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View Diary: Wow - David Brooks pretty much understands the huge problem Republicans have (141 comments)

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  •  In the seventies corporations realized (75+ / 0-)

    if they fired middle managers and hired more woman they could keep wages down and take productivity gains for senior mgmt.  That's when they also realized they could steal Defined Benefit plans and replace it w/ corrupt 401k's.  This has led to a whole series of cultural problems.  Two income households now struggle to generate what one union worker could, etc.

    According to the capitalist bible, Forbes:

    "By sitting on their growing investments, the richest five Americans made almost $7 billion each in one year. That's $3,500,000.00 per hour."

    That's more in one hour than most two income households will earn in eighty hours of work, working every week for forty years.  
    And for many, in just one second they will take as much as many who work their entire ONE SECOND.

    And they use some of that stolen productivity to tell us we've got to take even less...

    From Paul

    "According to a review of tax documents from 2007 through 2011, Peterson has personally contributed at least $458 million to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation to cast Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and government spending as in a state of crisis, in desperate need of dramatic cuts."
    That's "at least".  And that doesn't include the Koch's, de Vos', Waltons, Simmons and the other sociopaths.

    It's a mental illness.  These sociopaths are destroying our families, culture and the planet.
    The Republican party has no coherent, honest, rational economic philosophy and never has.  There is no legitimate conservative economic theory that does more than benefit the staggeringly few.

    And David Brooks is nothing more than a paid sycophant, who continues to mislead, distort and lie.  But I'm sure he's paid very well for it.

    •  some thoughts... (38+ / 0-)

      “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

      "Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires." - John Steinbeck

      “It is to the real advantage of every producer, every manufacturer and every merchant to cooperate in the improvement of working conditions, because the best customer of American industry is the well-paid worker.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

      “If capitalism is fair, then Unionism must be. If men have a right to capitalize their ideas and the resources of their country, then that implies the right of men to capitalize their labor.” - Frank Lloyd Wright

      “There are two types of republicans, the rich and the stupid. The rich ones strive to keep the stupid ones stupid and the stupid ones strive to keep the rich ones rich.” - frankzappatista, Daily Kos

      “That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

      “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge." -- Isaac Asimov

      “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.” — Adam Smith

      "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken

      "Give a man a gun and he can rob a bank. Give a man a bank and he can rob the world." - anonymous

      "I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half." - Jay Gould

      "It is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well, and look up to those who make no concessions." - Thucydides, ca. 411 BCE

      "Leaders shouldn't attach moral significance to their ideas: Do that, and you can't compromise." - Peter Drucker

      "I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

      "The definition of a liberal Republican is someone who, when you're drowning some 30 feet offshore, throws you a 20 foot rope and boasts that he "went more than halfway." -- Mark Shields

      "I like paying taxes... with them, I buy Civilization" - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

      "Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't possess." -- Anonymous

      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious convictions." -- Blaise Pascal, Pensees

      "Corporation, n. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

      "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." - Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"

      "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag carrying a cross" - Robert Sinclair, 1835

      "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." - Anatole France

      "Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor." - from the play 1776

      "Better the occasional faults of a party living in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a party frozen in the ice of its own indifference" - John F. Kennedy

      "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill

      "The real problem with keeping your ideas in a nutshell is you spend all your time inside with the nuts"  - Captain Frogbert

    •  Have to disagree about the Rethugs not having (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlochow, madhaus, chrississippi

      "a  coherent, honest, rational economic philosophy." On the contrary, the rich have spent billions over the past century to corrupt the profession of economics from within, driving out the concepts of "economic rent" and "unearned income."

      Michael Hudson explains in Simon Patten on Public Infrastructure and Economic Rent Capture

      America differed from England, as did Germany and other countries confronting British industrial competition. Free-trade policy was not appropriate for conditions that called for steering economic evolution along the most productive lines. And what British economists treated as universal actually reflected its class structure, especially its hereditary groundrent stemming from the Norman invasion. Free-trade economists attributed America’s high wage levels to the nation’s vast backwoods of available land on which to settle as an alternative to working in factories. Like other protectionists, Patten found this explanation insufficient.

      American industrial labor had to be sufficiently productive to sustain higher living standards. This required investment in capital, which in turn required protective tariffs and public infrastructure investment. Patten recognized that rising productivity, public investment, and wage levels went together. That is what enabled well-fed, well-trained, and well-housed American labor to undersell “pauper labor.” American free traders who followed the lead of British economists in urging governments to stand aside bought the idea that market forces by themselves would produce the most efficient outcomes. But what are markets, reformers asked, if not carefully constructed arrangements shaped by tax laws, land and property tenure, government subsidies and price regulation, educational systems, and infrastructure? Would not a market without regulation or public services become “free” for predators?

      The institutional and sociological economists who emerged from the American protectionist tradition and German Historical School were almost alone in retaining from classical political economic thought the concept of economic rent (the excess of market price over intrinsic cost-value) as unearned income. Defenders of property and opponents of tax reform found this focus on rentier revenue disturbing, above all its application to land ownership, and the monopolies and trusts created by Wall Street. These vested interests applauded the free-market marginalists who took property relations for granted.
      ---Published in American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 70, No. 4 (October, 2011).

      It is not an easy read, but I consider it essential to understanding the concepts of "economic rent" and "unearned income. Without these concepts firmly in mind, it is simply impossible to understand how the industrial economy has been financialized and looted over the past half century. Hudson has a somewhat simpler summary in America’s Deceptive 2012 Fiscal Cliff, Part IV– Why Financial and Tax Reform Should Go Together:
      Economies were liberating themselves from the special privileges that European feudalism and colonialism had granted to favored insiders. The aim of ending these privileges – or taxing away economic rent where it occurs naturally, as in the land’s site value and natural resource rent – was to lower the costs of living and doing business. This was expected to make progressive economies more competitive, obliging other countries to follow suit or be rendered obsolete. The era of what was considered to be socialism in one form or another seemed to be at hand – rising role of the public sector as part and parcel of the evolution of technology and prosperity.

      But the landowning and financial classes fought back, seeking to expunge the central policy conclusion of classical economics: the doctrine that free-lunch economic rent should serve as the tax base for economies seeking to be most efficient and fair. Imbued with academic legitimacy by the University of Chicago (which Upton Sinclair aptly named the University of Standard Oil) the new post-classical economics has adopted Milton Friedman’s motto: “There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” (TINSTAAFL). If it is not seen, after all, it has less likelihood of being taxed.

      The political problem faced by rentiers – the “idle rich” siphoning off most of the economy’s gains for themselves – is to convince voters to agree that labor and consumers should be taxed rather than the financial gains of the wealthiest 1%.

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 07:54:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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