By on April 26, 2011

At a meeting of the Automotive Press Association at the old-money, establishment Detroit Athletic Club in downtown Detroit, a stone’s throw from GM’s headquarters, UAW President Bob King warned Detroit auto journalists not to listen to “extremists in the Republican Party,” just like people in Germany and Italy should not have fallen for Hitler and Mussolini.

“The attacks by what I would call extremists in the Republican Party should be of concern…to everybody who believes in a democracy. We know that anybody who looks at history, looks at any developed nation in the world, the only way that middle classes were built in the United States or Canada or Europe or anywhere else, was because of a strong labor movement and a societal understanding of the importance of the institution of collective bargaining. That workers should have the right to a voice at the table.”

“Can a Hitler be more efficient? Can a Mussolini be more efficient? Can a dictatorship be more efficient than a democracy? Yeah, maybe short-term it is. But for the destruction of the society, the destruction of human rights and the destruction of the democracy we believe in, it’s catastrophic. I hope the press really stands up to defend the people’s democratic right to elect their local elected officials and nobody should have the power, in my opinion, to come in and unilaterally wipe them out and put somebody in there who has no accountability to that citizenry. That’s the antipathy of democracy.”

Nobody invoked Godwin’s Law when King said it. So we won’t either.

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132 Comments on “Quote Of The Day: UAW’s Bob King Connects Republican Extremists With Hitler And Mussolini...”


  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    I want to elect my hereditary officials, damnit.

  • avatar

    It is rather silly to compare individuals with differing opinions to mass murderers. In fact, this behavior is far more like that of Hitler and Mussolini than those folks they are targeting.

  • avatar
    baggins

    just a dead as SAAB, just going to take a while longer

  • avatar

    As a proud opponent of the UAW, I fully support Mr. King’s First Amendment right to free speech… especially free speech that also makes him look absolutely, utterly ridiculous.

    And hilariously disconnected and irrelevant to modern times. 

    Keep it coming, Bobbo!

    (Bonus points for Bertel finding the perfect counterpoint to this.)

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Sorry to burst your bubble “proud opponent” Rob but this isn`t really a counterpoint to the link you provided. There the UAW (or some of its members) thanked the American people. The “extremists” in the Republican party don`t speak for the American people any more than any “extremists” in the Democratic party do. So do not confuse some hardcore conservatives in the GOP with the best interests of the American people.

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry that I have to explain the finer points of irony and humor to ya, mike, but this indeed a great counterpoint to the UAW ad.

        On one side (we’ll call it the right side, just to keep things simple) we have a local union chapter that recognizes its organization is fantastically unpopular with the masses, and went beyond what its national leadership is able or willing to do. It thanked taxpayers for our sacrifice on their behalf. I don’t think for a minute that 30 seconds of contrition offset decades of UAW thuggery, but hey, they have to start somewhere.

        Now, on the left, we have Bobbo “Kazinsky” King attempting (rather pitifully) to rally his troops against those very same people. He calls his opponents extremists; I say that’s the majority of the US population right now. Tea Party or not — and regardless of whether they are pro- or- anti-union – I’d say most US taxpayers view the UAW about as highly right now as they would a syphillis outbreak.

        And hey, one last thing. Say what you will about those right-wing “extremists” (and I’m likely to agree with you on some points) but you can’t argue their effectiveness. Case in point — our President is about to go on television with the long-form copy of his birth certificate, to attempt to prove once and for all that, yes, he really and truly was born in America. All because of some right-wing extremists and a crackpot theory.

        A crackpot theory… that just reduced the American Presidency to a sideshow. This moment is almost as proud for Obama as when he bowed to the Japanese Emperor.

  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    A most unfortunate choice of words and word-picture analogy since the UAW is largely responsible for collectively bargaining their employers into the grave.  Yet they, the UAW, continue to live large on the tax payers’ dime.  There are many politicians, other than conservatives, who disagree with the bail outs of GM and Chrysler, even among the Democrats.  Now it is Ford’s turn to be driven into the grave by the UAW.  Will they ever learn?

  • avatar
    Tommy Boy


    1)  This from a guy who is actively working to deprive workers of the protections of a secret-ballot election in union organizing drives.
    2)  This from a guy who now owes the existence of his job to the fascist-like usurping of private property rights by taking property from secured creditors and handing it to the UAW as part of the government-diktat auto bailout.

    Can you say “chutpah?”  Can you say “hypocrite?”

    For the good of the auto industry, and America, the UAW needs to have remaining the average lifespan of a UAW-assembled Chevy Vega.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Yah, the guy  just  proved  he  is  a meathead, but.. S’matter,  the  jibes hitting  home?  The  main  trouble I  have  with  the  GOP  is  that   they are for  millionaires  and that anybody  who  makes  less than  that,  pays  for it  .  Why the Neo-con movement attracts wage earning working folk   baffles  me  for that reason..  Seems  to  me  that   most   folks   who  run  down  liberals  and  unions  and  stuff, never  worked   a  job in an industrial situation.  Just sayin’ is all

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Andy- The GOP is not for millionaires, but for anyone who works and pays taxes and wants government off our backs, not picking winners and losers!

      You seem unaware that the top 1% of wage earners already pay 32% of the taxes. For that matter the top 10% pay 90% of taxes while 45% pay nothing at all! Have you been watching MSNBC???? 

      Obama buddy Immelt’s GE last year paid no taxes on $14.2B profits and actually got a $3.2B benefit back. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-04-26/why-obama-will-get-four-more-years-in-white-house-ralph-nader.html

      I don’t like Nader and tend to question his  words, but this GE tax thing seems to be widely understood.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Neither the democrats nor the republicans have a monopoly on good ideas or the right way to do things.  In fact, there are more than enough personal agendas, backroom deals, and indulgences in hypocrisy to go around in both  major parties.
         
        I agree with certain elements of the GOP position, and disagree vehemently with others.  To me the biggest issues with the current republican platform are the close ties with the Christian fundamentalists who want to try to legislate morality or social justice, and the deregulation of big corporations and industries that will hurt the middle and working classes the most (including making it harder for entrepreneurs and small businesses to get started – proper regulation ensures and even playing field, no regulation lets the established players swing their weight around to stomp out competitors before they even get started).
         
        Unions have a place, and collective bargaining is an important tool to check the power of large corporations.  I have no doubt that many corporations would choose to reduce pay, benefits, and other perks of employment in order to show better numbers to stockholders and achieve larger bonuses for executives, even if a fair profit could be made while still offering a better wage and more pleasant terms to the workers.  At the same time, a union run out of control can threaten the viability of a company, and with it the jobs of those union members.  I believe that in some cases the UAW has gone too far and is putting the survival of the automakers at risk due to demanding too much.
         
        The GOP has always been big-business friendly.  The interests of big business are generally not those of the majority of the employees, but rather those of the executives and board members, i.e., the extremely wealthy.  While King may have a point here, the UAW needs to realize that a balance must be achieved that allows for its members to earn a fair wage with fair benefits, but which also allows the companies which employ the UAW members to be competitive in the marketplace.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I find it ironic you tie GE to Obama in response to the top 1% paying 32% of the taxes.  Mind you those numbers account for most corporations and large businesses.  So realistically that “1%” has no real humans in it but Bill Gates and the Forbes 100.  As for the Top 10% paying the bulk of taxes have you seen the disparity in wealth lately?  Since Ronald Reagan became president and loosened the rules on business the corporations have sucked the wealth out of the United States’ worker.
         
        I fail to understand why anybody who makes less than 250,000 a year would vote for the Republican Party on economic issues.  I can’t fault them for being bigots, bigots are as they are.  But to seriously think you would benefit from the Ryan budget or any of their tax plans are ludicrous.  Trickle down economics has NEVER worked.  So why do they insist on doing that?  If anything we should be raising corporate taxes and insist they spend more of their net earnings on R&D so we can stop resting on our heels and advance technology instead of lining the pockets of the rich with stock deals.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        This thread is being politicized… yay.

        @doctor olds, As a card carrying member of the GOP I at least recognize that the “small government, keep the government off our backs” message has been co-opted by the larger corporate interests and the politically active wealthy. I’ve become increasingly disillusioned with the GOP over the past decade because while they talk the small government game their actions indicate they want anything but. They certainly aren’t looking out for my interests anymore. Your use of the “you have to stop getting your news from [insert media outlet you detest] meme is indicative of the mindless chatter these discussions typically generate.

        I have no sympathy for the UAW and have said so on many different occasions here. Mr. King’s references to Hitler and Mussolini are as tired as claims that the GOP wants the government off our backs.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        @NulloModo: You may wish to rethink your thoughts on deregulation being bad for entrepreneurs and small business.

        Who benefits from regulation? Established players.  It enforces a cartel.  Look at safety requirements.  Let’s say Honda develops a new airbag, and they are granted a patent for that airbag.  Let’s say that they get their CA Congressional delegation to agitate for and pass legislation requiring this new airbag.  

        Established players – Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, GM — have a vault of patents.  They have something on Honda.  Therefore, the new regulation just means that the usual interplay among cartel members has another thing in the mix.

        Let’s say you want to start making cars.  First, the “cost of doing business” is actually a barrier to entry.  If there is a fixed per-participant cost, that’s an entry fee that protects the cartel members — because they’re already selling, not ramping up, they just pass that cost on to the consumer.

        Let’s say you were targeting a 2010 safety standard, and in comes this new airbag requirement.  You, as a start-up automaker, have to now spend more money before revenue to get compliant — and Honda can license to you at whatever fee it feels like.  There isn’t an automatic licensing rate for patents as there is for copyrighted music.  

        Thus, regulation was used by big business in bed with government to quash new entries into the market, and we get one less option for new, exciting cars from a start-up because an auto start-up becomes impossible.

        If you look at the GE example or the Enron example — you have companies deeply in bed with government, and instead of making “deregulation” mean that the government is universally more lax, they use their connections to steer legislation to their benefit.

        Regulation always benefits established players because, ultimately, all costs are passed to the consumer, and an established player selling stuff can just raise the price of your Accord or Fusion accordingly, whereas the new guy has to raise more money to break in on the conditional hope that something will sell one day.

        Edit: Less lax now more lax.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @Xenranr- My post re: the percentage who pay taxes was not about corporations or businesses, it is 1% of individuals (or married filing jointly) that pay 32% of individual income taxes and similarly for the 10%/90% point.
        My post is in response to the lie purveyed by democrats that the rich do not pay their share. It is obvious you drink their koolaid, and are hopelessly lost in their smoke and mirrors of lies and distortions.

        You are living in the wrong country. You should move to one with a communist command and control economy where government bureaucrats try to run everything. On the other hand, history provides repeated proof that it NEVER works.

        Last time I checked, no one looks to work for the poor. The rich do take the entrepreneurial risks that create jobs. Reviling them is simply ignorant. 

        We are entitled the money we earn. It is our money, not government’s. Why do you think government should take the money of others and give it to you?

        Anyone with a shred of decency wrt to fairness would have to question why the $1million income earner paying $350,000 of it to the Feds alone is not paying his share and should pay more. 

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        For anyone interested, here are some facts about the Michigan Emergency Mgr. issue:
        http://www.bentonharborfacts.com/

        @Jimal- I don’t disagree! I am not touting the GOP as perfect, only defending them against a post and asserting that they are more inclined than their oponents to resist the expansion of government. None of them have done a good job of it, so far.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        Dr Olds – yes the GOP is for millionaires. That is why they wanted the tax deal at the end of last year to be primarily focussed on those with a taxable income of over $250K (which means after deductions etc to be a minimum of around $300K).
         
        It is why the Ryan budget plan would not balance the budget for another 20 years but give further tax cuts to the very rich. What is it to be deficit reduction or further tax cuts? Revenue as a % of GDP is at a 50 year low, so cutting that further is not a priority.
        Of course the top 1% pay a lion share of taxes, they earn more. Or do you really want a $14K a year earner (minimum wage) to pay exactly the same in absolute terms as a $250K a year earner??

        You say no-one wants to work for the poor. True. But I work in a multi-national company where the executives earn millions. They have not created the jobs because the company was around before they came through the ranks and will continue. They are doing a good job but when you have people like Nardelli leaving Home Depot (and then on to ruin Chrysler) getting $200million to leave – then yeah they should have some taken for tax.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        It is why the Ryan budget plan would not balance the budget for another 20 years but give further tax cuts to the very rich. What is it to be deficit reduction or further tax cuts?

        It’s because we lowered taxes during the post-war boom and saw an increase in relative wealth and GDP.  The problem is that this led certain people to make a big, dirty cum hoc ergo propter hoc and reason that lower taxes caused economic growth.

        The truth is more like this: America (and the west in general) saw a perfect storm of sorts during the postwar period.  You would have to have been an idiot, a communist, or both not to see your country’s economy grow during this period.  So people would cut taxes, see more revenue, and say, “Hey, that worked, let’s do it again!”.  And it didn’t really harm things until the post-war boom petered out and we find ourselves with governments suddenly starved of funding and resorting to the worst backhanded methods for revenue generation.

        Governments, both fiscally laissez-faire ones and the interventionists, are really bad at making hay while the sun shines.  They tend to blow their ideological wad when things are good, only to suffer for it when the recession hits and there’s no safety net.  I can think of one government in the west (the Chretien/Martin Liberals) who had the gall to run surpluses and pay down debt during good times.  Of course, their successors blew that just in time for the 2008 recession.  Good job.

      • 0 avatar
        Jellodyne

        @MrGreenMan – You’re using ENRON as an example FOR deregulation?! Wow.

      • 0 avatar
        papafoxtrot

        Unfortunately, your facts are wrong. The top 10 % make roughly 80% of the annual income but they only pay 60% of the tax revenue. You are correct that the bottom
        45% pay nearly nothing (about 3%).

        As for Bob King, one thing he is absolutely correct about is the fact that the middle class life that many of us continue to enjoy because of the labor movements of the early part of the last century. The wealthy elites abd corporations have spent the past 70 years trying to dismantle all of the gains for working people that were made and they have done a pretty good job so far.

      • 0 avatar
        aspade

        papafoxtrot, according to the non partisan Tax Foundation it’s your facts that are blatantly wrong.
         
        Their most recent year of data shows top 10% of tax filers earned 46% of AGI but paid 70% of federal income taxes.
         
         

      • 0 avatar
        papafoxtrot

        Aspade:   Your numbers are concerning Adjusted Gross Income not Gross Income.  Furthermore, to call the Tax Foundation non-partisan is like calling the Communist Party website non-partisan.

    • 0 avatar
      don1967

      @ Andy D,

      The story is about Adolph Hitler’s name being invoked as a tired cliche.   Not a good platform from which to launch more tired cliches.

      • 0 avatar
        vento97

        @ Don 1967:

        Hitler and Mussolini are basically an analogy for Facism which is a right-wing authoritarian philosophy (which has been confused with its left-wing authoritarian polar opposite – Communism) that thrived on scapegoating, extreme nationalism, and xenophobia – tactics which are currently employed by the right-wing extremist element in this country. 

        I don’t care for either extreme (left or right) myself.  Those supporting these ideologies should get dropped off on some deserted island with rocks and sticks to fight each other to the death – and leave the rest of us the hell alone…

        Democrats and Republicans – first-world prosperity for themselves, third-world prosperity for the taxpayer…

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Hitler and Mussolini are basically an analogy for Facism which is a right-wing authoritarian philosophy (which has been confused with its left-wing authoritarian polar opposite – Communism) that thrived on scapegoating, extreme nationalism, and xenophobia – tactics which are currently employed by the right-wing extremist element in this country.
         
        When discussions of this nature come up I am always reminded of an episode of Golden Girls where a Soviet-ex-patriot is visiting the girls and Sophia quips; “I’m sorry I can’t help it, I was raised to hate Communists.”  Dorthy replies; “That’s cause you were raised Fascist, Ma.”
         
        I think of that line when I here left and right hurling those insults at each other.

      • 0 avatar
        Andy D

        I know , Don.  I prefaced  my   remarks by  saying  the  guy is  a meat head. Extremes.  whether  to  the  left   or  right ,  dont   last  .  Longest  lived  in  the  modern  era  is  are  some  sort  of  constitutional democracy. While hampered by checks and  balances . these  seem  to   muddle along. To  the  average citizen, it  amounts  to  the same,oppression. Fascism or  communism, they are both  oppressive on the people.  I’m so  darn   dissappointed   by   the  talent  running   things  since Eisenhower   retired.   He  warned  about   the  present  condition.  That  when  industry and banking  drives   the  military  and government   for  their   own gain.  Things get  rough  for   the  working  people.  I’m  trying  to  keep   things  general. I’m just  calling  it  as   I  lived  it  and   read  about it  and  seen it.     I liked Ike!

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Mike978- Millionaires are included in everyone who pays taxes! Why should they be excluded? They are the job creators, though our system already takes well over half of the $million income with taxes and fees at all levels of government. Fairness makes me think that is enough! Apparently you think we should take more?

      Folks who earn from $250,000 to many $millions are the job creators. They will always put their money where it will give them the most benefits, just as you did when you were job hunting. 

      The single mother of 2 who makes $14,000 pays no tax. I wouldn’t even mind that we also redistribute $8,000 back to her other than a big concern for how it drives societal behavior. Kids need fathers!

      GOP policies are far from perfect, but are also far closer to the functional changes we need to support a vibrant economy that will create more jobs and get the US back on track. They provide the best benefits to everyone, millionaires included.

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      @Jellodyne Yes, Enron was an example of government and business conspiring to create artificial accounting rules to allow certain businesses to create phantom income and mask real debt.  It is in the pile of government accounting rules that created special purpose entities and allowed them to avoid the most straightforward of reporting of profits and losses, and they were able to make their money on the confusion.

      With a simpler, flatter tax code without special carve-outs, you would have had trouble doing the Kabuki dance on money.  It is only with the massive tax code and the gymnastics in modern tax accounting that you can do the sorts of tricks they pulled — and that massive tax code with lots of carve outs is called a highly regulated space.  A highly complex tax code is a more regulated, burdensome, and error-prone system than a flat tax with few or no exemptions or a sales tax.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverInfidel

      More collectivist drivel.  Producers get rich because they are productive.  Unions have served their purpose but are dying a slow and deserved death.  What do they offer?  Higher wages?  Safer retirement?  Job security?  Nice try with the “industrial” argument.  The reality is most union jobs in this country are forced (both membership & dues) and involve sorry-ass gov’t jobs, the furthest thing from an industrial setting.
      There is a list a mile long that you can beat the GOP over the head with.  All politicians are hypocrites by design.  But you lefties always seem to ignore the rich left and their pathological tax evasion.  John Kerry didn’t want to pay those high MA taxes on his new yacht.  Clare McCaskill “forgot” about the state taxes on her private plane.  Little Timmy Geithner forgot to report income earned after signing an attestation acknowledging he owed the taxes.  Who slipped in the bonus provisions for the investment banks who were bailed out?  Who was in charge of congress when TARP was passed?  Go read about Pelosi and her anti-union battles at her hotels & resorts.
      The list goes on & on.  True working class hero’s.
       
      The right (usually) believes in free markets.  Our politicians continually let us down, which is why they should be limited in all respects all the time.  The only response the left has to anything is “more.”  Keep giving the scoundrels more power and more money and it will all work out.
       
      Rampant economic illiteracy and class warfare has led us to where we are.  Bob King is living proof that if we just keep giving the unions more rope, they will hang themselves.
       
      Just sayin’…..

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      Then why so many millionaire donors to democrats?  Wall street gives disproportionately to the ones who help them maintain their grip.
      Check again to see if the Donkeys are really for the working man. They haven’t been in quite some time. I’m still amazed people vote against their own interests by electing these clueless looters but that’s what watchin’ the wrong news everyday will do to you.
      Hitler’s car lives on today, VW was one of his ideas.

  • avatar
    Birddog

    I used to be a Union drumbeater.. In fact for the better part of 20 years.
     
    The Union dosen’t give a crap about it’s workers. It probably hasn’t since the 80s. All it cares about is getting it’s money and shiny new cars for the BAs every now and again..
    Time for the party to end.

  • avatar

    Awesome.

    I guess that puts Bob somewhere around Nikita Khrushchev territory, and his pals the fat-cat commissars.

  • avatar

    “I hope the press really stands up to defend the people’s democratic right to elect their local elected officials and nobody should have the power, in my opinion, to come in and unilaterally wipe them out and put somebody in there who has no accountability to that citizenry.”
    He’s referring to the recent law passed in Michigan under their new Tea Party governor, that allows the governor to unilaterally declare that a local county or municipal area is in a state of financial crisis, and immediately replace all elected officials with appointed financial managers- managers that may be contractors to corporations. In other words, if the governor feels that your city isn’t toeing the Teabag line, out goes all your elected officials, to be replaced with faceless strangers that can severely curtail all services, tear up all contracts with public- and private-sector unions for civic work, and raise or lower local taxes or fees as they see fit, with zero oversight.
    That scares me. Pro-union or no, libertarian or no, that is unprecedented and dangerous power.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @Tony Richards- Charitably I write, You are scared of an imaginary bogey man!
      (either that or you are simply a liar?)

      The MI law was passed by a Democrat controlled legislature and governor (Blanchard) many years ago. Every one of the whopping 4 (3 cities and 1 school district) emergency financial managers in place across the state now were put there by former Democrat governor Granholm. . 
      The popularly elected legislature and governor Snyder have simply tweaked the law and it is intended for the beneficial result of continuing the function of a municipality or school district that is deeply financially insolvent due to inability of the local authority to manage its finances. The threshold for action is high and a matter of law, not the personal descetion of the Governor.

      On top of that, Snyder has never had any connection to the Tea Party!

      You would benefit from actually knowing what you are talking about so your posts are not such an embarassment to you.

      • 0 avatar

        Doc,
         
        You can’t use facts and reason to convince someone who hasn’t arrived at their position from facts and reason. Snyder is a moderate Republican and has bent over backwards to work with the Democrats in Lansing since his inauguration. He certainly has been more amenable to the public employee unions here than Gov. Walker in Wisconsin. Still, to lefties, anyone to the right of Bill Clinton is a troglodyte fascist (ignoring, of course, fascism’s historic origins on the left), so Snyder must be demonized.
         
        BTW, the Democratic legislature of Massachusetts just passed legislation very similar to what Republicans are trying to do in Wisconsin regarding collective bargaining and the entitled class known as public employees. I doubt we’ll see the same kinds of protests.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Ronnie- I know you are right, but hope springs eternal!

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      +1. Abolishing the power of local governments is effectively stripping that locality’s citizens of the right to vote. That’s what King meant about comparisons to dictators, even if the examples he used are so overwrought that he opened himself up to ridicule.

      Any objective analysis of the current wave of new industrial-state Republican governors — Snyder, Kasich, Walker, Christie. et al — has to conclude that their assault on unionism is obviously a single coordinated campaign, and that its reasons are not just to balance several separate state budgets. There is a well-funded, centrally led drive in America today to emasculate public employee unions (and, separately, trial lawyers through “tort reform”). Prominent Republican leaders like Jim DeMint are publicly on record as stating that a real reason for this campaign is to gut two of the primary sources of Democratic Party campaign funds. A Wisconsin leader was similarly quoted as boasting that the recent dark-of-night, probably illegal passage of their anti-union law was designed to make it tougher for the Democrats to carry the state in the 2012 presidential election.

      This is an explicit drive for one-party rule, whether or not that seems to us like a realistic ambition. Comparing it philosophically to one-party rulers of the past is not quite so outlandish on closer examination, no matter how clumsily King happened to state it.

      PS: Also amusing: people complaining that some of the replies “politicized” this thread. What wasn’t “politicized” about the original post?

  • avatar

    It needs saying that Bob King has never worked as an autoworker. He’s been a professional labor organizer and official since graduating from the University of Michigan. I have some respect for Ron Gettlefinger, I have none for Bob King.
     
    As for you lefties who don’t understand how us poor folks can support reducing the size and scope of government it’s because we want a system that allows as many people as possible to be rich.

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      “As for you lefties who don’t understand how us poor folks can support reducing the size and scope of government it’s because we want a system that allows as many people as possible to be rich.”

      If the modern GOP were only about reducing the size and scope of government. They (I’m tired of saying “we” because I don’t feel they represent my point of view much anymore) want to change the philosophy of government, but certainly not the size. I want a smaller government and lower taxes, but I also recognize that there are certain things that make a civilized society civil that only a government can do, either on the local, state or federal level. Among those things is to be at least somewhat adversarial to both business and labor.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        @ Jimal:   One cannot criticize the GOP for failing to promote smaller government, while simultaneously calling on government to organize society to one’s liking.  At least Ronnie is clear in his priorities.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        @don1967m,I can certainly criticize the GOP for mistaking the voter’s overwhelming voice to do something about the economy and jobs for approval of their social agenda, especially when they use the economy and deficit to try and get rid of programs they dislike in the name of saving money when the proposed tax breaks for their wealthiest contributors (not to mention the subsidies for those industries who also support them) will more than offset those savings. I don’t know how banning gay marriage or abortion, or defunding public radio create jobs.

        I’m probably more libertarian than Republican, but only to the point that I recognize that there is a role for a government in a civil society and what separates the civilized world from places like Somalia and Afghanistan is a strong central government, by the people, of the people and for the people. Not to, as you put it, “organize society to one’s liking”, but to do what The Constitution says in its preamble, “…establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”

        I don’t want government involved in my day-to-day life and unlike some people I don’t feel particularly oppressed or threatened by the U.S. Government. The problem isn’t the government per say as much as it is the meatheads we continue to vote into office.

    • 0 avatar
      aristurtle

      The last Republican president who “reduced the size and scope of government” was Herbert Hoover.
      Eisenhower? That notorious communist taxed the rich at 90%, built the Interstate Highway System, sent federal troops into an Arkansas school, and presided over the largest economic increase this country’s ever had. In today’s political climate he’d be considered to the left of Bernie Sanders.
      Nixon? Signed into law and then used the Economic Stabilization Act to fix prices and wages whenever he wanted. Joe Stalin wouldn’t call that a reduction in the scope of government.
      Ford? Raised income taxes on the top personal bracket and on corporations by 5%, started the nationwide flu vaccine program, established special ed programs, etc.
      Reagan? Hahahahahahaha. Increased defense spending by 40% (in peacetime!), spearheaded the federal War On Drugs, and moved the AMT from “some thing that affects like ten people in the whole country” to “how every middle-class American family is getting taxed from now on”. Oh, and he tripled the national debt, just under $1T to just under $3T, beginning a long and mostly unbroken tradition of politicans who can’t figure out that cutting taxes does not, in fact, raise revenue, and that things costs money. Whoops!
      HW Bush? Well, there was the ADA, which I don’t have a problem with but you probably do. He pioneered NAFTA. He campaigned on “No new taxes!” and then when he took office said (I’m quoting, here): “lol j/k!”. Not that that was his fault, really: Reagan left him with the largest deficit since WWII. And he started a couple of wars, of course, though he didn’t screw them up as much as his idiot son.
      And then you’ve got W Bush, who I’m sure I don’t even need to get into. Nothing like a couple foreign wars and a broad expansion of our domestic security apparatus to increase the size and scope of government.
       
      But hey, I’m sure that the Republicans really mean it this time. You just keep voting for them and eventually they’ll do what they say they will, right?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      As for you lefties who don’t understand how us poor folks can support reducing the size and scope of government it’s because we want a system that allows as many people as possible to be rich.

      The flaw in that logic is that countries with less and less government have much greater income stratification.  Less government almost always means more fewer rich and less poor.

      • 0 avatar
        don1967

        The flaw in that logic is that countries with less and less government have much greater income stratification.  Less government almost always means more fewer rich and less poor.

        If we define “rich” in purely relative terms, then yes, millions of Chinese farmers are equally rich.   But I would rather live in a stratified society where even the lowest-paid worker enjoys a higher standard of living than this.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        @don1967

        I was thinking more along the lines of, eg, sub-Saharan Africa, south Asia or certain parts of Central America, but you raise a good point in that it’s not more government or less government that’s automatically good or bad, but what that government does and how accountable it and it’s populace are.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Psar, you are kind of comparing apples to oranges. The fact is less government does not equal greater social stratification and income inequality. The major factor in income inequality is property rights and the rule of law. Without those things you have great wealth on top of grinding poverty with no way to move up the ladder. Every evil in the world can’t be blamed on conservatism or liberterianism.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        The major factor in income inequality is property rights and the rule of law. Without those things you have great wealth on top of grinding poverty with no way to move up the ladder

        Yup, and for the rule of law to exist you need government to enforce it, which was kind of my point vis a vis Ronnie’s: that the issue isn’t the size and scope of government, but it’s nature.

      • 0 avatar

        Sorry, Psar, but beyond a certain point the size of government will necessarily intrude on freedom. There is a difference between a government that enforces the rule of law and a government that extends that rule of law into every little nook and cranny of our lives. It’s now virtually impossible to not be a criminal or not be in violation of some kind of executive branch regulations.
         
        It seems to me that you are conflating two different issues, you are eliding from the need for contracts to be enforced to the supposed virtue of an all encompassing state. There is a point where the state ‘protecting’ your property rights becomes the state telling you what you can do with your property – which of course means that the state has taken away your property rights.
         
        Did you know that it’s now a federal crime in the US to sell something second hand? Well it is if that item has been the subject of some kind of safety recall. Should the federal government be policing garage sales?

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        I agree with Ronnie Schreiber. When we say “less government”, we meant less as in not letting the government determine which auto maker survive. The auto bailout is a perfect example where more government (not less government) breaks the rule of law and prior contracts.

        Regarding the “criminal garage sale” case, it’s exactly like that of China, where there are so many weird and self-conflicting laws that the government actively use to prosecute people in conflict with the state.

      • 0 avatar
        GS650G

        I didnt realize government was supposed to make sure there was a proper balance between rich and poor. I always thought that was up to us as individuals. I’ll have to start voting for a bigger paycheck somehow. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        There is only a certain amount of wealth to spread around.  As the rich get even richer it means that the middle class and poor get poorer.
         
        Twenty people making $50,000 a year would do a lot more good for the economy than one person making $1,000,000 per year.  While that one millionaire might buy two or three houses and a couple high end cars, with the twenty middle class earners you have the opportunity for twenty houses and thirty or forty cars.
         
        While I am sure there are some wealthy people who create jobs, just as there are some poor people who come up with a great idea that blossoms into a company and ends up creating jobs, there are plenty of CEOs and executives who see employees and workers as nothing more than a resource to be squeezed for every cent of profit, with not a single care about the quality of life that those employees reap from their efforts.   The unions play an important roll to make sure some of those millions in profits that come from the sweat of the brow of the workers actually come back to the workers, and don’t end up collecting dust in the vaults of the millionaires up top.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @NulloModo- The notion that, “There is only so much wealth to go around”,  is absurd and contrary to the truth about the economy. The United States has been by far the largest wealth creator in the history of the world. We presently have over 400 billionaires compared to around 60 or fewer in any other country. Not all that long ago, there was no such thing as a indvidual billionaire. And it is not just the ultra rich. The US has created $Trillions in wealth for hundreds of millions across the economic spectrum. Sure the rich are far richer, in comparison, but even our poor have more than the middle classes in many nations.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      It’s a fallacy to believe that less government automatically means more money in the pockets of the average citizen.
       
      Large corporations are robbing the people blind in a number of industries.  Our biggest problem with our current healthcare system is that health services have become far too expensive because of greedy corporations, but health services providers and health insurance companies.  Take for example someone who is successful enough to have health insurance.  That person pays a premium to the health insurance company, which makes a profit.  Let’s say that person develops cancer, and has to go into the hospital.  In addition to the profits already paid to the health insurance company, that person also has to pay out of pocket for whatever their copay is to the hospital, and since many hospitals are for profit organizations, both the health insurance provider and the patient are now paying towards the profits of the hospital, which also pays (hugely) marked up prices of the drugs that they prescribe.  The patient and health insurance company also pay towards the salary of the doctor of course, who likely makes well into the six figures (which depending on their skill level may be deserved), but those doctor costs also include malpractice insurance which the doctor has to pay to another insurance company also making tons of profits.  All of these corporations involved in the middle of this aren’t passing most of the money onto the employees, no, these profits are going right into the fists of the CEOs, board members, and other fat cats who already have more than enough.
       
      I’m not against profit, private enterprise, or capitalism, but something as basic as good health should not be a for profit enterprise.  Instead of our current convoluted system, we could have this very simple one:  Every US citizen is provided 100% health coverage with $0 out of pocket ever for any medical procedure needed (excepting elective procedures for non-quality of life impacting ailments, such as boob jobs).   All medical facilities, doctors, etc, are bound by law to treat any citizen who comes in with a legitimate claim for service.  The government sets price limits on how much pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment and supply companies, and malpractice insurance companies are allowed to charge to dramatically lower the overall cost needed to run a hospital.
       
      Bingo bango, everyone is covered, costs are cut dramatically by cutting out all of the middle men, and the vast majority of people are far better off.

    • 0 avatar

      @Ronnie Schrieber, 12:46pm: Agreed. Look to France for evidence of this.

  • avatar
    joe_thousandaire

    Its collective bargaining that’s undemocratic, or at least anti-capitalist. If all the auto-makers got together and said: “We’re the only people that make cars. We will not sell a car for less than $50,000 and if you don’t like it too bad, ride a bike to work.”  – That would be collective bargaining, and it would be illegal under anti-trust laws.
    Yet the UAW can get together and say: “We declare ourselves the only people that can build cars, and if you don’t give us ever increasing wages and benefits we’ll strike, and if you don’t like it too bad, ride a bike to work.” Again collective bargaining, except when a union does it its ‘democracy’, its a basic human right.
    So whats the difference between a labor union and a corporation? They both exist to make money, to make their members (and especially leaders) rich. When they are allowed to create a monopoly through collective bargaining the same damage occurs. The artificial inflation of costs, either for a product or the labor that creates the product. Making a general mess out the supply and demand structure that makes the free market work.
     

    • 0 avatar
      Jimal

      In the old days, when unions were by and for the workers and therefore relevant, there was a difference. Today the union’s number one priority is making sure the union survives. The reality is that most of the things that labor unions originally fought for (workplace safety, child labor protections, etc.) are now the law of the land, thereby making the unions increasingly irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        Is that not the fundamental problem with America in particular and democracy in general — There is no ability to declare victory and go home?

        Give them a gold watch and say — hey, you guys did a great job, but when a non-union transplant worker makes more money than a domestic auto union guy, it’s played out and run its course.

        You can’t get smaller, more effective government, either, if everybody always wants what they’re getting and more.  

        I do sometimes tune into McElroy’s AutoLine Detroit, which airs on PBS, but, now that there are 500 options on television for a pretty cheap monthly cost, the need for a public broadcasting station with an alternative voice for those things that can’t make it to air doesn’t make any sense when there are 50 channels devoted to the same thing on digital cable TV. Try to get people to realize that the world’s different and that you no longer have 3 channels and rabbit ears, and PBS has run its course, and you’re in for a fight against dewy-eyed reminiscing.  Woe be to the Democrat who wanted to cut PBS funding.

        Another one: America has adopted the strange strategy of the British empire — we have to always spend more on arms than the rest of the world combined.  Do we really need yet another high-tech missile when fighting an asymmetric war?  Does a Daisy Cutter or a Bunker Buster no longer work — do they now have stronger caves? Woe be to the Republican who wanted to cut defense spending.

        What’s the UAW to do — accept that they’re a caretaker for the VEBA, or hope to spin things long enough until they’re all dead?

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @joe_thousandaire- The FDR era Wagner act gave huge power to unions, setting the stage for the UAW monopoly that gave them the power to demand increasingly unsustainable compensation and benefits until strong foreign brands ruined it by entering our market.
      Between union empowering laws and CAFE, the Auto industry owed its decline in no small part to government intervention. That is at least some justification for government assistance when they finally slid over the brink in the ’08 collapse. 

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Auto industry owed its decline in no small part to government intervention

        I would accept this, except that other countries are more rigorously unionized and regulated.  Management of the automakers needs to accept some (most?) of the culpability for their current situation.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        I would say most, after all they gave in to union demands instead of breaking the UAW when they had chances. And they did sell crap for so long.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @psarjinian-
        WRT Unions
        Japanese unions never strike. I know less about the Germans let alone the Koreans, but 40 years taught me a lot about the Americans. The UAW, through law, has the power almost to impose pattern bargain contracts that pertain to the whole industry and to strike a strategic plant and force the company to pay tens of thousands of workers 95% of their normal pay when they have to be laid off due to shortage of the strategic part.  Add Jobs bank and early retirements and entitlements on top of productivity hampering work rules. 

        I wager no other car making country comes close to stacking the deck so heavily against the employer and in favor of the union.

        No other country has anything like CAFE, and would never stack the deck against their own companies as UAW instigated provisions do the Americans. Every other market consists of populations that are poorer and even physically smaller than Americans, in the case of the Asians. They use government policy, particularly high gas taxes to promote consumer interest in higher fuel efficiency on top of other reasons they naturally demand smaller vehicles. Americans still choose large vehicles, 52% of March sales were trucks. If they wanted high economy, CAFE would be unnecessary. IT actually restricts choice while driving costs that consumers would not voluntarily choose to pay. Otherwise, small, high efficiency vehicles would account for more than the 10% or so they sell.

        I subscribe to the Deming philosophy, “Management is always responsible.” No doubt, they made mistakes, most humans do from time to time. The problems that weakened the and, with the collapse of ’08, drove 2/3 of the U.S. auto industry into bankruptcy and left the other buried under a mountain of debt are systemic and the result of more powerful forces than any management could control.

        They deserve blame, but a minor share, imho.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Its collective bargaining that’s undemocratic, or at least anti-capitalist

      I’ll buy that too, but then, so are corporate charters.   So I’ll make you a deal: we’ll outlaw collective bargaining if we can also outlaw corporate personhood.

      Collective bargaining is most certainly not undemocratic, and it’s certainly more democratic than adjust the law so that corporations can act as people without reprecussions for the people who run the corporation.  As @NulloModo notes above, collective bargaining is really the only balance the lower and middle classes have, because the rich effectively control the media, can lobby government, can write the law and have effective control over distribution of resources and employment.  One side has money, the other has numbers.  As soon as you take away either advantage (either through full-on collectivism, like Mao or Lenin, or militarist, like Mussolini) you end up with real trouble.

      Does it (collective bargaining) distort “the market”?  Yes, certainly.  Of course, an undistorted market is a creature of economic textbooks and philosophical wankery: it can’t exist because in any situation the participants in a market will warp it to their advantage and become de facto governments.

      • 0 avatar
        MikeAR

        Actually there are ways to enforce good behavior from corporate renegades. The laws that are on the books aren’t for the most part enforced and if they are they are turned on people who aren’t members of the club. Most of the time any action against a corporate officer is a wrist slap with little monetary penalty. I’m a great believer in poverty inducing fines and public shaming,

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        “I’ll buy that too, but then, so are corporate charters.   So I’ll make you a deal: we’ll outlaw collective bargaining if we can also outlaw corporate personhood.”

        I don’t think the problem is with collective bargaining. The real problem is still with government intervention.

        Sure the UAW can strike all they want, collectively. But if there isn’t a new contract that both side are willing to sign, neither sides should be bond by the other, and thus the employer should be free to hire new workers.
        There will be some production interruption, but can be compensated by replacing $80k/year trained monkeys with $30k less trained monkeys.

        The root cause of the problem is “forced sell” (or force buy). The government is aiding UAW to force a sale of their labor far above fair market price, at the expense of the employer and unemployed candidates.

        The “forced sell” phenomenon breaks the very foundation of capitalism. 

        Sure, workers benefit is to be protected. But that’s should be valid only for the duration of the contract. If you don’t feel a 3 year contract/protection is good enough, look for a job elsewhere.

  • avatar
    gslippy

    I don’t even know what he’s talking about.  Is he referring to the Teachers’ Union, or the UAW?

    As far as I know, it’s the workers at the transplants who don’t want union representation, not the Republicans on their behalf.

    And the reference to Godwin’s Law is brilliant.

    • 0 avatar

      The labor movement as a whole made a bad strategic mistake by putting their eggs in the public employee union basket. When most union members were in the private sector, most Americans could at least in part identify with union members because most of us know what it’s like to work for a boss who is a jerk.
       
      Public employee unions, though, put the average American in the position of being, not a worker drone, but the boss. Most of us who are not orthodox leftists (and even some lefties too) have been disrespected by some government worker and our natural response is, “wait a second, you work for me!”. So when our overcompensated and underworked public employees start acting as though they are our superiors with a claim on our wallets, we start pushing back.
       
      Please don’t confuse private sector labor unions with the inherently corrupt public employee unions that are far more corrosive of democracy than anything the Koch brothers have done.

    • 0 avatar
      joe_thousandaire

      @ gslippy – King is specifically referring to Michigan’s Emergency Financial Manager Law. The one Rachael Maddow got her panties in a bunch about. It allows finacial managers appointed by the state to take emergency powers in failing communities (of which Michigan has umm… quite a few) and suspend collective bargaining/tear up union contracts/fire public employee’s – basically all the things Democrats hate – hence the ridiculously over-superlative angst.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I disagree about public employee unions, they have just as much a right to exist.  In certain fields such as law or accounting there is plenty of work to be had in either the public or private sector.  In these cases, I can understand why there would be no reason for public unions to exist.
       
      In other fields, such as law enforcement, teaching, or social services, the opportunities for employment in the private sector are much smaller.  In these cases the government employees should absolutely have the right to unionize as they don’t have the option to move to a different employer if they are being treated poorly or underpaid.  Plus, with each new administration, be it at the local or federal level, there is the chance the someone is going to try to change everything around on its head.   While change is good in certain situations, and even necessary, so is a certain amount of stability for the employees.
       
      If the government wants to attract intelligent, driven, and successful people for government jobs, the government needs to offer pay, benefits, and stability that make those jobs desirable.  Given that taxes have become a dirty word and that everyone seems to want to cut government spending at all costs, regardless of the effects that will have on the quality of services offered, the public unions provide an important role in making sure that knee-jerk measures to cut spending don’t end up letting short sighted officials cut important services that the community depends on.

      • 0 avatar
        gslippy

        One way to allay your concern about public teachers is to eliminate the public school system, and privatize it.  Then they could still have the option to unionize, I suppose, but at lower cost to the customer.
         
        In my state of Pennsylvania, public education spending exceeds $11,000 per student, while the student population seems less competent each year.  We are consistently told that higher education spending is needed to keep our students competitive.  I might believe this if my local school district didn’t have a $1 million football field with only a 10-year lifespan for its surface, a $300k electronic sign in front of the school, and the very latest in laptop computers and CCTV throughout the facility, none of which improves my childrens’ education one bit.  Moreover, the funding goal is mysteriously never stated; it’s always ‘more’.
         
        My extended family is full of teachers, including my daughter who is soon to be one herself, but dreads the ugly system she is about to enter.
         
        So when it comes to these public employees threatening to strike every few years to ensure protections for their incomparably high salaries, tenures, and other entitlements, I have a real problem with that.  Governors Walker and Christie are my heroes on this subject, anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        gslippy-
         
        I know that teachers in PA do get paid higher than the national average, but I’d hardly say the pay is high overall.   Certain political entities try to pass it off that most teachers work a 5 hour day and get the whole summer off, which, at least in my experience, was very far from the truth.  I taught for several years before going into car sales.  My first class started at 7:30am, and my day didn’t end until 3:30 on a short day.  Most of the year I had after school clubs or activities to coach, so I was working from 7:00 until 6:00.  There was some downtime in the summer, but it was far from three months off.   Between teaching summer school, summer activity camps, and professional development classes, I had maybe three weeks off during the summer months.  For all of that, I earned about $40K per year, including the summer school and activity pay (and had to pay for classroom supplies out of my own pocket).  The long hours, low pay, and ridiculous testing regimes required by NCLB were the big reasons I decided that it was time to break away from teaching.
         
        Still, I believe our public school system is absolutely vital.  A lot of it is broken, but that doesn’t mean there is no hope.  No Child Left Behind has done more damage to our public school system than anything else.  It encourages teaching to standardized tests of dubious quality, takes away weeks of valuable instruction time for state mandated assessments every year, tries to implement accountability in unsustainable ways that lead schools to cheat the system (such as moving as many students under the special ed umbrella as they can, which then requires even more funds to support), but worst of all doesn’t really do anything to improve the educational experience for those that want to learn.
         
        If you ask any teacher out there what the biggest problem in education is today, they will tell you that it’s a minority of students with no respect for the educational system, who put no value in their time at school, due mostly to a home environment that doesn’t stress the importance of an education.
         
        Yes, there are some bad teachers who don’t care about what they do, and they shouldn’t be in the classroom.  For those that do care however, the situation now is that a handful of students in each class can derail the progress of everyone.  Tracking has become a dirty word, so students of all ability levels are thrown in together.  Due to the NCLB and testing requirements the entire class has to slow down to the pace of weakest learner, or, as is more often the case, the student who cares the least because there is no emphasis put on scholastic success at home.  We’ve built a system that now says no one is allowed to fail, so we just keep lowering the bar until everyone can at least barely make it over the stupidly easy state metric.
         
        I don’t know what we should do about it, but the solutions probably won’t be popular.  A friend of mine who teaches has run into a situation where she can remove a cell phone from a student for texting in class, which then by school policy goes to the Principal who holds it until the parent picks it up, only to have parent give it right back to the kid who starts texting in class again the next day.  When I taught I had a parent scream at me for failing her daughter on an assignment where the daughter did nothing more than cut and paste a wikipedia article and then hand it in as her report.  There needs to be accountability for teachers and schools, but also accountability for students and their parents at home.  Maybe it’s time we started finding a way to adapt child abuse statutes to include taking no role in your child’s education, because after all, sending someone out into the world with no knowledge or skills certainly seems like it could fit under the category of abuse to me.
         
         

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        @NulloModo, I knew there was some reason I liked you.  I come from a state (NM) where right around $4,000 per student is being spent.  I invite any of you to come see the difference and see how it impacts classrooms.  When I taught in MI (IN 2001!!!!) the state was spending about $6,800 per student.  Contrast that with my current state of employment.  FYI NM ranks right around 17th from the top in teacher pay although each district has a large amount of discretion in the “steps” on it’s pay pyramid, the state only determines the starting salary for each licensure level. 

        My point?  I’ve never lived anywhere (and I lived in MI, OH, and NM) where people were willing to vote themselves even the most miniscule of tax increases to pay for education.  Education is the way that civilizations hand down the collected knowledge they have accumulated.  Yet people place so little value on it. 

        Can you read this car blog?  Thank a teacher. 

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Not to go off on too much of a tangent (I’m a bit passionate about this subject) but in response to current school funding -
         
        This might not be true in all states (and EducatorDan can fill in how it works in his) but a lot of funding was tied to specific things, and had to be spent in that area.  A certain amount of money could only be spent on facilities, another pool was tied to technology in the classroom, and another chunk had to be spent on teaching English as a second language or special education.  While it seems like a good idea on the surface to make special grants for facilitating in-classroom technology for example, what ends up happening is that most of the money coming into the school gets special earmarks attached, so the school can’t spend the money where it really needs it.  With technology in the classroom especially, a lot of that money ends up being wasted because there aren’t similar funds available to teach teachers (especially the older vets who started before the Internet age) how to effectively use it.
         
        Regarding the $1,000,000 football field – while that seems pretty pricey for a playing surface to me, depending on the costs to water, seed, mow, and otherwise maintain a natural grass surface over 10 years, it might actually end up being worthwhile.  In an age where childhood obesity is at an all-time high, anything that encourages constructive athletic activity should be encouraged.  For a high school when you take into account the freshman, JV, an varsity football teams, freshman, JV, and varsity cheerleading squads, the marching band, the track and field teams, the soccer teams, the field hockey teams and the lacrosse teams, a football stadium allows many hundreds of students to be athletically active year after year.  The field can also be used to hold pep rallies to help increase school spirit and pride, to hold graduations, and to hold assemblies during the milder months.  Plus, it serves as a place for the community to come interact with and support the student body.  When you look at the truly successful public schools in the US, one of the omnipresent characteristics is active community interaction and support.
         
        With the current emphasis on standardized testing in the core curriculum the extra-curricular activities that make learning fun for many students are falling by the wayside.  Programs like Odyssey of the Mind and Science Olympiad are great educational opportunities that stress the type of creative thinking, higher order problem solving, and math and science focused exploration that are invaluable traits required by the new information age economy.   Unfortunately, I know of schools that would love to support these programs, but can’t afford to keep the building open to allow the teams to meet, or afford buses to take the students home after meetings or to the events.  Asking parents to hold meetings at their homes and to carpool is one solution, but it doesn’t always work, and should we really have to do that?   While I taught I had to have my students hock frozen pizzas, cookie dough, and wrapping paper through fundraisers just to earn enough money to buy scripts and set supplies to put on a school play.
         
        In the end it’s not about the amount of money being spent on education, it’s about spending the money in the right ways to encourage active learning and to get the students excited about the educational experience.  We are experiencing similar issues with the federal budget – the arguments in the papers and on TV are all about increasing or cutting funding, but how about we take the time to find a way to spend the money we have intelligently and cut out the waste.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        I can only add Nullo, that in my new position I do get more access to those in power.  Every chance I get I talk about how the system strangles innovation and creativity (by both teachers and students.) 

        But yes there are sometimes innane provisios on how money must be spent.  I know there must be rules, but must they always be so restrictive? 

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1″
    Yup, that’s about right.  Bush is like Hitler, Obama is like Hitler, and my IQ just dropped about 50 points.  Stupid analogy no matter the political lean.
     
    “as for you lefties…”  Careful now, that’s the type of generalization and dismissive tone that starts us down the path of fulfilling Godwin’s Law.

  • avatar

    And the biggest embarrassment: Detroit’s hometown papers, which surely were present at the function, did let the remarks slide.
    Before we posted, neither the Freep nor the DetN had anything (at least as per their search engines).
    The DetN quickly put together an article that appeared at 2am in the morning, many hours after we had ours up.  At the time of this typing, the Freep has nothing (at least as per Google and the Freep search engine.)
    A bit belatedly, the DetN invokes Godwin’s rule: “Hitler? Really. Anytime anyone invokes Adolf in a conversation, they’ve exposed their desperation.”

  • avatar
    tallnikita

    i suspect there is no retort from labor supporters due to their inability to operate a computer.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The sad part of this is the Mr. King hasn’t been in the top job very long, and now he’s invoking Godwin’s Law. How long was Mr. Gettlefinger on the job?

  • avatar
    skor

    It is most unfair to compare the current crop of corporate kleptocrats to Hitler.  After all, Hitler enacted very strict laws to protect German workers from exploitation at the hands of their employers……..of course these protections did not extent to non-Germans.
    On the other hand, today’s corporate vampire octopus does not extend protections to any group except for the top 1% of income “earners”.  The rest of humanity is subject to exploit and slavery in an equitable manner, irrespective of race, gender, creed, age etc.   Yes, we’ve come a long way.  Today’s ruling class are equal opportunity homicidal maniacs.

  • avatar
    Morea

    That’s the antipathy of democracy.

    I believe he means antithesis.  (insert swipe at teachers’ unions here.)

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Ahhh…! Nothing like a good dose of Hitler in the morning! Now I feel better! Coffee please?

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Okay, a few rants then a quick disengagement.

    1. Our country is $13.7 TRILLION dollars in debt. Don’t even talk to me about so-called fair share taxes. Until the citizens and elected constituents stop using overseas sources as a revenue source for our government spending, the ‘fair share’ cliche has no merit.

    2. My father always said that you can tell a lot about how a given place operates by who has the nicest buildings. In most cities, counties and municipalities it is the government that owns the nicest facilities.

    That hasn’t been historically true for our country until the last twenty years. Even in Georgia, when I used to visit a county or state building, it would usually be located in an older facility or one that was part of a strip mall. Now you have $50 million to $70 million buildings even in rural counties along with state of the art equipment even for the most mundane of services. 

    When part-time council members have nicer offices than most executives could even fathom having in the corporate world, then it’s time to re-evaluate how money is spent in this country. I can’t speak for the other 49 states. But here in Georgia it seems like you can enjoy far more perks and a nicer working environment by opting for a government job. That shouldn’t be the case.

    3. I don’t see any of this changing. Perhaps party platforms need to be eliminated so that folks within the two major parties can offer differing opinions. Maybe we need a balanced budget amendment and a re-evaluation as to what we can afford. Simplification of the tax system? More referendums that would our citizens the chance to eliminate certain city, county and municipal governments? Good ideas that won’t see the light of day until the dollar collapses. 

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      Good points.  I am a fan of the flat tax, but it has no chance because the lumpy tax provides lots of strings to pull for politicians of all stripes.

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      “2. My father always said that you can tell a lot about how a given place operates by who has the nicest buildings. In most cities, counties and municipalities it is the government that owns the nicest facilities.”

      You are dead-on with that! Case in point: Hamilton, Ohio, just outside Cincinnati. A very hard-hit small city not far from where I live. Just about all real industry is gone. When you come into the city from the east on the regional highway and drive down in the valley towards it, what do you see? The largest, nicest, most attractive, newest stand-out structure – the Butler County Government Building! You’d think you were approaching the Emerald City.

      Of course, one can argue the gov’t – whether local, regional or national, needs these facilities for courts, revenue offices and jails to accomodate all the new criminals left jobless by having all the factories shut down. Yes, I’m being facetious, but the causes can be argued ad infinitum, not well-suited for a car site.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      When part-time council members have nicer offices than most executives could even fathom having in the corporate world, then it’s time to re-evaluate how money is spent in this country

      On that note, Ross Perot had some interesting words about the opulence of GM’s executive facilities.

      I do agree with you, though: it’s a symptom of the disease of abstraction. When you have the powerful sufficiently divorced from reality, you have a brewing social problem.

      (it also makes me feel somewhat better about how shabby Canada’s parliament building are!)

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      A few quick notes.

      I am NOT for the flat tax even as far as Federal income taxes go… though I would be one of the beneficiaries. The tax levels we had during the Reagan era post-1986 were reasonable and I have no qualms paying more if the powers that be decided that spending and deficit reduction were the foremost priority.

      Other than the standard deduction, I don’t see the point of having all the other related deductions.  Real estate should not be deductible. It effectively subsidizes the price and makes it less affordable for most folks. IRA’s? Sorry, but if we seem hellbent on spending without accountability, I wouldn’t be for any of those deductions. We have to take care of our bills. 

      Scott Nearing said it best… PAY AS YOU GO.

      P.S. The Chinese model interests the heck out of me. Just let the government money and tax no one (for the most part). There are advantages to it. But I do wonder whether this type of policy would lead to an inflationary currency in the long-term.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s government policies that have creating the circumstances we find ourselves in today. Years of tax policies that encouraged offshoring of jobs, the inability to say not to the special interests has creating an absurd tax code and welfare state that has lead to the $14T debt.

    I love how unions rail against the corporate tax loopholes that let GE pay no taxes, yet ignore where the real money is in tax loopholes – mortage interest deduction, child tax credit, earned income tax credits – all aimed at the middle class!!

    When 47% of the citizens pay NO ferdal taxes, of course they want to keep it that way. Speaking as a middle class person, unless we  are ready to accept that sacrifices are needed across the board, nothing will get done. Class warfare solves nothing.

    The Tea Party Republicans are not trying to use government to take over our lives, but quite the opposite. They want goverment out of out lives, and that means out of the business of providing many of the services government currently provides. When 20% of the personal income in this country comes directly from the goverment, that’s a problem. What I don’t hear is how, if we are going to eliminate some of the social safety net to save money, we are going to change polices so that we are encouraging the return of jobs to the US from overseas. How about no taxes on profits from products manufactured in the US?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Tea Party Republicans are not trying to use government to take over our lives, but quite the opposite. They want goverment out of out lives…

      Correction: by and large, they want government out of other people’s lives and don’t want to pay taxes themselves.  They still want roads paved, they want their Medicare, their Social Security, and so on and so forth.  In truth, the movement isn’t really sure what it wants.

      The Tea Party, on a macro level, is intellectually bankrupt populism.  Individual members aren’t—many are bright, capable, and idealistic—but the movement itself is about as realistic as hippie communism.  The difference, and I why I have issues with the T.P., is that it’s so very easy for a certain kind of demagogue take what amounts to proto-fascism and ride it into power, only to find themselves having to cater to the worst of that attitude.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        My theory on the Tea Party is that is made up mostly of disgruntled Baby Boomers who didn’t bother saving or planning ahead so are lashing out as they drop from the employment roles. That is why they’re anti-Government… except for as you noted, Social Security, Medicare, etc. You know, the things that the most selfish generation needs for themselves?

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        Jimal – The tea party is a pretty loose concept and is comprised of people who have been paying attention. Some are conservative, some libertarian, some even liberal, though none are statists. They are not bound by a social agenda.

        They know government spending has simply got to be reigned in for the country to avoid a bleak future. They all work and pay taxes. That is the common link. 

        Democrats are supported by rich people buying favor, (Wall street) to help them make more money, rich people paying no taxes because congress designed those loopholes for them, rich people whose fortunes came very fast, very easy or both: Hollywood types, those who married money (Kerry) or even inherited illegal fortunes (Kennedys).
        They are not supported by many folks who actually earned their fortunes through hard work.
        Democrats are supported by those who pay no taxes, but receive redistributed wealth through government programs. Those looking for government to take careof them.

        And Democrats are supported by unionists, public and private, because they understand that their market value would bring them less income and benefits without union power to demand higher compensation.

        That covers most of them.  Their common thread is that they don’t care how much taxes are because they either don’t pay them, make easy money, feel they get more back from government than they pay in, or in many cases are just not paying attention.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        @doctor olds, I seem to have a good number of self described Tea Party Patriots in my immediate family and I can tell you first hand that for the most part they aren’t paying much attention to anything beyond the incendiary (yet somehow easily debunked) e-mails that they keep circulating around. A philosophy of “somebody said it so it must be true” isn’t really “paying attention”, especially when each relative forwards the same e-mail to the same distribution list as if they are the first one to do it. I’ve given up on responding because I realized they just don’t care. Government is evil, Obama is an America hating Muslim who is an illegitimate President, blah blah blah… I’m sure he kills kittens for fun.

        That is the Tea Party to me.

      • 0 avatar
        doctor olds

        @Jimal-Condolences on your issues with your family. I know the emails of which you write. I try to check Snopes or otherwise debunk most of them. Occasional lapses have embarassed me when I sent one that, in my heart I knew was too extreme to be real. These and irrelevent “birther” arguments  a distraction, and are not fundamental to the Tea Party.

        I have not gone to a Tea Party rally, nor have any of my friends or acquaintances. I try to avoid a lot of popular TV, and can’t even say much about who is coming out other than I have been pleased that they seem to be orderly and restrained.

        I also went to their website and note a much more limited list of concerns, primary among them is the restraint of government.

        The US Constitution was created to protect us from government. It is astonishing to see so many today who don’t understand why, and actually want more government.

        de Tocqueville warned of the risk of our system leading to a “soft despotism” through expansion of bureaucracy. Those of us who have been paying attention for decades see it happening.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        @doctor olds, Thanks. They’re still family even if most of them (my father wasn’t healthy enough or he probably would have joined them) loaded up in a van and headed to D.C. for Glenn Beck’s rally. I was actually hopeful that Beck changed his tone after watching that rally, but then he went almost immediately went back to this tin foil hat stuff. You know you’re off the reservation when Fox is willing to dump you when your ratings are still respectable.

        Have I now invoked “Glenn Beck’s Law”? Perhaps that is what we can call the “You have to stop getting your news from [insert media outlet you hate here]” meme.

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      Insanity. The primary driver of offshore jobs is lower wages overseas. Because countries like China have a significantly lower standard of living, it is much cheaper to manufacture there.
       
      You have an interesting definition of the middle class, if you believe the earned income tax credit is aimed at the middle class.
       
      Your statement that 47% pay no federal taxes is incorrect — the majority of those pay federal payroll taxes. The wealthy have done well by “class warfare” — the taxes those who make 250k or more a year pay have decreased dramatically over the last 30 years, while their income has increased at a faster rate than the middle class. That’s class warfare they can take to the bank!

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        Jellodyne: Your statement that 47% pay no federal taxes is incorrect — the majority of those pay federal payroll taxes.

        It is a fact that 47 percent of wage earners pay no federal income tax.  

        Jellodyne: The wealthy have done well by “class warfare” — the taxes those who make 250k or more a year pay have decreased dramatically over the last 30 years, while their income has increased at a faster rate than the middle class.

        The tax rate is irrelevant. What matters is what people actually PAY in federal income taxes.

        Today, in 2011, the rich pay a higher percentage of total income taxes than they did in the 1950s, when rates were set at 90+ percent. How is that? While lowering the rates – a process that started in 1962 under President Kennedy – we’ve also reduced or closed tax loopholes. Which is the correct path. High rates are meaningless if large numbers of people can get out of paying them, which is what happened regularly in the 1950s and 1960s.

      • 0 avatar
        tonycd

        +1. Lower wages overseas, combined with “free trade” policies that outlawed the tariffs, which now have a bad name but kept good-paying jobs here for over 100 years.

        Two elephants in the deficit room:

        1) Simply rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the rich and big corporations would resolve most of the deficit problem all by itself. Contrary to some of the posts in this thread, America taxes these two groups less than any other major industrialized nation. We were more prosperous as a nation when we taxed them more. The real “job creators” aren’t the super-rich, they’re a citizenry that has enough money that they can buy things.

        2) Most Americans show in surveys that they believe the biggest items in the federal budget are what Republicans now cleverly slur as “entitlements” like Social Security, Medicare and welfare. In fact, the largest item is the military, which takes up about half the federal budget all by itself (and more than all the world’s other militaries combined). Evidently we need a lot of protecting. Also evidently, the party of “smaller government” is selective about which parts of government it wants to make smaller — maybe, possibly, those parts that benefit only their smaller campaign contributors?

      • 0 avatar

        1) Simply rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the rich and big corporations would resolve most of the deficit problem all by itself. Contrary to some of the posts in this thread, America taxes these two groups less than any other major industrialized nation. We were more prosperous as a nation when we taxed them more. The real “job creators” aren’t the super-rich, they’re a citizenry that has enough money that they can buy things.

        Yeah, if we cut open the goose, we’ll get all the golden eggs.
         
        It’s been shown that we could tax the “rich” and corporations at 100% and still not cover the defiicit.
         
        People who buy things don’t create jobs. People who make things for sale create jobs.
         
        Oh, and the US has the highest effective corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, but go ahead and persist in your envy of the wealthy.

        2) Most Americans show in surveys that they believe the biggest items in the federal budget are what Republicans now cleverly slur as “entitlements” like Social Security, Medicare and welfare. In fact, the largest item is the military, which takes up about half the federal budget all by itself (and more than all the world’s other militaries combined). Evidently we need a lot of protecting.
        After you’re done slicing open that goose, you can join hands with the jihadis in a rousing chorus of Kumbaya. You do know that during the administration of the sainted Jack Kennedy defense spending was about double what it is today in terms of percentage of GDP, don’t you?
         
        Also evidently, the party of “smaller government” is selective about which parts of government it wants to make smaller — maybe, possibly, those parts that benefit only their smaller campaign contributors?

        Actually, plenty of conservatives have called for reductions in the defense budget. As for campaign contributions, the Democrats receive a lot more money from very wealthy donors than Republicans do. The Republican financial base are small and medium sized business owners, not the super wealthy. The super wealthy are more likely to give money to Democrats (Bing, Soros, Peter Lewis). I don’t like crony capitalism no matter which party is in power but it seems like the Dems do like passing out favors to those who give them money, be they Jeff Immelt at GE or Trumka of the AFL-CIO.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        toncyd: 1) Simply rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the rich and big corporations would resolve most of the deficit problem all by itself.

        Incorrect - this would reduce the deficit by about $700 million over the next TEN YEARS at best. It’s a drop in the bucket. And the new spending enacted by the current administration far outstrips any addtional revenue that would be gained by the repeal of these tax reductions.

        tonycd: Contrary to some of the posts in this thread, America taxes these two groups less than any other major industrialized nation.

        Again, this is incorrect. No nation relies more on wealthy taxpayers than the U.S. Our federal income tax structure is more progressive than that of Sweden and France, which are hardly examples of free-market capitalism run amok. And our corporate tax rate is among the highest in the world.

        The difference is that more high-income taxpayers actually pay taxes in the U.S. than in nations with higher rates on paper. This is part of what got Greece in trouble – it has very high tax rates, but very few people bothered to pay them.  

        tonycd: We were more prosperous as a nation when we taxed them more.

        The rich actually paid less in taxes in those days, thanks to more deductions, loopholes and tax shelters. Today they pay more, because while we have reduced the rates, we’ve also closed loopholes and eliminated shelters. So, based on your contention, we were more prosperous when the rich paid LESS in taxes than they do today.

        tonycd: 2) Most Americans show in surveys that they believe the biggest items in the federal budget are what Republicans now cleverly slur as “entitlements” like Social Security, Medicare and welfare.

        Social Security constitutes the largest portion of federal spending, and Medicaid/Medicare combined roughly equal defense spending. Americans who believe that these programs constitute a larger percentage of total federal spending than defense are, in fact, quite well informed.

        toncyd: In fact, the largest item is the military, which takes up about half the federal budget all by itself (and more than all the world’s other militaries combined).

        Again, incorrect. (I believe that you need a new source of information.) Military spending is about 24 percent of the total budget (this includes the so-called “off the book” spending), and ranks behind Social Security as a percentage of total federal spending.

        Even more importantly, military spending is not slated to grow much in the coming years. Meanwhile, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have all outstripped the military in spending growth over the last 20 years. This trend will only accelerate as baby boomers retire in greater numbers and place greater demands on Social Security and Medicare.

        Anyone who believes that we can tackle the deficit simply by cutting defense spending and repealing the Bush tax cuts needs to join the real world, because such a person would be laughed out of any serious discussion on deficit reduction. Note that “serious discussion on deficit reduction” does not include bloviating by Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      Jimal, you’re a fine example of the modern liberal. All telerant and never depersonalizing those who don’t follow in lockstep with you. You’re the one in the echo chamber who views can’t stand close examination.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        @MikeAR, If being tired of hating people and being divisive means I’m a Liberal, then I guess I’m a Liberal, but exactly what views have I espoused beyond my theory on the Tea Party which is based on my personal experiences from my own family? Do you care to refute my theory about the Tea Party? Can you provide any evidence to disprove the notion that most self described members of the Tea Party are white, middle class people born between 1946 and 1964 who claim no particular allegiance to any political party but whose candidates are almost exclusively Republican?

        Call me names all you want, but prove me wrong first. In the meantime I’m watching Ron Paul very closely. He is only candidate I’ve seen so far who gets it.

      • 0 avatar
        Educator(of teachers)Dan

        Personally Gary Johnson intriques me.  He had a “libertarian” ephiany when he realized there was no reason not to legalize marajuana and tax the heck out of it.  Man that made the Republicans here in NM MAD at him. 

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        Gary Johnson, eh? I’ll look at him. What initially caught my eye/ear about Ron Paul was during one of the Republican Presidential debates back in 2008. While the other candidates answered every question with a speech that had little to nothing to do with the question asked (which all candidates, regardless of party, seem to do), he actually answered the question. Refreshing. Add to that he is a genuine small government conservative who has a rather advanced grasp on economics and how different forces effect the economy.

        Not too bad for an MD from Texas.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        @Jimal: In my dream world, there would be a presidential race between Ralph Nader and one of Bob Barr, Ron Paul or (if I must) Pat Buchanan. 

        I’d prefer it if Ralph won, mind you.

      • 0 avatar
        Jimal

        I’ll never forgive Nader for his contribution to the demise of the Corvair. I read over Gary Johnson’s website; I agree with some things but not others. Perhaps it is the delivery, but the good doctor has a way of explaining some of these complex issues that sounds like he understands them and that he truly believes what he is saying and not just stumping.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    We’re broke.
    The Gravy Train has crashed.
    The 2012 Obama budget spends 4 billion a day.
    No one has that kind of money. We can take every dollar earned in wages from individuals and take every dollar earned in profits from every Fortune 500 company – and not have enough to pay for this budget. The only reason the lights are on is because we borrow over 40 cents on every dolllar. We have been living on credit for the past three years, hoping that spending our credit would somehow jumpstart the economy.

    It hasn’t, and now we are broker than ever. And now we don’t have any more credit. See that inflation? See those foreclosures? See those unemployment lines? See those layoffs?

    Get ready – because it is going to get worse.

    What we are seeing here with this ridiculous comment is the kind of anger and panic that will be soon heard across the US. We can start yelling now in hopes of turning the governments around, or we can start yelling in two years when our credit has become completely destroyed and we can no longer fix the problem by turning the governments around.

    We are broke.

    Neither party wants to give us the bad news. We have to start manning up and telling them that we need to know the bad news, so that we can start telling them what to do. We all have to sacrifice.

    Or move to China, which will have the world’s largest economy within the next five years.

    Mussolini? Hitler?

    It reminds me of the kind of angry name calling teens call their parents after they lose their rights to the family car, and have to meet curfew. Bob King is drowning and wants to take you down with him. Don’t let him. Protect your family. Batter your hatches. There is a fiscal tsunami coming right at you. Fingerpointing is not going to help.

    One more thing – good news!
    We have had really bad fiscal eras before. All through the Long Recession during the later half of the 1800s, and through the US Great Depression during the 1930s, we have had it really bad before. What has turned it around for us is when we break everything up so that we can all be empowered to do the best each of us can be through these bad times, so that we can see which direction is up in the future, and then swim towards it. As it is right now, we have a government taking us down with it, and we need to take the power we gave it over the past sixty years, and empower ourselves again. Start swimming!

    We will be discovering how good our communities can be when we create and recreate the many social ties that naturally occur when we don’t have a powerful central government ignorantly stepping in and ruining things. Will everything be fairly distributed? No. Will some people get more? Not any different than now. What is important now is to stop comparing what you might get with what someone else might get, and just hunker down and hammer this out. The bad times will not last. Time to man up! – and yeah, this sucks!

    These are the times that god gave you balls. Focus on your family. Bail out the parents. Kick your cousins in the ass. Get off the damn couch! It is blister-earning time. Hope you can find some work.

    See you on the other side brothers and sisters!

  • avatar
    stryker1

    *sigh* It’s not easy being pro-union some days…

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    Whever someone breaks out the “you are Hitler” card they have, IMHO, lost their argument.  You only use the Hitler comparison when you are out of valid points to make.

    Ironic that King was at the Detroit Athletic Club (remember from Moore’s film Roger and Me).  Seems a bit high society for the champoin of blue collar working class.

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    I stopped reading the Union doofus’s comments when he got to “Democracy”. 

    Typical dim-brain liberal moron; doesn’t even realize what he had to lose and that was a Republic.  Nor does he fathom the massive difference. 

    Of course, we don’t even truly have an (incorrectly in place and un-Constitutional) democracy any more anyway; it is a fascist state, according to (coincidentally) Mussolini’s description of same.  (“The merger of state and corporate interests to the exclusion of the general public”) – at least that’s close, according to Gerald Celente (and yep, he’s been right way more than he’s been wrong for 40 years). 

    And the union thug as well as his pathetic loser union are just cogs in the machine of the US of Goldman Sachs.

    Alternately known as the Untied Status of America or the Banana Republic of America. 

    It’s very probably even too late to make any difference at this point, anyway. For 30 years, I’ve felt like the man in the wilderness, pleading with people to open their eyes and not vote for the lesser of two evils (or any evil, for that matter), but for what was right; at first, the Libertarian party, now the Constitution party. But it’s actually too late. The train of state has gone over the cliff-edge.

    It just hasn’t hit the canyon floor – yet.

  • avatar

    But Mussolini’s platform was indistinguishable from Democrats: free health care, strong safety net…. Fascists is what you get when you vote for Democrats. I’m not quite sure how this gentlemen is trying to link Republicans here, who are against all that anyhow (some repubs are actually liberals, e.g. remember Bush 43rd and his “compassionate conservatism” platform).

    Also, I do not think that Beetle was all that awesome even in its era. So, Hitler’s automotive accomplishments may not be as stellar as some want us to think.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Umm not so much. Taking two “facts” and saying that two groups share them makes them the same. I thought fascists were hardline on law and order and liked to wage war – sounds like the modern day GOP. See it is easy to take two things and link anyone to them!

  • avatar
    EricTheOracle

    I evoke Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies which states that the first person to reducto ad Hitlerum automatically loses the argument.

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    I believe the subject matter King’s quote is in reference to is Michigan’s recently passed emergency financial manager legislation which basically states the Governor can replace elected officials with an emergency financial manager if the municipality/school district is facing bankruptcy and arbitrarily cancel negotiated union contracts.
     
    Personally without comment on King or the UAW I don’t see how elected officials (mayor, city council etc.) can be arbitrarily replaced by an appointed emergency financial manager stripping the elected officials of their powers. Nor do I see how the appointed emergency financial manager can arbitrarily cancel negotiated union contracts. No doubt this issue is headed to court as soon as the first emergency financial manager is appointed. I fail to see any legal basis for usurping elected officials’ powers/cancelling negotiated contracts and I believe that is what King is talking about. Perhaps a very poor choice of analogies on his part but maybe more that rings true than meets the eye.
     
    The term taxation without representation comes to mind.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      Democrats controlled Michigan’s government when these emergency financial managers were created to provide for a process to avoid financial collapse of  entities such as municipalities and school districts. The current congress and governor have added definition, but the process is not arbitrary at all. It requires a high threshold of financial insolvency as proven by specific measures, and is in place in 3 cities and 1 school district in Michigan right now.
      It creates a process to restructure bankrupt entities and allow for their continued function. Bankrupt means they can’t pay their bills. All the money is gone. Most of us taxpayers don’t care about protecting unsustainable union contractually oblgations. We want these entities to work. Schools tand municipal offices to be open. 
      King wants to protect the public unions whether the taxpayers can afford them or not. No wonder he rails against these (4) emergency managers in a large state.

      A logical person would have to ask- where would the money come from to honor any contract from a bankrupt entity, anyway? Sorry Ronnie, I couldn’t help it.

  • avatar
    golden2husky

     
    What better way to jump the hits than to grab for some good old political warfare.  I’m way too late to the feeding frenzy but consider the comment below:
     
    <<<<You seem unaware that the top 1% of wage earners already pay 32% of the taxes. For that matter the top 10% pay 90% of taxes while 45% pay nothing at all! Have you been watching MSNBC????>>>>
     
    This has to be the most meaningless metric to argue who pays what and what impact it has.  What matters is what percentage of your effective earnings are lost to the tax burden.  Nobody doubts that the total sum the uberrich pay in taxes is a very large number.  But the taxes the average person pays is a far larger percentage of the total income that the average person makes.  Therefore, the tax burden has way more of an impact on their lifestyle.  The wealthy person’s tax bite is a far, far smaller percentage of their income, meaning that taxes are an annoyance but really have minimal impact on their life.  So, how is that remotely fair?  The ultimate solution is a flat tax.  Everybody pays 20% no deductions with the exception of those who are really poor.  Right now, the AMT is a cruel hoax on the middle class, screwing those who do well, but are hardly wealthy.  The stupidity of the tax system is crazy.  But then it was written by those with means to protect those with means.  Frankly, it is disgusting.

    • 0 avatar
      MikeAR

      The tax code is also written by those people who benefit from its complexity.

    • 0 avatar
      doctor olds

      @golden2husky- Your claim that the rich pay a smaller share of their income is factually inaccurate. A $million income pays almost $350,000-35% to the IRS alone. Government takes more like half of the millionaire’s income by the time all taxes and fees are considered.

      From IRS 1040 taxl tables:
      A $100,000 income couple pays $17,000- 17%; $50,000=>6.6%; $25,000=>2.9%.

      In Michigan, a single mother of two with a gross income of $15,000 pays no tax but receives $8,000 back!

      You can fill in the blanks. All these are taxable income after deductions. That is a place that the rich get some breaks, but those are quickly phased out as income rises.

      The rich are paying their share already.

      More importantly tax money is only a parasite on the taxpayers, the real economy that pays for everything. We have developed a system that is crushing the real economy’s growth and tax increases will only worsen the problem. We need help the real economy flourish, not tax it to death. 

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        You mean the ‘real economy’ that is almost 100% dependent on tax funded state power to function?  Bailouts, technology research, infrastructure, environmental cleanup, etc…

        Our economy is based on privatized profits and socialized risks.

        Our ‘real economy’ is state capitalism, it is not free market capitalism which can’t exist.  State capitalism requires a powerful well funded state, which was the priciple behind Reaganomics and everything since.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    “There is only a certain amount of wealth to spread around.”

    What a shockingly stupid thing to believe, let alone write. It is so fundamentally incorrect, it is like claiming that the Earth is flat.


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