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Walter E. Williams
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Good Economists

Comment

It's difficult to be a good economist and simultaneously be perceived as compassionate. To be a good economist, one has to deal with reality. To appear compassionate, often one has to avoid unpleasant questions, use "caring" terminology and view reality as optional.

Affordable housing and health care costs are terms with considerable emotional appeal that politicians exploit but have absolutely no useful meaning or analytical worth. For example, can anyone tell me in actual dollars and cents the price of an affordable car, house or myomectomy? It's probably more pleasant to pretend that there is universal agreement about what is or is not affordable.

If you think my criticism of affordability is unpleasant, you'll hate my vision of harm. A good economist recognizes that harm is not a one-way street; it's reciprocal. For example, if I own a lot and erect a house in front of your house and block your view of a beautiful scene, I've harmed you; however, if I am prevented from building my house in front of yours, I'm harmed. Whose harm is more important? You say, "Williams, you can't tell." You can stop me from harming you by persuading some government thugs to stop me from building. It's the same thing with smoking. If I smoke a cigarette, you're harmed — or at least bothered. If I'm prevented from smoking a cigarette, I'm harmed by reduced pleasure. Whose harm is more important? Again, you can't tell. But as in the building example, the person who is harmed can use government thugs to have things his way.

How many times have we heard that "if it will save just one human life, it's worth it" or that "human life is priceless"? Both are nonsense statements. If either statement were true, we'd see lower speed limits, bans on auto racing and fewer airplanes in the sky. We can always be safer than we are. For example, cars could be produced such that occupants could survive unscathed in a 50-mph head-on collision, but how many of us could buy such a car? Don't get me wrong; I might think my life is priceless, but I don't view yours in the same light.

I admire Greta Garbo's objectivity about her life. She said, "I'm a completely worthless woman, and no man should risk his life for me."

Speaking of worthlessness, I'd be worthless as an adviser to either the White House or Congress because if they asked me what they should do to get the economy going, I'd answer, "Do nothing!" Let's look at it. Between 1787 and 1930, our nation suffered both mild and severe economic downturns. There was no intervention to stimulate the economy, but the economy always recovered.

During the 1930s, there were massive interventions, starting with President Herbert Hoover and later with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Their actions turned what would have been a sharp three- or four-year economic downturn into a 10-year affair. In 1930, when Hoover began to "fix" the economy, unemployment was 6 percent. FDR did even more to "fix" the economy. As a result, unemployment remained in double digits throughout the decade and reached 20 percent in 1939. President Roosevelt blamed the high unemployment on his predecessor. Presidential blaming of predecessors is a practice that continues to this day.

You say, "Williams, the White House and Congress should do something." The track record of doing nothing is pretty good compared with doing something. None of our economic downturns in the century and a half prior to 1930 lasted as long as the Great Depression.

It would be political suicide for a politician to follow my counsel — and for good reason. Americans have been miseducated into thinking that Roosevelt's New Deal saved our economy. That miseducation extends to most academics, including economists, at our universities, who are arrogant enough to believe that it's possible for a few people in Washington to have the information and knowledge necessary to manage the economic lives of 313 million people. Good economists recognize our limitations, making us not nice people to be around.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

27 Comments | Post Comment
I long for the days of a "Do Nothing" Congress......I guess that makes me a heartless bastard
Comment: #1
Posted by: Ethan Roninson
Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:13 PM
Sir; ... You make a mistake to believe that economics is all an abstraction... The term means house management, but a lot of people thinking they are economists want to have the house without considering the people living in it...A nation is not simply an area of land, but it is an entire people... Some have grown so used to feeding off of others that they think they are above human and moral consideration... If all those who worked for the rich were farm animals, their care and feeding would be more certain... I am sure some of the pets of the rich, and I am not referring to you, eat better than many of their life time loyal servants are fed... An economy should consider the welfare of the whole commonwealth, and our does not... Our economy puts the welfare of the rich first, last, and only...And it will destroy us... It simply goes to prove that a society is a place where those with the greatest guilt bear the least responsibility... Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:22 PM
Well James, I guess you are so busy worrying that the "Rich" are not paying their fair share and aren't taking care of their "farm animal" help that you have no concept of the programs that actually assist the "poor". Have you heard of "The Great Society", 50 million people on Medicaid at a cost to taxpayers of 243 Billion dollars, 40 Million people on food stamps at 70 billion dollars, extended unemployment insurance to the tune of 160 billion dollars. All these programs and hundreds more are funded by "the rich" and given to the poor.
These are factors of "the economy" the a good economist realizes that ,yes, we do consider the welfare of the whole commonwealth.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Martin
Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:56 PM
I agree with Dr. Williams on everything but I have to add one caveat. Right now doing nothing is better than doing more. However, we still have to deal with the damage done by decades of congress doing something. If we really want to fix the economy we need an active congress that will have the courage to undo what has been done. In other words what needs to happen is for congress to go about repealing many existing laws, regulations and spending measures.

I'd love to hear about congress bringing large bills to the floor one by one repealing them. Can you imagine an active congress who felt motivated to just undo things? Can you imagine a president signing the repeals of many existing laws? Of course people would panic and the news media would go no red alert. Saddly, no congress or president will ever have the courage to actually undo existing damage but that's what should happen if anyone is truly serious about fixing our economy and debt.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Zack
Tue Apr 17, 2012 6:24 AM
Re: Martin;... Programs that support the poor and keep them poor are for the preservation of wealth and poverty...And no one can say that such programs are good for a society...

We are not the first society with entitlements, and we are not the first commonwealth... Those societies in the past such as the one we got the word: Econcomics- from also gave us Ethics and Morality as subjects of philosophical investigation after their own morality and ethics was history, and made so by the division of a once united society between the wealthy and the poor...In Rome it was the poor who were the force behind Caesar... Do you think tyranny is some improvement upon plutocracy, or perhaps we can simply move toward democracy and let the people decide what is in their own best interst...

In Greece poverty was the force behind the Peloponnesian war of disaster, and was the cause of the decine and both Greece and Rome...The poor wanted conquest, and the chance for riches... The rich identified with the enemy of Greece... Oligarchy and tyranny alternately wasted the place while philosophy considered ethics as an abstraction...We do not have this luxury, and it seemed only a luxury to them... The shores of America are not unassailable...In fact, our technology, our productive capacity, and even our birth right has been sold to foreigners for a piss price...

Just as economics cannot be considered as an abstraction, as mere figures and graphs, Ethics and Morality cannot be considered only as abstractions and principals...This place called America has got to work for all Americans... You cannot give to the poor what is theirs like you are doing them a favor... It does not matter as a practical affair whether the whole commonwealth is put into private hands if good be the object of doing so; but the whole commonwealth must still support the whole people... And I am not suggesting that to keep the poor in a state of perpetual poverty is support...

It IS support if the commonwealth in private hands there supports the government, education, opportunity and invention... The means should be found of returning all privatized wealth to the commonwealth...And taxes could help with that... Just as government should not be hereditary, so should wealth and poverty not be hereditary... We should at once encourage the able and intelligent to rise in society at the same time that we pull down the decadent rich to the former equality... Who are they to say we will not have the commonwealth that we have already fought and died for so many times???... Who are they to say there will be no social intercourse, no education, no ferment, and improvement for all??? Justice is to each his due, and we are due for a change... Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #5
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:10 AM
Re: Martin I'm impressed - you could actually tell what Mr Sweeney meant?
Comment: #6
Posted by: andre
Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:30 PM
Sweeney: Read more Locke and a little less Rousseau, I think everyone here would appreciate it.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Ethan Roninson
Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:31 PM
Ethan Roninson, having followed Mr. Sweeney's comments on this forum for years, I can tell you that your statement has no merit. Mr. Sweeney's remarks indicate an informed opinion influenced by many great thinkers such as Locke including the works of Rousseau who was influenced by Locke. They may be your intellectual limit or your main influences but you will find Mr. Sweeney is not only well read, but presents many valid arguments. The way he writes some of his comments is a bit eccentric but any who have read original works dating back centuries appreciates their method of writing and spelling was far different than that of today. It doesn't stop us from reading and appreciating the ideas and thoughts presented.
Roninson: Show more intellect and a little less ego, I think everyone here would appreciate it.
Comment: #8
Posted by: Steve
Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:27 PM
Re: Steve - Mr. Sweeny's remarks indicate disconnected, stream of consciousness drivel influenced mainly by reading too many great thinkers who were too far over his head, leaving him with eloquent snippets and no connection with reality. It might serve him well to first read a basic English grammar text and learn the proper use of periods and ellipses.
Comment: #9
Posted by: andre
Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:45 AM
Re: andre;... The one thing about great thinkers that I heve found from my experience is that they are not over anyone's head... I mean, if you read Plato, he often has Socrates sort of over his head, following questions to no real conclusion, and it should have been obvious from that fact, that there was some thing a little wrong with his philosophy... For the most part, the real good philosophers were good at expressing their ideas in simple forms that could be well understood... This is true even of physics... My grasp of physics falls with my ability with math, but in their writing these physicists put things in English, explaining their observations and conclusions...The same is true of great philosophers, and if I do not understand a guy directly I find a book by some one who does understand him to illuminate what is opaque...

Consider sir; that no less than Jefferson, and that generation trying to build a new society on the wreckage of the old, that I find I must talk of forms, and that word, the equal of concept, or idea, is ancient to philosophy... Yet, we use the term almost every day without being conscious of it, and Jefferson tells the truth of forms in the Declaration, and reveals that he was conscious of what he was attempting to do...Just as Mr. Williams drew a conclusion in regard to economy and compassion, we are free to do so as well, and it is better to do, and more possible if we understand what we are doing...

Every social form like a government or an economy is built up out of moral forms, that is, ideas we find good, or truthful... The moral forms our government was made to achieve, and make real are clearly stated in the Preamble of the Constitution...Aristotle says in practically the first line of Politics that Governments are created for Good, based on the conclusion that good is the aim of all human activity... Alright... If you follow me so far, then we must ask: If economies too, are formed to achieve good, then is it not essential to consider the relationships between people that is structured by the form called Economy??? And economy can be understood to an extent as an abstraction; but it will not be possible ever to judge the form of an economy without reference to the moral forms it was designed to achieve, or to the people who make up the relationships stuctured by it...

A marriage is a form of relationship as much as an economy, but no one would call the marriage good if the people were unhappy... People persist in trying to say the economy as a form of relationship is good though the people are unhappy in it... Mr. Williams points out the difficulty of percieving an economist as both Good and Compassionate... I think one must ask: What is the difference between Good as virtue, and Compassion as a virtue... Those who are Good ARE Compassionate, unless one is trying to abtract the term Good into some meaningless expression, as if one could be a good killer, or a good torturer without the necessity of virtue...

Who are these forms of relationship meant to serve??? How can we judge any form??? How can we judge any relationship???... The history of human kind is the story of changing forms; but it is also littered with forms people found impossible to change and which brought whole nations to destruction...Jefferson said it... People do not like to change their forms and they do not do so for light and transient causes, and yet they very often do change their forms when their old forms cease to add to their happiness, and do detract from their sense of wellbeing... And we can change ours as well...Tell me the economy is great but that everyone including the government is in debt, resources are robbed and squandered, and that the populations is jobless, shiftless, hopeless, and insecure; and wait for me to call it a lie... The operation is not a success when the patient dies, and we are dying here... Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #10
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:52 AM
Re: Steve... Thanks... Sweeney... I listen to my mom and wife too...
Comment: #11
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:53 AM
This is a good article. I learned several ideas I had not previously considered about the economy. It gets complicated. I try to focus on the overall picture. In 1970, on his talk show, Dick Cavett asked the ex Prime Minister of Great Britain what his biggest problem had been in 1960. For every five employed Britons, only one was doing an actual job. Meanwhile, in the United States, the World War II generation began hoarding money. By the time Nixon took office, the United States was bogged down in Vietnam, media was on the verge of going out of control (1968 All In the Family), and the economy was near ruin due to hoarding. Nixon took the country off the gold standard. Nixon and Reagan took the money away from the hoarding middle class and put it back into circulation. However, the Baby Boomer children of the World War II hoarders got back the huge amounts of money, but this time, the hoading was concentrated in a few.
Comment: #12
Posted by: Mike Hayne
Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:33 AM
Re: James A, Sweeney - Gov't's are not created for good. Gov't's by their very nature were created by the stronger to extract wealth from the weaker, and to exert the requisite amount of control and suppression in order to achieve that end. In history, there have been a few cases where an attempt has been made to make gov't work toward the good of all or at least most. The long term success of that endeavor is very much in question to this date.

Your extrapolation of the purpose of an economy from the ostensible purpose of gov't is arbitrary, even if your/Aristotle's stated purpose of gov't were true.

To say why an economy was created presumes a creator, therefore a controller. Neither has ever existed. An economy is the aggregate of millions (billions) of individual decisions and transactions. No one person or group or entity "creates" an economy. It is what happens when people are people. The economy is not an entity that does or has anything. It is an abstraction. Therefore, no person can be owed anything by the economy. No person can design a benefit for anyone from the economy beyond what they individually create and exchange with another who places a value on what was produced. Any benefits that people seem to derive from the economy are the result of voluntary. individual transactions.

Any claim that someone is owed something from "the economy" actually means that certain individuals' wealth should be taken (by force) and given to others. Any effort to control the economy toward some alleged good for some supposedly deserving person is nothing more than a disguised effort to extract wealth from certain individuals without actually producing a desrable product or service. In the past, a leader would lead his horde into a community and simple steal and pillage whatever he wanted. Now the leader gets people to vote him into office from which he will extract what he wants by the threat of force, and share a little of the booty with his horde. In principle, there is little difference between the two procedures.

"Since there is no such entity as "the public," since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that "the public interest" supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." (Ayn Rand)

paraphrasing,

Since there is no such entity as "the economy", since the economy is merely the aggregate of individual transactions, the idea that some people are owed something from the economy can have but one meaning - that the labor and abilities of some people should serve the interests of other people, who otherwise can not or will not produce something of value, enough of something of value, or something of sufficient value.
Comment: #13
Posted by: andre
Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:37 AM
If socialism and communism are so great, why are there no successful governments that practice it? Where is there a good country where the people are happy and the government is massive and oppresive. These concepts don't work in the real world and no amount of longwinded comments that are bigger than the actual article are going to make them so.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:10 AM
Re: andre; ... Sir, I have no doubt that civilizations are the result of conquest, and that a stronger culture or group seeks to exploit a weaker, but what we think of as the social compact, the laying down of weapons for the promise of the state making an issue of justice on our behalf usually does sacrifice a great deal of justice for peace as a practical matter, and that peace gives an opportunity for wounds to heal and loses to be made up...
Judging from late Medieval writers, Locke, Rouseau and the philosophers, Burke and later counter revolutionaries, I think it is pretty well conceded that good is the aim and purpose of government, but whether that good is one that the people through democracy must achieve, or is one delivered by the benevolence of God through his monarch is a question of dispute... In the American Revolution, in our Declaration of independence and in our counter revolutionary constitution the moral goods for which government should stand are clearly stated... No one wants to suffer ill, and no one will support an organization designed to do evil, that promises evil... While it is more effective to organize for an evil purpose, to do a single bad act, and more difficult to organize for good because good is never a single thing, but a multitude of actions exhausting all who try to do it; still, all people who are mentally healthy conceive of themselves as good even if they can often be inspired to bad means to reach good ends...
Communism never began as Stalinism, and German Nationalism and Socialism where offered as morally superior... The holocaust was not promised, and neither was world war, and anti semitism was not a larger issue for the Nazis than it appeared in the general population... The many who made an exception to their anti semitism always presented a problem for the genocide...I am certain that if what you say is true in the end, it is not true in the begining of true governments, and government is not the same as rule, even majority rule... It is the weakness of majority rule and all forms of rule that they can be turned against a part of the population, and so divide the people and the society so that in the end the whole mess crumbles as a house divided...
Considering the Constitution as the begining of our government -and the end of the revolution, there is a lot of injustice built into it, and that sense of injustice soon resulted in parties, just as in the English Revolution of Cromwell...Loading the debt of the government onto the common people without regard to how they acquired it is an injustice that has been continued to this present day, and Jackson's method of dealing with it, of selling off the commonwealth to pay off the debt has also continue to the present moment...
For the most part, the injustices suffered in any form of relationship from the most simple to complex evolve in them... Every marriage begins happy even if they contain the seeds of their destruction...Our original government contained a small amount of injustice, but blessed a lot of financial inequality even while it laid on the wealthy the cost of their government... It was out of slight inequality that great inequality has grown...
Now, those who bear the cost of government cost the government little, and have little influence on it... The government should be the defense of all, but the people find they are cursed with many parasites of which the government is but one, and one that offers no defense from the others...Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #15
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:13 PM
Re: Chris McCoy; ...Sir,... Every people everywhere has come out of socialism, and as a practical matter, Democracy resting upon the agreed equality of all people is political socialism... Just as democracy falls before inequality of wealth so does socialism always fall before inequalities of wealth... And yet not one of us and no society could continue without some socialism, and we have many relics of that time, even to our sense of honor and justice and equality as moral forms, and our public roads and schools...

Democracy and socialism were never by choice but always the result of necessity, and primarily the result of low technology, and that is how humanity survived amid enemies and want... It is wealth that divides people and people who find they can survive on less almost always do...But consider that even while higher technology resulted in division, and that divided societies out of necessity added to their technology as the means of defending themselves in spite of their inequality, so that every step up in technology has added to wealth and wealth has more and more divided humanity -it has also brought us to the point of world war and world destruction and the absolute end of our resources that will force us back into a socialism of need when we might have a socialism of luxury... We have never had a society free of socialism or one entirely free of democracy, but we have only had capitalism for a short period of time, roughly 5 hundred years and it has transformed the earth and exhausted itself and many societies... It may have been the answer once, but now what we shall do to protect ourselves from it is the question... That is nothing to the eons humanity survived with democracy and socialism ...Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #16
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:27 PM
Re: Martin
Martin are you sure all programs mentioned and numerous others not mentioned are funded by the rich or are they funded by the middle class? My understanding is the majority of taxes which 'feed' these programs are paid by Americans making between $60,000 to $250,00 per year and not the rich.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Malina
Thu Apr 19, 2012 5:47 AM
So you're response is that a little bit of socialism has always been in societies. Well no kidding. A little bit of anything isen't going to hurt anything. I'm tallking about big, full-blown socialist and welfare states succeeding. It dosen't happen. Its never happened. You can't give me a straight answer and say country X makes socialism work.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:45 AM
Chris McCoy and anyone else interested, here's successful socialism which any quick search would have found.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says people in Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands are the most content with their lives. The three ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the OECD's rankings of "life satisfaction," or happiness.
There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes.

Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return.
There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes.
Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return.
The Encyclopedia of the Nations notes that Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to establish efficient social services with the introduction of relief for the sick, unemployed and aged.
It says social welfare programs include health insurance, health and hospital services, insurance for occupational injuries, unemployment insurance and employment exchange services. There's also old age and disability pensions, rehabilitation and nursing homes, family welfare subsidies, general public welfare and payments for military accidents. Moreover, maternity benefits are payable up to 52 weeks.
With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state.
And in the midst of the worst global downturn since the Depression, Norway's economy grew last year by just under 3 percent. The government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 percent.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Steve
Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:29 AM
Chris McCoy and anyone else interested, here's successful socialism which any quick search would have found.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says people in Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands are the most content with their lives. The three ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the OECD's rankings of "life satisfaction," or happiness.
There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes.

Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return.
There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes.
Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return.
The Encyclopedia of the Nations notes that Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to establish efficient social services with the introduction of relief for the sick, unemployed and aged.
It says social welfare programs include health insurance, health and hospital services, insurance for occupational injuries, unemployment insurance and employment exchange services. There's also old age and disability pensions, rehabilitation and nursing homes, family welfare subsidies, general public welfare and payments for military accidents. Moreover, maternity benefits are payable up to 52 weeks.
With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state.
And in the midst of the worst global downturn since the Depression, Norway's economy grew last year by just under 3 percent. The government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 percent.
Comment: #20
Posted by: Steve
Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:30 AM
Re: Chris McCoy;... in fact, the state which is built to defend geography, but also to maintain class division with peace and order is incompatible with socialism... Socialism, like democracy is entirely defensive, and defense is the most efficient sort of warfare in money and men... I am not saying we have a little bit of socialism... We have a lot of it... But we have a socialism of poverty, and our public institutions, even the government itself is on the cheap, and designed to engender repungnance and disgust... It is only what we need and value most which is naturally where the greatest profit lies that is privatized... The people and their government are left with wasteland that can pay no taxes and so is not worth owning... Look at how even the concessions in our National Parks are sold for a profit..

It is because the rich refuse taxation that they have been able to buy so much of the commonwealth...Jackson sold off the Indian lands that belonged to a sovereign people, and he settled the debt... No sooner is it paid off than an excuse is found to run it up again so that more of the common wealth can be bought from under the people who are its true owners at fire sale prices by people who refuse taxation on it... Those people who privatize the commonwealth cannot defend it... It is defended by the forms of our laws and our customs, but if this people is too exploited to defend itself from its rich or anyone else, it is certain that the privatized commonwealth will be up for grabs... One of the first rulings by the Supreme Court found that the people hold title to all the land... If that land was taken from the by fraud or deceit it is forfiet... If it was honestly came by, then in private hands it still must do the people good, so private property is no more than a trust and not a one sided give away... If you have property you must bear fair tax, and in addition you must not use it to injure the commonwealth... There is no, and there never has been no ownership of any property free and clear.. A fast fish is always the property of the one fast to it...Thanks... Sweeney
Comment: #21
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:59 AM
Steve you say these countries saved and not splurged money. What is our government better at? And I've read about the healthcare in these nations. Its terrible with long lines and government telling you what procedures to get and how to die.
Comment: #22
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:19 AM
Chris McCoy, I said nothing. Facts and stats copied and pasted.A straight answer to YOUR statement and question which I've cut & pasted here: ......"I'm tallking about big, full-blown socialist and welfare states succeeding. It dosen't happen. Its never happened. You can't give me a straight answer and say country X makes socialism work."

You're welcome to argue and bury your head in the sand, it matters not to me. These are countries where Socialism is not only succeeding but the people and the countries are thriving. What I've come to realize is when you get your straight answer, you then make it up as you go along. I don't have interest in your lack of knowledge or of what you think, to continue with you. Not only are they Socialist but the people are among the happiest in the world. Those are the facts no matter what misinformation you've 'heard' or 'read' and decided to present as 'fact'.
Comment: #23
Posted by: Steve
Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:50 PM
Re: Chris McCoy,...Sir... In this country there are long lines for medical care, and it is often denied, even too often self denied because people avoid treatment they know will break them financially... I have been there... If debt and needing to go to work the next day had not kept me from wanting to spend the night in an emergancy room perhaps my child may not have died... It is a choice I made; under duress... To have a job one must do a job, and cannot be following every headache to an ER... Not every child dies after all...And not every medical intervention can save everyone...

It has been found that most old people spend more in the last month of their lives on medical care than is spent on the entire rest of their lives on average... Well enough, and I doubt that it is necessary to deprive people of life when the less one has of life, the more value it has; but some one might suggest the economy and practicality of keeping anyone alive to the last possible moment of their existence...

My old neighbor in the U.P. was told by her doctor that she might be slipping a little mentally, and that he had some medicine he could give her for it... She thought better of it, and told him: I'll worry about my mind... You just keep my body alive... And that is what it should be... Health care should be between doctor and patient without either being so concerned about the cost that they freeze up and can't function.. If all the high tech medicine is too much in cost, then consider how many do not even recieve the most basic care when it could add much to the length and quality of their lives...

This is a wealthy land where both rich and poor benefit from the investment of public dollars... I know that the rich may think they will still get top shelf care while denying even reasonable care for the poor; but in this I think they are wrong... Look who really lives long... How many hearts has Cheney had on the public dime, and it is still not enough to make him human... It does no good to keep so many old fossils alive in business and government...They should not have any better than us if our treatment will ever improve... Sooner or later every one finds the courage to die...It does not make a coward a hero to come to terms with the inevitable... All a society needs is all that individuals need, and that is some common sense...Thanks...Sweeney
Comment: #24
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:25 PM
Ok Steve. I see your point. Thanks for giving me a straight answer. Perhaps I was wrong about socialism. It can work if instituted properly, but all I was saying in my last comment was that you also gave a great reason why it can't work in this country.
Comment: #25
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:50 AM
Re: Zack I am not sure why laws and regulations are listed first, in your comments, and spending measures are listed last. If it were me, I would cut spending measures first, and be careful about cutting the "regulations." It is so easy to scream about the "burden or regulations" but hard to remember that burning rivers preceded the formation of the EPA. I have very little trust in economists who cannot focus on the details of our finite planet, nor understand the importance of air, water and soil that are clean enough to support life. Any economist that does not understand that we are approaching the physical/biological limits of our planet, is not facing reality. Cutting the subsidies toward oil and many other resource consumptions would be a good start. It is about time that economists start to articulate a vision of homeostasis for the planet, else our "growth" model will soon have to be referred to as "cancer."
Comment: #26
Posted by: bruce ritchie
Tue Apr 24, 2012 9:25 AM
Chris you made the mistake of accepting the "facts" of a far-left liberal nut job without looking further into them. Finland has the second highest suicide rate among 15 to 24 year olds in the world with Denmark 11th and the Netherlands 14th. Doesn't seem like they are so happy and who would be facing a life where hard work and achievement are devalued and subjugated to a lame, boring job with no reward for hard work so that they can support a nanny state where the bureaucrats live high on the hog. Don't ever let a far-left nut tell you that socialism works. Every strain of it has failed all over the world and no other ideology has caused more repression, murder, imprisonment, torture, malaise, entitlement, a lower standard of living, loss of freedom, and starvation. It is an evil ideology that has never worked anywhere.
Comment: #27
Posted by: Thetruth
Sat Apr 28, 2012 1:16 PM
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