Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dear America,

Now that we have:

a) 24 percent of the nation's income going to just one percent of the population* and

b) one in seven people living in poverty,

I have two words for you:

1) Madame

2) DeFarge.

She's heading this way and it ain't gonna be pretty.

Love, Erin

* You do understand that, don't you? Take 100 Americans and $100, give one guy $24 and the other 99 peeps have to fight over the remaining $76.

Think about it.
*  *  *


jojodancingbear said...

whose names are you suggesting she will knitting this time!

jojodancingbear said...

will be bad

hoosierboy said...

The Government gives 50% of the remaining people money for nothing, so the rest of us have to fight over the meager balance.

Once Known as The Badger said...

Hoosierboy, where'd you get that phony statistic? Get real.

hoosierboy said...

In the interest of fair reporting we should also note that while a small percentage of people control the wealth, they also pay the taxes. The top 5% in income pay nearly 50% of the taxes.

Things zare not fair, but I would not want to live in a country where my earning potential is capped and controlled by a bureaucrat or politician.

Erin O'Brien said...

God it's beautiful to watch the righties defend the thieving rich.

That 24% is up from about the 18% we had in pre-income tax days. And mind you--today's "filthy rich" ain't no Rockefellers and Vanderbilts. These cocksuckers don't do anything but steal the money from our 401K's.

So give 'em some more of your money Hoose--and seeing as you're feeling so benevolent, throw in a steak and blowjob while you're at it.

Bill said...

the solution to this "problem" is the union.

Judy said...

The trickle down economics from a while back has been proven not to doesn't trickle down; it gets invested and kept...leaving the bottom with nothing...if it continues, we will have the haves and have nots...two classes rather than a bunch...when one class controls so much of the wealth, it makes slaves of the rest of us...yes, they pay the taxes, but they can afford to pay the comes with the territory...if you are lucky enough to be part of the 'haves', you must pay for it...and yes, it's luck not just hard work...many of the have-nots work very hard (some times with several jobs) and still never make it to the 'haves''s the luck of the draw...

Bill said...

btw, who did that $100 originally belong to?

Erin O'Brien said...

... tapping fingers waiting for a rightie to show up and blame these numbers on poor people who were suckered into sub prime loans ...

Bill said...

E: Your warning is right on! I think there are plenty of people in the current adminstration who have Madame DeFarge like attitudes. A good reason to vote in November.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoosierboy wrote:

"In the interest of fair reporting we should also note that while a small percentage of people control the wealth, they also pay the taxes. The top 5% in income pay nearly 50% of the taxes."

In the interest of fair reporting, would you care to offer a credible source for the above assertion?

hoosierboy said...

"Update Tax Day 4/15/2009: CNN reached a similar conclusion.

The top fifth of households made 56% of pre-tax income in 2006 but paid 86% of all individual income tax revenue collected, according to the most recent data available from the Congressional Budget Office...

The Tax Policy Center estimates that for 2009, 43% of tax units (most of which are lower income households that may or may not file a return) will have no income tax liability or will have a negative income tax liability, meaning the government will actually pay them. "

a quick Google search will show you dozens of other references, including the CBO and the IRS websites.

No one is disputing the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting pooer. It is a problem.

But wealth is not finite. There is not a mythical $100 pie out there. We can all work to increase our meager share. The only alternative is to place an artificial limit on what a person can earn or how much wealth they can own. It has been tried. See Cuba. See the USSR. The result is we get rid of the wealthy -- we all sink to the lowest levels.

Who gets to decide how much money is too much? Me? You? The UN? Your elected politicians?

No thanks.

Bill said...

I didn't know what the poverty line is so found this chart. I'm not trying to make a point but here it is:

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoose - note I did say "credible source" - and alas, a card-carrying conservative blog, such as Craig Steiner's, cannot be considered same.

It also makes no mention of the taxes owed by corporations - that which the top 5% richest own whilst spending their time trying hide those same tax monies in the Caymans, Swiss accounts and other offshore hideaways and tax havens.

hoosierboy said...

I gave you a quote from CNN, Lint. Does the fact the quote was printed on a conservative website make it not a quote? (BTW, I guess you do not need to attack the fair Erin for not citing sources?)

Agree disagree. believe or not. Do your own research and prove me wrong. The IRS has abundant tables.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoose, unless you've missed it, we're not actually debating what may or may not constitute a 'quote': quotes are ten-a-penny; especially when garnered from the stock memes and talking points of your ideological brethren - I'm talking about empirical research, and as yet you've provided none in regards to the thread's actual topic.

Nor, strangely enough, are we (excepting yourself) attempting to go off at tangents and talking about taxes: we're actually talking about the yawning gap in incomes in the US.

So, now safely back on topic, allow me to refer you back to Erin's opening link, where we find someone who has done some empirical research; indeed a good deal of it, over many years and on this very subject; and who has something other than mere opinions to share:

The United States of Inequality - Trying to understand income inequality, the most profound change in American society in your lifetime.

As you were.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

However, Hoose, if you are insistent on having your "Top 5% percent pay 50% of taxes" claims above demolished, them please allow me:

Top 10 Reasons for Higher Taxes on the Top 1%

See what a little analysis and critical thinking can achieve?

hoosierboy said...

You should read your link again. The rich may pay a lower percentage compared to the rest of us, but the facts I quoted are not dispelled.

In the end, I stand by my point. Who among us is the one to determine how much an individual should make?

I do not want my potential limited. I would not want to tell my kids, "don't work hard, don't be the best, don't succeed. You do not deserve it. Lets give your hard-earned wealth to those who did not take risks, who did not work hard, who made bad life choices, who are not as fortunate".

The Constitution gives us equal opportunity, not equal outcome. When you limit a persons potential you take away the equal opportunity.

Life is not fair. You should have learned tha tin first grade when you realized some kids are sronger. faster and smarter. It is a poor society that punishes success.

Erin O'Brien said...

Hoose, this has NOTHING TO DO WITH "determining how much" anyone should make. This disparity is a direct result of filthy-stinking-back-room deal making.

I've been hollering about the 2004 SEC Rule Change for god-only-knows. Here's the backstory in case you missed it.

Did Glass Steagall put a limit on anybody's income? Hell no. It just made the players kept things above board.

That top 1%, me pretties, didn't get there honestly, but not to worry, Hoose. These guys have all the power and will more than likely keep it. They will continue to suck up your 401K one dollar at a time while you wave your flag and vote their cronies back into office.

Bill said...

Wouldn't it be nice if most of those 100 people would refuse any of the $100 because it doesn't belong to them? It's like the armored car door opening up on the freeway and everybody stops to get "their share" of the free money blowing around on the freeway.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoosierboy wrote:

"I do not want my potential limited."

Can you please point to where anyone, here, has even suggested that? No. As no one has. Please stick to the point or forever be defined by tangents.

"The Constitution... When you limit a persons potential you take away the equal opportunity."

Sorry, what has the Constitution got to do with any of this? Whilst I know it's a stock redoubt of yours when you've nothing to add, it's a stretch here, even for you.

"It is a poor society that punishes success."

Now you're just showing an inability to be taken seriously. Precisely where, in any of this, does anyone suggest "punishing success"? They don't: so why do you insist on flinging in abstractions and deliberate non sequiturs?

Hoose, I ask again: is there any chance you might stick to the topic at hand instead of wandering off constantly at tangents?

No one is insisting, or even suggesting, that you can only earn a given amount, or that you need to have it capped (and what the US Constitution has to do with any this us beyond me??) - this is a wider debate on the causes behind American poverty - and one in which you're failing to engage.

And sorry, whilst you may bring to these exchanges a first grader's overly-simplistic view on life, "life aint fair" isn't a meaningful answer: it's just a cheap clich├ęd cop out which indicates that you have little to offer here, over and above Fox-derived opinions; which is not what debate is about. If you have a proposition which you can support, with credible sources, then let's hear 'em. If not...

hoosierboy said...

ny of these sources meet your approval?:

The one below is from the IRS. The top 5 percent pay 60.63% of the taxes in 2007. Scroll to the bottom:

I am aware this is a side topic, but it pains me to have my credibility called into play when facts are facts.

We can disagree on policy and politics. If there are loopholes that need to be filled, I have no issue. We should all work from teh same playing field. Our disagreement is that the pie is finite, and that a Bill Gates should be limited on his wealth potential.

Erin O'Brien said...

"Our disagreement is that the pie is finite, and that a Bill Gates should be limited on his wealth potential."

Huh? Wha ...? That's your assertion, not mine, Hoose. I never said anything like that. I am talking about massive income disparity, the likes of which this country has never seen.

It is the result of massive bullshit 'deregulation' that gave Lehman, Baer Stearns, Golman Sachs, Merril Lynch and Morgan Stanley a license to steal--which is exactly what they did.


As far as your tax argument is concerned, gents, feel free to keep duking it out on that side bet. I'm staying out of it.

I do have one question. The righties keep talking about how they're going to cut taxes to stimulate the economy. If that's the case, why the hell didn't Bush's massive tax cuts do anything for the economy? Yeah, riddle me that.

Erin O'Brien said...

Comments are acting wiggy. Sorry if anyone is having trouble.

Bill said...

How about this? Raise the fucking taxes to about 80% on every fucking registered democrat who earns over $250,000. No one will complain.

alphadog said...

Dear Erin,
As long as you're willing to start with all of the lying, despicable, underhanded, backroom dealing, motherfucking scurvy dog douche bag politicians that have gotten wealthy via their political office, then maybe we can sit down and talk.

Erin O'Brien said...

You know you've won an argument when everyone wants to change the subject.

alphadog said...

Not changing the subject at all. Just expanding upon it.
Or perhaps focusing in a bit.

Erin O'Brien said...

Okay, fine. So focus on how your politicians have--or have not--contributed to the stunning and growing income disparity. Which ones? How'd they do it?

Feel free to flap your jaw or prove a point by providing credible supporting links.

hoosierboy said...

Well Erin, perhaps I went further than you intended. If you think that there is too much disparity there is only two choices, make theose at the bottom richer or limit the income of those at the top. Thus my arguments against limiting potential.

I guess you did nnot go that far, so perhaps all you wanted to do was complain?

Oh, and you are right, Things were so much worse under Bush -- lousy 5% unemployment, regular 2-3% growth in GDP...That dirty bastard.

alphadog said...

If you're basing your argument on the deregulation of Wall St., you need look no further than Oct. 22 1999 when the righteous and upstanding Mr. Clinton signed into law the Financial Services Modernization Act. If you really think that this is what's responsible for the income disparity, WJC is at fault.
Of course it's well beyond the one action of one man, even the president, but WTF it's a starting point.

Erin O'Brien said...

Alph--wake up. I already referenced Glass Steagall in this thread. And actually, the banking industry had been chipping away at it for decades. It's repeal was largely a rightie effort, to which Clinton and the Dems finally caved.

Wasn't that wonderful?

Dudesworthy said...

Of course you can prove anything with statistics, but out of interest:

A list of GDP per capita by country:

A list of Income equality by country:

For GDP per capita, the top countries are generally the Scandinavian and Northwestern (or some might say 'Atlantic') European countries, plus the English speaking 'new-world' countries (we really need a collective term) of Bermuda, Canada, Australia and the US, plus Japan, and finally some small oil-rich Arab countries.

If we look at income disparity, (I'm using the CIA's GINI coefficient here) the European countries with high GDP per capita generally have the most equal incomes, although this isn't an absolute rule as a few former-soviet block countries sneak in there as well (perhaps a relic of communism?). Most of the English-speaking countries come in closely behind, apart from the US, which on this list is a major outlier, marooned amidst countries in the middle-east (Iran), Africa (Cameroon) and South America (Uruguay).

What can we say from this? We can say that:

The US has the greatest income disparity of any developed country.

Excluding the former soviet block countries, income inequality generally correlates to a lower GDP per capita.

Furthermore, I would speculate that income disparity leads to a less well developed consumer market - if fewer people have a disposable income then fewer people are able to buy disposable goods, and as the US economy relies heavily upon consumption (like most western-economies) this is a bad thing - to be blunt, having a small number of rich people and a large number of poor people is not characteristic of a healthy economy, or even a first world economy.

And as for the earlier discussion about whether there is a limited amount of money to be distributed; the amount of money is definitely finite. In July 2009, there were approximately 8.3 trillion dollars in existence:

alphadog said...

I'm not defending Republicans here Erin. But had Clinton not signed, at least he would have had deniability. As it is he and the misses profited greatly along with many others in the ruling class.
I offer for your consideration the following from a leftist website:
(While it's not in my bookmarks, it does provide interesting reading upon occasion.)
My point is that as long as the government has a hand in fucking around with the free market system, it can never stabilize/balance on its own. And as long as politicians can make a buck by legislating, regulating, deregulating or masturbating that's exactly what they'll do.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Anyone using Wikipedia as a reliable source is already compromised. It's veracity and provenance are renownedly suspect.

Erin O'Brien said...

Example of an unregulated free market banking system enjoyed by a flourishing middle class, please, alph.

Yes, there's corruption in gov. Clinton signing that bill is a bad example if it.

There's plenty of shifty characters in the (AHEM) construction biz as well.

Wait. Did someone say concrete?

Bill said...

an unregulated free market banking system that is used by a middle class but they must be flourishing and they must be enjoying it? that's tough! Hmmm. I think there's an islamic banking system that lots of people are touting. I think it's based on the honor system and really doesn't need much regulation. not sure about a flourishing middle class using it though.

alphadog said...

Oh fuck me to tears, talk about getting off subject... And no, nobody mentioned concrete.
Now tell me, what's your solution to this inequality? Would you suggest that the gov. levy massive taxes against those that make more than X number of dollars per year and then, after extracting their cut for the administration of all this revenue, redistribute it to those who are less fortunate, less capable, less inspired, less driven, less lucky, or just plain fucking lazy? If this is your answer, and should it come to pass, my retirement program just became distinctly more defined. I'll be goddamned and go to hell if I'll continue to work my as off so that my compensation can be stripped away and redistributed more than it is already.

Erin O'Brien said...

Aha! alph cannot come up with an example.

My solution is proper, sensible regulation.

Re: concrete. Has there been one cubic yard of it poured in this country that didn't go through a sieve of corruption first?

alphadog said...

We both know that in the real world a market system in its pure form does not/cannot exist, but it is a benchmark (there's that word again) for which to strive.
Proper, sensible regulation? Define it. You're idea of such is different from mine, is different from hers, is different from his, is different from theirs. I'm sure that some believe we currently have proper, sensible regulation.
Re: concrete. Only down here in the South.
'Til tomorrow, a tip of the hat to my fair and worthy opponent

jonas said...

Oh what the hell, I might as well add my $.02. It's ok, I don't make enough for it to be taxed anyway...

The real problem with the $100 pie is that the guy getting the $24 doesn't live in an economic vacuum. That $24 was, in some large or small part, generated by many of those other 99 people's wage labor. Christ, that sounded Marxist. My apologies. What I mean is that that rich guy doesn't get rich, if not for aaaaallllll the people under him (or her) working their asses off for their piece of the pie.

So, it's not about limiting how much anyone can make. The questions should start focusing on HOW that wealth is made, and WHO was necessary to make it. Now of course, the 'lassie-faire' arguments say it doesn't matter. Or, that yes...the Constitution doesn't promise outcomes. Sure. But, until there's substantive proof that the rich are rich by virtue of their harder work, and the poor just the opposite...I'm not sure we can ignore what is a fairly exploitative market.

Put it another way: the disparity problem (as I see it), is not between Bill Gates and the poor homeless bastard we walk over 2x a week. Those are the extremes. The real problem is the disparity between the 2,000 junior VPs under Gates, at $300K/yr and the wage earner paving your street. You know, the guy who's at work on time for the last 20 yrs (for each of the 15 jobs he's had), trying to send his kid to college. That guy.

Nothing so simple exists to be able to say: "Well, the VPs work really hard..they've earned it." Yeah, well the street paver works pretty damned hard to. No on is saying he deserves $300K/yr. Moreover, I think we all know which of those two, in our everyday lives, has a FAR greater impact on us. The system we have created that VP job, but you and I don't need that guy to show up to work everyday. We NEED the street worker. And so that same system has been designed to overlook this reality, because we're to believe that if the street worker just applied himself, Bill Gates will give him a nice new office too.

The wealthy are wealth off the backs of others. And that's not an inherently bad thing. What's bad is to ignore that reality in order to suggest that continuing to get rich in that way is not in any way problematic to the well-being of our society.

Now, let me step back to clarify: I'm not advocating for a massive redistribution. Or even significantly higher taxes. I;m just saying that "the American Dream" usually comes at someone else's expense (see: American slave trade). It's fine to make a shit ton of money. But to believe there are no crucial social consequences to HOW its made and WHO is involved is...not...good.

Bill said...

Jonas: How about the guy who mortgages his house, takes a big risk, starts a business, uses his savings, hires friends and relatives to work for next to nothing until the business gets going, if it ever does, and starts paying for itself? On whose back is his success made? I've had two reasonably successful business and haven't screwed anybody. When we were doing well, the employees were doing well. Give me a break about making money on the backs of others. The street repair guy will try to send his kid to college to be able to get a job he wants. As a person with just a HS education, I've worked for plenty of people/companies and have been paying my taxes since I was 11 years old. I never once considered that Mr. Big, the business owner was running a successful business by taking advantage of me.

jonas said...


Just because you don't see it, or it's not happening to to you, doesn't mean it's not happening. Trees a ARE falling in the forest.

I'm glad things worked out for you. But how typical do you think that story is? If given the choice to do over now, do you think not having a college degree would offer you the best opportunities?

I'm glad you don't feel screwed over. That's really great. But you know as well as I do that we can cite example after example of corporations who have ruined the lives of hundreds (thousands) of employees because of greed and excess. And yes, there are (hopefully) thousands of people like you who have made it on their own. But, not enough.

Bill said...

Of course I would recommend a college education! I know that people get taken advantage of but most people really don't have to be victims. It's like people who put 100% of their $$ in their company stock and then cry foul when the company goes bankrupt. Personal responsibility is something we need to teach our kids. Let's stop blaming all of our problems on someone else.

jonas said...

Totally agree re: personal responsibility. I really do. The point I was making before wasn't that we need to be blaming people. Not at all. It's more that just because the system helps make some people rich doesn't mean that it also doesn't make some people poor. And more particularly, you can only have one because of the other.

Now, that's an idea that been in my head for a long time: this is the greatest society in the world. We have the best of all things. We also have some of the worst. We're going to go to Mars. And we have kids who can't read in the 9th grade. We'll cure cancer. And Washington DC will still have massive murder rates. I fear that to get rid of the worst, we will take some of the best away too. We do have finite resources, and so do do/fix one side it to take away from the other. Some people call the socialism. Some people call that social responsibility.

I'm all for no murder AND going to Mars. Just doesn't seem like the world works that way.

Bill said...

Jonas: I respect your opinion. You sound a lot like my favorite priest, father larry, who I see and talk with two or three times a week at starbucks.

hoosierboy said...

Most businesses in this country are just as Bill described. I work for a company, while it is a public corporation, the owner and his family control nearly all of the stock. I will sell nearly $20 million this year in widgets. Even if we make 10%, rest assured I will make a tiny percentage of tha tprofit. So what? Did I invest my money in equipment, in property, in buildings? Did I hire a workforce? Did I take the risks? Why should I get the rewards?

If I do not like my situation, I have to work to change it. I must get more education, aquire more skills. It is not easy.

Bitching about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor is a tilted worldview. The business owner did not take money from the poor inner city kid. The VP described by Jonas is not buying a Lexus with the wages of the street worker.

Sorry, I am not buying in.

jonas said...

Ha!! My mother would be proud to hear you say it. Thanks.

And I do appreciate your take, and what you've accomplished. Promise you this: you've worked harder than I have or likely will.

Call me an idealist pragmatist. I'm all about people making their own way. Know plenty of people who've done it...related to several. I just think that our faith in our country/government/society (of which I truly do have plenty) shouldn't blind us to real, and unfortunate impacts of how we (collectively) live. We can do better, that's all.

USA!USA!USA! (for good measure)

jonas said...


A few things...
1) "Most businesses"? Seems vague. What size? How many employees? I agree that small businesses are less likely to function amorally...they'd not as easily survive

2)My point was not that someone who makes the money ought to give it away, regardless of risk and investment. And companies need to pay people enough to be fair, and enough to remain profitable. I get that.

3) Yes, getting more education, skills, job...all good stuff. Nope, not easy. Also, not equally available...despite any argument you might make. Those resources are not equally available to all people, for aaaaalllll kinds of reasons. About 2/3 of the discipline of sociology is dedicated to making this abundantly clear.

4) Now, the relationship of the street worker to the VP isn't a one to one. It's a systemic, hierarchical relationship that exists across time and space. There are reasons that guy paves roads, and the other guy wears cufflinks. Many of those reasons have absolutely nothing to do with the choices made by those two men.

I want to continue this, I always appreciate your challenges. So, maybe I'll hop over to your space tomorrow. I'll do some digging and get you references to check out. In the meantime, I need to iron my shirt and pants for tomorrow so I can teach 1st yr engineering students that technology is NOT autonomous, despite their unfortunate views to the contrary.

Bill said...

I just realized that I made my first comment on this post at 9:18 this morning. It's now 9:22PM. I need to get a life.

Erin O'Brien said...

Thanks for mixing it up Jonas.

Bill, I love that you call him "father larry" sans capitals. Hell, I'd even pay $4 for a snotty cup of coffee to talk to father larry.

Hoose, this is completely off topic and perhaps unfair, but here's some "free speech" for you. I haven't taken anything you say seriously ever since you posted this, which pretty much explains all of your opinions.

You can come here and comment all you want, but to me you're just a common bigot. There's nothing funny, intelligent or enlightened about that.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Agreed, Erin: I got into the habit of not reading or posting here any more, as it appears to have become a haven for the redneck fraternity as exemplified by Hoosier-Hick-Boy. The link to his blog you post above merely cerements the deal.

Whilst you, Erin, do sterling work in trying to corral these 'debates' into some meaningful form (for which you are to be congratulated, wholesale), they've taken on the guise of someone trying to herd cats. And with Hoose seemingly incapable of remaing on topic (and instead using his stock bigot's bait-n-switch routine), posting here has become less attractive, as there appears to plenty of mere unsubstantiated opinion, but nothing one might recognise as actual debate - the two being mutually exclusive.

Good luck to you petal! xxx

hoosierboy said...

Erin, you are absolutly right in your criticism. I made a mistake. I should have never posted that image. I have not deleted it either. I will not hide from my mistakes. Think of it as my own Scarlet "B". I had hoped that my error would be viewed like the comments of liberals like the late Robert Byrd (member of the KKK), Joe Biden or Harry Reid. I guess consevatives are held to a higher standard around here.

I am sorry if my comments keep others from reading here. I have no intention of trying to have anything but an honest debate. I have enjoyed the conversations here as they make me think. Sadly some of your readers are not up to that challenge. They can brook no viewpoint that interferes with their worldview. After all, facts are often just a nuisance.

Your position is noted. I will no longer bother you with my opinion.

Bill said...

Erin: I'm not real consistent with the upper/lower case thing. Father Larry is a great guy. Starbucks charges 2 bucks for a venti (I think that means huge) regular coffee. So we enjoy coffee and conversation on the backs of whoever does the picking.

Cosmic (if you cheat and take another peek here): Commenting on blogs wouldn't be much fun if one didn't express an opinion. The entertainment factor would also be missing. Although if one is "constantly furious" I can see how it might be frustrating to hear opinion from "rednecks" with whom you disagree.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Bill Wrote:

"Cosmic (if you cheat and take another peek here): Commenting on blogs wouldn't be much fun if one didn't express an opinion. The entertainment factor would also be missing. Although if one is "constantly furious" I can see how it might be frustrating to hear opinion from "rednecks" with whom you disagree."

Hey Bill, allow me cheat and address your very reasonable points above.

Blogs can always be fun, even under the most testing of topic matters: you just have to remember that if people make a habit of substituting sweeping and unsubstantiated statements (i.e. opinions), where what is called for is viable and balanced debate, backed-up by verifiable and accredited source material, or go so madly off topic that all on-topic debate gets hijacked, then it's not a debate, it's a mere exchange of opinions; and you can do that whilst ordering coffee at Starbucks, you don't have to join a blog to do so.

Nor, as a published writer of some repute, would Erin take the time and effort to set up such a forum - aiming for, and with the purpose of, informed debate as she has done here. But alas, the way Hoose operates, he walks in here and takes an opinionated off-topic dump in the punch bowl and expects there to be meaningful discussion after having done so... Add to that his patently racist-redneck views (as so balefully illustrated in the link to his blog Erin shared above), and it's not long before you understand that his "world view" stretches only so far as a six-pack and plate of fried chicken wings. In a word: parochial - which, with no small irony, is the very antithesis of a 'world view'.

And, when you toss in his PhD in selective amnesia, certainly where political discourse and facts are concerned, there comes a time when even the most forgiving have to admit that they're just pissing against the wind and any further involvement becomes pointless.

I know that I and others, here, didn't join this blog to read screeds of "Hoose's 'World View'" (at least what passes for it): we joined so that we might gain a better understanding of those issues which - as clearly and invigoratingly articulated by Erin - face the American people on a day to day basis; discuss their history, their politics and societal mores, wants, joys and challenges. Sadly, Hoose's input makes that a pointless exercise, as, with each new blog post, we meander so far off base it's just tedious.

One point to note: Erin has removed all the moderating tools from anyone wanting to add to her pages, here - whereas Hoose has opted not to allow any post to appear on his blog before he's had the chance to see whether it chimes with his ideology and relentlessly right-wing position. In short, he's not an advocate or fan of critical thinking; nor the debate which is designed to flow from it.

And he's the one bitching about 'free speech'? Guess he missed the first graders' class in irony when he was at school, huh?

Bill said...

Cosmic: OK. I get you. I look at blog comments much as I do conversations at Starbucks. I often ignore in person and written comments. I've also noticed that my comments here are frequently ignored and, after re-reading, I can see why! It's a pleasure, for me, to be able to communicate with some excellent writers/bloggers and actually get my opions occasionally considered by some pretty smart people. If you leave Erin's blog, you'll be missed.

Erin O'Brien said...

I don't ignore comments, Bill. I just don't respond to every one. Some might think that's rude and I'm sorry for that.

Please know that I always appreciate comments and discussions and that I do the best I can with replies.

hoosierboy said...

One last point, and i expect you to back me up here Erin, I have never added comment verification to my blog, I have never turned on comment approval, and I have only once ever deleted a non spam comment at my site. Lint assertions are a plain lie.

Erin O'Brien said...

I can only speak for myself and say that I've never seen comment moderation enabled on your site, Hoose. As for other times, as Mitch McConnell would put it, I "take you on your word."

And jeepers, creepers, Hoose, I might add that you're awfully cavalier about what your libelous commenters say about me, but you sure are touchy about what commenters here say about you.

Bill said...

Erin: I was sort of making the point that sometimes, in the heat of a comment frenzy, I can make some pretty stupid remarks. You are amazingly interactive with your blog and I'm, in no way, complaining. Even with this HoosierBoy thing. You tell him what you think but don't block him. Besides, most guys like to be roughed up a little bit by a woman. lol.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoosierboy wtote:

"... I have never added comment verification to my blog, I have never turned on comment approval, and I have only once ever deleted a non spam comment at my site. Lint assertions are a plain lie."

Are you sure, Hoose? Completely sure; or like most things with you, just guessing and hoping it's the case?

Then might I as why, when I go to the link Erin provides above to your blog, and try and make post, do I get this warning:

"Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.

Either I'm not lying, or you are.


Erin O'Brien said...

Just went to the comment link Cos is talking about and got the following message:

"Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author."

I could do a screen capture to prove it and all, but frankly, this pissing match has lost its luster, gents, and that's all I know about that.

hoosierboy said...

I don;t give a flying rat's ass what your readers think about me personally. I do resent the implication I take advantage of free speech here and do not offer the same at

As your link attests, I do not moderate comments. I do not edit comments, I do not ban anyone or ask them to leave if I diasagree with their viewpoint. Never have. Never will. Some who comment here can not make that claim!

I welcome any of you to come over and spew anything you please. I welcome debate.

Erin O'Brien said...

Here's the link, Hoose:

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoose, weighed on the evidence provided in the last few posts, I think we can allow the readers here to make up their own mind as to the accuracy of your claims.

hoosierboy said...

I will admitt when I am wrong.

Comments on posts more than one month old are held, so that I can see them. I want to make sure I get and notice your feedback. They will never be edited and when I read them they will be published.

Comments on newer posts go right to post, ASAP.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Hoose wrote:

"I will admitt when I am wrong."

My work here is done.

Bill said...

Erin: I'd like to know how you believe Madame LaFarge's return will manifest itself in the good ol' Usa.

Derek D. said...

Thank you for illustrating the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. A Democrat believes that there is only $100 to be "distributed". We Republicans think that the pie is as big as we can dream it. I will earn that $24 through hard work and ingenuity so that the democrats can take $12 of it and give it to people who don't do anything. The problem isn't that the pie is limited. We have a cultural problem. We have an education problem. We have an entitlement problem.

Erin O'Brien said...

Dear Double D,

I'm not going to address anything you just said, I just wanted to call you that.

Bill said...

DD. You have to admit Erin's comment is pretty funny! LOL

philbilly said...

Goldarn it, when I get caught up at work I'ma readin' me this whole sunabitch. Carry on.

WV: wordial. The wordial on this thread has been turned up to 11(see Spinal Tap),and I freekin love it.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Derek D wrote:

"... Thank you for illustrating the difference between a Republican and a Democrat. A Democrat believes that there is only $100 to be "distributed". We Republicans think that the pie is as big as we can dream it."

Derek, I think you'll find that Erin was using those rounded-up figures arbitrarily, and by way of illustration, not define what voting individuals might do with the money once they have it.

Erin O'Brien said...

"All demographic groups—even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy—desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."


Hm. I guess plenty of peeps think that spreading around the wealth isn't such a bad idea, considering 20 percent of the population controls 84 percent of the money.

Expect to hear more from Mr. Ariely as midterms loom.

Bill said...

I love the reference to "the ideal level of inequality" in your source.

Bill said...

Yes, conservatives want everyone to be successful.

Lord Basil said...

Well, M.S. O'Brien, it does appear that your socialist dream in the form of Barry Soetoro is about to end on November 2nd, doesn't it?

I think it's safe to say that the hard traditionalists are going to pick up anywhere between 100-125 seats in the House, and combined with Sarah Palin's 50 state sweep in '12, liberalism, and it's attendent Marxism, Fascism, and homosexuality will be dead for the next 30 years.

So the hand wringing is a tad late...

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

OK, after 'Lord Basil's' entrance, I think this might help:

"The Base’s Hissy Fit"

Bill said...

Lord only knows!

Anonymous said...

Ok, your all right and at the same time your all wrong. As long as you have people in an equation and greed is around you will have issues. The only difference between a politician that is a Democrat or a Republican is which lie they will tell to get elected. Fix the system, term limits, serious jail time for any politician who breaks the law, like the rest of his or her life. We can argue on a blog until the cows come home but that won't change a thing. If it was up to me I would toss all of them out of office and start over. Rule One ,, no damn lawyers.

James Old Guy

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

OK, James, platitudinous rhetoric aside, what would you do to redress the imbalance in pay in the US?

Bill said...

still not sure how you would legislate balanced pay. if you tax 100% of everthing over, let's say $500,00, do you then send a check to those who earn less than $20,000? do you make everyone join a union? What about people who earn all of their money doing deals? trading stock, etc. how many stores would you have allowed sam walton to open? stop him at 100 or so? free market can be brutal to some but allows more people the opportunity to make what they want. we need a social safetynet, medical clinics, food stamps, etc. but, why do you want to limit anyone's potential? who decides what is a fair amount to earn for a particular line of work? should a sales person on commission only have an earnings cap? what's wrong with pay imbalance?

Anonymous said...

what would you do to redress the imbalance in pay in the US?
Is that really the question that Erin started with? Pay is normally based on a skill set, ability and performance. I will say to a certain degree other than government jobs that is what drives pay. Should a baseball player make more than the President, should a combat infantry man make more than a supply clerk of the same rank? Should a woman doing the same job as a man with the same performance and job expectations make the same salary? How much government do you want? Do we just pay people because they exist? One President or one party did not get us where we are today. It was a combined lack of interest on the part of the American people, looking the other way, loving their 401k, enjoying the ever rising value of a their homes. What do you think drove this seeming abundant wealth? People are pissed because the bubble popped, reality is setting in and we have no one to blame but ourselves. My answer was above, I wasn't kidding its time to clean house, understand that wishing something doesn't make it true. You won't like this but if you want your children and grandchildren and your country to survive, hard choice's have to be made. Their is no simple answer but as long as people are greedy, selfish and human nothing will be perfect.

James Old Guy

philbilly said...

Basil, couldn't we retain just enough homosexuals to keep Broadway lit up? I do enjoy attending the theater in the Big Apple from time to time. I find that taking my date to dinner at Sardi's and then a Broadway show is a powerful aphrodisiac. Took in the "Producers" and "Rent" on the last visit. Carry on.

alphadog said...

Amen to James the (other)old guy.

philbilly said...

Hey Hoosier Boy, I just wasted two minutes of my sweet life lookin' at yer blahg.

On yer Hokey Pokey life, suck it up. Life ain't what happens it's how you deal wid it.

Yer Honda's broke? You are too? Then hike up yer skirt, little lady, and get the fuck under it.

I'm wrenching on a fifty four year forklift today cuz it has to move 22 1-ton pallets of shit Monday. It was built here in Cleveland at Otis-Baker by men with sacks.

I'm gonna wire it to spike 24 Volts into the aged starter for a few seconds, then next week my homies downtown will rebuild that fucker.
I won't let anybody around here start it cuz they're candy-asses, too, they'll blow the goddam propane tank up and then some suckass lawyer will be up my ass.

This country has grown into a gaggle of puswars who can't fix anything. can't see how goddam good they got it, and blame is the game.

Not what my stepdad was decorated in WWII to defend, hoosy. He's got terminal cancer now, not a fuckin' peep. Bought himself a hotrod, took Ma on a roadtrip.

Fucking pussies.

philbilly said...

Two Cosmonauts and one of ours hotwired the hatch on the re-entry module today. That's what I'm talkin about.

Hear that slappin noise behind you, Repubs and Dems? That's the Korporate Kabal's nuts banging America in the ass.

WV= iliqu; Iliqu,EOB,even if you are a liberal dem.

philbilly said...

Speakin' of pay, I'm billing this forklift job @90-125/hr. That's the rate range for an exclusive, when a customer steps in front of my other customers, and I have to field engineer a solution.

And I'm gonna miss Weekend Update on SNL.

But I'll be philthy rich until the first.

Bill said...

Jeez,I feel pretty impotent for only fixing my fertilizer spreader today.

philbilly said...

Obviously mine already worked.

Anonymous said...

"Hear that slappin noise behind you, Repubs and Dems? That's the Korporate Kabal's nuts banging America in the ass."

+1 philbilly.


Erin O'Brien said...

Hate to break it to you gents, but the (ahem) "slappin noise" is every bit as loud behind the independents, the libertarians, the tea partiers, and every self-righteous gasbag out there.

And Phil, for reasons I'll keep to myself, iliqu as well. Iliqu lots and lots and lots.

Bill said...

RJ: All of us are getting Korporate Kaballed? All that slappin noise is starting to sound like a Gypsy King's tune. Anybody esle getting into this?

Anonymous said...

"Hate to break it to you gents, but the (ahem) "slappin noise" is every bit as loud behind the independents, the libertarians, the tea partiers, and every self-righteous gasbag out there."

Didn't mean to suggest otherwise E'O.

Bill, It seems to me anyone engaged in exchange of commodities in the U.S. is getting "Kabuled." I suppose it's possible to diminish the "exposure" to some extent by choices and participation but for the most part it's just like going to Vegas. Some will win but the house will always have the advantage. And the poor almost have to "play" because they have fewer options ergo increased "Kabuling."

I keep waiting for someone like Christine O'Donnell to propose this economic model:

"32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. 33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. 34 Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35 And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need."

Acts 4:32-35. The Bible


Bill said...


I guess we just need to determine who the apostles are. I volunteer. I promise to distribute things fairly. Then, after all the things are distrubuted, we need to figure out how to get more things to distribute.

I like the word "Kaballing" better than "kabuling". Back in the old days we used the word "balling" as a synonym for fornicating.

Dudesworthy said...

Whoah, are we heading for another 100 comment post?

I'm not sure whether to congratulate or commiserate Erin...

By the way, my word verification code thing is 'refook' - sounds awfully suspicious to me.

philbilly said...

I've infiltrated the boardrooms in the past and these creeps want us at each other's throats. It's a chess game to the elite. They never, ever worry about rent, food, shelter, and not because they are smarter or more adept. They have what they have because their great-grandfathers stole it when the getting was good, no EPA, OSHA, zoning laws, able to employ cohesive faith-based communities with a work ethic and desire to assimililate, and of course, slaves. Now that the spawn has sucked the marrow out of the middle class, they cannot create wealth, even the way their brigand ancestors could. They are utterly without imagination and zeal. They are parasites, plain and simple, and the host is dying.

I heard an NPR(liberal bias alert) bit this morning where an astute woman in a bar near Wall Street was taking it to three stock trader douchebags that had weathered the fall and still had jobs. To a man, they insisted they were still standing because, as one asshat put it, "I'm smarter than 95% of the rest of you." They absolutely rejected the notion that the bailout of their failed industry had anything to do with their Darwinism.

These are the enemy of America. They must be destroyed.

philbilly said...

I got the forklift to start, took all night.

jonas said...


Bill said...

Erin: I told you this would get to 100.

philbilly; BIG bucks for that job. way to go! Oh yeah. You're not mad because your great gandfather wasn't a crook, are you? I think it's more like hitting the lottery. There are lots of lottery winners but any one of us can win if we play. Can't win if you don't play. Risk is necessary if want to make lots of money.

philbilly said...

Bill, you've hit the jackpot, nailed the issue. A man or woman with ethics carries the weight of risk in all their undertakings. They rise or fall based on their perserverance and saavy.

Unethical bastards mitigate their risk through collusion, bribery, theft, usury, coersion, conspiracy(civil and criminal), indentured servitude, extortion, tortious interference, RICO, fraud in the inducement, the list goes on. Just because you don't get caught doesn't make you a model of success and virtue. However, the market, if blinded to ethics, will reward you. And you keep your conscience clear by believing you are the same ilk as the folks who play by the rules of ethical behavior, and succeed against the odds. That's the point, a cabal of interlopers has siezed control of the legislature and the market. We've abdicated the throne of representative government, and now we are tasting the bitter fruit of our neglect. Bill, man, have you ever rolled with these punks? They know all about Brooks Bros, Maybachs and pre-emptive strikes and IP, but they have the emotional intelligence and moral integrity of amoebas. They will always win if the proletariat is sitting slack-jawed in front of the tube, consuming.

I have more respect for street thugs, because they actually experience risk. Me.

I have seen a copy of an ancient linotype of my great-great-great uncle in front of a windmill he built on a fjord that milled grain and pumped water. He made big bucks. Sent a bunch of folks here, to America.

That 54 year-old forklift has a RedSeal Continental engine whose logo sports the motto "Powerful as the Nation", with the Rotunda in the background. Continental engines once powered 90% of automobiles made in the 30's. A nation of risk takers. Most of those car companies are long gone, but they fed the rise of the American Middle Class.

"The Lottery is a sucker's game"
Jimmy the Greek, 1972

Anonymous said...

For your heavy lifting needs call philbilly.

And pb, street thugs are clear about their intentions.

And remember, when the corporatists figured out that consumers would buy cheap imitations (i.e. shit)built by cheap foreign labor those old companies that built products with integrity had trouble competing. I think in current terms it would be accurate to say the middle class was outsourced.


Erin O'Brien said...

Jesus christ awmighty.

Bill said...

I wanna believe that karma is a factor at some point.

Bill said...

philbilly: you could have written this blog post which was tweeted by dylan ratigan. he said "it's you vs. corporations":

Erin O'Brien said...

Great link, Bill. I posted it on Twitter and I'm going to put it up on Facebook as well. Thanks.

Bill said...

sorry about the last tweet E. You're too fast! That blog post is well written but not any better than several of your commenters and, of course, yours. don't know where these compliments are coming from. must need more coffee.

Cosmic Navel Lint said...

Thought this might prove revealing.

"Study: Most Americans want wealth distribution similar to Sweden."

Bill said...

My peak earning years are over. Send money. Tack.

Anonymous said...

19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of America That Will Make You Weep


Bill said...

I realize that this article is from 2009 but it's a good counterpoint to RJ's tear jerker.

Anonymous said...

From sfgate article.

"More valuable products will be made using fewer people. Products will be made where labor and other costs are cheaper. And manufacturers will focus on the most lucrative products."

I think that's the point we've discussed all along. Corporations may do well but laborers will suffer. (Unless, of course the workers control the production :))


philbilly said...

Viva the Revolutionary Capitalist Worker's Party!