use in a sustainable manner, what happens as relatively fewer and fewer people are needed to provide for human needs?

All this while more wealth is concentrated at the top...

And fossil-fuel based growth is essentially over....

------

Before anyone gets their knickers in knots, the above is not a defense of welfare....

Think of it as a challenge to be addressed...

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:13 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Did you ever consider that our massive overcapacity to produce consumer items that not enough people want might be a symptom of the problem, instead of its cause?

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:20 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Did it ever occur to you that what you just said is really fucking moronic...

I mean, like wow.... it must have been a brain fart on your part....

You must have typed before you thought...

You are a free marketer CATO Institute Libertarian type, right?

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:42 | Link to Comment GeneMarchbanks
GeneMarchbanks's picture

'Small government, more liberty' sells you have to admit. If it were only that easy.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:56 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes... and I support the premise, but I sure as hell am not going to be blindly naive about it...

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 20:33 | Link to Comment Lednbrass
Lednbrass's picture

It certainly isnt that hard, the only obstacle is a large number of people in this society who insist on telling others how they need to live and are apparently willing to never get what they want in order to deny the other group its desires.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 20:38 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yeah... those sanctimonious Republicans lecturing me about morals, abortion rights and gay marriage really piss me off...  I wish they would take their "Christian Nation" bullshit and shove it up their ass....

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 20:48 | Link to Comment akak
akak's picture

Or those sanctimonious Democrats who dishonestly equate the redistribution of funds collected at the point of a government gun as "charity".

Anyone who still naively and ignorantly believes that either one of the two mainstream, pro-War, pro-status-quo parties are better than, or more evil than, the other one is still part of the problem.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 20:57 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

One comment only from me...

There is a difference between a tax burden and being told how to live... The Dems don't really care how you live....

There is no difference between 80% of the Dem-Repubs, however, there is a big difference between the wings that form the other 20%.... 

BTW, Repubs have their own form of redistribution, its called "trickle down"....

Now junk away....I am done for the evening... 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:18 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

 

There is a difference between a tax burden and being told how to live... The Dems don't really care how you live....

Only when it comes to guns & property rights, you mean.

WTF wake the FUCK up

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:34 | Link to Comment sun tzu
sun tzu's picture

The dems don't care how you live? You are one dumbfuck asshole liar. The states with the most laws micromanaging everything you do is run by dems.

Now junk away, you asshole socialists 0bots

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:22 | Link to Comment samsara
samsara's picture

You got it Flak,   "We don't need no more toaster, nor the people who make them....  You can all just die now,  your usefullness is over."

Produciton "Utilization"  increases until there is no labor component at all.

Then we can just kill all the workers and other useless eaters.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:26 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

The unspoken Singularity....

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 02:18 | Link to Comment MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Indeed, be it fleeting or lasting, when a larger shift of human work produced is for savings & consumption of NEEDED items, goods, services, this is far better for any group, be it house-mates or an entire planet, than if overcapacity is for consumer services & goods for non-critical needs, entertainment or even fraudulently induced losses. I think to a small extent less work-hours (not less people) are needed to maintain human needs. IF the day ever comes that we can chronicaly overproduce what we need with less work-hours that generally is what's called utopia.

I'm not a utopian believer.

Maybe if we're lucky we'll push close enough to that direction to call it "improvement" looking back to these times.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 09:03 | Link to Comment RKDS
RKDS's picture

I find it horrifying that the value of labor keeps falling even as the value of what it produces appears to never stop rising.  Instead of heading for a future like George Jetson's, all I see is one where the last working person on Earth must work infinitely hard for nothing.  Because the rich are unconditionally entitled to absolutely everything dontchanow.

Tue, 03/20/2012 - 01:31 | Link to Comment MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

actually I'd say the value of what's produced by labour has also been dropping, per unit, as quality goes down, shipping distance (energy, time) goes up. Fiat dollar micro-fraud & macro-fraud can cover the problem for a while but not for long.

Once we return to truly measuring quality & quantity in like terms, energy for energy, time for time, service/benefit for like-service-and-benefit, we can figure out how to exchange (barter) between them. Fiat paper has to go. Hard currency alone can survive long-term.

Anyhow, so long as the population keeps rising & the true educational power (not institutional education) to innovate is too low, then the role of most humans is to be a slave.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:22 | Link to Comment aaronb17
aaronb17's picture

Funny thing -- libertarians and small-government advocates are frequently also the biggest proponents of private property rights.  How the heck to they expect to enforce their private property rights without government?  "Property" just means you're allied with the biggest corrupt mobster.  Your gang is able to enforce its claims to stuff against everyone else's claims.

What is "property" really, other than welfare?  It's an assurance by someone more powerful than you that you will "have" something.  That nice house and yard you "own" -- what does it mean to "own" it, really?  It means that a benevolent nanny state is around to help you keep other people from using "your" stuff.   You expect this.   You think you are entitled to it.   But the only reason you "own" that house is because your government is big enough to let you keep it. 

Just ask the Indians.  They thought they owned all kinds of stuff until, oops, their tiny governments were conquered by a bigger government, the Europeans.  I bet there was a time when the Indians wished they had a bigger government to help them protect their land. 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:39 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I've got news for you. The government's sole job is to provide security for society to grow and prosper. It is not supposed to be an instrument that allows the non productive takers to leach off of the productive. It certainly is not supposed to be a war machine that tries to enforce it's will across the world. Government is not supposed to be a large cumbersome beast that gets in the way off society and makes our life more difficult. Government is supposed to serve society not the other way around.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:02 | Link to Comment mjk0259
mjk0259's picture

Where/when has this government existed?

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:09 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I wish it did. But the takers and war mongers ...government ....have other ideas in mind.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:17 | Link to Comment Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Maybe the whole idea of government as we know it is unworkable? History is full of examples of societies that functioned perfectly well without government. The Irish Tuath system, for example, worked great until the English came in and destroyed it.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:26 | Link to Comment Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

I firmly believe we would be better off. I also believe that the power of the Internet can bring us closer to a low government society. If people would just open their minds and stop being afraid.

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 21:20 | Link to Comment LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Somalia is proving NO government is far superior to BAD government.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 06:47 | Link to Comment NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

There is Government in Somalia, it's called the UN.

Mon, 03/19/2012 - 09:22 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Why aren't you living out your fantasy by moving there?

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:37 | Link to Comment bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

Space Ghost! Great avatar there, mjk0259.

A favourite Space Ghost moment is the one in the 'Idlewild' episode, where Space Ghost tries to lecture his mates when they are drinking 'Tall boys', i.e., the half-litre cans of beer, and then is tempted into trying one himself, and gets totally drunk. ('Tall Boy' beer cans are hugely popular here on the streets and public transport in Belgium.)

Space Ghost: "Moltar, are you aware of the health risks caused by Tall Boys?"

Moltar: "[Burp!] Yeah, but, It makes ya feel like a cowboy!"

Space Ghost (examining beer can): "It does?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_oWbsBGWnM

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 14:37 | Link to Comment Unmisinformed
Unmisinformed's picture

I am not your slave, cunt.

You advocate for government to do what you are afraid to do yourself, enslave other people.

 

I hope you choke on Marx's cock.

 

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:03 | Link to Comment Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

My.... you sound sexually repressed....or unfulfilled....

Sun, 03/18/2012 - 15:45 | Link to Comment riphowardkatz
riphowardkatz's picture

I am not judging you but am wondering are you a chronic stutterer?

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