Tibor Machan on the US Tea Party, Its Influence and What the Future May Hold
The editors of The Daily Bell are pleased to present an interview with well-known libertarian philosopher Tibor R. Machan.
Introduction: Tibor Machan is currently Professor Emeritus, Department of Philosophy, Auburn University, Alabama, and holds the R. C. Hoiles Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Free Enterprise at the Argyros School of Business & Economics, Chapman University. He is also a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. Machan, who earned BA (Claremont McKenna College), MA (New York University), and Ph.D. (University of California at Santa Barbara) degrees in philosophy, has written numerous books and papers in the field of philosophy, including on issues surrounding the free-market. Machan was selected as the 2003 President of the American Society for Value Inquiry, and delivered the presidential address on December 29, 2002, in Philadelphia, at the Eastern Division meetings of the American Philosophical Association, titled "Aristotle & Business." He is on the board of the Association for Private Enterprise Education.
Daily Bell: In light of recent US Tea Party victories much in the news, we wanted to get a libertarian and philosophical point of view. Thanks for giving us some time again.
Tibor Machan: I follow the movement's doings by reading both pro and con comments on its candidates and leaders, as well as listening to what some of the active members say in public forums. From what I have learned through reading both supporters and critics, it appears to be a spontaneous assembly of very disgruntled American citizens with what I take to be mostly valid concerns about how the American federal government is administered now.
Daily Bell: Tea Party candidates seem to be squeezing out middle-of-the-road Republican opponents in favor of those who say they want serious tax cuts and a much smaller US federal government. Of course, the final results won't be known until November, but the trends seem obvious now, don't they?
Tibor Machan: I am no spin-doctor, but it occurs to me that if the Tea Party is to have a solid chance at influencing American politics and public policy it will have to pare down its message to certain fundamentals and express this publicly in palatable ways. The one principle that is truly representative of America as the Founders conceived of it is limited government, limited by the principle of individual liberty. Perhaps turning to this message with a clear emphasis on not trying to impose anything else on the country could be successful.
If a Tea Party candidate or leader is pressed for views on matters other than the proper scope of government, the answer should be: "No comment on that since it isn't a part of politics proper, not in a free country!" Yes, it is judicious, prudent to simply refuse to get caught up in all the issues that people may bring to the political table by teaching the lesson that they really aren't political, even if they are on the minds of millions of people.
It is also feasible to look at the Tea Party as a moving target. That is, the Tea Party is not what it was two years ago or even last year. If the movement continues to grow, and there is some evidence that it is, then some of the issues that have been identified with it may subside. Candidates may become more sophisticated and the general literacy level regarding freedom may rise.
Daily Bell: It's a bit confusing, isn't it?
Tibor Machan: Obviously, the Tea Party is a kind of populist assembly of people who have disparate ideas and objectives. Social conservatives, especially, seem to be welcome, what with pretty heavy moralizing as their central pitch. Free market champions, too, tend to be accepted but not if they are also committed civil libertarians who might stand up for illegal immigrants and oppose the vicious War on Drugs.
The overwhelming schism is probably between the libertarian element in the Tea Party and how libertarians and those who call themselves conservatives manage to make common cause or do not. There is also a Democratic libertarian element in the Tea Party but I do not think anyone knows of the numbers of the various groups or factions.
Daily Bell: Are you optimistic about its ultimate success?
Tibor Machan: Tea Party members, leaders, candidates and the like might succeed by pointing out that this country isn't supposed to be a totalitarian system in which politics takes over everything, addresses all issues on the minds of the citizenry. No, one need not have an opinion on creationism, intelligent design, child reading, drug use, and yes, even abortion. Let most of these topics be part of our social discourse, not our political thinking. That way the central Tea Party theme of reining in the scope of government is kept in focus and the pluralism of the movement can also continue to flourish but within its proper domain, namely, the variety of social positions the huge tent of those who love liberty makes possible.
Daily Bell: What do you think of groups like Dick Armey's Freedomworks? What about Sarah Palin?
Tibor Machan: Armey is, as far as I can tell, the best of what the movement has put forth from the Right Wing/conservative standpoint. Palin's energy is inspiring but once again it is unclear just what political philosophy she wants to promote. There is certainly a divide between the libertarian-oriented wing of the Tea Party and the more conservative factions, and anyone who studies the issue can see it. Palin seems to straddle that divide though her views on US self-defense are much different from the Ron Paul faction of the Tea Party."
One needs to put all this in the context of the American Left Wing as well. I have spent a good deal of my career studying the Left Wing from a philosophical standpoint. Let me tell you the snooty Left is scared stiff of the Tea Party and rolling out its heavy guns to demean it, with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin serving as convenient targets whose lack of academic erudition is held against them in massive articles in prominent magazines like The New Republic and The New York Review of Books.
Daily Bell: Generally, there seems to be a divide between conservative and libertarian in the Tea Party. What is the difference between a conservative and a classical liberal in your view?
Tibor Machan: Conservatives believe in being guided by a loose combination of traditions, sentiments, faith, and law. American conservatives, however, do have a link with libertarians and classical liberals since the American political system was conceived largely along classical liberal/libertarian lines. A libertarian is hard line about individual rights; they will readily bite the bullet when it comes to social security and other statist welfare policies instead of recoiling from opposing them as many conservatives and even Tea Party folks appear to be. This doesn't lead them to win elections (yet?) but shows them to have integrity, a rare quality among political beasts these days.
Daily Bell: Do conservatives believe libertarians – classical liberals in old-fashioned parlance – are crackpots?
Tibor Machan: No, only primitive, lacking in political sophistication, in deep enough understanding of human nature. The serious conservatives, some of the neo persuasion (Leo Strauss and his followers), see libertarians as failing to be historically savvy and thus propose policies that are at least framed too simply. But there are some very powerful minds among libertarians today from Mises and Cato, not to mention such individuals as Randy Barnett and Richard Epstein – also quite a few good political philosophers. These folks may in time educate the electorate to see that freedom – either of the conservative or libertarian variety – is really the right regime for human beings.
Daily Bell: How far back in time does "conservative" literature go? One could make an argument that libertarian philosophical literature goes back to the Greeks and beyond. Is the "conservative" philosophy in a sense a manufactured movement of modern America, designed as a Republican fall-back to maintain the two-party status of the American political system? If not, why not?
Tibor Machan: Conservatives in America can draw on Plato and Aristotle, too, just as can libertarians draw on Aristotle, Thomas, Locke, and a host of others in support of their understanding of human political affairs. I wouldn't claim that conservatism is manufactured – it is an ancient impulse the opposite of which throughout recorded intellectual history has been radical!
Daily Bell: Here is Dick Armey's Freedomworks Contract From America, below. Do you agree with these points? Does it go far enough?
1. Protect the Constitution
2. Reject Cap & Trade
3. Demand a Balanced Budget
4. Enact Fundamental Tax Reform
5. Restore Fiscal Responsibility & Constitutionally Limited Government
6. End Runaway Government Spending
7. Defund, Repeal, & Replace Government-run Health Care
8. Pass an 'All-of-the-Above" Energy Policy
9. Stop the Pork
10. Stop the Tax Hikes
Tibor Machan: Sadly the Constitution isn't a coherent legal document, especially now that it has been driven Leftward or Rightward by the Justices and their supporters in the field of jurisprudence. Prominent law professors such as Cass Sunstein, Richard Posner and Ronald Dworkin, different though they are, do not embrace natural rights or individualism.
As a hard line libertarian, for me the list is at best a stop-gap measure on the road to a bona fide free society. For example, instead of "Enact Fundamental Tax Reform" I would make no bones about demanding the eventual abolition of taxation just as serfdom had been. (It is made, in principle, of the same cloth, a type of involuntary servitude.) Some will say that political reality requires this kind of list, which is largely unprincipled, but I look to the long run and don't hold out much hope for progress within the framework of current politics.
Tea Party people should be wary about being drawn into discussions on matters that are not the proper concern of politics and public affairs. Therein might lie a way to victory, especially now that suspicion with governmental meddling is rife throughout the citizenry. This attitude can easily be linked to the central, crucial tenets of the American political tradition, the founding documents and the thinking of the Founders. That they may not all be entirely palatable in our age will not matter if discussions and proposals are kept to essentials. What is exceptional about America is its limited government tradition and moving away from this is wrong, inefficient, and, yes, un-American.
Daily Bell: Should the drug war be on the agenda as something that should be ended as well?
Tibor Machan: Here is a good one – if the Tea Party could come out four-square against the vicious War on Drugs it might gain some respect from most serious Americans. I am old enough to remember Baby Boomer attitudes to the War on Drugs from the 1960s and 1970s and I have a hard time believing that those who participated in the youth culture of that generation have changed so much that they now believe people who smoke marijuana should be incarcerated. The Drug War consensus is manufactured in this regard. If the drug laws were repealed tomorrow I do believe that the only constituency that would be upset would be law enforcement. Just like Prohibition and alcohol, the War on Drugs is a manufactured consensus, not one that has a great deal of grass-roots support. It is also a terrible tragedy for those who have been caught up in its destructiveness.
Daily Bell: How about public schools?
Tibor Machan: The advocacy of the abolition of public schools has to be on the list of a solid revolutionary program but it has to be framed very well. For example, opponents of the government education system should draw on the work of the Leftist Ivan Illich, who was a fierce critic and based the criticism on serious anti-statism. The trouble with taking on public education, I should note, is that it commands a good deal of support of the vocal suburban middle class in America. Generations have grown up within public schools and tend to believe the positives outweigh the negatives. Of course, they have no exposure to inner city schools and tend to not to dwell on the dropout in American high schools, which is approaching 50 percent. Something needs to be done, but I would not bet that public schools would end up on top of an expanded Tea Party agenda.
Daily Bell: What about the Federal Reserve and central banks in general?
Tibor Machan: The Fed has to go, in time, but as with public schools much education is needed before that can get on the agenda. As Rand once put it, "It is earlier than you think," meaning the American public hasn't been sufficiently educated about the very meaning of the principles of the Declaration of Independence.
Daily Bell: The "libertarian" wing of the Tea Party might agree with many points of the Contract From America. But overwhelmingly, the libertarian Tea Party movement seems anti-war and wishes to bring US troops home without delay from Afghanistan and Iraq, etc. Many in the libertarian version of the Tea Party movement wish to shut down some or many of the 1,000 or so military and intelligence bases that the US has built and staffs around the world at great expense. Do you agree?
Tibor Machan: I would not wish to be too brazen here since I do not know just what kind of genuine defensive military policy would be suited to America's current geopolitical situation. I have noted along with many others, and your website as well, that the Afghanistan war seems to be coming in for a good deal of criticism, not regarding its purpose or utility but rather its success or failure. For many Americans, the criterion for war regardless of larger strategic issues is whether or not victory is at hand. Short wars, regardless of expense, are more popular than long ones.
Daily Bell: Is there currently much of a difference between Republican and Democratic administrations?
Tibor Machan: Only that the Republicans, in the main, like controlling people's personal morality and private lives while Democrats mainly aim to control people's public morality and economic affairs. But both want to grab power from individuals and have been increasingly successful at doing so over the past decades. Whether groups like the Tea Party can reverse this trend remains to be seen.
I will give you one anecdote. In one discipline I work and teach in, business ethics, the assault on business, on the pursuit of profit – read: private prosperity – is unrelenting! The bias in the literature is overwhelming. But generally if you work in academia, you are exposed to it and unfortunately it is often made clear that people will not go far if they do not adopt at least rhetorically some of the talking points of the Left.
Of course, much of the Right is also wedded to some type of theocracy and will not give that up. The clash of ideologies makes progress a good deal less rapid in my view than it might be otherwise.
Daily Bell: Is the Internet making a difference in all this? How so?
Tibor Machan: It does render delivery of news and communication very rapid. And it has been in part responsible for the resurgence of libertarian thinking via Cato and the Mises Institute because the information it presents is very cheap to place on line. Of course all that may change in the future depending on 'Net neutrality and two-tier billing systems that differentiate 'Net services.
Daily Bell: There was just a Tea Party movement set up in Australia. Is this becoming a worldwide movement? What are the ramifications?
Tibor Machan: Obviously, the Tea Party's populism isn't confined within country borders. I am less certain, I should say, of the Tea Party's penetration in Europe. If there is one theme the Tea Party endorses it is that the entitlement system of public policy is economically fatal and Europeans are so far too wedded to it. They tend, on the whole, to believe that government is Big Daddy and must look out for them all.
Daily Bell: Time will tell. Additional books our readers should look at? Articles?
Tibor Machan: There is a flood of works coming from The Mises and Cato Institutes and other think tanks such as the Reason Foundation. Fox Business Network is now regularly showing programs such as "FreedomWatch" with Judge Andrew Napolitano and "Stossell," with John Stossell (formerly with ABC TV), which are nearly consistently libertarian ... and not in an economic reductionist way either.
Daily Bell: Interesting. Thank you for making space in your busy schedule to answer these timely questions.
Tibor Machan: You're welcome.
The Bell has recently offered several additional articles on the Tea Party and this interview with Tibor Machan is fairly comprehensive. The important issue from the Bell's standpoint is that the truth-telling of the Internet is likely a driving force behind the Tea Party and one that is hardly ever acknowledged within the mainstream media – which continues to treat the Tea Party as some sort of Ross Perot revival ... only crazier.
In fact, some of the same themes that Texas billionaire Ross Perot tapped (in the 1980s versus Bill Clinton) are inherent in the Tea Party narrative. But the difference is that Ross Perot pretty much co-opted the message of his day (and may have done so to throw the election to Bill Clinton, some speculate) whereas the current Tea Party movement seems broader and deeper, and is undoubtedly, in many of its parts, sincere. For this reason, in the Bell's view – and Bell staffers have been making this argument generally for years – the underlying dissatisfactions with the current Western sociopolitical setup should continue to resonate.
The Gutenberg press began a revolution that culminated with the Renaissance and the Reformation. The Internet, as the Bell often points out, is a modern-day Gutenberg press, so to expect that the Tea Party movement will soon lapse into irrelevance is perhaps a misguided perception.
Powerful communication revolutions are processes, and are not wedded to a time frame. They are not even, in our view, necessarily mitigated by censorship, as they may take on a life of their own. Certainly the Tea Party movement seems somewhat "co-opted" by the establishment currently. But it was initially a libertarian-oriented movement and as it grows up, it may become MORE libertarian and free-market oriented not less. (The power elite, for instance, was apparently behind the Reformation but history seems to show they lost control of it.)
Yes, co-option, which is continually taking place, eventually may not make a difference. The Tea Party movement has now spread to Australia and Europe seems to be having its own version via protests against austerity, etc. Again, what's (at least partially) driving the Tea Party, is a yearning for more freedom and less authoritarianism; this is in fact something the truth-telling of the Internet addresses.
Nothing has happened like this for 500 years in our view, and thus to compare today's events to a particular political movement or some sort of evanescent social convulsion is probably not apt. Even the alternative press – often focused on elite conspiracies and social control – doesn't fully seem to grasp what is going on, nor of course does the mainstream press. The Tea Party movement, as the Bell has expressed before, is actually only a manifestation of deeper cultural trends that are now in play. Are these seismic shifts?
The Tea Party is likely being driven by the twin engines of the Internet and profound sociopolitical frustration (in the West) with the systems the power elite has put in place. History shows us that such profound cultural paroxysms do not subside until something "new" has arisen. We are probably only at the beginning of such "newness" and thus it is difficult to say what it will be or how much control the elite will be able to exercise over its evolution. But it may be at least a little bit different than what has gone before.
(Note: Information from an article on the Tea Party by Dr. Machan was included in this interview.)
Posted by royblizzard on 05/01/11 03:05 PM
On the Federal Reserve, John Kennedy had an executive order created abolishing the federal reserve and it is still on the books. He created US Bond notes that were backed by Silver. They had been in circulation just a couple of weeks before he was to announce on TV what was happening. He was killed just one week before his announcement. These bills were immediately called in by the Fed and you are not supposed to own any, but you can find a few folks who do. As with anything in Government, just follow the money and you'll find the perp.
Posted by James Jaeger on 10/03/10 07:28 PM
"While the tea party movement is refreshing, the odds are it will be remembered as the genesis of a different movement altogether. At present the tea party is made up of disgruntled Republicans and Democrats alike; it takes a complete new revolutionary philosophy to change America."
New Revolutionaly philosophy
Click to view link
Posted by John Barto on 10/03/10 07:04 PM
It is NOT possible that these agent provocateurs -- or a co-opted Tea Party movement -- will do ANYTHING other than:
1. continue the Fed, fiat money and fractional reserve;
2. continue the expansion of the welfare state;
3. curtail liberty with more laws and regulations;
4. maintain the Demoplublican monopoly;
5. tolerate anti-competitive business practices;
6. propitiate to media monopoly;
7. give lip-service to Second Amendment issues.
The Demopublican monopoly is strangling the U.S. Republic. It is corrupting traditional values. It is undermining the US manufacturing base. It is destroying the American middle class. It is moving us from free enterprises capitalism to socialism. It is facilitaing the globalist agenda. BOTH the Democrats and the Republicans do little more than facilitate the WELFARE and WARFARE state. The only rational solution is for the U.S. Citizen to come out of DENIAL and FEAR and form a third political party to BYPASS the Demopublican apparatus. THIS old house cannot be repaired, a new house must be built. For details on how this can and will be done READ
Click to view link
and/or listen to the narration for the new documentary now in production entitled, "SPOILER " How a Third Political Party Could Win," such documentary based on the Nelson Hultberg strategy.
Posted by John Barto on 10/03/10 07:01 PM
The TEA PARTY movement was started by RON PAUL as a result of his position on the FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM (i.e., the "power of the purse"). All else, as far as "tea party issues" are derivative, if not trivial, with the sole exception of the Second Amendment issue (i.e., the "power of the sword," as discussed by Harvard constitutional attorney, Edwin Vieira, in ORIGINAL INTENT, an excerpt at
Click to view link
In short: the GOP is attempting to co-opt the Tea Party movement and marginalize the RON PAUL REVOLUTION. The GOP must be ignored. Agent provocateurs, such as Palin, Beck, Gingrich, Armey and Napolitano must be ostracized from the Tea Party movement. ONLY libertarian STOSSEL and conservatives DOBBS and BUCHANAN should be granted credence. Notice the provocateurs don't dare invade the Ron Paul Revolution because THIS is the CORE of the Tea Party movement and they know it's impenetrable.
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 09/26/10 11:39 AM
"Real world" -
Why is selling lemonade any more "real" or necessary than writing books? Why should a writer of books and a thinker become more qualified to write books because he has sold lemonade?
"Self-made" men are rarely as self-made as they think, nor are "original thinkers" usually original (with rare exceptions). They just conceal their indebtedness better or are too stupid to be aware of it.
In fact, given the structure of the brain, the osmosis of ideas, and the ambiguous nature of the mind, an entirely original person would, with almost hundred percent certainty, be insane.
Bashing erudition and intellectual accomplishment (such as Dr. Machan's) is usual the pastime of people who have neither and suffer from envy and the inability to see merit in anyone else but themselves.
Besides, it's possible to be both erudite and an accomplished business man/woman.
One of the most original human beings I know (a professor of physics and the inventor of a field in that discipline) is also an astute trader and businessman who has amassed a small fortune without any inner connections or sharp practice. He is also a bon vivant and an exceptionally culture and literate man.
Despite two PhDs, I never heard from him a word of disdain for the unlettered. Despite business success, no word of contempt for academics....in fact, he revered and spoke highly of his teachers.
"The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword etc..."
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 09/26/10 11:19 AM
"if it means anything it usually means someone upholding the tenants of Western civilization in one way or another)"
This might seem so superficially, but "racism" is actually used against third-world writers and thinkers just as much.
In fact, the ruling ideology is not "third-worldism," as some libertarians contend. The 'third world' is just used to inflame nativism.
The stick "racism" is used equally to beat Af-Am, Asian or any other ethnic groups that doesn't confirm to the establishment ideology, which is eco-feminism married to regulatory democracy.
Now I consider myself both pro-environment and pro-feminism (in terms of opportunity and education,) but eco-feminism of this kind is simply a stalking horse for the power elite...
Feminists are consistently trotted out in defense of war to blunt the perception of it as neo-colonial.
This is done by claiming, for eg., that the patriarchal attitudes of Islamic men are the real colonialism..(notice how that argument could equally be applied to traditional Christians)
So " no, it's not Western Civ that is the target of diversity mongering, per se.
It's any form of belief that stands in the way of the power grab...
Posted by Tom E. Snyder on 09/22/10 06:11 PM
One problem is our tendency to generalize. At least one poster ascribed certain characteristics to "immigrants." However, all immigrants are not the same. Asian immigrants are not the same as Mexican immigrants. All Asian immigrants are not the same. A while back a book came out called "Everything Is Miscellaneous." I would argue that everyONE is miscellaneous as well.
I was born in 1947, the beginning of the baby boom. I do not own a home (I'm buying an RV that is worth less than I owe); my IRA stands at less than $13,000; my wife and I recently had to go back to work to make ends meet. We're not ALL filthy rich. I am an individual.
Posted by Luke Wilbur on 09/21/10 07:28 AM
I still do not know if the Tea Party supports "Made in USA" over "Made in China."
Posted by Shane on 09/20/10 07:55 PM
@ JEANNIE QUEENIE
The problem w/socsec is that it was misrepresented from the very start. FDR duped the entire country (in many ways).
Folks have to get it into their heads that socsec is just another tax on income. There IS NO SOCSEC "fund" and never was. See the court cases (which go back 50-70 years ago) I cited as evidence.
I, as a "spoiled brat" (its hard to be 'spoiled' when you grow up living under the poverty line), have had ZERO control over being put into debt by govt. No matter HOW frugal I am, debt is piled onto me by the govt. Believe me, its not easy getting by on 50% of your wages...tax/reg rates that prior generations didn't have to deal with.
I saw your apology which I appreciate, but stand by EVERY word I wrote in my reply to Bill Ward. Those who are 65-70 own homes, pensions, had it FAR easier (as far as finding a job/running a business goes) than we do today, etc.
As another poster said, what any of y'all WANT, as far as getting a 'free' socsec check and 'free' medical care from Uncle Sam is TOTALLY IRRELEVANT since socsec and medi are unsustainable.
Posted by JOHN ROSSI on 09/20/10 07:36 PM
THANK YOU DAILY BELL AND DR. MACHAN
Posted by Benjamin on 09/20/10 06:53 PM
I would to thank Mr. Machan for this very insightful interview, as well as say that...
"I would make no bones about demanding the eventual abolition of taxation just as serfdom had been."
I, too, have come to see things this way, and think that paying for government should be in the form of voluntary lending from the citizens (gold and silver coin, of course!)
That, I beleive, is the only true way to Liberty and genuine prosperity. Vote as the masses may (and let's face the fact that human nature is what it is), it's what government can afford that matters. And if people, as individuals, have the power to fund or not fund, there is little harm that government can do to our rights and our lives. The No-Big-Government (With-OUR-Exceptions) groups would be be upset indeed that they have no control over the liberties of all.
But that is a price that I, for one, am more than willing to pay! :-)
Posted by Leonardo Pisano on 09/20/10 05:42 PM
This 500 years cycle you mention is interesting. You may like the book "The unified cycle theory" of Stephen Puetz, who discusses with an overwhelming amount of supportive evidence a number of interacting cycles, a.o. the civilization cycle with a periodicity of 515 years....
Posted by Jeannie Queenie on 09/20/10 12:55 PM
my apologies for misconstruing your feedback. As you can see it was around 2:30a.m.when i wrote my feedback and I had most hurriedly read yours and became upset...and starting pounding the keyboard. Going over your feedback I see now that you actually were quoting someone else on all the points I addressed.
So in essence, my feedback is addressed to all those whining whipper snappers who feel that seniors should just drop dead...as well as to the most arrogant administration who gave us the death knell via that horrendous healthcare bill. Talk about sticking it to seniors. Let's hope and pray that this healthcare bill is taken out of the picture along with this present Congress and president.
Neither the president nor most of Congress even read that bill!
Posted by David Welsh on 09/20/10 11:41 AM
"Sadly the Constitution isn't a coherent legal document"
Yes, it IS a coherent document. It was then and it is now. The incoherence lies with the statists and I could care less that they don't follow the Constitution. There's no news flash there. Article 1, Section 8 is clear. Also, "general welfare" is to be promoted--not provided. The problem is with people who are either imbeciles or those who are out to purposely destroy this republic.
I know some of the founders and countless of others since have referred to the Constitution as an "experiment," but I'm sick of that approach to it. I prefer to refer to it as the Permanent Rules for the American Republic. When you call it an experiment, that only emboldens its foes who say "Well, it's only an experiment," or plants doubts in the minds of others who say they support it, but who don't have the spine to support it all the way. Semper Fidelis!
Posted by George Sign on 09/20/10 10:10 AM
I'm not being snide as you put it. I was asking a question. I'm sure he's a very nice intelligent person. Academia is fine and when a person gets into a certain position in that world they tend to start awarding each other honours until everyone has a list as long as their arm.
I like to see that a person who talks about economics and work has actually done some in the real world to back up the theory otherwise it's all just theory. It's a different ball-game when you actually have to put your money where your mouth is.
I once had the choice between two applicants for a marketing job. A guy with a very good University degree and a guy who had started on street stall actually selling things. I took the stall holder. He went on to establish his own marketing company. The other guy became a good pen-pusher. So don't get upset when I don't bow in homage at everything you print.
Reply from The Daily Bell
"So don't get upset when I don't bow in homage at everything you print."
Ha, this does not on the whole appear to be a problem at the Bell - either with you or a number of others!
Posted by Ichabod on 09/20/10 09:01 AM
Clayton, I see the shining through that silvery tassle atop your head.
Here's something I learned in my search for medical truth. Coconut oil (1 T) three times daily will raise HDL and lower triglycerides. Three years of follow up tests every three to five months have proven that in my case beyond doubt.
In Kerala province in southern India men in their 70s still have their coal black hair. I've talked about it with shelf stockers in a local international grocery and they think it's only used for hair and skin. I apply after morning shower and eat it in cerial, on whole grain bread and melted over sherbet. It forms a shell like the chocolate.
What does this have to do with Machan? I'm putting this out there for any individual interested. Some will benefit and I have no idea who will check it out for themselves. Ideas do have consequences and that's the point.
As for another TP idea. I'm using Hibiscus sabdariffa to control blood pressure. Five grams, one cup very hot water, steeped 10 minutes, twice daily at present before meals. Active ingredient is in the calyces of the flower which I verified with Tufts researcher. Mexican grocer calls it Flor de Jamaica and will sell by the pound to save big.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by George Sign on 09/20/10 06:39 AM
Very impressive list of academic titles if that's sort of thing that turns you on. Did he ever have a real job?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Why be snide? Does he deserve it?
Posted by Jeannie Queenie on 09/20/10 02:22 AM
You said, " Y'all were ripped off, so now you want US to be ripped off to pay you back. Those Americans born between 1920-1940-ish are the wealthiest generation in the history of the world...but they want to squeeze the most indebted generation in the history of the world for MORE".
Shane, I don't know what planet you are on, but here on earth, I don't know of many in my senior bracket who are well off...and most of us were educated and paid for our own schooling as our parents didn't have the money. I ask you, where were you in the last couple of years when just about everyone took a hit to their retirement portfolios anywhere from 40% to 70%.
All the seniors I know worked their tails off their entire life, paid into social security and never once asked their gov't to steal from that pension fund. Further, it was the men of those generations who fought the wars that saved your butt, and the fact that you can intimate that grandfathers can be eliminated speaks of severe hatred for those you brought you the greatest country ever. You ought to be ashamed of yourself.Your ungratefulness is repugnant.
Actually you come across as one of those born after 1955 who grew up to be the most entitled, selfish generations this country has ever seen. Your parents worked like dogs, gave you everything and now you whine that it wasn't enough...again, shame on you for thinking that you were 'entitled' without any effort on your part.
I am not aware that this attitude exists in Rurope, but it is rampant here in the US where I hear seniors taking it on the cuff from younger generations. What I suspect is that many of you resent the fact that we worked so hard and serve as a reproach to all those younger generations given it all on a silver platter.
As for suggesting that social security is a give away, that is nonsense. If I could have taken the money I was forced to pay to FICA and invested it myself over the years I would be sitting on triple what my monthly pension is now. It is dumb to suggest that one should only get back the exact amount one put in...who then is the lucky recipient of all that compounded interest over the years?
Shane, I have no idea how old you are, but I doubt you are of an age to call yourself a senior, nor did you ever fight in a war, nor probably raised a family. And dollars to donuts, you have probably enjoyed whatever fancied you and catered to whatever your little heart desired. That is something that few seniors I know have indulged in...not even in their later years, especially women past the age of sixty who raised families and put them first rather than before the god of climbing the corporate ladder.
As for your assertion that you are the most indebted generation ever, I have a suggestion....stop indulging every little whim and desire. Many of us elderly sacrificed most our lives for our kids, and never would have dreamt of doing or having everything that the later generations felt they were 'entitled' to, mostly luxuries. I would add that 'entitled' is an understatment when you consider just about 5 years ago, kids were graduating from college, going for interviews and DEMANDING THAT THEY START WITH HUGH SALARIES, FOUR WEEK VACATIONS, ETC. No senior I know of would have ever felt that they were so special/arrogant to demand much of anything. Hell, we were happy just to have a job, forget about demanding.
The key word for many generations since the sixties is plain old narcissism....many of you now run companies, do a lousy job, or a half ass one, care less about customer satisfaction, but have your puss plastered on Facebook where you show yourself with beer mug in hand and the fact you have a zillion friends..that says it all.
But at least some of your ilk do have some sense of honesty. As a woman I worked with in Boston years ago told me, "Jean, I don't want to get married and have a family for then I will be forced to GROW UP and I'm not going there". At least she was honest, but many more of you just want to whine about the older generations who supplied you with everything your little hearts desired...and now the only thanks we get is 'but now you ask me to grow up?" Yes, it would be nice to see you grow up and take responsiblity for yourselves and give your employers an honest 8 hour day, not this 4 hour stuff where you use company time for personal computer time, and with the guys, that is often porn time on company time.
I don't think that in the history of mankind we have ever seen so many people be able to extend their adolesence well into their 40's, 50's and sometimes even 60's. A sad miserable whining lot. Many of you went from Pampers to pampering yourselves.how special!
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 09/19/10 11:27 PM
@RF on 9/19/2010 6:20:25 PM
"Unfortunately one third doesn't work, one third consumes taxpayer money and what's left is expected to shoulder the burden..."
Exactly one reason of several why the change will not come through politics as is practiced in the US. The majority is on the dole and invested in the current system either directly or indirectly. To the extent any of this majority wants a smaller government it is only in "the other guy's" program – and that only to better save his own favored program.
To the extent the Tea Party is effective will be the extent it educates toward a vision of non-coercion and private property. It is of no benefit to try to "educate" a different set of controls – for example Hultberg's 10% tax and 4% monetary growth. This is a recipe for no real change, just giving reinforcement to the idea that coercion (as opposed to cooperation) is the means to form society. ("My coercion is better than your coercion.")
The current system is going to collapse. There is no alternative to this – certainly not by political means. The best is to educate as many as possible toward the possibility and benefits of a society formed around non-aggression such that this minority can help form and influence what comes next – and this will be at a much more local (not national) level, as Martin van Creveld and Jacques Barzun both make rather clear.
Posted by Gary T on 09/19/10 10:02 PM
@ Bill Ward --
Wait until you wake up and realize that (by laww) the Social Security INCOME TAX was *limited* to citizens of the United States residing abroad and working for foreign subsidiaries of domestic (U.S.) corporations. It's not has has never been an insurance policy--Congress could take it away tomorrow and that would be that. But as for the intended targets, if you were living and working in the USA for the 50 years you paid in to the TAX, you had the *duty to know that you were never supposed to have your earnings subject to the Social Security INCOME TAX.
* Look up Federal Crop Insurance v. Merrill a Supreme Court case from the 1940s that held 'Men must turn square corners when dealing with the government or its agents.' and if you trust the word of a government agent, you do so at your own peril. Sorry.
As for the article itself, the TEA party got its foothold under the Taxed Enough Already slogan, which fit nicely with the Boston TEA Party theme. Tax awareness should be enough to vote out incumbents from both (bank-ownd) political parties (I call political religions).
As for the two-party 'political religion' scheme theme... I believe the Federal Reserve owns both parties and any effort for a third party to exist within the bank's framework will be carefully infiltrated by the bank-owned (and fronted politicians) and worked back into the fold of either of the two parties the bank will promote to meet its needs.
It should be old hat by now, the Donkeys and the Elephants are actually one and the same--serving the same master, and the master ain't us.