Fantastic article explaining what's REALLY happening:

User Forum Topic
Submitted by CA renter on February 27, 2012 - 6:15am

"Welcome to a new era of polarization as financial oligarchy replaces democratic government and reduces populations to debt peonage"

"Europe’s Deadly Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy"

by MICHAEL HUDSON

"The easiest way to understand Europe’s financial crisis is to look at the solutions being proposed to resolve it. They are a banker’s dream, a grab bag of giveaways that few voters would be likely to approve in a democratic referendum. Bank strategists learned not to risk submitting their plans to democratic vote after Icelanders twice refused in 2010-11 to approve their government’s capitulation to pay Britain and the Netherlands for losses run up by badly regulated Icelandic banks operating abroad. Lacking such a referendum, mass demonstrations were the only way for Greek voters to register their opposition to the €50 billion in privatization sell-offs demanded by the European Central Bank (ECB) in autumn 2011.

The problem is that Greece lacks the ready money to redeem its debts and pay the interest charges. The ECB is demanding that it sell off public assets – land, water and sewer systems, ports and other assets in the public domain, and also cut back pensions and other payments to its population. The bottom 99% understandably are angry to be informed that the wealthiest layer of the population is largely responsible for the budget shortfall by stashing away a reported €45 billion of funds stashed away in Swiss banks alone. The idea of normal wage-earners being obliged to forfeit their pensions to pay for tax evaders – and for the general un-taxing of wealth since the regime of the colonels – makes most people understandably angry. For the ECB, EU and IMF “troika” to say that whatever the wealthy take, steal or evade paying must be made up by the population at large is not a politically neutral position. It comes down hard on the side of wealth that has been unfairly taken.

A democratic tax policy would reinstate progressive taxation on income and property, and would enforce its collection – with penalties for evasion. Ever since the 19th century, democratic reformers have sought to free economies from waste, corruption and “unearned income.” But the ECB troika is imposing a regressive tax – one that can be imposed only by turning government policy-making over to a set of unelected technocrats."

"This is the treadmill on which Eurozone social democracies are now being placed. Under the political umbrella of financial emergency, wages and living standards are to be scaled back and political power shifted from elected government to technocrats governing on behalf of large banks and financial institutions. Public-sector labor is to be privatized – and de-unionized, while Social Security, pension plans and health insurance are scaled back."

http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/12/09/e...
----------------------

Fantastic article explaining what's going on over there...and over here. THIS is what's behind the "anti-public worker" propaganda. Know WHO is behind the message, and WHY.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on February 27, 2012 - 6:49am.

on the bright side, this would give us an opportunity to engage in another series of wars to brng democracy to Europe.

Submitted by FormerSanDiegan on February 27, 2012 - 8:36am.

walterwhite wrote:
on the bright side, this would give us an opportunity to engage in another series of wars to brng democracy to Europe.

You can count on scaredy to "always look on the bright side of lfe"

Submitted by paramount on February 27, 2012 - 9:12am.

It's not anti-public worker propaganda; it's essentially the same reason why the 99% in Greece are not happy paying for the greed of the 1%.

It's a Great Injustice and particularly so in California where fat cat public workers are compensated as if there's a labor shortage.

Submitted by sdduuuude on February 27, 2012 - 10:21am.

CA renter wrote:
... one that can be imposed only by turning government policy-making over to a set of unelected technocrats.

Aren't these technocrats public workers ?

Submitted by harvey on February 27, 2012 - 10:45am.

CA renter wrote:
The bottom 99% understandably are angry to be informed that the wealthiest layer of the population [...]

The statement above is based upon a false premise.

There is no 99% / 1% wealth split in Europe.

There is no "wealthy layer" because every country in Europe is socialist.

Submitted by CA renter on February 27, 2012 - 3:55pm.

sdduuuude wrote:
CA renter wrote:
... one that can be imposed only by turning government policy-making over to a set of unelected technocrats.

Aren't these technocrats public workers ?

No, not at all. The people who are trying to dismantle the unions are totally private entities who are trying to privatize public resources/assets, cash flows.

Submitted by sdduuuude on February 27, 2012 - 4:29pm.

CA renter wrote:
sdduuuude wrote:
CA renter wrote:
... one that can be imposed only by turning government policy-making over to a set of unelected technocrats.

Aren't these technocrats public workers ?

No, not at all. The people who are trying to dismantle the unions are totally private entities who are trying to privatize public resources/assets, cash flows.

Unions are also totally private entities.

They are also trying to privatize public resources/assets, cash flows.

Submitted by CA renter on February 27, 2012 - 5:15pm.

One could argue that they have some control over cash flows (still, they are far more accountable to the public than private companies are, no matter what Pri and others try to assert), but they are not trying to privatize, own, or control assets and resources.

Submitted by sdduuuude on February 27, 2012 - 5:30pm.

When the banks get the money, the unions are pissed. When the unions get the money, the banks are pissed.

Right now, in Greece, the banks are winning.

In the US, both are doing quite well.

In either case the taxpayers are pissed.

Submitted by harvey on February 27, 2012 - 7:03pm.

CA renter wrote:
still, they [unions] are far more accountable to the public than private companies are, no matter what Pri and others try to assert [I have no actual argument to make here or facts to back this up. I want it to be true so I declare it so with absolute confidence.]

Now some actual facts:

FACT: Unions only answer to their membership. There are some very limited disclosure laws, but the public has no control over who unions choose as their leaders or how unions spends their money. Every major union spends substantial amounts of money on political lobbying.

About half of the top 50 spenders on political lobbies are labor unions; unions dominate the top 20 on this list, (11 of 20 unions, only 3 of 20 corporations):

Top All-Time [political] Donors, 1989-2012
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

In many states, unions can FORCE anyone who works in an industry to pay union dues, regardless of whether they choose to be a union member.

Not exactly "accountable to the public."

FACT: The "unelected technocrats" that the article you cited is a reference to the ECB "troika" which consists of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank.

These organizations are all PUBLIC international organizations - they are NOT privately owned (the ECB techically has shareholders but their activities are very tightly regulated). Funding for these organizations is from public funds of the member countries. In effect, everyone of the "technocrats" that works there is an employee of a government or an intra-government body such as the UN. (And btw, the former managing director of the IMF is none other than Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the pervert and soclailst.)

So the answer to the question, "Aren't these technocrats public workers?" is an unqualified YES.

The only thing "Fantastic" about the article is that it argues that the problems Europe is facing should be solved by the same process that created the problems in the fist place instead of by a more objective and realistic committee managed by government organizations.

(But it's not at all fantastic that your arguments are so hopelessly based on fantasy. That occurrence has become entirely routine.)

Tocqueville (another European!) is particularly apropos here:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

So please spare us the self-contradictory descriptions of the bogeyman.

The facts are simple: Europe is broke, just like California pension funds. The obvious and ethical solution is to simply stop promising everyone so much money.

Submitted by SD Realtor on February 27, 2012 - 7:54pm.

My man crush just got deeper...

I better watch out... soon you will have me voting for Obama...

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 2:14am.

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
still, they [unions] are far more accountable to the public than private companies are, no matter what Pri and others try to assert [I have no actual argument to make here or facts to back this up. I want it to be true so I declare it so with absolute confidence.]

Now some actual facts:

FACT: Unions only answer to their membership. There are some very limited disclosure laws, but the public has no control over who unions choose as their leaders or how unions spends their money. Every major union spends substantial amounts of money on political lobbying.

About half of the top 50 spenders on political lobbies are labor unions; unions dominate the top 20 on this list, (11 of 20 unions, only 3 of 20 corporations):

Top All-Time [political] Donors, 1989-2012
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

In many states, unions can FORCE anyone who works in an industry to pay union dues, regardless of whether they choose to be a union member.

Not exactly "accountable to the public."

FACT: The "unelected technocrats" that the article you cited is a reference to the ECB "troika" which consists of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank.

These organizations are all PUBLIC international organizations - they are NOT privately owned (the ECB techically has shareholders but their activities are very tightly regulated). Funding for these organizations is from public funds of the member countries. In effect, everyone of the "technocrats" that works there is an employee of a government or an intra-government body such as the UN. (And btw, the former managing director of the IMF is none other than Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the pervert and soclailst.)

So the answer to the question, "Aren't these technocrats public workers?" is an unqualified YES.

The only thing "Fantastic" about the article is that it argues that the problems Europe is facing should be solved by the same process that created the problems in the fist place instead of by a more objective and realistic committee managed by government organizations.

(But it's not at all fantastic that your arguments are so hopelessly based on fantasy. That occurrence has become entirely routine.)

Tocqueville (another European!) is particularly apropos here:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

So please spare us the self-contradictory descriptions of the bogeyman.

The facts are simple: Europe is broke, just like California pension funds. The obvious and ethical solution is to simply stop promising everyone so much money.

There you go again...editing someone else's post to twist what was said into something totally unrelated. Public workers are absolutely more accountable to the public than private entities are.

There is nobody on this blog who spouts more nonsensical fiction and declares it as "fact" than you, Pri. Whenever we debate, I'm the ONLY one who brings facts and logic to the table. You have consistently brought your Fox propaganda to the debate and declared it as "fact." Of course, you consistently "edit" other people's posts and declare others "ignorant" when they clearly know more than you do about the subject under discussion. Apparently, you think this makes you look clever.

Glad to know you oppose democracy. I supposed you'll only be happy when capitalists/bankers own everything while workers slave away at their $5.00/week jobs to pay their masters. I suppose you'd prefer a dictatorship then. Thank you for clearing that up for us.

No mention of the capitalists/financial industry that have pillaged far more of our "public treasury." Let's stop promising them so much money and resources, if you care so much about taxpayers. No, according to you, it's the productive workers who are the leaches. You're simply brilliant, Pri (sarcasm, in case you missed it).

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 2:08am.

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
still, they [unions] are far more accountable to the public than private companies are, no matter what Pri and others try to assert [I have no actual argument to make here or facts to back this up. I want it to be true so I declare it so with absolute confidence.]

Now some actual facts:

FACT: Unions only answer to their membership. There are some very limited disclosure laws, but the public has no control over who unions choose as their leaders or how unions spends their money. Every major union spends substantial amounts of money on political lobbying.

About half of the top 50 spenders on political lobbies are labor unions; unions dominate the top 20 on this list, (11 of 20 unions, only 3 of 20 corporations):

Top All-Time [political] Donors, 1989-2012
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

In many states, unions can FORCE anyone who works in an industry to pay union dues, regardless of whether they choose to be a union member.

Not exactly "accountable to the public."

FACT: The "unelected technocrats" that the article you cited is a reference to the ECB "troika" which consists of the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank.

These organizations are all PUBLIC international organizations - they are NOT privately owned (the ECB techically has shareholders but their activities are very tightly regulated). Funding for these organizations is from public funds of the member countries. In effect, everyone of the "technocrats" that works there is an employee of a government or an intra-government body such as the UN. (And btw, the former managing director of the IMF is none other than Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the pervert and soclailst.)

So the answer to the question, "Aren't these technocrats public workers?" is an unqualified YES.

The only thing "Fantastic" about the article is that it argues that the problems Europe is facing should be solved by the same process that created the problems in the fist place instead of by a more objective and realistic committee managed by government organizations.

(But it's not at all fantastic that your arguments are so hopelessly based on fantasy. That occurrence has become entirely routine.)

Tocqueville (another European!) is particularly apropos here:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury.

So please spare us the self-contradictory descriptions of the bogeyman.

The facts are simple: Europe is broke, just like California pension funds. The obvious and ethical solution is to simply stop promising everyone so much money.

They entities who are trying to privatize everything are NOT public entities, though they use "unelected technocrats" to do their bidding. The entities who would be taking over public resources are NOT public entities. What part of that do you not grasp?

The same thing that's going on over there is happening here, too.

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 3:28am.

"Public pension reform, not public-worker bashing
We'll never achieve an equitable and effective fix to the very real problem of unsustainable public pension obligations until we dispel the miasma of non-facts enveloping this highly fraught topic."

"Finding a path through these brambles isn't made easier by today's craze for public-worker bashing, which is partially an artifact of the outrageous trend toward more income inequality in California and the U.S. alike. According to Franchise Tax Board figures, more than 70% of the $300-billion increase in total adjusted gross income of California taxpayers between 1987 and 2008 went to the wealthiest 10% of Californians. The middle 20%, our valiant middle class? They got 3%.

This is connected to such phenomena as the decline of collective bargaining in the private sector, increased job insecurity and the explosion of household debt. Government workers are seen by the average strapped taxpayer as insulated from these pressures (public employees don't help themselves by engaging in scams like "spiking" their final years' pay to pump up their pensions), but the resulting resentment is the ultimate class-war victory of the haves over the have-nots. Middle-class taxpayers grouse about the retirement deals of teachers and DMV clerks, while bankers and CEOs, whose compensation and tax breaks really deserve public obloquy, slink away scot-free."

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/may/15/...

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 3:58am.

From the original article:

"One of the three defining characteristics of a nation-state is the power to create money. A second characteristic is the power to levy taxes. Both of these powers are being transferred out of the hands of democratically elected representatives to the financial sector, as a result of tying the hands of government.

The third characteristic of a nation-state is the power to declare war. What is happening today is the equivalent of warfare – but against the power of government! It is above all a financial mode of warfare – and the aims of this financial appropriation are the same as those of military conquest: first, the land and subsoil riches on which to charge rents as tribute; second, public infrastructure to extract rent as access fees; and third, any other enterprises or assets in the public domain.

In this new financialized warfare, governments are being directed to act as enforcement agents on behalf of the financial conquerors against their own domestic populations. This is not new, to be sure. We have seen the IMF and World Bank impose austerity on Latin American dictatorships, African military chiefdoms and other client oligarchies from the 1960s through the 1980s. Ireland and Greece, Spain and Portugal are now to be subjected to similar asset stripping as public policy making is shifted into the hands of supra-governmental financial agencies acting on behalf of bankers – and thereby for the top 1% of the population."
...............

"Bankers do not want to take responsibility for bad loans. This poses the financial problem of just what policy-makers should do when banks have been so irresponsible in allocating credit. But somebody has to take a loss. Should it be society at large, or the bankers?

It is not a problem that bankers are prepared to solve. They want to turn the problem over to governments – and define the problem as how governments can “make them whole.” What they call a “solution” to the bad-debt problem is for the government to give them good bonds for bad loans (“cash for trash”) – to be paid in full by taxpayers. Having engineered an enormous increase in wealth for themselves, bankers now want to take the money and run – leaving economies debt ridden. The revenue that debtors cannot pay will now be spread over the entire economy to pay – vastly increasing everyone’s cost of living and doing business."

...............

"So something has to give. Will it be the past few centuries of liberal free-market economic philosophy, relinquishing planning the economic surplus to bankers? Or will society re-assert classical economic philosophy and Progressive Era principles, and re-assert social shaping of financial markets to promote long-term growth with minimum costs of living and doing business?

At least in the most badly indebted countries, European voters are waking up to an oligarchic coup in which taxation and government budgetary planning and control is passing into the hands of executives nominated by the international bankers’ cartel. This result is the opposite of what the past few centuries of free market economics has been all about."

http://michael-hudson.com/2011/12/europe...

Submitted by Arraya on February 28, 2012 - 2:19pm.

CA renter wrote:
From the original article:
It is not a problem that bankers are prepared to solve. They want to turn the problem over to governments – and define the problem as how governments can “make them whole.” What they call a “solution” to the bad-debt problem is for the government to give them good bonds for bad loans (“cash for trash”) – to be paid in full by taxpayers. Having engineered an enormous increase in wealth for themselves, bankers now want to take the money and run – leaving economies debt ridden. The revenue that debtors cannot pay will now be spread over the entire economy to pay – vastly increasing everyone’s cost of living and doing business."

And of course, they need to tighten the noose on the common debtor.

http://theautomaticearth.org/Finance/our...
This settlement essentially gives the banks free license to go on a rampage of financial harassment and foreclosure without any interference from state governments. That’s why it was noted in Part II that traditional protections found in contract law have been rendered completely worthless for the vast majority of people on this planet, including all but the wealthiest individuals in the West. These protections were rooted in decades of British common law that developed through judicial precedents during the so-called “Enlightenment” era. They offered the average white male citizen a way to protect himself from having to make payments or perform under a contract if it was generally secured in one of the following ways:

snip

If a court established one of these situations to exist in any given case, then the complaining party had a right to void the contract. The problem for victimized debtors now is that the legal system only performs this protective function well when the economy is growing and wealthy private interests can claim an increasingly large share of the pie despite these common law hurdles-turned-artifacts. In an era of widespread economic contraction and deleveraging by consumers and businesses, the large private interests will instead seek to extract value through the seizing of assets (“foreclosure” implies a legitimate process) and the subjugation of distressed debtors.

Human labor, after all, is simply a form of energy that can be applied to various inputs and productive processes, including the harvesting of other energy sources and the development of infrastructure necessary for large-scale societies. Most middle to upper-middle class Americans have forgotten all about the labor expended and the lives lost by their not-so-distant ancestors in the course of such work. Yet, they may very well be forced into laying railway tracks and mining coal or constructing/repairing roads, highways, bridges and canals in the near future. College and graduate students steeped in debt who are expecting cushy office jobs that no longer exist will find out they have effectively been sold into slavery by their system of “education”.

Submitted by paramount on February 28, 2012 - 8:29pm.

CA renter wrote:

This is connected to such phenomena as the decline of collective bargaining in the private sector, increased job insecurity and the explosion of household debt. Government workers are seen by the average strapped taxpayer as insulated from these pressures (public employees don't help themselves by engaging in scams like "spiking" their final years' pay to pump up their pensions), but the resulting resentment is the ultimate class-war victory of the haves over the have-nots. Middle-class taxpayers grouse about the retirement deals of teachers and DMV clerks, while bankers and CEOs, whose compensation and tax breaks really deserve public obloquy, slink away scot-free."

It doesn't really matter what it's connected to or what the cause is (the sickening disparity between the public and private sectors), facts is facts and it is what it is.

And I think (and hope) that it goes beyond resentment; more like anger and justifiably so - for both public employees and bankers alike.

The average private sector worker is being attacked on all sides: public employees, often their employer (reduced benefits, and on and on...) and the banksters.

Submitted by harvey on February 28, 2012 - 9:04pm.

CA renter wrote:
You have consistently brought your Fox propaganda to the debate and declared it as "fact."

Just when it seemed you could not get more desperate, you spew this nonsense.

I am the most outspoken critic of Fox news on this site. I can easily show you several threads I've started in the past year or two that are harshly critical of Fox and the Republican/Tea Party platform. There is an active thread right now where I have pointed out the fallacies of the latest right-wing propaganda (the 'privilege of being American thread.')

Sorry, you don't get to play the partisan card here. My position on this issue is based upon objective facts.

Quote:
Of course, you consistently "edit" other people's posts ...

I have never modified the text of someone's quote. Learn what the brackets [] mean. Here's some help with your homework:

http://homeworktips.about.com/od/writing...

Also, like sdr mentioned in the other thread. I have never been directly critical of public sector employees. While others here have (wrongly) labeled them as lazy or corrupt, I have not made any such generalizations. You believe I have said these things but you will find no evidence here to support your claims (I do believe that many unions are corrupt, but they are private entities.)

Quote:
I supposed you'll only be happy when capitalists/bankers own everything while workers slave away at their $5.00/week jobs to pay their masters.

Nope. I'll be happy when the state of California and the USA have sound and sustainable fiscal policies. I'll also be happy when we have an equitable national healthcare program that provides basic care to all at taxpayer expense. Don't try to paint me as some Sarah Palin Republican, I am anything but that.

I understand that you like to see the world in simple black/white terms: Public workers are always paid what they are worth, anyone in the financial industries are sinister villains with curly mustaches, everything is invented by the government, private corporations produce nothing...

Reality has a little more nuance.

As for facts, I will repeat a key one that I included in my last post. One which you completely ignored:

Top All-Time [political] Donors, 1989-2012
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

And a little cut and paste, since you take so much liberty with the space on these pages, I will do likewise this time:

1 ActBlue
2 AT&T Inc
3 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees
4 National Assn of Realtors
5 Service Employees International Union
6 National Education Assn
7 Goldman Sachs
8 American Assn for Justice
9 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
10 American Federation of Teachers
11 Laborers Union
12 Teamsters Union
13 Carpenters & Joiners Union
14 Communications Workers of America
15 Citigroup Inc
16 American Medical Assn
17 United Food & Commercial Workers Union
18 United Auto Workers
19 National Auto Dealers Assn
20 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union

Submitted by SD Realtor on February 28, 2012 - 9:27pm.

Sorry pr_dk...I sent a pm showing her your credentials as president of the shep smith fan club...

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 11:10pm.

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
You have consistently brought your Fox propaganda to the debate and declared it as "fact."

Just when it seemed you could not get more desperate, you spew this nonsense.

I am the most outspoken critic of Fox news on this site. I can easily show you several threads I've started in the past year or two that are harshly critical of Fox and the Republican/Tea Party platform. There is an active thread right now where I have pointed out the fallacies of the latest right-wing propaganda (the 'privilege of being American thread.')

Sorry, you don't get to play the partisan card here. My position on this issue is based upon objective facts.

Quote:
Of course, you consistently "edit" other people's posts ...

I have never modified the text of someone's quote. Learn what the brackets [] mean. Here's some help with your homework:

http://homeworktips.about.com/od/writing...

Also, like sdr mentioned in the other thread. I have never been directly critical of public sector employees. While others here have (wrongly) labeled them as lazy or corrupt, I have not made any such generalizations. You believe I have said these things but you will find no evidence here to support your claims (I do believe that many unions are corrupt, but they are private entities.)

Quote:
I supposed you'll only be happy when capitalists/bankers own everything while workers slave away at their $5.00/week jobs to pay their masters.

Nope. I'll be happy when the state of California and the USA have sound and sustainable fiscal policies. I'll also be happy when we have an equitable national healthcare program that provides basic care to all at taxpayer expense. Don't try to paint me as some Sarah Palin Republican, I am anything but that.

I understand that you like to see the world in simple black/white terms: Public workers are always paid what they are worth, anyone in the financial industries are sinister villains with curly mustaches, everything is invented by the government, private corporations produce nothing...

Reality has a little more nuance.

As for facts, I will repeat a key one that I included in my last post. One which you completely ignored:

Top All-Time [political] Donors, 1989-2012
http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

And a little cut and paste, since you take so much liberty with the space on these pages, I will do likewise this time:

1 ActBlue
2 AT&T Inc
3 American Fedn of State, County & Municipal Employees
4 National Assn of Realtors
5 Service Employees International Union
6 National Education Assn
7 Goldman Sachs
8 American Assn for Justice
9 Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
10 American Federation of Teachers
11 Laborers Union
12 Teamsters Union
13 Carpenters & Joiners Union
14 Communications Workers of America
15 Citigroup Inc
16 American Medical Assn
17 United Food & Commercial Workers Union
18 United Auto Workers
19 National Auto Dealers Assn
20 Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union

Why didn't you bold the NAR, AMA, National Auto Dealers Assn, etc.? There is no difference between them and the other groups you've highlighted. Perhaps you think they and their lobbyists are pure and deserving of govt. largesse?

I've addressed this point in another thread. You cannot compare **whole unions** (representing millions of workers across the country) with individual corporations or individual people who represent the interests of very few people. Of course the unions will be larger -- they represent far more people than individual companies. Let's look at the top 500 donors and lobbyists and see whether labor or capital is contributing the most money, overall.
..........

I never said that the private sector didn't innovate (there you go twisting other people's words). What I said was that the government provides the majority of the funding for basic research. That is a fact. Without this basic research, the private sector would have been far less innovative. What I've said is that the public and private markets are symbiotic. One cannot exist without the other.

YOU are the one who tries to paint things in black and white. You've repeatedly said that 100% of innovation has come from capitalist countries. That is totally untrue. You've made the claim that the public sector is a burden which the private sector has to bear. That is also false. Without the public sector, the private sector would resemble what is seen in countries without a strong (even large) government and very low/no taxes. I've posted sites where you can compare the data for yourself, but you've never attempted to do any research. You just spout the nonsense from your high school econ class as if it's fact. Don't just listen to what others tell you to believe. Do your own research and see for yourself.

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 11:13pm.

Here are the top *individual* contributors:

Top Individuals
The following individuals contributed at least $50,000 to federal candidates and parties during oneor more election cycles while affiliated with the organization.

Contributor Organization
Alchin, John R. Comcast Corp
Amstein, Peter Microsoft Corp
Andreas, Dwayne O. & Inez Archer Daniels Midland
Angelakis, Michael J. & Christine Comcast Corp
Appelman, Barry Time Warner
Bible, Geoffrey & Sara Altria Group
Boggs, Timothy A. Time Warner
Bovin, Denis A. & Terry Bear Stearns
Brendsel, Leland & Diane Freddie Mac
Brennan, Robert E. Credit Suisse Group
Brinson, Gary P. & Suzann A. UBS AG
Broad, Eli & Edythe American International Group
Bronfman, Edgar M. Jr. & Clarissa A. Vivendi
Burch, Stephen A. & Nora Linstrom Comcast Corp
Burke, Stephen B. & Gretchen H. Comcast Corp
Bushkin, Arthur A. & Kathryn A. Time Warner
Chalsty, John S. & Jennifer A. Credit Suisse Group
Chancellor, Steven E. & Terri L. Lehman Brothers
Chernin, Peter A. & Megan News Corp
Christie, Todd J. & Theresa M. Goldman Sachs
Cohen, Davil L. & Rhonda R. Comcast Corp
Collerton, Anthony Lehman Brothers
Cook, Daniel W. III & Gail B. Goldman Sachs
Corzine, Jon S. & JoAnne D. Goldman Sachs
Daly, Robert A & Carole Bayer Sager Time Warner
Dawkins, Peter M. & Judith W. Citigroup Inc
de la Cruz, Carlos Sr. & Rosa Anheuser-Busch InBev
De Muro, David A. Lehman Brothers
DeVos family Amway/Alticor Inc
Dimon, James & Judith K Citigroup Inc
Ehrlich, Alexander S. & Cheryl UBS AG
Ellis, Steven J. & Amy C. Wachovia Corp
Eychaner, Fred Newsweb Corp
Fife, Eugene V. & Luann L Goldman Sachs
Flatley, Daniel K. Credit Suisse Group
Flom, Jason R. & Wendy K. Time Warner
Fogg, Joseph G. III & Leslie K. Morgan Stanley
Freidman, Stephen & Barbara B. Goldman Sachs
Fuld, Dick & Kathleen Lehman Brothers
Gallo, Gregory M. & Penny H. DLA Piper
Gelb, Richard L. & Phyllis N. Bristol-Myers Squibb
Gianopulos, James N. & Ann T. News Corp
Gilburne, Miles R Time Warner
Glass, David & Ruth Ann Wal-Mart Stores
Godhwani, Anil & Jyoti Time Warner
Goldfarb, Dave & Sharon Lehman Brothers
Grano, Joseph J. Jr. & Kathleen J. UBS AG
Greenberg, Maurice "Hank" American International Group
Haskell, John H.F. Jr. UBS AG
Heidorn, George E. Microsoft Corp
Heimbold, Charles A. & Monika A. Bristol-Myers Squibb
Hennessy, John M. & Margarita Credit Suisse Group
Hobbs, Franklin W. & Linda B.R. JPMorgan Chase & Co
Hobbs, Franklin W. & Linda B.R. UBS AG
Hoglund, Forrest E. & Sally Enron Corp
Horn, Alan F. & Cindy H. Time Warner
Howard, John D. & Lorna M. Brett Bear Stearns
Jaech, Jeremy & Linda Microsoft Corp
James, Hamilton E. & Amabel B. Credit Suisse Group
Johns, Paul M. Microsoft Corp
Johnson, Theodore C. & Linda Microsoft Corp
Kamen, Harry P. & Barbara MetLife Inc
Katzenberg, Jeffrey & Marilyn Walt Disney Co
Kimsey, James V. Time Warner
Koch, Charles G. & Elizabeth Buzzi Koch Industries
Koch, David H. & Julia F. Koch Industries
Korn, Douglas R. & Elizabeth Berns Bear Stearns
Krueger, Harvey & Constance Lehman Brothers
Lane, L. W. Jr. & Jean Time Warner
Lay, Kenneth L. & Linda P. Enron Corp
Leonsis, Ted J. & Lynn Time Warner
Lerner, Alfred & Norma MBNA Corp
Lessing, Stephan & Sandra Lehman Brothers
Lewis, Drew & Marilyn Union Pacific Corp
Lindner family American Financial Group
Lindner, S. Craig & Frances R. American Financial Group
Lorentzen, Ruthann Microsoft Corp
Malcom, Ellen R. EMILY's List
McDonnell, James S. III & Elizabeth H. Boeing Co
Menschel, Robert B. & Joyce F. Goldman Sachs
Meyer, Ronald M. Vivendi
Miller, Lee I. & Suzanne K. DLA Piper
Moodispaw, Leonard E. & Sandra Northrop Grumman
Mulford, David C. & Jeannie S. Credit Suisse Group
Mullen, Donald R. Jr. & Katarina Bear Stearns
Murdoch, Rupert & Wendi News Corp
Murphy, Philip D. & Tammy S. Goldman Sachs
Neidich, Daniel M. & Brooke G. Goldman Sachs
Olson, Lyndon L. Jr & Kathleen W. Citigroup Inc
Ostin, Morris & Evelyn Time Warner
Overlock, Willard J. & Katherine S. Goldman Sachs
Palmer, John N. & Clementine B. MCI Inc
Parsons, Richard D. & Laura Time Warner
Paul, Laurence E. Credit Suisse Group
Paulson, Henry M. Jr. & Wendy Goldman Sachs
Peacock, David A. Anheuser-Busch InBev
Penner, Gregory B. & Carrie Walton Wal-Mart Stores
Perlman, Stephen G. Microsoft Corp
Phillips, Earl N. Jr. & Sallie B. General Electric
Plaster, Steve R. & Shannon Wachovia Corp
Plumeri, Joseph J. & Nancy W. Citigroup Inc
Raikes, Jeffrey S. & Patricia Microsoft Corp
Reiner, Robert & Michelle S. Time Warner
Roberts, Brian L. & Aileen K. Comcast Corp
Roberts, Ralph J. & Suzanne F. Comcast Corp
Rose, Matthew K. & Lisa Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp
Rose, Robert N. & Yvette T. Bear Stearns
Rosenwald, E. John Jr. & Patricia Bear Stearns
Ross, Steven J. & Courtney S. Time Warner
Rothman, Tom & Jessica News Corp
Rubin, Robert E. & Judith O. Citigroup Inc
Rubin, Robert M. & Robin K. W. American International Group
Saban, Haim & Cheryl News Corp
Saban, Haim & Cheryl Saban Capital Group
Sacerdote, Peter M. & Bonnie L Goldman Sachs
Schreyer, William A. & Joan L. Merrill Lynch
Schwartz, Eric S. & Erica Goldman Sachs
Schwartz, Marvin & Donna Lehman Brothers
Semel, Terry & Jane M. Time Warner
Senser, Jerrold K. & Naomi R. New York Life Insurance
Shaw, Gregory L. Microsoft Corp
Shaye, Robert & Eva EMILY's List
Shell, Jeffrey S. & Laura Comcast Corp
Shephard, John E. Jr & Jill Northrop Grumman
Siegel, Herbert J. & Ann L. News Corp
Singer, Paul Deloitte LLP
Skilling, Jeffrey K. & Susan L. Enron Corp
Smith, Lawrence S. & Christine J. Comcast Corp
Spector, Warren & Margaret Whitton Bear Stearns
Spix, George A. Microsoft Corp
Sternberg, Sy & Laurie New York Life Insurance
Tedrick, Thomas National Rifle Assn
Thain, John A. Goldman Sachs
Van Andel, Jay & Betty Amway/Alticor Inc
Walton, S. Robson & Carolyn F. Wal-Mart Stores
Wasserman, Lew R. & Edith Vivendi
Weinstein, Harvey & Eve Walt Disney Co
Weisel, Thomas W. Bank of America
Wellde, George W Jr. & Patrica A. Goldman Sachs
Wells, Frank G. & Luanne C. Walt Disney Co
Wigmore, Barrie A & Deedee Goldman Sachs
Winkelman, Mark O. & Dorinda P. Goldman Sachs
Witten, Richard E. & Elizabeth H. Goldman Sachs
Wolf, Robert J. & Carol S. UBS AG
Yager, Dexter R. Sr. & Birdie Amway/Alticor Inc
Young, George III & Adina Lehman Brothers
..................

Nope, no unions there!

Submitted by CA renter on February 28, 2012 - 11:20pm.

CA renter wrote:
I've addressed this point in another thread. You cannot compare **whole unions** (representing millions of workers across the country) with individual corporations or individual people who represent the interests of very few people. Of course the unions will be larger -- they represent far more people than individual companies. Let's look at the top 500 donors and lobbyists and see whether labor or capital is contributing the most money, overall.
..........

I never said that the private sector didn't innovate (there you go twisting other people's words). What I said was that the government provides the majority of the funding for basic research. That is a fact. Without this basic research, the private sector would have been far less innovative. What I've said is that the public and private markets are symbiotic. One cannot exist without the other.

YOU are the one who tries to paint things in black and white. You've repeatedly said that 100% of innovation has come from capitalist countries. That is totally untrue. You've made the claim that the public sector is a burden which the private sector has to bear. That is also false. Without the public sector, the private sector would resemble what is seen in countries without a strong (even large) government and very low/no taxes. I've posted sites where you can compare the data for yourself, but you've never attempted to do any research. You just spout the nonsense from your high school econ class as if it's fact. Don't just listen to what others tell you to believe. Do your own research and see for yourself.

I want to clarify this more. Instead of looking for individual groups or entities, I'd like to take the aggregate of EVERYTHING spent in D.C., determine if these donations/contributions are made on behalf of workers or corporations/capital. Then, we should compare the two to see which side is really spending more. I don't know the answer, but think this would be an interesting exercise.

Submitted by harvey on February 29, 2012 - 6:33am.

CA renter wrote:
I never said that the private sector didn't innovate (there you go twisting other people's words). What I said was that the government provides the majority of the funding for basic research. That is a fact.

Your "fact" is completely worthless:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funding_of_...
In the OECD [basically the US and Europe], around two-thirds of research and development in scientific and technical fields is carried out by industry, and 20% and 10% respectively by universities and government

You continued emphasis on "basic" research is a perfect example of picking and choosing your facts until they fit your narrative. Sorry, the world is much bigger than the tiny parts you selectively choose to see.

And we are STILL waiting for an example of ANY substantial innovation in world history that was NOT developed in a capitalist country (using the ACTUAL definition of "capitalist" found in every political science textbook on earth - not your "contrived to fit my narrative" definition.)

So that's one of many false premises on which you base your position. Here are a couple more samples of gibberish, found just in your past few posts (even one where you respond to yourself!):

- Citing a list of individual donors and then emphasizing that there are no unions on the list. Really sound logic there.

- Claiming that corporations don't represent millions of people. (Where do you think everybody goes to work everyday? Where do you think their 401Ks and pension funds are invested?)

But the bulk of your content at this point is just attacks against me - making claims about things I've said that you cannot substantiate. In other words, you are just plain lying. I enjoy a lively debate and a variety of opinions, but you are no longer worth my time.

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 29, 2012 - 8:17am.

Not to mention that there is a difference between unions and the AMA, NAR and NADA. Those groups lobby to impact policy they do not negotiate for salaries and benefits for their groups. Further the AMA lobbies for policy that impacts medical care delivery to people. NAR looks to impact housing policy and the availability of financing for homes. I'm not saying they don't so please enlighten us as to how each of those unions does anything in the name of the general public?

Submitted by sdrealtor on February 29, 2012 - 8:18am.

Dupe

Submitted by briansd1 on February 29, 2012 - 9:21am.

CA renter wrote:
Without the public sector, the private sector would resemble what is seen in countries without a strong (even large) government and very low/no taxes.

Well, Hong Kong is one of the lowest taxed, and richest place on earth, all achieved within a couple of generations. They also have national health care. They have high life expectancy and the highest IQ in the world (according to a link someone posted on another thread).

So go figure.

Submitted by Jazzman on February 29, 2012 - 10:40am.

pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
The bottom 99% understandably are angry to be informed that the wealthiest layer of the population [...]

The statement above is based upon a false premise.

There is no 99% / 1% wealth split in Europe.

There is no "wealthy layer" because every country in Europe is socialist.


This is misguided. All European countries have free market economies. Don't confuse welfare with socialism. The former Soviet Union was socialist. Some European political parties have socialist leanings, but many in the US call Barack Obama a socialist.

Submitted by Jazzman on February 29, 2012 - 11:02am.

Tax evasion is a public pastime not just in Greece, but in many European countries, and is not restricted to just the wealthy. I sometimes wonder whether the vicious cycle of lost receipts is the reason for high taxation, leading to more evasion. On the other hand Scandinavians seem content with very high tax. Why is that? Is their money being spent equitably, transparently and with consent? It seems to me the larger economies have too many competing interest groups making consensus much harder to achieve.

Another problem is that Europe is not homogenous, so cultural differences can be big. Expecting Greece to adopt the disciplines of say the German economy is going to take a shift in mindset. The fundamental difference between all countries used to be the relationship between banks, businesses and governments. The question now might be has globalization brought about more of a uniformity in that relationship.

Submitted by harvey on February 29, 2012 - 1:37pm.

Jazzman wrote:
pri_dk wrote:
CA renter wrote:
The bottom 99% understandably are angry to be informed that the wealthiest layer of the population [...]

The statement above is based upon a false premise.

There is no 99% / 1% wealth split in Europe.

There is no "wealthy layer" because every country in Europe is socialist.


This is misguided. All European countries have free market economies.

My comment about "Europe being socialist" was sarcastic.

Read here if you want the background (you probably don't):

http://piggington.com/2012_edition_what0...
(capitalist/socialist debate starts on page 2)

Submitted by briansd1 on February 29, 2012 - 2:07pm.

Jazzman wrote:

Another problem is that Europe is not homogenous, so cultural differences can be big. Expecting Greece to adopt the disciplines of say the German economy is going to take a shift in mindset. The fundamental difference between all countries used to be the relationship between banks, businesses and governments. The question now might be has globalization brought about more of a uniformity in that relationship.

I see it a little differently.

America is a big diverse country, population wise. The difference is that we have automatic wealth transfers from rich states to poor states. Strong economies of the coasts support the poorer states such a Mississippi and Alabama.

A vibrant economy needs productive savers as well as consumers. You need well paid professionals, but also need low paid service employees.

Greece was a quasi developing country when they joined the Euro. They should have kept wages low to compete with Germany and attract investments. But without reforming, they borrowed to bring themselves up closer to France and Germany's standards.

The internal deflation now happening in Greece will make them more competitive by lowering wages. But the Greeks have gotten used to the good life so it's hard for them to go back to the old standard of living.

Germany should bail out Greece because German industry benefited greatly from Greek consumption. It's a chicken and egg thing -- co-dependence.

China is lending money to us because they need us to keep on buying their products.

Only time and reforms can bring things back into balance.

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