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Ayn Rand, Eric Hoffer, P. J. O'rourke


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"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion-- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permissionfrom men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those whodeal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richerby graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you againstthem, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption beingrewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know thatyour society is doomed."

-- Ayn Rand

(1905-1982) Author

Source: Atlas Shrugged, p. 413

http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Ayn.Rand.Quote.B589

 

 

"Those who see their lives as spoiled and wasted crave

equality and fraternity more than they do freedom.

If they clamor for freedom, it is but freedom

to establish equality and uniformity.

The passion for equality is partly a passion for anonymity:

to be one thread of the many which make up a tunic;

one thread not distinguishable from the others.

No one can then point us out, measure us against others

and expose our inferiority."

-- Eric Hoffer

(1902-1983) American author, philosopher, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Eric.Hoffer.Quote.DEB8

 

 

"The term consumerism has been current since the middle 1960s, aboutthe same length of time as the Department of Transportation itself.Literally interpreted, the word means 'an ideology based on theopposite of being productive.' This ideology has caused enormouschanges in the American economy. At one time complaining was a cottageindustry. The typical maker of complaints gave them to (or traded themwith) friends and family members. Sometimes the complaints were sent tonewspapers or included in prayers. Friends, family, the press and Godthen ignored the complaints. In the sixties, however, various consumeradvocates began to help complainers find a market for their wares.There is only one organization that is required to take everyone -- andtheir complaints -- seriously. So the government became the foremostgrumble customer. And it is, of course, the government's bureaucraticagencies who have to do the buying."

-- P. J. O'Rourke

(1947- ) US humorist, journalist, & political commentator

http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/P..J..O'Rourke.Quote.811E

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[quote"The term consumerism has been current since the middle 1960s, aboutthe same length of time as the Department of Transportation itself.Literally interpreted, the word means 'an ideology based on theopposite of being productive.' This ideology has caused enormouschanges in the American economy. At one time complaining was a cottageindustry. The typical maker of complaints gave them to (or traded themwith) friends and family members. Sometimes the complaints were sent tonewspapers or included in prayers. Friends, family, the press and Godthen ignored the complaints. In the sixties, however, various consumeradvocates began to help complainers find a market for their wares.There is only one organization that is required to take everyone -- andtheir complaints -- seriously. So the government became the foremostgrumble customer. And it is, of course, the government's bureaucraticagencies who have to do the buying."

-- P. J. O'Rourke

(1947- ) US humorist, journalist, & political commentator

http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/P..J..O'Rourke.Quote.811E

 

I think P.J. may be onto something here, but I don't think he took it far enough in this quote. (or at least the implications are not obvious)

 

It's not that the government is "buying" and taxes are paying for the "grumbles." The government, through the legal system has created a way for complainers and "victims" to eat away at the profits of the productive in this country. Lawsuits have three goals: 1) remove wealth from the wealthy, 2) distribute wealth to the largely undeserving (or at least those who have not done work to create the wealth) and 3) enrich lawyers.

 

It's like a cancer on the economy, and it is sucking the life out of this country.

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"When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion-- when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permissionfrom men who produce nothing -- when you see money flowing to those whodeal, not in goods, but in favors -- when you see that men get richerby graft and pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you againstthem, but protect them against you -- when you see corruption beingrewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice -- you may know thatyour society is doomed."

-- Ayn Rand

(1905-1982) Author

Source: Atlas Shrugged, p. 413

http://quotes.liberty-tree.ca/quote_blog/Ayn.Rand.Quote.B589

 

 

 

 

"when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permissionfrom men who produce nothing"

 

In other words, to paraphrase her: "When you see that you find yourself in a society that is no longer in the Middle Ages and has gone through the Industrial Revolution--you know that your society is doomed." The funny thing is, that even in the Middle Ages with Guilds and lots of people owning the means of production, they didn't really own the means of production most of the time. So whatever she is referring to never has existed, although it might one day; it's conceivable that once machines do enough of our work for us we might be able to live in a world where we own the means of production, each and every one of us.

 

All a corporation is is someone who owns the means of production and then grows the business until people work under him who don't own the means of production. Then he eventually becomes the same lazy motherfucker that you need to obtain permission from who produces nothing, that Ayn Rand was referring to.

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Vote the wealth of the rich to the poor masses. It’s the just and right thing to do. And there won’t be any unintended consequences.

 

Let's get on with it already!

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Vote the wealth of the rich to the poor masses. It’s the just and right thing to do. And there won’t be any unintended consequences.

 

Let's get on with it already!

 

 

Except the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; statistics show this is true for our country. In fact, we are one of the top countries in the world when it comes to largest "rich/poor" gap. I don't know what you are smoking but I want some of it! :) Look around you, the "Rich" are consolidating their power in a dog eat dog environment where wealth is floating ever upwards.

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Except the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; statistics show this is true for our country. In fact, we are one of the top countries in the world when it comes to largest "rich/poor" gap.

I don't doubt you Quid. Could you provide a link for this? I would like to see it. I've felt for some time that the middle class was being squeezed out of existence. But I've had no numbers to back this intuition up.

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Except the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer; statistics show this is true for our country. In fact, we are one of the top countries in the world when it comes to largest "rich/poor" gap.

I don't doubt you Quid. Could you provide a link for this? I would like to see it. I've felt for some time that the middle class was being squeezed out of existence. But I've had no numbers to back this intuition up.

 

Well it started under Bush and continued under Obama; just look at the banks eating each other up. Just look at the TARP program, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan. Just look how firms, companies, and banks are failing where others are getting propped up. It's dog eat dog, and the more the big dogs eat the little dogs, the bigger the already biggest dogs get. They will just keep getting bigger and bigger until there are 5-10 big ass fucking dogs and no more little dogs (competition). Just look around you. The same thing is happening with corporations as they fail left and right and all their assets goto other people. The same is happening when taxpayer money from the middle class goes to line the biggest dogs that "cannot fail", whether they be banks or corporations like GM.

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I was hoping that you would show me a graph or something Quid. I mean I appreciate that you share you observations and reasoning. But I was also hoping for a link that would show how the have/have-not gap in the U.S. is growing.

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Lawsuits have three goals: 1) remove wealth from the wealthy, 2) distribute wealth to the largely undeserving (or at least those who have not done work to create the wealth) and 3) enrich lawyers.

Right. Because it's absolutely inconceivable they might actually be compensating damages to a wronged party. Nope, all lawsuits are just a frivolous attempt by we of the poor, grubby masses to rob the righteous of their justly-deserved wealth while at the same time replacing them by lining the coffers of our litigious overlords. :rolleyes:

 

Seriously, though; I wouldn't dream of claiming all lawsuits are legitimate anymore than I would all lawsuits are frivolous. Making the latter claim as you have, however, makes you look patently ridiculous.

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Lawsuits have three goals: 1) remove wealth from the wealthy, 2) distribute wealth to the largely undeserving (or at least those who have not done work to create the wealth) and 3) enrich lawyers.

Right. Because it's absolutely inconceivable they might actually be compensating damages to a wronged party. Nope, all lawsuits are just a frivolous attempt by we of the poor, grubby masses to rob the righteous of their justly-deserved wealth while at the same time replacing them by lining the coffers of our litigious overlords. :rolleyes:

 

Seriously, though; I wouldn't dream of claiming all lawsuits are legitimate anymore than I would all lawsuits are frivolous. Making the latter claim as you have, however, makes you look patently ridiculous.

I said "largely undeserving".

 

This means two things. First, that there are frivolous lawsuits. Second, that people are suing now when they didn't before, not because they are seriously aggrieved, but because they can and they are encouraged to do so by their friends and family.

 

Whatever "wrongs" are around are grossly exaggerated in order to extract more wealth.

 

"Car accident? Are you hurt?"

"No, a little sore maybe."

"Get a lawyer! Sue the guy that hit you!"

"Now that you mention it, it does hurt - a lot! Maybe I can get $1,000,000.00 like they say on TV."

 

Maybe you don't think this happens, but it does. And lawyers are quick to get their clients NOT to minimise their "suffering".

 

It's a lottery, and it's too easy to play. There are no consequences for losing, so it's a real life version of Pascal's Wager - nothing to lose, everything to gain.

 

You really should ask yourself why there are so many more lawsuits now than there were 50 years ago. This includes nuisance suits that are just small enough that it's easier to pay than fight. Ask and you shall recieve.

 

Amounts awarded are less about the injury than about the available wealth of whomever is being sued.

 

In the end, lawsuits are about money. People don't sue for apologies, to change the system, or to keep others from having the same problem. Not really. They want cash, and as much as they can get.

 

http://www.janegalt.net/archives/005490.php

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I was hoping that you would show me a graph or something Quid. I mean I appreciate that you share you observations and reasoning. But I was also hoping for a link that would show how the have/have-not gap in the U.S. is growing.

 

 

http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-09-29-income-gap-census_N.htm

 

Well that's something. I don't know if there is a graph somewhere in there or not though.

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I was hoping that you would show me a graph or something Quid. I mean I appreciate that you share you observations and reasoning. But I was also hoping for a link that would show how the have/have-not gap in the U.S. is growing.

 

Hi Legion,

Kevin Phillips mentioned this in American Theocracy: The Peril and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century. (Which, BTW, I'd highly recommend.)

 

No graphs, really, but here's an excerpt touching on just one part of the problem that I was able to find quickly:

 

Although any estimate must be subjective, some 30 to 40 percent of the manufacturing workers during the 1960s -- unionized, high-wage men, for the most part -- would have belonged to that era's emerging blue-collar middle class. At the top of the pyramid, some fifty to one hundred thousand or so senior manufacturing executives had compensation enough to put them in that era's top 1 percent income group. Yet in the manufacturing companies of that era, even chief executive officers made only twenty-five to forty times the pay of a median production worker. By contrast, as finance consolidated its hold in the nineties, corporate CEOs made three hundred to five hundred times the pay of a median employee. Glamorous financiers did better still...

 

... By credible calculations, the top 1 percent of Americans in 2000 had as much disposable (after-tax) income as the bottom one hundred million or 35 percent of the population. Thus, talk about the "average American income" is innately misleading. (p. 281-282)

 

A footnote points to p. 103 of his book called Wealth and Democracy, which I haven't read, so I suspect there's a lot more about this subject to be found there.

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