Paul out-did himself this time.  In our last round, I pointed out that it’s primarily the high-tax “progressive” states that are going broke.  In his round, he offers what has to be the most creative explanation ever for that inconvenient fact.

 

Round 13 – Paul

Tom –

During the post-war era, READERS DIGEST and TV GUIDE were on every toilet and coffee table with not just fluffy articles.

To the contrary, all those “New Soviet Threat” pieces from “U S News & World Report” were reprinted in READERS DIGEST. Whose content was largely drawn from well-known publications. Staunchly anti-Communist and staunchly anti-drugs, it was Number 1 in subscriptions every Cold War year.

During that same time TV GUIDE was Number 1 at check-out counters. And every issue contained journalistic pieces. Dealing with television coverage of major news events. Which were easier to track in the big 3 network era. TV Guide was our guide to political conventions. What’s more, prime time specials concerning current events were usually high- lighted in sidebars and, or, accompanying articles.

As I originally mentioned, READERS DIGEST and TV GUIDE, the two most widely read periodicals, were owned by fine Republicans. The problem is these facts don’t support your narrative. Claiming that conservatives were shunned by the liberal media.

Moving on to Murdoch, you compare him strangely to George Soros. The former is a press baron; the latter runs a hedge fund. However wealthy he might be, Soros owns no TV network. So the mention of his name is essentially disingenuous.

Like your disingenuous lists implying Red States are more solvent. I added populations to illuminate.

Tennessee  6. 4        Illinois      12. 8
Georgia     9. 7        New York    19. 4
Texas     25. 1        Connecticut   3. 6
Arkansas    2. 9        California    37. 2
Nebraska    1. 8        New Jersey   8. 8

TOTALS   45. 9                          81. 8

In other words those Blue States have almost twice as many people!  Which means they need huge budgets for basic infrastructure.

Our three biggest metropolitan areas make the Blue State list; New York, L A, and Chicago. All have major transit systems, bridge networks and tunnels (New York in particular). San Francisco is also here. Another top 10 metro area with major bridge and transit networks.

Notice too, Connecticut and New Jersey make the Blue State list. Both are densely populated and part of New York’s metro area. New Jersey also includes suburbs of Philadelphia. What’s more, four of the Blue States listed here are prone to heavy snowfall. While only Nebraska, of the Red States, gets major accumulation.

Obviously less urban states are easier to manage. And while Texas and Georgia have 3 major metro areas (Houston, Dallas, Atlanta) none has density rates even remotely comparable to your Blue State list. And none gets heavy snow- fall or single digit temperatures. Heating public buildings costs a lot, you know.

With regards to your county, I’m not shocked that it’s affluent. You can find affluent counties in every state. But in terms of population, Nashville is strictly second tier. Therefore it’s outer suburbs are going to be conservative. Certainly more so than Connecticut or New Jersey.

Now let’s move on to explore your hope for America: a Libertarian Revolution!  Or a “Revolt of the Nerds” as my subject line implies.

Tom, only a nerd could think that crashing the federal government is actually a good idea. Yet I now have you on record as advocating that!

Personally, I hope the federal government becomes so “dysfunctional” that it collapses and is replaced by the kind of government the Founders intended.

In other words you think the world is going to just stand still while the U S Government declares bankruptcy and dismantles itself?  Like none of our enemies would take advantage while we try to sort things out?  Like all our institutions would remain intact while the government fizzles out?

Tom, if our government crashes, the dollar crashes as well. The financial markets crash!  Wiping out every 401-K. Collapse means ‘collapse’. Like the fall of Rome. You don’t come back from that. You break apart instead.

Even if we could achieve an orderly transition, to a Calvin Coolidge size government, how effective would it be?  Can you name ‘one’ superpower in history that had a pint-size government?   Is there one such power in the world today?  Nooo!!!  The belief that we could achieve that is retarded intellectually

Yet a Libertarian Revolution captures the imagination of nerds. Who romantically envision a Communist revolution in reverse. Instead of nationalizing businesses, everything gets privatized. Outsourcing the government to private contractors. Whose employees will only be temps with no benefits or pensions. And ‘no’, they won’t give a shit. . about anyone or anything.

Which raises an obvious question. Would the Pentagon be down-sized to its Coolidge strength?  Or would it remain as is; completely out of proportion to the rest of government?  With a thousand Colonels for every civilian bureaucrat?

And finally, the outsourcing of government would just create webs of cronyism. With contractors racing to buy up Congress and The Courts. Only the stupidest of asses would expect a different outcome.

So “revolt of the nerds” is an apt description. Which makes me think of Scientology. Their beliefs only make sense within the bubble of other nerds. Only a nerd could think Grover Norquist is cool. To anyone else he’s just a sexually ambiguous troll.

And like Scientologists, Libertarians enjoy the fact that their movement is hard to spell. That way they can baffle people by identifying with something that sounds so alien. Because that’s how nerds amuse themselves. It’s only cool to them.

Paul

 

Round 13 – Tom

Greetings, Paul –

Tom, only a nerd could think that crashing the federal government is actually a good idea.

Yet a Libertarian Revolution captures the imagination of nerds.

The belief that we could achieve that is retarded intellectually.

Only the stupidest of asses would expect a different outcome.

And like Scientologists, Libertarians enjoy the fact that their movement is hard to spell.

Paul, considering that I just remarked in our last exchange that liberals tend to become apoplectic when their viewpoint is challenged, I don’t think it’s a smart strategy on your part to provide examples.

During the post-war era, READERS DIGEST and TV GUIDE were on every toilet and coffee table with not just fluffy articles. To the contrary, all those “New Soviet Threat” pieces from “U S News & World Report” were reprinted in READERS DIGEST. Whose content was largely drawn from well-known publications. Staunchly anti-Communist and staunchly anti-drugs, it was Number 1 in subscriptions every Cold War year.

As I originally mentioned, READERS DIGEST and TV GUIDE, the two most widely read periodicals, were owned by fine Republicans. The problem is these facts don’t support your narrative. Claiming that conservatives were shunned by the liberal media.

So once again, you’re relying on ancient history:  two publications (neither politically influential) with large circulations after World War II were founded by Republicans.  So what?   That has nothing to do with the left-leaning slant of most major media outlets in recent times. Ancient history does not negate the fact that 90% of political contributions by today’s journalists go to Democrats. It doesn’t negate the fact that self-identified liberals outnumber self-identified conservatives in the nation’s newsrooms by better than 10 to 1. It doesn’t negate the fact that prominent people inside network news operations (including self-identified liberals) have stated that journalism in the modern era attracts a disproportionate number of liberals. The national news organizations are overwhelmingly populated by liberals, Paul. If people inside those organizations are willing to admit it, I can’t for the life of me figure out why you aren’t.

Moving on to Murdoch, you compare him strangely to George Soros. The former is a press baron; the latter runs a hedge fund. However wealthy he might be, Soros owns no TV network. So the mention of his name is essentially disingenuous.

It’s an apt comparison. You keep bringing up Murdoch as if the crappy behavior of his newspaper reporters in England somehow reflects on the journalists at FOX News – none of whom has been accused of any similar behavior. Soros is a convicted criminal who funds and therefore controls dozens of left-wing organizations. If the behavior of Murdoch’s newspaper employees in England somehow reflects on FOX News, then Soros’ control of MoveOn.org reflects equally on that organization and every other left-wing organization that wouldn’t exist without his funding.

Soros also funds the Occupy Wall Street dimwits, who recently proved the depth of their ignorance by protesting in front of Rupert Murdoch’s home – a guy who has nothing to do with Wall Street – while bypassing Soros’ home – a guy who became rich through insider trading and currency manipulation on Wall Street.

Like your disingenuous lists implying Red States are more solvent. I added populations to illuminate.

Tennessee  6. 4        Illinois      12. 8
Georgia     9. 7        New York    19. 4
Texas     25. 1        Connecticut   3. 6
Arkansas    2. 9        California    37. 2
Nebraska    1. 8        New Jersey   8. 8

TOTALS   45. 9                     81. 8

In other words those Blue States have almost twice as many people!  Which means they need huge budgets for basic infrastructure.

Let’s start with the mathematically obvious: The amount of infrastructure required in a state is a direct function of the population. States that require a HUGE infrastructure because they have a HUGE population have a proportionally HUGE number of taxpayers to fund that HUGE infrastructure.

You’ve also conveniently ignored the fact that Texas has more people than all of the debt-ridden “progressive” states except for California, Tennessee has more people than Connecticut, and Georgia has more people than Connecticut and New Jersey. Population doesn’t explain why the “progressive” states are bankrupt.

Our three biggest metropolitan areas make the Blue State list; New York, L A, and Chicago. All have major transit systems, bridge networks and tunnels (New York in particular). San Francisco is also here. Another top 10 metro area with major bridge and transit networks.

I did a bit of research via Google and found that those bridges and tunnels were often built by, and are still largely subsidized by, the federal government. Many also charge tolls that provide revenue to their states. So I don’t think bridges and tunnels explain why the big-government “progressive” states are bankrupt.

Notice too, Connecticut and New Jersey make the Blue State list. Both are densely populated and part of New York’s metro area. New Jersey also includes suburbs of Philadelphia. What’s more, four of the Blue States listed here are prone to heavy snowfall. While only Nebraska, of the Red States, gets major accumulation.

Obviously less urban states are easier to manage. And while Texas and Georgia have 3 major metro areas (Houston,Dallas, Atlanta) none has density rates even remotely comparable to your Blue State list. And none gets heavy snow-fall or single digit temperatures. Heating public buildings costs a lot, you know.

Paul, you need to get on the phone with leaders from those “progressive” bankrupt states and share this insight with them immediately. Then they can call press conferences and explain to the media, “Ladies and gentlemen, conservatives have blamed the growth of government for the current debt crisis in our fine state. But the fact is, unlike during the many preceding decades when the state budget was balanced, we now get snow in the winter and have to heat government buildings. Also, we now spend money to maintain bridges and tunnels, both of which are recent developments.”

Be sure, however, to advise the politicians in California (one the most debt-ridden states in the country) to avoid mentioning snow as a cause of their budget woes. I don’t anyone besides pot-heads and half the actors in Hollywood would believe that one.

Another quick bit of Google research showed that the cost of removing snow falls largely on cities, not states. The city of Chicago, for example, budgeted $6 million last year – for the entire city. So I don’t think this new phenomenon of winter snow falling on northern states explains why Illinois is running an $8 billion deficit. I’d suggest the deficit has more to do with the fact that the cost of state-employee pensions in Illinois rose from $1.1 billion in 2000 to $4.6 billion this year.

I did find that the state of Illinois spent $52 million last year for salt and abrasives to keep state highways open after snowfalls, but again, that hardly explains an $8 billion deficit.

By the way, thanks to all the global warming, we had record snowfalls and record cold temperatures in Tennessee the previous two winters (much to the delight of my girls). As you can see from this article, the extra snowfall caused a spike in expenditures:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2011-02-04-southeastsnow04_ST_N.htm

Tennessee is already $10. 2 million over budget this year with statewide expenditures of nearly $25 million. The state had budgeted $14. 7 million, said B. J. Doughty with the Transportation Department. Last year it budgeted $12 million and spent $23. 4 million, she said.

Amazingly, the extra cost of removing snow and heating government buildings didn’t cause Tennessee to go billions into debt.

So after adding it all up, I’m going to stick with my original argument: the “progressive” states I listed are broke (beyond broke, actually) because they have too many government programs and too many government employees drawing higher pay and larger pensions than the people who are taxed to pay for them. Those states are broke because the Democrats running them wanted as many government dependents (otherwise known as “loyal Democrats”) as possible on the payroll.

Your state is a perfect example. During the time that Gray Davis was governor of California, revenues to the state treasury increased by 25%. But state spending increased by 40% — much of it due to an explosion in the number of state employees, pay raises, and pension increases. Gray Davis was attempting to buy himself a large and permanent voting block. It was never a revenue problem.

With regards to your county, I’m not shocked that it’s affluent. You can find affluent counties in every state.

But you should be shocked, Paul. You’ve been contending all along that the conservative agenda is the agenda of stupid hicks. When one of the most conservative counties in the South turns out to be populated by people who are far more affluent and educated on average than the enlightened population in “progressive” Boston, I’d expect you to be very shocked … because that kind of negates your “stupid hick” theory, doesn’t it?

But in terms of population, Nashville is strictly second tier. Therefore it’s outer suburbs are going to be conservative. Certainly more so than Connecticut or New Jersey.

I’ve read that sentence several times in a failed attempt to discern the logic. Are you suggesting that suburbs of cities that are “second tier” in population are automatically conservative?   Let’s test that theory with some population figures:

Houston: 2,099,451
Dallas: 1,197,816
Indianapolis: 820,445
San Francisco: 805,235

Interesting. According to your theory, the suburbs of second-tier San Francisco must be more conservative than the suburbs of Houston, Dallas, and Indianapolis. I’d check voting records to see if that’s true, but I think we both know the answer.

Nashville (2nd largest city in Tennessee): 601,222
Boston (largest in Massachusetts): 589,141
Bridgeport (largest in Connecticut): 144,229

So the suburbs of Boston and Bridgeport, both more second-tier in terms of population than Nashville, must (according to the Paul theory) be more conservative than Nashville. Again, I think we can forgo checking the voting records.

Now let’s move on to explore your hope for America: a Libertarian Revolution!  Or a “Revolt of the Nerds” as my subject line implies. Tom, only a nerd could think that crashing the federal government is actually a good idea. Yet I now have you on record as advocating that!

Well, let’s see … I’ve stated many times on my blogs that I’m a libertarian, and anyone familiar with the term knows libertarians believe most of what the federal government does these days is unconstitutional. I don’t think anyone checking your copy of my permanent record will be shocked.

“Personally, I hope the federal government becomes so “dysfunctional” that it collapses and is replaced by the kind of government the Founders intended. ”

In other words you think the world is going to just stand still while the U S Government declares bankruptcy and dismantles itself?

Thanks to all the debt we’re piling up, the U. S. government will eventually either declare bankruptcy or hyperinflate the currency and cause another Depression. It’s only a question of when. The threat to our security is national debt, not a small government. The Chinese — hardly our allies — could crash the government almost at will simply by refusing to finance any more of our debt. Great Society spending put us in that precarious position.

Like none of our enemies would take advantage while we try to sort things out?  Like all our institutions would remain intact while the government fizzles out?

Are you expecting North Korea or Iran to invade if the Department of Education is dissolved?  Or did you miss the part about “is replaced by the kind of government the Founders intended”?  They intended for us to have a military.

Tom, if our government crashes, the dollar crashes as well. The financial markets crash!

If (more like when) the economy crashes and dollar crashes with it, it will be because our big-spending government dragged us into a debt crisis. The debt crisis in Europe in the reason the Euro is most likely doomed. Please note, however, that just because the Euro is doomed, it doesn’t mean all the countries in the European Union are doomed. Germany will likely return to deutschmarks and be fine. Germany, unlike Greece, Ireland, Iceland and Italy, didn’t spend itself into a hole. Its only mistake was linking its financial system with other governments that borrowed and spent too much money.

The dollar lost 90% of its value in the big-government era, with good reason: when the Federal Reserve creates new magic money out of thin air to fund government deficit spending, all the existing dollars lose value.

Wiping out every 401-K.

My retirement fund is in stocks and mutual funds, which means I own itty-bitty pieces of many corporations. If the government shrinks, I’ll still own those itty-bitty pieces. Our economy isn’t strong because of our bloated federal government. Government is an economic parasite. Government doesn’t produce wealth; it consumes wealth others have produced (including wealth yet to be produced, thanks to deficit spending.)

Government-induced inflation is the reason most people will retire poor if they don’t manage to invest successfully during their working years. Without the government-induced inflation, you could save for retirement by simply putting a portion of your income in an interest-bearing savings account, and the dollars would be worth more when you retired than when you deposited them. But since government-induced inflation devalues dollars, simply putting your money in a bank means watching the purchasing power of your savings decline over time. Imagine how much less stressful planning for retirement would be if you didn’t have to hope and pray you’ve bet on the right stocks and mutual funds just to stay ahead of inflation.

Collapse means ‘collapse’. Like the fall of Rome. You don’t come back from that. You break apart instead.

I’d suggest you read up on how government over-spending financed by devaluing the currency contributed to the Fall of Rome. We are now following the same path.

Even if we could achieve an orderly transition, to a Calvin Coolidge size government, how effective would it be?  Can you name ‘one’ superpower in history that had a pint-size government?   Is there one such power in the world today?  Nooo!!!  The belief that we could achieve that is retarded intellectually.

You’ve already tried ringing that bell. The U. S. is a superpower because of our military, which in no way requires a New Deal or Great Society bloated government. We fought the Civil War and World War One with nothing of the sort in place. When the American military shows up, enemy soldiers don’t cringe and yell, “Run!  Those people have a huge Department of Education back home with lots of overpaid employees!”

Yet a Libertarian Revolution captures the imagination of nerds. Who romantically envision a Communist revolution in reverse. Instead of nationalizing businesses, everything gets privatized. Outsourcing the government to private contractors.

No, not everything would be privatized. Much of it would simply be eliminated.

Nice touch, attempting to equate libertarians with communists. The communists took over by force and established a government that controlled everybody. Libertarians want to take over via persuasion and establish a government that protects freedom and otherwise leaves people alone, as the Founders intended.

Whose employees will only be temps with no benefits or pensions. And ‘no’, they won’t give a shit. . about anyone or anything.

If you want to see employees who don’t give a $#@%, visit your local DMV or other government office. Knowing you can’t be fired without shooting a co-worker does not inspire high performance.

You apparently buy into the leftist nonsense that nobody in private industry is offered a pension or benefits anymore. I’ve been offered full-time jobs with a pension and benefits several times over the years, most recently at BMI.  I turned them down. I’d rather earn contractor rates and provide my own pension and benefits. I guess that makes me a temp.

Which raises an obvious question. Would the Pentagon be down-sized to its Coolidge strength?  Or would it remain as is; completely out of proportion to the rest of government?

Read these paragraphs and see if you can spot the logical inconsistency:

Can you name ‘one’ superpower in history that had a pint-size government?  Is there one such power in the world today?

Would the Pentagon be down-sized to its Coolidge strength?  Or would it remain as is; completely out of proportion to the rest of government?

Paul, make up your mind. Are you afraid we’ll shrink the military and lose our superpower status, or do you support shrinking the military?  To answer your question, yes, the Pentagon should be downsized as well. The military’s job should be to protect the United States, not intervene around the world.

But as for the military being “completely out of proportion to the rest of the government” … compared to when?  When JFK was president, more than half of all federal spending was on the military. Today it’s 20%. Or if we look at military spending as a percent of GDP:

1944: 42%
1960: 10%
1980: 6%
2011: 5%

I don’t believe we need bases all over the world, but to claim that today’s military is “completely out of proportion to the rest of government” requires willful ignorance. Historically, military spending averaged near 50% of the federal budget, spiking to nearly 80% during major wars.

With a thousand Colonels for every civilian bureaucrat?

Number of federal civilian employees: 1. 35 million
Number of Colonels in the entire U. S. Military: 12,200

You’ve already said you don’t enjoy math, so I’ll save you the trouble: that’s 111 federal civilian employees for every Colonel.

And finally, the outsourcing of government would just create webs of cronyism. With contractors racing to buy up Congress and The Courts. Only the stupidest of asses would expect a different outcome.

To the contrary, anyone with even a basic understanding of economic incentives would recognize that being empowered by government to spend other people’s money is the cause of cronyism. When people spend their own money, they’re much more careful … and if they aren’t, they suffer the consequences instead of the taxpayers.

Let’s revisit a recent example:  Suppose I work for the federal government and a big contributor wants to sell me a half-billion dollars’ worth of a drug no one is sure anyone needs. Hey, no problem … it’ll make my party bosses happy, and it’s the taxpayers’ money anyway.

Now suppose I run a for-profit business and the same contributor wants to sell me the same drug. If I buy the drug, I’ve just reduced my profit by a half-billion dollars while providing no known benefit to my customers. Therefore I tell the drug-seller to take a hike – unless I get to bill the government directly for the drug, in which case we’re back at the same root cause for this lousy decision: I get to spend other people’s money, a situation created by government coercion.

So “revolt of the nerds” is an apt description. Which makes me think of Scientology. Their beliefs only make sense within the bubble of other nerds.

Yup, that’s us … wonks, nerds, people who read books on economics before forming loud opinions on the subject, people who’ve read the Constitution and believe it means what it says, people who believe the country was founded on the principle of individual liberty, people capable of understanding enough financial math to see where on-going deficit spending eventually leads, people who remember that even John Maynard Keynes (the grand poobah of government “stimulus” programs) prescribed governments borrowing and spending money during a recession and then PAYING IT BACK when the recession was over, etc., etc.

We are indeed a strange bunch. Nerds, all of us. Let’s face it: the truly cool, sophisticated people in the country are those who complain that nobody can afford health insurance or a retirement program, then demand that other people fund their health insurance and retirement programs, and then (stunningly, amazingly) consider themselves competent to tell the people supporting them how to run their lives and their businesses.

Only a nerd could think Grover Norquist is cool. To anyone else he’s just a sexually ambiguous troll.

I didn’t say he was cool. I said I applaud him for resisting the “progressive” theory that our debt crisis is the result of government not confiscating enough wealth from the people who produce it.

And like Scientologists, Libertarians enjoy the fact that their movement is hard to spell. That way they can baffle people by identifying with something that sounds so alien. Because that’s how nerds amuse themselves. It’s only cool to them.

I’m sorry to hear you have a difficult time spelling libertarian. The possibility never occurred to me. If you’d like me to donate a copy of Hooked on Phonics to your personal library, let me know.

Tom

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10 Responses to “Debate With A Leftist Pal, Part 13”
  1. Robert says:

    Good lord, he is really laying on the ad hominem lately, he must be feeling a little pressured.

    So Tom, when do you think this whole thing is going to come crashing down? 5 years? 10? When Obama gets reelected? (Because lets face it, the media wants Romney to be the GOP nominee, and Romney will lose)

    I’m trying to figure out when to start stockpiling ammo and barricading the door. I have a feeling it isn’t going to be pretty when it does happen.

    If we manage to go another 10 years without a major crash (and I mean MAJOR CRASH), I’ll be delighted but surprised. We’re going to reach the point where revenues will only cover interest on the debt plus Social Security and Medicare, which means everything else will be squeezed out. Sometime before that point, I expect the @#$% to hit the fan.

  2. David MacRae says:

    Correction here: . “Germany, unlike Greece, Ireland, Iceland and Italy, didn’t spend itself into a hole”.

    Ireland and Iceland did not spend themselves into a hole. They were victims of their own success. Because of attractive investment environments, banks flocked to their countries. Then when the worldwide banking bubble burst, they got caught. The effect of this is far greater in small countries with big banks than, say, in the US. Ireland, idiotically, has nationalized the banks and is attempting to pay off their debts.

    BTW, Iceland is not even in Europe. Or, at least, not in the EU.

    As recounted in the book “Boomerang,” Icelanders responded to their success by going on a huge buying spree, funded with borrowed money. Ireland got itself into trouble by guaranteeing the debts of its banks. I count that as government spending.

  3. John Hunter says:

    Yup, libertarian is hard to spell. Unless you look at the root. Paul seems though Paul isn’t too interested in “liberty” though.

    And from his knowledge of economics it seems as though he’s never met a librarian (probably another word he has trouble spelling.)

    Also, remind me never to get into an argument with you! I’m sure we’ll see more as he seems to have plenty of straw on which to build men.

    Oh yeah, he’s still going at it. I may have to post more than one of these per week just to get caught up.

  4. Milton says:

    Paul said “Can you name ‘one’ superpower in history that had a pint-size government?”

    I’m a bit surprised that he asked that, since it’s pretty easy to draw out the analogy and point out that becoming large and expansive did not help any of those superpowers to survive. Their collapses and/or general declines were not prevented by their massive size, and may have even precipitated them.

    Maybe Paul can explain to you why he wants the USA to follow the path of those past empires?

    Bingo. He seems to believe (for no logical reason) that be a military super-power, we also need huge Great Society programs. All those do is limit the funds available for the military.

  5. Andrea says:

    Tom, while I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughtful responses in this series, Paul’s increasing verbal abuse is straining my patience and attention span. Phrases like “only the stupidest of asses,” “only a nerd could think,” or “[that belief] is retarded intellectually,” don’t support his arguments at all. People who resort to name-calling during debates are bullies, plain and simple, and I’m not interested in what they have to say. Besides, if name-calling is the best response he can come up with, he’s already lost the discussion.

    And calling Grover Norquist a “sexually ambiguous troll?” WTF is up with that?? Since GN is not the least bit androgynous, I can only assume that Paul was taking nasty potshots at GN’s association with GOProud, which is tremendously ironic considering that he’s supposed to be your ‘leftist pal.’ Gay-bashing is just as trashy as other forms of name-calling, and really has nothing to do with your debate thus far in any event.

    As far as I’m concerned, the rapid deterioration of quality in Paul’s remarks is signaling that this debate is over. If you want to continue it, that’s fine, but I don’t think I’ll be reading any further posts in this series.

    I love it when he resorts to name-calling. That’s the strategy of someone who’s getting his butt kicked in a debate and knows it, even if he can’t admit it.

  6. Glenn says:

    Sweet. He’s resorted to name calling. Won’t be long now.

    That’s the sign of someone losing a debate.

  7. TonyNZ says:

    There is a bit of a chicken/egg argument here:

    Progressive states have bigger budgets because they have more people and have to provide expensive structure to accommodate a high population density.

    Could easily be changed to:

    Progressive states have a high population density because they have spent huge amounts on money on infrastructure that allows a high population density to exist.

    Maybe conservative people are attracted to urban environments that are more sustainable as they do not require such spending due to population density.

    Just a thought…

  8. Ryan says:

    Tom,

    Do you have any ideas on what to expect during, and after a major crash. I agree one is inevitable, in any area of life there are either many minor adjustments or one major one. Its easy to see if one just understands reason and logic.

    Did you get the farm for this reason? I’m guessing we’ll need guns, seeds, and livestock but I don’t really understand any historical references on how long a crash would last.

    I guess it all depends on what the gov’t and the people do right after. Does the crash signify to the majority of the population that we really need to go toward libertarian view points and that people need to become autodidactic OR does it signify to the gov’t and most people that we need to become some flavor of socialist.

    I honestly think it will be the latter, because of these observations in my life.

    I REALLY enjoy reading your blog. I think for my self, and have come to the same nutrition conclusions as you have. I’ve lead a fairly common life in america in social and economic ways and therefore think that I have a fairly good idea of what the average person thinks. I say latter because, in my opinion the average person never thinks about this stuff. The average person couldn’t care less about reason or logic. The average person hates thinking for their self and really would rather be told what to think by an authority. To the average person the way things are right now and have been since 1980 is the way it has always been and will always be. There isn’t much of an understand of or interest in history.

    Therefore I think that when the crash comes at least 70% of the population will look to the gov’t to solve it. The gov’t will happily step in and take over everything. I just don’t know what the 30% (us) will do. Do you think there is a chance that the 30% could start their own country, sort of seceed from the US to hopefully once and for all show the world what a country of pure liberty could be like? I don’t know…I think the rulers of the gov’t know very well that an libertarian ideal lead country would be very successful, but that is not what they really want. They want to rule everyone in the name of everyone’s best interest.

    What I’m saying is I think the 70% will use the military to force everyone into line. It seems like “liberty” will have to go into the cornor for 50-100 years (or more), and await its time to come back out? Liberty will have to wait until the 70% start thinking to theirselves, “damn, I should read in my free time”. “Damn, I should learn reason and logic.” To me its seems the few have always tried to control the many and that in order for that to NOT happen the majority of people need to understand and appreciate the value in liberty.

    I know everything I said has been sorta dark…but I wanted to share something I’m scared of, and think isn’t out of the question.

    Can you comment please? Do you agree? Do you think I’m way off? What do you think is likely.

    Thank you,

    Ryan V

    How this will all turn out is anybody’s guess. I will depend on how quickly people panic. I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be living in the middle of a city like Los Angeles if there’s an economic meltdown, because I think riots are a real possibility. When the last Great Depression hit, Americans weren’t yet conditioned to believe government should take care of them. If another one hits and the government can’t take care of everyone because it has no funds and no way of getting them, it could get real ugly out there.

    Chareva wanted to raise chickens and some livestock for health and lifestyle reasons, but it’s certainly crossed my mind that it would smart to prepare to live off the grid. We’re looking into wood-burning stoves (there’s a big ol’ forest behind us), generators, water barrels and a sistern to catch rainwater, etc. In autobiographies I’ve read of people who lived through the Depression (including several by WWII soldiers), it was those who lived on farms and ranches who said they knew there was a Depression going on, but they weren’t personally affected all that much. That’s because they could take care of themselves.

    Keep in mind that I sincerely hope I’m wrong about all this. But I’ve been surprised at the number of intelligent and rational people I’ve met in the past few years — doctors, attorneys, financial planners, software engineers, etc. — who are all preparing for the worst.

  9. eddie watts says:

    lucky that in the US you have a lot of space for living independantly, in the uk it’s not going to be as easy as you describe if a meltdown occurs.
    been reading a pdf by Thomas Sowell after reading your site, very good stuff and thought provoking, now to send it to socialist friends of mine…:D
    http://www.altfeldinc.com/pdfs/BASICECONOMICS.pdf this is it for reference

    That’s a nice wrap-up of the book. A different left-leaning friend of mine asked me to recommend one book that would explain why I believe what I do about economics. I gave him a copy of Sowell’s “Basic Economics.” He told me later that while he wasn’t going to change parties, it did make him re-think a lot of what he believed.

  10. Gerard says:

    servers still going….. bloody hell a Cpanel server takes 3 hours of one massive install script….. About as long as the debate above…..

    Tom – you touch on military spending here in regards to the protection of the United States…. I did ask you before but don’t think I heard back…. what is your or Libetertaran view point on helping allies…

    Ie – if Australia was threatened in unprovoked war from Indonesia or North Korea would a Liberterian US government come to our aid?

    I don’t know how Ron Paul would answer, but I have no problem with countries agreeing to mutual-defense agreements. (Australia is, if I’m not mistaken, historically the most loyal ally the U.S. has.) Agreeing to aid each other in defense against aggression isn’t the same as deciding we don’t like the government in some foreign country and moving in to replace it.

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