How Do You Promote Equality When We’re Not All Equal?

Wall Street Protests Fort Lauderdale

Conservatives don’t get that some problems are public, and it’s hurting them,” writes Mike Konczal in a Washington Post piece that’s been getting a lot of traction. The issue of equality has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, thanks both to the Occupy Wall Street movement and President Obama’s embrace the movements class war themes.

I was lectured about the issue of equality recently by a newspaper editor in the state with whom I have on-and-off again correspondence.

In an email exchange I was advised to “wrestle more with the issue of equality.”

“You routinely discount or dismiss safety net programs but seldom acknowledge the benefits they provide,” he said to me in an email. “So, you’re often frustrated (or seem to be frustrated) by North Dakota and national politics because voters reject free-market solutions. But they’re rejecting them for rational reasons, because they simply don’t want the stark and brutal inequality that 100 percent efficiency — read, the unrestrained free market — creates. And they don’t mind trading off some efficiency for a measure of (government-insured) equality in return.”

But here’s the problem: How do you promote equality when we’re not all equal?

That’s a dangerous thing to say, because critics will leap to the conclusion that I’m talking about racism or sexism or some other sort of nefarious “-ism” that’s all about hate. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

I believe, whole-heatedly with the “immortal declaration” (give to us by Thomas Jefferson by way of Benjamin Franklin) that “all men are created equal.” But I would put emphasis on the word created. While we may all be equal at birth (setting aside issues like disabilities and other handicaps), we don’t all live our lives equally.

Some people make good choices, some make poor choices. If a meritocracy if what we want, we will have to accept some inequality, because not everybody is going to merit the same outcomes.

This is usually the point when someone on the left points out that we’re not all equal at birth. Some people are born into privilege. Some people are unlucky to be born into circumstances where they face issues such as racial bigotry . This is a fair point, but what is the solution? Do we remove from wealthy families the right of inheritance (that’s sort of what the estate tax is all about)? If you’re successful beyond a certain point, are you to be punished with a diminished capacity to pass that wealth on to your heirs?

Because racism exists in some areas of our society, do we punish all of society with redistribution policies?

Here’s a simple truth: The government cannot create equality of outcome. The government can, and should, protect equality of opportunity, but policies aimed at equality of outcome do not create equality. They redistribute inequality.

Unless the government restricts our ability to make choices for ourselves – and believe you me, there are people pushing for this approach all the time – we’re going to have to accept that some people will make bad choices, and those bad choices will result in inequality.

The best we can do is allow free people to make free choices, and ensure that those making the choices feel the consequences both good and bad.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

    You can’t raise people of lower ability up to the top. (Look at the income spread in a college class for example where everyone had the same chance at an education.)

    All government can do is restrict those with the most ability to be the best they can be. That doesn’t help those at the bottom, in fact it hurts them.

  • Brian Schmied

    The conflict is where rich individuals take the profit produced by those who the working class, without contributing themselves. Bankers, basically.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      Bankers add to the wealth by allocating capital to where it is most valuable.

      • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

        The key to evaluate that is that smart people of their own free will gladly enter into arrangements with bankers because it helps them.

    • ec99

      If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Buy bank stocks. They’re still pretty cheap.

      • kevindf

        If I spend money on bank stocks, how will I pay for skittles and ice tea?

        • ec99

          Good point.

        • bman

          Change your cell phone plan, cable plan or internet plan and eat out less, quit smoking, and quit hanging out at the bar and patronizing the off-sale. :-)

          • bman

            Getting a job is also an option :-)

          • LenYol

            You mean a few part time jobs.

        • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

          Not to mention cough syrup.

    • JoeMN

      Don’t blame others for your shortcomings

    • bman

      Brian, People like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mihn, Mao and Hitler would agree with you. By the way, you should use terms like “proletariat” rather than “working class”.

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Bankers provide lots of services for which they are paid. Your credit card, for instance, is very convenient but doesn’t work without infrastructure built by banks.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Spoken like a true bolshevik…

    • Brent

      Brian, your welfare EBT card is facilitated through an “evil” bank by “evil” bankers.

  • igx

    The problem the Left is trying to solve with government is a problem of monetary policy. We need a much “harder”monetary policy and a financial system to go with it. This would give the less ambitious and less talented more purchasing power and more opportunity. What today’s Fed dual mandate does is push all of the power into Wall Street, the 1%, and the Federal government. Plus it creates nothing but inflation and asset bubbles while delaying our Medicare bomb with debt. People vote for more leftism because they are scared but it just makes it worse.

    Government doesn’t do jack, It just makes everything worse. http://www.amazon.com/End-Near-Its-Going-Awesome/dp/0062220683/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376923915&sr=1-1 * http://www.amazon.com/Home-Economics-Consequences-Structure-Capitalism/dp/0844772607/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1376923944&sr=1-1&keywords=nick+schulz

  • RCND

    Equality of outcome was never, is not, and never should be a reasonable expectation nor a “right”.

  • bman

    I bet communist countries rank much higher because everyone gets little or nothing. If anyone wants income equality and feels that capitalism is unfair, there are countries out there that are much more fair.

  • kevindf

    The Obamas have more money than I do; that’s not “fair.”

    • borborygmi45

      And they don’t pay as much in ND taxes as you do

      • kevindf

        They don’t pay any; no one on a government payroll does.

  • OldConserv2011

    Personally, I think the equal pay issue is a fallacy. In my many years of working experience, I’ve not seen any evidence that women or minorities were paid any less than men or caucasians who serve in the same or similar roles. In fact at my last employer, it was clearly the opposite. There were even senior management people who came from corporate HQ to our Minot office and actually bragged that we had so many women in management positions and making significantly more than their male counterparts.

    In my current job, I know for a fact that there is no pay inequality between women & men or minorities and whites. We use a merit based pay structure and everyone is paid based on three measuring factors, their individual job performance, their longevity, and the performance of the company. The theory being that properly motivated employees perform better, the company performs better, and more longevity means less expense spent on training new employees.

    That theory is nothing more than another form of free market economics. And when left alone with no meddling, a free market always works.

    • kjuu

      Please, teach other corporations about the blessings of longevity.

  • LibertyFargo

    Rob – you get a gold star for this statement:

    “Here’s a simple truth: The government cannot create equality of outcome. The government can, and should, protect equality of opportunity, but policies aimed at equality of outcome do not create equality. They redistribute inequality.”

    FTW

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      Thanks!

    • borborygmi45

      Isn’t equal opportunity a fallacy. There are so many parameters that make up opportunity is it even realistic to believe that everyone has an equal opportunity. Location, education, mobility would be a few things that differ from city to city or state to state that would come into play regarding opportunity. It sounds nice but is no more achievable then equality of outcome.

      • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

        Well, yeah, opportunities will never be perfectly equal. But there are things we can do. Like protecting individual rights, and the ability of individuals to make free choices.

      • alanstorm

        No, absolutely equal opportunity is not reality. What’s your point? The best you can do is to allow equality under the law. Let government remove artificial barriers where it can, not add barriers where it shouldn’t, and otherwise stay out of the way.

        • jack1

          alan and rob:

          We agree that opportunities will never be perfectly equal. But there are things we as a nation can do to level the playing field as much as possible. Things like investing in education, have rules, and even improve health care—all things that teabaggers are against.

          “The best you can do is to allow equality under the law.” Off-topic, but I was wondering if you support marriage equality. No biggie, just curious.

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

            we spend more on public education and get less results. It’s time we introduce competition in education so kids have opportunities.

      • Glynnda

        But opportunity for so much is out there! While mine may not be on as grand a scale as those who are wealthy, I still have them. I may occasionally envy others, but that doesn’t mean I should thumb my nose at the opportunies that come my way, wasting them as if they were not worth my notice, while I sit around wishing I had what others had. What would be keeping me from relocating to a better school, or a city with more jobs, or finding alternate methods of getting to them if I don’t have a car? And maybe we ought to rethink just what it is that drives us in our pursuit of “higher education”, “success”, etc., in the first place. There doesn’t seem to me to be much contentment among a lot of those who supposedly “have it all”.

    • Glynnda

      I agree; I add to it this quote (source unknown) ” ‘Equal opportunity’ is the opportunity to prove unequal talents.” We are all given the opportunity to get an education in this country, but some can go further because they have the drive and the dedication to make the most of it.

  • JoeMN

    Income inequality is a farce generated by those who wish only to distribute MORE of the fruits of others labor to government
    http://www.hoover.org/publications/policy-review/article/123566
    Many of those who worry about high income inequality argue that it is an
    indicator of social injustice that must be remedied through redistribution of
    income (or wealth). Unfortunately, those who make this claim have not provided
    any generally accepted criteria for determining when an economic system is
    unjust. Nor have they provided a convincing argument that such injustice is
    widespread in the U.S. (In considering this issue, it is worth noting that
    Greece, Spain, and Italy all have substantially lower income inequality than
    the U.S. The same is true for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.)

    • ellinas1

      No, Joe.Colorado Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins disagrees with you.
      She knows that poverty and fried chicken go hand in hand.

      A Republican state
      senator, stunned her colleagues Wednesday during a discussion on poverty
      when she talked about blacks eating chicken and Mexicans eating
      vegetables until they move to the United States.

  • kjuu

    It seems like all that gets accomplished by redistribution is the shrinking of the middle class. Thus widening the “gap” between the high and the low.

  • Tim Heise

    This post is better then the 4 yr degree I have in Economics!!!!!

  • Neiman

    The problem is one of poor communication which those on the Right absolutely refuse to confront. The public does not reject free market solutions, they reject the way those on the Right speak to such issues, just like above, which seem to reject all social safety net programs and favor stark live or die solutions, they make it sounds, as if you do not have the necessities to gain wealth on your own, those on the Right speak more in terms regarding the poor of “let them eat cake.” The Right are right on the issues, but they cannot communicate in caring, human terms.

    • borborygmi45

      The caring and human terms can best be described as I have mine, tough.

      • Neiman

        You liberals ALWAYS miss the part where I say the conservative principles are best for the country, it only needs better communication skills.

        • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

          If only Satan could talk more better, is that what you’re saying, Old Pal?

        • Clairvoyant

          If conservative principles are best for our country, why are half or so of your comments liberal or progressive?

          • Neiman

            A. I refuse to be labeled.
            B. You are wrong.

          • rbb

            But Old Pal, you’ve labeled yourself “conservative” and to the amusement of all, you’ve labeled yourself “Christian”.

            So you refuse to be labeled except for the times you demand to be labeled.
            Is that right, Old Pal?

          • Clairvoyant

            “Refuse” to be labeled all you want. If the shoe fits………………

          • Neiman

            That is because you have a small mind, a child’s mind, you need to make everything small to fit in your tiny pocket to easily carry around with you, it enables you to go through life without thinking at all – it is your gift.

          • Clairvoyant

            “without thinking at all”. You’ve just self-described yourself like no one could possible duplicate. You’re the most unread, closed minded person in the history of the internet if not mankind.

          • Neiman

            Not one fact, not one rational argument from, just wild childish accusations because you have been exposed. Well, unless you have something factual of substance to say in reply, you will reply only to yourself, I wearied a long time ago of your juvenile games. Don’t worry there are many programs for “special needs” folk like you, you can be helped to make some sort of life for yourself, with supervision and drugs.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            Thank you for yet another perfect example of why you are hailed as the biggest hypocrite on the SAB, Old Pal.

            You responded to what you called juvenile games with this:

            …I wearied a long time ago of your juvenile games.

            and immediately followed that up with a juvenile game:

            Don’t worry there are many programs for “special needs” folk like you,
            you can be helped to make some sort of life for yourself, with
            supervision and drugs.

            You’re a pip, Old Pal, a real pip!

          • Clairvoyant

            Facts? FACTS!? So is your passage from God, “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;””, part of your questionable Progressive Bible? Is that Peter John, Genesis or Clarence?

          • Neiman

            It was Proverbs 22:15

            I Corinthians 13: “10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in
            part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.…”

            Without meaning to insult you, in my opinion, you desperately need to put away childish things, stop reasoning like a child, thinking like a child and speaking like a child. It is sad that because this is not from your pretend Bible you will reject such godly wisdom. You need Jesus and His Salvation.

          • Clairvoyant

            How sad. For someone who claims to (somehow) be a Christian, you cannot even comprehend Bible verses. You have yet to post any reasonable factsto back yourslef up.

            By the way your self assessment of “salvation” is amusing. Kinda like getting a mail order diploma, or simply designing and printing one at home.

          • Neiman

            For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–Ephesians 2:8

            Acts 15:11
            No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

            Romans 3:24
            and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

            Romans 9:16
            It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.

            Ephesians 2:5
            made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved.

            Any other way is of the devil and those that teach any other way, are children of Satan.

          • Clairvoyant

            You sure seem to have a handle on everything Satan. No surprise there.

          • Neiman

            God always accepted people by faith rather than by works. Paul proves this in two ways:

            God accepted Abraham on this basis. Abraham was the father of
            the Jewish nation. If God accepted Abraham by faith, certainly this is
            exemplary of how he accepts others. And the Old Testament is crystal
            clear on this issue.

            God had promised (Gen.12:1-3) Abraham that he would bring a great nation from his descendents. Yet Abraham was 75 years old and his wife Sarah was 65 (post-menopause) and barren. Read Gen.15:1-5—God reiterates his promise. Read Gen. 15:6a—Abraham simply places his faith in God’s promise. He does no works whatever. Read Gen.15:6b—God “counted him as righteous because of his faith.” (PROMISE>> FAITH (ALONE) >> ACCEPTED)

            What is implied by Abraham’s example is expressly stated by God
            through the prophet Habakkuk (3:11; Hab.2:4)—everyone gets right
            standing with God by faith.

            God never accepted anyone by works. Yes, the Law taught “Do this (i.e., keep the Law) and you will live” (3:12; Lev.18:5). But this turns out to be only a theoretical possibility—not something than anyone could achieve. Why? Because, the Law itself stated that God required perfect obedience to all of his laws, and that anydisobedience brought one under God’s condemnation/curse (3:10,11a; Deut.27:26). Because of this perfect standard, the only thing the Law gives anyone is God’s curse!

            This is why Jesus came—to rescue us from the curse of the Law
            by taking this curse on himself (3:13). Yes, the Law expressly stated
            that capital criminals (stoned and then hung from a tree) were under
            God’s condemnation (Deut.21:23). Yes, the fact that Jesus was “hung
            from a tree” proved that he was under God’s condemnation. But he was condemned by God not for his own sins, but because he voluntarily took our condemnation on himself. In doing so, he fulfilled both the Old
            Testament sacrificial system (in which God provides a blameless
            substitute whose death pays for our sins) and the prophecy of Isa.53
            (read Isa.53:4b,5a,6b).

            So Paul’s message was consistent with, not contradictory to, the Old Testament! People in the Old Testament were never able to earn God’s acceptance by obeying his Law. Instead, people in the Old Testament got God’s acceptance in the exact same way they do now—by simply trusting in God’s promise. The only difference is that they put their trust in God’s promise before he fulfilled it through Jesus’ death (aided by pictures and prophecies), while we put our trust in God’s promise after he fulfilled it in history. –

            See more at: http://www.xenos.org/teachings/?teaching=1313#sthash.cbxax5wh.dpuf

          • Clairvoyant

            There you again with your childish, bloated and endless posts. Condense your thoughts or don’t respond at all. Got it, pal?

          • Neiman

            You remain a child, you need wisdom before your foolish heart takes you to hell.

            Proverbs 3:13 says, “Happy is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gets understanding. It is the key to lasting happiness.”

            Proverbs 19:8 says, “He who gets wisdom loves himself.”

            Proverbs 16:16 puts it, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver! ”

            Proverbs 8:20 says, “I (Wisdom) lead in the way of righteousness…”

            Proverbs 3:17b states, “Her (Wisdom) ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

            Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.”

            The wisdom that leads to life and ultimate joy begins with knowing and fearing God.

            Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace; but with the humble is wisdom.

            The wise person is characterized by humility.

            Wisdom also includes sensitive, mature judgment or discernment.

            Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding”.

            You remain a child and a fool – you need Godly wisdom lest you fall headlong into hell.

            I see like your non-Christian spiritual brother Bob, you too are deliberately offending me by calling me your “pal.” Well, you both have refused Christ and His Salvation, there is only pity left for you both.

          • Clairvoyant

            I see that you still don’t understand brevity and accuracy. I skimmed some of your post. Wisdom? Might be best to look at that for yourself.

            7.62 understands Scripture. His passages are relative to the given conservation that he is responding to. You clearly are not in his league. (He is a Christian plus he has a sense of humor). You just regurgitate what you read once without understanding it. Typical of someone who reads the Bible once, than maybe skims it a second time a few years later. Then cut and paste, cut and paste, cut and paste.

          • Neiman

            To you the Lord has this to say:

            The Bible makes it clear why God is sending a strong delusion in the end times: “They (you) perish because they (you) refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). Simply put, God sends a strong delusion to those (you) who chose not to believe the gospel of Christ. Those who take delight in mocking and rejecting Him, He will condemn.

            Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/strong-delusion.html#ixzz2cird9Y00

            Sadly, you are suffering under a terrible delusion, you are holding Jesus up to contempt, you are trying to crucify Him again and again by your bondage to works of the law, to a dead man-made religious Church and to many false doctrines, your not knowing Christ Jesus as your all-in-all.

            Your saying 7.62 is a Christian and that I am not, is of the devil, it is the demonic spirits of division and strife making living in you. They are controlling your mind and that to your own destruction I fear. Ask your friend 7.62 if he thinks I am a Christian or not. Your spiritual brother, admitted non-Christian Bob will stand with you.

            You desperately need this admonition: Philippians 2:12 “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; . . .” You should stop looking outward and attacking others, but look instead to your own salvation.

          • Clairvoyant

            Here’s some advice for you: “stop looking outward and attacking others, but look instead to your own salvation.”

            Unlike yourself, I understand Christianity. You create strife by attempting to denounce my (true) Christian beliefs Not wise to mock the Lord, unlearned one.

          • Neiman

            If you do not by faith alone, accepting salvation in Jesus as free gift of God, you will not find Him beside you on Judgment Day. It is by grace alone, by faith alone in Christ alone and there is NO OTHER WAY unto salvation. When you attempt to earn your salvation, you are spitting upon the cross, you are holding Christ up to shame.

            To try and be a good person is like trying to fix a condemned house, it is the act of a fool. You need to destroy that house and build anew:

            ” I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ
            liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the
            faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2

            Your hate and anger prevent any coming together and reasoning as the Lord asks of us, all else is a vain disputation, something my Lord Jesus refused to engage in. I have told you the truth about Salvation. I have nothing more to say to you.

          • Clairvoyant

            You’re infested with something, sure isn’t the love of Christianity flowing through you. Best doing some flushing of yourself- start over, here?

            Your simple shortcut to salvation is what ails so many people in this country. You see it with the liberals that want to take the easy way out by living on other peoples money. And you see it with people like yourself who look for an easy way, the path of least effort, in a failed attempt to claim salvation. It’s sad, really sad.

          • Neiman

            I have nothing more to say t you, you are unable to reason; but the Holy Spirit through these precious souls offer this spiritual light to you.

            “…7so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.…”Ephesians 2:8

            For by grace have ye been saved, through faith.
            He repeats what he had said parenthetically (ver. 5), in order to open
            the subject up more fully. On the part of God, salvation is by grace; on
            the part of man, it is through faith. It does not come to us by an
            involuntary act, as light falls on our eyes, sounds on our ears, or air
            enters our lungs. When we are so far enlightened as to understand about it, there must be a personal reception of salvation by us, and that is by faith. Faith at once believes the good news of a free salvation
            through Christ, and accepts Christ as the Savior. We commit ourselves tohim, trust ourselves to him for that salvation of which he is the
            Author. In the act of thus entrusting ourselves to him for his salvation, we receive the benefit, and are saved. It is not that faith is accepted by God in place of works, but because faith indicates that attitude of men towards Christ in which it pleases God to save them, transferring to him all their guilt, imputing to them all his merit. And that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.

            Which of the two things is meant – salvation or faith? The grammatical
            structure and the analogy of the passage favor the former view, “Your
            salvation is not of yourselves,” though many able men have taken the
            latter. The apostle is so anxious to bring out the great distinguishing
            doctrine of grace that he puts it in all lights, affirms it positively,
            contrasts it with its opposite, and emphasizes it by repetition. It is a
            gift, not a purchase; a free gift, without money and without price;
            what would never have been yours, but for the generosity of God. It is
            very usual in the New Testament thus to represent salvation; cf. our
            Lord’s words to Nicodemus (John 3:16); to the woman of Samaria (John 4:14); St. Paul’s “Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15); “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23); and 1 John 5:11, “God gave unto us eternal life, and the life is in his Son.” This usage confirms the view that it is not merely faith, but the whole work and person of Christ which faith receives, that is meant here as the “gift of God.”

          • Clairvoyant

            Your childish attempt at whatever is duly noted. Thank you for the enlightenment, Bishop Sheen.

        • borborygmi45

          “I have mine, tough.:” It that isn’t a conservative principle you are correct the communication skills are lacking then . That is the way conservatives come across, and of course as sanctimous old farts .

          • Neiman

            Conservative principles demand a healthy, robust economy, with, as we have here in America, a poor economic class that lives far, far above most people in the upper middle class throughout the world. It is like a man (Fredrick March) said in “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit; he being the head of a large international corporation: (1) He told his daughter that she would inherit his great wealth, money was not just money, it was things, products, services, people working and growing that all thrived and benefited from him making great amounts of money. (2) He told the Gregory Peck character, a middle manager with a wife and family, that 8-5 people like him did not build great corporations hiring tons of people and driving an prosperous economy, it took people like him that were wholly dedicated to accumulating wealth through growth and that innumerable people benefited because he had that drive.

            But, yes far too many “sound” like, I have mine, you don’t, so “let them eat cake.” But, it is not what is in their hearts (with rare exceptions), this inability to communicate as they should is the result of people that deal in facts and just don’t know how to communicate in real human terms. They really do care and they really want to help everyone and make America great, but they are soon caught up talking balance sheets and statistics, instead of passionately showing how what they are doing will help everyone.

          • Clairvoyant

            I’m a conservative and trust me, Neiman is no Conservative.

          • ellinas1

            Colorado Sen. Vicki Marble, R-Fort Collins said that blacks are poor because they eat lots of fried chicken.

    • awfulorv

      There have been thousands of reported incidents in the Middle East that tell of Coptic Christians being driven from their homes, chased down streets until caught, and then killed, by howling mobs of members of The Religion of Peace Paramilitaries.
      Many of those being pursued have been heard beseeching their Lord Jesus, before their throats were slit, to save them from the frenzied mobs.
      To date there has been no evidence that their Saviour, and yours I assume, has paid any attention to their agonized appeals for help.
      Are we to believe that he condones these barbaric practices towards his faithful followers?
      That he is “testing” their faith, as what good is that faith if one’s body, and those of your children, are laid out, in a row, on the sidewalk?
      And aren’t you religious types doing these poor souls a disservice by insisting they persevere in their faith in the face of such fanatical mobs?
      Or do the Bibles the Coptics read from, as with that Mitt Romney carried, enough to disqualify them, as he was, from salvation, or in his case, saving a country from complete ruin?
      And damn these fingers for dipping themselves into that cesspool of rational thought known as religious dogma…

      • Neiman

        I don’t know how you started with my statements about conservative beliefs and their communications handicaps and spin that into an attack on the Christian faith, it was a wild spin to say the least.

        God gave human beings free will and that free will, in virtually every case, will produce some sort of evil; that is, unless it agrees with God’s Will. So, the evil you complain about is created by men, evil men, not God. Further, God tells us that we are in this world and while here, the rain falls on the just and unjust alike; the rain, being any one of a myriad of troubles and Christians are not exempt or immune, they too must endure all the sufferings that are common to man. God does not promise that Christians will not suffer, only that He will be there with them when they do, He will be their source of strength and if death comes to them as it does the beggar in the streets or the prince in his palace, He promises them everlasting life, peace and joy with Him, while those that refuse Him will suffer without end.

        Your problem is with religion and religious dogma, as it was with Jefferson; you cannot separate religion, which is wholly a construct or frail/finite men and doomed to failure, from the true Christian faith which is not based on religion at all, but founded upon faith in and an intimate communion with the Founder of the Christian Faith and that failure to separate the two, like it was with Jefferson, will be your everlasting undoing.

        The Christian Faith is based on evidence, it is rationally approached and it is not blind or stupid; but, it endures because it is NOT based on religion.

        • awfulorv

          As to this evidence, or lack of, you are so certain of, I was innocently asking why Jesus didn’t, once in awhile, to show he’s not sleeping at the switch, help some of his desperate followers who are being persecuted simply for following him.

          I also tried to point out that, in large part, because of religious, and racial, bigots like yourself, who didn’t like the jib of Romney’s bible, we continue to suffer, and may never get out from under these incompetent racists now in charge.

          We had the perfect candidate to right our ship but you, along with millions like you, sat on their hands on election day.
          Other than that we, on this blog, spend each morning eagerly awaiting your divine instructions on how we might best conduct ourselves in order to please your God.
          The same God who, constantly, forsakes his followers.
          Those who could, dearly, use a sign, perhaps a bolt from on high, or a shipwreck in a vital Suez Canal lock.
          Instead, what do they receive, burned churches, fiery torches, vials of acid, and bloody swords, from a quite dangerous side of the religious spectrum.
          I must leave now, I’m experiencing a tightness near my heart, no doubt it’s some sort of retribution for my asking such impertinent questions… Ta, Ta…

          • Neiman

            A. He certainly does help His children, He responds to the prayer of faith more often than we could ever imagine, more times than all the stars in all the heavens; but, as it is not good to always rescue a child of a foolish heart, God does not, most often, choose according to the Counsels of His Perfect Divine Will to intervene, knowing that a better outcome is found along the most difficult paths. Like the lump of coal that has limited value as coal, when exposed to great time, pressure and heat will become a diamond, so will His children grow the more beautiful as they survive under His loving care many trials in life.

            B. I carefully explained that it was up to each Christian to decide how best to vote for themselves in that election and that no matter their choice, it had no impact upon their salvation; but, as for me, as Romney served a false Christ, a man made idol, I simply chose not to vote for a known idolater to lead this morally depraved nation. It is only your opinion that things would be better today and even if they were, your desire for prosperity is a small thing to God, He would have our heart set upon Him and eternity and leave this world and its affairs to the people of this world.

            C. I have never said I have the corner on Truth nor put myself forward as a teacher of anyone. Rather, I simply choose to speak forthrightly according to my beliefs, knowing that sounding an unclear note only leads others to disaster. I say what I believe and that includes what I oppose, but as I have no power nor authority to impose my beliefs on anyone, I am only expressing my beliefs.

            D. You solely look upon temporal things and all you value is based on material things, that all dim and lose their luster and value with time. While God looks upon the heart and decides things based on eternal truths; yet, like a loving father leaving his children to make their own mistakes, chooses not to relieve all the consequences and deny the child the ability to learn and grow by experience; while our Heavenly, Loving Father is ever near us, caring about the outcome of all things, intervening as He chooses, but in the end, He brings all His children home safely and to a great, eternal feast and to them He makes inheritors of all How owns.

          • awfulorv

            Having recovered from my discomfort , it was an over ripe radish, I must tell you that because of your niggardly efforts I’ve lost my bet.
            I bet 50 lines or over, you supplied only 49 lines in your pompous retort.
            Looks like I avoided the lightning bolt meant for me, though.
            It narrowly missed myself but did some damage to a few aging Brandy casks we’d stored in the wine cellar.
            It did, however, destroy the neighbor’s carriage house, and a fine team of Percherons, as it sought God’s revenge…

          • Neiman

            God does not deal in revenge.

            You are obviously on dangerous psychotropic drugs.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            Look at you, Old Pal, you got one right for once.
            God does not deal in revenge, He deals in vengeance.

            Romans 12:19

            Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

          • ellinas1

            Now wait a minute! What is the difference between vengeance and revenge?
            Methinks Neiman is lying and you are providing cover for him.

          • Neiman

            I see gay Bob below still deals in lies. He is an admitted non-Christian and for him to misuse God’s Word is utter blasphemy and all of his lying words will torment him forever, by his own free will choice.

            His lying words about God’s Word are hereby exposed:

            “avenge not yourselves; this is no ways contrary to that revenge, a believer has upon sin, and the actings of it, which follows on true evangelical repentance for it, ( 2 Corinthians 7:11) , and lies in a displicency at it, and himself for it, and in abstaining from it, and fighting against it; nor to that revenge a church may take of the disobedience of impenitent and incorrigible offenders, by laying censures on them, withdrawing from them, and rejecting them from their communion; nor to that revenge which civil magistrates may execute upon them that do evil; but this only forbids and condemns private revenge in private persons, for private injuries done, and affronts given:”

            To give place to wrath is Godly encouragement to not act in wrath, but to wait until all anger is done and until one, as an Elder, can make righteous judgments about a matter.

            To say vengeance belongs to God and not Satan (Bob’s god) nor to wicked men of this world in an eternal sense, does not mean that the congregation may not exercise spiritual discipline over sinful members of the Church.

            See Bob hates Christ and corrupts His Word for his own evil ends.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            Exactly, Old Pal.

            God is not into the revenge game. He is vengeful. Because as we all know, “Vengeance is mine…saith the Lord.”

          • Neiman

            This child of hell below will never cease from his lies, as he has a lying spirit that controls him. He is an admitted non-Christian, he thereby spits upon the cross of Christ and then dares use God’s Word for his own evil ends.

            I am sick of seeing that picture of his ugly earthly father below that he keeps pasting, I suspect that it is really a picture of him and this is a display of his narcissism.

          • Clairvoyant

            Wow. You’ve lost your mind. You’re responding to yourself, no less? How can you expect anyone to consider you a Christian when you are calling someone Gay and a “child of hell”. Salvation for you? Yeah, right. You’ve had some un-Christian names for me as well. And I AM a Christian.

          • Neiman

            As always, just a childish response from you, as you are terrified of God’s Word and thus will never refer to it, appealing only to your own emotions. That is a child.

            Will you ever grow up and deal with facts and rational discussions? No!

          • Clairvoyant

            Salvation does not happen for someone who states his acceptance of Christ on a blog. Capiche?

          • Neiman

            First, your reply made in anger has nothing to do with the thread or my conversation above.

            Why must you lie? What is it in you, is it a demon spirit to go with those of strife and division?

            I NEVER said nor intimated that salvation “happens” when one states their acceptance of Christ on a blog. So, you deliberately, consciously lied against me.

            I have shown you several times by God’s Word that He encourages us to “test” the spirits of men to see if they are of His Body, He tells us no man can confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord unless by the Holy Spirit. So, asking a person making some vague claims to Christianity to confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord is a Scriptural test. While it does not save them, it helps Christians to avoid embracing those not of His Spirit to their harm.

            CAPICHE, comprende Italiano?

          • Clairvoyant

            Anger? I smile when I reply to you, my Christian friend. You have NOT shown me anything. I’m not lying -I’m commenting on your exact behavior.

            As you were.

          • Neiman

            Well you are schizophrenic that’s for sure – you insist I am not a Christian and then call me a Christian friend. Which is it? I have not, despite my wanting to, been able to determine if you are a Christian and my friends are my brothers and sisters in Christ only.

            You did lie about what I said, you said I insisted that salvation depends on accepting Christ on a blog, I never have and so you lied about my beliefs.

            As you were is a military phrase and I have no evidence you ever defended your country in uniform, so where do you get the right to use such a military phrase?

          • Clairvoyant

            So, Jewish people can’t be your friends. A Buddhist too?

            Had you served under me, it wouldn’t have been pretty. I demanded hard work out of my men. Your shortcuts in lieu of work would not have gone well under me. As you were.

          • Neiman

            Jews? Yes, we serve the same God and they are His Chosen people, the Apple of His eye.

            Buddhists? No! Be friendly with them? Yes? Work with them in a civil, cordial, even a friendly manner? Yes! Be friends? No! I am not unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

            Sorry I never served under a mess sergeant or were you chief office clerk. I was a Marine, served in Vietnam and we did not have have time to think about your politically correct baloney, it was kill or be killed. I served with men, not children like you.

          • Clairvoyant

            mail room, I imagine?

          • Neiman

            I have nothing to prove to you. Myself and my brother were Marines in Vietnam. I lost my Marine son and my Marine grandson is headed for Afghanistan. My family has bled and died for this nation since the Revolutionary War, on both sides of my family. I know you were NOT in the Marine Corps, maybe the cub scouts.

          • Clairvoyant

            Hahahahahahahahaha. Cute. Military service is NOTHING to joke at.

          • Clairvoyant

            And another thing. Given your attitude and lack of grace, I bet you’ve also never done a thing for your community. You must have been one of those Dads who thought Boy Scouts were babysitters and a place to get rid of your sons for awhile. While you sat around, drank beer and bitched about how bad you have it and ‘poor me”, not getting enough of a handout from the govment.

          • Neiman

            All the above is wholly subjective, emotional nonsense, having absolutely no bearing on reality. Not once since we have exchanged comments, NOT ONCE have you argued the substance of any issue, NOT ONCE have you engaged in facts; and worse, although you make some pretense at a Christian experience, not ONCE have you appealed to God’s Word to support your mindless attacks against me nor in defense of your own beliefs.

            That is why I call you a child, not to insult you, but because your entire life is built upon your emotions, you rely solely on your feelings and cannot like a man, debate issues rationally. That is also why I doubt your pretense at being a command level officer in the military, you could not get a degree and survive officers training relying on your emotions, it takes a man of at least some modest rational intellect and the ability to deal with facts.

            Not one accusation against me above has the slightest basis in reality, it is all mindless projection, really describing yourself and not me at all. While no hero by any means, I have served my country in the military and in private life shortly after my Marine duties, I spent two years as a police officer, I then operated a rescue service for a few years, and then went into both medical research at Stanford Research Institute and clinical medicine in several major hospitals, I have a patent on an emergency medical adjunct, in every case I engaged often in life saving in one form or another and I earned my own living. I am a life long Christian, having studied the Bible and the Christian faith for nearly six decades of my life, having written several small booklets and one major study on death and dying, which is gathering dust on the shelves of a small seminary. I say all of this not to brag about anything I have done, as all my accomplishments are even less than modest; but, I offer these facts solely to suggest that your accusations against me have absolutely no bearing in reality, rather they are the product of what seems to be your hatred of me, a wounded ego and your fragile negative self image.

            It would be interesting if you could ever argue any point dispassionately based on facts; although I doubt I will ever live to see that day.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            I see you are changing your tune once again.

            But that’s why you’re the bestest commenter at the SAB!

            I am a life long Christian,

            I do not call myself a Christian

            It would be interesting if you could ever argue any point without arguing both sides.

          • Neiman

            What would be nice is if:
            1. You would stop your pathological lying.
            2. You would stop your psycho-sexual obsession with me.
            3. You would stop your cyber-stalking of me.
            4. Your would stop pasting the picture of your hell-bound father above.
            5. You would get an exorcism for the demons that possess your dark soul.
            6. You would seek psychiatric help for your many psychosis.
            7. Your would cease to exist, your lying soul is leading hundreds, maybe thousands of souls into hell with you.

          • http://realitybasedbob.sayanythingblog.com/ realitybasedbob

            Hello Old Pal!

            I never lie.
            I’m not psycho-sexual obsessed with you.
            Ya got me one this one. I can’t stop pointing out your hypocracy.
            That image is what you look like to me.
            You are the only demon here, Old Pal.
            I’m A-OK

            No one drives souls away from the true God like you do, Old Pal.

          • Clairvoyant

            Yet, you can’t provide an iota of prove for anything that you write. At least you admit to not serving your community with volunteer involvement.

          • Neiman

            Tell us all your real name, your military rank, units you served in and what war so we can prove what you say?

          • Clairvoyant

            You’re the one who won’t even reveal proof that you have written books (recently reducing that amusing boast to “booklets”), because you “value your privacy”. I have gone into some veteran databases and do not find any “Neiman” tied to the service (except 2 brothers in the National Guard).

            So, come clean my little boastful tart.

          • Neiman

            So, you are trying to invade my privacy? Is that a Christian act? Neiman is not my name, it literally means no man or nobody.

            Where is your name, rank, unit and war zone information? Won’t give it? I understand you want privacy, just like I do. So you refuse to come clean and attack me instead.

            “Boastful tart?” Is that Christian?

          • Neiman

            I have a suggestion. We are never going to get past your hatred of me and your anger. So, why don’t we, in order to avoid contributing to a hostile atmosphere here at SAB, just ignore one another in the future? I would like a little peace, which is why 99.5% of the time I ignore rbb, so I will try and ignore you as best I can and I respectfully suggest you try the same. Life is just too short for this constant atmosphere of your hatred for me. You seek Christ in your own way, I am satisfied with grace and we will see on Judgment Day if we were wrong.

          • Clairvoyant

            And you’re never going to get beyond your hate of me, so yes it makes sense to me.

          • Clairvoyant

            I just went back through all of your posts and found that “NOT ONCE have you engaged in facts”.

          • Neiman

            That is a lie!

          • Clairvoyant

            Your idea of “facts” and the rest of the worlds are a completely different animal.

            It is frustrating to try and engage in some semblance of debate with you by offering up actual truth and you just deny, deny, deny or offer up something irrelevant and/or false.

          • Neiman

            Scripture is fact, when we are discussing God and the Christian faith, but you refuse to use or recognize any Scripture, you never use Scripture because you use your own made-up bible. How can we discuss the Christian faith when only one of us uses Scripture (me)?

            Everything you said here is a lie. You have NEVER engaged in debate.

            Well, I have to be decent with you, but you just want to argue, create strife, division and hate. None of those things are of Christ.

          • Clairvoyant

            Your Alzheimer’s must be coming quicker than any of us realized. All I said was that IN MY OPINION, you appear to give off the impression that Salvation is a simple process. And that your pronouncement includes announcing it here on a blog. My reference to you being Christian is that it appears that you were born and Baptized as a Christian. But no, you do not act like one.

          • Neiman

            More lies? You did not say in your opinion, you said “Salvation does not happen for someone who states his acceptance of Christ on a blog.” You accused me of making that a means of salvation. So, you lied AGAIN.

            Salvation is a simply process, it is not a progressive work, it is sincerely acknowledging our deserving of hell, sincerely repenting of our sins and sincerely accepting Jesus as our Savior and the absolute Lord of our lives – all by faith. Prove that to be wrong.

            You lie again, I explained that it was a testing of the spirit of a person on scriptural grounds.

            That is your problem, you think Christians have to obey the Law of Moses and act according to your emotional view of Christianity, but you cannot define it nor show how I fail any Scriptural test.

          • Neiman

            First, your reply made in anger has nothing to do with the thread or my conversation above.

            Why must you lie? What is it in you, is it a demon spirit to go with those of strife and division?

            I NEVER said nor intimated that salvation “happens” when one states their acceptance of Christ on a blog. So, you deliberately, consciously lied against me.

            I have shown you several times by God’s Word that He encourages us to “test” the spirits of men to see if they are of His Body, He tells us no man can confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord unless by the Holy Spirit. So, asking a person making some vague claims to Christianity to confess Jesus as their Savior and Lord is a Scriptural test. While it does not save them, it helps Christians to avoid embracing those not of His Spirit to their harm.

            CAPICHE, comprende Italiano?

  • Guest

    Nobody in society is promoting absolute equality, people are asking the question how 400 Americans have more wealth alone than 150 million Americans. People are asking why bankers were getting multi million dollar rewards when their companies were failing.

    • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

      the 400 people earned it while the 150 million didn’t.

      In fact 60 million of those 150 people are probably unwilling to do anything for themselves. Why should that limit our most talented and innovative?

      • Guest

        Why was this not the case forty years ago when the average CEO only made 20 times the average American and now earns just shy of 300 times the average American, CEOs are all just working exponentially harder than the did 40 years ago?

        • JoeMN

          Yet income inequality is not rising

          http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2011/10/shocking-trend-in-us-individual-income.html#.UhLg_j8yhFI
          Yours is an issue of “envy” rather than “inequality”

          • Guest

            The number of sources finding the contrary outnumber this greatly. Also where are capital gains or wealth figured into the data from your source? Also there are errors in using this number as a data source, suc as that it doesn’t show exactly what is happening between data sets in your sample.

          • siquijorisland

            I feel you do not understand what capital gains are. i think you do not understand many things, such the fact that the free market is a voluntary exchange, no government mandated trade. I think you do not understand that to emerge from poverty you must take action.

            The city of Detroit filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy an Thursday afternoon in 2013. Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevin Orr, filed the request to begin what will be the biggest municipal bankruptcy in United States history. Chapter 9 status would shield the municipality from some $18.5 billion
            in debt and other liabilities.
            Sound good to you i feel?

          • Guest

            What would give you the impression I do not understand capital gains? They are not listed in the data provided above. OF course it takes work to get out of poverty. You are just throwing out random sound bites and hoping something sticks.

          • JoeMN

            A study by Mark Warshawsky of the Social Security Advisory Board suggests
            that nearly all of the recent increase in earnings inequality “can be
            explained by the rapid increase in the cost of health insurance employee
            benefits, and that therefore [there] has not been as significant
            increase, if any, in inequality of compensation.”

            Other studies fail to account for welfare benefits

            I understand why you insist on focusing in on the income of a few top generic CEO’s to support your envy.

            Specifically targeting the income of the liberal Gates, Buffet, or cronyists such as Immelt of GE, or those of heavily subsidized green energy companies would not fit the narrative.

            But even here, you failed to explain why income inequality is a problem in the first place.

            So what can we find in the way of a government solution for this perceived inequality ?

            The Federal tax code ?

            No

            47 percent of Americans have no federal tax liability whatsoever.

            Meanwhile, the top 10 percent (the focus of your envy) pay 70 percent.

            Higher corporate tax rates ?

            This will only drive more job producers overseas.

            Higher cap gains rates ?

            This will discourage investment and job growth.

            How about a flat tax ?No, this will still encourage some to make more.

            So how about ending the practices of subsidy and cronyism ?

            Now we are on to something.

            But how to do this while still advocating for a big and powerful central government is a mystery.

            The truth is that while you and your fellow leftist travelers concentrate your angst at those at the top, the rest of us instead advocate for solutions to increase earned wealth at the bottom.
            And no, welfare is not a legitimate source of wealth.
            Explain to me why inequality is a problem, Guest if we continue to improve the condition of those at the bottom ?

          • JoeMN

            And it seems to me that the first prerequisite for a class warrior should be a set number as to how much income is too much

            So what is your number, Guest ?

          • Guest

            I have no number, see above.

          • Guest

            Hear me out this is pretty ling winded. There are a lot of things out there on the net. The bulk of data including all the data published by the CBO how’s that even after tax income, wealth is growing greatly in difference.

            If a society grows too unequal it becomes more difficult for common people to generate capital to create opportunities for themselves and consumer demand can be hurt if you only oncentrate on the supply side of economics.

            I do agree with you in part of your argument, cronyism is harmful to society. I am not a denier of things like global warming and pollution, but lets take dealing with these problems through regulation. Now when these regulations are developed and proposed they are lobbied for by business interests who are interested in simply what helps their business and they write distorting regulations. I do think we should deal with global warming for example but I think we are wasting capital in things like wind energy and ethanol that may never be economically competitive when other green techniques are often better. But I digress. Maybe on a simpler level lets look at what Adam Smith said: whenever business interests come together it is for the purpose of conspiring against the consumer, and they will use the government to do so. So really what is the purpose of the chamber of commerce much of the time. Adam Smith also on another level disliked protective tariffs although economically he thought they were good politically he thought they would be left in place long after their usefulness.
            Sorry my IPad won’t let me go back and put this in better order so I know it is rambling a bit.
            But if we go back to the environment thing the EPA was established because of real problems in the 70s we had rivers periodically lighting on fire because they were so polluted and in China today people in the most industrial cities are living shorter lives because of pollution. So
            some of these issues have some tough trade offs when you begin actually dealing with them. Of course saying things like abolish the EPA and ignoring problems that have existed is much easier.
            If I get back to the main point though and looking at what Adam Smith said you should errr on the side of limiting government and simplifying taxes unless necessary. Programs should be simplified and do what they do as simply and efficiently as realistically possible and accept that perfection for all things is not possible. To simplify the tax code we need to get money out of politics. The most realistic way to do this is term limit in Congress so Congress people are less concerned with reelection than doing what is right. I would also make insider trading illegal once again and lower pay to the median American wage and limit benefits so they are there for the right reason. Some campaign reform would help as well. Of course politically achieving any of this could be near impossible.
            In terms of taxation I first have no idea where you got the seventy percent top tax rate from, the top rate is under 40 percent and of course that does not include capital gains. You do bring up points about globalization that are valid. We cannot go back to the 70 percent top rate of Nixon or the 90 percent top rate of Eisenhower because of increased global competition and the emergence of transnational corporation. We could become more protectionists to do it but that would likely curb economic growth. With globalization we should accept that much of manufacturing outside of complex less labor intensive is going to go where markets can hire out cheaper labor. We therefore must educate our workforce for the future. That does not mean throwing money at education institutions that are not held accountable for what they produce. I would suggest redefining education, maybe instead of paying a school for your education you pay an engineering firm to train you and in he end you can either work for them or use your certification to work elsewhere. Of course just like plumbers who get certification as they progress they would want to know this is working so like all industries they would regulate what gets a person certified. I’m sure their are all kinds of solutions out there if we unshackle an education system that still works like the year is 1892. Even with some of these reforms publicly funded education would have to improve to compete.

            But back to the tax codes. I would simplify the code, stop giving carried interest an advantage over wages, greatly drop the corporate rate for all, and make the code truly progressive for the ultra rich. Of course this is not a solution by itself but part of the solution. I don’t have a problem with many Americans not paying into the income tax. As far as entitlement benefits I would increase the age when you receive benefits for social security to 72 and would slowly shift to this over time, I would also means test it as Romney wanted to do. Americans should begin to be able to prepare themselves for retirement at least to a certain age. With health care I would eliminate the tax exemption for health care and make it compete with regular wages. Hopefully then Americans would get insurance to cover emergencies not to pay for everything that they ever get. Hospitals could no longer get away with things like charging $50 for a Tylenol and health care costs could come down like they have for plastic surgery which isn’t covered by nearly all insurance plans.
            I would eliminate most welfare programs that are inefficient, burdened by bureaucracy, advantageous to certain sectors of the economy (like health care), by providing welfare on the basis of the more efficient and simple yes government check that would not give advantage to one business or another. These checks I would try to keep fairly low and require that more aid be provided on the state and administered and the local level. The exact balance between federal guarantee of welfare dollars and local government efficiency would have to be found. Primarily what I am saying is if it was left totally up to the states the rich would often simply move to the state where they do not have to contribute to the community as much, hopefully some of this could be resolved by measures to get money out of politics in the ways I stated above.

            Of course much of what I talked about becomes extremely complicated and trade offs would have to be discussed and examined. Hopefully by getting a more honest debate in Washington we could get better policy. Overall what my goal would be is to let markets work while at the same time using fiscal policy to help the needy. Think of the NFL our most successful pro organization. It is very competitive and franchises can operate as they please…but at the same time there is a very strict salary cap for players on a team, The NFLs massive TV revenues are distributed evenly, and the worst team gets the top draft pick while the top team gets the lowest draft pick. With a minimal amount of regulation the small market franchises are given a chance to compete while competition is greatly encouraged. It is a business model that strikes a good balance and is serving the NFL ver well.

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

            If a society grows too unequal it becomes more difficult for common people to generate capital

            Your first statement was a wild fabrication. That’s not true at all. The fact that Bill Gates made a mint made it far easier for people to start their own businesses. Not only that his work made it easier for banks to lend you more money. It also grew the economy so more people have money and opportunity.

            So do you have proof to your statement? If provided I might take the time to look at the rest of our manifesto.

          • JoeMN

            Guest

            That’s quite a tangled web you produced, so forgive me if I overtly miss a few highlights

            If a society grows too unequal it becomes more difficult for common
            people to generate capital to create opportunities for themselves

            ______

            One way to measure the availability of this opportunity in a nation is in the ability (or lack thereof) to start a business.

            And it seems that of the ten worst places, excessive capitalism is not the culprit, but oppressive government is.

            http://www.cnbc.com/id/45128939

            I agree with you on alternative energy, and would add that it can only become viable if born out of the marketplace.

            However, Minnesota can thank regulation for it’s expensive and job killing wind and ethanol mandates.

            The EPA

            If you are looking for something to thank for a cleaner environment, thank capitalism, rather than the EPA

            It’s thanks to expanding prosperity that citizens can even afford to demand a clean environment.

            Meanwhile some of the dirtiest places on earth are countries where the government controls the means of production

            Go figure

            I don’t have a problem with many Americans not paying into the income tax.

            _______

            I do.

            Every American should at least have some skin in the game.

            Even those on welfare benefits should have at least something removed that represents a tax, even if purely for symbolic reasons.

            Means testing Social Security would finally remove the lie that it is a defined contribution plan, rather than an expensive welfare.program

            “We put those payroll
            contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral and
            political right to collect their pensions. . . . No damn politician can ever scrap my Social Security program.”

            FDR

            I would eliminate most welfare programs that are inefficient, burdened by bureaucracy,
            _____

            To “provide for the general welfare” was never meant to be redefined as to make constitutional redistribution schemes.
            To this end, I believe welfare should be funded solely by the states.

            Producers and moochers alike can then choose those free or nanny states of their desires
            And let the chips fall where they may.

            The NFL and it’s salary cap is a great illustration.
            I am glad you brought it up.

            The NFL salary cap is determined by the OWNERS, not government.
            Players can freely choose whether or not to enter into their contract.
            But how long would this cap last if the NFL suddenly found itself with competition ?
            It’s in fact this very same competition which drives wages higher (all wages)in a society where the free market is allowed to thrive.
            Which brings us back full circle to the issue of how much income is too much.
            I believe the only way all wages should be governed is through free exchange

            You cannot expect to gain much traction as a class warrior unless you submit to us a starting point.

          • Guest

            My premise is simple allow markets to work while assuring inequality not to spiral out of control. A writer below posted a simple writing by Joseph stiglitz that provides for much of why this is although I don’t take it quite as far as him. The NFL is a great market for to display what I am saying. The owners and players as well who have a powerful unit get together and make a governance structure that requires equality in the salary cap and tv markets. I’m sure certain individual owners such as the Giants, Cowboys, and Bears don’t like it but it is what their organizations governance requires. The NFL has had competition from places like the USFL and arena football but none of these have been able to put a dent in the NFLs earnings. Compare it to the governance
            of the MLB which saw
            Its lowest rated World Series in recent memory last year.

            As far as the countries you were talking about their flaw is a lack of rule of law which I do not threaten. The comment that the free market helps the environment most is ridiculous. Up until the industrial revolution the environment was very good, the free market provided us with a higher standard of living while causing damage to the
            Environment. Which is fine because we need to make the proper trade offs to not destroy the environment while still increasing our standard of living. Countries like China damage the environment because they let companies do what they want without regard to the enviroent. As far as your moochers and producer comment I have never seen a company succeed without workers. Many of the benefits of a community help individuals reach their potential and raise their status and production.

            The things that I outlined were about 80 percent things that are conservative ideas while still providing a reality of equality of opportunity rather than just something that you have in theory.

          • JoeMN

            The things that I outlined were about 80 percent things that are conservative ideas
            _____
            Salary caps imposed on the private sector
            20 percent
            A view of China with a weak system of governance, unable to control it’s limited private sector
            20 percent

          • Guest

            The first one is not true I said the NFL does that I did not propose for our government.
            The second one is an oversimplification, China has ignored environmental concerns in both their public and private sectors that they are just now starting to deal with because of the problems it is causing. Read a bit closer before jumping to conclusions on what I said.

          • JoeMN

            The first one is not true

            ________

            Then what’s your point here ?

            The second one is an oversimplification

            The demand in China for a cleaner environment is coming from it’s citizens as they slowly gain wealth

            It’s those state owned industries that put up the most resistance

            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323301104578257484144272650.html

          • Guest

            What do you mean the first is not true. Read the context of what I wrote. The NFL used policies that encouraged equality that have helped them become the most successful American professional sport. It was an example of how equality can actually encourage economic success. Providing that same exact policy to get a degree of equality in government is something not possible and not something I advocated for. It was simply an example of how a degree of equality can be conductive to economic success.

            On the second No one said industrialization does not produce wealth and no one said that the liberalization of markets in China is a negative thing, you are building a straw man. The argument is that environmental degradation needs to be managed and organizations like the EPA have helped, which is now where China is moving because they are having problems like we used to. I never said China was too weak to enforce regulation just that they have not prioritized. Therefore instead of living in a smog filled environment with polluted streams and rivers they have decided to do something about it. Your attack on the second is simply a straw man that you are making up to try and attack me.

          • JoeMN

            The NFL, as a private entity can set salary caps wherever it chooses.
            It’s most likely that in a corporation, the highly paid CEO is still under some kind of salary cap
            It’s just that you feel it’s too high

            There are no equal outcomes in the NFL.
            A vast majority of hopeful football players never make it to the tryouts.

            Many of those never even see a preseason game

            Where is the “equality” for them ?
            Does the wealth not paid to the star player trickle down to them ?
            They worked hard as well, yet never reached that level.
            Or does this wealth end up in the pockets of Ziggy Wilf, who then directs lawmakers to build him a taxpayer financed stadium ?
            Again, salary caps only work because the NFL enjoys a monopoly.

            I demonstrated that it’s actually the Chinese citizen, as they gain wealth which demands a cleaner environment.
            The Chinese government, with it’s command and control structure, and it’s state owned industries has other priorities.

          • Guest

            I another straw man I never argued for equal outcomes. The franchises themselves have very strict salary caps. Players who make a team will receive the league minimum if they make a team. In the example I was comparing teams though not individuals. Teams can make as much as they want and can act as they please each year. At the end of the season and during the season the league enacts policies that do not interfere with the working rules of economics that encourage equality. In turn because of these policies the teams are forced to compete with each other more and have been successful. The NFL has had competitors including the usfl, nd continues to compete with arena football, college football, and other sports-forms of entertainment for business. There is no equality of outcome there are just policies that force more competition and disallow teams to simply bank on past accomplishments and capital to continue churning out great teams that small market franchises cannot compete with.

            I still never argued that industrialization was bad and did not increase income. However the argument that factories produced wealth, so should be able to produce as much waste or harm to the environment as they want because of this is utterly ridiculous. And the idea that the environment did not become dirtier or more polluted after industrialization is also ridiculous.

          • JoeMN

            The spectators of the NFL see only the competition between teams in the NFL.
            The owners interests lie with the NFL as an organization.

            These same rules applied to the US economy as it relates to the involved parties would go something like this;
            You would remain a spectator

            Businesses would become the players.
            Government becomes the NFL

            Now, in order for salary caps to work, competition between businesses must be limited.
            Oh sure they can compete for the best product, but with no incentive to achieve, they will no longer be able to compete for the best employees

            These types of highly regulated systems are not new.
            I pointed out examples of this above

            Again, government is not the driver of a clean environment
            It’s citizens, as they gain wealth who can afford to demand a cleaner environment.
            It happened here in the US
            And it is happening in China. .

          • Guest

            #1 read I never stated that salary caps would be instituted for the entire society of America. Read the argument and context stated rather than making up your own.
            #2
            Yes citizens demand it and they demand it through government because industry causes the degradation. So are you making the crazy conclusion that industrialization does not produce pollution or other negative efects on the environment and it is only because they have more money that they want it?

        • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

          I don’t see why you consider that anyone’s business aside from the owners of the business. After all they are the ones best able to determine if they are getting value for their money. If they over pay it’s the owners of the business that suffer rather than the workers.

          If you really are interested it’s because of the realization that CEO’s can make an enormous difference in the profitability of a business. With the increased sophistication of the business world it takes a lot more excellence to succeed in the marketplace.

          I think a nice parallel is the fact that a superstar baseball player makes perhaps a thousand times the salary of a new single A baseball player. The owners have figured out that these superstars are worth it because they sell tickets.

          You need to worry about making yourself more valuable to your employer rather than whining about how much someone else is paid.

          • borborygmi45

            “You need to worry about making yourself more valuable to your employer rather than whining about how much someone else is paid.”
            That is very well said, or written.

          • Guest

            It is an empty assertion based on nothing. Personally I think I do far more than the average person to my employer than the average person. However with anonymous Internet profiles there is no way to validate what anybody does so all points like this are totally empty and ridiculous personal attacks.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Wow Gurgle, every once in a while you surprise the hell out of me…..

          • LenYol

            Don’t be surprised, he didn’t write it.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Naw, I mean the fact that he “AGREED” with the quote…

            No worries, for every one thing profound or sane he says/agrees with, there’s nine other libtard/insane things he bloviates.

          • Guest

            Do you like crony capitalism? Why were bankers salaries and bonuses going up even as their companies were failing during the recession.

          • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

            I’m 100% against the bank bailouts and I hope you are to. The people to blame are the idiots in the government handing out the free money. Put them in jail.

            That being said it’s none of my business what the owners of the bank pay their employees.

          • JoeMN

            “Too big to fail” is not a term familiar to a healthy free market economy
            It represents a sliding scale of regulation, a total rejection of equal justice and a government careening out of control.
            Paul Krugman is dead wrong.

          • Eurekacon
          • JoeMN

            He is in fact correct in a way.

            But not that income inequality in a free market society inevitably leads to riots and looting.

            It’s the PERCEPTION of income inequality, cast by a political party which actually lead to rioting and looting, most notably by the Occutard movement.

            Otherwise those riots take place when governments like Greece eventually run out of other peoples money .

            But wait….. One of the few nations to see its Gini value fall was Greece, which went from 0.413 in the 1970s to 0.307 in the late 2000s.
            So much for the theory of inequality driven unrest, huh ?
            It appears the fattened hog eventually bites the farmers hand.
            As far as the authors suggestion that the poor were better off in the 80′s,

            In the 80′s we had land line phones with party line service

            Today the poor have “Obamaphones” with the choice between 300 and unlimited minutes.

            In the 80′s we had newspapers and Webster encyclopedia’s

            Today the poor have high speed wireless service for $19.99

            In the 80′s we had the Sears catalog.

            Today all that stuff, and then some is in a Walmart superstore……for less.

            The truth is the poor are much better off today

          • Eurekacon

            I agree with you, but its not that we can’t do better.

            As for Greece, their fall in inequality and economic crisis are correlational but not causal. I think it has more to do with the fact that Europeans needed new financial and export markets. By bringing them into the EU, they assured investments and investors flooded in, then when the timing was right had an exodus. You don’t need to look further than the TREMENDOUS amount of credit default swaps (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sovereign_credit_default_swaps.png) (http://focusweb.org/content/greece-same-tragedy-different-scripts).

            Brazil has also had a rapid drop in inequality and a rise in real wages and GDP per capita (partly due to a massive rise in their minimum wage and expanding social spending).

          • Eurekacon

            Here you go, this should help you out, but you certainly need to do your homework: http://www.economics.utoronto.ca/gindart/2012-06-05%20-%20The%20price%20of%20inequality.pdf

      • jack1

        Whistler: Actually, the Forbes 400 largely inherited their wealth, not earned it. You’ve been brainwashed by the 1%.

        • JoeMN

          I believe the point is somebody earned it.
          Not the government
          Not you

        • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

          Are you really that stupid. I provided a link. They have a category there for “self made” and that appears to cover over half of the list.

          And Joe’s right. If someone decides to leave the money they earned to their kids that’s what they get to do.

    • JoeMN

      People ????
      Or liberal Democrats ?

      • Guest

        People who confront reality.

        • siquijorisland

          Reality is that when millions of people go to the movie or buy the CD which in turn earns income that goes to the people who are in the entertainment business. could you version be steal the CD and the movie because they have to much money anyway

          • Guest

            That was reality in 1960 too, but the end result by the vast majority of studies has been different.

    • jl

      “How 400 Americans have more wealth than 150 million Americans.” First of all, that starts out with a false premise- that it is somehow wrong for it to be that way. But to answer the question are two very good examples- take Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. The reason they are the part of the 400 who have more is from the simple fact that millions of people have voluntarily handed over several hundred dollars to buy one of their products, which in turn make the world a better place to live. That’s a good thing.

      • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

        Some people will never have a penny of savings or equity because they make bad decisions. They either will spend more than they earn, no matter what their income, or they will screw up their employment.

        Why should that limit what someone who makes good decisions?

      • jack1

        jl: The kind of wealth we’re talking about here is rarely earned a la Jobs and Gates. This kind of wealth is inherited a la Romney and Ryan.

        • http://Sayanythingblog.com The Whistler

          Romney gave his inherited money away to charity. I don’t know about Ryan but that doesn’t matter. If I earn money and want to leave it to my kids it’s none of your business.

          However when you look at the list of the Forbes 400 you’ll see that plenty of them, if not most of them, made their money themselves.

          http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/

  • mickey_moussaoui

    That guy is cracked. “because they simply don’t want the stark and brutal inequality that 100 percent efficiency. Doesn’t he know that government employees are better paid than the private sector? One thing is obvious, we are NOT equal to government workers in pay or benefits. Plus, there is nothing “efficient” about government.

    • jack1

      Mickey: First of all, it’s simply untrue that “government employees are better paid than the private sector.” You are wrong on the facts.

      The answer isn’t to lower public sector salaries, the answer is to raise YOUR salary.

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Life was better under Reagan. Companies were hiring, jobs paid well, the economy grew, all was good. Now we have Obama malaise and the whiners are complaining about equality.

    • jack1

      mickey: That’s only true in wingnut fantasy land. Here in the real world Reagan raised taxes, sent the deficit through the roof, and had more unemployment than Obama. Here are the numbers:

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2012/10/05/barack-obama-2012-ronald-reagan-1984/

      Of course, this involves math, and we all know teabaggers don’t trust no book learnin’

      • JoeMN

        Reagan lowered tax rates in general, and revenue went up.

        You want math ?

        From your own link

        And, Republicans note that by September 1983 the economy was creating
        1.1 million jobs a month while the country has lost 61,000 jobs since
        Obama was elected

        1.1 million jobs A MONTH.
        That’s what growth looks like

        • Eurekacon

          And Reagan’s deficit legacy?

      • LenYol

        ” had more unemployment than Obama”

        Maybe you should tell that to the 320,000 people who lost their jobs LAST WEEK.

    • awfulorv

      And something else most of the younger generations have never experienced, was the freshness in the air, and in our step, and the overnight change of attitude we all experienced, when he took office.
      Reagan, once again, restored pride in our country, as we witnessed the rats in Tehran fall over themselves scurrying to release our diplomats.
      For they’d been informed that, if they didn’t, the sheet would hit the fan.
      We would have experienced something like that with the election of Romney, but millions of religious bigots, including some pompous asses on this blog, decided the black guy deserved more time to do whatever it is he’s doing.

  • banjo kid

    The only equality that is guaranteed by our constitution is equal protection under the law, but it seems some are more equal than others in that respect. Government needs to get the h-ll out of the way of those who want to succeed .

    • two_amber_lamps

      The equality envisioned by the Founders and enshrined in the Constitution has very little similarity to the “equality” envisioned by the likes of Karl Marx… who’s idea of socialist utopia isn’t far off from the progressive left’s idealized “liberal” society.

  • yy4u2

    Easy. The US Govt has done a superb job and has an excellent track record with it’s War on Poverty and War on Drugs.
    And let’s not forget, a progressive income tax. Heck, one can make more on welfare than working a minimum wage job. Did you hear that?! War on Poverty?! War over! If one has in possession or injests a substance deemed ‘illegal’ or ‘a controlled substance,’ that person has a great chance of spending some serious time behind bars and going through mandatory treatment programs all furnished by the state or feds. Plus, this employs a boat load of people on the back of the evil tax payer. War on Drugs?! Anyone who professes this works one iota reminds me of Charlie Sheen saying, “Winning!!!” All the task forces (fed and state) should get Charlie Sheen bobble heads so they can take great pics when they are getting toasted at their get togethers on such a harmless, healthy, family promoting drug like alcohol. And let’s not forget its great little helper Tobacco.
    Bottom line, some people will always be poor. If progressives ever read and learned, they’d see that not everyone stays there; nor do all the rich stay rich. Some people are going to injest stuff at will. I care that everyone be as healthy as they can be. I don’t want govt to mandate it. Nor do I want them to be able to use my tax dollars to charge, convict, and incarcerate someone for doing it. Are more people dying from injesting marijuana, coke, meth, synthetics, etc. than from alcohol, tobacco and driving cars? Why aren’t those illegal? Why isn’t snack food high in corn syrup illegal?
    The US just loves to win wars. Well guess what? Old Glory didn’t win these. They sold the sheeple a bill of goods and both are rotten to the core. Taxes, although not fully rotten, need to be paid by every person voting. That means a Federal income tax for all at some low percentage. No loop holes. How easy would it be to file? Half page with personal data like your address. W2 is X amount of dollars. Multiply that time X%. Done. End of story. If the govt can’t live on it, start trimming including military. Why do we have bases all around the world policing areas due to commitments/treaties made decades if not centuries ago?
    Wow. I need a drink. /sarc

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