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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014

Affordable Care Act

Posted Friday, June 29, 2012, at 1:51 AM

I have long been extremely critical of the Supreme Court and it's move into political decisions rather Constitutional ones. I had long suspected that the Roberts Court would strike down at least one portion (mandate) if not most of it based solely on their political leanings.

Had Justice Roberts played the political card I would have been right. For much of the debate on the ACA most talking heads concentrated on Justice Kennedy being the deciding vote. He and the other three conservatives on the court voted to strike down the law. Just Roberts played a role reversal and sided with the liberal members of the Court to uphold the Constitutionality.

In one morning all the praise that had been heaped upon the Roberts Court over the last few years was completely forgotten.

The key components upheld today were the mandate (scheduled to start in 2014) which requires Americans to be on insurance or face a fine. what this does, in reality, is force those people that have stayed off of insurance only to go to the Emergency Room get a free trip forcing the taxpayers to foot the bill to make a decision. That decision is to either get insurance or face a fine. This does not actually cost the taxpayers a dime (despite reports to the contrary). The only people paying a fine are those that do not get insurance.

I have been an opponent of this particular part of the law from it's inception. Republicans early on wanted no part of the single payer system so they threw this idea out (one that had been championed by most Conservative Republicans in the 1990s) not thinking that Obama and the Democrats would actually dump single payer in favor of this. Now one of their key insurance mandates is law and they can not stop complaining about it.

Another portion that was upheld was children being allowed to stay on their parents insurance to the age of 26 no matter what pre-existing condition they had.

The other major portion that was partially struck down was the new Medicaid benefits. The Roberts Court did not strike down the addition of new benefits but they did give states an out. If states do not want to issue the new benefits they are free to do so and will lose none of the other benefits are funding already in place.

The major story coming out of this today was the hilariously apocalyptic ramblings of Republicans all over television, twitter, and Facebook. They have talked of the end of America, the end of times, moving to Canada (yes that Canada which has a truly progressive health care system) to escape this "socialistic" health care system.

So a question I pose to Republicans. How is it, after Republicans ran a campaign for election in 2010 and won off of "Repeal and Replace" and for the last two years have done neither and have not even brought a bill to the floor to do so, and after one of the most Conservative Supreme Courts in recent memory upheld ACA, that your anger and hatred is still solely directed at Obama? Your party has done nothing to eliminate this socialistic, communistict, NAZI system and you give them a pass. One would imagine that a sane thinking person, hearing for two years that his party was going to get rid of ACA and has done nothing towards that goal, would be angry at his own party.

I am not saying, I am just saying.

The Republicans were not down for the count for the day, however. In a purely political move in an attempt to drive attention away from ACA the House voted to hold AG Holder in contempt over the "Fast and Furious" program. This came after Obama pulled executive privelege on Congress and refused to let Holder release any documentation on Bush era program.

Now you may be saying to yourself. What is the big deal. The Obama White House pulled and executive privilege and the House is holding them responsible by charging the AG (for the first time in American history) with contempt, not on just one, but two counts. It is not like this is the first time (well for Obama it is, in four years this is the only time he has invoked executive privilege) that a president has done this. Clinton did it 14 times, George W. Bush did it six. This is not even the first time that a President has evoked executive privilege regarding something that started or occurred during a previous administration. George W. Bush, in 2001, invoked the privilege over investigations over Clinton's fundraising.

So, the move to hold Holder in contempt is a purely political stunt meant to sweep the ACA headlines under the rug. Unfortunately it did not work.

Showing just how far CNN has fallen from when it was once a top tier news organization, the network (along with Fox News) wrongly announced that the Supreme Court had thrown ACA out as unconstitutional. So badly had they written the script that moments after the decision came out that on the network they were discussing how the costly the decision was for Obama, only to have to retract everything a little bit later. No one really seemed to notice that Fox News had done the same thing, since most people realize that the network typically makes up their own stories anyways.

As the build up was occurring two prevalent Conservative talking heads were making predictions and announcements of their own. Rush Limbaugh promised to move out of the country if the Supreme Court did not overturn ACA and Bill O'Reilly promised to apologize for being wrong if the Supreme Court upheld ACA.

I do not expect either to happen but if one of the above were to happen I would bet on Limbaugh leaving the country. O'Reilly just does not apologize. In his mind he is never wrong. It does not happen. It has been nearly 10 years since O'Reilly dragged American troops through the mud by wrongly claiming the American troops massacred Nazi troops at Malmedy during World War 2. It happened the other way around. He has still not apologized for that. So he will not apologize for this. If he does I will come on this page and apologize for saying that he would not apologize.


Comments
Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I know someone else who doesn't apologize because in his mind he is never wrong.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 8:08 AM

ObamaCare will be the law of the land until elections are over. But on the "Fast and Furious" thing, I have to bring back my response to your previous blog entry.

Operation "Wide Receiver" was a joint operation between the U.S and Mexican governments. Here, 300 firearms had GPS tracking devices placed and were monitered by ATF agents from the point of sale to the US/Mexico border.

Now with "Operation Fast and Furious", 2000 untrackable firearms were were sold and smuggled without ATF monitering. Those 2000 firearms ended in the hands of the warring drug cartels where innocent civilians were murdered, and at least one US Border agent was murdered.

This operation was not done as a joint US/Mexico effort as "Wide Receiver". The weapons of "Fast and Furious" were not track able as the weapons of "Wide Receiver" was. The weapons of "Fast and Furious" were not stopped at the border as the weapons of "Wide Receiver was. There was very little ATF and DOJ involvement in "Fast and Furious" as there was total monitering of both ATF and DOJ in "Wide Receiver. There are no known murders of the weapons of "Wide Receiver" as there are known deaths by the weapons of "Fast and Furious".

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Sun, Jun 24, 2012, at 1:00 AM

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 8:54 AM

It truly amazes me, the difference in mind-set between conservatives and liberals.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 12:16 PM

Unfortunately, Chunk, once again it appears that Republican response to "Fast and Furious" is based more on speculation than actual fact. Most of the information has been provided by one man that had blew the whistle on the program.

However, as Fortune magazine, reports Republicans are leaving a lot of the facts (as is typical) out of the public. What they fail to mention is that the only way this particular program could have even gotten off the ground is due in large part to the extremely lax gun laws in Arizona put in place by state Republicans at the behest of the NRA. In this case Republicans in Congress are lambasting he inability to control guns going into Arizona based on gun laws they support.

Despite the lies that Congressional Republicans are feeding to you on a daily basis and that you seem more than willing to smile and swallow, the federal government did not intentionally allow the sale of weapons into Mexico, they were hamstrung by Arizona laws that allow people to buy as many guns as they want and sell them all without a license. "Fast and Furious" was a monitoring program, nothing more, nothing less.

The agent who suddenly grew a conscious and blew the whistle on the program is actually the only agent to sell any guns to gun runners and he did it without prior consent from his superiors.

I know none of this means anything to you Chunk. I know that you will continue to try to sell this with all the lies attached as fact.

This is more information for sane thinking people who like to know all the facts before calling the President a traitor.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 1:29 PM

Good to see you admit that SW

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 1:29 PM

I don't know if we have two definitions of truth and two definitions of facts. But I'll let you in on mine. From CBS Investigative News;

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-57...

I invite all to read this report and especially read the links to the e-mails. In fact, read all the links.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 2:13 PM

I am interested to see how the SCOTUS decision impacts the election with regard to independent voters. No doubt the decision galvanized the right's base, but I wonder if the Constitutionality of this historic health care reform drives the center toward or away from Obama.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 3:53 PM

I'm pretty sure the independent vote has long been decided. The half dozen undecided voters left in this country are not going to tip the balance.

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 8:00 PM

I am especially amused that Michael cannot answer a question or comment without it being filtered through his army of straw men.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Fri, Jun 29, 2012, at 10:05 PM

Michael,

I'm not sure why you're glad I admit to knowing you, but I guess your welcome.

Benevolus,

I'm not sure that the SCOTUS ruling will affect independents much. Most people seem to think the economy is the important issue and I'm not sure they are realizing how this ruling might affect the economy.

That said, people always like a winner and depending on how much the media focuses on this and portrays it as a victory for the President it might sway people. However, the bigger hurdle for the ACA, at least in my opinion, is that the majority of people haven't supported it and I seriously doubt the reason people didn't like it was a vague fear that it is not constitutional. The constitutionality of any given law is hardly relevant to it's popularity. For example take Prop 8 in California, apparently it was a popular law that had support of people from both political parties but the court determined it was not constitutional. It was unconstitutional when it was passed yet it still did. Over time views might change but with ACA there hasn't seemed to be much shifting in its popularity.

Perhaps, as Pelosi pointed out, once it was passed so then people could see what was in it, they didn't like what they saw.

Before the decision, I thought it would be a greater boon to the party that "lost", whichever way it came out.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 9:45 AM

How exactly might this ruling affect the economy?

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 11:46 AM

The fact that the investigation you linked to was done several months before the investigation done by Fortune shows how this story has evolved. It also shows that it was not whistleblowers but one.

It shows the evolution of the story from one in which the government was directly involved to one where the whistleblower was taking matters into his own hands.

-- Posted by MichaelHendricks on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 11:53 AM

SWNebr Transplant,

The nation is actually split nearly perfectly regarding the health care act. There is no clear majority against the bill.

http://www.gallup.com/tag/Healthcare.asp...

I think you are right about media, and I would add that the gears of the rightwing PR machine (which have always churned out better talking points and sound bytes than anything the Dems could muster) are already spinning this as the greatest "tax increase" (which it really is not) in recent history. The long lost Tea Party is back in the news again and seems to be reinvigorated. All that to say, I wonder if the SCOTUS decision doesn't hurt Obama more than it helps.

According to Gallop, 45% of Independents supported the decision while 42% did not, and 60% of Independent voters said that healthcare would be one of the issues that they consider at the polls.

I am wondering if the now imminent enacting of the ACA pushes that 42% away from voting Obama. I can see that being the case. I figured that parts of the law would be struck down, the guts would be ripped out, and that the SCOTUS would leave the skeleton of the law in place. I figured both parties would chalk it up as a win and it would have little bearing on the outcome of the November election. Now I am not so sure.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 12:01 PM

Michael,

I don't know how exactly it might affect the economy, I'm not from the future. Sorry.

Benevolus,

I'm afraid you are guilty of not reading very carefully.

I was not discussing opinions of the decision, I was speaking about the bill itself, which the link you posted shows that recently, if I remember correctly, 47% opposed the bill and 33% supported the bill, 12% undecided. That is what I'm talking about. I think that is a pretty clear lack of support. Although remember, I also said that opinion can change based on how it is portrayed.

Unlike Michael, I don't see the Court as a partisan body eager to do the bidding of either committee. I think his insistance shows how weak his thinking is. The Court evaluates based on its interpretation of the law not whether any party supports or opposes an issue.

If I interpret your last paragraph correctly, we might agree that it appears likely to hurt whoever "won" at the courts.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jun 30, 2012, at 3:45 PM

Michael Hendricks "Your party has done nothing to eliminate this socialistic, communistict, NAZI system and you give them a pass"

You really think people will shallow this stuff?

Your blog has some valid points, but for the most part is completely out of touch. Nazi's system, Oh please! They gassed their own people, that is just crazy to compare the health care bill to the extermination of 6 million people.

So do you think medicare and medicaid have been a good thing to help the elderly?

I am wondering what you expect from a civilized society where people help each other out, Do you want a everything to be, you have yours and I have mine attitude, Like the old west?

Is the Health care law prefect? No, But like everything you tweak it so it works for everyone.

Why are you not outraged by the subsides ranchers get for federal land?

Or is corporate welfare OK? But not welfare for struggling families.

-- Posted by Jody P. on Sun, Jul 1, 2012, at 12:30 PM

SWNebr,

I don't think I misunderstood what you wrote. Approval of the decision is a fair proxy for who supports and does not support the health care act. Unless you can think of a reason why someone who did not support the bill would support the decision, I will maintain that there is no majority opposed to the act.

Your interpretation of my last paragraph is accurate. I am thinking that winning in court hurts Obama in November.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sun, Jul 1, 2012, at 3:40 PM

Hmm... Jody P. might be the proof that Liberals/Democrats are much more brainy than conservatives. :) Her post did make me laugh though. This blog musta popped up on a search engine.

Evidentally it doesn't take much to switch from an good liberal to ebbil conservative, eh?

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Sun, Jul 1, 2012, at 5:22 PM

I was one of the so called hilarious ones on face book he was referring to. Like I said about another person on that same blog, I shall say to you Michael, you remind of a card game I played when I was a kid called go fish. You simply use your rants on this blog as bait, for Republicans and conservatives.

I must admit though, it makes entertaining reading all around! Especially, your view/opinion of what "you" think all republicans think/feel and our collective opinions on "everything". That is rather arrogant.

-- Posted by Ed on Mon, Jul 2, 2012, at 3:13 PM

well Michael, I dont suppose you were watching the O'Reilly Factor last night (07/02/12) when Bill O'Reilly apologized for getting his prediction wrong on ObamaCare being upheld. Do you have as much integrity as he does?

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Jul 3, 2012, at 9:45 AM

The Fortune report on Fast and Furious has many holes, as highlighted by this article;

http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/07/t...

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Fri, Jul 13, 2012, at 10:29 PM

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/wate...

Our President is an idiot.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sun, Jul 15, 2012, at 8:39 PM

Actually, the authors of the critically acclaimed, best-selling book, Why Nations Fail, would agree with the president. The difference between opening a business in Monterrey, Mexcio and Phoenix, AZ is fairly vast. Assuming hard work and dedication are inherent in the small busisness owner both in Mexico and the US, the successes of small businesses in the US (and the relative failure of the same in Mexico) is explained by the historic ease with which US citizens open businesses, have access to reasonable credit, enjoy politcal stability, etc.

This contrasts with the relative difficulty Mexican citizens face when trying to open businesses. The reason US citizens can open businesses with more ease than citizens of Mexico, according to the authors, is that the US has economic and legal institutions that ensure the individual (regardless of class) has equal protection under the law, and has incentive to be involved in the markets. In other words, we have help, and lots of it.

Obama makes the claim that small business owners didn't successful purely on their on their own. He, at least according to Why Nations Fail, is right. In fact, American small business owners should pay homage to their forebearers all the way back to Captain John Smith at Jamestown, who realized the methods of colonization in S. America that worked for the Spanish were not applicable in the North.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 12:56 AM

http://seekingalpha.com/article/721841-t...

This is an interesting graph of United States oil production. An interesting point of reference is production declined from 1973-1980. When oil tripled in price. Why did production drop? The windfall profit tax. Tax reform in the early 80's saw an increase in oil production.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 6:43 AM

So I guess hard work and determination and sacrifice and choosing a career that can actually make you money makes no difference?

I will disagree with you all day long. I have the years of hard work behind me and it wasn't easy.

I have a question. If success is so easy with help why aren't more people successful??? Why did communism fail? Why has China only taken off with private ownership and a motivated workforce??

The United States is an example of a country where self determination can do great things.

This take that nobody is successful on there own is a slap in the face of all people that work hard and come up with a plan and strive to achieve the plan.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 6:48 AM

Ben - with all due respect - There are successful people in Mexico. There are successful people in all countries. I would counter your claim by pointing out that more business fail in the United States than any other country. So who is to blame when a business fails? The individual? Most of the time yes. So when a business succeeds who gets the credit (according to the President) the Government. That is a pill I am not swallowing.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 6:54 AM

Wallis,

I wrote: "Assuming hard work and dedication are inherent in the small busisness owner both in Mexico and the US..."

So I am not sure why you wrote: "Ben - with all due respect - There are successful people in Mexico."

Unless you liked my point so much that you wanted to reiterate it.

Wallis, I don't think the authors of Why Nations Fail would disagree with anything you are saying. In fact, what you wrote jibes with the lessons the book teaches. The whole point is that there are hard-working people everywhere, and so sweeping cultural differences (ex: the lazy mediterranean person) often proferred by punditis and on blogs doesn't serve as a good explanation for the disparities we see between the wealth of nations. The authors cite further evidence that it isn't geography or access to resources that determines long term wealth and success of a nation either.

They argue it always comes down to politics and how the economy is run. So you are right, Americans are not, on average, harder working than anyone else, but rather, our government and economic/financial institutions have positioned our citizens to BENEFIT from their hard work in ways that other nations (i.e., poorer nations) have not.

In my opinion, this is a solid theory because it does well to explain Nogales, Sonora and Nogales, AZ. This is a city divided by an arbitrary border established with the Gadsden purchase in 1854. The people living in the two cities share geography, genetics, culture, ancestery, cuisine, work ethic, etc. Yet, the people just a feet away from Nogales, AZ in Sonora, can expect to live 10 fewer years and make 2/3 less per month than their American counterparts.

Our financial, economic, healthcare and governmental systems (which were all established and sustained through policy decisions) are the only feasible explanation for the differences.

In that sense, Obama is right.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 9:42 AM

Also Wallis,

"Why did communism fail? Why has China only taken off with private ownership and a motivated workforce??"

According to the authors, it was the POLICY, established early on by our GOVERNMENT, to protect property rights (both real and intellectual) that led to our prosperity. Same goes for England on the heels of the innovations and technologies coming out of the industrial revolution.

Communism, according to the authors, failed to work because it is bad government policy. It fails to protect property rights and provide the right incentives for the citizens of a nation. But China's GOVERNMENT has begun (although there are still many places this isn't true) to recognize that POLICY changes are needed to stimulate growth. This means protecting private property and encouraging a viable marketplace in which all citizens can particpate if they chose.

See similar stories of government policy changes leading to large economic growth in: Japan after WWII, in S. Korea after the Korean War, in Brazil, Singapore, etc.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 9:58 AM

Benevolus,

It's a bad sign when people take themselves out of context.

When you chastised Wallis above you didn't quote the whole thought that led to his interpretation that you are saying there aren't successful business people in Mexico. Let me illuminate by posting the entire sentence.

"Assuming hard work and dedication are inherent in the small busisness owner both in Mexico and the US, the successes of small businesses in the US (and the relative failure of the same in Mexico) is explained by the historic ease with which US citizens open businesses, have access to reasonable credit, enjoy politcal stability, etc."

Taken in its entirety, it is understandable why Wallis would infer that you don't think there are successes in Mexico. Just to highlight I quote: "the successes of small businesses in the US (AND THE RELATIVE FAILURE OF THE SAME IN MEXICO)"

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 1:41 PM

The speech is a close mirror to that given by Elizabeth Warren in September of 2011 in Andover, Massachusetts, during her "Talking Tour" while running for the Senate against Scott Brown.

-- Posted by Mickel on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 8:16 PM

Oops...meant to include the link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=pla...

-- Posted by Mickel on Mon, Jul 16, 2012, at 8:17 PM

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-...

More comments on the Presidents speech that people don't make their success.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Jul 17, 2012, at 5:39 AM

SWNebr,

You and Wallis may wish to define the term "relative", if your confusion continues.

It is not controversial (it isn't even debatable) that "RELATIVE" [emphasis added] to the US, Mexican small businesses tend to be less successful and harder to open and maintain.

That statement in no way precludes the possibility that there are successful business owners in Mexico (Carlos Slim is, after all, one of the richest men in the world). If Wallis, or you, wish to add something to my claim, I would hope that it is valid.

The bottom line is that differences in US and Mexican policies in governing the economic/financial sectors or the respective countries, offers a reasonable explanation for differences between the wealth of these nations.

Again, Obama is not incorrect in saying that a stable government that encourages entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation, and which diffuses political power to the masses--as our government does--is extremely "helpful" for those ambitious enough to try their own business.

I am not sure what the argument is here. Seems perfectly logical.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jul 17, 2012, at 12:49 PM

Actually I don't think Obama said anything close to "a stable government encourages entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation". If Obama is truly as smart as his sycophants say he is...I'm sure he would have had the intellect (sans teleprompter) to say so; without having to bend backwards to "read between the lines" of his comments.

And I don't believe he cares about the diffusion of political power, sans the diffusion of opposing political power.

It really sounded like the Orator in Chief was flapping his gums about "you ain't all that" to successful people; in an attempt to stir up his base and whatever other elements of the 99% he can.

-- Posted by Mickel on Tue, Jul 17, 2012, at 10:14 PM

Take the quote in context Mickel:

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business. you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Nothing about the above is the least bit controversial....unless its an election year and/or Fox News decides it is.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:43 AM

PS Mickel...

You wrote: Actually I don't think Obama said anything close to "a stable government encourages entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation".

Sorry, but this is almost exactly the same thing...I was just trying to be concise: "Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business. you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:46 AM

It's only the same thing if it's an election year and MSNBC and the other talking head libs are desperate to juice the lackluster campaign of their sagging candidate.

The speech, taken in context, does nothing to aspire the "entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation" touted by the Presidents sycophants.

The speech was made to a group of Obama supporters keying them in on the idea that it's 'okay' to take from these successful people; they didn't earn it by themselves anyway...in short, he's justifying future tax hikes on the job creators in this country. This speech was more like a sermon.

The President, is truly capable enough to articulate the ideas you took the liberty of trying to rework and represent. But he didn't say those things. Why? Certainly, the man has had PLENTY of opportunity to say these things if he believed them.

Not only did I take his comments in context, I stand in the position of believing he said what he meant do. Why don't you?

-- Posted by Mickel on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 8:29 PM

I disagree with the President. I believe that people and not government is what makes a country great.

If the President were correct Ben then Russia would be the most dominant country in the world. They are government controlled and have more natural resources than anyone else.

It is the drive of Americans that makes us a great country - not the Government.

I will always refuse to believe that hard work and goals and drive don't determine most of an outcome. Hard workers for the most part throughout history have done better than non-hard workers. I cannot believe that we are having a discussion that hard work isn't important.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 8:56 PM

Ben - you are on the verge of arguing just to argue. I know that you are a hard worker and you go above and beyond. I also know that your education and experience makes a difference.

Be careful that you don't disregard your time and effort and lose sight that the President either believes that Government is the end all be all or he was just making a campaign speech and it was recorded.

For the record I am still very angry and fired up over his speech. I believe it is anti everything I believe in.

Wallis

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Wed, Jul 18, 2012, at 9:00 PM

Mickel,

"The speech, taken in context, does nothing to aspire the "entrepreneurship, technology, and innovation" touted by the Presidents sycophants."

I don't think I know what you are arguing? Did you mean "inspire"? Either way, the point he was making wasn't about aspiring or inspiring. He was arguing that personal initiative plus a government that supports business explains the success we enjoy. In his words, "when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

You are taking the quote of context, and probably on purpose because you dislike the president. I am not sure that we differ very much there. But I think we have to admit there are far better things to criticize Obama for than pointing out the obvious.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 11:15 AM

Wallis,

"I disagree with the President. I believe that people and not government is what makes a country great."

The problem is that I don't think the president would disagree with you. His words,"when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together." What he is pointing out is so obvious that it is absolutely and unarguably true, and history proves it...nation-states that have a history of establishing what are called inclusive economic and political systems are (not by coincidence) much richer today than nation-states that have used what are called extractive economic and political systems.

That is why your comment about Russia falls totally short of accuracy. The president is right because the US has had (because of our government and the brilliance of the founding fathers) both inclusive economic and political systems. Russia, if you remember your Russian history, was going gang-busters throughout the beginning of the 20th century, and their economy started grinding to a halt in the mid 50's. By 1970, the Russians were in a world of trouble and they knew it. The reason? Because despite a strong industrial complex and infrastructure, their government policies were extractive, and served only a narrow band of elites. At one point early in the 1940's there was so little innovation being incentivized by the market that Stalin starting shooting people when they didn't make technological gains. Eventually the Russian government offered innovation bonuses, and redid the pay structures so that people who worked harder got paid more, but not nearly enough. The whole thing was predicated upon poor government policy.

Meanwhile, the US, England, etc., had governments that encouraged individuals to be innovative by protecting intellectual property, by issuing regulations on the loan industry to make them affordable for the average citizen, and by enforcing contracts through legal and legislative means.

We see the opposite happened in China. Before the 19th century, when the Chinese dynasties and empires were more apt to okay policies which encouraged trade with the outside world, we see incredible innovations from China: paper, paper money, gunpowder, the compass, porcelain, printing, etc. As a result, in 1700, China was an enormous force in the world economy. Innovation, thus industry, happened when people had incentives to invent and the means (or the "help") to capitalize on their invention, and the protection of their property enforced by the government. The Chinese government formerly did this.

But why is it that by the time Mao Zedong took control China was already one of the poorest nations on earth? The answer is fairly obvious...Chinese leaders were alarmed at the political demands of a powerful and wealthy middle class of citizens that was developing as a result of trade and innovation. Moreover, there were cultural changes that were happening in China because of the contact with other nations. Stopping this process was deemed exigent. By the end of the 19th century, China's leaders had instituted a series of disastrous policies that completely halted trade with the outside world. The economy almost instantly collapsed and in the fallout, in 1921 the Chinese Communist Party formed. The economic policies only got worse from there. It wasn't until the Chinese government reopened trade (Nixon deserves a good deal of the credit here) that we see the economy in China coming back.

The lesson is the same. Governments make or break individuals and their ability to do business.

Here is the last point: I am not putting words in the president's mouth. This is all well established and documented. More importantly, these histories are definitively what the president was talking about. No question. The only mistake he made was assuming that his detractors would have a strong sense of economic history and theory.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 11:58 AM

Obama' quote stick because the majority of the American voter see that as Obama' core belief. It is also the core belief of those on the left.

Yes, a teacher may have been the source of inspiration for the entrepreneur, but the teacher sure didn't make the calls to a lawyer or accountant, or a banker. Or make the calls to a supplier, or research sale potentals and etc.

Government built the infrastructure, provides defense, and serves justice because every person in the US benefits from it. That is the stability the free market system needs. It is the politicians who have corrupted this system and the voters who tolerate corruption the have brought down this nation. Hopefully now, we have a new class of voters who won't tolerate corruption.

It appears the ATF is doing it's part to stop "Fast and Furious"

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/07/...

-- Posted by Chunky Peanut Butter on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 12:36 PM

"It is the politicians who have corrupted this system and the voters who tolerate corruption the have brought down this nation."

Brought down the nation? What does that mean? Part of capitalism requires there to be ebbs in flows, market irrationality, the profit motive leading to unethical/illegal activities. Recall, that the housing bubble and deregulation of government policies led us down the road to recession. It will be government policy that allows us to recover. Again, this is all common sense. But the idea that the nation is somehow "brought down" or is about to be destroyed is silly.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 1:39 PM

^ebbs and flows

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 1:40 PM

The lesson is the same. Governments make or break individuals and their ability to do business.

How did the Government help the founders of Wells Fargo. How did the Government help Henry Ford. How did the Government help Rockefeller or Vanderbilt or Hewlett or Packard or Buffet or Gates or Jobs or Walton?? I could go on and on.

Everyone of those people created massive fortunes and they did it by creating a product or a method that has not been duplicated. The Government didn't make these business successful. It was individuals with uniques ideas. I can guarantee you that President Obama is the only President in the history of the US that as tried to take credit for individuals ideas.

The comments are a slap in the face of anyone that has ever worked and sacrificed.

Also mark these words. The US is going to be the dominate economic power of the next 25 years due to energy. The current Government has fought this and tried to eliminate Hydrocarbon energy. In 5 years try telling me that Government is responsible for our economic dominance.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Jul 19, 2012, at 6:31 PM

"How did the Government help the founders of Wells Fargo. How did the Government help Henry Ford. How did the Government help Rockefeller or Vanderbilt or Hewlett or Packard or Buffet or Gates or Jobs or Walton??"

How effective would businesses in the US be without decent roads? If you need an answer, check out Mexico, Somalia, Pakistan, etc., where a lack of effective government means that anyone delivering goods is subject to a few scenarios: 1) the road is well maintained and passable, 2) the road is completely useless and impassable; 3) powerful local agents demand tribute on passable roads to continue on one's way. Two out of these three scenarios are a result of poor and ineffective government.

Let's look at Henry Ford. Henry Ford had an idea. Henry Ford lived in a country that has a government that protects intellectual property. Henry Ford got a patent. Henry Ford also lives in country that has a government that supports individual entrepreneurship and innovation. Henry Ford got a loan. Henry Ford lives in a county that has a government that has the power to enforce contracts. Henry Ford had the rights to his profits protected. Insert name ___________ is the same as Henry Ford. There is a reason that the great innovators in the world almost all come from places with governments that prop up and support the idea of an individual's right to intellectual and real property. No government help; no business. History proves this, Wallis.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 12:59 PM

"Bennie, I will bet you that the roads in Afghanistan today are better than what the first Ford cars got to travel on!"

Yes, I would gladly take that bet, though I do not see the relevance to the argument.

In 1908 there were many roads in the US far more suitable for cars than what exist in many places in Afghanistan. Many roads were paved in various types of timber, cobblestone, or bricks, and many were very well maintained (sometimes exhaustively so).

http://www.vanderbiltcupraces.com/blog/a...

http://www.foresthistory.org/publication...

If you had read John Krackauer's "Where Men Win Glory" which is about the Bush admin's attempt to coverup the Pat Tillman fratricide, you would probably not be so cavalier in your bet, G-Ma. But I will save you the time...Here is why you lose.

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-20...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 4:25 PM

Also, our government, unlike the Afghanistan government, began a federal highway system 8 years after Ford's invention. Since the Federal Highway Act of 1916, US taxpayers have made the US federal highway and interstate systems the most impressive (in terms of quality vs scale) on earth. The importance of this (our) investment to the quality of life in this country cannot be overstated.

Another way to think about it: our government, seeing the potential of a single individual's invention, acted to create a highway and later interstate infrastructure that has been crucial to the nation's economic success. In this case, no government help for Ford and the automobile would mean Ford would have had to build and maintain roads himself or with the help of other private donors. Predictably, this would have made the automobile a toy for the rich, and thus, nothing more than a gimmick.

There is a clear reason why most countries without good roads still carry their goods on the backs of pack animals.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 4:37 PM

Sorry you lost the bet. Better luck next time.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 5:34 PM

So Ben - what is the Government going to build next?

The American public has been waiting. I always thought the engine for growth in America was private enterprise. You have proven me wrong.

So what is the Government going to think of next? Why bother to go to college or learn a trade? The Government should just test us all and put us in jobs and trades that will best suit the country - since the Government is what makes us all.

You sound a bit marxist these days.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 5:39 PM

Wallis,

I only sound marxist to ignorant ears. I will try to use simpler language...

Governments that protect the right for all citizens to own property are usually richer than those that do not.

Governments that establish rules and protections for the lending of capital so that any citizen can get a loan are usually richer than those that do not.

Governments that invest in infrastructure like roads and ports, or more recently the internet are usually richer than those that do not.

The authors of "Why Nations Fail" also point out conclusive research that demonstrates that governments which allow their citizens to pursue lines of work that they chose are richer than those that do not. This is because, explain the authors, governments that do not impede choice regarding work, have citizens that are usually happier and more productive/innovative.

Nothing marxist about these points.

There is such thing as good government, Wallis. On average, the US has had something close to that.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 5:55 PM

Ben - my Niece is starting college in a few weeks. She want to have a good job when she graduates. Why should she work hard if the Government is responsible for her success? Should she call her congresswoman and ask her what her career is going to be?

The answer of course to that question is no. She will determine her outcome with her choices and her study habits her success will hinge on her abilities. Not the Government.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 5:55 PM

Wallis,

Are you being obtuse on purpose? Can you point out where I argued that the government should chose someone's career?

I argued the opposite above. You just reiterated my point. We can all read that. Why can't you?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 6:17 PM

No government help; no business. History proves this, Wallis.

I am not being obtuse. Look at your quote.

Remember that the founding fathers built this country with very little Government involvement. They limited the role of Government. LIMITED the role of Government.

To try and say that all business that succeeds is because of the Government is not why we had a revolution and have fought world wars.

This country was built on the premise of limited Government and for self determination to determine outcomes.

Your quote - No Government help, no business. History proves this.

I do not agree with that premise. I actually think that our Government falls short on many things over many years. I believe that our country has become great despite our Government.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 6:28 PM

Wallis,

If the State has a choice between protecting the intellectual property of individuals or taking the rights of intellectual property developed by individuals, which is the better policy?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 6:35 PM

Remember the President dismissed intelligence and hard work. He said that if you were successful it wasn't because of you it was because of the government.

Intellectual property rights of individuals has nothing to do with my success so I have no opinion.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 6:48 PM

Wallis,

I can't understand how you falsely believe that intellectual property rights do not determine success.

Russia, for example, would imprison or kill scientists who did not come up with ideas for advancement that the state could capitalize upon. If you had an idea, you had NO recourse to capitalize on the idea.

Meanwhile, folks like Thomas Edison in the US could have ideas that were protected by patent laws. He could get a loan from a government which was not afraid, but rather encourage the emergence of a strong and politically active middle-class (the same is not true of the USSR, China, most of Latin America, etc). Intellectual property (i.e., ideas for inventions and innovations) protected by US patent laws in combination with access to a loan and contract system regulated by the government helped make Edison a success story.

If Edison was born Demetri, and in the USSR and not the US, there would be no General Electric. The Russian government would take credit for light bulbs.

The same goes for you. Under the policies of communism, you are not a success, Wallis. Under the policies of capitalism, you are. See? Simple.

By the way, this was the point Obama was making...

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 20, 2012, at 7:06 PM

If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. [Emphasis added]

Ben - I don't know where you this:"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

The top quote is from the President. Before making these comments he made fun of smart people and hard working people.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 5:09 PM

I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something -- there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. [Emphasis added]

The President making fun of smart people that work hard and become successful.

If you are going to quote the President please quote him.

I agree with you that Amercia is a great place for people to succeed. You have read my quotes where I say only in America can a person set a goal - obtain specialized knowledge and achieve the goal. The key is that a person achieves the goal. Not the Goevernment.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 5:12 PM

Wallis,

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

This quote is from the president. Perhaps you need to read the quote you are referring to in context? It may help you realize that actual meaning the president was driving at....it will at least keep you from putting your foot in your mouth.

Here is the full context of what he said, Wallis. Please read the 4th paragraph of the excerpt.

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/201...

By the way, even Fox News agrees with me, Wallis.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/07/1...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 5:44 PM

Also Wallis,

I disagree with your assessment of the quote you used above. The president isn't making fun of anyone.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 21, 2012, at 5:48 PM

Isn't it amazing that this President is so terrible that he gives a speech and people argue over what he says?

I have been saying for over 3 years "It's the Economy Stupid".

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 9:57 PM

Ben - I do have a question for you.

I just re-listened to the President's speech. Why does that speech make me so mad I am re-faced?

It stirs emotion in me that makes me irate. Why do you think that is? And how can such emotion be dismissed as I "just don't get it?"

I am curious as to your opinion.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Jul 24, 2012, at 10:04 PM

Wallis,

This president is about 100 times better than the last one. Which isn't to say he is good, but we have to go back to someone like Harding to find a prez worse than Bush, Jr.

Regarding your emotions, I don't think I can begin to understand you. I read the same words you do and they do not register on an emotional level. I am neither celebratory, nor repulsed. I do understand what the president was getting at. So did the woman from Fox News above(a surprise, I know). Given what I have learned about economics and what separates a rich nation from a poor one, I have to say that the president was citing from known facts. So that doesn't upset me. I prefer a well-read leader.

But the only help I can give with regard to your feelings is that according to research, strong emotional reactions are usually irrational and are usually somehow associated with our identities. We all have those visceral and irrational reactions to something. For me it is Gretchen Carlson. I can tolerate most Fox News anchors, but for some reason i want to tear my hair out when I listen to her. It could be that Gretchen (to me) and Obama (to you) are in someway an affront to who we are (or who we think we are). That's pure armchair psychobabble though.

I honestly don't see a rational reason as to why that particular speech is upsetting.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Wed, Jul 25, 2012, at 1:27 AM

Benevolus,

You and other Obama apologists have been trying to clarify what the President meant and you have determined he meant something that no one would argue with. Stable government and good governance allow business to prosper.

However, I have another question about his comment that maybe you can explain. If business owners owe success to the stable government and infrastructure, how is it that businesses fail? Shouldn't they be successful in our country because of the tremendous advantages? If smarts and hard work don't matter what does? Finally who was it that built that? Don't we all build it by paying taxes, including business owners?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 2:53 PM

SWNebr,

I am actually not an Obama apologist. If you try, you might recall that I have been fairly critical of Obama. he hasn't done much to earn my vote in November (though I Romney would be an even more disastrous alternative).

"If business owners owe success to the stable government and infrastructure, how is it that businesses fail?"

Government doesn't run a person's business. Governments do determine market regulations though. What you and Wallis are failing (or refusing) to understand is that the difference between say the USSR and the US is that in the US government protected and supported individual and their ability to innovate, own property, secure loans, make contracts, etc. Russia had smart, hard working people (see: space race and military-industrial complex), but the reason General Electric started in the US and not Russia has little to with intelligence or hard work.

General Electric was not possible in the USSR because of their government. General Electric was possible in the US because of our government.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 3:19 PM

Wallis and SWNebr,

For a more recent example (and one with hilariously hypocritical implications) Romney ran an attack ad against Obama in which Gilchrist Metal is featured. The ad shows the owner, Jack Gilchrist, who is rebuking Obama's claim that businesses don't get built just by business owners. The funny part is that while the ad levies criticisms at Obama, it also nicely proves Obama's point. Gilchrist Metal has taken over $1 million from the government since 1980, $800,000 of which were in New Hampshire tax-exempt bonds. Gilchrist also admitted that he took out a $500,000 US Small Business Administration loan. It takes a village after all.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/07/24/on...

Maybe you will understand all this better if Romney explains it you...

"You Olympians, however, know you didn't get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues in order to organize competitions. All Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them. We've already cheered the Olympians, let's also cheer the parents, coaches, and communities."

http://thinkprogress.org/election/2012/0...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 3:45 PM

Ben - please email and let me know where I can get some government money.

You have convinced me that I need my share of the help.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 5:49 PM

Ben - Could you also please email my brother.

He has never gotten any of that Governement money either.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 5:51 PM

Ben - Could you please email my wife.

She hasn't gotten any of her money either.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 5:51 PM

Benevolus,

You certainly were acting as an apologist in this case so your actions belie your words. There is nothing wrong to defending the President, I don't know why you felt the need to try to refute something that is patently obvious.

Thank you for the comparison of USSR v. US regulatory schemas, but you didn't answer any of my questions and actually assigned positions to me that I haven't stated. Why the straw man?

Or are you saying that the reason's businesses fail is because they happened to be started in the USSR? The choice of GE is interesting since they are a supporter of Obama's policies that didn't pay any taxes last year right?

However, I don't think you followed by questions, I'm not arguing the position you stated, I do however think it is quite a stretch to take what the President said and turn it into your stated position. If you don't want to, or can't answer my questions you are certainly free to not respond but please don't create a question to answer that I didn't ask.

The President made it clear that business don't succeed because they are run by smarter or harder working people, as he said, there are plenty of smart hard working people. If this is the case, what explains the difference in outcomes? Please note,I am not arguing that the government runs the business nor that there shouldn't be regulation. My question is much simpler if "they didn't build that" who did? Why does it work for some people but not others?

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 9:03 PM

"I am actually not an Obama apologist."

This actually made me laugh. So, do you just play one on the McCook Gazette blogs? Or did you stay at a Holiday Inn express last night? Because I hate to tell you. You are fitting the very definition of an apologist. You do know that an apologist has noting to do with apologizing right?

Or mebbe stating something makes it true? "I am the Intergalactic OVERLORD!" Hmmm... nope. Begavior still betray thinking and actions speak louder than words.

Oh how "moderate centrists" amuse me.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Thu, Jul 26, 2012, at 10:03 PM

SWNebr, Wallis, and Didymus,

Not sure what the attacks are for, I am simply stating what I believe are to be the facts in this matter. If you disagree, then let's have the conversation. What did Obama say that is inaccurate? No straw man arguments are intended. My point is that Obama was right to say that individual initiative plus the help of a government that supports such ventures is what makes small businesses in this country not only possible, but also lucrative.

SWNebr, I answered all of your questions above. But I will do it again in terms that are hopefully clearer (sorry if I wasn't before)...

A business person who is smart and who works hard in America can reap the benefits of their labor. Hence, they build their business. The reason they can is that the gov't doesn't take their earnings/incentive via bad policies. In fact, our government encourages the hard working and the intelligent. Many other countries have governments which do the opposite. So people who work hard and are smart build their businesses...but just as Romney points out above, the successful "stand on the shoulders of those who lifted them."

Didy,

I am not going to debate you with regard to my apologizing for Obama. I have many points of contention with the president. So many in fact that I have stated repeatedly that he has not earned my vote in November. However, in this case, I do think that what he said is correct, and if "apologizing" for accuracy is the best charge you have to levy....so be it.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 2:22 AM

Benevolus,

I never said you were apologizing for President Obama. Neither did SW. Personally, I would not argue in defense of the speech of someone I did not care for. Notice I don't defend Sam's blog. Even though by a very loose definition we would be on the same end of the political spectrum. (Very loose definition, mind you.) So, when someone claims something then acts another way, I tend to get the hip-waders out. It appears that you are different and your anti-(republican? Right? Conservative?) bias forces you to defend those that you seemingly percieve to be in line with your beliefs(or at least the enemy of your enemy). Thats fine, its a free country. But I still am going to expose what I see as hooey.

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 12:21 PM

Didy,

Sounds great bud. Enjoy yourself.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 12:32 PM

To all

The words that Obama said "you didn't build that" are the words that are wrong and offensive to all the business people in the United States. We did build our own businesses. Also, with our collective taxes, we built and are building everything the government builds. We the people, are the government. Without us and our taxes and our elected representative there is nothing.

"you didn't build that" that is what is inaccurate.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 6:12 PM

Boojum,

That's not all he said though. And that wasn't his point. You are taking that line out context. Let's try it your way, but with Romney:

"America cannot continue to lead." Mitt Romney

Do we really want a president who think that American cannot continue to lead? I am sooooo offended!! Romney has given up on America! We need leaders that believe we can lead or we are doomed!!!!!

Okay, now let's try it may way (take the whole point into consideration).

"America cannot continue to lead the family of nations around the world if we suffer the collapse of the family here at home."

Oh I see, Mitt was arguing that America needs strong families to have a strong a nation. Okay, well that's not so controversial and offensive. In fact, I can see where Romney is coming from and he is probably right.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 6:49 PM

I think I understand where you are all getting hung up...see below:

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

The lines spoken before "you didn't build that?" Obama is talking about the "unbelievable American system" and "roads and bridges". The next line "if you've got a business--you didn't build that" is obviously a referent to the "unbelievable American system" and "road and bridges". If you have a business, you didn't build the system, nor did you build the roads and bridges (at least not all of them or without enormous government support).

Context folks. It does matter.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 7:25 PM

Context folks. It does matter.

Yes it does.

Why are so many business people offended by the words "you didn't build that." Are we all so stupid that we don't understand? I don't think so.

I maintain we did build all the roads, bridges university systems. not the individual but " we the people". We enabled the government by our choice to pay taxes for the greater good.

I did read every thing President Obama said. These words "you didn't build that" are not out of context.

Perhaps poorly written or spoken, but not out of context.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 7:35 PM

The president did not say if people don't build their businesses. That is the point. Fox News and Romney have brought out an enormous amount advertising/air time with edited videos that make it appear that's what he said. But if you read the line in context, the "that" is not a reference to "your business" it is a reference to "roads and bridges" and American system.

Now, if you want argue that "we the people" built those things, I am not sure anyone would disagree with you. But you must understand that that was the very same point Obama was making:

"The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

People on the right are either ignorantly taking the quote out of context, or they are being completely and purposefully dishonest. Those are the only two choices as I see them.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 7:42 PM

"Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

Doesn't Obama know? Toll Roads, Gas taxes, on and on. Are we to believe he is really that stupid and didn't mean what he said?

His words reflect his attitude.

Or he need to fire his speech writer.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 8:09 PM

I think he meant what he said. But that's just because what he said is completely innocuous and uncontroversial because it is so blatantly true.

Unless one decides to take the line out context and claim the president said something that he didn't. Then one can create all kinds of controversies, and make up all manner reasons to be offended.

Boojum, you wrote:

"The words that Obama said "you didn't build that" are the words that are wrong and offensive to all the business people in the United States. We did build our own businesses."

But the president never said people don't build their businesses. He only said that if one purposefully lies or ignores (is ignorant) of the context. He said the roads that you use for your business were not built by your business, they were built by others. The internet you use was not developed by your business, but by others. We can do this all day long.

Obama's point, which should be crystal clear because he prefaced it with "The point is", is the same as your point boojum. WE built this together. Many businesses now thrive as a result of our collective work.

This is the same point that Romney made in Salt Lake to Olympians "...you didn't get here solely on your own power. For most of you, loving parents, sisters or brothers, encouraged your hopes, coaches guided, communities built venues..." etc.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 8:33 PM

You are inserting words into Obama's statement that are not there, not written,not spoken. there is no other context to his words.

Weak words from a weak president. "that" if he meant something else he needed to "be clear" to speak carefully so there was no way to interpret what he said.

If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." this is what he said

"He said the roads that you use for your business were not built by your business, they were built by others. The internet you use was not developed by your business, but by others."

President Obama did not say this. These are words you inserted.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 8:56 PM

Boojum,

You are kidding right? I am not changing anyone's words. I am not sure why you are struiggling to understand.

"If you've got a business -- you didn't build that."

The singular demonstrative pronoun "that" has to have an antecedent referent, right? We say things like, 'America is a great place. That is my opinion'. In the second sentence, "that" refers to the opinion in first sentence. But we also do this for longer arguments. We might say 'What makes America great is that our government supports its small business owners through loan programs, patent and copyright laws, and thus, America is a land of opportunity. That is my opinion.' The pronoun "that" in this case has many antecedent referents.

Now look at Obama's statement in context and apply what you have learned...

"There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen.

The president makes a series of points and then makes the statement "you didn't build that". The word "that" is again an antecedent referent, but not to the word "business", it is a referent to the points BEFORE the word "business". Just like in the argument above. In this case "that" refers to "the unbelievable American system" and "roads and bridges".

Because this is true, it is not unfair to say:

Obama said the roads that you use for your business were not built by your business, they were built by others.

Obama goes onto say that:

"The Internet didn't get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet."

So again it is fair to say that Obama was conveying the idea that:

"The internet you use was not developed by your business, but by others. We can do this all day long."

I inserted no words. This is my interpretation. It is a reasonable one.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 9:22 PM

What a convoluted attempt to correct a poorly written statement. You did insert words to try to clarify Obama's failure.

If Presidents Obama's statement was a correctly written statement you wouldn't need to try so hard to support it. He always says "let me be clear" but fails to do so.

Obama's words, as spoken by him, are an insult to all hard working self reliant business people.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 9:45 PM

"Obama's words, as spoken by him, are an insult to all hard working self reliant business people."

And people who think this are either lying or ignorant.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 9:52 PM

PS That was only convoluted if you didn't pay attention in English class. To most speakers of the language singular demonstrative pronouns are something we figured out by 6th grade.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 9:54 PM

You seem have a obsessive need to add words to Obama's statement in a attempt to explain a weak position.

Why can't his words stand on their own?

There are far more people than me that believe Obama's words are an insult.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 10:07 PM

There is a difference between a reasonable and valid interpretation and adding words. You see, if I added words they would have to be in the script of the speech, all wrapped up in quotations. This is adding words, and this is of course is not what I did.

"Why can't his words stand on their own?"

They can, and do. He was right. No individual succeeds on their own. Pretty simple stuff.

"There are far more people than me that believe Obama's words are an insult."

This is an ad populum logical fallacy. There are millions that believe Elvis is alive, and that Jersey Shore is a good TV show. What the masses "believe" is a poor basis for an argument.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 10:15 PM

You did insert additional words into Obama's statement in an attempt to interpret or change the original meaning.

One only has to go back to re-read the original and yours to see the added words.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Fri, Jul 27, 2012, at 11:00 PM

Google the word interpretation.

Then read...top to bottom, left to right. A group of words together is called a sentence. Take Tylenol for any headaches, Midol for any cramps.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 5:07 AM

OOOh Degenerating into petty insults?

Obama choosing to insult business seems to be in line with his weak economic program just yesterday credited with 1.5% growth. He seems to be deaf dumb and blind. He must think that if he builds a road the business will come when in reality the opposite is true. Business generates the need for roads.

Obama's speech sounded like an attack on business. Over the last week one can read many of the rebuttals written by business owners objecting to being maligned, so many others heard the same thing I did and reacted in the same manner.

Amazingly poor choice of words for a President to use.

PS I just spoke with Elvis, he didn't like the speech either. ;)

-- Posted by boojum666 on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 6:36 AM

Ben - What is you opinion on competition between people or groups of people working together to make themselves better?

Do you think that competition is healthy or the destruction of civilized communities?

I am curious.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 11:49 AM

Boojum,

Petty insults? I guess you didn't watch Tommy Boy. That's not petty, that's hilarious.

Anyway, you seem strongly committed to misunderstanding, so I don't have any choice but to leave in error.

Last ditch effort: Here is the Christian Science monitor proving I am right. The line was taken out of context. I have done all I can to help you out, Boojum.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/...

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 12:56 PM

^ "leave you in error"

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 12:57 PM

Pay special attention to the Christian Science Monitor's correct interpretation...you will see what I mean.

"Obama was making the argument that "wealthy, successful Americans" should pay a higher tax rate because they didn't get to where they are without a lot of help from society. The line right before "you didn't build that" was about roads and bridges -- making it pretty clear that it was infrastructure the president was referring to, not businesses."

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 12:59 PM

Benevolus,

Assuming the President was referring to roads and bridges,how can you defend the position that they didn't build that? If they didn't, then who did? This is a question I asked earlier and you didn't answer.

Don't we all build roads and bridges? Shouldn't that include business owners? I think a better statement would have been "we all build that".

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:10 PM

Wallis,

In brief, competition is good for providing incentives and it clearly under-girds the economies of most first world nations (competition being fundamental to capitalism).

But like most things, there is always a down side. Competition requires winners and losers. In other words, it implies inequality. This is proven by the unequal distribution of wealth as measured by the Gini coefficient. We use this measurement quite often to determine how evenly a variable (wealth in this case) is distributed across a given geographic area. The US, by this measurement, is the least equal country in the first world (and in the bottom 10 overall) in terms of how/where its wealth is concentrated.

So, competition does come with a cost. That cost is not just a social one either. If we look at history, (ancient Venice comes to mind, but I am sure we can find dozens of examples) we see that when successful businessmen get too powerful and isolate too much wealth, it actually works against competition because they naturally rig the game in their favor so as to avoid encroaching competitors. The effect of this limited competition is, in every case (now I am thinking of the sugar plantations in the Caribbean), the descent of the economy, and ultimately, the ruination of the city/nation-state.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:20 PM

Wealthy people already pay a higher tax rate. Just look at the tax code.

Top Fed bracket is 35% and in most states state tax is an additional 6%. 41% in income tax seems pretty "fair" to me.

Include cap tax rate of between 15%-30% and dividend tax rate and it soars even higher. Remember the money that was invested to create a cap gain or dividend was already taxed once so the is the double taxed portion. Also remember that most stocks lose money so cap gains and dividends aren't without risk.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:21 PM

SWNebr,

Fixating on one line is disingenuous. The point he was making is exactly what you just suggested he should have said.

Once again: "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because WE DO THINGS TOGETHER [my emphasis]".

The wording was fine. The speech was fine. The problem arises when the rightwing purposefully takes the quote out of context in order to make political hay. Its dishonest and unethical...but hey, Obama is just as guilty as Romney there, so who can blame Romney for hitting back?

The bottom line is Fox News gets it, Christian Science Monitor gets it...I am not sure why the posters here do not.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:26 PM

http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/quickch...

Notice that the Nasdaq is only at 60% of where it was in 2000. Ironic how people refer to the great Clinton era of the stock markets but they always ignore that the market started the decline in 1999.

So we are 13 years from the Nasdaq highs I believe we are about 5 years away from the next 20 year 10 fold move but it will happen.

Wallis

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:26 PM

Benevolus,

Isn't it obvious, we are all WAY too stupid and you are just too darn S-M-R-T :)

That's why its HILARIOUS to belittle us.

But back to the President's speech, I don't know maybe Freud was right.

Maybe that's what the President meant, all I know is what he said and how other people have interpreted it.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:37 PM

SWNebr,

Intelligence is not at issue in my opinion. I think the posters here just find it easier than I do to believe the narrative the right is spending so much money to spin.

Obama meant exactly what he said. It is perfectly clear in context what he was talking about.

People are not interpreting Obama's speech from the source. People are getting sound bytes and opinion pieces/editorials on the speech from news organizations and AM radio shows with clear political agendas.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:47 PM

Wallis,

We also see from that chart that the Nasdaq is higher now than at any point under Bush's tenure. I saw a CEO of a banking firm on CNN (forget his name now) talking about how we need to re-legislate the Glass-Steagall Act, which was allowed to expire under Clinton's watch. This deregulation of investment banking in the early 90's, according to this CEO, was the main culprit for the housing bubble and the eventual collapse of the economy. Your chart supports his argument.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 1:53 PM

Glass-Steagall didn't expire. President Clinton wanted it overturned and there was bipartisan support to do such. That was in 1999. The cause of the housing bubble was extending credit to people who didn't deserve this credit. The assumption was that if you bundled AAA and AA and A credit and you insured it for losses you had AAA paper. When these insurance companies went bankrupt that product broke down. Think Ambac.

If you think that a chart 12 years after the fact can be explained by 1 event or one act you are naive. The federal government has done 2 waves of quantative easing and operation twist and kept interest rates at 0% for almost 3 years now with the goal to make saving interest rates so low that people will invest money in risker assets thereby propping up the stock market.

CNN is not a channel I watch.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 3:38 PM

Benevolus

You're right Tommy Boy was also S-M-R-T.

And telling people that a 6th grader knows more than them isn't calling them stupid. Nor is giving directions on how sentences are formed huh?

I personally think the President misspoke, this could be corrected by a simple admission. Instead apologists like yourself tell us all how we are once again just not capable of understanding. It reminds me of the two times I've seen Obama admit a mistake in an interview. In both of those cases his mistake was not explaining things well enough to those of us who don't naturally subscribe to his side of the story are persuaded.

If we are going to take your antecedent referent lecture to heart shouldn't we understand that the difference between the two examples you gave and the President's speech is that you clearly separated your thoughts into two sentences which makes your argument sound. However, in the President's example the "that" is in the same sentence so the antecedent referent is also found in that same sentence. This could be interpreted as either the business itself or the idea that a person has a business. It is a stretch to say it refers to other ideas not found in that sentence.

If the "that" was meant to refer to roads and bridges, shouldn't it have been "those" or does the President not understand singular and plural?

By the way here is some excellent spin on your part: "The point he was making is exactly what you just suggested he should have said." It seems to me it would have been much easier to just say what you mean and not leave things up in the air so apologists have to come in and say "well this is what he really meant, don't pay attention to what he said"

I'm actually a lot less fixated on what he said about business building whatever. I still question the earlier lines about people not succeeding because they are smart or hard-working. Accepting this as fact what explains the differnce WITHIN the country that some people fail and others succeed. After all if none of them built that, why should it only allow some to succeed? Do you have any theories on that? I really would like an American business answer please, not another foreign straw man.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 3:47 PM

Benevolus,

On a side note, what has changed to convice you that Romney would be more disastrous? Does this mean you're sitting this one out or going third party? I'm interested because I'm always looking for a good third party.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 3:48 PM

Wallis,

You are right, the GLB Act overturned Glass-Steagall. This allowed, among other things, the merger of commercial and investment banks. This was a mistake which ended up being a large contributing factor to the housing bubble and subsequent recession. I never said there was one factor. Just that the chart corroborates the point I heard from the CEO on CNN (like what I did right there?)

If investment banks were not merged with commercial banks, commercial holdings would not have been affected by the credit swaps you referred to above. It is naive to believe that GLB wasn't an enormous contributor to the economic woes we face today. That is why the CEO I was referring to above was calling for the G-Steagall law to be replaced.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 4:13 PM

To all

My wife and I own 3 businesses, I manage one, she manages one, we are investors in the third. We have done this for the last 30 years, and plan on more. We have direct and specific experience with our government

I listened to Obama's speech and my opinion of his meaning is my own. I resent the implication, the intent, the insult I heard about business people as spoken by our President. We the people are the government. Our taxes, our collective taxes, based on our work, our wealth, funds everything the government does.

We build our businesses, the roads, the bridges. We pay for the welfare system, we pay and pay and pay, and our President offers insults. "You didn't build that"

Tommy Boy? Bene you credibility has been reduced a few levels.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 4:22 PM

SWNebr,

"And telling people that a 6th grader knows more than them isn't calling them stupid."

No actually. 6th graders are quite smart I have found. They even made a show based on how much grade school kids know compared to adults. Based on result of the show I suspect that singular demonstrative pronouns are on a long list of things kids know that adults do not. Have you seen it? It's not bad.

You make me laugh though. I like how you are very quick to rush to Boojum's aid regarding the grammar lesson and Tommy Boy reference. Are you so thinned-skinned that a little movie humor not directed at you is cause for you to pucker up? Regardless, I am sure that Boojum can handle the Tommy Boy reference without your assistance.

But getting to grammar, the problem with your analysis is that it requires the president to have made a strange nonsequitor that doesn't make sense. It also means he then contradicts himself in the next paragraph of the speech when he makes "the point" about succeeding because of individual and societal effort. These reasons are why every major news agency (including right leaning ones) have published an article saying the line is out of context. The paragraph of the speech is coherent because the antecedent referent is to the "unbelievable American system" of which "roads and bridges" are certainly a part. The next line about the internet cements my (and most reasonable peoples') interpretation. He goes onto offer another example (the internet) of how infrastructure benefits businesses that didn't build said infrastructure. So again, the previous line is coherent if the referent is the "unbelievable American system".

"...and not leave things up in the air so apologists have to come in and say "well this is what he really meant, don't pay attention to what he said"

Right, because the apologists at CS Monitor and Fox News are not interested in responsible journalism, they just want to make Obama look good by their incessant apologizing for him, probably to help win the election. That makes perfect sense.

"Accepting this as fact what explains the differnce WITHIN the country that some people fail and others succeed. After all if none of them built that, why should it only allow some to succeed? Do you have any theories on that? I really would like an American business answer please, not another foreign straw man."

I am not sure that I understand the question. I haven't given any strawman arguments though. My point above regarding government policies is a valid one. Smart people, hard-working people live everywhere, but not all smart, hard-working people are successful. In fact, the majority of the world's smart, hard-working people (who are, by demographic probability, mostly Indian and Chinese) are likely to be quite poor (because most Indian and Chinese people are quite poor). So, if smart, hard-working people are successful in some countries, and not successful in others, there must be other forces at work besides working hard and being smart.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 4:55 PM

@#$$%xxx!! keyboard gremlins... "your credibility".

-- Posted by boojum666 on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 5:12 PM

... I can't hear you, you are trailing off and did I catch a 9er in there, were you calling from a walkie talkie?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 7:11 PM

I think if a person spent as much time trying to create an idea for a productive business as they do trying to prove a point, and I may add that falls on deaf ears, they just might hit on an idea that could not only benefit their selves but others. I must say you guys have a lot of time on your hands. Good luck with trying to prove your points!

-- Posted by Keda46 on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 7:45 PM

Benevolus,

Oh right, sorry I didn't realize that Fox News said something. I guess I forgot that I must blindly follow everything they say. You really got me there.

I'm not surprised you are an expert on the intelligence of 6th graders, I mean after all, you are the expert on everything right? Well except perhaps at knowing what it means to be an apologist.

-- Posted by SWNebr Transplant on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 8:22 PM

SWNebr,

Out of arguments I see. Oh well.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 8:55 PM

Oh my goodness. This whole "apologist" thing makes me want to break out Inigo.... Ranks right up there with "Additum"!

-- Posted by Sir Didymus on Sat, Jul 28, 2012, at 10:42 PM

Stock market update - S&P 500 is looking like it wants to run to a new secular high. Targets are 1485-1508. Timing is 30-45 days.

The Month of August and September are interesting for crude oil. We have a Leeb effect that is intact. Since 1973 (beginning of fiat USD - non-gold backed) there have been 5 instances of oil moving 70% in a 3 month period. 4 out 5 times (1990 Kuwait exception) the gold oil ratio exceeded 14 14-16 months prior to Leeb effect. The gold oil ratio exceeded 14 14 months ago.

Based on Gann analysis the oil market made a major low last June (I discussed that set up before June on this site and others).

Therefore, there is a probability that over the next couple of months oil could re-test the old highs of 2008.

I don't know what is going to cause this. Ask Ben - he looks for singular events to cause things. The reality is that human emotion and 10-15 things cause prices swings. I study the end result of all the reasons and for this analysis focus on price only.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 7:24 AM

Wallis,

"I never said there was one factor." Do you need a lecture on reading too?

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 1:24 PM

Say it ain't so! Romney hates small businesses too. We are all doomed!!

"We care very deeply about [people] who make a difference in our lives: our schoolteachers, firefighters, people who build roads. We need those things. We value schoolteachers, firefighters, people who build roads. You really couldn't have a business if you didn't have those things."

I knew his time in Mass. turned Romney into a big government socialist. I just hope everyone else is as offended as I am.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 7:15 PM

He said this, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." That somebody else is government, in his view. He goes on to describe the people who deserve the credit for building this business. And, of course, he describes people who we care very deeply about, who make a difference in our lives: our school teachers, firefighters, people who build roads. We need those things. We value school teachers, firefighters, people who build roads. You really couldn't have a business if you didn't have those things. But, you know, we pay for those things. Alright? The taxpayers pay for government. It's not like government just provides those to all of us and we say, "Oh, thank you government for doing those things." No, in fact, we pay for them and we benefit from them and we appreciate the work that they do and the sacrifices that are done by people who work in government. But they did not build this business.

-- Posted by boojum666 on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 7:57 PM

Boojum,

Romney seems to be deaf dumb and blind. He must think that if he builds a road the business will come when in reality the opposite is true. Business generates the need for roads.

Romney's speech sounded like an attack on business. Over the last week one can read many of the rebuttals written by business owners objecting to being maligned, so many others heard the same thing I did and reacted in the same manner.

Amazingly poor choice of words for a Presidential candidate to use.

I listened to Romnwy's speech and my opinion of his meaning is my own. I resent the implication, the intent, the insult I heard about business people as spoken by Romney. We the people are the government. Our taxes, our collective taxes, based on our work, our wealth, funds everything the government does.

You are starting to sound like one of them "apologists". Romney hates small business. He agreed with Obama. It's clear. And it's what I believe.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 8:04 PM

"That was it? Come on you can do better than that, can't you Captain limp wrist? try again!"

-- Posted by boojum666 on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 8:35 PM

Haha. Now you're gettin the hang of it!

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Jul 30, 2012, at 9:36 PM

China to buy Nexen for $15.1 billion dollars.

Canada attempted to sell their oil to the United States. Our President said no. Now Canada selling their Natural Resources to China.

Sen.Schumer and Nancy Pelosi send letters trying to stop this deal. Now those two are in panic mode.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 5:39 AM

Seems like a bluff to get the ball moving on Keystone as soon as November hits.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 6:24 AM

Deal will go through. Once China owns oil sands that oil is headed to China if they need it.

Amazing that the United States lack of an energy plan is playing out in real time.

-- Posted by wmarsh on Tue, Jul 31, 2012, at 7:42 PM


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