Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, January 31, 2014

Thomas B. Adsall, New York Times: Thomas Piketty's new book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, described by one French newspaper as a "a political and theoretical bulldozer," defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism. Piketty, a professor at the Paris School of Economics, does not stop there. He contends that capitalism's inherent dynamic propels powerful forces that threaten democratic societies. Capitalism, according to Piketty, confronts both modern and modernizing countries with a dilemma: entrepreneurs become increasingly dominant over those who own only their own labor. In Piketty's view, while emerging economies can defeat this logic in the near term, in the long run, "when pay setters set their own pay, there's no limit," unless "confiscatory tax rates" are imposed.

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rstybeach11

 

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Piketty's book -- published four months ago in France and due out in English this March -- suggests that traditional liberal government policies on spending, taxation and regulation will fail to diminish inequality. Piketty has also delivered and posted a series of lectures in French and English outlining his argument.

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FTA: "Piketty joins a number of scholars raising significant questions about how the global economic system will deal with such phenomena as robotics, the hollowing out of the job market, outsourcing and global competition."

Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) is on the horizon and economic experts don't know how to account for it.

This is going to get really interesting.

#1 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-30 06:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

Piketty's analysis is somewhat Eurocentric, his idea that "One is that the six-decade period of growing equality in western nations – starting roughly with the onset of World War I and extending into the early 1970s – was unique and highly unlikely to be repeated. "

He fails to mention the poverty as a percentage of the global population is dropping at an enormous rate, unheard of in history of man. This isn't do to government policies, but FreeMarket enterprise.

His main point I gathered from this opinion piece is limiting the return on capital. Limiting the return on capital limits the possibilities of investment, and thus growth.

I would also like to point out the falsehood of the headline. Even the early greeks believed in capitalism and democracy go hand in hand. The power of the individual ownership, to choose his own destiny/plan is paramount.

There are those that might say, you can have a centralized planned economy and liberty for the individual, and you would be mistaken. They are antipodal ideas, Obamacare is a perfect example of liberty being loss in the name of a centrally planned industry.

You might then say, but the ends justify the means....... then clearly you aren't for liberty.

#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-01-30 06:48 PM | Reply | Flag:

Oh yeah, nice article Rsty, good read on different ideas, will be looking for the book.

#3 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-01-30 06:49 PM | Reply | Flag:

#2 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS AT 2014-01-30 06:48 PM | FLAG:

Worldwide, it is indeed getting better, but for us the reality is still no different than a full bore race to the bottom. China starts to rise above slave wages in places, while our wages and lifestyle drop to meet in the middle. To say nothing of coming resource wars. Plus, as has happened here, worldwide we can expect productivity levels to jump, resulting in more and more concentration of wealth while less and less are needed to produce it, which will eventually mean all the ability to produce yet no demand. One doesn't need too much imagination to picture the eventual effect that will have on society - mobs of unemployed with no resources, and a few very rich people applying militaristic means to protect their property. An oppressive dystopia. We need to change the paradigm before it's too late.

#4 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-01-30 07:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

It's a lot of doubletalk.

arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism.
... suggests that traditional liberal government policies on spending, taxation and regulation will fail to diminish inequality

First the writer blames "free market" capitalism when the very meaning of "free market" means without government intervention. Without government intervention, people are free to buy and sell as they see fit. This is anathema to political interests.

Then he admits that the standard government nostrums aren't working. Which is to say, we are not living under free market conditions. We are living under a highly politicized economy where those with political influence have the freedom to exploit the working classes. That's what "free market" means to them. That's why it's breaking down.

#5 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-30 08:35 PM | Reply | Flag:

yeah Ray, and Liberty means survival of the fittest without law.

#6 | Posted by ichiro at 2014-01-30 09:30 PM | Reply | Flag:

Who cares? The U.S. is not a democracy.

#7 | Posted by boaz at 2014-01-30 09:37 PM | Reply | Flag:

yeah Ray, and Liberty means survival of the fittest without law.
#6 | POSTED BY ICHIRO

Sorry kid. Liberty and violence are incompatible. You're confusing liberty with politics. Politics is survival of the fittest WITH law.

#8 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-30 09:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

#5 | POSTED BY RAY

Interesting take.

Thanks for the thoughtful retort.

#9 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-30 10:10 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ray does give some well thought out answers sometimes. I think it pretty much was debate with him that made me shift from the standard democrat line of just needing more regulation to understanding just who is lobbying the regulation and why. The fact it certainly has nothing to do with encouraging new competition.

Damn liberal site has been slowly driving me more libertarian lol.

#10 | Posted by zeropointnrg at 2014-01-30 10:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

How come people who say we need to know the past to know why we need guns, seem to forget the revolts and revolutions that seem to follow inequality in history? Starving people don't tend to care about democracy as much as they care about not dying (Yes Boaz, I know, we live in a republic). Andrea, the Greek idea of democracy only pertained to the city and a roughly 50 mile radius out side of it (citystates), and they had slaves, not every person was a citizen, and citizens were required to participate in politics.
47% of all current jobs can be automated via AI and robotics. That means the even more unemployed. Those who refuse to quit looking jobs will try to acquire jobs above their current levels, and will be willing to work for less. This will drive prices of higher paying jobs down. Include a global "Unregulated/Free trade" workforce, tariff-free import/export, then the only reason some people will have a job is because their replacement is on back order, or because they burdened themselves with student loans they could never pay back to get a degree that says they are qualified to underbid someone else. The people least able to change into a higher skilled job will be the the worse to suffer, and there are quite a few of them.
"According to the Associated Press, half of the 7.5 million jobs lost during the recession were middle wage jobs. At least two-thirds of those were replaced by technology." --
www.iowastatedaily.com
"much of modern labour consists of stultifying "-------- jobs" -- low- and mid-level screen-sitting that serves simply to occupy workers for whom the economy no longer has much use. Keeping them employed, Mr Graeber argues, is not an economic choice; it is something the ruling class does to keep control over the lives of others." (sounds like the "dignity of work" to me)-- www.economist.com
"Computers that can drive cars, in particular, were never supposed to happen. Even ten years ago, many engineers said it was impossible. Navigating a crowded street isn't mindlessly routine. It needs a deft combination of spacial awareness, soft focus, and constant anticipation--skills that are quintessentially human." -- www.nextgov.com

I think that no matter your ideology, there will come a point where we will have to face these things, you wont get to choose.

#11 | Posted by blah at 2014-01-30 10:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

Damn liberal site has been slowly driving me more libertarian lol.
#10 | POSTED BY ZEROPOINTNRG

I can directly relate. LOL!

Although, it makes it a lot easier being the single issue voter that I am.

#12 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-30 10:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

#11 | Posted by blah

I posted this article by Dave Graeber before. It's very good.

www.strikemag.org

#13 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-01-30 10:38 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

In an unfree society where government controls the school system and the MSM, there are some very good sites that teach freedom.
mises.org
fee.org
fff.org

#14 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-30 10:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

Fromt he mises.org website:

The principles or laws of economics are the same, whether the economist is a Republican or a communist, and whether he lives in new Zealand or somalia.

mises.org

Wow. Just wow.

#15 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-30 11:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

"The principles or laws of economics are the same,"

Bunk. Austrian economics is not a science; it's an ideology.

#16 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-01-30 11:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"...capitalism's inherent dynamic propels powerful forces that threaten democratic societies."

Hmmmm, so what countries got rid of this capitalism and achieved freedom?
North Korea, Cuba, the Soviet Union, Mao's China.....
Sounds as if this egghead has not taken his nose out of the books long enough to take in the scenery.

#17 | Posted by Diablo at 2014-01-31 01:23 AM | Reply | Flag:

Bunk. Austrian economics is not a science; it's an ideology.
#16 | Posted by nullifidian

You wouldn't know the difference.

#18 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 12:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obamacare is a perfect example of liberty being loss in the name of a centrally planned industry.
#2 | Posted by AndreaMackris

What liberty was lost? The liberty of insurance companies to deny people with pre-existing conditions?

#19 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 01:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

What liberty was lost? The liberty of insurance companies to deny people with pre-existing conditions?
#19 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

The liberty of health insurance customers to choose crappy insurance plans. That's what.

#20 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-31 02:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

The liberty of health insurance customers to choose crappy insurance plans. That's what.
#20 | Posted by rstybeach11

These ideologues think that double yellow line down the middle of the road takes away their liberty too.

Maybe they'll suggest the Obamacare tax takes away their liberty. However, since money is fungible, any tax does that. But they'll never quite come out and say they're anarchists. They're simply poseurs, trying to "out-conservative" one another, perpetually self-confined within their thought-bubble echo chamber.

#21 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 02:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

They're simply poseurs, trying to "out-conservative" one another, perpetually self-confined within their thought-bubble echo chamber.

Yup. LOL!

#22 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2014-01-31 02:45 PM | Reply | Flag:

Democracy has never been tried on a large scale. i.e. it doesn't exist. The only interesting thing about it being that the internet makes it technologically feasible, but the fascisti will never allow that to happen because they would lose power.

Capitalism: see fascism.

#23 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-01-31 04:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

"...defies left and right orthodoxy by arguing that worsening inequality is an inevitable outcome of free market capitalism."

Yes.

A free society will inevitably result in inequality, economic or otherwise.

And if inequality bothers you, then break out the jackboots. Because that's the only way you can fix it. Pretty girls are always going to prefer the handsome guys over the frumpy ones (inequality). Handsome guys are always going to prefer the pretty girls (inequality). talented artists and muscians will always draw more fans than those without (inequality).

"He fails to mention the poverty as a percentage of the global population is dropping at an enormous rate, unheard of in history of man. This isn't do to government policies, but FreeMarket enterprise."

Also Yes.

But if inequality is your concern, a society where the richest person makes $1M per year and the poorest $10k per year is still superior to a system where the richest makes $15k and the poorest makes $5k.

It's not a very smart argument.

"Bunk. Austrian economics is not a science; it's an ideology."

So says the Marxist...funny

"What liberty was lost? The liberty of insurance companies to deny people with pre-existing conditions?"

Why shouldn't they be able to?

I mean, it would be cool to wait until after I've contracted cancer to purchase life insurance, or wait until after I've wrecked my car to purchase car insurance. But no rational company is going to insure me. Better to spend that money on hookers and blow.

#24 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-01-31 04:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

And what's this thing with democracy? I don't know that I want to be part of a system where I am obligated to do whatever the majority wants me to do.

#25 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-01-31 04:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

These ideologues think that double yellow line down the middle of the road takes away their liberty too.
#21 | Posted by snoofy

All you are accomplishing is showing your arrogance. You want the liberty to control other people's lives. And others who resent being bullied are free to give you the middle finger.

#26 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 04:25 PM | Reply | Flag:

Capitalism and Democracy do indeed go hand in hand. Take a look at the world map of capitalistic developed nations, only one, The United States of America, has worsening inequality.

Capitalism is not the problem. Fragmented ideologies, incapable of understanding each other or working together for the common good, that's what's plaguing America.

#27 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2014-01-31 04:32 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"Fragmented ideologies, incapable of understanding each other or working together for the common good, that's what's plaguing America."

Dude, I highly doubt that you'll even find consensus on what constitutes the "common good."

#28 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-01-31 04:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ok, why in this day of innovation and machinery does China employ two person teams digging roads and such? Because you need to employ people to keep them occupied and in money. Money makes the world go round. Broke, starving and unoccupied people will be a problem.

Automation is a bane to global society more than a blessing. What about when we hit on true AI? It will be ugly. Period. Resources are limited and our global society continues to function because of disparity in prosperity. What happens when virtually nobody works because there is no work?

#29 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2014-01-31 04:59 PM | Reply | Flag:

What happens when virtually nobody works because there is no work?
#29 | Posted by GalaxiePete

Have no fear. The Power Elites have been working on the final solution for a long time. They are called war, famine and pestilence.

#30 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 05:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

Obamacare is a perfect example of liberty being loss in the name of a centrally planned industry.
You might then say, but the ends justify the means....... then clearly you aren't for liberty.

#2 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS AT 2014-01-30 06:48 PM | REPLY | FLAG:EYE ROLL YYAAAAAAWWWWWNNNNNN

As soon as you can point out which liberty is being lost you might have a point to make. Creating the situation where one is to be responsible for their healthcare upon adulthood and providing a no excuses environment to do so is not a lack of freedom. Seriously stop acting like a baby its time for you to grow up. Having to wait until you are so sick an emergency room will take you in is.

If you are in a position where you cannot afford to buy into a plan where you have a broader range of choices well that is how life works regardless. If the nation can expect people to pay the price of being in a democracy which occasionally means paying things you don't agree with such as abortion or unnecessary wars then the citizens should be in the best condition to do so. Starving people into ambition never inspires them to do much more that overthrow those holding the purse... or to create an underground economic system with "mattress" money laundering which undermines the republic.

Personally I believe in trade school or university tracks based on what will get the persons into the work force the fastest while never closing the doors to higher education and conscripted service to the nation. Most cultures have rites of passage into adulthood and we should too instead of keeping kids in a constant state of adolescence until they are 37.

BTW I'm not a socialist I am a Keynesian capitalist. I don't like government interference into business but pig brains don't know how to behave when left unregulated.

Another french economic theory... wow what a surprise. Well we know how well laissiz- faire works in the world outside theory. Drug cartels are the perfect example.

#31 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2014-01-31 06:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

These ideologues think that double yellow line down the middle of the road takes away their liberty too.
#21 | Posted by snoofy

All you are accomplishing is showing your arrogance. You want the liberty to control other people's lives. And others who resent being bullied are free to give you the middle finger.
#26 | Posted by Ray


It takes a special kind of stupid to claim the double yellow line embodies the liberal desire to control other people's lives.

#32 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 08:13 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

In "Extortion" the central premise is that politicians have morphed our political system into an ATM machine for themselves. 5% of proposed legislation ever passes. The other 95% is designed to threaten or benefit Capitalists who come with check in hand out of fear or greed. Many laws expire regularly so this pattern of extortion can be repeated over and over again.

#33 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-01-31 08:18 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

It takes a special kind of stupid to claim the double yellow line embodies the liberal desire to control other people's lives.
#32 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

I didn't think you where THAT dull. You posts reek of contempt for people who resent government meddling.

#34 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 08:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

-people who resent government meddling.

government meddling, kids on their lawn, public roads, libraries, kid's lunches... any prevailing theory on any subject.

#35 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-31 08:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Fragmented ideologies, incapable of understanding each other or working together for the common good, that's what's plaguing America."

Dude, I highly doubt that you'll even find consensus on what constitutes the "common good."

#28 | Posted by madbomber

Agreed. For example, people like you think providing everyone health care does not serve the common good, raising the minimum wage does not serve the common good, the entirety of the modern welfare state does not serve the common good.

Now, if you were to establish some metrics by which the common good can be measured, we'd be able to have a discussion as to how right or wrong you are. But you won't do that, presumably because that discussion might lead to conclusions at odds with what your ideology says must be true. So instead, whenever it comes up, you'll trot out some largely meaningless statistical artifact like "number of MRIs per capita" to measure of the common good.

So, really, it's you that can't find consensus withing your own thoughts as to what the common good entails. (In part that's because of your self-made-man mythology doesn't really care much about the common good, but I digress.) Those of us in the modern world know what the common good looks like: Low crime, high employment, quality education, healthy outcomes, a decent standard of living, and the opportunity for social mobility.

#36 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 08:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

You posts reek of contempt for people who resent government meddling.
#34 | Posted by Ray

Your posts reek of a moron who thinks the double yellow line is government meddling.

#37 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 08:28 PM | Reply | Flag:

#37

He thinks it might some of his gold....

#38 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-31 08:31 PM | Reply | Flag:

Your posts reek of a moron who thinks the double yellow line is government meddling.
#37 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

You mean it's about roads? Please enlighten me.

#39 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 08:36 PM | Reply | Flag:

-Please enlighten me.

There would be a solution to the job crisis...

#40 | Posted by Corky at 2014-01-31 08:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

government meddling, kids on their lawn, public roads, libraries, kid's lunches... any prevailing theory on any subject.
#35 | POSTED BY CORKY

I guess I'm supposed to be grateful for all the other lovely things government provides too like NSA, wars, high taxes, waste and corruption, Wall Street, drug laws, increasing poverty, etc. etc.

If there was a god, you must have pissed him off in your last lifetime. He gave you the body of a human and the brain of a monkey.

#41 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 08:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

Your posts reek of a moron who thinks the double yellow line is government meddling.
#37 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

You mean it's about roads? Please enlighten me.

#39 | Posted by Ray

Maybe you can enlighten us, by indicating which of the following elements of reality are government meddling emblematic of the liberal desire to control everyone:

The existence of public roads themselves
Traffic signals
Laws dictating which side of the road to drive on
Seat belts
Speed limits
Speed bumps
That third brake light
Catalytic converters
NHTSA crash tests
USDOT HAZMAT regulations
Driver testing and driver licensing
Mandatory automobile insurance
That the Amish have to put orange triangles on their buggies while using the aforementioned public roads

#42 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 08:51 PM | Reply | Flag:

Pretty much all of them.

#43 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 08:55 PM | Reply | Flag:

So which people did the government seek to control by mandating brake lights on cars? And what sort of control did they impose, exactly?

#44 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 09:06 PM | Reply | Flag:

The very nature of the State is predatory, violent and exploitive. I have no choice but to put up with it. But I don't recognize its legitimacy.

#45 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 09:16 PM | Reply | Flag:

I notice you offered no explanation of how brake lights are a plot for the government to control us.

#46 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 09:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

I said I don't recognize the legitimacy of the state. And I stated why. And I'll tell you something else. Government busybodies never know when to stop. Governments have cycles too. This government has peaked and has nowhere else to go but down. But it won't go down peacefully. It'll go down violently resisting its demise. They always do.

As for brake lights, I think brake lights are a good thing. But that's an issue between car manufacturers and their customers. Not the State!

#47 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 09:33 PM | Reply | Flag:

BTW, I'm pretty sure early cars had brake lights before they were regulated.

#48 | Posted by Ray at 2014-01-31 09:38 PM | Reply | Flag:

As for brake lights, I think brake lights are a good thing. But that's an issue between car manufacturers and their customers. Not the State!
#47 | Posted by Ray

If nobody else existed aside from you and one guy manufacturing cars, that would make sense.

But it endangers everyone when someone else is on the (shared, public) road with no brake lights.

This isn't something you want the market to decide, because we (you even!) already know the answer.

#49 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 10:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

I notice you offered no explanation of how brake lights are a plot for the government to control us.

#46 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 09:19 PM | Reply

I'll tell you how perverted and corrupt governments are. Take the EU for instance. The "Euro-skeptics" are making big inroads throughout Europe and it's scaring the heck out of the ruling elites. They're ostensibly talking to car manufacturers about putting technology into cars that can be monitored as to their movements and also to be able to shut them down when wanted. That way they can monitor the movement of the "Euro-skeptics" and block them from movement they don't find acceptable.

#50 | Posted by matsop at 2014-01-31 10:56 PM | Reply | Flag:

#50 we have that here too.

We even have a TV show called "Bait Car" or something where you can cheer on the police in their use of this technology.

We don't simply have the capacity, our corporate media conditions their audience to get used to the police using it to catch people.

And you get a lot more of this on American TV than in Europe.

#51 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-01-31 11:52 PM | Reply | Flag:

"As for brake lights, I think brake lights are a good thing. But that's an issue between car manufacturers and their customers. Not the State!"

Sorry Ray, but that is really stupid.

#52 | Posted by danni at 2014-02-01 12:41 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 3

"Those of us in the modern world know what the common good looks like: Low crime, high employment, quality education, healthy outcomes, a decent standard of living, and the opportunity for social mobility."

#36 | Posted by snoofy

Amen.

#53 | Posted by shane at 2014-02-01 02:31 AM | Reply | Flag:

Sorry Ray, but that is really stupid.
#52 | POSTED BY DANNI

Coming from a complete ignoramus and moron, I would expect you to say that.

This isn't something you want the market to decide, because we (you even!) already know the answer.
#49 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Looks like we're at a stalemate. You don't trust the market. I don't trust government.

But it endangers everyone when someone else is on the (shared, public) road with no brake lights.

As if car manufacturers and consumers are too stupid to figure that out. Such is the arrogance of government bureaucrats.

#54 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-01 03:57 AM | Reply | Flag:

BTW, there is a third element here with regard to safety - insurance companies. Their rates are based on risk. And they set rates according to standards they often times develop. OSHA for example, didn't make regulations in a vacuum, they drew from industry sources.

Don't need no stinkin government bureaucrats doing what the market does better. Typically, they're stupid, overreaching, beholden to the industry they regulate, not accountable for their mistakes and just plain arrogant.

#55 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-01 04:19 AM | Reply | Flag:

Everyone learns this that has ever played Monopoly. There is a point when it is clear who the winner will be, only the throw of the dice determines how long it will take to finish the game. Even that winner is largely determined by luck, unless the player doesn't invest his money as fast as he can.

#56 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-01 09:24 AM | Reply | Flag:

Capitalism has nothing to do with hard work. It is a system for making money from money. Since the advent of the Federal reserve, Banks have had a lock on this system. This is why this countries major industrialists all moved into Banking and philanthropy, after making fortunes in various competitive emerging manufacturing environments. As each industry matures, profits become slimmer and slimmer.

#57 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-01 09:30 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 2

#57 | POSTED BY NUTCASE

Sometimes your view points cloud your accuracy

Capitalism is an economic system in which trade, with the desired effect of making a profit by using pricing determined by the free market.

Banking is only one aspect of capitalism and I can make the case all day long that what we have now is a problem of command control capitalism. While I can identify the problem I can't suggest a answer other than honest government which will never happen.

#58 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-01 10:13 AM | Reply | Flag:

While I can identify the problem I can't suggest a answer other than honest government which will never happen.

#58 | POSTED BY PANEOCON

That's the "conservative" response to every societal problem: gun violence, extreme inequality, environmental pollution. Government is always "dishonest" and there's no profit motivation for the "market" to fix it, so...oh, well.

#59 | Posted by WhoDaMan at 2014-02-01 10:27 AM | Reply | Flag:

#59 | POSTED BY WHODAMAN

A prudent response to a dog is that is that it can bite you so you respect the possibility of injury. Assume that any business transaction can have winners and losers and you will not get bitten very often. Far safer than "your" mother government is your protector and if you trust in government you will never lose theory.

#60 | Posted by paneocon at 2014-02-01 10:53 AM | Reply | Flag:

Since the advent of the Federal reserve, Banks have had a lock on this system.

That's not capitalism; that's Keynesianism, another government ideology.

If you're going to trash capitalism, at least take the time and trouble to learn what it is.

Everyone learns this that has ever played Monopoly.

He who has the guns makes the rules. He who makes the rules always wins - until he runs out of Monopoly money.

#61 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-01 10:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

He who has the guns makes the rules. He who makes the rules always wins - until he runs out of Monopoly money.
#61 | Posted by Ray

You think like an eight year old.

For example, you don't seem to realize that after he runs out of Monopoly money, he still has his guns, so he comes and steals your gold.

#62 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-01 12:53 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

You think like an eight year old.

That's the level writing I have to dumb down to on this site.

For example, you don't seem to realize that after he runs out of Monopoly money, he still has his guns, so he comes and steals your gold.

You wish.

#63 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-01 02:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

To the extent "Free Market Capitalism" has thrived in this country it has brought calamity:
"Epic in scale, unprecedented in world history." That is how William K. Black, professor of law and economics and former bank fraud investigator, describes the frauds in which JPMorgan Chase (JPM) has now been implicated. They involve more than a dozen felonies, including bid-rigging on municipal bond debt; colluding to rig interest rates on hundreds of trillions of dollars in mortgages, derivatives and other contracts; exposing investors to excessive risk; failing to disclose known risks, including those in the Bernie Madoff scandal; and engaging in multiple forms of mortgage fraud.

Where they escaped the 2008 banking crisis and have no government debt, the lowest foreclosure rate in the country, the lowest default rate on credit card debt, and the lowest unemployment rate. They also have the only publicly-owned bank. The place is North Dakota, and their state-owned Bank of North Dakota (BND).

The BND is a major money-maker for North Dakota, returning about $30 million annually in dividends to the treasury, not bad for a state with a population that is less than one-fifth that of the City of Los Angeles. Every year since the 2008 banking crisis, the BND has reported a return on investment of 17-26%.

Mega-banks might be too big to fail. According to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, they might even be too big to prosecute. But they are not too big to abandon as depositories for government funds.

There may indeed be no profit in bashing JPMorgan Chase, but there would be profit in pulling deposits out and putting them in Los Angeles' own public bank. If North Dakota can bypass Wall Street with its own bank and declare its financial independence, so can the City of Los Angeles. And so can the County. And so can the State of California. (Ellen Brown)

#64 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-01 02:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

To the extent "Free Market Capitalism" has thrived in this country it has brought calamity:

After so many times of explaining what "free market capitalism" means, I have to come to the conclusion you don't care what it means. You're just another left wing hack delusioned by the idea that government oppression can set us free from the discipline of natural laws of economics.

No nation who has ever succeeded. Scapegoating free markets is not going to save you.

#65 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-01 04:46 PM | Reply | Flag:

I get the meaning. You are correct to note that Government distorts free markets. I would only argue that that this sometimes just makes things worse and sometimes improves the economic situation. Your argument is that it always and only makes things worse. In today's world the price of entry into any large established market, such as steel or microchips, is Government subsidies. In collusion with global Corporations, our Government has decided we don't need that any more. That is a grave error.

As I have offered, this free market state is rare, a simplified classroom exercise, with little if any application in the real world. As a practical matter it only applies to flea markets and garage sales, where the relationship between buyer and seller is essentially equal. Such a relationship does not exist in virtually any business transactions. Not between you and Verizon or Walmart, or a wheat farmer and Cargill or Monsanto, or JP Morgan and the Federal Government, or BMW Motors and the Japanese Government. It is widely known that the DeBeers Family controls the diamond market. The Government of Zambia was cheated out of its copper holdings by rogue tax cheating traders, one whose name is Marc Rich. Neither NASA nor Intel would even exist without our system of education and research. What would life in this country be like if every road were a toll road?

I consider free markets no different than jungle law, where those guns you speak of are all that matter. IBM provided the Nazis the technology to identify and classify the destruction of every Jew under Nazi domain and collected their profits from Switzerland, after the war. It was a combination of industrial might and clear ethical values that gained this country the popular support to win WWII. Today we've thrown those values out the window, devaluing human life for the sake of profits for a few.

#66 | Posted by nutcase at 2014-02-01 05:32 PM | Reply | Flag:

I consider free markets no different than jungle law, where those guns you speak of are all that matter.

Once coercion is introduced, markets are no longer free. For a market to be free, individuals must be free to act according to their interests without imposing their will against the interests of others. That doesn't mean people are rational. But at least when they act irrational, it is their own irrationality, not the irrationality forced on them by political forces.

An ideal government keeps peace and order. But we don't have an ideal government. We have a predatory government that colludes with big business against the free part of the market that's holding up this economy. Once it's overpowered by political forces, all bets are off. That's the direction we're going.

In all fairness to you, it took me many years to get an intuitive feel for the natural laws of economics. Our government does everything in its power to wage a disinformation campaign, creating the fear that you express.

Imagine two societies. One where neighbors exchange the fruits of their labor in peace. Or the other where neighbors strives to live at the expense of other neighbors by means of force. Your choice.

#67 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-01 06:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

Which is to say, we are not living under free market conditions.

We gave that up some time shortly after we stopped painting on cave walls. the unregulated market has ALWAYS led to adulterated and monopolized products. study some history, Ray. And try to stop believing in the "invisible hand". It's too busy stoking those fires on the moon to get involved with the economy.

But at least when they act irrational, it is their own irrationality, not the irrationality forced on them by political forces.

Competition is irrational in economics, collusion is rational. A 5 minute study on changing gas prices among local gas stations will verify that. If you seriously believe big business needs the government to get rich, you have zero knowledge of history. Study the 19th century trusts and the Gilded Age and get back to us with more penetrating insights on how Standard Oil was poverty-stricken until Teddy Roosevelt went after them.

I do agree that big business loves imperialism. But then again, so do conservatives.

#68 | Posted by northguy3 at 2014-02-01 09:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

Once coercion is introduced, markets are no longer free.
#67 | Posted by Ray

Then capitalism cannot have free markets.
Since capitalism relies on private property and contract law.
Those in turn cannot be maintained without enforcement regimes.

#69 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-01 10:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

Imagine...
#67 | Posted by Ray

Empirical reality is a better teacher of economics than imagination.

#70 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-01 10:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

For a market to be free, individuals must be free to act according to their interests without imposing their will against the interests of others.
#67 | Posted by Ray

How does a (sex) slave market fare under this calculus?
How does the government closing that market work out?

#71 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-01 10:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

Empirical reality is a better teacher of economics than imagination.
#70 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

Without a valid theory, it's just noise. Statists like you make the same mistakes that have been repeated throughout history with the same results. But you'll go on ahead and keep trying.

Then capitalism cannot have free markets.

Capitalism is synonymous with free markets. Readers constantly make the mistake of confusing capitalism with fascism. When the interests of consumers conflict with political interests, politics takes precedent.

Since capitalism relies on private property and contract law.
Those in turn cannot be maintained without enforcement regimes.

Yes in an ideal world. The problem is when the enforcer ignores property rights and contract law. That's the political environment today.

How does a (sex) slave market fare under this calculus?
How does the government closing that market work out?

Marriages declined and divorces increased.

#72 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 06:14 AM | Reply | Flag:

Which is to say, we are not living under free market conditions.

On the contrary. It's the free part of the market that's holding the economy up and what government lives off of.

study some history, Ray.

You should take your own advice. Economic collapses predate the collapse of Rome to the present day.

And try to stop believing in the "invisible hand". It's too busy stoking those fires on the moon to get involved with the economy.

Economic theory has come a long way since Adam Smith.

the unregulated market has ALWAYS led to adulterated and monopolized products.

You mean like the regulated money supply has been adulterated to where one dollar buys what five cents did a hundred years ago.

Competition is irrational in economics, collusion is rational.

Competition is consistent with Darwinian evolution. Collusion is for the losers.

Study the 19th century trusts and the Gilded Age and get back to us with more penetrating insights on how Standard Oil was poverty-stricken until Teddy Roosevelt went after them.

At that time, Standard Oil had the best prices and service for kerosene. Competitors couldn't compete, so they lobbied for a breakup. Consumers lost out.

During the Cold War days, the American media used to make fun of communist propaganda because it was so transparent to us. Well, it's happening here. You're being immersed in a litany of lies and myths to make you fear being free. And it's working. And that's why, for all practical purposes, the USSA has become a totalitarian police state. The State had nothing to offer you but poverty, misery and oppression.

#73 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 06:45 AM | Reply | Flag:

At that time, Standard Oil had the best prices and service for kerosene. Competitors couldn't compete, so they lobbied for a breakup. Consumers lost out.

I have been reading recently about the break up of AT&T. It is interesting that local service rates went up after the break up, long distance rates came down but not as much as the offset increase in local. Additionally Bell Labs went from one of the premier research institutions in the world to just another commercial lab, doing a pretty good job of cutting into the US being a technological leader.

All said it seems like the break up of AT&T was horrible for the average American. Of course I could be wrong as I have only put a few hours into studying it and was just a kid when it happened but initial reading backs Ray up in this case of government interference.

#74 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2014-02-02 09:42 AM | Reply | Flag:

All said it seems like the break up of AT&T was horrible for the average American.

During the AT&T days we had a choice of two phone styles in one color, black. On a longer view, both local and long distance rates came down considerably until they were equalized. The breakup allowed for competition from foreign companies. Cell phones have become more popular than land lines.

Not positive, but I think it was the baby bells who lobbied for the breakup. They wanted out from the restrictions of the parent company.

The term "free market" confuses people. If you think instead of "consumer market" then it becomes clear that that the aim of production is to satisfy consumer tastes and wants. This is what political forces are combating.

#75 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 12:11 PM | Reply | Flag:

Free Market worship services start at 11:00 AM, don't they?

#76 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 12:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

#75 | Posted by Ray

So you were in favor of the government breaking up a monopoly, eh Ray? You're making progress. Now let's break up the Fortune 500 into the Fortune 5000 and create even more competition.

#77 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 12:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Free Market worship services start at 11:00 AM, don't they?
#76 | POSTED BY CORKY

Same time as the daily Obama anonymous meetings, but I see someone has been missing theirs, talk to your sponsor lately?

AT&T was good and bad for the consumer. The free market, requires chaos, then standardization, then cycles at higher and higher levels of progress. Each phase growing upon the previous, this is how progress is created.

AT&T created standardization, the break up allowed competition within that standard. Microsoft is very similar, its demise has allowed Linux, and OSX to compete. The standardization allows mass market adoption. The breakup while in the short term might be more for the consumer, in the long run allows competition.

#78 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2014-02-02 12:26 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

I see someone has the Invisible Hand up their ....

#79 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 12:31 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

"I see someone has the Invisible Hand up their ...."

You talking about Ray? It's hard to tell with your air-blogging technique.

#80 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 12:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

During the AT&T days we had a choice of two phone styles in one color, black.

Not true. We had one that was yellow, another that was beige. One even had touchtone dialing. Also they were made of metal, in the USA, and lasted for decades.

#81 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-02 12:46 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

The term "free market" confuses people.
#75 | Posted by Ray

It's especially confusing for people named Ray.

#82 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-02 12:51 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

It's especially confusing for people named Ray.
#82 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

It would seem that way to statists who view freedom as synonymous with evil.

#83 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:00 PM | Reply | Flag:

#80

For someone who, "doesn't address that poster", you sure do address that poster a lot.

#84 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 01:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

Actually, it was a retort to the post just above it, which addressed me, most obviously.

#85 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 01:02 PM | Reply | Flag:

It would seem that way to statists who view freedom as synonymous with evil.
#83 | Posted by Ray

Freedom is freedom. Whether you use it for evil or good is a separate matter.

Why am I trying to explain this to someone who thinks the double yellow line down the middle of the road takes away freedom?

#86 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-02 01:03 PM | Reply | Flag:

An ideal government keeps peace and order. But we don't have an ideal government. ...

Imagine two societies. One where neighbors exchange the fruits of their labor in peace.

On one hand you're acknowledging we don't live in an ideal world, and on the other you're telling us to imagine a scenario where do.

#87 | Posted by sentinel at 2014-02-02 01:05 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

An ideal government keeps peace and order. But we don't have an ideal government. ...

Imagine two societies. One where neighbors exchange the fruits of their labor in peace.

On one hand you're acknowledging we don't live in an ideal world, and on the other you're telling us to imagine a scenario where they do.

#88 | Posted by sentinel at 2014-02-02 01:06 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#88

NW both times.

#89 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 01:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

On one hand you're acknowledging we don't live in an ideal world, and on the other you're telling us to imagine a scenario where do.
#87 | Posted by sentinel

"Imagine" that. Ray is the John Lennon of economic philosophy.

Except he doesn't want anyone to join him, because then he'd have to give up his title as the only person who truly understands economics.

#90 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-02 01:09 PM | Reply | Flag:

So you were in favor of the government breaking up a monopoly, eh Ray? You're making progress. Now let's break up the Fortune 500 into the Fortune 5000 and create even more competition.
#77 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

That would give central government even more power as if it doesn't have too much already.

I would rather see the breakup of the USSA monopoly into fifty states. The aftershock would break up corporate monopolies and make them more difficult to compete on legislation.

#91 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:13 PM | Reply | Flag:

#91

Corporitists love that idea, btw. State pols are cheaper to buy than national ones.

#92 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 01:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

Except he doesn't want anyone to join him, because then he'd have to give up his title as the only person who truly understands economics.
#90 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

I do my best to explain it. But I don't believe you and most others on this site want to understand it because it undermines long cherished beliefs.

#93 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:21 PM | Reply | Flag:

Corporitists love that idea, btw. State pols are cheaper to buy than national ones.
#92 | POSTED BY CORKY

Hardly anything you believe has a basis of truth.

#94 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I would rather see the breakup of the USSA monopoly into fifty states."

That's excessive. I would like to see the US partitioned into 6 to 12 bioregional states. California, Oregon and Washington doesn't need people on the East coast meddling in our affairs and forcing us to subsidize red states.

#95 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 01:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

Individual states are much easier to control (bamboozle and buy) than the nation as a whole.

Which is why rwingers have always been state's rights freaks.

#96 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 01:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

On one hand you're acknowledging we don't live in an ideal world, and on the other you're telling us to imagine a scenario where they do.
#88 | POSTED BY SENTINEL

When trying to understand complex problems, it's a useful technique to isolate one by holding other factors constant.

"Imagine" that. Ray is the John Lennon of economic philosophy.

Unlike my critics, Lennon had a strong sense of ethics.

#97 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:34 PM | Reply | Flag:

That's excessive. I would like to see the US partitioned into 6 to 12 bioregional states. California, Oregon and Washington doesn't need people on the East coast meddling in our affairs and forcing us to subsidize red states.
#95 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

I'll settle for 6 to 12. As an aside, the Federal Reserve Bank was originally divided into twelve regions to give more flexibility to local needs. 50 state regions are even more suited to local control.

The bad part is what Washington will not go down without a lot of bloodshed. The events could be cataclysmic something like the French Revolution.

#98 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

Why am I trying to explain this to someone who thinks the double yellow line down the middle of the road takes away freedom?
#86 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

My how you twist things around. Again, it is not the double yellow line in of itself; it's the legitimacy of the authority who makes the double yellow line.

#99 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 01:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

You say that as though there's some authority you'd take as legitimate. Could you describe the nature and characteristics of such an auhtority?

Or is my inference incorrect; for Ray there is no such thing as legitimate authority.

#100 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-02 02:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Then capitalism cannot have free markets.
Since capitalism relies on private property and contract law.
Those in turn cannot be maintained without enforcement regimes."

Enforcement regimes can be purchased at any gun store.

"Corporitists love that idea, btw. State pols are cheaper to buy than national ones."

In fact, a true corporatist would want what we have now. A powerful, centralized government. Corporatism, like pretty much all progressive systems, requires a coercive central government to keep the people in line.

#101 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-02-02 03:19 PM | Reply | Flag:

Or is my inference incorrect; for Ray there is no such thing as legitimate authority.

I accept my employer as a legitimate authority within the bounds of my employment. More broadly, I accept any property owner as the legitimate authority of their property. The same for personhood as the only authority over the use of their bodies.

The State, by its very nature, supersedes human, economic and property rights. I reject it categorically. That said, I have no interest in being a political martyr. I tend to conform to cultural norms because it makes good sense, not because the State mandates it.

Freedom is a state of mind. There is nothing the State can do to change it.

#102 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 03:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

"That's excessive. I would like to see the US partitioned into 6 to 12 bioregional states. California, Oregon and Washington doesn't need people on the East coast meddling in our affairs and forcing us to subsidize red states."

Concur.

I would go so far as to suggest defunding most of the federal government's non-discretionary expenses. That way, if Massachusetts wants to provide a lavish safety net, they can do so with revenues generated within that state. If Montana doesn't want any sort of safety net, they wouldn't be obligated to pay for one.

#103 | Posted by madbomber at 2014-02-02 03:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

-for Ray there is no such thing as legitimate authority.

True, he doesn't accept the authority of an agreed upon Constitution to allow taxation, for one thing.

#104 | Posted by Corky at 2014-02-02 04:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I accept my employer as a legitimate authority within the bounds of my employment"

In other words, you're perfectly willing to accept coercion by your boss, but not the state. They can tell you when you can take a piss, and you're fine with that. They can demand samples of your urine, and your fine with that as well. You're not opposed to coercion at all, which is why you aren't an anarchist, but a propertarian.

#105 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 04:16 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Nulli

You're full of Marx. Get over it. I applied for the job of my own free will. I accepted the terms of employment of my own free will. I can quit any time of my own free will. AND, I stay there because I'm well paid and I like the job. Your idea of coercion is all bull.

True, he doesn't accept the authority of an agreed upon Constitution to allow taxation, for one thing.
#104 | POSTED BY CORKY

That's kind of like being born into slavery.

#106 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 06:14 PM | Reply | Flag:

Kick-off time at 6:25.

#107 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 06:17 PM | Reply | Flag:

Nulli

You're full of Marx"

Marx isn't the only critic of capitalism, Ray. Unfortunately you read nothing but Ayn Rand and Von Mises. You don't have to be a Marxist to be a critic of capitalism, something you might have learned if you had a quality education in something other than bits and bytes.

#108 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 06:27 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

Marx isn't the only critic of capitalism, Ray.

I've been on this site for enough years to know that.

Unfortunately you read nothing but Ayn Rand and Von Mises. You don't have to be a Marxist to be a critic of capitalism, something you might have learned if you had a quality education in something other than bits and bytes.

I've worked in production since 1961. I've had many employers, some good, some bad. I know what it is from first hand experience. You can't even give me credit for having the sense to know whether I'm being coerced or not. I don't need Rand or Mises to tell me that employment is a voluntary relationship. I knew that before I ever heard of them. You gotta take your head out of those books and listen to actual workers.

You don't even recognize the difference between capitalism and fascism. I don't believe it's out of ignorance. I believe you have an agenda like Marx. I have to assume it's compatible with whatever association you have with government.

#109 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 08:01 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I believe you have an agenda like Marx"

Oh no! Not an agenda! Is "agenda" code for "policies I disagree with". In which case, you have an agenda. Everybody has an agenda.

#110 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 08:04 PM | Reply | Flag:

"I don't need Rand or Mises to tell me that employment is a voluntary relationship"

Sure, it's voluntary. Work for a capitalist boss or starve.

#111 | Posted by nullifidian at 2014-02-02 08:08 PM | Reply | Flag:

Yes I have an agenda. I love my freedom and I hate government busybodies.

Work for a capitalist boss or starve.

Yeah sure. I should have gotten a government job where I can live off of the proletariat. Now THAT'S exploitation.

#112 | Posted by Ray at 2014-02-02 08:18 PM | Reply | Flag:

"Then capitalism cannot have free markets.
Since capitalism relies on private property and contract law.
Those in turn cannot be maintained without enforcement regimes."

Enforcement regimes can be purchased at any gun store.

#101 | Posted by madbomber

Nonsense. A gun is just as much an enforcement regime as it is a unilateral severance clause.

#113 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-03 03:00 AM | Reply | Flag:

More broadly, I accept any property owner as the legitimate authority of their property.
#102 | Posted by Ray

What does the word "legitimate" mean to you, if not "sanctioned by a court of law?"

And what is a court of law, if not an apparatus of the state?

And who's to say what stealing property is, if there's no laws to define what theft means?

It's just turtles all the way down with you, Ray.

#114 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-03 03:02 AM | Reply | Flag:

True, he doesn't accept the authority of an agreed upon Constitution to allow taxation, for one thing.
#104 | POSTED BY CORKY

That's kind of like being born into slavery.

#106 | Posted by Ray

Being born is kind of like being born into slavery, I suppose, since I don't think you volutneered for the job.

Grow up.

#115 | Posted by snoofy at 2014-02-03 03:07 AM | Reply | Flag:

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