Thursday, June 7, 2007

Immigration Shmimmigration

Yahoo News reports: A White House-backed bill to revamp immigration laws stalled in the Senate on Thursday, handing President George W. Bush a major legislative setback.

The sharply divided Senate refused to limit debate on the fragile compromise hammered out by a bipartisan group of senators and the White House. The vote was 45-50, 15 short of the 60 votes needed to advance significant legislation in the 100-member body toward a final vote.

As a result, the bill was set aside and the Democratic-led Senate moved on to other legislation.
Any delay diminishes chances that an immigration overhaul, already an issue in advance of the November 2008 presidential election, can be enacted before Bush leaves office.

I am curious about what folks think about this issue. I have a right-wing leaning friend who is fond of stating that 90% of the US public is against illegal immigration, but when stated that way, of course, who isn't against illegal immigration. But I think that is simplistic and when you dive into all of the nooks and crannies of the issue that things are not nearly as black and white as he imagines.

I do know that I think the current bill is a big piece of horse shit. Expecting folks already in this country to return home and pay $5000 to get citizenship is ridiculous. First of all, it is logistically stupid (no one wants to return to their origin country for fear of never getting back in) and secondly, it seems to be fiscally unsound (how many immigrants actually have a spare $5000 laying around?)... what say you?


bev said...

Let me know when the GOP can discuss this without racism and fear-mongering, and maybe I can give it an opinion. We have illegal workers in this country because our business community wants it that way. I have to say, I thought Bush actually did a pretty good job of offering this as an actual compromise and as a domestic issue. It's the Party itself who made this a national security issue, which I consider bullshit.
I'd be interested in what you and bawdy think, as you both are on the southern border.


Well, where to begin. First, I have the uppermost respect for Hispanic culture and the people. I love Mexico(and Costa Rica too, sure is beautiful), I love the language, I love the art and I love the fact I live within its borders(the culture, of course).

The thing which pisses me off the most is all these white people who think all these Latinos want our precious citizenship. Most just want to make the decent money. I would figure we could all understand this concept, but I guess 90%(a laughable figure)don't.

Personally, I would grant everybody already here a never-ending work visa, no penalties and no mandatory trip home. During this process, our government(the federal one)would research the background of each individual, using our country's resources and the resources of the country of origin(this would also start a program of cooperation between the countries involved as this would be done with good intentions and with human respect(I would think the countries of origin would like to know where it's own people are too)). Once everyone is documented I would let them stay here as long as they wanted to. If they want to go home after a few years of making decent wages to start a business, great. If they want to become a citizen of this country, great. To me it is much better to know who is here(the real security issue)and this would go a long way to keep the criminal element out. Right now we have no idea who is actually here.

I would let our economy dictate how many immigrants we need. If there are no more jobs and we let this information be known, the flow will slow. It is only logic.

Nobody really talks about how much these people ADD to our economy. They buy things as much as any. When you have five, six, seven or more wage earners in one household anybody can live relatively well, even by our standards. They buy cars, houses, groceries and fun.

These fuckers in Washington are playing on emotions(just like every other issue)and are not using any kind of logical thought. I have posted before, Europe, Japan, Russia and most other "first world" countries are suffering a demographic nightmare. Birth rates are low, marriage rates are low and workers are not being replaced. This country hasn't had to suffer from these problems because we generally let our economy dictate how many workers we need. Our economy is dynamic that way. Why should we let our racist tendencies spoil this now? Why in our right minds would we tell someone who wants to bust tail in some productive way; that he/she can't because of their country of origin.

Yesterday, on NPR, the mayor of Yuma, Arizona was interviewed. He basically said he personally did not care how many agricultural workers came over because if America wants it's tomatoes year round, wants it's lettuce year round, wants a fucking salad in the wintertime, it better think twice about this issue. Americans don't end up picking this stuff for the farmers, immigrant workers do. He actually said it would be a good thing if the freedom of movement were expanded. Yuma is so close to the border, there is no reason the workers couldn't go home to their homes in Mexico at the end of the day. Right now this couldn't happen, the controls are so tight.

If all human traffic were shuttled through the border points, with liberal freedom, we would have an excellent opportunity to know who is crossing, why they are crossing and be able to scrutinize the bad apples(criminals and terrorists). And if you think about it, the only ones who would try to get in through the wilderness trails now used by smugglers would probably be the ones we don't want here to begin with.

This government(and I am including both sides of the aisle)use fear as a tool to get the public on it's side. They use it for Iraq, they use it for obesity(gotta get the Dems in there)and they are using it for this issue. Instead of something we should really be scared of, like our growing national debt, we are scared of someone who wants to work hard and get ahead. Makes no fucking sense to me.

As I have posted before, if they are paying our taxes; they are not getting a "free lunch". If they are paying our Social Security taxes and decide they don't want to be a citizen of this country; then they help out our Social Security Trust Fund deficit. To me this is a no-brainer and a win-win situation for America, the immigrants, their countries of origin and the rest of the world as we show our love and respect for humanity, our lack of hypocrisy and the truth on the Statue of Liberty. It isn't called the Statue of America for a fucking reason. Whew!

bev said...

Excellent comments, bawdy.
I'm a little amazed at Jon Kyl. Anything to do with the Minutemen supporters losing office in 2006, or has he always had this compromise p.o.v.?
I've long been for people coming to work or go to school here, and us supporting them on their way home so that they can -- yes -- spread democracy.
That's the one-sentences version, but it dovetails into what you are saying about most people wanting to go back to their own cultures.

I'm not sure what you mean on the obesity? Trans fats? Is there federal legislation?
Just a semi-comment on that:
I eliminated Bob Dole from consideration in 1996 when he told us flat out that cigarette smoking had not been proven to have a link with cancer. Meanwhile, smoking was driving health care costs through the roof.
I do believe people who are fat are fine, but if their resulting health problems pose a cost to society at large, is that a problem?

I've said before I don't believe people should have to bet on their health by having basic health insurance. By that I mean, I think there should be basis health care for everyone.
This is where I think health insurance can come in: If you have supplementary insurance for health problems not deemed "basic" (for me, the ones that you can't necessary help having -- bad luck of the draw, so to speak)...
This insurance policy is where you could bet that 4 packs a day ain't going to kill you or anyone who breathes your smoke.

My fingers hurt from typing letters to the editor regarding Scooter Libby and a possible *GAG* pardon, so I'll cut it short.
No need to respond if you don't want to open up the topic, but I was curious if your obesity comment referred to trans fats.

On immigration, I'm for sensible open borders, as bawdy has eleoquently described them, and I suppose that makes me an appeaser to terrorists in the minds of some.



In my opinion, Democrats would love to see a "nanny" state. Republicans would too, if indeed, they are honest about it. Both parties would like to see America end up a certain way, but this has little to do with how most individual Americans view this country(hence their fear-mongering). This is why many end up voting for the "lesser of two evils".

Democrats generally would like to see major restrictions on firearms. They would like to see everybody on a governmental(which they would control)health care system. I believe they would like to see a standardized education system(which, again they would control). They would like to control the wages paid to corporate bigwigs. They would like to control trade by using protectionist tariffs and subsidies. I could come up with more examples, but I think you get my drift; the key word is control and I, like you(in your "why you didn't join the military" post)search for the situation with the least amount of people telling me what to do. I believe it is called...liberty.

I also think most Americans are confusing "health insurance for everyone" with everyone getting healthcare. Just because you have a healthcare card in your wallet doesn't mean you won't be waiting in long lines for basic services, you will.

Let me ask you a question, Bev. If someone else was paying for your groceries and there was no limit to your spending, would you buy the cheap shit or would you go for the premium, boy this is good stuff? Healthcare costs will NOT come down satisfactorily until people have a vested interest in the competition which happens with every other service our economy provides. The government can, of course, control the prices of healthcare services, they are called "price controls" and they never work because when you lower the profit incentive of the providers you get less providers and longer lines at the counter.

Healthcare savings accounts would be the patients money. Money which if any is leftover at the end of the year is theirs to keep. When you are spending your own money, people generally shop around for the best deal and the providers generally will compete with each other to bring costs down. The problem with this scenario in the politician's eyes is, of course, they have no control.

bev said...

bawdy, let me see if I can find where we agree and disagree.
-> "Democrats generally would like to see major restrictions on firearms."
I just don't buy this. The push for Democrats was for a ban on assault weapons. It also had to do with cop-killer bullets.
As an aside, bawdy, I'm sort of amazed at how much you echo the GOP talking points. You THINK much better than I do. Can you name a Democrat these days who is out there advocating "major restrictions on firearms"? I'm not even sure that's even a part of the platform. Charlton(sp?) Heston did his "over my dead body" speech with a RIFLE in hand and I laughed my fucking ass off. I note he did NOT do it with an AK-47 semi-automatic.

--> "They would like to see everybody on a governmental(which they would control)health care system."
They would. So, what are we going to do about that?
We spend the most for health care and have the worst system. I say we could have the BEST system for, at the very least, the same amount of money, if we just determined that we have a problem.
Most Americans are lamenting the systems other nations have, and most of them do not know a fucking thing about another country.
I've seen both their healthcare systems and their education systems up close and personal. THEY ARE BETTER THAN OURS.
Bottom line, as well: They don't have kids dying of curable diseases and toothaches. We do.
That's bad enough for me to want to solve the problem.

So, I admit, most Americans DO want a national health care system. Is this a case for you when the majority rules, or do we all fight each other for another decade, with the worst AND most expensive system in the world?

--> "I believe they would like to see a standardized education system(which, again they would control)."
In an extremely mobile society, where we are trying to educate the posterity of the most powerful nation on earth, we have high school students who can't read.

Your 50 different states plans do not address the issue and actually make it worse, in the opinion of this poster, who has some standing and a ton of both experience and education in this area.
So, what's your solution to the fact that American kids can't read? My solution is a voluntary pre-school federal literacy program.
Then I seriously don't care if a kid never enters another classroom, as long as someone makes sure he or she has a library card.

--> "They would like to control the wages paid to corporate bigwigs."
I concern myself with equal opportunity to the American dream -- "work hard and the opportunities are endless." Well, that's not true. A family of four cannot live on our minimum wage. Since the days of the robber barons, about 25% of profits once went to management; in the six years of the Bush adminstration, that percentage is now well over 50%.
So, yes, to a certain point, if it hurts our middle class, I would like to have some control over worker's wages (not so much profits, per se).

--> "They would like to control trade by using protectionist tariffs and subsidies."
Well, again, I like my "community businesses" and "state businesses" idea. They would have no fed regulations, and they might also have some protection (Wisconsin cheese, California wine, whatever).

I'm not big on either tariffs or subsidies, but I also don't think this is just a Dem problem. I vaguely remember Bush getting slammed for protecting steel from foreign dumping but I don't remember the facts.
Do you think any American products should be protected?

--> "I search for the situation with the least amount of people telling me what to do. I believe it is called...liberty."
The limitations the GOP now advocate may not touch you.
You have a MUCH higher tolerance to the government junction between church and state than I do. And the GOP likes to get in women's lives more than men's.
Also, I believe it is Dems who are returning habeas corpus to our judicial system and who are fighting warrantless wiretapping for us. They are not perfect, but they are not anti-liberty either.
As csm will remind you, liberalism comes from liberty. If you determine what liberties the liberals want, they are just as important to me as free trade and capitalism. Sometimes more important.

--> re: "long lines" for healthcare -- we have long lines now. I just called for an appointment because of a mole. Three months unless it starts to turn red.

If someone else was buying my groceries, I would probably buy the best buy -- sometimes dirt cheap and sometimes premium.
But what you are actually addressing is personal selfishness, not bad government.
It goes back to my story from Greece, about Americans blaming people who leave their keys in the car and the door unlocked for getting their car stolen. Again, in Greece, the mentality is that the person who stole your car is a complete asshole, not the person who left their keys in the car.

We need to change our attitude, which right now is basically "read the fine print or I have every 'right' to fuck you over."

I know I'm an idealist, but I would like for us to not think it's okay to screw the gov't just because you can get away with it, before we decide we simply need to believe that anything involving gov't is an automatic failure just because government is involved.

I would also like an attitude where healthcare doesn't need to have a hefty "profit incentive" for people to want to help sick people.

I'm for tax-exempt healthcare accts. Also, for tax-emempt home accts so you can set aside down payments, mortgage payments, repairs and remodeling for one's primary (family) home.

I don't mean this badly, although when I say that, it's usually taken wrong. But I just get amazed at people who say this is the greatest country or greatest constitution in the world or in history... and then, in a different conversation, our government couldn't shoot themsleves out of a paper bag.

I hesitate to mention Hillary Clinton because of any lurking Clinton Haters, but her website advocates idea after idea after idea for "smart" government.
Smart government isn't "no" government, and it's also not communism.
It's using our brains as AMERICANS and SOLVING problems together.

I hear you saying that we are not capable of developing a national healthcare system where curable diseases are prevented, and/or treated in a timely manner, and/or treated simply as a matter of conscience.

I truly believe in smart government, and it's SOLELY based on the notion that I believe in America.

Along these same lines, the immigration bill was a compromise. Some people are so ideological (on both sides) and they won't compromise.
I didn't feel like compromising with Bush on immigration because I don't trust him. But I was willing.
I think we have too many people who are unwilling to compromise in government, and I think that hurts us all in terms of actually solving problems.

Gosh, my fingers are killing me.
Best to you, bawdyscot, m'dear!


The people not willing to compromise are Democrats and Republicans.

The reason the Dems aren't mentioning gun control like they have in the past is it is a non-starter to get elected. If they are to have a chance in the South and the West they cannot touch that subject. This does not mean deep in their hearts they wouldn't like to see handguns done away with and gun manufacturers out of business.

What will I do when we finally get our universal healthcare? I will say I told you so.

Please, tell me how extreme corporate executive wages hurt the middle class? I personally only see it hurting the shareholders of the company, especially if the executives do not deliver better corporate results, the reason for getting the high wages to begin with.

Should any sector of our economy get protection? No.

As far as waiting for your mole appointment, if we had healthy competition for the healthcare dollar, you might not have that problem.

With some healthy competition in education, we might get that problem licked too.

As far as my so-called anti government stance, I have said for a long time, the more laws you have the less freedom you have. Sure we need laws, but right now we have too many(and too many bad ones) and everyday our legislators are in session with the idea we need more, and this is from people who can't even follow the ones already on the books.

Also, please go back and reread my first paragraph, I do not give the Republicans a free pass, they are just as culpable for the mess we are in.

And yes I am in the camp which states we have the greatest country and greatest system, our problem is we haven't stayed true to the course our Founders laid out for us and for that we only have ourselves to blame.

bev said...

Answering these:
--> "What will I do when we finally get our universal healthcare? I will say I told you so."

I don't think I asked you that question. If I did, I'm sorry.
What I asked is, if the majority of the people DO want the government to do something about universal healthcare, are you going to fight it, or are you going to realize that's the way we're going and offer us your compromises?

This goes along with the constitution being for the people. If people believe they want to the government to regulate, advocate, fund something...
It's going to be regulated, advocated, funded, etc.
The fight against that reality, to me, represents a waste of time.

I asked a question once that had to do with the assumption that the feds "provide for the common defense" and the budget is limitless vs. some of us who think some revenue should go towards "promoting the common welfare" which is a constant battle.

It is in those places where, yes, I think the constitution is open to the will of the people.
If they decide universal healthcare promotes the common welfare, or a single, universal curriculum for teaching pre-school literacy promotes the common welfare, then it's your "opinion" against "the people's" "opinion." And,
mine, of course, which is why we're having this discussion. :)

Again, the typing is killing me but I think you get the drift of what I'm trying to say.
My purpose is simply to wonder this: If you, reasonable bawdyscot, and reasonable csm+coreyd+I can't come to some agreement/compromise, how can 435 + 100 of our representatives?
That's what creates flusterclucks. You blame the people in DC, but it's you and me, bawdy, right here, right now, on this blog.

So, what's your compromise? *grin*

--> "Please, tell me how extreme corporate executive wages hurt the middle class? I personally only see it hurting the shareholders of the company, especially if the executives do not deliver better corporate results, the reason for getting the high wages to begin with."

On this question, I promise I am not being coy and please tell me if you feel so... but can you tell me if you believe there were "robber barons"? And, I don't mean to say they are horrible, horrible people.
Maybe, are you separating, say, the Waltons (? Wal-Mart) out of this?
Again, I'm not being coy and I'm sure you even know where I'm coming from. I'm just trying see what we might have in common first.
For example, are you saying there is no such thing as price gouging, just always good old capitalism; or that price gouging wouldn't hurt the middle class even if it did occur; or...?

Along those lines, it is my belief -- and I'm willing to take instruction here -- that completely unrestricted capitalism (especially without any curbs via estate taxes) eventually leads to communism.
That's the really blunt version, but that's one of the lessons I see from history. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's where I'm coming from when I say that salaries for management that ignore family-friendly wages for labor can be dangerous to the middle class.

Well, something to think about.

I'm off for the sunset-sunrise-sunset of my week's end, in case I don't answer for an hour (or day) or two.


Well if everyone wants to go over the cliff like a lemming, who am I to stop them(I couldn't if I wanted to)? If everyone wants to lap up what our politicians and the corporate media want to feed them, so be it.

Bringing up "robber barons' in this day and age is being disingenuous. In the age of the barons there was no SEC, FDIC and other regulatory agencies. You are putting words in my mouth if you are insinuating I do not want ANY regulations. I have never ever said I wanted NO regulations, just that we have too many. Even though we still have our Enrons(we will always have our Enrons), we also have the regulatory bodies to ferret them out.

Price gouging and high corporate executive wages are two very different things. Mixing the two is also disingenuous. You also failed to instruct me on how corporate executive compensation affects the middle class.

Corporate boards have the responsibility to hire the best managerial talent they can get. The competition is fierce. Since it is, they pay a large salary and give out stock options and performance bonuses. If the exec lives up to his billing and the company makes a nice profit the exec earns his bonus and because of the nice profit the stock goes up(this isn't always the case, this is the risk the exec takes)and he is "in the money" on his stock options. In this scenario the regular employees win with higher wages because the company made a profit. It is a benefit to the regular employees to have a good management team.

Now lets say the exec wasn't so good. The company doesn't make a profit. The exec doesn't get what the board wanted, profitability.
The exec doesn't get his bonus, the stock most assuredly goes down and his options aren't worth anything and the employees are unhappy because they don't get raises. If it is really bad the exec is shown the door and employees are laid off.

In the scenario of the exec, his wages are only of the concern of the actual shareholders. Is his/her performance worth the salary being paid? The regular employees should only be worried about how well the exec is performing as his/her(the exec's) salary is actually a small percentage of the total labor cost of the company. Even with the example of Exxon, Mr. Raymond's, the exec who left recently, salary and his golden parachute was just a small part of the total labor costs of the company. All Exxon employees are generally paid very well, mainly because it is a very well run company(I must put in my disclaimer, I am a shareholder of Exxon). One other thing I would like to add to this subject and very rarely gets said, a CEO of a company, especially a big one, has a huge responsibility. He is responsible for all the employees, the quality of the product, following all regulations, the corporate image, the shareholders, research and development and probably a few more things I can't think of right off the top of my head. Executive wages are subject to market forces just like the rest of the economy and for the most part our system works. When it doesn't we have our safety net(unemployment insurance, pension insurance, etc).

About the only thing we do agree on is we have problems. I believe you want to have things go the way they have in the last oh, one hundred years or so and use a "loose" interpretation of the Constitution and adjust the powers so as to have the federal government try to solve our respective problems. This is the tack we have taken since the beginning of the 1900's. This hasn't done much for poverty and the little guy if you believe today's press. Politicians talk a big story and they have their little pet projects, but shit doesn't get done; blame just gets shifted around.

I on the other hand would like to see us take a "strict" interpretation of the Constitution which hasn't happened in a very long time. How bad was our educational system before the federal government got involved and how bad is it now? Has it gotten better since 1980 when Carter formed the Dept. of Education? I think not. Yet that is what our current crop of wannabees sees as the answer, both Dems and Reps.

I am done watching compromises. That is all I have witnessed in my political life, compromises. Social Security, our tax structure, our freedoms, hell our future has all been compromised away.

I am not stupid enough to think this country will go the way I want it to, but that still doesn't take away from me the ideas I feel are the right way to go and this is my forum to speak them.

bev said...

Just popping in for a moment.

bawdy, I never mean to be disingenuous.
I take a bit of offense even at the suggestion, but I'll get over it.

I just read all that you wrote and feel we have some common ground. But I can point out one of the problems, with your reference to the Dept. of Ed. (of course).
It's the perfect example, though, and it matches the clusterfuck discussion regarding immigration.

A segment of our population does NOT want public education to work.

They have been the loudest and the most indefatiguable. They've latched on to those who see no Dept. of Ed in the Constitution, those who want rich private school, those who want parochial private school, and those who want home school so no one taints their children.

The teachers are the bad guys.
The teachers unions are from Satan.
Everyone thinks they are a teacher.
No one but the teacher and the kid cares what happens to a kid's education when s/he walks in a classroom in CA in Feb when s/he'd just moved from SC. Even the parents don't care, because they're going through their own trauma. I mean, teachers are the free-est baby-sitters your tax dollars can buy, as far as some people are concerned.

If everyone agreed on the basic goal, we as Americans would have the best education system in the world. The fact that we don't is because of people who don't want it to work. They are generally the same people who didn't want an immigration compromise to go through.
Jimmy Carter had those loud people kick it in the ass at birth. Reagan didn't want the DoE to succeed, nor did GHW Bush, nor did Clinton's GOP Congress.
Meanwhile, on the other end, our system is still basically based on America in 1776, and that's the other side of the story. What's available in other nations in terms of curriculum is fantastic, but we have our own greedy American textbook companies, which produce a product that looks and acts like what I had for a textbook.

My goal is that every American child enters his or her community school system literate (ready to learn at Age 7 level) in as many languages as possible.
How anyone can think that doesn't promote the general welfare in our nation, I guess I just don't understand.

Education is my passion, and it hurts when I see smart kids in horrible learning situations because their community is poor, it doesn't care, or it doesn't support the public system.
The difference between the education a kid gets in Chicago, California, Boston vs. in Florida, for example...

DoD uses one curriculum in their schools. A kid walks in, was on page 123 on Tuesday, and starts on page 124 today. It's a breeze! But DoD schools WANT to succeed.

anyway, nite-nite :)

bev said...

I forgot to say that I am giving lots of consideration to the other part on corporations.
Didn't want you to think I got on my high horse and ignored your ass.
(I meant that to be witty, not horsey)

csm said...

RE: high executive pay and its impact on the middle class

IMHO there is a link between the two, albeit perhaps not as direct as either of you may be thinking. First of all, your examples, Bawdy, seem to me to be somewhat naive. In the ideal world your scenarios make sense. In the real world executives fuck up, stock prices sink, and execs still get barrels full of cash. Often, options get repriced. Sometimes, when the exec is shown the door, he (or she, usually he) is given scads of cash to leave. So things are not all fair and square up there in the executive offices of corporate America.

OK, so what is the impact on the middle class? There potentially can be a HUGE impact on attitudes and thus productivity. Yes, CEOs and execs have huge responsibility. But the pay is far in excess of the difference in responsibility between the execs and the lower levels in the corporation. Unfairness on this level (though part of life) causes problems. I've worked at companies where the disparity in pay became a productivity issue. Layoffs (where the old boy network protects useless folks and lays off productive folks), worrying about layoffs (will I even have a job next week, gotta update my resume, gotta interview, etc.), monitoring and participating in the Yahoo company chat boards to slam the company or see what others are saying, and examining the trades of execs to see what their options are getting them while they fuck up the company.

Do I have a fix? You probably won't like (hell, I'm not sure I like it), but some form of tying the highest salary to a multiple of the lowest could work. It ain't capitalism, but hell, I ain't 100% sold on pure capitalism.

Also, regarding gun control, it is a big non-issue. We (the people) can put whatever controls on guns we want. What exists todays is already against the constitution. The constitution states "the right to bear arms"... a nuke is an arm, but I can't own one. So we have arms control. There is no difference from a constitutional perspective. So, hell yes, we should have some form of gun control. If you disagree, then I want my own fucking nuclear weapon. Why not?

Good dialog though Bev and Bawdy - I enjoyed reading every "jot and tittle" of it.


Bev & csm,

One thing I forgot to mention, most of these surveys of wage differentiation use federal tax returns. In federal tax returns adjusted gross wages are used. Adjusted gross wages don't count deductions for 401ks and 403b accounts, exactly where much of the middle class wealth lies.

Every year I get from my company a benefit summary. It includes the matching Social Security payments my company makes on my behalf. It includes the amount of subsidy they pay for my health insurance and some other things. When all is added up this amount is about 50% more than what I have grossed. I'll bet this information doesn't get put into these survey figures either.

And csm, you can read anything you want into the Constitution, many people do, but even the NRA isn't looking to have it's members own nuclear arms anytime soon. The problem I have with these people, is the suing of gun manufacturers for the things people do with guns. I personally only own a cheap .22 up at the ranch where you pretty much have to rely on yourself, this is my disclaimer.

bev said...

Sorry, just stopping in again quickly.

Many of the gun suits had to do with child-safety locks; or, had to do with stuff like fingerprint-proof barrels and handles; or, cop killer bullets.

Again, bawdy, you are actually spouting the GOP talking points. I'm not saying zero suits had to do with "suing the gun manufacturers for what people do." But putting it that way really doesn't give the whole picture.

I think csm's point is this:
While once asking my at-the-time 70 yr old rightwing aunt what she had against gun control, she said she didn't want "them" to take away her gun. I asked her if she had a gun. No, but if she got one, she didn't want the gov't taking it away.

So, no, no one is talking about wanting nuclear arms to bear. But, strictly constitutionally, where's the "bearing arms control"?

I think the point is, again -- What's the compromise?

If I tried to take hunting rifles away, my family would shoot me. And, btw, no pun intended. I have generations of serious hunters in my family, and had a stage where I hunted myself.
But child safety locks? Handles and barrels that show prints? Bullets that aren't manufactured to go though cops' protective vests?

Does that sound like "the nanny state" (another GOP slogan, bawdy) to reasonable people?
Just something to think about.

later, 'gators...


Unless I am wrong, the city of Chicago filed a lawsuit a few years back against gun manufacturers for defective products because of the aforementioned lack of child safety locks. So I guess Colt and Ruger need to go back and provide locks for every gun they have ever sold? Just like putting them out of business, and I don't think that is right. Where is the responsibility of the gun owner, oh, that's right the manufacturers are the ones with the deep pockets. Gotta love lawyers, huh?

Oh, and one more thing I have never read the GOP talking points, I am not a Republican, but just because I agree with Republicans on some issues(believe it or not I agree with some Democrats talking points(they must have them, but I couldn't tell you if they do because I haven't read them either))doesn't mean I give them any more creedence than I do Democrats.

csm said...

Can't say that I have any love for lawyers (until, I guess, I need one to defend me or another one is attacking me).

My point about gun control was that we already have arms control. Now, as Bev so eloquently stated, where is the compromise point. Do we need to allow anyone to own AK-47s? Why?

I own a shotgun myself - never used it, but I think it is reasonable to allow folks to own such guns. Semi-automatic weapons? Nah, not reasonble. I could be persuaded otherwise, but I'd need a reasonable argument.

And your poitns about additional benefits are well-taken, Bawdy. But all of those benefits also go to the executives. So they are not added to either side and thus, to my way of thinking, a moot point.

coreydbarbarian said...

ah, guns.

here in indiana, it's a big issue.
in fact, i know about five people who own ak-47's. 4 out of those 5 are police officers.

when surveyed, one of the cops is an avid gun collector. the non-cop owner is pretty big in2 the nra and preparing for civil war, so there's his excuse.

the other 3 cops? they're holding on2 such weapons "just in case" the system collapses.
circling back 2 immigration, indiana has an odd perspective. (odd 2 me, prolly not odd in general). i'd say about 2/3rds of hoosiers are vocally opposed to AMNESTY. which is just code for "either send 'em back 2 mexico, or jail 'em THEN send 'em back."

of course, my state has barely accustomed itself 2 its new & booming hispanic population. that, and there are still kkk ralleys in the midwest. take your pick.

AMNESTY is the rallying cry precisely because it sounds legit. what they mean by amnesty, though...



Actually Social Security taxes are only taxed on the first $80,000 or so of gross wages, so after the first 80g's execs get nothing else taken out for SS. Sounds like we could have another way to solve the pending SS problem, tax ALL wages for SS, and tax immigrants who don't want to become citizens. Maybe then the boomers won't be as big a problem as some are predicting.

Ceroill said...

Excellent discussion, everyone. No time right now to join in much, but I hope to later.

Ceroill said...

Ok, let's see what two cents I can contribute here.

Immigration: It seems to me that most of the anger and indignation I see being bandied about regarding mexican illegal immigrants very closely resembles what was said in the past about the Italians, the Irish, Polish, the Chinese, and just about every other group of immigrants of the last 175 or so years. All this talk of protecting our jobs or protecting the language, or crime or whatever, all was said before about other immigrant groups.

CEOs and wages and such: Ok. Let's see. This links in with one of my observations of recent years. No this is not a bonafide study or poll or anything, just what things look like to me. I see what seem like a lot of similarities between the working man's situation nowadays and about a hundred years ago before all the niceties of the 40 hour work week, company pensions, social security, and unions. For a family trying to survive on base level pay, or even better than minimum in bigger cities, you need a multiple income family to just get by. Plus the hours you work are more dependant on what the boss says rather than what any supposed rules say. And to hell with job security or the company placing any real value on how much time you've been with them. Meanwhile the head honchos on top of the companies are getting paid so much it sometimes seems comparatively absurd.
Guns: I have no problem with people owning guns. Or swords, spears, fireworks, bows, or whatever. It should all be legal. But if you get yourself or your buddy hurt using one of those, then it's your own problem due to stupidity.

Medical: Hmm again. Nobody likes being sick or injured, paying inflated bills, immense waiting lines, etc. I don't know how to fix these situations, and I'm not sure they really can be in the real world.

I have no answers to political wrangling and corruption, or to governmental and corporate excesses. Those in positions of power, whether governmental, economic, or whatever will always use that power first for their own benefit, and only after that for the benefit of anyone else. That's how it's always been, and how it will likely always be. The point of laws and societal rules is to try and mitigate this tendency as much as possible.

csm said...

Just curious ceroill, regarding guns/arms, would your "whatever" include nuclear weapons? If so, OK, but scary. If not, then there is a limit to what you support.

I use the absurd example of allowing citizens to keep nuclear weapons because, consitutionally, it would appear to be protected under the "right to bear arms." But even most gun nuts (not saying that is you) don't believe it should include nuclear weapons. So where is the line?

coreydbarbarian said...

i think i agree with every single point you just made. that's pretty unusual 4 me!
may i comment?

you said, "Those in positions of power, whether governmental, economic, or whatever will always use that power first for their own benefit, and only after that for the benefit of anyone else. That's how it's always been, and how it will likely always be. The point of laws and societal rules is to try and mitigate this tendency as much as possible."

--> i wanted so badly 2 disagree w/ somethin' in this statement. it's just so depressing. but i couldn't find anything i didn't believe also.
what does that leave us?

mankind is selfish by nature. rather than write that off as a sinful or base nature, let's say for a minute that human selfishness is a genetic trait, one that has probably aided in the survival of the species.

i personally have a preference to philosophies that acknowledge the usefulness of selfishness.
ya know, freethinkers like rand and nietzsche. : )

selfishness can be utilized.

the very best parents i know are incredibly selfish. they live for their own happiness. but of course, they've made their families well-being and growth their happiness. when junior is healthy and gains in integrity, mom & dad are happy.

now i know, you're (prolly)sayin, "but they love junior!" yeah, they love junior. but what is love, really? is it a cause, or an effect? for the sake of discussion, let's say that love (the emotion) is a tool of the selfish ego.

we've been beat over the head for eons with selflessness. i say a good, hearty self-interest is exactly what "we the people" lack!

i should point out that i am not advocating outright greed. i am only saying that it is perfectly natural to seek your own happiness first, so long as the source of your happiness is your own wellbeing and integrity, and the well-being and growth of those you care about.

perhaps if our leaders derived their satisfaction from OUR edification, health and well-being (as well as their own), they might behave differently?


i think the line that's developing divides "arms" into two camps:
*those that are intended 2 kill one person at a time, and
*everything else.



Your post reminded me of a post I made on the other site soon after I started posting. My point was that unselfish acts were really selfish acts because they made you feel good doing them. I forget who it was who argued I was wrong, but I still believe it today. Smiling at a stranger on the street, letting someone with less groceries ahead of you in line, giving up your seat on the bus all make you feel better and since it does it is a selfish act(IMO). Now if more people would get THIS selfishness as a habit, everybody wins.

Ceroill said...

csm, there used to be a comedy routine about NNS or Neighborhood Nuclear Superiority. I think it was a SNL skit or something.

As to personal WMDs: I suppose using the 'whaterver' was a bit vague on my part. I think the INTENT of the phrase 'bear arms' was quite literal. A man can bear, that is carry, a musket, or a shotgun or a pike. Until fairly recently (the last few of decades or so) It was not really possible for one man to carry a weapon that could kill more than one person at a time, or completely destroy a building or vehicle, let alone a town. In practical terms I agree with that sentiment. Unless we are planning on declaring this country a bonafide war zone I don't see the point of claiming anything bigger as appropriate for the individual citizen.

coreyd- I agree it's a bit on the depressing side. Human nature is selfish, covetous, and tribal. What we think of as civilization has been the ongoing attempt to mitigate and control those tendencies. (I have a personal theory that childrearing can be described the same way- civilizing your children, who are living examples of basic human nature. If you fail to civilize your kids they grow up to be barbaric and not good members of our civilization) Spirituality and philosophy I have long thought are supposed to be ways of appealing to and developing the more 'noble' aspects of the human psyche. Note I say supposed to be. Not that they always succeed. Oh, and one more personal bit of defining- a philosophy becomes a religion when it gets bound up in rigidly delineated organizations. Examples: The teachings of Buddha or Jesus would be philosophies. The people who came after have turned them into religions.

bev said...

well, all my points about corporations seem a little moot after seeing all these fine posts. Is it covered, bawdy?

So, do we all agree that feudalism isn't that great of a system? If so, what restraints should be put on greed?

bawdy, I accused you of spouting GOP talking points because of the term "the nanny state."

csm is a liberal.
Do you feel like he's advocating a "nanny state"?
It's just a gross stereotype, imo, that doesn't help bring people to the table to help solve problems.

I call people who defend Bush without exception "Loyal Bushies." That's what I mean to do, because they have indicated that they are never coming to the table. Therefore, I make no apologies.

You are calling csm an advocate of "a nanny state." If that's what you mean to do, so be it. But I don't think it's a very accurate description.

regarding selfishness:
I ask people constantly what their moral code is. Most of them refer to The Golden Rule.
I think if we could somehow base our laws on, "Do to others as you would have it done to you; Do not do to others what you would not have done to you" we could stop judging people as selfish, and simply judge them as treating others like crap, being exceptionally generous, displaying genuine honesty and integrity, etc.

I think it would be very interesting for my fellow Americans to know what rich people consider "fair."

I think it is unfair for CEO's to make hundreds, sometimes thousands, of times the wages of unskilled, but vital, adult workers with families.

I'm agreeing with Bob when I say that I think national businesses should be required to pay family-friendly wages.
(Remember that I don't think community or state businesses should be included in most federal regulations.)
(I also don't think businesses have a responsibilty to provide healthcare and a few other things that they are now nearly required to provide.)


One of my favorite statements isn't fair, people are born deaf and blind all the time.

When automobiles were just coming into their own, we had hundreds of manufacturerers. Once competition heated up, most of these companies went belly up and workers were let go. Is that fair? Some might not think so, but the market is the closest humans can come to the perfection of nature, where the strongest survives. We have safety nets now for those who fall through the cracks, but hey not everyone is going to have cable TV, or a car built in this century or a computer.

I personally don't begrudge anything anybody earns legally in this society and I would be willing to bet my net worth is nowhere nears yours, Bev. I don't begrudge what Bill Gates has. I don't begrudge what Warren Buffet has. I almost think it borders on jealousy. I hear it when people talk about athletes salaries compared to teachers salaries. If teachers were competing against each other, the best teachers would be making much, much more money than they do now. That is how it works for althletes, the best get the big bucks, the not so good get to pick another career.

Greed will always be with us. Poverty will always be with us(there will always be somebody who makes less than most others, unless everybody gets paid the same, of course). All we can do is mitigate the damage, which I personally see no problem with. The Golden Rule is great for a personal credo but is unenforceable unless a law is broken.

I think it is much more beneficial to this society to help the less fortunate by giving them the tools to make something of themselves than worry about those who have more than they know what to do with. Chances are their(the rich) lives are missing some key ingredients also, they just don't come with price tags.

As far as the term "nanny state" is concerned, Libertarians are much more likley to use the term as right wing Republicans want to tell us what we can watch or listen to or who to worship which ends up promoting the "nanny state" as much as Democrats. If the Republicans use the term(I told you I have never read the Rep talking points)they stole it from Libertarians(probably in an attempt to get our vote).

As far as corporations being mandated to pay "family friendly wages"(whatever that means), if that ever happens the superhighway to outsourcing will have to close it's tollbooths as they will not be able to handle the traffic. But look at it this way, some poor down-trodden forgeigner will be getting a job, a job he wouldn't have had otherwise.

csm said...

Interesting lines of thoughts put out here by one and all. I remain of the opinion that the best of all possible worlds would put controls on the inherent greed instilled within humans. I'd be willing to wager that many high level executives (not all, maybe not most, but probably more than most think) have gotten to where they are through means not entirely legal or not entirely moral. Anything we can do to rectify that would be most welcome.

I do, however, bow to the fact that government (at times) is every bit as likely to suffer from the same faults (corruption, illegal activities, etc.). So can we really hope to have government solve our business problems? (I'm guessing that this is likely to be Bawdy's opinion here.) I guess I remain hopeful (though the hope is waning).

Regarding pro athletes, I view them as entertainers. If ARod can earn mega millions how is that different than George Clooney earning mega millions? OK, turn that around, and let's ask whether it is "right" or "fair" for any entertainer to out-earn a CEO? I say, hell yes. Most CEOs are not anything special. They do make certain sacrifices to head a big corporation, but I dare say that many college graduates could do just as good of a job as most CEOs given the chance (and the desire). Not so for ARod - his are special skills. Closer to the case for Clooney... but what the fuck am I rambling about here? Time to stop...

csm said...

Oh, and one other comment about the social security benefits taken out of folks checks. I agree that taxing more income and taxing non-US workers could help out the social security system.

But, your point Bawdy, about only the first $80K or so of gross wages being taxes actually stregthens my argument that the rich CEOs are paid obscenely and unfairly (I know, I know, life ain't fair) when compared to the poor (whose entire salary is FICA taxed).

bev said...

Again, some wonderful comments. bawdy, I mentioned a family-friendly wage without defining it. It's one of my "free-thinking" ideas.
Do you think the idea has merit?

The excuse for slavery in America, long after other nations had realized its immorality, was "our economy." Every single fight for fair wages in this nation has been fought to save profit, with no concern whether the wages made for a healthy society.
But if profit doesn't benefit the society as a whole, what good is it?

Again, the feudal system was very, very good for some people. But it wasn't very good for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in general.

bawdy, you guess that I have more net worth than you. Probably true. But I didn't earn most of my net worth. Is that the American way? That I could easily never have to earn my living, and still have a lot of power in our society?

Regarding sports players and teachers, you think competition would do it. But the best teachers just are not in it for the money. I mention the sports figure to show where our values are. We don't value education in this country. We value money.
Teachers are never going to earn Hulk Hogan's $5 million, because education's never going to be profit making. And, education is green beans, Hulk Hogan is dessert. No one pays for green beans what they pay for ice cream.

We have no respect for teachers, and never will. We didn't start teachers out the way they did in the greatest civilzations -- with our teachers considered our most articulate philosophers.
Our students were more important as laborers, and the little education they got came only when the crops were in, from unmarried women waiting for their meal-ticket to come along so they wouldn't be teachers anymore.

I'd like to switch to something Bob said: "...resembles what was said in the past about the Italians, the Irish, Polish, the Chinese, and just about every other group of immigrants of the last 175 or so years. All this talk of protecting our jobs or protecting the language, or crime or whatever, all was said before about other immigrant groups.'

I understand that Bill O'Reilly said the other day that our white Christian male population was now threatened.
I noted immediately that he said "white Christian" where in my day it was "white Anglo-Saxon Protestant." Note the difference.

Everyone wants in on the power structure. They are fearful of losing their power. We need to break that power structure.
My family is the whitest, most Anglo-Saxon, most Protestant of any of us here probably.
My brother -- really typical of our WASP background -- is filthy rich, and he's worked hard. But he started out with a PILE of money on the day he was born, that came from a pile of money both my mom and my dad were also given at birth.
There are a lot of Americans who work a lot harder than either him or me. There are a lot of Americans who would be filthy rich, if they were born into his circumstances.

I'm not out to break little community businesses; I'm out to build them up. I'm for equal opportunity. Some Americans have it a lot more equal than others. To begin with, they are "white Christian males."
Those white christian males need to be willing to share their power, which is not easy.

That's why I continue to ask about our own compromises. If we can't compromise, it seems to me that our government leaders aren't going to be able to accomplish it.


Where to begin, putting governmental controls on greed would be antithetical to our system of government let alone our liberty.

csm, your sense that most CEOs aren't that special and any college grad could do the job illuminates your lack of understanding of what a CEO actually does. The different types of knowledge needed for the job ranges from geopolitics, human psychology, science, government regulations, labor regulations, forgeiegn relations, forgeign markets and on and on. Granted not all CEOs are good at what they do, but the market takes care of that in its usual way.

Also, not all CEOs make obscene amounts of money, actually most probably don't(depending on your definition of obscene). The ones we here about in the media are the exception, not the rule. The S&P 500 where most of the "obscenity" takes place IS only 500 companies as compared to the thousands out there.

We agree on SS deductions, they should be taken from all wages.


"We spend the most for healthcare and have the worst system".

We have the worst system, eh? Is there a system in Africa better than ours, maybe. But not many. That kind of comment needs some modification as I seriously doubt we have the worst system in the world.

As far as how expensive our system is I would like to point out something which doesn't explain away in total but does in part. Most other industrialized countries have price controls in place for pharmacueticals. Since they do, pharma companies have to recoup their expenses from somewhere and guess where that somewhere is. Give up. That is right, America. So if you think about it the rest of industialized earth is getting a free ride from the American consumer. So why don't we institute price controls and get in on this gravy? I think you know where this is going. Pharma companies have eight years of patent protection to recoup their expenses and make a profit for their shareholders. If they don't make that profit they stop producing new drugs. If they stop making new drugs... you get the picture. Profit is not a dirty word; it is what makes our system work and keeps the innovations coming. By the way did you know the country of Brazil is going to buy an HIV drug from a generic drug company in India because the pharma company who still holds the patent for the drug wouldn't go low enough(they did come down quite a bit)in price. Now the humanitarian aspect yells yeah(and I am not necessarily against this), but these same people will be screaming when these drugs stop working against this devious virus(it mutates like crazy, I have heard at least 28 variations)and these pharma companies say, hey, we are out of that business now, no profit in it.

Also, one more way our healthcare system has problems is the fact our population is less healthy than most other industrialized countries. Granted this is our own fault, but you can't really blame the system for our lack of self control. Michael Moore's new movie lauds Cuba's healtcare system, but I don't think there is a single McDonalds in Cuba. Is there?

Lastly, Bev, I don't begrudge you your money and your brother his money now matter how you acquired it as long as it was legal. I still maintian most of this is jealousy, another of those most human of emotions like...greed.

csm said...

"The excuse for slavery in America, long after other nations had realized its immorality, was "our economy.""

Another popular excuse was that the bible says slavery is OK.


Slavery is also in the eye of the beholder. Most illegals work for wages lower than the average low income worker and I doubt they consider it slavery.

csm said...

Bawdy says "csm, your sense that most CEOs aren't that special and any college grad could do the job illuminates your lack of understanding of what a CEO actually does."

Interesting, as I've worked directly for two of them (and been one for my own very small consulting company). I could very easily be a CEO - I know that and I don't care if you don't believe it. I know many people in the same category. I also have seen a lot of shit that has gone down... but I obviously do not know all CEOs nor do I know for a fact that most have morality issues - but I believe that to be the case based on anecdotal evidence (I could be dissuaded of this believe with sufficient evidence).

What is obscene in terms of CEO salary? Well, it varies, of course, based on the company. As you rightly point out, Bawdy, the worst abuse is in the biggest companies. Gee, I wonder why that is? Well, the biggest companies also are the biggest abusers of their workforce. Smaller companies tend to care for their workforce, larger companies tend to treat workers as replaceable cogs in a machine. Frankly, I'd be happy with controls on just those public companies with earnings in excess of $250 million. I think that would stop the abuse.

csm said...

"Slavery is also in the eye of the beholder. Most illegals work for wages lower than the average low income worker and I doubt they consider it slavery."

Yet most illegals are not whipped, their wives are not treated as personal fuck-buddies for their employer, etc. etc. Yes, some of their conditions are deplorable (and government should rectify that - the current bill won't).



Bev is the one equating our current system with feudalism and slavery, not me.

I also don't see your plan for the largest earners(companies) getting some kind of control put upon them as they would just go private.

I personally think the power is in the consumer. Without consumers these companies are nothing. Educate the consumers about what is "fair and reasonable" and you might get somewhere; otherwise consumers will just go for the lowest prices for its goods. These types of interactions are already happening. Believe it or not, even Walmart is listening to comsumers about wasteful packaging of products and other things. We are all consumers and the end user in a market system is king/queen if there are choices, which is usually not a problem in this country.

One last thing, what makes you think you are "any" college grad? Many college grads aren't worth the paper their degree is printed on.

csm said...

Point taken re: college grads. I most certainly should have been more selective in my comment.

Re: large corporations going private - it isn't that easy. If it were, many might have taken that route to avoid complying with Sarbanes-Oxley. But if it became a popular route to avoid complying with the "csm Act" then I'd be in favor of changing it to impact all corporations (perhaps at a higher revenue point).


Actually, what I would like to see, is a choice large international corps could make: either stay with your American domicile and enjoy the benefits of maintaining the American tie or jettisoning the corp's tie to America and become a free agent. This would cause them to lose the Constitutional rights the Supreme Court gave them in the 50's, lose the rights to corporate welfare our government provides them, lose the rights to sue in our court system and any other benefit to being an American company. Some corps might go for it as they could do away with US corp taxes, could set up shop anywhere they want and not have to adhere to US regulations. This could give American corps ideas as to what kinds of postion they want in American society. If they love America like most citizens, they will want to stay. If they care about itself above all, I could see them leaving(and some already have).

Add to this scenario a phased in federal sales tax(to make up for the lost corp taxes)and the strengthening consumer base(where I see the real power coming from in the future), I think our society will be able to indirectly control the corps still here and the ones who decide to leave. And we can do this without the government getting involved; the decision would be up to the corp and it's shareholders.

BTW, there is a bill going through Congress now(I am not sure if it has passed or not yet)which would give shareholders more power in selecting corp board members. Instead of voting on the slate presented to them, the shareholders would actually do the nominating. Slowly but surely, the individual IS gaining ground, IMO.

csm said...

If those corporations left we could recuperate the tax lost by taxing churches!



Be careful what you wish for, by taxing churches you might be opening up the Pandoras Box of politics in the pulpit. Barry Lynn, of Americans United, has made it one of his priorities to get the IRS onto any church which steers it's congregation in any political way. I personally would like to keep the status quo.

csm said...

Yes, Bawdy, that is a concern. I think the catholic church is basically there already when it tells its "flock" that it is a sin if a catholic candidate supports abortion. Just think of all the filthy lucre we'd get by taxing the "holy" see!

bev said...

Really, I'm not equating our current system with slavery or feudalism. I'm saying that some of the same arguments being used to today to justify CEO's now making 400% the average wage earner in their own companies were offered to defend feudalism and slavery. There are more stats we can offer to show that the management levels have gotten significantly greedier, if we can put it that way.

The stats on R&D are a little skewed. First, I know a ton of people who sell medical equipment. The profit margin is outrageous.
Besides that, the govt helps many companies develope drugs. If along the way, they find something like Viagra, they get every penny of the profits. But they get to say that it costs blah-blah billion to develope without having to report what they made off of Viagra along the way.
We had the same thing when NASA was discovering stuff like teflon. Dow chemical would say such and such costs zillions, and then turn around and make zillions off a by-product of the R&D.
And... maybe certain research should be non-profit, for the good for the human race?

I'm all for corporations having to claim their "residency" via what laws they want to protect them.

That's what I mean by "national" businesses, and wanting them to be under "national" law, while "state" businesses would only be under state law, and "community" businesses would only be under local law.

I think the fed govt should be fair to both business and labor. But, the closer it gets to a toss-up, the closer I think it should be decided for labor.
bawdy is for the consumer. For the most part that would be labor.
csm is for non-gouging CEO pay. For the most part that would be labor.
I'm for family-friendly wages, to promote the general welfare. For the most part that would be labor.

I think wages would rise if the only tax deduction for national businesses was the earned income payroll.
One immediate benefit -- fewer tv commericals, since advertising would no longer be a tax deduction.

I think churches should pay property taxes to local communities for sure. I have some ideas on the rest of it, but not on topic at this point.

bawdy, reagrding our health care system being the most expensive -- I should have qualified "in the developed countries." That's what we have been focusing on, not Africa, which is a whole different outrage.
And, to be honest, it may just be the G8. My point is, with those nations that we should be equal to or taking a leadership role with... we're NOT. They ALL do a better job than America, for less money.


Hey I am all for getting rid of ALL corporate welfare. I am also for getting rid of all federal government research. I know that won't fly to far here, but so be it.


Also, I heard this morning on NPR that a consumer group is dropping it's lawsuit against Kelloggs for advertising it's sugar laden cereals to children under 12. They dropped the suit because Kellogg's has promised to stop this kind of advertising. I mention this just to show the flexing of muscles of the consumer. I think we will be seeing this kind of story on a regular basis and I also think any kind of problem with corps can be solved this way, by getting consumers on the same page whether through boycotts, asked for innovations and feedback. The only area I don't think will work will be market driven situations like gasoline. There again, high prices for gas will incentivize consumers and companies to change and innovate. And that is exactly how it is supposed to work.

csm said...

Interesting, but that "fix" required lawyers and the legal system - not really the free market system in action...

csm said...

Arnold says immigrants should not watch Spanish language TV.

coreydbarbarian said...

let me start by saying i am no fan of arnold the politician (though i am a fan of arnold the businessman and arnold the bodybuilder).

that said, i think he spoke well, and from his own experience as an immigrant, 2.

at 1st i thought the detractors were just being overly-p.c. now i wonder if they interpreted his advice to mean "abandon your heritage"?



Yes it did require lawyers and the legal system, but if the end users in our market system, consumers, didn't have an opinion on the issue and didn't get off their collective asses, nothing would have happened. Lawyers(as much as I don't care for then in general, I have always said they are a necessary evil, kinda like the common housefly) and the law are tools the consumer will use to get what they want. No big corporation wants to get into a protracted legal battle with it's customers; it makes little sense. Again, with the Internet taking over for the corporate media, consumers can get together(collectivize, is that a word?)and they can do it very, very quickly which forces the corps to become nimble in their ever present need to satisfy it's customers. These next few years will be very interesting with this issue.

This also dovetails with our federalist system. Take global warming for example. Many large companies are forming coalitions to get the federal government to come up with standardized solutions to this problem, because what they don't want to see are the states with their own and vastly different solutions, which is already starting to happen. Companies like stability and predictability. They don't get that when the states are coming up with 50 different solutions, so the corps look to the federal government to come up with only one.

Now I have posted before that large international corps are not what makes this country great, the little guy does. So this federal standardized solution business is something I don't necessarily like to see; I personally like the idea that these companies would have to bend to the whims of 50 states; kinda keeps a governor(the engine kind) on them, but the federal solution to global warming(even though it probably will be a watered down solution, maybe not a solution at all) is probably what we will see and probably not to far in the future.

bev said...

May I ask why the common housefly is a "necessary" evil?
Eden needs houseflies for something?


Glad you asked Bev. A common housefly starts the decay of dead things. Other organisms do to of course, but flies are everywhere and so are dead things. If it wasn't for flies dead things might start piling up and oooooh the odor.

Heathen said...

But I thought in Eden nothing ever died?

bev said...

well, thank you, bawdy. I learn something new every day.

Heathen, we're not there yet.
(We're still evolving :)

csm said...

Evolving Toward Eden? I think that would make a great title for Dawkins' next book, don't you?