America On A Collision Course With Reality

After Ron Paul was unsuccessful in his bid for the Republican nomination for President, I lost particular interest in the White House race this year. If the American electorate really are daft enough to re-elect the man who has racked up more debt on their credit card than all his predecessors combined, then dammit, they deserve him.

Not that Romney is the ideal candidate to succeed him, though. All I have read about the man seems to suggest that, as a political leader, he makes a good businessman. As a Republican governor of the state of Massachusetts, he was very good at working with the Democrat-controlled state legislative assembly, and achieved a lot of outcomes for his fellow Bay Staters that were broadly hailed as welcome and necessary.

The trouble is, these are far from ordinary times. The United States stands on the brink of an abyss, economic, social and moral in nature, and only the blindest followers of the incumbent (which, predictably, include large sections of the Fourth Estate) deny this most basic, arithmetic reality. What is called for now is not a compromiser, a vacillator, an accommodater. These things are, sadly, what Willard Mitt Romney appears to me to be.

What is needed is a Fighter. One who is capable of perceiving the true nature of the problem, who is prepared to do what is needed to avert the economic catastrophe that America continues, Pollyanna-like, to kick into the future in ever-shortening increments. One unafraid of making enemies. One more interested in doing what is right than doing what conventional political wisdom decrees achievable.

Can Romney be that man? I certainly hope so. It isn’t impossible. But it will mean displaying a depth of character that I have failed to notice in my (admittedly brief) reading of his history. As a creature of the corruptly “capitalist” system that allowed the current situation to develop in the first place, he seems to me to be merely one more part of the problem, rather than part of any meaningful solution.

His running mate, Ryan, is another matter. I like the cut of his jib. Despite his tender age, he has a dozen years’ worth of experience in Congress, and is well-placed to deliver a budget that at least starts to reverse the malaise that threatens to drag America from its superpower status in a continually decreasing time frame.

Which candidate would produce better outcomes for Australia? Historically, Republican administrations have been marginally better for Australia. In truth, Australian and U.S. administrations have always worked well together, regardless of the political hue of each. The Hawke Labor government got on famously with the Reagan administration. Same with the Howard coalition government and the Clinton administration. The main difference, slight though it has been, lies in Democratic support for protectionism of its unionized industries, and agricultural export subsidies. Though even these differences are likely to be overwhelmed by the date with reality America seems certain to face when the next president, whoever it is, flashes his country’s Platinum Amex card and finds it refused.

As you know, I’m drowning in work at the moment, but I’m throwing the bar open on election night from the first mainland closing times (2300 UTC, 1800 EST, 1500 PST, 0900 Wed AEDST) when I’ll be be here until a clear winner is announced. So if you’re not at a physical election night party, you’re welcome here at LibertyGibbert’s virtual one. Even if you’re not a regular commenter, I will be on hand to approve all comments. Will Brucker Bummer be saved by a freak weather event? Or will the Oath of Office next January be sworn on the Book of Mormon? Time will tell.

See you then.

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89 Responses to America On A Collision Course With Reality

  1. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    G’day Oz,
    I figured I’ld brave typing on the #!%+ iPad and take the time to say hi. You’re assessment of Romney is pretty good. He was jammed down our throats by the Republican establishment. He is what they felt they wanted, not so much what the country needed. I don’t think they expected a win, but they might just get it even with the media coverup of Benghazi. (I get most of the details on it from Canadian news, etc.) My thoughts at first were to vote for him because he was the most viable ABO (anybody but Obama) and at least he wasn’t an arrogant, evil, communist like what we have. I must say that my opinion of him is shifting. I think there are some commanding qualities he kept hidden that are beginning to surface. His picking Ryan for veep is what finally gave me a good reason to vote for him enthusiastically. And as a woman (who supposedly votes with her hormones, there was a study), the Republican side is much hotter.
    I really like Ryan. He has brains and guts and has proven that he sticks to his promises/issues. I hope they win so he can successfully become a working veep (meaning the prez’s right hand, go to guy) rather than the behind the scenes backup for state funerals or assassination insurance like JoeJoe the clown. Then he can go on to POTUS.
    I don’t think Australia has anything to worry about as far as relations with the US, but Obama likes to throw compliant allies under the bus to save face, so Gilly needs to watch herself with him. Hopefully she will be convicted soon so your government improves too. I would really like to see that because it gives me hope that Mr. Bummer could be jailed too.
    About the impending world financial collapse. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks that it’s intentional. They are really trying to start WW3 to reset global debt, create a one world government, and reduce the population.
    Talk at you on Tuesday.

    G’day SGDN,

    Do you know, I keep a mental image of each of LibertyGibbert’s community. And now, I’ll have to revise the one of you! I hadn’t picked your gender at all, or I guess I would have been (subconsciously at least) more courteous, chivalrous, or something. There ya go.

    Is the impending financial apocalypse a conspiracy? Who knows? I certainly don’t. A whole bunch (more correctly, a wunch) of bankers are motivated by greed, that’s for sure. To what extent that greed has been exploited by totalitarians in a co-ordinated way, I’m not sure. Right now, all we need to know is that the apocalypse is both real and imminent, in the same way certain environmental catastrophes aren’t. If the next administration is successful in reversing the decline, then we can get around to flushing the rats out of the sewer – Oz

  2. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Hey Oz,
    Lol! You’ve been plenty courteous and chivalrous (which I’m sure has much to do with being Australian and the perfect bar-keep and host) and at first I was really careful not to disclose my gender for that reason.
    I should have added a ;-p after mentioning the gender voting study. It simultaneously offends and amuses me.

  3. Amanda says:

    Hi Ozboy. Nice to see you again.

    No prizes for guessing whom I support. And, being half-hearted in nothing especially where my freedom is concerned, you can bet that I do NOT see Romney as shall we say accommodationist. I DO see him as someone that can be President of all Americans. He is that rare thing: a true Republican that nonetheless could convince voters in arguably the most liberal state in the union (Massachusetts) to elect him Governor. That’s not a mark of his deficiency but a sign that he can rally people and unite them, and that they can see that troubled times call for clear heads.

    We would all be lucky to have Romney as President. I think, and I hope, that he will soon make a very fine one.

  4. Kitler says:

    I have to disagree with Amanda on Mittens he’s a centrist and not who we really need and all he can so is slow the rate of America’s decline. Not actually fix anything and heaven forbid the Dems rig the elections enough to get the Kenyan in America is F***ed. I suspect we would be look at civil turmoil and insurrection if not outright civil war.

  5. Mark says:

    I’ve always been rather disdainful of the assertions that ‘this’ election is the most important in x-years. It seems we are told every election is the most important in a generation, or the most important since the war, or the most important since the last time it was the most important.

    Its rarely true. Probably true in Oz in 83 and 96 and definitely 2013. Most definitely true in the US in 80 and (counter-intuitively) 84.

    But this one is vital. If the Obamessiah scrapes home, I think there is a serious chance the US will find itself beyond recovery by 2016. The US and the world dodged a bullet in 1980 when it selected Reagan. Reaganism bought the US another 30 years of ascendency and Reagan/Thatcher ushered in a era of Western supremacy and prosperity that was unimaginable in 1979 and unachievable under Carter or one of his proxies. Although I don’t think Romney is the new Reagan, he will, based on what I’ve seen, stop, or at least slow, the slide.

    As Steyn is wont to say, the US is the brokest country in history. A further 4 years of more of the last 4 years will leave it so indebted as to make extraction unachievable. Obama has already added $5 trillion (or 6, depending on how you count it) to the nation’s debt and there hasn’t been the slightest effort in the election to delineate how that will even addressed in a second term.

    I’m not all that enamoured of the assertions that Obama is a socialist/communist. I think he’s an Obama-ist in that he simply seeks to further his ambitions and adopts policies to suit. But he and the Democrats are creating a mendicant, dependant society and will have much of that locked in by 2016. As we see in Greece,Italy, Spain etc, governments do get to a point where they have to come clean with their people and tell them the government/state can no longer meet all the promises it made. But a large minority or even majority of the people refuse to accept the new reality and continue to demand state largess. This isn’t going well in the PIGS nations. It will be much worse when the biggest, brokest nation on earth comes clean.

    That won’t happen by 2016 but it will become inevitable by 2016 and by then so many people will be on the government teat that reason will no longer count.

    I don’t see Romney reversing the slide. But I do see him as a place-holder president who halts to the slide while the new breed (Ryan, Rubio, Christie) who believe in freedom, liberal-capitalism and individualism, gather their forces, ready to take the US back to its philosophic roots.

    Should Obama win, I feel that we can draw a line under the Anglosphere’s 250 yr ascendency. New players, less interested in individualism, human rights and international norms will take the stage. Whether that is China or a coaliition of East Asian states, or India or a more agressive Muslim coalition is somewhat immaterial. The US will go the way of Europe and Australia will go with it, perhaps.

    What the US needs is someone with the courage and the gravitas to wrench the US back into action. Someone who’ll close the Federal Education bureaucracy and get the feds out of health, Someone wh’ll gut the EPA and return it to its original original purposes. I thought the best line in the entire campaign was when Romney said he’d evaluate programmes based on whether they were so necessary as to justify borrowing from China to fulfil them. A great line and a great sentiment. But I don’t think he’ll do it. So not exactly what the US needs in 2012. But the least worst candidate.

    Agree with all of that Mark, except your doubts about Obama’s philosophy. At the risk of invoking Godwin, Hitler made his intentions crystal clear in Mein Kampf, years before the ascendency of the Third Reich. Obama did exactly the same in Dreams From My Father. If you are in any doubt, I suggest you read it – Oz

  6. izen says:

    The is only about a 20% chance of Obama losing, I suspect probably less after superstorm Sandy. Nothing like a crisis to make the incumbent look like a leader and shift people towards the established rather than wanting to try the untested.

    I am constantly amused at the level of partisan vitriol that Obama engenders, and yet he has proved to be just as much of a puppet of the banking and fossil fuel industry as Mitt is. However the last time a Democrat President managed to drag America out of a major recession/depression the use of deficit spending to do it also offended the ideological sensibilities of the 1% elite.
    So they tried to stage a coup. –

    Completely off topic, but I found it to be a wonderful story –

  7. meltemian says:

    Thanks izen, what an amazing result from the Ethiopian children.
    Kids seem to be able to work out anything, my 3 year old grandsons can master technology instantly, Skype us frequently and I’m confident of having all my computer problems solved by them before they start school!!

    Ditto that, wonderful story Izen. Kids are kids, all over the world.

    Perhaps as adults they will seek careers in Nigeria? Oz 😆

  8. izen says:

    There are aspects to the Ethiopian kids story. I have looked at the reports of this in various places, the link at the bottom to a description to the software used is interesting too, the little Nell storybook system inspired by Neil Stephenson’s Diamond Age.
    But I was surprised to see the level of negativity to the project. The comments at dvice and other places are a mix of enthusiasm and disapproval. Including horror that children are allowed to access to information without an adult to prevent irreversible harm or exposure to age inappropriate content. Then there are the liberal anti-colonialists complaining that the software teaches English instead of their local native dialect. Others comment that judging by the photos of the children what they need before any computers is decent housing and showers….

    The OLPC organisation has also come in for criticism from the eduction authorities in the countries they have worked in. Before dropping of computers in villages with NO education services they tried supplying laptops to children in schools in Ethiopia. The teachers have banned them. teaching in Ethiopia consists of a teacher {with all the knowledge} standing at the front of a seated class writing stuff on a blackboard. The children copy that into notebooks. Every few months the class takes a teat to see what they have remembered of what the teacher wrote and they copied.
    Playing {?!} with the laptops was interfering with that teaching so the laptops were taken away.

    I suspect this is very early days for autonomous learning systems. The little Nell storybook system has only the most rudimentary AI response to the child input, as the discussion of the software mentions it is no more than the old ELIZA word response system, but even that can engage children. As these systems improve, like Siri on the Apple systems, and tablets become more capable there is going to be a conflict between educators who want to use them for bolstering conventional systems of education, and others who see the potential to reach the many millions who could never get the gold standard of one-to-one mentoring from a trained teacher. But I suspect that the prospect of letting uncensored software teach a child anything it WANTS to learn will not be acceptable to many governments.

    I expect Ozboy may have some insights into how children may be educated, and how authoritarians may not favour systems where the state no longer defines what should be learnt, or how.

    I see Rommney is now about 6/1 against….

  9. farmerbraun says:

    FB broke the law in Godzone, and did not send his children to school until they were in their teens and wanting to further their education.
    He did that because he held the view that children have an innate tendency to discover and make sense of the world, and that given a nurturing, non-prescriptive environment, play will allow children to express all their creativity and develop a suite of abilities ; in other words , draw out their potentials, which is what education is. It was not necessaary to teach them to read and count; these things they learned throufgh interaction. Drawing was encouraged and steered towards writing, then reading followed. Counting arose from the use of money exchange.
    The priciples of Montessori/Steiner were loosely employed to provide some logical framework when the authorities finally caught up and demanded compliance and exemption, which consisted of demonstrating that the education was as good as the state schooling system could provide ; not a big ask really.

  10. farmerbraun says:

    Headlines this morning(7/11/12)

    Republicans will hold the house.
    The better news for Republicans: all polls point to the party holding the House of Representatives, and having a shot at taking control of the Senate from the Democrats.

    The election takes place November 6 (Wednesday November 7 NZ time; the Ohio poll will close 2.30pm NZT).

    In the event of a 269-269 Electoral College tie, the House of Representatives will decide the President (presumably picking Mr Romney if it the Republicans maintain control) while the Senate will decide the Vice President (if the Democrats manage to maintain their majority, they will pick Mr Obama’s running mate Joe Biden).

  11. Kitler says:

    FB…”In the event of a 269-269 Electoral College tie, the House of Representatives will decide the President (presumably picking Mr Romney if it the Republicans maintain control) ”
    Never underestimate the ability of one of the Republicans to betray the rest and vote for Obama it has happened too many times before.

  12. Ozboy says:

    G’day everyone,

    Sounds like we’re in for a wild time, with polls showing every result from an Obama landslide, to too close to call, to a Romney landslide. Should be fun.

    So grab a drink, strap yourselves in, and let’s see which pundits are left with egg all over their faces!

    Update 0901 AEDST: well, polls have now closed in the eastern states, so let’s see how much American voters resemble Aussie voters. Because down here, we’ve had a gutful.

    Update 1118 AEDST: Interesting point here explaining why exit polls are routinely skewed in favour of Democrats, citing the case of John Kerry in 2004.

  13. Amanda says:

    There won’t be a landslide, Oz, whatever happens. The country is divided as if by a knife. The days of Reagan winning 49 states (the 50th being won by the other guy because it was his home state) are over. We have too many illegal aliens here now, for one thing. Too many people voting illegally. Too much cheating (I’ll let you guess who does the most of it — they think their moral view trumps the democratic structure and process). Too much ignorance. And, too much encroachment by Leftism, which weak minds cling to because, though they live conservatively and have many conservative opinions (like the teachers at my husband’s school), they believe the lies told about the Republican party and they think that being Democrat is the badge of moral goodness. The world wiill end up paying for all this, not just we Americans.

    Yes, the landslide options appear to have evaporated.

    Msher at DT yesterday spoke about a campaign Al Gore ran during his eight years as Vice-President, to help illegal immigrants obtain bank accounts. The same bank accounts which, today, are being accepted as sufficient ID for voter registration. Incredible – Oz

  14. Amanda says:

    I don’t know how that extra ‘i’ got in there.

  15. Amanda says:

    Oz, I don’t know why voters aren’t required to prove citizenship to get their voter registration. I believe *I* was. I believe as well that you must register within a county within a certain period before you can vote. My husband didn’t, in the year when Clinton was up against Dole, and didn’t vote as a consequence. I don’t understand why these rules seem to prevent some people like him (a genuine citizen) from voting, while not preventing others from voting.

  16. izen says:

    Bad excuse on two grounds.

    First, it isn’t really credible that there are a large enough number of illegal aliens who will have sufficient fake id and other local requirements to register and vote in any state where they could have a significant effect on the outcome except perhaps Florida. And thats a stretch. If you are living and working as an illegal why would you risk increased exposure by putting your name on the electoral roll ? Unless you posit that far more than the 11million estimated, most of whom are in California are really the tip of an iceberg with many more masquerading and registering to vote in other states. Mexicans under the bed alll over.

    Second, if an resident illegal alien actually goes to the trouble of making fake id and claiming {falsely} to be an American citizen in order to vote, they have shown the sort of investment in society that gives them the moral right, if not the legal, to have their vote counted. They are certainly going to be paying some tax {at least sales taxes} and even if they are avoiding employment taxes with the collusion of a employer of illegals, they are probably paying a greater percentage of their wealth than Mitt does.

    If by some quirk of electoral votes Romney wins now, my bad excuse will be the unauditable electronic voting machines used. {grin}

    Agree at least that it can now be only an electoral quirk that gets Romney over the line.

    I also agree with Mark earlier that the economic “tipping point” (to borrow a phrase) will occur sometime during the next administration; and that there is little Romney could do to avert this, even if he does scrape in. The sheer size of the United States’ indebtedness is the unavoidable, mathematical inevitability. At the rate it is increasing, before the end of the decade America simply won’t be able to service the interest bill, and will either print their way out (i.e., an inflationary default), or else become Greece times one hundred.

    Quite a few of Americans I’ve read lately are now starting to consider their longer-range plan B. Australia and New Zealand are the obvious destinations, but there are also a few worthwhile ones in south-east Asia and the Pacific – Oz

  17. Mark says:

    Fox are calling it for Obama. They have him with 274 electoral college votes with 62 in doubt

  18. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    It’s looking bad for freedom’s side. They claim Obama has the electoral votes. I can only hope we took the senate, but the republicans and independents lost a few key seats, notably Brown lost to Fauxahotas Warren and her high Cherokee cheekbones in Mass. I’m not looking forward to 4 more years of progressive hypocrisy. I’m really not looking forward to Obama’s “flexibility”. I can only hope the whole Benghazi thing and Fast and Furious finally come to light and he is forced to resign. I think if Biden gets in to office things will really go to hell, though.

  19. Amanda says:

    Farmer: How much direr would you like it to get? This might as well be the official announcement that The Enlightenment is dead. And a life without that dispensation is quite frankly not worth living.

    There’s always a way out Amanda. Pray there are enough good people left in America to prevail in the end, even if right now you can’t see how that will be achieved. But for a while, yes, things your way are going to get pretty ugly – Oz

  20. Amanda says:

    Yes, there’s always a way out. Where are those suicide tablets? (Just kidding.)

    I have one word for you, my dear: C-O-N-G-R-E-S-S.

    God Bless America, even now. Especially now – Oz

  21. meltemian says:

    Commiserations Amanda, looks as though you’re in for a rough ride.
    (Incidentally Obama’s just said in his speech he wants to protect the US from a “warming planet”!!!)

  22. Ozboy says:

    I see the trolls at the DT are in full gloat mode. And you know what? Their gloating is better-founded than even they realize yet.

    Why? Because given the manner in which this election was won, and given that the rigging of the electorate is only likely to become far more entrenched in Obama’s second term, I am stumped to work out how any Republican presidential candidate, even a moderate centrist like Romney, can ever be elected again. I used to think Kitler was engaging in poetic license when he suggested there would have to be a war in there somewhere before justice could prevail. But now I’m not so sure.

  23. Amanda says:

    Meltemian: You’re making those suicide tablets look more appealing!

    Oz: You are a darling. Thanks.

  24. Kitler says:

    Ozboy all I have to say is this in a very metaphoric sense rather than actual….

  25. Kitler says:

    Ozboy….”I used to think Kitler was engaging in poetic license when he suggested there would have to be a war in there somewhere before justice could prevail. But now I’m not so sure.”

    No we will have to fight for freedom now because if the ballot box is denied us it will have to be the alternative not that that is something I have wanted or wished for. It’s what will happen.

  26. izen says:

    I find the catastrophism and melodrama a bit over the top. All that has happened is a politician has been elected. There wont be much he will do differently from his rival, mainly window-dressing, the big stuff is constrained by the system. Especially as like just about every other ‘Western style democracy’ he is part of a coalition government. But while the socio-economic system is not organised, it is complex and adaptive. There will always be bumps, but not cliffs, the logistics of the system prevent its total collapse, it just modifies by means that are unacceptable beforehand, and seen As inevitable afterward.

    Whatever rhetoric might come out of the White house, the dominant economic influence of the financiers, pharma and fossil fuel interests will constrict what can be done to little more than the regulatory actions like the vehicle milage improvements and minor banking regulation. Pharma will make a bundle from Obamacare.

    It has negligible impact on anything substantive, but it will make for some interesting clashes in the house of representatives now that Alan Grayson is back in Florida. He was a scream during the early bits of the Obamacare conflict before he got turfed in 2006.

    A bit over the top? Well, maybe only just a little bit. It is Congress which makes laws concerning appropriations, after all, and they are still controlled by the GOP. The catastrophe is the DEBT – the same catastrophe which sank most other great empires and, had Romney been successful, there is IMHO little he could have done to reverse the decline, unless his deputy Ryan really did take a chainsaw to the budget. Obama’s re-election is merely going to bring matters to a head a little earlier – Oz

  27. msher says:

    Itzen – you are wrong. It isn’t just “a politician was elected.” The politicitian himself is a narcarcistic, lightweight, lazy junkie. But he represents the interests who want to wipe out the American middle class and turn everyone except the ruling elite, into a giant government dependent underclass. Coal is going to be bankrupted. They’ve already said that. Small business will be regulated out of existence. It is already too expensive for people to start small businesses – the American path to upward mobility – because of the massive number of government requirements. The population is being balkanized, hispanics and blacks encouraged towards separatism and hatred of whites. Immigration is now all Muslim from third world countries. Class warfare encouraged. This is the push to change America from the principles on which it was founded and prospered to a semi-communist, third-world status country. Obama per se is irrelevant. Had Gore been elected, he would have just put us on the same path 8 years earlier.

    This is not my partisan opinion. The Dems are proud of the vision they have. They say it themselves. Everybody had to be equal and everything has to be fair. They talk about the rich. But they don’t really mean that. Many of the rich are far left and those pushin this agenda are the rich. They mean the middle class. And OK they don’t say third world status. They say America is arrogant and pushes its weight around. I.e., they do not want a militarily strong America.

    You do not understand the different vision the Dems are pushing. You might want that vision, but there is no way you can say it is the same vision -= the tradtional vision of America = that Romney was pushing. Not even remotely.

    I don’t understand the Brits on the Delingpole blog. They haven’t even mentioned the American election. Obama’s reelection is going to keep the AGW monster alive. They are going to immediately bankrupt coal. He won’t do the oil pipeline from Canada. Iran will get nukes. He and Cameron will continue their Arab Spring policy of overthrowing secular governments for Islamist ones and any euroskeptic who ever hopes to get free of the stranglehold of the EU needs a supportive American president. That isn’t Obama.

    Re vote fraud.

    Al Gore spent 8 years as VP getting states to issue ID cards so that illegals could open bank accounts. (Why he was doing that when the federal gov’t is supposed to be deporting illegals, the press never bothered asking.) Guess what was accepted in this election as ID for voting: ID cards.

    Here is I think absolute proof of vote fraud.

    There were about 5 propositions on the California ballot to raise taxes = personal income, corporate and sales tax. All the polls had shown the electorate heavily against. We are already along with New York the highest taxed states in the country. Businesses and individuals are fleeing because of it.

    Everyone of those proprositions passed. Does anyone really think the electorate voted for higher iincome and sales tax?


    JD says he has been out winning wars – i.e., his anti-wind candidacy is responsible for change in British energy policy. I don’t know. I think it might be the gov’t running out of money, rebellion in towns adjacent to wind farms and some things like that. James may have helped whip up further sentiment against and helped foment some back bench rebellion against and certainly was helpful. But I somehow don’t think it was his efforts alone. The indifference of the Brits on the Delingpole blog right now to the U.S. election, given how much material American bloggers have put on that blog to try to help them in their fight, is really turning me off right now. I don’t know if my reaction is reasonable or not. And maybe, once I get over my own disappointment and fear for our future, the reaction will pass.

  28. farmerbraun says:

    So will the GOP bite the bullet and agree to defence spending cuts (amongst other budget cuts) in return for no increase s in taxation. They seem conflicyed about this , which is puzzling.
    Why is the GOP not committed to smaller government, or at least government spending as a smaller % of GDP?

  29. farmerbraun says:

    Sorry about the proof reading: it will improve.

  30. farmerbraun says:

    Msher people who are dependent on the state always vote to raise taxes because they know that they will get it back in benefits ; it’s called creeping socialism, practised by left-leaning governments everywhere because it produces a captive voting segment.
    Turkeys voting for Xmas ; always do.

  31. msher says:


    There is conflict within the Republican Party. Many Republicans were barely distinguishable from Dems and have gone along with bigger and bigger government and more and more spending. That’s what gave rise to the Tea Party movement. But I think Obama’s rate of spending and the printing of money by the Fed has alarmed even those Republicans. The fight is over what gets cut. There are 3 areas that can make a difference – defense, welfare, and pensions and health care for the elderly.
    The fight will be over which gets cut. Dems will want defense and pensions and health care for the elderly. Republicans will have to concede that there must be changes for future pensions and health care for the elderly – no one thinks it is sustainable as is, but they will also want cuts in various welfare programs. Dems will fight that like crazy.

    Then the fight will also be over tax cuts. Every study shows that raising taxes does NOT increase revenues and to the extent it hits businesses, stops them from hiring. But it is an ideological thing for the Dems to “tax the rich.” Of course the rich can afford it and have worked out ways to legally avoid it. It is the middle classes that get hit – and just like the communists who most hated the “bourgeosie,” it is the middle classes the Dems want to wipe out. And it is what fewer jobs and tax increases will do.

  32. farmerbraun says:

    I’d be inclined to take this headline with a grain of salt , but it did lose 2%:-

  33. farmerbraun says:

    Msher , so you are saying that the GOP has lost the plot, and that the Tea Party cannot get it back on the rails?

  34. Amanda says:

    Farmer at 5:50: Exactly. Bingo. May I post that, crediting you, on the James blog?

  35. Amanda says:

    P. S. Don’t be concerned about the proof-reading: it’s the thoughts that count.

  36. Amanda says:

    Meltemian: Thanks, dear.

  37. farmerbraun says:

    Msher people who are dependent on the state always vote to raise taxes because they know that they will get it back in benefits ; it’s called creeping socialism, practised by left-leaning governments everywhere because it produces a captive voting segment.
    Turkeys voting for Xmas ; always do.

    On further thought FB

    The problem is that right-leaning parties are doing it too: the current National administration in Godzone is Labour -lite, just as , as Msher suggests, the GOP became , in their quest to gain office, Democrat-lite. It does more harm than good to try to slow the inevitable. Better just to rush headlong into the crash, the sooner to start the recovery. Let the socialists have their way until the people see the results, and look for something better.

  38. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    Sadly I believe you are right. It’s going to take a complete crash to shake most of these people to their senses. California, where I have the misfortune of being trapped, and Massachusetts will crash sooner than the rest of the country, bringing many innocent states and people behind them. I’ve only just begun considering what all this means and I don’t like it, but i’ll stick it out even though Canada is looking tempting (labor shortages in Saskatchewan and Alberta). I have some very dear loved ones that bought into the whole Democrat line and enthusiastically voted for all of it. I told one that if that is what she wanted to leave to her children, fine, but I resent you leaving it to mine.

    To you and I it does not seem logical that people would vote for all those taxes. Sadly, Californians are stupid and leftist. One college student told me that food was cheap so there was no problem with the increase of the price of food due to the GMO labeling proposition, then she went off to the stable to ride her horse.

    Don’t you mean Alan Grayson was out in 2010? Obamacare wasn’t even a twinkle in Valerie Jarrett’s eye in 2006.

    Good night all (or good morning as the case might be).

  39. farmerbraun says:

    I’ll just pop this quote from Chalmers Johnson here before I stack some zeds:

    “A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled; like the old Roman Republic, it will lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.”[4]

  40. Izen says:

    @- msher
    “Then the fight will also be over tax cuts. Every study shows that raising taxes does NOT increase revenues and to the extent it hits businesses, stops them from hiring.”

    I would be interested to see any credible studies that support this. There is a significant body of research on what happens empirically that indicate that the personal tax rate that gives maximum revenue is around 60% – 70%. That may be inhibitory if applied to business, but there is also a law of diminishing returns for lowering corporate tax. Below a certain point there is no gain in employment or other tax revenue from the possible enlargement of a business generated from lower tax rates.

    The idea that voters only voted for Obama because they see higher taxes as giving them more benefit is rather undermined by the many other essentially revenue neutral amendments that were passed or defeated that indicate a rejection of the many of the extreme right positions. Gay marriage, abortion, contraception services and even dope smoking were all supported or restrictions blocked. A number of extreme GOP candidates lost {Akin} which are also not voter choices driven by wanting higher taxes for more benefits, but a rejection of the ideological position of theose candidates.

    There is a danger for the GOP that some at the fringe will exhibit the blowback error and ‘double down’ claiming that becoming MORE extreme is the way to regain support, rather than the recognition that society and demographics are changing and if they want to remain politically relevant that must be factored in, rather than pandering to a shrinking rump of the dogmatic and aging.

    There are serious ways in which the US right can regain relevance, partly by dropping the authoritarian control stuff, {abortion, contraception religion etc} and concentrate on the libertarian economic arguments. Without falling into the trap of becoming the mouthpiece of crony capitalism advocating deregulation even when there are external costs.

    I said I’d make a Libertarian out of you eventually – Oz 🙂

  41. Luton Ian says:

    Completely OT

    Oz, I’m not sure if you’re into crypto zoology, I know Kitler is

    The Youtube user who’s page this is on has some great stuff posted, including yetis in the Tatra mountains (between Poland and Slovakia).

    I think he goes a bit far with some of his conclusions, but others are good. I hadn’t realized that this famous one was female, and had a muffin top

  42. msher says:

    Well I am not probably a pariah on the Delingpole blog and may make myself one here. I think the Brits on the blog were pigs to not say anything all day after the election when so many Americans have been on the blog to try to help them/James in their fight. And I think they are stupid to not understand that Obama – or the interests he represents – are their problem too. Cameron and Obama march to the tune of the same drummers. Both are lightweight fronts for whoever calls the shots. They are pushing the same policies. Benghazi is part of the Arab Spring where both governments are intentionally installing Islamic gov’ts and shipping arms to terrorist. Both are militaries are being gutted. Both are pushing EU – and eventually UN governance. Both are letting in vast numbers of Muslim immigrants from third world countries. (Americans are so focused on illegal immigration from Mexico, they haven’t realized what has happened to legal immigration.) Both are contininuing to let the population be balkanized with various groups being encouraged to hate the existing white population. Both are wiping out the middle class. And both want to kill of the elderly, the British aleady doing so.(Quotas and financial reward to hospitals, as revealed by BBC).

    How can the Brits not see that Obama (or more important, the interests he represents) affects them too? With America lost, there is nowhere that can help Britain out of its nightmare.

    Interesting if I speak truth harshly to warmists, the posters all like me (although wish I would do it in shorter posts). I spoke some truth harshly to Brits the last few days. They don’t like me very much now.



    I am not going to bother researching anything. But the logic is obvious. Taxes go up, businesses and their owners have less to spend on expansion and employees. Less jobs, less people paying tax. The corporate lay=offs started two days after the election in anticipation of tax increases and Obamacare. Even supermarkets are laying off people. And food is the last place people will stop spending.

    Same logic re increase in sales tax. Right now it is over 10% in California. That doesn’t make much difference on a dollar item. But on a car or even a high-end computer, a new washing machine or dishwasher and completely discretionary items such as a new coat or pretty new dress – households who have lost wages to increased taxes, inflation such as sky high gas prices and electricity bills (about that expensive wind energy that there are continuing rate hikes to cover) – ever higher sales taxes stops their ability to purchase. Government loses in lost sales what it gains in increased sales taxes. And businesses which cannot sell do not have as much profits to pay tax on and lay off employees who do not have income to tax.

    Is that logic really so difficult? I see it played out every day in my own decisions, decisions of my friends and in decisions I make for the business I own.


  43. msher says:


    As you said on James’ blog, I wrote two years ago exactly what was happening and going to happen. I was right on both Executive Orders and vote fraud. But it is worse than I ever imagined it could get.

    “Nor were the superior classes in the actual enjoyment of a rational liberty and independence. They were perpetually divided into factions, which servilely ranked themselves under the banners of the contending demagogues; and these maintained their influence over their partisans by the most shameful corruption and bribery, of which the means were supplied alone by the plunder of the public money”.

    – Alexander Fraser Tytler (1747-1813), Universal History p. 216

    Written in the past, describing an ancient past, but sums up the present with stunning clarity. Human nature never changes – Oz

  44. Ozboy says:

    Just got home from two weeks away, folks. I’ll have more to say about the U.S. election during the week. My long-promised article on children and Liberty is still on hold, as I really want to do it justice and not rush something out early for the sake of it. For your viewing pleasure, here’s where I was yesterday:

    On the subject of the remarkably prescient Tytler, I recall mentioning the Tytler Cycle to Dr Dave back in February. For those of you unfamiliar with it, he wrote:

    The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

    Sound familiar?

    Back soon – Oz

  45. Kitler says:

    Luton Ian that last video was taken at the White House.

  46. Kitler says:

    As for Provo canyon I’ve been there not much space for large apes to lurk it’s where Robert Redford has his ski resort.

  47. Kitler says:

    msher I hate to say it but the folks back in the UK are a lost cause and will reap their just reward per the Foxes prophecy….

  48. Luton Ian says:

    Stockholm syndrome is endemic in Britain.

    I wish sheep were as easy to herd as the Brits are.

    I’ve been avoiding the thread, rather than act like the smug teenage vegy when someone gets a steak that’s off.

    This explains some of the why

  49. Luton Ian says:

    re Provo Canyon,

    There are plenty of sitings close to you, they’re sneaky buggers, and very difficult to see. take a look at the new jersey one. There are also the Fouke (near texecana) reports of a troublesome “skunk ape”, and lots of “skunk ape” evidence down the river from you.

    Without offering any judgement, here’s one from County Durham

  50. Luton Ian says:

    Sorry, here’s the new jersey one


  51. Luton Ian says:


    It’s a dynamic struggle between the exploitative ruling class and the productive ruled. When one side isn’t in the ascendant, the other is.

    Careful about invoking “currents” or “Cycles” in history, it only distracts from the hard job of countering their memes and disseminating our own.

    one meme at a time

    You and I have had this discussion before, Ian; so let me re-state: I believe in free will, and reject fatalism, applied to individuals or even collectives. The Tytler Cycle has the character of analysis rather than synthesis; it is an observation based on an extensive reading of history, a generalization, from a professor in the subject, as opposed to a prescriptive for human behaviour or an inevitability of outcome. I’m certain that Tytler could have also pulled out some (albeit rarer) counter-examples from history; those perhaps who held to another law of history, that of Santayana, and remembered history, freeing them from repeating it – Oz

  52. Luton Ian says:

    I’ve just watched the NJ sasquatch again, it has too much a neck

  53. izen says:

    @- Luton Ian
    “I’ve been avoiding the thread, rather than act like the smug teenage vegy when someone gets a steak that’s off.
    This explains some of the why

    Had a strong sense of deja vue from that article. I have read almost the same argument and wording in communist party literature, just with ‘Marxist’ replacing Libertarian.

    As for the cryptobiology…. Most of it is negated by ecological limits on a food web supporting a mammal of that size in a breeding population.
    Although I understand there may be cryptic colonies of unicorn in the Mongolian steppes. There is just a lack of qualified hunters to capture one.

  54. Kitler says:

    izen you are wrong I’m sure I may have dated one or two while intoxicated, they do walk among us.

  55. Kitler says:

    Izen it’s not Unicorns silly it’s the Mongolian death worm and the Alma’s.

  56. izen says:

    @- msher
    ” I am not going to bother researching anything. But the logic is obvious. ”

    Applying logic to complex adaptive social systems like economies is not usually very successful. Logic works best when there are clearcut chains of singular causation, it is inadequate to deal with multifactorial, interactional systems with emergent behaviour.

    In the case of tax revenues, the empirical research does NOT support your obvious logic. Higher tax rates have in the past {under Nixon and Reagan} yielded higher revenues. There is a point of diminishing returns but evidence globally indicates that it is about twice the current higher income tax rate in the US.

    As the recent episode with rigorous numerical analysis on polling from Nate Silver versus the political gut feel of Fox news indicates, there is no better option that research if you want to avoid reality refuting your beliefs.

  57. Kitler says:

    Izen it is said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions but I say to you you didn’t build that the government built that.

  58. Kitler says:

    Izen it should be noted that the never ending printing of money called quantitative easing is actually a secret tax on everyone as it devalues the currency and is redistributed to the cronies of the current administration. We already pay a higher tax burden because of this. If you think giving 500 million dollars to Solyndra a solar company was a good idea think again, most of that was trousered by the owners all friends of the Democratic party they never had any intention of being successful.

  59. Luton Ian says:

    What is desirable about maximising the amount of money taken from the productive economy, for it to be squandered by cleptocrats?

    by definition, if government was spending the money on things people valued highly, then those things would have been paid for voluntarily (and with voluntary purchases on the market, the quantity quality and price would be consistent with customer demands – done by the state, there is the knowledge problem, and none of those can be rationally determined, as the funds are stolen rather than voluntarily paid, and the end user only gets a take it or leave it choice).

    If those goods and services could not be provided on the market, then, by definition, people didn’t consider them worth paying the costs of producing, and instead had other priorities for their scarce resources.

    In that second situation, the state is providing goods or services which were not valued by the market, and is stealing resources which would otherwise have gone into goods and services which individuals valued more highly. – the calculation problem.

    what’s more, the only way to extract those resources is with credible threat of violence.

  60. Luton Ian says:

    Re: use of logic,

    In an area where there are no constants, only variables

    but, on reflection, we know the ultimate drivers, then logic is the only way.

    Strangely enough, do you need to falsify each time, and with every possible object, whether 2+2=4?

    Did Euclid need to use falsification to derive geometry?

    (I know, I know, Einstein came op with a none Euclidian situation where a straight line is not the shortest distance between two points when on the surface of an elipsoid, and that is used as an excuse to reject Euclid in its entirety, and conveniently avoid teaching the peons any logic (can’t have them thinking, can we))

  61. Luton Ian says:

    “As for the cryptobiology…. Most of it is negated by ecological limits on a food web supporting a mammal of that size in a breeding population.”

    Therefore only wierdos think they’ve seen bears, as they cannot possibly survive in that eco system.

    especially as those mythical bears are trying to live as omnivores using a carnivore’s digestive system.


  62. Luton Ian says:

    I’ve got more later,

    especially the question of how, using either logical positivism, or Popperian falsificationism, you choose which variables to test

    Popper denied induction, and, as both the positivists and Popper claimed that only empirical statements can tell us anything about the real world…

    1) how can you know what in the infinity of variables to isolate?
    2) by there own standards, is the denial of a-priori knowledge an empirical or an analytical (and hence a mere tautological) claim?

  63. Ozboy says:

    The President of Free Stuff:

    Unusual surname; I wonder who she’s related to.

    If Romney was right, when he said, Bulworth-like, that 47% of America is like this, then surely in four years’ time it will be at least 49%, and an absolute majority shortly after that. I think it was de Tocqueville who said the American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with their own money.

    Bloody hell.

    Romney never stood a chance.

  64. Luton Ian says:

    I’d better state, I have absolutely skin in the issue of whether Sasquatch / Bigfoot / Yeti / Woodwode*, exist, and if they do, what they are.

    The two ways of looking at it are equally valid;

    Of the critters populating medieval bestiaries:

    few would expect to find fauns, satyrs, cyclops, centaurs etc.

    Some have been found, but are much less exciting than the legends; kraken (big squid) mermaids (dougong and manatee)

    other assumed mythical, cryptid, or rejected by the mainstream have been shown to be real; Komodo monitor lizards

    others which were assumed long extinct have been found too, nautilus and coelacanth are two which spring to mind.

    Interestingly the DNA from blood and tissue and physical examinations of hair, suspected of being from bigfoot, suggest that it is human, or near enough, there is only about 1/35 the difference between mitochondrial DNA of the samples and humans, compared to chimps/bonobos and humans – perhaps contamination of samples with human material? who knows?
    * Woodwode; the european “wild man of the woods” which appeared up to about the 14th century in european art.

    Like the Sasquatch it is depicted as a hairy human, with human feet, a hooded nose rather than forward facing nostrils and without the protruding jaw of a tropical ape:

  65. Luton Ian says:

    there are one or two superficial simillarities between the position argued in the Mises daily post, and that argued by the commies,

    There are other simillarities between libertarianism and marxism, as marx stole some of the ideas from the French Liberal School of economics (to which Frederic Bastiat, and Gustave de Molinari belonged), notably class analysis,

    however, Marx’ class analysis, like many of his “ideas” is rather confused and inconsistent by comparison.

    In libertarian class analysis, there are two classes, the thieving parasitic rulers, and the parisitised, productive ruled.

    Within those two, there is genuine common purpose and class interest, whereas Marxian class analysis cannot show common class purpose within any of his classes.

    Marx also stole the ideas of “class consciousness, but distorted it beyond recognition with his stupid ideas of polylogism, of “correct proletarian thinking” compared to “incorrect Bourgeois thought”.

    Even with left anarchists (as well as marxoids) , the plan runs allong the lines of creating a omnipotent dictatorship, which will magically negate itself and pure freedom will result

    obvious crap, freedom cannot result from creating an ultimate institution of violent coercion

  66. Luton Ian says:

    Can’t speak for their politics, as I don’t know, but here are two geologists called Dunham;

    arguably the brightest student Arthur Holmes (first isotope age of the earth, and, the doorstop “principals of” textbook”) taught, and who went on to be Prof at Durham and to be director general of the British Geological Survey, was called Kingsley Charles Dunham.

    K C Dunham’s most significant work was on the idea of a sedimentary brine origin for the fluids forming Mississippi Valley type Lead Zinc deposits, this came about after the proving of the “Rookhope Granite” 50 years ago this year. When it was cored, it was found to have a weathered top, overlain by the Carboniferous sediments which contained the mineralization, the mineralization could not therefore have come from magmatic fluids from the emplacement of the granite. Dunham had previously postulated the existence of the granite based on the zoning of the mineralization.

    His wartime memoirs of the pennine ore fields have a significant nerdy following, he updated the two volumes of the Northern field memoirs in his retirement

    – I’ve got to say, I am one of those nerds, and have signed original and updated volumes, allong with loose leaf copies too for photocopying for field use too.

    His son, Ansell, was prof of industrial mineralogy at leicester, Ansell’s (allong with Bob Scott, and later Kip Jeffries) masters program had the best employment record of any masters degree in any subject in Britain. I was very tempted to take it, and often wished that I did. Sadly Ansell died before his father.

    Fair enough Ian; this is obviously who I had in mind.

    A couple of classmates of mine went on to do their Masters’ degree at the London School of Mines. Like you, I often wondered whether I should have followed them – Oz

  67. Luton Ian says:

    “Government, the great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else”
    Frederic Bastiat.

    Bastiat died Christmas Eve 1850

    In 1849 the man whom Bastiat is said to have described from his death bead, as “the continuator of my work”; Gustav de Molinari published the first two works of the modern period describing the advantages of defence and dispute resolution services being provided on the free market, rather than as a state monopoly. as far as I know, he was the first an-cap.

  68. Amanda says:

    Ozboy: I am just hoping that there will not be serious ‘social unrest’ — which means collusion of murderers with terrorists, widespread riots, and gang rampages against the innocent, before I croak and leave this vale of tears. It would be nice to die quietly and before I am forced to witness the true end of my civilization. I do hope that my imagination, however instructed by reason and history, is well ahead of what will prove to be reality. Nonetheless, we are leaving the Golden Age — the true and I think likely the only G. A. of humanity. Freedom is simply too good and too demanding for many people, and they will not be happy until they’ve brought terror and misery to us all.

    Amanda, if this was Greece, we could say, “well, one day soon, the treasury will be emptied – Obama’s cheques will simply stop arriving; from that day, public servants will all have to seek work in the private sector, in a marketplace that measures dispassionately the value of their skills. Welfare recipients will have to find work, and the unemployable will be reduced to soup kitchens.

    But it’s America we are talking about. When the money runs out, why, just print some more! How easy! And tax the rich even further. What can they possibly do in retaliation? Anyone who “denies” this reality is a dinosaur, out of touch with the realities of the modern world, and the magic of economics!

    Not – Oz

  69. Stop Global Dumbing Now says:

    G’day Oz
    I thought the same thing when I first saw it and the name. A cousin, maybe.
    A lot of people agree with you. 20 states have petitions to secede. Texas almost has enough signatures to force a response from Obama.

    I’m beginning to think an ABO could not have stopped the inevitable, or even slowed it down.

    I do love the way that in some districts in Philly and Cleveland Mr. Bummer got 100% of the votes with 110% or even 143% turnout.

    America is screwed. Let’s get Gilly for Oz.


    I particularly like this quote from your link:

    For Dennis Miller, for Reginald Kaigler, and for yours truly, this has now moved beyond a Left vs. Right issue. It’s just mathematics and time. The USS America is headed towards the largest iceberg the world has ever known. About ¼ of the passengers are screaming at the captain to turn the ship to avoid the collision. Slightly more than that are telling the captain to ignore these people because they’re crazy and that global warming will probably melt the iceberg anyhow. Almost ½ of the passengers are either disgusted with all the shouting back & forth or can’t be bothered to leave the satellite TV service in their cabins to see what all the fuss is about.

    …followed by the statistic that of America’s 219 million eligible voters, 27% voted for Obama, 26% for Romney, with 47% not voting. Truly, as I said at the top, America now has the government it deserves – Oz

  70. Kitler says:

    Well the Obama supporters are soon to find out that his election means unemployment or under employment they will be also hit with being forced to buy health insurance and remember this could cost them $600 to $1000 a month or the government will fine them. If you are on minimum wage and you have gone from 40 hours to 28 this will crush them.
    I expect the left will pass some edict about not firing people or being forced to give them more than 30 hours so they qualify for health insurance from their employer. This will force many business owners to simply close up shop and fire everyone.
    Either way it’s a massive unemployment spike and no one will hire or grow their businesses. Already they are cutting welfare payments to the poor in Ohio they have bought their vote now they don’t need them for another four years.
    I see trouble ahead but I expect a vicious brutal crack down on anyone who tries to resist the left has never had any problem with murder as a tool of the state. They would also use weapons of mass destruction on their own people with no moral qualms.
    Ultimately they will run out of victims or their own neglect of infrastructure will destroy them. Artsy people don’t do bridges or hydraulic engineering.

    As I said last year, it’s life imitating art.

    Now watch the specifics start to come true, one by one: businesses forbidden to close their doors, nationalization of industry, and the flight of capital and brain power – legally or otherwise – to safe havens.

    Secession, as SGDN alluded to above, is the inevitable next step. And the Lone Star State will be first. Actually, if anyone can answer this, how can secession come about? Under the U.S. Constitution, does it require a plebiscite of that state’s voters? Does it require some form of assent from the other states? Or the President?

    Anyone? Oz

    UPDATE: here’s the Wiki answer. Here is another, better one. It would appear it is a constitutionally undefined issue, perhaps deliberately so. That could get really ugly.

  71. Kitler says:

    Oz Texas would be rapidly followed by at least 20 other states but it will not be allowed Martial law would be implemented in less than 5 seconds and the tanks would be on the streets. A senator or congressman from Texas joked about it a dew years back they had the military immediately put on standby. If people believe that the kids in the military today won’t fire on their own people they are sadly deluded.
    Another problem is that all Southern states have large cities with large black populations short of forced relocation to the North they would represent a major threat to any secession movement.
    So if it does happen it will be messy and cost a lot of lives.
    No matter what happens it will all collapse but that is the goal so they can build a brave new world of serfs.

    I’d love to see the Dallas Cowboys compete in an international competition. Their cheerleaders already rule the earth – Oz 😉

  72. Kitler says:

    Ozboy would that have anything to do with a certain Debbie?

    That, sir, is beneath you – Oz

  73. Kitler says:

    Being a married man I don’t gawk at cheerleaders to do so would lead me to the gates of hell. My immortal soul would be imperiled, also how you know what I was referring to?

    You and me both, brother. I’ve already nailed my colours to the mast – Oz 🙄

  74. Kitler says:

    Well if you wonder how far things have gone John Kerry is to be offered the Department of Surrender I mean defense. Also Elmo is in trouble…..
    Romney was onto something at least.

  75. izen says:

    The issue of how much tax revenue a government is ethically justified in abstracting from the economy is seperate from whether increased tax rates increase revenue.
    I understand that those with a moral objection to governments taking a large percentage of the GDP would LIKE it to be true that increasing tax rates did not result in a higher revenue take, it would help justify their ideological claim for lower tax rates. But the empirical evidence is that the income tax rate can be increased to increase revenues as can many other tax rates with minimal impact on the overall economy.

    When I read Popper in the early 70s I was aware that he was considered a good start on a rational scientific epistemology, not the last word. The failure to deal with inductive methods and the inability to capture the actual way in which scientists developed hypothesis into theories meant that while Popper is a good foundation, the epistemology of science includes a little more than just Popperian falsification.

    Make the argument for lower tax rates for ideological or ethical reasons, but trying to pretend that raising taxes does not raise revenue is a fake, and wrong claim and undermines the credibility of your position.

  76. izen says:

    @- Luton Ian
    “Therefore only wierdos think they’ve seen bears, as they cannot possibly survive in that eco system.”

    Bears are a good example, they have a significant effect on the ecosystem with the predation of the salmon run being the obvious factor. They also need a breeding population of at least several thousand within a few days travel. If there was another large mammal skulking around the woods it would have to match those sort of numbers and ecological impact and would be as obvious as the bears.
    A few hundred would succumb to the genetic bottleneck within a couple of generations.

  77. izen says:

    Defining a percentage of the population as ‘takers’ because they make no net contribution to government revenues via tax, needs to deal with the fact that over half of these takers are either young adults in education of old, retired people who have worked a lifetime and are now in failing health. Most civilised societies view both of these groups as justified recipients of societies’s largess.
    The ‘deserving poor’ in Dickensian terms.

    The last time a society tried to transport its UNdeserving poor out of society to cure the ills of an underclass the result was…. Mixed! {grin}

  78. Luton Ian says:

    Izen, you are dodging the question of how (if logic tells us nothing about the real world) do we select the variables to isolate?

  79. izen says:

    @- Luton Ian

    Baysian analysis.
    Make hypothesis about which variables are relevant and then correct the a priori assumptions with empirical evidence.
    That is how Nate Silver called the election correctly.

  80. Luton Ian says:

    I’m not denying that there is an optimum level of taxation, allowing the cleptocrats to maximise their swag.

    What I’m questioning is the idea that violent robbery is in any way justifiable.

    If there had been a payroll robbery, making off with 40% to 50% of the pay of a little factory with 20 or 30 workers, it would be top item on the national news.

    government steals that percentage of every worker’s wages every week in every state in the World, and around 20% of everything left that the robbed chose to spend.

    The two questions which I pose above, about what can government reasonably use that money for that either would not be done both more efficeintly (and without violence) by people choosing on an open market

    and if the market does not provide, why is government forcibly taking from people to spend on something which they would not otherwise choose for themselves?

    I guess you’ll come back with your last remark about the deserving poor, so I’ll head that off too;

    If you are concerned, “you” contribute, do not expect to have others robbed to salve “your” (in the third person) conscience.

    Is giving to a mugger, a charitable act?

    however, without the current theft to support the massive cleptocracy, look at the resources available to invest in productive activities, and to be given in voluntary charity.

    Note also that minimum wages outlaw anyone performing tasks less valued than that rate

    Government inflation of the money supply, steals savings which would otherwise have been invested to save for retirement

    Government bonds (promises to rob you in the future) take money from investment in productive activities

    Bernie Maddoff had his day in court, he never forced people into his ponzi scheme with threats of violence – the state does, national insurance consists of “we owe the government future taxes ” notes, called “bonds”

    The government has spent the money, and we are expected to pay both the principal and interest and handling fee.

  81. Luton Ian says:

    at last,
    got an admission of a-priori out of you

  82. Luton Ian says:

    On sasquatch,

    You’ve nicely fallen into the pit trap I left for you.

    Now look at the other large omnivores who were living in the forests and on the north American, Eurasian and greenland tundra until a few decades ago:

    North American Indians, Inuit and Saami/lapps,

    away from the coast, Inuit certainly got around in breeding by polygamy and polyandry, at very low population densities.

    Competing in almost the same niche, sasquatch, if they exist, would need to find slightly different areas, and avoid contact with their potentially very dangerous competitor.

    African great apes occupy high altitude forest and remote savanna or forest, the chimps (e.g. Goodall’s Gombe population) were very afraid of human contact – Goodall actually expresses regret for familliarizing them with humans as they now abduct and eat human infants from local villages.

    Add in a homminid level of intelligence, and it would be expected that sasquatch (if they exist) to be very good at avoiding human contact (snipers and special forces rangers, eat your hearts out),

    and it appears from the possible sightings, have adopted a largely high altitude, or remote forest habitat, and it would also appear, nocturnal habits.

  83. Amanda says:

    Hello Oz. I’d be happy to have you as President of the United States, even though I know that you wouldn’t want the job. But you’re doing great stuff just by being a sane citizen of your own country. Freedom is always a battle because we are always in danger of losing it. Maybe it’s a losing battle, but it’s one we have to fight!

    SGDN: Thanks, and yes, I’d be quite willing to move back to Texas if events made that advisable. But I’m banking on a slower decline/break-up than that. A long way off, I hope; and not in my lifetime (I hope).

    This has been circulating the last couple of days as a spam e-mail. The Republic of Texas would be a formidable player on the world stage from day one of its latest existence. If just one other state – say, Alaska – joined it in a federation, it would be an economic force to put a serious dent in Obama’s socialist utopia – Oz

  84. Amanda says:

    I have to admit, Oz, I enjoyed that list. Texas IS the medical center of the universe and it IS armed to the teeth and it IS full of self-reliant can-do people and it IS very wealthy in all manner of ways. And big. My heart belongs first to England, and after that, Florida, but I respect Texas from the bottom to the top!

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