Guess who's behind an Indiana moral crusade?

Discuss

79 Responses to “Guess who's behind an Indiana moral crusade?”

  1. JohnCJ says:

    Simply disgusting, and not at all surprising. Anytime anyone does something on behalf of the “children”, my spidey-sense starts tingling.

  2. Enoch_Root says:

    Ahh of course… all those under 17 year old children running around with credit cards and redbox accounts.

  3. zyodei says:

    Sigh… depends on the doctor… depends on which city… same thing with lawyers. Why are some lawyers $425 per hour?

    Right..lawyers, another industry that is highly regulated, to the extent that you can be put in prison for practicing without a very difficult and expensive to receive state license.

    My point is that the medical cartel enjoys a state controlled monopoly over its industry, and is able to set monopoly prices. This is a fundamental reason for the high cost of medicine in this country.

    In effect, our current medical system is a fascist one – government control and private ownership, an alliance of government and corporate power.

    A truly socialized system would arguably be better than the status quo – but I feel that a truly free system would be better still.

  4. Yamara says:

    T E M P E R A N C E !

    • absimiliard says:

      “T E M P E R A N C E !”

      As in Temperance Brennan?

      Mmmmmmmm.

      -abs has just gone to his happy place, thinking about the ever-tasty Temperance Brennan always does that

      • Yamara says:

        Temperance, as in the powerful movement that got its moral stance enshrined as the highest law of the land, and was thereby reduced from an ancient, respected virtue to a political joke and a tarot card.

        The example works for all copyfighting, actually: Drunkard, you are a thief and a robber

        Though… Dr. Temperance Brennan? Yes, I believe I could spare a few bolded caps in her direction.

        • absimiliard says:

          Sorry Yamara, I should probably have put a *tongue-in-cheek* tag in there somewhere. I am (as odd as it is for an American) moderately historically knowledgeable. As an archaeologist by interest (and undergrad college) I’ll admit that I’m generally pretty bored by anything with an “AD” in the date. But even an ancient-history afficianado like myself should know about the temperance movement.

          That said, damn right she’s worth a few bolded caps….. *laughs* Best thing about the character happens not to be how deliciously hot she is physically, it’s that her social dysfunctionality often matches mine. (her fairly militant agnosticism doesn’t hurt either)

          -abs does feel a bit foolish for having given the impression that he didn’t know what either the virtue or the movement were, but it’s all good, it ended with a pic of Dr. Temperance Brennan . … . . yummmmmm

  5. simonbarsinister says:

    Level playing field? I don’t think that means what he thinks it means.

  6. cobaltbluetony says:

    Enoch has it right. The restriction effectively (and very practically) comes from the possession of a credit or debit card.

    If video stores want to level the playing field, perhaps they should start renting movies for $1/day, instead of $6/1-5 days. No? Not practical? Make your own boxes and join in. Have members get special offers for going to their boxes instead of someone else’s. C’mon, THINK!

  7. Anonymous says:

    “It’s for the children” = prepare to lose your freedom and hand over your wallet. Nice.

  8. Cowicide says:

    I bet these idiots who want a “level playing field” where their failing business model should be propped up at the expense of consumers also thinks a single payer healthcare system would be just awful.

    • zyodei says:

      Seeing how our absurdly high medical prices are largely the result of just these sort of protectionist, pseudo consumer friendly initiatives to restrict the supply of an in demand service.

      But, based on some of your previous comments, I imagine you have never considered that there might be a connection between the byzantine laws that restrict who can practice medicine and what can be sold as medicine and the high prices of medical care in this country.

      Don’t worry, most of the supposedly “free market” right wing media hacks don’t seem to be able to figure this out either.

      Which reminds me of a recent commentary I read recently – as the Republicans have been actively working to promote outsourcing of democratic job classes for decades, they have been very protective of the more conservative lawyers and doctors, fighting to preserve the restrictions that make these fields very hard to get into. Interesting.

      • Cowicide says:

        But, based on some of your previous comments, I imagine you have never considered that there might be a connection between the byzantine laws that restrict who can practice medicine and what can be sold as medicine and the high prices of medical care in this country. Don’t worry, most of the supposedly “free market” right wing media hacks don’t seem to be able to figure this out either.

        How you arrive at the conclusion that I don’t think collusion is a problem is beyond me. I think you may have skipped some of my previous comments in regards to the dire need for more public participation (and therefore scrutiny) within our government. Squeaky wheels are the ones that turn.

        #32:I think the important thing to remember is that a great number of the “progressive” laws we all assume the corporations hate have a similar genesis to this. That is, they were put in place to squash some sort of competitor, and the corporations only claim to be against them because if they were seen to support them they would shortly be dropped from the books.

        I think specifics are in order here. Which “progressive” laws? Ok, based upon what I mentioned earlier, I’ll take a stab… a public option, perhaps? I think truly progressive laws on the books are few and far between because the corporatists are obviously calling the shots within our government for the most part. Ever try to get some “talk time” back in the day with Tom Delay without shoving money up his ass first? Won’t happen unless there’s a photo op (which also gets more money shoved up his ass in the long run somehow).

        It’s kind of like the myth that the mainstream media outside of Fox News is actually liberal or progressive. Yes, they tend to flirt with socially liberal issues as a front. But, make no mistake, at their core they are an incredibly strong conservative arm for the corporatists. Name ONE mainstream, so-called “liberal” media outlet that did NOT absolutely cheerlead the public into our current Iraq war?

        This same, so-called “liberal” media refused, absolutely REFUSED to mention the words “single payer system” until activists had to practically throw themselves like information bombs into the front of C-SPAN cameras (repeatedly). Yeah, those “kooks”, huh…

        The mainstream media has proven itself over and over again to be run and edited by corporatists who attempt to control the message. Sure… well read, educated journalists tend to be more progressive, but the facts they would normally present are diced, sliced and muted by the editorial staff that answers to the corporate messengers from above.

        I hope before you challenge me on any of this above you do a modicum of research first yourself. The proof of this is overwhelming. You can start with my ridiculous assertion about the “liberal” mainstream media’s initial avoidance of the words “single payer system”. How is it this “liberal” mainstream media seemed to “overlook” a system in place in nearly every other westernized country in the entire world for so fucking long? A system that would radically impact and benefit most Americans? It’s because they are not “liberal”… they are corporatists. The media only used the words once they were literally forced to and even then usually only as long as they wrap words like “radical”, “leftist”, “socialist”, “communist”, etc. around the term.

        That’s why they tout a “public option” as some far left-wing, liberal, progressive vehicle when in the form it’s been in, it has been nothing but yet another brick for the corporatist wall (yay insurance lobby). So while I agree with you that this particular “public option” (if we can get specific here) in its current form is nothing but corporatist trickery to avoid what terrifies them the most (a true single payer system)… I disagree that the “public option” is progressive, it’s just another brick in the wall between the elite who like things the way they are where they don’t have to really work for a living and the rest of us who make an honest buck producing worthwhile products and services that takes actual ethics fused with talent, skill, etc.

        You put up ethical barriers and lazy, slothlike corporatists crumble. They haven’t the skill, drive nor talent to compete with the rest of us on a level playing field and they know it. I just wish more average Americans knew it too.

        Jesus Christ, you guys act like you didn’t just witness a massive deregulation from the last administration that fucking wrecked our economy. You’re in denial. No matter how much evidence is in your face… it’s simply amazing… you still want more deregulation. LOL… yay, let’s deregulate ourselves into another economic depression… a recession isn’t manly enough… hahaha….

    • KnoxHarrington says:

      Sorry, Cowicide, but what does this textbook Baptists and Bootleggers example have to do with supporting single-payer healthcare? I mean, besides you wanting to link these particular fools to your political opponents?

      If anything, shouldn’t this story be evidence against increased state intervention in the economy? Since, as mister-o so rightly points out, incumbent interests use state power to further entrench themselves, shouldn’t this make you more wary of state intervention, not less?

      • mn_camera says:

        In fact, it ought to make us more wary of corporate interests’ interventions in/with the state.

        Through such things government is corrupted, yet the solution is to fix the problem by eliminating or minimizing the cdorporate interventions, not removing the government.

        • Anonymous says:

          “In fact, it ought to make us more wary of corporate interests’ interventions in/with the state. ”

          Good examples are the invasion of Iraq (no WMD after all but there is all that oil) and the war in Afghanistan (How dare the Taliban sign a deal with a European oil Consortium after we funded their war with Russia?)

          Next up is Iran, since they kicked out the Shah. In the past “Iran was repeatedly invaded by Britain and Russia, its governments were overthrown by Western powers, and its oil exploited.” (Eric Margolis).

      • Cowicide says:

        Sorry, Cowicide, but what does this textbook Baptists and Bootleggers example have to do with supporting single-payer healthcare?

        Knox, it’s telling and rather emblematic that you didn’t apparently read and/or fully comprehend who it was that’s truly behind the hijinks.

        There’s no baptists here at all, just the corporate “bootleggers”, so to speak.

        I mean, besides you wanting to link these particular fools to your political opponents?

        They link themselves quite nicely, thank you.

        If anything, shouldn’t this story be evidence against increased state intervention in the economy?

        No this story is evidence for drastically increased public participation in our government and much less dependance upon corporate communism to regulate itself. You may think it’s time to give up on our government, but I believe it’s time to get more involved and pry loose the incestuous bond between large corporations and OUR government. OUR, as in ‘we the people’ and not ‘we the corporations’.

        You may call this naive folly, but I call it being a patriot and decent human being.

        Since, as mister-o so rightly points out, incumbent interests use state power to further entrench themselves, shouldn’t this make you more wary of state intervention, not less?

        This makes me wary of corporations (followed by their unwitting tea bag pawns) who constantly scream they are anti-goverment, while secretly embracing the government whenever it benefits them and screws the rest of us including (ironically) their tea bag pawns. That of course goes for nearly all republicans and select DINO out there.

        I doubt this will help you to see this eye to eye with me as I suspect our brains are wired differently for these sorts of things… but a cow’s gotta try.

  9. mister-o says:

    This just in: legal system used to protect existing financial interests!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Back around 1980 Illinois banned automobile sales on Sunday. Seems the big dealerships didn’t want to work on Sunday and the smaller ones were hustling seven days a week, so the big guys took their checkbooks to Springfield and got a law passed.

    • Anonymous says:

      @Anony #9,

      This happened in Utah a few years back. All of the major auto dealerships here are owned by predominant rich white Mormons, and there are seriously miles of dealerships that are father/son ownerships right next to each other over and over… anyway, one year a new little shop opens up, starts advertising like mad hell and is RAKING in the cash from Sunday auto sales. Advertising sales on the radio pointing out that they were the only ones open on Sunday… Well pretty soon the LDS dominated legislature here made it ILLEGAL to operate an auto dealership on Sunday. You see, all those good old Mormon boys didn’t want to work on Sunday, BUT they weren’t willing to let some little upstart take a chunk of their cash either.

      Illinois in 1890, Utah in 2005 or so.

      Yes, that’s what it’s like living here. For the love of all you hold dear, don’t ever move to this state unless you REALLY enjoy living in a church-run state. And a poorly run one at that.

  11. zyodei says:

    Dear Cowicide,

    Thank you for the thoughtful reply. I wrote a long, detailed reply to your post. Unfortunately, my browser crashed just as I was doing the final edits (Oh Opera, with your 10.5 gleam, the longest love/hate relationship in my life).

    So, I will just hit on a few points. Starting at the end, the words closest to my face. Oops, on a quick look over, this turned out longer than the first :P

    Hoping to reform corporations without government is futile and only leads to outright fascism. History is on my side with this.

    What history are you referring to, exactly? When have laws seriously managed to constrain corporations? Sure, labor and environmental standards tightened..causing the multinationals to simply traipse overseas and let the local small manufacturers to wither. But fascism? Fascism is, yes, the combination of state and corporate power. How can you have this without state power? You should remember that the fascist powers of the 20th century gained power with a decidedly anti-financial message, and a promise that the if they empowered the state it would solve all these problems. Of course, that’s not how it turned out, given power they were more than friendly to their select industries..but that’s kind of my whole point.

    What examples do you cite where a laissez faire economic environment led to a fascist/totalitarian situation?

    Not a progressive agenda like a single payer system or child labor laws. I was asking you to name examples of progressive laws on the books that are ruining America.

    Well, it depends on how narrowly you define “progressive agenda”. I believe that the food and drug act was a good example of the progressive era, and that is having an awful effect on the country – a corporate corrupted body now has monopoly power, complete with guns and raiding parties, to provide the role of a food watchdog. This corporate-controlled monopoly cannot be broken or competed against by honest players, because they have guns.

    Or hell, let’s look at workplace laws. Have they prevented cruel workplaces or child labor? No, they have simply accelerated the rate at which manufacturing is pushed overseas. This hurts small businesses and helps multinationals who are sophisticated enough to travel to China. The end result, arguably, is that a higher percentage of consumer goods are manufactured in rotten conditions than if they were still made in the US, where it is easier for watchdogs to monitor. (OSHA etc. raise cost of manufacturing in US, which encourages businesses to move overseas. Of course, there are other factors pushing them over there as well).

    Or hell, minimum wage. If you’re middle class, you can afford to pay money to gain job skills at a university. If you are poor, you can’t (and it’s not just tuition, but opportunity cost, paying for student housing, transportation, etc). The best avenue open to the poor to gain job skills is by working. But if you have no skills, your work isn’t worth much per hour. If your work is worth less than the minimum wage, the bottom rungs of the ladder are effectively knocked out, and you can’t ever start climbing it, and you never gain the job skills that would one day let you open your own business and become wealthy.

    Or the “consumer protection” laws, that in many cases act as a racket so that some established interest to keep prices high. I’m talking about “cosmetologist licenses” and nonsense like that. These last two go together to make it quite difficult for poor people to start businesses. They are not a direct result of the progressive agenda, but arose out of that mindset that government should be taking care of the little things.

    Or welfare/subsidized housing. They provide an income cap, where if poor people make more than X they lose their guaranteed benefits and have to rely on a less secure job. So, rational people will purposely choose not to make more than X, and will fall into a “trap” of low prosperity.

    Of course, there are sound arguments to be made against these, as well. But they make the core of the case that the government, in seeking to help the poor, ends up hurting them.

    How is massively underfunded public education a “progressive” agenda?

    The problem isn’t the funding of education. This is a common liberal misconception, that the problem with a government service is that it is underfunded. It is the compulsory nature of it, and the fact that it squeezes out (through “free” competition or high regulations) other, alternative education models. Remember the radical “free school” movement of the 70s? Well, you probably don’t, because the establishment of the Dept. of Education and its ensuing red tape made it much more difficult to run a school outside of the “accepted norms.” If you have 20 times more money, and you force the kids to sit in a chair all day, watching a screen, not moving, being surveilled all the time and generally treated like inmates – it will still be a fine mill for corporate drones suited or Wal-Mart. The problem isn’t the level of funding, it’s the basic nature of the beast.

    Research is expensive and will always be

    Right, but the point of a great deal of modern “research” is to simply find a new marketable product. Medicines aren’t computers. If you dig up a root (or, more often, find a nutritional remedy) that is highly effective at treating a given ailment with limited side effects and low cost, that’s it. You’re done. You don’t have to research any more.

    On the one hand, this is an ugly side of capitalism – manufacturing demand, in the form of new novel pharmaceuticals more dangerous and less effective than those they replace. On the other hand, government plays a significant role in confusing the debate, and making people believe that chemically isolated pharmaceuticals (often isolated form free plants) are the only effective cures.

    The tea party rose initially out of racism and ignorance.

    No, that’s not true. The energy behind the tea parties is basically the energy of the Ron Paul movement. Now, whatever you might think about Paul, his basic message, that that got the kids all fired up, was specifically anti-imperialist, anti-war, anti-police state, anti-cronyism, and specifically anti-Bush/neocon. You talk about voting records – he was basically the only guy to vote against the patriot act and everything else. I have respected him since 2001 because he long provided the most strident and consistent voice against Bush and against war in the chamber, even when all the Dems were kneeling down to kiss his butt.

    The tea party, then, is basically an attempt to capture all of these lost little lambs and bring them back into the warm welcoming bosom of mama GOP. Which is a shame, because they’re a bunch of schmucks. But to think that grassroots energy of the “tea parties” is a populist cry to get Obama to bomb Iran or something is misguided. It’s more or less a sophisticated Fox News propaganda job to smother the anti-war/anti-banker populist Paul movement. The fact that Fox managed to get a bunch of neocon dingbats out in the streets for an afternoon is a shame, but not that surprising.

    Paul and Kucinich were the only even vaguely anti-war candidates running in that race. Obama’s political history shows that he doesn’t have an independent bone in his body, and the wars will certainly still be going on when he has left, and the corporations and bankers stronger than ever. But that was predictable from the start.

    You call it “nihilistic” to not trust an institution that has the blood of million on it’s hands, that locks up more folks than China in rape chambers? I call it blindly naive to believe that there is anything good in the nature of this institution. There have been a few isolated bright spots, that were generally dissolved when the next guy came in, and used the new increased power of the state to do some even greater evil.

    I invite you to give me an example of a time or two in the history of any country when government intervention has resulted in real, long term reduction in corporate/monied power.

    I support anything you might do or say to remove the power and influence of money and corporations from government. Certainly, that can only be a good.

    But, to the extent that our government now is basically run by lobbyists and corporatists, I urge you, in the name of simple common sense, not to support any increase of power in this entity.

    Wouldn’t any such increase, given the present political environment, simply further empower the corporations?

    How could our current corporatist government pass any sort of health care socialization that would be anything but pro-corporate? It’s like getting a turtle to do a pole vault.

    Not that the conservatives are much better, because it is certainly true that they generally call for a reduction in government power, when it is convenient to their backers, rather than out of motives for a truly level playing field or principle.

    I am not a nihilist, instead I believe this: That the only effective means of social change are setting up alternative economic and social institutions, on a micro and macro level, and educating and encouraging people to use them more and more.

    • Cowicide says:

      What history are you referring to, exactly? When have laws seriously managed to constrain corporations?

      Well here’s some sordid history via “stupid commie liberals” to get you started:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdhTumEUBN8

      Sure, labor and environmental standards tightened..causing the multinationals to simply traipse overseas and let the local small manufacturers to wither.

      Actually, we do just fine without multinationals who want to enslave our children in this country, thank you very much (more on this later down the line). The overwhelming majority of jobs, etc. in the USA are created by small business. Small business drives our economy in the USA. Almost all our current economic woes in the USA have been created by large corporations and/or multinational corporatists, NOT from progressive agendas interfering with small business. That premise is laughable.

      The American public runs small businesses far better than a few elite schmuck assholes run these large corporations. That’s not my beliefs.. it’s the facts. Despite the “torture” of having to stay in the USA and dealing with all our horrible progressive laws (instead of running away to China), small businesses are still the heart and soul of our economy and job creation. Corporations are NOT. If the corporations can’t survive here without child labor, fuck them.

      I mean.. I’ve heard of playing devil’s advocate.. but this is silly. lol What do you suggest? We have child labor here again in the USA to “compete”? Welp, gotta do it or they’ll do it elsewhere, right?

      But fascism? Fascism is, yes, the combination of state and corporate power. How can you have this without state power?

      It’s when the corporations take over the state. If “the state” has active, democratic participation from an informed populace, it’s always going to bend further away from fascism and closer to progressivism. Then again, you apparently have progressive causes and fascist causes throughly confused. You seem to think child labor is a progressive cause or result thereof, lol.

      More on this below….

      You should remember that the fascist powers of the 20th century gained power with a decidedly anti-financial message

      Hahaha…. just like the corporatists driving the Tea Party… yes. Message means nothing to me, it’s what they actually DO that counts. Ask anyone in the Tea Party if they want a single payer system. Then ask them if they truly understand a single payer system. The answer will be no on both counts. Or no on the first question and a completely ignorant answer on the latter they were unknowingly spoon-fed by the corporatists.

      Don’t believe me? Please, I beg you, take it straight from a former top corporatist:

      I bring you, Wendell Potter:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QwX_soZ1GI

      Seriously, I can’t really talk to you unless you watch that interview in its entirety. You’re like an unarmed opponent without this knowledge, sorry. Don’t watch that interview? Then don’t waste my time.

      and a promise that the if they empowered the state it would solve all these problems.

      No, they almost all universally demonized “the state”. At least anyone who is a part of “the state” that isn’t run by THEM. Sound familiar to some in the USA right now?

      Hitler’s government further suppressed his political opposition and embraced corporations who would help him. See IBM.. see Prescot Bush (Bush’s grandfather)… oh God, the list goes on and on.

      Hitler didn’t rise to power by oppressing large corporations, my friend. And, fascists don’t go around telling their followers they are fascists… wouldn’t work out. Fascists (a.k.a. corporatists) tell their followers one thing and do another.

      What on earth would Hitler have needed all that massive propaganda for if he truly practiced what he preached?

      So Hitler as a progressive… great to know… hahahaha…..

      Well, it depends on how narrowly you define “progressive agenda”. I believe that the food and drug act was a good example of the progressive era, and that is having an awful effect on the country – a corporate corrupted body now has monopoly power, complete with guns and raiding parties, to provide the role of a food watchdog. This corporate-controlled monopoly cannot be broken or competed against by honest players, because they have guns.

      Once again you amazingly confuse progressive agendas with corporatist and even fascist ones (more on this later). First of all, the “Food and Drug Act” is Canadian law. So which American Act are you referring to? Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act? Pure Food and Drug Act? Or are we now divulging in to Canadian law?

      Either way, your example is a great example of why American citizens need to STRENGTHEN their government by becoming more involved in it. That’s a progressive agenda. When citizens do nothing but demonize and abandon participation in their government; it becomes more of a corporatist arm. That why corporatists spend so much of their resources trying to get the populace to distrust and abandon their government and embrace corporations instead.

      I don’t see why can’t you understand this? You are unwittingly falling right into their laps. The corporatists love nothing more than people like you who want to abandon and weaken your government right in the middle of the battle of its very soul. They’d also like nothing more to have more people like you who think the battle is already lost and give up while it’s still very much under way (more on this later).

      Or hell, let’s look at workplace laws. Have they prevented cruel workplaces or child labor? No

      No? YES. Yes, they have. Are you nuts? Dude, so I guess we should just say “fuck it” at this point and put our kids back to work in the United States because Thailand does it???

      You should also educate yourself on ILAB that works to report and help stop international child labor. Gawd damn commie federal government organization, I guess? Also, see above what I said about small businesses.

      Thank gawd you don’t run the USA, we’d devolve by many decades.

      If you’re middle class, you can afford to pay money to gain job skills at a university. If you are poor, you can’t (and it’s not just tuition, but opportunity cost, paying for student housing, transportation, etc).

      Once again you keep naming corporatist agenda after corporatists agenda instead of progressive ones. The corporatists love this kind of newspeak.

      Or the “consumer protection” laws, that in many cases act as a racket so that some established interest to keep prices high.

      Sorry, I’ll pay a little more (in many, many more cases than the “rackets” you speak of) to keep arsenic and shit out of my fucking food, thank you very much.

      God, you libertarians are incredibly delusional. I wish I could send every libertarian back to the 1800’s and let them live that way for a while.

      I’m talking about “cosmetologist licenses” and nonsense like that. These last two go together to make it quite difficult for poor people to start businesses. They are not a direct result of the progressive agenda

      I’m still waiting for a truly progressive cause that empowers the corporatists from you. I haven’t heard a single one yet. You keep mentioning where progressive causes have been corrupted by corporatists. Show me where a corporatist cause has been corrupted by progressives?

      Sigh… you can’t.

      Or welfare/subsidized housing. They provide an income cap, where if poor people make more than X they lose their guaranteed benefits and have to rely on a less secure job. So, rational people will purposely choose not to make more than X, and will fall into a “trap” of low prosperity. Of course, there are sound arguments to be made against these, as well. But they make the core of the case that the government, in seeking to help the poor, ends up hurting them.

      You are so full of corporatist lies (unwittingly, I hope).. that I think you’ll find this hard to digest.. but here’s the actual facts of the matter.

      If social welfare programs work, then countries with more extensive programs should report a smaller percentage of their population living in poverty, correct? And that is exactly what we find. According to UNICEF, the percentage of children living in poverty in 2005 was:

      Denmark, 2.4%
      France, 7.5%,
      Norway, 13.4%
      Canada, 14.9%
      United Kingdom, 15.4%
      United States, 21.9% ahem…
      (Thank goodness for Mexico — 27.7%)

      Among all households receiving food stamps, almost twice as many include at least one working adult as those that don’t. In other words, receipt of this particular type of government aid does not discourage work (at least in many families); it supplements a wage that is inadequate to provide the essentials of life.

      Of course, after having a nice, long bout of conservative rule.. sure is funny how many more Americans are coming to rely upon food stamps now, huh? Or are you going to blame that on progressives too somehow?

      Well, I guess by your standards, Hitler was a progressive… so why not Bush and all the republicans that had control for 8 years too…. hahaha…. gawd….

      The problem isn’t the funding of education. This is a common liberal misconception, that the problem with a government service is that it is underfunded.

      You’ve obviously never set foot within a school located in an impoverished area of the USA. I have. My GF at the time was a teacher in said school and I can god damn assure you that school was very much underfunded. I guess I bought some books for the kids with my own money because of my liberal misconceptions that they had books I just couldn’t see… hidden somewhere up their asses?

      You get out in the real world much?

      Of course, you then go on to blame progressives for the destruction of the “free school” movement of the 70’s which is too ludicrous to even discuss so I’ll just drop it.

      On the one hand, this is an ugly side of capitalism – manufacturing demand, in the form of new novel pharmaceuticals more dangerous and less effective than those they replace. On the other hand, government plays a significant role in confusing the debate, and making people believe that chemically isolated pharmaceuticals (often isolated form free plants) are the only effective cures.

      Yeah, big pharma’s got nothing to do with that. Hahaha… jeez, man… You know those nasty progressives always trying to get plants legalized… er, I mean… made illegal… er, right? hahahahaha……

      You have a seriously distorted and ironically corporatist view of reality.

      Now on to more distortions… this time about the origins and racism found within the Tea Party…

      No, that’s not true. The energy behind the tea parties is basically the energy of the Ron Paul movement.

      Here’s some great quotes from Ron’s own newsletter:

      Paul reported on gang crime in Los Angeles and commented, “If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.”

      “Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,’ I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal,” Paul said.

      Paul also wrote that although “we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.”

      Stating that lobbying groups who seek special favors and handouts are evil, Paul wrote, “By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government” and that the goal of the Zionist movement is to stifle criticism.

      And… once again… the Tea Party didn’t start really screaming in the streets until the black man took over. Please show me all the Tea Party signage and rage when Bush was in office…. please??? You can’t. Please get real.

      But to think that grassroots energy of the “tea parties” is a populist cry to get Obama to bomb Iran or something is misguided.

      Er, who the heck are you talking to? I never even remotely said anything like that. Ok… I’ll just stop here on your ramble-fest.

      I invite you to give me an example of a time or two in the history of any country when government intervention has resulted in real, long term reduction in corporate/monied power.

      I invite you to take off your blinders. Let’s go big… real BIG. We can start with the Civil War for one. It helped to break up one of the hugest, most entrenched, monied powerhouses in American history… the slaveholders. That’s what I call real, long term reduction. Fuck, you ever heard of Purna Swaraj? Seriously… you need to rip off those blinders.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purna_Swaraj

      You are doing what every great corporatist has ever done…. desperately attempting to confuse and muddle progressive causes with corporatism and fascism.

      Ok, I’ve named two major ones… I also invite you to show me an example of ANYTHING aside from government intervention and progressive causes (see Ghandi) that has resulted in real, long term reduction in corporate/monied power. ANYTHING. You can’t, because even you have to admit that corporations and monied power are the very last people on earth to regulate themselves until they’ve lost the war to regulate public opinion (manufacture consent). They are consistently bottom-line first and public welfare last.

      But, to the extent that our government now is basically run by lobbyists and corporatists, I urge you, in the name of simple common sense, not to support any increase of power in this entity.

      The problem is, you say this based on pure ignorance. It has not gone unnoticed in this quarter that you completely ignored what I said about looking at voting records. You come back with… nothing.

      And… once again… I urge YOU in the name of simple, common sense to understand the clear difference between trying to empower corporatists within the government and trying to empower those that support the people within the government.

      You gravely insult every anti-corporatist democrat who busts their ass for you every day. It’s your ignorance, sir, that compels you. Once again, pull off your blinders and LOOK at their voting records… just look at them.

      Sorry, until you do that… you look like a buffoon trying to explain to me about “common sense” when you don’t even have the common sense to educate yourself on who your enemy is (and ISN’T).

      You seem to just want to lash out in every direction like a child when it comes to your government. I’d rather get to know which parts to attack and which parts to enrich.

      Ever heard of the expression “throwing the baby out with the bath water?” – It’s one of those common sense expressions… goes way back.

      Wouldn’t any such increase, given the present political environment, simply further empower the corporations?

      Once again, you act like like I think increasing power to the the government means we all passively sit and watch it do “its” thing. Please re-read nearly everything I’ve written, I’m not going to explain it to you again. Read slower or whatever you have to do.

      How could our current corporatist government pass any sort of health care socialization that would be anything but pro-corporate? It’s like getting a turtle to do a pole vault.

      Because, once again, our government isn’t PURELY corporatist. If it was we’d be in a much worse boat than we are in now. Once again, please begin to base your assertions on fact instead of your belief system that the government is pure evil and incapable of accomplishing anything that’s not fascist and corporatist. You do a massive disservice and huge fucking insult to everyone in this “evil” government that’s busting their ass for you right now against the corporatists.

      You can go ahead and bend over and stick your white flag in your ass. I’ll continue to support those in government that are still in the game… still fighting…. and cannot and will not… give up.

      Not that the conservatives are much better

      OMFG…. Once again, check the god damn voting records. Base your assertions on facts. The conservatives are incredibly worse. And, once again… are you living in the same reality as the rest of us who are living in a country currently decimated by almost a decade of conservative rule? Or is it only once a black commie takes office that you get up in arms (so to speak) about this shit?

      I am not a nihilist, instead I believe this: That the only effective means of social change are setting up alternative economic and social institutions, on a micro and macro level

      Hahaha….. “alternative economic and social institutions” … sounds like “evil” government to me.

      and educating and encouraging people to use them more and more.

      Once again, I fuckin’ beg you… Look at the ACTUAL history of the democrats who desperately try to get more and more people involved in government through their policies and…. (drum roll) … their voting records.

      You know who was one of the most secretive and exclusionary administrations in U.S. History? The conservative Bush admin, that’s who. Why on earth you think conservatives aren’t the greater evil isn’t beyond me… I know why… you don’t look at the votes. You don’t look at the votes. Look at the votes.

      On top of that…. look at the jobs…. just look at them. Democrats private sector job growth since JFK up until Bush is 11.4% versus republicans horrible 5.4%. Democrats beat them by more than double. That’s right, the party that leans more progressive destroys the other side, my friend. Sorry, you can’t explain that one away with shrill screams of how evil all government is.

      You’ve argued that conservative policy is better… but history proves you wrong. More progressive policies are what benefits us all. Regression from progressive agendas will be just that… regression. You can keep trying to spin progressive agendas as some form of fascism, but it just makes you look like yet another crazed, ignorant tea bag… sorry.

  12. oldav8r says:

    •The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants
    – Albert Camus

  13. zyodei says:

    I think the important thing to remember is that a great number of the “progressive” laws we all assume the corporations hate have a similar genesis to this. That is, they were put in place to squash some sort of competitor, and the corporations only claim to be against them because if they were seen to support them they would shortly be dropped from the books.

  14. zyodei says:

    Just rewatched the secondhalfof the potter interview, and found particularly 20:00-25:00 to be interesting.

    Yes, it’s a good point that Wall Street and medicine make awful bedfellows.

    The question is, who are the insurance companies able to survive on a model of screwing their customers?

    It’s not a rare thing for companies to decide to pad their bottom line by screwing over their companies. Unfortunately, these companies often end up dying when more consumer friendly competitors show up.

    So, why don’t small, local, people friendly insurance companies spring up to fill this void of the market?

    I would argue that it is difficult, confusing, and expensive to navigate the dizzying web of regulations in place around the US medical industry in general. It takes a lot of time, money, and lawyer bills to start to make sense of it. This creates an environment hostile to small entrepreneurs, so the big guys can prosper on their “screw you” business model.

  15. zyodei says:

    Here’s a central point: I am not blaming progressives per se. Hell, probably every single friend of mine is a progressive. I absolutely, wholeheartedly support all progressive efforts to end corporate welfare and favoritism, and wish they would do more (on a side note, do you know of any efforts like this underway now?)

    I have no doubt that the progressive Democrats want very much to reduce corporate power and increase the power and wellbeing of individuals.

    The question is, “does it work?”

    Setting aside any abstract philosophical discussion about government, I will sum up my arguments, limiting only to those that pertain to well intentioned progressive legislation:

    1) They often creates beauracracies that, many years down the line, become infiltrated by corporate operatives and used to further corporate interests (fcc, fda for instance).

    2) They are often hijacked with riders that leave the whole bill more damaging than doing nothing at all.

    3) They can have unintentional side effects, which only a perceptive and insightful economist could predict.

    Take, for instance, 35:00 of the Potter interview: “(a mandate without a public option will) lock them into the system and ensure their profitability into the future.”

    I know progressives don’t support this measure, don’t want it, but that is the current result of this massive surge of progressive activism. That is the bill Obama signed.

    Really, I don’t lose sleep over progressives or progressive legislation. What I lose sleep over is expanded government power and funding as a result of progressive legislation, that is eventually corrupted and twisted by the corporatists.

    While Republicans get elected on rhetoric of reducing the power of government, that is not what they actually do in office. This is the great lie of the Republican Party. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I and II – all demonstrated this. They worked to further increase the power of government, but turn it towards more corporatist ends. They did not cut spending, they did NOT significantly reduce the power or scope of government in any significant way.

    They onle cut taxes, which just puts the burden on future generations and those hurt by inflation.

    This is an important point. The long term end results of both sides must be compared against the rhetoric.

    So, Democrats have controlled congress for maybe 75 or the last 100 years. Generally running with populist, anti-corporate rhetoric. All well and good.

    Has the result been a diminishment in corporate power in society over this 100 year period?

    I just don’t see it.

    This is not to say that Democrats are pro-corporate. Most of them aren’t. Simply that the tool being used, government, is not very effective at the job at hand: actively reducing the power of corporations.

    It is, conversly, very effective at increasing the power of corporations and the monied interests.

    I feel that the faith of progressives in the government as an effective means of reigning in corporations has been misplaced. There are more effective ways to direct time and energy to achieve progressive goals.

    Surely you are familiar with Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals”. To put it simply, he proposed that the best way to undermine power structures was to find the weak point in their own internal rule structure and exploit it.

    Is the weak point of corporations government regulations? No, not really. Corporations are experienced and skilled at dealing with regulations. They can move their operations overseas. They can hire lawyers to find loopholes. They can hire lobbyists to exempt them and make the laws disproportionally effect their small competitors. They are very, very experienced at the political game. They have played the game so long as so well that they have found every way to win no matter which way the legislative process goes.

    Most regulations are at most an inconvenience for corporations.

    So, where are the weak points?

    Well, profit and revenue. Corporations are very, very sensetive to their profit. Every executive from the CEO on down watches the numbers closely. Their mandates demand that they maximize their profits whenever possible. So how can their profits and revenue be attacked?

    1) Consumer perceptions
    2) Changing Mass Buying habits
    3) Corporate Image
    4) Creating more ethical, people friendly alternatives

    How do you get together the money and attention span to do this? Well, it happens from the grassroots. It springs from information. Look at the large, loosely organized movement over the last ten years to shun fast food, processed food, factory farming, and industrial agriculture in general. Sure, it’s a minority of people. Sure, many corporations responded by buying organic brands. But people are wise to this. Every dollar spent in farmer’s markets or from independent food producers is a dollar that doesn’t go to a corporate bottom line. Every dollar that is spent on a gym membership or fresh produce is probably ten dollars that don’t go to a hospital’s AR department.

    THAT is something that hurts corporations in their most vulnerable, and that is something that is happening right now.

    • Cowicide says:

      What did Bush deregulate exactly?

      Oh my dear lawd, are you f’n serious?

      Here… http://lmgtfy.com/?q=bush+administration+deregulation

      Please, stop with the obtuse questions. You’re getting into troll territory here.

      Bush=Bad and Deregulation=Bad, so he must have done lots of it, right?

      Yes. I am a complete idiot. That’s how I base my thoughts on Bush. Bush is Bad. Things he did with the EPA, etc. have nothing to do with it.

      O_o Seriously, are you a troll?

      Right..lawyers, another industry that is highly regulated, to the extent that you can be put in prison for practicing without a very difficult and expensive to receive state license.

      Wrong… sorry, I set you up with that question and you fell for it hard. I don’t think you research things very far before attacking them with your dogmatic “reasoning”. The true reason a lawyer makes $425 per hour is because that particular lawyer will have (on average) 20+ years of experience to garner that rate. For that rate, it will be a lawyer with possibly hundreds of cases under her belt and complex training that takes skill and smarts.

      It’s every industry. Some kid who doesn’t know what he’s doing is lucky to get an internship. A seasoned expert will make money. A seasoned expert with natural skill and smarts will be even in more demand and make more money. If I have to explain to you how experts are worth money, then all is lost here and you’re officially a troll.

      You blame regulation for a $425 per hour lawyer. I don’t blame anyone. I want a $425 per hour lawyer if I can afford one and the stakes are high enough. I also would gladly pay a web developer a lot of money per hour if they were highly skilled, experienced and have a history of making their clients money.

      And, once again, like many things… law is very complex. Of course it’s difficult and expensive to get licensed. That’s life, not regulation. Actually, if we had decent regulation in the USA we’d had a “loser pays” system like you see in most other countries. But, that’s nasty regulation… can’t have that, huh? Nevermind, a nasty single payer system for healthcare like every other westernized country.

      Look, so far you think we should have unlicensed doctors and lawyers running around. It’s done illegally all the time and the unregulated results are horrific. You are free to go find one, just please don’t go to the emergency room when it goes haywire and have the rest of us taxpayers pay for your overly expensive emergency room visit, please. Please dig your own grave as well before seeing these underground Docs so that expense isn’t thrust upon us crazy taxpayers that visit licensed doctors as well.

      My point is that the medical cartel enjoys a state controlled monopoly over its industry, and is able to set monopoly prices. This is a fundamental reason for the high cost of medicine in this country.

      Once again, blaming progressives for this is way out of line. Corporatists created this. But, once again, this is yet another fruitless argument, because we’ve yet to even agree on what progressivism means. I’m going with how most of society defines it and you’re going with Fox “News” or something.

      Just rewatched the secondhalfof the potter interview

      I’m not sure I believe you watched it in its entirety the first time. And, you’re still avoiding the main points made.

      [The elephant in the room is staring you down and squeezing massive turds onto your couch]

      I absolutely, wholeheartedly support all progressive efforts to end corporate welfare and favoritism, and wish they would do more (on a side note, do you know of any efforts like this underway now?)

      Ok. You said you watched Democracy Now. At the bottom of articles, etc. they usually have links to many fine organizations that are fighting the fight every day as we speak. There are many fronts, fair.org serves the role as a media watchdog that constantly fights corporatism. You just have to look.

      The question is, “does it work?”

      YES. You just have to look.

      I know progressives don’t support this measure, don’t want it, but that is the current result of this massive surge of progressive activism. That is the bill Obama signed.

      See, there you go again. NO. It’s in reality the result of a massive surge of powerful corporatists. A massive surge of progressives in a political vacuum would create a single payer system, not this shit. If it wasn’t for progressive activism, things would be MUCH WORSE than they are now and we’d have much worse things to deal with right now and much less to look forward to in the future.

      Fuck, I really do wish I could teleport you back to the 1800’s in some sort of historical bootcamp to kick your ass into shape. You can bullshit me all you want, but you and I both know you’d be begging and screaming to come back to more progressive times. And, lucky for you, progressives aren’t sick fucks like the conservatives and would bring you back instead of torturing you.

      Once again, you remarkably still don’t understand what progressivism is. Progressivism will bring more healthcare to more people in the end DESPITE the corporatists. That’s what you don’t get. I just don’t think you understand the concept of progressivism. I don’t know what more I can do for you to understand it.

      Once again. Doing nothing is LAME and is literally killing people. Maybe it’s just a cop out and lame excuse for inaction to think every progressive action is useless despite all the gains we’ve made over the years. Then again… you don’t see gains, you only see dumb structures set up by progressives that are weak and subject to be completely dismantled by corporatists. When in reality, the structures are set up by corporatists and the only reason they don’t go completely apeshit with more extreme power lust and elitism (and fascism) is because the progressives keep the bewildered herd spooked.

      Every dollar spent in farmer’s markets or from independent food producers is a dollar that doesn’t go to a corporate bottom line. Every dollar that is spent on a gym membership or fresh produce is probably ten dollars that don’t go to a hospital’s AR department. THAT is something that hurts corporations in their most vulnerable, and that is something that is happening right now.

      That is exactly why you should support PROGRESSIVES right NOW. Progressives are the ones pushing for home gardens (and have been before it was hip because progressive MADE it hip). Progressives are the ones promoting farmer’s markets and have been doing so for a long time. Progressive are the ones who pushed health food for many years despite being ritually made fun of because of it. How can you continue to ignore this obvious stuff?

      That’s actually a great metaphor. Progressives go through year after year chastised by ignorant people who think they are “flakes” or whatever for eating healthy and think they are “high and mighty” for promoting it. Then, years later, when the ignorant people finally let it sink in (by the persistence of progressives) and begin to eat healthier they blame the progressives for not telling them sooner. Or better yet, remain in ignorance who showed them the path in the first place and continue to rail against progressives and support corporatists who try to take ownership of the gains through media saturation.

      Once again, blaming progressives for regressive, corporatist policies is misdirected, unproductive angst often based upon ignorance of the GOOD that progressives do. Redefine progressivism all you want to, but it doesn’t change what true progressives have accomplished throughout the ages. I wish you’d show more respect to those progressives that have fought and died for what you have today instead of blowing it off. Sigh… then again… apparently in your eyes, the progressives are idiots and everything they do turns around and bites them in the ass, huh? Silly me. I guess I’m just hallucinating modern day child labor laws and stuff.

      Oh, nevermind… that’s right… child labor laws hurt America. Oh yeah, and Bush didn’t deregulate hardly anything…. Hahahaha…. gawd… you are simply delusional, friend.

      O_o

  16. getjustin says:

    But what about the children… who might rent a film with objectionable material..WITH A CREDIT CARD! It’s not like there’s even a semblance of “what about the kids.” Maybe he could take a pedophile angle…

  17. zyodei says:

    Basically, both of us recognize the same problem – too much corporate influence in society.

    You propose using government power to restrain corporations – and it is not an approach without merit.

    I argue that, without a powerful government, corporations would be simply unable to use force or coercion in society. They would then live or die on the merits of their services. In this environment, as you put it, the “mutts” would surely eat them.

    By your defintion, am I a progressive? Yes, absolutely. Of course, the first condition applies to basically everyone who isn’t a sociopath.

    In fact, I do support a more egalitarian society. Our difference is that I believe the most effective way to do so would be to get rid of the laws that put down the small guys and empower the politically connected and rich.

    Frankly, i don’t see why there is such a huge supposed divide between liberalism and libertarianism. I really think that the two groups ought to be collaborating on their many shared goals – an end to corporate welfare, and end to laws the benefit corporations or hurt the poor, an end to the corporate-government fascist partnerships (which well describes the easy india company), an end the the drug war, police state, and prison industrial complex, an end to imperialism and the military industrial complex, etc.

    I might add that an end to the Federal Reserve should absolutely be in this list, because few entities in our modern society hurt the poor and middle class more than this one; giving the bankers any control over the money supply is an awful idea.

    So, as a conclusion to this discussion: an olive branch, my friend :)

  18. zyodei says:

    A few examples, OK: The whole department of agriculture, designed to help out struggling farmers that has actually become a welfare program for giant agro-corporations; the FDA, which has provided a cover for shifty pharma practices and given them a virtual monopoly and price setting power over a huge market; compulsory public education that has resulted in a stupified, poorly educated populace and a diminishment of private schools, etc. The general rule of most rules that hamper business is that large corporations can hire lawyers or accountants to find loopholes (or hire lobbyists to write them into the laws) or simply break the laws and pay some small fine, while small businesses that might one day become big are stifled. Thus, while it is not universally true, many regulations have had the effect of cementing the hold of large corporations.

    Two side points – an single payer initiative, passed in the current environment, would simply be a massive transfer of wealth from the people to the pharmaceutical corps (or an institutionalization of a transfer process that is already in place.) In reality, most medicine should be so cheap that it can simply be given away (I’m talking about the plants and herbs that most pharmaceuticals are based on, and that can substitute for pharmaceuticals a majority of the time, and the nutritional deficiencies that are the root of the current public health crisis). Until some of the fundamental restrictions on the economic supply of medicine are reversed, it is foolish to just put the whole stinking mess on uncle sam’s credit card.

    And, on a side note, i disagree that the current economic crisis is wholly the result of the “free market”. There are several reasons for this, which I went into in response to Cory’s post on “Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay”..in effect, the investment banks that caused the crisis were basically fascist entities, acting with government support and government “safety nets” should they fall. So, they took huge risks, knowing they wouldn’t lose their shirts if it all collapsed.

    But, I think that you think we are more ideologically different than we are. Is the news media corporatiest? Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. It may embrace a few kernels of liberal principles – gay rights generally, more government whenever possible, etc.. And it may embrace a few kernels of conservative principles – less government and deregulation – where it is convenient for the corporations. Both sides are dangerous, because they offer a kernel of truth and wisdom wrapped in thick swabs of deception and lies, that can draw people in and then confuse them.

    For instance the tea party movement has many nobles sentiments behind it, remember that it rose out of public furor about the massively corrupt TARP plan. Unfortunately, to the extent that it is “led” by the Becks and Palins of the world, it is completely neutralized and represents to threat to anybody..which is a shame.

    Liberals often argue that we just need to take back the government from corporations and the monied interests. I feel that this is a pipe dream. We have 100 senators, 364 reps, and how many aren’t corporate stooges? Like, a dozen? When has the American ever not been run by corporate stooges? Maybe JFK and a lesser extent Eisenhower and FDR weren’t, but other than them..it’s hard to find anyone. Generally, politicians who actually care about the well being of the people are short lived oases in a puke green timeline of glop.

    Look, we just had an election where the clear mandate of the people was and end to the corporate cronyism of the Bush era. The will of the people could not have been more clear. And what do we get? Oh, more corporate cronyism and war.

    Certainly, corporations, while they may provide some useful services, are no friends of liberty – and nothing is more dangerous than when they take control of government.

    My main disagreement with you is the implicit belief that there is some divide between corporations and government – that they are somehow at odds. They aren’t, and they haven’t been for a long time. I applaud any efforts to seperate them, but I believe that it is futile. if you have an entity that is allowed to use force and violence to achieve it’s ends, then it is impossible, in the long run, to keep people interested in force and violence from corrupting it.

    Corporations and government go hand in hand; government acts as the armed enforcers to the corporations. I don’t support “shrinking” the government; instead, I support simply removing its guns.

    Hoping to reform government is like trying to tame a fierce man eating tiger to be a good house pet that plays well with children.

    • JIMWICh says:

      > Hoping to reform government is like trying
      > to tame a fierce man eating tiger to be a
      > good house pet that plays well with children.

      Indeed zyodei. Fierce men who are wont to eat tiger meat will rarely make good pets, and are generally considered poor playmates for children.

  19. SeattleGuy says:

    There are no more town criers, there are no more teletype or typewriter repairmen, you can no longer send a telegram via Western Union; it’s the world moving on. Video rental stores are next along with most of the music industry and a part of the publishing business. Get used to it, it will be your reality sooner than you think.

    And in the age of ubiquitous porn on the Internet should we really care that a 15 year old can get an R-rated movie from a self-serve kiosk?

  20. JetPackTuxedo says:

    As someone who lives just outside of Vanderburgh county, goes to College in Vanderburgh county, and has gotten movies out of RedBox in Vanderburgh county, I am going to have to ask what the hell Levco was thinking here.

    Although, on second thought “Not thinking” would probably be the appropriate answer.

  21. archanoid says:

    “We’re just looking for a level playing field here.”

    Where some parties (his clients) are more level than others.

  22. zyodei says:

    Sorry, meant to say < / tangentblock >

    I do apologize for the meanderings in the second half of the last post.

    I just re-read your whole comments, and nothing you wrote dissuades me from this core belief: the idea that governments are effectively capable of reigning in corporations is based more on political dogma than empirical reason and evidence.

    The two examples you give are not particularly relevant. One was a popular uprising against an imperial government, the second was..well..an instance where an economic power was broken by going in with a large army and burning everything. And hell, that might work – if you proposed sending an army to Monsanto headquarters, locking everyone inside, and torching the place..I wouldn’t really be opposed. But it’s also dangerous (observe the suspension of free speech during the civil war), and quite a bit different from the core “progressive policies” of regulation, taxation, welfare, etc.

    I suppose that breaking up monopolies had some positive short term effects..but I wouldn’t call companies like AT&T, Exxon, Mobil, etc. dramatically weakened entities.

    In all of your posts, despite your protestations to the contrary, you never adequately deal with my central point: that laws designed to reign in corporations often have the unintentional consequence of empowering them.

    Large corporations are uniquely able to avoid regulation, with their hordes of lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists. Small companies aren’t.

    Corporations have increased power greatly during Republican administrations.

    Corporations have also increased power greatly during Democratic administrations.

    I think we need to change tactics.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      zyodei,

      How long has it been since you actually resided in the US?

      • zyodei says:

        Antinous,

        I infer that you ask that question because hey, the economy just blew up, and everybody knows it was because of deregulation, right?

        Hell, Alan Greenspan, while agressively chairing the single most important federal intrusion into the economy, harped about the free market and cutting his wall street buddies some slack, right?

        But I think this oversimplifies it. While many simply assume the governments fault was one of omission, I argue that there were certainly significant errors of commission as well, and that these were the most important factor.

        Certainly, all else being equal, it was a bad move repealing glass-steagal in 1998, along with other similar wall actions in the 0s.

        But there are several ways the government was at active fault as well, that are the elephants in the living room of this debate. I won’t go into detail on those (I have in previous posts), but I believe the most significant was the fact that the large banks, having stuffed the Bush administration with cronies (and holding sway over the democrats as well) knew that they were protected, “too big to fail.” They knew that they could bet all their chips on suicidal hands, and that uncle sam would come save their butts, letting them profit even from the most egregious failure.

        They had every reason to believe this would happen, they acted as if they knew they would be bailed out, and..lo and behold, they got bailed out when it all went sour.

        As far as I’m concerned, the financial crash only strengthens my case. It also strengthens the case that the Republican version of “selective deregulation” is inherently fraudulent.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thread hijack, much?

    -Anon also wonders why Absimiliard puts third person comments into a sig on every post.

  24. Architexas says:

    I can honestly say that, not once when under the age of 17 was I ever denied the chance to see an “R” rated movie by a movie rental employee. NOT ONCE. Thirteen and want to see Reservoir Dogs? Go for it! The 16 y.o.s manning the counter sure didn’t care…

    Maybe they’re stricter in Indiana, but somehow I doubt it (dodges airborn Bible thrown in vain attempt to save my soul).

  25. Cowicide says:

    You asked me repeatedly to name a single progressive agenda that furthered the corporate agenda. It’s a little obvious, but: yeah, that health care bill that passed two years ago. It throws a few bones to the people, but by and large it is a huge boon to the entire medical industry.

    Sigh, once again… a huge boon to the medical industry at the expense of the general public is not a progressive agenda. If you define progressivism with some sort of Fox “News” dictionary, then sure… whatever. Otherwise, I refer you back to the definitions I posted above.

    Call me jaded, but I really do feel that it will be a long, long time coming before the “health care reform II” bill that actually takes power away from the medical corporations comes to pass.

    It’s talk and thinking like that that keeps the corporatists sleeping quite well at night with sweet dreams of continued sloth, corruption and easily stolen money.

    I prefer to give them nightmares.

    • zyodei says:

      The thing is, we’re talking about this real world. About the present systems in place.

      The fact is, both the progressive ideal – a larger and more active government only directed by the public interest and with no corporate involvement; and the libertarian ideal – a radically reduced government sector, would in different ways, reduce the power that corporations have in society.

      Both methods arguments in their favor- although personally, I want to see government done as locally as possible, some some areas can experiment with one model, some with the other.

      However, with both goals, there is the real risk of the energy being put into them being subverted and manifesting in the world as a reality that ends up further empowering the corporations.

      On the libertarian side, I might cite repealing glass-steagal while keeping in place the fed and the system of implicit bailouts for the “too big to fails.”

      On the progressive side, we have just had a huge outpouring of progressive energy – probably millions of collective hours being spent on it – in order to finally push through a bill which is overall a late Christmas gift to big medi.

      It’s irrelevant to talk about what the highest progressive ideal is. What we must examine is what the reality is of these progressive ideas is, after a thorough processing by the criminal organization in power at any given time.

      And that reality is, sometimes, to channel justified and progressive public outrage and energy into efforts that prop up the corporate status quo.

      • Cowicide says:

        On the progressive side, we have just had a huge outpouring of progressive energy – probably millions of collective hours being spent on it – in order to finally push through a bill which is overall a late Christmas gift to big medi.

        The bill isn’t progressive in all its parts. If it was, it would implement a single payer system that’s similar to nearly every other westernized country in the world and the USA would no longer be a laughing stock when it comes to health care for its citizens.

        Once again, you define progressivism with some sort of Fox “News” dictionary. I refer you back to the definitions I posted above.

        You want to see progressives with all their warts in action?

        http://www.fair.org/
        http://www.democracynow.org/
        http://crooksandliars.com/

        Educate yourself and see if you can find very many progressives who are thrilled with the concessions that had to be made to pass this health bill.

        Otherwise, you can continue looking at progressivism through your funhouse mirror at Fox or wherever else you are getting your distorted view of reality.

        I challenge you to come down from your ivory tower and actually explore progressivism in action at those 3 sites for a while. Actually read them for a while and you’ll find that progressives aren’t these cartoonish idiots you represent that have no idea what corporatists are up to and are mere “enablers” for them.

  26. zyodei says:

    I don’t think you read my message carefully. I have read all three of those sites quite a bit at different points in time, and have found them to be valuable information resources.

    My basic argument is that tasking government with doing something is playing with fire. It can be good, or it can blow up in your face and burn you.

    So, the clear will of the progressives was far different from this outcome. That’s well and good. But what was the end result of all that progressive energy?

    Government is like a summoned beast – you cast the spell to bring it into the world, and then what will it do? Will it follow your commands?

    Maybe, it will do what you want and clobber the other guy. Maybe, it will turn on you, and clobber you instead.

    In this case, the progressives of America agitated long and hard for some kind of “health care reform.” And that’s what we got, some kind of “health care reform.” It might be drastically different from what the progressives wanted, but that’s the nature of the beast. It may do what you want, it may clobber you. In this case, more or less, the beast turned around and clobbered the people who summoned it.

    I don’t want to call forth any power greater than individuals themselves. It’s just too damned dangerous saying that we deputize any organization to use unlimited violence to achieve society’s collective goals. The beast is too unpredictable.

    Even if it seems the only way to fight the great corporatist dragon we are faced with is to summon this beast..the risk of the dragon and the beast we have summoned uniting is just too great. If they unite, if the dragon seduces the beast we have summoned, then what do we do? That’s called true fascism, and it’s a very bad situation indeed.

    The best way to fight the dragon is to just walk away from it, to starve it.

    If the majority of people, enough to create a government, vote to restrain the corporations..can’t that same majority have equal effect by economically starving the corporations, shunning their services and closing their pocketbooks, whenever possible? Wouldn’t that be at least as effective?

    But they don’t, because they have forever been taught that the way to restrain the corporations is to continue to buy their services, while voting for politicians who speak anti-corporate rhetoric.

    Unfortunately, this doesn’t work.

    • Cowicide says:

      So, the clear will of the progressives was far different from this outcome. That’s well and good. But what was the end result of all that progressive energy?

      The current results? Steps towards a public option, which in turn is steps towards a single payer system down the road. Once again, it wasn’t progressives putting up roadblocks to a public option and the dreaded single payer system. You act as if progressives move through a vacuum without any outside resistance.

      Placing blame on the people who are actually fighting the fight is misdirected angst and unproductive…. and to be honest, kind of shitty and ungrateful.

      During the Bush years, the words “single payer system” wasn’t even a part of the mainstream media’s lexicon, much less any kind of health care reform. The end result is the horrible mess we see today that kills over 45,000 uninsured Americans every year.

      But you have angst for progressives who are actually trying to change things? [cow rolls eyes]

      Government is like a summoned beast – you cast the spell to bring it into the world, and then what will it do? Will it follow your commands? Maybe, it will do what you want and clobber the other guy. Maybe, it will turn on you, and clobber you instead.

      .. And maybe UFOs will come down and destroy us all anyway? So why even try?

      It might be drastically different from what the progressives wanted, but that’s the nature of the beast. It may do what you want, it may clobber you.

      .. And maybe UFOs will come down and destroy us all anyway? So why even try?

      In this case, more or less, the beast turned around and clobbered the people who summoned it.

      Your view of things is amazingly simplified. You (once again) ignore all the positives and focus an exacting, anal laser as brightly as you can on all the negatives. Please, for your own sake, pull off your blinders and quit being such a limp, melodramatic defeatist.

      I don’t want to call forth any power greater than individuals themselves. It’s just too damned dangerous saying that we deputize any organization to use unlimited violence to achieve society’s collective goals. The beast is too unpredictable.

      Yawn. Welcome to the real world. We have a system that appears to be too large for you to get a handle on, so you therefore reject it outright. The system you are looking for doesn’t exist, so you are frozen with inaction. You want a perfect system? Take a bunch of acid and hang out in the woods for the rest of your life away from society. The rest of us will have to work with what we’ve got here…. in reality and make the best of it. It’s life, it’s reality, it’s hard…. but at least we’re in the fight.

      Even if it seems the only way to fight the great corporatist dragon we are faced with is to summon this beast..the risk of the dragon and the beast we have summoned uniting is just too great. If they unite, if the dragon seduces the beast we have summoned, then what do we do? That’s called true fascism, and it’s a very bad situation indeed. The best way to fight the dragon is to just walk away from it, to starve it.

      Dude, this isn’t dungeons and dragons. This isn’t a game. 45,000 REAL PEOPLE die every year and much more suffer unnecessarily with our current system from inaction from people like YOU. Our current system is what we have to reform now to save lives now. You can continue to live in your fantasy world where our woes are caused by food stamps or whatever other distraction you can come up with, but the rest of us who don’t want to stand around impotent with delusional dreams of libertarianism in some distant future are knee deep in it now and are working to save lives now.

      Your stance is a lazy cop-out. Just like your laziness when it comes to educating yourself on the voting records, etc.

      If you ever bother to watch the Wendell Potter interview, he says a great quote from a book about why he decided to take action. All this time you’ve spent repetitiously spouting your fears of mythical dragons and beasts… you could have watched that interview 5 times over.

      Here’s the link yet again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QwX_soZ1GI

      But they don’t, because they have forever been taught that the way to restrain the corporations is to continue to buy their services, while voting for politicians who speak anti-corporate rhetoric. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work.

      There you go again. Speaking out of insulting ignorance. It’s not ALL rhetoric. In your fantasy world, dragons and whatnot are running around in Washington D.C. – In the real world, it’s people. Government is not some fantasy. It’s made up of real people, some of which are working this very moment at their own disservice to help people like you who don’t even bother to understand and only chastise them. It get childish. It gets old. Have fun riding your mystery dragons and beasts into the sunset.

      “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion, spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never tasted victory or defeat.” -Teddy

      • zyodei says:

        Maybe I type too much. Let me be brief.

        In all of your emotionally charged words and platitudes, see if you can answer these four simple questions:

        1) Why must government have the ability to use force and violence to achieve its ends? In this era of unlimited information, can’t we find a way to achieve the necessary functions of government without coercion or violence?

        2) How can you claim it is moral for the government to have use of force or violence, especially if it is acting against the will of the people, as it often does?

        3) What power do you want the Federal government to have the next time some Republican crook inevitably takes power of the white house and congress, like Bush did 10 short years ago?

        Sure, fight against it tooth and nail, please. I will be on your side. But what’s your backup plan?

        4) How can you have fascism without a strong central government? What would that even look like?

        • Cowicide says:

          Your reply shows just why I dislike progressive politics so much: you seem to believe that the only way to have an effect on the world is to try and steer the ship of state.

          Um, I never said nor implied that. I’ve also never said nor implied many other things you’ve been “arguing” with me throughout this thread (including me saying local government isn’t important, I somehow support all kinds of shit I don’t, etc.).

          Actually, you’ve been arguing (and continue to argue) endless shit I’ve never said… too much (and too fruitless) to go through in a reasonable amount of time, so I’ll just challenge you to go back and read what I’ve said and what I have NOT said and you might figure it all out in about an hour or so… or never, it doesn’t really matter any more.

          As far as the rest goes, this is a first for me, but seriously tl;dr (too long;didn’t read) … well, at least 40 or so pages of it anyway – way too many tangents and distractions that go far, far away from any points that were made in the first place.

          A quick perusal shows you have a melodramatic, almost childlike view of your government and focus your anal laser on all the negatives of the government while throwing out nearly all the tantamount positives. Which, once again, is an almost childlike understanding of our current reality.

          It also hasn’t gone unnoticed that with nearly every example of positive progressive effects I give, you keep moving the goal posts and/or redefining progressivism to some customized, distorted definition of it more suitable to Fox “News” junkies than two educated adults. Therefore, if we can’t even agree on what the basics of progressivism really are… this conversation has been and continues to be fruitless.

          In a nutshell, you need more balance in your life and your information absorption. Good luck with your fantasies of having every citizen waking up tomorrow and “walking away” from “evil” government. Meanwhile, in the real world… in the here and now, there’s real things that are being done today despite our terribly imperfect system. Also, good luck with your imaginary perfect system that doesn’t exist… your vaporware in the sky there.

          We’ll just have to agree to disagree at this point. I’m not going to repeat myself any further. If you don’t get it by now, you never will.

          • zyodei says:

            Cowicide,

            Yes, I type to much. I will be very brief here.

            You are entirely right in pointing out that it is bad for people to just become sick of government and not be involved in it in any way. I don’t think that is a fair characterisation of most Libertarians, many of whom are much more actively involved in politics than your average joe.

            And I am sorry if I put words in your mouth. Reviewing our conversation, you did not imply that.

            But it is a fair point.

            You are also right that I type to much; for that I apologize.

            Let me just sum up a few points from this conversation.

            You said that “taking the guns away from government” results in fascism. I feel this is an absurd statement.

            You said that “the corporations spend lots of money trying to convert people to libertarianism.” If you have any evidence to back this up, I would love to see it. I feel that it comes instead from political dogma.

            The reason is that Libertarians are at least as opposed to the power of corporations as progressives.

            I asked you to name some real, substantive ways in which government has effectively curtailed corporations. You named a few things.

            1) Monopoly busting, which is a good example, certainly. I will grant that.

            2) OSHA/EPA/etc., which I feel are more of an inconvenience to corporations, other than something that effectively reigns them in. To demonstrate this, look around your immediate environemnt: How many items do you see that were manufactured in an OSHA/EPA regulated environment? I woulo bet you can count them on one hand. Not that these things are bad, just that they are not effective at really hurting corporations, but merely inconvenience them.

            3) A popular uprising against the british empire / east india company.

            4) The civil war freeing the slaves.

            Please, is that all you can come up with? That is the core of this whole 40 page debate. “Is government effective at reigning in corporations?” I am sure you can do better than that. Did I miss some better examples you gave?

            I can sit down and punch out literally 50 ways that a strong central government benefits corporations. If you want me to I will.

            This is the reality: with a drastically reduced central government, the power of corporations would be less. Big agri would be hurt, big oil would be hurt, big medi would be hurt, the military industrial complex would be hurt, etc.

            Thus my argument that libertarians are strongly anti-corporate power.

            In effect, libertarians and progressives are hacking away at the fascist state from different ends. I don’t see why you think we are opposed.

            I did watch the Potter interview, BTW, and it said basically what I thought it would..the insurance companies are crooks. But why are they allowed to be crooks without non-crooked competition?

            One final question to ponder. You don’t have to answer this, but think about it. If you understand it, this question sums up everything I have written so far. Why does it cost in 2010 $500 without insurance to see a doctor for a routine checkup? Can you explain that?

          • Cowicide says:

            You are entirely right in pointing out that it is bad for people to just become sick of government and not be involved in it in any way. I don’t think that is a fair characterisation of most Libertarians, many of whom are much more actively involved in politics than your average joe.

            [citations needed]

            That’s funny, I’ve tended to hear that Libertarians are actually less involved in politics and it kind of goes with their overall mantra (and yours).
            http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6735

            It’s amazing how your statements and assertions continue to bend with the wind throughout this thread. I appears you are more interested in “winning” a debate than making assertions and sticking with them (right or wrong).

            So, do you have any studies/evidence that Libertarians are more active in politics than the average person? On second thought, I’m sure we’ll need to spend another week properly defining “more active” … so never mind.

            You said that “taking the guns away from government” results in fascism. I feel this is an absurd statement.

            Sigh, once again… dude.. I never said that. Go argue with yourself alone in a bathroom for a while and get back to me once you’ve got it all worked out in your head.

            You said that “the corporations spend lots of money trying to convert people to libertarianism.” If you have any evidence to back this up, I would love to see it. I feel that it comes instead from political dogma.

            Yes, go watch the Potter interview again. And, let’s look at you, i.e., you used the term “Obamacare” term earlier. Did you come up with that dogmatic term yourself? Sorry, you’re parroting it right from a corporatist talking point dictionary.

            Anyway, I’m tired of giving you examples for anything anymore. You’ll just move the goal posts once again anyway and/or twist and squirm around the facts by trying old and tired “selective memory / trite, semantic arguments” techniques that don’t work on me and frankly bore me to death.

            The reason is that Libertarians are at least as opposed to the power of corporations as progressives. I asked you to name some real, substantive ways in which government has effectively curtailed corporations. You named a few things.

            2) OSHA/EPA/etc., which I feel are more of an inconvenience to corporations, other than something that effectively reigns them in.

            There you go again bending with the wind instead of staying on point. Go back and read my point about OSHA. The point YOU set forth was in regards to effects on small business. I showed how OSHA very clearly helps level the playing field for larger corporations and small businesses. I do believe I even bolded the text for you, because I knew you’d probably attempt to act like I never even wrote it. You’re being predictable, my friend.

            Quit straying from your own points. It’s annoying.

            Please, is that all you can come up with? That is the core of this whole 40 page debate. “Is government effective at reigning in corporations?” I am sure you can do better than that. Did I miss some better examples you gave?

            What’s the use in coming up with any more anyway? You’ll simply move the goal posts once again to protect your dogmatic (and often fantastical) stances or you’ll create some bullshit out of thin air that I didn’t say and argue that for 60 pages. Like I said earlier (and you ignored) we can’t even come to terms (literally) with what progressivism means. It’s fruitless.

            I can sit down and punch out literally 50 ways that a strong central government benefits corporations. If you want me to I will.

            Yes, I want you to. Name 50. Of course, your idea of a strong central government is one that has little or nothing to do with progressivism at all… so it will be fruitless. But, go ahead and do it if it makes you feel “right” or something. Hahahaha…..

            This is the reality: with a drastically reduced central government, the power of corporations would be less. Big agri would be hurt, big oil would be hurt, big medi would be hurt, the military industrial complex would be hurt, etc.

            Bush took a lot of the teeth out of regulation and they did NOT get hurt, they thrived. Are you on crack? Nevermind, I’m sure you’ll bend with the wind again. Oh yeah.. Bush is a progressive anyway, riiiiiight?

            Thus my argument that libertarians are strongly anti-corporate power.

            Maybe YOU are. This is a simplistic view of libertarians similar to your simplistic view of the U.S. government. There is Liberatian Anarcho-capitalism, Geolibertarianism, Left-libertarianism, Libertarian conservatism, Libertarian socialism, Libertarian transhumanism, Minarchism, Mutualism, etc.

            But a common theme among many libertarians is they think we should have less government services and regulations and many things (if not everything) should be privatized and let the market (a.k.a. corporate power) sort things out.

            In effect, libertarians and progressives are hacking away at the fascist state from different ends. I don’t see why you think we are opposed.

            There you go bending with the wind again. Earlier, you’ve implied (over and over ad nauseam) that progressivism aids fascists states. Look, you need to make a fricken point and stick with it.

            But, I’ll humor you one last time anyway…. because progressives are dealing with the system we have now and are fighting the corporatists… NOW. Sitting around fantasizing about an anarchistic utopia that doesn’t exist is great, but it doesn’t do jack shit in our current reality.

            I did watch the Potter interview, BTW, and it said basically what I thought it would..the insurance companies are crooks.

            Either you didn’t watch it in its entirety or you have severe comprehension problems perhaps? You really think the point of me linking to that interview was to show “insurance companies are crooks”?

            Like I said, you either didn’t watch it in its entirety and/or you are purposefully avoiding the various points of why I linked to that video in the first place. Either way, you’re being disingenuous (and a bore).

            Sorry, that bullshit doesn’t work on me. You obviously didn’t watch all of the interview. Quit wasting my time.

            One final question to ponder. You don’t have to answer this, but think about it. If you understand it, this question sums up everything I have written so far. Why does it cost in 2010 $500 without insurance to see a doctor for a routine checkup? Can you explain that?

            Sigh… depends on the doctor… depends on which city… same thing with lawyers. Why are some lawyers $425 per hour? What is your point aside from yet another distraction? I’ve asked you lots of questions throughout this thread that you’ve avoided and you didn’t answer and instead you’ve asked me shitloads of questions that I’ve tried to answer and you merely move the goal posts around afterward and just keep inanely asking more and more and more questions.

            By the way, on that note… health insurance providers are reluctant to cover the cost of routine checkups, but I guess progressives are to blame for that too… sigh….

            Once again, I think this is fruitless. Let’s just agree to disagree and end this. I’m not answering any more of your purposefully cryptic questions. Try being a little more straightforward and I think you’ll aggravate people far less in the future.

          • zyodei says:

            Sigh, once again… dude.. I never said that.

            Hoping to reform corporations without government is futile and only leads to outright fascism. History is on my side with this.

            We tried that. It was called massive deregulation under the last Bush administration.

            Sorry, I did misquote you. But the sum total of those two statements is rather ridiculous.

            Whatever the cause of fascism, I don’t think it was “attempting to reform corporations without government.” Rather, I would argue that it was people coming to rely on government more and more.

            And, like I said before, if the best example you can come up with of “taking the guns away from government” was the Bush administration..well…

            But seriously, this is a question I ask again because it is an important one. You don’t have to answer it, but ask it to yourself and research it sometime. Outside of the financial industry (which experienced a lot of deregulation – but also Sarbanes-Oxley, the largest increase in accounting regulation in a generation)…What did Bush deregulate exactly?

            I have spent 20 minutes researching this question. I simply can’t find any examples other than the 2001 Gramm-Leachy bill and some SEC policies.

            Where does this idea come from that Bush deregulated madly?

            Bush=Bad and Deregulation=Bad, so he must have done lots of it, right?

  27. zyodei says:

    I won’t take the time to respond to this whole post, because you don’t adequately address the core of my argument.

    I wholeheartedly agree that small businesses are the heart and soul of America. In fact, I fully support a return of the law that used to exist, back in that rotten old 19th century, that corporate charters had to be renewed every two years. In fact, if more “anti-corporate” laws were actually written in a way that would only affect large corporations, I wouldn’t be so opposed to them.

    The kernel of my argument is this:

    Many laws, passed in the spirit of regulating large corporations, end up instead pushing small businesses out of business. This strengthens and emboldens the corporations, who can operate with less competition.

    This effect can be seen in many areas, health care and manufacturing for instance.

    You think it’s the result of the “free market” that health care prices are so high? If a broken leg costs $5000 to fix, why don’t I hire some underemployed veterinarian who is an expert at setting casts, and do it for $100? Because I’d be arrested, that’s why. When corporations profit from environments where the government forcibly stifles competition, that’s not the free market, that’s fascism. Sure, the health insurance guys are bad guys, they are fascist actors – but they are able to rob everybody so effectively because they are enabled by the environment, because they are a protected cartel.

    The large corporations are uniquely able to either lobby loopholes into the law, hire lawyers to mitigate the effect, ignore the law and play some small penalty, or just move their operations offshore. Small businesses must deal with the effects directly, and this can be very costly relative to a small business bottom line.

    I wish it were any other way. But it’s very, very hard to get groups that have all the money in the world to devote to skirting the law to follow the law. I wish that government were effective at restraining corporations. But here’s the basic reality: after a century of progressively larger government, with democrats in power most of the time, corporations are stronger than ever. They certainly did not lose power during the liberal, regulatory eras.

    Alternate examples? Community food coops. Co-teaching collectives. Farmers marts. The legion of small entrepreneurs on the Internet. Money given to any of these groups does not see corporate pockets.

    Two side notes: calling Bushco “conservative” is ludicrous, seeing how they increased government spending, the size, and power of government faster than any other president in recent history. They are certainly fine Republican thugs, but by any common definition of “conservative=less government”, they simply weren’t. Not that they were liberal, I’m not sure what the term would be.

    And to think that the reason Ron Paul had millions of rabid followers, was able to raise more money in one day than any other candidate in history from small donations, etc. was because of some offensive comments published under his name 20 years ago (note, not written by him), and not because of, for instance, going toe to toe with Guiliani and McCain in the debates and saying that the reason they hate us is because we’ve been bombing them for a generation, is insane. Seriously, you should read some of Paul’s floor speeches from the 2001-2008 period. A lot of it the most die hard anti-war liberal would agree with, and it was stuff that no other person in the whole chamber (except maybe Kucinich, the other decent candidate) was saying at the time.

    And finally, the difference between a voluntary aid organization, community group, charity, or other “alternate economic model” and a government is exactly the difference between sex and rape. The difference is consent.

    I have to get to work now. A final point:

    7. We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens.

    9. All citizens must have equal rights and obligations.

    11. Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of debt (interest)-slavery.

    12. In consideration of the monstrous sacrifice in property and blood that each war demands of the people, personal enrichment through a war must be designated as a crime against the people. Therefore we demand the total confiscation of all war profits.

    13. We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

    14. We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

    15. We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare.

    16. We demand the creation of a healthy middle class and its conservation, immediate communalization of the great warehouses and their being leased at low cost to small firms, the utmost consideration of all small firms in contracts with the State, county or municipality.

    17. We demand a land reform suitable to our needs, provision of a law for the free expropriation of land for the purposes of public utility, abolition of taxes on land and prevention of all speculation in land.

    20. The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program

    21. The State is to care for the elevating national health by protecting the mother and child, by outlawing child-labor, by the encouragement of physical fitness, by means of the legal establishment of a gymnastic and sport obligation, by the utmost support of all organizations concerned with the physical instruction of the young.

    Can you guess where all that is from?

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Snipping out all the racist and xenophobic stuff, that is the official platform of the Nazi party.

    Now, did all of that turn out? No. The corporations got stronger.

    I am just arguing that passing laws that are purportedly designed limit the corporations, and wrapping one’s rhetoric in lots of fine language about constraining corporations, is not necessarily effective at limiting corporations. Sometimes, quite the opposite.

    • Cowicide says:

      I won’t take the time to respond to this whole post, because you don’t adequately address the core of my argument.

      I addressed you point by point. You haven’t. Speaking of inadequacies, are you EVER going to address the VOTING RECORDS?

      The kernel of my argument is this: Many laws, passed in the spirit of regulating large corporations, end up instead pushing small businesses out of business. This strengthens and emboldens the corporations, who can operate with less competition.

      Once again, that’s not a progressive agenda no matter how much you’d like to twist it to be so. If anything, that’s been the conservative agenda for the last 20 years. Once again… once again… once again… the voting records will show this. But, I guess you have an aversion to facts when they get in the way of your predetermined agenda.

      Until you understand that truly progressive economic reforms have included breaking up big business monopolies, etc. — you just aren’t going to “get it”.

      Look, you ignored nearly every point I made while hypocritically accusing me of not “adequately addressing the core of your argument”. At least I tried.

      This is a waste of my time. Get back to me once you ever watch the Wendell Potter interview I linked to and check out United States voting record history in your spare time and find out who your real enemies are.

      Snipping out all the racist and xenophobic stuff, that is the official platform of the Nazi party. Now, did all of that turn out? No. The corporations got stronger.

      Your repetitive statement above just goes to show you hardly read a thing I wrote. I addressed that point exactly. You just didn’t read and/or comprehend what I said apparently. Get back to me once you’ve read what I’ve wrote.

      And, once again… repeatedly comparing fascist agendas to progressive ones only makes you look like an ill informed, paranoid, tea bag idiot, sorry.

      I am just arguing that passing laws that are purportedly designed limit the corporations, and wrapping one’s rhetoric in lots of fine language about constraining corporations, is not necessarily effective at limiting corporations. Sometimes, quite the opposite.

      The only problem is you are blaming a progressive agenda when you obviously don’t know what the heck you are talking about in that regard. Once again, voting records and many of the other points you ignored and/or didn’t read from my last post blow you right out of the water on that front.

      Will you at least finally admit you don’t understand progressivism? It’s painfully obvious you don’t or won’t educate yourself on it and actually look at the facts of who is truly fighting corporatism and who is not.

      If you still think the conservatives are trying to fight corporatism after you look at their voting record, then you are lost.

      • zyodei says:

        Cowicide,

        I guess you abandoned this thread, and I don’t blame you. Certainly, there are more worthwhile things to do that sit around arguing on blog post threads.

        But I do hope that you at least read my last couple posts, because I feel that you unfairly painted me with a brush and misunderstand where I was coming from.

        Let me put my whole belief in as few words as possible:

        Corporations hire governments to act as their guns. Corporations cannot directly use force, because then the consumers would abandon them forever-violence is expensive. Corporations require the proxy violence of the state in order to surreptitiously maintain their control over humanity.

        It requires a long term, highly sophisticated propaganda campaign in order to pull this relationship off without public revolt. The essence of this campaign is playing people off against each other: convincing half the population that the government is bad and corporations are good, convincing the other half of the opposite.

        Maybe that is not inherent in all governments through history and through the world, but that IS the situation in America today, and it has been as long as you or I have been alive.

        Thus, my claim that the best way to control the corporations is to disarm their hired thugs in the government.

        For the record, I certainly don’t think that Barry is a black radical communist – quite the opposite, his appointment of key finance industry leaders, his appointment of a Raytheon lobbyist for vice secretary of defense days after promising no lobbyists in his administration, demonstrate that he is just another corporate toady. The whole “radical communist” bit is just clever marketing, designed to make half the people love him irrationally, and the other half hate him irrationally, so that no one can see who he truly is.

        I invite your response! Because at this point, I think that you lost the argument when the best examples you could cite of actually taking all the guns away from government were the ’30s fascists and the Bush administration ;)

        • Cowicide says:

          I guess you abandoned this thread

          Not enough time to read and respond right now, but will get to it later. If you’re interested, keep this page bookmarked and check it in about a week. I did do a quick perusal and with some of your new clarifications, I can see we have as many similar views as differences at least. ^_^

      • zyodei says:

        A brief question, so that we might be on the same page:

        How exactly do you define progressivism? It seems a rather nebulous term. I’m not trying to be antagonistic, I am asking earnestly what your definition is. I read the wikipedia pages on it a couple days ago, but it seems like a sort of nebulous term.

        It seems to me that you define progressive laws as those that affect large corporations and not small business, but I ask, what laws are those exactly?

        A few points. You notice I don’t waste a single breath defending the Republican party. While I might agree with a limited subset of their platform, I absolutely agree with you that they are pure evil and willful henchmen of the corporations. I have never voted for a Republican in my life (except in primaries to try and prevent an even worse Republican from being elected), and it’s unlikely that I ever will (with the exception of Ron Paul, who ran on a basically anti-imperialist platform). The Republicans talk a lot about free markets and whatnot, but in practice, this extends as far as reversing any regulations that their corporate buddies find inconvenient (or simply shoveling money their way), while leaving in place or enlarging the rest. The conservative movement, while I may agree with some tenets of it, is not something I identify with or give my energy towards. While there are a handful of Republicans I admire or agree with on some points, the GOP as an institution is built from lies – pure, fascist evil.

        They wouldn’t let Ron Paul into the doors of their 2008 convention, that says a lot right there.

        Hell, I was out in the streets protesting Bush and the wars every chance I had, getting arrested a couple times doing so. On election day 2000, I wrote up a bunch of anti-bush fliers and busied myself distributing them on the streets (getting in an argument with Bill Nye the science guy in the process, who would have known he was a die hard republican).

        Incidentally, I didn’t post those planks of the Nazi platform to claim there is some link between progressivism and nazism, but rather to argue that you have to look deeper than the stated intention in order to realize the long term effects.

        I generally agree with the end goals of the progressive agenda. I simply feel that the means employed by the progressive groups are not effective at realizing them.

        If the Republicans are the willful henchmen of the corporatists, I feel that the Democrats serve the interests of the corporatists unintentionally. “The evil party vs. the stupid party,” as some wag has said. Sure, some of the rank and file may have very good intentions, even if flawed ideas; but the leadership is totally corrupted. Hell, Pelosi’s husband is a multimillionare military industrial complex lobbyist or something.

        It is through long thought on this matter that I have come around from socialism to libertarianism. I have simply come to decide that the best way to increase the wellbeing of all people is to minimize force, violence, and coercion from the picture in any way possible, and simply let people be free to do whatever they feel is best. The way to wither corporations is to wake people up and stop giving them money.

        I have long studied economics, and one of the goals of economics is to realize all of the unintentional consequences of a course of action. Doing this requires asking hard questions, and peeling back the data like an onion.

        You keep talking about the voting records. I thought I gave an answer by implication above, but let me be more clear: sure, the democrats have a vastly different record in terms of voting for measures that have the stated purpose of reigning in corporations and empowering the common man. My question is, how effective have these measures really been? Were corporations any weaker at, say, 1968 (which could be called the end of a fairly long stream of progressive presidents) than they were in 1900? I feel that it’s hard to argue that, in terms of their political, economic, and social power, they were weaker in any measurable way. On the contrary, much stronger.

        So, if I didn’t address your issue of voting records, because I feel that it is not relevant to the core of the argument, whether government is measurably effective at reigning in corporations, I don’t feel that you adequately answered any of my arguments of economic cause.

        Among all households receiving food stamps, almost twice as many include at least one working adult as those that don’t.

        But that wasn’t my argument, that people won’t work at all. Sure they do. My argument is there is an effect of what can be called a “Low Wage Trap,” where people are afraid to make more than X dollars because they will lose their benefits, and will then be be bringing in less money per month for more work. For instance, maybe they will be afraid that they will never be able to make as much money through wages as their low wage job + food stamps + public housing + medicaid, so they simply never try to improve and stay in the low wage job forever. A better number to test the validity of this theory would be one measuring years living on food stamps, or total lifetime earnings in an area with food stamps versus without.

        This isn’t a matter of “corporatist propaganda,” but simply thinking like an economist. Economists try to find all of the small ways that laws and economic realities affect people’s decisions. What they find is often quite surprising.

        I don’t think you have really addressed this simple economic argument either: regulations affect businesses both big and small, but the relative cost is much higher on the small business than the large, and this can have the effect of giving a relative advantage to the large business/corporation.

        You can claim that progressive laws only affect corporations, but I think that’s a bit of a cop out – can you name any?

        On a tangent, what about the Federal Reserve? Not a progressive law, but passed during the peak of the “Progressive Era” by a very liberal president, Wilson. It has had the effect of covertly draining the purchasing power of money from the poor and middle class, savers and pensioners, and funneling it to the politically connected elites. At the same time, we’ve had an era riddled with serious and drawn out economic downturns. Not what was intended, but as I argue all along here..it’s what ended up happening in the long term. I am really boggled that modern progressives don’t grapple this issue of the federal reserve, seeing how it has been one of the largest transfers of wealth from the poor to the rich in world history.

        On to the next:

        You know those nasty progressives always trying to get plants legalized

        Umm..the FDA, which has become one of the most corporatized agencies in the company, without which the pharmas could not be nearly as profitable and widespread as they are (because the FDA actively goes after small time competitors), was a milestone of the progressive era. Whatever the bill was called, that’s simply historical fact. One hallmark of the progressive era was an increase in regulation of business of all types, in theory to protect consumers. (On a side note, it was FDR who signed the law effectively banning cannabis).

        But, as these things go, when you create a power that has the force of law behind it, shady actors will be tempted to corrupt it. That’s what happened with the FDA, and that is why I don’t support ANY organization (private or government) being able to resort to use of violence.

        Respectfully, I am not going to watch that Potter interview now, not because I don’t admire Moyers and think there are some interesting tidbits in it, but simply because I doubt I will hear much that I don’t know. Yes, the insurance companies are scumbags who profit from pain. It’s idiotic and predictable that the republicans support them.

        OK, I am sure we agree on this: The insurance companies are blatantly awful. They sneer at their “customers,” I owe some fools $3k because my insurance decided that the hospital I went to at 3AM with head trauma wasn’t “in the network.” There is a surge of public disgust over these outrageous prices and abusive practices. Millions of people are fed up.

        The question is this: Why don’t any crafty entrepreneurs attempt to profit from this problem? Why don’t we have specialized trauma centers, with techs who are qualified only to do one activity, for instance set casts or give stitches; use computers databases to diagnose conditions; deal only with specific conditions like arthritis, etc. and nothing else? Not needing fully trained MDs to provide these services, they could charge very low prices. Why don’t they? Why don’t any small, community health insurance firms, like “health credit unions,” spring up? The answer to all of these problems is because it’s damned hard to clear all the regulatory hurdles. So prices stay high, and the industries stay protected.

        For instance, why have computer and software prices plummeted over the last 30 years, while health care prices have exploded?

        Without being too obvious, I will state that computers are totally unregulated, while health care is highly, highly regulated, and has been more so through the decades.

        Microsoft has acted in an abusive manner for years and years, delivering a shoddy product with too high prices, similar to our modern health care system. People got so fed up, they created replacements for MS’s core products (OpenOffice/Abiword/Gnumeric, Linux, MySQL, etc.) for FREE! People just wanted to see the world work better.

        What would happen if you tried to offer free unlicensed medical services to your community, out of the good of your heart? You’d be arrested, that’s what.

        The thing that Thom Hartmann audio misses is this: the services that government provides are crucial services, this is true. But why do we have to deputize some entity to have the power to compel everyone to use it’s services, and use force if anyone doesn’t want to “buy”? Sure, we need some body that will ensure that our food is safe. But what would be wrong with a private organization, like Underwriters Laboratory, that stakes their careers and reputation on providing testing of food, for a small fee? Why do we have to rely on organizations that are accountable only to this gargantuan, slow political process? This same questions applies to many areas.

        Particularly in the era of the Internet, where “authority” sites like consumerist can rise to the top in only a few years, and fall again as quickly if they lose their independent reputation, why do we have to deputize an entity to use violence to give us the information about what is safe to eat?

        On a side note, citing the Indian freedom movement as an example of the progressive agenda seems irrelevant. That was a popular uprising against an entrenched imperialistic government power. It was not using the tools of government, but rather throwing the government off.

        And the civil war, that’s a whole nother discussion. But I strongly feel that it was a poor way of accomplishing what it did. They could have spent 1% of the cost to simply buy all of the slaves..a great many other countries in the world had slavery, and they ALL, without exception, abolished it without violence. We abolished slavery, but in the meantime, killed more people than Americans who died in all wars of the 20th century combined, and created a vast sea of resentment and anger, that poisoned the atmosphere in the south to this present day. It was simply a poor way to accomplish that, is what I feel. In the long run, blacks would have been MUCH better off if abolition had been delayed by a few years, but had been done in a peaceful manner. But like I says, that’s another topic entirely…I may be totally off base.

        As a libertarian/anarchist, my basic premise is this. NO group should be allowed to use violence without provocation. It’s a fire that can be very difficult to snuff once it’s lit. Do you really think that this beast can be brought to leash? I don’t dislike Obama for being a supposed “black communist.” I dislike him for being a corporatist stooge in sheep’s clothing, just like Bush, just like Clinton, etc. etc. Umm, hello, Patriot Act of 2010, ACTA, Afghan Surge, law that mandates that everyone buy insurance from this mafia, etc. etc.

        The problem is just that the US Federal Government is too damned big to be controlled. Its beyond being able to be controlled by popular will (and popular will is too easy to manipuate with mass media anyway) Its power and money represents to tempting a target for those with bad intentions. If you want to support government programs on a local level, I say go right ahead. If it works out, maybe I’ll even more there. If it doesn’t, at least the experiment wasn’t too big. It’s not so hard to move out of a town. A country is a different matter.

        Remember, a country is just an abstract concept. A corporation, a government is just an abstract concept. If we pulled the plug on government..what would be left? A bunch of people. Sure, the corporations would have the money..but would they have the hearts and minds of the people? If they started to employ violence in their own name, Coca Cola troops patrolling the streets in bright red tanks, instead of buying proxy violence from governments, do you think people would stick with them? I sure don’t. Violence is expensive, it would bankrupt even the worst of corporations. This abstract idea of “government,” that people agree to let use force and violence to achieve shared social ends, has caused more death, suffering, and misery than any other idea in human history.

        Like I said – you want to support more citizen participation in government, a more robust democratic process? Fine, that’s all well and good. I won’t oppose you. In the meantime, I’m going to do my damndest to disarm and shrink that same government, so it has less destructive power if/when it falls into the wrong hands.

        Small and micro businesses are the best hope for America,it’s true. Corporations only think about the bottom line, thus the best way to fight them is to starve them. I work assidiously to not give a penny of my money to large corporations, and encourage everyone I know to do the same.

        • Cowicide says:

          How exactly do you define progressivism?

          That’s like asking how do you exactly define conservatism. It’s probably easier to say what it’s not than everything it is, but I’ll go with the top definitions as society defines it:

          http://www.google.com/search?&q=define%3A+progressivism

          “ … the political orientation of those who favor progress toward better conditions in government and society … “

          “ … Progressivism is a political and social term for ideologies and movements favoring or advocating changes or reform, usually in an egalitarian direction for economic policies (public management) and liberal direction for social policies (personal choice). … “

          It seems to me that you define progressive laws as those that affect large corporations and not small business, but I ask, what laws are those exactly?

          You are obviously very capable of drumming these laws up yourself. To get you started, I can assure you as someone who deals with small businesses that breaking up monopolies is an example of progressive law that drastically benefits small business in the long run.

          A few points. You notice I don’t waste a single breath defending the Republican party. While I might agree with a limited subset of their platform, I absolutely agree with you that they are pure evil and willful henchmen of the corporations. I have never voted for a Republican in my life (except in primaries to try and prevent an even worse Republican from being elected), and it’s unlikely that I ever will (with the exception of Ron Paul, who ran on a basically anti-imperialist platform).

          Well, that’s why I’m confused why you previously stated that conservatives are the lesser evil per se compared to progressives. At least progressives are fighting the fight.

          Incidentally, I didn’t post those planks of the Nazi platform to claim there is some link between progressivism and nazism, but rather to argue that you have to look deeper than the stated intention in order to realize the long term effects.

          Long term effects of what then?

          I generally agree with the end goals of the progressive agenda. I simply feel that the means employed by the progressive groups are not effective at realizing them. If the Republicans are the willful henchmen of the corporatists, I feel that the Democrats serve the interests of the corporatists unintentionally. “The evil party vs. the stupid party,” as some wag has said.

          Well, for a “stupid party” the democrats have done an amazing job of fighting the corporatists while having the entire game massively skewed against them. They have to fight 100 times harder for every penny compared to the republicans who have access to nearly open checkbooks from the corporatists.

          Dude, if you stripped away the corporate money from the republicans and they had to fight the democrats on a level playing field, the democrats would eradicate them. The republicans would resort to violence and the democrats would even beat them at that too on a level playing field (see civil war ass kicking).

          Yes, the democrats are dependent on corporatists money to compete with the republicans, but If we stripped away all the corporatist money from both sides, the republican party would crumble overnight and the democrats would thrive (as a whole). What does that tell you?

          Sure, some of the rank and file may have very good intentions, even if flawed ideas; but the leadership is totally corrupted.

          This is probably the crux of where we disagree. If they were totally corrupt, they would join the republican party and get all the spoils thereof. Are the democrats at the top corrupt? Damn right they are, because they wouldn’t be anywhere near the top if they weren’t. You don’t fight a giant machine with bean sprouts.

          Hell, Pelosi’s husband is a multimillionare military industrial complex lobbyist or something.

          What? No. He’s in real estate and as far as Nancy goes… she’s clean as hell as far as powerful politicians go. Trust me, the conservatives have checked with a fine toothed comb.

          “ … Ken Boehm, head of the conservative National Legal and Policy Center in Virginia, spent months last year looking into Nancy Pelosi’s financial records, campaign contributions and legislative records, looking for any hint of impropriety. “There was no sign that she enriched herself personally by her official actions,” he told The Chronicle last year. “She didn’t cross the line as far as I could tell.” … “

          If she was completely corrupt and nothing but a power hungry money whore, she could just say fuck all this bullshit and join the republican party and have far less headaches and reap far more spoils. Like I’ve been saying, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

          The mythical democrats you’re looking for would not exist in the American publics mind, much less ever get enough media airplay, etc. to win elections. It takes money to win elections. Some people are more megalomaniacal than others. I would prefer to have the lesser maniacs in office.

          Democrats tend to want to be loved by the people. They will sacrifice money for adoration. Republicans, on the other hand, tend to have disdain for the common people and want to merely make them their royal subjects. Republicans tend to want respect from their elite peers. Their voting history shows this time and time again.

          While you can dig and find many similarities between the two parties, there are extreme differences between them that can’t be denied (unless you listen to the corporatists, of course).

          It is through long thought on this matter that I have come around from socialism to libertarianism. I have simply come to decide that the best way to increase the wellbeing of all people is to minimize force, violence, and coercion from the picture in any way possible, and simply let people be free to do whatever they feel is best. The way to wither corporations is to wake people up and stop giving them money.

          I’ve been an extreme moderate for as long as I can remember. I have complex and evolving views on pretty much everything. Over the years, libertarianism has left a bad taste in my mouth because it often falls right into the hands of the corporatists. What better way to run roughshod over the American public than by having them abandon all trust and power in themselves (a.k.a, a government for the people and by the people)?

          As far as socialism goes, I’m against it. I’m for a hybrid capitalist/socialist system instead where there is some balance between the general welfare of the public while still having a big enough carrot on the end of the stick to attract entrepreneurs. Thank goodness we still have a country where you really can make it if you’ve got the brains to pull it off, but it’s becoming less and less of a meritocracy as the corporatists try to reign that horrible nonsense in.

          Corporatists cannot survive in a meritocracy. They don’t have the aptitude for it and they know it. All those years of inbreeding have not been kind. We mutts can kick their asses on a level playing field, period. Look at all the humble beginnings of some of the hugest tech companies as a reference. I honestly think the desperate acts you are seeing (the Bush administration, Tea Parties unwittingly led by corporatists, fighting net neutrality, etc.) are the final throws of a dying elite. I think the last thing they’ll finally attack is the internet, but they are terribly outmatched.

          You keep talking about the voting records. I thought I gave an answer by implication above, but let me be more clear: sure, the democrats have a vastly different record in terms of voting for measures that have the stated purpose of reigning in corporations and empowering the common man. My question is, how effective have these measures really been?

          Everything from drinking water to product labeling and safety… workplace safety (OSHA?)… The lists of progressions goes on and on. I’m frankly getting tired of naming all of them (it goes into the thousands) for you only to ignore them again and again. I’ll just refer you back to that youtube video link I mentioned above in regards to “joe republican”.

          Were corporations any weaker at, say, 1968 (which could be called the end of a fairly long stream of progressive presidents) than they were in 1900? I feel that it’s hard to argue that, in terms of their political, economic, and social power, they were weaker in any measurable way. On the contrary, much stronger.

          I still don’t see how you think a progressive agenda is to blame for that? It’s a result of the evolution of technology and growing pains of the human race. I’m sure the first caveman burned the shit out of himself before he learned to cook with fire. What you don’t seem to understand is how much incredibly worse things would be right now if there was a complete lack of progressivism.

          So, if I didn’t address your issue of voting records, because I feel that it is not relevant to the core of the argument, whether government is measurably effective at reigning in corporations, I don’t feel that you adequately answered any of my arguments of economic cause.

          I’ve shown example after example of how progressive agendas have triumphed over corporatist/facists agendas over the ages throughout this thread. I’m frankly tired of giving examples any more.

          I’ve yet to see even one example from you of where corporatists have ever chosen to reign themselves in without public scrutiny and activism.

          My argument is there is an effect of what can be called a “Low Wage Trap,” where people are afraid to make more than X dollars because they will lose their benefits, and will then be be bringing in less money per month for more work. For instance, maybe they will be afraid that they will never be able to make as much money through wages as their low wage job + food stamps + public housing + medicaid, so they simply never try to improve and stay in the low wage job forever. A better number to test the validity of this theory would be one measuring years living on food stamps, or total lifetime earnings in an area with food stamps versus without.

          Half of food stamp participants receive benefits for nine months or less. Elderly and disabled individuals tend to receive food stamp benefits for longer periods of time because they are horrible slackers apparently?

          Most people turn to food stamps because of a job loss or reduction in earnings, and remain on the program for a brief period of time. Why focus all your attention of an extreme minority that doesn’t?

          I just don’t get it. Why aren’t you more focused on the massive corporate welfare problem we have in this country? This food stamp business is a corporatist distraction and frankly… a waste of time.

          This isn’t a matter of “corporatist propaganda,” but simply thinking like an economist. Economists try to find all of the small ways that laws and economic realities affect people’s decisions. What they find is often quite surprising.

          Except, you don’t seem to have your facts straight about things like food stamps, etc. so I’m not sure you’re actually in touch with economic realities (or priorities for that matter).

          I don’t think you have really addressed this simple economic argument either: regulations affect businesses both big and small, but the relative cost is much higher on the small business than the large, and this can have the effect of giving a relative advantage to the large business/corporation. You can claim that progressive laws only affect corporations, but I think that’s a bit of a cop out – can you name any?

          I’ve addressed it over and over ad nausuem, but I’ll humor you one last time. For instance, when progressives go about breaking up monopolies that positively affects small businesses in the long run. When you apply OSHA standards to businesses big and small is helps level the playing field as well. I have a feeling you have a distorted reality of how that works and you probably think large corporations can merely throw money at OSHA, but that would be a knee-jerk opinion not based on facts. OSHA is very much open to the public. I suggest you start here:

          http://www.osha.gov/pls/imis/establishment.html

          If you read anything else in this entire thread… read this:

          So how does OSHA benefit small businesses? Well, if a small business is creating an unsafe work environment in order to gain higher profits they can easily be sued out of existence. Without OSHA, a large corporation could profit from an unsafe work environment and handle lawsuits as a mere “cost of business” and not only survive, but thrive despite the lawsuits. OSHA, while not perfect and not entirely incorruptible (show me any human institution in existence that isn’t?), at least puts the large corporations in check and on a much more level playing field with small businesses. Before you ask, yes… corporations get higher fines, etc. and it’s also a matter of public record and negative exposure that can hurt the corporation as well.

          Once again, I could go on and on with progressive laws, agendas, etc. that benefit small businesses but I’d rather teach you to fish than to keep feeding you. Delve into how these “evil” agencies really work with an open mind and quit focusing like a laser on all the negatives. Believe me, the corporatists love nothing more than a public that has a skewed perception of regulation.

          On a tangent, what about the Federal Reserve? Not a progressive law

          I think this thread is gargantuan enough without yet another tangent especially when you already admit it’s not a progressive agenda so what’s the point really?

          Umm..the FDA, which has become one of the most corporatized agencies in the company, without which the pharmas could not be nearly as profitable and widespread as they are (because the FDA actively goes after small time competitors), was a milestone of the progressive era. Whatever the bill was called, that’s simply historical fact. One hallmark of the progressive era was an increase in regulation of business of all types, in theory to protect consumers. (On a side note, it was FDR who signed the law effectively banning cannabis).

          So, once again… sigh… blame the corporatists for attacking the progressive agenda. With your mentality, if I was to buy a poor person a house and it later got robbed… you’d accuse me of being a thief.

          It’s an ongoing battle. The progressive agenda is under constant, unrelenting attack by corporatists… of course, you are going to find where corporatists try to game every progressive system you put into place. So do we stick a white flag in our assholes, bend over and give up? No, you keep fighting. The corporatists love nothing more than anyone who looks at nothing but the downsides of regulation. They spend a fortune trying to create libertarians, tea party “activists” and the like. That pays off, that’s for sure.

          But, as these things go, when you create a power that has the force of law behind it, shady actors will be tempted to corrupt it.

          Welcome to humanity. Sucks, huh?

          You just inadvertently showed why it’s so massively important that we continue a progressive agenda despite the odds. Without it, we’d be in a far more horrible boat right now.

          That’s what happened with the FDA, and that is why I don’t support ANY organization (private or government) being able to resort to use of violence.

          Ok…. then I suggest you teleport to the year 3000 when all of humanity has evolved. In the meantime, I’m going to deal with the institutions in our present day reality and make the best of it. It’s all you can do without giving up and crawling into a corner.

          Respectfully, I am not going to watch that Potter interview now, not because I don’t admire Moyers and think there are some interesting tidbits in it, but simply because I doubt I will hear much that I don’t know. Yes, the insurance companies are scumbags who profit from pain. It’s idiotic and predictable that the republicans support them.

          My point was….

          Many of the points you were making earlier fall right in line with the bullet points CIGNA Public Relations were pumping out to the public through every channel imaginable. When your points match up with theirs, it’s probably time to question the validity of said points. Then again, without watching that interview… you’re not going to be armed for this, so I’ll just stop here and you should too.

          Not needing fully trained MDs to provide these services, they could charge very low prices. Why don’t they?

          Because they would be killing people left and right. We have enough trouble getting fully trained MDs to wash their hands, much less Uncle Frank’s healthcare-orama.

          For instance, why have computer and software prices plummeted over the last 30 years, while health care prices have exploded? Without being too obvious, I will state that computers are totally unregulated, while health care is highly, highly regulated, and has been more so through the decades.

          Computers are completely regulated. Check out those markings underneath your computer thar. I’m happy to say I haven’t lost any family or friends to computer fires and I can thank regulation for that one. Somehow, computer manufacturers have survived the regulation.

          Microsoft has acted in an abusive manner for years and years, delivering a shoddy product with too high prices, similar to our modern health care system. People got so fed up, they created replacements for MS’s core products (OpenOffice/Abiword/Gnumeric, Linux, MySQL, etc.) for FREE! People just wanted to see the world work better. What would happen if you tried to offer free unlicensed medical services to your community, out of the good of your heart? You’d be arrested, that’s what.

          I’m sorry, offering open source software and taking out someones appendix isn’t even close to a good comparison in my book. Personally, I’m glad that unlicensed medical doctors are thrown in jail; they have a bad habit of killing people on the cheap.

          The thing that Thom Hartmann audio misses is this: the services that government provides are crucial services, this is true. But why do we have to deputize some entity to have the power to compel everyone to use it’s services, and use force if anyone doesn’t want to “buy”? Sure, we need some body that will ensure that our food is safe. But what would be wrong with a private organization, like Underwriters Laboratory, that stakes their careers and reputation on providing testing of food, for a small fee?

          But guess what keeps the UL afloat aside from the fees it charges manufacturers for product evaluation/certification? The “evil” government (see its parent non-profit status).

          Why do we have to rely on organizations that are accountable only to this gargantuan, slow political process?

          Answer:

          Because there are 6 billion people on this planet and counting and we just recently evolved from shit-throwing monkeys.

          citing the Indian freedom movement as an example of the progressive agenda seems irrelevant. That was a popular uprising against an entrenched imperialistic government power. It was not using the tools of government, but rather throwing the government off.

          Study your history a little more closely. See ‘East India Company’.

          And the civil war, that’s a whole nother discussion. But I strongly feel that it was a poor way of accomplishing what it did. They could have spent 1% of the cost to simply buy all of the slaves..

          I don’t think the slave holders would have accepted a reasonable price. And, I don’t think you thought that out very far.

          a great many other countries in the world had slavery, and they ALL, without exception, abolished it without violence.

          Not even remotely true. Slavery is synonymous with bloody rebellion throughout history. And you should go back and read what my point was anyway.

          We abolished slavery, but in the meantime, killed more people than Americans who died in all wars of the 20th century combined, and created a vast sea of resentment and anger, that poisoned the atmosphere in the south to this present day.

          Fuck the south.

          I don’t dislike Obama for being a supposed “black communist.” I dislike him for being a corporatist stooge in sheep’s clothing, just like Bush, just like Clinton, etc. etc.

          Have you ever considered Obama just might be a progressive in corporatist stooge clothing? If you think you can just waltz into public office and dismantle the elite without getting a bullet in your head… you’re nuts.

          Also, saying Clinton and Obama are “just like Bush” is once again focusing like a laser on all the negatives and completely discounting and/or disregarding all the massive progressive struggles these men have put forward.

          There you go again, throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

          law that mandates that everyone buy insurance from this mafia, etc. etc.

          See everything I’ve written about above and see if you can piece together why Obama can’t get a single payer systems pushed through in his first year of office. Your expectations are incredibly unrealistic. Thank god you’re not an advisor for Obama, he’d already be impeached somehow. There’s not any progressives who are thrilled about the mandate. I see you are participating in the new Boing Boing thread about the passage of healthcare reform. Read what everyone is saying in there about how they hold their nose, but realize it’s appeasing the corporatists in order to push towards the next steps.

          By the way, if you want insurance now you have to get it from this mafia. Baby steps, baby steps. For someone who wants peaceful change, you sure are impatient.

          The problem is just that the US Federal Government is too damned big to be controlled. Its beyond being able to be controlled by popular will (and popular will is too easy to manipuate with mass media anyway) Its power and money represents to tempting a target for those with bad intentions.

          You keep saying this, but the facts don’t back you up. If the government was completely out of control of the people, believe me… all would be lost. The reality for average Americans would be incredibly worse right now. And, once again, the voting history doesn’t back you up on this.

          As Obama said, the republicans weren’t running out to all the major networks screaming that the democrats were going to lose their seats if they voted for healthcare reform because the had a change of heart and suddenly “cared” about democrats losing their seats. They were trying to use fear to stop the progressive aspects of the bill that don’t further their corporatist agenda.

          Fortunately, the fear shit isn’t working as well as they’d like. I’m sure you’ll focus like a laser on all the negatives within the bill and blow them out of proportion for the good direction it starts to push us in… so I’ll stop here because it’s probably useless to get you to see the light. But I will say this, progressivism takes time and it takes steps. Stop looking at the end of your nose and try to look a little further down the road.

          Covering people with pre-existing conditions isn’t some nazi, fascist agenda, my friend… it’s progressivism. The best things Obama could have done for the corporatists would have been nothing… just like Bush did… nothing. Just like the republicans wanted to do… nothing.

          Baby steps… baby steps…

          Like I said – you want to support more citizen participation in government, a more robust democratic process? Fine, that’s all well and good. I won’t oppose you. In the meantime, I’m going to do my damndest to disarm and shrink that same government, so it has less destructive power if/when it falls into the wrong hands.

          The government is already in the wrong hands and it’s already in the right hands. It’s not this one dimensional monolithic structure you imagine. Once again, if you follow the voting history that tells you a lot about who to support within YOUR government. Disarm and shrink the corporatists within the government. Know your enemy.

          Now go out there and get that baby out of the bathwater before you throw it out.

          Small and micro businesses are the best hope for America,it’s true. Corporations only think about the bottom line, thus the best way to fight them is to starve them. I work assidiously to not give a penny of my money to large corporations, and encourage everyone I know to do the same.

          Hmmm… now how are you going to encourage enough people to even make a dent in corporatism without getting a bunch of money together? Reality is knocking.

          my claim that the best way to control the corporations is to disarm their hired thugs in the government.

          You do that with progressivism. I think you’re a closet progressive. Please consider that a compliment.

  28. Anonymous says:

    > It’s not a matter of regulation.

    That was indeed exactly the context in which the original Federal Reserve Act was passed. It was an effort to set up some governmental oversight on the monetary process.

    > The structure of the Federal Reserve gives private banks a great deal of say in the setting of interest rates and the expansion or contraction of the money supply.

    Before 1913 the entire process by which money was created by creditation was entirely within the hands of private banks. It was not an issue of did they have any say in anything. Of course under capitalim the wealthy rich do have a lot of say in everything that involves a federal policy. That much goes without saying and has nothing to do with the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 per se. But the formation of the Federal Reserve System in 1913 was an act of setting regulation over what had until then been a process controlled completely by private banks.

    Democrats of that time had advocated the creation of a national bank, whereas Republicans had been firmly opposed. The resulting compromise was one where the member banks within the Federal Reserve System remained as private entities while the Board of Governors which determines policy was appointed by the President and reviewed by the Senate for approval. To the extent that such a process is entwined in political corruption, we’re talking old stuff which existed long before 1913. It was not the creation of the Fed which gave any special power to rich tycoons. The creation of the Fed was a governmental regulation measure, but the government today is crooked through and through anyway.

    • zyodei says:

      Right, but before the Fed (as I understand it) there were various currencies, which provided a kind of safety mechanism. If the solid assets behind one currency became debased, it would lose popularity and people could switch to another currency.

      What the creation of the Fed did was put a government enforced monopoly on only one currency – and this currency is dis-proportionally controlled by a relatively few, politically connected big banks.

      If you try to produce a competing currency on a national scale, (even if they are clearly not Federal Reserve notes), you will have men with guns breaking down your door – as the “liberty dollar” folks found out recently.

      So, the end result is that bankers are given free reign to loot the people, particularly the not wealthy people who are not sophisticated enough to protect their assets, wages, or pensions.

      It’s possibly the largest “reverse robin hood” scheme in world history.

      • Anonymous says:

        Before the formation of the Fed it used to be a commmon thing that bank runs would occur which would cause people to loose all of their savings. A panic would start and people would rush to the bank to demand payments in gold. The panic would feed itself and it would very soon be clear that the bank did not possess the assets to bank up people’s perceived savings. Bankruptcy would then follow and all of your savings had evaporated.

        The only thing which enabled this insane lunacy to go on functioning for so long was the constant expansion to the west. As long as there was a constantly expanding frontier everything was in flux and the pace of growth meant that money-lenders who loaned out 2000 times the amount of real assets which they possessed would likely be successful at covering their posterior. Whenever the economic and monetary system in the east seemed to be destabilizing people would move to the western frontier to get away from the old economy. Sooner or later another war with the Indians would break out and the result would be huge territories opened up for new development.

        When the panic of 1907 hit that outlet was no longer possible, and people rightly saw the need to establish a national bank which would set down regulations on how far money-lenders could go in creating credit out of minimal assets. Some further regulations were passed in the 1930s, but all of that has been rolled back since 1980.

        • zyodei says:

          That is an interesting history, I would like to read more about that. Do you have any links telling that story?

          The difference between then and now is information. People sometimes talking about stodgy old libertarians wanting to “return to the 19th century”. But that really isn’t possible, because of the 21st century technology. In our current system, bodies would be set up that would monitor the assets and risk profiles of different banks. Instead of assuming a bank was safe, people would support responsible institutions after doing a bit of research – maybe similar to buying a car today.

          And, perhaps you agree, the worst situation of all is a hyperinflationary “run on the country!” Not that that is likely to happen soon, but neither is it impossible either.

  29. JIMWICh says:

    It’s been reported that Vanderburgh County prosecuting attorney Stanley Levco dropped this case and decided not to file against Redbox on March 5th.

    http://www.homemediamagazine.com/kiosk/indiana-county-drops-case-vs-kiosks-18664

    —-excerpt—
    Both Redbox and NCR praised the decision.

    “Our MovieCube kiosks operate consistent with the law and industry-wide practices for DVD vending kiosks throughout the United States,” said NCR spokesman Jeff Dudash. “It was clear that our position is supported by the public: NCR’s DVD kiosks are affordable, accessible and family-friendly entertainment options for families in Indiana, and our processes provide sufficient restrictions to age-appropriate renting.”

    Both Redbox and MovieCube kiosks require a valid credit or debit card, and ask for confirmation of age whenever an ‘R’-rated title is selected.
    “Redbox is pleased with the Vanderburgh County prosecutor’s decision to not pursue action against video rental kiosks that would seek to limit consumers’ access to films with a ‘PG-13’ or ‘R’ rating,” a company statement read.

    Paul Black, an Evansville, Ind. attorney representing the area video store owner, said he was disappointed with Levco’s decision.

    “I appreciate the fact he took a hard look at it,” he said. “A lot of guys wouldn’t have even taken a look. I don’t know where this goes from here.”

    Ted Engen, president of the Video Buyers Group (VBG), which represents more than 1,700 independent movie rentailers nationwide and has been vocal in opposing DVD kiosks, said the next step in fighting kiosks and the apparent ability for minors to access inappropriate DVDs will be taken at the state level.

    “This is far from over,” he said. “The county attorney was buried with press and attorneys, and he looked at the cost of moving forward. It was very high profile.

    “He wasn’t convinced he could get a conviction, and he didn’t think there was enough to move forward. We commend him for taking on the issue.”
    —/excerpt—

  30. Anonymous says:

    Here in Pennsylvania, the beer distributors are lobbying to keep beer sales out of supermarkets because it will corrupt our children to see demon rum on the food store shelves.

    I kid you not.

  31. ill lich says:

    Since when does “level the playing field” mean “cut out a competitor?”

    • k2 says:

      Since when does “level the playing field” mean “cut out a competitor?”

      That’s the long version — it should read “level the competitor.”

      Remember, Indiana’s the weird state where the governor sells off stuff like highways and gets re-elected. Trial balloons are being lofted for his potential run at the presidency…

      captcha: among wounds

  32. JohnCJ says:

    For those who think that the law is moot since children don’t have credit cards, what if Redbox starts accepting Kwedit? :)

  33. coldspell says:

    Government is like a nuclear bomb. It is difficult but crucial to find the right balance between deterrence and disarmament. Without deterrence, corporations run wild. But without disarmament, government’s power corrupts and profits those who wield it.

  34. Cowicide says:

    A few examples, OK: The whole department of agriculture, designed to help out struggling farmers that has actually become a welfare program for giant agro-corporations; the FDA, which has provided a cover for shifty pharma practices and given them a virtual monopoly and price setting power over a huge market;

    How is that an example of a progressive law and/or entity in action? That’s corporatist collusion in action. Not a progressive agenda like a single payer system or child labor laws. I was asking you to name examples of progressive laws on the books that are ruining America. I’d honestly like to see them.

    compulsory public education that has resulted in a stupified, poorly educated populace and a diminishment of private schools, etc.

    How is massively underfunded public education a “progressive” agenda? I suspect the problem here is we define progressive values differently than one another. I think corporatists love nothing more than an undereducated public to produce happier, more subservient, ignorant slave workers. Not a progressive agenda there.

    The general rule of most rules that hamper business is that large corporations can hire lawyers or accountants to find loopholes (or hire lobbyists to write them into the laws) or simply break the laws and pay some small fine, while small businesses that might one day become big are stifled. Thus, while it is not universally true, many regulations have had the effect of cementing the hold of large corporations.

    Correct… breaking laws, ripping people off, killing people, dealing out cash for ensuing lawsuits, etc. is merely “cost of business” for more than a few large corporations. They prove it over and over again.

    Two side points – an single payer initiative, passed in the current environment, would simply be a massive transfer of wealth from the people to the pharmaceutical corps (or an institutionalization of a transfer process that is already in place.)

    I think you might be confusing a traditional single payer system with the bastardized “public option” being touted by the corporatists. I would reiterate the huge differences between the two, but you can refer to my previous post instead and/or investigate it further yourself. It’s like comparing a surgery to an execution. Nearly completely different.

    In reality, most medicine should be so cheap that it can simply be given away (I’m talking about the plants and herbs that most pharmaceuticals are based on, and that can substitute for pharmaceuticals a majority of the time, and the nutritional deficiencies that are the root of the current public health crisis).

    Yes, but we aren’t just talking about randomly digging up plants here. Research is expensive and will always be because it’s typically time consuming and requires people with higher skill levels and much more training than the average plant digger. I think the corporatist patent system is a huge factor, but that’s for another discussion.

    Until some of the fundamental restrictions on the economic supply of medicine are reversed, it is foolish to just put the whole stinking mess on uncle sam’s credit card.

    Hmmm…. and it’s been working so beautifully otherwise? It’s been a downward spiral (at least its effect on average Americans). You do realize that the definition of insanity is attempting the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

    Corporations don’t typically self-regulate, they regulate public opinion and will continue to do whatever they want as long as they can manufacture consent. If the public (through government) doesn’t put their ass to the fire, we end up with pure fascism, child laborers, more environmental disasters… the horrible list goes on and on… you name it. We only need to look at the sordid history of modern corporations to know what they’ll do without enough public scrutiny.

    And, on a side note, i disagree that the current economic crisis is wholly the result of the “free market”. There are several reasons for this, which I went into in response to Cory’s post on “Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay”..in effect, the investment banks that caused the crisis were basically fascist entities, acting with government support and government “safety nets” should they fall. So, they took huge risks, knowing they wouldn’t lose their shirts if it all collapsed.

    Right… and what part of that was the fault of some ideological progressive agenda in action? It was the opposite… it was and is fascism in action as you said. You see, when I say corporatism and corporatists, I’m referring to fascism and fascists. To me, they are basically one and the same. You may define it differently.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

    But, I think that you think we are more ideologically different than we are. Is the news media corporatiest? Yes, I agree wholeheartedly. It may embrace a few kernels of liberal principles – gay rights generally, more government whenever possible, etc.. And it may embrace a few kernels of conservative principles – less government and deregulation – where it is convenient for the corporations. Both sides are dangerous, because they offer a kernel of truth and wisdom wrapped in thick swabs of deception and lies, that can draw people in and then confuse them.

    Not much argument there, except I don’t think “conservative principles” (an oxymoron) have proven themselves to be less government and deregulation as apposed to much more government with much less corporate regulation. Very corporatist, very fascist. Conservatives may say otherwise, but their actions speak much louder than words. For evidence, I offer you the last 8 years of near complete conservative rule and its dire effects.

    For instance, the military has always had some degree of privatization in the past, but the conservative Bush administration took it to ridiculous levels and it has not only cost lives but our reputation worldwide as well. It’ll be decades before we can repair that harm. And, the kicker? They cost more than the military in taxes. Much more. WTF??? Compare what that fuckbag Prince of Blackwater got paid (with our taxes) to General Petraeus who oversaw more than 160,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Look at it. Just look at it.

    If the tea baggers were up in arms about that bullshit, I’d at least have some minute respect for them. But the corporatists will never let the tea baggers in on that little “secret” without a heavy dosing of propaganda sprinkles to sweeten up and polish that wasted tax turd.

    For instance the tea party movement has many nobles sentiments behind it, remember that it rose out of public furor about the massively corrupt TARP plan.

    To me, that’s pretty naive and idealistic. Let’s get real. The tea party rose initially out of racism and ignorance. They didn’t start really screaming until a black man took the helm of TARP from Bush. The didn’t seem to fear the government very much until a black man took the helm of the presidency. The tea party is full of ignorant people who think Obama raised their taxes (when he cut them) and believe this because they readily (and unwittingly) absorb shiny corporatist lies pumped to them by Fox news, right wing radio and the like. The tea party is full of unwitting corporatists pawns at best and racists at worst.

    The only thing noble about the tea party is a healthy distrust of the government, but its roots beyond that are hardly noble. At least distrust the government for the right reasons for fuck’s sake.

    I liked them better when they just followed the “macho” Bush, Jr. motif and were phronemophobic. Nothing spells trouble like an ignorant, radicalized populace unknowingly stirred up in the interests of corporatists… by corporatists.

    Unfortunately, to the extent that it is “led” by the Becks and Palins of the world, it is completely neutralized and represents to threat to anybody..which is a shame.

    I think we look at the tea party much differently, so I’ll stop here.

    Liberals often argue that we just need to take back the government from corporations and the monied interests. I feel that this is a pipe dream.

    It’s been accomplished over and over again. It’s no pipe dream, it’s the reality of progression. It may be slower than you like, but non-violent, lasting progression is almost never an “overnight sensation” like flashy, temporary, violent overthrows.

    It was not only pure racism that caused the oppression of minorities back in the day, it was to a greater extent the monied interests that enjoyed the fruits of free labor, etc. If society thought putting a stop to the monied interests that drove slavery was merely a pipe dream, then where would we be today? In the shitter, that’s where. Put that in your pipe dream and smoke it.

    We have 100 senators, 364 reps, and how many aren’t corporate stooges? Like, a dozen?

    Not even a dozen. If you aren’t a “corporate stooge” at some level or another it’s absolutely impossible to get elected. People base their decisions on who to vote for by what they learn from TV and other media outlets. If you don’t have enough money to get on TV and defend yourself on TV and other media, you won’t exist for the electorate… much less win a seat.

    That said, life is far more complex than that. Sure, every last one of them has to “play the game” to some extent to get in the door, but you have to look at their voting record among many other things. The sad fact is many democrats at the lower levels sacrifice their political careers to fight for the American public at their own peril and it’s a completely thankless act (they don’t even end up with cushy jobs and lots of money afterwards). If anything, because of the choices they make they can’t get funding and can’t defend themselves on TV and end up with a horrible, unwarranted public perception created ironically by the very people who ritually fuck over the public (but have enough money from doing it).

    If you look at a lot of the “brave” republicans that go against “public opinion” and lose their seats… they end up spending the rest of their lives reaping the benefits of the corporatist graces. They end up rich as shit, the public be damned.

    Air America is a great example of this type of shit where they couldn’t get the same kind of funding that the right wing media pulls in because they weren’t corporatist enough. Yet, there’s many Americans who got false information unknowingly from corporatist media and ironically despised Air America because of this manufactured ignorance.

    It’s really aggravating to continuously hear an ignorant electorate continuously compare the democrats as the same as the republicans except on social issues. The truth of the matter is that many democrats are far less corporatist than the republicans and their voting records prove it. I wish people would look far more at voting records than the corporatist boob tube that tells them what to think. I know it’s more complex than the voting record, but it sure is a good start.

    When has the American ever not been run by corporate stooges? Maybe JFK and a lesser extent Eisenhower and FDR weren’t, but other than them..it’s hard to find anyone.

    Then you’re not really looking. Voting records. Look at them. Just look at them.

    Look, we just had an election where the clear mandate of the people was and end to the corporate cronyism of the Bush era. The will of the people could not have been more clear. And what do we get? Oh, more corporate cronyism and war.

    I don’t agree with that. It would have been a clear mandate if the American public had swept in far more democrats into the Senate and House. When Obama won and everyone was celebrating, I was bereaved because it was a half-ass mandate. I blame the American public for this who didn’t bother to vote or even learn how their system of government works in order to know that they desperately needed to sweep the Senate and House to keep the republican/blue dog democrat corporatists at bay. They also needed to do this to keep the rest of the democrats ass to the fire with responsibility for the government (where they can’t blame obstructionist republicans for corporatist legislation and/or stalling).

    Personally, I think the American public failed and we are now facing the repercussions of that failure. Yes, I said it… if the truths hurts, then so be it. With a true mandate, we’d already have a true single payer system in the works by now instead of a corporatist “public option” farce in its place. But as far as war goes, the military industrial complex is a much tougher nut to crack even with a clear mandate, it’s incredibly “entrenched” and I’ll stop at that as it lends itself to an entirely different discussion.

    Certainly, corporations, while they may provide some useful services, are no friends of liberty – and nothing is more dangerous than when they take control of government.

    Agreed.

    My main disagreement with you is the implicit belief that there is some divide between corporations and government – that they are somehow at odds. They aren’t, and they haven’t been for a long time. I applaud any efforts to seperate them, but I believe that it is futile.

    If it was futile then our children would still be working in factories… child labor laws and a host of other progressions we’ve made would never have… progressed. Your life would certainly be much crappier than it is now in this country if it was and continues to be “futile”, I can assure you of that.

    Corporations and government go hand in hand; government acts as the armed enforcers to the corporations.

    Our government (thank God) is far more complex than that. Despite your nihilist beliefs, the facts show that the government has been and still is influenced by our however flawed elections and general will of the people. It’s a giant, but slow moving force that can be missed if you don’t look close enough. It’s an ongoing struggle and certainly isn’t a lost cause. If our government was truly only an armed enforcer of corporations and nothing more, I can assure you I would not be sitting here typing… I’d be out fighting in armed combat defending our homeland with millions of other patriots. It would be outright war… thankfully, the corporatists know that too.

    I don’t support “shrinking” the government; instead, I support simply removing its guns.

    We tried that. It was called massive deregulation under the last Bush administration. It was an unmitigated disaster and we are reeling in the effects of it right now.

    Hoping to reform government is like trying to tame a fierce man eating tiger to be a good house pet that plays well with children.

    Hoping to reform corporations without government is futile and only leads to outright fascism. History is on my side with this.

    Thanks for discussing this with me.

  35. zyodei says:

    Alright man, this conversation is pretty much over. I made crystal clear in my last post that I generally like progressives, and support their vision of the world. I simply disagree with the tactics, and don’t believe that government is the best way to achieve that vision.

    Let me reiterate: progressives are not generally lame people. What is usually lame is the idea of creating new bureaucracies and granting the government new powers, no matter how noble the stated intentions might seem.

    I concede the point about Bush, and apologize for my error. I honestly did spend quite a bit of time searching google, and couldn’t find anything except the financial stuff. But there was significant environmental rollbacks, and the slew of “last minute” changes.

    For the record, I would be damned curious to go back to the 1800s and see what it was like. From what I understand, literacy in 1840 was higher than today and the people were generally a hardier, more industrious breed. Of course, there were pockets of hell, just as there are today. But who knows exactly what life was like back then for the average person? How much of the difference came from policy, and how much from technology?

    I strongly believe that the abundance of information in the current day makes regulation less necessary. So it’s a little hard to compare the current day to the 1800s.

    I’m sorry cowicide, but you seem to refuse to consider my arguments logically, so I am not going to waste any more time.

    Once again, look at every item around you. Almost certainly all made in Asia. Who knows the workplace environments they were made in? 90 hour weeks, child labor, who knows? OSHA/EPA etc. has little relevancy to the vast majority of what we purchase today. This is not saying that OSHA/EPA is bad, just that it is not so effective in the real world.

    The percentage of goods manufactured by corporations in OSHA/EPA regulated workplaces is probably near 0%. Simply because they all moved offshore. So, these laws will affect mostly small manufacturers who are not sophisticated enough to outsource. Not by the intent of these laws, that’s just what ended up happening. Corporations are skilled and experienced at avoiding and escaping regulations. Now, given the choice to repeal them today, would I do so? No, but they simply aren’t really that effective in the modern world.

    So, back to the original issue. You really don’t think that the high licensing and regulatory barriers increase the cost of medical services at all? Are you serious? Where did you get your economics from?

    Can you name any non-regulated profession that serves the public directly that charges anywhere near what doctors charge? Even anywhere close?

    Your argument holds true for brain surgeons. But why do you need with 20 years experience to give stitches, order a test, write a basic prescription, etc?

    Your argument stems from what I consider the one undercurrent of progressive thought that I most strongly dislike: a distrust in people to make their own decisions and take care of themselves.

    If you can point me in the direction of a clinic run by doctors who have some training and experience, but at a sub-MD level; who have a clean facilities, and a good standing and reputation in the community for providing low cost non-emergency services, I would be delighted. I would very likely use their services, and I would concede the point.

    But you can’t, because it would be illegal. Anybody offering low-cost, non-licensed medical services would by definition be doing so clandestinely on the black market. It is no surprise that their quality would be poor.

    But hell, in our current heavily regulated system, with licensed physicians, years, of training, years of experience..50,000-200,000 are killed per year. Another astonishingly high number are killed by FDA approved pharmaceuticals.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1117251/

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/11856.php

    Not by lack of funding, not by lack of access, not by lack of insurance, not by lack of training in the doctors. By the current medical system itself.

    Who will pay to dig their graves? How much protection do these licenses and regulations really give us? Frankly, how could a system based not on artificial licenses but by earned reputation do any worse?

    And, finally, is the best choice at this juncture to whip out uncle sam’s credit card to ensure that every American receives this “service?”

    Or should we first reevaluate the whole system from the very foundations?

  36. Anonymous says:

    > giving the bankers any control over the money supply

    That is not what the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 did. Private banks operated totally without regulation before 1913 and never observed any type of reserve requirements. The act of 1913 imposed some regulations on what had until then been a completely privatized game. We’ve had a lot of deregulation since 1980, but that’s a different issue.

    • zyodei says:

      It’s not a matter of regulation. The structure of the Federal Reserve gives private banks a great deal of say in the setting of interest rates and the expansion or contraction of the money supply. This is outrageous.

  37. zyodei says:

    Roughly two years, give or take. Why do you ask?

  38. Anonymous says:

    http://www.wfie.com/Global/story.asp?S=12090484

    “You won’t see him no more.” -GoodFellas, rated R.

  39. zyodei says:

    I might be talking in metaphors, but I am dead serious.

    We just finished a century where more than 200,000,000 died as a result of governments. Not as a result of corporations, as a result of governments. Most of which claimed power with the promise of solving society’s problems, helping out the little guy, and protecting him from the rapacious capitalists. But, I argue, they all died as a result of the intellectual construct that it is OK to deputize a group of people to use unlimited violence to achieve social ends.

    Not that this is a reflection of progressive policy or goals. But if you support giving more money to the government, which might one day be turned from butter into guns, then..it’s playing with fire. (and, as I have stated above, even the butter can have unintended consequences).

    No, governments are not full of ordinary people. They are full of people with guns – or people trying to decide what the people with the guns should do. And I’m sorry, I don’t trust people with guns. Many of the people might be well intentioned. Some not so well intentioned. As a group, they have an exclusive right to the unlimited use of violence to achieve whatever ends are agreed upon. It’s a group of people who sometimes work together and sometimes fight each other to decide how to impose their will on society. I’m sure there are many fine people in government with the best intentions, but this is simply a terrible way of organizing society.

    For the record, it’s not that the system is too complex, but rather too simple. It boils down to this: The side with more money usually wins.

    I am certainly not uninvolved in politics. I write congresspeople, write letters to editors, talk about politics a lot with friends, etc. I am, however, not involved in the process of trying to get the guns of government pointed at my enemies, which you seem to think is sum total of the political process. I am instead involved in trying to disarm government, before this same enemy has the chance to take those guns for his own use. At this point in time, I see that as the highest priority.

    Most liberals I know think it’s a bad idea to have a gun in the house, because what if the robber gets a hold of it? But, they don’t see that there’s the same danger in a powerful central government. What if a strong central government with great power over commerce and people’s lives comes into being, and after a time, all the important levers of power are held by the corporatists? What then?

    I want a system where we abhor and reject violence and coercion on all levels. No matter who is doing it or claiming a right to do so. That is the sum total of what I want, and devote my life energy to achieving.

    ——-

    This is a tangent: You cite a few times the “deregulatory” hands off nature of the Bush administration. You clearly follow news closely. So, can you name 3 solid instances where Bush clearly rolled back regulations, or curtailed the general invasiveness and size of government?

    I can name one important one, very early on in 2001: the “Commodity Futures Modernization Act”. It played an important role in the financial crisis. Other than that, and a generally lax stance on the finance sector in general (carried over from Clinton).. can you name two more instances where GWB reduced or rolled back the size of scope of government? Just a quick check.

    Now, GWB did make government more evil, of that there is no question. Less for the people, more for the corporations – sure. But did he make it smaller, weaker, etc.? No, no he didn’t. That’s simply political dogma, unless you can prove me wrong.

    This supports my central thesis: of all possible situations, the situation that the corporations have the most to gain from is one in which exists a very large, expensive, invasive government that they can exert a high degree of control over.

    Now, of course you will say, that’s why we need the people to be actively involved. But what if they fail? What if the corporate interests, who hold all the money, are simply able to flood the system with money, lobbyists, and paid operatives and take effective control over the course of, say, a decade? How to prevent that happening? Isn’t that what basically happened in the 00s, despite massive, sustained, and organized public opposition? Why take the chance of that happening again?

    Creating a powerful central government is playing with fire.

    ————

    My thoughts on medicine are basically this. US medicine is fundamentally broken. It is based on the consumer mindset – you have a problem, you buy a solution. The health crisis in this problem is primarily a nutrition problem, stemming from the revolution in American food over the last 30 years.

    Have you heard anyone, on either side of the aisle or the TV, mention this glaring fact, the elephant in the living room? No.

    It is also a crisis of information: people have been led to believe that there is only one very limited field of medicine that has any effect for all conditions. This is largely the result of medical advertising on several levels, but the government has played a role too.

    So, you cite a study that a lack of insurance kills 45,000 people a year. I might point out that the study was penned by an single payer advocacy group rather than impartial researchers, ends with a political appeal, and that the 45,000 number is the high estimate. No matter, let’s go with that.

    Now, I will accept that statement: in our current system, all else being equal, with the only variable being universal insurance/no insurance, the first option, universal insurance, is clearly better.

    But these narrow bounds are basically the limits of the debate set by the corporate media. The Republicans support the status quo, while the democrats support more government coverage. It’s been said that if you want to be sure to win a debate, set the terms before hand.

    Let’s look at our current system a little more closely:

    1) If you need a prescription, you must go to a doctor who will charge you $100s of dollars to “authorize” you to receive the prescription, even if you already know what you need and they don’t do anything else other than sign a piece of paper.

    2) Most prescriptions receive artificial price support through “intellectual property” laws and laws designed to discourage people from importing cheap drugs from abroad (in an era where we import cheap everything else from abroad.) Other laws make it impossible to sell or market substances without spending literally millions of red tape, an amount only the large corporations can come up with.

    3) Anyone who wants to do anything medical, no matter how simple, must pass years of rigorous and exorbitantly expensive instruction, even if the patient would rather opt for someone less experienced and less costly for simple procedures.

    I could go on and on for about ten points, but I won’t.

    The point is that the outrageously high costs of American medicine stem to a large extent from the existing laws and regulations, rather than as a natural product of the market. There are many, many ways government policy increases price of medicine – to the point where you need “insurance” just to get some simple antibiotics that cost $.50 to manufacture.

    Insurance sharks simply step in and manipulate this situation for their own profit.

    You can’t blame the free market for the current medical predicament, because there is no free market in medicine

    There is a largely unregulated free market, for instance, in “supplements”..and I’d say the average price for most of them is about a dime a pill. And yet the death toll from “regulated” pharmaceuticals vs. “unregulated” supplements is 100,000 a year vs. 5.

    Or, as you would put it, 100,000 REAL PEOPLE who die each year from our ass backwards medical system.

    And please, don’t compare the regulation on computers to the regulation of medicine. There are a few manufacturing guidelines..RF emissions or whatever. But in our world, anybody who can demonstrate the skill can walk in and legally take any job in any computer field. You don’t even need a high school degree if you are smart enough. This is radically different from medicine, where you can’t fart in a white labcoat without at least ten years of higher education/residency. The levels of regulation between the two fields is incomparable. Just about anyone can do anything in computers freely, but almost all actions within the field of medicine, even small ones, require licenses, regulatory hurdles, paperwork, etc.

    If you don’t think big medi loves this current situation, where their profits are propped up by government edict in a thousand ways, you are living in fantasyland. The AMA has worked for years to make it harder to become an MD, thus restricting the supply of doctors, thus increasing the paycheck of existing doctors. It’s no accident that, on the corporate media channels that set the tone of the debate that both sides follow, any talk of less regulation, or even mention of the blatantly obvious connection between high regulation and high prices, is simply verboten and never brought up.

    Back to the story.

    So, we spend about 40 years letting increasing government regulations slowly and inexorably ratchet up the price of medicine.

    Then we pass either the current “Obamacare” or a single payer bill, which would have two effects: A) generally locking in the current price level of services, hospitals, pills, etc. for a generation (because a single payer bill that paid out medical prices as they would be without the artificial price supports built up over the last generation would simply be too politically painful to pass) B) dissuading people from seeking medical answers outside the realm of AMA sanctioned medicine.

    Do you think “big medi” is really opposed to this idea? This idea that will lock in their 16% of GDP for a generation, maybe reduced a percentage point or two..but still with a massive amount of money being sloshed around?

    No, they have everything to gain from the job security that would come from this plan..and a lot to lose as torrent of information on the Internet reduces the need for doctors to answer basic questions and helps people stop the underlying behaviors that lead to illness.

    Frankly, I consider most of our current medical system to be backwards and barbaric. I mean, it doesn’t have a cure for the common cold, which is easy to cure..it doesn’t admit the existence of chi (which I have, in several blindfolded experiments with friends, been able to demonstrate the existence of with 90+% accuracy.) For the most part, it’s utterly moronic and backwards, and in need of fundamental reforms that are never talked about in the (corporate) media sanctioned debate.

    90% of our medicine should be preventive. The most important tool of the medical community should be information, teaching people to take care of their own health so they don’t get sick and don’t need to see the doctor. This is an approach that would revolutionize American medicine, and over a generation improve the health of everybody and save the economy trillions of dollars in wasted money.

    That is the “reform” we need, and it’s way deeper than anything being talked about today.

    But unfortunately, there’s no money to be made from this. Those trillions of dollars in wasted money are trillions of dollars that will otherwise go into someone’s pockets. Huge companies would fall, doctors wouldn’t be able to charge $500 an hour for punching numbers into a computer, pharmaceuticals wouldn’t be worth $100 a pill, etc.

    Thus, I feel, the push for universal healthcare now. The money made by doctors and pharmaceutical giants might be less in this system, sure, but they would not be substantially reduced. Everyone would keep their jobs, even if their paycheck was coming from uncle sam and the government contracting process and was 10 or 20% less.

    And thus my argument for why even single payer health care could potentially fall right into the lap of one of the largest moneyed interests in our society.

    Government organizations are just naturally slow to change. They have a very high inertia. By their nature, they respond to changing situations and realities quite slowly. The more we put our medical care in the hands of government bodies, and the more we allow government to meddle with all types of medicine, even those that it doesn’t fund directly… the more slow progress will be. Please, I invite you to prove me wrong on this point. Show me some amazing innovations or breakthrough that have come from socialized systems of any kind in any country. I would be really curious.

    Imagine this scenario: possibly hundred of millions of hours of effort and energy, the best years of the lives of thousands of bright, idealistic, young people devoted to the cause, writing letters, agitating to their congressman, etc. etc…and the end result, after all is said and done, is something that further enriches the medical establishment and retards the progress of human medicine for a generation. Now that’s a depressing thought.

    ————————–

    For the record, I have lived for two years now in a country with universal medicine. When I sprained my ankle, it was really good. Quick X-Ray, in out in 15 minutes, cheap..just a great experience, way better than America. But for being sick? It’s incredibly stupid. Like, idiocracy stupid. Every friend I’ve had who has gone to their ‘free’ doctor has come back with antibiotics. Bacterial, viral, common cold, even H1N1..I shit you not, they have been prescribed, to a person, antibiotics. every sinlge one. The hospital is an antibiotic dispensing machine.

    No talk of preventative care, no talk of diet or rest or water or anything..never! just antibiotics, and often a bunch of other weird and unnecessary pills. I know three people here who went to the ‘free’ hospital with a relatively minor ailment, and ended up sick for 3 weeks or more because the doctor just gave them a load of pills after examining them for two minutes.

    In this country (S. Korea), the older folks take great care of their health, eat very well, have all sorts of cheap and effective remedies, have working knowledge of chinese medicine, and are generally in really amazing health (the median age on the rigorous trails around here seems to be about 60).

    The younger generation, conditioned in this society of ‘free’ socialized medicine, eat a bunch of junk food, and whenever there is the first sign of a cough or a cut finger, say “hospital, hospital.” Nobody has a clue about proper diet or how to heal themselves.

    It’s sad.

    ————————–

    Your reply shows just why I dislike progressive politics so much: you seem to believe that the only way to have an effect on the world is to try and steer the ship of state. This is all well and good, but frankly, it is no replacement for an active civic life in the immediate world around you. Perhaps your efforts would be better spent out in the real world informing people, building organizations that solve people’s problems, and helping people find answers in life outside of the corporate mind mold.

  40. zyodei says:

    Sorry, a final PS. You asked me repeatedly to name a single progressive agenda that furthered the corporate agenda. It’s a little obvious, but: yeah, that health care bill that passed two years ago. It throws a few bones to the people, but by and large it is a huge boon to the entire medical industry. Within the media delimited lines of the debate, it might help people in some ways, but the ultimate result will be to make it generally harder and less attractive for people to simply walk away from the whole rotten system. It is a fine example of corporations hiring the guns of government.

    Just as libertarian measures carry the risk of only being partially enacted, just those parts that most benefit the corporations; progressive measures have that same risk.

    If, in several years time, if a single payer system is enacted that truly honors the free choice of each American to choose exactly what they consider medicine to be, I will eat my words. Until then, a huge progressive momentum has resulted in a net win for the entrenched corporations. People can fume and express their disappointment, but as I see it, they got suckered by the corporations. Call me jaded, but I really do feel that it will be a long, long time coming before the “health care reform II” bill that actually takes power away from the medical corporations comes to pass.

    When that bill comes, if the politicians are actually looking out for the well being of Americans, it would combine both a radical deregulation of the whole strangled-in-red-tape industry for those who choose to pay out of pocket, along with a single payer system that covers any variety of care that individuals themselves actually desire for those who choose to participate. A libertarian-liberal hybrid. That, I could get behind.

  41. davy_k says:

    Redbox is playing pool just as dirty as these folks. Let’s not pretend that they’re somehow innocent and virtuous, whereas the people trying to edge them out are greedy and corrupt. Redbox is owned and financed by CoinStar, who operates Redbox at a colossal loss. Why? It’s not benevolence or goodwill – it’s to put the other video stores out of business.

    Imagine if Redbox succeeds, and is the last significant player on the field. Do you imagine they’ll still be benevolent and generous? Or will they jack up their prices since they’re the only game in town?

    It’s a competitive market. Each player in it will use whatever tools are at his disposal to dominate that market. If video stores can’t afford to run at a staggering loss like Redbox does, they’ll use what they can – in this case legislative pressure. On the face of it that may seem really odious, but if you scratch a little deeper, it’s just business.

  42. zyodei says:

    Dear Cowicide,

    Just to let you know, I did read and consider every word. We may disagree on many things, but it is good that we both recognize what the challenges facing society are. Thank you for the detailed response. You are free to respond to this and read it, but in the interests of feeding my family, I probably won’t write another ;)

    I stand by the core of my belief: Many broad regulations raise the barrier to entry in the market, creating a real pain in the butt for small businesses but relatively little discomfort for the big guys.

    In general, I have a great deal of trust in individuals to make their own decisions – maybe I’m idealistic. For instance, if Frank’s health-o-rama was killing people, it wouldn’t stay in business. I really do feel that a lot of consumer safety regulations are basically redundant, and provide a false sense of security for people. But then, I am of the generation used to assiduously researching any purchase before making it and doing my best to reject advertising, I suppose I am not representative of the population as a whole.

    Thus, my belief that government regulation and interference is a huge cause of the high cost of health care in this country. Hell, the current system already kills at least 100,000 people a year through side effects – that’s a lot in my book. If my decision is to accept a higher level of risk for a lower price, that should absolutely be my right.

    I don’t feel that all government programs are bad – although many have unintended and difficult to predict side effects. I am not like some Glen Beck nutter, “progressivism is the cancer eating America.” But when I think of the useful government programs, I think of a Mafia Don driving through the Sicilian countryside handing out bread, building schools. Sure, it’s good, but it’s done to buy the support of the public so that greater evil can be done. The US Federal government, taken as a whole, I believe to be the most evil actor in the world today. Of course, I include the military and intelligence agencies in that.

    Maybe the government is not a monolith, but it largely is funded from the same place. People don’t support, say, eliminating the income tax, and starving the military industrial complex, because they don’t know what we would do without all these necessary services. Of course, my desire is to defund and end the empire..it is just a debate about what is the most effective means of doing that.

    I simply feel that the preference should be to provide government services at as local a level as possible, and with as much choice as possible – so that an active, participatory democratic process can be most effective. I think that giving too much power to a largely unaccountable federal creature is playing with fire.

    So let me say, I am not agitating to remove, say, food stamps or whatever. Of course, in a perfect society, I wouldn’t support them – purely because the money used to provide them is not collected voluntarily. But, absolutely removing services like these is so far down the list of priorities that it shouldn’t even be considered now. And some things, like trust-busting, seem hard to accomplish without government intervention. Absolutely, the vast corporate welfare in its many forms is the biggest problem now, I agree wholeheartedly. Even so, it is worth examining the potential side effects of any program.

    I suppose I do really disagree with you about the Democratic party. I think they are simply friends of different parts of the corporotacracy – big agriculture and finance, for instance. I don’t think they’ve done an “amazing” job, because corporations are more powerful than ever. For a variety of reasons, they’ve lost my trust. But that’s neither here nor there. I do apologize for what I said about Pelosi’s husband – I was instead talking about Feinstein’s husband, and the reality is not quite what I wrote. He is not a lobbyist, rather, he is a beneficiary of military contracts through his investments.

    Any initiative to shift money from corporate pockets to individuals, I support. But that doesn’t make me think that starving the whole government is not a bad idea. I simply don’t see how corporations could use violence or force in society if there were no coercive governments in place that had the possibility of being manipulated. Of course, I do recognize that piecemeal starving of only those parts that are inconvenient to the corporations is a very bad thing, and there is the danger of this being carried out under a libertarian banner.

    But what can I say. I guess I have a great faith in humanity to see through the bullshit and advertising, to come together in voluntarily creating a better world on an individual level, without needing to give their power to anybody they don’t know face to face. Maybe I’m naive and idealistic, I will admit that that is probably the greatest flaw of libertarianism/anarchism. But I don’t think we will have to wait 1000 years before humanity comes to that point, I think it will come much sooner. :)

    Cheers,
    Sasha

  43. Bloo says:

    “There has grown in the minds of certain groups in this country the idea that just because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with guaranteeing such a profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is supported by neither statute or common law. Neither corporations or individuals have the right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.”

    From the story “Life-Line” by Robert Heinlein (Wikipedia article)

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