28 Aug

The Ugly Truth Of America’s Welfare Class

                                       

Engraved at the base of the statue of Liberty

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Emma Lazarus, 1883

There is a group of people within America’s Welfare Class that is metastasizing into a downward spiral of decadence and depravity. The nature of a Welfare System replicates itself and gains in power and funding by rewarding those who exist as parasites, fuels the cancer of degeneracy or an entitlement of the most useless.

Unfortunately, there are Americans who have factors in their life that predispose them to being wards of the state. This article is not meant to demean their plight or condition, but rather, this sense of victimhood that is building among ever increasing group of able bodied that see the Welfare System as means of existence to be manipulated in order to work their way up the ladder of life and success.

These are generations lost, their numbers are growing and the system is encouraging their sloth, laziness, and degeneracy. The Bouchards epitomize the darkest side of this entitlement system.

Alicia Bouchard Encouraged Sexual Relations Between Her Husband And A 12 YO To Gain Extra Government Money

A child of 12 years of age was placed in the care of the Bouchards and was encouraged to have sex with the “Man” of the house so that the couple could claim welfare money and benefit when she became pregnant.

The Carefree Husband And Playboy Was Willing To Work To Get Ahead

An investigation started when the girl was suspected of being sexually molested. Apparently the 41 year old Alicia Bouchard encouraged the sexual relations, but made sure the relations were within certain standards of decency by serving as a chaperone and observing the statutory rapes committed by her husband Mathew, 26 upon the 12 year old girl.

Normally, the case is filled with alleged and suspect phrases, but in this particular case, that has yet to go to trial, Ms Bouchard wrote the girl a letter apologizing for forcing the girl to watch she and her husband have sexual relations and that it was wrong for her to have watched the girl and her husband having sex. Ms Bouchard has also expressed regrets; she wrote, ‘dang sure [she] should not have allowed [her] to have sex with Matt.”.

It is obvious that Ms Bouchard is overwhelmed with remorse as to the whether the incident was a wise decision; especially, now that she and her husband are in jail awaiting trial. Ms Bouchard has been booked on charges of being a principal to sexual battery, soliciting sexual activity with a child, and being a principal to child abuse, her bond has been set at $70,000.

If this were not a Liberal program, they would be asking whether Matt was at for committing the rapes or was it the circumstances that raped the girl for the purposes of getting welfare benefits.

Promoting dependency, of able bodied people, upon government creates a parasitic relationship that inevitably causes individuals to lose their integrity and self respect. The system is self-perpetuating since it works to their advantage to breed more to get more dollars, normal considerations concerning the middle class play no part in the decision to have a child.

From personal experience, I have talked to my workers who feel it is okay for very young girls to have a baby because the government pays them to have children and it is seen as an alternative to having a job. Actually, it is seen as a job; the government is paying young girls to have babies and to raise them. In the mind of the welfare recipient, the government is seen as a very benevolent government that is encouraging this explosion of the welfare class. Thus the government is promoting the concept being fruitful and multiplying among those least able to care for the new wards of the state. Liberalism provides for its own increase in funding and power by creating a breakdown of traditional values and the eventual tyranny of the welfare class.

Epilogue: This is a disgusting subject with despicable people. I hesitated publishing this for several days because of the ugliness it represents; unfortunately, the events and people are real and many more are thriving in this welfare system that has been allowed to run amuck with corruption and fraud. Until the system is overhauled, we should know that degenerates like these will be working the system to their advantage.

About Skook

A professional horseman for over 40 years, Skook continues to work with horses. He is in an ongoing educational program, learning life's lessons from one of the world's greatest instructors, the horse. Skook has a personal website skooksjournal.com featuring his personal writings and historical novel type stories.
This entry was posted in Class Warfare, Culture, Culture of Corruption, Nanny Government, Scandals, Social Studies, Socialism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Sunday, August 28th, 2011 at 6:26 am
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152 Responses to The Ugly Truth Of America’s Welfare Class

  1. @AJ Hill: Thank you AJ. It has been a long fight for me, I was born with Tetralogy of Fallot and now in my adult years (I am 48), I suffer from pronounced arrhythmias and congestive heart failure.

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  2. Nan G says: 102

    @AJ Hill:
    People need to be thanked more when involved in that part.
    Thank you and yours.

    Hubby owns a print shop.
    A 22-year employee got a call today.
    His 19 year old son had been killed in a motorcycle accident.
    He left immediately.
    We heard from him later that his son’s organs could help a lot of other people.
    They are taking great consolation in this fact.

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  3. @Nan G: Nan, that is awful news to get. Please let the family know that they will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  4. Aqua says: 104

    @ AJ Hill

    If you think that you’re somehow innately more honest, more noble, less vulnerable to temptation than the average ghetto dweller, I congratulate you. You’re either a truly unusual human being or a naive, self flatterer.

    I guess I’m a truly unusual human being, but I certainly hope that isn’t the case. I spent my early years in a trailer park. We had nothing, but my mother refused to even put us on the school lunch program. I was raised to believe that a man’s honor was the only thing he truly owned, everything else can be taken away.
    I joined the Air Force when I was old enough, got an education, and took advantage of every opportunity that was thrown my way. I’m now a telecomm engineer and will have my Master’s in software engineering, hopefully by the end of 2012. That same opportunity is available for practically everyone living in the US. Are there those that don’t have that opportunity because of physical or mental disabilities…absolutely. And I believe a country as rich as we are has an obligation to take care of them. But an able-bodied person that just decides to allow society to take care of them deserves nothing. I’m not talking about people that have hit a low spot and need a helping hand, I’m talking about those that just refuse to help themselves at all.

    On a different subject, we lost our 19 year old son to a car accident four years ago next week. His organs were donated and every once in a while we get a letter from one of the recpients. I don’t think we’ll ever get over the loss of our son, but knowing that a part of him is still making a difference in someone’s life is nice.
    Good luck antics, and like AJ and Nan said, I would encourage everyone to be an organ donor.

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  5. @Aqua: Thank you Aqua and I am very sorry for your loss.
    .
    .

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  6. AJ Hill says: 106

    @anticsrocks:

    When I referred to guilt, I said nothing about religion. I was merely extrapolating your comment …

    Just so! And I merely extrapolated your comment about guilt. In my experience, many religions rely on guilt and fear to elicit the behavior they desire; so I associate guilt with religion.

    This is clearly a topic that demands care with words. I’ll try to choose mine carefully.

    I don’t associate inequity with guilt, as you suggest. In my view of the world, inequity has to do with justice (or lack of it) and responsibility (mine, not anyone else’s). Basically we’re talking about the resources that enable a person to live a healthy, comfortable life and to achieve goals that make that life worth living. (Although not identical, Jefferson’s “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” alludes to the same idea.) I believe that every person should have access to these resources as a basic human right. Some people have that access, while others -through no fault of their own – do not. I call that an inequity; and, as a moral being, I feel a personal responsibility to do what I can to rectify it. Furthermore, I believe that we, as a moral society, have the same collective responsibility, as well as some compelling practical reasons to do the same thing.

    Your overall characterization of our society bears little resemblance to reality. To note a few points of departure:

    Class warfare does nothing to heal the divides and rifts in our society …

    I have little doubt that by “class warfare” you refer to attempts to identify or remedy the inequities in society. Ironically you seem to exclude from consideration the systematic despoliation by the rich of those less fortunate than they. Warren Buffett has aroused the ire of conservatives by drawing attention to this; but there’s no escaping the reality of the unequal, often one-sided conflict that has gone on in our country since (at least) the dawn of the industrial era. Relabelling this conflict with a perjorative phrase like “class warfare” does nothing to alter that reality.

    We aren’t black Americans, and white Americans. Latino Americans, Asian Americans. We aren’t rich Americans and poor Americans my friend, we are just all Americans.

    Would that this were so! But it’s not. Taking just one salient example, in 2011 the official “poverty threshold” set by the U.S. government is $22,350. The actual value varies somewhat from year to year, but in general 13-17% of Americans live in poverty, while around the same number (more in the case of children!) experience significant “food insecurity” during any given year. This is disgraceful, but it gets worse. Poverty breaks down along racial lines: while 8.6% of the poor are white, 23.2% are hispanic, and 24.7% are African Americans.
    The dichotomy between rich and poor is even more dramatic. A recent well-publicized study shows that the richest 407 families in America control as much wealth as the entire bottom half of the country. This is bizarre and dysfunctional.

    Pretend, if you like, that we’re one big, happy, egalitarian nation; but nothing could further from the truth!

    And is the “experiment”, as you call it, a success? That depends on which end of the spectrum of privilege and good fortune you inhabit. Studies of social mobility have demonstrated that the U.S. has not only one of the most widely stratified societies among industrialized nations, it also offers among the least upward mobility.
    A new report by Pew’s Economic Mobility Project broke individuals up into five income brackets or quintiles and found that of those in the lowest bracket, half were still likely to be there 10 years later. Another part of the study shows that Americans’ hopes for personal economic advancement continue to sag.

    And that brings us to your last statement:

    There are plenty of folks who can, but do not have. They are able to go out and “have” on their own.

    This is just fanciful nonsense! For every capable person who parlays her abilities into success and riches, there are scores, hundreds more of comparable ability who never get that chance. This is what I call a social inequity and it doesn’t really matter whether it derives from luck or anything else. I say, we’d all be better off without it.

    The typical conservative response to comments like mine is to resort to a reductio ad adsurdem, claiming that I’m a “Marxist” or some other political extremist. Let’s not get into the absurdity of calling me a Marxist, when I never mention things like “dialectic materialism” or the proletarian revolt or the withering away of the state … or any other staple of Marxist philosophy. Am I an extremist? Not at all. I want more balance in society. If anyone’s an extremist it’s the laissez faire capitalist, like Grover Norquist, who wants to eliminate oversight, checks and balances, etc.

    I’m reminded of the situation in professional baseball culminating in the “Steinbrenner era”, when the New York Yankees held a near lock on the World Series, sealing their 27th title in 2009. Did they break the rules to do this? Not really. They just used their fame, money, and influence to repeatedly field a nearly unbeatable team. Was this fair? It depended, I guess, on whether you were a Yankees fan or not. Was it good for baseball? The concensus among sportswriters at the time was that it was not. *

    * I’m no baseball fan! I hardly know anything about the sport, so I’m taking a chance with this analogy; but I remember the hullaballoo about the Yankees’ domination of baseball and the speculation about what could be done to “save the sport.” That seems to parallel our predicament: how do we modify our free enterprise system to achieve more balance and general prosperity without screwing it up entirely?

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  7. Aqua says: 107

    @ AJ Hill

    Just so!

    Braavosi! You a Song of Ice and Fire fan?

    I believe that every person should have access to these resources as a basic human right. Some people have that access, while others -through no fault of their own – do not.

    Through no fault of their own? I have no doubt that there are some in our society that fall into this category, but I would have to say it must be a small percentage. If you eliminate those with diabilities, it would have to be an even samller percentage. If not, I would like to be enlightened.

    As to those that really need help, I don’t know that there are conservatives out there that would deny that. The difference of opinion comes when we as a nation try to find a way to help. Liberals believe all power derives from the federal government, conservatives do not. The federal government has proven beyond all doubt that it cannot fix this problem. Take this little unintended (or intended) consequence of the stimulus bill. Illegal Workers Used Tax Credit to Pocket $4.2 Billion
    I also found this, which sums up the current situation in our country perfectly:

    The folks who are getting free stuff, don’t like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff, can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

    And, The folks who are paying for the free stuff,
    want the free stuff to stop. And the folks who are getting the free stuff, want even MORE free stuff on top of the free stuff they’re getting already!

    Now, the people who are forcing people to PAY for the free stuff, have told the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff, that the people who are PAYING for the free stuff, are being mean, prejudiced and racist.

    So, the people who are GETTING the free stuff, have been convinced they need to HATE the people who PAY for the free stuff because they are selfish. And they are promised more free stuff if they will vote for the people who force the people who pay for the free stuff to give them even more free stuff.

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  8. AQUA, HI,
    that is so well put, and very true, exactly another card of divide played by
    the crumbling DEMOCRATS, all those cards so many of them enough to make a set of game
    to play any solitaire or poker,
    bye

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  9. AJ Hill says: 109

    @Aqua: Somehow the meme has proliferated on the right that a large part of the U.S. economy is now devoted to supporting free-loaders, who sit around in their air-conditioned double-wides, watching their big screen TV’s, and sipping beer (or wine coolers?) while they wait for the next government check to arrive. (As a matter of delicacy I leave out the amount of time they spend in their expensive “Sleep Number” beds, working to produce new meal tickets and future free-loaders.)

    I find this concept so incredibly, thoughtlessly, breathtakingly absurd that it’s hard even to take it seriously for a moment, but I’ll try. I picked three categories of people who, through “no fault of their own” might need public assisatnce and tried to find recent, authoritative figures for them.

    Number of unemployed due to job loss – @ 14.0 million (Bureau of Labor Statistics – August, 2011)
    Adult family members, working with incomes below 100% of poverty – @ 26.5 million (U.S. Census Bureau – March 2011)
    Adults reporting at least one of the six types of disability surveyed by the American Community Survey – @ 36.1 million (U.S. Census Bureau)

    Altogether, that’s about 76.6 million people who can be described reasonably as needing assistance due to circumstances beyond their control. I’m sure it’s just a rough, ballpark figure, but it gives, I think, an estimate of scale.

    Now, can you estimate for me how many genuine freeloaders there are in the country who are being supported significantly and unjustifiably at public expense? Please be specific, if you can. I’d really like to know who these people are and how they manage to squeeze money (How much, by the way?) out of the government so successfully.

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  10. AJ Hill, you say, somehow the meme has proliferated on the right ,
    what are you trying to pin on the right? it’s well known that there is abuse of the system,
    look at the POST ABOVE, and it has noting to do with the right , but only the left which let it happen,
    the whole system is abuse and lot’s of money could be retrieve from looking closely and look in FLORIDA ,
    THEY ARE TRYING TO CHECK IT FOR DRUGS ARE BEING BOUGHT WITH WELFARE MONEY,
    don’t pretend to be naive and try to pin that on the right,
    remember the one in charge are the DEMOCRATS, and there should be more supervision on those abusing it,
    AMERICAN ARE PAYING ENOUGH FOR IT

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  11. @AJ Hill: You said, emphasis mine:

    I call that an inequity; and, as a moral being, I feel a personal responsibility to do what I can to rectify it. Furthermore, I believe that we, as a moral society, have the same collective responsibility, as well as some compelling practical reasons to do the same thing.

    You see, you cannot seem to fathom the difference between “collective” responsibility and individual responsibility. The collective is where you tread across the line between what our Founders envisioned and what the Statist sees. A free people remain free only as long as they are not compelled to help one another. Ours is the most giving nation on the face of the planet. – Source

    Your overall characterization of our society bears little resemblance to reality. To note a few points of departure:

    Class warfare does nothing to heal the divides and rifts in our society …

    I have little doubt that by “class warfare” you refer to attempts to identify or remedy the inequities in society. Ironically you seem to exclude from consideration the systematic despoliation by the rich of those less fortunate than they. Warren Buffett has aroused the ire of conservatives by drawing attention to this; but there’s no escaping the reality of the unequal, often one-sided conflict that has gone on in our country since (at least) the dawn of the industrial era. Relabelling this conflict with a perjorative phrase like “class warfare” does nothing to alter that reality.

    No, what I was referring to was your attempt to keep the poor, poor and put folks in this class or that one. Because you have more money than I do, does not put you in a different “class.” This isn’t India and we don’t live under the Caste System.

    As for good old Warren, well he is “arousing the ire” of Conservatives because he is two faced and doesn’t even try to hide it. He stokes the fires of class warfare and then profits from it. Pay attention AJ to those you accuse of being mad and what they are actually mad about.

    You go on ad nauseum about this “inequity,” tell me why must the “collective” address this? Why is it that when you, I, and millions of others all have the same chance to better themselves it is somehow wrong when there are those who wish to remain where they are in life? I mean they are the ones that are putting less in and getting less out, yet we need to address this “inequity?”

    Do not confuse this with what is referred to as a social safety net. I am in whole-hearted agreement that we need something to help those who truly cannot help themselves. Now whether that comes from the private sector or the public sector is a discussion to be had at a different time.

    I said:

    We aren’t black Americans, and white Americans. Latino Americans, Asian Americans. We aren’t rich Americans and poor Americans my friend, we are just all Americans.

    To which you answered:

    Would that this were so! But it’s not. Taking just one salient example, in 2011 the official “poverty threshold” set by the U.S. government is $22,350. The actual value varies somewhat from year to year, but in general 13-17% of Americans live in poverty, while around the same number (more in the case of children!) experience significant “food insecurity” during any given year. This is disgraceful, but it gets worse. Poverty breaks down along racial lines: while 8.6% of the poor are white, 23.2% are hispanic, and 24.7% are African Americans.

    Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why there are more poor minorities than there are poor whites? I mean really, have you ever stopped and wondered what policies and programs led us to this point in our country’s history?

    In the 90s with a GOP led Congress, President Clinton was dragged kicking and screaming to the table to sign, (after three bills) welfare reform. It ended up enabling 60% of the folks on welfare to stand on their own two feet. The Dems discovered and evidently quickly forgot that when you give the poor some self respect, they are better able to take care of themselves.

    Fast forward to 2009:

    Welfare rolls, which were slow to rise and actually fell in many states early in the recession, now are climbing across the country for the first time since President Bill Clinton signed legislation pledging “to end welfare as we know it” more than a decade ago.

    ———–

    The average monthly welfare benefit in 2006, which reflects the most current data collected by the government, was $372.

    Antoinette Tatum has been receiving food stamps since September when she and her 4-year-old daughter moved to Kensington, Md. When her car transmission failed, Ms. Tatum couldn’t commute to her job in Baltimore, about 45 minutes away by car, so she quit. Unable to find a full-time job, Ms. Tatum did temporary work but found that the more she earned, the fewer government benefits she received; ultimately she couldn’t make ends meet.

    “The government, they help the extremes. But people in between have the hardest time,” said Ms. Tatum, 28. “You don’t make enough money to get by but you make too much to get help.” She turned to welfare, and expects to begin getting checks at the end of this month. She is considering staying on welfare and going to college instead of seeking another low-wage job. – Source

    So it would seem that class warfare isn’t such an extreme phrase after all, AJ. Clinton who was led by the GOP, reforms welfare and we see not only an improvement in the economy, but we see poor people all over the country getting jobs and taking care of themselves. Now Obama comes along and undoes all of that good work which was done during the Clinton years and what do we see?

    The number of Americans receiving food stamps rose to a record 45.753 million in May… – Source

    You then said:

    And is the “experiment”, as you call it, a success? That depends on which end of the spectrum of privilege and good fortune you inhabit. Studies of social mobility have demonstrated that the U.S. has not only one of the most widely stratified societies among industrialized nations, it also offers among the least upward mobility.
    A new report by Pew’s Economic Mobility Project broke individuals up into five income brackets or quintiles and found that of those in the lowest bracket, half were still likely to be there 10 years later. Another part of the study shows that Americans’ hopes for personal economic advancement continue to sag.

    Again, you cite no sources; and please don’t fall back on the tired old, “I’m not doing your homework for you, it is easily found on the web.” When I cite facts, I cite the source that I get those facts from, this leaves out any wiggle room later on and forces me to stand by my statements.

    BTW, I am not the only one to call America a great experiment…

    Alexis de Tocqueville coined that phrase in his book Democracy in America. Maybe you ought to read his works. You can find them online at http://www.gutenberg.org/ Just type, “Democracy in America” in the title field and you will find both volumes. Just reading the beginning of volume one, gives you a better understanding of what the Great American Experiment is all about. It might also help you realize that the government is not the solution to all of society’s woes.

    Lastly you said in response to my remarks:

    There are plenty of folks who can, but do not have. They are able to go out and “have” on their own.

    This is just fanciful nonsense! For every capable person who parlays her abilities into success and riches, there are scores, hundreds more of comparable ability who never get that chance. This is what I call a social inequity and it doesn’t really matter whether it derives from luck or anything else. I say, we’d all be better off without it.

    Nonsense, huh? Then why did Clinton’s and the GOP’s reforms lead millions and millions of Americans to get off welfare and on their own two feet?

    Fanciful nonsense, indeed. Shame on you for clouding the issue. You know as well as I do that there are millions of people that can indeed do for themselves and yet choose the easy way out by taking welfare of one form or another.

    Finally you said:

    The typical conservative response to comments like mine is to resort to a reductio ad adsurdem, claiming that I’m a “Marxist” or some other political extremist. Let’s not get into the absurdity of calling me a Marxist, when I never mention things like “dialectic materialism” or the proletarian revolt or the withering away of the state … or any other staple of Marxist philosophy.

    Well, I think you meant reductio ad absurdem; and no, I do not think you are a Marxist, for I do not have enough information about you to come to that conclusion. I do however think, that by reading your statements on just this thread you are a Statist.

    You think that the answer to every problem lies with a large, centrally planned government. I do not feel that way.

    But I do want to thank you for at least leaving your venom out of these exchanges that we have shared. I do not know you, therefore I have nothing invested emotionally in what you say. I am only offering my point of view backed up by solid facts.

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  12. Aqua says: 112

    AJ Hill

    Number of unemployed due to job loss – @ 14.0 million (Bureau of Labor Statistics – August, 2011)

    No doubt, there are people out of work. According to CNN Money:

    More than 8.4 million people are collecting either state or federal jobless benefits. While enrollment is down from its peak of 12 million early last year, it is still more than double the number it was when the recession began in late 2007.
    http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/12/news/economy/government_safety_net/index.htm

    I won’t dispute the fact that many of these people are dependent on the government through no fault of their own. Note, I said many. Here’s what the statistics don’t tell you. I work in telecomm and so far, knock on wood, we have recovered rather well since the initial economic bust. We have even hired people and continue to look for qualified candidates. We even have an apprentice program and notified the department of labor. They sent some people over, seven to be exact. Of the seven that showed up, exactly zero wanted to enter the program or even fill out an application. All they wanted was for us to sign a form saying they showed up about the job. 0 for 7. Do I believe this is indicative of the unemployed as a whole? No, but it is pretty damning anecdotal evidence. The sample is small and all I have is my experience, but it is my experience and therefore influences my perception.

    Adults reporting at least one of the six types of disability surveyed by the American Community Survey – @ 36.1 million (U.S. Census Bureau)

    Tough one, no doubt there are many among us that require help because of disabilities. However, according to a CBS report, 10% of long-term disability claims are fraudulent.

    It’s one high profile example of what Congress suspects is rampant fraud in the government’s Social Security disability programs. By one estimate, 10 percent of long-term disability claims are fraudulent. That could mean $10 billion in tax money wasted every year.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/09/30/eveningnews/main575872.shtml

    Is this indicative of disability programs as a whole? Again, no, but the perception is there. And many people, myself included, believe if the government believes 10% of the cases are fraudulent, it is most likely double that. This is based on my experience.

    Adult family members, working with incomes below 100% of poverty – @ 26.5 million (U.S. Census Bureau – March 2011)

    I know this one will be touchy, so I’ll get the worse part out of the way first. I can find cases to be made for just about every cause of poverty known to man, but suffice it to say they come from partisan sources. Liberal sources cite globalization and social injustice. Conservative sources cite moral choices. I’ll spare you the websites, but I’ll meet on your side of the middle. I have no doubt that many live in poverty because a factory was moved to Mexico or a call center was moved to India, and so on. I’ll even go as far as to say that number is close to 50%. Personally, I reject the idea of social injustice in America today. But for the sake of argument, I’ll give you 20% and I think that is more than fair. That leaves 30%. These are people that have made bad choices and the families that have to live with those choices. Drug and alcohol abuse is probably one of the most dominant factors in poverty, but I can’t find a source that spells that out. Most just cite the high use of substance abuse amont the poor. Even so, I’ll leave this as 20%, even though I believe it is much, much, much higher. That leaves 10%. I’ll throw gambling addiction, sloth, and poor choices in here. I have no sources. It seems there are no census statistics as to why people are poor.

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  13. Aqua, the longer they stay out of work the more depress they become and when
    you are depress the brain is debriefing the knowledge of the work they where use to as a discipline, and to stop cold is like dying to a life they where taken for granted, it is very difficult to go hunting for jobs because the heart is not there, the will is there but not sustain by incentives that should be implement by their loved one, in other words they need help to bring them back from the descent their brain is trying to cope with that nothing activitys compare to the strees of competing and all that goes with it,
    NOW add to that the jobs are very few and very much demanding higher level from the job seeker,
    because the busyness has more choice to dig in, and ADD UP THE GOVERNMENT ACTIONS ON NOT HELPING THE BUSYNESS AND THE RECOVERY OF THE ECONOMY,
    that is the last and bigger punch to distress an unemployed person, he has time free now to watch the depressing news as oppose to when he was working, and coming back tired and not really interesting to watch the news, that is another point very important, unless that person has solid
    CONSERVATIVES FAITH IN HIS OWN SELF PRIDE AND HOPE OF CONQUERING HIS DOWN WHEN THEY COME AND NOT BE CRUSH, LIKE THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING HARD TO MAKE THEM DIMINISH THE PEOPLE’S PRIDE AND CREATIVITY, TO PREVAIL IN TIMES OF LOW S, THE unemployed CONSERVATIVE WILL RAISE THEIR HEAD TO SAY, NO, I WILL GET ANOTHER JOB, JUST YOU WATCH ME.

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  14. AJ Hill says: 114

    @Aqua: @Aqua: Thank you for illustrating my point so perfectly. This is the conservative/ libertarian meme in its most risible form: fact free, rife with speculation, assumption, confabulation. For example, you state that “drug and alcohol abuse is probably one of the most dominant factors in poverty.” Says who? You? Any facts, statistics, studies to back up your claim? No! Any hint of a distinction between addictive disorders as a cause or an effect of poverty? No, I suspect the idea has never occurred to you. But your completely gratuitous assumptions enable you to blaim the vicims and thereby excuse yourself from responsibility. How convenient! You refer repeatedly to “bad choices” as a kind of blanket indictment implying that the poor deserve the horrible lives they lead. You pass blithely over the fact that the statistic I quote is for the working poor. Have you ever wondered why anyone would voluntarily work full time (usually at a truely lousy job) for wages that low? And what kind of person decides to pay such disgracefully low wages? I’ll bet you think that anyone can lift himself out of poverty, if he just buckles down and applies himself. Here’s a hint. Read Barbara Ehrenreich’s book, Nickle and Dimed about the experiences of a smart, literate, successful woman, who put herself in the position of a working poor person and then for a year tried to work her way out of it. You might learn a thing or two, might even decide to abandon some of your smug assumptions. There are people living on the street right now, people with advanced educational backgrounds, who worked in six figure income brackets, before theyh fell though the cracks in our collapsing economy and discovered that climbing back out is not simply a matter of hard work and personal virtue. Someone mentioned my anger on this site. Well, if it shows, it’s because of this kind of “thinking”.

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  15. Aqua says: 115

    @ AJ Hill
    What can I say AJ, you’re right. The plight of the poor is all my fault. I can’t imagine why anyone would stay in a low wage job. Of course I have a brother that spent four years in the Navy learning hydraulic systems. He’s a bar tender now for the Hard Rock Cafe. Doesn’t make a lot of money. He could have found a better job and a career path, but he likes him some Mary J. So he makes sure he works in jobs that don’t drug test.

    You pass blithely over the fact that the statistic I quote is for the working poor.

    OK, provide the statistics that show why these people are working poor. You say I excuse myself from responsibility? So the fact that there are poor people is my fault? I’m responsible for their situation? I grew up in a trailer park, and I’m not talking about some luxurious double-wide either. I paid attention in school, joined the military and busted my a$$ every single day of my life to get where I’m at. I don’t do drugs, and I don’t abuse alcohol. I like a cold beer every now and then, but if I had to choose between a six pack and paying my bills, I’d pay my bills.
    You provide some statistics from the census that show numbers of people requiring help. I’ll turn the tables, provide some statistics and be specific as to why I should be responsible for each and every one.

    You refer repeatedly to “bad choices” as a kind of blanket indictment implying that the poor deserve the horrible lives they lead

    Reread what I posted and take special note of the percentage I believe fall into that category.
    You’re angry? So what. You’re not the only one. I’m tired of you and every other sanctimonious liberal blaming me and people like me for the plight of every poor person in the country.
    I heard Maxine Waters bemoaning the loss of factory jobs in America and saying how much we need those jobs back. WHO IN THE FLYING FRACK DO YOU THINK PUSHED THOSE JOBS OVERSEAS!
    Over regulation, over taxation, union thuggery, and she wants to know why they left? Really? And now she is going to hurt them with taxes for having jobs overseas? Go ahead. Liberals believe corporations just need to roll over and take losses so congress can go home and tell everyone how tough they are. They aren’t, they just move the whole corporation off shore. Then libs will just scratch their heads and wonder what went wrong.
    So take a look in the mirror and look who else is responsible for the plight of the poor. Just because you think you care more than I do doesn’t let you off the hook. You think government can help and all they do is cause more problems.

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  16. AJ Hill,
    you don’t need any thinking to show your ANGER, it is within you no matter how you try to hide it,
    the first time you put your anger here, was for a stupidity, and boy you really went at the AUTHOR,
    it shows that you are no different from the others libs who come here,
    you all are constantly angry at anything smarter than you all, AND your line of defense doesn’t work here,
    keep it for your party the one that is working the race card and the divide among all CLASS and colors
    and rich and poor, and smart and stupid, and sicks and doctor, and so on and so on,
    your hate card is so evident here, that you are a laughable object from the CONSERVATIVES
    HINTING ON YOU, POLITE WITH SELF RESTRAINT, TO TRY TO UNDERSTAND THE NUANCE IN THEIR POSTS AND COMMENTS,
    and you haven’t GET IT YET.
    KEEP YOUR ANGER WITH YOUR OWN SIDE,

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  17. AJ Hill says: 117

    @AJ Hill: By the way, if I didn’t make it clear in my last post (and I probably didn’t) my anger and contempt for right wing meme isn’t directed at you personally. If anything I think you’re a victim or a potential victim of it. We all are, because it damages the complex, often delicate web of mutual regard and support that forms the basis of a humane society. I didn’t overlook your attempts to be even handed, but they were so weighted with qualifications and assumptions that it was hard to take them seriously. So a CBS television report estimated that 10% of disability applications are fraudulent. You decided, based on your personal experience, that the figure is probably 20% Why not higher? If everyone can insert tsome kind of personal caveat into public policy, who gets helped in the end? Finally, so what if the CBS report is correct? If the fraudulent applications could be detected, fine. Nobody would have a problem with filtering them out. But what if they can’t be detected reliably? Do you know that more than half of all applications for Social Security disability are denied? It’s not as if people can just walk in and put out their hands to get disability benefits, but separating the whesat from the chaff isn’t so simple. In fact, is a 10% error rate really bad? How many genuinely needy or disabled people would you deny assisance in order to rule out that 10%? This kind of reasonable discussion doesn’t bother me at all; but a blanket condemnation of assistance programs based on some phony division of society into”takers” and “makers” makes me mad, I can’t deny it..

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  18. Aqua says: 118

    @ AJ Hill

    By the way, if I didn’t make it clear in my last post (and I probably didn’t) my anger and contempt for right wing meme isn’t directed at you personally. If anything I think you’re a victim or a potential victim of it.

    OK, for the record, it’s not a meme for me. On the other side is the left wing meme that Americans need to shut up and pony up what we’re told withouth question. But at least we can have an intelligent debate as to how we think things can be fixed if we drop the memes.
    When it comes to benefits and fraud, the problem I have is with the federal government. We all have exactly one representative and two senators in Washington. That is all we have between us and the full power of the federal government. Federal laws are written in such a way as to preclude the use of common sense.
    I have a friend whose kid was in a car accident and is now disabled. He was denied SS benefits because he has never had a job and hasn’t paid into the system. Applying at the same time and receiving benefits was a “lady” that was laid off because she threatened to kill her boss. The law is the law and the law is an ass.
    I believe these things should be handled at a more local level. The federal governemnt is too big, and these things should be taken care of at the State level. As a matter of fact, I believe our most important elections should be our State level elections. Washington should not make that much difference in our lives.
    As to how much fraud I’m willing to deal with, that really isn’t the issue for me. When my wife worked for DFCS she worked for the State, but the directives came down from the feds. They were told they could only investigate certain things. I don’t believe this is right. Someone that is receiving benefits that does not need them is stealing from people that truly do need them.

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  19. @AJ Hill: You said, in blaming quite a lot of what is wrong with today’s society on the, (your words) “right wing meme,” emphasis mine:

    …my anger and contempt for right wing meme isn’t directed at you personally. If anything I think you’re a victim or a potential victim of it. We all are, because it damages the complex, often delicate web of mutual regard and support that forms the basis of a humane society.

    It is odd that you say this, AJ. If you know anything of your American history, you would know that the Founding Fathers believed in the civil society. And much like the Founders, we Conservatives recognize in society a “harmony of interests,” which Adam Smith wrote about so long ago.

    This is best characterized as the moral order or civil society, you made reference to the humane society so it seems that you, too recognize this. This begs the question, what is the civil society?

    Well in the civil society, the individual is much more than a statistic, or a faceless number. Instead he is unique, a spiritual being possessing a conscience, a soul. This individual is free to pursue his own happiness, to find his own potential. He has a duty to respect the same rights that others in the society also possess. As Mark Levin puts it in his book, Liberty and Tyranny, “For the Conservative, the civil society has as its highest purpose its preservation and improvement.”

    The modern liberal, or statist believes that there is a supremacy of the state, and that all the answers to life’s ills lie in an all powerful central government.

    The Founders knew that the greatest threat, one which we face today, is that all powerful central government where the few dictate to the many, all in the name of knowing what is best for them.

    So with all this being said, I posit this to you. This right wing meme you warn us about is in actuality the very fabric of our civil society.

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  20. AJ Hill says: 120

    @Aqua: I really want to move on, but I should probably say this: I don’t disagree with you at all about fraud and dishonesty, especially in public assistance. It hurts us all and shouldn’t be tolerated. But I just can’t go along with policy based on personal anecdote. (I imagine you wouldn’t like it applied to you either! Would you?)

    Your example of a “left wing meme” is a bit backwards, since few, if any liberals believe what you say. You’ve actually expressed another right wing meme by describing what conservatives mistakenly believe about liberals. You might try the liberal conceit that most people are basically honest. That;s rfeeprrrr

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  21. AJ Hill says: 121

    @anticsrocks: No, liberals do not, as a rule, believe in or subscribe to an “all powerful state”. That’s actually a right wing invention, which they ascribe to liberals, which makes it another example of a right wing meme. You need to review the meaning of the term!

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  22. @AJ Hill: You said:

    No, liberals do not, as a rule, believe in or subscribe to an “all powerful state”. That’s actually a right wing invention, which they ascribe to liberals, which makes it another example of a right wing meme.

    That is all you got out of what I wrote?

    Sad.

    Truly.

    But you did not evidently read my words, for I said – emphasis mine:

    The modern liberal, or statist believes that there is a supremacy of the state, and that all the answers to life’s ills lie in an all powerful central government.

    Tell me, when you said this, were you not turning to the government?

    Furthermore, I believe that we, as a moral society, have the same collective responsibility, as well as some compelling practical reasons to do the same thing.

    Or here? I mean how is your wishing for another FDR or avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders supposed to be construed as anything other than a wont for more government?

    I want another FDR to lead that fight. Obama ain’t it! Now, if Berneie Sanders could be persuaded to run? Oh, man!

    And here you yearn for a very powerful government again:

    In addition, as a liberal, I believe that all of us, acting together, should share our bounty with those who don’t benefit from personal kindness or traditional community action, people whom we would never know about, who would slip through the cracks, if we didn’t use the power and scope of government to find them.

    I would say that you do turn to government for answers, therefore my assertion that you are a Statist is pretty much spot on. Whereas I, and other Conservatives turn to the individual to better oneself, you and other Statists turn to the government to ensure against inequity.

    We are all CREATED equal, AJ. We are not all GUARANTEED equal outcomes.

    Big difference.

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  23. AJ Hill says: 123

    @anticsrocks: The problem is that you’re careless with words and their meanings; and your eagerness to make political points leads you to distort and confabulate what I and others have said. For instance where have I said anywhere that I “yearn” for an “all powerful” central government or that such an institution would offer “all the answers to life’s ills.”

    In fact, I’ll make this easier for you.: can you quote any prominent liberal anywhere at any time who has used those words or their direct equivalents to express his or her political ideals?

    If you cannot fashion a compelling argument using the things I actually say, then don’t quote me at all.

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  24. Nan G says: 124

    @AJ Hill: I re-read anticsrocks’ last comment then yours here, again.
    By using the term, “confabulate,” you accuse anticsrocks of a mental disorder arising from brain damage.
    Did you do that intentionally?

    On the basis of clinical observation and a review of a number of studies, it appears that confabulatory states frequently are associated with cerebral damage that involves the right hemisphere, notably, the frontal (often bilaterally) and parietal lobes….
    MORE HERE:
    http://brainmind.com/Confabulation.html

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  25. AJ Hill, you don’t see it, but we do, see anticsrocks is always a step ahead of you,
    even if you don’t say something you or the liberals mean it,
    they just have to tell the TEA PARTY to go to hell and it mean the same intent, see? central government in hell
    , and anticsrocks can read behind the words, that is a gift you don’t
    have,
    so the solution is to watch what you’re typing.

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  26. AJ Hill says: 126

    @Nan G: From the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

    Definition of CONFABULATE
    intransitive verb
    1: to talk informally : chat
    2: to hold a discussion : confer
    3: to fill in gaps in memory by fabrication
    — con·fab·u·la·tion \kən-ˌfa-byə-ˈlā-shən\ noun
    — con·fab·u·la·tor \kən-ˈfa-byə-ˌlā-tər\ noun
    — con·fab·u·la·to·ry \-lə-ˌtȯr-ē\ adjective

    For Heaven’s sake, if your vocabulary is inadequate, then learn to do more than plug the word into a search engine and seize upon the first definition that makes you think you can score some kind of rhetorical coup! You’ll be less likely to make this kind of sophomoric mistake.

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  27. @AJ Hill: You said:

    The problem is that you’re careless with words and their meanings; and your eagerness to make political points leads you to distort and confabulate what I and others have said.

    Is that so?

    You asked:

    …where have I said anywhere that I “yearn” for an “all powerful” central government…?

    How did I get that idea? Oh I don’t know. Maybe when you said this:

    I call that an inequity; and, as a moral being, I feel a personal responsibility to do what I can to rectify it. Furthermore, I believe that we, as a moral society, have the same collective responsibility

    Or maybe when you yearned for FDR (the penultimate big government president) or Bernie Sanders (a self-avowed socialist):

    Obama has been an appeaser. My poor television can testify to the number of times I’ve raged against him for that. We’re engaged right now in a battle for the soul of this country. I want another FDR to lead that fight. Obama ain’t it! Now, if Berneie Sanders could be persuaded to run? Oh, man!

    Gee how could I ever get the idea that you turn to the government to solve all the woes of society? I guess that is just me not being able to fashion a compelling argument.

    Now before I go, tell me AJ. Did I quote you correctly? I only ask because you accused me of quoting your incorrectly when you said:

    If you cannot fashion a compelling argument using the things I actually say, then don’t quote me at all.

    You tell me, how’d I do? :-P

    It looks to me less like I cannot fashion a compelling argument and more like you are running out of credible replies…

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  28. @AJ Hill: BTW, since you are so quick to insult Nan when she asked a perfectly reasonable question and you seem to like definitions, let me throw one or two at you.

    Your comment #122 basically called me wrong in labeling you a big government socialist, or as I put it a statist.

    From Dictionary.com:

    Socialist –
    so·cial·ist
       [soh-shuh-list] noun
    1.
    an advocate or supporter of socialism.

    Socialism –
    socialism
    – 4 dictionary results
    so·cial·ism
       [soh-shuh-liz-uhm] Show IPA
    –noun
    1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
    2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
    3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.

    Hmmm, look familiar? LOL

    During our discussion here on this thread, I thanked you for dropping the vitriol, and just when I think that one can have an intelligent, cogent debate, you go and insult Nan G.

    Is your self esteem that flaccid that you have to strike out at the least little provocation?

    You owe her an apology.

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  29. AJ Hill says: 130

    John: Thank you for referring me to the article from The Monkey Cage. It was a pleasure to read a cogent discussion of an issue that conservatives treat as an article of faith rather than rational analysis. It was an instructive essay.
    anticsrocks: I evidently stopped contributing to this site without responding to your last comments; but, since I’m here now, I’ll point out a few instances where the nuances of language seem to have escaped you.
    In #123 I chided you for distorting my words and challenged you to produce any statement in which I “yearn” for “an all powerful government” that would would offer “all the answers to life’s ills.” In your response (#127) you triumphantly quote several of my statements, but then blatantly misconstrue them. The fact that I acknowledge a sense of collective societal responsibility or that I admire Franklin Roosevelt and Bernie Sanders hardly establish me as a “statist” or a “socialist”. In your next post you cite definitions of socialism that clearly don’t apply to me. As a supporter of (well regulated) capitalism, I’ve never advocated “vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole,” much less any of the extreme economic or social tenets of Marxism. You certainly haven’t come up with any instances in which I do. The fact that you can’t recognize this leads you to make exaggerated accusations which, like those of your friend, Nan, can only be described as sophomoric. (Please note that I’ve characterized your mistakes as sophomoric, not you personally. There’s a difference. Your apparent inability to grasp this is just one more example of your careless approach to language.)

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  30. A J Hill
    nice to know you’re doing well,
    because we heard the contrary and we truly where wondering of your health,
    this totally apart from your habits of critisizing mine and others GRAMMAR,
    NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK FOR A GOOD DEBATE WITHOUT ANY WEAPONS.

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  31. AJ Hill says: 132

    @ilovebeeswarzone: Thank you for your concern, but my health was never in jeopardy. Sadly that wasn’t true of others in my family. My wife and I have said some painful and unexpected goodbyes during the past six months. We’re still patching up the holes in our lives.
    As for my “habit” of criticizing grammar, as I recall, I stopped critiquing your posts, when I realized that English isn’t your primary language. If I didn’t, I should have and I apologize. Others don’t have your excuse. When anticsrocks calls me a “statist” – which is, I suspect, a grievous insult from his point of view – he’s being careless and imprecise. Either he doesn’t understand the meaning of the term or he’s attributing beliefs to me that I manifestly don’t hold and have never expressed. I see no reason to let that pass without comment.
    I do appreciate your thoughtful remarks, however. If I ever do resume posting here on a regular basis, I’ll do my best to bear them in mind.

    000000000000000

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  32. AJ Hill
    hi,
    you have to notice my improvement, since the last time,
    and just to mention about anticsrocks, he is a very gracious , knowledgeble best debater
    of this FLOPPING ACES, PLUS HE IS ONE FAVORITE OF MINE WHICH I
    will take his side against his attackers, because I’m sure he didn’t think that statis word was not as offensive as you would take it, or he would not express it , unless he is being attack,
    nice to have you back, sorry for the hard painfull happening in your life,
    you are a good debater, without the harsh words yourself,
    it’s always an asset in a POST WE HAVE FROM GOOD AUTHORS
    WHO KNOW THEIR SUBJECTS,
    IT ATTRACK THE COMMENTS FROM THE BEST CONSERVATIVES

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  33. @AJ Hill: Oh AJ, your insecurities abound.

    Okay, you are not a socialist. You are not a statist. You are a believer in individual liberties, freedoms and the ideas of our founding, which encompass a small, limited federal government.

    I get it! THAT’S why you said:

    Obama has been an appeaser. My poor television can testify to the number of times I’ve raged against him for that. We’re engaged right now in a battle for the soul of this country. I want another FDR to lead that fight. Obama ain’t it! Now, if Berneie Sanders could be persuaded to run? Oh, man!

    Since you aren’t a socialist, you would be more than happy if Bernie Sanders, (a self described socialist) would run for president.

    Yep, you’re making total sense.

    I am a self described Constitutional Conservative. The leaders I look up to were/are the majority of our Founding Fathers, Burke, Locke, Goldwater, Reagan, Rubio, Rand Paul to name a few. Don’t you think it would be odd of me to favor the leaders of the progressive movement?

    Yet that is what you would have us believe. You said you like FDR and yearn for a leader like him and would be very happy with a President Sanders, then in the next breath, you are upset I called you a socialist.

    I just think you ought to have the courage of your convictions and state exactly what you are, since you took the time to drop by here and argue with any and everyone who you disagreed with.

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  34. Cue AJ’s insults…now.

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  35. James Raider says: 136

    @anticsrocks: #134,

    “I just think you ought to have the courage of your convictions and state exactly what you are”

    In the age of Obama most of the socialists who support him fear declaring themselves. It’s safer to be sly and to lie as He does in each speech he gives, and it seduces the uninformed. Being obvious would give their game away, but there is no doubting the growth of socialism’s support on this side of the Atlantic, . . . or the Pacific.

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  36. AJ Hill says: 137

    @anticsrocks: Just so we’re clear about this, I returned to this website after a long absence, because John (#130) was considerate enough to refer me to an article that would interest me. While thanking him I also took the time to point out the errors in your previous post, in which you tried to stereotype me as a “socialist”, and challenged you to back up your assertion with statements that I have actually made. Your response seems to boil down to this: that I admire FDR (who was no socialist!) and Bernie Sanders (who says he is, but probably isn’t.) This hardly constitutes overwhelming evidence. I’m also a fervent admirer of Abraham Lincoln and Dwight Eisenhower, so your tactic of guilt by association is pretty much a failure anyway.
    As for my lacking the “courage of my convictions” – another of your gratuitous insults- if I were actually a socialist, I wouldn’t hesitate to acknowledge it. Unlike the irresponsible, self-serving libertarianism that has taken over the conservative movement today, true socialism isn’t immoral; it’s just unworkable; but there’s no point in continuing this exchange. You’ve demonstrated that you have nothing to contribute to political discussion beyond the sterile ideological labeling that’s so much in vogue on the right. On the other hand maybe you (and James Raider) should keep practicing the labeling. Current polling confirms what many of us progressives have anticipated all along: that a majority of Americans agree with Barack Obama and the Democrats. Think of all those closet “socialists” right under your noses – the horror!

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  37. AJ Hill says: 138

    @ilovebeeswarzone: Yes, you have improved!

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  38. AJ Hill
    thank you for acknowledging my improvement
    I JUST WANT TO MAKE YOU AWARE THAT THE MAJORITY YOU ARE REFERING TO IS ABOUT
    2% TAKEN OF THE 51% WHO MADE OBAMA WIN THE ELECTION,
    and those are dead progressives,
    nothing to brag about,
    as oppose to the CONSERVATIVES WHO GREW UP IN NUMBER, AND STILL GROWING,
    BYE

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  39. @AJ Hill: First of all, I really couldn’t care less why you left FA, nor why you might have ‘returned.’ But on to your other, *ahem* facts. lol

    No FDR wasn’t a socialist….

    He just championed his “Second Bill of Rights” which was strangely similar to the Soviet Union’s Constitution.

    As for being insulted, well sorry but you’re the one who brought up FDR and Sanders, so if you’re not a socialist, why do you look up to them?

    And by the way, Bernie Sanders belongs to the Democratic Socialist Party…, but nope! AJ says he isn’t a socialist, so he can’t be, right??!!

    In an interview with Bill Moyers, Bernie Sanders went on the program BECAUSE Moyers wanted to talk with an ACTUAL socialist about whether they thought Obama could one.

    Speaking to talk show host Bill Moyers this week, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who self-identifies as a Democratic socialist, explained that no matter how many times Republicans say it, President Barack Obama is not a socialist as well.

    Democratic socialism (PDF), he explained, “means that health care should be a right of all people,” he said. “That higher education should be a right, kids shouldn’t graduate $50,000 in debt. Which means we should pass legislation that represents the interests of working families and not the moneyed interests. Which means that we should be aggressive at global warming and protecting the environment for future generations. Which means workers earn a decent wage. All of these ideas which people have talked about from Eugene Debs on.” – SOURCE

    Now you’re pretty good at throwing insults, and spouting your opinions like they are facts, but can you back up what you say?

    Where is this polling you speak of, stating that “a majority of Americans agree with Barack Obama and the Democrats?”

    I doubt you’ll bother, it is much easier for you to lob your lame attempts at being clever. I haven’t insulted you yet, other than when I said you were a socialist.

    Do you believe in individual liberty?

    Do you believe in private property rights?

    Do you believe that our Creator has bestowed upon us certain inalienable rights?

    And one last one – you claimed that true socialism isn’t immoral, please explain that one. I’d really like to know how you think that equality in misery that true socialism brings about, isn’t immoral.

    So you gonna answer, or is it just easier to claim that I insulted you? Maybe I was right about you not having the courage of your convictions…
    .
    .

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  40. AJ Hill says: 141

    The shift in public opinion that I described is reflected in a number of polls, like this Pew/USA Today survey or this more recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. These are prominent, well respected polls and not at all difficult to find, so I gather you didn’t bother to look. You were hoping I had made it up? Another interesting result of the Pew survey, by the way, is that substantially more Americans now self-identify as Democrats than as Republicans. I guess the Tea Party odor is finally beginning to stick.

    Since you seem unable to get over your fixation on FDR and Bernie Sanders, I’ll spell things out for you even further. As an independent I judge public figures on their ideas and the policies they support, rather than the shallow ideological labels that you find so compelling. Your suggestion of a link between FDR’s Second Bill of Rights and the Soviet Constitution is a prime example of such shallow thinking. Its language notwithstanding, the Soviet Constitution supports neither human rights nor general prosperity. FDR, who knew Stalin personally, despised the Soviet Union and its leadership, because he understood, better than most westerners of his day, that its constitution and public pronouncements were mere window dressing for an aggressive, despotic regime. If you want to know the antecedents of Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights – and the New Deal too – you’d be better off consulting the Christian Gospels or the Catholic Church’s Encyclicals dealing with poverty. Quoting from St. Ambrose in the latter:

    It is not from your own possessions that you are bestowing alms on the poor, you are but restoring to them what is theirs by right. For what was given to everyone for the use of all, you have taken for your exclusive use. The earth belongs not to the rich, but to everyone. Thus, far from giving lavishly, you are but paying part of your debt.

    If “taxes” were substituted for “alms” in this statement, it would reflect pretty closely the attitude of modern progressives.

    It’s interesting that you went to the trouble of looking up the definition of socialism at Dictionary.com (your post #128) but then failed to apply the result to Senator Sanders. You cite multiple examples of his endorsing collective social action (on education, healthcare, wages, the environment) but fail to mention his support for the defining characteristic of socialism, that is: government ownership and control of the means of production and distribution. Why would you omit that? I’d say it’s because Bernie Sanders isn’t a hard core economic socialist; he’s a Social Democrat, something he admits, when he isn’t trying to provoke right wingers. If you’re not familiar with the term, look it up. This would be a good time for you to learn something about it. European Social Democracies like Sweden, Germany, and France are currently undergoing a period of intense self-examination, a fact which the American right celebrates with unjustified schadenfreude, as our own economy, crippled by thirty years of Reaganomics, circles the drain.

    I assume you’re not going to try to make anything out of my admiration for Lincoln and Eisenhower. Actually you probably don’t know much about Ike, even though he was a conservative and one of our nation’s best Presidents. As a boy I listened to him on the radio, when he gave his famous “Cross of Iron” speech. Even then I thought he was extraordinary. If you want to know more about him, there’s a fine biography of Ike by the late Stephen Ambrose.

    I’ll even play along briefly with your little catechism about liberty. I support many individual liberties, perhaps more than you do; but I recognize, as you may not, that “rights” can extend only so far. When they encroach on the well-being of others, they ought to be curtailed.

    The right to private property, for example, is a cornerstone of our free market economy; but it shouldn’t exempt the wealthy from supporting the system that made them rich, nor should it be allowed to create pathological economic imbalances. Although the United States was once a genuine “land of opportunity”, it’s now the most unequal in terms of wealth, income, upward mobility, and numerous other factors among all the economically advanced nations. Such extreme inequality isn’t just unattractive; it’s dysfunctional as well.

    The right to own firearms, if it exists at all, should be strictly limited in order to protect public safety. This nation’s current lunatic firearms policy has turned it into a horrific and disgraceful killing field. More than thirty thousand gun deaths a year, a third of them homicides, is really shameful.

    As for relying on a “Creator” to bestow rights, if you subscribe to a religion, you may as well believe that God “bestows” your rights; but, before you rely on God for some kind of guarantee, you’d better talk to Christian refugees from China or North Korea. Faith offered those people scant protection! Government – society, if you like – is the only reliable guarantor of human rights. That’s probably its most important role, and, if it fails in it, we’re all screwed.

    Is socialism immoral? Not really. As I stated, it’s just unworkable, an inefficient way to organize human commerce that’s also extremely vulnerable to malfeasance. I think it’s safe to say, however, that a majority of those who advocate true socialism mean well. They’re just misguided. The same can’t be said of free market capitalism, which relies explicitly on human avarice and ambition in order to function. It’s a notable paradox that such disreputable motives can produce humane outcomes; but that doesn’t mean selfishness and greed are somehow moral. If there were any doubt about this, the history of Bane Capital would put it to rest. Mitt Romney and his band of merry capitalists clearly didn’t give a damn how many lives they ruined in their pursuit of wealth. That lack of caring, combined with the number of businesses – and people – they destroyed, deprives them and the laissez faire system they represent of any claim to moral standing.

    This thread began with an attempt by someone known as skook to discredit America’s welfare system by examining a single family of welfare cheats and generalizing their behavior to the entire system. Stereotyping welfare recipients as congenital “takers” is a transparently self-serving argument that crops up repeatedly among conservatives, even though it’s been thoroughly debunked (never more adroitly than in John Sides’ article from The Monkey Cage.) I don’t know why I allowed myself to become sidetracked by your claim that I’m a socialist. Ad hominem attacks are usually a tacit admission that you have nothing worthwhile to contribute, which has certainly been the case here. I’m done with it.

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  41. Skookum says: 142

    @AJ Hill: Perhaps you read too fast or somehow overlooked the first two paragraphs:

    There is a group of people within America’s Welfare Class that is metastasizing into a downward spiral of decadence and depravity. The nature of a Welfare System replicates itself and gains in power and funding by rewarding those who exist as parasites, fuels the cancer of degeneracy or an entitlement of the most useless.

    Unfortunately, there are Americans who have factors in their life that predispose them to being wards of the state. This article is not meant to demean their plight or condition, but rather, this sense of victimhood that is building among ever increasing group of able bodied that see the Welfare System as means of existence to be manipulated in order to work their way up the ladder of life and success.

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  42. AJ Hill says: 143

    @Skookum:
    I did read your article – again! And my impression is unchanged from the first time. You paint a vivid picture of a class of people for whom the welfare system has become a trap of chronic dependency; but, as far as I can tell, except for the disreputable couple on whom you modeled this picture, virtually nothing in your essay is based on fact. My impression is that you cobbled it together out of standard right wing mythology without ever questioning the validity of the stereotypes you employed and without doing even the most rudimentary research into the assumptions that you made.Over and over again, as I read, I encountered things that made me question where you got your information, things that just didn’t seem to square with reality. I lack both the time and the interest to describe these things, in detail, but just off the top …

    Promoting dependency, of able bodied people upon government creates a parasitic relationship that inevitably causes individuals to lose their integrity and self respect.” Parasitic? The majority of people on welfare aren’t there permanently. They’ve been forced to seek assistance due to some acute problem, like job loss. Those who have worked before have paid taxes, often for years, to fund unemployment insurance, Medicare, and other assistance programs. When necessity forces them to draw on those resources, how can that be parasitic? It’s true that people who’ve worked to support themselves in the past may lose self respect, when they’re unemployed; but that motivates them to get off welfare, not to remain on it. Do you really bewlieve that an experienced plumber or carpenter, an autoworker or mechanic, who has proudly supported himself for years – and probably a family as well – would be satisfied cashing a government welfare check every month, that amounts to a small fraction of what he earned previously through his own labor? You clearly don’t know many American workers! I’d love to see you go into a bar some night with a bunch of laid off steelworkers and explain to them what good for nothing parasites they are! Being on welfare may cost some recipients their self respect, but not their integrity! The effect on women can be even more humiliating. As one young woman wrote in Nobody Dreams of Being on Welfare: “for the past two months, I have been on welfare and let me be the one to tell you: being on public assistance sucks.”

    The system is self-perpetuating since it works to their advantage to breed more to get more dollars, normal considerations concerning the middle class play no part in the decision to have a child.” Of all the right wing canards about welfare, this may be the stupidest. (Sorry, there’s no other word for it.)
    Even someone who hasn’t raised a child must have some idea how expensive it is just keeping a kid alive, paying for the basics, much less giving her any kind of quality upbringing. Welfare doesn’t even come close to defraying this cost, much less make a profit! At one time welfare payments continued to increase, albeit by small amounts, with each additional child. That’s no longer true; after the second child, increases in benefits are virtually nonexistent. Before spreading this kind of misinformation, you really ought to do some reading.

    I could go on, but my purpose isn’t to correct all the errors in your essay. It’s to draw your attention to the fact that you’ve been duped by an ugly campaign of misinformation promulgated by conservative “think tanks” and media outlets. Determined to prove that government can’t do anything right, they’ll put out any kind of misinformation in order to discredit it. At least I hope you’ve been duped. I don’t like to think that you’d consciously mislead those who read your stuff in order to serve an ideology of hatred.

    I remember back in the nineties, when Clinton allowed the Republicans to pressure him into signing
    “welfare reform.” The changes in statute did result in a significant reduction in welfare roles, but people were just being forced out with no realistic improvement in their circumstances. The level of poverty in the United States continued to increase. A good thing? I don’t think so!

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  43. AJ Hill
    there you go again bashing one of our CONSERVATIVE, AND BLAMING
    THE CONSERVATIVES UNJUSTLY, FOR WHAT THE DEMOCRATS ARE MESSING UP
    IN THE WELFARE PROGRAM, THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DESTROYING THE SYSTEM AND THEY ALONE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR HAVING SUCH ASTRONOMIC NUMBER OF GOOD AMERICANS OUT OF WORK,
    OBAMA HAS DESTROYED THE CLIMATE NEEDED FOR JOB CREATOR AND JOB SEEKERS BY 23 MILLIONS AND RISING,
    YOU ARE JUST A MOUTH JUST LIKE THEM, BUT WHERE IS THE SUBSTANCE TANGIBLE WHERE PEOPLE CAN BELIEVE IN AND REGAIN HOPE FOR A GOOD JOB, YOU ALL ARE REGURGATING YOUR NEW ELECTED POWER YOU WON, AND LOOK WHERE IT GET YOU, THAT IS ONE WHO PREDICT THE WORSE PLAGUES OF EGYPT DESCENDING ON AMERICA, SCARING ALL THE PEOPLE,
    LIKE A MENTAL CASE READY TO BE DUMP IN SECLUSION FOR BEING A DANGEROUS LEADER OF
    A NATION OF TOLERANT LAW ABIDING CITIZENS, WHO DON’T
    NEED TO BE SCARE BY THEIR PRESIDENT, THEY ALREADY DOWN ENOUGH BECAUSE OF HIM NOT DOING HIS JOB,
    THE PEOPLE REALIZE WHO THEY HAVE VOTED FOR AGAIN AND HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW NOW,
    GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE AND TAKE THE BLAME INSTEAD OF SHOVING IT HERE,

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  44. Skook says: 145

    @AJ Hill: You have not considered the possibility of someone having first hand knowledge of welfare through employees. I have hired agricultural workers over the years, all of whom were Hispanic. They often came to me for advice on navigating the intricacies of government and life. Although, they probably represent a microcosm of welfare recipients, they invariably viewed the system as an alternative rather than a safety net. Despite the cost of raising a child to the age of majority, one of these men (my foreman) actually asked me about his daughter joining the military where she might be abused by men or whether she should have a baby and go on the government “payroll.” The starting pay in the military was similar to the welfare check. The situation was complicated after one of the several publicized instances of sexual abuse by a superior officer. Of course I told him such instances were rare and that she would probably come out of the military with a highly regarded trade. I gave him my honest opinion, and he weighed my advice carefully over time. With only a third grade Mexican education, he had taught himself to read and cipher in English as an adult; thus the man is not stupid, but like me, he is functioning in a foreign culture.

    He let his daughter join the military and she became an air traffic controller and has re-upped to make a possible career out of the military. It is one of the things in this life that makes me proud to have been a part of, and thankfully, it turned out for the best for everyone.

    If you read my postings, you will notice that much of my material is gleaned from personal experience and not from right wing ideology. I read or listen to none of the pundits consistently, I prefer to listen to Bluegrass and old time Country and Western while I drive. Right Wing pundits are more creative and less boring than Left Wing pundits, but they are still boring.

    I commend you on the ability to write and seem as if you are hyperventilating with sanctimonious outrage, but some of us have a more relaxed approach, without the confrontation. This dramatic style is a high watermark of Liberalism and I understand the method. It is extremely effective with the low wattage reader, but often causes the erudite reader to yawn and look somewhere else to invest time and energy.

    I offer this advice for you to become a more effective writer; you can ignore me or use the insight as positive criticism and improve your approach. To be honest, the frantic emotive style typifying the literate Liberal has no shortage of devotees, but as more of them sign on, the less effective the individual’s massage becomes.

    Personally, I find the righteous indignation style to be humorous and unworthy of the time it takes to read or listen. Anthony Wiener was the most egregious example, if we discount his lack of morals and look at his personal style or delivery, we see a man who catered to the most primitive minds; yet, he was on the main stream news almost weekly. He was flamboyant and outspoken, and he had a following, but did he dissuade any Republicans to his side with his carnival barker style? No, he was a cheerleader among thoughtless sycophants, and he performed his role well. A perfect example of an ineffective messenger; unless, you consider cheerleading to be an effective protasis of delivery. Of course, Wiener’s peripeteia was more classical in the ancient Greek concept of the term because of his offensive emotive style and mannerisms; however, during his painful political demise, he was offered no compassion or mercy from the opposition and precious little from the Left as his world collapsed around him.

    I use Wiener as an example because of his similarity to the classical rise and fall of the man overcome with hubris. A story written and preserved in many examples over 2500 years and possibly longer if we include the oral tradition.

    There is humor in tragedy and tragedy in every comedic situation. To avoid the pitfalls outlined by the ancients, it is best not to become overly invested in ideological belief systems.

    AJ, we are probably the only two reading these missives, so I have invested considerable time and effort in you. I can appreciate a worthy adversary, but like the grizzly hunter or the hunter of men, it is hard to stay focused on hunting smaller game after hunting the most dangerous game.

    Whether you continue with the current writing style or take advantage of my humble advice, is of little consequence to me, but it might make a difference in your life. With a little effort to pull away from the maddening crowd, you could run with the big dogs, not that I run with such animals. I have a humble informal education, but you have obviously been to school. Trust that I envy that experience and training.

    Good luck in the future.

    ReplyReply
  45. AJ Hill says: 146

    @Skook:
    If you thought my response to your essay was filled with righteous indignation, you’ve led a really sheltered life! In fact, my critique of your article was measured and objective; but I understand your purpose in characterizing it as otherwise. It’s a common conservative canard that liberals are guided by emotion rather than rationality. Your remarks notwithstanding, I’m satisfied with my writing ability. Having had two books published, as well as a number of scientific papers and scores of editorial letters to major newspapers, I feel that my skills are adequate to my needs.

    I’m also willing to accept the assertion that your essay about welfare was based on your personal experience and that you didn’t consciously model it on right wing conservative dogma. Nevertheless, you may want to reexamine the way you arrive at conclusions, because these bear a marked resemblance to the conventional wisdom of the far right. Therein lies my problem. Conservatives want to dismantle this country’s system of public assistance: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, … the whole safety net. It’s one of their prized goals and they’ll resort to almost any tactic in order to accomplish it. So, when I read in your article that welfare recipients are lazy, unambitious “parasites or that women on welfare regard repeated childbearing as a profitäble lifestyle – both of which are demonstrably false statements – I feel obliged to ask what you have in mind. What’s your purpose in spreading such emotionally charged misinformation? Wouldn’t you say it’s a fair question?

    ReplyReply
  46. AJ Hill says: 147

    @ilovebeeswarzone:

    Look at all those upper case letters! As I understand it, most websites regard writing in caps as the equivalent of shouting in someone’s face – it’s a solecism. Didn’t anyone ever explain to you that it’s rude to shout?

    Of course, you wouldn’t want anyone to miss the important things you have to say. After all, anyone who’s watched events during the past three decades has seen the country’s radical right wing explode the national debt, precipitate multiple banking crises, embroil us in unnecessary wars, export jobs and factories overseas, and generally behave like the self-serving traitors most of them are. Of course, you see things differently; but, as you’ve demonstrated repeatedly, you’re one of the most ignorant, uninformed individuals on the planet.

    I wouldn’t have pointed this out so bluntly, if you hadn’t taken it upon yourself to interject your strident nonsense into a thread that doesn’t concern you. Apparently you’ve decided to act as some kind of watchdog, protecting noble conservative bloggers from criticism. I remember this from a year ago. Seemed I spent more time fending off personal attacks from self-appointed guardians than I did debating ideas, which is why I eventually went elsewhere. Not much has changed.

    Least of all you.

    ReplyReply
  47. AJ Hill
    yes you’re right,
    not much change on you either, you attacking my friend of all sins,
    you fall in my business of taking you on for doing your attacks on my friend, like it or not,
    you get me in the action of telling you how I object any one attacking the CONSERVATIVES ALSO AS YOU DID, NOT MUCH CHANGE YES FROM YOURE BAD HABIT COMING HERE TO INSULT MY FRIENDS,
    THE CAPS BOTHER YOU? PUT THE PLUG IN YOUR EARS,
    HERE I thought you had improved to a point of having a better exchange, but the years don’t add up any WISDOM to a man claiming to write books,
    WHY don’t you try to read SOLOMON WISDOM ,AND OTHER WISE MAN LITTERATURE BEFORE THINKING YOU CAN DROP IN CONSERVATIVE HOUSE AND DEMOLISH THE CHAIRS YOU THROW AT THE OWNER WHO ARE TOO GRACIOUS FOR AN IGNORANT TRYING TO PUT HIS WEIGHT INSIDE.
    I remind you that your second paragraph has been done by far left DEMOCRATS like you, and by accusing the right wing make you a liar

    ReplyReply
  48. AJ Hill
    just to remind you,
    that you fail to reply to my comment,
    of MARCH I 2013,
    bye

    ReplyReply
  49. @AJ Hill: I’ve been ill and away from my computer for a while, but in the spirit of discussion, and at the risk of necroposting, I’ll reply to the numerous falsehoods in your comment #141.

    When looking at the sampling data on the polls you cited, it is easy to see why they came out in favor of Obama. When you over sample the number of Democrats, then your results will be skewed. Duh.

    You said:

    Your suggestion of a link between FDR’s Second Bill of Rights and the Soviet Constitution is a prime example of such shallow thinking. Its language notwithstanding, the Soviet Constitution supports neither human rights nor general prosperity.

    It is painfully obvious that you’ve never taken the time to read the USSR’s Constitution. FDR was pushing socialism way before he became a national political figure.

    “The New Deal,” writes Jonah Goldberg, “was conceived at the climax of a worldwide fascist moment, a moment when socialists in many countries were increasingly becoming nationalists and nationalists could embrace nothing other than socialism.”

    Many of Roosevelt’s ideas and policies were entirely indistinguishable from the fascism of Mussolini. In fact, writes Goldberg, there were “many common features among New Deal liberalism, Italian Fascism, and German National Socialism, all of which shared many of the same historical and intellectual forebears.” Like American progressives, many Italian Fascist and German Nazi intellectuals championed a “middle” or “Third Way” between capitalism and socialism. Goldberg explains:

    “The ‘middle way’ sounds moderate and un-radical. Its appeal is that it sounds unideological and freethinking. But philosophically the Third Way is not mere difference splitting; it is utopian and authoritarian. Its utopian aspect becomes manifest in its antagonism to the idea that politics is about trade-offs. The Third Wayer says that there are no false choices—’I refuse to accept that X should come at the expense of Y.’ The Third Way holds that we can have capitalism and socialism, individual liberty and absolute unity.” – SOURCE

    As for Bernie Sanders, the man IDENTIFIES himself as a socialist. Enough said.

    You like Lincoln and Eisenhower, and that figures because even though both were Republicans, both expanded the power of the office. In other words, both were big-government types. Admittedly, Lincoln had to be to preserve the Union, but Ike merely wanted interstate highways.

    Then you said:

    Although the United States was once a genuine “land of opportunity”, it’s now the most unequal in terms of wealth, income, upward mobility, and numerous other factors among all the economically advanced nations. Such extreme inequality isn’t just unattractive; it’s dysfunctional as well.

    You want to know where wealth inequalities exist? Try looking at any of those socialist countries you think have the best economic system. Free markets, left untainted by government hands bring the most wealth to the most people in world history. And since you think that our economy is a static thing, try this video:

    Are the Poor getting Poorer? by Steve Horwitz, PhD.

    Then you said:

    The right to own firearms, if it exists at all, should be strictly limited in order to protect public safety. This nation’s current lunatic firearms policy has turned it into a horrific and disgraceful killing field.

    Once again, you make an argument based on emotion, rather than hard facts. But let me preface my remarks with the belief that even one death by murder is one death too many.

    For example, in 2011, the total number of gun-related deaths was 8,583.

    Taken by itself, out of context, that number seems overwhelming. But taken in the context of overall deaths in America from–including natural causes–that number represents only .34 percent of all deaths for that year.

    In other words, the percentage of deaths that were gun-related in 2011 does not even equal half of one percent of the 2,513,171 overall deaths for that year. – SOURCE

    Hell, the Flu and Pneumonia in that same year account for over six times the amount of gun related deaths – 50,097. – SOURCE Where is your outcry for more government intervention in that area?

    Yes, we get our rights from our Creator, just as our Founding Fathers proclaimed. They also knew that in order to protect those God-given rights, they needed to craft a very limited government that was so restricted as to not have the power to usurp those rights. Sadly, and due to many misinformed folks like yourself, our government has grown well beyond what our Founders envisioned.

    And finally, you said:

    Ad hominem attacks are usually a tacit admission that you have nothing worthwhile to contribute, which has certainly been the case here. I’m done with it.

    That’s a hoot coming from you.

    ReplyReply

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