What’s So Maybe About Mitt?

by: hawkgrrrl

November 1, 2011

Wow, people really do not love Mitt.  A recent Onion article satirized his failure to connect with voters (and staffers!) emotionally.  He can’t even get a break on Google! (Type in “Romney can win” and it will ask if you meant to type “Romney can’t win”).  Is it his Mormonism?  His politics?  His polished good looks?  His front-runner status among the under 35 and over 65 crowd (everyone except the likely voters)?  Why does he still feel meh to so many voters, despite the probable inevitability that he will be the GOP nominee?  Let’s take a closer look.

First, religion.  How much of this is due to religious prejudice?  Much has been made of the fact that the left is less likely to vote for a Mormon than the right.  That should be a no-brainer since the church has made several very public conservative moves (e.g. Prop 8 and banning cross-dressing toddlers from our trunk or treat parties) and Utah has been a solidly red state for a couple of decades now.  I wouldn’t call lack of Democrat support for Romney a religious disqualification since he’s running for the GOP nomination.  And while the church looks very Republican to outsiders, it is less staunchly so (certainly than many other churches), as evidenced by the fact that Harry Reid is the top Mormon politician in the country today. 

Polls that include Democrats in stating that Americans are less likely to vote for a Mormon are misleading, IMO, because they fail to acknowledge the political reason; correlation is not causation (although the correlation committee may be the causation of boring lessons).  The failure of the GOP to acknowledge Mitt as their best bet to beat Obama, OTOH, seems to me to be at least partly motivated by religious prejudice, the belief of social conservatives that only someone with the same religious beliefs can truly share one’s values and the willingness of the ignorant to be scared off by fear-mongering pastors.  Or as one journalist from Des Moines put it, the GOP has become the party of nervous white people from Jesustucky.  Ouch.

Yet another recent poll shows that only 40% of Americans even know Mitt is Mormon.  Or at least until the pollster told them.

That brings us to politics.  Satiric poet Calvin Trillin theorized about Mitt:  “So quick to shed his moderate regalia.  He may like Ken be lacking genitalia.”  (A bit mean-spirited, but in his defense, it rhymes).  Leaving the genitalia aside for now (if I had a nickel every time I said that phrase . . . I’d have a nickel), Romney seems unlikely to ever be forgiven for being a Red governor in a Blue state.  What should be an asset for a president, the ability to work across the aisle, is instead a liability, thanks to the caucus process in our two-party system. 

Is Mitt in fact a conservative who wanted to be an effective governor and knew he had to compromise to get anything done, or is he a true moderate?  Is he a conservative of convenience?  Or was he a moderate of convenience?  It’s hard to tell.  Stories about his rabid anti-abortion stance as a young bishop in the 1980s sound pretty conservative to me.  But people change over time with experience.

Obama, who clearly thinks Romney is the man to beat, has accused Romney of having “no core” and of being willing to say anything to get elected (IOW, he accused him of being a politician!).  It’s an interesting observation from Obama who has been criticized for failing to compromise or find any middle ground that is acceptable to Republicans.  So, which is worse?  Standing firm in an ideology or finding a middle ground solution?  Isn’t the flip-flopper charge one that is always levied at moderates?  Are we a nation that can only accept intransigent leaders incapable working with opposing viewpoints?

Then there’s personality:  Romney’s perceived lack of warmth and authenticity.  He comes across a little cold and robotic.  Why isn’t this killing him this time around?  I can think of several reasons:

  • More experience.  Here’s where the extra campaigning experience has paid off.  The new Mitt has been coached well.  He’s not making the rookie mistakes of the last campaign.
  • The benefit of contrast.  He & Huntsman often look like the only rational, sane non-science-denying people on the stage.  Except to irrational, science-denying people who apparently think they look like the anti-Christ.
  • Economic depth.  Romney actually has an economic plan that isn’t laughably bad (or a regressive tax or a string of punchy adjectives purporting to be a plan).
  • Robot vs. robot.  Many of the same criticisms of coldness and composure have been leveled at Obama.

So, why do you think people still aren’t connecting with Romney emotionally?  His religion? 

His politics? 

His cold, business-like demeanor? 

His inauthenticity? 

Or do you feel he is connecting?  Do you disagree with the critics?  Discuss.

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117 Responses to What’s So Maybe About Mitt?

  1. Will on November 1, 2011 at 4:47 AM

    Hawk,

    As usual great post.

    Mitt is Mormon. That is his problem. If he were not LDS, he would have a double digit lead. Although ANY of the candidates would be better than Obama, all of them have some serious issues

    Cain has no public sector experience. I would rather have this than a guy like Obama who has no real world experience, but it is a huge disadvantage for Cain. Ron Paul has some great ideas and gets it financially; however, he comes across as a bit of a kook. Newt is great, but has a checkered past that will haunt him with social conservatives. He comes across more as historian in chief rather than commander in
    chief. Perry has blown a fuse. He is cursed with the GW Bush intellect and blunders, BUT he does have support from the religious right. Michelle is a parrot. I think she listens to the conservative hosts and repeats what she hears. Very unoriginal. In every interview or debate she repeats she is a tax attorney and refers people to her web-site. The rest of the candidates are already out if the race, they just don’t know it
    yet.

    This leaves Mitt. The most polished by a mile. A
    great resume. Great public, private and institutional experience. Movie star looks and
    support from big GOP hitters. He has not,
    however, been endorsed by conservative
    commentators, but nobody has. He is by far the
    most qualified. It comes down to his religion.
    Period. The born agains just won’t support him.

    As I have stated several times, he is going to get the GOP nomination. He will win the west and most of the blue states in the primary. The polls don’t matter, because they average all the states including the states controlled by the religious right. He is not going to in these states, but it won’t matter as these states will be split by other candidates. But most importantly, he will win the large states in the northeast, Midwest and west the states that Obama will win in the general election.

    Unfortunately and sadly it will mean Obama will win the election as a good share of the religious right simply won’t vote. Enough of them to tip Key states (such as Florida) to Obama. This means the end of our superpower status. Four more years of Obama will be the final death blow for our nation economically.

    Controversial! What do you think? Thumb up 3

  2. hawkgrrrl on November 1, 2011 at 5:01 AM

    Obama’s campaign against Romney has already started. The ad he’s done stating Romney wants to let the foreclosures happen is directly pointed at AZ where the housing bubble was one of the worst markets. If AZ goes blue, it will be due to populism and self-interest, which in my opinion is what’s wrong with the GOP – populism has taken a toehold, the so-called Walmart Republican.

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  3. John Mansfield on November 1, 2011 at 5:08 AM

    Romney has the same thing not going for him that George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain did. They were the strongest candidates that weren’t nominated last time around (i.e. the best losers), so the next time they start out ahead just by being known and end up being nominated even though they are no more compelling than they were four or eight years earlier. No one was all that excited about the chance to vote for any of them.

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  4. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 6:00 AM

    Religion aside, the biggest problem for Mitt is that he has to run to the right of most of the current candidates who are frankly, to the right of him. That plays to the right wing wackos of the Republican Party. but, we all know, that most of American is left of them, so he’ll have to jerk back to the center.

    but, in doing so, Obama will have plenty of ammo to use against him. Frankly, I cannot see any other candidate doing any better against Obama than Romney.

    if the republicans had a better answer forthe economy, maybe, but they do not.

    The “soak the middle class and favor the rich” is not playing very well these days.

    Oh, I’m sorry, it’s not “the rich,” it’s the “job creators.”

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  5. Henry on November 1, 2011 at 6:58 AM

    Will:
    Nothing is set in stone yet.

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  6. Paul on November 1, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    Jeff has said over and over, and he’s said it here again: in the primary, one has to appeal to the extreme; in the general election to the center. It will be interesting to watch how Romney does that appealing to the middle once he survives the primary.

    The republicans haven’t been in love with their nominee for a long time, maybe not since Reagan.

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  7. jmb275 on November 1, 2011 at 7:43 AM

    I agree with Jeff, and Paul with the idea of having to play to the extreme now, and to the center later.

    Having said that, I honestly don’t get it. So what if Romney changed his mind on an issue? What scares me more is a president who WOULDN’T change his mind when faced with a compelling reason to do so. I’ve never understood why we demand to elect idealistic blowhards when most of us want someone reasonable. And this is why I like Obama despite my disagreement with his core philosophy. The fact is, Obama has changed his mind, he has compromised, he has done what he thought was best for the American people, not just pandered to his party’s ideology.

    But that’s not on the agenda of the GOP, and that’s what I think makes them appear to be lunatics. They’re extremists in my view increasingly pandering to a conservative Christian base that is radically out of touch with any sense of reality.

    I’m just gonna say it. I like Mitt Romney. I think he is the best GOP candidate and would make a good president. I have no problem with him passing a healthcare law in MA similar to Obamacare, and I have no problem with him changing his mind on key issues. That quality by itself is valuable to me as I believe Romney to be a good, honest man overall who would do what he thought was best for the American people.

    If he has any fault at all, it’s that he appears to be too perfect, too slick, and too good. I would love to see him own Mormonism more, but I’m aware that his campaign management believes that would be political suicide. I disagree. I think it would emotionally connect him to people.

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  8. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    JMB,

    Completely agree with what you have written.

    ” I’ve never understood why we demand to elect idealistic blowhards when most of us want someone reasonable.”

    It is the problem with extreme ideologues. You cannot change your mind because that shows weakness. And yet, one of the bravest thing one can do is say “I wase wrong.”

    But then again, we are not dealing with the real world, we are dealing with politics in which honesty and integrity almost always take a back seat to power and winning.

    Let’s take the issue of abortion. I think one can be pro-choice and anti0aboration at the same time. But to most pro-lifers and pro-choicers, that is an untenable position. you have to be one or the othrer.

    And I take that position as a member of the PRO-CHOICE Church (in the generic sense, not on abortion). We are supposed to be all about choice. Agency and all that jazz.

    so, can Mitt Romney campaign at one time to the left of Ted Kennedy on Abortion and still come back a few years later and say he is pro-life? I think you can. Because who is in favor of abortion anyway?

    But to the extremes, it doesn’ make sense. But, that is why they are extreme in their views on it.

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  9. hawkgrrrl on November 1, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    I actually think it’s an interesting thought that perhaps our faith is simply more moderate and less extreme. We’ve made big conservative stands here and there (anti-ERA in the ’70s, Prop 8), but it seems half-hearted at times because simultaneously, we embrace science, we reject supporting specific political parties, we try to straddle the line between loving gay people and opposing gay marriage, we are (as Jeff points out) both pro-choice and anti-abortion.

    To those who are more extreme, they see this as being a conservative of convenience or a moderate.

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  10. Will on November 1, 2011 at 8:55 AM

    Jeff,

    “The “soak the middle class and favor the rich” is not playing very well these days.”
    That has to be one of the most short-sighted comments you have ever made Jeff. The rich pay MOST of the tax in this country. The top 25 percent in this country pay 86 percent of the federal income tax and the bottom 50 percent don’t pay one dime. Not a cent. This is not right wing propaganda. It is a fact.

    As Bill Gates said last night in an interview, you could take ALL of the income from the top one percent and it would only be about $240 Billion. After using all of this, we are still left with a 1.3 Trillion Dollar deficit. This is more than the TOTAL revenue in Germany, China or France (3-5) and close to the next largest economy of Japan of 1.8 Trillion.

    This means more taxes from the middle class and drastic cuts in spending. Drastic, across the board cuts. We can’t keep borrowing 188 Million dollars an hour. We can’t keep borrowing more money a year than the TOTAL revenue of any other country except Japan. At some point, we are going to have to face the reality of our dire debt situation. I’m afraid it’s too late. Hopefully we make the decision before it is made for us by our creditors.

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  11. Paul on November 1, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Jeff, “So, can Mitt Romney campaign at one time to the left of Ted Kennedy on Abortion and still come back a few years later and say he is pro-life?”

    I think he can, too. I think part of the problem with Mitt has been the impression that he does not see that his view has changed in some cases (if, indeed, it has).

    Will, Jeff’s characterization of soaking the middle class in favor of the rich is not just his view: it’s a common one that is not helped by government bailouts of corporate banks who pay their executives incredible bonuses for essentially failing at their core mission. Your comment on taxes may be factually correct, but it will not resonate with the voters.

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  12. Last Lemming on November 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Your comment on taxes may be factually correct, but it will not resonate with the voters.

    One reason that it will not resonate is that, although technically accurate, the claim is highly misleading. The bottom 50% pay taxes, just not individual income taxes. The lowest 20% paid an average of 4.0% of their income in federal taxes in 2007(mostly Social Security taxes) and the next 20% paid 10.6%.

    http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/tax/2010/average_rates.pdf

    To the claim that they will get all of that back in Social Security benefits one day–some of them will and some will not depending on how long they live and how the program gets reformed. For the moment, all those folks know is that a big chunk of their paycheck never makes it to their bank account and the accusation that they do not pay taxes infuriates them.

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  13. Will on November 1, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Paul,

    I would agree it is not just his view, but short sighted is short sighted. With this in mind, I don’t know if people that have this view just don’t understand the gravity of the situation, or if they just don’t care. The reality is that the path we are on will wipe-out the middle class. Totally, completely wipe them out. At some point, and I think it has happened to some extent, the rich will just take their money and run. They will not invest in America if America is going to eat into their return on investment. They will invest elsewhere. This means more misery for the middle class. It means less employment and more of the tax burden will be endured by the middle class. It is simple, basic economics. Instead of trickledown economics, we will (and are) experience trickle up poverty.

    As consumers, we will go with the best value. This is why Wal-Mart is such a success. Likewise, the rich (which includes corporations as well) are consumers as well. Quite frankly, this is why they are rich. They will find the best value – the cheapest labor for the best price, the best quality at the lowest price, the best value for benefits, the lowest taxes and so forth. This is what they are trained to do. This is why they are called BUSINESS men. It is pure economics for them, just like it is with the family budget.

    It is a sure sign of destruction for any culture that demonizes those that create jobs. Not government jobs (anyone can create a government job, all you have to do is spend money), but real jobs.

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  14. hawkgrrrl on November 1, 2011 at 9:47 AM

    I thought Wal-Mart was successful because of bullying and price fixing. I love that place. Such great prices and variety!

    There are abuses among the rich. There are scandalous abuses by some corporations that could not have happened if there were better regulation in place. But we can’t get out of this mess without everyone chipping in on taxes while slashing the hell out of our spending.

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  15. Jettboy on November 1, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    The idea that with the left it is mostly about politics they wouldn’t vote Mormon from my experience is not true. Go to Huffington Post and then go to BigGovernment and look up a topic that discusses Mitt and Mormonism where comments are allowed. Read both of them and compare. The only difference is the political criticism, but the religious attacks sound exactly the same (right down to calling the LDS Church racist).

    The only major difference in the treatment of religion is the right are more critical of Mormon rejection of the Trinity. This does not deny that the perception of Mormons as conservatives makes the left less likely to vote for one. It just means that downplaying the religious element is ignoring the evidence.

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  16. Will on November 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM

    Last Lemming,

    That, as you indicated, is for social security which will be paid back to them. Thus, it is not a tax, but is retirement savings plan and then some. Most people that collect social security receive every dime they paid into the system within 18 months after they start collecting a social security check. After that, they are collecting someone else’s money.

    We are not going to solve our economic problems unless we are honest – honest with ourselves, honest with each other and honest to the system. They do not pay ANY tax. They are a burden on the system. If they are furious, they need to understand the facts. If they are still furious after understanding the facts, then they have no integrity.

    We can’t have a system that pays people to do nothing for 30 years. Mathematically, it does not work. It is, if it hasn’t already, bankrupting our country. In order to make it work, the lower income earners need to contribute more towards social security and the retirement age needs to be extended by at least 10 years.

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  17. Will on November 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    “I thought Wal-Mart was successful because of bullying and price fixing”

    And?

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  18. Jon on November 1, 2011 at 10:26 AM

    jmb275,

    You disappoint me with your support for Romney. He doesn’t support constitutional law, that’s enough for me to not support him.

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  19. Chino Blanco on November 1, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    For what it’s worth, that was a fun read, hawkgrrrl, and better than most of what’s on offer from those paid to cover the Romney beat.

    By the way, if anyone reading has ever been a member in Mitt’s ward or stake, please let me know if you’d be open to a conversation with a reporter working on (yet another) Romney story.

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  20. Cowboy on November 1, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    Since the last time around, the Mormon “issue” for most voters has slid more in favor than out. While there will always be a contigency among the “Christian right” who will not ever consider voting for a Mormon, let’s not forget that nearly four years ago America elected its first black President. Furthermore, women are becoming more of recognized force among the pool of candidates on both sides of the aisle. So, while yes Romney (and theoretically Huntsman, though he’s not really a candidate) is going to have to push through some prejudices, I think it’s pretty shortsighted to think that his lack of resonnance with American voters is primarilly the result of Mormonism.

    If I were to wager, I’d say that Mitt has two things going against him, and one is a double-edged sword.

    1) Wealth – Romney is not just a wealthy person, he is extremely wealthy even by wealthy standards. Most of the candidates in recent years were under 100 million in total net worth. Romney is somewhere to the magnitude of 200 – 300 million. It is hard for the public to resonate with someone whose financial circumstances are so completely different. George W. Bush was of course similarly wealthy, but he made up for it by appearing obviously stupid. If a person was to meet George W. Bush, not knowing anything about him, they wouldn’t conclude he was part of the Bush dynasty. Romney on the other hand carries himself that way…which brings me to the second point

    2)Romney is a member of the American east coast elite. His circles of influence rest there, and he is a full-fledged member in his own right. Bush was born into into it and has been tolerated because he was at least a team player. Romney on the other hand is a thought leader, and that is why this point is a double-edged sword. Among any of the candidates, republican or democrat, Romney is the only person who seems to have a genuine sense of how to reinforce or economic engine to thrive. Still, he appears to want to do it the same way he would in the private sector. He would like to be the CEO setting a course, charting directions, and everyone else just follows orders. That probably makes him a good CEO, but not necessarilly a good President where the CEO/political equivalent is a dictator, and employees have no access to the boss. So yes, most Americans sense that he can get money flowing again, but they are very unclear as to how his plans allow them to benefit individually from that.

    The truth is, among the candidates we have to choose from on either side, Romney is the best option. I think we were all still hoping for something still just a little bit better.

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  21. Heber13 on November 1, 2011 at 11:39 AM

    Good post, Cowboy.

    I don’t know how people can be so sure Mormonism is really he single biggest factor in electing Presidents. Surely some people would never vote for that, as I’m sure some people would never vote for an African American President, but Obama won, and Romney is leading in the polls for the GOP.

    A Mormon can win, if he is a good enough politician to outweigh the negative perceptions with hope for a better future. Romney provides some hope for better fiscal responsibility. That is why he is leading.

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  22. Ray on November 1, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    1) Mitt was my Stake President while I was in college in the Boston area. He was a good, humble, sincere man then – even though he was intellectually brilliant and a bit aloof to those who didn’t know him, including me. It’s possible to be both supremely confident and humble, and he was both, imo.

    2) I want someone who is able to change their mind, and I want someone who is able to compromise when compromise is necessary. I voted for Obama as a direct vote against the Republican Party leadership’s inability to change policy under Pres. Bush, since, frankly, I didn’t think there was all that much difference between how he actually would act as President and how McCain would act.

    3) I have no doubt Romney is the best qualified candidate among the (generally lousy) Republicans. Every one of the other candidates scares me quite badly in one way or another – and when the realistic choice is Romney, Cain or Perry . . . Romney is a no-brainer to me.

    I think religion is a bigger negative than most people admit – since the challengers to Romney each and every time have been openly and solidly within the Protestant or evangelical mainstream. Bachmann? No freaking way – but she’s a religious extremist, and the religious right would have supported her over a Mormon (if she wasn’t such an incredibly bad candidate, ultimately). Perry? No freaking way – but the religious right will support him over a Mormon, given no better alternative. Cain? No freaking way – but the religious right will support him over a Mormon.

    Why isn’t Romney a lock? He’s Mormon – period. If he was any type of traditional Protestant, even with his politcal “issues”, the race would be over – and everyone else would be positioning themselves to be chosen as his VP running mate.

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  23. Paul on November 1, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    #16 Will: “We are not going to solve our economic problems unless we are honest – honest with ourselves, honest with each other and honest to the system. They do not pay ANY tax.”

    What state do you live in? The poor in my state pay sales tax. And they pay property tax through the rents they pay. Poor people feel these taxes more accutely than the wealthy who have higher disposable income.

    It is your brand of rhetoric that leads them to believe they are ignored and marginalized.

    The lower earners need to contribute more toward social security? Why not raise the cap on social security payroll taxes?

    I’m not arguing the system is broken (and not just social security). But the notion that the poor rich man is paying too many taxes is just not believable.

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  24. Chino Blanco on November 1, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    If you’re going to cheerlead a system that promotes wage inequality, at least have the integrity not to cast aspersions on those who (predictably enough under such a system) wind up contributing less to the tax base.

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  25. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 1:19 PM

    Will,

    “hat has to be one of the most short-sighted comments you have ever made Jeff. ”

    I doubt that. But the most telling statistic is the The 2011 Congressional Budget Office report found the following with respect to indicators: Real income in the U.S. grew by 62% for all households between 1979 and 2007. However, after-tax income of households in the top 1% of earners grew by 275%, while income growth for the bottom fifth of earners was 18%.

    The bottom line is those folks should pay about 90% of all the taxes. They get off easy at 50%. It’s Robin Hood in reverse. Talk about income re-distibution!

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  26. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    Oh, The Repubs will not go for another dumb Texan again. It may have worked once, it will not again.

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  27. jmb275 on November 1, 2011 at 1:50 PM

    Re Jon

    You disappoint me with your support for Romney. He doesn’t support constitutional law, that’s enough for me to not support him.

    Ouch! That hurt! Who would you propose instead? I mean, ideally, I absolutely would vote for Ron Paul. I like Ron Paul, and his ideals are the ones I agree with primarily. I voted for him as a write-in last time. But I also think I need to face reality. Reality is, Ron Paul not only won’t win, but even with large popular support (which he has) he will never get a nomination because everyone on the right ignores him, and everyone on the left passes him off as crazy (largely because he’s the only one who has a consistent message). So what to do? I dunno. I could not vote, but that’s not an option for me. I’m caught in a two party system neither or which fits my ideals.

    Also, in what way does he not support constitutional law? He’s not even pres. yet. Are you speaking about his ideals and proposed plans and solutions, or to his stint as governor? Because I would argue that although I don’t agree ideally with the mandate to force people in MA to buy insurance, it’s not clear to me that this was a violation of the U.S. constitution in any way. It was done on state level.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not “supporting” Romney per se. But from the list of candidates, none of which meet my criteria for the right president, either he or Obama is the best choice in my mind primarily because they are more moderate (despite Romney’s need right now to position himself on the extreme end).

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  28. Douglas on November 1, 2011 at 2:51 PM

    Excellent posts, everyone!

    Few have the guts to say it, but Mitt being LDS is the issue, else, his track record as Mass Gov, Olympic committee chair, and successful businessman puts him head and shoulders above the other GOP hopefuls. In spite of his pasted-on smile setting off my inner “Klingon” to be wary of him.

    Though I heartily agree with Ron Paul I also recognize that he won’t get nominated…few have the guts to change the status quo. And if somehow he’s in danger of becoming President, just paste a target on his back. He gores too many sacred cows.

    Rich not taxed enough? Au contraire, mes freres et soeurs! If anything, they’re not taxed at all or all too little! We have too many “takers” who can nevertheless vote. Either votes and then pay, or do neither, but the situation where people vote themselves largesse at others’ expense is driving this nation to inevitable ruin.

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  29. Douglas on November 1, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    I meant poor, but there are many rich bellying up to the public trough as well. A pox on them as well

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  30. Jon on November 1, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    jmb275,

    In the primaries, at least, I would think you would go with who you think is best for the job, not who is most popular for the job, what’s the purpose of voting if you are just going to vote for the guy you already knew would win (hence the reason I didn’t vote for Obama last time, I knew he would win, but I still didn’t vote for him (neither McCain).

    The Simpson’s had an episode where there were two disguised aliens and the truth came out that they were both aliens, but the people still refused to vote third party, voting instead for enslavement by one of the aliens. Likewise, voting for someone who is “less bad” than the other candidate is only voting for a “softer” master.

    Facing reality entails that there is no political solution to the problems we face. No mainstream candidate will be willing to change the status quo. So reality tells us that there is only one thing that can change the path we are on, that one things is a principled people (people that come to Christ – from the religious perspective, as taught in the bible and BoM), which can only come about through education or, the hard way, through trials brought on by a more and more tyrannical government. So reality tells us the path of the US will lead the same as other nations that were in its position before.

    I will still vote (I’ll vote for Paul in the primaries and then a third party candidate in the general election) but I do not believe my vote will matter who ever I vote for the path the US will continue in the same direction, the solution is not political but starts at the individual.

    So why vote for someone that doesn’t believe, or hold close to the constitution? If I remember correctly you are in UT so it won’t matter who you vote for anyways, Romney is guaranteed to win in UT.

    How do I know Romney doesn’t hold dear to the constitution? He supports the federal reserve, which is completely unconstitutional and was warned about by the founders of this nation. He supports war, instead of holding up to a constitutional view of war he will instead “consult his lawyers.”

    All candidates are “extreme” (not extreme enough for me, but whatever) in the primaries, even Obama was. Then they all move to the center for the general election, Obama did that too and so will Romney. Yet, when we look at the records, Obama continued on the same path as Bush II did, he has outdone bush on abuses to civil liberties, started new are wars and continues (or wants to continue) old wars (see http://www.cato.org/multimedia/daily-podcast/obama-civil-liberties-1 and http://www.salon.com/2011/10/20/the_killing_of_awlakis_16_year_old_son/singleton).

    Need I add more?

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  31. Jon on November 1, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    In a free market there wouldn’t be so much income disparity between the rich and the poor.

    http://mises.org/daily/1231

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  32. Paul on November 1, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    #31 Jon, you link is interesting, but I think you would have disagreement from the start, for instance with this clause: “If, in fact, all property is justly acquired…”

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  33. Paul 2 on November 1, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    I saw an excerpt of a stump speech in Iowa and I had a pretty strong negative reaction. He was not connecting, but trying so hard with what he thought could be convincing that it made it worse. I used to think religion was his biggest problem, but now I think it is his way of talking to people.

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  34. Jon on November 1, 2011 at 4:14 PM

    @Paul,

    Is this not the one of the main reasons that people use to justify the state? But then the state becomes the biggest aggressor of this unjust act?

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  35. Cowboy on November 1, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Jon – We need to be very careful with the term free-market, and all of the idiocy that has generally been attributed. Even the renowned “free-market” advocate Milton Friedman was cautious abou the use of this phrase. In fact, as an alternative he coined the term “competetive capitalism”, which at bare minimum allows government controls to prevent monopoly. Friedman wrote quite disdainfully in fact for the anarchy which is the natural tendency of a completely supply/demand regulated economy. What this article points out, is not necessarilly what is implied by your comment. What many economists are coming to realize, even among the contemporary liberals, is not that capitalism is truly so effective at distributing goods and resources equitably, but rather many governmental controls are largely ineffective over the long-term. There is this polyanna viewpoint from free-market advocates that class-systems evaporate and people play fair constrained by the assumed equalizing power of supply and demand (as though the powers of said forces are equally controlled) under no regulation. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Rather, what competetive capitalism has going for it is simply that most forms of “control” seem to worsen the situation rather than improve it.

    In other words – as Friedman says. He agrees with the ethos that people ought to be paid a fair wage, and recognizes that many aren’t. Still, minimum wage laws (as an example) can be empirically seen to do the most harm to those they were intended to help.

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  36. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 4:36 PM

    Jon,

    I am not trying to take the place of Dan and arguing the merits of Mises.

    But, the overall premise is wrong that the State is trying to equalize income.

    And they other issue is that anyone who states “I have shown…” it throws a red flag to me because it is up to me if the authored showed or proved anything.

    And the free market does not exist in this country.

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  37. hawkgrrrl on November 1, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Jon – jmb does not live in Utah. Come to think of it, I don’t think any of our bloggers do at present, but maybe I’m mistaken.

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  38. Jon on November 1, 2011 at 4:50 PM

    hawkgrrrl,

    Ahh, don’t know why I was thinking that.

    @Jeff,

    Regardless, the state wants people to think that it is trying to equalize income levels, and might actually be trying to, just not succeeding too well. You advocate that the state redistribute the wealth but we see the consequences of doing so, as we see the consequences of trying to outlaw drugs, we only make that which we try to outlaw even more powerful.

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  39. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 4:58 PM

    “You advocate that the state redistribute the wealth.”

    And you know this how? through taxes? Not hardly.

    At this point, because of poor oversight and lapse regulations, the State has allowed re-distribution from the poor and middle class to the Rich. Oops, I mean “job creators.”

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  40. Jon on November 1, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    The bottom line is those folks should pay about 90% of all the taxes. They get off easy at 50%. It’s Robin Hood in reverse. Talk about income re-distibution!

    I see the words you write and they are clear, you advocate that the state redistribute wealth. Don’t start this BS where you say the conversation isn’t the conversation again like you were last time. State clearly what you believe and state clearly what you are discussing, because I don’t want to end this conversation 50 posts later where you say you weren’t even arguing the premise that we started with.

    Sorry, I shouldn’t be so straightforward but from past conversation a bad taste has been left in my mouth. So once again, state clearly what we are discussing and what you advocate.

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  41. Ray on November 1, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    or talk about why Mitt Romney isn’t the automatic Republican nominee. :)

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  42. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Jon,

    “So once again, state clearly what we are discussing and what you advocate.”

    It’s useless. Let’s end it now. We are not going to agree nor acknowledge the merits of each other’s arguments no matter what. So let’s just peacefully end it and then you will not have to become frustrated.

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  43. Jeff Spector on November 1, 2011 at 6:08 PM

    Romney is the automatic nominee for two reasons:
    1. It’s his turn.
    2. He’s an adult.

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  44. Ethesis (still mobile) on November 1, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Ray, thanks for the insight.

    I, of course, support Cthulhu, why settle for the lesser evil?

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  45. Douglas on November 1, 2011 at 8:37 PM

    To all that decry how much the so-called “rich” have and/or earn: Although the BoM condemns the Nephites going through cycles of getting properous, then wealthy, then prideful, then sinful, and cometh the fall, lather, rinse, repeat….it seems that it’s not the riches per se but setting one’s heart on them that’s the problem. But that can afflict the poor as well as the rich, thanks to envy. And envy is what seems to drive all these calls for income limitation and/or redistribution. Frankly, it seems that most of the uber-wealthy lead very private lives and fly “under the radar”. And it’s not as if they’re like Scrooge McDuck, going for dives in his vault full of gold and treasures. Most of their wealth is INVESTED, one way or the other. Even if all they do is buy muni bonds, it’s still money that others can benefit from in the market. This sort of clarion call to use the Government to take on behalf of those that haven’t earned it (and mostly need a boot in the ass rather than a handout) only drives not only the super-wealthy, but even those of means (but not necessarily super rich) to hold their wealth from the economy, doing things like buying gold coins, investment diamonds, and other speculative assets that produce nothing. The ultimate comes when the wealthy Americans become tax exiles, not unlike what happened to the Beatles in the 70’s from the UK.
    Of course, a Romney presidency won’t change this paradigm. He’d probably be the best possible manager that we’ve got, but still, he’d be steering the USA ship on its present course. All he’d do is avoid a few more rocks, but won’t be able to keep it from foundering on its own. There’s limits to even what a President can do, given the present course of short-sightedness, selfishness, laziness, and downright idiocy that pervades the American body politic. The change is to be found right here amongst us, and it’s we LDS that need to set the example.

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  46. Ray on November 1, 2011 at 8:58 PM

    #44, FTW!!

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  47. Douglas on November 1, 2011 at 9:11 PM

    Actually, a “fix” I would propose could take one of two paths:

    1) One “man” (both genders, 18 and up, not judged incompetent), one vote? Ok, then forget the INCOME tax, levy a per capita, or head tax! Unfair? How so? Does Burger King charge a rich man more for a Whopper than a poor man? If all citizens have equal say, then they ought to share the burden equally as well. Perhaps if the per capita burden were too much, THEN there’d be more interest in decreasing the monstrous size of the Federal Government.

    Of course, that’ll fly like a lead balloon. so….

    (2) You Vote IAW how many tax dollars you pay. So, let’s say Doug has paid 10,000 dollars per year in Federal Income Taxes (I leave out FICA for simplicity). We hold a Federal election every two years, so I’d have 20,000 votes. This would work not unlike being a shareholder in a corporation. So the “rich” who allegedly don’t pay would fairly much disenfranchise themselves; and the poor and/or indolent that contribute nothing would likewise have little or no voice. Again, those that PAY would have more control over the Federal Government.

    Now, for a plan that has a reasonable chance of consideration, I’m intrigued by Herm Cain’s “9-9-9″. At least he’s grasped the concept that taxation should be as consistent, fair, and not punish and/or reward any particular economic behavior. Liberals will hate it, of course, because it takes away their appeal to class envy. As for dear brother Mitt, his call for a 23 percent plan, I’m unaware of the details (I hope that he is), so I can’t comment other than it appears that he doesn’t “get it” either.

    Either way, the idea should be no more “free rides” in the USA. The costs of supporting a gaggle of worthless freeloaders, let alone the social costs (e.g, crime) are strangling the economic life of this once great nation. That’s why I don’t hand out a thin dime to the cretins that work the streets, pretending to be in need but in reality hawking for booze and/or drug money. I do support charities and strive to be generous in my fast offerings, which help those truly in need. We are, after all, COMMANDED, and not merely encouraged, to remember the poor. I prefer that be kept in the private sector, thank you.

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  48. Glass Ceiling on November 1, 2011 at 10:46 PM

    All,

    The problem is the system itself. We can rearrange deck chairs until the Republic falls, or we can start seeing the problem and go from there. Romney can help bring in states’ rights for medical. That is a good start. But not enough.

    We need more parties. At least five. We must stop the monopoly of the two party system. They are married to Wall Street and we cannot get our wishes met because of it. Yet every two years we get hypnotized that this time it will be different.

    Right now I am about half Ron Paul and half Bernie Sanders. I must be insane, right?

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  49. Stan Beale on November 2, 2011 at 4:30 AM

    Every time I read posts and responses like these I remember my years in Berkeley in the 1960’s. The Communists, whether CPUSA, Maoists, Trotskyites or just plain Marxists all seemed to have this great faith that after the revolution and the distatorship of the proletariat was no longer needed, human nature would change. As a result, a condition of economic justice and fairness would flourish.

    The communists have been proven wrong, but fear not we have another group of true believers to replace them–the free market worshipers. After we tax the poor and the middle class more, tax the job creators a lot less, get rid of the safety net, slash federal programs that help the poor and cease to regulate business, human nature will change.

    We willl not have to worry about an Enron. We will not have an Arthur Anderson type accounting scandal. We will not see a Bernie Madoff or Alan Stanford. Investment firms will not try to unload bad stocks or on their clients. Ratings companies will be totally honest. Mortgage backed securities will only be AAA rated. Credit Default Swaps will be fully funded. All of this beacuse of the free market.

    In the immortal words of Bob Hope, thanks for the memories.

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  50. Ray on November 2, 2011 at 6:44 AM

    Yeah, Stan, I’m old enough to remember that same rhetoric in the 70’s. Some things never change.

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  51. Jeff Spector on November 2, 2011 at 8:06 AM

    Glass Ceiling,

    “Right now I am about half Ron Paul and half Bernie Sanders. I must be insane, right?”

    That is called bi-polar. But it has merit and speaks to the conundrum we are in.

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  52. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 8:23 AM

    @Stan #49,

    That’s a horrible interpretation of the free market. That’s not how I understand it at all.

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  53. jmb275 on November 2, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Re Jon-
    Hmm, I fail to see where we really disagree. Perhaps I have not appropriately communicated what I think. I do like Romney. I confess it. He’s not ideal, and I would prefer Ron Paul. The Simpsons example only works if the bulk of the public votes for the third party. That won’t happen in our country because the system won’t allow it. It was designed that way. Re have to reinvent one of the two parties into the third party we want to accomplish that goal. That doesn’t seem to be happening because both parties have a bunch of extreme yahoos!

    I will still vote (I’ll vote for Paul in the primaries and then a third party candidate in the general election) but I do not believe my vote will matter who ever I vote for the path the US will continue in the same direction, the solution is not political but starts at the individual.

    Look, here’s the reality. I’ll most likely do this exact same thing. The question is why? Well, I’ll vote for Paul in the primaries because it could actually make a difference (but really won’t since I’m not in a swing state). Then, I’ll vote for a third party candidate in the general election because at that point my vote won’t be worth anything and we’ll probably already know the outcome anyway so I’ll be doing it just to satisfy my pride and ego that I’m doing what I think is best. Since I’m not in a swing state (MI) it won’t much matter what I do. Anything I do is just to satisfy my conscience.

    Facing reality entails that there is no political solution to the problems we face. No mainstream candidate will be willing to change the status quo.

    I do think there is a political solution to our problems, and I don’t necessarily think the system is broken at the system level (which would require a complete redesign). But there’s this pesky problem of living my life, and pursuing my own self-interest. I have to balance this against my sense of community. I generally lean towards individualistic tendencies (not small group autonomy like the LDS Anarchists do). Furthermore, I’m not a politician, or an activist and don’t want to be. I’ve devoted my life to another area. So what are my choices? Perhaps like you, I’ve chosen to try and change minds by discussing the issues, which I wouldn’t say I’m shy about, even when it exposes my own ignorance. Perhaps a “V” will come along (reference to “V for Vendetta” for those who don’t know) and cause a revolution, but it won’t be me, and I wouldn’t encourage it (despite how much I love that movie). Despite my loyalties to the U.S., I wouldn’t hesitate to move to Finland if the opportunity presented itself (have you been there? it’s a really nice place).

    I agree with a lot of Mises’ stuff, but not all of it. I’m too moderate, and too pragmatic to go all the way toward the natural conclusion that my axioms and basic principles lead. Which is precisely why, even though we tend to agree, you would never vote for me in an election.

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  54. jmb275 on November 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM

    Re #35 Cowboy-
    I think Cowboy brings up some important points. The economy is inextricably tied to the folks in charge. I do believe a truly free-market would be the most equitable form of resource allocation. I think most people would succeed in such an environment. The problem is, a truly free-market is like an electron. You can’t isolate it. It’s always part of a larger entity that corrupts it and makes it not free. It’s only recognizable as a theoretical subdivision of the larger atom. It’s elusive, fragile, and volatile because of its place in the larger system that inevitably ends up governing its behavior.

    Since this is the case, the right thing to do is to try and appropriately influence it so it will help most of us. Where, how much, and when to influence it is seems to be the problem of the century.

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  55. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    @jmb275,

    OK, that’s more clear. I’ll have to say, in the past, I would have liked Romney, but now I just see him as another shill that will do more of the same.

    I guess that is where we most disagree, is that the system is/isn’t broken. I see, when the people let a president/tyrant assassinate Americans on demand we see how far away from the rule of law that our country has strayed and that the blood lust of its citizens is real and the prophecies in the BoM are coming forth, we’ve forsaken the council to denounce war and aggression. I don’t advocate a violent revolution, just a revolution of the minds, when the revolution of the minds comes forth we will use the free market to reign in the state by opting out of the system and civil disobedience. Those that desire freedom will no longer accept government “charitable” goods like, unemployment, WIC, food stamps, corporate handouts, working for the military industrial complex (including the CIA/FBI), etc. That is the revolution I hope for.

    Yeah, Mises stuff isn’t 100% spot on but I think they do a better job at it than anyone else I’ve read, and at least they are consistent, unlike everyone else I’ve read. It’s interesting that Skousen in his book “The Cleansing of America” advocates for what is essentially a voluntary government, although I disagree with certain aspects that he envisions, I do like that thought that you have to opt into a government voluntarily, that it is not forced upon you, which is what voluntaryism advocates, unfortunately people think anarcho-capatilism and not governance, but it doesn’t mean there will be no governance, it will just be voluntary governance.

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  56. Glass Ceiling on November 2, 2011 at 10:41 AM

    In our rush to get rid of all our social programs, we ought to remember that they came into existence for a reason. Some of us ought to reread ( or just read) “The Grapes of Wrath.”

    If we do as Ron Paul suggests and get out of the war business, close down the majority of foriegn bases, while pushing for states’ rights…then we might better afford something like social security or Medicare (but maybe on a state level.)

    And now that we are dreaming, I’d like a pink pony with glitter on its nose.

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  57. Glass Ceiling on November 2, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    But, as my last comment may suggest, I only agree with about half of Ron Paul’s ideas. The other half is somewhat socialist. And I don’t think its crazy. I like Bernie Sanders ‘ udeas of holding corporations to task and taxing those that outsource…make it hurt. I am dor reregulating Wall Street.

    We need more parties, or no parties at all. George Washington said that parties would be the death if the Republic. Can we not see how right he was, at least in terms of a two-party system ?

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  58. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    And now that we are dreaming that social programs run by the state actually work and don’t keep people in poverty that would actually stop being in poverty in other systems…

    Remember why the great depression occurred in the first place and why it continued, oh wait, you must have forgotten that piece of history.

    Remember where taxes come from, oh, yeah, by stealing from the populace, what did God say about that? Even if you steal with good intentions it is still theft and must be punished.

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  59. Glass Ceiling on November 2, 2011 at 10:59 AM

    Sorry for the typos. I am on a phone.

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  60. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 11:01 AM

    Yes, and we should punish corporations that do business outside of the state of AZ because companies shouldn’t outsource their work to other states, make them suffer, only AZ should have companies in it that don’t do any work anywhere else.

    Oh, the logic.

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  61. Glass Ceiling on November 2, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    Jon,

    You are paying a high price in silliness in order to be sarcastic. You actually support outsourcing?
    Do you also support US citizens trading places with East Indians ans Malaysians?
    Should I mail order my grass hut now?

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  62. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Glass Ceiling,

    There’s nothing wrong with outsourcing, I outsource my car to the car manufacturers, I outsource my clothes to the clothes makers, I outsource making dinner (most of the time) to my wife (I do the dishes every night though), etc.

    So the question is, do you actually support not outsourcing? We are all better off when we outsource and people do what they do best and we do what we do best.

    You should read “Economics in One Lesson” there is much wisdom contained in that book, although I don’t agree with all his conclusions, for the most part, it dispels many myths that you and others propagate.

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  63. Glass Ceiling on November 2, 2011 at 11:38 AM

    Jon,

    I have read Tom Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” I disagreed with . Is the book you mention similar?

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  64. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    ..I disagreed with him.

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  65. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 11:45 AM

    I haven’t read it but I imagine you would disagree with “Economics in One Lesson” also. I suppose we will just have to disagree, but I doubt you could give a good logical explanation of why outsourcing is bad.

    There are just some in the world that want to be left alone and others that just won’t leave them alone, I guess we see which one I am and which one you are.

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  66. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    Not sure I follow you on the “leaving alone” bit. I sure I could mainstream an argument against outsourcing. But I am sure you would pooh-pooh it on impulse. I’ll bet, though, that you have never lived n Europe.

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  67. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    I am sure I could make an argument against outsourcing….

    Sorry,this phone sucks.

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  68. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 2:00 PM

    Glass,

    Yes, the trouble with engaging people with different views, neither side will acknowledge valid points made by the other side.

    I try to, but when it comes to politics I tend to get a little excited. I used to be a hard core republican and now am pretty hard core libertarian/voluntaryist. So, yes, it would be hard to convince me.

    It would be interesting to see your arguments about outsourcing though, don’t understand how someone could not want to outsource, life is so much more enjoyable outsourcing things I’d rather not do, like reroofing my house, not something I’m interested in and I’m willing to do my specialty and trade them money for their services.

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  69. jmb275 on November 2, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Re Jon-

    I guess that is where we most disagree, is that the system is/isn’t broken. I see, when the people let a president/tyrant assassinate Americans on demand we see how far away from the rule of law that our country has strayed and that the blood lust of its citizens…

    Well, you’re not being very clear here. These are gross generalities. Let’s be more specific. It’s like complaining about Apple. Sure you can, but I challenge anyone to be specific in their gripes and present an alternative that doesn’t suck as bad, or worse.

    My point is, the system, that is the U.S. constitution set up by our forefathers, is not broken. When a system is fundamentally broken, it requires a redesign. I would not advocate a redesign of our foundation. Rather, I would advocate a return to the original system where appropriate, and new amendments where we have issues unforeseen by our founding fathers. This, in contrast to the behemoth that has occurred via entropy.

    There is lots that is broken in the current implementation of the system, but mostly it’s the fault of the people. We generally don’t purposefully “let” ourselves be ruled by a tyrant, but we’re generally quite apathetic. And the reason, in my mind, is what I mentioned earlier. There’s a great piece here from Jon Stewart that touches on this issue here (especially see the end part). Some of it is busy lives, some just apathy.

    Yes, the trouble with engaging people with different views, neither side will acknowledge valid points made by the other side…I try to, but when it comes to politics I tend to get a little excited.

    It’s gotta start somewhere. Clearly you’ve been open minded enough to have your views shift one time. Why not be open to allowing them to be changed again? I view my own opinions as a constantly moving target, changing and shifting with new information. It’s one more reason no one would ever vote for me as a politician even if I was capable of actually fixing the system. People don’t want someone to fix the system, they want someone who agrees with them.

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  70. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 3:20 PM
  71. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    My point is, the system, that is the U.S. constitution set up by our forefathers, is not broken. When a system is fundamentally broken, it requires a redesign. I would not advocate a redesign of our foundation. Rather, I would advocate a return to the original system where appropriate, and new amendments where we have issues unforeseen by our founding fathers. This, in contrast to the behemoth that has occurred via entropy.

    The system is broken through the amendment to do income taxes (this amendment makes the 4th null and void). The 14th amendment gets rid of the 1st (free speech, make no law, period, but since it is applied to states now one “has to make laws regarding speech”, it’s the federal government that should make no law, period, states can do as they will). The 17th amendment eroded the states rights (it was actually disappearing before then because state legislators were using the vote of the people on who to decide to vote for).

    What’s wrong with the original constitution? No ability for people to opt in the system, the ability for the state to declare imminent domain, post office, for the general welfare non clause (should be reworded), tendency for only a two party system, etc.

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  72. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    Jon,

    We are a big country. We need our manufacturing. To be essentially a serviced-based economy is suicide. We got to be who we are through manufacturing. So did Europe, except they did not go into a mad rush to give there’s away. Same with Japan.

    I would say,as you would, that unionism killed it. I just happen to believe that it was more of a situation of corporation owners and the top-level union bosses making deals to kill unuons by letting them rot over,say, a 20-year period.) What else could explain the ridiculousness going on in Detroit in the 70s and 80s? Carmakers allowed to come to work drunk for 6 months in a row and not get fired? Or in education..making troublesome teachers sit in a room for two years nor getting paid? It’s called “reverse ops” and it is quite a normal term in the world of a conspiracy theorist.
    That is often the price historians pay for their trouble. They,like me, start to see undeniable patterns…and then certain other folks (often Fox news or C-Span afficianados) callus crazy for admitting it. It’s sad. What’s sadder is how the fascist tendencies in this country are killing every good thing the citizens ever achieved in the way of hope and quality of life.

    Jon, I was a republican in my 20s, a libertarian for rhe first half of my 30s and a democrat for the second half (yet did month vote for Obama), and no w at 42 I am a “a small L libertarian with socialist leanings.” I think I shall move to Finland like whats his name up there. I want to go where the people care about being awake, nor lulled to sleep pf TV /internet barbiturates. I wanted a country that takes pride in its archictecture and history, and its natural beauty. We are turning into a nation of strip malls and cheap subdivisions. I truly believe that if we had our states’ rights we would dare to care more. Our vote might matter and we would stay involved enough to run corporations wuth our vote rather than the other way around.

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  73. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 3:42 PM

    There is lots that is broken in the current implementation of the system, but mostly it’s the fault of the people. We generally don’t purposefully “let” ourselves be ruled by a tyrant, but we’re generally quite apathetic.

    That is why I like the free market. You don’t need to do much to get rid of the old system, with the free market you don’t like the product you hire someone else to do it. Since state is a monopoly it makes it nearly impossible to hire a new boss, since most people buy into the red team versus blue team.

    Why not be open to allowing them to be changed again?

    I try to, but I also acknowledge human tendencies. The arguments on Wheat and Tares tend to be more rhetoric or “see my biased facts” than a good logical debate. But given a good logical argument against mine (which are hopefully somewhat logical) then I would be willing to change my mind. I am willing to have a non-voluntary government if the government is concentrated at the local level, but even here in AZ the state taxes people and then redistributes it back to the cities, why? Because, “People don’t like to be taxed.” as the gentlemen that told me about this.

    How can one be free if you can’t choose the system of governance over yourself with natural law? At this point we are not because so much of the money and decisions are made so high up that it negates the individual choices.

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  74. Jon on November 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Glass,

    Is Hong Kong service based? Mostly from what I can tell. What we need is freedom then it won’t matter what we will do because then we will go to what we are specialized at.

    I don’t say unionism killed it. I say the state did. There is a place for unions, but once they use the government to force companies to do things they otherwise wouldn’t then it is bad. The government is there to enforce contracts and arbitrate differences and set things straight when on party agresses against another. If we had a free market with rule of law then those companies would go away, but it is the government that keeps bailing them out (GM was bailed out before, I forget which decade, maybe the 80s?). Rule of law is needed, bailouts and unions pushing companies around is not rule of law.

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  75. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 3:52 PM

    Sorry,

    …teachers sitting in a room for two years , yet getting paid.

    and,

    …I was a democrat but did not vote for Obama.

    Now I am anti-party.

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  76. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Hong Kong is a city incircled by a large nation of manufacturers. You make my point for me.

    We have differences about our suspicions of the death of American manufacturing…but the profits for it have been noticed on Wall Street.

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  77. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    I didn’t mean to be rude there.

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  78. Will on November 2, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Glass, etal..

    I understand Ron Paul. I don’t agree with everything he stands for, but he makes some good sense. Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is just plain nuts. Anyone that cannot see what miserable failure social programs have been either does not understand the finances behind these programs or just doesn’t care about our nation as a whole.

    The reality is these entitlement programs consume 60 percent of our total income as a nation. They are breaking us. They have taken our treasure. They have robbed our children of a future. They need a serious overhaul with drastic cuts and actuarial adjustments. I would like to see an adjustment that gradually increases the retirement age to 85 or 90. For example, if you are 55, your retirement is now 66; 54 the new retirement is 67, etc… until you peak at 85 or 90.

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  79. jmb275 on November 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    Re Jon-

    But given a good logical argument against mine (which are hopefully somewhat logical) then I would be willing to change my mind.

    Here’s the problem with this. I have a good friend who is very very libertarian, to the point of almost being an anarchist. I have spoken at great length over these issues. The problem is, there is NO good logical argument against yours, or against anarchism. It presupposes a basic set of axioms and follows them to their natural conclusion. I acknowledge that (incidentally, so does marxism, it’s just that the axioms are different and I happen to disagree with them).

    But the bottom line is, they don’t work in real life. And this is what anarchists don’t understand. They have an answer for every conundrum, but at the end of the day, the system falls apart. More precisely, the system might work if it could be isolated (see my #54) but it NEVER CAN BE!! The set of logical inferences don’t hold up in a world that doesn’t respect logic! It’s like physics as a representation of the world. Physics is wrong ALWAYS! It NEVER makes a perfect prediction, EVER! It is an abstraction of reality built upon logical inferences.

    And this is why you’ll never get the debate you want. You seek a logical rebuttal, but there isn’t one. There’s a pragmatic, empirical rebuttal, but you’ll always be able to explain it away.

    Let me give another example of what I’m saying. To most people, a robotic system should behave predictably, all the time. That is, given a set of inputs that are known, the outputs are predictable. After all we built the machine. And indeed, this forms the basis of computer science. But here’s the problem, there IS emergent behavior (and by that I mean unpredictable behavior) in many complex systems. It’s entirely possible that there is an identifiable cause for that emergent behavior, but it eludes the creators. More specifically, although in theory that cause exists and should be identifiable, given the tools at our disposal, we are unable to identify it. For all intents and purposes we can’t tell if there was a cause or not (for a good thought experiment apply this to human consciousness) though we usually assume so.

    To bring this home, you believe in a system where, given the inputs, the outputs are predictable (and I’m not talking about the market here, I’m talking about the system that arises from your principles). More explicitly, you have a set of axioms and logical inferences. Any emergent behavior, in theory, can be explained by the principles you espouse. But in reality, they appear to elude us. We’re unable to tell, given the tools available, the exact cause of why anarchism doesn’t appear to work.

    And I think the burden of empirical proof lies with the anarchists. Show us a system of anarchism, the size of the U.S., that works, and is stable long term. Hint: there isn’t one! Somalia doesn’t count on multiple levels.

    And I’ll confess I could be completely off my rocker, but that’s how I view it. For a good discussion of the topic, see Scott B’s (an economist in CA) revelations about his libertarianism.

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  80. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 6:28 PM

    Jmb,

    Your last one ia well argued and hard to refute.

    Will,

    I am for cutbacks, but so many in your camp want to pretty much cancel Christmas. They want to leave a whole generation if elderly people with nothing.

    Oh, and if we stopped falling for this war addiction, that 60% in entitlements might not look so bad.

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  81. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Although I’d be alot happier with 45%, which is doable without hurting people.

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  82. Will on November 2, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    Glass,

    Why can’t we just follow the commandment thou shall eat by the sweat of THY brow ALL the days of thy life,

    How about a system where everyone plans for their own retirement and the government stays the hell out of it?

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  83. Glass Cesiling on November 2, 2011 at 7:28 PM

    Will,

    I am sure that the lower classes will fit a retirement fund in on that Walmart paycheck.

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  84. Douglas on November 2, 2011 at 11:30 PM

    #83 – “If they’d rather die, then they’d better do it, and decrease the surplus population”…

    Who sez Ebenezer Scrooge was all bad?

    Mebbe it was a bit of bad beef, or a blot of mustard…

    Seriously, it’s one thing to give to a charity for whatever noble purpose. It’s quite another for a group of “citizens” to vote themselves benefit(s) at the expense of others.

    Typically the “lower classes” have habits and/or personal issues that fairly much mean that whatever help is rendered is not only wasted but often is counterproductive. Give money to welfare hoes, and what do you get? Another generation of welfare hoes and gang-bangers.

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  85. hawkgrrrl on November 3, 2011 at 12:29 AM

    The entire globe has a problem with people living longer and people having had fewer children, so there is a diminished work force to pay for the retirement years of the aging population.

    Glass – I’d love for you to do a post on your anti-outsourcing stance, if you are ready to put up a fight (I love a good argument). Do you mean you are against outsourcing or offshoring? I’m in favor of both when it makes business sense.

    The economy is globalizing, and whether that’s good or bad it’s inevitable. My view is that detractors embrace a nationalist perspective that is rapidly becoming outdated. Jobs should go where they can be done at the right level of quality for the lowest amount of money. It’s a simple business decision. If jobs can’t be done at the right level of quality, they shouldn’t be outsourced or offshored. Nobody complains when you upgrade the service in making the change (except displaced workers who’ve outpriced themselves for a specific job function and need to be retrained or redeployed).

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  86. Henry on November 3, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    hawkgrrrl
    Why not just outsource every job? Every job could be outsourced to a cheaper place.
    You might think this is ridiculous but that’s what companies want to do. The USA is expensive in every way imaginable.

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  87. Stephen M (Ethesis) on November 3, 2011 at 6:25 AM

    The entire globe has a problem with people living longer and people having had fewer children, so there is a diminished work force to pay for the retirement years of the aging population.

    Indeed. You think we have problems with our unfunded drug benefits and entitlement spending that is threatening to swamp the budget? Look at Japan where they can’t keep a government for twelve months without the retiree/tax/budget problems breaking the government.

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  88. Will on November 3, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    We will not solve the outsourcing issue via the government. They screw up almost everything they touch. The problem will eventually dove itself when we reach economic parity with those nations that have as skilled (or better) of a workforce. You cannot change these basic economic principles.

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  89. hawkgrrrl on November 3, 2011 at 6:54 AM

    Henry, the US is not more expensive than Europe (except Eastern Europe) nor is it more expensive than Australia. The US is also often cheaper than Canada to do business with.

    And you are forgetting the other part of what I said: offshoring should only be done when quality will not be compromised. Sometimes quality is low because the nature of the job is just not easy to do in another culture (e.g. some countries don’t create creative, innovative types as well as the US), or the local laws allow for things we would not (e.g. painting children’s toys with lead based paint), or the US has access to the materials or suppliers that some countries do not.

    If businesses make these decisions lightly as some have, they will reap poor quality products and erode their brands. The free market will prevail.

    The US needs to focus on the types of jobs we excel at as well as the types of jobs that can’t be done offshore (education, infrastructure, psychiatry, law, transportation, etc.)

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  90. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    Glass,

    Hong Kong is a city incircled by a large nation of manufacturers. You make my point for me.

    This world is ever smaller, it is connected digitally, it doesn’t matter your location, it matters your economic freedom and specialties, but mostly rule of law and economic freedom. Time and again those two things have made the difference between the increase in wealth or the loss of it for nations.

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  91. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    jmb, #79,

    The problem is, there is NO good logical argument against yours, or against anarchism.

    And in the argument you just gave you made a good logical rebuttal to voluntaryism. So there is a good logical argument against it, yes, it doesn’t entirely use logic but it addresses the concerns and tells why you differ. For the same reasons you outline I would be OK with a non-voluntary government but only if it was concentrated at the local level, which the current government is not, so when people say that our nation is run by the voice of the people, it is patently false, it is not run by the voice of the people because most of the decisions are made so high up and within so many bureaucracies there is nothing people can do about the laws, except opt out and civil disobedience.

    Coming from the engineering perspective I understand that certain things are supposed to work one way but because of imperfections they don’t, so I can understand that. But as in science in and engineering, that doesn’t stop us from continuing to pursue the perfection. But how can we pursue the ideal when we don’t recognize what the ideal is? Many people, it seems, refuse to even take this small step.

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  92. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 7:57 AM

    I am for cutbacks, but so many in your camp want to pretty much cancel Christmas. They want to leave a whole generation if elderly people with nothing.

    For the record Ron Paul’s idea on the subject is to slowly wean the people off these social programs, not to stop them overnight. I agree with that sentiment, for if one were to do it overnight you would get violent revolution.

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  93. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    Will, #82,

    Or follow the commandment not steal, even for food.

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  94. Glass Cesiling on November 3, 2011 at 10:37 AM

    Hawk,

    I will do it. But I am quite sure that the debate will be over quickly with me on the losing end (which is fine, really.)

    I am a conspiracy theorist, so I will not be able to compete with “facts,” as it were. Just logical observations.

    But as a taster, I do not believe that the corporations or the government who does their bidding (or the media who does both their bidding) are going to tell 300 million people “we are screwing you with this outsourcong thing.”

    No, it’ll be “this is a good thing, and there is nothing that can be done that isn’t unconstitutional. So let’s enjoy all these wonderful opportunities.”

    So gird up your loins and prepare to mock. Bring your numbers and stats. I have little if any . I nly have observations.

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  95. jmb275 on November 3, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Re Jon-

    And in the argument you just gave you made a good logical rebuttal to voluntaryism. So there is a good logical argument against it, yes, it doesn’t entirely use logic but it addresses the concerns and tells why you differ.

    I argued a logical rebuttal, but a dedicated anarchist won’t see it. That is, I haven’t refuted any of the logical inferences an anarchist makes. All I’ve said is “hey, it doesn’t work in real life.” That’s not really a logical argument, especially if one is an idealist. And this is really a slippery slope. Just because things work, or don’t work doesn’t mean they’re necessarily true, or false, or that as you said we shouldn’t strive for an ideal. But in my mind, it is still a valid argument. You seem to agree, so I’ve done my job.

    But as in science in and engineering, that doesn’t stop us from continuing to pursue the perfection. But how can we pursue the ideal when we don’t recognize what the ideal is?

    Well, this is problematic. Engineering doesn’t seek an ideal at all. It seeks to minimize losses, and to make things work. It intrinsically is more concerned with something working than something being correct. If you’re familiar with Computer Science, you’re aware that this has plagued CS for a while. Neural networks work, period. But they were scoffed at by mathematicians and physicists for a decade until someone could prove mathematically why they worked.

    Science pursues the discovery of an ideal. That is, it maintains hope that there is an ideal (a unifying theory for example), and tries to find it. The anarchist, like the apologist already knows the ideal and finds evidence to support it. So in answer to your question, we can’t pursue the ideal when we don’t recognize what it is. And maybe that’s the way it should be (hint: I think it is). That inherently means that you should at least be open to the idea that your ideal is only “best so far” but that there may be an ideal that really is better or truer. As in physics, our logical models (like the ones anarchism is built on) are an abstraction of a complex universe. We should treat them as such and stop viewing them as absolute truth.

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  96. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Glass,

    If you could post on here with a link when you get it done, that would be nice to read. No need for stats, they’re so difficult to prove valid or disprove I don’t think it is even worth it.

    jmb,

    Once again, you give a good argument, progressives can’t match you with that it seems.

    Yes, I think it is important to always keep an open mind, but human nature keeps most of us from doing so, no matter how hard we try, so I will continue trying.

    Having worked in engineering I would say we do work for the ideal as long as costs permit. The Japanese especially work hard for this ideal, of course, when I was working in engineering we just told them no, it can’t happen (i.e., making the chips so they don’t break so much).

    So, I think it is important to work towards an ideal and the non-agression principle (AKA golden rule) is a great starting point. In recognizing that you are trying to do good to others you also recognize you are hurting others by doing so is a great step, which most progressives/conservatives don’t admit. It seems that most are tied to their politic leanings so much that they refuse to even recognize when their programs aren’t working, hence if people looked toward principles they can unwed themselves from the politics.

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  97. Ray on November 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    “Or follow the commandment not to steal, even for food.”

    Jon, not relavant to many in this country (and certainly not to why Mitt Romney isn’t the prohibitive favorite in the primary), but try telling that to a parent watching a child starve to death – or try telling me you know, without any doubt or question, that you wouldn’t steal a loaf of bread to keep your wife or child from dying if that was your actual situation.

    If you haven’t been in that situation and actually proven such a luxury-based declaration, I would caution against appearing to be so certain those who do steal to feed their starving children are morally depraved – or that they simply don’t value God and “the commandments” as much as you do.

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  98. Glass Cesiling on November 3, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    Thank you, Ray.

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  99. hawkgrrrl on November 3, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Glass – I would suggest being clear in your article the distinction between outsourcing (contracting other companies or individuals to do a specific job or function) and offshoring (outsourcing existing work usually to obtain cheaper labor outside the borders of your own country). I think you are objecting to offshoring. People outsource within their own countries for lots of reasons, often to partner companies with a specific type of expertise.

    It sounds as though Dems are leary of Romney because of his business expertise rather than his politics or religion specifically. That’s unexpected (to me) given the state the country is in.

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  100. Will on November 3, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    Hawk,

    What people say and what people really think, especially when confronted, are two totally different things. I know people are saying the politically correct things, but how do they really feel? I do agree the DEMS don’t want Mitt for because of his business expertise, but not for the reasons one might think.

    To me the dems are generally comprised of
    the poor and uneducated; and, those that want to CONTROL the poor and uneducated. The poor and uneducated don’t want to vote for Mitt (or any other candidate currently running in the GOP) because they are afraid they will lose their benefits. Along these lines, those that want to control the poor and uneducated don’t want Mitt because they don’t want to lose their power.

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  101. Glass Ceiling on November 3, 2011 at 6:30 PM

    Hawk,

    I believe you are right. I will clarify and try to be a bit less scattered, if possible. That is probably the best I can do at this juncture. I am afraid that I have alot to learn about writing good OPs. Still, I want to get it out there while people are in that mode of discussion.

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  102. hawkgrrrl on November 3, 2011 at 9:00 PM

    I should clarify, too – I’m not surprised people are leery of business, just that they would throw out the baby with the bathwater. Are we all going to become farmers?

    Actually, that is one thing I can tell you the US is really good at – we have terrific agricultural capability. Of course, if we go shipping it all around the world, we’re contibuting to global warming, but we certainly aren’t the only ones.

    I’m encouraged by the fact that both Huntsman and Romney have the right kind of economic expertise. I’m discouraged by the prospects offered by those who either don’t have the experience to make America a great place to do business again or who want to turn us all into day laborers. We’re still the world’s greatest super power. We have just forgotten how to adapt to changing world circumstances. We have forgotten the number one commodity we bring to the world: innovation.

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  103. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    Ray, #97,

    So you are saying that the commandments are arbitrary depending on the situation so there really is no ethic since all ethics are situational? Excuse me if I disagree with you on that one. Your assumptions lead to saying it is morally OK to kill for food (which some people do, that join the military for the money, etc). Sorry, I disagree with you.

    I’m not saying that I would be morally right given the situation, but regardless, even if I did steal, I would know that it is theft and that it is wrong.

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  104. hawkgrrrl on November 3, 2011 at 11:19 PM

    Jon – I think Ray is just using the classic Jean ValJean / Les Miserables example. Are you actually siding with Inspector Javert?

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  105. Jon on November 3, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    hawk,

    I’m not really saying anything about punishment, I’m just saying that it is wrong and people need to recognize it. I guess I would side with the priest and the the repentant Jean ValJean, I suppose I would side with Javert if ValJean wasn’t repentant and continued to steal.

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  106. Ray on November 3, 2011 at 11:43 PM

    and I’m saying that it is nothing but an intellectual exercise of “I think I would” until someone actually faces it – and that it’s an exercise that won’t ever be faced, born of relative luxury, for the majority of people who have the time to comment about it in a thread like this.

    I’m not saying the commandments are relative in the way you imply. Stealing is wrong – in a vacuum, devoid of context, as an intellectual exercise. However . . .

    I think, personally, our scriptures condemn someone less who steals to feed children who are starving than someone who hoards food that could save children who are dying without it – and I think it’s important to recognize and admit that in a discussion like this.

    Very few things are as black and white, simple, or easy as we tend to think they are, imo.

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  107. hawkgrrrl on November 4, 2011 at 1:48 AM

    Great article in NYT today running scenarios if Obama v. Romney happens: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/06/magazine/nate-silver-handicaps-2012-election.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=general&src=me

    Overall, the GOP would be foolish not to nominate Romney given these odds. Better to win with a moderate than to lose with an idealogue.

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  108. Will on November 4, 2011 at 6:35 AM

    Hawk,

    Again, great post, you should be writing for a national news magazine.

    Btw, has anyone heard from Dan. He must be stuck in a tent somewhere on Wall Street. I kinda miss debating him.

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  109. Jon on November 4, 2011 at 7:41 AM

    So, Ray, you have stats on third world countries or tent cities of the rate of theft and those people’s feelings on the subject? I would think most of them would be against theft too.

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  110. Jon on November 4, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Will,

    Dan finally bugged out. The logic that was presented against Keynesianism was finally too much for him, he decided to go where it was safe and where people don’t criticize progressives. Of course, that was my take on it. In his own words:

    Wheat and Tares has indeed been taken over by crazy people. I’m outta here.

    See http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/10/08/economical-lessons-from-history/

    Regardless, the conversations are much more civil and no name calling like there used to be. It’s nice that there is no more name calling and misrepresentations of people’s ideas (granted you can say that my analysis of why Dan left is a misrepresentation :-) )

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  111. Sherpa on November 4, 2011 at 8:09 AM

    Funny how Dan Dubei is fast becoming legendary on LDS sites. Good to see that he’s bugged out on this site. Until Dan figures how to be a smidge respectful of others in political discourse, I’m glad to see him go even if he does make a good point here and there.
    Maybe I’ll participate on this site more often.

    As far as the question goes? It’s his personality and the way he comes across that is why potential voters seem slow to get excited about him. I don’t think it’s his religion although that is a factor.

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  112. hawkgrrrl on November 4, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    “He must be stuck in a tent somewhere on Wall Street.” Nearly did a spit take!

    Between Chino and Will, I’m going to get a swelled head! Let the pride cycle begin!

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  113. Ray on November 4, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    Jon, there is nowhere constructive to go from here. Let’s go ahead and drop it.

    Hawk, re: the pride cycle:

    That’s what a Mormon friend of mine called his stationary bike.

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  114. Will on November 4, 2011 at 8:09 PM

    Jon,

    That isn’t the first time Dan took his bucket and shovel and went home crying. He’ll be back.

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  115. Jon on November 4, 2011 at 10:44 PM

    jmb,

    I finally read that link. I think you do much better of a job of convincing me about ideas than he does, he has a lot of argumentative fallacies.

    Here’s some of my thoughts on his posts:

    When it comes to providing for the poor and needy through public taxation or private charity, I discovered that I’ve been kidding myself for years: If you decrease my tax rate a little bit, I’m probably not going to increase my charitable donations. Instead, I’m just going to eat out a little more often or watch a few more movies.

    Assumption that the market is a zero sum game (more jobs would be created if more people got to keep their own money). Also assumes that the poor will not step up to the plate and help themselves (as historically they did, and they did a much better job than the government). Argumentative fallacy that it is an either or answer but that there couldn’t also be other solutions.

    Sure, I prefer private education…but I don’t think that support for public education causes a man to lose his priesthood or grieve the heavens.

    What was it that Stalin said about government education? For that matter what did the early prophets warn us about government education? I know what they said, and it wasn’t good. What it is is forcing people to take their money or have violence enacted on the person if they don’t, that is the core issue. But also at issue is people don’t get to decide what they want their children to learn and how they will learn it, in a free market education system this would be possible and at a fraction of the cost we are paying now.

    Politics and government and discussions of the issues are not quarantined from other areas of life. Rather, the object of my loathing and disdain is regularly discussed side by side with religion, sports, art, nature, health, technology, crime, and every other aspect of life.

    That’s one of the things that sucks about government, it’s involved in every aspect of our lives, why, why, why? And I think it is understandable why one would want to just shut out politics especially since the answer to the problems isn’t political.

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  116. Douglas on November 5, 2011 at 12:04 AM

    First, excellent posts all, regardless of whether I agree all or in part! The participation has been lively and mostly on point!

    For those who ridicule those of the liberal persuasion: Think of the fictional Mr. Spock’s answer to being surrounded by “illogical hew-mons”…”it’s pleases me no end, Captain, for nowhere else am I so desperately needed.” How boring it would be if EVERYONE was Libertarian/Conservative. It’s rather more fun to be the “contrarian”.

    Even the argument of cut Gov’t spending (esp. Federal) on entitlements and make more $$ available for private charities: It’s irrelevant and also the point that private charities are “sufficient”…first of all, according to whom? To the assorted gaggle of “sob sisters” that fall prey to every hard-luck story, no…likewise to those that make charity and welfare a lifestyle rather than a stepping stone back to self-sufficiency. There’s nothing like the spectre of outright hunger, or at least want, to motivate! That’s REAL LIFE, folks, and good grief, we’re stupid to insulate perfectly able-bodied folks from the consequences of indolence or bad choices!
    It’s also been my experience that no Gov’t program truly works itself out of business. The best lampooning of this came in 1976 with the Bicentennial Commission. It shows it as a small office in 1970 with less than five people. By 1972, it’s grown to about fifty people taking up an entire floor. By 1974, it occupies an entire building wing. Come June 1976, it’s in a massive building of its own, with over 500 employees. Now, the head of the commission notes the celebrations on July 4, 1976, and realizes…that his agency needs a new reason to exist! So, on July 5th…the sign on the big Government building reads, “Tricentennial Commission”!! I wish I could find this and other videos from that show (the 1975 season of “NBC’s Saturday Night”, they were friggin’ hilarious!

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  117. [...] are voting on very important issues (and de-toothing the laws they are voting on. (Are you guys bored of Mitt and the Christian/Republican circus [...]

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