Comments Posted By bsjones
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Nagarajan Sivakumar,
I also read the ten page Goldwater speech. Although,I skipped the 16 page forward by Feulner. (I prefer to chew my own food.)

From what I could tell everything Goldwater said applies to BOTH the Democrats and Republicans. Unless I misread it, Goldwater admits this himself in the speech.

One thing is evident. Goldwater has an excellent grasp of the reasons the Founders constructed the Constitution the way they did. According to Goldwater, "...freedom depends on effective restraints against the accumulation of power in a single authority." That, of course, is the purpose of the Constitution.

Goldwater then says the Founders were just as concerned about "the masses" as they were about an "individual tyrant". Again, Goldwater is spot on. A reading of the Federalist Papers shows they were more worried about the "tyranny of the majority" than anything else. So, it seems the Founders were concerned about power corrupting no matter where that power resides.

There was one thing that the Founders did not anticipate, but that Goldwater was well aware of. Large, powerful, multinational corporations. How would the Founders feel about this new center of concentrated power? Would they welcome it as the outcome of a free society? Would they want to restrict the power of corporations, the way they wanted to restrict the power of "the masses" and "absolutist tyrants"? A case could be made.

We know what Goldwater believed. He does not talk about corporations. He speaks only of individual businessmen.(I make cakes. You clean laundry. The neighbor owns a pin factory.) And we... "are hampered by a maze of government regulation... and direct government competition."

For Goldwater government has no roll to play in limiting corporate power. Any time government acts as a countervailing power to these interests, it is a usurpation.

Strangely, although Goldwater says, "Our tendency to concentrate power in the hands of a few deeply concerns me." He says nothing about the accumulation of corporate power.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 7.02.2009 @ 22:26

I followed your link to cafehayek. This is what I came away with:

1. The average effective tax rate for a taxable federal return was 13.3% in 2004.

2. The top 1% of the population claimed 19% of the taxable income in 2004.(It says NOTHING about the gross income of this group.) That was an increase in taxable income of 2.2% from the previous year.

3. The average adjusted gross income or AGI of the top 1% in 2004 was $328,000.

4. the IRS said Nothing about the actual gross income of that 1%,but, I have a belief that someone who's AGI was $328,000 in 2004 grossed considerably more. (You get to deduct the driver, the nanny, contributions to retirement accounts, jet fuel etc...) Martha Stewart knows how it's done. So, I suspect, do Oprah and Bernie Madoff.

5. The piece said nothing about wealthy people who are tax cheats (e.g., t. dascle) or businesses that can never manage to turn a profit and therefore don't pay income tax.

As a result we know nothing about this groups actual gross income. As a result, we know nothing about what percentage of their total income is taxed. (we of course can easily discover the deductions of anyone who uses the 1040 ez form, but they usually do not deduct business trips, face lifts, and the like.)

Of note, the g.a.o. issued a report in 2008 stating that about 2/3 of all corporations paid no taxes between 1998 and 2005. Many more had a quote "low tax liability". Just like poor people, they weren't makin' any money, so they weren't payin' any taxes.

Yeah, the American wealthy have a tough row to hoe. I guess they will be moving to Canada, Britain, or Scandinavia to lower that awesome tax burden.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 7.02.2009 @ 19:08

Anyone interested in what Adam Smith had to say in 1776 about the 18 steps in pin manufacture under a mercantile economy can do so here:

Click on slides
wait for the download to complete

Comment Posted By bsjones On 6.02.2009 @ 16:17


I applaud you for being self reflective and going out on a limb like you have.

You seem to be saying that life is a complicated and changing affair, therefore, it is a good idea to occasionally challenge your own underlying assumptions about human nature, government, society and political economy. This can be done by approaching ideas and beliefs with which we disagree with fresh eyes and an open mind.

If I understand you, then I agree completely.

The last paragraph of your post points to why you are likely to have a comment section full of angry and spiteful rants. Always be suspicious of people bringing up Adam Smith in their posts. They usually have not read EITHER of his major works or ever worked in a pin factory. (The same goes for people who bring up Adolf Hitler.)

Keep posting. I can't wait to hear what comes next.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 6.02.2009 @ 14:20


Great analysis of the tactics both parties use in American political debate and the power of ideology.

I just saw a great movie called Downfall on DVD about the last days of Hitler (a must see!!). They made a real attempt to portray events with historical accuracy.At the end of the film,Joseph Goebbel's wife Magda poisons her six children because she could not bear for them to live in a world without National Socialism. That act shows the power of ideology and propaganda.

I know a man who at the age of 40 joined the 'War on Terror'. He is in Iraq. He explodes I.E.D.s. He has a blog. It is a realistic view of his struggles. You can find it here:

You will not find ideology or propaganda there.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 5.02.2009 @ 13:14


Anybody interested in reading the SOFA in my other post can find it here:

Comment Posted By bsjones On 5.02.2009 @ 03:23

Rick said, "Well, he [Obama] apparently thinks it better that he keep a campaign promise to the anti-war crowd than follow the advice of his generals [on Iraq withdrawal]."

Rick do you have amnesia? What was the name of the guy who signed that 'status of forces agreement' or SOFA with Iraq on December 14, 2008?

That agreement has more to say about what American troops can and can't do in Iraq than the American 'military brass'. Anyone who reads the SOFA will find it says something about the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.

The SOFA establishes that U.S. combat forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011, subject to possible further negotiations.

Although Obama does not respect Bush, perhaps Obama believes a U.S. President should honor the international security pacts signed by his predecessor.

By following the SOFA, Obama would be following the wishes of a pact negotiated and signed by Bush and his administration.

What could be more conservative than obeying previously signed agreements by a democratically elected President?

What could show more disregard for conservative principles than ignoring the agreements of a previously democratically elected President and instead doing what unelected generals want.

To summarize: President Bush has already committed the U.S. to a hard timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. That date is December 31st, 2011.

Comment Posted By bsjones On 5.02.2009 @ 03:10

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