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10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by GenSeneca, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    10 Planks of The Communist Manifesto

    1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.

    While Private Property has not yet been abolished outright, and not all rents of land go to public purposes, government regulates every aspect of private property and the taxes they collect do go for public purposes.

    While its tough to put a % on this... I'd put it around 30% accomplished - since thats the amount of US land actually owned by the Government.

    2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

    The UN has the US ranked number one for a Progressive tax... and yet people (mostly Democrats) still demand that it be more progressive - claiming the "Rich" still don't pay their "fair share"...

    100% accomplished.

    3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

    Conservatives call it a Death Tax, Democrats call it an inheritance tax or estate tax... either way, once you die, you owe 50% of your financial worth to the Government - You are quite literally taxed for dying. We are 50% of the way to fulfilling #3, but give it time... Politicians will eventually demand it be raised.

    4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

    This takes place in many areas of our government, DEA, IRS, ATF, just to name a few, as well as Imminent Domain laws and the War on Drugs, all have the power to seize - without proper due process - the assets, holdings and other private property of individuals. 100% accomplished.

    5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

    Remember the bailouts? You didn't read the actual legislation did you... well it clearly centralized the banks under the complete control of the federal government - effectively nationalizing the banking system and ensuring a government monopoly. 100% accomplished.

    6. Centralization of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.
    Want to start a newspaper, Radio station, or other form of communication? You will have to go through the government because its all been centralized and your required to follow their dictates in order to open or operate a means of public communication. Same is true for the means of transportation.

    With the exceptions of riding a bicycle and posting on the internet... we are about 90% of the way to fulfilling #6 - and Democrats are proposing legislation that will force Bloggers to comply with the same regulations and subject to the same taxation that other media outlets are subject to following.... How long till they propose taxes and regulations on Bicycle ownership and operation? Give it time...

    7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

    Departments of Commerce and Labor, Department of Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Mines, National Park Service... the list goes on but they all serve the same basic purpose outlined in #7 of the manifesto.

    However, and this is the clever technicality of Democrat Socialists, rather than the state "owning" these entities outright, they use regulations to control every action and operation taken by these entities - Considering the power of the government to regulate and control the individuals and entities in question, I'd give this one a 99% accomplished rating - with the remaining 1% as "ownership" that the individual can still claim to maintain. (whats the point of owning something when government controls every aspect of its operation?)

    8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

    Executive order 11000 is the most powerful of all the laws that have fulfilled the requirements to mark #8 off the list as being accomplished, but its supposed to only be used during national emergencies... The rest of the time we have minimum wage laws, unions and their contracts, the Department of Labor, and a long list of other government departments and government, as well as private, entities and agencies that fulfill #8 - 100% accomplished.

    9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

    What this boils down to is central planning. The departments of Agriculture, Labor, Interior, and a slew of others at the federal level, provide regulations that accomplish #9. At the more local and state levels, you have zoning laws that dictate where you can do what with the land and resources that are available. 100% accomplished.

    10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.

    Check, check and check! I hope the first two don't need explanation but you may not recognize the last one... just think of trade schools. Here in south western Ohio, we have the "Oaks" which are a system of schools that combine education with industrial skills. Their final years of education include on the job training/apprenticeship in their chosen field. While I'm not suggesting any or all 3 of the things in #10 to be "bad", we have certainly accomplished them 100%, and Marx would be proud.
    --------------------------------------------------

    So to all who say that the definition of "Socialism" is state ownership of the means of production (I'd argue that definition is more accurately applied to Communism) I ask you: How much of the Communist Manifesto must we fulfill before you understand that Socialism is not just the state owning things?
     
  2. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    It seems we are heading that way and were even before obama.... I am sure it will be much worse after he gets his hands on things.

    its sad, our Founders would be sad with what we have done as a nation
     
  3. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Except for government buildings, it seems a lot of government land is in preserves for the public. I don't know, but who owns the Rocky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains, and places such as Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the large western deserts? Are you advocating that all of it should be private? Otherwise why would you consider this 30% accomplished as an aspect of the manifesto?

    Here is the history of taxes:
    1960's - 80%
    1970's - 70%
    1980's - 50%
    1990's - 40%
    2000's - 35%
    It has been becoming less progressive for decades. How can you claim it is 100% accomplished.

    Well, I suppose you can say the dead body is literally taxed. But I agree that the inheritance is a double tax, in that a person has already paid taxes in gaining an estate, and it is taxed again when passing the estate. Many farmers can no longer pass their farm to their offspring, who often have to sell a large parcel to pay taxes to keep the land. This is transforming private farming to corporate farming where the corporation can last forever. The mom and pop farmers are disappearing.

    The communists were concerned mostly about political rebellion. We don't seize property of even American communists. Emigrant property seizure at border crossings is one thing, but you will have to give me widespread examples of property seizure before I'm convinced that we are anywhere close to even 10% of all emigrants and rebels.

    I agree we have problems there. Communist China is following Democratic America's lead in that! It is an unusually devastating crisis. I have no feel for that level of macroeconomics to understand what could or should be done. Do you have any idea how the banking system can proceed in the future? Our current conflagration came from packaging mortgages into derivatives, and S&P giving them AAA ratings to be sold around the world, and banks giving unsupportable loans to greedy or ignorant people. How should we handle this without regulation? I'm not trying to be a smart ass. I really want to know if there are any alternatives to regulation to keep this crap in check.

    With wireless communication, there is a problem of allotment of frequency bands. Who do you propose should do that if not the FCC. I.e. who owns the airwaves? Amtrak is by the government, but there are many other guises to transportation. Are you referring to licensing? Truck road use taxes? I don't see how you can say we are 90% there. Should interstate highways all be private?
    As far as blogger regs and taxes, I never heard of that. Do you have a reference?

    I have to categorically disagree. The ideas of Communist ownership and American regulation are very wide apart. I for one don't want another Enron to happen by corporate executives. Do you have another idea how we could avoid that?

    Well, I agree that minimum wage and Dept of Labor have a "Communist" tinge to it, but unions are by the people and not the government. They may not be around long because unionized industries are failing partly by the unions shooting themselves in the foot.

    A lot of this involves local squabbling of whether WalMart can build a supercenter in somebody's neighborhood. Are you saying central planning is bad? I think the citizens would want to have a say in what happens to their area. I suppose they could do this outside the government, but that's one reason that governments exist.
    (You forgot to mention home owners association laws and deed restricted communities.)

    I agree that communism does not have an idealistic monopoly on children and education. However you forgot to mention No-Child-Left-Behind. Here is "communist" government interference we could do without.

    In conclusion, I would say that government is a legacy of the earliest of human clans. Some sort of government is necessary if you want to prevent total anarchy. Certainly you can argue that communism and socialism goes too far, but using parallels of the manifesto with US government is quite a stretch in convincing liberals that we are getting too close to communism.
     
  4. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Lag you make some fine points and I'll be glad to address them. First and foremost, Socialism - in its modern Democratic form - seeks government control, rather than the Communistic ownership, of private property.

    Lags quotes are bold:

    Are you advocating that all of it should be private?

    I'm advocating that which is private should be under less control of the Government, not more.

    It has been becoming less progressive for decades. How can you claim it is 100% accomplished.

    Because the UN has cited the US as the nation with the most progressive tax. If we went to a flat tax or a fair tax, it would be 0.0%.

    you will have to give me widespread examples of property seizure before I'm convinced that we are anywhere close to even 10% of all emigrants and rebels.

    Grow a pot plant, operate a still, stash some cocaine or other illegal substance in your home, on your property, or in your car, and watch the Government seize all your property, including your home. While you may argue whether or not people who violate the drug laws are rebels, they nevertheless have all their assets and property seized and its up to the individual to prove the property was not gotten through drug money - its the reverse of innocent till proven guilty. Outside of drugs, the patriot act allows for enemies of the state to have their property confiscated without due process (which existed before the patriot act I might add).

    Do you have any idea how the banking system can proceed in the future?
    Yes. Eliminate government mandates meant to eliminate Redlining, like those brought about by the Community Reinvestment Act, and remove GSE's from the banking system.

    Banks would not have made loans to high risk people in the form of sub prime, at least not in the amounts they did, if it weren't for Freddie and Fannie promising to purchase those loans from the banks and remove the bad debt from their books.

    How should we handle this without regulation?

    Capitalism and Free Markets. They work... However, people who have been trained to think both are bad, equate both with Anarchy and think it would mean that business would be free to defraud the public - which is just not the case. I'd be glad to go into more detail with this if you like but for now, I'd like to move on to the rest of your points.

    Who do you propose should do that if not the FCC. I.e. who owns the airwaves?

    I just don't see a point in the FCC outside of being a record keeper for who has rights to which frequencies - kind of like the patent service. Treat frequencies like any other private property and let people buy or sell them to other individuals, rather than leasing them from the Government.

    I don't see how you can say we are 90% there.

    I go back to my original statement about control. Transportation is tightly regulated and I would argue that the controls placed on transportation are superfluous because the private sector would impose many of the same regulations on themselves without the need for government intervention.... and... I don't know how often you drive cross country but I do and there are stretches of "private maintenance" roads and they are, without exception, the best maintained. Again due to space and time constraints, I cannot go into too much detail but I could paint you a picture of how we can privatize the road system and get better roads out of the deal.

    As far as blogger regs and taxes, I never heard of that. Do you have a reference?

    HERE is an article about regulating Political Blogs

    HERE is an article about regulating violence on the Internet

    HERE is an article about Bush wanting to regulate Internet Gambling.

    Its not just bloggers... I fear our government going the way of China with regard to the Internet.

    As far as taxation... there are many examples of Government wanting to tax internet sales, gambling, usage/access (usually indirect taxation) etc. As for taxing bloggers... give it time. Politicians LOVE taxation.

    The ideas of Communist ownership and American regulation are very wide apart.

    Fair enough but Socialism, like Democratic Socialism, and the American structure of regulation are not far apart at all. The purpose of the post wasn't so much to say we are Communists as to point out how Socialist we have become. If you compare us to Soviet Russia, do so with the Capitalism that we had at our nations founding as the backdrop and look how far we've moved to communism - not just how much farther we have to go.

    I for one don't want another Enron to happen by corporate executives. Do you have another idea how we could avoid that?

    I also don't want another Enron, Fannie or Freddie etc.. and yes we can avoid such fraudulent business practices without government regulations by utilizing the courts instead. I can go into further detail on how that would work and the concept of self policing business practices if you like...

    unions are by the people and not the government.

    I have no problem with Unions when they are done by free association and not by coercion. Thats one big reason I disagree with the "Employee Free Choice Act" which eliminates secret ballots and tells the Unions who voted "no" so that those individuals may be coerced into voting "yes" the next time around.

    unionized industries are failing partly by the unions shooting themselves in the foot.

    I agree but the companies that signed the agreements are equally culpable and deserve to fail - not be bailed out. For example, greedy unions and invertebrate corporate management have combined to devastate the US auto industry.

    Are you saying central planning is bad?

    Done on the Federal level, yes. I agree people should have control at the more local levels for how best to utilize their land and resources. Federal bans on things like offshore drilling and ANWR are perfect examples.

    You forgot to mention home owners association laws and deed restricted communities.

    Actually, this was not an oversight. If you move into a community with a home owners association, or deed restricted community, its like joining a union - you agree to follow their rules.

    you forgot to mention No-Child-Left-Behind.

    Honestly, I know very little about this program other than its a waste of money and resources that produces little to no results.

    Some sort of government is necessary if you want to prevent total anarchy.

    As an advocate of Capitalism, I can't tell you how many times people have attacked my suggestions for Capitalism as being some degenerate form of Corporate Anarchism.

    Constitutional Capitalism... Our Constitution created the legitimate government institutions which protect our rights, punished/prevented fraud, and ensure a free market (free of government regulation).

    using parallels of the manifesto with US government is quite a stretch in convincing liberals that we are getting too close to communism.

    Like I said before... if you juxtapose where we started with where we are now, we're a great deal closer to Communism than we are a Constitutional Capitalist society... and that's thanks to there being so much Socialism being slowly injected to our system.

    Many people, right here on this forum, will tell you we have too much capitalism and need more socialism to "balance" the inequities of society... I think such people have lost, or never knew, the founding principles of our country and government and find such proposals to be antithetical and unconstitutional.
     
  5. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your detailed reply.

    Taxes:
    This seems to contradict what you say the UN said:
    http://ataxingmatter.blogs.com/tax/2006/06/united_nations_.html
    It is just a blog, but I don't have time to research that question.
    Warren Buffet said he paid about as much taxes as his cleaning lady.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nofxLVud5xQ
    Elsewhere Buffet said he paid 17.7% on 46 million in 2006 and his receptionist paid 30%.
    Taxes also come in the form of Social Security, property taxes and sales taxes.
    I still think tax as a whole is not progressive enough. We have to agree to disagree.

    Property Seizures:
    You are still talking about less than 10% of the populace.

    Banking system:
    I look at the GSE and CRA as government meddling and not so much as regulation. I agree that the government is doing some weird things to attempt to save the economy from free fall.

    Airwaves:
    I view the FCC as similar to the post office - an interstate service. I really value PBS and other good programming. If left to the private sector. Radio and TV will sink to a state of mediocrity IMHO, so I personally would like to see continued government control.

    Transportation:
    I don't have a problem with turnpikes, but city roads would be problematic. This issue isn't very important to me, and you don't need to pursue it.

    Internet Taxes:
    Political blogs - taxation seems to fall in the same area as campaign funding squabbles. Nothing will come of it. I hope.
    The violence on the internet reference is a poll about people wanting regulation. No actual government regulation is said to be imminent.
    Gambling - I never knew why anyone would trust the internet for that anyway.
    I agree the internet should not be taxed in any form, and I don't think it will, because of strong pressure and power of bloggers if not from anywhere else. If taxation starts on one unimportant segment, then that would be a foot in the door.

    Total Anarchy:
    Anarchy may be too strong a word, but we have seen how difficult a time the gov had in Microsoft's monopoly case, for example. Microsoft has deep pockets. You might say that Microsoft excels in the survival of the fittest, but the growing size of near-monopolies makes it difficult for the government to protect our rights.

    I left out a few other points because I don't want to reduce this to quibbling. But in whole, It seems you are advocating "If it looks like a duck and quacks... etc" as a strong argument for alarm. I agree with many of your points, but I am not dismayed. Probably because I am left of center. That's me. I think my bottom line is that capitalism is the only thing that really works for society, but I don't trust it to self-regulate for the good of the country, and I don't mind living under some of the tenets of the communist manifesto as long as we stay fully capitalist.
     
  6. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to dig around for the UN page that said the same thing... I hate it when i find something and fail to bookmark it for later reference.

    You are quite welcome. Its far more enjoyable speaking with you than many others on your side....
    When you say "for the good of the country", it gives me pause and I must ask:

    What is your standard of Morality?

    Where does your Morality come from and can you cite its tenets?

    Where do you find the Constitutional authority to do this?

    Also, I don't see how being at all Socialist or Communist can be "good" for the country and once we have anything mixed with Capitalism, we cease to be fully capitalist.

    We are not fully capitalist, we haven't been for a long time, and its getting worse... The bailouts are, in effect, nationalizing industries and businesses, a trend that I see as the potential nail in the coffin for capitalism here in the states, we are rolling full steam ahead to a controlled economy.
     
  7. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    Ditto.

    That is a heavy question that could take several megabytes of this server.
    I have covered a lot of moral and social issues in the "Middle Class Tax Increase" thread. Specifically, posts # 35, #38, #40, and 43. I am concerned about the "large class divide", and even using that phrase conjures up suspicions among some.

    Quote:Originally Posted by Lagboltz
    ...I don't mind living under some of the tenets of the communist manifesto as long as we stay fully capitalist.

    I think you misread my thought. I am not promoting Socialism or Communism as anything remotely desirable. What I mean by "...I don't mind living under some of the tenets of the communist manifesto as long as we stay fully capitalist." is that I don't mind your reinterpretation of the words of the manifesto as they might be applied to the US.

    In other words the manifesto had a strong socialist intent for a specific type of government. You took those words and revised the meaning and/or intent so they would apparently fulfill well understood policies of the US government. People tend to see what they are looking for and that is what you saw. I look at your arguments more as wordplay than a reason to be alarmed.

    Your original post, carried the sense of a strong alarm of fear of what our government might be. Behind the wordplay are some legitimate concerns, some of which I agree, and others I don't. My concluding remarks were more aimed at the wordplay and not political philosophy. The bottom line is that I am liberal and you are conservative, and we have quite different outlooks and concerns, and that is why I enjoyed this exchange.
     
  8. Mr. Shaman

    Mr. Shaman New Member

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    Yeah.....all-in-the-name of SECURITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mad:
     
  9. Stalin

    Stalin Active Member

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    Excellent news.

    Somebody please remind me - who won the cold war ?

    Ah yes.

    That's right.

    It was us.

    Comrade Stalin of Gori
     
  10. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    Not sure about what the UN said, but clearly we do have a progressive tax.
    [​IMG]
    How much more lop sided do you need?

    As for Buffet, remember that his earning are tied up in stocks. If he were to cash those out, he'd be paying a massive tax on that. It's the same basic idea as your 401K. You pay into a mutual fund that grows, but you do not pay taxes on it. If you cash it out, you pay massive taxes on it.

    If we change the tax code and close that tax shelter, you will simply nail everyone who has a 401K in the middle and lower class. Further, it will hurt them more than it does Buffet.

    Buffet only has a $100K salary, and he donates millions to charity every year. He is likely paying less percentage in taxes because he uses all the deductions he can.

    I think the problem is that our government has firmly established it's 'right' to violate property rights. The fact is has only done so on 1/10th the population thus far, is a weak comfort.

    But see, every government program that isn't a constitutional duty of the federal government, can be justified this way. If balancing the budget means cutting PBS... are you for it? But it does. We have to cut all these unconstitutional programs from the budget, or just give up on balancing the budget and ending the national debt. Because if you won't give on what you want, why would anyone else? They won't. So we're right back where we started.

    A Monopoly is the ability to keep, or prevent people from entering the market. There is no way Microsoft could do this, even if that was a goal. Further, there are about a dozen alternative choices for operating systems, thus making the theory invalid to start with.

    The problem is that people equate having a better, cheaper product, with having a monopoly. Yet the reason they claim Monopolies are bad is because of higher prices and worse quality.

    Oddly, or expectedly if you are a conservative, after anti-trust cases, the quality of the impacted product goes down, while the price goes up. Oil and Phone service are two examples.
     
  11. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    I would like it rolled back to the 1990's -- 40%. Remember it was 80% in the 1960's.
    I am very familiar with the pie charts you show. My glib answer is "so what." However, the charts are often used in argument like yours. My take on those charts is that it shows just how tremendous the class divide is. Look at the actual earnings for those three groups and you will see what I mean.

    Buffet knows he would be foolish to cash out for no reason. In cashing out he will pay only 15% capital gains if he follows the rules correctly.

    The idea of the 401K is that you can pay into it from higher income earnings and use the contribution as a deduction. When you cash out, your earnings are much lower, for example when you are retired with no other income. You don't pay a massive tax on it because annual contributions were limited when you contributed, and your lower retirement income puts you in a lower tax bracket.

    Don't worry. If a politician ever proposed that, he would be laughed at or tarred and feathered depending on the mood of those nearby.

    That is the salary he is drawing from Berkshire Hathaway. He chose a low salary for a tax advantage. The tax on that salary is miniscule compared to his private holdings. In 2006 he got his low tax rate on $46 million in taxable income from capital gains and hedge funds.

    I'm sorry, but I just can't find compassion for seizures from drug traffickers. I am much more concerned about myriad property foreclosures by banks. Some are good people that got into a bad situation, but this is a digression.

    I don't want the electromagnetic spectrum controlled by private industry. Period. It not only crosses state borders, it crosses international boarders. I don't know of any other country with privatized airwaves.
    You are absolutely wrong about Microsoft. The DOJ reached a compromise agreement and MS complied. Pure free-market capitalists might complain, but that's what they do. Microsoft lost the case in Europe and paid a stiff fine. I don't think many people would agree with your other generalizations.
     
  12. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    Well... you claim we don't have a progressive tax. When 5% of the population is paying more than 50% of all income taxes.... that seems progressive. The "so what?" is... we have your system in place... it's not working.

    Meanwhile, the former soviet bloc states all have moved quickly towards flat taxes. Russia itself adopted an amazing 13% flat taxes across the entire population. The original adopters of a flat tax, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, have been called the Baltic Tigers, a nick-name given for their massive economic growth of 5% to 11% for the past 8 years since the enacting of the flat tax.

    All in all, 9 of the 13 former soviet states, have all adopted a flat tax, and all have reaped massive economic growth.

    While we're marching towards socialist policies that led to the down fall of the Soviets, they're marching towards capitalism, and what made America great.

    Which is what Buffet is doing. I want to be able to do the same as Buffet. I don't want the tax shelters removed so that when I get to his age, I'll be broke, instead of well off like him.

    By the way, if you invest properly, you won't have a lower income when you retire. A 30 year old person earning $25K/year, saving 15%, will be nearly a millionaire when they retire... assuming there are no matching funds and no pay increases. As in they earn $25K for the rest of their life.

    The democrats are proposing this very thing right now as we speak. I don't see any tar or feathers yet.

    That's kinda my point. He's not paying as much in taxes because he's not taking it in cash. It's all investments. Well... if we invest ourselves, we'll be able to use the same tax advantages.

    There was an elderly lady in her 70s retired, who's grand son moved in, and was hooked on drugs. The lady lost her car, her home, and most of her possessions. She had to go back to work in order to survive. Do you care about that?

    If government had not interfered with the mortgage market, none of this would have happened. Of course none of those people would have purchased homes either.

    I see no value in having the government control it.

    Huh? Do you realize what the DOJ case was about? It was about Microsoft bundling a web browser into their operating system free. It was essentially a case against Microsoft adding more features to their operating system without increasing cost to the consumer.

    The case against Standard Oil, was about Rockefeller offering a lower price if buyers purchased an entire Cargo Tanker at a time, or a much lower rate if Buyers purchased an entire train of oil at a time. Essentially it was a case against providing a product at a lower cost to consumers.

    Ma Bell is too complicated to detail here. Suffice it to say, when they broke up the company, causing each section of long distance lines across the country to be separate companies, each with their own overhead and administration costs, each of which have to be paid for usage of the lines, the cost to call across country rose dramatically.

    The point is, each one was a complaint about lower cost, increase quality, or added features. Why do you think it's rarely the public that instigates these anti-trust lawsuits? Netscape requested the DOJ attack Microsoft. It was the competitors to Standard Oil that provoked the suit. It was upstart phone companies that demanded Ma Bell be broken up.
     
  13. Lagboltz

    Lagboltz Well-Known Member

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    I never claimed that we don't have a progressive tax. We definitely do have that. I'm even stating that I want a more progressive tax -- as we had in the 1990's.

    Emulating other country's tax structure isn't an argument for the US. Our dynamics are not the same as theirs.

    Of course that is the intent of retirement accounts, to help you do this in a number of modes. You won't get 15% unless there is inflation. It's more in the area of 5% for conservative investment, or a bit higher for more short term risk.

    You forgot to mention that they were talking of replacing the 401K with a different scheme. Nobody will lose the benefits of this type of retirement instrument. It seems that they are just transforming it to a Roth type with wider coverage and government bonds rather than outside institutions. There are different modes to retirement accounts. Tax up front, or deferred tax. The link you gave is talking about up-front tax deferral. It was to my benefit to cash out a 401K, take a tax hit, and then reinvest into Roth accounts. Your situation may be different.

    Absolutely I care about that. There are anecdotal stories of many tragic inequities of our government. Hopefully the lady's loss is not prevalent.

    There was also a case about Microsoft clearly breaking a JAVA license agreement with Sun Microsystems. I work in programming in JAVA and I know what Microsoft did. The issue was larger than just a free browser. They carried out predatory practices that define a monopoly in a wider scope such as trying to garner the definition of HTML and other standards. I am now able to use free software that is much superior to Microsoft because of the suit.
    You are the first person I have ever heard to argue against the Sherman Antitrust Act. Is this common among conservatives?
     
  14. Andy

    Andy Well-Known Member

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    I'm always a little amazed at this claim. Economic principals have parallel effects everywhere they are tried. You can look at any country and see the effects of taxation on that economic system, and see it has the same effect here, or there, or anywhere else.

    A total of nine countries from the former Soviet Union, all adopted a flat tax over a progressive tax, and in each and every single case, the economic result was the same... massive economic growth.

    Yet, somehow that will not work here. Even though we have adopted a progressive tax, and even though it has stifled economic growth just like in the Soviet states... but yet moving to a flat tax here will not have the same effect it had over there.... why? Just because.

    Are we not reading the same article? They want to remove the tax deferral outright. As in, you will pay full tax on all money put into 401Ks, and on all money taking out of 401K. It won't be Roth, or traditional. It will simply be the new 'your screwed' scheme.

    Further, if you read the article carefully, they do want to change the scheme more... and make it worse. Under the democrat plan, you will be forced to invest 5% of your 401K contributions to Social Security government bonds, that pay only 3% per year, or less than inflation. This is an all around disaster.

    Again, classic liberal vs. conservative argument. Right now anyone can invest their 401K in bonds if they wish. But that's not good enough. Now government is going to remove your freedom, and force you to invest the way they want.

    What's worse, is this is an attempt to stave off the failure of Social Security. Instead of government being fiscally responsible, and paying off their debt, they are going to make it law that you have to invest in bonds, so they can use the money you were forced to give them. OF course this is trying to borrow yourself out of debt. All those bonds will have to be repaid, so in reality, we're increasing our debt more.

    Breaking a licensing agreement, and having a monopoly are two very different things. If Microsoft had a monopoly, then Google would not have been able to make Chrome.

    Please name the software that would not exist if not for the suit? The anti-trust suit, not the License suit.

    I'm not against the Antitrust Act, provided it's used against real monopolies. The problem is, most of the time, it's not really a monopoly that is attacked.

    Again, the economic realities that surround the results of these law suits can't really be denied. Or at least, they haven't been thus far. Generally it isn't common among conservatives, but it is common among economists that have researched it.
     
  15. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    I looked through those posts and I'm still no closer to understanding exactly what your moral code is and how it is followed.... Which reminds me of another conversation I had about torture... I asked people to lay out exactly what specific actions were torture and the best I could get as a reply was a definition of torture and the assertion that they knew torture when they saw it - this of course is totally inadequate for application in the concrete world of realism where definitions must be crystal clear and the actions of individuals must be spelled out to the letter, lest there be "gray" area that allows wiggle room.

    You said something about "abject poverty" being a concern for you in America... I just don't see it. We have the fattest, safest and most well off poor people in all the world. Some of our "poor" live in better conditions than those of the lower middle class in Europe - More personal space, more cell phones, more cars, more microwaves, more of everything! Not to mention the fact that poverty was reduced more dramatically before the advent of the War on Poverty and its actually exacerbated poverty since its inception.

    Your comment about why you are a democrat, because we need social programs, better education etc. was preceded by a comment about how you don't trust the government to come through on its promises.... Where is your justification for continuing the same course of our failing schools and our bankrupt and failing social programs, all administered by our inept, incompetent state beauracratic system?

    You may not see the solution being in the free market and capitalism but as someone who's been there, I can tell you where the solution begins: When an individual hits rock bottom and has to make the choice between life or death.

    Social programs that put up a safety net for people so that they never have to land on the craggy rocks below protect them from ever coming to the realization that they have to help themselves by changing their attitude and working hard every single day of their life, so, instead, they just wait for more government help.
    I was not trying to be an alarmist and I wasn't trying to use wordplay...

    My big problem is that people do not recognize Socialism as being "Socialism" until its too late... A couple examples:

    AIG: We bailed them out and the Governemnt owns 80% of the company... From my perspective, thats 80% Socialism... From the Democrat perspective, its not socialism at all until the Government owns 100%.

    Big 3 Auto: Democrats want to include in their bailout package 50% Government ownership of the companies... that to me is 50% socialism, to Democrats - the real people who are using wordplay - its 0% socialism since the "definition" is government ownership and anything less than 100% fails to meet that criteria...

    So you accuse me of wordplay but I see it as the Democrats playing with words here... using an "all or nothing" definition of socialism, to avoid admitting that the actions being taken are, indeed, socailist - even if only 50-80%.
     
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