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Thank you, Putin...

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Balladeer
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0 posted 02-20-2009 06:28 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

February 18, 2009
Putin warns US to eschew socialism

Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin has said the US should take a lesson from the pages of Russian history and not exercise “excessive intervention in economic activity and blind faith in the state’s omnipotence”.
“In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state’s role absolute,” Putin said during a speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated.”

“Nor should we turn a blind eye to the fact that the spirit of free enterprise, including the principle of personal responsibility of businesspeople, investors, and shareholders for their decisions, is being eroded in the last few months. There is no reason to believe that we can achieve better results by shifting responsibility onto the state.” http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/02/putin_warns_us_to_eschew_socia.html


It's a strange world when the leader of Russia warns the US not to become a socialistic state. Obviously he can see it happening more clearly than our own citizens and leaders.
oceanvu2
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1 posted 02-20-2009 08:04 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Deer -- It ain't strange.  Putin et al have had close to 100 years to notice that Socialism/Communism doesn't work that well.  This is the USSR's collective experience.  I'm willing to take their word for it.

As much as I hate watching the failure of major financial and industrial instutions, I can't bring myself to believe that things will get better if, say, banks and auto makers are nationalized.

I'm thinking, possibily not very deeply, that there ought to be a "this is it, there ain't no more" clause in the assorted bailouts.  

It may sound a bit incongrous coming from a staunch left-of-centrist, but I believe an awful lot more in the mechanics of a free market economy than Federal control of major industrial and economic institutions. Almost, though not all, countries which have tried this or are trying this are textbook cases of failure.

At the same time (old left-of-center-dinosaur-speaking) if Federal initiatives can provide meaningful work, reform of the ludicrous health care system, and rein in some of the Wall Street greed and shenagins, I'll buy that.  

Seems like the problem is we're all in a pickle.  You can take a bite out of the pickle, maybe, but it's still a pickle, and it is sour.

Here's to Sweet Gherkins, Jimbeaux
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2 posted 02-20-2009 08:12 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

I think many more of us are thinking that what is happening right now is not only frightening, but also is irresponsible.

It infuriates me that our government continues to throw money (that we don't have) at problems that have been festering into an outright infection.  Party line is not an issue to me right now because I have seen both parties toss out money in hopes it will solve a problem that is going to implode.

When I was a teenager, I wish my parents gave me money the way our government is handing it out now.  I would never have had to learn to fix my mistakes, pay my bills, be a responsible adult.  I pay my credit cards the same week that I use them.  No, the banks make no money off me - am I lucky to be able to do that?  Or am I cautious not to spend beyond what I can afford?  

It seems like that is just a basic economy lesson.  I have a choice.  I pay for what I buy and pay no more than the price of the goods - or I let interest sky rocket and pay triple the original value.


But, hey, I should just waiting for my stimulus check - so what if it takes away from necessary services - like health care for the elderly.  We can only grab so much before everything collapses.  But, it's all about me and I am looking to be taken care of by the US government.

You know where is the incentive for being responsible when one looks at the burden of paying for all these bail outs in the future.  I guess our motto could be --

Welcome to the USA - we don't plan for tomorrow.  We live for today.

Alison  
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3 posted 02-20-2009 08:24 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Alison:  Basically agree with you, except that it's all about US, not necessarily the ME's, and I know you were saying that tongue in cheek  

There seems to be a need for basic program reforms in areas which do not work (medical) are antiquated (industrial) or greed-driven (financial).

If I knew the answers, I'd publish them and maybe get elected to office where I could compromise them to death.  I don't know the answers, except, as Mike suggests, socialism isn't it.

Best, Jimbeaux  
Alison
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4 posted 02-20-2009 08:56 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Jimbeaux,

I agree.  None of this is simple, but throwing money at the problem will not work.  There are underlying issues.  What are the answers?  I sure don't have them - maybe fiscal responsibility by the governement that is making our fiscal decisions now.  That might be just asking for too much, I guess.

Alison
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5 posted 02-20-2009 09:45 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“I believe that a strong case can be made that the financial crisis stemmed from a confluence of two factors. The first was the unintended consequences of a monetary policy, developed to combat inventory cycle recessions in the last half of the 20th century, that was not well suited to the speculative bubble recession of 2001. The second was the politicization of mortgage lending.”

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123509667125829243.html

I would put the second first.

.
Ron
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6 posted 02-20-2009 10:21 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But, hey, I should just waiting for my stimulus check - so what if it takes away from necessary services - like health care for the elderly.

See, though, that's exactly where things start getting sticky. Socialism isn't like jumping off a cliff; it's more like wading into deeper and deeper waters.

Health care for the elderly IS socialism, after all.

In one breath, Alison talks about being financially responsible and learning to face the consequences of mistakes, and then in the very next breath talks about taking care of people who have had their whole bloody lives to put aside a few bucks so they can be comfortable in their golden years. And that's what qualifies as "necessary services?"

I'm not arguing that government shouldn't take care of the elderly (at least not in this thread) so much as I'm trying to point out that everyone has their own pet projects that they think are important. Taking care of the elderly is absolutely no different than taking care of auto manufacturers (except, maybe, that the latter is cheaper).

For the record, over the past ten years, this song has been played a few times in our Philosophy forum. Do a search for laissez faire and you'll uncover most of the threads, I think. You'll find me in most of those debates arguing that government has no business doing much of anything except defending its citizens from other people and making sure we play nice with our shared resources. But you'll also find me reluctantly admitting that capitalism doesn't work without "some" intervention from government. Unfortunately, just as we can't seem to get everyone to agree on what constitutes "necessary services," we've also never found a consensus on just how deeply we should wade into them thar waters.


oceanvu2
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7 posted 02-20-2009 10:36 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Alison!  Fiscal responsibility by the government is an imperative, and I agree that throwing money down assorted rat holes is probably not the most productive option.  Waste and corruption are probably gonna suck up at least half of it anyway. So it is up to the government, and us folks who vote them in (Republican or Democrat) to try to influence where OUR tax money goes.  The Republicans weren't so hot at it, so we're giving the Democrats a shot.

I don't think we need to give the Democrats carte blance, and if the powers get abused, we'll vote them out, as we did the Republicans.

Throwing money at something rarely if ever works.  So we have to hope for an exception this time.  I may be naive, but I still think that making corrective and ultimately structural changes within the context of the (lower case) democratic  system of government.  We may need to think outside of our current (cat litter) box.

Radical thought:  National inclusive health care for citizens, I'd buy it.

Conservative thought:  Support for elephantine industries and financial money grubbers, nah.

Middle of the road thought:  Victims, and I mean that literally, of financial misdeeds including con-artist mortgage lenders and those workers who have seen their IRA's devalue by 50-60% through stock manipulation could use some help.

But, we probably won't solve it here.

Best, Jimbeaux
Alison
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8 posted 02-20-2009 11:05 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Maybe we should all get bailout money and be forced to spend it in the manner that we think will be most beneficial.

I can spend my portion on elder care.  Someone else can spend theirs on the auto industry.  We can all be like Tinkerbells, waving magic wands and making the United States a better place.

Yes, we have our pet projects - mine is elder care.  What I meant to say in my clumsy manner is that if we are going to spend money bailing anyone out, my preference is that direction.  You are right, Ron, we all have our personal thoughts on what is a legitimate expense.  

I honestly don't know the answers.  I simply know that I will continue to pay my own way, cut back to a level I can afford, and be a responsible adult.  

If we rely on the government, I think we empower the government to intervene in our lives.  As far as elder care - we take care of our own in my family.  It would be nice if all old people were so lucky.


Alison
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9 posted 02-20-2009 11:09 PM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Jimbeaux,

You are right.  There are people out there that need help through no fault of their own.  I am not against helping them get back on track.  I vote in every election - maybe I need to get more involved in ways that have a greater voice.  As I said in my first post, I don't blame one party over another.  I blame them both.  

My head is spinning from my attempt to be logical.  It needs a break.



Alison
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10 posted 02-20-2009 11:29 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Ron:  Re: Health care for the elderly IS socialism, after all.

Aw, c'mon.  There is an enormous difference between health care for the elderly and health care for the indigent, and I think you are lumping the two together.  Both are humane and necessary, but entirely different, I think.

Here's how I think it works, and I'm perfectly willing to be corrected:

A citizen works for most of his/her life and pays into Social Security for thirty or more years.  Unless they have an additional significant retirement plan from a major corporation (and that gets more and more iffy every day), their Social Security income will be modest in today's economy.

Now, I'm guestimating these figures, though they are probably close -- since were talking people to people, not through links -- an average worker earning a middle class income adjusted over the years, might receive at best $2,500 +/- in Social Security payments.  These are not "benefits."  They are a repayment of essentially the interest earned on their deductions/payments over the years.

So let's look at something of a best case scenario.  Both Joe and his wife Joan worked full time all their lives, and their SS repayment is $60,000 a year.  (I've never heard of this, but in theory it's possible).

Joe gets sick with pneumonia.  Cost of a two week unsubsidised stay in an hospital is approximately $20,000, including the Levaquin and Zithromax drips.
Joe and Joan's income is now $40,000. Then, God love us all, Joan falls and breaks a hip, same year.  Unsubsidized cost of surgery, hospitation, four weeks in a rehab facility, $30,000.  After expenses, Joe and Joan's net income from 35 years of paying into the system is ten grand.  Which is below poverty level, and they lose everything, live in a tent, and eat cat food.

OK, also true:  Joe or Joan through age succumb to a long term incurable disease, Parkinsons, Alzheimer's, whatever.  Either can apply for Social Security Disability, pretty fair, and go to a nursing home.  IN A NURSING HOME, SSDI stops after 6 months.  You're supposed to die.  It doesn't always happen.  The cost of a board and care facility is about $4,000 a month. Joe and Joan are either scratching their heads or pulling their hair out.  Unsubsidized, it's poverty city for people who have worked all their lives.

I'm just wodering, where do you see socialism in that?

Best, Jimbeaux
  
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11 posted 02-21-2009 05:47 AM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

I agree with both Ron and Alison!

Yes, to not borrowing more money from China to waste trying to combat the Kondratieff cycle.

Yes, to the free market, but with regulation.

Yes, to cautious and selective (very difficult) state intervention to help in genuine areas of need and deprivation.

M

PS You ok Ron? An expletive here, and the right and wrong thing in t'other thread. You seem uncharacteristically excitable!     
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12 posted 02-21-2009 08:27 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch


quote:
Putin warns US to eschew socialism


Twaddle.

Those guys at American Thinker should do more listening and less thinking because they’re not very good at either. Taking things out of context generally, as in this case, leads to some erroneous conclusions.

For instance Putin also said:

“The logic is simple enough. Additional military allocations create new jobs.”

Is Putin threatening a new arms race or is the meaning lost without understanding the context?

You decide - here’s a transcript of the whole speech.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123317069332125243.html
Ron
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quote:
I'm just wodering, where do you see socialism in that?

It's pretty much embedded right in the phrase, Jim. Social security?

quote:
A citizen works for most of his/her life and pays into Social Security for thirty or more years.

First, Jim, you're suggesting the role of government is to force its citizens into saving for their future. You really want to go there?

Second, what a pensioner he can withdraw is generally not tied to what he put in.

Third, the money an individual contributes to the general fund is only half the story . . . literally. His employer also contributes half, remember? And of course any tax on business is ultimately just a hidden tax on the population; it's a cost of doing business, not a deduction from their profits, after all.

I'm not, however, saying I think you're necessarily wrong. See my comments below to Alison.

quote:
As far as elder care - we take care of our own in my family.  It would be nice if all old people were so lucky.

Exactly so, Alison.

My stance has generally been that people should take care of people. Voluntarily, not under duress or mandate. The people who need the help get it, and the people who provide the help . . . also get it. Turning charity into a government bureaucracy opens the door to gaming the system and closes the door to anyone feeling good about their involvement. People who need help should get it from family, church, and community. And, of course, that's the way it was for thousands of years. It sure didn't work perfectly, and I'll be the first to admit it. Instead of trying to fix the old way, however, perhaps by financially encouraging people to help people, we threw the baby out with the bath water and put in a system that ultimately works even less well.

There's an overly long, somewhat experimental, and certainly not very good short story called Retirement over in the Prose forum that tries to explore my views on this in more depth.

"Wait a minute," says Dorothy, her hand shooting up like a school child. "You almost make it sound like Social Security was evil.  Hell, it sounds absolutely great to me."

"It was great," I say, nodding. "And the ideals behind it were even greater. It just couldn't last. As great as the idea was, it's actual implementation depended on a young work force supporting the one that had gone before it. It never took into account the fact that people were already living longer, even with the poor health care of the Twentieth Century, and many more people were living beyond retirement age. In 1900, there were only 123,000 Americans 85 years old, Dorothy. By the end of that century, there were three million. By the middle of this century, in 2050, there were fifty million, even though Social Security had already gone the way of the dinosaur and American eagle."


quote:
PS You ok Ron? An expletive here, and the right and wrong thing in t'other thread. You seem uncharacteristically excitable!

LOL. I sometimes forget, Moon, that Americans speak a different English than the rest of the world. Over here, the word bloody has essentially the same meaning as it does in your part of the world, but quite a different connotation. I'd put it in the same neighborhood as dang or gosh? I understand, from conversations with other Brits, that it comes across a bit stronger and less polite for you? I'll try to remember that.

Swearing is like using bold or exclamation points in writing; it only generates attention when kept in moderation. I swear in my writing about as often as I use exclamation points. Which would be rarely for the former and almost never for the latter.


Alison
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14 posted 02-21-2009 11:53 AM       View Profile for Alison   Email Alison   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alison

Ron,

I was thinking about Retirement as I was responding yesterday in this thread.  It's an interesting story that has hung around in my mind.

Alison
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15 posted 02-21-2009 03:02 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Pah! Another exclamation point snob!!
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16 posted 02-21-2009 11:38 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

          I confess I disagree about your Political Philosophy.

     It is an analysis that concentrates on the drag the poor supply on the economy, and on the potential evil inherent in those who suffer from poverty.  "Gaming the system" is the linguistic give-away here.

     I submit to you that we have given far more to those who ought to be showing their charity than to those who should be receiving it.  Over the past eight years, much more of our money seems to have gone to allowing companies to make money off the rest of us than to making sure money gets to those who are in danger of falling off the edge of life in one way or another.  Remember when we we told that Iraq would pay for its own liberation in oil revenues?  Oddly enough that oil seemed to stay off the market.  Oddly enough the oil companies seemed to make a lot of money and retain their depletion allowances.  They did retain their oil depletion allowances, didn't they?  We did pay them for not pumping that oil, didn't we?  How much did we pay to Halliburton in no bid contracts?  And to other friends of that party in the same way?

     Democrats aren't blameless.

     But lets not pretend that the money goes out to the poor here.  It's only that the government and the right wing really grudge the money that goes there.  I mean really grudge the money that goes there.  

     At this point money that goes to the poor returns money to the treasury at from $1.30 to $1.70 per dollar spent.  Those poor people go out and spend their money on necessities, and that returns it to the economy pretty quickly.  Tax cuts to the rich, back when Jack Kennedy was President used to do that to, when the tax rate was 90% for the rich.  Now the tax cuts to the rich actually cost the treasury about $.30 per dollar.  We're simply on the wrong side of the laffer curve.

     I'm more worried about being cheated by the rich.  I think you should be too.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

    

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17 posted 02-21-2009 11:46 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Over the past eight years,

That's 17...keeping count here.
Balladeer
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18 posted 02-22-2009 12:06 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It's only that the government and the right wing really grudge the money that goes there.  I mean really grudge the money that goes there.

That has got to be the most prejudicial and biased statement posted here. Not only that, you state it as fact when any facts supporting it would be impossible to present. Offer it as a biased opinion on your part and it's acceptable. Present it as fact and it falls woefully short.

(and I think the word would be "begrudge", but I could be wrong.
Ron
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19 posted 02-22-2009 07:28 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
  I confess I disagree about your Political Philosophy.

Bob, you don't know enough about my political philosophy to disagree with it.

If you want to disagree with the sliver of it explored in this thread, however, then perhaps we have something to discuss?

quote:
It is an analysis that concentrates on the drag the poor supply on the economy, and on the potential evil inherent in those who suffer from poverty.  "Gaming the system" is the linguistic give-away here.

Try again, Bob. You are so far off the mark here, you're not even in the same solar system.

Here's a hint. The philosophies I would apply to "the poor" (more labels?) are exactly the same philosophies I would apply to my own children and grandchildren. And I assure you, in neither case am I concentrating on any drag or potential evil.
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20 posted 02-22-2009 04:35 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear Ron,

          The part that I addressed was, as stated, remarkably close to that of Robert Heinlein.  I have also heard you speak of Ayn Rand and to voice some of her philosophy.  I have heard you say that you are not politically aligned, and have seen some evidence that you make a sincere effort in that direction.  I certainly don't believe that's the full extent of your Political Philosophy.  It was the part that seemed to find expression here.  

     Despite your occasion belief that I attempt to read people minds, I do try to restrain myself.  I am sorry if you feel I've treated you here in a Procrustean fashion.  I was trying to limit myself to the point of view I saw you as expressing.  You don't have to be a genius like Einstein to fail at Grand Unified Theories.  You can, in fact, do quite as well or even better as an ordinary dope.

     I am of course on occasion insufferable.  On this occasion, my ambitions were more limited.  I believe you are not well acquainted with the history of social welfare and you made some statements that were unwise without checking into what's actually happened when things were allowed to go the way things tend to go without government intervention.  I notice your outrage was about my assumptions about you rather than your statements about the way welfare ought to be run.  You, alas, were not my major consideration; the facts were.

     Your personal discomfort is clearly my fault, and I'm sorry for that.  The history of social welfare is much more complex than the (pardon me here) conservative mythology would have you think it.  I usually try not to confront that mythology because I believe most folks aren't interested.  It's simply easier not to revisit a preformed opinion.  Most folks won't do it.  I've noticed you're somebody who will give a new notion some consideration, because you pride yourself on getting your facts straight.  Or so I believe.

     I'm willing to leave the matter there, with my apology.

Sincerely, Bob Kaven

    
rwood
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21 posted 02-26-2009 12:21 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Ah Putin. He's so rotten he's smellin' up the obvious with wasted breath. He must be bored of late.

However, the big picture is just too surreal or abstract anymore for me to connect.

I can get a better rate on my mortgage if I fall behind on it, than if I pay like clockwork.

How Dada.
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22 posted 02-26-2009 08:23 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Dear Bob,

quote:
The history of social welfare is much more complex than the (pardon me here) conservative mythology would have you think it.


You could be right.

But by your own statement, you're admitting that Liberals have a history of complicating things.
Bob K
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23 posted 02-26-2009 04:46 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Dear R,

          Why take my word for it?  Why not do some research on the history of social welfare yourself?  That way you can have a look around on your own without any sort of guiding bias.  There are books on it, you know.  That way you can over-complicate it yourself.

Sincerely yours,

Bob Kaven  
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24 posted 02-26-2009 04:52 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

WoW!!!!
 
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