America The Owned In Full…

supremecourtnascar

Read all about it at PFAW!

Life in the fast lane, with corporate grade fuel fueling corporate whores all around the country around the clock.

They could do a picture of Congress and it would be even more egregious. Or maybe not. We expect this from Congress, but when the heart of the legal system can be bought and sold… what is there to do but slap your forehead and say ‘Oy!’ (Then get the pitchforks, torches, tar, feathers, some bourbon, and get that old Frankenstein mob mentality moving toward Washington.)

(The double benefit of this photo is that it makes those whored-up NASCAR drivers look ridiculous too. One things for sure: anyone who wears corporate logos can’t be trusted, and that goes for those guys running around with little American flag pins in their lapels.)

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20 Responses

  1. And of the other five drivers? They should be adorned with a number of logos themselves wouldn’t you say? They are also missing their Chairman Mao caps and Che T-Shirts. If we are talking ideological “whoredom” after all, we should be fair.

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    • That’s four, Chuck, not five. And there’s a big difference between acting as if the corporations rule America and acting as if all the people are part of the equation and deserve equal consideration and respect, and acting as if complex social problems need to have more than some empty-headed Republican or Conservative slogan thrown at them to reach a solution. You haven’t a clue about ‘fair’: I suspect your ‘fair’ comes from the Faux News slogan, which was from the beginning a marketing ploy to bring in viewers who haven’t actually had a critical thought in their head since first grade.

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  2. Sorry for the typo, I understand that there are four. Perhaps all the McDonald’s logos made me a bit dyslexic.

    All ideologies have labels, and liberalism is full of them. To deny such is, at best, intellectually dishonest. That being said, I would be happy to debate the liberal concept of ‘fair’ with you – if you like.

    I would agree that every citizen regardless of race, creed, socioeconomic level, or political orientation is constitutionally entitled fairness under the law. It is, in fact, our duty as Americans to ensure that this right is upheld and perfected. If however, you are talking about ‘socioeconomic’ fairness, then I am sure our views depart dramatically. Ideas of fairness in this area are far more abstract.

    The idea that Corporate America is somehow responsible for all of our country’s ills ( I am not saying you believe this…but I am inclined to believe that you may) is tragically myopic. States that have built their economic model on this ill conceived notion, have ultimately destroyed their own proletariat classes by first dismantling the industry that fed them. History is full of such examples.

    Our Constitution cannot provide for individuals unless it also provides for their ability to conduct free and open (legal) commerce. It is key to the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ thing. The companies you mock in your photo are as entitled to constitutional protection as any individual. Protecting a corporation’s rights hardly makes a Supreme Court Justice a whore.

    On a final note, I am always open to opposing views, and do truly appreciate hearing yours. That is why I am here, and not wasting my time on one of the many ’empty-headed’ Conservative (or Liberal) blogs out there. My initial impression of your forum was that it was a bit more well-reasoned than most. I believe you to be a passionate and intelligent fellow, and do not consider your differing world view to be a character flaw. So, I will refrain from any assessment of your ability to think critically until we have conversed further.

    Best Regards

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  3. Our Constitution cannot provide for individuals unless it also provides for their ability to conduct free and open (legal) commerce. It is key to the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ thing. The companies you mock in your photo are as entitled to constitutional protection as any individual. Protecting a corporation’s rights hardly makes a Supreme Court Justice a whore.

    Ah, yes, the magic of the free market. Buying shit = pursuit of happiness? Sounds like a marketing slogan…

    Corporations are not individuals, and for the law to treat them as such is a perversion of the concept.

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    • It is not a marketing slogan my friend – it is life. The free market provides for the needs of our citizenry in a most remarkable way. Milton Friedman himself noted this, by using a simple pencil as an example.

      In this example, Milton points out that there is no one out there that can actually make a pencil. Certainly there are companies that harvest the wood, and others that make the rubber erasers and yellow paint, but it is ultimately the free market that makes a pencil. It is a process that no centrally planned economy has ever been able to replicate, and it actually provides for our needs quite nicely.

      If you could not buy ‘stuff’ created by our free market, you would most certainly not be debating me on the Internet right now. Even if we had been able to fashion home made computers, neither the global network infrastructure nor the communication standards would exist. Centralized planning creates single-use stovepipe systems and commodity shortages, because there is no market-based incentive to standardize or produce.

      Certainly there are exceptions to any rule, and our system is certainly not perfect, but I am sad to report to you that the free market actually works.

      Regarding your second comment concerning corporations, I beg to differ. We can argue about the 14th Amendment (Equal Protection) if you like, but there has been ample precedence set in our highest courts for well over one hundred seventy years reaffirming corporate rights and protections.

      With regard to your statement on corporations, let me close by asking you a couple of questions:

      What exactly do you think a corporation is?

      What makes a corporation any different from a group of individuals cooperating with each other?

      Why should individuals loose rights when they cooperate with each other?

      I am quite interested in your response.

      Thanks for the note.

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  4. Corporations are not individuals, and for the law to treat them as such is a perversion of the concept.

    Hear, hear.

    What makes a corporation any different from a group of individuals cooperating with each other?

    Did you elect the Board of Directors of the company where you work? I doubt it. More likely, they are part of a small incestuous group that ostensibly runs corporations. Board members spend much of their time nominating each other to the boards of the (often numerous) corporations to which they belong. They make certain that the lion’s share of corporate profits are siphoned off in the form of bonuses (to themselves) that tend to far exceed claimed salaries.

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  5. If you could not buy ’stuff’ created by our free market, you would most certainly not be debating me on the Internet right now. Even if we had been able to fashion home made computers, neither the global network infrastructure nor the communication standards would exist. Centralized planning creates single-use stovepipe systems and commodity shortages, because there is no market-based incentive to standardize or produce.

    That must be why we’re 15th in the world in broadband access, and 19th in terms of cost; i.e., Americans pay more for broadband than any other developed country. Guess why? One reason is that companies won’t share their lines, creating “single-use stovepipe systems.” Another reason is that we don’t have a centralized plan, like other developed countries.

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  6. Chuck:

    Understandable that the collection of logos could affect a person’s perceptions. I feel the same way looking at flocks of NASCAR drivers (which I almost never do).

    Your first mistake, though, was responding to my post before I had my second cup of coffee. Always a bad idea.

    Your second mistake is your patronising tone, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.

    Your third mistake is to use the phrase ‘my friend’ to people you don’t know. It’s what politicians say to garner favor and votes. It never fails to sound phony and insulting.

    Aside from that trivia, however…

    On socioeconomic fairness, I think it is not possible to weed out socioeconomics from any discussion of citizenry and their government. It’s socioeconomics all the way down, right next to the stack of turtles. I’d offer that ‘fairness’ comprises honesty, integrity, and transparency on the part of government and corporations; and equal availability of opportunity and remedy to the citizenry. Do we have that? No. Money talks. Poverty walks.

    I didn’t state that corporations are responsible for all of our country’s ills, nor do I believe that. But I do believe they are responsible for ills and that they should be held accountable.

    Jump to corporate personhood. The Supreme Court settled that with Waite’s pre-emptive comment in Santa Clara County in 1886. Okay, the court’s opinions since Dartmouth College freed corporations from English law restraints and the corporations contributed dynamically to the growth and power of America. Granted. The corporations also abused their power, often, and continue to do so. Not all, but enough, and profoundly enough. Enron, for example. The financial firms involved in the current economic meltdown. And so on.

    You speak of corporations being a loose association of individuals which should be protected as an individual. That stands in law, yes. But a ‘a loose association of individuals’? No, I think not. A loose association of individuals is not an individual. A corporation is not an individual, as you or I may be. It is only an individual as a corporate entity, and that is not the same thing, nor should it have the same rights and privileges as you or I or ildi. A corporation is a concentration of financial power in the hands of a few individuals given legal cover to do business.

    Perhaps you mean the stockholders? You’re not clear on that. But stockholders, touted as ‘owners’ of these corporations, have no ownership power, no executive power. Walk into GM’s headquarters waving your thousand shares of stock and demanding that they do thus and so and you’ll be shown the door. A stockholder owns pieces of paper of indeterminate value over time. Unless he owns vast amounts, a la Icahn or Buffett, he has no effective voice.

    So a handful of tightly connected people – CEO, executive officers, board of directors – control the money, control the politics, control the decisions of the corporation. Their primary charge? Increase shareholder value, or, make money. In that, they are amoral. Money is morality, and money doesn’t care. If people, if democracy, if liberty, get crushed by corporate amorality, it is of no matter to the corporation, as long as they don’t get caught breaking the law, and given the immense corporate wealth available, the corporations can simply write the laws through the legislators and legislatures they have effectively bought.

    As for Friedman’s pencil, bullshit. I can make a pencil. It might take me a while and it won’t look like what we’re used to, but I can certainly make one. And if someone wants to buy one from me, I can make them one. I can’t produce a million a day, and I’d have to charge a lot more for one pencil than a factory would, but I could do it, from scratch.

    As for centrally planned economies not being able to do the process of manufacturing… not so. Any manufacturing corporation is itself a centrally planned economy, and obviously that can work pretty well. On a nation scale, the Soviet Union, for all its evils and faults, built one hell of a lot of tanks in WWII through central planning. You can argue trivia about that, but Russian central planning killed a lot of Germans. Central planning can work. Take your best team of American corporate executives and set them the task of creating a successful system of central planning, and they’ll do it. Where it doesn’t work well is in a tyranny or an oligarchy that has become corrupt with power: there are no checks on the arrogance and ignorance of such governments – Germany failed in part because Hitler was arrogant and… well… mental, which is really neither here nor there.

    What’s this about ‘Milton’? Did you know him personally, or are you simply trying to impress us with a faux connection? Or are you channeling the poet?

    I’m not going to argue Friedman with you. I don’t know enough and economics is at best a difficult field for trained economists. I will say that any economic theory based on the so-called rational consumer is bogus. Consumers do not behave rationally, as economic and social research has shown and continually reaffirms. Simple idea: If people behaved rationally in markets, why do companies need young women wearing bikinis and possessing big breasts to sell cars, and beer, and whatever else? The strategy works, but it does not appeal to the rational part of the consumer. It’s rational for the marketer because it works, it sells product, it makes money, it increases shareholder value. But Joe Lovesboobs is not buying the car because it’s a really good car, but because he’s buying sex and power.

    To sum up, free markets may or may not be desirable to some degree or other, depending on any given political, social, and economic environment, but without rational and reasonable regulation of corporations by the only party that can regulate them, the government, then only the corporations are free, while the consumers are little more than victims of corporate greed.

    I doubt that we will come to any sort of agreement, nor do I expect to.

    By the way, here’s a site that might interest you. Someone brought it to my attention today Political Math Blog

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  7. Ric,
    I truly apologize if the tone in my initial reply seemed patronizing. I was actually going for pithiness – not petulance. That is the problem with written discourse.
    As far as the “my friend” comment I was a bit put off by the dismissive tone of the responder. His “Buying shit = the pursuit of happiness” statement trivialized the discussion and was not productive. I can get those types of responses on any number of other “empty headed” sites and had hoped for more here. I do respect your candor however, as well as your willingness to explore the issues with me. It is truly a rarity in the blogosphere – on both sides. That being said, let me take a moment to address a couple of your thoughts:

    First on where we agree:
    You and I actually agree on more than you may think. I do believe that corporations should be regulated, and that business must take place within the boundaries of the law. Corporations like Enron and Global Crossing should be held to account for their wrong doings. I also have contempt for corporate officers that fail their employees and stockholders and reward themselves with insane bonuses. Where we may depart a bit here is that I believe market forces, when left to themselves, will usually correct the latter problem. When they do not however, government involvement is appropriate. For the record, as a small business owner, I am completely opposed to bailing out these “fat cats” instead of letting market forces weed out the weak. It is a dangerous precedent to nationalize risk and privatize profits.

    The system is not perfect because people are not perfect, and a certain amount of regulation and oversight will always be needed. To over regulate however, would cripple market forces and create shortages of critical goods and services.

    On Friedman and pencils:
    I would contend that Mr. Friedman’s pencil analogy is far from BS. You may call it that if you like, but it is an accepted model for economists of every persuasion. You may well be able to build a pencil from scratch if you had all the right tools, natural resources, and skills, but I doubt it. You would have to harvest, produce, and fabricate the rubber; you would have to grow the trees for the wood, harvest them, and then mill them to a precise specification; you would have to mine minerals for the metal band, make the aluminum alloy, and press it into shape; you would have to mine the minerals for the graphite, develop the formula for the lead, fabricate it, and then insert it into the wood.
    By the time you were finished, as you pointed out, it would have cost you thousands of dollars and the pencil you built would be unmarketable. The market forces exemplified in Friedman’s pencil analogy are accepted economic principles, and have been taught at prestigious institutions around the world for centuries. You may not agree with it, but it is far from BS.

    On central planning:
    Yes, the Soviet Union built a lot of tanks, this is true. They were inferior tanks with no logistical support however. I spent 21 years in the military and know this first hand. The Soviets also failed to produced many critical consumer items. They routinely had shortages in everything from toilet paper to washing machines. In fact, shortages were prevalent in all major USSR population centers for most consumer goods right through the mid 1990’s. If you could actually find something you needed, it usually came from the black market (underground free-enterprise) and you paid double. So, I would contend that your tank argument is incorrect and actually accentuates the problems associated with centralized economic planning.

    On corporations:
    Yes, most corporations do plan their production. Unlike centrally planned economies though, corporations plan based on free market economic principles. They focus their efforts on optimizing the value of their products to consumers. Market driven factors such as quality, quantity, availability, efficiency, and price all come into play in a free market, and must be accounted for if a business plans to remain in business. Centrally planned economies do not take such things in account. Some of the worst electronics in the world were made in the USSR. They could not export them out of the Soviet Block because of their propensity to fail for catch on fire. Comparing market-based planning to Communist style planning is simply comparing apples to oranges. At the end of the day, there are no bread lines in the US, and lots of reasonably priced consumer goods stocking store shelves. In fact, I challenge you to look around your home and pick out one item that is not there as a result of free market economics (excluding people of course…). No central authority planned any of those items you are looking at – the market did.

    On typos and the 14th Amendment:
    I did not say that corporations were loosely coupled groups of people. I did find a typo though that may have led you to read it that way….it was late. I agree with you, for the record, that they are tightly coupled in almost every respect. Corporations are, however, given individual rights. They have the right to free speech, the right to make contracts, the right to execute said contracts, they are subject to criminal and civil law, and they are regarded as separate legal entities. What constitutional right would you say that a corporation, operating within the law, is not entitled to?

    I am familiar with the 1886 Santa Clara County case you cite, as well as the statement from Chief Justice Waite. His statement, though admittedly not a legal precedent, actually supported equal protections for corporations- not the contrary. Additionally, since then many lower court rulings have supported the notion of equal protection for corporations. I would say that this issue is far from closed. Again I ask, what particular constitutional right should a group of cooperating individuals lose because they incorporate?

    A corporation like SAIC generates about 8.5 billion in annual revenue. They employ about 45 thousand people worldwide (salaries, benefits, retirement, medical, dental, disability, life insurance, etc.), and create value for hundreds of thousands of stockholders. The reason that this is all possible is that the “corporation” creates significant value to our economy. It functions as a single entity with a specific set of goals. Why on earth should an organization that so many people rely on to pay their mortgages and college tuitions not be fully protected under the constitution? Perhaps I am being empty-headed here, but after 8 years of college and running two corporations myself, I truly do not get it. I employ 20 people with families, mortgages, and college bills, my protections under corporate law also protect them.

    Final thoughts:
    I appreciate your willingness to engage in debate vice meaningless hyperbole. My assessment was correct about you and your blog. Though I think you are mistaken on many of the issues we have discussed, I respect your right to hold an opposing view. Good men can, in fact, disagree. That is one of the great strengths of our nation. I am sure we both agree there. I am happy to continue this discussion or defer it to a future blog, but I do plan to check back regularly. I also apologize if I failed to address other points in your last post, but my fingers are tired and brownies just came out of the oven…
    Cheers,
    Chuck

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  8. As far as the “my friend” comment I was a bit put off by the dismissive tone of the responder. His “Buying shit = the pursuit of happiness” statement trivialized the discussion and was not productive.

    Just translating your statement into plain English, my friend:

    Our Constitution cannot provide for individuals unless it also provides for their ability to conduct free and open (legal) commerce. It is key to the whole ‘pursuit of happiness’ thing.

    Buying and selling shit = pursuit of happiness.

    There, all better now?

    Even Greenspan finally had to admit that his free market ideology was flawed.

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    • Greenspan was not talking about free enterprise in general but about regulating derivative markets and financial institutions.

      Free markets are not flawless (take the time to read my last comment) and do need appropriate and well reasoned regulation. Greenspan never said free markets did not work however. In fact, he noted that they worked correctly most of the time. Are you suggesting that our system is somehow bad because it is not flawless? If so, that is an amazingly unrealistic criteria.

      Let’s explore your original statement though. What is wrong with buying and selling “shit?” The last time I looked, it was the foundation of our global economic model and serving humanity pretty well overall. You make it sound dirty, but you do it all the time – as do I.

      What if you couldn’t? Would you be happier? Would you rather be squatting in a field digging up potatoes for your dinner? What rational alternative do you propose? I am curious.

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  9. I’m just going to blather on here…

    On the pencil bit, I’m not claiming I can make the same pencil as the pencil industry makes, just that an individual could make a pencil. To further the point, if there were no competition and if the pencil were reasonably useful and well-built, I could sell it for whatever people would be willing to pay. But yes, to produce millions a day, with all the variety, you’d need the whole structure you describe. What I see as BS is a statement that an individual can’t make a pencil.

    On central planning, I know the Soviet version was a bummer. But then if you’ve got 30,000 crappy tanks and the enemy has 7,000 decent tanks, I’m gonna go with the 30,000. Not always a good bet, but it was war, you never know. The point is that central planning can produce, crap in the case of irrational government, but with modern business methods and intelligent government, it could work well. I’m not saying it’s needed, just that it could work if needed.

    Corporations, while they do offer the benefits you describe, also protect the individuals making the decisions from responsibility. Take the tobacco industry. For decades they knew the dangers of their products and they hid those dangers from the public and from government oversight. Medical research estimates 400,000 people a year die from tobacco use. The ‘corporation’ didn’t make the decision to lie about its product; the officers of the corporation made that decision. Not one has gone to trial, or been charged, that I’m aware of. (Please don’t go the route of personal responsibility. If a smoker is told that smoking is healthy, and desirable, and persuaded so by all the money the industry poured into misleading ads (bikini girls, Marlboro cowboy (cancerous) et al), then you can’t cry ‘Personal responsibility’ at him. The facts must be available to the consumer. And corporations are very good at not providing them while they’re killing people.)

    Corporations are not individuals and their rights should not be the same. Philip Morris putting its considerable financial heft into promoting cigarettes through modern persuasive techniques on mass media is not the same thing available to the individual poisoned by the product. Free speech, sure, but deceptive speech, no; they don’t get to play the part of medieval baron. Contracts, of course, but they don’t get to pad them, to profit from the deaths of soldiers in war, to manufacture deadly products, to put coal ash in unstable land; but they do, and they get away with such things. And when caught, corporations don’t go to jail, and having an entity pay a fine is pretty much a joke – pass it on to the customer, and if you’re big enough the customer will never notice. I’m not a big fan of the corporate veil, apparently.

    As for free market economics, it’s the degree of freedom that is at issue. I want the FDA looking hard at drug companies and the USDA inspecting meat packers and spinach stuffers. I don’t for a minute believe that in a fully free market there would not be companies putting melamine in milk here. Corporations kill, and lawsuits are just a cost of doing business. No, not all of them, obviously, but it happens enough.

    As for market forces correcting themselves, sorry, but they did a real swell job in the recent dustup, didn’t they? The “correction” would have put the world economy in the toilet if the people who are getting screwed daily hadn’t, unwillingly I believe, ponied up the money to save the sleazy bastards on Wall Street. Free market corrections can kill. Good reason to make damn sure the so-called market is fully regulated.

    On Waite, we’re not in disagreement, I think. He simply pre-empted consideration of the issue in that case, thereby confirming the principle of corporate protection, if I understand it correctly.

    Yes, corporations create value for the economy, but that does not entitle them to throw their weight around in politics. When wealthy corporations/industries throw money at the political system to influence it in their favor, they shut out the average citizen from the conversation. And by virtue of their control over their own employees they can control the politics of their employees (kick in a hundred dollars to Joe Blow for Governor, and remember I’m your boss; or You can’t wear that T-shirt to work because it says Vote Obama; or if you don’t take that bumper sticker off your car we’ll fire you [actually happened,though I don’t remember the details]). When corporate heads talk about Constitutional protection for their companies and industries, it’s not a big leap to figure their real interest lies in hiding behind the skirts of the law while they game the system. Prime example today: the health insurance industry, with its anti-trust exemption, pouring tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of lobbyists into twisting the suggested reforms into some Frankenstein program that benefits them and does little if anything for health care reform. That’s not atypical of corporate influence on government.

    Part of what I do here is express outrage over what I see through the press and other news media. I am not always objective about it and make no claims to be. But there is sufficient badness floating around to require something other than dispassionate, calm voices bringing objectivity to the table. Nobody listens to those voices unless they bring lots of money to the table. A barbaric yawp, on the other hand, is a little harder to ignore, though I am, of course, ignored. And if it’s not always on target factually, it usually is ethically or morally. The corporate culture, which has become, through various paths, the new aristocracy, the new oligarchy, needs to be yelled at. Fairness and objectivity are the things that Republicans call for while they’re lying, demeaning, and distorting, and pocketing their share of corporate largesse (Dems take it too, I know, never claimed otherwise). (Remember Joe Wilson, of ‘You lie!’ fame? All the Reps sitting around him were waving papers that purported to be their health care plan. Someone got hold of one right after. It was blank. And their famous budget: twelve pages, no numbers.)

    Anyway, we agree to disagree. I suspect we’ll just go round and round, which is fruitless. And I’m really annoyed about the brownies. You could have at least offered. Jeez! 🙂

    P.S. May I ask what companies/businesses you ran/run?

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    • I was a Vice President at SAIC and ran a 35 million dollar profit center for several years. I had about 150 employees.

      I am currently a partner of a small defense consulting company (DXT) that protects our soldiers and citizens against chemical and biological attack. We make a modest profit and I sleep quite well at night with that fact.

      I was also one of those Warfighters using US made free market systems and weapons in Iraq. For-profit defense corporations provided us with the very best equipment available in the world. Our defense equipment providers do make a profit and they are entitled to it, but I can tell you, first hand, that their equipment saves far more lives (on both sides) than it takes.

      After looking through your last post, I agree that we may well go round and round, but that does not make the debate less useful…or fun. We do not necessarily debate to change the mind of our opponent, but rather to make them stand up and give a well reasoned defense for what they believe. If a unique perspective happens to put a pebble in your opponent’s shoe along the way – all the better.

      In closing, we truly do agree on the need to regulate corporate corruption, and I also agree that most corporations are amoral. Their stockholders do not (usually) invest in them for moral reasons, but rather for profit. I often part ways with my libertarian friends on this matter.

      As an aside, I am often irritated by people who require perfection. No system in our known universe is perfect. They all require new energy at some point. This is no different with our economic system. We can and should regulate as appropriate, but draw the line when free markets become government markets. When that happens we should all break out the vodka and potatoes.

      As bad a Jeffery Skilling was for Enron, I find it hard to imagine how bad it would have been if Barney Franks or John McCain had run it…

      I am also curious what you do for a living.

      I have enjoyed our discussion. It was refreshing.

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      • On the other hand, there were Halliburton and KBR and Blackwell, not exactly upstanding companies when it came to Iraq. Be that as it may…. Oh, and I see nothing wrong with profit, honestly gained and not in itself hurtful.

        Franks and McCain aren’t businessmen, aren’t trained for it. I think Franks would have made good effort with good intention and I doubt very much he would do the bad stuff. I think McCain would have screwed it up and gotten sucked into illegalties. I’m not convinced he’s all that bright.

        Yeah on perfection. Not there, not going to happen. The goal is improvement, not perfection. And what have you got against vodka? Made right here in the US of A. 🙂

        My living is a skimpy disability check, accompanied by Medicare and Medicaid, very occasionally refreshed by some writing money. Got bit by a tick some years ago. Nastiness. Lest you be fooled by the picture, that was almost forty years ago, but it’s the real me. 🙂 My living before that was all over the map, metaphorically speaking. From waiting tables to administrator in a corporate legal department, to this, that and the other. My favorite was temping. Lots of variety, never stayed long enough for the bosses to see my warts.

        Yup, good discussion. Better with brownies though.

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  10. I actually like vodka, perhaps I was overly harsh.
    They were Ghirardelli triple fudge by the way…

    See you in the ether.

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    • Ghirardelli triple fudge

      Oh, that’s just cruel!

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  11. BTW,

    My blog is on WPPBA as well. It is named Head Muscle and I have developed a decent following over the past couple of years. http://headmuscle.wordpress.com

    I am always looking for well-reasoned, intelligent input from the “other side” (tongue-in-cheek) to keep me honest and spark discussion.

    I most certainly do not claim to have the same literary prowess as Grumpy Lion, but we have fun with the topics. You will hate most of what you read, but you may enjoy some of it as well. At any rate, you are a most welcome guest anytime you want to stop by.

    I have another good liberal friend that joins us on occasion named Rutherford Lawson. You may like his blog much more than mine. He has a pretty lively bunch. I recommend you check it out. I link to him on my blog roll.

    He is a good guy, mostly wrong, but a good guy nonetheless. (more tongue-in-cheek)

    Cheers,
    Chuck

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    • I’ll add you to my blogroll, though I don’t know that anybody ever gets to the bottom of the page to see the damn thing.

      ‘Literary prowess’! Ooh, my claws are curling reflexively.

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      • LOL, I truly meant it as a compliment.

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  12. Greenspan was not talking about free enterprise in general but about regulating derivative markets and financial institutions.

    Of course he was trying to make it sound like a special case, to seem like less of an asshole than he was. Greenspan was forced to admit that his faith in the self-correcting nature of the free market with no need for government oversight was flawed, as demonstrated by the mortgage lending melt-down and the boom/bust greed-based derivative market.

    Free markets are not flawless… and do need appropriate and well reasoned regulation.

    Agreed. We probably disagree on what is ‘appropriate’ and ‘well-reasoned.’

    Are you suggesting that our system is somehow bad because it is not flawless?

    No.

    What is wrong with buying and selling “shit?” The last time I looked, it was the foundation of our global economic model and serving humanity pretty well overall. You make it sound dirty, but you do it all the time – as do I.

    Referring to stuff as shit makes it sound dirty? Most of it is crap (there, a sop to your tender sensibilities) – planned obsolescence, and all that. Buying and selling crap as the pursuit of happiness probably helped foment the global economic melt-down. It’s serving some people pretty well, though. It’s the little guy who pays when the whole thing collapses. Who’s going to pay when coastal cities are flooded as sea levels rise due to global warming? Yeah, unfettered consumerism is working really well.

    Would you rather be squatting in a field digging up potatoes for your dinner?

    Whatever gave you that idea?

    What rational alternative do you propose? I am curious.

    How about Copenhagen?

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