Home > Protest > Occupy the Courts January 20th

Occupy the Courts January 20th

[From Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County]

Noon – 1pm, Friday, January 20th
Eureka Federal Courthouse (Downtown Post Office, 5th & H St)

Inspired by our friends at Occupy Wall Street, and Dr. Cornel West, Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark the second anniversary of the infamous Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision!

Occupy the Courts will be a one day occupation of Federal courthouses across the country, including the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Friday January 20, 2012.

Move to Amend volunteers and organizers across the USA will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

Americans across the country are on the march, and they are marching OUR way. They carry signs that say, “Corporations are NOT people! Money is NOT Speech!” And they are chanting those truths at the top of their lungs! The time has come to make these truths evident to the courts.

  1. Decline To State
    January 19, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I’m so there.

  2. High Finance
    January 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Bullies.

  3. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I agree with you HiFi. Corporations are political and economic bullies and their personhood should be revoked.

  4. Anonymous
    January 19, 2012 at 10:37 am

    ” I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one of them”

  5. Anonymous
    January 19, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Plain Jane, I agree with you ! You are in fact dumber than dirt.

  6. 69er
    January 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Yes occupy, just like trashing private homes. they and all who back them are one and the same SCUM.

  7. HUUFC
    January 19, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Please, the US Supreme Court ruling prohibits government from placing limits on spending for political purposes by corporations and unions. Thats all.I didnt read anything about corporations or unions becoming persons or buying elections or running the government.

    That annoying thing called the first amendment.

    The occutard movement demonstrates to me that the system works well for people that want others to take care of them. How else can you protest for days or weeks at a time? When do they go to work?

  8. just middle class
    January 19, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Just go into a courtroom and “occupy”, and you will learn what a judge can do!

  9. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 11:54 am

    The Jews for Hitler seem to be occupying this blog. Worship those corporations young capitalists, pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and you will be rich and successful in no time.

  10. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    69er, if they had claimed they were Tea Party members would you call all Tea Party members “scum?” Occupy has never advocated breaking into unoccupied homes and “occupying” them. The sort of people who do such things and then claim membership in an organization as justification are scum. Smearing a national movement because of the actions of a few scum is hardly fair.

  11. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    The right wing is getting really worried, Percy. All the trillions they’ve spent on their corporate coup to revoke labor rights in every state possible, voter disenfranchisement, buying every politician they can and trying to humiliate anyone who dares to say our political and economic systems are crooked are all failing. Millions of Americans who will no longer behave like peasants are taking our country back from the corrupt oligarchs. We are the many and they are the few, even counting their peasant sycophants (Jews for Hitler).

  12. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    I like “peasant sycophants”, it has a mentally deranged ring to it. Plus I won’t have to keep paying Moviedad for using Jews for Hitler, which he claims the copyright to.

  13. 713
    January 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    What’s up with the Jews for hitler stuff? I don’t believe this was a real thing and I find it offensive you guys keep using that phrase.

  14. Anonymous
    January 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    PJ has PB for brains, and nothing else to do

  15. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    It’s the concept of people working for those who are trying to destroy them 713. There were certainly Jews who assisted the Nazis in every phase of the holocaust, at first possibly because they believed they were helping Jews and lastly for their own survival.

  16. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Is it a real thing that people that don’t have a pot to piss in vote over and over for the republicans that will tell them to their face that they will get rid of social security and medicare? You offend me.

  17. High Finance
    January 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    PJ described you & your friends perfectly Percy, “a bitter old envious communist”.

  18. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    The right wing is made up of Straussians and their unknowing subjects who are manipulated and exploited, lending at least some credence to their point that people need to be ruled by trickery for the benefit of their superiors, the elite. There are few real conservatives left.

  19. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Civility count for HiFi:

    I’m counting only comments whose sole content is an insult.

    Anonymous 10:48 anti-PJ
    69er 10:49 anti-occupy
    Percy 11:54 anti-Jews-for-Hitler (sorry, Percy, it’s a judgement call)
    Anonymous 1:54 anti-PJ
    HiFi 3:08 anti-Percy

    So that makes five insult-only comments out of 18 comments made, and four of the five are from people who would not characterize themselves as Heraldo fans. And that’s on Heraldo’s blog — imagine if it were a blog run by someone who didn’t like Heraldo!

    Love,
    Your hypocrite friend

  20. 69er
    January 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    PJ, tell me of the Tea Partiers that pulled the stunts and destructiveness like the so called occupiers and i will also condemn them. The spokespeople for, at least the local occupiers, are some of the most destructive and the worse offenders. Multiple arrests and continued harassment of the public and destroying public property on an ongoing basis. I am against destructive activities and all for constructiveness and I am sure you will find something to condemn me for in that statement, that is your mentality, is it not?

  21. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm

    You make McCarthy proud HiFi. What’s with the envy crap? Pointing out that people are duped into voting against their self interest and helping those that would speed up the descent of the middle class into poverty by charlatans like yourself has nothing to do with envy. Keep thinking that if it makes you feel better though.

  22. 69er
    January 19, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    Mitch, you are an insult!

  23. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    69er,

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/20/tea-party-protests-nier-f_n_507116.html

    http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/33792/rand-paul-tea-party-shoulder-blame-for-head-stomp-attack/

    Note that these are assaults against people, while the local people were instead occupying people’s property. Want more?

  24. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    HiFi,

    Quick update:

    Percy 3:56 anti-Mitch

    So now it’s 5-1, not 4-1. I’m rooting for ya.

  25. walt
    January 19, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Mitch, yer mother wears army boots. HIFi, yer so ugly I could take yer face and stick it in a pan of batter and make gorilla cookies.

    7-1. Let the dialogue begin!

  26. High Finance
    January 19, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    But Mitch, it wasn’t an insult I merely pointed out what a great description PJ made !

    My post should go in the compliment column.

  27. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Hey Mitch, if your gonna keep score you better pay attention. 3:56 was 69er anti Mitch, I was 3:55 anti HiFi. But now I’m insulted too so just keep the 3:56 in my column and we’ll call it even.

  28. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Out of context = lie, HiFi. Did you learn that trick from Mitt?

  29. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    That’s very civilized of you, Percy. I’m ever so frightfully sorry.

    Mr. Fi, thank you for helping me understand your opinion that the insults are all directed your way. Of course you see your statements as compliments. It becomes crystal clear.

    walt, equal opportunity is a fine thing, but I simply don’t understand what my mother’s choice of footwear has to do with Hifi being ugly.

  30. High Finance
    January 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Another question about your scoring Mitch, if a conservative insults a conservative does it still count ?

    And PJ made two insults at 4.41pm. One against me and another against Mitt Romney. Shouldn’t that count as TWO insults ?

    At 4.00pm you said the count was 5 to 1. Accepting that statistic and ignoring Walt’s tongue-in-cheek post at 4.32pm I read the total now at 5 to 3.

  31. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    Could we keep our mothers out of this Walt, even bitter old envious communists have to draw the line somewhere.

  32. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    What amazes me is how many posts and not a single GFYS. Well, maybe one.

  33. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Facts aren’t insults HiFi. You should learn the difference.

  34. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    GFYS Percy :-X

  35. High Finance
    January 19, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    5 to 5

  36. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Mr. Fi asks,

    “If a conservative insults a conservative, does it still count?”

    Ah, philosophy. Off to the stacks.

  37. Anonymous
    January 19, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Mitch, you’re an idiot, or at least acting like one

  38. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    Anonymous 5:41,

    Thanks for your contribution.

    HiFi,

    You’re side’s back in the lead. Congratulations.

  39. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    Is it an insult if I correct your spelling of “your,” Mitch?

  40. 713
    January 19, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    So PJ, using your line of thought, certainly there are Jews who are cheap, it would be ok to refer to people I think are cheap as Jews? Perhaps I was just being sensitive.

  41. Mitch
    January 19, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    PJ,

    I am offen’ded, my pheasant is sick of pants, and it’s Jews for Buchanan, not Jews for Hitler. It’s Popes for Hitler.

  42. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    To be fair, Percy didn’t say anything derogatory about Jews. He was, as I am sure you are aware, using the absurdity of Jews supporting Hitler as an exaggerated analogy for working class people supporting the GOP. It takes pretty clueless people to support the party that has been using class warfare against their own class for decades while getting nothing but lip service on the issues they use to cement their working class base.

  43. 713
    January 19, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I see, a working class person who votes republican is like a Jew who supported hitler in so many ways. So that makes it ok for you to toss about the term “jews for hitler” to describe people you disagree with because they are so stupid they dont know whats good for them. If only we could all be so enlightened as you and Percy.

  44. HUUFC
    January 19, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    “jews for hitler”, “pretty clueless people” good grief. sad.

  45. jr
    January 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Belated note to Plain Jane: You reference as to no one in the Occupy movement has “never advocated breaking into unoccupied homes” is not true. Occupy Oakland has done so to assist the former resident in getting back her home lost to an illegal foreclosure. The story of this occupy is at http://www.occupyoakland.org.

  46. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    713, you might try reading up on the philosophy that the right wing elite actually believes rather than just listening to their campaign speeches designed to manipulate you. For the record, I substituted peasant sycophants because I personally think it more accurately describes the right wing working class. It’s okay for anyone to toss out anything they like for any reason or no reason and everyone is free to make their own judgments, accept or reject the rationale. Getting all hypersensitive on the mere mention of Jews when the leading candidates for president in your party have been blowing racist dog whistles and some making openly racist statements looks like deflection to me. You might want to reserve some outrage for your own.

  47. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Helping a wrongfully foreclosed home owner get her house back isn’t the same as breaking into a private home and squatting while not even knowing who the owner is. It’s like comparing someone demanding the bank make a valid correction to their bank account to robbing it.

  48. jr
    January 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you for making this distinction. I concur with you.

  49. Anonymous
    January 19, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    No personal attacks or childishness is necessary to point to a simple truth: This is more grandstanding by Democracy Unlimited, an organization that in 15 years has vacuumed up massive time and money from this community and has nothing whatsoever as far as accomplishments to point to as a result.

    EPIC, NEC, ACLU, League of Women Voters, CLMP, etc. All these groups have actual, real-world, long-lasting legacies that are a tribute to the intelligent, selfless folks behind these efforts. Not so with Democracy Unlimited. Somebody has to call a spade a spade here.

  50. jr
    January 19, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    Democracy Unlimited was the main organization in the creation of Humboldt Currency. But there work its work is mainly done outside of Humboldt County as they are striving to build a major coalition around the progressive viewpoint.

  51. Plain Jane
    January 19, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Democracy Unlimited is one group participating in a nationwide protest on an important issue that none of the organizations you listed are working on. You might not believe that restricting corporate control of our government is important, but opinions differ.

  52. High Finance
    January 19, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    I’m confused.

    Who is the biggest bogeyman of the left ? Corporations, WalMart or Robin Arkley ?

  53. Percy
    January 19, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Enlightenment is probably beyond your reach 713, but keep reading this blog, it’s a start.

  54. 713
    January 20, 2012 at 4:59 am

    What would you base that on Percy? Because your use of offensive language offends me? PJ I’m glad to see you are backing off of your ridiculous position. I’m not sure where I can read up on the right wing elite philosophy. Maybe you can let me know and while I’m at it I could read up on the left wing elite philosophy as well. Is that what they call the people who have bankrupted ca over the last 15 years or so?

    If somebody is a racist, I won’t vote for them. Maybe I am all hypersensitive but I have friends of mixed races and different religions and that kind of talk bugs me.

    This blog is interesting and I would say enlightening, but probably we have different ideas why.

  55. 713
  56. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Which position did I back off on, 7:13? I’d recommend reading everything you can about Leo Strauss and Straussians.

  57. January 20, 2012 at 6:17 am

    I’d also like to see Occupy the Banks.

  58. 713
    January 20, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Your use of the term “jews for hitler” to describe people you feel vote against their self interests.

  59. Decline To State
    January 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

    So at the corporate person-hood protest are we going to be pooping and peeing on the courthouse? I’m getting older and need a bit of lead time if I’m to perform. And someone should probably notify Betsy over at KIEM…unless Murl has already done so.

  60. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 7:49 am

    713,

    I’m Jewish and not offended by the phrase “Jews for Hitler.” I’ve never met a Jew who is offended by the phrase.

    Those people who are being characterized as such may be offended, precisely because the phrase is not critical of Jews but of people who are supportive of those who harm them. A similar phrase I’ve heard is the group name “Ladies Against Women,” which conjures up a group of impeccably-dressed wealthy women railing against equal rights for (all) women.

    Would it be kinder to your sensibilities if the phrase were “lambs in support of wolves?”

  61. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Careful reading would inform you that I didn’t actually use that term and suggested “sycophant peasants” in its place, 713. That is, by the way, how Straussians see the people they can manipulate with lies into working against their own best interests and for the interests of the elites. Lies for tax cuts and wars are 2 easy examples, but the stream of lies coming from their propaganda machine is daily routine.

  62. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 8:03 am

    How about “Chickens voting for Colonel Sanders,” Mitch?

  63. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Closeted politicians for the defense of marriage.

  64. 713
    January 20, 2012 at 8:25 am

    I think it is funny that you think you know why people are voting the way they do and automatically assign it to their ignorance. Call that whatever you want.

  65. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

    I read the news they read and their comments on news sites and blogs all over the country, 713. How else could you learn why they vote the way they do?

  66. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 8:36 am

    713,

    Perhaps you don’t hear about them, but there are plentiful polls showing that people don’t understand what they are voting for and against.

    This is parodied in the slogan “keep government hands off my Social Security.”

    Vast sums of money are paid for propaganda to convince people to vote against their interests. It’s no insult to people to suggest that, in many cases, the propaganda works. If it didn’t, a whole industry would die.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times recently asked its readership whether they thought the Times should challenge politicians statements when they are lying! They were startled to discover that their readers would kinda like that. (They thought their job was as memorably summarized by Stephen Colbert at the White House — “we speak, you transcribe.”) That ought to tell you just how pathetic the mainstream media has become, and how it utterly fails to protect its readership against propaganda.

  67. SNaFU
    January 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Sounds like ‘Plain Jane’ needs to sit on the porcelain buddha long enough to hear the thunder and enjoy the smell.

  68. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

    And there have been several university studies which show that people who get their news from the right wing media know less about what is really going on than people who read no news at all. Is it because they are less intelligent than people who read no news or are they deliberately misinformed?

  69. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I’m always thrilled when you show off the depth of your intellect, SNaFU. Don’t forget to flush and put the toilet seat down.

  70. Percy
    January 20, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I hate to break it to you 713 but you’re on a blog of progressive working people. The worthless greedy scum that runs the republicans now has to manipulate a lot of working people to vote against their self interest to get a majority at the polls. They wrap their message in patriotism and claim to have god on their side trying to sell working people a program that will get rid of social security and medicare which is all a lot of these people will have going into old age after the kings of Wall Street tanked their IRAs. You know well enough that the term Jews for Hitler is not intended to insult Jews and claiming that calling out people that believe the right wing propaganda machine (Murdoch’s media empire, Limbaugh, et all) is some kind of elite snobbery only proves that you are a shill for them. Welcome to chickens for Colonel Sanders if that suits you better.

  71. HUUFC
    January 20, 2012 at 11:43 am

    He haw, stick a fork in it, it’s done.

  72. Still laughing
    January 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Oh my, 713 is so ignorant, he/she said:

    “and while I’m at it I could read up on the left wing elite philosophy as well. Is that what they call the people who have bankrupted ca over the last 15 years or so?”

    Wow. I didn’t know Schwarzenegger, CA’s Govenator from 2003-2011, is a left wing elite! Tell us more 713.

  73. Right Wing Christian
    January 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Did ya see how my fellow Republican Christians shut down that Ron Paul guy when he cited the Golden Rule? Hell yea – booed him outta the room!

    Next? Let’s get that Jesus Christ guy up there, talking all his love your neighbor shit. Get yer stones ready – we’ll take that SOB out!

  74. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Can someone remind me, who was it who took campaign contributions from Enron and then settled California’s law suit against them for pennies on the dollar? Who deregulated the energy market which allowed Enron to rob us in the first place?

  75. WhatNow
    January 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    One of the prime parasites behind the energy deregulation debacle is former California Governor Pete Wilson.
    In the middle of rolling black outs and and other mayhem he took a few brief moments from his job as a “lobbyist” (parasite) and appeared on national news defending the new market.

  76. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    Right wing Christianists don’t like the Sermon on the Mount — they probably think Jesus was having a bad day, or perhaps that his financial advisors were on vacation. And they absolutely hate Matthew 19:23-24, when they’re not pretending it doesn’t exist.

    Matthew 21:12 shows what Jesus thought of the bankers of the time. It sounds like Channel 3 would have launched an investigation: “Who made this mess? Did you make this mess? Did you? Did you, Jesus?”

  77. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    The hawks don’t really like 1 Chronicles 22:6-10, either.

  78. Right Wing Christian
    January 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Damned straight, Mitch. We are Right Wing Christians, the only TRUE Americans, and we HATE. Don’t go telling us nothing about love your neighbor, ‘specially a neighbor we already hate.

    Likewise, don’t give us none of that liberal BS about democracy – you know – by the people, for the people.

    Choose between JC and the Koch brothers? No brainer. How much money did JC ever make? Loser. All he did was promote class warfare.

    Now where’d I put my stash of stones? Hey, wadda ya think about a cross on a hill? Fox would be all over that.

  79. High Finance
    January 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Awful lot of hate speech by the left here Mitch.

    I’ve lost score, but it must now be around 5-105 lefties are ahead.

  80. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    HiFi,

    Thanks again. Every time you comment, I understand your point of view and its rationale more clearly. As you say, after 78 comments, things look to you to be 5-105. No wonder you think the insults come from the left.

    I know you’re a wealthy, successful, self-made man, HiFi. There’s no need for successful people to do manual addition themselves — why not hire an accountant to do it for you? There are a lot of unemployed accountants who might work for minimum wage, or you could go even lower if you sent the work to India or China.

  81. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    But help me here, HiFi, are you crediting 11:43 to the left or the right?

  82. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    How can you have a political debate without criticizing the views expressed by your opponent? HiFi needs not only an accountant but someone who understands the difference between criticism and an insult.

  83. Mike Buettner
    January 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    Nice turn out in the rain today.

  84. Right Wing Christian
    January 20, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Come on, HiFi, pitch in! We can’t let those lefties out-hate us! NOBODY hates better than a Right Wing Christian, that includes Right Wing Money Men like you. Now don’t count this as a point for the libs – I’m Right Wing all the way and MONEY RULES in my book. My book is of course the Bible.

  85. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    “You’re ugly and so is your dog,” is an insult.

    Calling the practice of taking words and phrases out of context and misrepresenting them “lies,” is not an insult. It’s just a critical fact.

  86. Decline To State
    January 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Yeah it was Mike. I’m guessing 100+ people at the courthouse. With all this rain I kind of expected to be standing there all by myself. Motivated bunch.

  87. High Finance
    January 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    If you say it was 100+, the rest of us can safely assume it was more like 40.

  88. Thorstein Veblen
    January 20, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    But on a serious note that relates a little bit to the topic of this thread, the state and local courts throughout the rest of the country have been systematically stacked with free market, pro-corporate, and anti-little-guy judges, in pursuit of limiting liability for corporations while giving them human rights, and generally promoting the anti-democracy movement in our country. Check out the documentary ‘Hot Coffee’ sometime, it will scare you silly, maybe even to the point of starting to pay attention to this stuff.

  89. Fact Checker
    January 20, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    High Colonic said:
    January 20, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    “If you say it was 100+, the rest of us can safely assume it was more like 40.”

    Way to fact-check High Colonic. Facts Schmacts, “belief” is better. Who hates progressive Americans more? The Taliban? Or High Fi?

  90. tra
    January 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    On the Phil Donahue / Normon Solomon thread, HiFi claimed that Eric Kirk’s estimate of 400-450 people in attendance at that event was “ridiculous” because, according to HiFi, the Eureka Theater couldn’t hold that many people even with “standing room only” conditions.

    Turns out the Eureka Theater actually seats 886 people. So much for HiFi’s crowd estimating abilities.

  91. Decline To State
    January 20, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Actually Hi-Fi I see that others in attendance have posted the number as double that…200! All four corners of the intersection were occupied. I never was any good at judging crowd size.

  92. tra
    January 20, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Lost Coast Outpost has a piece up, including a photo of the rally at the Federal Courthouse (the downtown Post Office building) in Eureka.

    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2012/jan/20/occupy-news-roundup/#disqus_thread

  93. 713
    January 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Plain Jane says:
    January 20, 2012 at 8:03 am
    How about “Chickens voting for Colonel Sanders,” Mitch?

    How about we agree to call them “Obama voters”

    Hey “still laughing” – refresh my memory real quick, who controlled the state senate since the 70s and the assembly since the 90s?

  94. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    713,

    A few questions…

    Do you believe that the typical voter who votes against tax increases on earnings greater than $300,000 per year is doing this out of a sense of fairness?

    Do you think they just don’t want the government to grow? Or the deficit to shrink?

    Or do you think they see themselves as earning $300,000 per year and are worried that the tax will hit them?

    Or do you think they believe in the argument that fewer jobs will be created if the tax rate on the upper class’ earnings goes up by a percent? I’ve never understood that argument myself, so if you think that’s the one, I’d be grateful if you’d take a stab at explaining it to me. Why is it that someone earning $10,000,000 annually will create fewer jobs if they have their take home reduced a bit, and why is it that those jobs won’t be made up by the ability of the government to fund infrastructure jobs? And why would the millionaires job creation be expected to take place in the United States, like the infrastructure jobs? If they are investing overseas, isn’t that where the extra jobs will go?

    Do you believe the typical voter who votes against inheritance taxes on the portion of an estate that exceeds $1 million (what the Republican Party has successfully relabeled as death taxes) is doing it out of a sense of fairness?

    Do you think they just don’t want the government to grow? Or the deficit to shrink?

    Or do you think they see themselves as leaving an estate valued at more than $1 million and are worried that the tax will hit them?

    Personally, I don’t believe any of these things. Personally, I think they’ve been successfully fooled into worrying about such taxes rather than worrying about, say, the fact that the combined tax rate on a low income worker is greater than that on a hedge fund manager. The manipulators, in my opinion, have managed to merge “taxes” into a single concept in ‘the head of the typical Republican voter, preventing them from thinking clearly about such things as tax fairness, progressive vs. regressive taxation, and so on. It’s easier for such voters to just say “the rich will always escape taxation” than to think a bit and realize that raising the top bracket by a percent w

    I suppose I could be wrong about this, and voters are really concerned about their neighbor the hedge fund manager having to trade down when they buy their next yacht, but I really doubt it.

  95. Still laughing
    January 20, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    Wow, 713, you’re showing some glimmer of thinking.

    Now, keep it up, you can do it. Who gave biggest tax cuts to the wealthiest whilst he was president of the USA?

    How have things been since then?

    What is most important – lock step with your party line, or competent leadership that guides the country to economic recovery?

    Oppose anything Obama proposes. Cut off your nose.

  96. jr
    January 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Mitch: I agree with your points, but I don’t think that the tax rate is the basis for hiring or not. Employers hire people because they need a job done, and I would assume that one does not take into consideration the tax one pays if there is a need to hire people. Currently, most people have more things than they need so why buy more unless they really and truly need it. That is one reason why employers are not hiring–people are not buying.

  97. Still laughing
    January 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Oh dear, Mitch. If I’d known you were overloading 713 with requests to think more, I’d have waited with my little questions.

    Take it slow, 713. Don’t want to overtax your ditto head.

  98. Mitch
    January 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    jr,

    I agree, jr. I didn’t mean to suggest I thought that raising taxes reduces jobs. Given the trend to outsourcing, I rather think raising taxes increases jobs, since public sector funded jobs go to Americans, whether as public employees or as contractors.

    But standard modern Republican rhetoric is that raising the tax rate reduces the capital the wealthy are able to invest, thereby reducing jobs. I don’t believe it either.

  99. walt
    January 20, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    “Currently, most people have more things than they need so why buy more unless they really and truly need it?” Because their TVs tell them to. If they stop it’s because they’ve maxed out their credit cards buying Air Jordans and iPads. Give the rich tax breaks and, like Romney, they send $33 million to the Caymen Islands. That creates jobs. . .how?

  100. jr
    January 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Walt: The whole system is nuts, and only when people start to think and reflect on what is and has been going down since, say 1970, can real change occur. It starts with getting rid of your television, because that is the main vehicle for telling people what to buy, what to do, and how to vote. T.V. first and foremost promotes needless consumption.

  101. Plain Jane
    January 20, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    For years now the left has been warning about the consequences of voodoo economics and why extreme wealth concentration is dangerous to both our economy and our democracy. Today it’s a topic in GOP primary debates. Is that progress?

  102. Anonymous
    January 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    I check into this blog on a regular basis and often appreciate the discourse, but it this time it seems like a handful of people arguing with one another for over 100 posts. And what is this Jews for Hitller nonsense? No need to answer…just think this thread digressed.

  103. Anonymous
    January 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    “Nice turn out in the rain today”.

    Except for the usual gang posting on Heraldo…. right through the event when you should have been there!

    Around 5pm there was one guy holding a protest sign at the courthouse in heavy rain gear while half a dozen others enjoyed a hot stew under the courthouse steps.

    Countless vehicles honked in support of the single protester.

    You don’t need to count the number of protesters to understand the score.

    It’s 99 to 1.

  104. Anonymous
    January 21, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Holy Cow ! I mistook this for a rocket scientist blog !

  105. 713
    January 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Mitch,

    I don’t know what you mean by combined tax rate so I will use federa ratesl to respond.

    I don’t make 300,000 per year and I vote against tax increases for those people. I do that because I don’t think the taxes should be so heavily reliant on the high wage earners. The people that have that type of w2 income are paying a lot of taxes, and the lions share of all federal income taxes paid, ask your CPA.

    I don’t know about the job creation argument, I am sure some of the time or maybe even a lot of the time it is true. You moved the bar up to ten million on that one but lets agree it is a relative and proportional situation and say somebody is a sole proprietor and their business nets 300,000. They are going to pay 85,000 in federal income taxes. In this case I believe that a change in the amount paid would probably affect their hiring ability. To use an extreme example, if they paid nothing and had an extra 85,000 to use at their business maybe they would hire a couple of people or give raises. On the other hand, if you doubled it and they paid 170,000 in taxes I am sure they would have to do things different, maybe that includes cutting hours or layoffs. That money has to come from somewhere.

    I would also vote against the death tax. Taxes have been paid on assets all of somebody’s lives should not be subject to tax upon their death. The reason it is called a death tax is because the estate is taxed and has to file its own tax return. Yes, it is the government’s last swipe at your money.

    Take that theoretical business that was making 300,000. Say they had assets that were over the current limit by a million bucks and the owner died. If they had a property or hard asset based business like a store or a farm, they would probably have some serious cash flow issues trying to pay off that tax bill.

    Have I been fooled? I don’t think so.

    Still laughing, I didn’t get back to you because I was at the Rex Bohn event last night, not because I was stumped by your silly comments. I guess you can’t figure out who was in control of the state for the last 15 years.

    I have never seen anything like the rex event, probably 1000 people. No kidding.

    Mitch serious question about president Obama: you think he did what he said what he was going to do? You guys are jumping all over me and others like we are getting duped, i say look in the mirror. I will roll out some very specific examples if I must, but you know them.

  106. High Finance
    January 21, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Looks like the left needs to brush up on their math skills.

    “100+” was the claim here of the attendence at the Courthouse. Watching Channel 3 news, I counted maybe 25. 30 at most.

    Tra’s picture at 4.54pm shows maybe 40 but some of those were customers trying to get in the Post Office and pedistrians trying to walk by the rabble.

    Tax increases on the 1% is nothing more than taking money away from the productive and giving it to the unproductive.

    The top 1% make about 20% of all income and they already pay more than 38% of all income taxes paid. And despite Warren Buffet’s lies, they have an average effective tax rate of 23.27% which is far higher than anybody here has.

  107. walt
    January 21, 2012 at 8:19 am

    713: do you REALLY think the 1% PAY anything like what they owe? The big CEOs get a portion of their income earmarked for tax consultants, who insure they PAY little or nothing. Remember the year St. Ronald paid BUPKIS in taxes? The 1% do it all the time. That’s why they stash money in the Caymans, get into tax-free munis, etc, etc, etc. They’re TAXED at a high rate, but they PAY little or nothing.

  108. 713
    January 21, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Walt, I assume they pay what they owe or they would get a visit from the IRS. Just under half of us aren’t paying anything Walt. Is that fair?

  109. High Finance
    January 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Don’t bother Walt with facts, his prejudice and hate keeps him warm.

  110. Plain Jane
    January 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Where are the poor supposed to get the money to pay federal income taxes 713? Should we increase their Social Security retirement and disability, increase their food stamp allotments, daycare, rent and medical subsidies so they have a few dollars left over to pay taxes? Why don’t the rich who are whining about paying the lion’s share of taxes pay higher wages (and decrease their own salaries) so their exploited employees can support themselves first and then we can talk about how much they should pay in taxes?

  111. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

    713,

    No, I think Obama failed within his first few months, when he left the usual suspects in charge of the economy and of not regulating the banksters. I also feel he’s failed — badly — to deliver on his promises. But I’m glad for the substantial laundry list of things he’s accomplished, and I recognize that Presidents who aren’t at the beck and call of the banksters legitimately fear losing the ability to get anything done, so I have a hard time blaming him for the incompleteness of his Presidency. I wish he’d compromised less.

    As for your opinion about the taxation of a sole proprietor with $300K in earnings, all I can say is we do see things differently. I can accept that you are not being fooled. I don’t think your situation is common, but I don’t know that.

    By combined tax rate, I mean the combination of the regressive Social Security tax and the progressive income tax. Your $300K proprietor pays something like 3% Social Security tax, I’d guess, given the cutoff on Social Security taxes at $110K, while the employer and employee shares for a typical worker are more like 11% (down a bit thanks to Pres. Obama). Your $300K proprietor also has far more opportunity to shelter income than a typical worker.

    As for the inheritance tax arguments, I can only call them strange. Money typically gets taxed when it changes hands. If the person leaving the inheritance hired a hospice nurse, the nurse’s pay would be taxed, regardless of whether the money had “already been taxed.” If they bought a car, the purchase would be taxed, regardless of whether the money had “already been taxed.” I don’t see why the heirs get to say the money’s “already been taxed.”

    Every tax on someone is less tax on someone else, or more money for services from the government. I’d rather see a tax on the estates of those leaving a great deal of money when they die than greater taxes on those struggling to get along. The heirs will still get plenty of money, with the first million or so not taxed at all. If you think money should be a result of your work, this is the very best possible source of tax revenue, as the heirs did no work to get the estate.

  112. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

    713,

    It’s simply not true that people who don’t pay income taxes don’t pay taxes. For many workers, the largest share of taxes is the Social Security tax, which has two rates: one from the first dollar to $110,000, and then zero from $110,000 up. When you take both the employer and employee shares together, they add up to more than 2/3 of the 15% rate paid by billionaire hedge fund managers.

    There is no legitimate reason to exclude Social Security taxes from a discussion of how the federal government is funded. They are not optional.

  113. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 9:19 am
  114. Plain Jane
    January 21, 2012 at 9:38 am

    I think its inevitable that any president with an uncooperative congress will disappoint the people who elected them on their campaign promises. Can anyone remind me of an important campaign promise which he didn’t at least pretend to try to get passed? It’s funny when people who opposed his agenda and complain about his tyranny think he has the power of a dictator to implement the agenda for which he was elected.

  115. Still laughing
    January 21, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Have you been fooled, 713, or are you just a fool?

    OK, you are excused from thinking. Why waste time doing that?

    Yes, it’s difficult for some, as yourself, to understand multi-faceted questions, or deal with contradictions. In the future, I’ll keep in mind your limited capabilities and simply skip over your feeble arguments.

  116. tra
    January 21, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Sorry HiFi, but your crowd-estimation skills are highly suspect since you claimed the other day that the Eureka Theater couldn’t possibly hold 400-450 people, even with standing room only, for the Donahue/Solomon event — whereas in reality, the theater actually has seats for twice that many.

    I don’t know for sure how many people were at the Donahue/Solomon event at the Eureka Theater, or how many were at the courthouse yesterday, but I do know that you’d be about the last person I’d trust to make an accurate estimate.

  117. WhatNow
    January 21, 2012 at 11:14 am

    “Can anyone remind me of an important campaign promise which he didn’t at least pretend to try to get passed?”

    The operative term in your question is “pretend”-that appears to be the foundation of the current presidential administration.

  118. WhatNow
    January 21, 2012 at 11:20 am

    High Finance says:
    January 21, 2012 at 8:46 am
    “Don’t bother Walt with facts, his prejudice and hate keeps him warm.”

    Pot/kettle/black.

    Using Highly Fried’s definition of success (crass material accumulation), people like Warren Buffet who kick Fried’s balls out of the park but dare to disagree with his severly miopic world view are “liars”.

  119. HUUFC
    January 21, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Federal Debt, over $15 trillion, defcit this year $1.3 trillion, thats $135,148 per taxpayer. Social security liability $15 trillion, prescription liability $20 trillion, medicare liability $81 trillion, thats over $1 million per taxpayer. Almost half the people in the United States pay no taxes. Any solutions?

  120. tra
    January 21, 2012 at 11:54 am

    “Federal Debt, over $15 trillion, deficit this year $1.3 trillion…Any solutions?”

    Well, for starters, how about we eliminate corporate subsidies, tax loopholes and tax breaks, end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, cut military spending, reject too-big-to-fail bailout schemes, tax capital gains at (at least) the same rate as income from wages or salary, allow Medicare to negotiate for bulk purchasing of medication, and raise the ceiling on contributions to Social Security.

  121. Still laughing
    January 21, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    tra, you are being far to rational. Any Republican can tell you the only solution is to stick with the same failing policies that got us into this mess, only ratchet it up. Give bigger tax cuts to the 1%, start a new war and let those sick bastards die.

    For comic relief, sit back and watch the neo con clowns tear each other apart.

  122. Plain John
    January 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Speaking of Occupy – it was great to see everyone there last night occupying Rex Bohn’s campaign rally at Redwood Acres.

    With over 700 people in attendance from all walks of local folks, it was the most impressive political event I’ve ever attended. Okay, maybe when former President Bill Clinton came to town. But hey, a former President versus a future County Supervisor? That’s some pretty good company.

    There were Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Greens there. Married, significant others, singles, gay, lesbians and transgendered were all having a grand time supporting our next County Supervisor.

    Rex might be a Progressive Democrat as he was “buying local” with many of the local beer and wine makers pouring libations. Local dairy and oysters guys were serving fresh local foods.

    They were even signing up new voters at this event.

    I’ve never seen such a machine built up for a political candidate before.

    Bass may have had the makings of a political machine when she destroyed Bonnie, but damn! Rex has twice the resources that Bass ever had.

    We can only hope Patty Berg or Greg Connors throws their name in the ring.

    The question is – does Patty Berg want to ride off into the sunset as our former State Assembly member or does she want to go out like Bonnie – a loser.

    And to think that Bonnie has offered to chair her campaign. Great job you did last time with your Sacramento political consultants and pollsters from Seattle, Washington. What a joke!

    As for Greg Connors, wait for the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee to tear him a new one. You know they eat their own?

    Speaking of the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee, I highly recommend all Democrats to show up for February 8th meeting as the Executive Committee will tell us how broke they are and they need more money.

    What they won’t tell you is who makes up the Executive Committee nor how much money they wasted ($5,000 on Bonnie, $5,000 on Patrick Cleary and $3,750 for maybe the worst flyer ever designed promoting Larry Glass, Ron Kuhnel and Peter LaVallee) without even consulting the Democrat members at large.

    What did all those candidates have in common during the November 20120 elections? They were endorsed and financially supported by the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee – and all losers.

    Nor will the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee Executive Committee disclose how unions and Democratic Central Committees launder political money.

    Ask the Humboldt County Democratic Central Committee how much money they received from out-of-the-area unions and how munch money they contributed to out-of-the-area Democrat candidates?

    In finance, this is called money laundering.

    Considering the Occupy movement is against big money buying local elections, local Democratic candidates are awful quiet about the Bill Pierson’s and Blue Lake Casino’s $100,000 financing their campaigns.

    Maybe the Occupy movement will protest Pierson’s Building Supply and the Blue Lake Casino for trying to buy elections?

    What do you think?

    Buy local!

    Keep big money out of politics!

  123. 713
    January 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Mitch,
    Social Security is not a tax, it is a “social insurance” . That $300,000 employer we are talking about also matched their employees’ contributions. People who pay into social security are going to get that money back when they retire. I don’t see how you can consider people paying into their social security account a tax if they are going to get it back. Do you consider my 401K contributions a tax? Don’t you get those things in the mail that tell you if you become permanently disabled you can $1200 a month or whatever. Sure it is a higher percentage the lower your income, but the lower income earners will most likely draw out far more than they put in while the higher wage earners will never see the all the money they “invested”.

    As far as the death tax goes, if was on purely cash or liquid investments, I would probably be less against it. It is troubling to me to think of somebody’s children selling their farm or refinancing their business in order to pay taxes. I believe this has a chilling effect on the economy. Also, if you believe the tax is on the people receiving the inheritance, why are the rates and exemptions based on the whole estate and not on the amount each person would receive?

    Still laughing, I challenge you to a meaningful response. I don’t believe you are tall enough for this ride, but we’ll see.

  124. Harold Knight
    January 21, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Once again, the issue from left to right is “how many protesters showed up”, the tactic is timeless and unquestioned.

    Not all republican’s share Bohn’s vision of 9-story natural gas containers, another mall, or Walmart on our bay. Nevertheless, they show up and win, unlike attempts to herd liberal cats.

    200 people protesting in the cold pouring rain in Eureka is astounding.

    Equally astounding is Warren Buffet’s public confession that his effective tax rate is lower than his secretary’s!

    Of course, these are painful truths for deluded right-wingers who think they are beneficiaries of their unrelenting battle to lower taxes on the elite…or that they represent a majority-opinion in the U.S..

    Can we have a moment of silence to feel their pain?

  125. High Finance
    January 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm

    200 people is NOT the number that showed up. Look at the pictures. 40 would be a generous number.

    Warren Buffett lied. His income consists of largely dividend income. Dividends are taxed TWICE, once at the corporate level at 35% and once at the individual level at 15%. He paid 50% tax on his dividends, not 15%.

    What is “astounding” is the gall of liberals to keep repeating the same lies over and over again.

  126. Plain Jane
    January 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    And then, aside from the question of who should pay how much,on what type of income, is the issue of setting tax rates according to what is best for the general welfare of the country and our economy. Obviously today’s tax rates aren’t enough to finance current government expenditures, much less pay anything on the debt, and we can’t slash spending without plunging into a depression. Further, today’s tax rates have accelerated the pace of wealth accumulation at the top as those in the middle and bottom have lost. It’s not working on any level.

  127. Plain Jane
    January 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    All income is taxed over and over HiFi. I pay taxes on the money I spend at the store, the doctor’s office, the dentist, etc. and they pay taxes on it again and so on and so on. In fact, my income is from already taxed income so I shouldn’t have to pay taxes, using your rationale. When money changes hands, taxes are due.

  128. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    713,

    Social Security is a tax. In any of the Western European democracies, it would be folded into the income tax structure. Only in our odd democracy did it have to be sold as an additional “contribution” in order to pass.

    You can choose to make deposits or not into your 401k; you have no such option with regard to Social Security. That makes it a tax. You don’t necessarily get out what you put in, and some get out much more than they put in. Again, that makes it a tax — it’s special purpose was to reduce poverty among the elderly, and it was given a special name so that the funds would not easily be politically redirected.

    The idea that the employer pays part of the contribution is a true fiction, again designed to make it more palatable. If an employer has x dollars to spend on hiring someone, that person gets 95% of x due to the need of the employer to pay 5% of x as their share of social security. Then the employee pays 5% of their wage as “the employee share.” The employee gets 10% less than the employer set aside for wages. (That’s ignoring other payroll taxes, of course, and rounding numbers.) In a sense, the only thing the employer/employee share fiction on social security does is slightly raise the real minimum wage.

    Many conservatives and the banksters would like to see Social Security abolished and replaced with individual investment accounts. If this were to happen, Social Security would no longer be a tax, and would no longer provide “social” “security” — people would no longer be guaranteed enough cash to have some reasonable quality of life in their old age or when they are disabled.

    What exists now is a payroll tax used to fund an enormously successful program that sharply reduced the poverty rates among seniors. Unfortunately, the payroll tax is extremely regressive.

    If we had a national security payroll tax, used only to fund the military, it would be a tax.

    As for inheritance taxes, if they were charged only on liquid parts of an estate, no large estate would ever have liquid parts. I’d be all for the government leaving farms and such intact — there are ways that could be done while still taxing the least-earned income in society. For example, the government could accept a percentage of the farm as its tax payment, leaving the farm intact but collecting its share when the heirs or the heirs heirs sell the farm for subdivision. Leave it as a farm, you can use it forever.

  129. Anonymous
    January 21, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    LmSao @ hundreds of occutards at the courthouse. According to the T-S it was around 60.

    All you idiots do here is bash HiFi and cry foul when he defends himself, but his guess was closer than yours.

  130. Harold Knight
    January 21, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    “(Warren Buffet)” paid 50% tax on his dividends, not 15%”.

    I listened to Buffet explain this on numerous mainstream media appearances. His overall effective tax rate, after exploiting all legal tax trickery, is lower than his secretary, despite the top rates.

    More detailed explanations on effective tax rates are the subject of numerous books and articles.

    Oh those academics…always dowsing the flames of ideologues.

    “200 people is NOT the number that showed up. Look at the pictures. 40 would be a generous number”.

    Everyone knows that a picture does not represent “the number that showed up.”

    I was there. Some protesters could only stand a few minutes in the pouring rain, others stayed the duration. Possibly 150 were the most simultaneously protesting. 200 is a conservative estimate for the actual number that “showed up”.

    “High Finance” is a clever sophist wrapping lies in reasonable-sounding prose. When actually called-out on specific lies, like the number of seats at the Eureka Theater, he concedes nothing, changes the topic, or vanishes entirely, reappearing in the next thread to provoke anew.

    Feeding this beast feels dirty.

  131. Percy
    January 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Time to pull the plug on your sorry ass annonytard 2:33. My I invite you to pack up your peanuts and head on over to the mirror where your impeccable wit and humor will be much more appreciated.

  132. 713
    January 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Mitch I have a hard time with the idea that employers are not paying part of the employees share. Maybe I am a stickler for technical details but If you do any payroll bookkeeping you know that the employer sends the money in and it is tracked separately, employee deduction and employer contribution, per employee.

    I agree with the concept that it is a component of payroll costs, just like unemployment insurance but using your line of logic do you consider everything employee related cost as a reduction in their wages?

    I don’t agree that this should be considered in the debate over who pays what in taxes since, as you stated, it has a special purpose. It is for the benefit of the payer and the benefit that person will get is directly tied to how much they contribute, unlike a general tax. If you have very low wages, you will not get the $2300 max social security benefit.

    Should property taxes and other fees be included in the discussion as well?

    Personally, I would rather invest the money myself. If I had the option of putting another 15% of my wages away and waive my social security benefits, I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, some people would totally blow their money and we would end up paying for them later in life, so I guess this is the best option as long as it stays solvent.

    I don’t want the government owning part of anything I own. Bad partners, they can be. Pretty soon they would be down there telling you what to grow and how much to charge. I think there is a name for that when the government controls the means of production.

  133. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    713,

    I understand why you might think I’m playing with semantics, but I don’t think I’m doing so. Taxes that get paid as a result of employing someone are part of the employer’s costs in paying them. The division of the social security tax into employer share and employee share has always struck me as deceptive framing (with, as I mentioned, the minor side-effect of slightly increasing the effective minimum wage).

    As far as I understand it, for a minimum wage employee to get an extra dollar when they cash their paycheck, the employer has to put an extra $1.10 in. For a high-paid executive to get an extra dollar when they cash their paycheck, the employer only needs to put in $1.00. To me, that says that the government is getting 10% more in payroll taxes on the minimum wage dollar than on the executive dollar. That seems nuts to me.

    I suspect an economist would be able to prove that the economic effect of shifting the payroll tax burden back and forth between employer and employee is negligible except at the minimum wage — salaries would float right back to the real take-home values they had before the bookkeeping shift.

    As for government being a part-owner of an heir’s property, that’s an alternative to the government taking it’s share as cash, forcing the division of the estate property. I don’t think it necessarily follows that the government would gain any right to control the property. It could always be structured Ias a zero-interest loan from the government to the heir of the taxes the heir would otherwise need to pay the government, in order that the property need not be split up.

    I guess my point here is, for someone who feels as I do that estate taxes are appropriate, there’s no need to force an heir to break up property to pay the taxes.

  134. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    In case it’s not clear, I’m referring only to the FICA stuff when I say the employer must put $1.10 in. I understand that there are lots of other deductions.

  135. Anonymous
    January 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Cry me a farking river Percy; all you assholes do is name call. Forget HiFi for a minute – look at 713 – s/he has debated reasonablly for a few weeks now, and other than Mitch and PJ, the rest just try to pile on with namecalling and insults.

    Mirror my ass, you are just as slimey as that vile blog. Slime from the right, meet slime from the left – smells just as crappy.

    60 occutards at the federal building, Perc ma boy – not hundreds, LmSao.

  136. WhatNow
    January 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Anonymous says:
    January 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    “all you assholes do is name call.”

    “Slime from the right, meet slime from the left”

    “60 occutards…”

    Thanks for raising the standard by example!
    We appear to be mere timid amatuers in the arena of name calling when compared to YOUR highly articulated capabilities.

    Aren’t you the same individual that ripped some one not long ago for posting and not using their own name?

    Try backin’ off huffing cleaning products, buddy. You just MAY have one or two brain cells left that couls feebly fire if not paralyzed by inhalants.

  137. 713
    January 21, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Mitch the government isnt really getting the money on the minimum wage guy, he is paying a higher percentage, but he will get more money when he retires back whereas the executive will not get an increased benefit because they are already paying the maximum. This seems reasonable to me.

    I don’t think we are going to see eye to eye on the inheritance tax. Why isn’t it charged when it transfers to a spouse? From what I have read it is a fairly negligible part of the budget so it seems only to serve the purpose of preventing the accumulation of assets in a family. If I have a ton of money when I die, it should be up to me how much my kids get. I don’t like the idea of 47% of my life savings being sent to Washington to be pissed away into the abyss. I feel really strongly about that and if that makes me a fool to vote that way, so be it. I would hardly call trying to preserve my assets for my children voting against my interests as was mentioned previously on this thread.

    I don’t understand how you can have so much faith in the government to do the right thing. They are just like corporations and unions: self serving organizations made up of people. At least with the corporations and unions you know where you stand and can choose to do business with them or not. The government, not so much.

  138. Anonymous
    January 21, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    I think most of us do not have so many assets that we go over the estate tax threshold and would not pay them anyways. For those of us who do have a higher figure, I agree that it is my choice where the money goes, since I made it. And my spouse? That person is my partner and joint owner of the money. They shouldn’t have to pay taxes since they helped make the money, even if they weren’t actually responsible for the dollars coming in. They took care of other things to make it all possible. I do believe in estate taxes, but at a higher level, say a couple of million. I worked hard for all this and want it to go where I want it to go. The people who end up with more than that can give up a little.

  139. High Finance
    January 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    If Social Security is nothing more than a tax and not an insurance program, then Social Security itself is a just another welfare program.

    Do you agree Mouse ? Are you on welfare ? Mitch, is your mother on welfare ?

    And Jane, just for a freaking moment can you try to think ? When your doctor employers pay you, they deduct your pay as a business expense. When corporations pay out dividends they are not allowed to deduct those payouts. They are taxed at 35%. Then the stockholders have to pay another 15% tax on the receipt of those dividends.

  140. Mitch
    January 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    713,

    I don’t have much faith that the government will do the right thing, but I do view it as necessary.

    The private sector could do just fine on things where you can capture the benefits of your work yourself. There are lots of things where the profit motive will not create the necessary incentives to get the job done, often because even though the task creates real benefits, the benefits don’t accrue specifically to the people doing the task. We all need government to get those jobs done. In a functional democracy, government can also step in and prevent the strong from robbing from the weak, and can protect people who, through no fault of their own, are vulnerable. Ours is not particularly functional lately, because of the growing ability of the ultra-wealthy to buy the government they want.

    I’ve never understood why so many people on the left think that government is inherently better than the private sector. In the 50s and 60s, I think, the private sector was far, far better on civil rights than the government.

    I guess you’re right that we don’t see things the same way. I accept that you are not “fooled” — I think our life experiences have simply caused us to see things differently.

    HiFi,

    Welfare’s not a dirty word. It’s prominent in the preamble to the Constitution, and it’s first definition in the first dictionary I checked is “the good fortune, health, happiness, prosperity, etc., of a person, group, or organization; well-being: to look after a child’s welfare; the physical or moral welfare of society.”

    If you attended a school, people were seeing to your welfare. If you ever call 911, public employees will see to your welfare. And if you were ever to find yourself impoverished and unable to work, you can be proud to live in a country where, rather than beg, you can expect the rest of us to contribute to your welfare. That’s a sign of civilization.

  141. Still laughing
    January 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    7:13, response to what? Your discourse discloses your bean counting bent. Don’t worry, I won’t ask you to step out your cognitive bean box. Count your beans, spin the veil over your eyes and ditto on.

  142. High Finance
    January 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    No Mitch, people go to school whether they have a paid any taxes or not. 911 answers even those who have never worked a day in their lives.

    Social Security you do not get unless you have paid into that insurance program for at least ten years. The more you paid in, the longer you pay in, the more you get back.

    Your logic is faulty. Again.

  143. Thorstein Veblen
    January 21, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    One thing I find so distasteful about these free marketeers is that the theory leads to the conclusion that if you have wealth, you deserve it, and if you don’t, ‘then blame yourself’. Altogether a very judgemental system, and favorite rationale for status quo by those who have lots. Overtly or not, we have been teaching this concept in our schools for decades now, to our detriment, I believe.

  144. WhatNow
    January 21, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    I agree, Veblen.

    Bill Moyers had an excellent interview with Reagan’s 1st budget director David Stockman (the same who admitted they simply made up numbers and facts to present to congress the 1st 2 years of Reagan’s administration.)

    The financial services sector has gone from an historical average of 15% to 40% since the repeal of Glass-Steagal Act, a 34 page document that served this country fairly well for 70 years. This “growth” industry is simply a loaded casino. Per Stockman, “too big to fail, then too big to exist.
    (Of course, the true believing goosesteppers will just claim Stockman, like McCain and others has simply lost his “moral compass”, politically speaking).

    By creating a sense of entitlement amongst banksters, investors, and other leeches that provide nothing of substance and then empowering them to lobby, shape and control debates Stockman asserts we have neither capitalism OR democracy (or a “represenative republic” to save Gene Owens the trouble of bringing in some john Birch literature.)

    Stockman’s book “The triumph of Crony Capitalism” describes a system that quite familiar to students of 20th century history.the closest comparable nation state with a similar structure as Mussolini’s Counsel Of Corporations.

    Imperial England in the 19th century is another good example.

  145. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 6:01 am

    “Hey “still laughing” – refresh my memory real quick, who controlled the state senate since the 70s and the assembly since the 90s?”

    I don’t believe you answered this.

  146. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

    Mitch,
    I agree government is necessary. I was mentioning my distrust in the context of the government owning part of my property in lieu of a tax, I just wouldn’t want them involved. Just like I don’t want them involved in dividing up my assets when I die.

    This is perhaps why people vote republican and you can’t identify with them. Of course some actually are idiots or “peasant sycophants” as pj likes to call them. I would say the left has an equal supply of those though.

  147. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Wrong HiFI, The origin of my money is after-tax income from mostly working class people. I pay taxes (and the entire SS payroll tax as well) on it and spend it in other businesses which also pay taxes on it and “the beat goes on,”

    Someone asking about why spouses don’t have to pay estate taxes is short a few brain cells for this discussion, but the short answer is they aren’t inheriting an estate. It already belongs to them as community property.

    And no, HiFi, one does not have to pay into Social Security for 10 years before they can draw on it. Disabled people and dependent children of disabled or deceased workers (regardless how long the parent(s) worked receive SS payments.

  148. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 7:41 am

    If by “controlled” the state legislature you mean had the ability to pass legislation due to their numbers, that would be no one… See California’s super majority rules for clarification.

  149. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 8:45 am

    PJ, my question about the spouse paying inheritance tax was in response to Mitch stating that money is taxed when it changes hands. I agree it is community property but it seems to me a family business or farm should fall under the same rules. Maybe the kids aren’t on the title, but they probably would have contributed as much as the spouse to the business.

  150. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 8:55 am

    713,

    The thing is, I view “redistribution of wealth” of an estate as an entirely reasonable thing, not confiscatory at all.

    Elizabeth Warren has made the point really well in videos that Republicans appear to view as a smoking gun. She points out that there is no such thing as a “self-made” person. No matter how much an individual contributes to their own success, they are enabled in that success by the entire country.

    If nothing else, all the expenditures on the military (I’m trying to use an argument here that the conservatives can hear) and all the soldiers’ lives and limbs lost have maintained the framework within the successful can have their success.

    Same thing with the road network; same thing with the social safety net that has prevented people from falling into desperation sufficient to go marauding through wealthy suburbs or ripping out copper wire from the electrig grid leading to our heroic captains-of-industry’s factories.

    If the captain-of-industry was born in a country with high infant mortality, or no system to detect tainted food or medicine, or no public education, or one in which your parent’s income completely determined your own success, they might have died at birth, grown up sickly, not learned enough to build their business, and so on.

    The country deserves a share of the captains’ success, and the absolutely least painful time to take it from them is when they’re dead. The country also NEEDS a share of the captains’ success, to provide the same level of support to the next round of captains.

    The, to me incredible, stinginess of the captains’ kids is based on Ayn Randian mythologies about success — mythologies that are adored by the Republican right.

  151. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Your assumption that kids contributed to a family business or farm is unsupported, 713. Some probably do, but many obviously don’t. How much can a kid contribute to a family fortune created and maintained by hedge funds? The simple fact is, spouses are owners of the property regardless of who does what for the business, not heirs.

    “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that with a $2 million exemption, only 123 farms per year in the U.S. would owe any estate tax, and the number of small businesses is similarly small. In 2001, the New York Times reported that American Farm Bureau Federation (who was in favor of repealing the estate tax) could not cite a single case of a family farm lost due to the estate tax.

    On average, those few small business and farm estates will owe only 14 percent of the estate, so it is unlikely they will have to sell the business or farm. Plus, they can spread any payments over 14 years.”

    http://www.faireconomy.org/news/estate_tax_faqs

  152. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 9:23 am

    PJ,

    As you know, 123 farms a year is enough to run an ad campaign featuring Ma and Pa. Maybe if the limit was $100 million. I bet it would still collect 99% as much, and it’s harder for people to “explain” how they need the money when they could bank it and buy a farm every year on the interest.

  153. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Seriously, I think the Democrats have made a serious mistake by not proposing a new tax bracket on incomes above, say, $50 million. If nothing else, it would be fun to see how the right wing would play their opposition.

    The 1% is a good slogan, but the real problem is the 1% of the 1%, and that’s been hiding in plain sight.

  154. walt
    January 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

    I enjoy the right’s love songs to “self-made men,” “entrepreneurs” and “captains of industry.” Swell guys like Kenny Lay, Bernie Madoff and Charles Hurwitz. Hard-working, deeply spiritual and selfless men who made this country great.

  155. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, September 6, 1789:

    http://odur.let.rug.nl/~usa/P/tj3/writings/brf/jefl81.htm

    I set out on this ground which I suppose to be self evident, “that the earth belongs in usufruct to the living;” that the dead have neither powers nor rights over it. The portion occupied by an individual ceases to be his when himself ceases to be, and reverts to the society.

    More generally:

    http://budiansky.blogspot.com/2010/10/adam-smith-thomas-jefferson-and-other.html

  156. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 9:56 am

    People are encouraged, for obvious reasons, to forget that the founding fathers were the Occupy movement of their time. Look folks, it was the American revolution, not the American petition.

    People are encouraged to forget the instruction of Jesus, as cited in Matthew, Mark, and Luke: sell your possessions and give to the poor if you want to get to heaven.

    I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

    These are the truths of the political and spiritual leaders we pretend to hold dear. It never ceases to amaze me how the right wing has somehow adapted lip-service to patriotism and religion while utterly opposing those who they claim to follow.

  157. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I have a question for Steve Strombeck/hi-fi..If your family for some reason was afflicted with some mysterious disease or cancer and you had insurance. The cap on the insurance was done, it meant your son, mother, wife would lose their life because, you had exhausted all financial avenues including selling real property. The only way you would be able to save your family would be to receive help, by WELFARE and or your church. Would you do that? I think Steves dream is to lay next to robbie in bed smoking cigars and brag about who ripped off more people in a lifetime. Why would anyone want to teach their children this kind of eletist life style. Just because you put 10.00$ in the plate on Sunday doesnt mean your sins are forgiven Steve.

  158. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 10:26 am

    For a great many people, church is the center of their social life and in lots of towns, the only social life. You don’t have to believe to belong but you have to pretend to believe. Adding the possibility of unlimited redemption to patriarchal monotheism was a brilliant move. It makes it more palatable for the masses and convenient for the leaders who, despite their “feet of clay” can be forgiven, hold their power and go forth to sin again.

    I’m still laughing over Gingrich winning the SC primary with a large majority of evangelical voters. No matter how cynical I’ve become, I cannot imagine there are enough stupid people in this country to elect a 3 time married, serial cheater, corrupt, lying pig like Gingrich or Callista who carried on a 6 year adulterous affair, as our First Lady. What is wrong with people who applaud a cheater for hotly denying he was honest with his wife about it? What mindset believes it is better to deceive your spouse and put them at risk for STD’s and the humiliation of illegitimate step-kids than give them the respect of choosing whether those are risks they want to take? What would people like Newt do without voters who will forgive him over and over and over?

  159. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 10:51 am

    PJ,

    You’re not trying hard enough.

    Try to imagine a country in which the draft dodger beats the war hero, because there’s money with which to spread lies about the war hero and because the draft dodger looked good in a pilot suit.

    That’s a country that can elect someone like Gingrich. Gingrich knows that.

    He’s amped the fascist rhetoric about not yielding to the courts. His campaign is going to be all about the good people like himself taking the country back from people like Obama and the anti-democratic courts. Just watch. It’s history in action.

  160. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 11:09 am

    “When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying the bible.” Sinclair Lewis

  161. High Finance
    January 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

    John Kerry was no “war hero” Mitch.

    But John McCain was to the 10th degree. Yet it didn’t affect your vote in the last election.

    Gingrich is a amateur compared to Bill Clinton when it comes to cheating on wives. Yet PJ still was happy to vote for Bill both times over more honorable men.

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat !

    Finally, thanks for the laugh this morning Mitch. This is the first time I have heard anyone compare the bums littering our courthouse steps to Jefferson, Adams and George Washington !

  162. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Have you sent your contribution and resume to Gingrich yet, HiFi? Time is money!

  163. walt
    January 22, 2012 at 11:45 am

    If time is money and money is speech, is time speech?

  164. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 11:48 am

    And if time is speech, your work time should be free. So much for the minimum wage. Thanks a lot, walt!

  165. Percy
    January 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Way back in this thread there was mention of the 35% tax rate corporations pay. That’s what General Electric paid right?

  166. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Subtlety, thy name is Percy. The 35% rate is to GE as truth is to HiFi: unrelated.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/318858-how-general-electric-apple-and-google-maintain-a-lower-tax-rate-than-you

  167. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Unlike you, HiFi, I didn’t know that Clinton was a cheater until after he was elected to his second term. I switched from Hart to Mondale on that issue. Unlike you, I don’t believe in “sin” or care about what sort of sexual relationships people have so long as they are consensual. Those who sneakily cheat deny their spouses the ability to make the informed decision required for consent. What is more disrespectful than that?

  168. High Finance
    January 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    You were the only one in the country who didn’t know about Clinton, PJ. When it comes to Democrats you are constantly swallowing their kool aid.

    BTW, I am consistent in my beliefs. I condemn Clinton and I condemn Gingrich. One does not need to be a saint to run our country, but at least he should be a scoundral.

    To paraphrase Truman, if a man’s wife can’t trust him, how can the country trust him ?

  169. Harold Knight
    January 22, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Excellent debate, wonderful writing with site-referrals worth keeping. Thanks PJ and Mitch. You’ve routed the opposition once again.

    It’s mostly liberals today who quote the Founding Fathers, the U.S. Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

    Having just fled the tyranny of aristocracy, the Founders had good reason to fear unregulated accumulation of wealth. Most, (not all) worried profusely that unbridled inheritances would eventually lead back to a similar tyranny.

    Boy, were they right.

    It appears they practiced what they preached…their names are not on the list of this nation’s oldest foundations, there are no “Founder’s castles” to tour.

    Wasn’t it a republican president that passed the first inheritance tax? What a great party it was 150 years ago.

  170. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Since I don’t know what Hilary and Bill’s marriage “contract” is and since they’re still married, I think his philandering is with her consent. If so, would you still think Clinton and Gingrich are equally untrustworthy?

  171. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    “If wealth was the inevitable result of hard work and enterprise, every woman in Africa would be a millionaire.” George Monbiot

  172. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    Citizens United in ten excellent minutes:

  173. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    I wonder if any dope is being grown in any of Hi/fi rentals and if so? I wonder if he is paying his taxes 35% or just in the plate on Sunday..If he knows about the dope isnt he breaking the law? Or will he just enjoy his high dollar cash rents? undeclared of course. If he knew whouldnt he have a good Christain moral and ethical responsibility to call the police?

  174. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Mitch, I would agree that nobody is truly self made, but how do you account for the differences in wealth accumulated between two people who started even? Dumb luck?

    Everybody doesn’t have the same opportunity, but there are opportunities for everybody.

    So you would like to see a “reset” every generation. I think this is contrary to most Americans beliefs. I personally would find that very demoralizing. I think the tax is actually on anything over 5 million currently so I am not worried, but it should be very high. I like Mitch’s 50 million level.

    I agree pj that the kids don’t own it, but you are thinking little kids and I am thinking about adult children who work at the family business.

    In any case I believe I had made a decent case that I am not a peasant sycophant or Jew for hitler by voting republican.

    Not any more than a democrat anyways.

  175. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 1:54 pm
  176. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    713,

    I agree with what you’ve said in other threads and what many psychological studies have shown — an ability to delay gratification is important to success. But I also feel that, especially in our society, financial success is very unlinked from both societal contribution and life success.

    I also think dumb luck plays a much larger role than many people want to think, particularly successful people.

    I base all this on having observed, over about ten years, literally hundreds (possibly thousands) of people doing similar jobs at vastly different pay rates that were demonstrably unlinked from their ability and productivity.

    Incidentally, I don’t believe in a “reset” every generation. I believe in moderation.

    For example, I think after any heir has been able to receive an inheritance large enough that they could receive the equivalent of the minimum wage in interest every year (that would be what, about $400,000?) it’s appropriate to start taxing any further inheritance. Once an heir has an inheritance large enough that they could receive the equivalent of the median income (about $1 to $2 million), I think the tax rate should go up to about 50%. Anything over $10 million I’d tax at 90% — if you can’t be happy for life with $10 million to spend, knowing that many people are starving and many of your countrymen are homeless, more money will not help.

    I feel that way about salaries and capital gains as well.

  177. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    713,

    I followed your gizmodo link. Do you understand the meaning I take from it? The kids who would have gone into engineering or art or medicine have followed the money instead and wasted their lives in advertising, banking, investment management, finance, etc….

    Why wouldn’t they? Everything they saw growing up suggested that you’re a sucker if you work hard at helping people or doing something you’re passionate about. People who would have been artists work at ad agencies for high six figures, people who would have been engineers became quants for high seven figures, and people who would have been doctors look for tax breaks for their corporate sponsors.

    Who’s responsible for that? The democrats?

  178. jr
    January 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Mitch’s connection of the Occupy Movement with the Founding Fathers is apt and right on the mark. Think of the Committees of Correspondence as the 1770’s version of today’s General Assemblies. Both are basically grass roots democracy in action. I was watching via UStream the G.A. in Oakland and was impressed with the desire to forge consensus through inclusiveness. No matter what one thinks of the Occupy Movement, one must respect it for starting the dialogue for re-energizing people to make the changes necessary for a healthy society.

  179. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Did you go to the ny times link, it is much more in depth? And scary. It wasn’t just engineers, they are saying we don’t have the high school graduates with technical school level educations for factory workers and china does. They are saying the Chinese are more productive and do a better job – that is they are producing higher quality products – than their American counterparts.

    I don’t know whose fault it is, but we have been missing the boat. American schools assume everybody is going to college to be a CPA or something while in other countries they recognize the need for a technical workforce. Here, either you take college prep or you are a dummy and should take shop. Thats the message I took away from school. I was interested in some of the shop stuff but ushered into the college prep courses because I tested well. I don’t know if I would be doing better if I’d taken shop classes, but the guy who put my floor in got $6,000.00 for a few days of work that I didn’t have the technical skills to do.

    I think that comes from American arrogance and we believe we are just better than everybody. You can see it when people denounce “cheap Chinese crap”. Well, Apple is saying they do a better job than we could.

    Also, since we have been bailing out on manufacturing, they have gotten very good at it and reached a point where it would be almost impossible for anyone to compete since they have the infrastructure and capacity.

    What I took away from the article was that even if wages in china were similar to here, we could not compete. Scary.

  180. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    713,

    Now just connect the dots.

    What does it mean when the Ivy League turns out mostly banksters instead of engineers?

    What does it mean when a society grounds personal self-worth in acquisitiveness, and spends its time watching TV shows about either wealthy people without morals or celebrities without talent?

    What does it mean when someone of the “talent” and “success” of George W Bush gets to be President? When our sports stadia are named after corporations instead of sports heroes?

    What does it mean when politicians spend the bulk of their time trashing other politicians and public employees, and refuse to call their peers on loutish behavior and corruption?

    I’ve never understood why people apparently expect kids to care about learning when we demonstrate, every day, our contempt for the learned.

    Once the dots are connected, check out where California stands in money set aside per pupil in the educational system.

    Check out our “requirements” for charter schools, and how such schools can bribe parents away from the public schools with trinkets.

    Check out what percentage of the children of the wealthy have served in our recent wars of choice, and what percentage of our children have been exposed to the draft. Check out the stuck-pig squeals when someone proposes raising taxes on the absolutely best-off of our society in order to pay for the basic decent treatment of citizens that is taken for granted in Western Europe.

    America has worked hard to get itself into the mess it is in, and our leaders have led us here.

  181. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I would say it was lack of leadership. We have become a society of bickering bureaucrats. Look at that railroad study, we can’t even agree to study it. Where are our leaders? Look at cypress grove, they should be building their dairy adjacent to their cheese factory, not 10 miles down the road. This is the kind of stupidity that passes for government today.

    A leader would have stepped in and said, “this property was dairy. It is zoned ag. We value cypress grove, it is the type of business we want.” And then go to work making it happen.

    We don’t have that, we have people hedging their bets and saying ambiguous things that don’t really mean anything. The whole political system is set up so nobody takes responsibility for anything. Who’s fault is the ca budget? as pj pointed out they have to have a supermajority. How stupid is that? Guaranteed gridlock. Each party is so afraid or losing power they won’t change anything though.

    I guess when we sink low enough, true leaders will emerge.

  182. walt
    January 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    So the $64 question (I know, I’m dating myself) is: how do we undo this? If our problems are at their root systemic, and have to do with the lack of values such as hard work, producing quality goods, educating yourself (and others) and common sense, how do you inculcate a whole generation with those values? How do you erase the ones (greed, lust, dishonesty) they (we) have?

  183. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    When the people we elect actually start valuing people instead of green paper and stand up for what is right..Thats when change begins. When war breaks out and the leader is on a white horse infront, instead of from tampa. Thats when change begins. When money doesnt mean you win an election. Thats when change begins. When doing the right thing is important, instead of being a member of the ingomar. Maybe change will begin. The people who wrote the constitution are rolling over in their graves thinking about what we have become. When the the terms we use about poor people has become scumb bag and worthless. This is not what we were all taught as kids and yet this is what the establishment wants us to believe is wrong with America, that we are giving away to many intitlements. No we are getting stolen from at the top. Like robbie did to us with his Bankruptsies. The likes of people like him know how to use the systems to their advantage to make money and we continue to cut money from Schools and old people. How can someone say that enough, to convince us all. Seriously.

  184. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    walt,

    Respect should be withdrawn from people who do not deserve it, and replaced with politeness. Respect should be offered to those who deserve it.

    Buildings should not be named after the politicians who got the patronage for them, or for the big contributors, but for people associated with the building’s purpose who have done the right thing. Betty Chin’s name should be everywhere in Eureka.

    It was nice to see John Shelter on the cover of the Journal; I’d like to see a similar piece about Jack Nounan. (I’m not even sure how his name should be spelled.)

    Reporters should tell their readership when a politician is saying something they know to be at variance with the truth. All the space given to the deluded liars who have explanations for every move of the Dow Jones should be replaced with space given to the stories of the people doing the work of our society. We should be demanding this of people working in media, and letting them know when we are not satisfied.

    We should be thanking people who provide us with service. I don’t mean financially thanking them, though that’s necessary. I mean thanking them.

    We should be withdrawing, where possible, from doing business with institutions whose behavior we find disgusting. Coast Central, for example, not to mention the big banks. We should let institutions know we care about their behavior.

    When we are trapped at parties listening to assholes, we should (politely) challenge them, and tell them what we truly think of their opinions.

    The change will not come from politicians or other so-called “leaders” — the change will come from changing cultural expectations on the part of typical people. People seek approval as much as they seek money. Waiting for big change from others is ridiculous — the big change is nothing but a set of tiny changes in the way we respond to one another. When enough of that occurs, a different set of politicians will win, and they will get the credit for the changes, and that will be fine.

  185. Plain Jane
    January 22, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    From 713’s link which linked to the NYT:

    “One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

    A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

    “The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

    American workers aren’t virtual slaves living in dormitories on-call to their masters 24/8. Doesn’t it warm your heart when our captains of industry admit that it’s the slavery aspect of labor in a dictatorship that attracts them? Capitalism for them, slavery for the workers.

  186. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    walt,

    continuing… I think if every person said this at the start of every meal, there’d be dramatic change in our politics almost immediately:

    We receive this food in gratitude to all beings
    Who have helped to bring it to our table,
    And vow to respond in turn to those in need
    With wisdom and compassion.

    I found it uncredited, on the web, and have heard many similar short expressions of gratitude; although I can’t recall the words of a former favorite, it involved thanking both the humans and the animals who have contributed to our eating and well-being, and expressing the desire to be worthy of receiving their contributions.

    Anyone who really chooses to gives this any thought can start with the cook, and the people at the grocery store, and the truckers who brought the food, and the people who created the packaging to keep it fresh, and the people who maintain the roads to get the food from farm to grocery, and the farmers, and the people who drilled for the oil needed to run the trucks and tractors, or who mined the coal to keep the electricity coming, and all the people who taught all these people, and who keep them well so that they may do their work. And then there are the parents of those people, who brought them to life and raised them well. And the bees who pollinated the crops. And the microorganisms in the soil that rendered it suitable for crops. For starters.

    All that makes it hard to think one is a self-made success story.

  187. Mitch
    January 22, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I’m sitting here listening to Weekend Edition on NPR playing a story about (I’m not making this up) ad agencies pre-releasing their superbowl advertising on the internet to build “buzz.”

    The ad involves dogs barking out a theme from a popular movie, and is apparently designed to convince you that a car brand is the one you want to investigate.

    This is what our public (!) media is telling us is important. It was followed with a non-ad for an insurance company. It’s a non-ad rather than an ad because NPR is non-commercial.

    It’s no longer beyond belief. It’s just the tragicomic situation in which we all find ourselves, living in a society that has long since lost its collective mind. The only thing to do is laugh.

  188. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    PJ,
    Honestly if a big customer at my job called in and needed us to do work at midnight on short notice, we would do it.

  189. Still laughing
    January 22, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    7:13, the answer is: Obama. Obama controlled the CA Legislature. Obama is a foreigner. Obama is a terrorist. Obama destroyed our economy. He is responsible for every problem in our country.

    I thought you knew it already – that’s why you oppose anything he attempts.

    Really, 7;13, you seem slightly intelligent. Except when you can’t see past red and blue.

    According to you, in CA the Democratic legislature screwed things up. The Republican governors had nothing to do with it.

    In Washington, the Democratic Presidents screwed it up. The Republican controlled Congresses had nothing to do with it.

    Until semi-aware people like yourself shed their Limbaugh fueled hatred, WE are screwed. Get it?

  190. Still laughing
    January 22, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    7:13, just when I thought you might be a little smart, you go gan say:

    “Look at that railroad study, we can’t even agree to study it. Where are our leaders? Look at cypress grove, they should be building their dairy adjacent to their cheese factory, not 10 miles down the road.”

    I have this great idea for turning lead into gold, and I want our tax money to fund a feasibility study. Also, I hear the goats are very happy in their new home. The people living on the Arcata bottoms are happy too. What’s your problem with that? Sounds like a win win to me.

  191. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Still laughing, sorry, i don’t listen to limbaugh or watch fox news.
    whats wrong with discussing the feasibility of something transportation related with money that is earmarked specifically for that purpose from caltrans?

    Are you suggesting the CA senate and assembly are not responsibility for the budgets? I am not blaming everything on obama, where did i say that?

    what i am saying is that we have a lack of leadership.

    why shouldn’t a dairy get to build on land zoned for agriculture? because the neighbors would rather look at an empty pasture? that is bullshit.

    the problem with the goats being 10 miles away is….they are 10 miles away. now there is an 10X increase in transportation costs of that milk to the factory. no wonder the chinese are beating us.

    you can stop with the insults to my intelligence, they only make you look silly.

  192. Anonymous
    January 22, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    Yeah, really. It’s zoned agricultural. WTF? Those neighbors need to understand what that means. Animals! Or plants!

  193. Thorstein Veblen
    January 22, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    “So you would like to see a “reset” every generation. I think this is contrary to most Americans beliefs.”

    You Christians ought to read your bible, re: jubilee in Leviticus. Talk about a ‘reset’ every generation!!! And if God thinks a ‘reset’ every 50 years is a good idea, who are we to reject it by defending the wealth of the 1%?

  194. walt
    January 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks, Mitch. Your posts are worth reading. And thinking about.

  195. 713
    January 22, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    2nd that.

  196. Still laughing
    January 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    7:13, 5:29. Chickens squawk, but chickens are smart. Chickens would find a better use for the scratch.

  197. Harold Knight
    January 24, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    “the problem with the goats being 10 miles away is….they are 10 miles away. now there is an 10X increase in transportation costs of that milk to the factory. no wonder the chinese are beating us”.

    Despite your protests over “intelligence”, your example contradicts your math.

    Ten miles means negligible costs, obviously calculated as acceptable.

    The Chinese are not “beating us”.

    For 30-years the U.S. has been sold-out by corporate traitors and their elected representatives who passed corporate-authored legislation to eliminate reasonable Tariffs, outsource manufacturing, form offshore tax-havens, and keep fundamental human-rights and environmental practices from applying to their foreign factories.

    Despite its proven effectiveness, the U.S. has drastically divested from its human resources and the resulting technological advances that kept this nation competitive and prosperous.

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