Using Class Warfare to raise the Debt Limit while the Chinese Love Chairman Mao

Posted by PITHOCRATES - July 16th, 2011

You just don’t create more Jobs by Raising Taxes

Long story short the economy sucks.  And it’s not getting better anytime soon (see Number of the Week: 5% Unemployment Could Be Over a Decade Away by Justin Lahart posted 7/16/2011 on The Wall Street Journal).

162: Number of months it would take at this year’s pace of job growth for unemployment rate to fall to 5%.

That’s 13 and a half years of more of the same.  High unemployment means fewer taxpayers.  This does not bode well for our current debt crisis or that out of control government spending.  Which has all of Washington in a panic as they desperately try to get the Republicans to cave and increase the debt limit so they can borrow more. 

Obama and the Democrats want tax hikes.  To take more from those who work.  The Republicans want to go the route of making more taxpayers (i.e., create more jobs).  And you just don’t create more jobs by raising taxes.  Unless you live in fairyland.

‘Shared Sacrifice’ means Taxing the Wealthy More

But the spending is so out of control and the economy so bad that the Obama administration is desperate for new taxes.  They’re willing to offer any deal.  And tell any tall tale (see Obama appeals to middle class on debt talks; GOP touts balanced budget by the CNN Wire Staff posted 7/16/2011 on CNN).

Obama cited budget deals forged by President Ronald Reagan and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill and President Bill Clinton and Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“Nobody ever got everything they wanted,” Obama said. “But eventually they worked together, they moved this country forward…”

“We’ve been down this road before,” he said. “In 1990 Congress and the president struck a deficit reduction deal that combined spending cuts with tax increases. Unfortunately, while the tax hikes remained, the spending restraint did not, and our debt has marched higher.”

There’s a little history revisionism.  The Democrats got their tax hikes.  And screwed Republicans on the spending cuts.  The infamous $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in new taxes promise in the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982Tip and his Democrats reneged on that promise.  Just like the Democrats did on their 1990 promise. 

‘Working together’ to Obama means to do what the Democrats want and to stop being a pain in the ass.  So you can understand why the Republicans are a little gun-shy when it comes to making deals with them that require trust.  Because they have a history of being untrustworthy.

Evoking compromises of the past, President Barack Obama said Saturday that a commitment to shared sacrifice can break the current impasse on the debt ceiling…

He used his address to reach out to the middle class, reiterating his call for higher taxes on the wealthy and reforms to politically popular entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. “We are all part of the same country. We are all in this together…”

One of the issues at heart of the current debate is Obama’s call for more tax revenue by allowing tax cuts from the Bush presidency to expire at the end of 2012 for families making more than $250,000. His plan would keep the lower tax rates for Americans who earn less.

Obama noted earlier this week he is not looking to raise any taxes until 2013 or later. In exchange, the president said, he wants to ensure that the current progressive nature of the tax code is maintained, with higher-income Americans assessed higher tax rates.

Shared sacrifice?  Higher taxes on the wealthy?  Clearly that’s not shared sacrifice.  That’s making the wealthy pay more.  Even though they are already paying a lot.  In fact, any poor person who wins the lotto will be shocked to see how much they will owe in taxes.  Say you won a million dollar jackpot.  Per the 2010 federal income tax table, you’ll owe $327,643.75.  Not to mention state or local taxes.  You’ll be lucky to keep half of your winnings by the time you’re done paying your taxes.  Is that fair?  If it’s you, no.  If it’s the ‘rich’ and you’re not rich, sure.  Why not?  Classic class warfare.  And it’s exactly what the Democrats are banking on.  

A Warm Love for Chairman Mao

And speaking of class warfare, you know who else is good at it?  The Chinese communists.  And it starts by indoctrinating their children (see Red State by Hannah Beech posted 7/16/2011 on Time).

Twelve-year-old Chen Le is a typical Chinese kid. He loves flying paper airplanes, plays Ping-Pong and dreams of becoming a scientist. And he aims one day to join the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) so, as Chen puts it, “I can puff out my chest and say I am a party member…”

…Then there’s the Red Army school program, which uses donations and other funds to instruct 1.15 million kids in academies named after the communist militia. “Our patriotism classes are even more patriotic than those of normal schools because loving our country is very important for our current society,” says Fang Qiang, the secretary-general of the National Red Army Construction Project Council. “Our students all have a warm love for Chairman Mao.”

A warm love for Chairman Mao?  Interesting.  Talk about history revisionism. 

[The] red revival is facing something of a backlash. For some Chinese, the color red brings back the bad memories of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, when frenzied Red Guards rampaged nationwide. The resurgent glorification of Mao, who even staunch supporters have grudgingly labeled “70% right and 30% wrong,” has alarmed others. As the red-culture campaign reached a crescendo this spring, economist Mao Yushi of Beijing think tank Unirule Institute of Economics wrote an online essay blaming Mao for overseeing the deaths of some 50 million Chinese. The Great Helmsman was “a backstage orchestrator who wrecked the country and brought ruin to the people,” the academic wrote. Censors quickly purged his comments.

There wasn’t a whole lot of love for Mao when he was killing those 50 million Chinese.  Just a lot of fear.  And suffering.  As China reformed and purged the rich and made everyone equal.  And poor.  And now the young are singing patriotic songs about the world’s greatest mass murderer.  To help keep everyone patriotic.  So they don’t see the rich getting richer.  And the poor staying poor.

For a nostalgic faction in the Chinese leadership, it is the market-oriented economic reforms of Mao’s successor Deng Xiaoping — which turned China into the world’s factory — that are responsible for having allowed ills such as graft and income inequality to flourish. In national surveys from 2005 onward, Chinese have expressed progressively less satisfaction with their lives, even as their incomes have surged. “We can’t stop divisions in society completely, but we can try to lessen the pain,” says Fang Ning, director of the Institute of Political Science at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing. “The central theme of red culture is to promote unity and equality in society. China has had economic growth. Now we want to pay attention to social growth as well.”

After some spectacular growth caused by allowing a little capitalism in, they will now be paying attention to social growth.  Much like in the United States.  And we see what that did for the Americans.  A 15 year or so recession.  And a debt crisis.  Which is now coming to China.  Who are no strangers to income redistribution.  Been there.  Done that.  Under Chairman Mao.  During his Great Leap Forward.  Which was more central planning disaster than moving the country forward.  In fact, it was capitalism that finally did move China forward.  As it moved America forward.  Until the Americans focused on social growth.   

If history repeats, as it usually does, perhaps their future will be our present.  Where they will be making speeches about shared sacrifice.  To avert a disaster.  And keep the peace.  Or they could just send the tanks in.  Which have proven to be pretty effective in shutting down an unhappy opposition.

Income Inequality sure pays the Tax Bills

The American economy won’t be getting better anytime soon.  Thanks to excessive government spending and debt.  Which the Obama administration is going to ‘fix’ by borrowing and spending more.  And increasing taxes.  Things that aren’t known for creating jobs.  Which is what we need.  Like in China.  They have a lot of them.  And see how well they’re doing?  They’re getting so rich that they have to get their young to sing patriotic songs to hide the income inequality.  So they don’t grow up and become dissidents.

Say what you want about income inequality, but it sure pays the tax bills.  China is buying U.S debt. The United States isn’t buying Chinese debt.  That should tell you a thing or two about letting the rich get rich.

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Revising Language and History to Help the Agenda

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 20th, 2010

Barack and Big Brother

“Have you heard, brother, about the summer of recovery?”

“No, brother.  Heard what?”

“Millions of jobs were saved.”

“Doubleplusgood, brother.  Doubleplusgood indeed.”

For inner-party members, perhaps.  For us regular party members, though, not a whole lot has changed.  But we don’t complain.  We continue to drink our Victory Gin and praise Big Brother.  Because we don’t want to be summoned to the Ministry of Love and feel the wrath of the state.  Or be audited by the IRS.

Of course, the proles, the masses, get to indulge in their pornography, drugs, music, prostitution, alcohol, cigarettes and other crimethink.  Anything to quell the unruly masses.  The lucky bastards.  Well, the ones not sent to joycamps, at least.  A few privations will always trump forced labor in my book.

The purpose of Newspeak in Oceania is twofold.  First it provides a political correct language to communicate in.  And, second, this simplified language simplifies the people so they’re little more than automatons of the state.  Makes it easier for the state to lie.  To twist the meaning of words.  To change their meaning.  And to change history. 

Unemployment is higher today than it was during the Bush administration.  But we’re not going to return to the failed policies of the past.  Things are better today and moving in the right direction.  Loyal party members believe this.  They know this.  This is blackwhite.  To believe in things that contradict.  The bad economy of today is better than the good economy of the Bush administration.  Despite what the numbers say.  Or until the numbers can be revised to agree with the new truth.  This is the power of Newspeak.

War is Peace

In the past it took a constant state of war to consume the economic output so everyone had less. Everyone was equal (other than inner-party members who were more equal than others).  Everyone was poor.  Lived in fear.  And sacrificed.  For the common enemy.  Today, we don’t need constant war.  We have the welfare state.  The war on poverty.  Which consumes the economic output.  And makes us dependent on the state.  Where we live in fear of losing our benefits.  And shared sacrifice leaves everyone with less.  For the common good.  Except, of course, the inner-party members.

Freedom is Slavery

Imagine a world where you never have to worry or think about where to work, finding healthcare, what to wear, where to live, what movies to watch, what music to listen to, what books to read, what cable news program to watch, what websites to visit or what to do with your spare time (because you won’t have any).  This is true freedom.  Freedom from choice.  You will never have to think again.  Or provide for yourself.  Because to be a slave is to be truly free.

Ignorance is Truth

What you don’t know can’t hurt you.  Obedience to the state is easy when you don’t question what they tell you.  When everything you hear is the truth.  And it is if you don’t know any better.  The era of Reagan is over.  Trickledown economics doesn’t work.  And if you don’t look at the numbers and see the robust economic health of the Reagan years, it is easy to accept the lie.  If you don’t know the truth then you accept what they tell you as the truth.  And you become good party members.

Newspeak Today

This word play doesn’t only exist in George Orwell’s classic book 1984 or in totalitarian regimes.  It exists wherever states want to revise history.  To alter your perception.  The way you think.  To bring you more into the party fold.  The latest is the revision of ‘global warming’ to ‘global climate disruption’ as noted in White House: Global Warming Out, ‘Global Climate Disruption’ In on the FOX News website.  To try and rescue a favored liberal cause from ridicule and charges of junk science it receives today.  Past examples of Newspeak include the following revisions: ‘terrorism’ to ‘man-caused disaster’; ‘war on terror’ to ‘overseas contingency operation’; and now that the Left wants to extend the Bush tax cuts, these have been revised from ‘tax cuts for the rich’ to ‘middle-class tax cuts’.

For further study on revisionism and abuses of state power, you can read 1984, watch the movie or follow the Obama administration.

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FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH #29: “The problem with doing what is best for the common good is that few can agree on what the common good is.” -Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 31st, 2010

CHOOSING IS EASY WHEN ONLY ONE IS CHOOSING

Lunch groups can be a pain in the you-know-what.  Ass.  I mean, if you’re hungry, you can go and eat whatever you want.  If you want pasta you can eat pasta.  But if you’re dragging 3 others with you, there’s a chance at least one of them doesn’t want pasta.  He or she may want Thai.  And be the only one who wants Thai.  Another may be trying to lose weight and wants a healthy vegetable sub.  Which may be the last thing someone wants if they have their heart set on a good, juicy piece of dead cow.

So you know what happens.  You don’t have pasta, Thai, the sub shop or the steakhouse.  You end up going to that greasy diner that smells like an old, unwashed ashtray.  The food’s not that bad and they have a huge menu.  Which never ceases to amaze you.  And worries you.  Just a little.  (You know they’re not selling broiled haddock every day and you wonder just how long it’s been in the freezer.)  There’s something for everyone.  It may not be the best.  No one is particularly happy with the choice.   But it was the best compromise everyone could agree to. 

Picking a movie can be just as fun.  “What do you want to see?”  “I don’t care.  What do you want to see?”  And this can go on and on.  And on.  An action thriller?  Too violent.  A romantic comedy?  Too sappy.  That r-rated comedy?  Too many boobs.  That 3-hour movie that’s like Steel Magnolias only sadder?  I can sleep at home for a hell of a lot less. 

And round and round you go.  Finally, you settle on a compromise.  Great Moments in Opera History – a film of a live performance of Verdi’s Rigoletto that includes some nudity.  There’s singing, a sad story, some comedy, a tragic ending and, of course, boobs.  No one was bursting with anticipation to see this movie.   No one is particularly happy with the choice.   But it was the best compromise everyone could agree to. 

When you’re deciding for one, you only have to please yourself.  The more people involved with the decision-making process, the less you please yourself and the more you try to please others.  Key word being ‘try’.  Because the more people in the decision-making process, the less likely anyone is going to be pleased.

E PLURIBUS UNUM (OUT OF MANY, ONE)

They call America the melting pot.  Canada is a mosaic, but we’re a melting pot.  America became a mixture of the different immigrants that came to this country.  These people assimilated into being Americans.  People with different nationalities and religions melted together and made a singular national identity.  Out of many, one.  (In Canada, there’s no melting.  Hence the mosaic.  And no singular national identity.)

Many say our diversity is our strength.  We’re not conformists.  Just look at the explosion in television channels.  We’re so diverse that we can’t agree on what to watch on TV.  So there are hundreds of channels to choose from.  To satisfy our very different tastes and interests.

We like different things.  Television shows, restaurants, movies, books, newspapers and blogs.  To name just a few.  There is, in fact, little that we really agree about.  Other than agreeing we should be able to enjoy the things we wish to enjoy.  And not be forced to endure the things we don’t.  Mosaic or melting pot, however you want to look at it, individuals make up the whole.  Persons with individual tastes and interests.  With individual hopes and dreams.

WHO’S TO SAY WHAT’S BEST?

Now put the two together and what do you get?  A lot of people who don’t agree with each other trying to agree with each other.  It’s sort of like drawing a square circle.  You can’t do it.  Now take that group and ask them to make a decision for the common good.

Sounds easy, right?  Most are willing to sacrifice a little.  If it’s for the common good.  We just need to list the things that everyone would agree are important for the common good.  Like better fuel economy in our cars to reduce pollution and our dependence on foreign oil.  Or making cars safer so people get hurt less in accidents.  Both of these appear to be for the common good.  But they also conflict with each other.  More of one means less of the other.  Little boxes with sewing-machine engines will give great fuel economy.  But they can get blown off bridges (like that Yugo that blew off the Mackinac Bridge in 1989) and don’t fare well when struck by an 18-wheel truck. 

Which is the greater good?  It depends on your definition of the greater good.  Which is, must be, subjective.  Big, heavy cars are safe.  Light, little cars have good fuel economy.  Some people so hate the internal combustion engine that a rise in highway fatalities is acceptable to them.  Others would rather give up a few MPGs for a safer car for their family.  These people aren’t likely to agree.  They’re probably not all that willing to compromise either.  For, unlike the lunch group, there’s no real motivation to get along with each other.

Now multiply this by thousands of other issues.  More arts funding.  A stronger military.  Stem cell research.  Lower taxes.  The Decriminalization of drugs.  Better border security.  Abortion.  AIDS research.  High-speed rail.  Etc.  Each of these has strong proponents.  And hefty price tags.  Or provoke bitter social/moral/ethical debate.  Can we agree which of these is the greater good?  Ask 10 of your family, friends and coworkers and find out.

SHARED SACRIFICE

Getting people to agree that we should do what’s best for the common good is easy.  Getting those same people to agree on exactly what that common good is, well, is impossible.  We’re too many people with too many diverse interests.  I know what’s best for me.  But how does my neighbor know what’s best for me?  And how do I know what’s best for him?  We can’t.  And the more we try the more we must settle for something less. 

When we start deciding for others, some will have to sacrifice for the greater good.  But that’s okay.  Because everyone is for ‘shared’ sacrifice.  If it’s for the common good.  As long someone else’s share of sacrifice is bigger than yours, that is.

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