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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #200 on: May 29, 2011, 09:17:03 PM »

Yep  grin
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G M
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« Reply #201 on: May 29, 2011, 10:07:41 PM »


http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/individualProfile.asp?indid=1835

Former Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder
Regards the victims of 9/11 as “little Eichmanns”
Considers America to be a genocidal nation
Falsely claimed to be an American Indian, in order to qualify for an affirmative action teaching position in Ethnic Studies
Plagiarist


Ward Churchill was a professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1990 until 2007, when he was fired for research misconduct. Churchill became a nationally known figure in January 2005, when public attention was drawn to a September 2001 essay he had written characterizing the 9/11 terrorist attacks as an instance of “chickens coming home to roost,” and vilifying the victims who had died in the World Trade Center as “little Eichmanns.”

Churchill was born October 2, 1947 in Elmwood, Illinois. In the late 1960s he served in the U.S. Army and fought in the Vietnam War. Accounts vary as to the details of his military experience. In a 1987 article appearing in the Denver Post, it was reported that Churchill had attended paratrooper school and eventually volunteered for duty in Vietnam, where he served a 10-month tour as Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol. A later Denver Post piece in 2005 reported that Churchill had been trained as a projectionist and light truck driver. Churchill’s own resume claims that he was drafted in 1966, and that he served as a public-information specialist who “wrote and edited the battalion newsletter and wrote news releases.”

The Denver Post has also reported that in the late 1960s Churchill became involved with the Students for a Democratic Society and its sister organization, the Weather Underground. The Post, quoting Churchill, stated that he briefly taught Weather Underground members how to make bombs and to fire weapons -- “Which end does the bullet go, what are the ingredients, how do you time the damned thing.”

In the mid-1970s, Churchill attended Sangamon State University, an “experimental” school for student radicals in Illinois, which later became the University of Illinois at Springfield. There, Churchill received his B.A. in Technological Communications in 1974 and an M.A. in Communications Theory in 1975. By 1978, he had found employment as an affirmative action officer at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Beginning in 1983, Churchill became active in the American Indian Movement (AIM) of Colorado, a chapter of the AIM National. Today he serves as the chapter’s co-director.

In April 1983, Churchill traveled to Tripoli and Benghazi as an AIM representative to meet with de facto dictator Muammar al-Qadhafi of Libya. The purpose of the meeting was to persuade Qadhafi to support AIM's assertion that the U.S. government was violating Indian treaties.

In 1990 Churchill was hired as an associate professor at UC Boulder, though he lacked the proper credentials for the position. After being turned down by both the Sociology and Political Science departments, in 1991 he was granted early tenure in the Communications department on the basis of his claim to be a member of the Ketoowah Cherokee tribe. (Documents in Churchill’s University personnel file explain that he was granted tenure in a “special opportunity position,” with the intention of facilitating the recruitment of “a more diverse faculty.")

At various times over the years, Churchill has claimed his Indian ancestry in different ways and by varying percentages. He once stated, "I am myself of Muscogee and Creek descent on my father's side, Cherokee on my mother's, and am an enrolled member of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians." On other occasions he has professed to be one-eighth Creek and one-sixteenth Cherokee; one-sixteenth Creek and Cherokee; and three-sixteenths Cherokee.

Churchill describes himself in the following way: "Although I'm best known by my colonial name, Ward Churchill, the name I prefer is Kenis, an Ojibwe name bestowed by my [Native American] wife's uncle." In a speech in Vancouver, Churchill told his audience: "I have to say, I have to bring you greetings from the elders of the Keetoowah Band of Cherokee, my people."

The United Keetoowah Band would later clarify that Churchill had never been an authentic member of the tribe, but that he was awarded an honorary associate membership in 1994, as were Bill Clinton and a number of other people. The Keetoowah Band further states that while it has never rescinded Churchill's associate membership, it stopped recognizing such memberships in 1994.

In 2005 the Rocky Mountain News published a genealogy of Churchill, and reported "no evidence" that he had even "a single Indian ancestor." A Denver Post genealogical investigation drew the same conclusion.

In 1993 Churchill broke away from the national American Indian Movement, claiming that all AIM chapters were autonomous.

Churchill was made a Professor of Ethnic Studies in 1996, was promoted to full professor in 1997, and finally became Chair of the department in 2002 -- though he did not (and still does not) possess a Ph.D.

Professor Churchill's academic career and academic oeuvre was built around the theory that the United States is a genocidal nation, worse than Nazi Germany because its genocides began with its settlement and have continued to the present. Churchill regards American history as one unbroken procession of genocidal tyranny, beginning in 1492, which "unleashed a process of conquest and colonization unparalleled in the history of humanity." He routinely equates Columbus with Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler.

In 1997 Churchill published the book, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1492 through the Present. Other Churchill books similarly liken the United States to Nazi Germany. Among these are Fantasies of the Master Race (1992) and Colonization and Genocide in Native North America (1994).

Some of Churchill's former UC Boulder students have reported that his conception of America as the newest rendition of the Third Reich invariably finds its way into his lectures, particularly in his undergraduate class titled "American Holocaust."

On September 12, 2001, the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Churchill published a short essay titled “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” which was later expanded into the book On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: reflections on the consequences of U.S. imperial arrogance and criminality (2003). In the essay, Churchill disclosed his belief that the 9/11 attacks were reprisals for unjust U.S. foreign policy measures vis a vis the Middle East, and for the alleged ravages of global capitalism as spearheaded by America. In this regard, Churchill claimed that no U.S. citizen could be considered genuinely innocent. He wrote:

“As for those in the World Trade Center ... Well, really, let's get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. They formed a technocratic corps at the very heart of America's global financial empire -- the ‘mighty engine of profit’ to which the military dimension of U.S. policy has always been enslaved -- and they did so both willingly and knowingly… If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it.”

In the April 2004 edition of Satya Magazine, a monthly publication "focusing on vegetarianism, environmentalism, animal advocacy, and social justice," Churchill said:

"One of the things I've suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary. This seems like such a no-brainer that I hate to frame it in terms of actual transformation of consciousness -- Hey those brown-skinned folks dying in the millions in order to maintain this way of life, they can wait forever for those who purport to be the opposition here to find some personally comfortable and pure manner of affecting the kind of transformation that brings not just lethal but genocidal processes to a halt. They have no obligation -- moral, ethical, legal or otherwise -- to sit on their thumbs while the opposition here dithers about doing anything to change the system. So it's removing the sense of -- and right to -- impunity from the American opposition.... I want the state gone: transform the situation to U.S. out of North America. U.S. off the planet. Out of existence altogether."

In 2003 Churchill and his political allies attempted to obstruct a Columbus Day Parade in Denver. He was acquitted by likeminded judges who accepted his claim that a parade celebrating Columbus was tantamount to "hate speech."

"When I started out it was 'U.S. out of Vietnam,'" Churchill declared in an August 2004 speech, "and then that was changed and it became 'U.S. out of Indochina,' and then it became 'U.S. out of Southern Africa,' and it was 'U.S. out of the Caribbean and Central America,' and then it became 'U.S. out of the Persian Gulf.' I agreed with every one of those, but ultimately there's only one way that any of them will be possible and that is: US out of North America, U.S. off the planet, and take Canada with you when you go!"

As with his claims of his Indian ancestry, imposture is likewise a distinguishing feature of Churchill's academic work. In 2004 the Rocky Mountain News conducted a two-month investigation of the professor's scholarly portfolio and found that Churchill had a long history of inventing historical facts to suit his polemical purposes, and that on numerous occasions he had passed off the work of others as his own. Among the paper's findings: (a) Churchill baselessly accused the U.S. army of spreading smallpox among Missouri Indians in 1837, inexplicably citing sources that expressly contradict his claims; (b) Churchill published a 1992 essay taken almost verbatim from the work of Canadian professor Fay Cohen, over Cohen's objections. (c) On at least four other occasions, he had claimed credit for the work of others.

Churchill could produce no evidence to disprove the News’ findings. Instead, he sought to explain away his serial plagiarism as harmless creative editing -- not dissimilar, according to Churchill, to the efforts of a "rewrite man" at a newspaper who edits articles as he sees fit.

In 2006 a UC Boulder academic committee confirmed that Churchill was indeed guilty of academic misconduct, including plagiarism. Consequently, in an 8 to 1 vote the University of Colorado Board of Regents elected to fire him from the Ethnic Studies Department in July 2007, as school President Hank Brown had recommended. After the decision was announced to the public, Churchill, reluctant to vacate his high-paying position, declared: "I am going nowhere. This is not about break, this is not about bend, this is not about compromise."

In December 2006, Churchill gave a lecture at the New School University in New York, where he condemned Israel for its alleged atrocities against Palestinians, and he suggested that U.S. aid to Israel was a major cause of anti-Americanism in the Middle East. He said:

"Maybe it has something to do with 12- and 13-year-old Palestinian kids getting shot down in the street for the egregious offense of throwing a rock at an IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] soldier? There's that little thing which is pretty well known about Israel being the 51st state in terms of funding and support. There's that little thing about when that bullet strikes that Palestinian kid, the bullet was manufactured in Massachusetts at the Springfield Armory. There's that little thing about where these helicopters come from, where those mini-guns come from, where those rockets come from."

In May 2007, UC Irvine's Muslim Student Union (MSU) sponsored a talk by Churchill in which he characterized Israel as a terrorist state and urged MSU students to go to the pro-Israel booth near the lecture hall, take a slice of cake, and eat Israel symbolically.

During his years as a tenured Ethnic Studies professor, Churchill had received a $115,000 annual salary (for teaching three hours per week), apart from benefits and speaking fees.

On July 25, 2007, Churchill filed a First Amendment lawsuit against the University of Colorado, seeking reinstatement of his faculty position and an unspecified amount of money.

He thereafter established the Ward Churchill Solidarity Network, which characterized “the attacks on Ward Churchill not only as retaliation for constitutionally protected speech, but as part of a larger movement to suppress critical thinking, dismantle ethnic and gender studies programs, and eliminate the perspectives of indigenous peoples from mainstream education and scholarship.” The Network solicited donations to cover Churchill's legal expenses, as well as volunteers to undertake legal, educational, and fundraising efforts.

After Churchill’s ouster from the UC Boulder faculty, a number of notable individuals and organizations voiced support for him, including: Gil Anidjar; Molefi Kete Asante; Bill Ayers; Brett de Bary; Derrick Bell; Noam Chomsky; Dana Cloud; Kathleen Cleaver; Hamid Dabashi; Richard Falk; Mumia Abu Jamal; Robert Jensen; Peter Kirstein; Dean Saitta; Howard Zinn; and the American Civil Liberties Union.

In April 2009 a Denver jury ruled that Churchill had been wrongly fired from his job. According to the jury, the real (and insufficient) reason for which the professor had been fired was because of the "Roosting Chickens" essay he had written disparaging the victims of 9/11. Though the court awarded Churchill only $1 in damages (the minimum allowed by law), the possibility remained open that the University would be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and might have to reinstate Churchill on the faculty.

In July 2009, however, Judge Larry J. Naves of Denver District Court refused to reinstate Churchill. In his ruling, Naves said that the university's governing Board of Regents' decision to dismiss Churchill had “occurred with sufficient procedural protections.”
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #202 on: May 30, 2011, 09:52:21 AM »

ahhh GM, again you use the same train of thought I have tried to approach again and again and again, but yet you dont wish to hear it, or what ?

things are of course much more complex than you would like them to see.

I think I have written to some legnth about your implication of Marx with epic failures, havent I ? Marxism /= Stalinism /= Leninism /= Maosim....

lets make a simple logical test :

1) Do you blame st Augustine for all the wrong doings in history in the name of the church and Christianity with all its branches ? Since he is its theological and ideological father, he is surely also guilty of all the crimes of the inquisition, the protestants, the Zwinglians, the Luterans, the Anglicans, Calvinisits, the orthodox...


 Funny you should mention economic failures of Cuba, then again which country is the one that everyone and their mother is talking about in the USA and the world ? Is it China ? OH yes. Which makes it very funny actually, since their version of a most radical corporate communism is starting to prove something really serious to everyone. And people are getting scared.



Marxism is the opiate of academics



hehe, nice quote. I guess it works the other way around too

Capitalist maxim : The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate.

Bertrand Russell



And what exactly GM, should I clear up ? Write 700 words long posts only to be bombarded by divergent articles by some blogger or a failed journalist ? There are several ways with which you must look at Marx today, and the weakest version of them all is the revolutionary, which ironically, of course, is what everyone ever only looks at, because its the easiest one to make fun of. The versions which have resounding effect even today and where people tend to get scared and start to freak out, because you actually need to have serious background from the philosophical era that preceeded him are Marx as a humanist, critic of capitalism, philosopher of history and his supplement of Hegels transcendental idealism.

These debates have an inherent flaw. Under the pretense of objective "critical thinking", they are still just vulgarily dogmatic. If I am defending an opinion, it doesnt mean I am 100% for it and against the other. I have said this several times. I am not for socialism, I am not for communism in any manner they were "implemented". I think the way they were approached was too naive. I lived through it, although most of my memories from the time are potent with images of great cameradery, national spirit and just pure nostalgia, there werent really much differences to the way we live now. Well, maybe its harder to find a job today.

a while ago when I was studying Keynes, I also picked up as much as I could from Schumpeter, Mises, Hayek, Friedman. This is not science, nor fact, that you can somehow prove. Truth is a constellation.

  What I am trying, is to open up the situation so that I can pave way for more appropriate questions. The wrong questions are far more dangerous than wrong answers. Which incidentally, in traditional dogmatic tone worthy of preety much any text on religion, is what you are trying to prove I provide all the time, wrong answers. This is in a nutshell, what I am trying to do with all my postings. Not convince you to form an opinion the same as me, but to widen your opinion with others, that you may not have heard or come across yet.

And this is also why I hate this talking through a medium of articles and references, because it is at its core, a simple clash of dogma, reminiscent of the old rhetoric, "this is true, because my pater said so", "no that is wrong, because MY pater said different". Theres nothing "debating" about that. Nor is it critical. Its just providing what you think holds true, but lacking the ability to formulate it yourself. You remind me of the old party nomenclatura that held speeches in the countryside and always started the talks with : "Gentlemen, the international situation is getting worse!" ....."why, comrade, is it getting worse ?"....." Because it is not getting better".


But here you go, articles from Erich Fromm on Marx.

its the shortest, most concise link I can provide that has a more serious tone. I doubt anyone will get halfway even into the first article, but at least my consciousness will be at rest, since there is no way of getting anything across here with writing your heart out.

http://www.marxists.org/archive/fromm/works/1961/man/index.htm
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G M
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« Reply #203 on: May 30, 2011, 11:44:24 AM »

Is it China ? OH yes. Which makes it very funny actually, since their version of a most radical corporate communism is starting to prove something really serious to everyone. And people are getting scared.


I hate to break this to you Andrew, but China is getting rich though capitalism. They like and want WEALTH. The Chinese laugh at "worker's paradise" slogans. True that they still have the political oppression and lack of individual freedoms commonly found where a a communist party still holds power, but even the party members in China are getting rich through business deals and buying luxury cars and wearing Rolex watches. The Chinese saw just how communist economic theory does not work and dropped it like the garbage it is.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #204 on: May 30, 2011, 12:14:03 PM »

[False] "implication of Marx with epic failures, ...  Marxism /= Stalinism /= Leninism /= Maosim...."

It seems to me that we could resolve this dispute by referring to the failed, oppressive economic and governmental systems of these failed states as 'Stalinist' rather than socialist, communist or Marxist.  Same goes for describing or warning about any the same moves here and elsewhere toward a more powerful central government and away from the constitutionally limited government we once knew, based on individual liberties explicitly including economic liberties and thankfulness to God.  I, for one, would be happy to start referring to these programs, policies and proposals as Stalinist and quit smearing the confusing and misunderstood work of Karl Marx.

If the real thrust of Marx's work would give us specific insights into how to solve current economic problems, please post.

I can't imagine that the bizarre state of affairs in China today is any closer to Marx's true vision than the other failed examples. (I see GM covered that!)

From the link: "[Marxism] is opposed to the Church because of its restriction of the mind, and to liberalism (the meaning of liberalism in 1961?) because of its separation of society and moral values. It is opposed to Stalinism and Krushchevism, for their authoritarianism as much as their neglect of humanist values."

Earlier in that same chapter: "Marx fought against religion exactly because it is alienated, and does not satisfy the true needs of man. Marx's fight against God is, in reality, a fight against the idol that is called God. Already as a young man he wrote as the motto for his dissertation "Not those are godless who have contempt for the gods of the masses but those who attribute the opinions of the masses to the gods." Marx's atheism is the most advanced form of rational mysticism, closer to Meister Eckhart or to Zen Buddhism than are most of those fighters for God and religion who accuse him of "godlessness."

Why would anyone who is rational fight against other people's religion if it is peaceful and consensual?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #205 on: May 30, 2011, 12:21:07 PM »

Woof AB:

Thank you for your responses.
  
Concerning your first response:

Before responding, I would like to remind you that we are Americans and as such are often quite ignorant of certain things taken for granted in educated Euro circles.  For example, you mention "Hegelian dialectic".   I have heard of this more than once, and would LOVE to be able to drop into conversation as you have here.  Would you
please help me out?  cheesy

More seriously now, as I read your response I am impressed with your rip-snorting condescension, (rather inconsistent with your mission "to open up the situation so that I can pave way for more appropriate questions" yes?) but as best as I can tell, you offer the youtube clip of that Slovenian professor as your substance.  That said, I found very
little in it beyond a rather superficial, glib, vacuous psuedo-wittiness e.g. unable to distinguish Bill Gates and Bernie Madoff or Hollywood movies and real life.   Perhaps a less fawning interviewer would have been of help? Perhaps the man has the substance to which you ascribe him; for example I would be more interested in hearing why he considers himself a marxist and a supporter of mass murderer Stalin?

Concerning your second response:

I share GM's response to your example of China's successes as being those of Marxism.  (IMHO the more accurate term would be "fascism", but that is not really the point)  Also I would most certainly add a) China's extraordinary rape of the environment and b) the many good reasons to wonder if it is in a huge bubble.

IMHO to serve your stated mission, the Fromm URL would have been a better place to start, particularly if you were to have deleted  "I doubt anyone will get halfway even into the first article, but at least my consciousness will be at rest, since there is no way of getting anything across here with writing your heart out."
 Despite the comment cheesy  I have started to read it anyway.

TAC!

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G M
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« Reply #206 on: May 30, 2011, 03:39:16 PM »

Crafty,

I'd point out as examples of how using capitalism had a direct impact on very poor Chinese farmers who have been farming the same rice paddies for generations. When the farming was state run on state owned lands, the production of rice was minimal. When the lands were turned over to the farmers and they could enjoy the profits from their efforts, amazingly enough the amount of rice produced skyrocketed and the standard of living for these pesants radically improved. They are still by most measures poor, but much less than before and they see opportunities for a better lives for their children.

Let's look at Hong Kong. After WWII, Hong Kong was in ruins. It is a small area with a large population and very little in the way of natural resources. Their only assets being a free market economy with the British concept of the rule of law combined with a ethic of hard work and education in it's population. The same people that were living on muddly hills in shacks made of wood scraps and corrigated tin now watch their children and grandchildren live in a gleaming, ultramodern city.

Let's look at the Koreas. The same ethnicity and culture, only a difference in government and economic policy. S. Korea is a technological and industrial giant, North Korea, a land of mindboggling poverty, oppression and starvation.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #207 on: May 30, 2011, 04:34:59 PM »

"When the farming was state run on state owned lands [in China], the production of rice was minimal. When the lands were turned over to the farmers and they could enjoy the profits from their efforts, amazingly enough the amount of rice produced skyrocketed and the standard of living for these peasants radically improved."

Didn't the Pilgrims discover the same thing in this country early in that venture?

Yet we keep turning back. 

We await the examples of when and where utopia succeeded.
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AndrewBole
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« Reply #208 on: May 30, 2011, 05:46:21 PM »

@ guro Crafty,


For example, you mention "Hegelian dialectic".   I have heard of this more than once, and would LOVE to be able to drop into conversation as you have here.  Would you
please help me out?


Its a huge topic. But all in all, like with most thinkers, their output changes with age, and so did Marx'. Young Marx was different to late Marx and both took ground in the roaring times of the Hegelian „end of philosophy“. The ontologic base of Marx is taken from Hegel, but turned upside down. Not to go too deep for my own good here, I hope these two examples will provide easiest understanding, I quote wiki, because the examples are perfectly sufficient  :

Hegel describes a dialectic of existence: first, existence must be posited as pure Being (Sein); but pure Being, upon examination, is found to be indistinguishable from Nothing (Nichts). When it is realized that what is coming into being is, at the same time, also returning to nothing (in life, for example, one's living is also a dying), both Being and Nothing are united as Becoming. It is Hegel's account of how being is ultimately comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. Hegel asserted that in order for the thinking subject (human reason or consciousness) to be able to know its object (the world) at all, there must be in some sense an identity of thought and being.

Here is Marx' response, Hegelian philosophy supposedly being too much of an abstract ideal, not in the sense of perfection but in the sense of the idea, the Platonic eidos.

The mystification which dialectic suffers in Hegel’s hands, by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general form of working in a comprehensive and conscious manner. With him it is standing on its head. It must be turned right side up again, if you would discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell.

My dialectic method is not only different from the Hegelian, but is its direct opposite. To Hegel, the life-process of the human brain, i.e. the process of thinking, which, under the name of ‘the Idea’, he even transforms into an independent subject, is the demiurgos of the real world, and the real world is only the external, phenomenal form of ‘the Idea’. With me, on the contrary, the ideal is nothing else than the material world reflected by the human mind, and translated into forms of thought.
(Capital, Afterword, Second German Ed., Moscow, 1970, vol. 1, p. 29).


More seriously now, as I read your response I am impressed with your rip-snorting condescension, (rather inconsistent with your mission "to open up the situation so that I can pave way for more appropriate questions" yes?) but as best as I can tell, you offer the youtube clip of that Slovenian professor as your substance



True, guilty as charged, the condescending tone might have been intentional, for which I appologize. Sometimes, situation gets the best of me, more so when reading articles that shun ideas to the trashbin like its nobodys business, especially ideas that are based on the pinnacle of Western tradition of thought.

Žižek wasnt used only as a substance. Do not underestimate him, he is an incredibly deceiptful thinker, lightning fast and productive like noone Ive never seen. Had the honor of lisening to him at the university before he became senior researcher. You have to dig through videos a bit, because his radical TV persona is based on shocking the listener early on, since talking pure philosophy tends to scare people away too soon. If you have the chance, and the ear (some people find him impossible to listen to, because of his speaking disorder and the trance that begets him when speaking) I encourage you to watch some of his interviews and speeches, just keep in mind though, he can be really brutal sometimes, when putting his point across.




I share GM's response to your example of China's successes as being those of Marxism.  (IMHO the more accurate term would be "fascism", but that is not really the point)  Also I would most certainly add a) China's extraordinary rape of the environment and b) the many good reasons to wonder if it is in a huge bubble.

and

I hate to break this to you Andrew, but China is getting rich though capitalism.


No harm done GM. And I agree with the rest of the quote, apart from the thing cited below this.. Thats why I said radical corporate communism. My whole sentence was somewhat of a pun to trick you a bit (since China is communist only by way of the ruling party), which you have duly noticed yourselves, but main point was, Marxist economy doesnt exist. If you find such a thing, I will gladly seek it through. What you DO have however, is Marxist analysis of not only capitalism, but of all socio-economical formations. And then you have political figures, who have (ab)used Marx' findings, and started making their utopias. Marx himself said „ I have no intention of being a prophet“.

The Chinese laugh at "worker's paradise" slogans.

Marx notion of worker is not a phyiscal worker. Blue collar mexican doing 8 to 2000. A worker in his view is anyone who lives off the fruits of his work. From janitor to a soldier to a university teacher. A capitalist is someone who lives off the surplus of someone elses work. Workers paradises were constructs of later men, who sought to „unite the proletariat“. If they misread it intentionally or just as a means to an end, I do not know.

Did you know that, all but one decree of the Communist manifesto have already been incorporated.Only the abolition of private property has remained off charts, but even that is starting to manifest itself in a modern form through cybernetic commodites and the problem of ownership on the Internet. The nordic states,the social states, are the closest version to what „Marxist economy“ could be said to imply, based on its inherent critiques of capitalism..


IMHO to serve your stated mission, the Fromm URL would have been a better place to start, particularly if you were to have deleted  "I doubt anyone will get halfway even into the first article, but at least my consciousness will be at rest, since there is no way of getting anything across here with writing your heart out."

Again, guilty as charged. I digress, the tone was misplaced. Doubting anyone will get halfway was meant beacuse I thought you would find it that boring, not in the manner that you would not understand it or anything.


@ Doug

It seems to me that we could resolve this dispute by referring to the failed, oppressive economic and governmental systems of these failed states as 'Stalinist' rather than socialist, communist or Marxist.  Same goes for describing or warning about any the same moves here and elsewhere toward a more powerful central government and away from the constitutionally limited government we once knew, based on individual liberties explicitly including economic liberties and thankfulness to God.  I, for one, would be happy to start referring to these programs, policies and proposals as Stalinist and quit smearing the confusing and misunderstood work of Karl Marx.


Nicely written.

If the real thrust of Marx's work would give us specific insights into how to solve current economic problems, please post.


I dare not to write about stuff, that even current Noble prize winners, and economical hardliners cannot rightfully predict. To top it off, I am not really knowledgable on it. What can be said though, is that the problem of the falling profit rate (in marx' terms), is to some extent, one of the indicators that started to plunge the crisis into next gear in 2007/08. And Marx, after Ricardo, wrote to oblivion about it, how it is the demise of capitalism, already 200 years ago. If you agree with it, or find it problematic, I strongly suggest you study the topic on your own, and make respectful conclusions, as it is with all serious work, you must absorb it yourself.


Why would anyone who is rational fight against other people's religion if it is peaceful and consensual?


Look up the notion of Alienation, and what it implies. In short, it was one of his critiques, that human relations are degraded to relations between objects, because of capital, and man is slowly becoming alienated to his natural sein. Like you cited, Marx' fight against God is that against the Idol. The symbol of the religion as institution, the Church.... „those who attribute the opinions of the masses to the gods“


kind regards to all

Andraz
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DougMacG
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« Reply #209 on: May 30, 2011, 09:16:42 PM »

Thanks Andraz,  That was a great reply.  We are very lucky to have one who respects Karl Marx on our Marxism Stalinism thread!

Shifting quickly to where we disagree, or at least where I don't buy Marxism:

"A capitalist is someone who lives off the surplus of someone elses work."

No.  That is false in 2011 (IMO) and I would also say false in 1867 as well.  He or she employs and  CREATES the surplus of another's work.  A capitalist is one who (long sentence coming) accepts and enters a risk/reward relationship investing in a faith in the value of other peoples work and procures the machinery and real estate and research and investment in labor agreements, directs orchestrates, innovates and competes for one thing to secure a reward for his troubles but also as a consequence brings advancement, employment, opportunity, fruits of labor and benefits and security and bread and bacon and retirement dollars, kids racing skis and traveling soccer fees and gas for the family vehicle etc. to everyone he hires, by successfully betting on the success of the others he invests in.  A capitalist is also one who bets wrong, takes on risks and loses.  Then he reverts back to laborer if he can - in a world without a government paying out a thousand and fifty distinct social spending programs making all those choices so much more confusing.

Laborers without capital would be like a roomful of musicians - without instruments, music or a conductor.  

A digger for example has no capability whatsoever without a shovel and no competitiveness or productivity without something something made by Caterpillar or equivalent.  If you want to win contracts burying cable you will need $20,000 for the machine.  If you have that and want to be an independent, you can be the capitalist and the laborer, just like I am in my industry.  If you are strictly a worker and not the capitalist, then you need to hook up with the capital and the capitalist by applying for a job from someone who sees enough reward to choose that business over opening a bakery or a butcher shop etc.

One of the beautiful things is that in a free society, you can switch from laborer to capitalist in less than one lifetime.  We don't have tatoos, piercings or other markings to say which class you are, unless you choose to have one. I used to work at least 2 jobs at a time, tuck away what I could until I could afford to borrow and invest enough to get started and duplicate that success doubling and quadrupling what I had.  Now I work twice as hard and age twice as quickly from the stress.

Show me where capital isn't equally important to labor.  Labor is nothing without capital and capital is nothing without labor.  Even the public sector is loaded with capital and they are NOT any more efficient with it. The balance of power shifts sometimes, mostly to the side of labor as they have more votes.  When the power imbalance is too far off, the excess guarantees and benefits to labor collapse the capital structure until failure sets in for all.

What I learned so far about Marx is that he was more of a philosopher of the human spirit than he was a designer of the specific economic systems falsely attributed to him: "Marxist economy doesn't exist".  To us, a successful Marxist economy may be a fiction, achieving the creative energy of Hollywood or the innovative energy of the old Silicon Valley without the involvement of business owners, venture capitalists, commercial bankers, business brokers, risk capital, mutual funds, excess profits, losses, bankruptcies or capital gains.  To Andraz, perhaps it is something still possible but difficult to design and achieve.  
« Last Edit: May 30, 2011, 09:34:24 PM by DougMacG » Logged
AndrewBole
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« Reply #210 on: May 31, 2011, 06:20:55 PM »

Hi Doug. Thanks for the kind words.


Your argument is perfectly valid. It is also along the lines of many of marx' critiques, especially coming from people of anglosaxon thought tradition and also, to a point, lifestyle.

Before I go further, you have to take into account that to some extent, the word „capitalist“ used today is an anachronism compared to 1867 or so. Today capitalist means a whole lot more than it did before, and on the other hand, the word „burgeois“ practically doesnt even exist anymore. The catch here is, the term „capitalist“ meant several other stuff about ownership and production relations compared to what it means today. It was less "layered", if you will....  the „entrepreneurial“ use of the word „capitalist“ that you mostly described, and is generally in use today, was packed into that same context also.


If you look at Marx' 3 main production factors, they are work, land and entrepreneurship, which takes into account mostly everything that you have written above. Marx goes further, when he even says, to use an anachronism, that managers actually contribute and support to the improvment and advancement of production and forces of production.

The other part of your answer can be tackled with the fact that marx generally understands two types of work, simple and complex. Complex work is work with inherent need of subsequent knowledge to sustain it. Simple work is work, without the need of knowledge to sustain it, i.e. You only need to be shown one, or two times how to dig a ditch, whereas to be an IT engineer you need to constantly educate, and evolve to keep up with the stream.


So when I say "A capitalist is someone who lives off the surplus of someone elses work." the capitalist is used in historicist terms. Perhaps it was insufficient explaining on my part. In the terms of the times, so to speak. So after this brief explanation, let me continue upon that quote

The capitalist, or the burgeois (the evil bad ones) are those that get reciprocally far more output than they have invested, and do so on the account of the worker, or the proletariat, or anyone who offers his expertise on the labor market.  Here comes the connection with the failing profit rate. Simply speaking, it implies that the circle of the owners will get narrower, and the dispersion a lot greater, hence after a while the owners will have more and more problems finding people who would buy their product. This consist part of the argument that the Austrians use a lot, that crisis is the kernel of capitalism, where through marxist prism it really does reverse the situation, because it erases parts of the products that cannot be sold anymore, and lets say rebalances the equation.

 Generically put, Marx' point was just, that the relation worker-capital-owner is gravely  unfair for the worker, compared to what each party puts in and that the respectful distribution of wealth is even less fair. Today this rings more true than even 100 years ago, where average salary ratio within a big company was cca 1:20, today it is 1:300.


This points one of the more viable critics of his analysis, which I am also currently reading up on in Leszek Kolakowski's, Main Currents of Marxism, that he didnt explain or progress the term of „value“ of the input enough, which he merely grazed with his concept of communitiy viable product (im not entirely sure the translation is correct, basically it should mean products that the community needs, values).

hope more is clear, I will have a hard time responding in the next 14 days again, due to obligations, but make no mistake, I will read everything Smiley

regards
 

« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 06:24:45 PM by AndrewBole » Logged
G M
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« Reply #211 on: May 31, 2011, 09:29:35 PM »


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybh9JzdFT_U&feature=player_embedded

Not a zero-sum game.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #212 on: June 01, 2011, 10:15:29 AM »

The Stossel piece is EXCELLENT.  I wish our new Governor, ready to shut government down over keeping a tax increase promise on the rich, could see the segment on Maryland where the same policy cost their state revenues, jobs and millionaires.

Amazing how so many highly educated people and highly important organizations - OMB, CBO, DNC, NYT, POTUS, all liberals and most conservatives - can keep basing policies, predictions and arguments on the patently false, fixed pie theory.

The statements on camera of Prof. Arthur Laffer, saying (paraphrasing)that this economy has an amazing potential for new growth right now if only we could get the policies right, tells us once again that many famous and influential people out there are reading the forum.  wink
-------------
Economist Art Laffer says we “can bring the fiscal situation back under control pretty quickly” by privatizing Fannie, Freddie, AIG and GM, cutting back on entitlements and instituting a flat tax.  If we do that, says Laffer, we’ll have “huge economic growth.”

But huge economic growth is the antithesis to the current governing agenda.


« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 10:17:24 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #213 on: June 01, 2011, 10:57:09 AM »

Good conversation going here.  My apologies for the brevity of what follows, but there are many demands on my time right now.

I reject separating Marx from what his followers have done with considerable consistency.  The pattern of the extraordinarily murderous nature of Leninism, Stalinism, the Soviet Empire, Maoism, the Kymer Rouge, North Korea, etc  is no accident.  It ineluctably flows from the nature of concept such as "dictatorhip of the proletariat" and "the vanguard" and so forth.  The nature of Marxist logic becomes a feedback loop that repeatedly leads to mass evil.  How many did Lenin murder?  Stalin?  the rest of the Soviet Empire? Mao? the Kymer Rouge? etc etc etc  And let us not forget the evils of a lives lived with freedom suppressed.

Rachel's post today on "The Power of Word" thread opens with "He is a self-made man who worships his creator." This captures quite a bit IMHO.



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G M
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« Reply #214 on: June 01, 2011, 11:11:00 AM »



I reject separating Marx from what his followers have done with considerable consistency.  The pattern of the extraordinarily murderous nature of Leninism, Stalinism, the Soviet Empire, Maoism, the Kymer Rouge, North Korea, etc  is no accident.  It ineluctably flows from the nature of concept such as "dictatorhip of the proletariat" and "the vanguard" and so forth.  The nature of Marxist logic becomes a feedback loop that repeatedly leads to mass evil.  How many did Lenin murder?  Stalin?  the rest of the Soviet Empire? Mao? the Kymer Rouge? etc etc etc  And let us not forget the evils of a lives lived with freedom suppressed.



It's not a bug, it's a feature!
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bigdog
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« Reply #215 on: June 01, 2011, 11:14:31 AM »

Stossel: "For the first time since the founding of the Republic, people are visibly mad.  They are pushing back against the growth of government."  This is only true if one counts the founding of the Republic as being around 2000, rather than the late 1700's.  The push back against the Alien and Sedition Acts, the nullification crisis, the Civil War, most of the elections in the early 1900's, and there goes the Reagan Revolution.  I guess conservatives can put his false impact to rest.  Reagan Democrats?  Never happened.  RR landslide in 1984.  Down the conservative wormhole, I guess.  


Art Laffer's version of facts (admittedly not taken from his discussion within the video): http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/06/art-laffer-make-up-your-own-facts-here/
Laffer on the housing market bubble: http://realestaterecord.blogspot.com/2008/03/art-laffer.html

People get elected or reelected all the time by criticising government.  Look at congressional elections for evidence.  On this Gary Johnson isn't all that special.  His willingness to use the veto is noteworthy, but it is also worth noting that as governor he had the use of the line item veto, which presidents do not have.  

Stossel: "The Founders knew [where government should end and personal responsibility begins].  Government should end at keeping the peace, enforcing contracts, and property rights."  I wonder if Stossel has read Article I, section 8 and the vesting clause of Article II.  

He sure talks a good game, though.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #216 on: June 01, 2011, 12:15:39 PM »

"For the first time since the founding of the Republic, people are visibly mad.  They are pushing back against the growth of government."

Good catch by BD on that erroneous statement.  People have been visibly mad many other times and conservatives have been pushing back unsuccessfully for a very long time.

More accurately stated from my point of view, those of us who are mid-fifties and any other age have ALMOST never seen a successful or meaningful push back against the growth of government, not during Reagan and not during Bush, and we aren't likely to see one now.

My point in commendation was regarding the exposure of fixed pie thinking.

From the first Laffer link:  "But considering all this occurred with their man in the White House for 8 years..."

G.W. Bush is "their man in the White House" ??  When did George Bush rein in the size or scope of government?  George Bush gave supply side economics a bad name without ever trying it, IMHO.  

"Reagan had the good fortune to take office at the tail end of a 16 year secular bear market..."

This passes for political economic analysis of the Reagan era.  Wow.

For the second link: "Art Laffer, Economist, B.A. Econ Yale '63, MBA/Ph.D. Econ Stanford '65/'71  His last name says it all--his views on the economy are a 'laffer'."  - We haven't moved very far past Weiner jokes.  In spite of his wrongheadedness about bullishness expressed in the video while the economy was moving full speed ahead, I can't think of a single cause of the Housing bubble and collapse that Laffer favored or supported in terms of policies.

The implication of playing a summer 2006 video in hindsight of a fall 2008 collapse is to suggest that this mess wasn't avoidable. (?)

That economists can't and don't predict recessions accurately is a fact.  I look to economists for policies and their effects, not predictions.  Obviously Schiff got that one right and Laffer got it wrong.  In the 25 years leading up to it the crash predictors were generally the ones that were wrong.  Give Schiff some credit here but he isn't exactly pushing the agenda that followed as the anti-Laffer, bigger yet government policies very soon took center stage.  

The first thing Laffer got wrong was his premise, saying that we aren't raising taxes anytime soon, yet the 100% clear message sent and received 3 months after that with the election sweep of the Pelosi-Reid-Obama congress was that yes, in fact we are.  The announcement of serious tax rate hikes coming along with all the uncertainty about when and by how much was the trigger IMO for what was about to happen next, hardly Laffer's doing.  At the time of the video, we were in the midst of 50 months of continuous job growth.  Laffer made some now embarrassing statements about inherent strength, but I doubt he favored the federal government taking over 90% of private mortgages or favored the increasing push to have those loans made with cash back instead of money down, or favored making any of those loans on any factors other than creditworthiness.  I doubt he even favors the mortgage deduction!  Laffer'ss opponents, Barney Frank, young Barack, and all the Dems and all the willing RINOs who watched over those expansions and abuses (not Schiff) favored or at least tolerated all of that.

I reject the notion that all of this collapse was necessary and inevitable (in August 2006) and that we then needed the big government push to lock our private economy in at the lowest point for 3 or more years following the collapse.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2011, 12:34:28 PM by DougMacG » Logged
G M
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« Reply #217 on: June 01, 2011, 05:55:05 PM »


http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/cpr-19n5-5.html

Market Reforms for China
 

On June 15-18, 1997, the Cato Institute held its second conference in Shanghai, China. The first was in September 1988. Conference panels dealt with economic development, the rule of law, international affairs, the environment, and the welfare state. Following are excerpts from the remarks of James A. Dorn, Cato's vice president for economic affairs and conference organizer; Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president for defense and foreign policy studies; Jerry Taylor, director of natural resource studies; Yeung Wai Hong, publisher of Hong Kong's Next magazine; Fan Gang, director of the China Reform Foundation; and Kate Xiao Zhou, author of How the Farmers Changed China.
 
James A. Dorn: The Soviet system failed because it disregarded reality. It denied that individuals wish to improve themselves and pursue happiness; that information is costly, constantly changing, and widely dispersed and cannot be usefully centralized; and that voluntary exchange leads to mutual gain. Soviet-style planning destroyed the institutions of property and contract that underpin the free market and created a rigid economic system that ultimately collapsed of its own weight. The fatal conceit inherent in the Soviet vision was that government planners could run an economy like a machine and create long-run prosperity.Although China has recognized the error of Soviet-style central planning and has introduced a market system, that system is still half-baked. The question is, Will China move all the way to a genuine free private market?

In making that transition, China could learn from the West and also from its own ancient culture. The philosophy of Lao-tzu, found in the Tao Te Ching, written some 2,000 years before Adam Smith's TheWealth of Nations, contains many parallels to Smith's work in its emphasis on nonintervention and the principle of spontaneous order. In 1776 Smith argued that if "all systems either of preference or of restraint" were "completely taken away," a "simple system of natural liberty" would evolve "of its own accord." Each individual would then be "left perfectly free to pursue his own interest his own way, and to bring both his industry and capital into competition with those of any other man, or group of men," provided "he does not violate the laws of justice."

In the free-market system advocated by Smith, people get rich by serving others and respecting their property rights. Thus, the system of natural liberty has both a moral foundation and a practical outcome. Private property and free markets make people responsible and responsive. By allowing individuals the freedom to discover their comparative advantage and to trade, market liberalism has produced great wealth wherever it has been tried, with no better example than Hong Kong.

The notion that a laissez-faire system will be harmonious if government safeguards persons and property is the foundation of the West's vision of a market-liberal order, but, as I mentioned before, it is also inherent in the ancient Chinese Taoist vision a self-regulating order--an order we might call "market Taoism." Just as the principle of spontaneous order is central to economic liberalism, the principle of wu-wei (nonaction) is fundamental to Taoism.

"The philosophy of Lao-tzu," writes Wing-Tsit Chan, "is not for the hermit, but for the sage-ruler, who does not desert the world but rules it with noninterference." In the Tao Te Ching, it is written: "Take no action and the people of themselves are transformed. . . . Engage in no activity and the people of themselves become prosperous." Moreover, "when the government is non-discriminative and dull, the people are contented and generous." On the other hand, "the more laws and orders are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be."

Like bamboo, the free market is resilient, and like water, the market will seek its natural course--a course that will be smoother, the wider the path the market can take and the firmer the institutional banks that contain it. The challenge for China is to widen the free market and provide the institutional infrastructure necessary to support private markets.

It's time for China to reclaim her heritage and once again cultivate the idea of spontaneous order. That order is market Taoism, not market socialism.
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bigdog
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« Reply #218 on: June 01, 2011, 06:20:01 PM »

"That economists can't and don't predict recessions accurately is a fact."

But economists can predict with absolute certainty that tax cuts will produce X in increased revenue/jobs/etc.?  Of course not, but the willingness to believe that is undeterred.  There are models, with margins of error, standard deviations, error terms (not that those are included enough) and even the models that include a dozen or more variables can only predict a small portion of the outcome.   
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G M
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« Reply #219 on: June 01, 2011, 06:27:43 PM »

We can see that additional taxes and regulation harm tax revenue and economic growth. "No society has ever taxed it's self into prosperity." We might debate smaller policies, but free markets work best.
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bigdog
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« Reply #220 on: June 01, 2011, 06:37:36 PM »

I think you should look at GDP (by population) of other countries, notably Scandavian countries (but a few others) with higher tax rates and more per capita wealth.

You know why?  Variables. 

We can see that additional taxes and regulation harm tax revenue and economic growth. "No society has ever taxed it's self into prosperity." We might debate smaller policies, but free markets work best.
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G M
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« Reply #221 on: June 01, 2011, 07:39:10 PM »

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-603.pdf

As
seen in Figure 2, measures of per capita GDP
from the World Bank, the OECD, the IMF,
and the CIA all show that Americans have
about $6,000 of additional economic output
per person, significantly more than $20,000
for each family of four.
Although per capita GDP is an excellent
measure of overall economic output relative
to population, it does not necessarily measure
living standards. Comparing U.S. and
Nordic living standards requires numbers for
disposable income or personal consumption.
Fortunately, both types of numbers are available.
In both cases, the figures demonstrate
that GDP statistics actually understate the
degree to which people in Nordic nations
have lower living standards compared to
their American counterparts.

The OECD, for instance, has two data
series for disposable income, both included in
Figure 3. According to a study using 2003
data, the average person in the United States
had more than $27,000 of disposable income,
while the average person in Nordic nations
(no data available for Iceland) had disposable
income of barely $14,300, less than 53 percent
of the U.S. level.10 Even Norwegians, bolstered
by oil wealth, had per capita disposable
income of less than $16,800, barely 62 percent
of the American level. Danes and Finns are at
the bottom, with less than 50 percent of the
disposable income of the average American. A
separate data series, which includes numbers
for Iceland, is more flattering to Nordic
nations. Per capita disposable income in
America barely changes, but the average disposable
income for Nordic nations climbs by
more than $3,000.11 But even if this data
series is more accurate, the average resident of
a Nordic nation has only 65 percent of the
disposable income of the average American.
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bigdog
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« Reply #222 on: June 01, 2011, 07:53:02 PM »

http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/08/cross-country-c.html

"Cross-Country Comparisons of Inequality in Market and Disposable Income: Policy Matters"
Stephen Gordon looks at the relationship between inequality and government policy:


Cross-country comparisons of inequality in market and disposable income: Policy matters, Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: This graph is taken from a recent Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) working paper (45-page pdf):


Click on graph to enlarge
The countries are arranged in ascending order of inequality in disposable income, and  the Nordic countries take four of the top five positions. What strikes me is the extent to which this is due to government policy: the Gini coefficient for market income in Canada is the same as Denmark's, and is quite a bit lower than in Sweden. Indeed, Sweden is closer to the US than it is to any of the other Nordic countries.

A recurrent theme in discussions of the Nordic model takes the form of "That's all very well, but those policies won't work here without [insert some feature of Nordic countries here]." Libertarian types who would otherwise approve of the free market dynamism of the Nordics assert that the Nordic model can only work in small, homogeneous countries. As a general argument, I'm not convinced - but I can see why it would be hard to export the Nordic model to the US.

At the other end of the spectrum - those who would otherwise approve of Nordic levels of spending on social programs - some (eg: this commenter) point to the role of trade unions. But it's hard to conclude from this chart that union density matters much when it comes to reducing inequality. For example, look at Germany (where unions play a crucial role in setting wages) and the US (where they are decidedly less important): both have identical levels of inequality of market income. The distribution of disposable income is lower in Germany because of its redistributive policies, not because unions are more powerful.

That's not to say that cross-country institutional/cultural idiosyncrasies aren't important; they are. But there's little reason to believe that these factors have to be  changed before the Nordic model can work
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G M
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« Reply #223 on: June 01, 2011, 08:01:47 PM »

So, if I understand correctly, the lower living standards found in the Scandinavian nations are less unequal than the higher standards of living in the US?
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bigdog
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« Reply #224 on: June 01, 2011, 08:49:32 PM »

http://hdr.undp.org/en/media/HDR_2010_EN_Tables_reprint.pdf

Number 1.  Norway
Number 4.  U.S.

http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/indicators/66706.html
Savings of Norwegians is more than 16x that of Americans (might explain the disposable income)

GDP of Norway is about $12,000 more than for US http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/indicators/62006.html
GNI of Norway is higher http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/indicators/90406.html
Unemployment rate is lower http://hdrstats.undp.org/en/indicators/44006.html (So much for higher taxes leading to job cuts, you know, automatically)


When I built my own dataset, with nothing included but income factors, Luxenbourg is 1, Norway 2, Hong Kong is 3, Iceland is 9, Denmark 11, Finland is 14.  Can't find the US on the list.  Literally.

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G M
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« Reply #225 on: June 01, 2011, 09:20:53 PM »

http://mises.org/daily/2259

The reason Sweden no longer trails the rest of Europe is that these reforms, which have not been implemented in most continental European countires, have made the Swedish economy relatively freer.

And even with these reforms, Sweden has not, in fact, performed better than the rest of Europe. While headline GDP growth has been slightly higher, this advantage disappears when taking into account that Sweden's terms of trade have deteriorated significantly.

And if we exclude heavy-weight laggards Germany and Italy, Sweden has in fact continued to fall behind the Continent, event with Europe's dismal performance compared to most other parts of the world.

If we look beneath the aggregate production figures, we can see deep structural problems. The number of people employed is now 6% lower than in 1990, a weaker development than in any other western economy. By contrast, even with the weak job growth in recent years (by American standards), employment in the United States is 20% higher than in 1990.

And the number of people employed in Sweden is actually lower than in 1980, too. You have to go back to the mid-1970s to find employment numbers lower than the current ones. While total employment has been roughly unchanged since 1975, it masks a significant decline in male employment. And if you look only at the private sector, employment is now at a level lower than in 1950.

Social Democrats still often claim that Sweden has a comparatively high employment rate, but this claim is based on deceptive employment statistics that count as employed many who have been on long-term sick leave or in some other way on the receiving end of transfer payment programs, even though they don't actually work.Moreover, the "stay at home mom" is very rare in Sweden. Because of the incentives created by the feminist construction of the Swedish welfare system, mothers mostly leave their children at government day care centers. Even if you believe that mothers who stay home to take care of their children are the victims of patriarchical oppression, you cannot deny the childcare takes a lot of work, but only those who take care of other people's children count as employed. By shifting childcare from the home to the public sector, the government further exaggerates Swedish employment figures.

The headline unemployment rate in Sweden is only 5–5.5%, but this number is extremely misleading as it only includes a small number of the people who the government pays not to work. Many unemployed are sent to so-called "labor market political activities" — activities whose only purpose is to reduce the official unemployment rate.

If we ignore this ruse, unemployment is 8%. And if you also include the enormous number of early retirees and people who live off sickness benefits, the real unemployment rate is more like 25%. The number of early retirees is 540,000, more than double the number of officially unemployed. Among non-Western immigrants, the real unemployment rate is higher than 50%.All of this is exactly what we should expect from transfer payment benefits to people who don't work, from massive payroll taxes, income taxes, and value-added taxes. This has greatly inhibited the growth of a labor-intensive private-service sector that could have provided jobs for many of the unemployed immigrants.
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bigdog
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« Reply #226 on: June 01, 2011, 09:28:43 PM »

The same basic argument can be made about the unemployment rate in the US, where that statistic is based on people are looking for work.  Many give up before finding a job, so the unemployment rate in the US is not a real indication of the number people working.  Next argument, please. 
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DougMacG
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« Reply #227 on: June 02, 2011, 12:58:26 AM »

The Swedish model, when it was successful, was based on a homogeneous society with a universally strong cultural work ethic. Free services and high taxes made more sense when everyone had a stake in it.  That hardly comparable with the USA with more than half the people not producing.

Sweden now faces it its own immigration influx with its own cultural problems and is quickly backing away from the so-called Swedish model.

All that said, not everyone agrees with the conclusion that Europe or Sweden is richer than the U.S.  Per capita income comparisons vary greatly based on exchange rates and purchasing power.  Adjusted for purchasing power parity using 2008 data, Sweden would actually be the 43rd richest state in the union, if part of America.  Germany would be 46th and France or Belgium would be 48th.  Data Sources: GDP by state (BEA), state population (Census), European GDP-PPP per capita (World Bank via Wikipedia).
http://mjperry.blogspot.com/2010/01/paul-krugman-extols-europes-economic.html  (University of Michigan)


« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 01:05:46 AM by DougMacG » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #228 on: June 02, 2011, 02:14:42 AM »

"But economists can predict with absolute certainty that tax cuts will produce X in increased revenue/jobs/etc.?  Of course not, but the willingness to believe that is undeterred."

Here's what I believe.  Efficient taxation has some optimal tax rate for maximizing revenue and minimizing damage to the economy based on the disincentive to produce that it inflicts.  We can't know that exact rate with exact certainty.  If we are already below that rate, cutting taxes costs revenue.  If we are above the rate, as is usually the case, revenues surge in a sustained way when tax rate cuts are implemented.

Examples:
1) JFK tax rate cuts spurred economic growth and increased revenues
2) Reagan cuts from 70% to 28% and revenues doubled in the 1980s
3) Capital gains tax rate cuts under Clinton-Gingrich - 20 million new jobs(?)
4) Bush Tax rate cuts: 50 months continuous job growth until impending expiration became a certainty.

All of these examples above acted to grow the economy and grow revenues to the Treasury. Not shown in these numbers is that revenues to the STATE treasuries also surge with tax cut inspired economic growth.  I have read economists who say otherwise but I prefer to believe my lying eyes. http://www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy09/pdf/hist.pdf  p.22
 
"There are models, with margins of error, standard deviations, error terms (not that those are included enough) and even the models that include a dozen or more variables can only predict a small portion of the outcome."

Yes, and in the most important analysis, we don't use them.  CBO/OMB are still stuck on static analysis, pretending to deny that an incentive/disincentive effect comes into play.  After the implementation of the 2003 tax rate cuts, actual revenues realized surpassed official revenue predictions by as much as a hundred billion dollars per year:.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/washington/09econ.html
Surprising Jump in Tax Revenues Is Curbing Deficit
By EDMUND L. ANDREWS
Published: July 9, 2006

WASHINGTON, July 8 — An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year, even though spending has climbed sharply because of the war in Iraq and the cost of hurricane relief.  On Tuesday, White House officials are expected to announce that the tax receipts will be about $250 billion above last year's levels (11.6% increase in one year! - DM) and that the deficit will be about $100 billion less than what they projected six months ago.
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BD,  Would you contend that the fact that economic growth started exactly with the tax rate cuts, lasted  50 consecutive months, and ended exactly at the moment that Dems took congress promising higher tax rates on employers and the unemployment curve headed decidedly upward - is strictly a COINCIDENCE?
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bigdog
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« Reply #229 on: June 02, 2011, 05:53:21 AM »

DMG: Excellent posts.  I would note that Norway would be the 6th ranked state.  I'm not sure that undermines my argument, since I had been focusing on Norway as a point of comparison.

I'm not sure what you mean about not using models for the most important analysis. 

Perhaps I've not been clear, but my point was not that tax cuts can't/don't/won't lead to jobs.  It's that it doesn't necessarily lead to jobs.  There are other issues at hand. 

Are you contending that the tax cuts led directly to the recession?  If not, there is one pretty obvious issue.
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G M
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« Reply #230 on: June 02, 2011, 08:38:10 AM »

http://www.heritage.org/index/Ranking

Economic freedom rankings.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #231 on: June 02, 2011, 11:26:05 AM »

GM: "Economic freedom rankings."     USA = no. 9.  (44th in the freedom to produce our own energy.) What medal does one get in the Olympics for 9th place, or 44th?  We can put a man on the moon.  Can't we set a national priority of moving up that list?

Bigdog: "I'm not sure what you mean about not using models for the most important analysis."  - We have serious politicians and political arms like CBO/OMB that refuse to include the best tools available to include changes in behavior in their predictions of outcomes.  In other words they will say that a tax hike of 1% on a million will bring new revenues of $10,000, when in fact some people will move assets, change economic activity, retire early or leave like in Maryland where a tax tax rate increase moved revenues backwards.  The rich in particular have the greatest ability to change their economic behavior and you never grow jobs by chasing away investment.

I have long proposed requiring an unintended consequences statement approved with new taxes or renewed spending along the lines of an environmental impact statement required of developers.  We need to discuss publicly what are the other effects of our policies, not only the intended or stated ones.  One obvious impact of some current policies is the flight to unproductive assets like gold and silver and out of job creation investments.
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"It's that [tax rate cuts] doesn't necessarily lead to jobs.  There are other issues at hand."

True, although they have a pretty stellar record in my lifetime; I listed 4 large examples.  Other issues is the point I was trying to make saying that George W. Bush gave supply side economics a bad name without ever trying it.  Yes, he cut tax rates (did one thing right) and then let everything else run in the direction of bigger and bigger government consuming more and more resources in the economy, controlling the private sector, starving the private sector of those resources and burdening the private sector with that cost whether it is taxed or not. Hardly supply side economics unless one believes big government is the supplier.   sad


"Are you contending that the tax cuts led directly to the recession?  If not, there is one pretty obvious issue."

I think I said that the certainty of tax rate increases coming is what triggered the collapse.  Tax increases coming, also symbolic of other anti-employment policies meant the end of job growth.  The end of job growth meant that high priced, highly leveraged homes were now over-priced and over-leveraged.  A tax increase certain for later means not only that investors have to sell before the tax increase ... each investor knew he/she had to selloff before the other investors do or they will lose all those gains anyway.  And they did.
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bigdog
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« Reply #232 on: June 02, 2011, 05:03:13 PM »

I wish we could talk things out over some beers DougMacG.  I often feel like we take different approaches to addressing the same issues.  I think we should run on the same ticket some time.

Denmark, a Scandanavian country, is number 8. 
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G M
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« Reply #233 on: June 02, 2011, 05:05:32 PM »

Canada is doing much better than us, didn't used to be the case. We are headed in the wrong direction.
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G M
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« Reply #234 on: June 02, 2011, 05:17:13 PM »

Our national expeiments with welfare-stateism have left us with our current financial nightmare and the ticking medicare and social security timebombs. To quote our president's spiritual advisor of twenty years "Chickens are coming home to roost". How much more is the Obamacare debacle going to cost?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #235 on: June 03, 2011, 12:17:30 PM »

Bigdog: "I wish we could talk things out over some beers DougMacG.  I often feel like we take different approaches to addressing the same issues.  I think we should run on the same ticket some time."


I would be honored to have a beer summit with you, no preconditions.  In the meantime I would like to learn all I can about your approach to the issues.  When we get to the point of running on the same ticket, I'm hope the discussion will have moved beyond the liberal fascism thread. wink
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bigdog
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« Reply #236 on: June 03, 2011, 08:14:41 PM »

A beer summit could lead to excellent photo ops, and serve as a launching pad for the campaign!  Maybe we can even rent a big bus with ours names on it, drive it around, and say we are on vacation???

Bigdog: "I wish we could talk things out over some beers DougMacG.  I often feel like we take different approaches to addressing the same issues.  I think we should run on the same ticket some time."


I would be honored to have a beer summit with you, no preconditions.  In the meantime I would like to learn all I can about your approach to the issues.  When we get to the point of running on the same ticket, I'm hope the discussion will have moved beyond the liberal fascism thread. wink
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G M
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« Reply #237 on: June 03, 2011, 08:40:03 PM »

Ok, BD. You are the new president to be sworn in 1/2013. What policies would you want to dig us out of our economic crisis.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #238 on: June 04, 2011, 06:06:35 AM »

An outstanding question.  May I suggest the Poltical Economics thread for its discussion?

In the context of a conversation about some chilling color photos of Hitler, Nazi rallies, etc. in the 1930s that recently surfaced, an internet friend writes:
===================
I am reading about another "picture" of 1939 Nazi Germany -- a verbal picture that is even more frightening. This ePub formatted book, The Vampire Economy, was written in 1939. It paints a detailed picture of what living under National Socialism (the Nazi government) was like from the business man's point of view. I haven't finished the book yet, but the opening chapters are enough to demonstrate that we don't ever want to "go there."


More frightening than this history itself is the light that it shines on contemporary economies in the US and around the world. Almost everywhere, people are accepting a version of "state capitalism" as their definition of "capitalism" or even their definition of "free markets." The growing number of economic "features" we share with Nazi Germany is, for me, a very disturbing development. Most of the bureaucratic details enumerated in the attached book are not to be seen in the 2011 USA, but far too many are right here, front and center. Consider the author's discussion of the "contact man":


"THE business organization of private enterprise has had to be reorganized in accordance with the new state of things. Departments which previously were the heart of a firm have become of minor importance. Other departments which either did not exist or which had only auxiliary functions have become dominant and have usurped the real functions of management.


Formerly the purchasing agent and the salesmanager were among the most important members of a business organization. Today the emphasis has shifted and a curious new business aide, a sort of combination “go-between” and public relations counsel, is now all-important. His job ... is to maintain good personal relations with officials in the Economic Ministry, where he is an almost daily caller; he studies all the new regulations and decrees, knows how to interpret them in relation to his particular firm and is able to guess at what may be permitted or forbidden. In other words, it is his business to know how far one can go without being caught."


As the author explains this role in detail, it becomes clear that it isn't so different from that of our lobbyists and our tax attorneys. As to the importance of government connections, consider Dick Cheney's importance to Halliburton.


Could the US ever reach Nazi Germany's demented depths of state capitalism (i.e. fascism)? I would like to think that is impossible, but who knows? As this book makes clear, Nazi Germany would have been a horror even if genocide had never been on its agenda. Consider also that in the 1930s the US implemented a system that was a virtual copy of Italy's fascist government -- take a look at The Sources of New Deal Regime Uncertainty (http://mises.org/daily/5271/The-Sources-of-New-Deal-Regime-Uncertainty). A shocking number of Nazi Germany's economic methods were on display in the USA in this very same 1937-1939 period.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2011, 12:09:46 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #239 on: June 05, 2011, 12:16:52 PM »

http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/05/31/ and http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/2011/06/01/ on the race baiting tactics of the left
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G M
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« Reply #240 on: June 17, 2011, 02:27:40 PM »

THINK LIKE US - OR ELSE
 
Last Updated: 5:00 AM, June 4, 2007
 
Posted: 5:00 AM, June 4, 2007
 


COLUMBIA University's Teachers College is one of America's most prestigious education schools. For many students, it's proba bly the best - but not if you don't buy the school's definition of "social justice."

Teachers College evaluates students in part on the basis of so-called "dispositions," defined as "observable behaviors" that "involve the use of certain skills." One "disposition" is the student's "Respect for Diversity and Commitment to Social Justice."

This warps the discussion of whether a student might make a good teacher into whether that student has the "correct" personal, religious or political beliefs. Evaluating students' aptitude for teaching based on their commitment to "social justice" necessarily means that only one definition of "social justice" counts: Teachers College's definition, which demands that students recognize how "the legitimacy of the social order [is] flawed."





School materials call adherence to the college's definition of "social justice" a "critical" part of student performance. The definition requires students to accept, for example, that belief in the importance of "merit, social mobility and individual responsibility" is a merely a justification for "social inequalities." That is, a student who considers individual responsibility to be good would be a "bad" teacher.

Potentially great teachers with different opinions on what "social justice" means - devout Christians, Orthodox Jews or Randian atheists, for example - might be deemed insufficiently "correct" to graduate.

Unfortunately, reliance on politically loaded grading criteria to assess student performance isn't limited to Teachers College - it's a national problem. Until June 2006, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education required education schools seeking accreditation to consider "dispositions" like "a candidate's commitment to social justice" when evaluating students. NCATE has since dropped the requirement under criticism that it constituted a political litmus test.

Students whose understanding of "social justice" doesn't match that of their instructors have faced punishment across the country.

* Washington State University student Ed Swan received negative evaluations after telling a professor he was a conservative Christian, opposed gun control and believed that "white privilege and male privilege do not exist." He also had to attend mandatory diversity training and sign a "contract" agreeing to abide by the views of his professors or face expulsion.

* Le Moyne College in Syracuse expelled Scott McConnell after he stated in a writing assignment that he supported corporeal punishment and opposed "multicultural education."

Social-work students have faced similar problems.

* Emily Rooker, a student at Missouri State University, was required to send a signed letter to the Missouri Legislature supporting homosexual foster parenting and adoption. When she refused, faculty members attacked her for violating the school's policies.

* A prof at Rhode Island College told conservative student Bill Felkner that he'd get a lower grade if he refused to lobby the state Legislature on behalf of "progressive social change."

* At Brooklyn College School of Education, Professor K.C. Johnson was threatened with an official school investigation after publicly speaking out against the use of "dispositions."

Under pressure, Teachers College President Susan Fuhrman has claimed that the school doesn't evaluate students on their beliefs. However, she also recently indicated that Teachers College might change its written policies to match what she insists are its neutral practices.

If Teachers College really does believe that good teachers can come from all backgrounds and beliefs, it must change its policies. Until then, it doesn't deserve any accolades.

Written by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (thefire.org).


Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/item_YUXWJrUXuVZyNcmxshCvaJ
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G M
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« Reply #241 on: June 17, 2011, 02:42:32 PM »

Well, it's not like they supported the death penalty for apostates under sharia.....  rolleyes
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #242 on: June 17, 2011, 07:30:54 PM »

 shocked shocked shocked

That certainly conflicts with my first impression of the school.  I was a high school senior dating a woman about to graduate.  I would ditch school and go up to Columbia and she and I would have great sex all day long, then I would go home. grin grin grin

More seriously now, although I graduated from Columbia Law School, which in some circles is a fairly prestigious thing, there have been so many anti-patriotic liberal fascist things that I have seen coming out of the various schools at Columbia that I no longer feel pride in it.  cry
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #243 on: June 22, 2011, 12:27:09 PM »

Also posted on the UN thread:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/does-the-new-white-house-rural-council-uns-agenda-21/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #244 on: July 03, 2011, 07:29:01 PM »



Cornyn: Obama Bypassing Congress on Debt Limit is 'Crazy Talk'

Published July 03, 2011
FoxNews.com

Schools and universities across the country on Friday will celebrate the signing of the U.S. Constitution, a portion of which is seen here. But plans to commemorate the day at many federal agencies contacted by FoxNews.com remain unclear.

Sen. John Cornyn warned President Obama on Sunday to not even consider interpreting the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment to bypass Congress and raise the debt limit without its approval.

"That's crazy talk. It's not acceptable for Congress and the president not to do their job and to say somehow the president has the authority then to basically do this by himself," Cornyn, R-Texas, a former judge on the Texas Supreme Court, told "Fox News Sunday."

The proposal that Obama re-interpret Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment to justify raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit has been gaining traction in Democratic circles since Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told reporters that the Constitution's language could support the president's raising the limit without congressional approval.

'The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for the payments of pension and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion' -- this is the important thing -- 'shall not be questioned,' " Geithner read during a discussion hosted by Politico in May.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and others on Capitol Hill reportedly acknowledged that the idea is percolating, and had been presented to the president.

"It's certainly worth exploring. I think it needs a little more exploration and study," he said during a conference call with reporters held Friday.

Without addressing efforts to invoke the Constitution, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., said Sunday the president and congressional negotiators shouldn't even be discussing a debt deal privately.

"Congress is the constitutional place for this to be decided," said Sessions, who is the ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee.

Asked during a press conference Wednesday whether the debt limit was constitutional, the president glossed over the question, saying, "I'm not a Supreme Court justice, so I'm not going to put my constitutional law professor hat on here."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/07/03/cornyn-obama-bypassing-congress-on-debt-limit-is-crazy-talk/#ixzz1R5XfXq8F

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G M
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« Reply #245 on: July 03, 2011, 07:47:26 PM »

Is there anything Emperor Caliph Buraq can't do?
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JDN
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« Reply #246 on: July 03, 2011, 09:33:15 PM »

It's an interesting issue.

http://money.cnn.com/2011/06/30/news/economy/debt_ceiling_constitution/?hpt=po_bn1
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #247 on: July 03, 2011, 11:50:10 PM »

Oy fg vey JDN , , ,
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JDN
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« Reply #248 on: July 04, 2011, 12:30:44 AM »

I only said, "interesting".   smiley

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0311/52235.html
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G M
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« Reply #249 on: July 04, 2011, 07:13:12 AM »

http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/37192

Remember when the rule of law meant something?
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