February 27, 2005

Ahhh... Memories
— Ace

I used to post quite a bit in The Perfect World. One of my favorite past-times there was to insult Europeans and Canadians.

If you'll indulge me, I wrote this not at all fair-and-balanced reply to a European correspondent whining about American power and unilateralism:

Europe is safe because you are a weak-willed, disarmed, defeated people who have are in the strange position of not needing a military only because America has served as your defacto army for 50 years.

You have the childish idea that your freedom and safety come through your "enlightened views" and "diplomacy" and "mutually-reassuring treaties." Nope. Your freedom and security derive from the United States.

You think that your fairy-land solutions can work for us. No, they can't work for us. We are not born appeasers like you are; we have not been emasculated by living for 50 years as client states. You gave up your sovereignty and nationhood long ago; we held on to ours, and we intend to keep it.

Canada, like Europe, puts great faith in being a "soft power." A "soft power" is dependent on the power and strength of America for its freedom and security; and it also doesn't have enough military force (or economic force, for that matter) to make a difference in the world. Hence, Canada is safe. Who would think of attacking Canada?

Who, for that matter, would notice if Canada were attacked?

We do not have the luxury, as you do, of being not-worth-attacking. We ARE worth attacking (as was rather demonstrably proven through the nineties, culminatinat on 9/11), and our thinking must of course be shaped by this reality.

Our reality. Our reality in which we are the First and Last Targets of Terrorism.

Not your pitiful, wretched, ultrafeminized reality, in which no one would bother attacking you at all, because frankly, you don't stand for anything at all. Destroying you would advance no cause, for you neither champion nor thwart any cause.

You simply continue to live in your socialist, America-subsidized dream-world. And that's fine.

But do me a favor. Stop telling Americans to join you in that dream-world. We don't have the fucking luxury.

Edit: I thought better of reposting something else. Funny, yeah, but bound to be taken the wrong way by some.

Posted by: Ace at 12:06 PM | Comments (118)
Post contains 385 words, total size 2 kb.

1 Playing a character? That is about the funniest shit I've ever read. Right up there with whoreblogging. Even better.

Now let me share with you something that is relevant to this post (at least to me).

My sister's married to [a Norther European] from Finland. The dipshit spent Christmas here where I live in the South (they live in San Jose, CA, the moonbat capital of the world). Anyway, my sister has lost her mind (according to my parents, who are traditional conservatives and she's a raging moonbat, as is her husband).

Here's a couple of pleasant Christmas 2004 memories I can share, from my [European] brother-in-law (who happens to be a very wealthy, well-educated ASIC programmer, and not a US citizen):

1) "I think it it's great, the stem-cell research vote in California. It puts us way ahead of the curve." I retorted, "but yes, that may be so, but what about the masses of people that consider the willfull destruction of human embroyos for research murder, or at least wrought wtih ethical problems? And using public funds, no less. Aren't you aware that this stuff is already legal by private money? Why would you want your state, which is already in financial distress, to throw money at questionable research that the private sector won't touch?" He said, "Who decides the right and wrong? We have separation of church and state in this country." I said, "That's funny, coming from someone who is a citizen of a country that has STATE SPONSORED RELIGION (Evengelical Lutheran Church of Finland)." Dumbass.

2) I later asked non-US-citizen [Scandavian]: "What about the major split in your Lutheran church? There's the far left, progressive church and the conservative one in Germany. It seems your country's Lutheran church has gone the opposite direction from the one upon it was founded." Answer from idiot: "Huh? I don't know what you're talking about."

Yes, memories, memories indeed. I've had more than my fill of these idiots. One thing I can say is that the guy loves my sister, cares deeply for her and would do her no harm, so I am happy for her. But he's a moonbat dipshit, nonetheless, at least social-awareness speaking.

Thanks for this beautiful post, Ace. You made my day, and turned some of the worst memories of this past holiday into something I could feel better about.

Consider this post of yours has lifted my spirit, really. So even if you have offended half the planet, it was worth it for me.

KCTrio

[Ace's Edit: I posted something I thought better of and then took it down. It was an over-the-top screed against Scandavians.

KCTrio picked up on one of the jokes I used and used it in his comment. As my joke is deleted, I edited it out of KC's, because 1) it would now look like he was using this language on his own without all the defensive explanations I provided and 2) quite frankly, since I thought better of using the language myself, I didn't think it should be in a post, either.

It was a funny rant but I think it was "Too Hot for Blogging." Maybe I'll link it or repackage it somehow... perhaps as an essay by Rich "Psycho" Giamboni or something.]

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 12:35 PM (S8sox)

2 Too hot? Nothing is too hot. You could riff on the euro-bats 7x24x365 and they'd deserve every bit of it.

Posted by: TonyI at February 27, 2005 01:20 PM (fKj9/)

3 ummmm... this was really over-the-top.

Posted by: ace at February 27, 2005 01:28 PM (/E3cY)

4 REPOST IT, MOTHERFUCKER.

(I'm pushing my luck here: you corrected the Barone thing on my say-so, maybe you'll do this. Remember - you're the Ace of Fucking Spades, what do you care if people misinterpret you? Don't sell out!)

Posted by: Jeff B. at February 27, 2005 01:43 PM (037AZ)

5 Sorry, Ace. I shouldn't have abused your post. Please forgive me. And you are right, I didn't qualify my use of your word the way you did, and I deserved to have had my reference deleted.

But I was sincere about the value of your post. It struck a personal chord with me, and really did help me reflect on a rather horrid Christmas in a new way, and your post provided me with some sense of closure.

For what it's worth, thank you for that. And I hope I don't lose commenting privalages. And thanks for excising the references to your word.

Warmest regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 01:47 PM (S8sox)

6 Well I apologize to you for editing your post after I done the dirty deed first.

I just thought better of it.

"Respectability" and all.

Advertisers.

Family.

You know.

Posted by: ace at February 27, 2005 01:50 PM (/E3cY)

7 Okay. I have nothing to do with this link. I just found this other site called "Too Hot for Blogging" which has nothing at all to do with me.

Anyway, this cat seems to have posted something outrageous which I find completely offensive.

2 Hot 4 Blogging.

Posted by: ace at February 27, 2005 01:54 PM (/E3cY)

8 Post it Ace, you're the only important one on this blog.

It's a fucking integrity thing, for those who got conscious.

Posted by: Carl in N.H. at February 27, 2005 01:56 PM (QpuAL)

9 Yes, family. That's the problem with me on this one. I still haven't found reconciliation on that one. The funny thing is, my sis and her hubby came into town, absolutely debased my mother and father, and I had to defend their honor.

But to forgive is divine, and in time, I guess I should do just that.

But can I forgive "like a Viking?"

Your guidance would be most appreciated.

Kind regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 01:57 PM (S8sox)

10 Excellenty post Ace! You did a great job of telling off that Euroweenie.

Posted by: Zelda at February 27, 2005 02:04 PM (G8jxN)

11 My how times have changed. I remember Elvis Costello's third album, Armed Forces, using a certain permutation of the "n" word in the song "Oliver's Army," and no one reaming his ass over the thing. I don't recall anyone ever even making an issue out of it.

Memories, memories.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 02:08 PM (S8sox)

12 (Insert sound of jaw dropping, while ROFL.)

So, uh, will more postings eventually appear on that, uh, outrageous site?

Posted by: someone at February 27, 2005 03:09 PM (S22v9)

13 Jesus, Ace. I had no idea that THAT was what you were deleting.

That post is gobsmackingly vile. The mere fact that you CONSIDERED posting it, even as a Lenny Bruce-like parody, brands you with the hatemongering Mark of Cain.

I hereby morally rescind any monetary donation or moral support I may have offered to this site.

I'm reporting you to Sullivan. Hopefully he'll expose your intolerant, dogmatic right-wing bile.

Oliver Willis was right about you.

Posted by: Jeff B. at February 27, 2005 03:40 PM (037AZ)

14 Told you it was bad.

Posted by: ace at February 27, 2005 04:04 PM (/E3cY)

15 Lecturing Euroweenies might have more impact if the US was not the uncompetitive, reckless spending wastrel of nations at the current time. Nothing will shut neocons up from their "mighty Hegemon" talk faster than Europe dumping a few hundred billion dollars to drive the dollar down to 20 cents value overnight and make the Euro the currency oil must be bought with.

Oh, and there is this problem that American public schools are a joke comapared to most Asian and European school that truly educate their students...

Europe has soft power, but it's biggest weakness in demography.....

Europe and Asia, having dealt with terrorism and wars that cost them millions - know there is more to global affairs than a myoptic obsession with terrorists. An obsession the US is still in the grip of -as the other advanced nations move on to equally critical issues, position themselves, and deal with the challenges of the 21st Century. Europe awards 11,500 PhDs in math and the physical sciences. Asia? Over 24,000. America? 4200. Down from 4700 in 1987.

Posted by: Cedarford at February 27, 2005 04:28 PM (ywZa8)

16 If your government's policy is built around free-riding--on the U.S., for example--it's not surprising that you might try to convince yourself that you're not free-riding at all.

Of course, the charade falls apart should the folks you're free-riding on stop their work.

Posted by: James at February 27, 2005 04:48 PM (kfQRI)

17 Cearford:

Here's a piece from a Wall Street Journal article you might find to be of interest:

Between 1998 and 2001, Germany had a great run for the Nobel Prizes, producing four laureates in physics and medicine. But far from recognizing Germany's excellence in advanced research, the awards more properly documented how unattractive their home country had become for Germany's brightest: All four scientists lived and worked in the U.S.

This brain drain to opportunities across the Atlantic is not only a German phenomenon. America is also destination number one for many of the best scientists from the rest of the European Union. According to a European Commission survey, more than 70% of the EU-born recipients of U.S. doctorates between 1991 and 2000 planned to stay in America. Altogether some 100,000 European-born researchers currently work in the U.S.


So where's the problem? I'm all for fixing America's education problems, but I'd say that's not related to our soi-disant lack of innovation. It seems to me this country still has the lion's share of innovation.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 05:45 PM (S8sox)

18 Ok, where's the shock?

Posted by: Iblis at February 27, 2005 06:02 PM (Qb0YF)

19 Are these the same foreign scientists that are sending all the sensitive military technology over to China?

Posted by: Some Guy at February 27, 2005 06:03 PM (ODlEV)

20 They don't attack us becuase we are "worth attacking". They attack us becuase we poject our power onto them. This projection of power includes supporting dicatorships like Saudi Arabia and our completely one sided suport for Israel.

Why people get such satisfaction from protecting the world on the US' dime I don't know. There is a fine line between taking care of ones fellow man and being a sucker. My feeling is that we are far into sucker territory.

I am not looking forward to paying off the 500 billion dollar debt we are racking up in Iraq, just to put in a regious leadership friendly to Iran, nor do I enjoy watching the $ go down the toilet or paying $50 for a barrel of oil.

As for taking some sort of pride in the fact that we good at importing smart & well educated people to perform our innovation - nice spin but to me that is a pretty small hook to hang your hat on.

Posted by: John at February 27, 2005 06:16 PM (Rgc/l)

21 I only posted the quote from the article to counter the claim that America is suffering from some sort of brain drain (this is a red-herring that those that are for stem cell research throw out as a smoke-screen).

Was I going for shock? No. As to whether these are the guys sending our trade secrets to the Chinese, there's plenty of blame to go around for that one, from Nixon to Carter, Clinton and all the way up through W.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 06:17 PM (S8sox)

22 Another paleotroll! Whoopee!

Posted by: someone at February 27, 2005 06:20 PM (S22v9)

23 I didn't argue one way or the other about the merits of the draw of scientists to America. I merely put it up as a reference.

But I would counter that America is a very unique country that creates the right environment for innovation to occur, unique to the world. So yes, I would hang my hat on that very profound fact about this great country. It's served us quite well over the past 200+ years. If you remember, we are a nation born of immigrants, founded upon unleashing the individual spirit. So this trend is pretty old, and is interwoven into the very fabric of our country.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 06:21 PM (S8sox)

24 Dear Someone:

Am I the paleotroll of whom you speak? If I am, could you please provide some description of this epithet, so I can understand it, and if need be, defend myself against it (or agree with it)?

Just for the record, I was a team leader for W's campaign, and put in hundreds of hours in my neck of the woods volunteering for his reelection. In addition to that, I donated plenty of money to the Swifties and the Club for Growth. I don't know if that means much to you, but I am a very strong supporter of W, for what it's worth.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 06:32 PM (S8sox)

25 KCTrio: Calm down please, I don't mean you. Read the comment above yours.

Posted by: someone at February 27, 2005 06:49 PM (S22v9)

26 Sorry for the overzealous response, someone. But you didn't provide the identity of your accusation.

I've been posting comments over at Roger L. Simon as well as here, and am in the thick of things over there, so that attitude bled over to my post here.

Now, perhaps a Xanax, a Percocet and a couple of Benadryl will do the trick. Sound like fun? Perhaps. Or maybe just a nice read of today's comic strip in my local paper. That'd be better and healthier, I suppose.

Thanks for setting me straight.

KCTrio [or, the spirit of the (Nat) King Cole Trio, for those that care to know why I sign things KCTrio].

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 07:00 PM (S8sox)

27 That's the Ace I remember. Profane, abusive and likely drunk, like my uncle, but with better grammar.

Posted by: Alex_fs at February 27, 2005 07:05 PM (PpBGs)

28 Fantanstic, thanks.

Posted by: Saul Rosenberg at February 27, 2005 07:08 PM (o3Lw5)

29 Here's the Ace I discovered (sigh. I wish I could say "I remember," but I didn't discover this genius's site until December of last year; i.e., 3 months ago). I also therefore missed the peak of Allah's greatness. The stuff over at his archived site is pure gold, but it would appear to only be the tip of the iceberg for the creator of worlds.

Any way, try this link to see the Ace you remember (and I discovered):

http://ace-o-spades.blogspot.com/2004_04_18_ace-o-spades_archive.html#108264362649366527

If this isn't genius (crude, yes, but Ace's writing puts even the best of the Onion to shame, in my humble opinion), I don't know what is.

Anyway, I have a little theory. Ace has moved up the ladder in the Blogosphere, and therefore must show a bit more discretion than perhaps he used in the past. If I'm right, then does this means he's sold out? Nonsense. Only a fool would do otherwise. And from the looks of things, Ace hasn't lost a bit of his edge, he's merely evolved just enough to rise to the level that should be expected of him.

Also, consider that the link to the Moore hit job is proudly presented on his site, for anyone to give it a read. No sellout that I can tell. Just a bit more tempered for current posts.

I love the guy, and I think he's about as good as I've seen.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 27, 2005 07:54 PM (S8sox)

30 Cedartroll,

I'm still waiting for Japan to topple us when they invent that time machine and go back to the 70s and demolish us like your kind promised they would. You remember the Carter Administration? Back when America was going to fall to Japan, right?

Or when S. Korea was going to topple the US. Or Taiwan. Or whoever the f*** you and your paleo-friends have claimed in the past.

Eventually you'll be correct, of course but quite by accident. And you'll be wrong about China. By a mile. But then I'll bet you know d*ck about international finance.

What a maroon.

Posted by: Birkel at February 27, 2005 08:10 PM (r/Pio)

31 Saul:

Maybe we should get together, and...paint each other up?

Posted by: See-Dubya at February 27, 2005 08:33 PM (PUZhO)

32 KCTrio - As of this year, China graduated 6 times more engineers than America did. 4 times more PhDs in Math and Physics. Most stay in China or return because they think it is China's time, and nationalism is intense... I was not saying there is a brain drain. I am saying that the center of knowledge and innovation is beginning to move away from America because we can no longer count on a brain drain to draw top talent to America..

Unfortunately Birkel, no one cares about your theories that go back to the Reagan era, or your shitty little country, for that matter. It is a new world and America's economic and intellectual primacy is under massive assault.

Obviously, America is too small to stand on it's own and vie with 3 billion Asians out to take our industries and assume dominance in the sciences. We need allies in Asia like Japan & India and the last thing we need is a pissing contest with the other half of Western Civilization - home to some 600 million people - Europe. Most Americans are not comfortable with the neocon crap about Europe being our enemy, Europe being doomed - with neocons all but cheering the collapse of Europe and the home countries most Americans come from.

We need Europe as a long-term ally. We need Canada. We need Latin America to consider America a constructive partner. Waaaaay low on the list of vital allies we must have to meet the China challenge is one shitty little country.

And America must end it's mediocre public school education and get past the crappy little platitudes of Reagan's "Morning in America's" drug-free schools Bush I's thousand points of light, Clinton's hire a million more schoolteachers, and Bush II's "No Child Left Behind" BS (Bush is as serious about that as he is guarding the Borders).

It's crunch time. 24,000 PhDs in Math and Science in Asia. With projections for 31,000 by 2008. While America struggles to get 4200 - with almost a majority the kids of Asian immigrants...

Posted by: Cedarford at February 27, 2005 09:10 PM (ywZa8)

33 It's great that Cedarford has gotten turned on to the Yellow Peril. It'll take his mind off the Jews.

Posted by: Paul Zrimsek at February 28, 2005 05:00 AM (wgLva)

34 Too much focus on the best and the brightest. Realistically, we don't need a huge supply of those folks. A dab'll do ya.

What makes the US great, and a draw to the rest of the world, is the sheer abundance of mediocre people who are actually willing to work a full day for a day's pay, and the high standard of living that average, mediocre people can enjoy.

The base of the pyramid has eroded disastrously in Europe. Their level of production is ridiculous. They call Americans fat and lazy yet we work them into the F'n ground.

Posted by: lauraw at February 28, 2005 05:07 AM (W5I+/)

35 LOL Paul!
But I'm sure he keeps all his wackadoo conspiracies updated.

Posted by: lauraw at February 28, 2005 05:09 AM (W5I+/)

36 It's funny 'cause it's true.

/Megan Mullaly nasally whine

Posted by: Tongueboy at February 28, 2005 05:21 AM (nug4S)

37 Ace's obsessesion with the right's Euro-peace fairy freeloader meme is seriously out of wack. He quotes a piece from a thread in TPW that is full of back slapping you go girl mutual supportive posts, much like this blog, but unfortunately for his screed he includes, "Our reality. Our reality in which we are the First and Last Targets of Terrorism.

Not your pitiful, wretched, ultrafeminized reality, in which no one would bother attacking you at all, because frankly, you don't stand for anything at all. Destroying you would advance no cause, for you neither champion nor thwart any cause.
"

But this of course fails to actually account for the fact that Europe has been dealing with terrorism far longer and effectively than the US. To quote PseudoErasmus from another thread at TPW, "Most European countries have been dealing with domestic and foreign terrorism for decades now. Not just Spain with its ETA and Britain with the IRA, but Italy has had the Red Brigades, the Germans the Baader-Meinhof, and the French have had all kinds, Corsican separatists, Algerian separatists (in the 1950s and 1960s), Frenchmen who wanted Algeria to remain French, Algerian Islamists opposed to the French support for the Algerian government, etc. Not to mention the Middle Eastern terrorists who have operated in Europe since the late 1960s."

It is true that the US saved Europe from the Nazis and Soviets. And it is true that that the US contributed more than its per capita share to NATO. But that was the agreement and it made sense at the time. Now that there is no threat of war in Europe there is really no sense in claiming, as Ace appears to claim, that the US is still carrying Europe's burden. Europe quite rationally sees its military relationship with the US as more and more of a liability. This is not ingratitude, but rather the rational national self-interest that Ace lauds when it refers to US policy.

Posted by: vonKreedon at February 28, 2005 05:38 AM (niMr9)

38 Cederford is right about one thing: our public educational system is the envy of no one in the developed world. But there is good news and bad news. While India takes over the computer business (largely because of their educational system) the good news is that we are preeminent in race studies, gender studies and ethnic studies.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at February 28, 2005 05:59 AM (dhRpo)

39 Ace, I wish you could put the last five words of your response on a t shirt.

Posted by: avenuenbalum at February 28, 2005 06:31 AM (nTEvo)

40 Paul Z.

"Yellow Peril" -- that is teh funny.

You know cf just read some piece in teh American Prospect on China and now he's all worried.

As for the new paleospaz, you all had to know that even the John Birch society has more than one member nowadays.

(Oh, for the days when the Birchers did something useful, like fight commies)

Posted by: hobgoblin at February 28, 2005 07:31 AM (2da3S)

41 Great precis on euroland, please leave some brits out of this, (we will find out how many at the coming ballot)all who read this from over here(England) should be real frightened

Posted by: Chris Edwards at February 28, 2005 07:44 AM (VkI/W)

42 vonKreedon

Because, you know, you took such good care of the Yugoslavia situation without needing help from the US.

Keep lying to yourselves.

Posted by: Defense Guy at February 28, 2005 08:23 AM (jPCiN)

43 or your shitty little country, for that matterYikes -- even when he's ranting about the Yellow Peril, he's still ranting about the Jews. Why the heck isn't Cedartroll banned yet?

Posted by: someone at February 28, 2005 08:51 AM (S22v9)

44 Cedarford fretted:
As of this year, China graduated 6 times more engineers than America did. 4 times more PhDs in Math and Physics.

So? China's population is about 5 times the size of the U.S. population, so proportionately that's about the same. What's the big deal?

Posted by: Mary in LA at February 28, 2005 08:52 AM (JYxmy)

45 Mary in LA - Cedarford is quite right. Maufacturing is key to creating wealth and part of the reason we are slipping so far behind is that we don't graduate enough math, science or engineering majors. Instead, we produce lawyers and "sociologists" and "anthropologists" and race and gender studies majors. Is it any wonder we're in such hot water?

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at February 28, 2005 09:09 AM (dhRpo)

46 The European's should be ashamed that they allowed the crimes against humanity in the Former Yugoslavia to continue until the US took the lead in intervening. But that is not the same as saying that the US is subsidizing Europe's quasi-socialits societies by enabling them to not have a military sufficient to protect themselves. The genocidal wars in the FY did not threaten France or Germany or Belgium, and if they had then the non-US NATO forces were certainly sufficient to deal with such a threat. It may be that the European reluctance to take the lead in putting a stop to the genocidal activities was due to a long established habit of allowing the US to take the lead in all things military, but that is not the same thing as, "...in the strange position of not needing a military only because America has served as your defacto army for 50 years. " During the Cold War only the USA had the means to produce military power sufficient to deter the USSR and it was in our best interests that any such war occur in Europe rather than the Americas. Now there is no such threat and the military establishment in Europe is certainly sufficient to deal with European security.

But what I mainly wanted to dispute is the idea that the Europeans have and are not the targets of terrorism, and that they have no clue (unlike the USA) of how to defeat terrorism. The case is quite the contrary.

Posted by: vonKreedon at February 28, 2005 09:12 AM (niMr9)

47 72Virgins,

CedarTroll is the last person you should assume is relaying accurate information. Don't believe me? Ask him for a cite. See what you get.

Posted by: BrewFan at February 28, 2005 09:30 AM (Byr3j)

48 Got Cedarford's source page for ya RIGHT HERE

Posted by: lauraw at February 28, 2005 09:55 AM (W5I+/)

49 LOL! Perfect!

Posted by: BrewFan at February 28, 2005 10:06 AM (Byr3j)

50 BrewFan: Yeah that may be true, but even though Cedarford may believe it to be true, it is still true. The number of US grads in math, science and engineering is apalling. And it is part of the reason why we are slipping so far behind. When I heard Robert Reich, secretary of labor for the Clinton administraion say: "manufacturing is now around 20% of our economy, in ten years that'll shrink to 10%. My job here at Labor is to see to it that these displaced workers receive jobless benefits, health benefits and maintain a safety net for them" I was apoplectic! Instead of trying to promote policies that would at least slow down to loss of manufacturing jobs he was concerned only with a "safety net"!!!!! Though things were bad before, under Clinton they got a lot worse as we ignored the things we could do to slow down the loss of manufacturing by emphasizing math, science and engineering prority in education and gave MFN status to Communist China.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at February 28, 2005 10:37 AM (dhRpo)

51 To All Moonbats Fretting about America's Decline:

Look, this problem of associating numbers of PhDs and MDs and mathematicians and somehow concluding straight from that to the likelihood that the US is an empire waiting to crumble is ludicrous. This is a nice old false dilemma logic trick that jackasses that don't have a brain in their head that can reason throw out as some kind of profound statement.

The issue is yes, we have an education problem in the US. We also have an economy that keeps out-performing every other country in the world, and has done so for decades.

The logic flaw is causation. Citing stats on numbers of doctoral candidates doesn't imply or will it cause the decline of our economy.

I say fix the education system, but leave the economy and the innovation built into our system alone. Better yet, remove more burdens from the market and then leave it the hell alone.

Why do people want to see this country fail? Because they've lost all center of gravity in their lives. They lack love of country, an understanding of our historic roots, and the magic of our system. Patriotism is a good thing; militaristic societies is a bad thing. What moonbats do is say ANY patriotism necessarily leads to militarism.

I can't tell you how many times I've heard from Europeans that America is a militaristic, violent society. Did they ever stop to look at their own countries' histories? Furthermore, human nature is both violent and full of grace. The question is: What sort of government is most conducive to lowering man's violent nature and unleashing man's good (and productive) nature? The answer is ours. At least ours is one of the best, if not the best.

So where does this leave us? How do we fix the education problem? Simple, really, but it would take a massive removal of the department of education and all of its regulations.

First, think about this: How in the world can a headmaster at a public high school know even one-tenth of his or her students at an institution with 2,000 of them? Smaller schools, not smaller classrooms, is the problem.

I say, go back to the old system of small, local schools, eliminate the need to travel more than 1/4 mile to get to school (at least in urban areas), and allow local school systems to build as many damn smaller schools as they want.

One final piece of the puzzle: Go back to teaching ONLY rhetoric, math, science, reading and writing, from Pre-K all the way through 12th grade. That's what we had in this country for centuries before social tinkering and Piaget idiots started fucking around with our education system.

Finally, for all of you people that love to cite statistics and use them as proof that our country is doomed, get the hell out of here unless you can create some kind of syllogism that we can analyze for ourselves.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 10:42 AM (S8sox)

52 KCTrio - Unfortunately, we do have to look at facts and stats to see if America is in serious long-term competetive trouble given our Democratic Party-run educational system.

Unfortunately, all the indicators show we are. Manufacturing jobs still decline, and a gender-studies counselor type economy will never replace the wealth once generated by America being the premier source of high technology, science, and high-value added manufactured goods.

In Asia, in measuring educational attainment in math and sciences, all nations students score ahead of us but Indonesia, the Philippines, Burma, and Thailand. In Europe, we are the attainment winners over Moldava, Greece, and Cyprus. Beaten soundly by the others.

Bil Gates spoke at the Governor's conference saying he was "terrified" by the gap between American high school students, even the best - and countries like China, Korea, Japan, India, Russia, and most countries of the EU. He said he and other high tech CEOs see an imperative to hire outside the US not only on cost, but on the quantum improvements other countries have made in their knowledge worker base. And, said that Americans see risk and little support in engineering, math, and science careers - that some of our best students are lost to careers that depend on extracting from the economy rather than growing it - law, gov't, financial services, import businesses.

And we have trade deficit stats that others like Warren Buffett say signal a loss of competiveness that will take many years to reverse, if we ever summon the national will to shake us out of our complacency. For the last 20 years, on average, our deficits have worsened by 18% per annum. Our last year was 720 billion in wealth outflows out of the US for goods we could not make cheap enough or good enough for American consumers - who still have lots of money accumulated from America's success of past years so we can keep this up for several more years before we get into a Congo or Paraguay-type debtor nation status.

In the last 20 years, the list of major industries America dominates has shrunk from 18 to just 3, and both China and the EU are targeting commercial aircraft and see America rooted out of that industry as well in 10 years.

I was not signalling joy in this decline, KCTrio, just major concern about this grave situation. And there is more than waving a Flag, chanting jingoistic slogans like "Our workers are 2nd to none" to reverse our decline. For those that take solace in our military's ability to kick ass - well, the Soviets went for 50 years knowing it could kick the ass of any neighbor with the Red Army. Nations like Germany, Japan, and Finland just shrugged, said "you're right you could kick our asses", and proceeded to build an economy that helped assure the Soviets declined and rotted from within. Militarism...or more simply and accurately...reveling in our military victories and the next cool weapon like the gold-plated F-22 does not erase the fact that China is pushing out 6 times the well-educated, highly motivated and nationalistic engineers we are for 1/7th the labor cost, and gearing up to double that number of engineers graduating from their colleges in ten years..........While America says the fastest growing jobs in America in the next 10 years will be store clerks, nursing home LPNs, security guards, and legal services careers.......

Posted by: Cedarford at February 28, 2005 11:29 AM (+7VNs)

53 Cedarford:

You've fallen into a trap, a big trap, by simply spewing statistics that you do not know are true or not. Rattling off statistics about burger flippers and other such nonsense doesn't get at the realities of our growing economy. This business about our declining manufacturing base and we're a nation of service-industry morons with low-paying wages has been debunked by so many leading economists that I find it sad that people buy this bullshit. It's simply not true.

Read The Economist and the Wall Street Journal for clarity on these issues. The kinds of things your writing sound like it came out of the mouth of Paul Krugman. Let's just say that I'd rather take my economic lessons from Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.

How did you conclude from my statement about patriotism to me somehow equating success on the battlefield? I simply stated that patriotism is good, militarism is bad. Why are you lugging into this discussion subjects like jingoist slogans and other such nonsense? I neither mentioned nor implied any such thing. You must have some kind of strange telepathy that isn't functioning. I'd suggest you get it callibrated.

Go back and read what I wrote about fixing our education system, and let me know if you agree or disagree with my fixes. If you don't, provide me with your own ideas. But don't shift the subject to military weopans development, loss of manufacturing jobs, and military success. These are all different topics. These are all false dilemna fallacies.

Now, are you really suggesting that it was the steadfast determination of the European countries building their economies that brought about the fall of the Soviet Union? Please. Consider that they didn't and don't have to invest as much of their GDP into military defense as we do. Consider also that the Pope played a bigger role in the fall of the Soviet Empire than our dear friends in France and Germany. They wanted coexistence, not victory. Or did you forget detente? You can also thank Mr. Walesa for the fall of the Soviets. I'd also mention Reagan had a bit to do with that.

Think I'm wrong? Why don't you go find yourself a gentleman about 60-70 years of age that served in West Germany and ask him how many Soviet troops he was facing no more than 5 miles across the border. They (the Soviets) outnumbered our guys by 15:1. No shit. How would you like to have been one of those guys? They protected Germany and the rest of Western Europe for decades. Make no mistake about this. Furthermore, why don't you hunt yourself down a person of Finnish decent and ask them what they think about the Soviets. Finally, go read Arthur Chrenkoff. It will do your mind some good.

As I said before, provide me with logic, argument and reason. Don't throw out random crap and lament about it. Enjoy what's good about this country (and to do this you actually have to read about it; such as the writings of Jefferson, Madison, Jay, Lincoln, Washington and a few others), criticize what you'd like to see fixed and debate it.

Best regards,


KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 12:12 PM (S8sox)

54 "This business about our declining manufacturing base and we're a nation of service-industry morons with low-paying wages has been debunked by so many leading economists that I find it sad that people buy this bullshit." First of all, manufacturing is the key to wealth creation, just ask the Japenese or any other Asian nations who is struggling to become manufacturers. And people buy into this "bullshit" because their puchasing power has been eroded. Much as I like your economists, they're not always right.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at February 28, 2005 12:25 PM (dhRpo)

55 72Virgins:

All modern, growing economies are shifting to service-sector economies. Have you been following this?

Might be a good idea to get your mind around that fact before you start positing some premise such as yours and expect me to buy it by virtue of you simply saying it.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 12:31 PM (S8sox)

56 72Virgins:

Forgive my blunt tone. I don't mean to sound unempathetic to people who've lost their spending power or their earnings. But when one looks at economic issues and trends, one must look at the macro view and not the micro view.

We are experiencing growing wages and a growing job base. Of course, for those that are in economic despair, that provides cold comfort, and I understand this. I have been through economic hard times myself.

But I also understand that things must be viewed from a macro-economic view, not a micro one, when looking at things like GDP, purchasing power parity, etc.

Take a look at this Web site for some basic stats on the countries around the world and their economies:

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/index.html

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 12:37 PM (S8sox)

57 72Virgins:

I'd like to put some more substance behind some of the things I wrote. And again, forgive my blunt tone, because you obviously are a reasonable man (or a collection of 72 virgins) and didn't deserve the things I threw out.

Now, let's start with our decining manufacturing base. Here are some basic things to keep in mind:

1) Most of the new jobs in this country are still provided by the small business sector. And more than one-fifth of these are manufacturing companies. Take a drive through your state (if you live in the US) and stop by any industrial office area. You'll find some rather plain looking buildings teaming with manufacturing companies. I speak from personal experience here. I spent the first 6 years of my life making sales calls on small business owners in Florida. I met with about 600 of them. All based here and all making things here.
2) There are many things that used to be manufactured here in the US that aren't anymore. First they were exported to Japan, then to other countries like China, India, Singapore, Taiwan, Latin America, etc. Is this a problem? Well, let us suppose it is. Then how do we fix it? Should we place tarrifs on things, forbid companies like Dell from purchasing circuit boards made outside the US? Such a move would put this economy in immediate ruin.
3) But then, let's look at the flip side, and say that perhaps the migration of some manufacturing jobs overseas is a good thing for this economy. How could this be so? Well, it leads to cheaper prices, which is good for all Americans. Secondly, it leads to higher earnings power for those countries now manufacturing those parts, so that helps us sell our products over there. That factory manufacturing RAMM modules in India has lifted the earnings potential of everyone in that factory. And increasing the wealth of citizens of India is good for everyone, even Americans. Who do you think supplies the fiber optic cable, the PCs and all the other technology to make that factory? American giants like SBC do.

Now let's shift to another industry, the Pharmacuetical industry. Look at what's happening to that mighty giant. 90% of all new drugs are discovered in the US. That's amazing, is it not? Now, some people think it would be just dandy if we put price controls on drugs, just like they do in Canada. Or, some sneaky people say we should re-import our drugs from Canada. That's doing the same thing without saying so. Is this a good or a bad idea? Let us see.

1) Every dime Americans spend on drugs covers the R&D cost of making that drug. In other words, the R&D costs are paid for 100% by American citizens. Wouldn't it be a better solution to force other countries to stop putting price controls on their drugs? That way, our drug prices would drop drastically.
2) If we do put price controls in place (either through direct or indirect methods) our Pharmacuetical industry would crash like a ton of bricks in seconds. Don't believe me? Then call someone at Pfizer and see what they will tell you. I happen to know a lead research scientist at Pfizer and a head of purchasing at the company, and they are no idiots. Either of these individuals would give you an earful.

Now, back to my statement about our service-based economy. It's the intellectual property that this country is producing that is still the envy of the world. We write software code, hold patents for design, etc. So does Israel. In fact, every major manufacturer in the world has an R&D center in Israel. Our two countries crank out the intellectual property that leads to new products and innovation.

This is a very long post, and I know it's doesn't begin to get at the heart of the matter, but at least it's a start.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 01:08 PM (S8sox)

58 KCTrio - We are experiencing growing wages and a growing job base.

Bullshit.

We have seen real wages decline for the 1st time in a decade. And if you add in cuts in health benefits and pension compensation, it goes back 4 years.

The only reason we have a growing job base is record borrowing and expanding the Federal Gov't 38% from 2000 to 2004 have created the best floursihing of new Federal Gov't jobs since LBJ was President. Given we have about 2 trillion in new debt as a price of that, hardly an indicator of economic health. Oh, and a ton of low-paying service sector jobs that depend on the remaining middle class taxpayers to pick up health care, schooling costs for the new nation of min-wage workers in dead end jobs. Yeah, that is an expanding jobs base, just like a cow plop is an expanding fertilizer base.

Our two countries (USA & Israel) crank out the intellectual property that leads to new products and innovation.

We rank well below nations like France, Korea, Taiwan in per capita patenting. Israel depends on American welfare so it's citizens can get their free health care and university education and they also benefit from a large influx of Russians that got a free education in the sciences - by way of explaining their being in the top 10 in per capita patenting. But they still need their US and German reparations welfare checks plus annual charity from the wealthy Jewish diaspora to make it economically - their IP doesn't cut it in making a great economy. As for the supreme value of IP here, it is sold for a song by American owners because we know if we didn't sell it for pennies on the dollar other nations would just reverse engineer or pirate it. It is a negligible factor in our 720 billion negative balance of trade.

If we do put price controls in place (either through direct or indirect methods) our Pharmacuetical industry would crash like a ton of bricks in seconds. Don't believe me? Then call someone at Pfizer...

Alarmist nonsense. Few Americans, looking at the 10's of billions spent annually convincing Americans that erection drugs are different buy that R&D argument - or think drug companies with typical market caps in the 15 billion range are teetering on the edge of oblivion without Bush and Billy Tauzin's consumer milk cows being forced to pay double. You sound like a paid hack for the Club for Growth, KCTrio. And negotiated prices - not price controls - arrived at in other advanced nations cut prices at least 50% from what Americans outside the VA pay - while maintaining the same R&D funding as part of the negotiated agreement....the cuts to the companies end up in advertising, executive's compensation, and marketing.

The old warning you have to pay double, or the cure for cancer we are on the verge of will be lost forever argument - thrown at us the last 40 years - doesn't work anymore. Having worked at Pfizer, as a contractor, I know the industry does quite well in other foreign nations and Sites the bulk of R&D overseas as is....

Read The Economist and the Wall Street Journal for clarity on these issues. The kinds of things your writing sound like it came out of the mouth of Paul Krugman. Let's just say that I'd rather take my economic lessons from Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.

I read the WSJ, which is very slow to accept the realities of globalization and the destruction the Open Borders policy they love has caused the average American. The IBD is better. I take my economic lessons from Warren Buffet rather than the likes of Thomas Sowell who is essentially a Reagan-era supply-side, free trade, trickledown artifact who refuses to let reality mess with his unchanging theories.


Posted by: Cedarford at February 28, 2005 03:53 PM (+7VNs)

59 My Dear Cedarford:

I'm glad to see you receive your talking points from the DNC. Your argument about the drug companies comes straight from their playbook.

And yes, I am a proud member of the Club for Growth, but a paid hack? I pay them, they don't pay me. See, freedom to choose.

Everything I wrote came from my own thinking on these issues. I never claimed to be all-knowing, I simply provided my thoughts as best I could.

So, you think Sowell is outdated, do you? Well, he didn't act as a paid economic advisor to a presidential candidate, unlike Mr. Buffet. And how does Warren Buffet provide you with economic insights? He's a wealthy investor who manages a very successful fund, but does that make him an economic theorist?

What the fuck does per-capita patenting have to do with anything? You seem to like to toss numbers around, and revel in false dilemna logic failures. I'd ask, what is the value of those patents? Quality, not quantity. Show me evidence that the patents coming out of your list of countries generate more wealth than the ones that come out of the US and Israel.

End of Part I

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 04:59 PM (S8sox)

60 Part II, My Dear Cedarford:

You also seem to have a vicious anti-Semitic streak. I really don't understand this. The point of the US and Israel is not that they internally produce greatness (though each country does), but both countries have governmental and economic systems that enables great minds to thrive. I'm sure those well-educated Russians were very happy enter a country where they could succeed. The old Soviet Union didn't give them much for their education, just a nice big set of slave-chains.

So Israel was gifted with an influx of Russian geniuses that just happened to be Jewish. Somehow that nullifies or diminishes the greatness that Israel has produced from these people? I don't get it.

And I don't care whether you were or were not a contractor for that drug company. That doesn't give any force to your arguments.

End of Part II

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 05:01 PM (S8sox)

61 Part III, Dear Cedarford:

You tell me how price controls help people. You tell me how every country on the face of the earth enjoys price-controlled drugs and we don't, and yet somehow we Americans are not paying the total R&D cost. Tell me, prove it. This is axiomatic that Americans and Americans alone pay all of the R&D cost of every single drug invented in this country (and the 10% invented in other countries).

Also, point me to some information that shows me that drug companies pay more on advertising than R&D. I defy you to show me real evidence, such as from a company's 10Q filing with the SEC. You cannot produce such a document, because it doesn't exist.

End of Part III

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 05:03 PM (S8sox)

62 Part IV, Dear Cedarford

And I'll ask you this: What the fuck is wrong with drug companies advertising? Do you not like profit? Or do you want government to control not only price, but research? Do you not like drug ads because somehow mixing profit motive with life-giving science is abhorrent to you? How about we implement laws that stop all advertising from anything you consider unworthy of profit? I bet you'd love that kind of power.

End of Part IV

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 05:05 PM (S8sox)

63 Part V, Dear Cedarford:

You just don't get it. The motivation to make profit in a free market yields the optimum results economically, giving the greatest good for the greatest number of people in a free society.

All I can say is, please stay the hell out of my wallet. I don't want your Marxist ideas depriving me of the fruits of my labor.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at February 28, 2005 05:07 PM (S8sox)

64 Just as I suspected, KCTrio is a supply side, neocon ideologue.

There is really no talking to them. They are in deep denial as the American economy and our finances grow more fragile and beholden to bankers in countries where things are made. KCTrio shows his ignorance of 1st world Asian and EU arrangements with drug manufacturers - the concern about negotiated drug prices affecting R&D was addressed and if he doesn't believe it - HE should investigate the 10-Q's - not me.

As a bootlicker to Big Pharma, he ignores the diversion of substantial revenues to advertising, marketing, and executive salaries. No doubt KCTrio will say if you don't like that, you can always buy from a competitor or another country if you think you are being ripped off as American consumers. Oh, wait..................!!! You can't buy from others because most of the lifesaving drugs are under a monopoly, and drugs are the one major legal item barred from importation......and the glory of "free trade". And why does the Gov't - which hammers out fleet discounts, bulk discounts on all they buy make a huge exception to Bush's 792 billion welfare package for Big Pharma???? Because KCTRios Club for Growth fatcats among others were bribed to legislate and lobby full premium drug prices, that's why.

As for his beloved Israel - it isn't even in the top 5 in patents per capita and is barely in the top 40 nations in patents granted. IP doesn't pay the bills in Israel. It's parasitic dependence on US aid, German aid, and well-off Diaspora "dues" pay the bills.

America had best get over the idea that some right-wingers have that we don't need to make anything anymore - just rely on a few thousand innovators to have "ideas" that translate somehow into licenses and brands worth hundreds of billions. It usually goes like this - a license fee worth 10 dollars per computer bought in the US is negotiated down to 25 cents in China - otherwise the Chinese will just pirate it. US companies that see millions extra a month from moving a whole factory to China for the lower labor have no problem exporting all the proprietary technology and info that took them generations to develop along with the factory - it's all about that quarterly report, baby. A wise manager knows when to sell out his company's future to richly profit today....

Oh, I know...wasn't the Club for Growth in Trickle-down from the Rich saying that nanotech and biotech will save us??? Har! Har! Japan is #1 in nanotech. US is now in the lead in biotech, but the EU, India, and China all project they will exceed the American graduates shortly - plus China is fairly confident that the factories that do nanotech will inevitably be China's...

Posted by: cedarford at February 28, 2005 08:19 PM (ywZa8)

65 Cedarford, I might have come down harsh on you the other week, but I'm rooting for you here. I think people who are denying the role China could be playing in the future are blindsighted for the signs we're heading that course - exactly the indications Cedarford is using in his posts. Take a good look, KCTrio. It might be happening sooner than you would like to believe.

Sure, the USA & Europe will be picking up some of the fruits of it, but there's serious work to do if we don't want China to take over position in a large number of fields. We won't be churning the waters, just riding the waves.

One last point:
Economies can collapse. Because it hasn't happened for a while doesn't mean crashes have become fiction. I don't agree at all with a current mindset of people who believe that doom-thinkers are wrong based on facts that things are going perfectly fine.

Over and out.

Posted by: Flowerbed at March 01, 2005 01:09 AM (Teea2)

66 Cedarford:

So I guess your idea of system of government and economics is China.

I suggest you move there. Go breathe free air of a country with a totalitarian Marxist government, with decentralized free-market capitalism economy shoe-horned next yo it.

While you are there, go visit the government offices and start ranting all of your Jew-hating, America-hating filth. Then take a stab at the Chinese government, because I'm sure you have plenty of conspiracy theories about their government.

But then you'll end up in jail, that is, if they kill you.

Then you'd really start tasting the freedom.

By the way: China's economy is about to tank. Been following that? I doubt it.

Happy living. I just can seem to muster your degree of cynicsm in my life.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 05:44 AM (S8sox)

67 Dear KCTrio,
Manufacturing is the key to wealth creation, and as we lose it we lose our standard of living. Like Alice in Wonderland, we are all running faster and faster just to stay in the same place. Though a family of four may have a slightly bigger house, newer cars and more electronic gadgets than they did 40 years ago, it now takes two income earners per household instead of one to maintain this living standard. These two income household earners are working longer hours than they did back then and more than ever before, are maintaining it through a mountain of debt. I fervently wish that we could repeal the basic law of economics that maufacturing is the primary engine of wealth creation, but we cannot. As Lee Iacocca said about our declining manufacturing sector: "We can't have a nation in which all we do is sell each other hamburgers."

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 01, 2005 06:11 AM (dhRpo)

68 72Virgins:

I understand your concerns, and I also agree that manufacturing being an important pillar in wealth creation. But let me ask you just a few questions:

1) What about the wealth creation rendered from software, ASIC code, BIOS code, etc?
2) What about the wealth creation rendered from Insurance, Financial Services, Payments Processing, International Finance, Private Banking, Brokerage Firms, Investment Management, etc.?
3) What about the wealth creation from Biotech?
4) What about my observation regarding 20% of all small businesses are manufacturers, and small businesses account for over 50% of all jobs in the US?
5) If manufacturing is moving overseas, as it has with so many things in the computer industry and others, what about the reciprocal benefit America and the foreign country gets out of increased wealth produced in both countries?
6) Would you like to reverse the tide of manufacturing of computer components and put them back in America? Would you like to do the same with textiles or furniture manufacturing?
6a) If yes to the above, then what mechanism would you employ to successfully reverse the tide?
6b) If your answer to 6 is no, then what would you prefer to do to induce new manufacturing in the US that currently isn't being outsourced now?

Again, I hope to have constructive dialog, and not devolve into name calling. I respect your wisdom and thoughts. I promise to keep an open mind if you take the time to answer my questions.

Thanks you for your thoughtful e-mail,

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 07:09 AM (S8sox)

69 Unless I am very mistaken, in the aggregate, the only ways to actually create wealth are agriculture, mining and manufacturing (economics 101). The creation of wealth is the process of adding different components like land, labor and capitol altogether and producing a good that is worth more than the sum of all three. The value of the product over the inputs is the actual wealth created, and the more efficiently products are created the more wealth they add to the aggregate. All other enterprises do not actually create wealth, they merely spread it around. Two good examples are financial services and government. Financial services do not add new wealth in the aggregate, they merely help individuals by redistributing more of the aggregate to them. The same thing is true of government, it only takes wealth from the aggregate already created and gives it away to individuals. Neither of these actually add to the wealth already there. Though Intellectual Property like software is a part of manufacturing, it hasn't made up for the loss of other manufacturing jobs (which illustrates why we so desperately need more math and science grads to stay ahead in this valuable sector.)

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 01, 2005 08:27 AM (dhRpo)

70 KCTrio: Before you prove me totally wrong (something that's been done all to publicly all to many times) you might also want to look at the following link, SEE: Report on Changes on Median Household Income 1969 to 1996, by the US Dept of Commerce at:
http://www.census.gov/prod/3/98pubs/p23-196.pdfChanges

It shows that from1969 to 1996 Median Household Income rose only 6.3% (while many other factors rose even more). For example, inflation was so bad during the Carter administration that he got the Bureau of Statistics to change the way they calculated the typical basket of goods that the CPI inflation rate was based on e.g., they actually stated that since more people could not afford a home and were now renters instead of homeowners, the relative weight of the rent component would now grow to reflect that change and the relative weight of house prices would be given a lesser weight to reflect that change!!! Since more people could not afford as much steak as they used to and were eating more chicken than they used to, the relative weight of the chicken component would now grow to reflect that change and the relative weight of steak prices would be given a lesser weight to reflect that change!!! This was only the beginning. I believe that every president who felt like it has probably manipulated the CPI to make it look rosier than it actually is, especially Democrats. These data and explanations of it were done during the Clinton Administration, need I say more? I also wonder how the median per household is affected by the two-earner household of today. Perhaps you might want to wade through it better than I did and prove me all wrong. As a lifelong conservative Republican, it saddens me to see all this, but I believe the middle class has lost ground over that last thirty years.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 01, 2005 10:33 AM (dhRpo)

71 Dear 72Virgins:

There have been great shifts in economic thinking over the last four decades that have built upon your model of labor, capital and wealth.

Here's a link you might find of interest. It is very easy to read and clearly written. It discusses some of the issues regarding knowledge-based economies, wealth creation, and the service sector:

http://www.med.govt.nz/pbt/infotech/knowledge_economy/knowledge_economy-04.html

I'll spend some time this evening putting together a short outline of my thoughts on the issues you've brought up, and try to synthesize my thoughts into a short list of observations, as well as provide references and links for further reading.

Thanks again for your kind, thoughtful input.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 10:35 AM (S8sox)

72 I glanced at your article and don't disagree with any of it, but I don't see any fundamental change in economic theory. Perhaps it lies in the definition of manufacturing. But as I've said, I find it really disturbing that the middle class has fallen behind in income over the last thirty years. Hopefully you can prove me wrong (which is usually easy to do) and assuage all my pessimism about our past, and especially our future.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 01, 2005 11:14 AM (dhRpo)

73 My Dear 72Virgins:

You've placed a mighty large challenge at my feet, and I am honored to take it. My goal is not to prove you right or wrong, my goal is to learn and grow.

But I will provide you with a small piece of beauty that William Blake wrote that may at least lift your spirits:

He that binds himself to a joy,
Does the winged life destroy,
But he that kisses the joy as it flies,
Lives in eternity's sunrise


I'll try my best to learn with you what the future may portend.

May your days be filled with joy and beauty,

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 12:23 PM (S8sox)

74 Dear All 72 Virgins (I wish that were true):

I can't believe I forgot about this article.

Do you respect the Powerline men (Hindrocket, Big Trunk and Deacon)? I hope you do, because those three men have more brainpower than most I know (Ace and Allah excepted).

Well, here's a brilliant article they wrote about this income inequality stuff. And, needless to say, it's brilliant beyond measure. It's a bit dated (written Hindrocket and Big Trunk in December 1995), but everything in it applies to your timeline:

http://www.amexp.org/Publications/Archives/HinderakerJohnson120095.htm

Read it. It's short, got some nice graphs and does a superb job at getting at the heart of the numbers.

I'll do a lot more research tonight and keep you updated, but this is about the best you'll find on this topic.

Consider this a start.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 12:53 PM (S8sox)

75 Cedartroll,

Much of your logic, generously named I will admit, applies only to the extent that you get to determine the starting point and ending point for the application of your position. I will claim 1928 as the starting point for my argument that America is in decline. And then I'll claim 1933 as the ending point. See...

I'm correct. America is bound to have failed because the decline in those 4 years was so severe.

That's moronic. And it's exactly what you argue when you state:
"We have seen real wages decline for the 1st time in a decade. And if you add in cuts in health benefits and pension compensation, it goes back 4 years."

Finally, calling somebody a supply-sider is STUPID. There are two lines in every economics text. One is for supply. The other is for demand. If you remove one of those lines you're left with a geometry problem and nothing more. At the very least you should make some claim.

*NOTE* I've not made my way through the entire debate so I'll be back with more in a bit. So far I've only made it to 9pm yesterday.

Posted by: Birkel at March 01, 2005 01:36 PM (rOuC5)

76 Tracking Cedartrolls falacies, painstakingly:

Patent laws vary from country to country and cannot directly be compared.

Here's what a reader must consider about the federal debt.

The advertising debate is worthless. Advertising creates wealth and apparently CedarTroll hasn't read an economics text within the last 20 years.

72 Virgins--
Some of what you wrote is crazy talk from Marxist economics profs. Wealth is created without any"thing" being produced. Giving you an orange because you value it more than I do creates wealth. And don't even get me started on the wealth created when I get your apple back in return.

Similarly, wealth is created when I take my dollars and give them to my buddy who creates the better mousetrap and he repays me, with interest, for the use of my money. Everybody benefits by having access to better mouse traps. My buddy benefits by earning profits from the sale of mousetraps. And I benefit by not having my money under a mattress, but rather having it earn interest. (Let's not complicate the discussion by introducing the idea of risk.)

Finally, 72 Virgins, talk of the middle class losing economic power is dubious at best. Those arguments typically ignore where people are in their lifetime earning curves. The middle class today has color TV, cable, AC a car (or two), and has borrowed to buy a great deal of it. Greater savings and more prudence about the timing of purchases would likely answer your worries about middle class struggling.

But this is all quite tedious. The Chicago School has won historic battles on most of these fronts. And Cedartroll's wheezing rhetoric aside, the side that won did so because the empirical evidence fits more closely the evidence at hand.

Here is a link to some interesting reading on how the basic economic models are being modified to more closely comport with experience. (link)

Posted by: Birkel at March 01, 2005 02:20 PM (rOuC5)

77 72 Virgins-

Finally, you may want to consider not whether the middle class is falling behind but whether the individuals within economic strata are fixed.

IOW, are people moving both up and down? And if so, is that a bad or a good thing?

Some would argue stability is a good thing and the natural risk-averseness of people seems to support this view. Others would argue an economic system that solidifies and reduces the hope of someday bettering their condition would be worse.

We could agree to disagree about the efficacy of either system.

Posted by: Birkel at March 01, 2005 02:29 PM (rOuC5)

78 Summary of the Club for Growth argument over the last 10 years..............

We shouldn't pay taxes! Lets go back 100 years - no Gummint, big oceans to protect us!

Well, OK - maybe we do need Gov't, but not so much. Lets put the Republicans in charge of Congress and the Presidency, and see if they can stop Demo Big Gov't! ----Whoops, under Bush, Government has grown 38%.

I know, I know - lets give the wealthy huge tax breaks - they know what's best, after all. The more you give them the less taxes we will all have to pay because they will grow the GNP and create permanent surpluses!

Whoops, that sure didn't work! 2 trillion in debt and red ink forever!

OK, OK the deficit is a problem, but free trade solves everything. You see. we export our jobs in industry and High Tech to China in a win-win deal. We get cheap goods, China gets all our industry and technological knowledge transferred. Then China gets richer, so it has to buy American computers, blue jeans, drugs, and nice clothing...which will make all Americans better off as China buys all that American stuff.

Whoops! China makes all that stuff and doesn't want much else....except raw materials, aircraft, and missile guidance systems. Intellectual property? Why pay for it???

**********************

Guess we have to pay taxes, even the wealthy - because we all like our little piece of Gummint...

Plus, Supply side economics and trickle-down was a crock when Reagan was around, and it is a crock now. (and a good chuck of Reagan's money went into American defense industry and American jobs - not straight to the consumer so they could have a 100% Chinese-made Christmas if poor & middle class, and a new Solarium with all-imported furniture and rugs if wealthy.







Posted by: Cedarford at March 01, 2005 03:54 PM (+7VNs)

79 Birkel - Finally, calling somebody a supply-sider is STUPID. There are two lines in every economics text. One is for supply. The other is for demand.

Birkel, you may not have intended it, but you had me howling with that one.

You may wish to Google that term before insisting that they don't exist.

I was thinking of showing you a Laffer curve - but realized there is a good chance you would write back saying you found nothing funny about it - and inform me that on top of the curve not being amusing - the proper spelling is "Laughter"....

Posted by: Cedarford at March 01, 2005 04:05 PM (+7VNs)

80 At Ace of Spades, I came upon,
Some filthiness, that he had spawned.
Concealed within, a new word was found,
Bringing back memories, that made me frown.


So pouncing upon, this new-found word,
I conveyed the remembrance, with glee and verve.
Retelling the tale, of holiday past,
Gave me release, and closure at last.


But Ace knew more, than he'd earlier seen,
That word became a beast, once cast to the screen.
This mustn't continue, the people will yammer,
So he sliced through the word, like a fuckin' hammer.


Then moonbats arrived, whining and fretting,
About slams on Euroweenies, and Marxist vetting.
"Your doomed, you Americans, your economy sucks,
"Your weath is built, upon Asian husks."


Cedarford tried, with all of his might,
To enlighten us all, with his doom-filled sight.
So the moronic masses, one and all,
Were given a lesson, of America's fall.


By Cedarford's logic, a man's torso becomes swollen,
By stealing from another, who's fat he has stolen.
Cedarford tells more, to unenlightened fools,
Of America's wicked ways, and stealing of jewels.


"Wealth, you must view, as wicked and vile,
"Don't you hear the cries, of the meek and the mild?
"Greedy executives are evil, methinks
"And force you to buy goods, built by the Chinks."


"And not only that, but there's more which I rue,
"It's the slithering pigchild, the controlling Jew.
"They've fucked up your country, can you not see?
"And anyone who doubts, must be a Nazi."


So Cedarford ranted, and backed up his views,
Citing scores of Eurasians, certainly not Jews.
Jews are on life support, backed by the paper-tiger,
That murders the Muslim, from Iraq to Niger.


So along comes Berkel, to fix up the mess,
And tidies up everything, with ease and finesse.
Confronted with logic, and beaten to a pulp,
Cedarford responds, "it was all just a joke."


Sorry for this. Trying to lighten the mood, but this thread has devolved beyond repair.

If a man with a Masters degree from Harvard and a JD from University of Michigan School of law can't elicit anything of substance from Cedartroll, and only get derision and horseshit without addressing the issues, then there's no saving this jackass.

At least I can find comfort in the fact that there are more of us than there are of him and his ilk. I know there's little nuance in that, but consider it borne of frustration.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 06:17 PM (S8sox)

81 Cedartroll,

I am aware of the misnomer supply sider. But what exactly does it, you know, mean? And until you can explain what it MEANS I will assume that you know only that it's something to be derided under the assumption that it doesn't fit your world view.

And I am well aware of Arthur Laffer. Hmmm, let's see if I can explain it.

At a 100% taxation rate the government will collect no tax revenue because every economic transaction will occur on the black market.
At a 0% taxation rate the government will collect no tax revenue.

Somewhere in between tax revenues will be maximized. But knowing whether to lower or raise taxes to accomplish tax revenue maximization requires one to know where one is on the curve.

And then, of course, there are other factors to consider beside tax revenue maximization. Like, for example, whether a static analysis of tax revenue at any particular time should be used in favor of a more dynamic model. But then, I'm sure I'll be all in over my head on that sort of stuff.

Hmmm, this feels more like a pissing contest than an honest debate, CedarTroll. Would you mind telling me where you gained your expertise in matters economic.

Unless...
Unless you're really Patrick J. Buchanan surfing the web and trolling Ace's comments section. Cool.

Posted by: Birkel at March 01, 2005 06:48 PM (Gpx34)

82 72Virgins:

Here's a brilliant post at Powerline:

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/2005_03.php#009723

Do you recall the paragraphs I'd taken from a WSJ article regarding German brain drain? Well, that article was from September 2004, if memory serves me. This article linked at Powerline cites a study conducted by Eurostat and published in Die Welt. The article shows Germany on the decline and their economy headed for the gutter unless they reform their welfare and labor system. The people that conducted the study opine that Germany should follow the example of the UK to modernize their labor system.

Also, I've just completed the reading the article I linked on Income Inequality, also written by 2 of the Powerline gentlemen, Scott Johnson and John Hinderaker. I believe that article sums up everything I was trying to convey. That article, coupled with Birkel's links, should provide you with enough material to assuage some of your concerns.

I hope this helps.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 07:03 PM (S8sox)

83 KCTrio - Puff away! Nice you have a law degree and such from a good school, but you are ignoring the obvious signs that America's long-term financial standing and competitiveness is in serious trouble.

But you cling to ideology and rail at "facts of convenience" - paraphrasing - which coincidentally made me suspect you had a legal background.

But all the trends and stats were correct, and point to American education bring up the rear, industrial America being hollowed out, America losing dominance in technology after technology, out of control Fed and current deficits - and your basic message is don't worry, have faith.....

Far from being in the minority, I am in the majority. Amajority that has a growing disquiet over Bush's radical economic agenda that focuses on rewarding only those at the top and welcomes the gutting of our industrial base. It's not working for most Americans and the fear of a dollar crash is mounting. The two issues Americans now consider most important in polls are not Iraq, terrorism, gay marriage, or social security. They are economic insecurity and fear of losing/affording access to health care.

I have a MBA, a 3.85 GPA - and experience on Wall Street and in entrepreneural business. As long as we are puffing creds.....

I will make some predictions:

1. Bush's Social Security reform is dead because his no raising taxes no cutting benefits premise - does not make SS solvent, and the country will not pass on 2 trillion in Chinese loan IOUs to the next generation to pay for transition costs.

2. I think a Centrist Democrat will run and win in 2008 - as long as they are somewhat trusted on national security - primarily because of the failure of the Bush economic policy to help the average American. If the dollar crashes or inflation takes off, Dems will also take the Senate and House back in 2008.

3. Bush's 792 billion welfare package for Big Pharma will be abandoned - and a new version that means-tests seniors and needy younger Americans will be adopted - and steep discounts will be negotiated - like the VA did.

4. After the 2008 loss, the Club for Growth will be viewed as a Cancer on the Republican Party that destroyed Republican credibility on fiscal responsibility and seduced the Bush Administration into the economic mess voters faced in 2008.

5. 20 years from now Bush will be remembered as good on national defense, for the greatest expansion in Gov't since LBJ, for political tactics that won the Presidency and Congress but for letting critical opportunities be squandered in favor of reckless pork spending for his wealthy benefactors, and for making two Supreme Court appointments. But not as a great or even good President - no Reagan - because he did little to help mainstream Americans advance their lot, and stood by while China rose and sucked the productive vitality out of America.


Posted by: Cedarford at March 01, 2005 08:25 PM (+7VNs)

84 Hey CedarDick:

You got your wires crossed. Where the fuck did I say that I had such and such degrees? I said those degrees were held by Birkel. I guess I committed the sin of puffery by proxy.

But thanks again for proving his point (and mine also) that you can't seem to address evidence to the contrary and engage in a debate; all you do is spout the same shit in post after post.

Hell, I don't mind. I've never been too impressed by degrees by themselves. Most of my intellectual heroes (Newton, Lincoln) were self-taught.

But nevertheless, I'm proud of your accomplishments, and you should be too. But where did you get the idea that I was throwing around degrees?

If you look at my post (which was really a doggerel-humor-poem), at the bottom I referenced Birkel's degrees AND his evidence. I didn't cite his degrees alone as evidence of his accuracy. So on even that note, you fizzled.

Throughout this entire thread, you've basically said the same thing without engaging with anyone here. You've simply thrown out numbers and asked us to accept their veracity without defending them. When we've asked you to answer our questions, you come back with your same rants.

What is past is prologue, with you my friend.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 08:39 PM (S8sox)

85 Birkel - here's a synopsis of the supply-siders from the Ludwig von Mises economists.

http://www.mises.org/econsense/ch10.asp

As for creds, MBA.....but more importantly my own eyes as I see little of what Bush promised with his tax cuts and economic policies - or lack of policies w/respect to free trade, open borders, and lack of job retraining killing the American middle class.

Posted by: Cedarford at March 01, 2005 08:54 PM (+7VNs)

86 I'll see your MBA and raise you a who gives a sh**? An MBA is a generalist degree, you prig.

And you link to a site that still thinks Keynesian economic principles are the best ones to use? Cedartroll, have you no shame or are you simply delusional?

Now, far be it from me to yell scoreboard but

SCOREBOARD!!

Keynes- Great Depression
Friedman- the last twenty years

And BTW, you still haven't defined supply sider beyond anything other than a rhetorical device. Silly rabbit, tricks are for kids.

Now, please go back to making an ass of yourself...

Posted by: Birkel at March 01, 2005 09:10 PM (jD8Mi)

87 Cedarford:

So, you obviously read my post, since you referenced that you are in the majority, however you've defined that. I'd like to see the poll you reference regarding this majority you are part of. I'm a premium subscriber of Gallop and Rasmussen, and I'll go check those numbers if you tell me what defines this majority. If you are correct, I'll defer to your statement.

You've again engaged in false dilemmas. This must be your favorite pastime. Would you like to debate healthcare fear/reform? I would like to figure that problem out, too. I think it is a big issue, but what solutions would you suggest? How about advancing a debate or thread of thought instead of spouting out the same stuff and making predictions. I'd love to engage you in a dialog.

And then you engage with Birkel, perpetuating the degree comparisons, when he didn't bring them up. He had the dignity not to. I did it for him on my own volition. But you don't seem to share the same character trait.

I don't care whether you acknowledge having made the blunder you did with accusing me of puffery with degrees and such, but don't you at least have the decency to avoid the topic with Birkel when he never brought up his credits in the first place?

Just a thought.


Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 01, 2005 09:12 PM (S8sox)

88 Bush is already a better president than Reagan.
1)They both gave us tax cuts. They both spend excessively.
2)Neither of them have done all that much to keep american jobs from going over seas(that i can remember)
3)Reagan paid reparations to japanese Americans who were interned during WW2. Which is worse- Bush spending Billions on an entitlement program to help senior citizens or Reagan spending millions in a cheap ploy to buy japanese american votes? Because thats what it was. How is it fair to pay reparations to japanese americans for what happened in WW2 but not african americans for slavery?
4)Reagan granted amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens. Bush hasnt ...yet.
5)Sure Reagan played a major role in bringing down the USSR with the help of M. Thatcher and the Pope, but Bush has won 2 real wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, helped usher in elections in Palestine, and encouraged revolutionary changes in Lebanon and the Ukraine. Bush did all of this with a public approval rating of 50% in America and a -150% rating among the people of the rest of the world. Do you think that Bush would have pulled out of Lebanon after we lost hundreds of marines in a terrorist attack? I dont. Reagan had more guts than any president that preceded him in the last 40 years before he took office, but Bush has balls the size of church-bells.
6)Im not positive but i believe that the Republicans during the Reagan administration failed to gain any seats in Congress even though reagan himself was very popular. Bush has increased the Republican majority in every election despite being absolutly despised by a rather large portion of the electorate. Correct me if im wrong about this.

Reagan was a politician just like everyone else in our government. I wish people would stop acting like hes the second coming of Christ. I read a poll recently that said that Americans consider Reagan and Clinton to be the two greatest American presidents. I think that this typifies the shallowness of peoples political thinking today. People on both sides of the political spectrum are just looking for someone to deify so that they can have a symbol to rally behind. I think its pathetic. What galls me the most is when people like Cedarford stand behind the legacy of Reagan. Unless Reagan sponsored a 'deport the Jews' bill that i dont remember i cant think of anything he did that Cedarford would identify with. You didnt think i could get get through an entire post and not insult you did you El Ced?

Posted by: a-a at March 01, 2005 09:16 PM (5dhtz)

89 a-a,

You diminish the accomplishments Reagan had in Central and South America. Those were also significant.

Also, Reagan's accomplishments seem easier, if not inevitable, looking back through the prism of history. But he will be considered a cornerstone of American history for hundreds of years.

Washington, Lincoln and Reagan* will continue to receive credit for their records long after any of their contemporaries have passed. Whether 43 enters the pantheon will only be judged long after he is a retired Texan.

*My analysis of FDR is overly complicated for a comments section so I've left him out of the post. But I recognize his historical significance.

Posted by: Birkel at March 01, 2005 09:46 PM (jD8Mi)

90 Birkel:"You diminish the accomplishments Reagan had in Central and South America. Those were also significant."

So you think he knew about the Iran Contra deal and was just playing opossum? Either you say 'yes', which means Reagan lied under oath and did some very shady and likely illegal things or you say 'no'- which means North and the CIA were the ones who were really fighting communism in South America while Reagan was completely oblivious. That was the only semi direct action i can think that america took in the 80s.


Birkel:"he will be considered a cornerstone of American history for hundreds of years."

Maybe. History is tricky. What seems to be a matter of life and death today may be forgotten tomorrow and the most trivial event have the most far reaching consequences. What if Russia slips back into despotism? It isnt impossible. What would Reagans legacy be then? That for a less than a decade Russia was democratic. Im not trying to diminish the man. Well...maybe a little. I just think that its premature to put him in the same league as Washington and the rest of our founding fathers.

I just feel that many people who share the same political beliefs as Reagan, sometimes inflate his legacy to help further their own belifs and political goals.

"I believe taxes should be low." " Reagan believed taxes should be low." "Reagan was one of our greatest presidents, therefore i must be right."

I know that this is a gross oversimplification, but i hope you get my drift.

Why dont you post your FDR thoughts over at the RandomBirkle?

Posted by: a-a at March 02, 2005 12:00 AM (5dhtz)

91 To Cedarford, Birkel and KCTrio: Now, now boys play nice! KCTrio: Your article from Powerline states: “The Carter years, for example, were an economic disaster; the Reagan years were a bonanza; and the years since have been characterized by stagnation and downward drift.” I agree.

Birkel: Since the definition of wealth creation is so crucial: “Giving you an orange because you value it more than I do creates wealth.” No it doesn’t, running up prices of anything does not add wealth to the economy or we could solve all our problems with hyperinflation, boy would that be nice! The orange added wealth only at the time it was produced, after that it does not continue to add wealth. Though manufacturing is not the only way to create wealth, it is by far the best because it creates so much more wealth than anything else does, especially services. The difference of the creation of wealth by manufacturing jobs compared to services is so enormous as to make services negligible. And services generally do not actually create wealth. If my air conditioner goes out and I pay you to fix it, no new wealth has been created, it has only been redistributed from me to you. But the manufacturer of the air conditioner created enormous wealth by putting together the raw materials, the labor and the capitol (including the knowledge) to produce something worth far more than it cost to make. This is wealth creation.

Cedarford: I agree with you to the extent that the loss of manufacturing jobs in this country has created “stagnation and downward drift” for the middles class and that our education system is largely responsible for it.

I hope someone will prove me wrong (which has been done numerous times before) about all of this, but so far I’m not persuaded. It would be nice to not feel so pessimistic about our future.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 02, 2005 05:39 AM (dhRpo)

92 72Virgins:

Yes, playing nice is a good rule, not quite the Golden Rule, but sort of part of it, anyway.

The difference here with playing nice is that, when the heat of debate devolves from dialectic to diversion, false dilemmas, repackaging the same thing you just said, and, most importantly, smacks of Jew-hatred and bigotry, then I feel compelled to drop the play nice rule like a fuckin' hammer.

And that's when it happened. Sometimes I got aggressive, and when I realized I had done so with you, I apologized, because you were willing to engage. I'd take the same course of action regardless of one's political persuasion. If a lefty came into this thread and asked or posited thoughtful statements or questions, I'd play nice and debate. But Cedarford didn't do that. With that having been said, I agree that I probably caused as much of the venom as others did. But hey, I'm only human. So, if I offended you or anyone else, please forgive me.

But I find the bigotry and outright virulent hatred cast about in this thread simply too much to let it stand without striking back. I guess that may be a character flaw, and certainly isn't the holiest way to behave, but that's what happened, and I can't erase the past.

Now, as to your fixation on wealth creation and manufacturing. I must tell you that I simply don't understand your reluctance to accept the fact that there are so many ways to increase wealth that it is virtually infinite. You keep positing that, in the hierarchy of wealth-creation, manufacturing is the primary method.

This simply isn't born out by example or economic theory and the real world of the economy performing.

Lincoln argued that the individual is far superior to capital in this hierarchy (check out his speech to the Wisconsin Agriculture Society in the 1850's; it's one of the most powerful treatises on labor and capital from a politician, no less, of the 19th century). It's a splendid example of reason from primary principles.

Take a look at the old Bank of America's history (it used to be called Bank of Italy). The guy that founded that bank invented branch banking. Of course, as with all great things about our nation's history, he was an immigrant, just like all the other great minds that fill our nation's leading institutions of higher learning. That's why I don't lament too much about the US relying on foreigners to fill our intellectual voids. It's the same phenomenon that's happened again and again since our nation's founding.

Now, the entire banking industry, at it's most basic level, business lending, creates wealth with a massive multiplier effect. The risk taker (business borrower) applies for a few business loans, say a secured line of credit and a commercial mortgage. This business owner is starting his own dental practice. He wants to build a laboratory, and other special things, so that's what he'll use his secured line for. The commercial mortgage is for the purchase of a building (he decides he doesn't want to lease).

He'll need all kinds of things to fill that office; his lab, x-ray equipment, filing cabinets, etc. Some of these things are manufactured goods, but others are not. He'll need someone to handle his medical claims, perhaps he'll want to hire a company to handle electronic billing, medical record imaging (say he's a high-tech dentist), and also need networking and computer equipment. And of course, he'll need to hire employees.

From that original loan, the bank makes a profit, as well, their shareholders make a profit. The depositors that put money in that bank earn interest on their deposits, and the bank makes money off of that (spread income), and they use those funds to lend out the money to the dentist at a higher rate of interest than they pay on deposits.

Risk is a huge variable here. The bank takes a risk in lending the money, the dentist takes a risk that he'll run a successful practice, and so forth.

Take the x-ray machine. The manufacturer may have made money on that transaction, but suppose the dentist purchases used equipment. No manufacturer makes any money on that transaction, but the seller (wholesaler) does. Plus, the things that the dentist purchases that are manufactured generates wealth for everyone, from the manufacturer of the machine, to the wholesaler, and the dentist will make gobs of new money every time he uses the machine and bills the patient for the x-rays. Then there's the new jobs he's created. New payroll, new purchasers, so retailers in the area make money off of those employees spending their money. There's still more; there's massive amounts of wealth created when the dentist hires all of those LOCAL tradesmen/laborers to build his dental lab and design his office the way he wants. He may even hire an interior designer to help him with his floor plan. He'll need painters, dry wall hangers, perhaps an architect, and on and on. Where's the manufacturer in this entire chain of commerce. And all of these transactions generate NEW WEALTH. There's been no redistribution of money from one to another.

So, from that original loan, massive amounts of money has been generated, and profit made by hundreds of people.

Now let us suppose that 10 years later that dentist decides to sell his practice (he's decided to sell Panama Jack suntan lotion in Maui). And, he makes for an EZ transition, because he has two junior partners that own none of the practice now, but want to buy him out, so patients won't be leaving.

When the accountants assess the value of that practice, they factor in what. The lab equipment? Well, a little, but it's declined in value. The building? Yes, that's worth something, but the real asset is the patient list. That's what is of highest value in the business.

I hope this helps. Perhaps not. I just think that you need to reassess your assumption that manufacturing is the biggest generator of wealth. I say it is not, not by a long shot.

And by the way, thank you for your thoughtful input and for taking the time to think about these things.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 02, 2005 06:46 AM (S8sox)

93 a-a,

Central and South America is a much bigger place than Nicaragua and El Salvador. So you either didn't understand the period's history or you chose instead to focus only on the well-known arms deal or you're just spoiling for a fight.

I might agree that some people over-emphasize Reagan. But those people probably don't know much of the less-publicized history either. And yes, a lot of it has to do with taxes. But some of it is actually starting a movement among American politicians toward more conservative politics. The pendulum had swung too far the other direction and we can imagine Reagan's presidency starting at the apex of a swing that started a move back to the conservative side. Would that, by itself, be so little?

Query this: Are the streets and squares in Eastern Europe named for Reagan a result of those people's overestimation of Reagan because of taxes?

Why don't I write my thoughts about FDR on my own blog? Because it's my very own blog and I only write what I choose. The 13th Amendment has thankfully abolished slavery and I therefore can't be forced to work. (That's a bit of a joke. But upon re-reading I realize it's not funny. Damned lawyer humor. *sigh*)

72Virgins,

You are simply wrong about the concept of wealth. I cannot fix that as you seem unwilling to reconsider your outdated position. You immediately introduced the concept of price which has little, if anything, to do with wealth.*

Perhaps you should stick to your scholarly study of the spoils of martyrdom.

*I would agree that the change in wealth one will experience by purchasing something will affect the price one is willing and able to pay for something. But that is but one point on the demand function and tells us little about price without all the other points on the function and the supply curve.

Posted by: Birkel at March 02, 2005 08:04 AM (FJZNk)

94 KCTrio: I decided that I was not going to engage in name calling and personal attacks a while back. First of all, there's always someone who can do it better because they spend so much time and effort doing it. But mainly because it detracts from the point I'm trying to get across and obscures the argument I'm making. I now refuse to answer personal attacks and simply ignore them which makes my job of arguing a point much, much easier. I don't have to answer the attacks with other attacks and it reduces the amount of things I have to think about and answer. And since I don't have brainpower to spare like you guys do, I ignore them.

To Birkel, KCTrio and Cedarford: Well boys we all remain unconvinced so:

You say potato, and I say pototo,
You say tomato, and I say tomoto,
Potato, patoto, tomato, tamoto,

Let's call the whole thing off ...

Love and kisses from THE VIRGINS

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 02, 2005 09:17 AM (dhRpo)

95 I'll take correct and unable to convince the ignorant.

You can take unconvinced.

Posted by: Birkel at March 02, 2005 10:40 AM (FJZNk)

96 72Virgins:

I kind of did apologize for having offended. And I will do it again, because I meant it. And yes, engaging in put-downs probably isn't the most productive use of one's time, but I think I know that. If I choose to do so, then that's my wasted time and nobody else's. It's kind of like changing the channel. If you see something offensive, skip over it.

However, I did invest a lot of time in trying to give you, to the best of my ability, information about the way things are with the declining manufacturing base, economics and wealth creation.

For what it's worth, I enjoyed spending the time looking into things, because I learned a thing or two along the way.

Best regards,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 02, 2005 12:54 PM (S8sox)

97 KCTrio -

In your puffery you were not clear whose academic credentials you were touting - yours or Birkels. If a man with a Masters degree from Harvard and a JD from University of Michigan School of law can't elicit anything of substance from Cedartroll, and only get derision and horseshit without addressing the issues, then there's no saving this jackass. That's what you wrote. If I ascribed those creds to you in my response and it bothers you.....well, be clearer in your writing.

Your dental business analogy breaks down because your multiplier effect and the goodwill of the business all depends on regular Joes and Jills with income from their involvement with actual creation of wealth or income gained from the redistribution of wealth generated by others. In a world not too far in the past - where manufacturing workers were paid a pittance, service workers less and most wealth was concentrated in the hands of a few, there were far fewer dental businesses because most people couldn't afford more than minimal, if any care. It was the creation of a middle class and a manufacturing base that created such wealth and spread it out that allowed surplus monies to be allocated for dental care of the poor.

Your Club for Growth friends are happy to destroy that for achieving greater wealth in the hands of a few today.

Your pompous proclaimations on anything other than expressing unending love of Israel and Jewish business owners as amounting to Jew hatred are anchored in past behaviors where lazy people thought crying "anti-semitism" was all it took to silence all criticism of Israel or wealthy Jewish businessmen that ensured workers got a small fraction of wealth created from businesses or the transaction fees associated with middlemen endeavors.

Jews are not the majority of wealthy people hollowing out America's industrial base and selling out to the Chinese, begging for Open Borders and massive illegal immigration to depress wages here - but they are significant roleplayers in that. In globalization, and in pushing free trade with countries with advantageous wage differentials. There are people getting enormously rich through destroying American jobs and industries - and replacing it with cheap Chinese goods & cheap Indian services - and it isn't the store workforce at the local Walmart or the computer science major desperate to change majors into a field with better job security and pay.

The benefits from free trade and globalization are going to just a small economic elite in America. Jews form a significant part of that elite, and thus part of the problem confronting 99% of the rest of America, which is growingly worried about their futures.

Things have to change, and soon. No one buys the junk about IP will save the day, or new miracle high tech industries will arrive to create significant new industries under the current rules. Venture capitalists have already stated that if nanotech or biotech become big industries - they must be sited in Asia, the EU, and 3rd World in order to compete given the current global economic structure. Our failure to educate our kids, our having to compete against workers making 20 cents an hour in a dictatorship, and the uncontrolled current account deficit make change imperative and part of that change involves taking power back from the economic elite that has had it's way for most of the last 20 years.

That does not imply that Jews are a Cancer on America, unlike your Club for Growth, which is. Or for that matter, the WASPs or others in the globalist elite are Cancers within. But all within that elite are focused on getting richer personally, with no care at all for the long-term consequences to the rest of us. While selfish greed is a definition of capitalism and the invisible hand of markets - we all know that every capitalist society has had to use government to periodically rein in excesses.

And as a society, we sometimes have to look at a situation and say "Is it good for our country or bad for it??" And no other country is lining up at present begging our Jewish, WASP, or other globalist elites to move to their countries and do to them what they are currently doing to America.....

Posted by: Cedarford at March 02, 2005 01:32 PM (6krEN)

98 Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Buchanan!

Posted by: zetetic at March 02, 2005 01:38 PM (92W/W)

99 cf wrote: Your pompous proclaimations on anything other than expressing unending love of Israel and Jewish business owners as amounting to Jew hatred are anchored in past behaviors where lazy people thought crying "anti-semitism" was all it took to silence all criticism of Israel or wealthy Jewish businessmen

I thought all dentists were Jews. Is this not the case?

Damn those Jew dentist bastards!!!!

and this:

Jews are not the majority of wealthy people hollowing out America's industrial base and selling out to the Chinese, begging for Open Borders and massive illegal immigration to depress wages here - but they are significant roleplayers in that.

like with 12 sided dice and all? Or do you mean some Jews own companies that outsource? Why do you assume an ethnic cohesion there and not with the Irish/German/French/English ancestried CEOs who do the same thing?

That, my good troll, is the question you must answer.

and finally:

And no other country is lining up at present begging our Jewish, WASP, or other globalist elites to move to their countries and do to them what they are currently doing to America

BZZZZT!

Assumes facts not in evidence. Last time I checked, most third world nations were chomping at the bit for ANY western investment. Got and facts for your assertion, since you raised it first? Like an article that says something like "El Salvador renounced tax breaks for western businesses to invest in the country."

See, I'm not asking you to prove a negative.

See, cedartroll, the propblem is not that your ideas are all wrong. A lot of them have merit. But you embody that foolish consistency that is the hobgoblin of little minds: you take everything to its illogical absolute.


Oh, fuck it. I'm not going to bother.

Posted by: hobgoblin at March 02, 2005 01:49 PM (2da3S)

100 Cedarford:

First of all, I wrote in the third person. As you correctly quoted, I wrote "If a man..." That should have been an indicator to you to think twice. I didn't write in the first person. All you had to do was click on Birkel's name in red and you'd see a link to his Blog. There you'd find his credentials.

But you are correct, I wasn't specific. But I immediately corrected that flaw as fast as I could. You then turned around and compared degrees and such with Birkel, making my point clear; that point being that Birkel didn't engage in puffery, it was you. So, in the end, what counts here is that you engaged in the behavior, at first when you (rightfully) thought I was doing it, but then did it again when you were corrected and knew I wasn't and neither was Birkel.

So it is you that seems to enjoy puffery, not I and not Birkel.

As far as you spewing your wonderful dissection of both my dentist example and my doggerel-humor-poem, you've added nothing new. All you've done is continue rehashing the same shit you've said from square one.

By the way, that dentist example is a real one (except for the Maui part). I personally know the man that was described in that example, and he just happens to work in a lower-middle class part of the town where I live. He chooses to work in that part of town because he finds his customers are easier to deal with (he'd rather do dental work on working class folks, that's just his pleasure). And I know pretty intimately the details of his finances and the impact his practice has on the local economy where he worked. And his patients can afford to pay for their dental work. Imagine that? And 50% of them don't have dental insurance. And he has a far lower collection problem than most affluent-neighborhood dentists in town.

So guess what? You can't deconstruct my example because it's real, and your assumptions are flat wrong. They're wrong even in the abstract.

But keep on spouting the same paradigm and talking points, because we need people like you to remind us what the other side is thinking. Actually, I suppose a short trip over to the Daily Kos would suffice, so maybe your presence here isn't that enlightening.

Either way, have fun. It must be a blast being so cynical. You know, globalization is going to do us all in, that sort of thing.

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 02, 2005 02:00 PM (S8sox)

101 Awesome, Hobgoblin.

Funny thing is, that dentist friend of mine is Lebanese, and Catholic. So, unfortunately, he can't add to your observation that all dentists must be Jews (though your statement was spot-on and very funny).

I think Cedartroll would make an excellent candidate to fire up the old Know Nothing party from the mid-19th century. That fits better into his paradigm. They were against Jews, Catholics, any dark-skinned folks, Irish, Germans, nearly everyone.

So come on, CedarTroll, where's your initiative? Get that Know Nothing party started right now! I'm sure there are thousands and perhaps millions of people that would join in. I think Pat Buchanan could do stump speeches with you.

Sounds like a plan to me,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 02, 2005 02:12 PM (S8sox)

102 Wow you guys are tenacious!

XXX, THE VIRGINS.

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 03, 2005 04:51 AM (dhRpo)

103 I prefer perspicacious.

It's borne of the desire to shine the light of reason and truth on darkened souls, regardless of time. Sort of like the Socratic master himself (the one who's name appears in Plato, but I can't post this message with his name because of the damn filter in mu.nu's comment spam blocker). I'll just avoid the hemlock.

Now, 72 Virgins, when are we going to see all of you? I want pictures, 72 unique ones, at the very least. A couple of shots per virgin would be nice. And they must all be of 18 years of age at a minimum.

Best regards, to all of you,

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 03, 2005 12:41 PM (hT8GB)

104 KCTrio: All of our pictures can be found in the current issue of The Suicide Bomber available to Moslem subscribers only, though you'd be disappointed because being virgins we wear the long burka from head to toe. But conversion to Islam is an easy matter involving speaking a couple of verses from the Quran. We are here to serve our martyrs, (and THE VIRGINS are lonely tonight).

Posted by: 72VIRGINS at March 04, 2005 05:45 AM (dhRpo)

105 72Virgins:

I'd have to do a hell of a lot more than that. Not only would I have to accept and perform the 5 pillars of Islam, I'd have to die fighting infidels. You're obviously performing a clever deceit, like a good radical Muslim. You are a true jihad follower, my brother.

My question to you is this:

If I get to partake in carnal activities with all 72 of you gals if I die fighting infidels, what happens to a female jihadist who dies fighting infidels? Will she get 72 male virgins?

My gues is no way. Only males get the 72 virgins. The female jihadist just gets to be one of the 72 virgins to serve me when I get to Paradise.

Tough break for the female martyr, great break for me, wouldn't you say?

Anyway, I'll pass on the self-immolation.

I'll just have to stick with the wife. I'd rather live a good life here on earth for a while. Though if there were a way to get those 72 virgins here on earth, I might be tempted.

Best regards (sigh)

KCTrio

Posted by: KCTrio at March 04, 2005 08:57 PM (hT8GB)

106 http://mechaniclocate.com/wwwboard/messages/28.html iwasshoespilling

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107 http://larissadelorenzo.com/wwwboard/messages/13877.html currentmontgomerypause

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108 http://monarch.tamu.edu/~messages/messages/2066.html complimentwhosewondered

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109 http://erotic.familiince.com/drunk/ neitherpleasantlyprepared

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