Purpose, Drive, Mastery, Self-Direction...

>> Wednesday, June 9, 2010

do these concepts even exist in the Progressive Lexicon? Or are they considered 'myths'?

Great video illustrating the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace. If only government would similarly get out of our way, and allow us the freedom to decide for ourselves what is in our best interest. Imagine what men, freed from the restraints of progressive government, could achieve!


BenT - the unbeliever,  June 9, 2010 at 1:40 PM  

I think you're reaching here Eric. All the companies referenced in the video are led by liberal CEO's. The ideas of open source design and professional volunteerism are espoused most forcefully by the liberal movement, environmentalists and peace core activists, etc.

To find models where people are perceived as solely motivated by greater and greater monetary rewards you have to look at Wall Street and the upper echelons of American corporations. Why else would today's CEO's have such bloated pay checks?

This is an interesting business studies speech, you're over reaching trying to connect it to liberal tropes. But isn't it interesting that an area as studied as human motivation can still offer big surprises. Would Nietzsche, Freud, or Jung be surprised by this? Perhaps those who would discount modern research in other areas might be wise to take heed.

ELAshley June 9, 2010 at 2:15 PM  

"Why else would today's CEO's have such bloated pay checks?"

Ohhhh, I don't know, perhaps for the same reason government employees have such bloated paychecks!


I'm not stretching at all, Ben. Government as it is currently practiced seeks to control everything, which is unconstitutional and counter-productive. There needs to be some regulation, some rules, but dangling the carrot of government-paid (read, 'TAXPAYER FUNDED')entitlements, doesn't make for a creative or prosperous environment. But were government to ease up, and let go of much of their unconstitutional (read: 'USURPED') authority, the level of innovation possible is unimaginable.

"The ideas of open source design and professional volunteerism are espoused most forcefully by the liberal movement, environmentalists and peace core activists, etc."

This is conjecture. Ideas are not predominately liberal OR conservative. They simply ARE. It doesn't matter who picks up the ball so long as the ball is advanced down field-- preferably in the right direction. [pun unintentional]

ELAshley June 9, 2010 at 2:28 PM  

But you're right, it is a very interesting study. I guess I always understood it intuitively, or more vaguely in terms of the Peter Principle... everyone eventually rises to a level of incompetence. I was surprised to learn that those with the greatest incentive to do well, don't. And I find it bizarre that task/mechanical skilled workers perform and produce better depending on monetary compensation, compared to those whose jobs require even "rudimentary cognitive skill." It's both funny and sad that the more a person earns employing "rudimentary cognitive skill" the worse his performance.

ELAshley June 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM  

We've known a few of those at the station, have we not?

Mark June 9, 2010 at 3:45 PM  

Dude! I wish I could draw that good and that fast.

Money is not the only motivator, anyway. For instance, I am motivated by recognition. I am also motivated by a yearning to get the task done and done right.

I had a boss once who shook his head and said, "I don't know how to motivate you, Mark"

Poor fool! He didn't understand money is not always the best motivator.

BenT - the unbeliever,  June 9, 2010 at 5:36 PM  

Social Security is the income my grandmother uses for food...and probably your mother and in 20 years probably yourself. Medicare and the Veteran's Administration keep her healthy. She worked hard all her life. When you rail against entitlement programs, you are campaigning against her.

When you insinuate that you shouldn't have to pay into Social Security because the money goes to today's seniors instead of your future needs, you practice and level of self-interest and greed that makes Washington politicians look like saints.

"perhaps for the same reason government employees have such bloated paychecks"

You have these stereotypes / generalizations in your head and until you personally investigate and realize how wrong you are you will never understand how I think.

I have relatives that are government employees and have heard them lambaste their fixed salary. They struggle with bills and finances the same as you.

If your paycheck wasn't trimmed for social security and medicare, you'd have to take that money anyway and sock it away for retirement or your personal senior medical care. You'd have to manage that money, with all the attendant risks of loss. And if you lose your job and run out of savings then what could you do with no social safety net?

When I hear conservatives froth about entitlements breaking our budget, but say that the defense department (50% of total federal expenditures) is sacrosanct. The logical disconnect means their reasons have to be either personal greed or ideological. either they hate entitlements because they see the money coming from their paychecks and they don't like the people (elderly and minorities)it's going to. Or they believe, without any supporting evidence, that the bare minimum good our social safety nets provide will be provided another way if we trash what we have now.

I have never seen any studies or even anecdotal evidence that without Medicare doctors and hospitals would treat the elderly and indigent in mass pro bono. I have never seen an example of banks and mortgage companies not repossessing houses because the people living there were desperate. I have never seen grocery stores letting those without jobs and money come in and take the bare necessities to live. Even in the instances where the federal gov't doesn't provide enough support now, I don't see religious organizations stepping up to the plate fully.

Capitalistic societies have no compassion or soul, because all capitalism and free marketry care about is money and productivity.

Jim June 9, 2010 at 10:26 PM  


Simply brilliant! (Up until the last sentence. I would distinguish between the society and the capitalists. And I also think that history has shown that some "capitalist" and "free market" companies can do well by being compassionate. Otherwise, what you said.)

Edwin Drood June 10, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

Great find! I don't think it really fits into the realm of politics since most leftist voters are crying for simple jobs with huge paychecks, for that matter no job with a small paycheck.

ELAshley June 10, 2010 at 10:08 AM  

"Capitalistic societies have no compassion or soul, because all capitalism and free marketry care about is money and productivity."

Complete and utter ignorance. And if this is what you believe, then there's no hope for you.

Furthermore, if you think conservatives want to cut your grandmother off at the financial knees, then you're an intellectual inferior.

Who's the one president, in recent memory, credited with balancing the budget? Clinton. But Clinton didn't balance the budget, he merely signed it into law. He had to work with a Republican congress; he was pragmatic enough to realize that his future as president required tacking to starboard. Even at that, the surpluses you and everyone else on the left tout were only on paper... projected surpluses bases on x-amount of reduction in CURRENT spending over y-amount of years-- our government is notorious for making, then promptly breaking budgets. Irrespective of party affiliation. It's the nature of the beast; you can't predict future events, let alone project budgets for them.

You rail against corporations and free markets as being blood-suckers and yet you have this sickening macabre penchant for supporting thievery by the US government. I remember a conversation some years back wherein you championed the idea that 'the rich' should be made to pay more in taxes because 'they can afford it.' You didn't seem to care whether it was right or wrong, only that 'the rich' could afford to take the hit. If this is still true, then it's obvious you think the role of government is to punish those who work hard so that those who don't work hard, or don't at all, can be provided a living. This doesn't make you an American, Ben... it makes you a socialist, and every bit as much a thief.

Oh, but where's my Christian charity!? It's in the offing plate... where it's supposed to be. Furthermore, Christian charity only requires I give as I can beyond the required 10%. To give to anyone who asks without expectation of ever getting it back. But Christianity also teaches something else you're either ignorant of or choosing not to accept, and that is every man must work if he has any expectation of eating. Obvious caveats exist in spite of this, however. Those who couldn't work in Jesus' day, begged, but the government didn't raise taxes to feed or house the poor. Even the church didn't do that without fair and honest expectation of some personal responsibility... in the form of labor.

Your grandmother deserves her social security because she was promised it. But the woman in the checkout line at WalMart with a 3,000$ balance on her EBT card? What has she done besides birthing mouths she can't feed let alone support until they're 18.


ELAshley June 10, 2010 at 10:17 AM  


Something has to be done, and all your crowd seem capable of is raising taxes and demanding the rich pay their 'fair' share; a bogus argument I've refuted numerous times here. It's government! Usurping the authority of the STATES! Performing acts of benevolence and charity! The Constitution DOES NOT GIVE THEM POWER TO PERFORM!

But you don't care.

As you like to say... READ! EDUCATE YOURSELF! Stop calling yourself an American if you don't really want to behave as one. Because America, as defined by our Constitution, would never do the things WE are presently doing.

Do you have any idea who Milton Friedman is? 'Capitalistic societies have no compassion or soul'? Where's the soul in THIS administration and congress who continue to bankrupt this nation? What part of 'Government cannot create prosperity' do you all not understand?

And btw, to anyone interested... TONIGHT on Fox Business (Thursday, June 10th), John Stossel will explore Milton Friedman's 'Economic Freedom' at 8 Eastern, 7 Central.

Fox Business' write-up:

Most of the world is poor. So why are a few countries, like America, rich?

Thirty years ago Milton Friedman's book "Free to Choose" had the answer: Economic freedom. Free to Choose was the years's best selling non-fiction book. It's been translated into 25 languages. President Reagan called it "a survival kit for freedom." Margaret Thatcher says she was heavily influenced by it. The presidents of former Soviet bloc countries like the Czech Republic and Estonia say Free to Choose was the blueprint for their free market reform. Friedman's ideas worked – Estonia and the Czech Republic prosper.

So we know what lifts people out of poverty! Yet governments around the world still favor despotic central planning. The result is that billions are desperately poor. And now even America is on a bizarre experiment with big government. How sad. We know the route to prosperity: leave people alone so they are "free to choose."

But no, governments (like the one Ben favors) prefer control over freedom. Slavery over self-determination. For government, aristocracy is the limit. But, to quote the Reverend Al Sharpton, "the aristocracy's not the limit, the SKY's the limit! Our time has come!"

And God willing it IS coming... this November to a polling place near you.

There are too many sell-outs in America for America to survive much longer, unless we can stop the evil now being committed by our government under the auspices of the Constitution they pledge to uphold and defend, but quietly despise.

ELAshley June 10, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Here's a look at what might very well be in store for this country:

Obamanomics Recession
--Dick Morris


"...this second downturn in the economy will be accompanied by inflation, making it worse than the first recession. With interest rates set to rise (because the Fed is no longer massively purchasing securities to keep them down), taxes set to go up (because of Obama’s ideology) and global energy use about to increase, sending prices higher (because the rest of the world is recovering), prices have to go up. But with no growth in real personal income and household credit close to all-time highs, there is not enough demand to pay the higher prices, so a deeper slump will ensue.

The solution? Cut taxes. And bring down the deficit through massive spending cuts. Reduce our borrowing needs by slashing our spending. Free up capital to feed job growth.

It should be evident to all that Obamanomics is a disaster. It reminds one of nothing so much as the medieval practice of bleeding the patient to make him well by expelling the evil spirits that dwelt within. When the patient did not recover, they just bled him more and, when he died, they just said that the spirits killed him. The practice of spending, borrowing and then taxing to fuel job growth is the modern analogy."

Ben thinks I need to study up, because it can't possibly be true that federal employee checks are bloated (higher than the average public-sector equivalent)

"You have these stereotypes / generalizations in your head and until you personally investigate and realize how wrong you are you will never understand how I think."

I know how you think, and it scares me. It scares me that there are millions more like you. Here's a few links to tide YOU over...

Federal Pay Outpaces Private-Sector Pay
Federal Pay Continues Rapid Ascent
Federal pay ahead of private industry

When you factor in the promises made to many federal employees vis-à-vis through their UNIONS... the federal employee comes out ahead much of the time.

"I have relatives that are government employees and have heard them lambaste their fixed salary. They struggle with bills and finances the same as you."

Not everything is sweetness and light. Do they consider the limits of their salaries when managing their finances? And boo-hoo, they're on fixed salaries! Aren't we all!

"If your paycheck wasn't trimmed for social security and medicare, you'd have to take that money anyway and sock it away for retirement or your personal senior medical care. You'd have to manage that money, with all the attendant risks of loss. And if you lose your job and run out of savings then what could you do with no social safety net?"

OH MY GOODNESS! You mean I'd have to employ (pun intended) a little initiative and take personal responsibility for my own future well-being!? GASP! OH, THE HORROR!

Give me a break. You just don't want ANYONE to have to take any initiative or personal responsibility! After all, there's all those 'rich folk' ripe for the mugging to keep all the laggards in the lifestyle to which they've become accustomed.

That is an attitude decidedly NOT American.

Marshall Art June 10, 2010 at 12:46 PM  

I haven't viewed the video, but I've reviewed all the comments as they came in my email inbox. All I can say is, Bravo Eric!

There's another factor to consider that I just heard on the radio. Arthur Laffer has a column in WSJ and parts were read on the air by the guy sitting in for Rush. Laffer speaks of the Bush tax cuts and the DIRE need to make them permanent. The cuts stimulated the economy in a manner more natural and conducive to productivity than anything Barry Laughable has done. But if he lets the cuts run out, as they are expected expire next year, then the exact opposite will occur to our economy. Much, if not most, of the progress we seem to be having lately can be attributed to businesses reacting to the possibility of losing the cuts next year. They're taking profits now rather than losing much of them to taxes next year. This will mean less revenues to the gov't next year and years following and the problems we now endure will increase. Laffer explains it all so much better than I can, so if anyone can find the column he wrote in the past week or so, we'll all benefit.

As for capitalism being selfish and souless, just keep in mind that with a booming economy unhampered by idiotic tax codes and such, there will exist fewer poor about whom we would have to worry and more people with money to donate to charity. Arthur C. Brooks has shown that conservative Christians, who support capitalism as the best economic system available, give more and give more often than anyone else to all sorts of causes, religious and secular. More such people working, fewer people in need...it's a win-win situation that only capitalism has the least chance of making a reality.

ELAshley June 10, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

Yes, Marshall. That would be...

Tax Hikes and the 2011 Economic Collapse
--Arthur Laffer, June 6, 2010, WSJ


"In 1981, Ronald Reagan—with bipartisan support—began the first phase in a series of tax cuts passed under the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA), whereby the bulk of the tax cuts didn't take effect until Jan. 1, 1983. Reagan's delayed tax cuts were the mirror image of President Barack Obama's delayed tax rate increases. For 1981 and 1982 people deferred so much economic activity that real GDP was basically flat (i.e., no growth), and the unemployment rate rose to well over 10%.

But at the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 1983 the economy took off like a rocket, with average real growth reaching 7.5% in 1983 and 5.5% in 1984. It has always amazed me how tax cuts don't work until they take effect. Mr. Obama's experience with deferred tax rate increases will be the reverse. The economy will collapse in 2011.

Consider corporate profits as a share of GDP. Today, corporate profits as a share of GDP are way too high given the state of the U.S. economy. These high profits reflect the shift in income into 2010 from 2011. These profits will tumble in 2011, preceded most likely by the stock market."

The smartest thing president Obama could do would be to make the Bush tax cuts permanent or, barring that, extend ALL of them into the foreseeable future. He could actually save his presidency by doing so. But he's not smart enough to do it, so... make whatever large purchases you think you may need BEFORE Dec 31, 2011, 'cause you won't have the cash for it on Jan 1st.

ELAshley June 10, 2010 at 3:12 PM  

Sorry, Typo...

Last sentence: 2011 should read "2010"

Craig June 10, 2010 at 7:44 PM  

While we're talking about mothers and support, maybe Ben can tell me why P-BO and the dems want to more than double the tax on my mothers retirement.

My father died suddenly last year and left my mother an investment portfolio that was not as large as he would have liked. A big part of this was that until his unexpected death, he was still earning ( I know a radical concept) a significant income and adding to his portfolio. But now, it seems as though P-BO and the dems feel that those who have saved and invested so as not to solely rely on Soc. Sec. need to have their dividend tax rates more than doubled by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. This seems somehow unfair to me. Maybe I just don't understand the benefits of this. I'm sure that those on the left can demonstrate how this is actually beneficial to those who live on their investments. I can also assume that this is a demonstration of great compassion as well.

Dan Trabue June 10, 2010 at 9:44 PM  

Fun, interesting video, Eric.

But I'm not sure how it becomes a liberal/conservative thing... why you would say, "do these concepts even exist in the Progressive Lexicon?"

Do progressives have Purpose, Drive, Mastery, Self-Direction... ? Really?

My wife has worked her entire adult life with great purpose and drive and self-direction to provide housing and assistance and skills to homeless men, women and children. As have nearly all my progressive friends (not necessarily just for the homeless, but for the homeless, for orphans, for the abandoned, for the ill and mentally ill, for children, for the environment.

What in the world would make you think progressives lack Purpose, Drive, Mastery and/or Self-Direction?

ELAshley June 11, 2010 at 7:01 AM  

I believe progressives DO have drive, purpose, etc., for themselves. But they don't like it in those they control unless those they control are exhibiting these traits for the benefit of the state.

A citizenry with drive gets out and works; the kind of work that leads beyond the pale walls of mediocrity. A citizenry with purpose, employs that drive to determine and achieve their life's works-- their reason for being. A citizen who achieves mastery is a citizen who is confident and self-reliant, with little need for an oppressive and meddlesome government. This citizen already has drive, purpose, and now mastery; government, for him, is only necessary to provide law enforcement and a few basic needs. But such a citizen is self-directed, and that's the kind of citizen that poses the greatest threat to government.

Btw, I applaud your wife's achievements. There's not a blessed thing wrong with what she's done. Neither does it matter what her political philosophy was in her pursuit of mastery and self-direction. I've only tried to point out that these are traits liberals/progressives do not greatly appreciate within the greater population.

'Why,' you might ask? Because a man who is driven and purposeful, who is self-driven and has achieved mastery, typically abhors anything that seeks to impede his efforts... especially a government that seeks, at every opportunity, to rob them of their successes, of the fruits of their labor. This type of person doesn't need a government or a party to tell them how and what to think. This kind of person typically chooses against such people at the ballot box.

Progressive government desires a compliant, docile, citizenry. Our Constitution requires its citizens to be otherwise, lest the Constitution itself become worthless.

Dan Trabue June 11, 2010 at 9:16 AM  

Seems to be a silly bit of analysis, to me. Just saying.

I know of no progressives who want a compliant, docile citizenry.

Did you miss the Bush years? Are you missing the discontent with Obama right now?

Dan Trabue June 11, 2010 at 9:20 AM  

I guess you know that the Direct Action/community organizer style of improving things often criticized in the Left DEPENDS upon a citizenry that gets rowed up and motivated into action about issues?

I'm sure ANY gov't grouping - progressive, conservative or other - would probably like a docile citizenry insofar as it goes along with their agenda, but that's not a progressive thing at all. Far from it. Progressives I know tend to say "Get involved, be concerned... EVEN IF you come down on a side against me, I'd rather have a citizenry that is engaged, even if it disagrees, than one that is compliant..."

That's part and parcel of any reading on and by progressives that I've seen.

ELAshley June 11, 2010 at 9:39 AM  

But we're arguing from different perspectives Dan. I'm not arguing from the perspective of what any grassroots progressive wants. I'm speaking of what those in charge want, not the ones they work to 'get involved, be concerned'. Most progressives aren't any different than most conservatives in that both groups are at the mercy of those who seek to stir them up, get them involved, and be concerned about the issues government and politicians want them to get stirred up over. The only power "the people" have in government is the voting booth, and then, only at election time. Politicians for the most part, and until recently, control the process and the dialog.

And who is it that gets the citizenry 'rowed' up? Except for a very few exceptions these people are riled up by politicians who seek to use the momentum such ire generates to their own ends.

I don't disagree with your last two comments. I only point out that you're not seeing from whose perspective I'm railing against. The people, in today's America, are all but powerless. I argue against the power brokers, not the power suppliers-- we supply the power, the politicians broker its use to their own ends. Until, that is, we rebel. In five months we will either see a much prayed for sea change, or a deeper turn into the whirlpool.

Dan Trabue June 11, 2010 at 10:00 AM  

The only power "the people" have in government is the voting booth, and then, only at election time.

I'd disagree. Read up on community organizing.

We've riled up the people to get many things accomplished outside the voting booth. Civil rights came about as a result of community action moreso than votes at a voting booth. Apartheid quite obviously was brought down by community action, not a voting booth (since the people seeking change by and large weren't allowed to vote).

Community organizing can be a pain and it WILL have failures, but it certifiably has results, too. We don't have to be limited by just voting day. Woe to us all, if that were the case.

Edwin Drood June 11, 2010 at 10:59 AM  

You cannot possibly argue that Progressives have positive drive and determination. I'm sure you're aware of the Progressives attempt to overflow the welfare roles in order to establish a national minimum income (google Cloward-Piven Strategy) or the Progressives rant about Bush tax cuts not going to people who pay no taxes or that FREE health care is a human right.

This video is about how to motivate people to create something useful. The left only wants to take stuff that not theirs and give it to someone else who has never created anything of value. Unless you're a producer (AKA Conservative) then you're out of your depth.

ELAshley June 11, 2010 at 11:32 AM  

I did say there were exceptions. Few, but exceptions nonetheless.

ELAshley June 11, 2010 at 11:34 AM  

No, Edwin, I did not say "positive" only that they do have it. And yes, the video DOES demonstrate what best motivates people... strategies that are not in the best interests of progressives (those that actually "manage" their base)

Dan Trabue June 11, 2010 at 11:38 AM  


Clearly, Mother Teresa and Dr King were out of their depths, too. Probably Oscar Romero was a shirker, too, and Desmond Tutu, and Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh, etc, ALL out of their depth, shirkers who knew nothing of hard work, purpose, being driven to do good and effect positive change.

Just a bunch of sissy waste of flesh types, right?

BenT - the unbeliever,  June 14, 2010 at 5:53 PM  

"maybe Ben can tell me why P-BO and the dems want to more than double the tax on my mothers retirement. "

Sorry I cut back on politics this past week. Craig asked and I answer. To understand why the Bush tax cuts were a bad thing you need some basic knowledge about the federal budget process, and the difference between the federal deficit and federal debt.

Go read this short article from the website RebelCapitalist. (I'll wait)

See that first chart? The dark blue area is how much not letting the Bush tax-cuts expire adds to the yearly federal deficit. That's because when the Bush Administration passed his tax cuts they didn't include any spending cuts in the budget to deal with the lost federal revenue.

Conservatives who aren't serious about governing get to make diametric claims. They get to campaign for cutting the deficit and debt and at the same time extending the Bush tax cuts. You can't have both.

The taxes on investments and such will not go up when the Bush tax cuts expire, they will go back to what they were in the 90's. They probably never should have been lowered in the first place.

ELAshley June 15, 2010 at 10:07 AM  

@ Dan... I, as a tax-payer (and my parents as well, and when applicable) never had to support, via our taxes, the likes of Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, or Gandhi, or Thich Nhat Hanh, etc... and from all I know about Dr. King, he was self-supporting, self-reliant, self-determined, as well as self and GOD-driven-- his name doesn't belong in your rejoinder. Neither does the name Rosa Park. We're not talking about them, we're talking about TODAY'S shirkers. None of the names you invoked, including Mrs. Park, were shirkers.

@Ben... the difference between federal deficit and federal budget is clear. If you assume we don't understand the difference, you assume wrongly.

As for that second graph! LOL! Love this guy's observation: "So much for Republicans being fiscally responsible!" He either doesn't understand how spending works or he's flat out lying by omission.

See those areas in red lines? those are the years during which democrats controlled congress! The Clinton era? Congress was led by Republicans. Bush? It was unfortunate that 9/11 happened, but fortunate it happened on his watch rather than Obama's. Futhermore, dems supported the build up toward war in Afghanistan and, initially, in Iraq. Reagan? Led by democrats!

Also, why is it so many on left assume that revenues belong to the federal government? They belong to the people who earned them. this is why there's been such a huge debate over the years about 'our' tax dollars being spent on things in contrast to our values as Americans. the federal government doesn't earn money, it takes it, in the form of taxes.

This is also why there's such a huge debate about entitlements and the governments growing deficit, "Call it $130 trillion or so, or just under ten times the official national debt." (read: The Other National Debt at National Review Online). Government has made promises it cannot keep. Promises it was not constitutionally allowed to make. But those promises exist nonetheless.

It our money. We earn it. Government does not. Nor does government deserve it considering the corner its painted us all into with its empty promises. How much money is in the Social Security Trust Fund? 0$.

The Bush tax cuts? Justified. The fact that they don't allow government to keep pace with the promises it had no right to make? Government need to go on a diet, 'cause if it doesn't, this country is toast.

BenT - the unbeliever,  June 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

1. The president send the budget to Congress which then amends and approves. It was a Republican Congress and President which approved the Bush tax cuts, and the Medicare Drug benefit and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. All significant federal expenditures without cost cutting measures to compensate.

To take a larger view of the long-term federal debt and budget neither party can claim to be fiscally responsible. Both parties have spent and been unafraid of raising the federal debt. However with a strong economy America can carry a larger debt balance, a half point of GDP growth can offset three quarters of a GDP point of debt.

You have decidedly dim view of the role of government in the economy. Without the American government to create a level playing field there would be nothing to stop the growth of industrial and retail monopolies. Nothing to spur the growth of small businesses. Without public government research many of the private technological innovation would never happen. The internet grew out of DARPA-Net a project to interlink military facilities. The human genome was sequenced by a government lab. It is government investment in Energy Efficient cars that will spur development and adoption. Where would America's small businesses be without the SBA? Not to mention the regulations enforced by the government that keeps our products and working conditions safe.

George Washington authorized the formation of militia's to go forth and enforce one of the first federal taxes on Whiskey. Don't talk to me about taxes being unconstitutional.

I agree that today's Republicans aren't fiscally responsible. A lot of Democrats aren't either. It will take hard compromises to bring our budget deficits and debt under control. Liberals must be willing to discuss changes to Social Security and Medicare. When those programs were began many seniors did not live 30 years in retirement, and medicare care was less complex and as a consequence less expensive. But likewise conservatives must be willing to discuss cuts to the Defense Dept. We are not half of the world's population, why are we spending half of the world defense monies?

As well there needs to be sober discussion about tax levels. If 1% of the country hold 95% of the wealth, how much in taxes should they pay?

If conservative want to keep the Bush tax cuts then they need to propose the spending cuts to make them revenue neutral. They need to say everyone on Social Security takes a 30% decrease or we need to drop 25% of Medicare enrollees. That's roughly what it would take. And then they have to sell it to the nation. That's responsible leadership, and putting entitlements and the government on a diet. Put up or shut up!

Marshall Art June 15, 2010 at 1:50 PM  

"Put up or shut up!"

You mean like Chris Christie? He's cutting spending in his state.

"As well there needs to be sober discussion about tax levels. If 1% of the country hold 95% of the wealth, how much in taxes should they pay?"

The same percentage of their income as everybody else.

Ben, you talk about cuts, but this administration is looking to add to what we're already paying out. And what they've proposed has NOT been shown to be something that generates revenue or lowers costs. Crippling already struggling businesses by eliminating the Bush tax cuts won't help anything. And for your information, conservatives have railed enough about the spending during the Bush years. You might not be aware, but the Bush years are over. The issue is what do we do now. How many times must you hear that we conservatives didn't like or approve of the spending of the Bush years before you get it through your head? But still, without the spending cuts, the tax cuts helped. They need to be made permanent and then spending needs to be cut.

ELAshley June 15, 2010 at 2:09 PM  

"Put up or shut up?" Testy aren't we?

What the hell do you think I've been doing? I've been 'putting up' to all the whinny protestations from you and others like you... calling you out on all your double standards.

Your side can't continue to raise taxes. They can't continue to shit out the same mantra about the "rich paying their fair share" --they HAVE been paying their fair share and MORE! When will government curb its appetite for power and control-- which cost more and more money each minute?

At some point all this spending is unsustainable! Why can't you see that? Are you so far up the liberal-ideological backside that you can't see simple truth?

Level the playing field? There are already rules in place to prevent monopolies. When a liberal uses a phrase like "level the playing field" what they're really advocating is punishing the achievers to reward the lax. There is no good reason any person who has not paid in 5k in income taxes receive 5k back via the earned income tax credit. I don't even pay 5k a year in taxes!

What you advocate is THEFT. And because you advocate it, that makes you as culpable for the crime of theft as the criminals in congress who routinely steal from the taxpayers.

The idiots on the left cling to the fantasy of Keynesian economics, and thanks to the so-called 'stimulus' have plunged this nation so far into debt that our children and grandchildren will be paying it off.

The BEST thing THIS president could do to coax the economy back to life would be to extend the Bush tax cuts. But THIS president is an idiot for clinging to the failed philosophy of John Maynard Keynes.

Not only are all you progressives thieves, but also usurpers of the America Dream founded by the likes of Washington, whom you quoted above. What the hell do you think the IRS does when someone doesn't pay their taxes? What is worse? A few armed men showing up at your door telling you you're going to pay up, or else? Or a letter in your mailbox telling you all your assets and accounts have been seized, including your home-- and if you don't pay up armed men will throw you in jail? I'd say there's no real difference.

As for the budget. Did you know our Democrat led congress has decided NOT to even put one forth this year? Democrats in congress (the Liberals who are running the place) aren't even willing to present a budget... nor do they intend to... this year. Before you get to lecture anyone on the superiority of democrat party's leadership, you need to begin demanding that congress leave off their machinations toward party domination and do their 'effing' job.

When you defend these buffoons you support crooks and thieves. You support a view of America that is not genuine. You support entitlements that will cripple this nation... but you don't care. You don't even care that the Social Security Trust Fund is empty... five years earlier than expected.

For me this isn't about democrats or republicans. It's about taking back this country from the crooks in Washington. Crooks you have no desire to sweep out unless there's an 'R' after their name. And for now, being straight up an honest, taking back this country from the criminals requires dems be swept from office and supplanted by CONSERVATIVE republicans. Our political system isn't perfect-- not by a nuclear mile --but I've ceased to describe myself as Republican. I'm Conservative.

Thanks, but no thanks, your view of America looks bleak; a prison-state. Your has no answers. All you have are the false promises and policies of progressivism. An ideology that has failed everywhere it's been tried. You're not a free thinker.

If you want to be progressive in your ideology that's fine, but God willing, you and everyone like you will fail this fall. My vote will cancel yours, and right now, that puts me in high spirits.

BenT - the unbeliever,  June 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM  

"The same percentage of their income as everybody else. "

Whoo boy do I have an education for you.

If your well off then your friendly Congressmen have written a special rule for you that you don't have to pay Social Security taxes on your income over $100,000.

If you make a little more than that and can have most of your income diverted to pre-tax investments or if you can just be paid in investments. Then letting them sit for a year will let you claim those monies with only a 20% tax. Thanks to the magic of the long-term (ha) capital gains tax.

And that doesn't even touch all the special interest loopholes, 20k-30k will buy you. Or the rebates and refunds a swarm of accountants will find. And if this seems like too much work to avoid paying your fair share, with a little extra dough you can hide your money in a overseas account.

Meanwhile the rest of us living-to-work under achievers get to pay income taxes of 28%.

Eric likes to praise the achievers and I'll admit there are probably lots of affluent people abiding by the spirit of the law and doing their part. But because money is such a powerful force, there are a lot of temptations for those well off to avoid the obligations of their achievements.

Eric also likes to paint me as a partisan liberal, but in this he is as wrong as supposing I consider him a party republican. I'm a pragmatist. I want a government that provided needed services efficiently. And there are somethings that work better being managed at the federal level rather than the duplication of effort of the states. Plus when tackling problem at the national level you can spread costs much more widely.

A little acknowledged fact is that most states receive more federal money than their populace contributes. Alabama where Eric and I live gets $1.66 back from the federal gov't for every dollar sent. That money stimulates our local economy, pays for salaries and services of local residents.

Marshall Art June 15, 2010 at 6:20 PM  

My plan was a bit of an oversimplification, but then, simplicity is what makes it so good.

You may whine about what the wealthy are entitled to and I might even agree to some of it. But the fact is that the tax code was shaped to encourage the type of activity that leads to prosperity; jobs and such. These are normally viewed as "loopholes" by the envious and that's a definite distortion of reality. It leads to jerk politicians making statement about the "greedy, evil rich" in order to get the envious to vote for them. Instead, they should be encouraging that wealth producing activity of everyone, because another fact is that those "loopholes" are there for the taking if one does what is required of one to be entitled to get them.

But my plan is to do away with every deduction and go to a simple flat tax that EVERYONE would pay. The employer would simply withhold that percentage and send it in and the wealthy would do the same. So would businesses and corporations all at the very same rate. What that percentage would be would be up for debate, but the current debt would have little to do with it. The main thing to consider is how easy things would be and how such simplification would enable the productive to operate more freely unencumbered by mind-numbing tax regulations. I have no doubt that productivity would blossom as never before, making revenues go through the roof.

Some might say that businesses would suffer, but as we can plainly see, business finds a way to deal with even the most idiotic liberal tax plan, though right now we may be seeing that come to an end. To stimulate the economy, a business friendly tax code is imperitive and making permanent the Bush tax cuts would go a long way toward seeing that happen.

As to spending cuts, the pain is coming one way or the other. The question is whether it will be some of us or all of us. The pain I've been going through trying to find a decent job in this economy is well worth going through for a bit more if it means we're headed in the right direction. Right now, we aren't. Cuts now, across the board would be best, is a good start with a major lean toward all that which the federal gov't has no Constitutional mandate to do.

As for your little known fact, how much of that money that comes from the feds came from your own state's citizens in the first place? One dollar for every 1.66 you get back. How much of that .66 is from my state, or Mark's or whoever's and why are we sending our money to your state when we could be using it for our own mismanaged state budget? Some states HAVE to be losing on the deal and why should that be? If one state wants to get a loan from another, I have no problem with that. But to take it from me to give it to you? Why?

ELAshley June 16, 2010 at 8:34 AM  

"...avoid the obligations of their achievements."

And what obligations would those be? It is not ANYONES obligation to give money to the lax, or the poor for that matter. Do the rich not pay their fair share of taxes? Well, that's a lie; as I've demonstrated time and time again. But here goes... again...

--86% of all federal income taxes are paid by the top 25% of income earners.

--The top 50% pay 97% of all income taxes

--The top 1% pay 39%, up 2% from 2000 when Bush took office.


But the rich aren't paying their fair share.

I paint you as a partisan liberal because the words that fly from your fingertips echo the same liberal 'tropes' that come from the lying lips of liberal politicians and their media and layman tools; and a difference that looks/sounds no different is no different.

28% tax rate? Are you crying about this? Do you know what it was BEFORE the Bush tax cuts? 39%! and you believe the Bush tax cuts should never have been passed? The other side of this argument is you and I and everyone below poverty get either a portion of our taxes back, or ALL of it back. And in the case of some, filing the earned income tax credit, they get it all back PLUS several EXTRA thousand dollars. Money taken from achievers and given to under achievers, for no other reason than that it gives government the ability to look out over the unwashed masses, and brag about what its giving to the poor... "vote for us because the alternative is horror! The other guys will make you work to earn a living! They'll reduce your welfare! Or take it away altogether! Us? We don't care how laggard you are so long as you vote early, democrat, and often! Har! Har!"

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