You Didn’t Build That

What is there to say about Obama’s factually challenged “you didn’t build that” diatribe this weekend that I didn’t say when Elizabeth Warren spewed the same gibberish, only more eloquently? What I said then is still true now:

When you count all income, including capital gains, which are Warren Buffet is on about, you find that the richest quintile are paying about 25.5% of their income in taxes and the richest 0.1% about 30%. That includes the corporate tax that applies before capital gains and stock income. That can be contrasted against the lower three quintiles who, including the payroll tax that funds their Social Security and Medicare, pay effective tax rates of 1.6-14.1%. That’s not including state and local taxes, which tend to be progressive.

So no, the goods were moved on roads that the rich paid for. The factories used workers whose educations the rich paid for. The rich didn’t have to worry about marauding bands because of the police and military that the rich paid for. And the real problem is that all this happened with no one paying for it, so we had to borrow and borrow and borrow.

More here.

Earlier this year, I said Obama was in reruns. Now he’s in Elizabeth Warren re-enactments. Wake me at debate time.

Comments are closed.

  1. CM

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. Frankie

    Are they scared that conceding this will mean that the majority of the population will give up working hard?

    Are you serious? Like OWS perhaps?

    We had more people start recieving disability benfits last month than we had that got jobs.

    What alternate reality do you live in?

    From where do you think the government got the money to build the infrastructure? Being that the successful pay the lion share of all taxes collected……they DID pay the most for all of the infrastructure.

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  3. Section8

    If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.

    What part of that don’t you get CM? Of course it’s common knowledge that success isn’t entirely our own. That’s obvious. In fact, so obvious it’s not even worth the conversation. It’s as much of a waste of time as telling someone they’re not the only one who has taken a shit before. Obama and the left go beyond that though, and the fact YOU can’t understand like YOU can’t understand most things here is not the fault of Hal nor anyone else here. In this case it is entirely YOUR own failing.

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  4. CM

    What part of that don’t you get CM? Of course it’s common knowledge that success isn’t entirely our own. That’s obvious. In fact, so obvious it’s not even worth the conversation. It’s as much of a waste of time as telling someone they’re not the only one who has taken a shit before. Obama and the left go beyond that though, and the fact YOU can’t understand like YOU can’t understand most things here is not the fault of Hal nor anyone else here. In this case it is entirely YOUR own failing.

    Where does he go beyond that? The only part you’ve quoted is the part that is being clearly (and oh so predictably) misrepresented (as applying to the business itself, when it obviously refers to the roads/bridges).

    Joe Klein says it better than me.

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  5. CM

    Are you serious? Like OWS perhaps?

    No doubt some of the OWS people don’t have any interest in working hard, but to just assume that’s what the OWS protest is about is to delude yourself.

    We had more people start recieving disability benfits last month than we had that got jobs.

    And? What is your point? In a boom there is very little unemployment, particularly if you take into account the an underlying structural unemployment rate of 2% or so. Why do people who don’t like working (let alone) hard all of a sudden change their habit of the supposed lifetime then?

    What alternate reality do you live in?

    I’m living in a reality where you don’t get to continually make shit up to justify what you believe in. Like lamely falling for obvious quote-mining. Exactly how politically desperate are you?

    From where do you think the government got the money to build the infrastructure? Being that the successful pay the lion share of all taxes collected……they DID pay the most for all of the infrastructure.

    Not personally they didn’t. Most of it was paid for before they made their money. Most rich people don’t spend the majority of their lives rich. Or the previous generation paid. Otherwise, how did they get rich, if the public infrastructure wasn’t there already (chicken and egg problem).
    And if it wasn’t taken (via tax) for infrastructure purposes back then, it sure wouldn’t have been used voluntarily to build public road and bridges and other public systems. Sure, a little might (in a way that directly benefits who is paying), but no way in hell to the same extent.
    Additionally, everyone pays tax in one form or another. If everyone paid the same as the lowest paid person, there wouldn’t be any infrastructure. So clearly that wouldn’t work.
    So that argument doesn’t work for a variety of reasons. Well, not in the actual real world.

    To argue that Obama is attacking success is banal and ridiculous. Which is why Romney and others are removing the key sentence in the quote. Seriously lame. The deception here is painfully obvious. Newt was right on the money.

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  6. Poosh

    OBVIOUSLY the rich and wealthy pay way more than their fair share for the making of public works. The very taxes used to build those fucking roads were disproportionately taken from them.

    It’s only the small, wicked people, the parasites and degenerates who are filled with envy OR desire to be loved by many, that make such stupid claims as “we all chipped in.”

    i remember fucking CM saying the same fuckwit thing as Obama said in his “you didn’t build that” speech on this website. These people are sick and unhealthy.

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  7. ilovecress

    I’m confused about what the argument is here:

    We can all agree that having an infrastructure that allows business to succeed is a good thing, right?

    The debate is were that tax comes from (i’d say the rich owe more, others would say they pay plenty, yadda yadda yadda) and what things should be left to the government, and which should be private (again, I’d guess I have different views from other people)

    But it seems to me we all agree with Obama here, just on the context we’re all assuming he’s talking in?

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  8. Seattle Outcast

    I don’t think that’s accurate. Of course Obama is right – nobody gets there on their own. Nobody. The narrative that anyone does is a fallacy. Nobody and nothing operates in a vaccum. How can anyone possibly dispute that? And if they can’t, how is simply acknowleding it such a bad thing?

    Go talk to your boss and ask him how much work the government did for him in building his business. Go see if it put in long hours, risks considerable finances, did the dirty work when there was nobody else, etc. The government is generally acknowledged as an OBSTACLE to building a business, and Obama the clueless was trying to spin it the other way around.

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  9. Poosh

    It’s the classic Ayn Rand ‘BLANK OUT’. They’re blanking out that only a small number of unique individuals using their minds and reason are responsible – be it the rich who got the wealth that’s taxed, or the select few who designed and conceived of the roads etc. They’re blanked out, as Ayn Rand predicted. In fact sometimes I don’t give her enough credit. It’s like these people think these things are just *natural* that roads simply are a fact of life.

    Much of these rich, if they really needed the roads, they’d get them built without your fucking help through mutual agreement between parties. That’s the kind of people they are. They get shit done. And when they get shit done, many of us are the better for it.

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  10. Section8

    Where does he go beyond that? The only part you’ve quoted is the part that is being clearly (and oh so predictably) misrepresented (as applying to the business itself, when it obviously refers to the roads/bridges).

    Where does it apply to roads and bridges? What businessman or woman do you know that’s claimed they built a bridge unless they are in the bridge building business? Obama’s speech had no purpose other than inflaming by pointing out the obvious and spinning it into the ungrateful businessman. That’s it.

    Let me put it this way, next time grandma makes you a sandwich and says, honey I made you a sandwich, take a bite and then do some talking. While the crumbs spray out of your mouth, say what the hell are you talking about gramma, you didn’t make this sandwich, the guy who made the bread made this sandwich, the guy who grew the vegetables made the sandwich, the guy who shipped the meat made the sandwich, you didn’t do much of anything gramma. Thanks for nothing. Go ahead and do it, because technically it’s true right?

    So what’s missing? The effort, the coordination, the time spent to put those elements together, and in the case of business, the risk, and of course chipping in to the infrastructure whether it was to build a sandwich or a business. Obama has little respect for any of this.

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  11. Seattle Outcast

    Roads and bridges built by private enterprise have a long history. Of course, they charged you to use them, or you could take the long way around.

    You may have heard of something called a “turnpike”…..

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  12. Dave D

    So, let me get this straight:

    The current government collects taxes which are paid disproportionately by the upper half of wager earners and corporations. They build infrastructure and regulatory bodies to facilitate commerce and (arguably) enhance the living standard of all. They then circle back and tell the upper wage earners that they didn’t do it by themselves, with the obivous conclusion that they need to pay even MORE in taxes to support further redistribution of wealth. And then they scream when the raped upper income brackets seek to protect the fruits of their labor from this cycle with (legal) tax shelters and transfer to less punitive overseas investments. And this makes sense to which side of the aisle?

    I know that this is obvious, but I am just dumbfounded that some would defend this tactic.

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  13. hist_ed

    Hey CM, my oldest brother owns a software company and another brother owns a contracting company. How come I don’t own a company? Throughout my life I have had the same access to roads and bridges and education and all that government stuff. Since, as the president said, they “didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” how come nobody made it happen for me? I’m a little pissed off at those somebodies right now. I want a company handed to me.

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  14. Poosh

    Obama also wishes us to believe that, because successful producers learned something from government teachers, used government roads and bridges, employed government research, and the like, this means they don’t really own their success or wealth. Rational Americans know full well that the government funds such things by forcibly confiscating the wealth of producers. Rational Americans also know that a bum is as free to use a government bridge as is a successful business owner, but the business owner chose to apply his intelligence and work hard to build something great.

    “You Didn’t Build That”—Obama’s Ode to Envy

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  15. Kimpost

    To recap. Obama held a campaign speech, where he was trying to sell the idea that the Bush tax cuts should be extended, except for the top two percent, who he thinks should pay a couple of percentage points more than they are doing today.

    As a selling point he reminded people of how the “rich” have benefited from government programs too, and that they therefore should pay a little bit more than today.

    And this caused an outrage. Gotta love campaign season….

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  16. Seattle Outcast

    So, the same people that are already paying the lion’s share get raped even more in the name “social justice”, and you’re cool with that?

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  17. ilovecress

    So no one addressed my post, and decided just to pretend that the President of the USA is jealous of people ‘more successful’ than him.

    How about we say it this way – the point is that these businesses wouldn’t have sprung up in Gabon, or Lithuania, or on the South Island of New Zealand. And the reason isn’t that Americans are born with a special ‘business Gene’ – it’s because America has grown into a FANTASTIC place to do business, with an infrastructure that allows you to make the most of the opportunity you come up with.

    Now we can all argue about how it’s paid for, and how much of the infrastructure should be provided by the Government – but are the conservatives here actually arguing against the concept that America is exceptional as a place where anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do business.

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  18. ilovecress

    Hey CM, my oldest brother owns a software company and another brother owns a contracting company. How come I don’t own a company? Throughout my life I have had the same access to roads and bridges and education and all that government stuff. Since, as the president said, they “didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen” how come nobody made it happen for me? I’m a little pissed off at those somebodies right now. I want a company handed to me.

    No one is saying that they got handed their companies hyperbole boy. He said they had help.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

    So you had the help, but I guess you don’t have the initiative.

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  19. Kimpost

    So, the same people that are already paying the lion’s share get raped even more in the name “social justice”, and you’re cool with that?

    I guess I wouldn’t call it rape. I’m just a it bored by the perceived image of the two parties, where one is considered anarchy or fascism and the other socialism, when reality suggests that the difference between the two is a few percentage points.

    I’m fine with the differences being small, by the way. I think it comes natural with political movements in the developed world, where most parties adhere to the same basic principles of freedom and democracy. It’s just that I’d like to see a more nuanced debate, where people stopped pretending that the coming election is the election of a lifetime (until the next election, of course). Fuck, you’d be bored to death by a Swedish election, even if we too exaggerate the differences. No talk about socialism here, though, and look at our taxes compared to yours.

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  20. Section8

    Now we can all argue about how it’s paid for, and how much of the infrastructure should be provided by the Government – but are the conservatives here actually arguing against the concept that America is exceptional as a place where anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps and do business.

    No one is arguing against the concept. What made it an exceptional place is that the government is much more limited in scope than most places. OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THAT CONCEPT. NO ONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH BUILDING ROADS. NO ONE. Obama knows this. It’s a cute little tactic. The problem lies in efficiency in government, and how much of a reach it should have. The concept of the bigger the government the better the government is the issue. For example, take schools. We spend more per student than just about anywhere, so what’s the deal? Are we getting a fair return on our investment? If the left aren’t saying yes, they’re saying well we need to throw more money at it. THAT IS THEIR ONLY SOLUTION FOR EVERYTHING. When anyone dares to ask for accountability then it’s you want Creationism to take over education. It’s called government accountability. They owe it to us to show that they are being accountable. Then we need to work on the debt. Obama won’t bring up all the pork, entitlement programs, or why things continually end up costing way more than what we were sold on, but that’s the issue. Instead we get a lecture about how people owe even more than they’ve paid up because they’re aren’t the reason they made it, government is. I know you guys don’t get it, and that’s fine, but most people here do.

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  21. richtaylor365

    No one is saying that they got handed their companies hyperbole boy. He said they had help.

    This seems like such a silly argument to me. What help did they have beyond what everyone’s else gets? Everyone has access to roads and bridges and schools and police services, since the successful did not get any more help then everyone else, why bring it up?

    They say that in politics a gaffe is when you say something you actually believe. Naturally Obama is going to demonize the rich, the successful, and the independent because it goes completely against the grain of his mind set that people need government to survive. If he believed in capitalism and the free markets, he would be cajoling these people to emulate the rich and successful, he would be telling these people that they are just as smart and just as capable as the rich and successful, so go out and make it happen, that they to have the ability to prosper.

    More class warfare from the expert, he knows what side his bread is buttered and must stoke the politics of envy. Don’t aspire to be like them, because they are not like us, but don’t worry, I will make sure that “us” is taken care of, if reelected of course, so predictable.

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  22. Seattle Outcast

    reality suggests that the difference between the two is a few percentage points

    People who keep repeating that line are either deluded or lying. Outside of a few common causes, the politics of the average American tends to range rather far from each other on all other topics, nor can you assume that a person’s position on one subject can be easily predicted by their position on another (particularly if you make the mistake of assuming that the two major parties are homogenous in their membership).

    Each party consists of its own subgroups and spectrum, as well as those very loosely aligned with the party only because they are primarily opposed to the opposition party, and not out of any great agreement with the party’s core values of the day.

    Taxation, regulation, gun rights, expectations of privacy, role of government in daily life, immigration, religion and environmental issues are just a few of the topics that are not just within a couple percentage points of each other, they are frequently diametrically opposed to each other.

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  23. CM

    To me he’s pointing out the obvious in the face of an ideology which idolises the rich. I don’t see how it’s demonizing at all. It’s acknowledging reality, as opposed to a philosophy where aspiration is the only thing that matters.
    Most of the reactions to my comments are EXACTLY the kind of ludicrous hyperbole and misrepresentation that Obama’s comments are aimed at. They are so facile they don’t even require addressing. Obama is suggesting the people be handed businesses? WTF? What planet are you living on? Obama’s comments are consistent with Adam Smith. But no, brain explosions must occur.

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  24. ilovecress

    Well that clears it up then. Turns out you agree with what he actually said, but disagree with what you imagine he might say if he were to expand on it and talk about a different subject.

    What help did they have beyond what everyone’s else gets?

    Miss the point – again, not what he’s talking about. He’s not giving reasons that one person has a business, and another person doesn’t – he’s saying that without infrastructure no one would have a business.

    If he believed in capitalism and the free markets, he would be cajoling these people to emulate the rich and successful, he would be telling these people that they are just as smart and just as capable as the rich and successful, so go out and make it happen, that they to have the ability to prosper.

    Except that wasn’t what this speech was about. This speech was about reminding people that Government does have a role – that America has a role. If you’re looking for inspirational Obama speeches, then you could google.

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  25. Seattle Outcast

    I find it interesting that the people supporting Obama’s statements and trying to spin them favorably aren’t Americans. This really drives home the point that we think quite differently than you on certain subjects.

    It also fuels the position that Obama doesn’t hold American values; his viewpoints are decidedly at odds with most Americans.

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  26. Section8

    To me he’s pointing out the obvious in the face of an ideology which idolises the rich.

    Can’t get any more binary or fall on the slate of ideologue than with this statement. Does anyone here idolize the rich? Just curious? The leftist ideologues here miss the point entirely. It’s sad that after years of posting by Hal, Rich (I like him but don’t idolize him), and others and about the real reason for not wanting more government and in fact we should be looking for ways to make it smaller and more efficient, this statement is the end result. Most who want smaller government on this blog and throughout this country aren’t doing so because the “idolize” the rich. The reasons for it have been repeated over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again and the response is the same goofy comments. CM you keep asking why people don’t bother with you and this is exactly why.

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  27. ilovecress

    More class warfare:

    There are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. That’s an important thing…. I know that you recognize that a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the banks, the investors. There’s no question your mom and dad. Your school teachers. The people that provide roads, the fire, and the police. A lot of people help.” – Mitt Romney 2 days ago

    I find it interesting that the people supporting Obama’s statements and trying to spin them favorably aren’t Americans.

    Or perhaps it’s that as outsiders, we’re not as polarised in our views because it’s not shoved down our throats every day. So when Obama says something that sounds pretty run of the mill, and it gets blown up into a media shit storm – then we call it out. Because we’re not in the middle of the media shit storm.

    Plus your liberals suck.

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  28. hist_ed

    No one is saying that they got handed their companies hyperbole boy. He said they had help.

    This seems like such a silly argument to me. What help did they have beyond what everyone’s else gets? Everyone has access to roads and bridges and schools and police services, since the successful did not get any more help then everyone else, why bring it up?

    Bing bing bing we have a winner!! I thought that was pretty obvious, but , well, I guess not.

    (And “Hyperbole Boy”? Sounds like some sort of grammar superhero sidekick. Tune in to the further adventures of Captain Sarcasm and Hyperbole Boy!)

    So, all, one other difference to think about. The US has all this neato infrastructure. A lot of other countries do too. Think about, say, East Germany or Botswanna. Do you think if you somehow transformed East German infrastructure in 1985 to the same level and quality of US infrastructure in 1985 you would get some sort of flowering of entrepreneurial spirit? How about if we magically changed the infrastructure of Botswanna?

    See Obama dwelled on the concrete (literally and metaphorically) where it is the non-concrete stuff that really matters: rule of law, entrepreneurial traditions, transparent rules, a reasonably free hand to innovate, etc. Note that Obama’s presidency has chipped away at all of the above while not doing a great job with the concrete either.

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  29. richtaylor365

    To me he’s pointing out the obvious in the face of an ideology which idolises the rich.

    I would expect that from a Social European, but not a New Zealander, where capitalism is played very well, but that was quite a “tell”, almost as blatant as Obama and his goofy “You didn’t build that” comment.

    From my perspective as a conservative, we don’t “idolize” anyone, not rich people not politicians, nobody. Now if you want to substitute “idolize” with “admire” then I’d say you are getting closure. We admire hard work, we admire accomplishment and we admire risk taking. I don’t admire trust fund kids or lottery winners, do you think we idolize them?

    If anything, we conservatives have a healthier more grounded view of the rich since we understand the formula, the path by which they got that way. We know it was not magic, an unfair advantage, or some special help, we get why they are rich.

    Plus your liberals suck.

    Big time.

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  30. ilovecress

    Do you think if you somehow transformed East German infrastructure in 1985 to the same level and quality of US infrastructure in 1985 you would get some sort of flowering of entrepreneurial spirit?

    Um… they did. It’s now called ‘Germany’. They’re the guys who are bailing out the entire Eurozone.

    But dickish snarks aside, I think your question is pretty interesting – we get a lot of this in NZ. There is a tradition (a culture?) of Kiwi ingenuity – but at the end of the day, your customers are spread far too thinly, and at maximum there’s only 4 million of them, so the entrepreneurial spirit can only go so far. For us it’s looking at opening the markets up through exports – that’s the ‘concrete’ we haven’t invested enough in, and that underinvestment is hurting everyone, no matter how smart , innovative or hard working.

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  31. Seattle Outcast

    Or perhaps it’s that as outsiders, we’re not as polarised in our views because it’s not shoved down our throats every day. So when Obama says something that sounds pretty run of the mill, and it gets blown up into a media shit storm – then we call it out. Because we’re not in the middle of the media shit storm

    I’d say it’s because you lack the cultural context. Quite obviously what he said means something entirely different to you, and to Obama as well. It’s the same thing as not knowing what hand gestures mean in different countries – you thought you meant “that’s great!” and everyone interpreted it as “your mother sucks goat cock.” Hell, even Hillary Clinton stated that Obama does not share American cultural values. This is just further proof of that.

    Plus your liberals suck.

    No argument on that one.

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  32. ilovecress

    Except when Romney says nearly the exact same thing, it doesn’t get interpreted the same way. You interpreted Obama as telling business owners to suck goat cock – but Romney was welcoming to the market – despite being exactly the same.

    So if it isn’t the message that’s different, then it must be the messenger – and that’s the difference.

    (By the way, I also think that your liberals are not American because it’s hard goddamn work keeping with this blog if you are liberal, and that’s easier when you’re somewhat removed from the situation. Just my opinion. I’ve seen the US liberals come and go, but the foreign ones seem to stick around longer, and generally have better arguments. Like I say, your liberals suck)

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  33. Iconoclast

    Obama is suggesting the people be handed businesses?

    No, Obama is de-emphasizing individual incentive and drive, and emphasizing collectivism.

    Yeah, you’re right, no one is an island, but that is so profoundly banal in its own right that there is really no need to state such a tautology unless you aim to de-emphasize the individual and promiote the collective. Such an aim is fundamentally un-American.

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  34. Section8

    Let’s play See if you can spot the difference?

    Romney

    There are a lot of people in government who help us and allow us to have an economy that works and allow entrepreneurs and business leaders of various kinds to start businesses and create jobs. We all recognize that. That’s an important thing…. I know that you recognize that a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the banks, the investors. There’s no question your mom and dad. Your school teachers. The people that provide roads, the fire, and the police. A lot of people help.” – Mitt Romney 2 days ago

    Obama

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

    I’ll start

    Both stated the obvious that no one accomplishes success all on their own, but Romney stated that we all recognize this anyhow and didn’t chastise anyone. Obama was amazed someone would state they built their business on their own and ridiculed that idea (leaving out the fact that having external factors were already a given for people when they talk about their accomplishments).

    Ok, now you try.

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  35. hist_ed

    Um… they did. It’s now called ‘Germany’. They’re the guys who are bailing out the entire Eurozone.

    Uhhh there was this other little part they added the East to, right? That part then spent a few years bailing out the East. Do you think the 66% of Germany that used to be West generates more entrepreneurs and business per capita that the old commie section? I would assume so, but I really don’t know.

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  36. ilovecress

    S8 – So they both state something that is so obvious, that “no one is arguing against the concept”. Romney just takes it for granted that this is something we all know and believe.

    On one hand you’re saying Romney ‘stated that we all recognise it’ and on the other hand you’re slating Obama for being ‘amazed’ at the people who don’t recognise it.

    If the concept of infrastructure helping you build business is so obvious – something that “OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THAT CONCEPT” something that no one here disagrees with, and both presidential candidate have spoken about…

    Then wouldn’t you be ‘amazed’ to speak to someone who didn’t believe in the concept?

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  37. Section8

    “OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THAT CONCEPT”

    Sorry, I did push my words together on the prior post. Smaller government is what I was referring to with my capital letters, and that is what made our country more exceptional for business.

    What made it an exceptional place is that the government is much more limited in scope than most places. OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON THAT CONCEPT

    I should have put a line break and stated the next line was back to the infrastructure argument. Sloppy writing on my part, but I tend to do that when I type on here.

    NO ONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH BUILDING ROADS. NO ONE.

    Most people I know don’t or even don’t know want zero government and don’t have a problem with some government, and roads really aren’t the issue here. I’m not sure of anyone trying to stop roads. What they are trying to stop are a host of other things some of which I’ve already typed in that last post. So what is Obama going on about regarding roads?

    Anyhow, back to the game.

    One chose to chastise those who would think they built their business on their own. Kind of like my sandwich example, everyone knows damn well if you made a sandwich you really didn’t build all of it on your own, but you did procure the items, but it together, and made something of use out of it all on your own. That’s what people take credit for. People know what you mean by I made a sandwich for lunch today, and it’s a damn good sandwich. Only a dick would start saying no you didn’t. Did you grow that lettuce? How about that roast beef? Did you raise the cow too? How did you fit it in that economy car of yours to get it to your house to chop it up and slice off the meat?

    Since you’re not playing along, one also chose to state now you owe us, and ignored anything they’ve contributed already. Guess which one at least.

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  38. ilovecress

    S8 – fair enough. I see your point of view there – I didn’t get the same thing from the quote, but thanks for explaining.

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  39. Frankie

    And? What is your point? In a boom there is very little unemployment, particularly if you take into account the an underlying structural unemployment rate of 2% or so. Why do people who don’t like working (let alone) hard all of a sudden change their habit of the supposed lifetime then?

    Why do you think there is the sudden increase in people applying for disability? Answer: Because under this administration they can. They are gaming the system the LAZY way.

    I’m living in a reality where you don’t get to continually make shit up to justify what you believe in.

    All evidence to the contrary.

    Not personally they didn’t.

    I suppose the point is that the Government, alone, can’t do anything. It is the Tax payers that built our capitalist environment and infrastructure. The successful pay the vast majority of taxes and therefore paid the most for it. Further, the OWS crowd uses this same infrastructure even though they resent being expected to pay their fair share for it.

    I prefer and value “equality of opportunity” over “equality of outcome”. This is the fundamental difference between Obama and Romney, Left vs Right and Liberal vs Conservative.

    What you make out of the opportunity of our Infrastructure and capitalist environment is up to the individual. People can continue to BLAME the system for their own short comings, but it’s all just sour grapes.

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  40. Kimpost

    “Equality of opportunity” vs. “equality of outcome” are meaningless talking points too. Ask a liberal, ask Obama, and I would be very surprised if they didn’t choose the opportunity option.

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  41. Iconoclast

    “Equality of opportunity” vs. “equality of outcome” are meaningless…

    To you perhaps, but let’s not go projecting, shall we?

    …ask Obama, and I would be very surprised if they didn’t choose the opportunity option.

    You seriously believe that when Obama talks about “spreading the wealth around”, he’s talking about opportunity?

    Seriously???

    When he talks about the “rich”..paying their “fair share” (when they already pay the lion’s share), he’s not talking about “equality of outcome”?

    Seriously???

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  42. Frankie

    Ask a liberal, ask Obama, and I would be very surprised if they didn’t choose the opportunity option.

    We don’t even have to ask President Obama, just google “life of julia”.

    But I suppose it’s all just more meaningless talking points.

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  43. Poosh

    Cut the bullshit, you’re either being dishonest or are stupid. You know perfectly well Obama was talking as a pretext/justification to tax the rich, and was advocating collectivism.

    After all, for every state teacher who helped you, there’s a state teacher who fucked you over, and never got fired.

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  44. ilovecress

    Cut the bullshit, you’re either being dishonest or are stupid. You know perfectly well Obama was talking as a pretext/justification to tax the rich, and was advocating collectivism.

    Not disputing that. And he’s quite right – you have a progressive taxation system, with some degree of collectivisation, which in a lot of cases seems to have helped the business owners. He is most definitely justifying the work of a collective government to enrich the lives of the citizens – because that’s what happens.

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  45. Poosh

    It’s the same thicko-logic behind claiming “oh, that mass-murderer doesn’t deserve the lump sum of blame for his crimes, because, you know, we’re all in this together. Some teacher helped him out. The government built roads that he drove along, to commit his crime. Some guy invented the gun.

    It’s godamn fucking bullshit. Romney got it. Obama went out of his way to denigrate the UNIQUE AND MAJORITY credit, that should go to individuals. But he’s a collectivist – he wants to spread the lie that everyone helped everyone out collectively, and under Government dictation.

    Sure, we work better at some things when we band together for the common good – LIKE WAR. Even worse, Obama is forgetting that the vast majority of people who “helped” did it for MONEY. No one built that fucking road for free. No one went to school to teach for free. etc. etc.

    VALUE FOR VALUE as others would say.

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  46. CM

    I would expect that from a Social European, but not a New Zealander, where capitalism is played very well, but that was quite a “tell”, almost as blatant as Obama and his goofy “You didn’t build that” comment.

    First of all, are you still trying to tell me that you’re actually buying that he was talking about the business and not the infrastructure?
    Second, it’s not a ‘tell’ – you’ve just added your own interpretation to what I said and decided your interpretation is fact. The fact remains that there is a strong narrative out there which goes out of it’s way to downplay (ignore really) the fact that nobody and nothing operates in a vacuum. I totally understand that bringing reality into the picture spoils the narrative, but aren’t we all meant to be adults? That narrative also involves ridiculing anyone would dare mention that it’s slightly more complicated than “hard work”. I know full well that a considerable amount of hard work can go into success. Of course it does. I’ve never denied it and I wouldn’t – I’m not attempting to convince myself of any narrative, or sell it to anyone else. I’ve constantly corrected people who try to say I’m all about “equality of outcome” but it doesn’t matter how many times I stress that it’s actually “equality of opportunity”. E.g. public roads provide “equality of opportunity”. Private roads would not. They would be far more anti-competitive, as the barriers to entry (literally) would be far higher.
    Anyway, the others have explained what I came here to point out.
    This is pretty close to ODS type shit.

    Can’t get any more binary or fall on the slate of ideologue than with this statement. Does anyone here idolize the rich? Just curious?

    I never said anyone here. IMHO he’s pushing back against that sort of narrative. I don’t see how in hell that makes ME an ideologue. WTF?

    The leftist ideologues here miss the point entirely.

    How the fuck am I an ideologue?
    Only through blatant misrepresentation would you conclude that.

    It’s sad that after years of posting by Hal, Rich (I like him but don’t idolize him), and others and about the real reason for not wanting more government and in fact we should be looking for ways to make it smaller and more efficient, this statement is the end result.

    Far more sadder is that you consider this “the end result”. For fuck’s sake man, get a grip. I’m always on board for ways to make govt smaller and more efficient. I’ve been personally actively involved in doing so. It’s been part of my career.

    Most who want smaller government on this blog and throughout this country aren’t doing so because the “idolize” the rich.

    I think it’s an unfortunate by-product for some.

    The reasons for it have been repeated over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again and the response is the same goofy comments. CM you keep asking why people don’t bother with you and this is exactly why.

    Not quite true. I’ve asked why people don’t seem have any answers to specific questions I’ve put up.

    Further, the OWS crowd uses this same infrastructure even though they resent being expected to pay their fair share for it.

    Maybe you should go away and have a look at what they were actually protesting about. I mean somewhere other than a right-wing blog.

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  47. CM

    It’s the same thicko-logic behind claiming “oh, that mass-murderer doesn’t deserve the lump sum of blame for his crimes, because, you know, we’re all in this together. Some teacher helped him out. The government built roads that he drove along, to commit his crime. Some guy invented the gun.

    Nothing happens in a vaccum. That’s just reality Poosh. Deny it until it makes you red in the face if you like. However in that circumstance, I think very very few people are going to be putting up those sorts of arguments in his defence.

    Obama went out of his way to denigrate the UNIQUE AND MAJORITY credit, that should go to individuals.

    How on earth did he denigrate it? By pointing out the indisputable obvious? Where did he say the majority credit should go to others?

    Even worse, Obama is forgetting that the vast majority of people who “helped” did it for MONEY. No one built that fucking road for free. No one went to school to teach for free. etc.

    Even worse? It’s not even relevant to the point being made.

    Side note: I see Obama is polling 44 percent among those making more than $100,000 a year, down just slightly from 46 percent four years ago. Also, 62 percent of voters making between $100-250,000/year support Obama’s tax plan and so do 48 percent of voters making more than $250,000/year.
    I guess this is why most of the posters here don’t reflect the American voter.

    http://www.tnr.com/blog/electionate/105187/bain-and-taxes-havent-eroded-obamas-support-among-affluent-voters

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  48. JimK

    Guys, you let CM lull you back into his bullshit where he pretends he’s not being an insulting cock and spins you around and around and around for his own…amusement or whatever it is that compels him to be such a dick all the time.

    Just remember: you get dirty and the pig likes it…engage if you want to, but you’re never ever going to get anywhere.

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  49. Kimpost

    You seriously believe that when Obama talks about “spreading the wealth around”, he’s talking about opportunity?

    Seriously???

    When he talks about the “rich”..paying their “fair share” (when they already pay the lion’s share), he’s not talking about “equality of outcome”?

    Seriously???

    Yes, seriously.

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  50. Kimpost

    We don’t even have to ask President Obama, just google “life of julia”.

    But I suppose it’s all just more meaningless talking points.

    Life of Julia has nothing to do with equality of outcome. It’s packed with equality of opportunity-shit though, like the Head Start program, the Opportunity Tax Credit, healthcare coverage, lower student loan rates…

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  51. Seattle Outcast

    Except when Romney says nearly the exact same thing, it doesn’t get interpreted the same way. You interpreted Obama as telling business owners to suck goat cock – but Romney was welcoming to the market – despite being exactly the same.

    Again, it’s all about context. Choice of words, phrasing, audience, emphasis, political history, etc. Two people can say the exact same thing, or nearly the same thing, and different meanings will be imparted to the audience. Obama, like Biden, reveal far more about their underlying thoughts, goals, prejudices, and assumptions in their gaffes than they realize or intend to. I’m sure you’re aware that the vast majority of communication is non-verbal; Obama communicates a lot more in his speeches than what is in the text.

    Also, all politicians have their speeches and remarks sliced and diced for analysis – Obama knows this, yet still went forward with his “you didn’t build that” line of BS. That tells me he doesn’t understand how it would be received outside of his target audience, and, apparently, neither does his staff. It’s sort of like a child molester commenting on how sexy and flirtatious a little girl is to her parents before asking if she’s allowed to date yet. I’m sure the other child molesters won’t understand why the parents emptied clip from a .45 into him.

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  52. Kimpost

    I don’t disagree with anything in that piece, Jim. The small business owner does the work. I’d say that without caveats about obvious helpfrom infrastructure, but (there’s always a but), I think that Obama agrees with that too. It doesn’t have to be on or the other. His speech holds even for those of us who believe that small business owners are the ones deserving the credit for their efforts.

    I think that ilovecress might be right when suggesting that what’s upsetting isn’t so much the words by themselves, but more the perception of Obama’s ideology and policies. People “know” that he’s anti-business, and that he dislikes success, and that knowledge leads to certain interpretations…

    P.S. A lot of “they” in it too. It’s a bit sad that government (fed, state and local) aren’t “we”.

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  53. Section8

    Sums most of it up fairly well.

    Indeed Jim, thanks for the link.

    I never said anyone here. IMHO he’s pushing back against that sort of narrative.

    And since it’s not us, or by extension like minded people, who is this mystery group that idolizes the rich you are referring to? It wouldn’t happen to be that you decided to use that label to misrepresent and discount a group of people who lean toward a certain ideology of smaller government would it? Of course not.

    I don’t see how in hell that makes ME an ideologue. WTF?

    Of course you don’t. The more binary you are the less you can see it. You think you’re clever that you can feign objectivity, but everyone here knows you just spin in circles to promote the leftist agenda. At one point I thought maybe this guy is pretty sharp, but since it’s so obvious, and everyone has called you out on it, and you still try the same tactic thinking you can fool anyone, I’m thinking sharp might not be the right description.

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  54. Section8

    Somewhere along the line, Socrates helped you out.

    Exactly. I think we need to bail out Greece. A better argument couldn’t be made than this :)

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  55. Poosh

    *not to state the obvious, I guess it isn’t too obvious, but Obama starts off at, shall we say Clause 1 – stating the obvious: you wouldn’t have got where you were if it wasn’t for that great teacher, or that inspiring movie you saw, or the fact that your parents fucked (a statement empty of content) before, like the snake he is, moving into Clause 2: STATE help, that bullshit about bridges and “the system”. It’s quite clever actually. The second clause is justification for collectivism and more state intervention, and the tearing down of the productive rich, so as to pull the rug out from under them, and give them no excuse to be offended by the idea of paying more taxes. As others have pointed out it’s the rich who by enlarge pay for most of the infrastructure etc anyway. They create the f*cking wealth in the first place. Yada yada yada.

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  56. Poosh

    The parasite makes nothing for itself. Its only tools are taxes and tithes meant to trick you into offering what it has not earned. In Rapture we keep what is ours.

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  57. hist_ed

    God dammit does all this mean that Somebody isn’t going to had me a business after all? I ma getting pretty pissed at Somebody. Somebody is being really unfair.

    I’ll say this about this year’s campaign. Four years ago were told over and over again that Obama was this great orator and fantastic campaigner: the second coming of Cicero and all that. Well, its pretty obvious that isn’t exactly true. His bumbling has produced several rhetorical crises this year and his campaign ain’t exactly been magical. I just loved his explanation of his biggest flaw. HE just has’t explained himself enough. The speechifier in chief got all the policy right, he just needed to make one more great speech to seel his crap to the American. I think he truly believes this (which is why he is likely going to lose, he just doesn’t have a realistic view of the American electorate).

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  58. CM

    I don’t disagree with anything in that piece, Jim. The small business owner does the work. I’d say that without caveats about obvious helpfrom infrastructure, but (there’s always a but), I think that Obama agrees with that too. It doesn’t have to be on or the other. His speech holds even for those of us who believe that small business owners are the ones deserving the credit for their efforts.

    Stop trying to lull them in with your bullshit. There is only one script.

    Indeed Jim, thanks for the link.

    They blame Obama, but what specifically has changed for them since Obama became President? What would changed with Romney?
    This is so often the problem here – it’s all so vague.
    Does raising taxes on the rich hurt small businesses? One analysis finds:
    1) Relatively few small businesses would be affected.
    2) There’s little historical evidence that cutting taxes on the rich leads to better performance among small businesses.
    3) Cutting taxes on small businesses is not likely to increase their hiring.
    4) We should worry about young firms more than small firms.

    We don’t really know what leads to more firm creation. In fact, firm creation is something of a mystery, as it’s been eerily stable over the past 50 years, despite the radically different policy and economic environments we’ve had over that time.

    This chart compares Obama’s tax plan against Romney’s
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/files/2012/07/ezra_klein_redo-tax-chart.png
    It’s from here.

    At the end of the day, it depends on your basic philosophy.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/20/the-philosophy-of-you-didnt-build-that/

    The second clause is justification for collectivism and more state intervention

    As I and others have pointed out, the difference between Obama and Romney in terms of total tax take is minimal. They both acknowledge and accept that private enterprise flourishes (and in a much more competitive environment) when the public infrastructure is in place to facilitate it.
    To say that Obama wants to impose ‘collectivism’ in comparison to the alternative is absurd by any measure.

    , and the tearing down of the productive rich, so as to pull the rug out from under them,

    That’s your narrative. In reality, many people realise that investment in public infrastructure and services provides the very platform for private enterprise to flourish.

    As others have pointed out it’s the rich who by enlarge pay for most of the infrastructure etc anyway. They create the f*cking wealth in the first place. Yada yada yada.

    Only if you pretend they operate in a vaccum.

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  59. CM

    which is why he is likely going to lose, he just doesn’t have a realistic view of the American electorate

    Does this translate into polling results? As I noted above, he’s polling 44% with people earning over 100K a year. 62 percent of voters making between $100-250,000/year support Obama’s tax plan and so do 48 percent of voters making more than $250,000/year.
    How does that work if he doesn’t have a realistic view of the electorate?
    Also, as we all know, the election is determined by a million or two independents/moderates in a handful of swing states.

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  60. CM

    And since it’s not us, or by extension like minded people, who is this mystery group that idolizes the rich you are referring to? It wouldn’t happen to be that you decided to use that label to misrepresent and discount a group of people who lean toward a certain ideology of smaller government would it? Of course not.

    No, plenty of people on the right don’t idolize the rich. They genuinely believe that smaller government would be better for all. I imagine that’s the vast majority on the right actually.

    I said:

    To me he’s pointing out the obvious in the face of an ideology which idolises the rich.

    If were to start again I’d have used ‘narrative’ instead of ‘ideology’. That would be a far better way of explaining what I’m talking about. The narrative I’m talking about does nothing else but extol the virtues of the rich. It’s a narrative used to sell an ideology. However you can hold that ideology while acknowledging that the narrative being used to sell it is narrow and is, in fact, a narrative. Obama is therefore attempting to counter that narrative with an alternative (his narrative is also narrow as the whole point of it is to acknowledge the key part that the other narrative works hard to ignore).

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  61. Section8

    They blame Obama, but what specifically has changed for them since Obama became President? What would changed with Romney?

    Where did they blame Obama? They did nothing of the sort. This is just twisting what they said to promote your narrative. They said they disagreed with what he said, and viewed what he said as an insult like many have. They also talked about who takes the risk and who don’t which Obama seems to repeatedly miss. There is no Romney or Obama debate with what they said, because it has nothing to do with what they were talking about, regardless of how many links to different tangents you want to go off on.

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  62. CM

    Where did they blame Obama? They did nothing of the sort. This is just twisting what they said to promote your narrative. They said they disagreed with what he said, and viewed what he said as an insult like many have.

    WTF? The whole letter is about why the guy’s father why “dislikes this Administration”, and concludes by telling Obama to “screw off”.
    And what exactly is “my narrative”? I’d really like to know how you can jam everything I’ve said into a narrative without a huge amount of distortion and cherry-picking. Especially as I’m a supporter of my (cente-right) govt’s current programme of welfare reforms (making it harder to get welfare for those that should be working, drug-testing).

    From the letter:

    “When Solyndra fails, no one in the government loses, The People do.”

    Forgetting that a political scandal (or the appearance of one in that case) means that politicians DO lose, and forgetting that projects representing about 98 percent of the program’s funding have been successful.

    They also talked about who takes the risk and who don’t which Obama seems to repeatedly miss.

    Where is he, or anyone here, disputing where the risk is being taken? The point is that risks are surely lower if public infrastructure is in place to facilitate a business venture. Certainly it would be far more risky if infrastructure was private owned and operated. The infrastructure he is talking about provides more opportunity for people to be successful.

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  63. CM

    The parasite makes nothing for itself. Its only tools are taxes and tithes meant to trick you into offering what it has not earned. In Rapture we keep what is ours.

    “The rich should contribute to the public expense not only in proportion to their revenue,” Smith writes, “but something more than in that proportion.”

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/07/adam-smith-vs-mitt-romney.html

    It’s not that incomes at the top are soaring while those at the middle have been stagnant for several decades. It’s that those at the top seem, for the most part, to have abandoned any sense of responsibility for maintaining public support in the system that enriches them. On the contrary, they seem to have become ever more willing to flout societal norms in pursuit of ever greater wealth.

    That’s their right, of course. But I think Mr Obama is on to something in suggesting that this behaviour is ultimately corrosive to the free-market system. Elites may agree that free markets are both more efficient and moral than alternatives. They should also recognise that free markets can only be sustained by the consent of the majority. The public grants the rich the right to their wealth if and only if they agree that the rich deserve it.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2012/07/political-economy-0

    Otherwise the whole thing crumbles.

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  64. CM

    Call it a magic word gaffe—a statement that reveals not what a politician believes, but what you already feared, in your bone marrow, that a politician believes. Democrats still can’t understand why Obama’s speech is supposed to offend anyone. Republicans know that he’s a closet socialist, and that this sentiment only comes out when his energy is flagging.

    Brit Hume explained this first and best. “It is fair to say that we know more tonight than we ever have about the president’s view of business and the economy,” he said. More than we ever have? “His assertion over the weekend that ‘if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen’ explains nearly everything. He wasn’t talking about God. He was talking about government.”

    This makes no sense to Democrats. When hasn’t Obama said this? In his 2008 nomination speech, for example, then-candidate Obama talked endlessly about safety nets letting “someone with a good idea … take a risk and start a new business” without having to “choose between keeping their jobs and caring for a sick child.” The Washington Examiner’s Conn Carroll points out that Obama’s Roanoke speech merely “made a long-standing and fundamental liberal argument in an unappealing way.”

    Conservatives like Santorum and Sarah Palin hear these magic words right away. Mitt Romney doesn’t. It’s a minor but important reason why conservatives still hardly trust him. How can he run against Obama if he says the Fundamental Transformer is a “good man?” Doesn’t he get that this election is about radicalism versus the possible eradication of freedom? This week, they got him to listen.

    http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2012/07/when_barack_obama_said_you_didn_t_build_that_conservative_partisans_quickly_turned_it_into_a_gaffe_for_the_romney_campaign_to_use_against_the_president_.html

    I’m glad our national politics are not (yet) this ridiculous.

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  65. Section8

    WTF? The whole letter is about why the guy’s father why “dislikes this Administration”, and concludes by telling Obama to “screw off”.

    So they don’t like him? Big deal. That has nothing to do with blaming Obama for everything. It’s making comments about government while responding to Obama’s comment. Do you seriously think government was invented once he got into office? That’s just weird. Their word throughout the entire thing is government and a response about Obama’s comment on business and government. As far as them addressing Obama’s comment who the hell else are they supposed to reference in addressing Obama’s comment? Bill Gates? Bruce Willis? Carrot Top? Who exactly because I just don’t understand who they are supposed to respond to in your world. The way I see it is they responded to Obama because it was his comment. Maybe they don’t do the type of thing in NZ? Usually a response here when someone makes a comment is to response to the person who made the comment, hence them telling Obama to screw off. At least that’s how it is here. Maybe it’s a cultural difference? Something you might want to look into if you’re going to choose to chat with Americans.

    I’d really like to know how you can jam everything I’ve said into a narrative without a huge amount of distortion and cherry-picking.

    Nothing was cherry picked. What was cherry picked? Perhaps you’re just too deep in your ideological views to handle any type of constructive criticism or when someone points out inconsistencies?

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  66. richtaylor365

    “The rich should contribute to the public expense not only in proportion to their revenue,” Smith writes, “but something more than in that proportion.”

    Yes, and they do already, so what’s the problem? Could it be that even though they are paying more, it’s never enough, that somehow they have to meet some arbitrary made up subjective yardstick of Obama’s and what HE thinks is their fair share?

    We already have in place a progressive taxation system where there are 6 different rates or brackets dependent upon income made, so even if the rich were paying the same rate as everyone else, they would be paying more (as a percentage) because they make more. That satisfies the first part, the second part ,”but something more than in that proportion,” is taken care of by increasing the percentage as you make more with it tapping out at 35% (soon to be 39.6%, thanks Mr. President) so we are already in strict compliance with Mr. Smith, what a relief.

    It’s that those at the top seem, for the most part, to have abandoned any sense of responsibility for maintaining public support in the system that enriches them.

    Really? How so? Are they up and rebelling, not paying their taxes? Are they eliminating their charitable contributions? (gotta be the Republicans since we all know they give to charity at a much higher rate then Democrats) Are they being really selfish and using approved legal tax loopholes to cut their tax obligations? I’m a bit fuzzy on how they are abandoning their responsibilities in this area.

    they seem to have become ever more willing to flout societal norms in pursuit of ever greater wealth.

    This clown sure does use the word”seems” alot, maybe what seems apparent to him is illusory, what exactly are they doing to flout societal norms.

    They should also recognise that free markets can only be sustained by the consent of the majority. The public grants the rich the right to their wealth if and only if they agree that the rich deserve it.

    There he goes, inciting the masses again, more class warfare, how tedious. So the rich, or anyone successful for that matter, get to work hard and prosper only if the masses say it’s OK and agree to it? Oh, and they also get to weigh n on whether or not those successful “deserve it” or not. Gee, what happens if they up and decide they don’t deserve it, what then?

    and that this sentiment only comes out when his energy is flagging.

    No, it only comes out when he doesn’t have Mr. teleprompter keeping him on message, when he free lances he has a tendency to speak from the heart and reveal his true character.

    Brit Hume explained this first and best. “It is fair to say that we know more tonight than we ever have about the president’s view of business and the economy,” he said. More than we ever have? “His assertion over the weekend that ‘if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen’ explains nearly everything. He wasn’t talking about God. He was talking about government.”

    No, we already knew all that.

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  67. Jim

    Most of the other points were covered. However.

    Does raising taxes on the rich hurt small businesses? One analysis finds:
    1) Relatively few small businesses would be affected.
    2) There’s little historical evidence that cutting taxes on the rich leads to better performance among small businesses.
    3) Cutting taxes on small businesses is not likely to increase their hiring.
    4) We should worry about young firms more than small firms.

    In regards to 1, that is *exactly* why the Founding Fathers were terrified of Democracy. The idea that the majority could stick it to the minority. Only a few businesses would be affected? Well I guess it just sucks ass to be them, doesn’t it? I guess the Ends justify of the Means on that one. Hey, type O blood is the universal donor, so why don’t we pass a law saying all type O people must donate blood at least 4 times a year. Shit, it’s a really small percent of the population that would be affected, but the benefits are *enormous*.
    In regards to 2, sometimes it isn’t about performance, it’s about not fleecing people who earned money.
    In regards to 3, I’m not sure about *hiring* (depending on the size of the cuts) but I do know raises and bonuses are way more likely to increase, as is *not* raising prices as fast. That is personal experience, not documented fact, so you can ignore it as my own conjecture based on people I know.
    In regards to 4, I don’t have much opinion.

    I liked Section 8’s sandwhich analogy, but let me see if I can construct one that reflects things more closely.
    Instead of building a sandwhich, let’s say the people who live near Niagra Falls decide they would like a tram that carries people across the Falls. One of those little cage basket deals. So they vote to have an organization build it, completely from donations from all the residents. Upon being built, everyone benefits because everyone can now easily travel. Well, a few smart residents realize that they can make money by tight rope walking across the cable, and charging admission to watch. When one of these people makes the tightrope walk, are you going to tell them they didn’t do it alone? After all, they didn’t build the cable, they just walked it. The best part is, the organization that built it claims that, even though the residents paid for it, they own it because they built it. So they take half of all the admission charges. And then they explain to the tight rope walkers it is because “they didn’t do it themselves.” Would anyone here begrudge the walkers when they call bullshit?
    This is *exactly* what President Obama did in his speech. This is the whole aggravation amongst small business owners. *Everyone* has the same opportunity, but it is the business owners who took the risk. Yet, for some reason, the government, and by extension everyone else, gets to benefit from the risk the business owner took.

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  68. Kimpost

    No, it certainly is NOT what Obama did in his speech. I’m going to start crying if you guys don’t drop that already!

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  69. Section8

    No, it certainly is NOT what Obama did in his speech. I’m going to start crying if you guys don’t drop that already!

    Why? With all due respect it’s really not your affair. With all due respect I think we have a better handle on our culture, attitudes of individualism, and history of our nation, as well as the attitudes of the different parties here, and I believe we can tell when someone is taking shot at a group. Of course a business man didn’t build a fucking bridge. They are no more directly responsible for it than the guy who works at an auto body shop detailing cars for a living. I can guarantee you though that both have paid taxes, and both have used the roads, and the bridges. Both continue to pay for their upkeep and any expansion. Only one of the two were lectured by Obama about how the didn’t build a bridge. Businessmen and women here take the step to risk everything (as has been explained). They know they are responsible for the survival of their business under their leadership (as has been explained). They are the ones who may lose everything (as has been explained), so yes there is something that sets them apart. I don’t have my own business because I’m comfortable where I’m at. I don’t want to risk everything. I consider myself smart, but I don’t have an issue if someone actually has the “nerve” to think they accomplished something by stating they built their business. I just think the attitudes here and how we run things are just too foreign for some of you to understand. And that’s fine. I just know I wouldn’t go to a Swedish blog telling the people there how they should be interpreting things.

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  70. Iconoclast
    You seriously believe that when Obama talks about “spreading the wealth around”, he’s talking about opportunity?

    Seriously???

    When he talks about the “rich”…paying their “fair share” (when they already pay the lion’s share), he’s not talking about “equality of outcome”?

    Seriously???

    Yes, seriously.

    Well, then, you believe utter nonsense. Yes, to YOU, “equality of opportunity” and “equality of outcome” are indeed meaningless phrases, given how you seem so comfortable with interchanging the two, even though they mean completely different things. Unless, of course, you equate government handouts with “opportunities”. If so, that speaks volumes, none of it good.

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  71. Iconoclast

    I’m going to start crying if you guys don’t drop that already!

    Then I suggest you start crying, because we sure as hell ain’t gonna “drop it”.

    The apparent fact that non-Americans in this venue are so “in tune” with what Obama said speaks volumes on several levels. For starters, it shows that our President is completely out of sync and out of touch with what it means to be an American. In general, Americans believe in and admire rugged individualism, and disdain the collective. We have a joke that says, “A camel is a horse deigned by a committee”. We say things like, “Two heads are better than one, but two heads are also better than three”.

    The Wright Brothers created the heavier-than-air airplane. Robert Goddard created the liquid-fueled rocket. Collectivist committees were not consulted. And yes, they represent success even though they didn’t become millionaires, and their success betters the lives of all of us. And no, the Federal Government doesn’t get any credit, even though the Wright Brothers did have to travel roads built by others to get from Ohio to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

    The problem with this “American” President is that he doesn’t understand America, and what issues forth from his pie hole is solid evidence of that. He obviously believes in the collective, and sees the USA in the same manner as the non-Americans here do, as an outsider looking in, and as someone who is “obviously” of “superior intelligence” than those cowboy, gun-slinging, religion-clinging, wealth-worshipping Americans who obviously need a savior like Obama to save us from ourselves.

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  72. CM

    The apparent fact that non-Americans in this venue are so “in tune” with what Obama said speaks volumes on several levels.

    You’re far from representative of Americans though. You represent a tiny fringe. If Obama said ‘God bless America’ I’m positive you could all write 100 posts about how disgusting it was.

    The problem with this “American” President is that he doesn’t understand America

    That doesn’t square with the support he got in the last election, and even the poll results these days (look at the polling I noted above).

    He obviously believes in the collective

    Then neither did Adam Smith.

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  73. CM

    Only one of the two were lectured by Obama about how the didn’t build a bridge.

    Some posters here are telling us that only one of the two effectively own the bridge anyway because they paid for it.

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  74. Section8

    You’re far from representative of Americans though. You represent a tiny fringe. If Obama said ‘God bless America’ I’m positive you could all write 100 posts about how disgusting it was.

    Spoken like a true binary ideologue. You have a view, and that’s the “objective” point, and anything outside of it is in the extreme. Also shows your ignorance of American culture once again.

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  75. Section8

    Oh, and one last time before I go to bed. NO ONE HAS FUCKING PROBLEMS BUILDING ROADS. HAL HAS STATED IT IN HIS POSTS AND MOST OF US HAVE REITERATED THIS. What we and MANY other Americans have a problem with is if we have a 3 + trillion dollar budget, and that’s not enough to build some fucking roads, there is a problem. If we spend more than just about anyone in education, but aren’t kicking everyone’s ass in education, we have a problem, and the problem is not lack of money to the government.

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  76. CM

    Spoken like a true binary ideologue. You have a view, and that’s the “objective” point, and anything outside of it is in the extreme. Also shows your ignorance of American culture once again.

    I’m fully aware that American culture is made up of a whole host of beliefs. You’re the one trying to say that a single belief is the only acceptable American belief. But Obama was a popular candidate in 2008 and he’s polling far above where anyone would expect given the state of the economy. But that’s because a shit-ton of Americans don’t share these fringe views. Even rich ones. Again, look at that polling I quoted above.
    Whether I have an ideology is utterly and completely irrelevant to how many Americans are “in tune” with what Obama has said, and policies he puts forward. You seem to suggesting half of America doesn’t understand America.

    NO ONE HAS FUCKING PROBLEMS BUILDING ROADS. HAL HAS STATED IT IN HIS POSTS AND MOST OF US HAVE REITERATED THIS.

    Likewise, none of us has said we have a problem acknowledging the role hard work plays in becoming successful. I bet you’ll find most of us have personally worked hard in our lives. We wouldn’t be doing that it if it didn’t mean anything. So why the the fuck come at us with all the lame-ass shit in this thread? Why do people bend over backwards trying to make this out that we’re fully into some sort of extremist take-over of all property. It’s ludicrous.

    Somebody else made that happen” how come nobody made it happen for me?

    Gimme a fucking break – what are you, like 5 years old?

    What we and MANY other Americans have a problem with is if we have a 3 + trillion dollar budget, and that’s not enough to build some fucking roads, there is a problem.

    That’s an excellent point.
    And the other side are saying: so much wealth has been created, but now it’s concentrated with so few, but we seem to have reached a point where unless more money flows back to the lower and middle class, they won’t be able to keep buying the products and services that helped made the rich successful. So how can opportunities be facilitated so people can keep buying those products and services, and more people can also get rich. It’s not a matter of stopping people getting rich, it’s fine-tuning so many many more can get there. Hard work will still be required, and nobody has said hard work won’t be required, or implied anything similar. Surely that’s what “equality of opportunity” is?
    This is all in the context of the deficit problem too – seriously tackling that will require spending cuts and taxes. Can the middle and lower income people afford more taxes when they’ve already faced a decade or more of zero wage growth, but a huge loss in equity in their assets? And won’t that also mean they’ll be buying even fewer goods and services from those rich company owners? How does that help the company owners?

    If we spend more than just about anyone in education, but aren’t kicking everyone’s ass in education, we have a problem, and the problem is not lack of money to the government.

    No doubt that is a problem on its own that needs addressing. No use throwing more money into something that doesn’t work. You won’t hear me argue that.

    According to a 2005 report from the OECD, the United States is tied for first place with Switzerland when it comes to annual spending per student on its public schools, with each of those two countries spending more than $11,000.[77] However, the United States is ranked 37th in the world in education spending as a percentage of gross domestic product. All but seven of the leading countries are in the third world; ranked high because of a low GDP.[78] U.S. public schools lag behind the schools of other developed countries in the areas of reading, math, and science.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_in_the_United_States#Funding_for_K.E2.80.9312_schools

    Did some retard just post an article from Slate?

    Does some retard not recognise the very clear difference between fact and opinion/argument? Got anything to say about the quote, or can you not get over yourself enough to even read it?

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  77. Section8

    So why the the fuck come at us with all the lame-ass shit in this thread? Why do people bend over backwards trying to make this out that we’re fully into some sort of extremist take-over of all property. It’s ludicrous.

    Reality is you can’t understand any analogy or any explanation that’s been offered to you. You chalk it up as extremism because our reactions no matter how much explained will be viewed as extremist to an ideologue stuck in his ways such as yourself.

    You did prove Jim K right yet again though. I’ll give you that.

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  78. Seattle Outcast

    But Obama was a popular candidate in 2008 and he’s polling far above where anyone would expect given the state of the economy

    He was also an extremely unpopular candidate at the same time. There wasn’t any middle ground – people either bought the dog & pony show he was offering or rejected it wholesale. His entire campaign was built upon a manufactured story of who he was and what he was going to do – the phrase “magic negro” didn’t pop into being for no reason, he was touted as the messiah that was going to heal all wounds, usher in an era of peace, and make sure that everyone got a blowjob every morning and a steak dinner every evening. That sort of shit sold well with morons under thirty, blacks, environmentalists and your standard urban Marxist that likes boatloads of other people’s money. They even gave him a completely meaningless Nobel Prize for what he was going to do.

    As for his polling numbers – what the fuck are you smoking dude? All the polls that aren’t bought and paid for by his campaign or sympathetic “news” organizations are showing him the sort of trouble that had previously been reserved for Jimmy Carter. Huge portions of his own party have disowned him; hell, even here in Soviet Seattle the die-hard lefties are openly shitting on his policies and record.

    Don’t be surprised if this election is a repeat of 1980.

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  79. Iconoclast

    You’re far from representative of Americans though. You represent a tiny fringe.

    What is the basis for this silly, unfounded claim? I am a conservative, and, according to Gallup, a plurality of Americans consistently self-identify as conservative. Since when is a plurality “far from representative”, or “a tiny fringe”?

    That doesn’t square with the support he got in the last election…

    The “last election” would be the 2010 mid-terms, where the Democrats got an utter shellacking, and a clear message was sent to Obama (not that he listened, of course). Giving Congress to the Republicans fails to qualify as giving support to Obama.

    Then neither did Adam Smith.

    Why do you have such a hard-on for Adam Smith?

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  80. Jim

    Jim, is this your family bakery?

    Yes.
    As I’ve commented somewhere else, the only thing the government did for my great-grandfather was create an environment where another country wasn’t going to blow him up (National Defense) and an environment where they *didn’t* tell him how to run his business (he moved from Russia.)
    At the turn of the century, it was easier to take that risk because there weren’t entire branches of government involved in regulating every aspect of a business owner’s life. My great-grandfather had maybe (literally) $1 in his pocket and a suitcase of clothes when he got to America. He built everything from the ground up through hard work, long hours, and massive, massive risk. He diligently paid taxes and taught his children that they should pay taxes and give back to their community. My father has no complain against paying reasonable taxes. What he abhors is unreasonable taxes. Taxes collected to pay for things *well* beyond the specifics outlined in the Constitution. As has been stated, we are not against building infrastructure and defense. We realize those things make it possible for *everyone* to have the opportunities my great-grandfather had.
    Sadly, very few people today will ever have those opportunities, because the government has stepped in and written 10’s of thousands of pages of laws to regulate the ever living hell out of anyone who shows initiative, and on the long shot they succeed under even those conditions, they are then demonized for it.

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  81. salinger

    Instead of building a sandwhich, let’s say the people who live near Niagra Falls…

    This is a flawed analogy. In your scenario you represent the cable having been strung by a private entity hired by a community who then seeks to charge the walker. To correlate with the use of infrastructure argument in the Obama statement the contractors who did the actual work on the roads and bridges would have to be the party taking the cut from the daredevil’s tricks – not the community.

    A truer analogy would be that the municipality takes a cut of the admission (an admission tax) and builds and assures the safety of bleachers for spectators. Benefiting the tightrope walker and the community.

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  82. Iconoclast

    Ah, if only he’d had the support to go with his hard work…..;-p

    Well, your url is bollixed, but I can surmise that you were attempting to cite Richard Pearse, who, according to some, created a heavier-than-air aircraft before the Wright Brothers did. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t, but most historians will say that the Wright Brothers did indeed achieve fully controlled flight before Pearse, and that Pearse never really did make that achievement.

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  83. Diogenes

    Obama, as usual, has been spouting idiotic drivel. I, the Capitalist, DID build that (whatever that is). For example, if it’s a house, I didn’t make the nails, cut the trees, mill the lumber, or even swing a hammer. But if I didn’t spend the money that I already earned to buy the lumber, there’d be no house built. If I didn’t spend my money to pay the framers, the lumber I bought would just sit there unused. If I didn’t spend my money to pay the bricklayers to lay the brick I spent my money to buy, the structure would be unprotected from weather and intruders. Although I did essentially nothing but spend my assets (money), I built the house, cuz if I hadn’t spent my money, there’d still be a vacant lot there. All of the above applies to all of industry, and on a wider scale, all infrastructure. There’s no funds available to tax unless people first get out and work to create wealth. Government isn’t the source of wealth, and by extension, neither is government the source of the infrastructure.

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  84. CM

    Well, your url is bollixed

    Bollixed indeed. Apologies, no idea what happened there. You guessed right though.

    but most historians will say that the Wright Brothers did indeed achieve fully controlled flight before Pearse, and that Pearse never really did make that achievement.

    Yeah, we actually don’t make a big deal of it because I think everyone recognises this. I just saw a lame opportunity to string some shit together, and as we all know I can never resist that.

    He was also an extremely unpopular candidate at the same time.

    True, but the point is that there were sufficient numbers of Americans (and in the right places) to win him the election. Whatever you personally think of his policies and the people who voted for him, the fact remains that they are also Americans. So to suggest we don’t understand Americans when in fact a considerable number of Americans would make the same arguments as us, well, it seems a bit silly.

    As for his polling numbers – what the fuck are you smoking dude? All the polls that aren’t bought and paid for by his campaign or sympathetic “news” organizations are showing him the sort of trouble that had previously been reserved for Jimmy Carter.

    Would they be the polls bought and paid for by his opposition? Even in a state like Nevada, where unemployment is over 11% and over 60% of homes have mortgages on them greater than the value of the home itself, he’s ahead by 5% on average.

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  85. CM

    What is the basis for this silly, unfounded claim? I am a conservative, and, according to Gallup, a plurality of Americans consistently self-identify as conservative. Since when is a plurality “far from representative”, or “a tiny fringe”?

    I would guess that most of the people here (on the right) would be “very conservative” out of those five options. Which is 10% of the population. 60% of Americans don’t consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative”. For most here, Obama is FAR too liberal, and even the GOP are too liberal (even if many will hold their nose and vote for Romney to get rid of Obama).

    The “last election” would be the 2010 mid-terms, where the Democrats got an utter shellacking, and a clear message was sent to Obama (not that he listened, of course). Giving Congress to the Republicans fails to qualify as giving support to Obama.

    True, but he’s still a very good chance of retaining the Presidency, which is the point I’m making to counter the suggestion that what he says is “out of tune” with America. It seems to be fairly well “in tune” if he’s got a very good chance given the state of the economy. Romney is a pretty weak candidate of course.

    Why do you have such a hard-on for Adam Smith?

    I don’t. But Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism. So it’s a little weird to hear Obama being criticised (by the right) for saying the same stuff as Smith did. But then most people here seem to be quite a bit to the right of Adam Smith.

    Obama, as usual, has been spouting idiotic drivel. I, the Capitalist, DID build that (whatever that is).

    Wow, Diogenes, how the hell are ya?! Long time. We’ve obviously had our differences in the past, but it’s always great when people from the past pop up again. Only a month or so ago I thought of you (something came up here and I wondered what your thoughts on the matter mght have been). Anyway, I hope you and your family have been keeping well.

    Government isn’t the source of wealth, and by extension, neither is government the source of the infrastructure.

    Then how about ‘the system helps facilitate wealth’?

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  86. Jim

    A truer analogy would be that the municipality takes a cut of the admission (an admission tax) and builds and assures the safety of bleachers for spectators. Benefiting the tightrope walker and the community.

    And this would be an improper use of funds. This isn’t a truer analogy, it is a different one. (I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, it does, it is essentially government subsidies.)
    Bleachers would be non-essential infrastructure and therefore should not be built using tax payer money unless they specifically vote to do so. And even then, it is *still* their own money being used and furthermore, without the walkers in the first place, none of the admission tax would even exist. So once again, they owe credit to no one.

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  87. JimK

    I would guess that most of the people here (on the right) would be “very conservative” out of those five options.

    (emphasis mine)

    But remember people, it’s everyone ELSE that makes wild assumptions, moves goalposts, builds strawmen and is completely wrong all of the time. Not him. Never him.

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  88. CM

    But remember people, it’s everyone ELSE that makes wild assumptions, moves goalposts, builds strawmen and is completely wrong all of the time. Not him. Never him.

    You even highlighted the qualifier I used. A guess obviously leaves room to be wrong.
    But anyway, do you dispute my guess? This also matches up with how little some of the posters responses to the poll matched up with the ‘American Voters’. The foreigners here seem to be more ‘in tune’ with ‘American Voters’ (as George pointed out – if Seattle Outcast sides with them 2% and MY 7%, they are on the fringe).

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  89. salinger

    without the walkers in the first place, none of the admission tax would even exist

    But without the community funded cable the walkers would have no venue.

    What would you say to the walkers paying a toll to use the cable?

    What if subsequent walkers show up – should there be an auction to see which walker gets to use the cable?

    Who is liable for the maintenance of the cable?

    Bleachers would be non-essential infrastructure and therefore should not be built using tax payer money

    Sell that one to pro sports team owners.

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  90. richtaylor365

    Then how about ‘the system helps facilitate wealth’?

    The system also facilities poverty and dependence, so what?

    But anyway, do you dispute my guess?

    I think more here are of the libertarian bent. When I hear you speak of those “very conservative” I can’t (now) help but picture this ,”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia”. Going by that stupid unsubstantiated yardstick, I’d say very few of those kind of conservatives hang around here.

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  91. CM

    The system also facilities poverty and dependence, so what?

    Well yes I guess that’s effectively the speech from the other side of the aisle that we hear all the time: the system and the individual are to blame for poverty and dependence.
    I would agree with that to some extent. Just as I would agree that the system and the individual both play a part in success. How much of each (system v individual) is subjective in both cases.

    I think more here are of the libertarian bent.

    I agree. But of the five choices I’ve been presented with, I’d say the strongest alignment or correlation would be with “very conservative”. I guess it would have been helpful if they’d offered that as an option.
    What percentage of the population would you guess to be ‘libertarian’?

    When I hear you speak of those “very conservative” I can’t (now) help but picture this ,”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia”. Going by that stupid unsubstantiated yardstick, I’d say very few of those kind of conservatives hang around here.

    Woooah. That comment by Sullivan was specifically to do with the pressure on Romney, in terms of foreign policy, from a segment of the GOP base:

    It’s worth remembering that I endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 partly because of his insistence on a humble foreign policy and a lower defense budget than Al Gore. I suspect that visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia are so strong in the GOP’s base that Romney – who is an instrument of that base – will reflexively back war and invasion and global polarization over Obama’s more classically conservative approach to foreign affairs.

    Nowhere did either Sullivan or I say that ”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia” was a yardstick of people who consider themselves “very conservative”. Many who consider themselves “very conservative” (and libertarians) might not consider themselves to be part of the GOP base (i.e. they might see the GOP as simply Dem-lite). I would assume that the majority of conservatives DON’T adhere to “”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia”. But that doesn’t mean that Romney isn’t going to feel some pressure from the GOP base for a more aggressive foreign policy than Obama. Just as I’m sure Obama has constant pressure on him from people in the Democrat Party base who have equivalent opinions on various issues.

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  92. richtaylor365

    the system and the individual are to blame for poverty and dependence.

    I gotta watch you like a hawk, I use “facilitate” and you substitute it with “blame”, not quite same thing, wouldn’t you say?

    Woooah. That comment by Sullivan was specifically to do with the pressure on Romney, in terms of foreign policy, from a segment of the GOP base:

    Yes, and you conveniently gave your ascent with this:

    How else to explain the nutty behaviour of the GOP and the candidates.

    Which indicates that you and Sullivan are of the same mind on this matter, fair?

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  93. richtaylor365

    What percentage of the population would you guess to be ‘libertarian’?

    I would say almost 100%, on some issues. I suspect that most everyone values their privacy, cherishes the Bill Of Rights, does not want the government in their bedroom, prefers the freedom to eat what they want and smoke what they want, fears a police state and thinks that they know better about what is good for them then the government. In these areas we are all libertarians.

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  94. CM

    I gotta watch you like a hawk, I use “facilitate” and you substitute it with “blame”, not quite same thing, wouldn’t you say?

    Sorry that was just carelessness (doing too many things at once).

    Which indicates that you and Sullivan are of the same mind on this matter, fair?

    I wouldn’t have used those terms if I was explaining it. But as I said, the GOP base produced those candidates. How else to explain them? And as the party went with the most moderate (as they usually do), the winning (moderate) candidate now has the non-moderate part of the base to satisfy. As I say, I’m sure we could come up with some equally tasty adjectives to describe those pressuring Obama.
    Part of the state of the GOP base is no doubt a reaction to success of the The Tea Party. But I’m sure that’s nothing you don’t already know.
    Frum goes into it here. Hal has mentioned it a fair bit on this blog.

    If conservatives all voted Republican, the Republicans would constantly win. But many conservatives have ‘left’ the GOP, albiet temporarily, because of the extent of nuttiness in the base (am I talking baking now?!). Sullivan identifies himself as a conservative. He constantly discusses and links to pieces about how the GOP has lurched away from true conservatism.

    I would save almost 100%, on some issues.

    Sure. I’m a liberatarian too then. ;-)
    What I mean is what percentage of the population would identify themselves as Libertarian ahead of the those existing 5 choices in the poll. Would it be as high as 10%?

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  95. richtaylor365

    I wouldn’t have used those terms if I was explaining it. But as I said, the GOP base produced those candidates.

    OK, both you and Sullivan think ”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia” are fair and accurate descriptions of “those candidates” produced by the GOP base, let’s tick them off one by one (Bush. McCain, Romney) now prove your assertion, provide some examples or actions or statements that back that up.

    Has it occurred to you that there are journalists (?) out there that cater to a certain audience (libs) who’s hook is simply ,”I was one of them I lived with them, you want to know how wacky they are, take it from me, I got stories that will make your head spin”, and then they go spouting off every lib talking point out there, but wash it all done with a heaping dose of feigned objectivity because they were once conservatives?

    People like Sullivan, Frum, Huffington (not so much now, she has turned straight up lefty but in years past she made a very good living feeding mea culpas to liberals) they wave their GOP credentials around like somehow they got the inside skinny, so when they spout off nonsense, the libs lap it up.

    Sorry, but I can’t take Sullivan seriously, not when he uses terms like “visceral xenophobia”. And Frum, he can pretend that he speaks with a right leaning bent, but he does the same thing. I don’t have the energy tonight to read that whole Frum piece, but just from the first page, he is clueless, to wit:

    In the throes of the worst economic crisis since the Depression, Republican politicians demand massive budget cuts and shrug off the concerns of the unemployed.

    Yeah, they don’t care about the unemployed as much as the dems do, somehow wanting a better solution then extending unemployment benefits for a hundred years, this is analogous to shrugging off concerns for the unemployed.

    In the face of evidence of dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages, my party’s economic ideas sometimes seem to have shrunk to just one: more tax cuts for the very highest earners.

    No, they want tax cuts for everyone, and if this includes the rich, those actually in a position to alter the unemployment figures by hiring more workers, the so be it.

    Today, stimulative fiscal policy that includes tax cuts for almost every American is “socialism.”

    Not even close, the tax issue gets pettifogged by limiting the debate to those effecting the top 2%, when in reality almost everyone is having their taxes raised, (those that actually pay taxes) by this administration, but they know the class warfare angle can be worked ad infinitum, so they (Frum) paints the GOP as the party of the rich while the dems watch out for everyone else, yawn.

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  96. CM

    OK, both you and Sullivan think ”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia” are fair and accurate descriptions of “those candidates” produced by the GOP base, let’s tick them off one by one (Bush. McCain, Romney) now prove your assertion, provide some examples or actions or statements that back that up.

    I was talking about the candidates Romney beat to get the nomination. Most of the others stem from the place the GOP is at today.

    Has it occurred to you that there are journalists (?) out there that cater to a certain audience (libs) who’s hook is simply ,”I was one of them I lived with them, you want to know how wacky they are, take it from me, I got stories that will make your head spin”…..

    People like Sullivan, Frum, Huffington (not so much now, she has turned straight up lefty but in years past she made a very good living feeding mea culpas to liberals) they wave their GOP credentials around like somehow they got the inside skinny, so when they spout off nonsense, the libs lap it up.

    For someone that objects to what you see as insults, you should don’t mind throwing them back ;-)
    I mean, it is possible that some of these idiots could make interesting and decent points from time to time. It’s probably not necessarily a prerequisite to be a complete moron to think so.

    Sorry, but I can’t take Sullivan seriously, not when he uses terms like “visceral xenophobia”.

    No problem, I don’t expect you to.

    And Frum, he can pretend that he speaks with a right leaning bent, but he does the same thing.

    Do you not think it’s possible for someone to feel that the party has left them, rather than them leaving the party? It happened here bigtime when Jim Anderton left the Labour Party in the mid 1980’s after they passed lots of deregulation reforms. Loads of the base ‘left’ the party too (but again it might be more accurate to say that the party left them).

    Yeah, they don’t care about the unemployed as much as the dems do, somehow wanting a better solution then extending unemployment benefits for a hundred years, this is analogous to shrugging off concerns for the unemployed.

    Well no, there was plenty of opposition to meddling in the free market (no bailouts, no stimulus). There was certainly support for letting things fail, because that’s what free markets are about. Anyone who follows that line of thinking is certainly much more concerned about ideology than the reality of what it would mean. And crucially Frum is not comparing these actions to the Democrats, he’s comparing it to how the Republicans used to be.

    No, they want tax cuts for everyone, and if this includes the rich, those actually in a position to alter the unemployment figures by hiring more workers, the so be it.

    True, but the tax cuts are not targeted at the middle-class, and the rich get the substantial benefits. if the idea is to assist the “dwindling upward mobility and long-stagnating middle-class wages” then you wouldn’t design a tax cut that provides the most benefit to the segment who are already doing the best.
    As for the rich using their tax cuts to hire more workers – I’m dubious about that. I’ve seen plenty which suggests they don’t. For a start, there is no point if the demand for their goods and services doesn’t justify it (and they’re obviously not stupid at business if they got rich by running their business well). This bears out in recent polling of business owners. By far and away the most significant reason they’re not hiring is weak demand. (But surely if the middle-class gained more spending power it would lead to more demand for goods and services, providing jobs AND therefore also making the rich even richer?).
    Secondly, it appears that the bulk of additional spending power over the last 15 years or so has gone into additional capital, not labour. The portion of total income going to capital rather than labor is the highest since the 1920s.

    Not even close, the tax issue gets pettifogged by limiting the debate to those effecting the top 2%, when in reality almost everyone is having their taxes raised, (those that actually pay taxes) by this administration, but they know the class warfare angle can be worked ad infinitum, so they (Frum) paints the GOP as the party of the rich while the dems watch out for everyone else, yawn.

    Again, I can appreciate when someone feels their party has left them. Frum’s point is that the Republicans these days are like a different party to the Republicans of not very long ago.
    I’m not sure why Frum would want to promote the Democrats (as you suggest). I don’t think he is, at all. He’s despairing (like many many others) at where the Republicans have gone.
    In that example Frum is talking specifically about the tax cuts included within the stimulus programme (95% of working families paid less tax). Yet Frum says the Bush tax cuts in 2001 aplpied to fewer people and yet it was sold as “an economic­-recovery program”.

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  97. Poosh

    Let’s be clear bros (Obama does ramble about “hard work” being important earlier but)

    .

    Not every government program works the way it’s supposed to. And frankly, government can’t solve every problem. If somebody doesn’t want to be helped, government can’t always help them. Parents — we can put more money into schools, but if your kids don’t want to learn it’s hard to teach them.

    But you know what, I’m not going to see us gut the investments that grow our economy to give tax breaks to me or Mr. Romney or folks who don’t need them. So I’m going to reduce the deficit in a balanced way. We’ve already made a trillion dollars’ worth of cuts. We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more. And, by the way, we’ve tried that before — a guy named Bill Clinton did it. We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine. We created a lot of millionaires.

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. …

    … So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President — because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together.

    I tried my best to make sure context was there. At the end Obama finishes with a “America is the greatest nation on this earth” BUT with the caveat of, if you vote for me and make it the greatest nation that is – referring to the expansion of the state for the greater good.

    He is not talking about that magical chain that pulls us all in the direction of progress via the free market. He’s not talking about the obvious point that rich get rich because they trade and barter with other individuals, and that, as a nation of individuals, we serve ourselves best by serving eachother in return for money (value for value); or that the rich get rich because of innumerable other factors of chance: genetics, family, a good teacher saying the right thing (Obama blanks-out the teacher as a thinking individual in his speech, and frames the teacher as a gift from the state – same subject, different framing), a lucky break etc. – we are all subject to the lucky dice roll of life, and Obama is not interested in those issues. He says “we’re all in this together” (did he steal that from our so-called Conservative PM, David Cameron, who used this as his slogan?), and by that he means if you are successful it’s partly because of the collective environment facilitated by taxation and government control (and yes he conflates things that the rich pay directly for in local taxes); and, that you should GIVE BACK MORE £££, and frames this as ‘paying back what you owe’. He does sprinkle some right wing “We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people” stuff but its hollow words and more about spreading a crab mentality than patriotism.

    They understood that, and they understood that succeeding in America wasn’t about how much money was in your bank account, but it was about whether you were doing right by your people, doing right by your family, doing right by your neighborhood, doing right by your community, doing right by your country, living out our values, living out our dreams, living out our hopes. That’s what America was about.

    This is incredibly sick but will appeal to many douches. As with many, he hasn’t given thought to what exactly money is (or perhaps he has, and realises that a rational grasp of what money is, is a threat to those who desire state control “for the greater good). You don’t need to read Atlas Shrugged to actually understand that money isn’t actually the end, but merely a means, and the means is what matters. Money is the MEANS to do right by your people, money is the MEANS to do right by your family and neighborhood and community, money is often THE MEANS of expressing your values and money facilitates, for most of us, living out our dreams and hopes. People simply do not think about what money is. Money is the promise of material goods and services. Obama hides the fact that firstly: all these “state” programs are paid for by money and that if the rich weren’t as productive there would be less money to pay for then, and, secondly, that all those people who worked for the state – by enlarge – did it for MONEY. The roots of the entire system is a desire to acquire money to fulfill that long list of things he reads out – and then some!

    Even worse – and perhaps we don’t give Obama’s marxist roots enough credit – he subsumes all forms of work into the same bracket. This is the most viscous of lies ever uttered by a human being responsible for millions of deaths quite literally: the marxist theory of value. Obama says that hard work is hard work no matter what you do, that is the implication – and he knows it – of what he says. Re-read what he wrote. Plenty of people work hard. Plenty of people are smart. You KNOW what he’s doing there. He’s a snake. The reality of course, is that work is value-laden. A doctor who does enough work to get by but only applies 10% of his effort, his work is worth MORE than someone who works hard all his life stacking shelves. Some people just can’t get over that, they can’t abide by it, it haunts them and they are resentful. The truth is much of these rich do things most people could never do in a million years, no matter how many government programs try to make them capable.

    You’ll note in the Dark Knight Rises, Obama’s language is identical in spirit, intent and implication to Bane’s. When Bane comes to the people of Gotham as a liberator and tells them to “take back their city, are you tired of the rich getting rich off your hard work and toil? Well I give your city back to you, take it, it’s yours” he is merely parroting Obama and his ilk. What happens to Gotham? It falls apart and becomes entirely dependent on black-mailed government hand-outs, unable to produce anything as a real dog-eat-dog work ensures. Obama’s words manipulate the weak and unhealthy amongst us into thinking that they helped and had something to do with the rich getting rich, and that it’s time they got something back.

    He blanks-out the reality, as Ayn Rand would say. < getting more prophetic by the day. After all, you'll note in Dark Knight Rises, Alfred implores Batman throughout the movie to do something simple. To shrug.

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  98. richtaylor365

    I was talking about the candidates Romney beat to get the nomination. Most of the others stem from the place the GOP is at today.

    Sullivan’s (and your) argument still fails. If the point is ,”Look at those troglodytes running on the GOP side”, you would have to prove that the majority (OK, how about just a few) fall into that ”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia” category (which has not been done). Of course the simple fact that a moderate won the nomination anyway destroys Sullivan and his argument. Isn’t this obvious to you?

    you should don’t mind throwing them back ;-)

    It’s not insulting to call someone clever. Each have found the same unique way of peddling their wares to the left, pin your GOP bonefides on each editorial blasting the right, this way your objectivity is not questioned (except by other conservatives of course, but those really are not their target audience.

    It’s probably not necessarily a prerequisite to be a complete moron to think so.

    More of that absurdium nonsense you fall back on much too easily. I never said these guys were complete morons, or their audience. Of course it is possible for them to make salient points from time to time, but those have been lacking in the links you have provided thus far.

    Do you not think it’s possible for someone to feel that the party has left them, rather than them leaving the party?

    Sure, Reagan said as much about the democratic party.

    . Anyone who follows that line of thinking is certainly much more concerned about ideology than the reality of what it would mean

    Or, maybe they were just smarter then you and calculated that it would either be ineffective or more damaging then the alternative.

    and the rich get the substantial benefits.

    Only because their increased percentage (in the raising their marginal tax bracket) involves more actual money. But another argument is that that they less affected because they can afford the difference more then say the poor or the middle class. As I said before, as long as Obama can keep up with his class warfare, keep the attention on the plight of the top 2% and their tax woes, and keep it away from everyone else’s problem, their stagnation of wages, their buying power eroded by higher prices, and their out of pocket expenses increasing due Obamacare among other things, then he has a good chance of getting re elected.

    Incidentally, whats with the ever changing avatars? I assume your first one was a photo of you (pretty sure the second one wasn’t) but who is this new guy?

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  99. Iconoclast

    I would guess that most of the people here (on the right) would be “very conservative” out of those five options.

    You are entitled to your guesses, but the overriding issue here is that you made a couple of absolute claims:

    You’re far from representative of Americans though. You represent a tiny fringe.

    CM, July 22, 2012 1:58 am

    And when I ask you for the basis:

    What is the basis for this silly, unfounded claim?

    Iconoclast, July 22, 2012 10:22 am

    You reply that the basis is nothing more than guesswork. Checkmate.

    …the point is that there were sufficient numbers of Americans (and in the right places) to win him the election.

    Well, remember, the electorate was getting fed up with ostensibly conservative Republican politicians (President Bush, the Republican Congress) spending us into oblivion, and generally acting like liberal Democrats in that regard. Sure, there were tax cuts, but that is meaningless if you don’t rein in spending. Also, the electorate was getting fed up with the way the “War on Terror” was being waged.

    Bottom line: The national mood was ripe for getting a Democrat into the White House — the 2006 Mid-Terms was ample evidence of that.

    And now, by all appearance, the pendulum is swinging the other way…witness the 2010 Mid-Terms, and the Wisconsin Recall. I believe that Scott Walker is the first Governor to actually survive a recall.

    But Smith is widely cited as the father of modern economics and capitalism.

    Perhaps, but he was a Scotsman who did not have an American perspective on the matter. Our Founding Fathers were basically unanimous in being opposed to taxing people’s income.

    Thomas Jefferson First Inaugural Address(Emphasis added):

    What more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow citizens–a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.

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  100. Iconoclast

    60% of Americans don’t consider themselves “conservative” or “very conservative”.

    So what? I never claimed that the majority of Americans considered themselves conservative, only that a plurality did, and I further calim that a plurality can indeed be representative, given that it is the largest group. Also, that 60% you mention breaks down into smaller groups: 35% moderate, 21% as liberal and 4% undecided, again showing that conservatives are the largest group, and outnumber liberals almost 2:1.

    If you ever took a class in Statistics, you were no doubt taught that there are three different kinds of “average”, the mean, the median and the mode. The mean is the one we’re all familiar with, the one calculated by adding up the scores and dividing by the sample size. The median is the one determined by sorting the scores (either ascending or descending order) and selecting the one in the middle (this works best if the sample size is an odd number).

    The third is the mode, and that is simply the score that occurs the most often. Therefore, if we consider “conservative”, “moderate” and “liberal;” to be the score for an individual, the “conservative” score is the one that occurs the most often, and can therefore be considered the modal average.

    One other thing to consider: If given the dichotomous choice between “conservative” and “liberal”, the actual majority of those polled did indeed select “conservative” as their label or score.

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  101. CM

    Sullivan’s (and your) argument still fails. If the point is ,”Look at those troglodytes running on the GOP side”, you would have to prove that the majority (OK, how about just a few) fall into that ”visceral xenophobia, end-times theology and Cold War nostalgia” category (which has not been done). Of course the simple fact that a moderate won the nomination anyway destroys Sullivan and his argument. Isn’t this obvious to you?

    Obviously it’s not possible to “prove” anything of the sort. Frum gives a fairly full account of where the GOP has gone though. And I’m pretty sure he’s not doing it from his cozy new home in the Democratic Party.
    The point is (originally): BECAUSE the moderate won, he’s going to come under great pressure from the base in terms of foreign policy.
    Again, do you consider the candidates who stood for the 2012 GOP nomination reflected the state of the party?

    It’s not insulting to call someone clever.

    I was referring to your implication that they just speak nonsense, and libs lap it up (because presumably libs are morons).

    Each have found the same unique way of peddling their wares to the left, pin your GOP bonefides on each editorial blasting the right, this way your objectivity is not questioned (except by other conservatives of course, but those really are not their target audience.

    Why would Frum want to peddle wares to the left? Is he now on the left? Why couldn’t he just want to be trying to ‘right the ship’?

    Of course it is possible for them to make salient points from time to time, but those have been lacking in the links you have provided thus far.

    Ok well at least you can concede the first part.

    Or, maybe they were just smarter then you and calculated that it would either be ineffective or more damaging then the alternative.

    I would question where the ‘smart’ part is of letting millions and millions of people lose their jobs, with all the short and long term personal and societal effects that creates.

    Only because their increased percentage (in the raising their marginal tax bracket) involves more actual money.

    Well yes, obviously. But what about the actual point I was making? They (the rich) spend far less of that extra money they get (from tax cuts), and they don’t invest in labour unless it makes sense to (which it doesn’t when demand isn’t increasing). So if the idea is to assist the capitalist economy, tax cuts which target the rest of the population (the consumers), who can then buy more goods and services from the rich, surely assists everyone. Including the rich.
    But I acknowledge that much of the population already enjoys tax relief via various methods. And there are all those at the bottom who pay little or none. But that, to me, just illustrates that the system is quite fundamentally fucked. The people who hold most of the money are the not the people who are going to be consuming in a manner to keep everything going.

    As I said before, as long as Obama can keep up with his class warfare, keep the attention on the plight of the top 2% and their tax woes, and keep it away from everyone else’s problem, their stagnation of wages, their buying power eroded by higher prices, and their out of pocket expenses increasing due Obamacare among other things, then he has a good chance of getting re elected.

    I don’t really into buy the whole ongoing ‘class warfare’ argument. Any specific policy from any political persuasion can be argued to be ‘class warfare’ because it can be viewed as favouring one segment of the population over another.

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  102. CM

    You reply that the basis is nothing more than guesswork. Checkmate.

    I don’t agree. The evidence is everywhere. On many many different topics only a very narrow range of opinion is acceptable. Eveything else is screamed down, usually with a barrage of personal abuse. I’m far from the only person who sees this.

    Bottom line: The national mood was ripe for getting a Democrat into the White House — the 2006 Mid-Terms was ample evidence of that.

    And now, by all appearance, the pendulum is swinging the other way…witness the 2010 Mid-Terms, and the Wisconsin Recall. I believe that Scott Walker is the first Governor to actually survive a recall.

    You’re talking mild swings from one election to the next (which are all that are needed to win or lose an election). The issue was whether Obama is “out of tune” with American values in a more general sense:

    Seattle Outcast:

    It also fuels the position that Obama doesn’t hold American values; his viewpoints are decidedly at odds with most Americans.

    Values are something that don’t generally change from one election cycle to the next.

    Perhaps, but he was a Scotsman who did not have an American perspective on the matter. Our Founding Fathers were basically unanimous in being opposed to taxing people’s income.

    Did he not not also say in the same speech that “all will, of course, arrange themselves under the will of the law, and unite in common efforts for the common good”. Aren’t “common efforts for the common good” what Obama is talking about?

    BTW what did he mean by:
    “economy in the public expense: and
    “that labor may be lightly burthened”?
    Yes, I’ve used Google, but I can’t find results which have discussions or explanations.

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  103. CM

    Perhaps, but he was a Scotsman who did not have an American perspective on the matter. Our Founding Fathers were basically unanimous in being opposed to taxing people’s income.

    In his opening post Hal links to a previous blog entry of his, about Elizabeth Warren. In it he states:

    Count the number of courses that teach Das Kapital as opposed to The Wealth of Nations.

    And yet:

    Additionally, Smith outlined the proper expenses of the government in The Wealth of Nations, Book V, Ch. I. Included in his requirements of a government is to enforce contracts and provide justice system, grant patents and copy rights, provide public goods such as infrastructure, provide national defense and regulate banking. It was the role of the government to provide goods “of such a nature that the profit could never repay the expense to any individual” such as roads, bridges, canals, and harbours. He also encouraged invention and new ideas through his patent enforcement and support of infant industry monopolies. he supported public education and religious institutions as providing general benefit to the society.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith#As_a_symbol_of_free_market_economics

    I.e. what Obama said in his speech.

    BTW good on you Poosh for acknowledging that “Obama does ramble about “hard work” being important “.

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  104. Iconoclast

    I don’t agree.

    You used the word “guess”; I didn’t put the word in your mouth. Maybe you meant “surmise”, but you still used the word “guess”.

    You’re talking mild swings from one election to the next (which are all that are needed to win or lose an election). The issue was whether Obama is “out of tune” with American values in a more general sense:

    And I am saying that a fed-up electorate was willing to elect an out-of-tune Democrat while knowing virtually nothing about him, such as how out-of-tune he was and is. He campaigned on vague “Hope and Change” platitudes, yammering on about how “the rise of the oceans would cease and the planet would begin to heal”, yadda yadda yadda. Once he got into office, his true colors started to show and the electorate started getting buyer’s remorse. In spite of his campaign promises of post-partisanship and transparency, he has shown himself to be extremely partisan and opaque. The majority of the electorate is still opposed to Obamacare, which was rammed through the legislative process without a single Republican vote. I repeat: The 2010 Mid-Term Shellacking sent a clear message re: the electorate’s views on Obama’s policies, but again, that message just sailed right over out-of-tune Obama’s head.

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  105. CM

    “You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own power,” said Romney, who on Friday will attend the Opening Ceremonies of this year’s Summer Olympics. “For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We’ve already cheered the Olympians, let’s also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities. All right! [pumps fist].”

    In full context, Romney, of course, also praised the Olympians’ efforts – right before he made his “you didn’t get here solely on your own” remark.

    “Tonight we cheer the Olympians, who only yesterday were children themselves,” Romney said. “As we watch them over the next 16 days, we affirm that our aspirations, and those of our children and grandchildren, can become reality. We salute you Olympians – both because you dreamed and because you paid the price to make your dreams real. You guys pushed yourself, drove yourself, sacrificed, trained and competed time and again at winning and losing.”

    http://themoderatevoice.com/153994/quote-of-the-day-mitt-romney-told-olympians-they-didnt-get-there-alone/

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  106. Section8

    Let’s put the Romney speech regarding Olympians though the Obama translator.

    There are a lot of Olympians, successful Olympians who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you win, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by Olympians who think, well, it must be because I trained hard. There are a lot of people who train hard out there. It must be because I ran or swam faster. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of people who can run and swim fast (Applause.)

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great coach somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create a great training system that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges so you could get to your swimming pool or track. If you’ve got a gold medal — you didn’t win that. Somebody else made that happen.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

    You don’t get it CM and never will.

    Regarding education..

    No doubt that is a problem on its own that needs addressing. No use throwing more money into something that doesn’t work. You won’t hear me argue that.

    And then the very next line we get an argument anyhow via you posting some stats regarding the % spent of GDP in your oh so clever nuanced way. Old and boring and not fooling anyone. GDP has nothing to do with it. 11000 per kid should get the same results in a country where it’s 80% of the GDP or where it’s .0002%. Unless you have some proof that there is an inverse relationship between the ability to learn and GDP, this stat is pointless. Might as well argue if you by a Honda Civic, it won’t run as well if you make more than 75K a year unless you pay more for the car.

    According to a 2005 report from the OECD, the United States is tied for first place with Switzerland when it comes to annual spending per student on its public schools, with each of those two countries spending more than $11,000.[77] However, the United States is ranked 37th in the world in education spending as a percentage of gross domestic product. All but seven of the leading countries are in the third world; ranked high because of a low GDP.[78] U.S. public schools lag behind the schools of other developed countries in the areas of reading, math, and science.

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  107. Frankie

    Forgetting that a political scandal (or the appearance of one in that case) means that politicians DO lose, and forgetting that projects representing about 98 percent of the program’s funding have been successful.

    It really doesn’t matter how many are successful and how many are failures! The Money Obama is gambling with isn’t his to lose, as opposed to Romney.

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  108. CM

    You used the word “guess”; I didn’t put the word in your mouth. Maybe you meant “surmise”, but you still used the word “guess”.

    I did. I cannot point specifically to where various posters on this blog have stated as such, however after assessing the comments made on a wide variety of topics, I look at those 5 options in the poll and I believe that “very conservative” is by far and away the best available fit.

    And I am saying that a fed-up electorate was willing to elect an out-of-tune Democrat while knowing virtually nothing about him, such as how out-of-tune he was and is.

    Ok I think we’re talking about two different things then. I took Seattle’s quote to mean inherent long-term values. To me ‘values’ remain through election-cycles and candidates.
    However now that you’re suggesting Obama was even “out of tune” when he was elected, I’m not sure what you mean. How was he “out of tune” then? His job approval favourable in his first month was at 63%.
    Also, by what measure do you believe he was (and is) “out of tune”? I assume you’re not just guessing, so there must be something supportive out there ;-)

    He campaigned on vague “Hope and Change” platitudes, yammering on about how “the rise of the oceans would cease and the planet would begin to heal”, yadda yadda yadda.

    Yep, and I would completely agree that the platitudes were lapped up because of the previous eight years. Without GWB there might not have been a President Obama.

    The majority of the electorate is still opposed to Obamacare, which was rammed through the legislative process without a single Republican vote.

    Of course being opposed to Obamacare can also mean you don’t think it goes far enough (the lack of a public option).

    43% of Americans favored Obama’s healthcare bill in a recent CNN/ORC poll, while 51% opposed it. Yet, only 34% of the general population opposes Obamacare because it goes too far; 13% of Americans asked actually oppose it because it is too timid. When you combine those who oppose it for not going far enough with those who favor it, a majority, 56%, actually wants Obama’s healthcare bill or something more far-reaching. Similar findings have been made in polls done by CBS, Kaiser, and Reuters/Ipsos.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/26/obamacare-healthcare-reform-americans-want

    So whereas some might take the 51% opposed figure and claim “Obama is out of tune”, others would probably point to the 56% and say “not at all”.

    The 2010 Mid-Term Shellacking sent a clear message re: the electorate’s views on Obama’s policies, but again, that message just sailed right over out-of-tune Obama’s head.

    Again, how is that translating into current polling, or any other current measure? If his values/viewpoint was punished and he’s spent almost two more years of doing the same things, why isn’t his job approval and favourable ratings in the toilet, given the terrible economy?
    Is it perhaps because 79% of centrist voters say the Republicans had slowed the economy by taking wrong actions (while 53% of the them said Obama had taken the right actions to boost the economy)?
    http://thehill.com/polls/239377-the-hill-poll-majority-of-voters-blame-president-for-bad-economy

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  109. CM

    You don’t get it CM and never will.

    You’re right, I’ll never understand how people can be so blatantly misleading even when it’s pointed out to them.

    If you’ve got a gold medal — you didn’t win that. Somebody else made that happen.

    That’s. Just. Ridiculous.

    And then the very next line we get an argument anyhow via you posting some stats regarding the % spent of GDP in your oh so clever nuanced way. Old and boring and not fooling anyone.

    Wow, just like with Obama’s speech, you added your own interpretation and explanation (put it through the translator), stripped it of all context, and then presented it as FACT.
    I did nothing but quote the relevant part from wiki. I made no comment about it AT ALL.
    GPD is A relevant measure of the level of investment a country puts into public education. I would say both measures are relevant on this issue. The raw amount per student is important of course, but that only tells you part of the story. Neither stat tell you what you get for that money. $11,000 per student in some countries will mean something quite different to $11,000 per student in another.

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  110. CM

    It really doesn’t matter how many are successful and how many are failures! The Money Obama is gambling with isn’t his to lose, as opposed to Romney.

    True, but not all risks are equal. When did you last have a 98% success rate gambling on anything?

    The program was built to provide financing to new clean energy technologies that the private sector was unable to finance. These companies were trying to cross the “Valley of Death,” where they need many millions – even billions – of dollars to build new projects. Traditional lenders won’t finance these projects because they’re generally the first-of-a-kind, and venture capitalists who would finance innovative projects simply don’t have enough money to meet these companies’ needs. So, the government stepped in and guaranteed that they’ll pay back a loan if the company is unable to. This guarantee unlocks capital.

    The loan guarantee program alone financed 32 projects in more than 20 states, ultimately creating 22,000 jobs directly. The government spent $2.5 billion to mobilize more than $20 billion in private capital.

    Even projects without guarantees benefited from the process. For example, the due diligence process helped bring in a $1 billion investment from Bank of America for the largest residential solar project in U.S. history. The chief executive officer of the solar company deploying the project said that without the due diligence process to attract private lenders, “We would not have been able to make the economics of this project work.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/07/11/514907/the-no-more-solyndras-act-rep-stearns-wants-to-turn-a-good-program-into-a-bad-one/

    In terms of Romney and risk……I’d be interested in the counter-argument to this (I have no doubt there is one):

    The public understands that if you finance buying a house with a bank providing 90% of the asking price, and the house doubles in value, then your own 10% stake multiples elevenfold. Romney would apply the same logic not to the wealth-generating activity of starting innovative companies but to buying existing companies. Banks were only too keen to lend vast sums of money for such schemes, as they did right up to the financial crash in 2008. The companies’ own profits would service Bain’s debt.

    Bain Capital would make the company more valuable – taking production offshore to low-cost countries, selling off redundant land, slashing research and investment budgets. And the general rise in property prices would help matters still more. When the companies’ profits had risen, they would then be floated on the stock market for a much higher price and, hey presto, everybody got very rich.

    Private equity has always been controversial. A few mature and poorly managed companies have benefited from the private equity treatment, but it became a huge industry dedicated to deal-making, extravagant leverage and self-enrichment, leaving a trail of disasters in its wake. In Britain, EMI has been emasculated by Guy Hands’s private equity fund and now looks likely to be swallowed up by Universal. American journalist Josh Kosman in The Buyout of America writes that many of the companies in the biggest PE deals in the 1990s fared worse than had the taken-over companies stayed independent. He identifies five companies – Stage Store, American Pad and Paper, GS Industries, Dade Behring and Details, all of which paid lavish dividends and fees to Bain before filing for bankruptcy.

    For private equity is not at core about creating value through innovation and investment. That would need private equity owners to take another risk (the results from innovation are uncertain) on top of the leverage risk, hardly the point of the deal. Instead, the overriding requirement is to fatten up the company so it can be resold on the public markets to deliver great capital profits, just as Obama says.

    Bain Capital is part of the problem, not the solution. The private equity recipe has ripped the heart out of innovative US while leaving its banks encumbered by massive non-performing debts. The business model is now broken and the US has to start to ask questions about whether the Bain type of allegedly individualist capitalism really delivers growth and jobs. As the answer is: no, what does?

    Obama has begun the counter-argument. Innovation is necessarily about taking risks and unless there are mechanisms to share them between the private and public sectors, the risks and innovation are necessarily not undertaken. “The internet didn’t get invented on its own,” Obama argued. “Government research created the internet so that all the companies could make money off the internet.”

    He could have gone much further. The same is true of industries ranging from aerospace to pharmaceuticals. The whole ecosystem in which innovation is housed – patents, copyright, finance, universities, research, knowledge transfer, ownership rules, regulation to ensure common standards – is co-created between the public and the private. Innovative entrepreneurs and companies are in a continuous trial-and-error relationship with their customers, suppliers and outsiders, not isolated in an individualistic silo.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/22/will-hutton-obamas-good-capitalism

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  111. Section8

    Wow, just like with Obama’s speech, you added your own interpretation and explanation (put it through the translator), stripped it of all context, and then presented it as FACT.

    Bullshit. You decided to post a speech from Romney were he did not chastise anyone and chose to present it as an equivalent.

    I made no comment about it AT ALL.

    No shit Sherlock, but you did post the data after to present on your behalf in lieu of comment didn’t you? Or did the Blog Fairy do it?

    GPD is A relevant measure of the level of investment a country puts into public education. I would say both measures are relevant on this issue.

    Then please do explain how too much or too little of our GDP is effecting the stats of our scores. Since that’s obviously why who chose to add that portion since we already both knew we spend more per kid than most everyone. That had already been established. So what was the point of showing me stats?

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  112. CM

    Bullshit. You decided to post a speech from Romney were he did not chastise anyone and chose to present it as an equivalent.

    Obama is only chastising if you quote-mine from it, stripping it of context. We can do the same to Romney’s speech and just claim that an accurate summary is “You Olympians, however, know you didn’t get here solely on your own”. But that would be dishonest so there is no point.

    No shit Sherlock, but you did post the data after to present on your behalf in lieu of comment didn’t you? Or did the Blog Fairy do it?

    Fucking hell, I was agreeing with you. I explicitly said so. If this isn’t an example of an inability to communicate I’m not sure what is.
    Pray tell, what argument was I apparently making by posting that paragraph from wiki? Surely it would mean I’d have left out the “All but seven of the leading countries are in the third world; ranked high because of a low GDP” part?

    Then please do explain how too much or too little of our GDP is effecting the stats of our scores. Since that’s obviously why who chose to add that portion since we already both knew we spend more per kid than most everyone. That had already been established. So what was the point of showing me stats?

    Really I was simply bringing in some stats. The first 3 or 4 places I looked simply had tables, ranking countries by spending by GDP. But I kept going until I found the actual amount, and then posted the entire paragraph to ensure I retained context.
    Thinking about it now (because you’ve asked me), I guess I would say that if your GDP spending was either far lower or far higher than the OECD average then it would be another part of the equation in terms of figuring out whether you’re spending too little or too much. Perhaps the actual costs involved in education are so high in the US that $11K doesn’t actually get you much. If, say, the total spend was far below the OECD average in terms of % of GDP, some might use that as part of their argument that quality costs more and the US government should be prepared to lift spending, no matter what it means in terms of $ per student. They may argue that % spend of GDP has a much better correlation with scores. I don’t know, I’m speculating.

    Anyway, not sure we need to spend more time arguing about something we both agree on.

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  113. Section8

    Really I was simply bringing in some stats.

    Ok, I take your word on it then that you were being sincere with this. Something tells me I’m going to regret it later, but I’ll take your word for it anyhow.

    Obama is only chastising if you quote-mine from it, stripping it of context.

    Not really it’s pretty clear.

    If you’ve got a gold medal — you didn’t win that. Somebody else made that happen.

    That’s. Just. Ridiculous.

    Not ridiculous either. If you want to state he was referring to the great American system line, I’m sure he was, but he didn’t build it either, so what the fuck is he talking about? They sure as hell have helped pay for the upkeep though which again he decided not to recognize. And his mention of cost cutting was a joke. We’ve already seen the play with numbers this guy did during the debt ceiling standoff. Save a trillion on a war that’s supposed to end anyhow is not reducing government. Besides, I’m willing to believe most people here (that wacky fringe) wouldn’t have an issue with raising taxes if there was really an effort to downsize government and make it more efficient. This president has no interest, and that’s been shown time and time again. So since that’s out of the question play the class warfare game.

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  114. Section8

    And let’s look at the part I’ve repeated quite a bit you seem to want to ignore repeatedly.

    There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

    Imagine if Romney worded his talk to the Olympians this way. I’m not twisting words here. just substituting a few. You can compare the two.

    There are a lot of Olympians, successful Olympians who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you win, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by Olympians who think, well, it must be because I trained hard. There are a lot of people who train hard out there. It must be because I ran or swam faster. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of people who can run and swim fast (Applause.)

    This isn’t chastising? Anyhow I’m done with this.

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  115. Iconoclast

    So whereas some might take the 51% opposed figure and claim “Obama is out of tune”, others would probably point to the 56% and say “not at all”.

    Oh, I’m sure. Look, one can always spin the data any way they want, but then, your cite is referring to one specific poll (“the CBS poll”), but Real Clear Politics has a fairly extensive list of polls, dozens of them, and in the vast majority of cases, the majority polled oppose Obamacare.

    Now, of course, it’s possible that, like the CBS poll, the majority are “really in favor of it” like the Guardian spins the CBS poll data. Perhaps, but then, perhaps not. The one truth the Guardian mentions is that the issue is complex. For example, a majority may approve of various provisions within the law while still opposing the law itself. A majority might be fine with the law provided the mandate was removed. Most would agree that our health care system could use improvement, but perhaps would also agree that Obamacare is the wrong approach.

    So yeah, it is a complicated issue, especially once you start opening cans of worms re: how polling data breaks down and what it “really” means. But the bottom line is that the only thing we can safely say is that in poll after poll, the majority of Americans oppose Obamacare.

    And Obamacare is just one example. The 2010 Mid-Terms still happened, even if we spin a specific poll so that it indicates the majority favor Obamacare. Scott Brown still won “Kennedy’s” Senate seat, which destroyed the Democrat super majority in that house. The Democrats received numerous defeats in 2010 and lost the House of Representatives and the Speaker of the House position. Democrats tried to unseat Scott Walker in a recall and were soundly defeated.

    Again, how is that translating into current polling, or any other current measure?

    Perhaps the real question is: Why doesn’t all of your polling translate into the actual, recorded historical events I keep bringing up?

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  116. Poosh

    Now, on Friday, he said something which the governor alluded to which really reveals what he thinks about our country, about our people, about free enterprise, about freedom, about individual initiative, about America. And you’ve heard it already. I’ve seen some signs that reference it. I just want to say it exactly as he said it. Speaking about small business and businesses of all kind, he said this: ‘If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ How many people here — would the people who began a business or are leading a business in this room please stand up? Wow. Thank you. Thank you. Don’t sit down. Stand up. Keep standing up. Keep standing up. Let me ask you, I know that you recognize a lot of people — don’t sit down. I want you still up. Keep standing up. I know that you recognize a lot of people help you in a business. Perhaps the banks, the investors. there’s no question your mom and dad, your school teachers, the people that provide roads, the fire, the police. A lot of people help. But let me ask you this, did you build your business if you did, raise your hand. Take that, Mr. President. This is what’s happening in this country. These people are entrepreneurs. Thank you so much you guys.

    Romeny < and a world of difference between what Obama said.

    *it did occur to me that Obama was saying "businessmen didn't build the bridges" but after reading the full quote that isn't the case.

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  117. Kimpost

    *it did occur to me that Obama was saying “businessmen didn’t build the bridges” but after reading the full quote that isn’t the case.

    It was the case and pretending it wasn’t is ridiculous. You could argue, as some do, that the overall sentiment of the speech is “chastising small business owners”, and I would disagree, but you could still make that case. You can’t however, suggest that Obama didn’t mean roads and bridges. Not with a straight face…

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  118. Poosh

    Isolated and taken out of context it looks like he was saying you didn’t build the bridges. But in full, that’s not what he’s saying.

    But even if that was the case. Yes they did build those bridges – over 40% of those bridges (more than there fair share). The % would be higher if you included small businesses, rather than just the super rich. So he’s an idiot (a liberal) on both accounts.

    What he means is you didn’t build businesses on your own, and by on your own, he means, not without government projects funded through taxation. He quite clearly denigrates businessmen and leaders when he says plenty of people work hard and plenty of people are smart – the only difference is these businessmen used the booty of government to get rich, thus they should give more back to government/the people ™.

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  119. CM

    Oh My Fucking God. Poosh try looking at the youtube video. It’s VERY VERY VERY obvious that he was talking about the infrastructure. Only someone experiencing SEVERE ODS would refuse to accept it.

    It’s ok, you can accept that he was talking about infrastructure and still despise the man and everything he stands for. It’s not a concession that makes any difference (well, other than that you’re more honest than Romney).

    Not really it’s pretty clear.

    Well I don’t agree. If I were an American business-owner I wouldn’t have felt chastised. I would have considered that he was spelling out the obvious, in response to a narrative which seeks to avoid the obvious because it’s viewed as weakness.

    Not ridiculous either.

    It IS ridiculous. That line doesn’t work because you’ve blatantly misrepresenting what Obama was referring to. Just like Poosh and others.
    Jesus, Mary and Joseph, put the ODS aside for just one second.

    If you want to state he was referring to the great American system line, I’m sure he was,

    Then why come up with an analogy sentence which supports the blatant misrepresentation?

    but he didn’t build it either, so what the fuck is he talking about?

    Ah what now? Where did he claim that he built it? No one person or company built it. That’s the whole point.

    They sure as hell have helped pay for the upkeep though which again he decided not to recognize.

    They already pay a part of the upkeep of course, who is doubting that? Obama said he doesn’t want to see the investments ‘gutted’.
    He decided not to recognize? What? Didn’t he say he was going to “ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more”? Doesn’t ‘more’ inherently recognise an existing contribution? How does it not?

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  120. CM

    Iconoclast I completely agree that the issue is extremely complex. We have no idea how familiar the people answering the polling questions are with the details of Obamacare (because nobody can rely on anything non-partisan from the media it seems), or what they know about possible alternatives.

    Perhaps the real question is: Why doesn’t all of your polling translate into the actual, recorded historical events I keep bringing up?

    We can’t say that those actual, recorded historical events all all because of Obama though, and he’s the purpose of the discussion here (is Obama ‘out of tune’ with Americans, as evidenced by this speech). Whereas polling data on job approval and favourables are about Obama. They are as close as you’re going to get at this point in terms of making the case. And they don’t seem to make it at all well.
    The fact that those actual, recorded historical events haven’t been disastrous for his personal polling perhaps means that people didn’t see those events as a chance to show him that he’s ‘out of tune’. Clearly he’s still in tune for a lot of people, otherwise they would have translated into polling. Recently his numbers have gone up and he’s now sitting within a % point of where Bush was at the same stage. Not great, but improving. And Romney has unfavorable that are higher than Obama. That shouldn’t be happening in this environment.
    Has any sitting President held those sort of numbers (and held positive projections over the battleground states) with the economy in such a position? I think maybe Reagan?
    Who knows, perhaps Obama’s numbers will slip between now and the election. If they do, he’ll surely lose.

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  121. Section8

    Well I don’t agree. If I were an American business-owner I wouldn’t have felt chastised. I would have considered that he was spelling out the obvious, in response to a narrative which seeks to avoid the obvious because it’s viewed as weakness.

    Well you’re not, you’re a foreigner looking from the outside. We already pointed this out.

    Then why come up with an analogy sentence which supports the blatant misrepresentation?

    You keep focusing on the one sentence, and avoid the rest. there was more than just one sentence, and it’s been repeated, bolded, and everything else. Talk about cherry picking.

    He decided not to recognize? What? Didn’t he say he was going to “ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more”? Doesn’t ‘more’ inherently recognise an existing contribution? How does it not?

    Well if you actually WOULD look at the whole video, you’ll see he started talking about some who wanted to give back, and then started his chastising. Infrastructure would be fine. Let’s look at why with a 3 + trillion dollar budget we need to shell out even more money. See a good leader would take time to find out where to cut waste, but this one is out to ignore and exploit it.

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  122. Iconoclast

    We can’t say that those actual, recorded historical events all all because of Obama though, and he’s the purpose of the discussion here (is Obama ‘out of tune’ with Americans, as evidenced by this speech). Whereas polling data on job approval and favourables are about Obama.

    Indeed, and you are quite clever in making your case by showing snapshots where Obama appears to be on top of things. However, going back to RealClear politics, it becomes quite apparent which way things are trending. Overall, his approval ratings are going down (black line) and his disapproval ratings are going up (red line).

    I again submit that this is due to the electorate learning to see Obama for what he is, which is out-of-sync with what we could consider traditional American ideals.

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  123. Iconoclast

    So, to be clear, the polling trend I just provided does indeed line up with the historical events I keep bringing up. To me, the implications are pretty obvious: the events I keep mentioning are indeed an indictment of Obama and his policies.

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  124. Section8

    Ah what now? Where did he claim that he built it? No one person or company built it. That’s the whole point.

    Where did any business man claimed they built it either? Site one. I dare you, just give me one. You can’t do it and you won’t so if you can’t then there was no point for Obama to make. So there was no point in his rant other than inflame. Hey claimed government “we” under Clinton created millionaires, he said “we” the government created them. If anyone is taking some bizarre credit it’s this guy.

    And, by the way, we’ve tried that before — a guy named Bill Clinton did it. We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine. We created a lot of millionaires..

    And to say it was simply taxes is definately up for debate.

    His entire lecture taken in FULL context with previous statements and this

    I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

    with the words let me tell you something which in this country generally means you’re not being nice or complimenting someone, is nothing more than talking down to business. Only a good soldier for the left would blindly miss this, and there’s no better one here than you.

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  125. Kimpost

    That’s just one of those things that would have mattered around here, if situations had been reversed, Sal. You know that… ;)

    Personally I don’t think it matters either way. Democrats should be able to get super rich, greens should be able to fly private jets and anti-gay conservatives should be allowed to suck cock.

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  126. CM

    You keep focusing on the one sentence, and avoid the rest. there was more than just one sentence, and it’s been repeated, bolded, and everything else. Talk about cherry picking.

    Um, because it’s a pivotal sentence. It’s the sentence everyone seems intent on misrepresenting, because then it gives them the platform to interpret the rest of the speech according to the narrative.

    Well if you actually WOULD look at the whole video,

    I have. Dude, I’m not the one blatantly mispresenting a key part of it.

    Infrastructure would be fine. Let’s look at why with a 3 + trillion dollar budget we need to shell out even more money. See a good leader would take time to find out where to cut waste, but this one is out to ignore and exploit it.

    Like this example?
    I think the background context to this is reducing the deficit. Which to some means cutting spending AND working out how to get additional revenue.

    Indeed, and you are quite clever in making your case by showing snapshots where Obama appears to be on top of things.

    My god man, where did I claim that he was ‘on top of things’? I’m saying that his numbers appear to be holding up remarkably well given the state of the economy (and given the backlash against the Dems in the events you have listed).

    However, going back to RealClear politics, it becomes quite apparent which way things are trending. Overall, his approval ratings are going down (black line) and his disapproval ratings are going up (red line).

    I love RealClearPolitics. From here to the election I’ll be geeking out at places like that.
    This is what I was looking at.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/155918/Obama-Job-Approval-Slightly-14th-Quarter.aspx?version=print
    The most recent trend is up, not down (from 41%, to 43.3%, to 45.9%, to now at 46.8%).
    I was also looking at the battleground states.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-swing-states-economic-picture-a-little-brighter-for-obama/2012/07/22/gJQA8Icq2W_story.html
    Especially Ohio, which may be the most important of all. http://www.tnr.com/blog/electionate/105201/ohio-the-place-where-bain-might-be-paying

    I love this stuff so much I think I’m in the wrong job.

    To me, the implications are pretty obvious: the events I keep mentioning are indeed an indictment of Obama and his policies.

    Well, again I counter that with the stats on who (centrist) people put the blame on for not doing more on the economy (79% of centrist voters say the Republicans had slowed the economy by taking wrong actions while 53% of the them said Obama had taken the right actions to boost the economy).

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  127. CM

    Where did any business man claimed they built it either? Site one. I dare you, just give me one. You can’t do it and you won’t so if you can’t then there was no point for Obama to make. So there was no point in his rant other than inflame.

    As I keep saying, I don’t really think this was a message at business people. The target audience was people at home. I think the intention was to try and counter the narrative I outlined. He’s not trying to get rich business people to agree they should pay more tax. He’s making the justification to the population as a whole.
    But we see one of the most common responses from the right to this is effectively “yes they did build it”. That’s right here in this thread.

    Hey claimed government “we” under Clinton created millionaires, he said “we” the government created them. If anyone is taking some bizarre credit it’s this guy.

    The quote:

    We can make another trillion or trillion-two, and what we then do is ask for the wealthy to pay a little bit more. And, by the way, we’ve tried that before — a guy named Bill Clinton did it. We created 23 million new jobs, turned a deficit into a surplus, and rich people did just fine. We created a lot of millionaires.

    We the country, not we the government. He’s talking on behalf of the American people. The economic ingredients resulted in new jobs being created, a surplus, and lots of new millionaires. Again, things don’t operate in a vacuum.

    It makes sense to me, and not in an anti-business way. Facilitating opportunity for more people to succeed in business is pro-business. Again, it’s consistent with what Adam Smith advocated.

    with the words let me tell you something which in this country generally means you’re not being nice or complimenting someone, is nothing more than talking down to business. Only a good soldier for the left would blindly miss this, and there’s no better one here than you.

    Again, I think the target audience was regular people. There are plenty of smart and hard-working people that don’t become rich. Rich people don’t have a monopoly on being smart, or working hard. Makes sense to me. It counters the narrative which suggests the opposite (people aren’t getting ahead because they’re just too lazy and dumb).
    But it’s worth stressing once more that none of this implies that you’ll get to be rich and successful without hard work and without being smart. It just ackowledges that it’s not a given.

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  128. Iconoclast

    My god man, where did I claim that he was ‘on top of things’?

    No reason to get excited… (Hendrix reference)

    That was clearly (I thought) my choice of rhetoric — I did say “appeared to be on top of things”, indicating (I thought) my own subjectivity and viewpoint.

    I’m saying that his numbers appear to be holding up remarkably well given the state of the economy (and given the backlash against the Dems in the events you have listed).

    Well, approval ratings in the mid 40’s is really not a good place for an incumbent to be, although, as you indicate, the rating is currently trending upward…somewhat.

    This is what I was looking at.
    http://www.gallup.com/poll/155918/Obama-Job-Approval-Slightly-14th-Quarter.aspx?version=print

    Well, this upward trend is pretty localized (latest 3 quarters) and basically show that he has simply regained the ground lost between quarters 10 and 11; his numbers are still nowhere near what they were when he first took office. Reelection campaign ads may be in play here as well. Obama has always been a good campaigner — few would dispute this. But there is a world of difference between campaigning and governing, and I still say that his performance while governing has caused his approval numbers to nosedive and his disapproval numbers to climb. Localized reversals of the overall trend don’t mitigate this, IMHO, but of course, the ultimate indicator is whether he gets reelected.

    I was also looking at the battleground states.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-swing-states-economic-picture-a-little-brighter-for-obama/2012/07/22/gJQA8Icq2W_story.html

    Well, I think the last paragraph in that article tells the real story:

    Make no mistake: The weak national economy has badly imperiled Obama’s chances of winning a second term in November. But the economic story in the swing states is slightly better for the incumbent, giving him and his team a glimmer of hope as they work to win in the fall.

    Like I said earlier, approval ratings in the mid 40’s at this stage of the game is not a good place for the incumbant to be.

    Well, again I counter that with the stats on who (centrist) people put the blame on for not doing more on the economy (79% of centrist voters say the Republicans had slowed the economy by taking wrong actions while 53% of the them said Obama had taken the right actions to boost the economy).

    If we can equate “centerest” with “moderate”, then what you’re saying is that a slight majority of the second-largest ideological bloc approves of Obama’s performance on the economy. Well, maybe so, but I don’t think this necessrily mitigates my observation that Obama is out-of-sync with traditional American ideals.

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  129. Iconoclast

    Yeah, I keep forgetting that Hendrix covered it, but Dylan wrote it. Oh well, it’s the Hendrix version that got the airplay, so it’s the one that sticks in the brain, I guess.

    Thanks for setting the record straight.

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  130. CM

    Well, this upward trend is pretty localized (latest 3 quarters) and basically show that he has simply regained the ground lost between quarters 10 and 11; his numbers are still nowhere near what they were when he first took office.

    Does any President get back to where their approval ratings are when they take office? Maybe in rare circumstances (G W Bush directly after 9/11).
    As I said, he’s a percentage point different from where GW Bush was at the same point (46.8% versus 47.9%).

    Obama’s 14th quarter average is most similar to that of his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush, who won a narrow victory over John Kerry for re-election in 2004.

    Whereas Carter was at 35.8%, and GH Bush was at 39.2%. I think we can all agree that they were clearly gone at that point. Reagan and Clinton were looking really good (mid 50’s).

    Well, approval ratings in the mid 40′s is really not a good place for an incumbent to be

    Indeed. If the Republicans had found a better candidate then he probably wouldn’t have much of a chance. If Obama isn’t “in tune” then is Romney? Romney’s unfavourables are about 5% higher than his favourables. Would it be accurate to say that neither are “in tune” or “in sync”?

    If we can equate “centerest” with “moderate”, then what you’re saying is that a slight majority of the second-largest ideological bloc approves of Obama’s performance on the economy. Well, maybe so, but I don’t think this necessrily mitigates my observation that Obama is out-of-sync with traditional American ideals.

    They are the ones who are less likely to be bogged down by ideology. And they usually determine an election. Again, I’m trying to quantify this ‘out of tune’ or ‘out of sync’ suggestion. It’s an interesting discussion anyway. The bottom line is – this election is going to go right down to the wire (which is awesome for election junkies like me).

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  131. CM

    Obama responds to the misrepresentation.
    http://youtu.be/saK15r-OT44

    Included within it:
    “I believe, with all my heart, that it is the drive and ingenuity of Americans that start businesses that leads to their success. I always have, and I always will”.

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  132. Kimpost

    Obama responds to the misrepresentation.
    http://youtu.be/saK15r-OT44

    Included within it:
    “I believe, with all my heart, that it is the drive and ingenuity of Americans that start businesses that leads to their success. I always have, and I always will”.

    This will undoubtedly lead to a huge conservative wave of Obama praise. You just wait and see.

    ;)

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  133. Kimpost

    Yeah, I keep forgetting that Hendrix covered it, but Dylan wrote it. Oh well, it’s the Hendrix version that got the airplay, so it’s the one that sticks in the brain, I guess.

    Thanks for setting the record straight.

    I love both versions. The Hendrix one is possibly one of the best covers ever made.

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  134. CM

    I love both versions. The Hendrix one is possibly one of the best covers ever made.

    Don’t lie. You prefer the Roxette version.

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  135. Frankie

    Obama responds to the misrepresentation.

    I am impressed.

    It only took him 10 days to “clarify” his own comments.

    Perhaps he should stick to the teleprompter.

    What are the most feared words spoken within the United States?

    “I’m with the government, and I’m here to help.”

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  136. Iconoclast

    This will undoubtedly lead to a huge conservative wave of Obama praise. You just wait and see.

    Nah, it’ll be called out for what it is — damage control.

    This guy’s supposed to be a gifted, silver-tongued orator, yet he blurts out the sentence, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Well, maybe context mitigates it and maybe it doesn’t, but someone who makes a living giving speeches, especially if he’s the POTUS, should understand that what he says can easily be taken in a manner he didn’t intend, especially if it’s for potential political gain.

    Or it could have been a Freudian slip.

    Who really knows for sure?

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  137. CM

    Interesting indeed. To be honest I don’t find the “fairness” argument all that compelling when it comes to the super-rich paying more in tax. I’ve never argued “fairness”. I much prefer economic arguments (if they can be made) – how can lower and middle income people drive the economy (with the natural result being of benefit to everyone) without relying on debt (i.e. not building up another unsustainable mountain of debt to the point where the whole thing is a shell game). The super-rich can only drive the economy to a limited degree. It doesn’t matter how much less tax they pay, they’re not where the increase in demand for goods and services is going to come from, which is what is required to generate jobs. Spending by the lower and middle income earners is going to create significantly more jobs. But how are their real income levels going to rise?

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  138. CM

    This guy’s supposed to be a gifted, silver-tongued orator, yet he blurts out the sentence, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Well, maybe context mitigates it and maybe it doesn’t, but someone who makes a living giving speeches, especially if he’s the POTUS, should understand that what he says can easily be taken in a manner he didn’t intend, especially if it’s for potential political gain.

    Or it could have been a Freudian slip.

    Who really knows for sure?

    Um, except it really is blatantly obvious. Context doesn’t ‘mitigate’ it. The meaning is completely changed. If you want to strip it down as much as possible but leave the meaning intact, here is my attempt:

    Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    However, this still doesn’t really work unless you watch the body language and stress on the words.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKjPI6no5ng It really comes down to what “that” means. Only someone suffering from acute ODS would even begin to argue that “that” refers to the business. The “that” refers to the system, and the examples he provides that are within that system. Thriving business owners didn’t create the system – they operate within (and take part in) the system that was created by others.

    Ah, doesn’t this just take you back to the “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.” glory days….

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  139. Iconoclast

    Only someone suffering from acute ODS would even begin to argue that “that” refers to the business.

    Or somebody running against him, trying to take his job. Or supporters of that someone running against him…

    My point is that, ultimately, context doesn’t matter when you are in a vicious political climate. Obama’a attack ads against Romney no doubt take Romney’s words out of context. That’s just the way the game is played, for better or worse.

    Again, Obama is supposedly a gifted orator. What he should have said is, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build those roads and bridges. Somebody else made that happen.”

    But he didn’t.

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  140. Iconoclast

    And if we’re gonna get into nit-picky grammatical analysis, we can argue that “that” is singular, like the word “business”.

    “Roads and bridges”, on the other hand, is plural. If Obama meant “roads and bridges”, he could have said, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build those.”

    That would have clearly indicated that he was referring to the “roads and bridges”. But his use of the word “that”, which is singular, naturally leads the listener to think that it refers to the word “business”, which is also singular.

    That’s just the way English works.

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  141. Iconoclast

    Um, except it really is blatantly obvious

    “Only to those with acute RDS.”

    Accusing those who hold a different viewpoint of suffering some sort of “derangement syndrome” doesn’t foster discussion.

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  142. Iconoclast

    The “that” refers to the system…

    Then he should have said “that system“.

    Period.

    One should make every attempt to avoid ambiguity. Obama failed to do so.

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  143. Poosh

    Iconoclast, don’t waste your breath on CM. Do yourself a favour and skip the text he writes.

    Obama is the smartest man in the room after all, he knows how to speak English and understands clauses.

    As Romney quite wonderfully said, the whole speech is far more worrying than the single “you didn’t build that” line, and he encourages everyone to read it in full.

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  144. CM

    Or somebody running against him, trying to take his job. Or supporters of that someone running against him…

    It almost seems that this is all Romney has – this narrative. So he realises he needs to carry out whatever gymnastics is required to further it.

    My point is that, ultimately, context doesn’t matter when you are in a vicious political climate.

    This isn’t even a ‘context’ issue. Taking something out of context is something that happens constantly, and is more murky. This is simply being outright dishonest.

    Again, Obama is supposedly a gifted orator. What he should have said is, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build those roads and bridges. Somebody else made that happen.”

    Wow. Just wow.
    I’m relieved that our politics haven’t descended to that level of ridiculousness. You’d never get away with that here. You’d be ridiculed for even trying it on.

    And if we’re gonna get into nit-picky grammatical analysis, we can argue that “that” is singular, like the word “business”.

    It’s not even remotely close to being “nit-picky”. He either meant the infrastructure or the business, and he clearly was talking about the infrastructure.

    That would have clearly indicated that he was referring to the “roads and bridges”. But his use of the word “that”, which is singular, naturally leads the listener to think that it refers to the word “business”, which is also singular.

    That’s just the way English works.

    There’s some serious cognitive dissonance going on here.
    “That” works for infrastructure. But good on you for trying so very hard.

    And no, it doesn’t take ODS to point these things out.

    It sure does take ODS to continue to buy into the blatant lie. Sure, without seeing the video and watching the pro-Romney adverts and listening to Romney and reading the blogs anyone would assume he did mean business. But as soon as you see the video then any reasonable person would realise what had happened. Anyone determined to believe that he was talking about business is exhibiting symptoms of ODS.

    “Only to those with acute RDS.”

    Accusing those who hold a different viewpoint of suffering some sort of “derangement syndrome” doesn’t foster discussion.

    This has nothing to do with someone holding a different viewpoint.
    This reminds me of the footage of Bush being asked some questions about Iraq, and then him saying “now watch this drive” (because he was in the middle of playing golf). People suffering from BDS took that to mean that the war meant nothing to him. I was strongly against the war, but I sure didn’t buy into that bullshit. I was embarrassed by it. Why the hell do people need to weaken their position by doing that? It’s counter-productive.
    With this Obama thing – absolutely you can hold a different viewpoint from Obama about the economy and how to improve it, and tax rates. Disagreeing strongly with his policies is perfectly reasonable and has nothing whatsoever to do with a derangement syndrome.
    So the real question is – how does blatantly lying about what “that” means (and re-interpreting the rest of the speech on that basis) foster discussion?

    Then he should have said “that system“.

    Period.

    One should make every attempt to avoid ambiguity. Obama failed to do so.

    He clearly wishes he did, even though it’s not ambiguous (unless you’re sufferring ODS, or, as you say, you just want the other guy to win so much that you don’t care about ethics or honesty or standards).

    As Romney quite wonderfully said, the whole speech is far more worrying than the single “you didn’t build that” line, and he encourages everyone to read it in full.

    Right. It’s the “Obama is un-American/foreign” narrative. The sad track McCain’s campaign was heading down, before McCain impressively put a stop to it.

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  145. Miguelito

    This guy’s supposed to be a gifted, silver-tongued orator, yet he blurts out the sentence, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Well, maybe context mitigates it and maybe it doesn’t, but someone who makes a living giving speeches, especially if he’s the POTUS, should understand that what he says can easily be taken in a manner he didn’t intend, especially if it’s for potential political gain.

    That’s what I was thinking. He’s supposed to be this great orator, and “the smartest president evar,”(tm) yet he makes this basic a mistake and has to backpedal like mad when called on it.

    It’s just another case of just not being clear enough for us to get it, I guess.

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  146. Miguelito

    To be honest I don’t find the “fairness” argument all that compelling when it comes to the super-rich paying more in tax.

    While I still feel it’s wrong to target the so-called “super-rich” even he isn’t doing that. He’s talking any household’s making >$250k which is NOT a hell of a lot of money in the US (at least parts of it) and tends to include many small businesses.

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  147. CM

    While I still feel it’s wrong to target the so-called “super-rich” even he isn’t doing that. He’s talking any household’s making >$250k which is NOT a hell of a lot of money in the US (at least parts of it) and tends to include many small businesses.

    This says the 95% percentile is $227,314.
    Does that not mean that only 5% are earning more than that?
    That would be consistent with this graph, which plots both Romey and Obama’s tax plans
    From: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/19/romneys-and-obamas-tax-plans-in-one-new-and-improved-chart/

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  148. Miguelito

    This says the 95% percentile is $227,314.
    Does that not mean that only 5% are earning more than that?

    Yes, that’s right, but what I pointed out was your referring to “super-rich” which making $250k does not one make. I technically am in the top quintile with my income, but I’m nowhere near taking treasure baths or diving into piles of cash Scrooge McDuck style, because the cost of living in Southern California is very high. I need to do a lot of work on my home (that I bought in 2001 before costs sky-rocketed) and am having a hard time pulling together enough money to be able to afford to do it right.

    If 2 people make $250k (remember, it’s household income) and are running a small business, they’re likely putting most of that “income” back into the business and raising their taxes more would likely effect their ability to hire more people, if not keep people they already employ on staff.

    Would I like to make $250k? Hell yes… is it really enough to make one truly “rich?” Not really, unless you’re somehow pulling that down while living in a very low cost of living area in the US (and those rarely go hand in hand).

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  149. CM

    However the proposed increase for people above $250,000 is just 1.2%.
    It’s only the top 1% (earning over $592K) who would see a 4.9% increase, and those in the top 0.1% (over $2.6 million) who would see a 6.1% increase.

    I do agree that the cost of living where you are does factor into the equation. $250,000 gets you far more in one place than it does in another.

    If 2 people make $250k (remember, it’s household income) and are running a small business, they’re likely putting most of that “income” back into the business and raising their taxes more would likely effect their ability to hire more people, if not keep people they already employ on staff.

    1. It appears that money being invested into businesses in the last decade or so is going into plant rather than labour.
    2. If there is no increase in demand for your goods and services, hiring more people would be bad business.

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  150. Iconoclast

    You’d never get away with that here. You’d be ridiculed for even trying it on.

    Get away with what? Taking words at face value? Go ahead and ridicule.

    There’s some serious cognitive dissonance going on here.
    “That” works for infrastructure. But good on you for trying so very hard.

    It isn’t a question of “trying hard”. In fact, one has to “try hard” in order to get what Obama most likely meant. One has to recall earlier sentences and tie back to them.

    It sure does take ODS to continue to buy into the blatant lie.

    There is no “blatant lie”, here. What the man said is ambiguous enough to be easily misrepresented. I am not claiming that he meant “business” — I am only observing that a casual, non-analytical listen can easily lead to the conclusion without any mental strain taking place. That’s the problem with ambiguity, and I gave several examples of how it could have been (should have been) mitigated.

    This has nothing to do with someone holding a different viewpoint.

    It does if you are accusing me of ODS. I am simply observing how easily one can draw the ostensibly wrong conclusion from what was uttered, and the simple truth is that we cannot know what took place in his brain when he uttered it. Like I said, he could have had “system” in mind when he spoke the sentence, and he could have had the word “business” in mind and made a Freudian slip Regardless, the word “business” is the most recent singular subject to precede the phrase, “you didn’t build that”, and so the most natural thing to do is relate the two.

    If you wanna talk “body language”, well, that was clearly talking down to those who were the target of his rant, the successful. “You didn’t get there on your own.” “I’m always struck by people who think, ‘Well, it must be ‘cuz i was… so smart!‘” (How does he know what they think? Is he a mind reader?) “There are a lota’ smart people out there!” “Let me tell you something, there are a whole buncha’ hard workin’ people out there!

    Yeah, the message is pretty clear — you weren’t successful due to being smart and working hard — lots of people are/do that, it ain’t no big deal. No, you have to thank “the System” (i.e., the collective) for your material wealth and success…

    And his adoring crowd ate it up…no class warfare here.

    Given these observations, what you call a “blatant lie” could easily be reached as a viable conclusion.

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  151. CM

    1. It appears that money being invested into businesses in the last decade or so is going into plant rather than labour.

    The University of Chicago’s Loukas Karabarbounis and Brent Neiman have an interesting new working paper documenting how corporations have used their money from 1975 to 2007. The short version: corporations started saving more of their income, and paying less of it out in wages

    The authors find that the share of corporate income going to wages declined by 5 percent over those three decades.

    The authors note that this finding flies in the face of conventional economic models, under which the share of corporate income going to wages stays constant. They find that the phenomenon is pretty well explained by lower prices on investments — that is, saving got cheaper over the period in question and, as a consequence, corporations threw more of their money that way.

    The findings also add context to the current problem of corporations hoarding cash rather than spending it in ways that would aid the recovery. Karabarbounis and Neiman suggest that this behavior is nothing new, and is in fact 30 years in the making.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/07/27/corporations-are-saving-more-and-paying-less/

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