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I'd rather be a Republican but........


By iwog   Follow   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 4:46am PDT   16,524 views   118 comments   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

Friday I was faced with the daunting task of clearing numerous building permits on a house that I'm renovating. The stupidity of American bureaucracy (three major pointless code updates since 2009) had me thinking that in another era, I'd almost certainly be a Republican. I went home and cleaned my handguns.

Then this morning I'm reading the news and I remembered why I'm not a Republican. While Democrats are often mislead by special interests, too beholden to liberal fringe groups, and sometimes err on the side of caution for petty causes that don't benefit anyone, Republicans have become the party of slash and burn.

The key here is Republican leaders have no intention of replacing the decimated government with freedom. This is the fundamental error of Tea Partiers and other free-market Republicans. They want to replace the government with an entrenched aristocracy and use corporate power to carry out policy.

Private prisons, private police forces, private schools, private roads, private utilities, private courts, and private money.

Take a look around the country and see how things have changed:

Money
1980
Almost all transactions are by cash or check. People traveling use cashier's checks they acquire for a small nominal fee. Credit cards are almost exclusively used for dining while free store cards predominate for gasoline and department stores.

2012
Almost all transactions are by credit card. Banks take 3% of every single purchase, and to encourage this theft they sometimes kick back 1% to the buyer. (if you have good credit)

Courts
1980
Federal, state, and local courts administer all civil justice and criminal fines.

2012
Nearly all civil litigation with corporations now occurs in kangaroo court mediation sessions and deference to these private courts are now part of almost every contract. These mediators find in favor of the corporation more than 99% of the time. Traffic tickets are now collected by private companies in most cases, and sometimes these same corporations are also in charge of giving tickets for camera infractions.

I've got more examples but everyone knows the way things are going, and before someone shouts "DEMOCRATS ARE TAKING AWAY OUR FREEDOMS!" remember that deregulation and privatization are Republican (and Tea Party) wet dreams. What they need to realize is the result of shrinking government is not freedom, the result of shrinking government is private tyranny.

THIS is why I'm not a Republican. Democrats are flawed, but their faults are crystal clear and they are open to attack because government is transparent. Republicans on the other hand are flawed, but their flaws are quickly hidden by burying them in Haliburton or Blackwater or Robert Mericle.

Who is Robert Mericle? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kids_for_cash_scandal

Republicans today are the LITERAL carriers of George Orwell's "1984" Big Brother dystopia. They want it, they vote for it, and they are at least half way to achieving it. You can either push is further down that road and help kill off whatever government we have left, or you can try and put government......REAL government that can be controlled, back in charge of the country.

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FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 5:00am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 1

Why would you want to be constrained to either party?

If CA Democrats were so good our state wouldn't be permanently out of money with widespread theft at the city employee level.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 5:04am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 2

FortWayne says

If CA Democrats were so good our state wouldn't be permanently out of money with widespread theft at the city employee level.

I thought you were from Fort Wayne. Is there a Fort Wayne in California?

freak80   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 5:07am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 3

iwog says

They want to replace the government with an entrenched aristocracy and use corporate power to carry out policy.

Correct. "Free market" is code for Crony Capitalism.

iwog   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 5:11am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 4

FortWayne says

Why would you want to be constrained to either party?

If CA Democrats were so good our state wouldn't be permanently out of money with widespread theft at the city employee level.

I do vote Republican in California when it is merited. Davis was corrupt so I voted for Arnie, but Jerry Brown was clearly a conservative Democrat with good ideas so I voted for him.

I'm talking mostly about national politics. California is screwed up financially, but more blame can be assigned to Prop. 13 and the initiative system than liberals.

Are things here too politically correct and liberal? Yes. Are California liberals going to pay judges to send children to prison so a private corporation can make more money? No.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 6:16am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 5

If prop 13 were to be repealed all of the retirees who live in our neighborhood on social security would be on a street or would require huge government subsidies just to survive.

It's a good prop for the residents of CA. The once who don't like it are the greedy government unions because they want to tax us to pay for their ever escalating benefits and pensions. They'll have no problem throwing people out onto the street if they can fund their golden pension benefits in the process.

CA doesn't have a revenue problem, they do have a huge spending problem. And another huge issue with theft and corruption. And that's all our CA democrats who have been in charge seems like forever now.

Patrick   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 6:27am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 6

Your reasoning is correct, but people don't vote for rational reasons. At least the lower-class Republicans don't.

They vote for images, stereotypes, team, and tribe. No reasoning! Reasoning itself is supect -- faith is the only virtue!

http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/17/forget-the-money-follow-the-sacredness/

This is the great insight of the ruling class and the fatal weakness of American democracy. For example, using images and simple spin, it is easy to rename the estate tax to the "death tax" and cut it, even though only the 0.3% wealthiest Americans would ever pay it, and absolutely zero small businessmen and farmers. A pure win for the aristocracy!

Prop 13 was a similar win, where the rallying cry of "Don't kick out grandma" was used to mask the real intention of exempting businesses and landlords from paying property tax.

So to get votes, rational people should co-opt the right wing symbols. You have to plaster huge flags, crosses, soldiers, and white people on your campaign. Let the details be rational, but go all-out insanely Nazi nationalistic with your symbols.

Any graphic artists out there want to help with this?

Vicente   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 6:29am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 7

FortWayne says

If prop 13 were to be repealed all of the retirees who live in our neighborhood on social security would be on a street or would require huge government subsidies just to survive.

If people are so worried about Mrs. Grundy, repeal all the the other parts and leave ONLY protection for primary dwelling with no inheritance of tax basis.

Wait, the conservatives aren't opposed to the commercial side of Proposition 13 and it's crony capitalist protection of entrenched industries? Color me surprised!

iwog   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 6:34am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 8

FortWayne says

If prop 13 were to be repealed all of the retirees who live in our neighborhood on social security would be on a street or would require huge government subsidies just to survive.

Not necessarily. Prop. 13 can be modified to exclude transfers to children and grandchildren and transfers between partnerships and corporations. That would solve most of the problem right there. No one would be forced to move and California would become competitive again for business.

FortWayne says

It's a good prop for the residents of CA. The once who don't like it are the greedy government unions because they want to tax us to pay for their ever escalating benefits and pensions.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. "Greedy government unions" is simply code for "people still clinging to a middle class standard of living". We're driving headlong into a two class society, and gutting compensation for government workers......... REAL workers like teachers and firefighters and police officers, will only make the economy worse.

FortWayne says

CA doesn't have a revenue problem, they do have a huge spending problem. And another huge issue with theft and corruption. And that's all our CA democrats who have been in charge seems like forever now.

California has a revenue problem. The state has been charged with doing too much by citizens who have rubber stamped nearly every bond issue ever put on a ballot. The ONLY WAY CALIFORNIANS ARE GOING TO CUT BACK IS TO INCREASE TAXES AND MAKE IT PERSONAL. Electing Republicans to cut the budget would be a disaster because they would likely cut taxes too.

freak80   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 6:39am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 9

Patrick says

For example, using images and simple spin, it is easy to rename the estate tax to the "death tax" and cut it, even though only the 0.3% wealthiest Americans would ever pay it, and absolutely zero small businessmen and farmers. A pure win for the aristocracy!

I even got a flyer in the mail that had a picture of an "average" family looking over the grave of their grandfather.

The estate tax is absolutely essential for preventing an aristocracy.

Patrick   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 6:48am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 10

Yes, the estate tax and fair property taxes are the main ways to prevent America from turning into feudal Europe.

In the book "unSpun" by Jackson and Jamieson that I'm reading, page 115 talks about how the American Farm Bureau could not find one single instance of any farm in America that had to be sold to pay estate taxes.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 7:45am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 11

Patrick says

Yes, the estate tax and fair property taxes are the main ways to prevent America from turning into feudal Europe.

Patrick you should define fair, for everyone fair is different. With 10% state taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes, all the little fees everywhere that add up.... I think here in CA we are way beyond past the fair part of it all to the land of government lala land of tax and spend.

When my wife worked at the city, the city bought pencils (in some crony insider deal) for a $1/pencil, all when just walking down the street to Staples one could buy the same pencils for 10c/each without even having to go bulk. Brought by the same people who buy politicians year after year just so they can increase the size of their pensions.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 7:47am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 12

iwog says

California has a revenue problem. The state has been charged with doing too much by citizens who have rubber stamped nearly every bond issue ever put on a ballot. The ONLY WAY CALIFORNIANS ARE GOING TO CUT BACK IS TO INCREASE TAXES AND MAKE IT PERSONAL. Electing Republicans to cut the budget would be a disaster because they would likely cut taxes too.

A lot of people want state to cut out the fraud and abuse. Maybe unions need to come to reality that pensions need to be cut and reformed. Instead they are goosed every year with overtime and other pension spiking resulting in a state that will never have enough money to cover the liabilities.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 8:16am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 13

FW makes shit up.

It's true that when things were booming, unions got some increases that were unwise in hindsight. But they have gotten squat since 2008. DOn't kid yourself. Only decreases in fact.

PEnsion reform probably will have to happen, and may involve both workers and the state putting a little more in to the funds, or at least workers doing so, but it will be fairly easy to fix.

I'm fascinated by the idiots that have no clue what our pensions are. They think it's just some perk paid by the state. No ! It's a percentage of our salary that goes into a fund and is matched by the state. It shows on our check each month as a deduction. For teachers this is in place of social security.

It's just part of the way we are compensated, and it's part of a contract. When teachers pay in to a fund for 30 to 40 years, and you enviously hear about their wonderful pension, you should realize, you could sock money away for 30 or 40 years too.(btw, I came to teaching late and won't be getting any big pension)

They can't just "lower pensions." What would that even mean ?

FW is an echo chamber for the right wing propaganda machine. You should try thinking for yourself FW. You can do it.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 8:22am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 14

Not only did it show an overwhelming majority (83 percent) of Californians agree that pension systems are a problem that needs reform, but it showed nearly two-thirds support among public employees themselves.

http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_20259412/sam-blakeslee-republicans-back-jerry-browns-pension-reforms

socal2   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 8:43am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 15

marcus says

I'm fascinated by the idiots that have no clue what our pensions are. They think it's just some perk paid by the state. No ! It's a percentage of our salary that goes into a fund and is matched by the state. It shows on our check each month as a deduction. For teachers this is in place of social security.

I am fully aware of it. I work for a private engineering firm and bid on California government projects all the time. Most California municipal projects require we pay our people Prevailing Wage. In virtually every category from our engineers to field surveyors, the Prevailing Wage Rate is nearly double the pay and benefits of what we pay our people.

Check out the basic "laborer" classification for SoCal. It's nearly $100,000/year when you include pensions and other benefits. It's a total joke and totally unsustainable.

http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlsr/pwd/Determinations/Southern/SC-023-102-2.pdf

marcus   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 9:02am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 16

socal2 says

In virtually every category from our engineers to field surveyors, the Prevailing Wage Rate is nearly double the pay and benefits of what we pay our people.

I'll admit, nearly 60K in pay, plus nearly another 40K in benefits is good pay. Shoot,...if you have a wife working for another 40K you might be able to barely support a small family in California. That is insane for 2012 in California. 60K in 2012 is like getting 22K in 1980 (according to a CPI calculator - note cpi generally understates inflation) .I wonder what they paid for that work back then ?

Yeah, you're probably right. This shouldn't go on. It gives support to the wages of others, but they all need to fall to a slave wages level. The sooner all workers are fucked the better !

I think the gist of your argument is that times are tough, and they need to be tough for EVERYONE, except the 1%, or maybe it's the 10% ?

Patrick   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 10:39am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 17

FortWayne says

Patrick you should define fair

Seems easy enough to define fair. Fair property taxes are the same percent of property value for everyone.

What's unfair is for one person to pay only 10% of what the person next door in an identical property pays.

It's even less fair that corporations, which do not die, get their tax rate fixed at the time of purchase. With inflation, this means that they will eventually pay about 0%, while the rest of us pay their property taxes for them.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 11:01am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (1)   Dislike (1)     Comment 18

marcus says

Yeah, you're probably right. This shouldn't go on. It gives support to the wages of others, but they all need to fall to a slave wages level. The sooner all workers are fucked the better !

It doesn't work that way Marcus. Contrary to what government unions believe, money does not grow on trees. To pay you, government has to take it from someone else.

And as you can tell, this system of enabling corruption of tax and spend cronyism isn't working out too well for CA. Constantly growing numbers of poor, government programs, and more poverty in a self feeding cycle... while government just taxes more and spends more.

Andyou should be honest, you guys don't care for "workers wages". The only wages you care for is yours. Benefits union workers in CA get are better than executives in well to do businesses can afford.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 11:10am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 19

Patrick says

Seems easy enough to define fair. Fair property taxes are the same percent of property value for everyone.

What's unfair is for one person to pay only 10% of what the person next door in an identical property pays.

They had that before, and it was hurting a lot of older folks because government property taxes were forcing them out of their residences into poor house.

I think it would be fair if government did not take any property taxes at all from anyone, at least on primary residences. This way old folks would be ok, and younger crowd would not feel the full force of the state racket.

iwog   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 11:58am PDT   Share   Quote   Like (3)   Dislike (1)     Comment 20

FortWayne says

To pay you, government has to take it from someone else.

This deserves an entire University to analyze. The complexity of the modern economic arrangement is very complicated, which is why factions quickly form on either side.

To pay anyone anything you've got to take it from someone else.

That's not an argument.

Most rich people don't produce anything. Warren Buffett, sometimes the richest man in the world, has never produced anything. All he does is organize the producers. If you examine it more closely, all he does is organize the organizers of the producers. His value to society is absolutely zero. His big wins, Coca Cola, American Express, etc. would have produced just as much had Warren Buffett never been born.

And it's not just investors who leech the system. A CEO doesn't produce anything either unless he's one of the tiny minority of innovators who have successfully transitioned from producer to exploiter. These people are as rare as hen's teeth and should NEVER be used as examples of the norm. Unfortunately Republicans drink this Kool Aid every day and refer to robber barons as "producers". It's kind of a sick joke.

Anyway back to my main point. Every square inch of farmland in California is owned by someone. So are 100% of the water rights. To eat, you must take something from someone else! However the total number of farm jobs is a tiny fraction of the population of California. A fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent. The total consumption by farmers of goods and services is also a teeny tiny fraction of a percent.

So what.........millions of us are supposed to starve??

A comprehensive answer would be extremely complicated. The short version is that humans have devised millions of different activities to create demand for the food that farmers don't really need to sell us. This is obvious in a closed system but not so obvious in a huge economy. Suffice to say that we've invented an incredibly huge service economy to distribute overly productive workers and prevent mass starvation.

So what is it you really want? California's budget cut by billions? Demand for food cut by billions? Farms lying fallow because demand disappears? People starving?

That's what happened during the Great Depression. Fiscal responsibility is a mirage. It's a pipe dream that sounds good but translates into a horror movie. The reason taxes keep going up, the reason it seems like more and more of our money is being taxed, is because more and more of us are doing nothing to create wealth.

You've been lied to. The host isn't rich people and the leeches aren't the working poor and the unemployed. The host is the working poor. The mexican farm workers, the mechanics, the home builders, the ditch diggers, the fishermen, the miners, the teachers, the fire fighters, and the roofers.

You and I and most people with money are the leeches. Ayn Rand got it exactly backwards. Atlas isn't the robber barons. Atlas isn't Steve Jobs or Warren Buffett or the investors or the bankers or the trust babies.

Atlas is a poor Mexican picking your food. If every man and woman worth over $100 million disappeared tomorrow, if every last one of them was carried back to heaven, the world would function exactly the same way as it does now.

If every person in the country making minimum wage disappeared tomorrow, the economy would collapse, people would starve, and we'd probably be in a new Dark Age.

iwog   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 12:05pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 21

Sometimes I turn things into an essay without wanting to.

The economy is exactly as large as it needs to be to consume all we produce. If you gut middle class workers, you gut demand and therefore you send our collective standard of living spiraling down the drain. You CANNOT simply trim billions out of our economy without replacing it with something else.

Balancing budgets with huge spending cuts and eventual tax cuts is suicide. You'll be taking money spent at Safeway and replacing it with money sent to the Cayman Islands and Dubai. This is the short answer. There's a reason we're not seeing 1933 conditions and it is almost entirely due to deficit spending by governments. That's the bottom line for me.

Patrick   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 12:25pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 22

FortWayne says

it was hurting a lot of older folks because government property taxes were forcing them out of their residences into poor house.

I think it would be fair if government did not take any property taxes at all from anyone

Woah, in one line you go from protecting poor old people to giving away billions to corporations!

If you want to protect poor old people, do THAT and nothing else. Don't force the rest of us to pay for the 0.1% corporate corrupters of our laws.

marcus   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 8:09pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 23

FortWayne says

Andyou should be honest, you guys don't care for "workers wages"

Of course I care about what I earn. Who doesn't ?

I was responding to socals point about laborers being overpaid, because he can find others to do it cheaper.

MY point was not meant to be all encompassing. It was simply that in these times where things are somewhat reversed from where they were 50 years ago, with unions under huge pressure (to the extent they even exist anymore), and government laborers payed a premium compared to what the market place for some types of labor, those government jobs are significant and they are a big part of the market place for laborers.

If you cut their pay, it does allow relative pay to drop for labor across the board. And don''t forget, those health benefits are supporting health care which is 16% of our economy. Somebody has to pay for that health care. And Iwog is right, our economy is a service economy. WE supply good and services to each other. When you intentionally cut the middle classes ability to buy those goods and services, you destroy our economic potential.

FW, why don't you try to at least explore the possibility that Iwog is right? I know the answer to that. If you tried to understand it, your head might explode.

Nomograph   befriend   ignore   Mon, 2 Apr 2012, 11:52pm PDT   Share   Quote   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 24

marcus says

FW makes shit up.

FortWayne just repeats what he hears on AM talk radio. He's another AMbot who doesn't bother to think for himself.

FortWayne   befriend   ignore   Tue, 3 Apr 2012, 12:29am PDT   Share   Quote   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

iwog says

Sometimes I turn things into an essay without wanting to.

The economy is exactly as large as it needs to be to consume all we produce. If you gut middle class workers, you gut demand and therefore you send our collective standard of living spiraling down the drain. You CANNOT simply trim billions out of our economy without replacing it with something else.

Balancing budgets with huge spending cuts and eventual tax cuts is suicide. You'll be taking money spent at Safeway and replacing it with money sent to the Cayman Islands and Dubai. This is the short answer. There's a reason we're not seeing 1933 conditions and it is almost entirely due to deficit spending by governments. That's the bottom line for me.

No one is gutting "middle class workers" here. The unsustainable government system with theft and corruption, with buying politicians to vote in more and more benefits which can't be sustained is what is wrong here.

I'm sure you've heard the news about LA City missing several million dollars worth of fuel, because all the people in charge here allowed for the "honor system" city employees to defraud taxpayers for a while now. And that is not the first scandal there. These things here are periodic, and no one ever gets fired for them either.

And now the left is waging a class warfare on the middle class with their "millionnaire tax" on everyone making $250,000 or more. So they can take the money and gi