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How come no conservative comment on the Stealth Health bill?(65 posts)

How come no conservative comment on the Stealth Health bill?Cory
Nov 17, 2003 9:33 AM
Let me bring Fox News viewers up to speed quickly: The GOP, in secrecy, wrote a 1700-page Health bill, sort of including Medicare prescription benefits, then revealed it to the world and the Dems three days before they want a vote on it. Based on what's been released, it's pretty much a CARE package for insurance and drug companies (one source says 61 percent of the "new" money will go to new drug company profits, though of course nobody knows for sure because nobody's been allowed to read the thing). Again based on what's leaked, it seems to put Medicare in competition with private firms--and put it at a disadvantage, to encourage it to fail, which some say is the real long-term goal (the short-term one is to give the Dems something horrible so when they oppose it, the GOP can say "Democrats voted against Medicare prescription coverage").
Anybody have an inside knowledge/thoughts/fears? Leap in here, Steam, and straighten me out....
No inside knowledge,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 9:37 AM
As you point out, nobody (outside of the vast right-wing conspiricy) knows what's in the bill. I'd prefer to withold comment until there is an actual bill out there to read and comment on.

That said, if a prescription drug benefit comes out of it, I think it's a net win for Republicans, which the Democrats can't be to happy about. The bottom line, IMHO, is that medicare/social security issues are so politicized that there can be very little of actual substance to any bill that affects them.
similar to the "energy plan" they're going to attempteyebob
Nov 17, 2003 9:43 AM
to pass. Stupid politics. People are not dumb. The details will come out, and most won't like it. If the American public wanted more private coverage as part of their Medicare (more of what they have) this type of thing would have long been a done deal. What older americans want is affordable Rx coverage, not a sham deal. What the legislators need to do is stop dicking around, admit that it's a priority, admit that it's gonna cost big bucks to fund, and do it. I really hate when politicians (all sides) push these types of things in an effort to make it look like something is being done. Band-aids over gaping wounds don't really help.

I suppose that there are some that truly think that this formula will work (despite the fact that it has a track record of failure) but my sense is that most Repubs are willing to back it becuase it gives them a political advantage.

BT
Full text to be out tonightLive Steam
Nov 17, 2003 9:53 AM
http://www.thehill.com/story.asp?id=143

Hill leaders to move Medicare bill this week
By Bob Cusack


House and Senate lawmakers unveiled their Medicare reform compromise Sunday and said they would seek to pass the bipartisan legislation this week. But even though the $400 billion prescription drug bill has attracted the support of centrist Democrats, passing the measure in both chambers is expected to be extremely challenging.

At an unusual Sunday press conference in the Capitol, House and Senate lawmakers said the new bill would make the most dramatic changes to Medicare since its inception.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a former heart surgeon, called this week "a historical" opportunity to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare.

Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) said, "Today is the day many of us have dreamed about."

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who supports the package, said he believes the bill can pass both chambers with a significant majority.

But others disagree. On the Sunday talk show "Face the Nation," Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) lambasted the plan and said, "I don't think that bill will pass the United States Senate."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued a statement claiming the bill would be "disastrous for seniors."

Getting Baucus to sign on to the deal was a tremendous victory for GOP leaders. For months, congressional aides and healthcare experts said Baucus's endorsement was essential in moving the Medicare reform bill to the president's desk.

In the House, most Democrats will likely follow Pelosi's lead and vote against the conference report. Some conservative Republicans, wary of adding $400 billion benefit to Medicare, are also expected to reject the measure.

The battleground for votes could center on conservative Democrats. Nine so-called Blue Dogs supported the House Medicare bill that only passed by one vote in late June. Without some support from Blue Dogs, the bill might not pass the House.

Some conservatives in the House support drug reimportation from Canada and have suggested they will not vote for a bill that does not include the House-passed language.

However, to the delight of the drug industry, the Medicare conferees rejected the House-passed bill on reimportation. Some House conservatives are also expected to balk at the watered-down provisions on the premium support provisions that they claim are essential to reforming Medicare.

Frist said he had no idea how much support the conference report will attract in the Senate, but expressed optimism that it would pass.

Senate Democrats have not overtly threatened to filibuster the Medicare conference report. But Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) has made it clear he is not ruling out such a move. A filibuster might be the only way Democrats can halt the bill.

When asked if a bill could pass the Senate without Kennedy's backing, Baucus said emphatically, "Yes."

Baucus also took issue with Kennedy's criticism that the bill would "undermine" the Medicare system.

"I would not vote for a program that undermines traditional Medicare," he said.

If Congress fails to pass Medicare reform legislation in 2003, Baucus said a similar prescription drug bill would not be signed into law for at least the next several years.

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), who pressed for more comprehensive reforms, called the legislation "a success, not a complete success."

He said the bill is "a true compromise" and "should become law."

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) did not attend the press briefing, but called the measure "a tremendous victory for seniors."

Frist said no decision has been made on whether the House or Senate will vote first on the conference. The text of the bill is expected to be released Monday night and be voted on later this week.

Many healt
At least he didn't say, "AN historical..." -nmfiltersweep
Nov 17, 2003 11:15 AM
I cannot believe those damn Republicans!DougSloan
Nov 17, 2003 9:54 AM
I just can't understand all those Republicans "playing politics" and not rolling over and doing exactly what the Democrats want. Imagine the gall of them, even though they control all three houses, implementing something the way *they* want? Sure, it's totally out of character of Republicans to prefer private industry handling something versus government doles, but placing the two in competition is outrageous!

That's it. I'm changing parties to whichever other party never engages in "politics" with my money and security.

Doug
I didn't think that Libertarians engaged in"politics?" NMeyebob
Nov 17, 2003 10:05 AM
No you can't. They're a very deceitful lot.OldEdScott
Nov 17, 2003 10:06 AM
Repealing Medicare, it seems to me, should be done in the open. But then, we don't do things that way in the GOP's Brave New World, do we? Repealing Medicare is called 'providing seniors a new benefit.'

See comment below re: Trojan horse.
The only way to bring about the Repubs dream ofOldEdScott
Nov 17, 2003 9:59 AM
ending Medicare is to do it under the guise of 'saving' or 'enhancing' Medicare. Politically, you'd be destroyed if you just passed a bill that gutted Medicare.

They are being very clever here. Beware of Trojan horses as they're wheeled into the plaza.
Isn't that the best thing for Democrats too?TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 10:14 AM
So, let's assume for a moment, that the left wing nuts are right (or, shall I say, correct), and that this whole thing is a "trojan horse" to bring down Medicare. Wouldn't that be a Democratic strategists wet dream?

The fear you could incite among seniors (a huge voting pool) could give you the mandate to finally create a universal health care system. As long as we're patching up this old system, we have no chance of getting a whole new system. Further, the Republicans, who controlled all three levers of power, let it happen on their watch - so obviously this would put Democrats in power for years to come.

If the allegation is true, what is there for Democrats not to like?
I'm a left winger, but it's doubtful I'm a nut.OldEdScott
Nov 17, 2003 10:22 AM
More of a panty waste than a nut, wouldn't you think?
I'm a left winger, but it's doubtful I'm a nut.No_sprint
Nov 17, 2003 11:21 AM
It's hard to tell with you. I don't see any conviction behind many of the whacky things you post. Hollow at least. If you do believe and stand by many of the whacky things you post, you are a nut, I've said similarly before. I look at you and your postings as being somewhat iconic. You've got a picture of yourself that you think you are and thus your posts attempt to paint it. That's about it.
Excellent pointeyebob
Nov 17, 2003 10:23 AM
Saavy Dems should sit and wait for it to implode. Except most folks won't actually remember who f-ed the thing up to start with so the Dems run the risk of not being able to affectively use the "I told you so" card. So they're left fighting the fight in "real time."

BT
Eyebob, are people dumb or not?Continental
Nov 17, 2003 1:34 PM
Above you say that people aren't dumb and will see thorugh this. Now you say most folks won't rememeber who f-ed it up. Are most people stupid or not?

I think most people are stupid. The majority don't have a clue how the government operates and how it affects their lives. It amazes me that the system works as well as it does. My only explanation is that most politicians in the U.S. have generally good intentions.
I see your pointeyebob
Nov 18, 2003 2:58 PM
I think for the short term, that is to say when it's in front of them on a somewhat daily basis, people are saavy enough to know what's best and (hopefully) will see through these shenanigans. Long term though, few recall who f-ed them. don't read into this that I'm any better than most in recalling this stuff.

PS I generally agree with your last statement. Despite the way that they're depicted and despite what I'd like to believe (cause it makes for better arguin'), I think that most politicos in this country do generally have good intentions. One of the toughest things for me to swallow is that those with whom I don't agree are not idiots (well, some are) they just truly have a different view of how things should be fixed. Damn I hate maturity!

BT
Gaming America's attention span.czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 10:29 AM
The GOP uses these trojan horse initiatives to hobble popular programs and funnel the money away from the common interest and into their own pockets. Eventually, voters become dissafected with their declining standard of living and vote out the GOP.

However, the newly elected Democrats will be left with no choice but to raise taxes in order to reduce deficits, re-hire cops & teachers, re-fund student loans etc. Thus, the voter's blood is soon enough boiling with tax-rage, and the GOP is back in for a new round of looting.
Nice conspiracy theory! Oh, welcome back :O) nmLive Steam
Nov 17, 2003 10:42 AM
Yeah, welcome back, more verbal spew... yawn. nmNo_sprint
Nov 17, 2003 11:22 AM
Aw shucks... if only it were true.filtersweep
Nov 17, 2003 11:25 AM
Vote out the GOP?

The electorate is too busy voting Rebublican over the damnable "abortion issue." The Democrats need to realize this is a legitimate political issue and do something to embrace this huge pool of "morality-based" voters. Why do you think so many poor white folks vote against their own best self-interests economically?

Seriously, I'd let plenty of my liberal "moral ideals" slide a bit if it meant creating a party that wasn't so divisive for single-issue voters. I'd beat the hell out of this administration (that has like a 6% approval rating in the UK during his current visit).
Nailed it!OldEdScott
Nov 17, 2003 11:43 AM
This may well the the smartest post ever sent up here.

The American working class is hurling itself into serfdom over guns, gays and abortion, and the Dumocrats have no earthly clue what to do about it.

Rebel flags in pickup trucks, indeed.
Forgive them,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 11:48 AM
It isn't their fault that they are willing to put their morals ahead of their paychecks. Isn't that a sort of basic premise of most in American society?
Not that I've noticed from you orOldEdScott
Nov 17, 2003 11:50 AM
the other economic royalists here. It's pretty much like 'Hey, making money uber alles, man.'
You're right,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 12:00 PM
All we care about is making money. The more the better. Fcuk the common man.

Really, nothing could be further from the truth. I care so little about making money that I don't make any. The thing that the left and right don't seem to grasp is that people on each end have the same final goal - and just radically different ideas about how we should get there. I'd love to see everybody in this country have healthcare. I'd love to see everybody have a roof over their head and food in their stomachs. I just don't believe that an entitlement program is the most effective way to deliver it. I'm an advocate of private charity, but that's a dirty concept to Democrats in this town who think that these services should be provided by the Government.

It's funny that I, as someone that most people would consider to the right of center, consider Democrats the party of excess and greed - while Democrats see me as the quintessential greedy capitalist.
Guess we'll just continue willfully misunderstanding each other.OldEdScott
Nov 17, 2003 12:30 PM
I was referring to your chilly and relentless free marketism as the answer to all woes, not to your personal finances, greed or lack thereof. Relentless free marketism is unmoored to any morality but The Market, although presumably you guys believe at least some civic (as opposed to personal) benefits will flow from it. So be it.

And my original point, which you missed altogether, was a self-directed CRITICISM OF DEMOCRATS who have taken positions that the working class finds morally abhorrent -- so much so that they'll vote Republican, against their own economic self-interest, rather than associate themselves with the party of said moral stink.
Economic self-interests aren't everythingTJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 12:41 PM
It would be in [almost] everybody's economic self-interests to have Congress pass a law that taxed all of Bill Gates' assets at 100%. He has too much - we might as well take it all and use his billions to fund, say, ten minutes of a prescription drug benefit for everybody. It would be in everybody's (except Gates') economic interest to do this. Just because it is in my economic self-interest to do this, doesn't mean I think it's the right thing to do, or that I would ever support somebody who advocated this. Thus, where you stand on economic issues is not just an economic issue, but also a moral one. There is a "right" and "wrong" in economics, and I think most Democratic principles are different from the moral stand taken by most Americans. I don't not pay taxes because I'm cheap, I don't pay taxes because I think the current tax regime is morally wrong.

Free markets, which I know you will never agree to, are, in my opinion, the best method to deliver the social agenda that you and I both want. I think the market will deliver this agenda in time, and make everybody better off. You don't believe the market will ever deliver on its promise, and thus would rather make many people worse off, so that some can be better off, right now. That's a difference of opinion, and can't really be proven one way or the other.
Maybe they are.czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 1:07 PM
The way I see it, people aspire to be wealthy, not working class. Thus they vote in favor of "self-interests" that they aspire to have. Plucky buch of dreamers that they are.

Maybe that is too simple.
I don't think that is too simpleTJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 1:14 PM
People do aspire to be wealthy, but they recognize that if you over-tax the wealthy, and eliminate that class of people via taxation, there is nothing to aspire to.

I think the basis of a lot of American thought on this is that people who have worked hard deserve to keep the money they've earned. Where opinions diverge is whether or not the rich have worked hard to earn their money.
that is too simplefiltersweep
Nov 17, 2003 1:27 PM
"People do aspire to be wealthy, but they recognize that if you over-tax the wealthy, and eliminate that class of people via taxation, there is nothing to aspire to. "

Ever been to Europe where the middle-class is much stronger? Where conspicuous consumption is hugely embarrassing? I don't think that high taxation and a welfare system that delivers to both rich and poor is any disincentive to work or be productive.

In Norway, for example, education is free through college, the govt. pays for all medical costs (after a tiny co-pay), and a parent can stay at home following the birth of a child and receive 80% of their previous earnings AND be guaranteed their job back. Military service is "compulsory" (although a certain class does manage to avoid it if desired). I'm not suggesting that we can take a relatively homogenous population of a country the size of Wisconsin and apply those economics to the US... rather point out that it isn't a slippery slope descending to economic hell.
Um, actually, I live there a good part of the timeTJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 1:36 PM
I spend a significant portion of time in Europe, I have two homes there, and I find their system severely lacking. The welfare system is an actual disincentive to work. Does anybody living in Europe not know somebody who is able-bodied yet professionally unemployed? I know quite a few of these people (a lot of them fancy themselves to be "professional" bike racers who haven't gotten their big break yet). Europeans who want to be wealthy follow the same path: the go to the United States.

The results of this system are really quite awful in a lot of ways. Dependence on the Government for simple services (remember how many French died in the summer's heat), lack of compassion for anybody else, because it is somebody else's job to take care of them. Maybe it's the Parisian attitude that I've seen to much of, but the European model is: I don't have to care about anybody except myself, because I pay the Government to care about them.

I'm also not really sure about conspicuous consumption being embarrassing. I see more Ferraris in my small village in France than I have in Boston (granted, conspicuous consumption is embarrassing to true Bostonians). The European model that is held out by social utopians in the United States is not all that it's cracked up to be.
Let's see....dr hoo
Nov 17, 2003 5:56 PM
Boston. 2 houses in Europe.

I just bet your days are full of talking with working class people about deep and meaningful things. What with jetting around and dodging the ferraris and all, I am suprised that you have time to stop by the local government assistance office and speak with those on the dole, but you must make time. I bet you know all of the janitor's names in your building in Boston, and have sat and had coffee with them to gain your understanding of the lower classes. You have done the same thing in Europe too, I am sure. Therefore, we can take your statements of class and its effects on life in the US and EU as well researched, and rigorously documented.

The view from the top is beautiful. The view from the bottom is enlightening. Those at the top see the world in their own way, while those at the bottom see it both from their own perspective AND from the perspective of the ruling class. Just ask W. E. B. DuBois about double consciousness.

(DuBois, Harvard man, just for the Bostonian in you. He has the distinction of being the author of the first volume in Harvard's Historical Series. No mean feat for a black man in 1900.)
One of the great things about the internet are assumptionsTJeanloz
Nov 18, 2003 6:17 AM
You're right that I live a relatively charmed life. On the other hand, I grew up in the poorest town in the poorest county in Massachusetts. Most of my childhood friends (who I still see at least monthly) work in the manufacturing and service sectors that are so out of style. All of them are in their early 20s, most have more than one child, and few earn more than $10/hour. Their lives aren't easy, but they aren't that bad either. I know a lot of families, young and old, who are subsisting on or below the poverty line, but it isn't necessarily the terrible life that suburban Democrats think it is. I'm not going to say that I know what it's like to have no money, because I don't, but I've seen the results, and it's not all bad.
OK, so if you know these people....dr hoo
Nov 18, 2003 9:36 AM
... I would assume that they have had experience with government assistance, right? Food stamps or such. But it sounds like your friends from childhood are still hard working, right? So why does contact with the welfare state not kill their working spirit, but it does for the Euros?

You are right, working class people in the USA don't have it all that bad, comparatively. Most enjoy life. However, when bad things happen (loss of job, child's illness, etc.) the effects are HUGE. The same things in Europe would not have nearly as severe an effect.

Given that people in Europe are ensured a minimum level of support, that gives working and middle class people MORE opportunity to take risks. If quitting your job to start a business means your kids will not have health insurance, many people will not take the risk. If you know your kids will have food and health care, you are much more able to TAKE that risk.

I will agree that the incentive to rise to wealth is less in Europe, given the tax structures. But the incentive to rise to middle or upper middle class is still present.

BTW, looking at the numbers it seems that France is a good example for your argument. Germany would be a good counter example. Local culture has a big effect on work habits.
It varies,TJeanloz
Nov 18, 2003 11:47 AM
I don't think many of my friends are using government subsidization programs (with the exception of reduced-cost milk and cheese for infants - which I know some people have used). And if they were, they wouldn't tell anybody, such is the stigma attached to them. However, not all of them are working hard. One is about to have his fourth kid, he and his girlfriend live with his parents, and getting out of bed would be something of an accomplishment for him. I would say that his parents have created a welfare state for him, and it has eliminated all desire for him to work. Most other parents are not so charitable.

But for the most part, the people I know put in an honest day's work (I wouldn't say they work hard, per se), get a paycheck that you would consider inadequate, and live a relatively comfortable life.
Government subsidizes everything. . .czardonic
Nov 18, 2003 12:25 PM
. . .in one way or another. Call it proof of the insidious spread of socialism, or call it the function of civilized society.

The benefits that you choose to acknowledge (and those that you choose to stigmatize) speak volumes.
Of course they do,TJeanloz
Nov 18, 2003 12:32 PM
I'm not going to go there though. The Government has its hand in everything, no question about it.

It's far easier to acknowledge direct cash transfers and subsidies than anything else (I don't stigmatize any of them, by the way, some just are generally stigmatized - my feeling is that if there's a Government program out there that you are honestly eligible for, you should take advantage of it). It is far more difficult to assess the winners and losers of the more esoteric Government handouts (like "corporate welfare").
"get a paycheck that you would consider inadequate"dr hoo
Nov 18, 2003 12:59 PM
Now who is making assumptions!

Roof, clothes, food, health care, transportation, education for your kids, and a bit of fun. If you can get that on any wage, I would consider that adequate. Minimum wage jobs don't do that. $10 an hour jobs do in most places in the country.... for the most part (other than health care costs).

In fact, 2 $10 an hour jobs will put a dual income family PRETTY close to the median income level for households. Above 40% of households at a rough estimate. I'd have a hard time arguing that is an inadequate wage for "job" jobs.
The problem isTJeanloz
Nov 18, 2003 1:08 PM
I know people who are below the Federal poverty line, and live a frugal, but comfortable life. They have everything you ask for, except, perhaps "fun", and they couldn't pay for a private college out of their own pockets. Beyond that, they've got all they need. But that doesn't change the fact that they're below the poverty line, which most liberals consider an untenable situation.
I don't think people associate wealth with hard work.czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 1:41 PM
Vice-versa, if anything, which is another reason why people aspire to it. If people wanted to protect and reward hard work, they wouldn't be so hostile towards meritocratic systems that actually do so.

I think the very reason that people are so sanguine about white collar crime and corruption is that they believe that loop-holes are additional paths to upward mobility. Knowing the right person or being in the right place at the right time are right up there with building a better mousetrap as far as making it big in America today. They are the poor man's version of being born wealthy. Thus every person has a chance at the big time, and without having the talent or expending the effort required to earn your way up. Its the Lottery Mentality.
I think that's a key left/right distinction,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 1:51 PM
Huge, overreaching, generalization to follow: I think most people on the right believe that the way to get rich is to outwork everybody else and reap the rewards. I think many people on the left believe that most people who are wealthy got there via cheating, stealing or some other criminal means, and thus don't "deserve" it. I know quite a lot of Democrats who believe that there is no "honest" way to become wealthy.

I think a good portion of these people are disillusioned, because they feel like they worked hard, but they didn't get rich - so it obviously isn't true that if you work hard, you will become rich.
Those Democrats you know might be right...No_sprint
Nov 17, 2003 2:00 PM
that there is no "honest" way to get rich. That basically characterizes every rich democrat I know! :)
I wonder if people on the "left" even want to be wealthy.czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 2:04 PM
Here is another generalization: people on the left are more interested in creating stable, egalitarian communities than accumulating wealth, while people on the right are more interested in rigging the material world to correspond to their sense of morality (i.e. "good" people are rewarded with wealth and "bad" people suffer in poverty for their sins.)
I don't know,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 2:07 PM
George Soros, Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, et. al. don't seem to struggle with the burden of their wealth.
Don't they?czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 2:13 PM
Aren't they always lobbying against their own self-interests?
I don't know,TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 2:21 PM
They are in the class wealthy enough to avoid all taxes regardless. I don't see Kennedy giving up his Hyannis compound or Kerry leaving Louisberg Square any time soon.
They are irrelevant anyway. . .czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 2:34 PM
. . .and not in the Fox News Channel sense of the word. I don't know about you, but those three don't typify the kind of Liberals I live and work with.

Going back to your generalization, I notice it does not seem to account for rich liberals -- just bitter (albeit hard-working) ones. Perhaps you were insinuating that rich Democrats are all dishonest, and that is why they believe that dishonesty is the only way to get rich? (OK, probably not.)

Either way, at issue here is not the rich, but the sympathies of the less than rich and why they vote to favor certain interests.
They are irrelevant anyway. . .TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 2:48 PM
Most of the liberals I know are bitter, hard working ones. The rich ones I do know are all of two types: (1) inhereted wealth, which, in American parlance is practically a dishonest source; and (2) Wall Street wealth, which, admittedly, is something like winning the lottery - nobody on Wall Street is sure why they make so much money, and they aren't sure how they've earned it.
Then that begs the question:czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 3:23 PM
Are the bitter, hard-working liberals right? It doesn't sound like any of the rich people you know owe their station to hard work and clean livin'.

But again, the issue what might motivate the poor to vote with the interests of the rich. It seems to me that they must either believe that the rich are more virtuous (which I think is unlikely) or they hope to be rich themselves and are reluctant to put up barriers to upward mobility. Unless you disagree that people on the right tend to be less outraged by white collar crime and less likely to rally against corporate welfare and crony capitalism, I wonder how you square that with your assumption that they associate wealth with hard work?
Then that begs the question:TJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 3:45 PM
No, I know a lot of people who made themselves wealthy by hard work and frugal living. None of them are Democrats, but I know them nonetheless.

I would agree that the poor vote with the interests of the rich because they hope to be rich themselves, and are following a golden rule of sorts.

I think people on the right tend to be more outraged by white collar crime, and less likely to engage in cronyism (nepotism, probably not) - people who have worked hard for their money tend to resent those who have cheated or inherited their way to the top. I view cheaters in business with the utmost contempt - the same way a clean cyclist views his doped competitors. The Democratic view, if I may continue this on the non-cycling board, is that everybody in the race is dirty, so we're going to not ride it, declare it a fraud, and distribute the prize money evenly.
Now I see what you are saying.czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 3:55 PM
Ouch.

Your view of attitudes towards corruption (not your's personally, but attitudes in general) does not jive with my observation.

We'll have to agree to agree on your middle paragraph.
"None of them are democrats"dr hoo
Nov 17, 2003 5:03 PM
I think this statement says more about the circles you hang out in that the state of wealth and political affiliation in the USA.

The number one vehicle driven by American millionaires? Ford F-150 truck. Probably bought used. Most of these types of millionaires got that way by working hard, living beneath their means, and saving consistantly for 30 years. They are as diverse a political population as the rest of the USA. Heck, I know lots of professors that ended up millionaires by doing this (thank you TIAA-CREF). They seem a pretty liberal bunch as a group. So hard working millonaires are all hard working frugal democrats!

HA!

I don't take my personal connections to be reflective of some universal truth, or even necessarily a reflection of the world at large. Neither should you.
"None of them are democrats"TJeanloz
Nov 18, 2003 6:21 AM
I've never said that my personal connections are reflective of a universal truth - in fact, this entire discussion has been couched with a disclaimer that it is not scientific.

Your millionaires example would be telling, if being a millionire made you rich. Pretty much anybody can save $1MM in total assets by the time they retire, simply through a lifetime of careful spending. A million dollars isn't what it used to be.
Generalization? LOLOL How about complete b#$lshit?No_sprint
Nov 17, 2003 2:07 PM
See the rich and wealthy Manhattan/NY/Los Angeles/CA crew and all their pet politicians.
See the hard-working Bush clan. (nm)czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 2:14 PM
They don't fit your ridiculous contention that I blew apart. nmNo_sprint
Nov 17, 2003 2:56 PM
? They weren't supposed to. (nm)czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 3:25 PM
You continue to conveniently forget (ignore) the ...Live Steam
Nov 17, 2003 12:53 PM
principles upon which this country was founded - strong religious beliefs and economic freedom - yet you appear to be surprised by what the people want.
You continue to conveniently forget (ignore) the ...filtersweep
Nov 17, 2003 1:29 PM
...fact that we are no longer an agrarian based economy.

-and that religious FREEDOM (and the freedom FROM religion and a STATE CHURCH) was one of the founding principles.
Religious freedom does not go .....Live Steam
Nov 17, 2003 1:51 PM
hand in hand with abortion rights. I am not a religious zealot. I am simply trying to explain why a good portion of our population is against abortion. The "Christian" ethic does not allow for it.

I am not sure what you mean by an "agrarian economy". Yes I know what agrarian means, but what was you implication in using it? We are a capitalist society. As such, we accept the principles of risk / reward and personal accountability. We also expect the accumulation of wealth. We do not expect the government to provide for us, for when doing so, we sacrifice our freedom. That was the type of governance that many here fled from. It's called serfdom. Serving a government that we would rely upon for daily sustenance is not my idea of what the Founding Fathers had in mind.
Disagree.czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 12:35 PM
I see private charity is a failed hope. Its dismal performace is the reason why public welfare came about in the first place. Is there some historical precedent that I am unaware of?

I don't think that private charity is dirty or undesirable at all. I simply don't believe that it has a better track record that public assistance.

That is, unless keeping money out of the hands of people who don't subscribe to your beliefs about how to live and who to worship is on your agenda. In that case, private charities are the way to go.
Private charity isn't perfect, but public welfare isn't eitherTJeanloz
Nov 17, 2003 12:50 PM
You're absolutely right that private charity has not, historically, done the job perfectly. I think it would be tough to argue that public welfare has done any better. But I don't think we have the data to draw the comparison. Public welfare and entitlement programs, in my opinion, serve to keep people in the cycle of welfare and hardship, and I don't really think that is a desirable outcome.

I do think that people should subscribe to my beliefs about how to live - and public subsidies currently do; you can't buy beer or cigarettes with foodstamps. If I'm going to give you money to live, yeah, you probably ought to have the courtesy to live in a manner that I would be proud to support (as an aside, this is completely outside any religious connotation, as I have no religion per se, and couldn't care less about the beliefs of those I help).
Doesn't claim to be, doesn't aim to be (I would assume).czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 1:03 PM
Solving humanities problems once and for all -- it would take hubris of Biblical proporitons to aspire to that.

I think you know what I meant about discriminating over beliefs. As you say, public assistance discriminates too. But it does so within the confines of public laws. Laws which, again, have been adopted to bridge the gap between professions of piety/compassion and the realities of this "Christian Nation."
Welcome back....mnbicyclerepairman
Nov 17, 2003 12:53 PM
Thanks. (nm)czardonic
Nov 17, 2003 5:39 PM
Czar, spoken like a true member of the left.94Nole
Nov 18, 2003 6:06 AM
Using words and phrases like "common interests" and "declining standard of living". Please tell me, whose standards of living are declining? In what world do you live?
Well of course.czardonic
Nov 18, 2003 10:24 AM
And I was speaking of a general trend of perception among voters. It may well be just as illusory as Republican fiscal responsibility, but as George H.W. Bush if it is something that needs to be taken seriously.

I live in a world of expanding militarism, ballooning deficits, public and private fiscal insecurity and where 2+ million people have lost their jobs and the ruling party's answer is to swear up and down that things are just dandy and getting better every day.

Ignoring people's problems and/or heaping blame on anyone who fails to thrive under a system that serves you just fine may be a winning political strategy, but it's not how I would like to see this country run.