Free Forum Friday, January 28 Edition

The big news this week was the State of the Union address. The President delivered a ‘sputnik moment’ speech where he implored us to reach new heights of productivity.

A significant change this year in the SOTU address was the seating arrangement. Several members of congress decided to co-mingle with the other side of the aisle following last weeks Tucson Massacre and the call for civility. Also, Paul Ryan (R-IL) gave the rebuttal and Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) Gave a Tea Party themed rebuttal. We’ve written about the address on this blog. How about the rebuttals? It’s Friday, go for it.

Free Forum Fridays are an open discussion where commenters are invited to bring up topics that may not have been covered in the previous week. Got something on your mind? Throw your opinion out there.

About Mr. Universe

Mr. Universe is a musician/songwriter and an ex-patriot of the south. He currently lives and teaches at a University in the Pacific Northwest. He is a long distance hiker who has hiked the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also an author and woodworker. An outspoken political voice, he takes a decidedly liberal stance in politics.
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92 Responses to Free Forum Friday, January 28 Edition

  1. Mr. Universe says:

    drfunguy said,

    I couldn’t help but wonder why Rep. Bachman got her own airtime after the SOU the other night; its because CNN (hearts) the Tea ‘Party’. Related to this my favorite liberal pundit has a new column from which I am pasting a few paragraphs here (link follows).

    “It’s no simple matter to sum up all that’s wrong with the “thinking” that characterizes contemporary news coverage. But if I had to pick a potent symbol of just how rudderless are the allegedly “responsible” media executives making the decisions about who and what constitute “news” these days, I’d have to go with CNN’s decision to carry Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

    Remember, Rep. Bachmann is just a mere member of the House of Representatives. She was actually rebuked by her own party when she ran for a leadership position in the current congressional class. She has no standing whatsoever to represent anything other than a majority of her Minnesota district to the rest of the nation. And yet CNN decides to treat her rant as an alternative State of the Union because the Tea Party—representing fewer than a fifth of the nation’s views according to most polls—anointed her as its spokesperson. To get a liberal equivalent of Rep. Bachmann, CNN would have had to turn over their cameras right afterward to Ward Churchill.

    - Eric Alterman

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/01/ta012711.html

  2. Mainer says:

    Actually didn’t Ms. Bachmann anoint herself as their leader in congress?

    Any one else notice that Jim DeMint is going to Iowa for a little sight seeing in the dead of winter. With Palin, Bachmann and even Angle jockying for position poor old Jim must have had a bad moment. Or maybe it was when he threw a tea party in congress and most every one stayed away. Got to have a town hall meeting……I don’t hear and cowbells. Hello, hello I thought I had a date when I got here. Good grief who will be touring Iowa next? Christine O’Donnell?

  3. shortchain says:

    Mainer,

    You really have to work to keep up on the news in the teaper “movement”.

    Pence has been promoted to “senior statesman” in that crowd. I guess it takes very little to achieve that status when they allow Michele Bachmann (or our own BDP) to function as “spokesperson”.

    It’s amusing that the teapers criticize the Democratic party for nominating a person who, they say, has a thin resume — and then respond with people whose entire life achievement could be listed in large letters on the back of cereal box.

  4. Bart DePalma says:

    GDP went up 3.3% in the 4Q, once again far below recovery levels and that required to decrease the number of unemployed.

    3.3% is where the US economy generally settles in the mature stage of a growth cycle after recovery, suggesting that we are in a new diminished normal with 1980s level EU style structural unemployment.

  5. Bart DePalma says:

    Actually, it was 3.2% growth.

  6. Bart DePalma says:

    You can tell that a Dem President is running for reelection when Time runs a headline that Reads “Why Obama hearts Reagan.”

    Predictable.

  7. Jonathon says:

    Jeez. The conservative woman haters are out in force this morning. It drives you guys crazy when conservative women get out of the kitchen where you think they belong.

    So much for Obama’s call for “civil discourse”. Oh yeah, “civil discourse” only applies to those on the right. My bad.

  8. Bartbuster says:

    It drives you guys crazy when conservative women get out of the kitchen where you think they belong.

    Jonathon, the problem isn’t that they got out of the kitchen, the problem is that they escaped from the loony bin.

  9. Bartbuster says:

    Civility is overrated. Wingnuts drove this country off a cliff. There is no reason to be civil with them.

  10. drfunguy says:

    Perhaps lost in the SOU excitement was the decision by the USDA to allow release of GMO “Roundup Ready” alfalfa http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/27/gmo-alfalfa-usda-idUSN2727513020110127
    The USDA is claiming this is necessary to ‘give farmers the choice’ of using the GMO alfalfa but it is sorry cow-towing to big ag. If the GMO corn saga is any indication it will result in farmers who don’t want the GMO crop being sued (successfully) by Monsanto when their plants are pollinated with by their neighbors GMO crop and they plant the resulting seed. That actually happened in both the US and Canada.
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Goliath_and_David:_Monsanto's_Legal_Battles_against_Farmers
    This is clearly a case where the governements role in protecting people from the abuse of power by large corporations has been neglected. In this case neither major party has been willing to challenge the continued corporate takeover of our food supply.

  11. NotImpressed says:

    There also is a difference between being “uncivil” and advocating violence. I don’t fell there is anything wrong with strong and impassioned rhetoric. I do feel that carrying guns or threatened to use them, even for mere dramatic purposes, is wrong.

    It is one thing to strongly express an opinion. Even to be crude and insulting about it. It is another thing entirely to engage in bullying. Or in blatant attempts to intimidate the other person into merely shutting up.

    it is one thing to point out that jingoistic racist anti-intellectual paranoid corporatist Neanderthals pushed us over a cliff through an orgy of deregulation and tax cuts for the obscenely wealthy.

    It is something else to advocate the violent overthrow of the government, the assassination of public officials, and the silencing of those who disagree with this cowboy worldview. And then to coyly lie about having done so.

    I guess it’s only funny until someone loses an eye. Or gets shot in the head.

  12. Mainer says:

    Jonathon, you just don’t get it do you? Civil discourse has nothing to do with it. I could have called Angle, Palin, Bachmann and ODonell any number of things and been right for doing it. There are any number of bright and capable conservative women in politics. Hutchinson, Ayotte, Martines, Haley and Murkowski jumping to mind quickly but they are not the ones in the news. Instead the four witches of the Appocalypse keep sucking all the air out of any political discourse. I actually feel bad for those women that just do the job they were elected to do with out denigrating their sex or humans in general. If you want to hear lack of civility toward air headed bimbos keep pushing them as being some thing other than the clowns they are.

  13. shiloh says:

    Jeez.

    Another inane generalization by a winger troll as yes, it’s almost too easy makin’ fun of Bart’s bimbos …

    Jonathan/grog separated at birth ?!?

  14. Realist says:

    NI,
    I don’t fell [sic] there is anything wrong with strong and impassioned rhetoric.

    Strong and impassioned rhetoric has its place. But, as Jon Stewart so eloquently put it, “If we amplify everything we hear nothing.” Turn every issue up to 11, and we can no longer distinguish between the political equivalents of a minor driving infraction and premeditated murder. We end up with responses worthy of Draco himself, applying the maximum response for everything.

    Proportionality is critical for most things in life.

  15. shortchain says:

    Proportionality is important.

    For example, Michele Bachmann has been fact-checked on several occasions, and has never budged the “truth index” far from “absolutely false”. Her highest grade so far was “mostly false”, as I understand it.

    That forces us to consider the question: how ought we to treat a public persona who is, by god! running for President while lying her socks off?

    My answer: with disdain. Not hatred, as Jonathan (wrongfully) asserts. It’s standard right-wing methodology to conflate with hatred any feeling like mild detestation (like you might feel for an egg that spent too long at room temperature), with “hatred”, but that is, at best, mistaken, and, at worst, a dishonest attempt at shutting down the discussion.

  16. NotImpressed says:

    Realist, you’re correct that proportionality is important. A balance must be struck. I’m not sure what a “proportionate” response is to the insanity we continue to hear. And we know that being too quiet and calm opens us to the charge of being “bloodless” and “professorial.” Finding the right balance is rough. (And by the way, Stewart also said he’s not opposed to proper crudity.) I’m not disagreeing with you. I’m posing the question. What is a “proportionate” response to intentional and dangerous lies? Does that differ from a “contrasting” response? How do we know (in practical terms) when we’ve found the right tone? These are honest questions. I struggle with it constantly.

    shortchain, the Right Wing seems to like playing the victim. And misrepresenting the Left. Remember when the meme was that the Left was “afraid” of Palin? It’s changed to: the Left “hates” Palin. Still wrong. Speaking for myself, I hold her in contempt. As I would anyone who so despises learning and reason and fact. Someone who holds up ignorance and stupidity as goals to achieve. Someone who uses coy sexuality and violent imagery as substitutes for political discussion. Someone who reduces complex geopolitical and economic questions to bumper-sticker Dukes of Hazard mentality.

    The argument the Right wants to make is that the Left opposes Palin (and others like her) because we “hate” her, or are “afraid,” or whatever. The truth is, we disagree with her, both in the substance of her message and in the means of presenting it. A disagreement on substance invites a debate on substance. A shallow and manipulative form of presenting a shallow and substance-less position invites ridicule. That is the source of our contempt. She has nothing to say, and she says it as an homage to stupidity. I seriously worry about anyone who doesn’t hold that in contempt.

  17. Bart DePalma says:

    Obama’s Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission put out multiple reports yesterday.

    The Dem majority report was a predictable whitewash of the government’s role in creating the subprime crisis and, with a healthy does of unintentional black humor, recommends that a crisis caused by banking regulators can be cured by granting banking regulators even more power.

    Obama made the mistake of including a genuine conservative financial analyst, AEI’s Peter J. Wallison, on the commission with the power to request research from the commission staff. The result as an 80 some page dissenting report providing the most comprehensive evidence yet of the government’s role in creating the subprime market, the mass default of subprime mortgages and how this created the financial crisis. Wallison also slaps down the unsupported findings of the Dem majority.

    Report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, Peter J. Wallison Dissenting Statement (January 2011).

    http://c0182732.cdn1.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/fcic_final_report_wallison_dissent.pdf

    Note: This was moved here on Michael’s request.

  18. Mr. Universe says:

    Jeez. The conservative woman haters are out in force this morning. It drives you guys crazy when conservative women get out of the kitchen where you think they belong.

    Project much?

    Stupid doesn’t care what gear you have in your pants. Stupid is stupid.

  19. Bart DePalma says:

    As is common with this newspaper, the NYT’s news section provided a useful contrast to it’s hard left op-ed page.

    The news section reported that the S&P has again downgraded Japan’s debt, largely accumulated in a quarter century of the government attempting to borrow and spend its way out of its real estate bubble caused recession.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/business/global/28yen.html?hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1296137071-czAZA7C49YZLGzRtM6+QMg

    At the same time, the inimitable Paul Krugman lamely takes GOP House budget committee chair Paul Ryan to task for imperfectly comparing our exponentially increasing sovereign debt to that of Ireland and Britain.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/opinion/28krugman.html?_r=1

    Perhaps, Prof Krugman would care to look to Japan instead.

  20. shortchain says:

    Shorter Bart: “the commission’s report disagrees with my bias and is, therefore, wrong.” And “because I can find one person who says what I want, that means I am right.”

  21. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Actually, Krugman has discussed Japan many times. I strongly suspect that he’s forgotten more about Japan than you will ever learn, especially since you appear to be unable to understand the difference between macro- and micro-economics.

    In a choice between depending on Krugman for economic analysis or Ryan (or you), I’ll take Krugman, thanks.

  22. NotImpressed says:

    DePalma
    “Perhaps, Prof Krugman would care to look to Japan instead.”

    Japan has weathered the worldwide crash much better than we did. Japan has strong unions, guaranteed pensions, government-funded health care. They didn’t have rising unemployment because their companies don’t lay off people in bad times. Because they’re not afraid to go into debt when the economy demands it. They also don’t waste the largest single portion of their federal budget on the military. They also are signatories to the Kyoto accords. All in all, we might consider emulating them more than we do.

  23. Bartbuster says:

    The only area Baghdad probably thinks we should emulate the Japanese is in their determination to rid the seas of the last remaining whales and Blue Fin tuna.

  24. Mr. Universe says:

    Paul Ryan is an economic train wreck. I’ve never seen such…necromancy is the best term I can think of. I’ll take the Nobel prize winner in economics any day.

  25. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    Unlike you, I have read theFinancial Crisis Inquiry Commission report. I will be supplementing my chapter on the subprime mortgage default with its data this weekend. If you want to educate yourself by actually reading the report and wish to discuss the particulars, I would be pleased to do so.

    SC/NI:

    Krugman does not work in or teach macroeconomics or debt issues. Rather, he simply does a bad job of trying to distinguish out of control US borrowing and spending with that of the EU. The attempt to distinguish the UK’s overspending and borrowing from our nearly identical stimulus is particularly pathetic. A 1L in lawschool would be justifiably ridiculed for such a half-assed effort.

    Japan is Exhibit A of how government borrowing and spending leads to economic stagnation and the destruction of a nation’s credit rating. Governments cannot borrow or tax a nation into economic growth.

  26. Mr. Universe says:

    Governments cannot borrow or tax a nation into economic growth.

    And tax breaks to the wealthy helps us how?

  27. dcpetterson says:

    Governments cannot borrow or tax a nation into economic growth.

    Yet that has been the Republican economic policy (as opposed to their rhetoric) since Reagan.

  28. Bartbuster says:

    Governments cannot borrow or tax a nation into economic growth.

    Ronnie Raygun did it. And it sure looks like we’re doing it right now.

  29. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Given your well-known lack of reading comprehension, it astounds me that you still bother to pull the trite “I’ve read it!” argument.

    I have no interest in discussing anything with you. You are ideologically blind, so it would be exactly like arguing over the color of a horse with a blind man.

    Sorry, Bart, but that’s the blunt truth. I’m going to just point out your foibles and errors and leave it at that.

  30. shortchain says:

    Here’s a new topic: Given the recent events in the Middle East, with the destabilization of dictatorships friendly to the west — a destabilization which may, finally, result in the downfall of Mubarak –
    a) Was this at least partially a result of the Iraq adventure begun by George Bush?
    b) What part of this destabilization is due to the leaks of diplomatic cables by Wikileaks?
    c) Is this pattern of leaking hitherto tightly-held information a passing thing, or are on the verge of a new era where diplomacy must be conducted in the open? (Note that there was also the recent leaks in re the Palestinian-Israeli talks, which are likely to bring down the current non-Hamas Palestinian leadership.)

  31. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    You are free to revel in your laziness and ignorance, just do not waste my time commenting on data I post which you have not even bothered to read or by claiming that you will not address the facts of an issue because of our ideological differences when it is because of your laziness and ignorance.

  32. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain says:

    Try (d) Arabs, like all other people, want to be free and enjoy the opportunities afforded by that freedom.

    The Jasmine Revolution used many of the same internet organization techniques as did the Tea Party last year. Welcome to the new starfish freedom movements.

  33. Bartbuster says:

    The Jasmine Revolution used many of the same internet organization techniques as did the Tea Party last year. Welcome to the new starfish freedom movements.

    The main difference, of course, is that the Arabs are protesting because they’re not allowed to have elections, while the tea baggers were whining because their side lost an election.

  34. NotImpressed says:

    Gosh, Mr. DePalma, you’ve resorted to insults. Shortchain must have really hit home.

    It doesn’t much matter what’s in a given report or website you link. You tend to invent what you want to see. When it’s pointed out that you’re wrong about what’s there, you decline to respond. So what’s the point in discussions with you? (That was a rhetorical question. I don’t want an answer.)

  35. Bart DePalma says:

    BB:

    Both the Jamine Revolution and the Tea Party wanted to remove governments which are imposing policies against the will of the people. The Tea Party did this by organizing to win an election while the Jasmine Revolution did this by demonstrating for real elections.

  36. Just Sayin' says:

    Poor Bart, arguing with the big boys really is hard for you. Over and over for the last two years I’ve watched them win just about every argument. Is there anything that you do well?

  37. Bart DePalma says:

    NI:

    You too are welcome to read any data to which I link and point out where the data is in error or where I erred in representing what the data says.

  38. Number Seven says:

    I did it, I finally did it. I googled Bart. Esq.??? Seriously???

    ROFLMAO

  39. NotImpressed says:

    DePalma:
    Tea Party wanted to remove governments which are imposing policies against the will of the people.

    You’re really still on this one? Really? When you have proven, time and again, that your ideas are opposed to the will of a majority the people? And when it has been pointed out, again and again, that “the people” have more than one “will”?

    Oh, it’s that reading thing again, isn’t it? Or is it that you’ve got a phrase you like the sound of, but don’t actually know what it means?

    Honestly. comparing Tea Party people to people who actually have their liberties threatened is like comparing having the wrong nail polish to having one’s arms cut off. Pretty pathetic.

  40. shiloh says:

    Jamine, schmamine lol as Bartles is still crazy er rationalizing er faux comparing whining teabaggers after all these years! :-P

    btw, if Bart’s teabaggers/bimbos won, why are they still (((whining))) 24/7 ~ Rhetorical question.

    >

    And again oh the irony when 538 winger trolls project about woman haters when palin/bachmann are all about hate speak, misinformation, deflection.

    Indeed as palin/bachmann are the teabagger prima donnas of uncivil discourse …

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! ~ Harry S. Truman

    take care

  41. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    You say: “You too are welcome to read any data to which I link and point out where the data is in error or where I erred in representing what the data says.”

    I’ve done that. Several times. And later that same week, I happened to visit another website, where I found you making exactly the same debunked claims after having been shown they were false.. (Note: this was with respect to the viability of the stockpile of atomic weapons.)

    Now, tell me true, Bart, what’s the point of showing you something if you prove that you cannot learn from it?

  42. Bart DePalma says:

    JS:

    :::chuckle:::

    What big boys? I debate professors on academic blogs. I post here for fun.

  43. Bartbuster says:

    I debate professors on academic blogs.

    Balkin?

    ;;;chuckle;;;

    Too friggin’ funny. You repeatedly got your ass kicked over at Balkin. I was embarrassed for you.

  44. Bartbuster says:

    The Tea Party did this by organizing to win an election

    If the teabaggers won the last election, why isn’t Glenn Beck the Speaker of the House?

  45. shiloh says:

    professors lol

    :::chuckle::: indeed Bartles as you’re buried here routinely by rabble-rousers :-P

    538′s #1 delusional troll er Walter Mitty is on the loose again …

    >

    Bart, you post here ’cause you’re addicted ~ nothin’ more/nothin’ less ie no one else will play w/you! And “we” have empathy for (((miserable teabagger blowhards))).

    take care

  46. Brian says:

    I try not to post in anger, I tend to read what you guys post and come back to a little later when I’ve calmed down to what Bart has posted. Usually I don’t even need to respond, since someone has already covered it. But Bart, you really need to stop comparing your little wanna-be revolution with real ones. You’re not comparable to the Civil Rights movement, you’re not comparable to the Jasmine Revolution, you’re not comparable to the riots in Egypt.

    You’re not being beaten, killed, or tortured for wanting to change things. You’re being given the same opportunity to express your opinion as everyone else in this country, without fear of physical harm. I’m betting no one has burned a cross in front of your house or unleashed dogs on you for your ideological views. How about this, you set yourself on fire, like they have done in the Middle East to protest, and I’ll consider the Tea Party on equal footing. Until then, you’re just belittling what people have actually died for by making this poor comparisons.

    Sorry if that wasn’t really contributing to the discussion, but I just needed to vent.

  47. Mr. Universe says:

    What big boys? I debate professors on academic blogs. I post here for fun.

    Excuse me? Most of us here are in academia therefore, you annoy professors on academic blogs. We recognize when someone is out of their league as you are. We are forced to deal with you as you seem intent upon disrupting this site.

    I try to ignore you but sometimes, I just can’t help myself. You’re such an easy mark.

  48. Number Seven says:

    Here is another topic for possible discussion. Ayn Rand used Social Security and possibly Medicare. Now before someone says, ‘well, she paid into it’, here is one of her quotes:

    “There can be no compromise on basic principles. There can be no compromise on moral issues. There can be no compromise on matters of knowledge, of truth, of rational conviction.”

    And dig this piece of irony from her organizations’ website titled ‘Social Security is immoral’.

    Nothing like a bowl of crow in the afternoon, eh, Tea Party?

  49. shortchain says:

    #7, and Representative Ryan used SS funds to get through school, but now wants to end SS as we know it. A perfect example of “I got mine conservatism”.

    Oh, and BTW — It looks like Egypt’s a done deal. Mubarak is toast, folks, with probability .9.

    The only question is who will take power in Egypt next.

  50. Number Seven says:

    Sorry, forgot to post the original article.

  51. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: What big boys? I debate professors on academic blogs. I post here for fun.

    U: Excuse me? Most of us here are in academia therefore, you annoy professors on academic blogs.

    Do we have professors posting here? Care to post openly as is the case with most blawgs. I would be pleased to make your acquaintance.

  52. Bart DePalma says:

    SC:

    There is nothing hypocritical about proposing to change a social insurance policy because you think it is a bad idea and taking benefits for which you have spent thousands in tax dollars to purchase.

    For example, opposing the present form of SS because it is an unfair and inefficient intergenerational Ponzi scheme and taking the money you are paid in under the Ponzi scheme before it runs out is hardly hypocritical.

  53. shiloh says:

    Barted ~ I would be pleased to make your acquaintance.

    hmm, one wonders how many friends Bartles has, especially since he blawgs ;) 24/7.

    Again Bart, Jesus loves you … by default!

  54. shortchain says:

    Here’s a perfect example of Bart’s dishonest methodology. The theory that “SS is an intergenerational Ponzi scheme” is a lie. A Ponzi scheme is a scheme where people are told that they are investing, and will be accumulate wealth — but receive only interest payments, those payments being funded by money collected from new investors.

    Only an idiot or an ignoramus doesn’t know that SS is a “pay as you go” system, where your benefits are paid by people who will, someday, receive benefits paid for by people even further down the road. So calling it a “Ponzi scheme” is the most egregious sort of dishonest attempt to frame the discussion.

  55. Just Sayin' says:

    Bart, this internet, is a wonderous thing, where even most delusional can post comments and cite drivel as fact. I’m glad its all in fun for you, because I am sure that even you know that your full of shit.

  56. shiloh says:

    No Bartles, the hypocrisy is Ayn Rand didn’t protest ie take a stand against SS and refuse to pay into the fund.

    There’s no middle ground, either revolt against the govt. risking going to jail or

    SHUT THE F*CK UP !!!

    One is either a true believer or a frickin’ poser/fraud/charlatan like Bart/Rand!

    btw, Vietnam War protesters went to jail ie liberals … conservatives, not so much er never!

    ‘nuf said!

  57. Number Seven says:

    I can see Bartoinette, Esq. sipping tea with his pinky extended, while he agrees with Ayn Rands hypocracy.

    Bart, someone who preaches moral absolutes and then violates that which was preached is the very definition of hypocrite.

    I can’t belive you actually make money as a lawyer.

  58. NotImpressed says:

    shortchain, you’ve stumbled across another one of Bart’s redefinitions. Another example is, it’s not hypocritical to say one thing and do the opposite (witness his “defense” of Ayn Rand and Social Security). I guess that’s just “contradictory.” Or maybe “complex.” Or perhaps it’s simply “Republican.” Hard to tell.

  59. shortchain says:

    Let the record show that Bart thinks that Ryan paid in thousands of dollars — by the time he was 16 — and was therefore entitled to take the money to pay for his college.

    If he made enough money to have paid thousands in SS, he could have paid his way through most colleges without SS.

    I also was fatherless (except from the age of 5, not 16), and I also paid into SS, starting at 15, but my yearly earnings were in the hundreds, so my SS earnings would have been inadequate for college. I guess I’m just not as valuable as Ryan.

  60. shortchain,

    Only an idiot or an ignoramus doesn’t know that SS is a “pay as you go” system, where your benefits are paid by people who will, someday, receive benefits paid for by people even further down the road.

    FWIW, most people are unaware that it’s “pay as you go.” Most believe it to be like a pension, because one’s interaction with Social Security looks like a pension.

    I don’t think that makes them idiots or ignorami. An idiot or ignoramus would be one who knows that it’s “pay as you go” but pretends that it’s something else entirely.

  61. Mr. Universe says:

    I would be pleased to make your acquaintance.

    I would not. I have better pursuits in mind.

  62. Bartbuster says:

    I would be pleased to make your acquaintance.

    Bart, do you actually read the responses to the BS you post in here?

  63. shortchain says:

    Michael,

    An “Ignoramus” is an “utterly ignorant person” (courtesy of Merriam-Webster’s on-line dictionary). I submit that a person who does not know, after all the discussion of SS, that SS is a “pay as you go” system, is worse than simply an ignoramus, but a willful ignoramus.

    That a lot of Americans are ignoramuses, in my opinion, is something that I make no secret of, nor do I apologize for holding that opinion.

    I stand by the term. If you consider me unfairly harsh, you are free to join the line. It forms a couple of blocks over.

    (I do like “ignorami” — but let’s reserve that for an ignoramus who has to fold him or herself up into a pretzel in order to avoid the obvious.)

  64. shortchain,
    I think the word you’re searching for is “ignorigami” :)

  65. shiloh says:

    btw, (4) Kent State students were killed/murdered May, 1970 by Ohio National Guardsmen during a protest against Nixon after he announced America had expanded the Vietnam War by (((illegally/unconstitutionally))) invading Cambodia.

    The irony being two of the (4) were innocent bystanders: William Schroeder, simply walking between classes ~ His college roommate, Lou Cusella, stated that he believed Schroeder was trying to flee when shot. “Bill was 332 feet away from the nearest National Guardsman, not much of a threat. He was shot with a folder in his hand.” Already an Eagle Scout, at age 17 Schroeder applied for the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) Scholarship.

    and Sandra Scheuer ~ Scheuer, born in Youngstown, Ohio, was an honors student in speech therapy. She did not take part in the Vietnam War protests that preceded the shootings. She was shot through the throat with an M-1 rifle from a distance of 130 yards (119 m) while walking between classes and died within five or six minutes from loss of blood. According to the account of Bruce Burkland, a close family friend, Scheuer “was walking with one of her speech and hearing therapy students across the green. Neither Sandra nor the young man had anything to do with the peaceful assembly of students on the green.” Three other unarmed students were also killed in the shootings: Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, and William Knox Schroeder.

    Attica! Attica! Attica! ~ The whole world is watching! ie Egypt.

    Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground. Mother Earth will swallow you, lay your body down!

    >

    Which begs the question ?!? why did the Kent State powers that be not cancel classes on Monday while the Ohio National Guard was on campus harassing student protesters …

    I digress

  66. Bart DePalma says:

    shortchain says: Here’s a perfect example of Bart’s dishonest methodology. The theory that “SS is an intergenerational Ponzi scheme” is a lie. A Ponzi scheme is a scheme where people are told that they are investing, and will be accumulate wealth — but receive only interest payments, those payments being funded by money collected from new investors.

    Now take the next step in the train of logic…

    A Ponzi scheme is where each new group of investors pays off a previous group of investors (with the perpetrator taking a slice) until there are too few new investors to make the payoff, whereupon the scheme collapses.

    Social security is where a new generation of workers pays off a previous generation of workers until the new generation is too small (Gen X) to pay off the prior cohort (Boomers) and the scheme collapses. Of course, unlike the Ponzi artist, the government can take more from the new generation and/or give less to the previous generation and neither generation has legal recourse like other Ponzi victims.

  67. Bartbuster says:

    intergenerational Ponzi scheme and taking the money you are paid in under the Ponzi scheme before it runs out

    Baghdad, if this “Ponzi scheme runs out”, we’re got much worse problems than how to pay for retirement.

  68. Bartbuster says:

    A Ponzi scheme is where each new group of investors pays off a previous group of investors (with the perpetrator taking a slice) until there are too few new investors to make the payoff, whereupon the scheme collapses.

    What do you think happen to the value of the stock you buy, especially if that stock doesn’t pay a dividend, if you can’t find any suckers to buy it from you?

  69. shiloh says:

    Let the record show Bartles is done defending/apologizing/rationalizing the hypocrisy of Ayn Rand/Paul Ryan etc.

    If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, then quit. Don’t be a damn fool!

    er flee/escape to the next thread :-P

    ok, ok, BDP has been a damn fool 24/7 the past 2+ years at 538 ~ god love him …

  70. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    Right. In Bart-world, the next generations will buy the stocks and bonds you’ve been investing in, allowing you to take the proceeds for your support when you are unable to work anymore. Or at least they will until there’s a stock-market crash or your company gets looted by management, and the last person holding the stock can’t even use it for toilet paper (it’s all bits somewhere these days…) Gosh, that sound suspiciously like an intergenerational pact of some kind, where the succeeding generations buy whatever worthless crap the previous ones have accumulated, so that the elders can live in comfort.

    As I said above, only an ignoramus or an idiot thinks they’re “investing” when they pay SS tax.

    I don’t think you are either. I think you are just pathetically dishonest.

  71. Number Seven says:

    Considering Bart, dePalma, Esq. has his address posted publically, I am thinking about sending him a present. My cat is producing it right now…

  72. shiloh says:

    A present for Bartles!

    No hard feelings, eh.

  73. NotImpressed says:

    Bart knows nothing about Social Security.

    Bart, stop pretending you know anything about Social Security. You don’t.

  74. NotImpressed says:

    Actually, Bart, stop pretending you know anything. You don’t.

  75. shiloh says:

    Bart knows nothing …

    Coincidentally, the nickname for Bart’s teabaggers ~ the know nothings!

  76. Bart DePalma says:

    Ah, to be called ignorant by those who actually believe the stock markets are a worse investment than social security.

    My age cohort will put more money in that we will be able to withdraw from SS because the US will have no choice but to move back the retirement age and reduce the COLA from the growth in income to inflation while I will probably be hit with a tax increase to pay for the boomers.

    Here is a home work assignment. What would the ROI be if I did not put money in SS and instead invested it in a DJA index account starting in 1979 to present – corrections and all?

    Which would you rather put your money into?

  77. Bartbuster says:

    Ah, to be called ignorant by those who actually believe the stock markets are a worse investment than social security.

    Blankshot, I never said that the stock market is a worse investment than SS, I said that it’s a Ponzi scheme, which it is. The fact that it’s a Ponzi scheme with a relatively good return relative to SS does not change the fact that it’s a Ponzi scheme.

  78. shiloh says:

    Barted ~ I will probably be hit with a tax increase to pay for the boomers.

    wah~sniffle~wah

    btw, as a boomer, just let me say, thanx !!! :-P

    >

    Bart, I’m from the govt. and I’m here to help! :D

    Cry me a river …

    >

    Common good ie You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem!

    take care, comrade :)

  79. shortchain says:

    Oddly, as Bart has told us in the past, when he thinks the stock market (or his tiny little corner of it) is going down, he pulls his money out, waits for it to look like it will go back up, and then goes back in.

    Which raises a couple of questions:
    a) Just how much of the time has Bart actually been participating in the market?
    b) Just suppose that 2.4T dollars of investment did that every time the market hiccups.

    The result would make upswings more violent and downswings more violent. And, when a downswing started down, and everybody piled in, that would produce a crash. This uncertainty, which is obviously too great for Bart to ride out, would make everybody only put a portion (that portion they can afford to risk, which in most people’s case would be 0) in the market.

    So what Bart proposes, if implemented, would produce an environment that would induce the vast majority of people to simply put their money in a more stable form of investment.

    T-bills.

    So we’d have to force people to put money in the stock market. Which would have only one effect: huge profits for hedge fund managers.

    Sorry — that’s not accurate. Hedge fund managers already make huge profits. The result in Bart-world would be obscenely oversized profits.

    Count me out, thanks.

  80. Max aka Birdpilot says:

    Bart is NOT an expert when it comes to discussing work and free markets and retirement potential.

    Bart works in a protected industry (lawyer) that has high barriers to entry (1 – law degree, 2 – degree MUST be obtained from a school hand-picked by his association of cohorts, 3 – potential entrant MUST past test that, again MUST be developed and administered by his cohorts’ association, 4 – dues must be annually paid to association to be allowed to practice)

    Just suppose that Bart had to compete here with 10,000 Chinese immigrant lawyers annually, who had gone to a school back in China that cost $1000/year to attend, did not have to pass a bar exam or pay ABA dues. In a free market, where all consumers of the Law knew the records of a lawyers wins and losses, and only the ability to win a majority of cases handled would demonstrate a successful attorney. This competition from cheap labor would drive down fee structures, etc., etc., etc.

    Bart sure preaches mightily from his ivory tower. And he doesn’t even give it a thought.

  81. Bart DePalma says:

    BD: Here is a home work assignment. What would the ROI be if I did not put money in SS and instead invested it in a DJA index account starting in 1979 to present – corrections and all? Which would you rather put your money into?

    Shiloh: btw, as a boomer, just let me say, thanx !!!

    Most investors in Ponzi schemes who get their money before the collapse usually are grateful.

    SC: Oddly, as Bart has told us in the past, when he thinks the stock market (or his tiny little corner of it) is going down, he pulls his money out, waits for it to look like it will go back up, and then goes back in….Just suppose that 2.4T dollars of investment did that every time the market hiccups.

    Please. Everyone does not sell at one time or there would be no one to buy. Folks get in and out of the market all the time, which is why there is a market in the first place.

    That being said, folks who do not know what they are doing should invest part of their portfolio in stock market index funds rather than individual stocks, which is why I used that vehicle in my example above.

    Max: Bart is NOT an expert when it comes to discussing work and free markets and retirement potential.

    Bart works in a protected industry (lawyer) that has high barriers to entry (1 – law degree, 2 – degree MUST be obtained from a school hand-picked by his association of cohorts, 3 – potential entrant MUST past test that, again MUST be developed and administered by his cohorts’ association, 4 – dues must be annually paid to association to be allowed to practice)

    Just suppose that Bart had to compete here with 10,000 Chinese immigrant lawyers annually, who had gone to a school back in China that cost $1000/year to attend, did not have to pass a bar exam or pay ABA dues.

    You are correct that the practice of law is a legal monopoly regulated by a quasi-governmental agency (the bar) and a branch of government (the judiciary). You may also recall this is a progressive era concept.

    I am all for allowing anyone to practice law. The judiciary should have no say over who practices law. The bar would be better used as a legal better business bureau.

    I have no fear of competition from an ill educated and unexperienced Chinese immigrant attorney. My clients pay for my qualifications and experience.

    Now that all of you have shoveled out your usual red herrings, answer the question I posed above or admit that you can always get a better ROI over time in the stock market than you can out of the next generation under the Ponzi scheme known as SS.

  82. Bartbuster says:

    admit that you can always get a better ROI over time in the stock market

    Blankshot, if you think that you ALWAYS get a ROI in the stock market, you are dumber than a box of rocks. Just out of curiosity, do you have a backup plan if you invested in the next Enron?

  83. shiloh says:

    Bottom line Bart, and w/Bartles it’s always the bottom line ~ you will never have to worry about your children’s future, eh.

    And of course I’m sure you’re forever grateful!

    take care, blessings

  84. Bart DePalma says:

    BB:

    You are free to offer any evidence whatsoever that a ROI in the DJA over time (say during my adult lifetime since 1979) is less than the negative return from money I paid into SS. You cannot because the markets have offered an enormous ROI over that period of time, even with the various corrections along the way.

    You claim to work for a company implementing computer medical records and make a good living doing so. I will wager that you have a 401K which is wholly or partially invested in the stock markets. Thus, your own retirement investments put the lie to your populist anti-Wall Street pose.

  85. Bartbuster says:

    You are free to offer any evidence whatsoever that a ROI in the DJA over time (say during my adult lifetime since 1979) is less than the negative return from money I paid into SS. You cannot because the markets have offered an enormous ROI over that period of time, even with the various corrections along the way.

    Blankshot, I never made the claim that the average ROI for SS is better than the DJA. I pointed out that the stock market is a Ponzii scheme. You haven’t even tried to dispute that. I also pointed out that the stock market return is not ALWAYS better than SS. Do you know what ALWAYS means? Have you heard of Enron?

    I will wager that you have a 401K which is wholly or partially invested in the stock markets. Thus, your own retirement investments put the lie to your populist anti-Wall Street pose.

    As usual, you are wrong. I don’t have a 401K. The company I work for has set up a retirement trust for all employees. All money in the trust is contributed by the company. It’s invested in company stock, which is privately held. The stock value has not gone down in 25 years, and it pays a 7% dividend. I’ll be retired at 50. The founder of our company, worth over $500 million, refers to the stock market as the “Bigger Idiot Scam”.

  86. shortchain says:

    Perhaps Bart will point out a mutual-fund which guarantees that, on the basis of an investment equal to 15.4 percent of a person’s salary, they can retire at 62 with an amount equal to what social security will pay.

    The guarantee must be absolute — meaning that, short of a global catastrophe, it will be paid. (I’m guessing that the cost of insurance with Lloyd’s to make sure of that is going to cost a fair bit.)

    Then, for the money they take in, the mutual fund can invest and rake off the excess. They’d become wealthy beyond even their wildest dreams.

    I wonder why no mutual fund company will offer such a product?

    (Perhaps they have slightly more brains than Bart.)

  87. NotImpressed says:

    We don’t have to show any ROI on Social Security, because Social Security IS NOT AN INVESTMENT.

    And the current right wing meme about it going broke is nonsense. Social Security is fine. If we means-test the payouts, or raise the contribution ceiling, it is solvent forever. Without raising the retirement age or taking away COLAs.

    So please, stop with the scare tactics. Our retirement is absolutely secure. Provided we DO NOT put it into the stock market.

  88. Number Seven says:

    Bart, getting involved with your hypothetical mind games is like steping in shit. Something to be avoided by watching where you walk.

    How about a time frame for your most recent word dump. Best ROI over time?

    How much time? One day, one week, one year, 100 years?

  89. Bart DePalma says:

    BB:

    Diversifying in the stock market is a “bigger idiot scam,” but putting your entire retirement into your company’s stock like the poor fools at Enron is a great idea?

    SC:

    Any retirement or investment fund which promises a set return is lying. All are subject outside influences like the government or the markets. SS does not guarantee its payments. There is only the current statute which Congress may change at any time as NI suggests it do. If you had the opportunity and any sense, you would put your SS taxes into a maket index fund.

  90. shortchain says:

    Bart,

    You can look up on the SS website what your benefits will be. Since they are indexed against inflation, and since that is a number subject to fudging, it’s not completely accurate. (I’ve said for many years that one of the means that will be used to screw the boomers in their retirement will be to fudge that number and let inflation eat the shortfall — and it looks like that’s exactly the plan.) And it may be that the retirement age will be raised again. But, aside from that (which only operates until you near retirement age — they don’t raise the retirement age on people in their 50′s and on), it’s far more insulated from risk than the stock market, which is likely to produce substandard returns for at least a decade or two, as the boomers sell off their shares.

    Since I am not an idiot, I have hedged my bets with real estate, IRA, 401-k, and even 403-b vehicles. Everyone should. I suspect that, since I worked as many as three jobs for decades, putting a lot of my earnings up the spout in a lot of diversified investments, I’m better off than the vast majority of people out there. Especially since I don’t really care for the trappings of wealth.

    Like many people with a high level of acceptance of risk, you may be blithely cheerful in putting all your savings into risky, yet potentially lucrative, investments.

    What you fail to understand is that risk and return are related. To get the higher return of an indexed fund we have to also accept the risk that, when we need the money out of a fund, indexed or not (and I have both), it may have been depressed. Sure, over time, the fund will (almost certainly, as in “always has so far” — which is not, please note, a certainty) recover. That may, however, take years. What if we need the money now? Your methodology would entail a significant probability that it would be necessary to live on cat food for a few years until (and if) the fund recovers.

    Please read A Random Walk Down Wall Street. You’ll probably need to go through it several times, judging by your comment history.

    After that if you still think the American people, as one, should all invest in the stock market as their only retirement vehicle, then all I can say is — god help you.

    Of course, when your investments fail, again judging by your comments, you will then blame whatever Democratic president is in office at the time rather than the innate riskiness of your investments.

  91. Bartbuster says:

    Diversifying in the stock market is a “bigger idiot scam,” but putting your entire retirement into your company’s stock like the poor fools at Enron is a great idea?

    Our stock pays a 7% dividend and hasn’t gone down in value in 25 years. I didn’t lose a penny in the Bush Crash. It’s a privately held stock, so there is no incentive for management to try to manipulate the value (see Enron). Yes, it’s a great idea.

  92. shortchain says:

    What the hell happened to my link? That was a clean link. I checked it twice. Now it’s appearing as a free ad. If one of the blogmasters would just delete the damned thing, it would please me greatly.

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