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Questions for My Liberal Friends

Are there any intelligent, rational liberals? If there are, I'd like to ask you a few questions:

  • Liberals asked Americans to hand the keys of government over to the Democrats in order to end the "Culture of Corruption." In light of the recent antics of Rod Blagojevich, William "Cold Cash" Jefferson, Charlie Rangel and other luminaries, what are liberals saying about the culture of corruption now?
  • Liberals do not seem to be bothered by Obama's associations with the likes of Tony Rezko, Rod Blagojevich, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, and Rhashid Khalidi. Why not?
  • What do you think about gun control in India as it relates to recent events in Mumbai?
  • As part of their strategy to deal with international Islamist terrorism, liberals want to address the greivances of the terrorists. Are liberals familiar with the concept of operant conditioning?
  • Most Americans (70% of Republicans, 62% of independents and 55% of Democrats) oppose the auto industry bailout plan, yet Democrats in Congress want to pass a bailout bill anyway. Why?
  • How high will the price of energy have to go before you are willing to support drilling in ANWR or expanding the use of nuclear energy and coal?
  • What kind of economy would be best for America?
    • Socialist?

    • Communist?

    • Fascist?

    • Capitalist?
  • Obama has stated that he is in favor of tax increases (for reasons of "fairness") even when they result in DECREASES in revenue for the government. Do you support Obama's thinking on this issue? What do you know about the Laffer Curve?
  • Do you still believe that Obama will increase the tax burden only for individuals making $250,000 or more per year? Are you going to hold him to that promise?
  • Liberals support progressive taxation for the purpose of redistribution of wealth. With which other Marxist principles do you agree? With which Marxist principles do you disagree?
  • Obama has outlined an intentionally vague health care agenda. His health care czar, Tom Daschle wants to push a bare-bones health care bill through congress as soon as possible after Obama is elected. A Federal Health Board would be charged with establishing the system's framework and filling in most of the details. This independent board would be insulated from political pressure. Does this in any way strike you as undemocratic?
  • Liberals have consistently opposed voter identification laws aimed at reducing voter fraud. Why?
  • Many Americans (particularly minorities) say that their children are trapped in failing schools. Nationwide, 52% of parents, and 59% of public school parents, support school choice. 87% of black parents aged 26-35 and 66% of blacks aged 18-25 support vouchers. Liberals consistently oppose school choice. Why?
  • Obama was asked, "At what point does a baby get human rights?" His response: "...answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade." Based on his leadership in opposition to the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act, Obama has demonstrated that he believes that a baby gets human rights at an unspecified time AFTER he or she is born. My question to liberals: is infanticide acceptable?
  • Is there anything Obama could do to lose your support? If so, what?

Author: RightKlik


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Comments (40)

Very good questions! ... (Below threshold)

Very good questions!

ALL very good questions,but... (Below threshold)

ALL very good questions,but,dont expect to get a rational answer from any of them.to the dem,its all about follow the leader blindly. like my moma use to say,if they jumped off a bridge, would you. no,but I bet some of them would.

intelligent, rational liber... (Below threshold)

intelligent, rational liberals

isnt that an oxymoron?

Don't ask loaded questions ... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

Don't ask loaded questions and you might get rational responses.
"What Marxist principles do you agree with?" Actually, that should be, "With which Marxist principles do you agree?" But I'll take #2 and #10 on the page you linked.
As for the rest of your questions, who wrote them, John Ziegler?

Question"What does... (Below threshold)
retired military:


"What does Obama have to do to get your support?"


"Become a republican"

Ooops messed up the questio... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Ooops messed up the question.

QUestion to the dems should be

"What does Obama have to do to lose your support?"

Question to conservatives

"What does Obama have to do to gain your support?"


"A helluva lot more than having an "R" infront of his name."

How can liberals rationally... (Below threshold)

How can liberals rationally answer the questions when all they know is an illusion?

You start out with an insul... (Below threshold)

You start out with an insulting question. Then you list a bunch of rightwing talking points in the form of questions and you expect answers?

Here's a question. Why did you write a stupid insulting post and expect anyone other than the usual gaggle of wingers to answer it?

Notice the usual asinine answers you got from the wingnuts?

I voted for you with Kevin. My mistake I guess. If you write junk like this he'll be out of business soon. Try not starting off with an insult next time and then asking some thoughtful questions instead of talking points.

"Liberals have con... (Below threshold)

"Liberals have consistently opposed voter identification laws aimed at reducing voter fraud. Why?"

I can answer that one. Voter identification laws remind Democrats of "poll tax" laws that the Democrats put in place to keep minorities from voting. A significant amount of the Democratic platform has to do with fixing problems the Democrats put in place.

JFO says the first question... (Below threshold)

JFO says the first question is insulting? The dems made great strides in 2006 spouting the "End of the culture of corruption" yet many of the huge scandals since that time have all been democrats. Where is the lefts outrage? They are insulted that we want to know. Get a clue JFO. Buy one. ww

Okay, I'm not sure that I q... (Below threshold)

Okay, I'm not sure that I qualify as a "liberal" - I consider myself as an independent, but ...

You asked: "How high will the price of energy have to go before you are willing to support drilling in ANWR or expanding the use of nuclear energy and coal?"

Answer: Very high.

Even if we started drilling today, it would be ten years or so before the oil from the ANWR showed-up at your local gas station. In that time, we *could* make a lot of progress towards better use of renewable energy.

While nuclear power plants have make great strides in the area of safety, where still the problem of the spend nuclear fuel. Even if the Yuca mountain storage facility opens soon, we will eventually run out of space. There is also the issue of transporting the spent fuel to Yuca mountain.

Coal, like oil is a limited resource. Even though it can be burn relatively cleanly, the environment impact of mining it is huge (have you ever seen end result of a mountain top removal? - not pretty).

Now, my question is: why are conservatives so dead set against renewable energy?

ww, I think JFO was referri... (Below threshold)
Anon Y. Mous:

ww, I think JFO was referring to the rhetorical question at the very beginning, "Are there any intelligent, rational liberals?"

It appears that RightKlik struck a nerve.

5 stars from me...

Doug, conservatives aren't ... (Below threshold)

Doug, conservatives aren't at all against renewable energy, in fact quite the opposite. We are just realistic about the fact that we need all options, and your tired out excuse of "it will take ten years to get online" is simply ludicrous. It will also take a significant amount of time to get battery powered vehicles working right, does that mean we just scrap the idea?! That's just stupid.

Right, five stars from you ... (Below threshold)

Right, five stars from you because you prefer posts intended only to piss off liberals and not foster any sort of debate.

I'd like to speak to your point about gun control in India, RightKlik. Over two hundred people killed--that's a lot. However, in a nation with a billion people, legalizing concealed firearms would result in thousands of accidental deaths per year, not to mention an enormous increase in firearms homicides. So, from an actuarial standpoint, you would be insane to advocate for more liberalized gun ownership laws in a country so rife with internal ethnic and political tension.

Jay Tea brought up this issue at Commentary and it was spelled out very clearly and patiently in the comments why American gun laws make zero sense in a place like India. Go find it and read it if you're interested.

Also, as to which form of government is the best, you seem ignorant of the fact that socialism and capitalism are not exclusive of one another. For example, your country--even under Reagan--maintained certain socialist tenets despite having a very liberalised free market. The best form of government is liberal/social democracy, which includes the redistribution of wealth. Don't like it? Take it up with that arch-pinko Adam Smith.

I would stop supporting Obama if he attempts to shield his people from corruption charges, if such charges ought to be laid; and I would stop supporting Obama if he shifted any further to the center. He wasn't elected to play Republican-lite, after all.

Doug:Even if we s... (Below threshold)

Even if we started drilling today, it would be ten years or so before the oil from the ANWR showed-up at your local gas station.

The market doesn't wait until the product is in the ground at your local station for the new supply to affect pricing. Change in pricing is affected by a change in the information available (for a free market).

Back this summer, it appeared that a hurricane (I forget which one) was going to hit an area where it might damage some refineries. Overnight, the price of gas at the local stations increased by ~$0.50/ gallon. The oil that was in the production pipeline hadn't changed. The gas that was in the production pipeline hadn't changed. The gas in the tanks at the station hadn't changed.

So what happened in this case... ? The flow of information affected the price nearly instantaneously long before the change in supply would have been seen.

The same holds true for bringing a new supply to market. As soon as it becomes clear that there will be a change in supply, the market will begin to react to that information and prices will react accordingly.

So, the claim that we won't see any economic benefit from drilling in ANWR until the oil from the fields arrives as gas at your local station is false.

Which idiot gave jfo any so... (Below threshold)

Which idiot gave jfo any sort of responsibility. You and that idiot Fubama can go down a deep hole, and I would appreciate you two doing that.

Now, my question is: why ar... (Below threshold)

Now, my question is: why are conservatives so dead set against renewable energy?

We arent. But we also arent in favor of rolling brown and blackouts like in California. Renewable energy is not efficient enough to power the country now and in reality, it probably wont ever be. Its just not possible on a physics level. That being said, I and almost all other conservatives have no problem with renewable energy being part of bigger plan. However liberals never seem to have an answer to the question of how do you produce enough energy to power the country exclusivly with renewable sources? Hydro power is a joke and creates more problems by building a damn. Solar is no good unless its sunny (100 to 150 Watts per sq.m in a tropical areas), wind is no good if there is no wind.(6MW at best)

Why are liberals so against a mix of both renewable and conventional energy sources? Why are liberals so against using their own inovation and more importantly putting their money where their mouth is and investing or working on renewable energy sources? Make a billion dollars. Donate to your favorite cause or dump it back into R&D. Its is not now, nor has it EVER been the responsibility of the govt on any level to fund R&D. Its just more govt waste. If renewable energy is really the way of the future, then make it so! It shouldnt be the govt job to do it for you. You should do it yourself. Do the work and reap the rewards. The reality that everyone knows is that renewable energy is NOT a viable alternative to power the future and therefore because it is a bad investment no one puts money and R&D into it. Nuclear power is the way to go. A modern nuclear plant is safe efficient and produces power with minimal greenhouse effects. Fuel can be reused in the construction of airplanes and tankes (U-238 i believe is a vital component in many industries and is produced as a bi-product of nuclear power production.)

3 Mile island was a leaky steam pipe. Not even a nuclear steam pipe. Like a regular old steam pipe like you would see in an office building. Chernobyl was the result of faulty Soviet with the RBMK design. Not to mention they never put up solid containment fields around the reactors. Terrorists? Guess what? Terrorists are going to create a problem no matter what you do. They are now a reality of the world we live in. You do the best job you can do, screen as best as you can and put up as many guards as possible. Not looking to our future energy needs because of some terrorists is as stupid as people telling Henry Ford not build the automobile for the masses because it will result in people being killed in auto accidents. Besides, there are so many safe guards and containemnt fields in place that a nuclear explosion will only be a problem if they manage to crash a FULLY fuel jet liner into the reactor itself. What are the chances of terrorists EVER getting a civilian plane in a hijack ever again over the US? I would put personally put the chances at none and not a chance in hell. Too many people are willing to attack the terrorists now that we know what they are capable of doing. Before 9/11 it was hijack, fly to point A, negociate passage and ransom, release hostages. Now we dont even let that get passed hijacking. This wont ever be an issue. I know that I would stand up to some scum trying to take a plane that I was on. No one else would?

hyper:Don't like ... (Below threshold)

Don't like it? Take it up with that arch-pinko Adam Smith.

Logical fallacy: appeal to authority

RightKlik,If you r... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:


If you really wanted a rational debate, you showed no interest in one. I, as a liberal, would never start a sincere discussion with conservatives the question "If there are any intelligent, rational conservatives?" I will state unequivocally that there are many intelligent, rational conservatives.

If you or the other posters on this thread cannot see that your question is insulting, it might explain why people don't want to talk to you. It's like the guy who thought "Gee, for a fat girl, you don't sweat much" was a compliment, and then wondered why he had no luck with girls.

It might also explain the results of the recent election. The American people are tired of being called whining, unpatriotic idiots by a party that brought them eight years of incompetence. Change your rhetoric or get used to being the minority party.

Rightklik,Please r... (Below threshold)


Please refrain from screaming and punching yourself.

To all your points I reply:

George Bush dropped the visa requirements (viz. Saudi Arabia) briefly to allow the highjackers into the US, and to take flight lessons in a Jeb Bush-connected flight school in Florida, and to enroll in the International Officers' School on Maxwell AFB, and to cut loose on that Ambramoff Suncruz gambling boat off the coast like any group of self-respecting Islamofascists would like to do between training exercises and call to prayer.

Resolved: the Bush family has ties to both the Bin Ladins and the Hinkleys, of which families agents attempted to assist Bush Enterprises by nefarious means including murder. But, nevermindabout Osamawhatzizname. Probable dead mumble mumble.

Now: run away, woman.

Take it up with that arch-p... (Below threshold)

Take it up with that arch-pinko Adam Smith.

Leave it up to a lib and the liberal biased New Yorker to spin what Adam Smith had to say and remove it from the context of 1776 America...

The point he is making is that the poor deserve a basic nessecity that should be provided by the rich in society. But what is the basic nessecity? It keeps changing. Back in 1776 it was food a roof. The rest of that passage that follows the Adam Smith quote in the article is curriosuly elipsed because the omitted sentences lend the quote to its proper context. The "poor" of America today have it better than the "poor" of the rest of the world and even better than the "poor" of Smith's time where poor meant you were too stupid to even catch your own food or build your own house. We provide so much more than the basic needs today that the basic needs get pushed to the back of the line.


97% of "poor" have a color TV. 50% of those have 2 or more!
43% of all poor households actu­ally own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a 3 bedroom house with 1.5 baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
80% of poor households have air conditioning. Only 6% of poor households are over­crowded. More than 66% have more than two rooms per person.
The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. These comparisons are to the AVERAGE citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor. Nearly 75% of poor households own a car. 31% own 2 or more cars.
78% have a VCR or DVD player.
62% have cable or satellite TV reception.
89% own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.

Again the Heritage Foundation:

These are all people that are classified "below the poverty line." Sorry, I dont buy it.

Very few "poor" people today have to struggle to put food on their table. The poverty line in America is so much higher than in Europe it is both a good thing and shameful. Americans living in "poverty" have access to so much more than europeans living in poverty. Hell they have more than most Euros NOT living in poverty! Yet the libs in this country cry for the "poor." Im not saying you shouldnt, but stop moving the poverty line.

Living in NYC, the abuse of the social systems in place to actually help those in true need is horrible. A few years ago Bloomberg wanted to enforce a law on the books that requires 8 hours of community service a MONTH to recieve public housing. 8 hours A MONTH!!! 15 minutes a day is too much to ask? 2 hours every Saturday or Sunday? And people were saying its anti-public housing. 8 hours a month? really? 1 day a month? Really thats asking too much? If anything its not asking enough. The people on public housing get a comidty at a severly reduced market price subsidized by the tax payers. If these people can not pay money and contribute in that way, why can they not contribute in a different way? Why are they allowed to only take from the pie and not give to the pie in some way? Not to mention they can use the service to improve the area that they live in!!! Thats what makes a community a great place to be. Not the amount of money spent on beautification and infastructure. Sure thats part of it, but its also how the people of the community make up the short comings of that infastructure. This is also how you get more money and ifluence in your community. Show that the money going there isnt wasted and that you deserve more money and attention because your community cares abotu itself. Not that you deserve the money because you are poor and therefore deserve it. Earn it with some blood sweat and blisters. take some pride in doing something good. Hard work never hurt anyone.

Not an appeal to authority,... (Below threshold)

Not an appeal to authority, Mike, but an appeal to the best theoretical explanation of what capitalism ought to be. Smith isn't so much an expert as he is an embodiment of an economic philosophy that its supposed proponents like RightKlik here really do not understand whatsoever. There really aren't any good arguments for a completely unfettered market or flat tax. (Grover Norquist is not an economist, he's a buffoon.)

In regards to this: Its is not now, nor has it EVER been the responsibility of the govt on any level to fund R&D. Its just more govt waste. -- why don't you tell that to the Department of Defense? Are you against government funded military R&D? Or just R&D that might reduce dependency on fossil fuels imported from nations that fund terrorists?

Dave: okay, so because poor people have it better now than they did in the late 18th century, you would deny Smith's claim that it is wholly reasonable to demand more from wealthy, successful people than from those living in poverty or close to it? And so what if the average poor person in America can afford a bigger living space than a rich person in London, England? Ten square feet in central London is worth as much as a trailer in rural Kentucky. If you can afford ten square feet in central London, though, you aren't worrying about food stamps and the price of hot dogs. Compare apples to apples, dude.

Re nuclear power - the diff... (Below threshold)

Re nuclear power - the difficulty in handling the waste isn't technical, it's more sociological. All the impetus seems to be towards getting rid of the waste essentially forever - when all that needs to happen is for it to be isolated until the highly radioactive isotopes have decayed. And there's plenty of ways to do that, from simple entombment in concrete casks to vitrification of the waste and storage in something like Yucca mountain.

The more radioactive something is, the shorter the half-life. There's loads of square miles of desert in Nevada where you could dump a concrete cask for a couple of decades, at which point you refine what's left to concentrate the long-lived radioactive crap (which won't be anywhere near so deadly) and then move it downstairs to Yucca Mountain. In a vitreous form, coated with tar inside a stainless steel cask, inside a thick glass shell, under a titanium water shield... it'll likely last a lot longer than the human race.

(And who's to say there won't be a use found for the stuff?)

Not an appeal to authori... (Below threshold)

Not an appeal to authority, Mike, but an appeal to the best theoretical explanation of what capitalism ought to be.

Adam Smith isn't an explanation. Adam smith is a person; hence, 'ask Adam Smith', rather than presenting an argument, is an appeal to authority.

JLawson: why not get all sc... (Below threshold)

JLawson: why not get all sci-fi and propose sending containers of nuclear waste hurtling towards the Sun? Seriously, would that not be the best way of disposing of that crap?

(Not viable within the next hundred years until rocket technology is cheaper and more reliable, but it seems having an enormous, FREE incinerator in the middle of our solar system is something that we should take advantage of.)

Hyper, USA politicians do n... (Below threshold)

Hyper, USA politicians do not give a damn if some canadian blog commenter supports him or not.

"The poor you shall always have with you." ww

Q - Are there any intellige... (Below threshold)

Q - Are there any intelligent, rational liberals?

A - Nope.

Palin/Huckabee '12!

Are there any intelligen... (Below threshold)

Are there any intelligent, rational liberals?

The fact that you asked that question is proof positive that you are not an intelligent, rational conservative (of which yes, there are many). In light of this, why should I bother with your questions?

It's glib, Mike, because I ... (Below threshold)

It's glib, Mike, because I haven't got time to go home, get an economics text book, and support my argument with page citations. I stand by my assertion, though, that no economist--except maybe Larry Kudlow--has advocated the sort of taxation scheme that RightKlik implies he/she would prefer.

Willie, you make a bigger deal out of my nationality than I ever have. Your personal obsession with me is creepy. Are you jealous that I don't write at a fifth grade level? That I've read academic texts that support my views? That I've read academic texts that support your views? I get it: my opinion doesn't matter to you because I'm from another country. That much is clear. On the same note, your opinion doesn't matter to me because you are possibly the least insightful commenter on this blog, now that Scrapiron and jhow66 have migrated to crazier pastures.

"The poor you shall always have with you", eh, Willie? Well consider this: since Bush has taken office, and slashed income taxes, there are 5 million more Americans living in poverty. Care to justify that statistic with a scriptural quote? (You won't be able to, and I expect you'll just reply with gibberish about the left hating your freedom.)

hyper:The fact that ... (Below threshold)

The fact that you didn't include citations isn't the problem I highlighted with your previous argument. The problem is that you assert that '[t]he best form of government is liberal/social democracy, which includes the redistribution of wealth. Don't like it? Take it up with that arch-pinko Adam Smith.'... which is an appeal to authority.

Now to claim that the choices were appeal to authority or an dissertation with proper citation is a false dilemma. :)

Hypie -Firstoff, c... (Below threshold)

Hypie -

Firstoff, consider the expense. It costs a LOT of energy to fling something into the sun from earth orbit, and takes a long time. It's actually faster and cheaper to fling something out of the solar system. then we'd be polluting interstellar space, and the Space Patrol would come ticket us for littering, and probably take our Sun away. Hell of a way to prove life outside the solar system, eh?

No, seriously, it's tough to get something to fall into the sun. Besides, if you let the stuff sit for a century until rocketry's at a point it'll do the job, the stuff won't be active enough to need disposal.

Second - as I said, there might well be a use for some of that stuff. Sure, it's noxious now - but they thought the same about petroleum at one point.

Third - I don't know if you were around when NASA proposed the Galileo probe - but the RTG (radiothermal generators) are powered by plutonium. The anti-nuke crowd seemed to be certain it was a plot by NASA to wipe out all life on Earth, since if it were to crash on liftoff, or accidentally hit Earth on the flyby it needed to get out to Jupiter, that plutonium would be released into the atmosphere and destroy all life on teh earth!!!1!!

Yeah, stupid if you look at the science, but since when has anti-nuke environmentalism ever really been about the science of it?

It's pretty funny looking a... (Below threshold)

It's pretty funny looking at all the self-righteous indignation on display by some, JFO for example, who do nothing but trade in insults and invective tossing.

You're right, Mike. Been a ... (Below threshold)

You're right, Mike. Been a few years since I taught Informal Logic 101. I'd have slapped a kid for name dropping as though it were an argument. :)

I guess I'm not so interested in the fact that Adam Smith said it, as I am that the founding document of free market capitalism--The Wealth of Nations--holds as common sense the notion that wealthy people can be expected to pay a larger proportionate share of taxes than the poor, as by definition they have got more money, and paying more money will have a more negligible effect on their lives than on the lives of the poor.

JL, you have to sympathize with the anti-nuke crowd's motivation (fear of catastrophe potentially on a scale of the Holocaust), but I agree: it's largely irrational, as modern reactors--such as the CANDU, which my brother helps manufacture--are pretty much foolproof. And you're right--there are foolproof ways of stashing nuclear waste.

As for the worry that terrorists might crash a plane into a nuclear power plant, an interesting anecdote: my parents' next-door neighbour, who is a former dean of a business school here, former army helicopter pilot, and inventor of a bunch of medical restraint technologies enlisted the help of a physicist to help design a system to plane-proof large facilities like nuclear power plants. The idea was relatively straightforward: steel posts standing tall enough and placed closely enough together to shear off one or both wings of any large aircraft that might be flown into the building(s). (Smaller aircraft don't really pose a threat to these facilities.) He applied for a patent in the U.S. and was denied. His lobbyist told him it's because lobbyists from an arms manufacturer that was trying to get a contract to install surface to air missile batteries at all nuclear power plants greased some palms and put the kaibosh on his patent, which would have been far cheaper and more effective. Missile batteries are manned by Air Force personnel (expensive) and are less than 100% accurate, whereas steel posts tend not to miss. Lame!

"lawyer" marcYou d... (Below threshold)

"lawyer" marc

You deserve to be treated with nothing but scorn. And you really might want to look in the mirror. Asshat.

Hyper -"you hav... (Below threshold)

Hyper -

"you have to sympathize with the anti-nuke crowd's motivation" -

Um, no. I don't - it would imply a respect for their position which isn't deserved or justifiable.

It was possible to argue the science - but when their science-based objections ran out, the emotional ones started. They ran something like this...

"Well, what if your containment units aren't as good as your tests indicate? What if, despite being dunked in liquid nitrogen, tossed into a blast furnace, AND smashed into a concrete wall at 5000 MPH without releasing anything, something happens that DOES spill some plutonium?"
"Like? Give us a situation we haven't tried!"
"Hell - WE don't know - you're supposed to test everything so nothing can be released! And if you don't test EVERYTHING, you shouldn't launch the RTGs!"
"We can test what we expect the RTGs to encounter - we've covered all conceivable conditions likely to be encountered on the mission."
"Ah, that means you haven't covered EVERYTHING!"
Their fear was vastly overblown and irrational. As such, it could not be assuaged by any rational arguement. And that sort of garbage has led to the current state of nuclear power in the US. In France? Nuclear power is accepted and normal. Here? Thanks to clowns like the bozos who are determinedly anti-nuclear power, we're a good 30 years behind the power curve, so to speak.

Sometimes I think we're in a real race against time, trying to find sufficient energy to avoid a looming catastrophe. We saw just how a spike to $4 a gallon gas hurt the economy this summer. We've GOT to get to the next level on power generation, or we're gonna lose the game. We've been on coal and oil too long - we're losing points.

I voted Republican last ele... (Below threshold)

I voted Republican last election because I like John McCain. This last month has changed my mind because of the way the Republicans such as Shelby, Corker, Bunning and the rest of the "gang of seven" acted in this loan thing with the Big 3 and the hypocricy aligned with AIG/Citi and the hearings. A complete joke. Then we find out that their agenda was to "payback" the Democrats/UAW over the election results. This put politics over country/depression. I'm going Democrat from here on out and my mind is made up now!

HB,Why not actuall... (Below threshold)


Why not actually read Wealth of Nations instead of quoting somebody who allegedly has? For accuracy, the context in which Adam Smith is making this wholly acceptable assertion is in his discussion of house rents, which is a commodity widely differentiated by quality, convenience and splendor.

When quoting from Adam Smith, as many do, it is incumbent on the writer to make clear the context. Otherwise, a particular statement by Adam Smith can be given a general meaning - in this case for all forms of taxation - when Adam Smith may have intended to refer to a particular case.

Smith preferred that taxation should fall, where possible, on luxuries rather than basic necessities. Housing is a necessity but housing came in all levels of opulence and was therefore treatable as a luxury for some taxpayers, who in consequence should pay more tax on their houses and palaces.

Now, admittedly, I'm a big Adam Smith fan inasmuch as his principles have shaped the formative years of our country, but I'm not a Smith apologist. In fact, here's one instance in which I would disagree with him. However, Smith was hardly discussing the redistribution of wealth, at least not in the context of socialism as you are suggesting.

Come on now. This is not your strongest work.

I hate to be an iconoclast,... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:

I hate to be an iconoclast, but I have always wondered why the Wealth of Nations, written in the 18th century, is continually cited as though it were the authoritative economic treatise for the ages.

Why not argue the content, ... (Below threshold)

Why not argue the content, not the age, of the book? Truth is timeless. Principles are objective and exist apart from our belief.

Clay,You didn't an... (Below threshold)
Dave Noble:


You didn't answer my question. What makes The Wealth of Nations the authoritative economic text for all times, if you believe it is? Is everything Adam Smith asserts an unchanging principle? Is nothing he says a product of the early days of the Industrial Revolution and of other historical factors like colonialism? And if that is the case, how do you separate the unchanging prinicples from his period-sensitive observations?






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