Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays From Nitwit Planet!

I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Yulemas and a Happy New Year! I’ll see you all next year! Until then, sing a Crassmas Carol with me.

Capitalist Economy Vs. The Social Welfare State.

We’ve heard it for years. Deregulated markets creates competition. Free trade creates jobs. Lower taxes creates more tax revenue and wealth for the people as a whole. Is it true?

While market deregulation in the United States began most clearly during the Carter administration when he deregulated the airline industry, that deregulation philosophy has been accepted as an absolute truth; that all industries with lower regulation perform better. Since that time the energy, media, and health care industries have been deregulated. Has it produced increased competition or monopolization? The answer is so clear as it is absurd to mention it.

The free trade myth of capitalist economy today almost holds as little credibility as the deregulation myth. It doesn’t take a social scientist to see that nearly everything for sale in the United States is made in China. The United States now has record trade deficits thanks to free trade. Domestic manufacturing in the United States is now at 11.7% of US Gross National Product, a figure so low that you must go back to the pre-industrial days of the Civil War to find similar numbers. To date, free trade with Mexico has led to a flat Mexican economy and a flood of Mexican immigrants searching for better economic conditions north of the Rio Grande. Free trade has led to more dangerous problems, that sees China now holding trillions in US bank notes, notes they could dump onto the market tomorrow and destroy to value of the dollar, sending the US into hyperinflation. Even traditional conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly and Pat Buchanan have now come out against free trade and globalization.

While these two myths have been virtually destroyed, other myths still hold despite their obvious fallacy. The first part of this myth is that lower taxes create higher tax revenues. On the surface this plainly seems idiotic. It would be akin to telling a worker a cut in pay will lead him to a bigger bank account. Yet this is precisely the GOP mantra, even citing the increase of national tax revenues for the 2005, and attributing it lower taxes. Yet, as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities note, the increase in 2005 revenues occurred because temporary tax cuts had expired. In short, taxes went up. For instance, the accelerated depreciation tax cut of 2002 expired by 2005, a tax cut that was estimated to have cost the treasury $51 billion a year. Additionally, US businesses were taxed for their foreign-held profits for 2005 (and 2005 only) at just 5.25%, when normally these profits are not taxed at all.

If all of these capitalists myths are indeed untrue, then one has to ask, does a capitalist economy produce more wealth for the people as a whole in comparison to a social welfare state? The answer isn't all that surprising. The United States spends the least amount of all industrial nations as a percentage of their GDP to the poor, and as a result has the highest poverty rates in the industrialized world. High-taxed social welfare states such as the Nordic nations of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland sees poverty rates that are half that of the United States.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Mental Illness Of Conservatism.

I came across this recently from a conservative writer who will remain nameless. It is repulsive. He wrote:

It must be admitted that all this was partly the result of extraordinary crafty tactics on the part of Liberals on the one hand, and obvious official stupidity or naïveté on the other hand. The Liberals were too clever to allow a simultaneous attack to be made on the whole of their Press. No one section functioned as cover for the other. While the alternative newspaper, in the most despicable manner possible, reviled everything that was sacred, furiously attacked the State and Government and incited certain classes of the community against each other, the national papers, also in Liberal hands, knew how to camouflage themselves as model examples of objectivity. They studiously avoided harsh language, knowing well that block-heads are capable of judging only by external appearances and never able to penetrate to the real depth and meaning of anything. They measure the worth of an object by its exterior and not by its content. This form of human frailty was carefully studied and understood by the Liberal Press.

I believe that our present generation would easily master this danger if they were rightly led. For this generation has gone through certain experiences which must have strengthened the nerves of all those who did not become nervously broken by them. Certainly in days to come the Liberals will raise a tremendous cry throughout their newspapers once a hand is laid on their favorite nest, once a move is made to put an end to this scandalous Liberal Press and once this instrument which shapes public opinion is brought under Conservative control and no longer left in the hands of Liberals and enemies of the people. I am certain that this will be easier for us than it was for our fathers. The scream of the twelve-inch shrapnel is more penetrating than the hiss from a thousand Liberal newspaper vipers. Therefore let them go on with their hissing.

By means of the Liberal Press, the Liberals spread the colossal falsehood about ‘American Militarism’ throughout the world and tried to inculpate America by every possible means, while at the same time the Democratic Party refused to assent to the measures that were necessary for the adequate training of our national defense forces. The appalling crime thus committed by these people ought to have been obvious to everybody who foresaw that in case of war the whole nation would have to be called to arms and that, because of the mean huckstering of these noble ‘representatives of the people’, as they called themselves, millions of Americans would have to face enemies ill-equipped and insufficiently trained.

What soon gave me cause for very serious consideration were the activities of the Liberals in certain branches of life, into the mystery of which I penetrated little by little. Was there any shady undertaking, any form of foulness, especially in cultural life, in which at least one Liberal did not participate? On putting the probing knife carefully to that kind of abscess one immediately discovered, like a maggot in a putrescent body, a little Liberal who was often blinded by the sudden light.

In my eyes the charge against Liberalism became a grave one the moment I discovered the Liberal activities in the Press, in art, in literature and the theatre. All unctuous protests were now more or less futile. One needed only to look at the posters announcing the hideous productions of the cinema and theatre, and study the names of the authors who were highly lauded there in order to become permanently adamant on Liberal questions. Here was a pestilence, a moral pestilence, with which the public was being infected.

I was happy at last to know for certain that a Liberal is not an American.

Are you a conservative? Do you think this writer is spot on? Are you ever upset that Liberals call conservatives “fascists”?

If you answered “yes” to all the above questions, then perhaps you should know that me personally calling YOU a fascist is more apt than you might think. Why? Because the following piece came directly from none other than Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, with the words “Germany” changed to “America” and “Jewish” changed to “Liberal”.

You are a Reich Winger. Seek professional help immediately.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Is There Really A War On Christmas?

Is there really a war on Christmas? The simple answer to this question is “it depends on who you ask”. But what is most startling to me is that in the name of fighting a perceived “War On Christmas”, people on both sides of this issue have forgotten what the Christmas spirit is all about. In my view, that was the intension from day one for all those over at Faux News, because the Christmas spirit of giving to others for no reason other than just to do it, is in fact a notion embodied by liberal philosophy. Indeed, the Christmas spirit is one in the same with the liberal spirit.

But what isn’t well noticed, although it has been noted from time to time in the past, is that our entire society does not embrace the Christmas spirit, and not just during Christmas, but all year long. If the Christmas spirit of giving to others, and caring for others was indeed held as an ideal for our nation to endear ourselves to, the question would soon arise that a middle class that is worker harder for less and less while another class is protected in it’s wealth concentration is indeed the epitome of the Christmas Grinch.

Rather, a nation that really has embodied the Christmas spirit would operate and function quite differently on several levels. For instance, in the state of Georgia a new law on the books permits gun carriers to be legally able to use deadly force against anyone they “think is a threat” to them. While I can somewhat understand if this was the case if this law applied to your homestead, in the state of Georgia it applies anywhere including public streets. This gives “road rage” a whole new meaning. And yet, in the very same state, in Atlanta, Georgia, as Nitwit Planet noted some time ago, panhandling is illegal. If the Christmas spirit were applied to the state of Georgia, then perhaps the myriad of the homeless in Atlanta, many of whom are veterans and indeed victims of America’s past ill-begotten wars, would instead have a roof over their head, and the residents of Georgia would feel safe enough not to need to carry a handgun to ward off the occasional hungry homeless man.

Not to pick on Georgia. It’s only one example from parts all over the country. One does not need to look far from the Mississippi and Louisiana Gulf Coast to see that no one in this nation of plenty is in more need of the Christmas spirit then those who are still left in Katrina’s wake. An untold number of Americans are still there living in nothing more than over-priced poorly built FEMA trailers; trailers that have left our American brothers and sisters sickened from formaldehyde residue and are insufficient even to keep out the cold in the winter. Sarge, who writes over at Unreported News, speaks frequently on the subject, and from first-hand experience often must tell stories of horror that are still going on today 16 months after the storm made landfall. And yet our nation seems to have forgotten our own countrymen in the plague of horrors that is the Gulf Coast. Instead we focus ourselves on the health of a Democratic Senator from South Dakota, not because we are concerned for his health, but because if his health falters the new found Democratic majority in the Senate could come into question. Ledgering against a man’s life does not embody the Christmas spirit, rather it is a key indication of a nation gone mad, if not wholely sadistic.

But it isn’t just what you see in the national news. It is the small, not-so-well noticed things. I was reading my local paper and came across this story of a bust at a brothel in my hometown. What struck me about it was that this took place a scant 2 miles from my home. It is quite puzzling that we live in a nation that awards men with metals and places adjectives of heroism and honor upon their heads for turning Iraqi children into splatters of blood and bone thousands of miles away, and yet just 2 miles from my front door people are put under arrest for giving someone an orgasm in exchange for money.

We live in a sick, sick world in perhaps the sickest nation in that world. And until we as a people address that fact, we have no business celebrating the Christmas spirit, much less to malign those who put up a “Happy Holidays” banner in front of their business.