Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Huffington Post Comments, 10/8/2012

Richard Duffy

The big question Romney should be asked is how he's going eliminate tax loopholes when Grover Norquist will personally have him driven out of the White House on a rail if he even tries anything that smacks of raising taxes on the rich!

Me:

I hear more about Grover Norquist in comment from the left than anywhere else.

Why do you think that he has any political power?

Richard Duffy 

Have you read about the guy? Because the Republicans follow his orders in complete lockstep. 

Me:

They do not. Where have you "learned" that from?

I was a republican from the time I first formed a political opinion until Romney became the GOP's presidential nominee. No one that I have ever read or talked to has ever even mentioned Grover Norquist, as more than another guy on our side.

From the approximately 1 article that I have read from Mr. Norquist I would like it if more republicans agreed with him. But republicans have constantly voted for things like increasing government spending and increasing the debt limit.

My compliments on picking someone other than el Rushbo to be the guy you claim that all republicans follow. That would've been a very unoriginal idea.

Richard Duffy   October 9, 2012 at 10:22am

You need to do some reading, if any Republican politician doesn't follow Norquist's "no tax increase" pledge, he and his shady group of big money funders puts millions into anyone who will sign and challenge that person. Sixty minutes sat with him and he explained that that was his mission in life. You need to get out more. 

Me:

His mission in life versus what he actually does are not necessarily the same thing.

Even if what you are saying is true, I would like it if more republicans would stop voting to increase government spending.

I've been deer hunting for the last few days is that what you mean by "get out more"?

***

Me:

My dad has been to Venezuela recently. he said that many people were living in cardboard boxes between the airport and Caracas.

Did you notice the power blackouts line in the article? This is a country that has huge amounts of oil reserves but cannot maintain power for its citizens.

He's been president for 14 years and many people still live in absolute poverty. If after 20 years of his presidency many people still live in absolute poverty will you still say that Venezuela is headed in the right direction?

politicky

mmmhmmm. and? How much do you know about Latin America's history? Especially as it relates to colonialism? First the Spaniards and then US domination. 

Me:

What does my knowledge of Latin American history have to do with anything? (I'd be happy to compare it to yours, however.)

The fact is that Chavez has been in power for 14 years and Venezuela is still extremely poor.

Venezuela first declared itself a country 201 years ago. How long after its colonialism are you going to use that as an excuse for the bad results that come from socialism?

***
Me:

My dad has been to Venezuela recently. he said that many people were living in cardboard boxes between the airport and Caracas.

Did you notice the power blackouts line in the article? This is a country that has huge amounts of oil reserves but cannot maintain power for its citizens.

He's been president for 14 years and many people still live in absolute poverty. If after 20 years of his presidency many people still live in absolute poverty will you still say that Venezuela is headed in the right direction?

DHRiley

Is that so different from the tent cities we have in the US? We too have power blackouts and last time I notice we too have many people living in absolute poverty. What's your point?

Me:

My point is that Hugo Chavez claims to be a champion of the poor, but the poor in Venezuela now live as badly as they did when Chavez first became president.

If he was helping the poor, then shouldn't their situation improve?

***

Me:

If FDR was a great champion of the middle class, why did it take so many years, with him as president for the Great Depression to end?

On a different note: Since you work for Electronic Arts, would you mind asking whoever is responsible to stop making each version of Madden worse than the last one?

ProfPalefuddy

It took so long to reverse the Great Depression because it was a massive example of letting the Financial Markets and Banks Fail while those who were liquid in their assets took advantage of the situation, combined with a massive drought, and a huge flue epidemic all one on top of another. It took putting 12 Million People to work in CCC and WPA work for welfare programs, a near 100 percent tax on income above 1,000.000.00 per year. The recovery was also stimulated by a manufacturing shift and employment shift off of farms to war tooling and eventually war. Then this was enhanced by the capping of prices on commodities such as bread, milk and gas along with the rationing of the same items. This forced people to save, when there is no product to buy, you save. Credit was harder to obtain then, there were rules preventing people and businesses from going too far in debt. Glass Stegal Regulation was put in place. AND it took years to over come the folly of the RICH that created a Global Depression and Financial Collapse.

Thank goodness we were a bit wiser this time in not letting bad get worse than it did. We could have done more to make the recovery happen sooner. We can avoid going to WWIII to solve the problem of unemployment.

Me:

Have you heard of the depressions/ recessions of 1921, 1980, and 2001? Those all had the same potential to be bad as the great depression and our current one. But rather than have the government "help," the government stayed out of the way and our economy recovered.

During our current depression and the great depression, our government has decided to try and "help" our economy. The great depression lasted more than a decade and our current depression isn't over after four years.

For a very modern example of proving that cutting government spending is the way to go, let's look at Estonia: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49086123/

"Although Estonia’s economy shrank 18 percent in 2008-2009, the Baltic state pulled itself out of the doldrums and managed to grow by 7.6 percent last year — five times the euro-zone average. The country joined the currency bloc 18 months ago. The country has a national debt of ‘just’ 6 percent of GDP, which compares to Germany’s 81 percent and Greece’s 165 percent of GDP.

How did Estonia get to these numbers? Following the 2008 economic contraction, the Estonian government cut its budget by 6.1 billion Estonian kroon (around $500 million) and its expenditure by 3.2 billion Estonian kroon (around $260 million). By 2010 Estonia’s GDP grew by 3.1 percent, according to the country’s finance ministry."

Even FDR's Treasury Secretary disagreed with you assessment of government spending helping the economy.

Henry Morganthau, Jr. U.S. Secretary of the Treasury 1934-1945

"We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. And I have just one interest, and if I am wrong … somebody else can have my job. I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises. … I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot."

(Everyone who claims that government spending helps the economy should have this quote pounded into their heads.)

***

Bure Kabisa

And they elected him back because of...? A Venezuelan vote says more about Chaves than your dad's alleged recent visit... However well meaning it was.

Me:

They re elect him because, like mafia guys, he has done things that look and sound like they help the poor. He builds schools and confiscates things from the evil rich, and never mind that that never accomplishes anything.

Chavez also controls all of the media in Venezuela. The people hear what he wants them to hear. 

***

Justin Stamper

It is in transition from being an underdeveloped nation with corresponding problems of that condition to a developed nation. The issue of poverty is decreasing in Venezuela, although their resources are limited.

You don't just invent prosperity out of nowhere. It takes time: the creation of social programs, local democratic counsels to run the programs, and the pooling of resources and labor to implement the programs.

Me:

But their resources aren't limited. They have huge amounts of oil, which is sold for so much that Venezuelans have a large chunk of their government funded by means other than taxes.

Prosperity was first invented out of nowhere. At one time the whole world was as poor as the poorest Venezuelans. But it was the policies of of liberty and property rights that created the situation for prosperity to arrive.

Look at the past differences between east and west germany. Look at the differences between north and south korea. Look at the differences between Honk Kong and China. In every case the country that is more prosperous is the country that is more free, not more socialist like Venezuela is.

Its been 14 years since Chavez was first elected, how much longer are you going to use "it takes time" as an excuse for his poor results?

More freedom and less government is the solution to Venezuela's woes, not the opposite, which isn't working. 

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