Researchers propose 'whole-system redesign' of US agriculture

May 05, 2011

Transformative changes in markets, policy and science, rather than just incremental changes in farming practices and technology, will be critical if the United States is to achieve long-term sustainability in agriculture, according to a nationwide team of agriculturists that includes a University of California, Davis, animal scientist.

The team's recommendations, first published as a 2010 report by the U.S. National Research Council, appear as a Policy Forum piece in the May 6 issue of the journal Science. Lead author on the paper is John Reganold, Regents Professor of soil science and agroecology at Washington State University, Pullman.

"For decades, the agricultural industry, research community and government, have looked to incremental improvements in agricultural procedures and technologies for achieving advances in productivity," said Deanne Meyer, a Cooperative Extension livestock waste management specialist in the UC Davis Department of Animal Science and a member of the research team.

She noted that such incremental improvements have included adoption of two-year crop rotations, precision technologies, classically bred and genetically engineered crops, and reduced- or no-tillage management systems.

"While all of these have resulted in important improvements, it's become apparent that as modern agriculture also grapples with important issues such as , biodiversity, resource conservation and public health problems, a more transformative approach is needed," she said.

Such an approach would balance production goals with long-term sustainability concerns involving the environmental, social and economic impacts of agriculture. It would focus on a "whole-system redesign" that would address policy and market issues, as well as technological issues, the researchers recommend in their report.

The approach would incorporate innovative agricultural systems such as organic farming, grass-fed and other alternative livestock production systems, mixed crop and livestock systems, and perennial grains. And it would require significant changes in market structures, policy incentives and public funding for agricultural science, according to the report.

The research team suggests that with a new version of the U.S. Farm Bill due in 2012, the time is now ripe to begin reforming U.S. agriculture.

Explore further: Mobile technologies accelerate citizen science

More information: The team's 598-page 2010 National Research Council report, "Toward Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the 21st Century," is available online at: books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=12832&page=R1

Provided by University of California - Davis

3.4 /5 (5 votes)

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freethinking
3 / 5 (10) May 05, 2011
Idiotic. This sounds something like Russia after the revolution, and it will lead to the same results. Starvation.

Incremental changes has let the US to become the breadbasket of the world.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 05, 2011
I assume I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum from freethinking, but I concur with him.

The US agriculture industry is healthy, limber, and adaptable when compared to the rest of the world. To suggest that the industry is not sufficiently prepared for the future and needs to go through revolutionary change is essentially to predict apocolypse level famine for the third world.

History shows us that our agricultural industry has been faster to adapt successfully to new techniques and technologies than the rest of the world. In fact, the only examples of mandated change quicker than our industry does, are abject failures, such as Russia after the revolution, as free pointed out.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) May 05, 2011
I don't think that is what New Zealand did.

Too bad the US govt won't promote free markets instead of central planning and subsidy.

Even Cuba had to resort to 'allowing' their comrades to be able to grow their own food and sell the surplus. What a concept!
Caliban
1 / 5 (2) May 05, 2011
Idiotic. This sounds something like Russia after the revolution, and it will lead to the same results. Starvation.

Incremental changes has let the US to become the breadbasket of the world.


Gotta disagree with you there, Free-
It was primarily the explosive increase in the use of chemical(ie, petro-based) fertilizers and pesticides, along with the increased mechanization of farming that transformed the US into the "World's Breadbasket".

A comprehensive policy that considers all of the impacts of Agriculture is long overdue- if for no other reason than the lack of coherent policy regarding fertilizer/pesticide runoff, and commodities market manipulation, to name only a couple.

ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) May 05, 2011
A comprehensive policy

Comprehensive policies starved the USSR.
Maybe the US should end all crop subsidies, as New Zealnd did, and farmers will decide what is best for them to produce.
Maybe rice production in a California desert would not be economical.
socean
not rated yet May 05, 2011
I read the last section of the document. I wanted to see what specific recommendations were made. They weren't all that radical. Nothing about fully robotic vertical farming ecosystems that automatically deliver food that is individually optimized to help you thrive while thrilling your palate, for example.

Sean_W
3.6 / 5 (5) May 06, 2011
Centralized policy reform to combat global climate change and "balance" productivity goals with responsibility to Gaia blah blah blah.

Just give them the Marxism they want and let the world starve. I'm tired of arguing that humanity should *not* slitting its wrists.
HannesAlfven
2.3 / 5 (3) May 06, 2011
The dirty secret of this "organic transformation" is that -- anybody who has actually performed organic farming knows -- it cannot happen on the same soil where farmers have dumped loads of synthetic fertilizers for years, unless that soil is first remediated.

The fact that cities don't grow their own crops right now is really quite silly. But, it does make sense in a way because the natural sunlight is still so efficient compared to artificial lighting.

The key will be in the development of novel low-cost energy production techniques to power the artificial lighting. Based on what I've been reading, I suspect that the biggest developments in this area will come from -- of all places -- low energy nuclear reactions. We appear to be on the verge of seeing large-scale commercial production. But, of course, much of the public still believes that cold fusion is not real. They are in for quite a surprise, as is conventional science!
that_guy
1 / 5 (1) May 06, 2011
I have no doubts that most of the suggestions in the document are good ones, I have a problem with them saying that the sky is falling RIGHT NOW.

Despite all the other nonsense he says, Rygg is correct about the subsidies - in fact we pay people both to farm and not to farm.

The US adapted to fertilizers and mechanization very quickly, which supports my point. besides, it's not like god placed a new combine on every doorstep - the industry actively innovated.

rygg does not know the definition of comprehensive. He thinks it means communist. The subsidies are a great reason we need a comprehensive policy - so we don't have one hand doing the opposite of the other.

Moral of the story - this document has a lot of good direction to it, but they need to change the tone if they want supporters.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (7) May 06, 2011
rygg does not know the definition of comprehensive. He thinks it means communist.

Of course that is what it means when the state dictates how a farmer can plant, what he can plant, etc.
The only 'comprehensive' plan should be NO central plan. Which means ending subsidies, including set-aside acres (paying farmers NOT to farm).
ryggesogn2
2.5 / 5 (8) May 06, 2011
Socialism:
"And it would require significant changes in market structures, policy incentives and public funding for agricultural science, according to the report."
What a surprise! A govt report supports state control.
Hayek warned how science was corrupted by the socialists in USSR and Germany and it is demonstrated here.
Caliban
2.3 / 5 (6) May 08, 2011
Socialism:
"And it would require significant changes in market structures, policy incentives and public funding for agricultural science, according to the report."
What a surprise! A govt report supports state control.
Hayek warned how science was corrupted by the socialists in USSR and Germany and it is demonstrated here.


No, what is demonstrated here is your typically ideology driven propaganda spew. You can always be relied upon to decry as godless-liberal-socialist-communist any proposal that might mitigate the impact of your Randian Freimarket.

It will be interesting indeed to see what you holler when YOUR community gets buried in the toxic slag of irresponsible, rapacious industry. This could happen in either a literal or figurative fashion, of course -and in fact already has. You're swimmin' in it, you moron.

ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 08, 2011
YOUR community gets buried in the toxic slag of irresponsible, rapacious industry.

This is usually aided and abetted by various government agencies.
But the discussion was about govt central planing of agriculture which has been proven to fail.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 08, 2011
One way govt has already destroyed agriculture is with the inheritance tax. When I was growing up on the farm, there were many small farmers with 300-500 acres. Most had mortgages to pay and many were dairy farmers as milk was subsidized and offered less risk. When a farmer wanted to retire he would sell the farm, maybe to a family member, who had to take out another mortgage. Passing down the farm to a family member was fraught with all sorts of legal and tax issues. As production costs rose, more land was required for family to make a profit. Families started to incorporate, buying or renting smaller farms so now only handful of families now farm in the area. All are large.
If an original owner could have passed on the land to his children without paying taxes, productions costs would fall and more families could afford to earn a living on smaller farms.
Caliban
2.7 / 5 (7) May 08, 2011

But the discussion was about govt central planing of agriculture which has been proven to fail.


No, that's what your ideological lenses shoehorned the discussion into. The article is about Comprehensive reform of Ag policy -meaning across fed, state, county jurisdictions, with full review and science/citizen input, which makes it implicitly de-centralized.

A huge difference. By insisting on forcing every last thing into an ideological showdown, you reveal not only your most basic prejudices, but also your (severe) limitations.

Swenson.

Modernmystic
2.2 / 5 (6) May 11, 2011
The article is about Comprehensive reform of Ag policy -meaning across fed, state, county jurisdictions, with full review and science/citizen input, which makes it implicitly de-centralized.


And which agency will decide the final policy and enforce it? Pray tell how decentralized will that be?

You can't change the ag policy for the entire country and pretend it will somehow be by decentralized methods. To do otherwise is to be intentionally dishonest, ignorant, or plain stupid.

This is a thinly...no VERY thinly veiled attempt to collectivize the industry to one degree or another under the guise of environmentalism...and it's f****** idiotic.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 11, 2011
Caliban is obviously a socialist whether he cares to admit to it or not.
'Democratic Socialism' is still socialism.
FrankHerbert
0.8 / 5 (52) May 11, 2011
Ryggesogn2 is obviously a fascist whether he cares to admit to it or not.

Fascism is the end result of conservatism.
Modernmystic
2 / 5 (8) May 11, 2011
Ryggesogn2 is obviously a fascist whether he cares to admit to it or not.

Fascism is the end result of conservatism.


You're obviously a socialist whether you care to admit it or not.

Either Communism or Fascism is the end result of socialism depending on what direction your brand takes.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 11, 2011
What socialists don't like to hear is that fascism in Germany was facilitated by socialism. Read a contemporary account by Hayek, The Road to Serfdom, 1944.
It doesn't matter how the government is organized, republic, democracy, dictator, etc., what matters is what is does to protect the individual's property rights.
When the state regulates how, what, where, how much a farmer can plant and controls the market prices, that is socialism and sub-optimizes agricultural output.
Which is well documented in Cuba, Zimbabwe, USSR, DPRK, Venezuela, etc.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.9 / 5 (7) May 11, 2011
One way govt has already destroyed agriculture is with the inheritance tax.
If you think the government has destroyed agriculture, why did you seek a government position in agriculture if not to get fat off someone else's labor, Mr Swenson?

I'm not going to shashay into this ideological conversation of economic distribution but I think your utter hypocrisy should be brought to light considering your radical views and complete lack of principle. This isn't an ad hominem if it can be shown to denigrate your character in terms of the argument you bring forth. So we'll curtail that return volley preemtively.

Now go ahead and call me a socialist if you will, I care not what you think, nor have I made comment upon that aspect of the discussion. Let's see jsut how screwy you really are.
Modernmystic
4.4 / 5 (7) May 11, 2011
If you think the government has destroyed agriculture, why did you seek a government position in agriculture if not to get fat off someone else's labor, Mr Swenson?


I'd like to hear that one too :)
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 11, 2011
If you think the government has destroyed agriculture, why did you seek a government position in agriculture if not to get fat off someone else's labor, Mr Swenson?


I'd like to hear that one too :)

Skeptical Heretic should be more skeptical. He has been proven wrong many times.
that_guy
3 / 5 (4) May 11, 2011
I do find it ironic how many anti-government republicans/TPers work in the government (Outside the legislature). If you work for the government, but you believe that government is the problem, well then, you've just fingered yourself as the culprit.

ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 11, 2011
If you work for the government,

Don't we ALL work for the govt today?
The govt tells us all what we can and can't do AND we have to pay for that 'privilege' with taxes.
That is what socialists want is it not? Everyone will work for the govt.
The culprits are those who vote for socialists/democrats who then pay off those voters in govt unions with cushy benefits and salaries.
that_guy
3 / 5 (4) May 11, 2011
We do not all work for the government. That would be an actual socialist government. as you said before, any dissonance would have to be suppressed in a true socialist government, and our country tolerates many types of non-terrorist extremists, such as yourself.

Not all the laws are proper, but most laws are there to help mediate society. They tell you that can't walk down the street and start shooting at me unless there are some pretty extreme circumstances. I agree with that.

the investments in infrastructure that came from our taxes helped make us the richest country in the world...Per person, we're actually 5 or 6 now...but every country where everyone is richer also have slighly higher taxes and universal healthcare. Also, your right to free speech is actually freer in norway, belgium, netherlands...countries that you would definitely consider socialist...
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 11, 2011
What made the US the richest country was the free market, not 'government investment'.

right to free speech is actually freer in norway, belgium, netherlands

You have to prove that.

"If this decision is upheld it will, in effect, mean that Articles 9, freedom of religion, and Article 10, freedom of expression, of the European Convention on Human Rights are only valid if the police in Norway approve of your speech, Thornton continued. Otherwise they can arrest you at any time and stop your speech."
http://gatesofvie...ice.html
Caliban
3 / 5 (4) May 12, 2011
What made the US the richest country was the free market, not 'government investment'.


If by that you mean "what made a tiny proportion of Americans phenomenally wealthy", then you would still be speaking out of your mangyhole, and no surprise there, either.

A "Free Market" is not the same thing as a capitalist market economy lacking in effective regulatory control, moral or ethical consideration, or equitable taxation.

The latter are the bunch of snake oil salesmen that you work for, Swenson.

And yes, regardless of your denial, government investment in roads, bridges, education, technology transfer, extension services, research grants, economic development grants, warfare, aka DEFENSE and space exploration -to name just a few- most certainly lead to the amassing of many fortunes, with the woeful lack of regulation and taxation accounting for most of the rest.

The getting of money is not the Noble endeavor you wish to paint it, you clown.

Skeptic_Heretic
3.4 / 5 (5) May 12, 2011
What made the US the richest country was the free market, not 'government investment'.
No, it was the destruction of European manufacturing and industrial complexes due to WW1 and WW2.

See a pattern in how it works? Our manufacturing and industrial complexes have been destroyed financially, and now China is becomming the super power.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (9) May 12, 2011
What made the US the richest country was the free market, not 'government investment'.
No, it was the destruction of European manufacturing and industrial complexes due to WW1 and WW2.

See a pattern in how it works? Our manufacturing and industrial complexes have been destroyed financially, and now China is becomming the super power.

The US was quite wealthy prior to WWI.
The 'progressive' Teddy created the great white fleet to project US power around the world.

BTW, how many products did Thomas Edison invent using govt funds? Or Tesla?
Modernmystic
3.6 / 5 (5) May 12, 2011
Per person, we're actually 5 or 6 now


You might have a point with Luxembourg or Norway, but Singapore has far lower taxes and do you really want to talk about the richest country (per person) in the world http://en.wikiped...ki/Qatar as a model for how to run a country :-)

Like gun control arguments, per-capita GDP is not as simplistic as who is #1 has the best economic system...

Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
The US was quite wealthy prior to WWI.
The 'progressive' Teddy created the great white fleet to project US power around the world.
More revisionist history. The GWF was to show the rest of the world that the US was actually large enough to field a 'blue sea' or deepwater fleet.
BTW, how many products did Thomas Edison invent using govt funds? Or Tesla?
Again you're showing true ignorance. Both Edison and Tesla spent a great deal of time fully funded by the government during WW1 and 2 (Tesla for a short time as he died in 43). Don't you remember Radar and sonar?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 12, 2011
"The American Government was quite pleased with the way Thomas Edison came to their rescue during the war years that they placed an enormous bronze head honouring Thomas Edison the inventor as the founder of the Naval Research Laboratories was unveiled on the 3rd of December 1952 on the mall at the Anacostia and Maryland, Laboratories! Thomas Edison not only summoned the leading scientists of the land, but he also made himself available to the government, facilities of his laboratory! Much of the consulting board's efforts was focused on the perils of the German submarines!"
"Thomas Edison's inventions and ideas such as devises and methods were given to the Navy for detecting submarines by sound, for perceiving enemy planes, and locating gun positions by range sounding, improved torpedoes, a high speed signalling shutter for searchlights and even underwater searchlights! These along with many other devices and formulas of important magnitude came out of Thomas Edison's laboratory! "
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) May 12, 2011
It looks like the govt depended upon Edison.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (4) May 12, 2011
It looks like the govt depended upon Edison.


It looks like they paid him well, contrary to your revisionist assertion.

Try to use facts when you discuss things. It makes the conversation less hostile.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 12, 2011
It looks like the govt depended upon Edison.


It looks like they paid him well, contrary to your revisionist assertion.

Try to use facts when you discuss things. It makes the conversation less hostile.


Why shouldn't the govt pay Edison for products and services?
You suggest that Edison was dependent upon the govt. You have not demonstrated that.
Tesla was dependent upon Westinghouse and was quite poor at managing his money.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
It looks like the govt depended upon Edison.

It looks like they paid him well, contrary to your revisionist assertion.

Try to use facts when you discuss things. It makes the conversation less hostile.
Why shouldn't the govt pay Edison for products and services?
I wonder if you're doing this intentionally or if you're just senile.
You suggest that Edison was dependent upon the govt. You have not demonstrated that.
Strawman. You said Edison never received funding from the government. You're lying.

Tesla was dependent upon Westinghouse and was quite poor at managing his money.
Westinghouse was dependant on Tesla. Tesla's patents would have bankrupt Westinghouse, and so Tesla, being a humanitarian, tore up his contract with Westinghouse and received a sum of approx 200k rather than the 14.2 million they would have owed him. More revisionist history from the one and only, fantasy spiiner Swenson.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
So is Shelgyr your little bandmate or just another sock account, Mr. Swenson?
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 12, 2011
This is what I said:
"BTW, how many products did Thomas Edison invent using govt funds? Or Tesla?"
You asserted Edison and Tesla were dependent upon US govt funding. Prove it.
Edison and Tesla made their fortunes in the commercial market, not govt subsidy.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
This is what I said:
"BTW, how many products did Thomas Edison invent using govt funds? Or Tesla?"
And I said they both received full funding from the government during ww1 and ww 2.
You asserted Edison and Tesla were dependent upon US govt funding. Prove it.
No I didn't. I said they received full funding from the government during ww1 and ww2, which they did. That does not state, nor imply that they were dependant on it. You need to increase your reading comprehension.
Edison and Tesla made their fortunes in the commercial market, not govt subsidy.
I never said otherwise.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 12, 2011
"ventually it became clear that, if AC and the Westinghouse business were to survive, the remarkable royalty contract between Westinghouse and Tesla would have to be drastically altered.

Westinghouse came to Tesla and described the situation. Tesla replied with these words:

"Mr. Westinghouse, you have been my friend, you believed in me when others had no faith; you were brave enough to go ahead... when others lacked courage; you supported me when even your own engineers lacked vision... you have stood by me as a friend...

"Here is your contract, and here is my contract. I will tear both of them to pieces, and you will no longer have any troubles from my royalties. Is that sufficient?""
http://flyingmoos...esla.htm
I wouldn't call this 'humanitarian'. I would call in honorable and practical on Tesla's part.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
I wouldn't call this 'humanitarian'. I would call in honorable and practical on Tesla's part.
Attempting to provide free electricity for the entire world is quite humanitarian.

Of course, your hero J.P. Morgan, wasn't a fan.

Your other hero, Mr Edison, dedicated a good portion of the rest of his life trying to bury Tesla simply because Tesla showed him up.

If only Edison didn't try to scam Tesla in the first place.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 12, 2011
And what I said was the US was quite wealthy BEFORE WWI because of free market forces that enabled Edison and many others to create wealth.
Skeptic_Heretic
3 / 5 (2) May 12, 2011
And what I said was the US was quite wealthy BEFORE WWI because of free market forces that enabled Edison and many others to create wealth.
And you're wrong. Compared to the rest of the world stage the US was not rich. At best it was middle class with a few rich individuals. Most of those individuals got rich off the destruction of the rest of the US during the civil war. Stop attempting to revise history. It will do you no good here.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
And what I said was the US was quite wealthy BEFORE WWI because of free market forces that enabled Edison and many others to create wealth.


History my friend. Before WWI and WWII, the US was the equivilent of brazil today in the large scheme of things. However, when all the super powers went to war, they paid us to make war machines. We have Britain to thank for financing us into world power status, in addition to the destruction of much of europe.

Of course, any reasonable person would also know that there are plenty of other factors at play - such as our relative abundance of natural resources...such as oil (We were a net exporter until the 60s), free market forces, an educated work force, investment in infrastructure which allowed us to move our products, heavy government involvement with industry...I posit the theory that anyone who refuses to recognize many causes ('liberal' and 'conservative.) is so narrow minded as to render themselves ignorantly stupid.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 12, 2011
"The disturbing trend is that increasingly Americans are being paid by the federal government. More disturbing is the old saw, He who pays the piper calls the tune."
"An all-time record high of 18.3 percent of total personal income in the United States came from a government check from Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, unemployment benefits and other programs in 2010. This is entirely separate from the amount of your taxes paid to employees of the federal government. And dont forget state and local governments."
http://orangepunc...t/44739/
Shelgeyr
4 / 5 (4) May 12, 2011
Skeptic_Heretic took me to task over my ratings on part of his debate with ryggsogn2, and he was kind enough to do so privately. While my opinion on the thrust of this article remains unchanged, regarding the specifics of whether or not Edison and Tesla received public funding for their research, he has convinced me that he is correct - they did.

While knowing nothing about Skeptic_Heretic's political views other than what he's posted, I think it safe to assume that I'm way, way, to the right of him politically, and therefore more naturally in ryggsogn2's camp, unless I've misjudged ryggsogn2.

That said, facts are facts, and since I don't think Skeptic_Heretic mislead me in any way, I'm happy to admit that I miss-ranked both his and ryggsogn2's posts on this topic. I offer my apologies to Skeptic_Heretic for doing so.

Sorry, ryggsogn2, but it happens, and thanks Skeptic_Heretic for making the effort to clarify and IMHO successfully defend your position.

En garde!
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
Yeah, SH is quite gracious about the facts, even if he is communist!

Just kidding.

I'll give you 5 stars for that statement, because we would have a lot less to argue about if everyone got their facts straight first - And SH seems to do a good job of acknowledging reality first regardless of his angle.
freethinking
1 / 5 (7) May 12, 2011
There are a lot of progressives here with SH being one of the biggest. SH and other progressives will agree to anything a progressive government wants, however will oppose those same policies if proposed by a Republican.

But I would like the answer to this question. If government is to be trusted by its population, then why do we have government public service unions? If government workers cant trust the government they run, why should we? (I forgot, public service unions job is to finance and provide election workers for the democratic party at the tax payers expense!)
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 12, 2011
regarding the specifics of whether or not Edison and Tesla received public funding for their research, he has convinced me that he is correct - they did.


Care to share?

Provide details regarding how the federal govt funded Edison's light bulb or Tesla's AC motors/generators, or Edison's many other inventions.
Skeptic_Heretic
4.2 / 5 (5) May 12, 2011
There are a lot of progressives here with SH being one of the biggest.
Far from it. If I didn't know that you use progressive as a slur I wouldn't take offense. Effectively for you "progressive" is akin to calling me "nigger". Grow up you repugnant little troll.
SH and other progressives will agree to anything a progressive government wants, however will oppose those same policies if proposed by a Republican.
Bullshit, I was a big fan of Dole care.
But I would like the answer to this question. If government is to be trusted by its population, then why do we have government public service unions?
Government isn't to be trusted. No one holds that stance. Government is to facilitate the needs of the people, and just as any investor must be watched for malfeasance, government must be watched and taken to task for misgivings. The difference between you and I is, I'm not locking myself in my basement with all of my guns.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (5) May 12, 2011
"While Americans enjoy a standard of living unparalleled in the world, it is not because we work harder than other people. Rather, our prosperity was created by great business heroes of yesteryear. Where would America be without the greed of Eli Whitney (interchangeable parts); John D. Rockefeller (oil refining technology); Thomas Edison (electric lights, phonograph, and motion pictures); Alexander Graham Bell (telephone); Henry Ford (assembly line-automobiles)?

Look at the life of Henry Ford, this centurys premier entrepreneurial capitalist. Within a few years, Fords organizational genius lowered the price of cars by a factor of 15, while tripling labor productivity and wages at the same time. Along the way, he became the richest man in the world. "
http://www.acton....terprise
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 12, 2011
@freethinking
I'd like to point out that many of us are not as 'progressive' politically as you think, and merely exercise our right to free thinking, and the human privilege of reason.

You'll notice that people like SH or I will routinely take each other to task if we think someone got something wrong, but don't end up in big arguments, because we have the power of google and know how to research and think for ourselves.

So when SH says to me, you're wrong and here's why - I do the research, double check what I said, and clarify, accede, rebut, or agree to disagree. There's no big argument, because the rest of us refuse to dig in against the facts.

There are well thought, logical, conservative positions - but the one liner positions rygg and you use obviously have no need for reality.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 12, 2011
Government is to facilitate the needs of the people,

Who decides what the needs of the people are? The people?
If the people decide they need to take your property or everyone's property, that is 'good' govt by SH's 'standards'.
Of course in the long run, that socialism has been proven NOT to meet the needs of the people. What has been proven to meet the needs of the people is a govt that is limited to protecting everyone's property rights freeing the people to voluntarily associate and meet their needs as they decide for themselves.
that_guy
3.4 / 5 (5) May 12, 2011
and unlike rygg, who will pick a line or two of my argument and try to take it on without addressing my actual point, I will support anything that is true - I will even agree with broken clock rygg on rare occassion because I'm not blinded by some rabid ideology that the best government looks exactly like it did during the days of slavery and indentured servitude.
freethinking
1.7 / 5 (6) May 13, 2011
The US is constitutionally designed to be a Democratic Republic with limited Government. It was never designed to run agriculture, education, health care, welfare, etc. It was never designed to pick winners and losers, to redistribute wealth. Unfortunately today if you are big busness or a special interest group and you support the pres, and the pres likes like you ie. GE. you get tax breaks others don't, you get special treatment.

SH you are a progressive, you talk like one and act like one, you threaten people, you cry racist, you demean groups of people.

The difference between a liberal and a progressive? Generally Liberals are honest, open to fair debate, not filled with hate, non-threatening, etc. Progressives are the opposite. I may disagree with liberals, but I respect them. That Guy if you are a liberal, great. Unfortuantely SH and too many others on this board are progressive. Careful, if SH doesnt like what you say, he will threaten to track you down to expose you.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2011
The US is constitutionally designed to be a Democratic Republic with limited Government.
No it wasn't. It was originally designed to be a Representative Republic, there is a huge difference.
SH you are a progressive, you talk like one and act like one, you threaten people, you cry racist, you demean groups of people.
Are you saying I'm a progressive, or that I'm a conservative? You fit the very mold you're casting above. Example:
you demean groups of people.

Generally Liberals are honest, open to fair debate, not filled with hate, non-threatening, etc. Progressives are the opposite.

Another gem from you
SH, you make me laugh. Progressives have no humor.

How can you tell a progressive from a conservative? Tell them someone needs help. The conservative will ask how they can help, the progressive will yell, tax the rich, tax the rich.
Go take a nap.
that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2011
I'd like to point out that the constitution was explicity written in a way to allow the govt to be flexible in order to respond to the needs and best interests of its people.

You are correct that it was not designed to run agriculture, education, health care, welfare, etc - because it was 1787. At that point of time, all those concepts were either impractical or unknown.

I don't fault the founding fathers for not being clairvoyant, but i do applaud them for having the forsight to make the constitution in a way to allow the country to be flexible.

Depending on who you ask, I am liberal, progressive, centrist, or none of the above. I'm an individual and i think our diocratic two party hegemony is a load of crap. I make my own views and don't let it get fed to me. That's why I'm so hard to classify.

According to my interaction with SH, he is liberal to your definition and has been more than willing to explain or update his positions based on fact.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (2) May 13, 2011
According to my interaction with SH, he is liberal to your definition and has been more than willing to explain or update his positions based on fact.
Here's a prime example of this for yout Freethinking.

I had taken a hardline stance on elective abortion past the 24th week of pregnancy due to the fact that at 24 weeks a child can be born fully viable. Now a team in Germany defeated that proposition and delivered a baby at a stunning 20 weeks. I have since revised my stance down to 20 weeks.

Can you say that you do the same?
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 13, 2011
I'd like to point out that the constitution was explicity written in a way to allow the govt to be flexible in order to respond to the needs and best interests of its people.

It is called and amendment process. It has been accomplished 17 times since the Bill of Rights.
What amendment authorizes SH's Regulatory Socialist State?

Careful, if SH doesnt like what you say, he will threaten to track you down to expose you.

This is a tactic practiced by the Clintons and the current regime, personally attack those who disagree. Don't debate the merits of their socialist policies, attack them as racists, bigots, etc.
That occurs frequently on this site.
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (6) May 13, 2011
According to my interaction with SH, he is liberal to your definition and has been more than willing to explain or update his positions based on fact.
Here's a prime example of this for yout Freethinking.

I had taken a hardline stance on elective abortion past the 24th week of pregnancy due to the fact that at 24 weeks a child can be born fully viable. Now a team in Germany defeated that proposition and delivered a baby at a stunning 20 weeks. I have since revised my stance down to 20 weeks.

Can you say that you do the same?

Abortion is still murder.
You want to compromise on murder?
BTW, the socialists NEVER compromise. They continue to demand more govt control.
that_guy
3 / 5 (4) May 13, 2011
Well guys, this conversation has just gone past my level of ridiculous tolerance.

My parting shot - Rygg, you accuse clintons of attacking people as racists, bigots, etc, yet you attack everything you don't like as socialist while ignoring the merits and drawbacks of any idea, or even whether something you do not like is in fact socialist.

At best, you're a kettle, at worst, you're the pot.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
What are the merits of socialism?
It fails to do what it claims every time it is attempted.
Didn't Einstein call this a form of insanity?

that_guy
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2011
...and your comment doesn't make your accusations of socialism on non-socialist things any more valid. you tried to duck that one pretty hard, huh?
ryggesogn2
1 / 5 (6) May 13, 2011
...and your comment doesn't make your accusations of socialism on non-socialist things any more valid. you tried to duck that one pretty hard, huh?

What are 'non-socialist' things?
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
"Big Government has learned that Clintonistas are plotting a push/pull strategy. They plan to identify 7-8 national figures active in the tea party movement and engage in deep opposition research on them. If possible, they will identify one or two they can perhaps turn, either with money or threats, to create a mole in the movement. The others will be subjected to a full-on smear campaign. (Has MSNBC already been notified?)"
"the tea party movement poses a threat far beyond the immediate goals of the Obama Administration.

The tea party movement could evolve into a new political realignment, one founded on a belief in limited government and less government interference in the economy. The Progressive agenda, which has been painstakingly built up over the last three decades, could be left in tatters."
http://biggovernm...rattack/
SH attacks tea parties and wonders why I think he is a 'progressive'.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
"The order would force contractors to reveal any political donations as a condition for being allowed to bid on a contract to work for the federal government. And the order doesn't only require the company to disclose donations but would also force the directors or company officers to reveal their personal donations as well. Naturally, this same requirement is not forced on unions.

Read more: http://www.chicag...MHIrd731
"
I guess General Electric or GM won't have to worry.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
"SOROS GROUP PLOTS GUERILLA WAR, SABOTAGE ON FOXNEWS"
"Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Foxs top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to press advertisers to avoid Glenn Becks show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes."
http://investment...foxnews/
When the 'progressives' can't persuade they intimidate. Which should be expected as persuasion is the basis of free markets and socialism is based upon coercion.
Skeptic_Heretic
3.7 / 5 (3) May 13, 2011
What amendment authorizes SH's Regulatory Socialist State?

No amendment, however the statement of the government acting for the general welfare of the people is fairly distinct in it's meaning.
SH attacks tea parties and wonders why I think he is a 'progressive'.
No. When you're at the north pole, every direction is south.

To you, Fred Phelps looks progressive.
ryggesogn2
1.6 / 5 (7) May 13, 2011
he statement of the government acting for the general welfare of the people is fairly distinct in it's meaning.

How does the socialist welfare state promote 'general welfare' when it bankrupts the country?

Now SH lies about attacking tea parties?
freethinking
1 / 5 (4) May 16, 2011
SH lying? Dont say that! Progressives arn't know for lying!