"Tipping your rapist."
I can't take credit for this one, I'm just repeating it.
There are advantages to not having a food culture. I have always claimed that the reason England conquered half of the world is that Englishmen were seeking a decent meal. The English sailor would sit down to a meal of overcooked and greasy meat and vegetables and think, I need to go conquer a country that knows how to prepare a decent meal.
The Italians, on the other hand, dined very handsomely and stayed at home.
On Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 2:00 PM, XX wrote:
There needs to be a examination of the cost of government compared to the output of it's citizens. When Gov't expenses go to high, taxes go up, workers are likely to balk at improving their income.
It will cease to be an issue, because we are approaching 50% of our voters not paying any federal tax. That means they will decide to increase taxes on those who do pay. Notice how "the wealthy" are now paid less and less. Now it's about $250K. In a previous Democratic administration, a Millionaire was someone that earned a million dollars in their life time.
That Would Have Worked Out Well
Anyone seen any recent calls for Social Security private accounts?
The stock market crash has shown how catastrophic private accounts would have been, and who would have really benefited from them. Would the government have allowed the Bear Stearns and Lehman outcomes had the Social Security system been chock full of those stocks? Remember, both were former blue chips, the sort of companies that proponents of private accounts insisted any new system would be limited to. The same for Citi, AIG, Fannie Mae, and others. How much pressure would the Fed and Treasury have felt -- and what more would have been done -- to keep those afloat and/or out of penny stock land?
That pressure would have been exerted by millions of unpaid but highly effective lobbyists: people emailing and calling Washington, demanding that their Social Security money -- and so the stocks, the companies, and the executives -- be saved. Corporate bondholders would have loved it, since the Social Security system effectively would have become a massive safety buffer. Would "nationalization" even be considered if it meant destroying part of Social Security?
Private accounts are dead now, so it's a bit of a moot point. But I wonder how many of those who both supported them and genuinely object to the prevailing bailout ethos ever thought this through.
What should government do? A Jindal meditation
What is the appropriate role of government?
Traditionally, the division between conservatives and liberals has been over the role and size of the welfare state: liberals think that the government should play a large role in sanding off the market economy’s rough edges, conservatives believe that time and chance happen to us all, and that’s that.
But both sides, I thought, agreed that the government should provide public goods — goods that are nonrival (they benefit everyone) and nonexcludable (there’s no way to restrict the benefits to people who pay.) The classic examples are things like lighthouses and national defense, but there are many others. For example, knowing when a volcano is likely to erupt can save many lives; but there’s no private incentive to spend money on monitoring, since even people who didn’t contribute to maintaining the monitoring system can still benefit from the warning. So that’s the sort of activity that should be undertaken by government.
So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.
And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.
The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.