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Monday, January 09, 2012


larry kurtz

The 1% of the US are already more like Europe than Europe is:

"Our plutocracy now lives like the British in colonial India: in the place and ruling it, but not of it. If one can afford private security, public safety is of no concern; if one owns a Gulfstream jet, crumbling bridges cause less apprehension - and viable public transportation doesn't even show up on the radar screen. With private doctors on call, who cares about Medicare?"




Who cares if the top 1% live like Kings....How does that negatively affect you? The rich have to spend money to live like a King, and that "trickles" down to the peasants.

Do you not understand that the 1% comprise of only 1.38 Million people in 2010. The Adjusted Gross Income one would need to make in a single year to belong to the top 1% was only $380,000. This is not very much money, especially if you live in big city.

One of the things the Left is doing in America is, they are attacking Wealth by using Income statistics. Wealth and Income are two totally different things, and one can be quite wealthy without making hardly any money year to year. It doesn't take a rocket scientists to realize the absolute fraud in all this OWS crap.

A typical response I get after the truth is revealed is, "Well not those people then.....it must be the top .01% of income earners." O.K. fine let's look at their numbers.

The top .01% of Income earners made %5,500,000 or more of Adjusted Gross Income and comprise of only 11,000 people out of a population of 330,000,000. These statistics make you guys who spew the OWS rhetoric look like fools. Don't even attempt to complain that these people in the top 1% are not paying their fair share in taxes either....it is only going to make you look even more foolish.


The problem with looking at the 1% in this country and having the wealth envy that makes us want to drag them down is sooner or later the people in Indonesia or Afghanistan or any other country in this world of ours will recognize most of those living in the USA are in the 1% of the world. People who make the 1% argument would then have to answer to the rest of the world when they come to us and ask us why we have so much while everybody else is poor.

larry kurtz

Two stories caught my eye the other day:

“On Romney, a Washington tax expert took a stab at it, “If I had to guess, you would find a very large charitable contribution deduction [based on Romney’s affiliation with the Mormon church] and then I’d think you’d see a lot of capital gains…. It’s likely to show a pretty low effective rate — but the same thing would happen if you saw Warren Buffett’s tax return.””



“It’s like a bad joke. Why did the Greek government borrow so much money? Because it couldn’t get its own citizens to pay taxes."


Donald Pay

I think people look at this backwards.

The assumption is that the values we see in Europe today are "European values." But Europe has changed, thanks largely to adopting many traditional American values. Europeans, at least the ones who ran the governments, used to be quite comfortable with a permanently stratified society, vast differences in income and mass poverty. Then they experienced a lot of great literature (Dickens, etc.) and maybe more significantly, two world wars, class-based revolutions and a continent divided between freedom and totalitarianism.

The Europe we see today is a Europe that has embraced American values, melding individual initiative with communal responsibilities. The question I have is why are we so intent on copying old European values of a permanently stratified society?


I don't believe we are, Donald. We choose what and where we want to be. The biggest factor in holding us back is the person who looks back at us in the mirror each day. We have all kinds of excuses. I cannot afford school. I cannot move. I am married and tied down with kids. I have a house. Everybody is out to get me. The big businesses won't let the little guys compete.
I work for the amount I want to and have the initiative to work for. I do not blame anybody but me for what I lack and I credit me for what I have accomplished. If you want to be trapped into the old European values, that is your choice.

Donald Pay

We can all see from your post above that "I" is huge in your philosophical outlook, duggersd. You seem to judge everything by what "I" think and what "I" can do. and you certainly think "I" can do a lot. You are a proud, independent man and you put yourself up on that pedestal, because there probably isn't anyone else who would. But congratulations on being self-selected as an example of the sort of myopic self-centeredness that was quite common in the world of the self-deluded Old European man of means. In Old Europe, of course, this was the result of class ossification, something that you seem not that concerned about. Where your delusion comes from, I do not know, but it seem to be the very antithesis of the philosophy of America, which wanted nothing of the Old World social structure.

Stan Gibilisco

My great concern is that our country is evolving into what Marco Rubio recently called a "deadbeat nation" in his blistering missive to President Obama. You know, that son of Hispanic immigrants down there somewhere in "little Cuba."

We can debate whether or not Europe is a "deadbeat continent"; one might look at Greece and say yes, then look at Germany and say no.

But if one goes to Miami and looks at the Cuban immigrants and their descendants, one could never call them deadbeats. I hope that Rubio becomes the Republican nominee's running mate!

When Mitt Romney refers to "Europeanization" of America, he's doubtless playing on the visceral revulsion that Americans maintain for socialism. But there's socialism of the German sort, and socialism of the Soviet sort. Many of us (myself included) remember the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and continue to believe, to this day, that they at one time posed a genuine threat to the freedom of people all over the world.

I do not think Greece or Germany or any other European nation pose a direct threat to us, although the failure of the European socioeconomic system would hurt the whole world.

I don't necessarily fear "European socialism" so much as I fear that our young people are growing up without a sense of values, that almost nobody takes pride in their work any more, that (alas for my own livelihood) hardly anyone appreciates or even reads books any more; that people in general think that they can get something for nothing (or a lot for a little), that it's okay to cheat if it will get you more cool stuff.

I take some comfort in the recollection that Socrates expressed similar concerns about Greek society in his day. This sort of cynicism is not new, and humanity has not died off the face of the planet yet! A contingent of every aging generation thinks that the "young-uns" are a bunch of losers. I don't want to get too cynical, but I'm afraid the evidence is mounting: We're in trouble of turning into an honest-to-God deadbeat nation.

Speaking for myself, I, like Dugger, take pride in my work, and I do not intend to sacrifice what quality I can muster for any amount of free stuff, or should I say, free crap. Even if we get to the point that 99 out of every 100 Americans are willing to settle for fourth-rate rubbish, I will never. European characteristics (whatever they are) really don't have anything to do with our present plight. Those "Euro-socialists" do make a great target for cynicism and revulsion, though, don't they? There's nothing like whipping someone else to dissipate one's own frustrations. Trouble is, all the thrashing in the world won't solve the problem.


Donald, I believe in personal responsibility. You appear to be one of those sad people who believe things are out of their control. That is not putting myself upon a pedestal. You go ahead and keep believing your miserable existence is due to things others do to you. I will continue to believe I am the person most responsible for where I am. And we will see who is happier. BTW, those "I's" in the first paragraph were examples of what I hear people say as to why they cannot get ahead. I was not referring to myself in particular.

Donald Pay

No, duggersd, I think there are some things that are in our control. One of those is not to be so arrogant as to think that I or any human being has control over everything in life. You may not know it, but you are one drunken or speeding driver away from being one of those people you imagine that you could never be. Don't think the worst you could imagine couldn't happen to you? I work with many disabled people who felt the same way. Your self-righteous talk about "personal responsibility" wouldn't mean a lot if you couldn't even control your bowels. Get off you pedestal and start living in the real world.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: I was having a conversation with Cory. I am not sure what pronoun you would have me use. Perhaps you would prefer the passive: arguments were made and evidence produced, which is more than one can say for comments appended by you.

Stan Gibilisco

Donald and Duggger, I agree with both of you. I believe in taking responsibility for my own life as much as possible, but I also know that life can veer without warning and completely contrary to one's perception of oneself.

While I relish the thought that I might thrive until I die, I realize that things might happen that I do not foresee. Yesterday I swam my usual mile and a half and did plenty of writing work; I take for granted that my heart and brain are in great condition for a guy my age. Today I might suffer a heart attack or stroke, years of good diet and exercise notwithstanding, and tommorow find myself unable to walk across a room or write my own name without assistance.

I believe in helping people who truly need it (although I'd prefer to choose the targets of my benevolence as opposed to having people in Washington choose them for me); but my whole being recoils from the notion that some bureaucrat in a far-off city should force me to subsidize people who suffer from no malady other than acedia.


Donald, please re-read this. "The biggest factor in holding us back is the person who looks back at us in the mirror each day." It does not say the only factor, it says the biggest factor. The things beyond your control are not what are important; it is what you do about those things.

Donald Pay

OK, maybe I've been too hardass here. Sorry.

Believe me, I know there are people who reap all the benefits they qualify for. In disability circles that is called being a "good advocate for yourself." These people usually are able, eventually, to find good productive work. More often, people do not know about benefits or subsidies, and have no idea how to go about finding out about them. They need others to advocate for them.

None of these people will be getting rich off what you think is your tax dollars. About 99 percent of my caseload would be homeless without their benefits. Many have paid and continue to pay into the social security system and county or state taxes that pay their benefits. Most of them have some work or are looking for work, and most have some sort of real disability that precludes fulltime work.

But I do see problems with people receiving subsidies who somehow think they should get basic cable, when they have a cigarette habit that eats up $10 a day. Hey, choose one or the other. Anyone who works in my field knows there are little things like this that drive them crazy. I had a person who wouldn't go to work until he got his cigarette in the morning. When he runs out, I've had to buy him packs so he wouldn't lose his job. Still, these are little things.

And, just so you know, sometimes the person looking back at you is a paranoid schizophrenic, who has five jobs and thinks the police are going to have him fired from every one.


Donald, I do not have a problem with people truly disabled having help. I agree with your problems with the cable/cigarette dilemma. I do not know the whole story about the guy who needs you to buy him a pack of cigarettes, but if that person has no other problems, well you are enabling him to do that. As for the paranoid schizophrenic, that person is ill and outside of the scope of what I refer to as personal responsibility. Good luck with your clients.

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