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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:22 AM
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Blind to Success

Constant repetition of anti-government rhetoric in our political echo chamber has dulled Americans into overlooking an important and perhaps surprising fact: We have just lived through one of the more notable successes of government intervention in modern times -- the auto and bank rescues that almost surely saved the country from another Great Depression.

The current state of the economy, to be sure, is nothing to celebrate, with unemployment stuck at 9.6 percent. That's why President Obama was right this week to renew his call to invest $50 billion in creating jobs, present and future, by repairing the nation's transportation infrastructure.

Washington is such an easy target that we forget that the real villains of this story are the bankers and auto executives who steered their companies toward disaster. Rattner paints a devastating portrait, especially of GM, where top executives "seemed to be living in a fantasy that, despite the evidence of decades of decline, it was still the greatest carmaker on earth, in a class by itself." Looking back on this near-death experience of our auto and banking industries, it's clear that the successful rescues were possible only because Congress bit the bullet during the presidential transition and voted for the $700 billion pool of TARP money in the crisis months of December 2008 and January 2009. Rattner cautions: "If the task force had not been able to operate under the aegis of TARP, we would have been subject to endless congressional posturing, deliberating, bickering and micromanagement, in the midst of which one or more of the troubled companies under our care would have gone bankrupt."

President Obama and the Democrats should stop running scared on this one. The truth is that the government rescue of the auto and finance industries was a success and a necessary condition for the economic recovery that's slowly gathering steam. Stop apologizing; start taking credit for policies that worked.

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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:27 AM
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1. Agree with the author
Edited on Thu Oct-14-10 09:27 AM by HughMoran
It would be nice if the left lead in promoting the good that Democrats have done - i.e. "yes, we successfully overcame that major bump in the road, now we need to focus on ...". I see too much repetition of negative anti-government rhetoric - I don't think it's helpful.
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:41 AM
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2. Instead of blaming government for everything, I wish the media
would focus on just how many people have tried and tried and tried and worked hard - very hard - and save (only to have a major car/home repair or health care crisis issue wipe out the savings) and STILL haven't become Horatio Alger!

The media should include in the story the main reason why this is so:
1. Corporations refuse to pay workers decent wages and use the money to spread propaganda about how "awful" labor unions are.
2. Corporations keep raising health care insurance costs, but refuse to admit that other countries with single-payer health care insurance have healthier populations.
3. Corporations keep raising the prices of houses, cars, food, etc. while not keeping the percentage of pay on an even playing field.
4. Corporations have moved our better-paying jobs overseas, to save a buck, while providing an inferior product.
5. Corporations have raped our social safety nets so that when one loses a job due to outsourcing, there is very little unemployment and/or welfare to carry a family until the breadwinner(s) can find comparable work.

But, of course, the media will never cover this because:
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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-14-10 09:53 AM
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3. There is a reason for that.
Bureaucracies, corporations, governments, militaries, systems like capitalism, and even religions, can be thought of as a super set of people.

They have some attributes that are the same as a person, many parts, motives, and survival instinct. Although not alive, they mimic the action of a person in form, almost as if ideology is an undead entity that lives.

If it is threatened, people trained within that system defend it, regardless of if it is right or wrong, just like a person has a survival instinct. And the structure of any 'system' lives beyond the mortal life of any individual.

So for instance Capitalism or Socialism. If you go against either of those systems, inside those systems are people 'taught' only the good parts of that system, and that reap rewards from that system. So they will act independently as a cabal to defend that system, and they will try to replace themselves over the years with new people that will have their same beliefs in that system over time.

And as those systems grow, they change, just like a person becomes stubborn and set in their ways when they get older, a system gets more ideological as it finds a pattern of behavior.

And just like in a crime, you have to also look at the overall motive of any 'system' to see what its intent is. From that motive, you can learn much of what its goals are.

The declaration of corporations as people is not hard to understand, although I disagree with it, it is a side effect of being captured by a 'system'. Such a thing occurs anytime a system is put above the thoughts and feelings of ideas of dignity of life and every individual having value. Or if a person thinks a system is more important then what they think or feel in their heart and mind is most important.

Think of one of the system you are in, any system, if someone tries to replace you, you fight to stay in some way to keep your job. If you have an opportunity to 'have more' you expand your area of control. And if you can get perks or advantages you take them.

You see the same thing in a company or religion, or bureaucracy. They will defend themselves, even if it does not make sense, because of trained patterns of people in those systems.

I don't think they are alive, but you can see why some enshrine systems with the benefits of living things, there are even delusions of ideology that appear around systems to defend them as better in many cases, and again in cabal fashion, many of those delusions can seem rational.

But just like a person, a system eventually dies, it lives on beyond it fitting into the larger system of the society it is in, and grows old, stubborn, stagnant, and with out the ability to add to the larger system of society.

So to people that think workers should be thrown out if cheaper workers are found, I say private sector health care systems that skim money should be thrown out, they have been shown to be systems(workers in larger system of society) that are not as cheap as other systems in other countries.

For those that want old people to suffer without Social Security, I say the older system that can no longer defend their usefulness in the larger context of society, should be allowed to die off, so new better thoughtful systems can replace them. Big banking that has become an ideology of skimming and profit without much other motives, should not get the Social Security of protections of society, that gives it the ability to decide on social situations.

Those that say their should not be food stamps for the poor, I say people should not have to subsidize those systems that do not work 'for society' and they should be allowed to starve.

For those that say some people take money from unemployment when they could be working, I say the big banks take from larger parts of society in many ways without creating or adding any value to society.

However I will defend the elderly, those without work, and the poor, because they truly are alive and have dignity and that spark of existence, and most of the time add better thoughts and contributions in some part of society

My point in this is that some people see their role as a part of something bigger. That is true in a way, what ever system we are around is what we are part of, what system that we agree to follow precepts of, and what system we could be afraid to challenge.

So I think a person should find a system, that also matches the feelings and thoughts of who you want to be like, what you feel is important for a person is where you can contribute your years of thought and work, since in a way, the system is part of who you are, and will shape you, as you shape it. And that is true with any system.

That also explains many thoughts of 'existence' as a machine, and many other delusions around that concept.

I read some SciFi novels that spoke about those concepts, and is alot of the reason I don't follow the concepts of being part of a system, but by finding different parts of different systems and supporting those ideas, not a set structure, so that I can try to be who I want to be, not who some system tells me I have to be.

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