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 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 76
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?Page 4 of 17    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)

I don't think this is the place to talk about abortion. In any case, you're responding to something other than what I said.


Fair enough. However, just to be clear. I was responsive. You didn't like the fact that the justices used their judgment in the absence of clear guidance. Had they gone against such guidance, I'd be with you. However, the issue had to be settled.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 77
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 9:02:51 AM
Ace,
I don't accept your assertions about the war. Most Americans have always acknowledged the need to unite in time of war, and to speak with one voice in foreign policy even in peacetime. But that unwritten rule has *never* applied to domestic affairs. Any suggestion that it ever should, in America, is hard to take seriously.


So, socialism is OK in wartime, presumably because our survival as a nation is at stake. And presumably as soon as the crisis is over we go back to free market competition. Is that your position?

If so, why wouldn't the threat of imminent economic collapse rate some similar call for cooperation and sacrifice?


So if it was only WWII that finally pulled the U.S. out of the Depression, it's evidence eight years of the *New Deal* didn't help anything.


Well said, except for one thing. The New Deal didn't _cause_ the Great Depression. The structural cause was the shift to mechanized manufacturing and farming and the consequent concentration of wealth. The precipitating event was ... unregulated financial speculation. The New Deal wasn't enough to pull us out once the crisis had occurred--probably because it was too little too late and we didn't know what sorts of interventions to make. But once we got on a stable footing again the regulations that it spawned prevented another financial crisis for another 70 years--basically for as long as they remained in effect.


I don't know what you mean by an "energy-deficit hole," who you think deliberately dug it, and why, or where 1972 comes in. And you don't say how any of that is relevant to this recession. I'm also not sure what you mean by "sustainability."


We are the largest consumer of fossil fuels in the world. We had ample warning about the finite nature and vulnerability of world oil supplies after the Oil Crisis in 1972. Carter put us on a good start toward becoming energy efficient, but we chose not to pursue energy-cost-cutting strategies in favor of expansion, and now that peak oil production has passed, we don't have a plan in place for any sort of orderly transition to a low-fossil-fuel economy.


I'm aware that not so long ago, property rights in the U.S. were as strongly protected as the rights to speak and worship. And money is one form of personal property. For me, this President's disdain for property rights is more than enough reason to oppose his economic policies. He believes all of us have the right to only SOME of the money we've earned, while total strangers have a "right" (where it comes from, God knows) to the rest of it. I also oppose every member of Congress who takes the same position. Mr. Obama doesn't have the power to tax our money away from us and spend it on other people--but they do.


Actually, and unfortunately, they do. Our predecessors gave it to them when they passed the income-tax amendment. Now we have to live with it. So, in my view, we should work the Laffer curve in reverse. What tax and government investment policies will result in the steepest growth rate in real GDP? If that involves shifting the tax/subsidy allocations around to favor the less well off for a change, then it does. In the long run, even those who take a momentary hit will be better off if we can grow the pie. Please note that this is the exact same logic that Reagan used to justify his "trickle-down" tax and subsidy policies.


I don't pretend to be an economist, and I'm not about to propose some grand plan of my own. Since when is anyone required to do that in order to oppose an administration's policy, anyway? In general, I favor market-based solutions, and you say you don't.


It's not that I don't favor them. I don't favor _unregulated_ market solutions in all cases. Even Libertarians acknowledge the need for government guarantees against fraud, theft, and coercion. Those protections have to be paid for.

You can be against anything you want to, but in the absence of some guidance other than vague "free market" handwaving, what are we supposed to do? Abdicate?

The simple fact is that there are situations where market solutions _don't_ work. Getting water to your house is one. In those cases, a regulation scheme (such as the regulated monopoly that is your water company) is not a market solution, but does provide for checks and balances and the feedback needed to ensure high quality and affordable prices--particularly when there is consumer representation on the regulatory board. You do like running water don't you?

Whenever the market can work, I say, let it! But when it doesn't, I favor the minimum degree of regulation that is actually needed.

The market is a reactive mechanism, not a proactive one. Who could have foreseen the current situation 5 years ago? Yet, we all lived that long and had we known I'll bet many of us would have made some very different purchasing and investment choices--especially with respect to our retirement plans.

There is a difference between favoring a solution and remaining blind to all the others.


Franklin Raines, Rep. Frank, and Sen. Dodd were some of the people most responsible for preventing the irresponsible mortgages that seem to be at the core of this economic mess. Yet the President had Raines working in his campaign, and both Frank are Dodd are still members of Congress. Shame on the voters who put them there, and on both houses of Congress for failing to censure them.


I agree with you on this.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 78
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 11:51:52 AM
^^^^^JD,
Where did you ever get the ridiculous notion that you're entitled to the money you earn? That's just the kind of selfish right-wing attitude we can't afford any longer--we've all got to pull together! I know it's a little hard to get used to, but whenever you have doubts, just think of those guys lying on their backsides on the City Hall lawn. Doesn't it just make you feel glad to think you're doing your part to buy them their smokes and their little bottles of brown bag wine?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 79
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 12:46:39 PM

The precipitating event was ... unregulated financial speculation.


I just want to clarify this. My current hypothesis is that rampant speculation is a symptom of an excessive concentration of wealth, which would call for a shift in taxation and government investment policy to balance out.

When people have so much money they really don't know what to do with it, and there simply aren't new productive investments to absorb all that cash, they gamble.

Again, this is just my hypothesis. I have no evidence either way as of yet. But it is an interesting thought experiment.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 80
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 12:48:04 PM
Where did you ever get the ridiculous notion that you're entitled to the money you earn? That's just the kind of selfish right-wing attitude we can't afford any longer--we've all got to pull together!


When you're on the shop floor, is it really true that the guy who made 400 times what you do for driving your company into the ground actually _earned_ that million-dollar bonus?

Nice work if you can get it!

I have no problem with people keeping the money that they earn. But when they're just skimming off as much as they can possibly get away with and to hell with the rest of us, they aren't really earning it.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 81
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 5:04:58 PM

When you're on the shop floor, is it really true that the guy who made 400 times what you do for driving your company into the ground actually _earned_ that million-dollar bonus?



Can you give me an example? As far as I know, a corporation's charter and bylaws can't authorize members of its Board to set their own salaries and bonuses. As I remember, the shareholders usually determine them, based on the corporation's profits that year. If a corporation's shareholders don't feel its Board and its directors are acting honestly and competently, they can call an election, pool their votes, and replace the officers or directors. And it's in every shareholder's interest to prevent dishonest management. They pay the cost of it directly.

Of course corporate crime exists, and always has--but that doesn't mean most U.S. corporations aren't managed honestly and efficiently. I know the courts in Delaware, where many U.S. firms are incorporated, are very serious about maintaining the integrity of Delaware's corporations laws.

If I had stock in a corporation, I really wouldn't care too much what salaries were required to get the best managers. I'd be more concerned with the real return on my investment, counting dividends and all. If I net 5% instead of the 3 or 4% I think I would have gotten with less talented management, why should I care if an officer's paid a $1 million bonus that year?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 82
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 11:30:26 PM

From where I am sitting Ace, it's really not your business, nor my business if we are on the shop floor what another employee is making. That's grounds for termination at my company. What business would it be of ours?


CEO pay, and that of other executive officers of publicly traded companies is a matter of public record, and for good reason. The stockholders and other stakeholders have a right to know if the people in charge of safeguarding the profits are skimming off as much as they can get away with and to hell with the rest of us. If the Boards of Directors collude in that process through lax control, they haven't exercised their fiduciary duty to the stockholders and other stakeholders, including the employees who contribute their precious _time._
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 83
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 11:33:30 PM

If I had stock in a corporation, I really wouldn't care too much what salaries were required to get the best managers. I'd be more concerned with the real return on my investment, counting dividends and all. If I net 5% instead of the 3 or 4% I think I would have gotten with less talented management, why should I care if an officer's paid a $1 million bonus that year?


In that scenario, I'd say that your million dollar CEO earned her bonus. But when the company loses money and she still gets a hefty bonus?
 OldFolkie
Joined: 6/8/2008
Msg: 84
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History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/25/2009 11:54:22 PM
As in the case of the AIG, Citibank, and JP Morgan execs whose (skillful?) management led to their corporations tanking in the market over the last few months because of their incompetent and ulitmately greed-based management decisions. Do you seriously think that the kind of incompetence that led to the market crash of the last few months deserves to be rewarded with bonuses? Especially bonuses paid from the public funds given to these corporations in the (perhaps vain) attempt to stem the hemorrage of capital from the U.S. financial market.

There are those among our conservative friends in the Califorums who've pronounced that Federal attempts to limit or even correct the damage caused by greedy, and ultimately incompetent, executives is somehow "socialist" meddling in a free market economy. Nonsense. It's only a (perhaps belated) realization that the greed of the executives in the financial sector is simply bey0nd belief, and must be curbed if we are ever to regain a sound financial basis for our economy.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 85
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History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/26/2009 12:08:05 AM

You didn't like the fact that the justices used their judgment in the absence of clear guidance. Had they gone against such guidance, I'd be with you. However, the issue had to be settled.



As I suggested, abortion is OT for this thread. So I'll keep this short.

The Court often has very little to guide it--for example, when it has to decide whether a recent act of Congress violates the Constitution in some way, or when it has to resolve an issue the federal courts of appeal are split on.





However, the issue had to be settled.



Not really. Art. II, sec. 2, cl. 2 gives the Supreme Court its appellate jurisdiction. But it's been decades since anyone had a *right* to appeal a decision to the Court (except in the rare cases where a federal law itself provides that right of appeal. Instead, almost all the cases the Court decides to hear have reached it because the appellant's lawyers filed a writ of certiorari (meaning "let it be certified that . . . ." with the Court. So the Court isn't legally obligated to decided most of the cases that reach it--and it rejects about 99% of the petitions it receives. It could have (and should have) rejected the petition in Roe. Or, if for some reason it chose to hear the case, the Justices should all have been determined to decide it honestly. And an honest decision would have said that there is no constitutional right to abortion. Therefore, it would have remained the job of each state legislature to regulate abortion in that state.

I don't see any good reason why the Court needed to settle the issue of abortion. At the time, all but six or eight states already had laws authorizing abortions. And even if there had been some urgent reason to settle the abortion issue, that would have been a job for the people of those states, acting through their representatives in their state legislatures--and not for the Supreme Court of the U.S. Better that, than have a Court walk all over the legislative branch by disingenuously stretching its earlier decisions on sexual privacy to concoct a constitutional "right" to abortion.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 86
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/26/2009 9:47:09 AM

I don't see any good reason why the Court needed to settle the issue of abortion.


My last comment on this OT topic: What are the courts for if not to adjudicate between conflicting rights when the legislative branch, for whatever reason, cannot do so?
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 87
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/26/2009 10:01:26 AM

As far as what is going on now, people want to debate these issues... and you say they don't want to cooperate or sacrifice. Maybe if the last big bills that have flown through congress was debated... at least read... than these issues with bonuses and so many other problems might have been discussed... and debated... rather than snuck through. Oh, but they can say that is all on Bush... or that we are in difficult times... Stand up, and expect those in those positions... to do their jobs. This one congress woman here in California was debating a news caster on her reading everything she gets, and that she should read all of the news paper in perspective to her reading all the pages on a bill she is going to vote on... Excuse me... Reading the news paper or not isn't going to let tax payers give huge bonuses.... Read the bills, know what's in them... or don't vote on them. The sky isn't falling..... I think we can take a few days and read these things. But not if they want to sneak crap through...


This is a very good point.


There are too many agendas... too many crazies... on both the right and left... Lets just do what's right and best for the country, and debate these ideologies and find common ground... rather than being force fed.


This is too.


Bush did things for the safety of this country, phone tapping and what not to help secure this country... you guys are up in arms over peoples rights.... Obama is stealing their money, telling them how to do business, (Not only on companies that are bailed out) how much they can pay someone for their services... wanting to force unions... I could go on... but let me just say... you applaud this behavior...

I just don't get it?


If by these bonuses you mean he's stealing, I'd have a hard time disputing that. If you mean by making the tax code progressive once again, I'd have to disagree. The wealthy receive a disproportionate share of governmental services both directly and via their corporate holdings. I see no reason why they shouldn't pay for the privilege if they can afford it.

When we let them do business any way they want to, they bamboozle us into buying more than we can afford, and then when it becomes clear that we simply can't pay directly, they extract it from us anyway via government bailouts, loan guarantees, and so forth. So yes, I do think we have some claim to regulate how they do business if that is the best they can do. And if, as y'all want to claim, this all comes as a result of the operation of the free market, then it is indeed the best they can do.

The market works well when all parties have equal access to information, when the buyer is the user, when both parties can walk away from a transaction without undue harm, when the goods or services can be substituted with equivalent items from other suppliers, and when the costs of those goods and services are fully accounted for by the sellers. If those conditions cannot be met, it's not a free market.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 88
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/26/2009 10:31:31 AM
Ace, I am talking about those bonuses, and the idea to tax anyone they want 90% if they believe they are simply making too much money.


That 90% tax was on the bonuses only. It's unconstitutional anyway--just more political hand-waving, which I find just as disgusting when liberals do it as when conservatives do.


The idea that he wants to put a higher tax (Or less deduction) on charity deductions... will dramatically hurt all charities.


Of all the stupid and wrong-headed ideas, this one has to take the cake.


I don't think those who make more should be taxed at a hire %, to pay for those who don't make as much.


I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. The arguments for a progressive income tax are well known. So are the arguments for a regressive income tax, and for a flat tax. There is logic behind all 3 positions. So, because they are all plausible, the only way to tell for sure which tax policy works best in different economic situations is either to model their effects or play them out in real life. Of course, the models can be wrong and usually are to some extent. However, they can give us some idea about what can be predicted on a large scale. And, they can be improved far more quickly easily than a wrong economic guess can be in real life.

My personal view is that tax policy should be responsive to the growth in GDP and the concentration of wealth. A topheavy economy is liable to flame-out and crash, while a too-widely-dispersed concentration of wealth inhibits innovation. I'm not sure what the right distribution profile is for sustainable development, but I'm pretty sure the current distribution is less than optimal for our long-term prospertiy, in which I include the wealthy as well as the rest of us.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 89
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History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/26/2009 2:07:58 PM

What are the courts for if not to adjudicate between conflicting rights


I guess the conflicting rights you're referring to are a fetus' right to life, and a woman's right to abort it. But no constitutional right to abortion existed before the Court "discovered" one in Roe, which it decided in January, 1973. Therefore, the Court's purpose for taking the case in 1971 cannot possibly have been to resolve the conflict between these two rights.

When more than 40 of the 50 states already authorized abortion, I can't see any valid reason for either Congress or the Court to have involved itself. And it is never excusable for the Court to concoct a constitutional right where none exists. Doing that degrades the very rule of law the Courts the Court is supposed to be upholding.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 90
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/26/2009 10:13:26 PM
All right, I'll bite. When fundamental rights are involved, and the various states protect them differently, or don't protect them at all, that variation undermines the perceived rule of law.

If even one state fails to protect a fundamenatal right, and the underlying Federal statutes and case law allow that failure to persist, the residents of that state have a right to have that grievance redressed. If the Supreme Court has appelate jurisdiction, and if the parties appealed it there, and they decided, how does that undermine the rule of law?

Are you absolutely certain you aren't reasoning back from a result that you don't like?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 91
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/27/2009 12:41:33 AM
If a right is really "fundamental" under the U.S. Constitution, e.g. the right to vote--and if Congress hasn't preempted state law as to that right--every state's law must give it at least as much protection as the Constitution requires. But before 1973, the Court had never recognized abortion as a constitutional right at all, let alone a fundamental one. Therefore, even state laws that prohibited abortions were in no way unconstitutional.

Unless some constitutionally-guaranteed right is involved, states are free to give various rights whatever protection they see fit--or not to recognize them at all. The rights to buy or consume alcohol are one example. States can put their own time and place restrictions on these rights--or (as some "dry" states historically did) refuse to recognize these rights at all. Criminal laws, almost all of which are state laws, are another example. As long as state legislatures don't violate the U.S. Constitution in any way, they can define and punish crimes as they see fit. And some states may consider a certain act a crime, even though people have a right to do it in other states.

As I said before, almost no one has a right to have the Supreme Court exercise its appellate jurisdiction. The only cases where the Court has to act are the rare ones in which the Constitution gives it *original jurisdiction,* or where a federal statute specifies that a decision may be directly appealed to the Court. Otherwise, the Court decides what cases it will take--there is no appeal as of right.

As I also said before, unprincipled decisions by the Court undermine the rule of law. Roe was the crown jewel in a series of cases that revived the substantive due process doctrine, which the Court itself had been acknowledging, in decision after decision, as a mistake--a relic of the bad old days where it improperly (and regularly) infringed Congress' authority. (In the "SDP Era," from Lochner in 1904 to 1937, the Court had struck down more than 200 federal laws because it found them fundamentally unfair.)

I don't care what the result is. A Supreme Court decision is law, and it has to be based on law. To the extent it's irrational or concocted, it subjects people to a rule contrived by several judges, rather than to the rule of laws made by elected representatives. When the British were doing that, many Americans called it tyranny. Anyone who thinks the Roe decision convincingly explains how the Constitution guarantees a right to abortion might want to read it, or some of the many things legal scholars have written about it.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 92
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/27/2009 9:13:06 AM

... the Court decides what cases it will take--there is no appeal as of right.


Well, they took the case! There was nothing to prevent them if they saw a need to. With the national controversy going on at the time, they apparently concluded that it needed to be settled.


As I also said before, unprincipled decisions by the Court undermine the rule of law.


Yes. Dredd Scott was a disaster.


Roe was the crown jewel in a series of cases that revived the substantive due process doctrine, which the Court itself had been acknowledging, in decision after decision, as a mistake--a relic of the bad old days where it improperly (and regularly) infringed Congress' authority. (In the "SDP Era," from Lochner in 1904 to 1937, the Court had struck down more than 200 federal laws because it found them fundamentally unfair.)


Interesting!


I don't care what the result is. A Supreme Court decision is law, and it has to be based on law. To the extent it's irrational or concocted, it subjects people to a rule contrived by several judges, rather than to the rule of laws made by elected representatives. When the British were doing that, many Americans called it tyranny.


Well, the King wasn't appointed by the Peoples' elected representatives. And near as I can tell, tyrants generally move to _restrict_ the rights of the people, not to expand recognition of them.


Anyone who thinks the Roe decision convincingly explains how the Constitution guarantees a right to abortion might want to read it, or some of the many things legal scholars have written about it.


Free adults have a right to control what happens to their own bodies. What is it exactly that you dislike about that principle or the Supreme Court's affirmation of it?

Now, back on topic. We can take this off line if you'd like to continue it.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 93
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/27/2009 9:14:30 AM
Matchlight,

You were asking about "neoconservatives." Look up "Projecct for the New American Century" on line to find out about the neocon agenda for our tax dollars.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 94
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/27/2009 12:19:01 PM
The Supreme Court isn’t always right because it has the best judges, it’s because it’s always last—the Supremes have the final say. All of those justices were selected because their personal political philosophies and tendencies dovetail with the political agendas of the executive branch that nominated them and the legislative branch that confirmed their nominations. It’s crap to hold them in high esteem and presume they necessarily possess some dignified legal brilliance. They are merely bag men in the culture wars and class struggle when they produce rulings as legally unsound as Roe v. Wade and cases such as the following example:

In the case of Wyeth v. Levine, the Court ruled for a medical patient who experienced gangrene in her arm and its subsequent amputation after being injected by the drug Phenergan, which is made by Wyeth. The victim understandably sued the treating hospital for malpractice, since the drug was clearly labeled on its bottle with the warning, "Inadvertent intra-arterial injection can result in gangrene of the affected extremity." The hospital’s physicians assistant caused the harm, not the drug. The Supreme Court however, allowed the victims inclusion of the drug’s manufacturer Wyeth as also being culpable since she alleged that Wyeth’s label warning was not sufficient. However, Wyeth had received proper approval from the F.D.A. as to the language of the label warning, but despite acting in a legally proper manner, Wyeth remained trapped in the suit and was judged to be also guilty by the Courts ruling.

This is like a gun manufacturer getting proper regulatory qualification of its product (trigger safety mechanisms, etc.), then getting sued as a 3rd party by a gunshot victim who was attacked by a criminal perpetrator far removed from the manufacturer.

Another example is a liquor manufacturer also getting sued by the family of a drunk driver’s innocent victim. When the court legitimizes a plaintiff’s bald faced attempt to create a secondary victim for the purpose of gaining unjust enrichment (deep pockets), this is a clear sign that the Court is not really in the business of determining true justice--it is actually intending to make various societal winds blow in the direction that the majority of its justices select. When the arbiter of last resort uses specific individual disputes to justify crafting their favored legal standards thus social mores, they are only once removed from dictatorial power. But the largely Democratic personal injury plaintiff lawyers are now even more smug as they continue their sniper attacks upon deep pocket industries such as tobacco (gee, who knew that tobacco was addictive and harmful?), silicon breast implant makers (more junk science), firearms manufactures (like guns kill people instead of other people), etc. (John Edwards made millions by suing doctors after paying for junk expert medical opinions that bamboozled juries into allowing David to slay Goliath. Then he knocks up his girlfriend while his wife is suffering through cancer treatments and the MSM acts surprised and off guard.)

There is much discussion of late as to our tax structure: Windfall profit taxes (Big Oil), executive bonus taxes (AIG), tweaking the progressive tax threshold layers to free 47% of the citizenry from paying taxes while increasing higher earners liability (Obama). The body of rules and regulations that comprise our tax code exceeds 12,000 pages. The reason it is so ridiculously voluminous is to hide--out in the wide open--thousands of sundry loopholes lobbied for by the Big Monied (who happen to be the reliable buyers of the influence-peddling offered by many of the individual politicians within our legislative and executive branches).

The overall point is that justice is merely an abstract concept when the final product produced by the legislative/judicial system is unjust. It’s another illustration that there is no morality in the Universe (order, yes—but no inherent morality). The law is whatever mankind says it is. Under some jurisdictions, abortions are legal (to protect the rights of the perpetrator who caused the victim’s existence in the first place), but capital punishment is not (again to protect the rights of the perpetrator who caused the existence of the victimhood.) And we all know that old saying about what rules are meant for…

As to the "stimulus" package, it is a spending bill that was intentionally misnamed in typical Orwellian fashion, and NO congressperson will claim that they read it before they voted it in ("... a crisis that is too good to waste").

Through 2007 and 2008, Bernanke and others assumed that the financial system lacked liquidity, so they started to inject it. (And last week, a T-R-I-L-L-I-O-N dollars were printed out of thin air then pumped into the financial system.) What if the actual problem is risk--the final realization that a staggering amount of toxic mortgage debts were just turds wrapped in shiny gift paper and bought and spread throughout the world? Now the big banks don't want to lend to the smaller banks, and the various layers of the aftermarket that used to buy up the securitized mortgage turds won't go near them while Geithner flops around, and the 15 day commercial paper market that fuels business activity by providing businesses with quick bridge loans for payroll, accounts payable, etc., is stalled. But injecting liquidity into the system is not going to solve a counterparty risk problem, but it will start a whole new set of inflationary and foreign debt-holder eradication problems.

The original $700 Billion TARP program is being dwarfed by Obama's spending and most of Congress is still on board with him. But I believe that as time goes by, Congress will start showing some real resistance since they don't want the voters to start re-stocking the House with Republicans, then risk losing the White House in 2012.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 95
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/27/2009 6:52:05 PM
Go Sock!

Now that's what I call a slam dunk in this here slam fest! Woo hoo!!!!

But didn't Roe v. Wade affirm the principle that a woman is entitled to maintain control over her own body whether a particular state government likes it or not?

And is that prinicple arbitrary or just?

And, as far as product liability and protection from lawsuits goes, well ... I don't know, but it seems to me that when industry has as much influence over regulators as it often seems to--those campaign contributors don't just work on influencing the legislative branch but on the regulatory agencies as well--it seems just strangely possible that a dangerous product with a labelling fig leaf might get through and hurt somebody.

Should those people be barred from recourse in a case like that?


What if the actual problem is risk--the final realization that a staggering amount of toxic mortgage debts were just turds wrapped in shiny gift paper and bought and spread throughout the world?


I think you've hit the nail right on the head here. The problem _is_ risk, not liquidity.

Getting all that crap paper sorted out ASAP would be a _really_ good idea. And, letting those banks that originated all that crap paper go bust would be an _extremely_ good idea--well worth the hit to the FDIC insurance fund. And then having the government buy up their paper for street value, hold it until the mortgages that are mislabelled but good can prove out and be sold at a reasonable profit, that would be excellent. We'd be back in business.

But that still won't make all those crazy derivatives that AIG put out any good.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 96
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/28/2009 9:20:46 AM

But didn't Roe v. Wade affirm the principle that a woman is entitled to maintain control over her own body whether a particular state government likes it or not? And is that prinicple arbitrary or just?


That principle is certainly not arbitrary given that society’s opinion on the issue seems to be intractably split down the middle, so current abortion law is calculated to soothe the fifty percent constituency that wants it to be available. As to being unjust or not, that doesn’t even matter since satisfying that pro-choice constituency is more important to The Powers That Be than delivering justice, as evidenced by the enormous irony, hypocrisy and very tenuous legal reasoning that abounds in abortion law.


… And, as far as product liability and protection from lawsuits goes… it seems just strangely possible that a dangerous product with a labelling fig leaf might get through and hurt somebody. Should those people be barred from recourse in a case like that?


Not at all, but the struggle to find a fair and proper balance between competing legal rights and obligations is often a very tricky task for the courts. However, too often the learned men and women sitting on our courts turn into intellectual buffoons when they allow 3rd party product manufacturers to be held culpable when their products are improperly used. Fully 20% of the cost of a single engine Cessna small plane is to pay for future product liability claims. Despite a product design that has been proven since the late 1940’s, some pilots insist on flying the plane into bad weather that challenges their limited flying skills and end up scattering crash debris across mountaintops. The plane was not designed nor intended to fly into “cumulo-granite” clouds, or to operate like a glider when the pilot runs the gas tanks dry. You can’t fix stupid, but you can sue to shift the blame onto an innocent party and make them throw cash as you. Product liability/personal injury plaintiff trial lawyers make enormous money from shaking down the Cessnas of the world, then they pay off the legislative branch politicians via campaign contributions, and the common sense-less judiciary branch plays the chump who completes the circle. It’s all part of our inter-locking economy.

Back to the “stimulus” porkfest, it is actually a package of earmarks on steroids that repays Obamas political debts, and is also a way to take advantage of an open window to perform leftist social engineering under cover of crisis. Wall Street and Washington share things in common, such as both being sleazy and ethics-challenged. But ridiculous situations like the zombie banks being kept on life-support by taxpayer dollars is the result of Big Business containing much smarter people than the public "servants" in government. (It's kind of like the old saying that a dentist is a doctor who couldn't make it through medical school.) Watching the Big Monied and Da Gubment in this time of crisis is like running a gag reel speeded up. It's a tragi-comedy featuring slapstick, pratfalls, and lacks no farce except for a background soundtrack with honks and whistles. Meanwhile, the national treasury gets emptied and the citizens' retirement monies waste away.

Clowns to the left, jokers to the right…
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 97
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/28/2009 10:04:42 AM

That principle is certainly not arbitrary given that society’s opinion on the issue seems to be intractably split down the middle, so current abortion law is calculated to soothe the fifty percent constituency that wants it to be available. As to being unjust or not, that doesn’t even matter since satisfying that pro-choice constituency is more important to The Powers That Be than delivering justice, as evidenced by the enormous irony, hypocrisy and very tenuous legal reasoning that abounds in abortion law.


Hmm ... Your first sentence seems to be saying that it _is_ arbitrary. A reasonable decision would be based on soundly reasoned arguments derived from the concept of individual rights, not on current opinion.

Starting with that concept, what resolution _would_ deliver justice to the women whose bodies would otherwise be appropriated against their wills? I'm not asking you for any more hand-waving about the politics. I'm asking for your principled opinion about where an unwilling mother's rights over her own body are superceded by a developing fetus's rights over his.

Perhaps we should take this to another thread?


But ridiculous situations like the zombie banks being kept on life-support by taxpayer dollars is the result of Big Business containing much smarter people than the public "servants" in government.


Yep. And as long as we perpetuate the idea that the brightest and best among us go into business instead of government--because there is something inherently disgraceful in public service--we'll get what we ask for.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 98
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/28/2009 10:22:20 AM
Ace

Speaking of the real Powers That Be, we had indeed better take the mothers' rights discussion to another thread, or we will be aborted.

True public service is a lofty vocation, and I would rather see my tax dollars go toward much larger salaries for key government officials in order to level the playing field as to competency when regulators deal with the private sector. An indirect but illustrative example would be O.J. Simpson having beat his murder charge since he was able to hire more competent representation than we the people were paying for.
 johninsd
Joined: 3/2/2009
Msg: 99
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/28/2009 12:34:42 PM

I don't know about anyone here hearing about the facts, but have you figured out what you are going to do with that whopping extra $13.00 extra per pay check?


California has seen to it that we won't have to worry about that, what with the recent huge tax increases.
 The Minister of Dudeness
Joined: 6/11/2006
Msg: 100
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/28/2009 12:48:59 PM
JackDiamond For President 2012

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