Obama: Our 22nd greatest president?

Aug 24, 2011

As if President Barack Obama doesn't already have enough to worry about, a statistical analysis of presidential ranking surveys suggests that he is likely to be viewed as an "average" president by expert evaluators if he serves only one term, according to a Baylor University researcher.

Under these conditions, Obama is predicted to land at the 22nd overall spot on the ranking list — between William McKinley and George H.W. Bush. This would dash the President's self-professed hope of being viewed as "a really good one-term president" if he loses in November 2012, according to conclusions based upon research by Curt Nichols, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at Baylor University in Waco.

Nichols will present his research on Sept. 4 at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association in Seattle.

On the flip side, if Obama is re-elected and seen as the transformational president he seeks to be, he is likely to be viewed as a "Near Great" president and land at the fourth overall spot on the ranking list — one place below George Washington and one above Thomas Jefferson, Nichols said.

Nichols' research, using a statistical method known as regression analysis, evaluates presidential ranking polls conducted by The Wall Street Journal, C-SPAN and the Siena Research Institute. He found that eight factors are consistently used by experts to give presidents their rating scores.

The rating scores of presidents increase:

  • With the number of years they serve
  • When they are recognized as wartime leaders
  • When they successfully transform the political landscape
  • When they are a member of the founding fathers
  • When they are considered a progressive in "pursuit of equal justice for all"
  • When they are assassinated progressives, such as Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy
The rating scores of presidents decrease:
  • When the president is impeached, resigns or has an administration noted for major scandal
  • When they either push the nation into political crisis or fail to lift the country out of one
"Even as one-term president, Obama would be expected to receive credits for serving four years and being both a wartime and a progressive," Nichols said. "However, he most likely would be penalized for failing to lift the nation out of crisis."

Research reveals that expert evaluators do not make distinctions between presidents who cause crises, like George W. Bush, and those who fail to lift the nation out of them, like Jimmy Carter.

Nichols cautioned that the analysis only reveals the factors experts use in their evaluations. It does not suggest that these are the criteria that should be used.

Explore further: Enhanced communication key to successful teamwork in dynamic environments

Provided by Baylor University

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Gustav
3.2 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2011
Yes, Obama's not doing well. His lack of executive experience is showing. A successful tenure as a state governor should be a necessary condition for future presidential candidates. Alas, Baylor University in Waco is not exactly Harvard, so I wouldn't worry about this particular rating if I was Obama. He's going to be rated soon enough by the electorate. Far more important.
freethinking
2.2 / 5 (21) Aug 24, 2011
Progressives gave Obama a Nobel Prize even before he screwed up a thing and now Obama is making Jimmy Carter look good. But wait, dont progressives think Jimmy Carter was a great president.

Bush Jr. will go up in ranking once the Progressive Propaganda of so called news organizations fall to the way side and once the progressive teachers are taught history.

Obama will be know in the history books as the President who blamed George Bush for everything, whose signature phrase was its not my fault.
sstritt
2.5 / 5 (13) Aug 24, 2011
Back to the Future IV: starring Jimmybama!
freethinking
2.1 / 5 (19) Aug 24, 2011
Media bias, why isn't the media reporting Obama's poll numbers? When Bush's numbers were down, they were trumpeting them.
If Bush was still president, todays headline would be.
Bush costing us billions in useless war with Libya.
Bush fumbles housing crisis again
Bush to blame for continuing economic crisis.
When will Bush stop playing golf.
US Burns while Bush vacations.
Bush doing nothing for unemployed.
Why won't Bush release his school grades?
Bush buddies are terrorists.
Bush in bed with unions.
Bush bails out buddies again.

Just checked MSNBC, 1 story positive for Obama, 1 story negative for Republicans. MSM biased? Dont say it's so.
Gammakozy
2.3 / 5 (16) Aug 24, 2011
Talk about blatant bias. This is just another, pathetic left wing ploy to minimize Obama's incompetence and total lack of accomplishments. Any measuring stick that awards points merely for being "progressive", meaning liberal, and more points for being "assassinated" but only if you are "progressive" is junk partisan science and cannot be taken seriously. Let's see which criteria Obama got points for. No doubt his mesmerized followers give him full marks for pursuing "equal justice for all". Tell that to those on his extensive, and growing, domestic enemy list.
3432682
2.3 / 5 (18) Aug 24, 2011
Only one Democrat president has been re-elected since Roosevelt in 1944. That was Clinton, who benefitted from Gingrich and the Republicans taking over Congress, reforming welfare, bringing the budget to near balance, and cutting the federal government down to 18% of GDP. Obama is as bad as Jimmy Carter.
icuvd
2.4 / 5 (14) Aug 24, 2011
Obama is as bad as Jimmy Carter.

That's being generous. At least Jimmy left office with the U.S. still rated AAA. Besides, O's not done yet.
CHollman82
3.6 / 5 (14) Aug 24, 2011
The rating scores of presidents increase:

With the number of years they serve
When they are recognized as wartime leaders
When they successfully transform the political landscape
When they are a member of the founding fathers
When they are considered a progressive in "pursuit of equal justice for all"
When they are assassinated progressives

Is this a joke?
CHollman82
3.6 / 5 (14) Aug 24, 2011
Seriously, is this a joke?

If I was a teacher and a highschool student presented this as a science fair project I would give them a "D" if the graphics and charts looked decent.
Guy_Underbridge
3 / 5 (6) Aug 24, 2011
Once again, your Acute Insight into Progressive Agenda (and the Cultural Downfall it will Most Surely Bring upon Us!) has brought forth Evidence Most Foul of the Socialist Hotbed that Do Plague our Universities, as shown in this Thinly Disguised Left-Wing Propaganda, Dubiously Labeled as Research!

It is our Great Luck that Your Vehement Retorts in the Far Corners of Modestly Noticed Blogs will Most Surely bring their Dire Plans to an Assured and Languishing End.
Pete1983
4.8 / 5 (9) Aug 25, 2011
Haha, I love listening to you Americans discuss your politics. To sum up, what the rest of the world sees is:

Democrats:
"Obama is SUPER JESUS! (not that we believe in a jesus)"

Republicans:
"Obama is NOT jesus, and I hate you for insulting my religion. Please die quietly in a corner."

Not that there is anything wrong with the above! Nearly all polictics is inordinately stupid. Hell, I'm in Australia where we haven't seen any intelligence in our government for decades (probably ever actually). Our last election was a giant argument over a boat, and whether or not it was sinking... I think they wanted to shoot it or something... Ah politics.
Magnette
4.8 / 5 (8) Aug 25, 2011
Two thoughts...that's all I can usually manage before coffee.

There has never been a President/Prime Minister that has been universally loved. There will always be detractors from the opposition which, after all, is the point of democracy isn't it? Picking an arbitry scale for measuring their term success is completely random and pointless as there is no comparison.

Secondly, why is this piece on here, I thought it was a science website not a US political forum?
freethinking
2.1 / 5 (16) Aug 25, 2011
Magnette, I agree with you. The reason it is on here is that science has been corrupted by progressives. Instead of using science to uncover truths, they manipulate it to promote their agenda.
COCO
1.7 / 5 (10) Aug 25, 2011
this puppet remains a clown outside of Amerika - he has increased military interventions - given the banks more money than even they know what to do with - If Ron Paul is not elected it will not matter what neocon slave you elect you will go down like a ten dollar hooker.
Javinator
4.7 / 5 (6) Aug 25, 2011
Magnette, I agree with you. The reason it is on here is that science has been corrupted by progressives. Instead of using science to uncover truths, they manipulate it to promote their agenda.


Your blanket statements are frustrating.

Do you truly believe that all science that's been done by those you label progressives (anyone left of you) has been corrupted and manipulated to promote a progressive agenda?

That being said I wouldn't consider this study to be useful for anything more than forming a hypothesis. It's an analysis that ranks presidents in order based on surveys and polls. These presidents are then given characteristics determined by "experts" and these characteristics are trended. Very open to bias.

Statements like,

if Obama is re-elected and seen as the transformational president he seeks to be, he is likely to be viewed as a "Near Great" president and land at the fourth overall spot"


are propaganda and, to me, shows bias in the researcher(s).
emsquared
4.1 / 5 (9) Aug 25, 2011
why is this piece on here, I thought it was a science website not a US political forum?

They added some numbers together then divided them! If that's not science, I don't know what is!
Haha, I love listening to you Americans discuss your politics. To sum up, what the rest of the world sees is:

Democrats:
"Obama is SUPER JESUS! (not that we believe in a jesus)"

Republicans:
"Obama is NOT jesus, and I hate you for insulting my religion. Please die quietly in a corner."

Then they are clearly missing something because it's more like...

Democrats:
"Obama you need to be more liberal!!"

Republicans:
"Here's enough rope to hang yourself with (sorry, the Nation's neck is in there too)."
jonnyboy
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 28, 2011
this puppet remains a clown outside of Amerika - he has increased military interventions - given the banks more money than even they know what to do with - If Ron Paul is not elected it will not matter what neocon slave you elect you will go down like a ten dollar hooker.


He is a clown inside of America too.. And don't any of you liberals go crazy and try to raise his ratings by assassinating him while in office.

Pete1983
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 29, 2011
this puppet remains a clown outside of Amerika - he has increased military interventions - given the banks more money than even they know what to do with - If Ron Paul is not elected it will not matter what neocon slave you elect you will go down like a ten dollar hooker.


He is a clown inside of America too.. And don't any of you liberals go crazy and try to raise his ratings by assassinating him while in office.


Actually all of us outside the USA are kind of surprised that didn't happen. I guess racism is only skin deep...
freethinking
1.8 / 5 (15) Aug 29, 2011
I know of no conservative either personally or on this (or any other board I'm on) that wishes ANY harm to come to Obama or any president. Many of us even pray for his safety and health. Can anyone name one prominent conservative or tea partier that stated they wanted harm to come to Obama?

That said, I know of a lot of progressives that openly wished harm on conservatives, and who who wished death on Bush.
Javinator
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 29, 2011
Anecdotal evidence for the win.
Javinator
3 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2011
Can anyone name one prominent conservative or tea partier that stated they wanted harm to come to Obama?


Threatening the president is a federal offense. Probably going to have a tough time finding proof of a prominent conservative or tea partier saying they wanted harm to come to Obama that hasn't already been put in jail.

That said, I know a lot who have.
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (13) Aug 30, 2011
Jav, The more conservative one is, the less likely they are to use hate speech, the more progressive one is, the more likely they are to use hate speech and more likely they are to accuse conservatives of hate speech.

Hey Jav, progressives wouldn't make a movie about killing Bush would they, oh I fogot, they did.

Progressive hate speech examples
http://michellema...00-2010/

How about death threats against bush?
http://www.freere...15/posts

Jav, can you find any prominent conservative or tea partier wishing to harm Obama or his children?

http://www.uncove...he-left/
Javinator
4 / 5 (8) Aug 30, 2011
"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campusliving fossilsso we will never forget what these people stood for" - Rush Limbaugh
Javinator
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 30, 2011
There are quite a few other examples linked here:

http://newspaperr...ech.html

I fully agree that there are people on the left who are full of hate and it's unfortunate. I'm not a fan of anyone who's full of hate.

Where I get a little miffed is when you state that it is only the left that is engaging in hate speech. There is plenty of hate speech from both sides out there.

I'm not getting into the debate of "which side hates more" since I'm on the left with my biased media and you're on the right with your biased media and the internet's big enough and there are enough haters from both sides that we'd be posting forever.

All I'm saying is that you need to recognize the hate from both sides instead of pretending those on the left are the only ones with a problem.

The hate is everywhere.
freethinking
1.5 / 5 (11) Aug 30, 2011
LOL your link proves the point in regards to progressives. The link is full of lies and quotes taken way out of context. You need to find better material. How about showing some signs at tea party rallies! Surely there must be some there that are vile.

How about this, would you agree that any theats or wishes of harm or death to any elected official esp. the president is inpropriate. This includes but not limited to, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Sarah Palin, michele bachmann, and any Joking about raping, shooting, hanging, candidates or their children is inappropriate and vile.

BTW tageting a district to get elected or get someone not elected or calling someone Hitler (though distasteful), or joking about their IQ, etc, is political speech.

While I agree with you that hate is everywhere and needs to be stopped, it is progressives who excuse their hate. Take a look at this board, who use hateful speech?
Javinator
4.3 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2011
BTW tageting a district to get elected or get someone not elected or calling someone Hitler (though distasteful), or joking about their IQ, etc, is political speech.


No, it isn't. Political speech is discussing policy and debating budgets. Character and personal attacks are NOT political speech, regardless of what side they come from.

Comparing someone to Hitler is ALWAYS used as a way of attempting to compare that person to a genocidal maniac, whether you falsely use other similarities to introduce the comparison or not. That's MORE than distasteful as it is purposely dishonest in the intentions of the comparison.

It incites hatred as people that actually believe this feel justified in their hated of the compared person because, well look how bad Hitler was!

How about this...[threats to politicians and families]... is inappropriate and vile


I agree. I would say threats of that sort are inappropriate and vile regardless of who they're against, not just politicians
Javinator
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2011
http://www.chican..._000.pdf

There was an interesting pilot study done by some students at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center regarding hate speech in the media (this study specifically used radio).

In 1993, the National Telecommunications and Information Association performed a study on hate speech and essentially broke it into two forms:
1)Speech that directly advocates violence and/or hate
2)Speech that creates a climate of hate or prejudice.

The UCLA study further tried to define the characteristics that create a climate of hate and prejudice and concluded four types of speech that foster a climate of hate:

1)False facts
2)Flawed argumentation
3)Divisive language
4)Dehumanizing metaphors

These foster a climate of hate as they attempt to turn people against a person or group by intentionally lying to them. THIS type of debate/characterization is what really gets to me and is apparently acceptable as political speech by your above post
Javinator
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2011
While I agree with you that hate is everywhere and needs to be stopped, it is progressives who excuse their hate. Take a look at this board, who use hateful speech?


It is NOT "the progressives" who excuse their hate. I am a progressive (by your definition) and I do not excuse crap like "kill Bush" posters and neither do many others. Are there some who feel this way? Of course. Like I said, there are haters on both sides.

That kind of flawed argumentation (ie. gross association) is exactly what I'm talking about in my above post.
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 30, 2011
1)False facts
2)Flawed argumentation
3)Divisive language
4)Dehumanizing metaphors

Sounds like socialists or Al Gore and his disciples, but I am being redundant.
Pete1983
4 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2011
1)False facts
2)Flawed argumentation
3)Divisive language
4)Dehumanizing metaphors

Sounds like socialists or Al Gore and his disciples, but I am being redundant.


Does anyone know why Americans hate socialism so much? I mean, beyond the whole "commie threat" thing from the cold war? Or is it still just a cold-war hangover, coupled with the association that "free market capitalism" and "freedom" as one and the same?
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (12) Aug 30, 2011

Does anyone know why Americans hate socialism so much?

Most Americans (used to) respect and defend the inherent right of every individual to life, liberty and property.
Socialists cannot as they must support state confiscation of private property to survive.

So Pete, why do socialists either like to control others or want someone to take care of them?
Pete1983
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 30, 2011

Does anyone know why Americans hate socialism so much?

Most Americans (used to) respect and defend the inherent right of every individual to life, liberty and property.
Socialists cannot as they must support state confiscation of private property to survive.

So Pete, why do socialists either like to control others or want someone to take care of them?


But aren't you taking it to extremes there? There are countries in the world that I'm sure you would call "socialist", but that doesn't mean that they are trying to steal your car or something.

Also I don't think the aim of socialists is to either control others or be taken care of, even you would agree that is kind of silly. Are you sure you don't mean, instead of say "taken care of", "wish to take care of others"?
ryggesogn2
1.7 / 5 (12) Aug 30, 2011
What socialism has wrought:
"The continents economic woes boil down, really, to two issues: too much debt and too little growth.

Read more http://www.newyor...WZLet79f
"
Why do Europeans love socialism Pete?
Pete1983
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 30, 2011
Why do Europeans love socialism Pete?

I would imagine because they want a better world for all their citizens, as opposed to just the rich.

I see your link there, but of course it fails on the relative scale of economic power/effeciency, because if you want maximum production, then capitalism is great as it gives you a bunch of wage slaves to work with. Socialism doesn't push as strongly in that direction.

Anyway, I'm not arguing in favour of socialism, or against capitalism, what I'm trying to determine is the reasoning behind the knee-jerk reaction one sees from Americans in relation to anything other than free-market capitalism. In this case I think you have given me sufficient information to answer my question, so thank you.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (14) Aug 30, 2011
I would imagine because they want a better world for all their citizens, as opposed to just the rich.

How do socialists define a 'better world'?

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries."
Anyway, I'm not arguing in favour of socialism, or against capitalism,

Yes, you are making a very weak attempt in the face of overwhelming evidence against socialism.

a bunch of wage slaves to work with. Socialism doesn't push as strongly in that direction.

Yes, it does. Laws and regulations that punish success, which socialism does, results in wage 'slaves' as they have no upward mobility or motivation to earn more.

So Pete, why don't you want to promote the liberty and prospertiy of every individual? Won't that create a better world?
ryggesogn2
1.9 / 5 (13) Aug 30, 2011
"Government intervention may look good to the media but its actual track record -- both today and in the 1930s -- is far worse than the track record of letting the economy recover on its own.

Americans today are alarmed that unemployment has stayed around 9 percent for so long. But such unemployment rates have been common for years in Western European welfare states that have followed policies similar to policies being followed currently by the Obama administration.

Those European welfare states have not only used the taxpayers' money to hand out "free" benefits to particular groups, they have mandated that employers do the same. Faced with higher labor costs, employers have hired less labor."
http://www.realcl...126.html
This creates a 'better' world?
Why the knee jerk reaction? I don't want the USA to follow the bankrupt European socialism.
Shelgeyr
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 30, 2011
Does anyone know why Americans hate socialism so much?

Make that "some, but not enough Americans..." and the answer is yes, some of us know why.

...coupled with the association that "free market capitalism" and "freedom" as one and the same?


They're not one in the same, but they're certainly intertwined and symbiotic. You can't have one (for long) without the other. Right now, depending on how you measure either "free" or "freedom" the argument can be made that we have neither. Certainly not in full measure.

A lot of the hatred of socialism lies in our desire to gain/regain lost freedoms, and enjoy the benefits of free market capitalism. The rest of the hatred stems from most socialists coming across as self-righteous, elitist, arrogant, bag-o'-hammers-stupid, lying snobs. But not all of them... some are just deceived.

Plus, on balance, we're ornery and don't like people telling us what we can and can not do, even if we're the jerks who elected them.
Pete1983
4 / 5 (8) Aug 30, 2011
ryggesogn2 -
Why the knee jerk reaction? I don't want the USA to follow the bankrupt European socialism.

Except the fact that the USA is pretty close to declaring bankruptcy...

Shelgeyr -
They're not one in the same

I agree, they are not, however the 2 terms often seem to be used interchangably these days.

Also:

Americans today are alarmed that unemployment has stayed around 9 percent for so long.

Technogical unemployment is a problem that cannot be solved through capitalism. I imagine we'll see a shift to socialism, or let the poor die (which is already happening of course, the poverty in the USA is staggering.)
Pete1983
4.4 / 5 (7) Aug 30, 2011
So Pete, why don't you want to promote the liberty and prospertiy of every individual? Won't that create a better world?

Absolutely, however capitalism, and it's driving force - competition, do not promote these things terribly well. I'll admit that it could be worse, but it could be a lot better than this rampant (and now international) competition. It's like we're in that star trek episode where they wage war via computer. We're doing the same thing, we're just not as accutely aware of it.
Shelgeyr
1.4 / 5 (11) Aug 30, 2011
Quoting from old memory (meaning while I may not get it word for word, I think I can be true to the spirit), when comparing Americans to the Japanese, Dave Barry once wrote:
"It would be easier to get the entire population of Japan to wear matching outfits than it would be to get any five randomly chosen Americans to agree on pizza toppings."


By and large (and with too many exceptions IMHO, thanks to the public school system, but that's another topic), we're individuals. Thus, "statist" policies and solutions will always be met with full-throated opposition, even from people who otherwise would not agree on much.

Your statement on poverty in the USA is one of those "get your opponents on the horns of a dilemma" sort of things. Yes, we have poverty - bitter, grinding poverty. And yet, at the same time, from a global perspective, we have the richest poor in the world.
Pete1983
3.8 / 5 (4) Aug 30, 2011
@Shelgeyr - So potentially rampant individualism is the problem? Hell, it actually could be, it's certainly been suggested before...

Sorry, I know you're not saying the above at all, but the thought does occur.

I'm still convinced George Carlin had it right, and as a global society we're just CTD - circling the drain. I am 100% convinced that we'll stick with capitalism, making this whole discussion a moot point (in a way), as we're on the capitalist track and it is impossible to change to another track (possibly due to individualism). From this, I'm convinced we're going to kill ourselves (or at least a very large chunk of the population), as things spiral more and more out of control. Capitalism will be the death of most of us.
Shelgeyr
1.1 / 5 (7) Aug 30, 2011
Regarding the liberty/prosperity of everyone, Pete1983 wrote:
Absolutely, however capitalism, and it's driving force - competition, do not promote these things terribly well.


Yes they certainly do! Better than any other method (if you reply "that's not saying much", I might have to agree).

There is a mindset, which I hope you don't share regardless of your personal politics, that leads people to do all they can, by "any means necessary" to defeat "X" (which in this case is "Capitalism", but the can be any target), and once having defeated "X", condemn "X" for having been a failure on its own all along, as if it collapsed under its own weight. As if they had nothing to do with their own sad victory.

If Capitalism ever truly dies in this country - which I doubt - it won't be due to the failure of Capitalism itself, but that of ill-schooled Capitalists who willfully and stupidly allowed their hands to be tied (while, yes, selling the rope used for their own nooses).
Shelgeyr
1.5 / 5 (8) Aug 30, 2011
Capitalism will be the death of most of us.


No it won't. "Death" will be the death of most of us.

But seriously, historically speaking, it is governments (totalitarian or otherwise, but since I'm not knee-jerk anti-government per se, I'll focus on the bountiful numbers totalitarian governments have provided) that have slaughtered both their own and foreign citizenry since tribes first started claiming territory.

Capitalists have to bargain. They have to deal. They have competition (or we're not really talking about "Capitalism", since you can leave out of this particular equation those groups merely masquerading as being capitalist). Customers can walk away.

No company, no industry - even if you count Big Tobacco, which I don't - has racked up anywhere NEAR the body count that totalitarian governments have.

So Capitalism isn't going to kill us all. Instead, it will both "be", and "finance" our final defense if the day ever comes when we need one.
Pete1983
3.2 / 5 (5) Aug 30, 2011
RE: Liberty/Prosperity - Capitalism only promotes these things for those who succeed within the framework of capitalism itself!

Look, capitalism works great for me, run my own business, can work when I want, how I want, etc etc. It's going well for me personally. Yet for every dollar I earn, I find myself wanting to just throw it away, for all the misery these goddamn things have caused.

To put it from the individual perspective, capitalism is just an excuse for why you're better off than those around you, and if you live in a western society and make any kind of living, you're unfairly taking money from the poor to give yourself more luxuries. Every dollar I own I've stolen from a poor african kid who is dying of malnutrition, or I've stolen it from an asian kid making sneakers.

I honestly don't know how people can live with themselves when you have this knowledge... The worst thing I ever did was study economic theory, because it taught me to understand that this is true.
Pete1983
3.5 / 5 (6) Aug 30, 2011
No company, no industry - even if you count Big Tobacco, which I don't - has racked up anywhere NEAR the body count that totalitarian governments have.

Perhaps, although if you look at it from the perspective of each "company" representing a "state" within the corporate governence... then it might be a closer race.
Shelgeyr
2.2 / 5 (10) Aug 31, 2011
Part One:

if you live in a western society and make any kind of living, you're unfairly taking money from the poor to give yourself more luxuries. Every dollar I own I've stolen from a poor african kid who is dying of malnutrition, or I've stolen it from an asian kid making sneakers.


The expletive I would prefer to use in response would probably get me banned from the site, so let's just say that I disagree.

Let me instead respond this way:

I don't know you, but judging strictly on the basis of your posts you strike me as having a good and loving heart, and you're troubled by the injustices and "imbalances" you perceive in the world.

Good for you, and I'm not being sarcastic.

BUT, you've also bought the lie (from your economic theory class, I take it) that making a wage or a profit is the same thing as "unfairly taking money from the poor". Even if you don't believe in a "Hell", that qualifies as a "lie straight from Hell".

To be continued...
Pete1983
5 / 5 (1) Aug 31, 2011
The expletive I would prefer to use in response would probably get me banned from the site, so let's just say that I disagree.


I tend to go with "poppycock" myself.

I don't know you, but judging strictly on the basis of your posts you strike me as having a good and loving heart, and you're troubled by the injustices and "imbalances" you perceive in the world.


You've actually hit the nail on the head there. It's been suggested to me that it's a "servere case of disillusionment" - which I find a fun way to describe it... as if I need to distort reality and take on the standardised "illusion" again...

I'll respond properly when your next post comes through...
Shelgeyr
2.5 / 5 (11) Aug 31, 2011
Part Two:

I'm truly sorry you're bearing guilt you don't deserve. Seriously. I don't know you and yet I'm sincerely sorry you feel this way because you don't deserve it.

You DON'T deserve to feel this way, and taking another angle on the situation I could say you have no right to feel this way either. Pity the poor, and help them. But don't mistake deep feelings of pity for guilt. "I have to DO SOMETHING" is NOT the same as "This is MY FAULT".

We (capitalistic societies, not simply America) are the economic engines of the world. Without us, that kid dying of malnutrition would be long dead, or have never existed because their parents or grandparents died off.

Could you do more? Maybe - maybe not. I obviously don't know your finances or situation. Be as generous and as charitable as your heart demands. Those are good things. But those desires and goals are NOT DEBTS.
Shelgeyr
2 / 5 (9) Aug 31, 2011
Part Three:

Dont let yourself fall into the trap of arrogance that says "It is my (or our) job to alleviate the suffering of the world". Sure, do what you can - don't misunderstand me - but out of joyful generosity and a desire to help others, not to assuage some nameless tearing guilt for crimes you've not actually committed!

If you do honest work, and protect and provide for yourself and for those for whom you actually do bear responsibility, you will have the privilege of being able to voluntarily help the less fortunate. And you will MISS OUT, you will needlessly deny yourself that enriching experience, if you take the position that you are to blame for some stranger's misfortune.

I don't know if it would help for me to drag religion into this, but I'm going to do so anyways, if only to make a point. If I remember correctly, and I can't cite a verse off the top of my head so please cut me some slack, Christians (again, I don't know where you are on this) are commanded to...
Pete1983
3.8 / 5 (5) Aug 31, 2011
@Shelgeyr - I agree to a point. I think perhaps I'm taking on guilt that I think other people SHOULD be feeling and thus take on more than my fair share... but that is somewhat beside the point. Perhaps I went a bit overboard on the "dollar" thing, as it's not really "stealing" a dollar, it's more of a cent of a cent superman 3 scam sort of deal.

Anyway, more on topic - I think there is a more direct correlation between the kids starving in Africa and what we do in the western world. Sure it's not me, or you, or even really "us" taking the money, it's just that an easy way to make profit is through exploitation, and rich countries exploit small countries (I know we can debate this aspect, but I think anyone would concede that this is at least MOSTLY true). So by living in a rich country, I cannot help but feel we should take some of the blame for the states these countries/regions are in.

Just noticed you are still posting, I'll hold off adding more till you're done.
Shelgeyr
1.9 / 5 (9) Aug 31, 2011
Part Four:

care for the poor.

BUT, unless Im severely mistaken, nowhere (at least in the Bible) does God say "because you owe it to them", or "because you're the reason they're poor', or worse "because I only had so much wealth to spread around and decided to give it to you instead of that poor kid over there".

No, the command to care for the poor is simply backed up with God saying "because I told you to".

There's a story in the New Testament about a couple who sold some land to give the money to the poor, and it was clearly stated that this was their choice, i.e. they didn't have to do it, but they lied about the details and kept some of the money for themselves, which earned them a pressing of the Holy "SMITE" button.

They could have kept the land or the money and been fine, but they wanted to be SEEN as more generous than they were.

My point, I think, is that you can be a servant to the poor without being a slave. Don't be a slave.

And don't enslave yourself.
Shelgeyr
2.2 / 5 (9) Aug 31, 2011
That's probably enough rant for now.

Thanks for bearing with me, whether you agree with everything I said or not. And, in keeping with the overall nature of "unsolicited advice", you're free to ignore anything I've said without offending me in the slightest.

And since I just read your last post, I'd add this to your (all of ours really) list of actual responsibilities: If you think our country wrongly exploits other countries (and I'm not disagreeing here), then you must (A) raise your voice and (B) vote your conscience.

I'd call that a civic duty, and it isn't (normally) a Left or Right thing.
Shelgeyr
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2011
And yes, I loved Superman 3!

A "guilty" pleasure to be sure (just to draw this full circle), but still - a movie I remember fondly.

Thanks for that memory!
Pete1983
3.5 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2011
Hey Shelgeyr. Thanks for the discussion. Just a quick thing, but the last post doesn't really apply to me I'm sorry. I found enlightenment in Star Trek as a kid (Spock is my god), and I have been an athiest ever since.

Anyway, as much as I agree with parts of what you are saying, I'm still convinced that the western world exploits other countries on a monumental scale. Looking at this history of venezuela over the last 70 odd years is an interesting study in the descrutive capability of capitalism.

Anyway, you stated this earlier: "if you take the position that you are to blame for some stranger's misfortune."

Perhaps it's pride, but I actually do prefer to take that stance. It might punish me needlessly, but I don't mind. I can't bring myself to take a local approach to generosity and compassion, because any local approach is in and of itself, selfish. That's not to say I don't still help those around me, but compassion doesn't feel like compassion when it's restrained.
Shelgeyr
1 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2011
Pete1983, thanks for all the details in your last post. Spock isn't my god, but I'm really, really fond of him nonetheless!

There's a lot just in this last post that I'd like to address, but let me do us both a favor (not to mention everyone else) by holding off until tomorrow. Whether or not anything I've said has been helpful, I feel that any more I might say would quickly descend into gibberish because it is after midnight and I'm having trouble keeping my eyes uncrossed.

Thank you as well for the discussion, and if you're willing, I'd like to resume it later - either here or on PM.

Take care! Live Long and Prosper!
Pete1983
not rated yet Aug 31, 2011
Hi Shelg,

I gotta run, but I just had to comment on one final thing:

"(B) vote your conscience. "

I think this is one of the big problems, and comes right back ground to the individualistic issue. I.e, that today, EVERY vote, doesn't count.

I mean that in the sense that we're all so divided about basically everything that we can't go in any direction at all but the path we're already on.

Maybe I'll just leave with:

Woo! Superman 3!
Magnette
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2011
"Why do Europeans love socialism Pete?" - Ryggs

Aah, you must be American as you seem to think that Europe is a country. It isn't and never will be, it's purely the economic grouping together of a bunch of geographically related countries some of which are socialist and some of which aren't. It contains are very diverse group of ideals and needs, some work well together and some don't.

You cannot claim that the whole of Europe is socialist just to fit in with your world view when it obviously isn't.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 31, 2011
I find myself wanting to just throw it away, for all the misery these goddamn things have caused.

Donate it all to feed those starving children then.
Or, expand your business so you can hire more people.
Like a typical socialist, you can't seem to understand how wealth is created.
The economy IS a zero sum game under socialism. In free markets, the economy creates wealth helping more to prosper.
You cannot claim that the whole of Europe is socialist just to fit in with your world view when it obviously isn't.

The claim is just plain TRUE. What European nation does NOT redistribute wealth?
Magnette
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2011
[q
You cannot claim that the whole of Europe is socialist just to fit in with your world view when it obviously isn't.

The claim is just plain TRUE. What European nation does NOT redistribute wealth?

Is the redistribution of wealth your marker for defining a socialist nation?

If that's the case there isn't a single country on this planet of ours that doesn't do this in some way or another which then completely nullifys your arguments.
Javinator
5 / 5 (3) Aug 31, 2011
1)False facts
2)Flawed argumentation
3)Divisive language
4)Dehumanizing metaphors

Sounds like socialists or Al Gore and his disciples, but I am being redundant.


Actually it sounds like you. I've called you out on this before and you've admitted that using these tactics to get your point across is acceptable if you can't convince someone else of your viewpoint simply using logic.

I believe your reasoning was along the lines of you being right, the person you're debating against not being right, but not understanding that they're not right (according to you), so it's alright to use the tactics listed above to convince your opponent that you're right

The point of communication is communicating the message in a fashion that it can be heard. If making logical argument won't convince, then make illogical ones.


This is a quote from you from the comments on this article:
http://www.physor...584.html
Gawad
3.1 / 5 (7) Aug 31, 2011
Capitalists have to bargain. They have to deal. They have competition (or we're not really talking about "Capitalism", since you can leave out of this particular equation those groups merely masquerading as being capitalist). Customers can walk away.
Unregulated capitalism defrauds, cheats, lies, spins, colludes just as well as the best of them. Just ask the thousands of Americans who have improperly been robbed of just title to their homes so their properties can be resold to further benefit banks and sharks in the real estate industries. You are enamored with an ideological fantasy that relies on human beings not acting as human beings to work Shelgeyr. It's all well in principal, as a model, but the model fails to take so much reality into account that in reality it's just as flawed as Carl Marx's nonsense.
Gawad
4.2 / 5 (5) Aug 31, 2011
To put it from the individual perspective, capitalism is just an excuse for why you're better off than those around you, and if you live in a western society and make any kind of living, you're unfairly taking money from the poor to give yourself more luxuries. Every dollar I own I've stolen from a poor african kid who is dying of malnutrition, or I've stolen it from an asian kid making sneakers.
Pete, this is not necessarily true either. Capitalism, properly applied can enrich society as a whole, some more then others, but it can still be a win-win situation. It CAN produce goods and offer services that make everyone better off, from providing transportation to communications and material comforts, and a myriad others. It's the best overall mechanism for CREATING WEALTH and it DOESN'T HAVE TO come at anyone's expense. It often does, but that's another problem, in particular American style, predatory capitalism.
Gawad
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 31, 2011
Is the redistribution of wealth your marker for defining a socialist nation?
Bingo. Yes, that is Marjon/Rygg's (main) standard for defining a country as socialist. The other is having government regulations. There is therefore, to him, not a true Capitalist (that's with a capital C) country in the world, except maybe for Somalia. Of course, you have to realize that you're talking about a Militia Movement type America who wants taxes and tax law abolished (because it's legal plunder), wants the right to print money and the right to private armies. Make of it what you will.
Gawad
4 / 5 (4) Aug 31, 2011
If that's the case there isn't a single country on this planet of ours that doesn't do this in some way or another which then completely nullifys your arguments.
Uh, that's not nullification to Marjon, it's justification. It's a different thought process. You'll get use to it after a while.
emsquared
3.7 / 5 (6) Aug 31, 2011
The continents economic woes boil down, really, to two issues: too much debt and too little growth.

I would like to refute the above claim.

I submit that our problems boil down to the fact that our government is detached from the concerns of, and responsibility to, it's constituents and has been for decades now.

Both sides of the political coin neglected what was best for the Nation as a whole, for the People, feeding the conflated corporate-government beast from both sides. It facilitated a predatory market that fed on debt and the failure of others and produced wholly fictitious growth which we see and have been reaping the "benefit" of for more than 3 years now.

This isn't the result of capitalism, it is the result of fattened and lazy populace. The majority of people could get their SUV, computer, ipod and live in the suburbs and failed to notice that their government stopped responding to them, separated itself from their influence, letting the budget and market run wild
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 31, 2011
Socialism is definded by von Mises in "Socialism".
Also by Bastiat in 'The Law'.
Socialism is essentially govt control of private property. When the Law goes beyond protecting private property and takes it to benefit others is called legal plunder.
Hayek defined socialism in The Road to Serfdom.

CREATING WEALTH and it DOESN'T HAVE TO come at anyone's expense. It often does, but that's another problem, in particular American style, predatory capitalism.

In a free market, it does NOT come at anyone's expende. Only under govt proetected markets (socialism) does someone loose.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 31, 2011
If that's the case there isn't a single country on this planet of ours that doesn't do this in some way or another which then completely nullifys your arguments.
Uh, that's not nullification to Marjon, it's justification. It's a different thought process. You'll get use to it after a while.

The first step to recovery is acknowleding the problem. YES, ALL nations practice some level of socialism.
Quiet
3 / 5 (2) Aug 31, 2011
Its a shame that the first black President isn't doing better. Our Country has lost its balance and we need to rebalance things in 2012. The Democrats and Obama got greedy when there was no stop sign to limits of flights of fantasy with the reality of how much it costs and legal issues of healthcare will go all the way to the Supreme Court, cost the tax payers millions in legal cost, trillions in a stymulus plan that hasn't produce. The Democrats worded it to say we didn't fail because we didn't create jobs. We succeded because we kept people from loosing jobs. I hope we do have a successful black President in the near future.
freethinking
2.2 / 5 (13) Aug 31, 2011
I dont care if the next Prsident is Black, green, white, yellow, man or woman. I just hope they have experience, wisdom, knowledge, ethics, and courage. All of these our current president doesnt have.
Pyle
3.9 / 5 (7) Aug 31, 2011
Its a shame that the first black President isn't doing better.
I agree. It is a shame that the stated objective of the Republicans in office for the past 3 years has been to make sure Obama is a one term president. They have repeatedly and blatantly obstructed attempts to pass legislation that would help the economy. Republican governors have contributed over 500,000 unemployed through draconian cuts to state spending that have destroyed vital programs in their states.

The Republicans in Congress took it to a whole new level with the manufactured debt ceiling crisis, taking the nation hostage to further their political agenda. What's worse is they were willing to shoot the hostage and S&P obliged them.

The Republicans have sullied our nation's reputation in their attempts to sully Obama's. Fortunately their ploys are transparent for anyone willing to look. What's unknown is can the American people pull their attention away from the Kardashians long enough to look?
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Aug 31, 2011
Another example of the failure of socialism:
"

Solyndra, a Fremont-based solar panel manufacturer that flared then sputtered, abruptly ceased operations on Wednesday and immediately laid off all 1,100 of its workers.

The shutdown marks a high-profile collapse of a company that received more than $1.6 billion in federal and private funding in recent years.

"This was an unexpected outcome and is most unfortunate," Brian Harrison, Solyndra's president and chief executive, said.

The company received $535 million in taxpayer money from the U.S. Department of Energy and $1.1 billion in private venture capital funding."
"President Barack Obama touted Solyndra as a poster child for clean energy after the company received the federal funds."
http://www.mercur..._check=1
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Aug 31, 2011
"Carter Redux, that's the only way to describe the Obama Administration's approach to energy. After thirty years out of power, the purveyors of the Solar and Renewable Utopia are back. We're going to develop windmills, make solar panels affordable, and redesign buildings so they use only half as much energy -- in theory, at least. The subtext, of course, is this -- we won't have to deal with coal, nuclear or any of those other nasty technologies that aren't "clean and renewable."

So what's wrong with this picture? Well, the problem is that thirty years hasn't changed the laws of physics."
http://spectator....-part-i#
Carl Popper was inspired by Marxists to develop his falsifiable definition of science.
Too bad the socialists here won't apply falsifiability to socialism.

Why don't those who claim to practice science categorically reject socialism for its failures?
Pyle
3.7 / 5 (6) Sep 01, 2011
Another example of the failure of socialism
How exactly is loaning several hundred billion dollars to a company redistributing the wealth? How is it socialism exactly?

I could understand your beef with respect to trying to pick winners, but this is an example of granting an opportunity and stepping out of the way and letting them fail. Sounds like the government trying to be a portfolio manager, and proving to be not such a good one in that case.

Carter Redux? What, you mean the Republicans sabotaging a sitting president in order to gain the reins of power? Driving America into a ditch so they can come in and play Santa Claus, in their typical hypocritical way? Yeah, sounds like Carter Redux.

Oh, you meant bad energy policy? Yeah, we are way behind there and need to find a way to make America competitive in the new energy sector.

How about the failures of free market capitalism? Its a spectrum. All of either is bad. Moderation in all things.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Sep 01, 2011
How exactly is loaning several hundred billion dollars to a company redistributing the wealth? How is it socialism exactly?

Whose money was it? The taxpayer's.
"The government owns 33 percent of GM and would like to sell some of its stock this year, said three people familiar with the matter. The government wants to sell for at least the $33 initial public offering price and needs a catalyst to get it there, the people said. "
http://www.bloomb...ars.html
A loan?
Pyle
4 / 5 (4) Sep 01, 2011
The bail out money to GM was an investment. We bought 33% of the company.

The loan to Solyndra was a loan.

Should the federal government be making loans to businesses? Yes, I think it is a valuable tool available to the government that can help it to fulfill its duty to "provide for the ... general Welfare of the United States." Do all of the things the government does work out the way they plan? Nope.

Is making loans to businesses socialism? Nope. Only a Randite-libertarian-capitalist fascist would think so.
Was the government bailing out GM socialism, a little grayer there. But the intent wasn't to run the company but to save the economy. Based on the level of involvement and the outcome I'll say it was just the right amount of socialism to help keep Americans employed at a great American company.

Obama, despite the efforts of Republicans in Congress and Republican governors, has stemmed the tide of job losses in the US. A Herculean task. Pretty great in my eyes.
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (12) Sep 01, 2011
Is making loans to businesses socialism?

Did the govt get paid back?
BTW, GM did go bankrupt. That is the way to handle companies in trouble. Assets are sold to satisfy creditors.

It seems Rick Perry the REPUBLICAN governor of TX has done an EXCELLENT job of stemming the tide of job losses. TX is creating jobs as are a few other less socialist states. If BHO's keeping unemployment above 9% is Herculean, Perry is Zues.
Gawad
3.4 / 5 (5) Sep 01, 2011
Obama, despite the efforts of Republicans in Congress and Republican governors, has stemmed the tide of job losses in the US. A Herculean task. Pretty great in my eyes.
Compare that to Bush Jr. who entangled you guys in that Tar Baby called Iraq on the basis of bald faced lies about connections to Al Qaeda and WMDs. Nice idea removing Saddam, but completely bungled pretext and execution. And what has it cost you, and the Iraqis? And as a bonus Bush's administration was the one actually in office when your economy came apart. You have to be an ideological crippled to just shrug that off or justify it. Man, I'd take Obama any day. It's not even close.
ryggesogn2
1.3 / 5 (10) Sep 01, 2011
The real question about Iraq is what would it cost the USA if Saddam Hussein stayed in power with a corrupt UN, French, Russian, Canadian, ...profiting from the oil for food and creating a haven for those wanting to attack the west and continuing to defy UN nuclear weapons inspectors.
Of course the interesting strategic point to consider is now Iran is surrounded by US forces. Iran that is producing WMD and the missiles to carry it to North America. But I am sure none of that radioactive fallout will harm Canada or the EMP pulse from a North American attack would harm Canada's power grid.
Pyle
3 / 5 (4) Sep 01, 2011
It seems Rick Perry the REPUBLICAN governor of TX has done an EXCELLENT job of stemming the tide of job losses. TX is creating jobs as are a few other less socialist states. If BHO's keeping unemployment above 9% is Herculean, Perry is Zues.
Perry, paying companies to move their companies from other states and lay off their workforces so they can come to Texas and create minimum wage jobs in a state cutting social services. Texas, leading the nation in minimum wage jobs.

Oh, and did I mention that unemployment has grown since Oct 2009 when national unemployment peaked? That ovre the past 2.5 years Texas is ranked LAST in job creation relative to labor force expansion? To the tune of over 300,000 more workers added to the workforce than new jobs created.

Oil for food, really? I don't even know what your last post even means.
ryggesogn2
2.1 / 5 (11) Sep 01, 2011

2009 Jan 11,804.5 11,049.5 755.0 6.4 154,185 142,201 11,984 7.8
2011 Jul 12,241.5 11,218.4 1,023.2 8.4 153,228 139,296 13,931 9.1

From 2009 to 2011, the TX labor force increased by 437,000 while the US labor force decreased by 957,000. TX employed increased by 168,900 while US employed decreased by 2,905,000.

The labor force increased in TX and decreased across the USA.

http://www.bls.go...x_us.pdf
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2011
I dont care if the next Prsident is Black, green, white, yellow, man or woman. I just hope they have experience, wisdom, knowledge, ethics, and courage. All of these our current president doesnt have.
-All of which are irrelevant for spokesmodels. They only have to make the people THINK that they possess these qualities, which often requires them to act by disregarding them. This is why actors and ex-pro wrestlers make the best politicians.

In other words (or just more words) the most important quality of any president is obedience; that being the ability to follow Orders, and to carry out the Intent of Those who installed them in the office to begin with. Which is certainly NOT the people who voted for them.

Obama and GWB were both very good at this. JFK was probably not and yet was still able to Serve as a valuable example for future gens, that NOBODY is above the Law.

You either serve or you serve. Your choices are very limited.
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 01, 2011
"As befits any company seeking green subsidies, Solyndra retained McBee Strategic Consulting. Steve McBee, a former Dem Approps aide, helped lower the standards for federal green energy financing before signing Solyndra as a client and getting Solyndra the financing under these lower standards. Former Democratic Energy & Natural Resources staffer Angela Becker-Dippmann was also on the Solyndra account."
http://campaign20...obbyists
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Sep 01, 2011
Compare that to Bush Jr. who entangled you guys in that Tar Baby called Iraq on the basis of bald faced lies about connections to Al Qaeda and WMDs
Ah gawad that was no lie that was only double entendre, an Inside Joke. We found WMDs and destroyed them twice... saddamms military forces, among the largest in the world, which threatened regional destruction.

Well worth the effort. And we learned sooo MUCH in doing so. The Only Way to remain competent at fighting wars, is to fight wars. No other way. Especially in an age of hyper-accelerated tech development.

Sorry but reality is reality. Some Dilemmas are inescapable. The consequences of inaction are simply unacceptable. The only Way to WIN is to PLAY the GAME.
ryggesogn2
1.8 / 5 (10) Sep 01, 2011
FDR called himself a 'liberal' to distinguish himself from the 'progressive' Hoover.
'Liberal' became tarnished and 'progressive' returned.
Now, the government is our federal 'family'. How sweet!
Why does the Obama regime feel the need to change its name?
"Under the direction of President Obama and Secretary Janet Napolitano, the entire federal family is leaning forward to support our state, tribal and territorial partners along the East Coast, a FEMA news release declared Friday as Irene churned toward landfall.

The G-word 'government' has been nearly banished, with FEMA instead referring to federal, state and local partners as well as offices and personnel."
"Part of what the federal government does and any elected official does is change the terms of the language game into terms that are favorable to them"
http://www.palmbe...751.html
Pete1983
5 / 5 (1) Sep 01, 2011
'Liberal' became tarnished and 'progressive' returned.


I think these sorts of changes are always going to happen, and are in a way predictable (as you made out). My favourite way of describing politicians is to state that they are "self-appointed defenders of the status quo". Meaning that if you are in any position of power, you will automatically defend whatever it is that is giving you said power, in this case the governmental system itself.

I like this way of defining it, because it removes any "evil" connotations with politicians themselves, and shows how it's purely a systems issue.

In fact for that reason, I believe it should be mandatory that all politicians have a technical qualification of some kind, although whether or not that would actually help at all I don't know, for the issue is the system not the people!

You have bested me this time reality!
ryggesogn2
1.4 / 5 (10) Sep 02, 2011
Conservatives still call themselves 'conservative'. Why?
'Liberals', 'progressives', socialists MUST lie about their intentions to get elected and stay in power.
Even BHO has invoked Reagan. Why not FDR?
Gawad
1 / 5 (1) Sep 02, 2011
Ah gawad that was no lie that was only double entendre, an Inside Joke.
Doh! So THAT's what that was about! Sheesh! That's the problem with not being on the inside: you always miss the best jokes!
Gawad
3 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2011
@Pyle:
Oil for food, really? I don't even know what your last post even means.
During the period of sanctions against Iraq before the Second Gulf War, and Oil for Food program was put into place ostensibly to provide the Iraqi people with basic necessities (food, medicine, etc.) that would otherwise be lacking because of the near total embargo. These were paid for by allowing for the sale of Iraqi oil. Thing was that the program was wracked by massive fraud pretty much on all sides, including the highest levels of the UN. It turned into a real disgrace.
Pyle
3 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2011
@Gawad, I know what oil for food was. But it had been exposed prior to the war and wouldn't have continued if we would have stayed out of Iraq, making marjon's "point" nonsense, really.
Gawad
3 / 5 (2) Sep 02, 2011
The real question about Iraq is what would it cost the USA if Saddam Hussein stayed in power with a corrupt UN... and creating a haven for those wanting to attack the west and continuing to defy UN nuclear weapons inspectors.
A legitimate question. Given Saddam's behaviour against his neighbors and his own people complete withdrawal from Iraq and lifting of sanctions would almost certainly have had dreadful local consequences. And continuing the status quo of the period would very possibly have motivated Saddam to turn to outside 3rd parties to wreak havoc abroad.

Like I said: removing Saddam wasn't a bad objective. What cost you was the Bush Admins (mainly Cheney's) arrogance and naivete. We HAD JUST HAD the example of the Balkans to show what happens when you remove a strongman from an ethnically divided state barring a massive contingency plan. Anyone from the region could have told them. They didn't even bother asking.
Gawad
1 / 5 (1) Sep 02, 2011
@Gawad, I know what oil for food was. But it had been exposed prior to the war and wouldn't have continued if we would have stayed out of Iraq, making marjon's "point" nonsense, really.

O.k., right, I gottcha. I must be a little slow on the uptake this morning.
Gawad
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2011
...with a corrupt UN, French, Russian, Canadian, ...profiting from the oil for food
BTW, you left out US from your list.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 02, 2011
@Gawad, I know what oil for food was. But it had been exposed prior to the war and wouldn't have continued if we would have stayed out of Iraq, making marjon's "point" nonsense, really.

No, it was not exposed before the war.
It is why Russia, France and others vigorously opposed US invasion of Iraq. And since Russia and France were on the UN Security Council Saddam believed they would keep the US from invading.
If the US had not invaded, CNN would have had more cameras showing all the starving babies caused by the sanctions, and, of course, ignoring Saddam's tortures.
ryggesogn2
1.5 / 5 (8) Sep 02, 2011
"The News We Kept To Ourselves"
"Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN's Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard -- awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff."
http://www.nytime...l?src=pm
freethinking
1.4 / 5 (9) Sep 02, 2011
Rygg, why do you keep posting facts and truths. Progressives like neither.
Repeat after me, Obama is the greatest, Bush is the worst. War stared by Bush Evil, War stared by Obama Good. Someone selling a needed product, evil capitalist, Al Gore getting rich, flying private jets, driving SUV's, eating endangered animals, living in mansions, by selling carbon credits good. Common folks must pay more taxes, progressive elites why should they pay any taxes at all. Report anything bad about conservatives even if it isnt true, ignore anything that might cast a progressive in a bad light.

Remember when Bush was first elected and jobless rose even a little bit it was headline news reported on endlessly. We now have an official unemployment rate of 9 %, real unemployment 18 % MSN, ABC, CNN barely report it.
Gawad
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2011
freefromthinking, what exactly do you DO with all your straw-men when you're not placing them into silly poses?

Oh, and, euh...remind me again what war Obama started?
freethinking
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 02, 2011
without congress approval, Libya.
Gawad
3 / 5 (4) Sep 02, 2011
Wow, it's not like your answer wasn't predictable, but seriously, you've just said that Barack Obama STARTED THE WAR IN LIBYA. But foreign intervention in the Libyan conflict was a multiple state implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, pushed for primarily by the FRENCH and BRITISH.

I just, I mean, just what the hell kind of child abuse have you been through to come out so completely warped?
Gawad
3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2011
Oh, and BTW, while I think the *Afghan* war was quite justified, it may yet be blown because Bush let himself get distracted by Iraq. (And, for the record, this may just be me, but Al Gore gives me the creeps.)
ryggesogn2
2 / 5 (8) Sep 02, 2011
But foreign intervention in the Libyan conflict was a multiple state implementation

Without US support NATO can't blow its nose. US forces did attack Libya without approval of Congress under the orders of Obama.