Follow up to yesterday.
Follow up to yesterday.
Worth the time to watch. It’s a follow-up to the last election, and answers some questions about where to go… and sets a really bold blueprint for Whittle’s own ideas.
MATT LAUER, TODAY: So bottom line, would raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans have a chilling effect on hiring in this country?
WARREN BUFFETT: No, and I think would have a great effect in terms of the morale of the middle class, who have seen themselves paying high payroll taxes, income taxes. And then they watch guys like me end up paying a rate that’s below that, you know, paid by the people in my office.
Eat the rich!
Bill Whittle’s Firewall covers the practical problems and why it makes no sense even if the arch-left got everything they want – even if everyone was liquidated, it wouldn’t work:
Though that’s from last year, it’s worth noting that blaming “the rich” is sure easy to do.
Seeing as how Warren Buffet is a multi-billionaire, his idea of pushing for a higher income tax would hurt up-and-coming businesses – not Berkshire Hathaway, which unless you’re rich, you can’t even buy a real share of – is only going to act as a barrier to entry for new businesses. This is just good ol’ crony capitalism. The ultra-big business makes deals with government that make it more difficult for new businesses to threaten them. This is why, for example, Obamacare affects companies with 50 employees. It keeps small business small, while big business gets a waiver. The business currying favor with the government gets to use the government’s monopoly on force against the up-and-coming business, making sure they never make it up.
Warren Buffet will never find his wealth taken away anyway, and whatever he earns in income from a salary or wages is meaningless. He earns money from investments and capital gains. The small husband and wife business that does $300,000 and that they file together suddenly becomes the target as “the rich”. He wants to raise income tax on those people as a means to crush them, and prevent them from getting to where he is. As the expression goes, he’s pulling the ladder up behind him.
The left loves wealth. Obama’s rich, Boxer, Feinstein, Edwards, Durbin, Schumer, the Kennedy clan, Kerry, the Clintons, and so on and so forth are all incredibly rich. Boxer made money on oil which she then pushed to tax, Feinstein made money by steering government contracts to her husband (as well as other investments), John Edwards made his in frivolous lawsuits, Kerry made his by marrying a billionaire, the Kennedys made theirs through bootlegging and influence peddling, the Clintons made theirs through criminal deals and now speaking engagements, and so on and so forth. They have their money, and they love it. They’re on top, and now they need to tell you how to live.
It’s also like Al Gore, who has a mansion, jets around the country, is a multi-millionaire set up to profit from a carbon exchange, and yet lives by none of his own rules. Because, you see, he’s too important.
Socialism is for the people, not the socialist. Taxes are for the people, not Warren Buffet.
They are the Ruling Class. You are not. And they set up institutions to keep things that way. But they want you to hate the “evil rich” as they hold you down - pitting you against your fellow Country Class citizens who are improving their own lot in life – and yours.
The greatest threat to the social order of the royalty of Europe were the rise of the burghers and merchants, who weren’t peasants or serfs tied to the land and owned by their lord, nor nobility.
It’s a couple years late, but well worth watching, as the ending lesson more than applies today.
Stumbled over this reading about Palin’s recent speech to Right Online, and how some people’s opinions of her are still colored by media clowns and how she elicits a Pavlovian response from leftists and elitist beltway Republicans.
Also worth noting is Bill Whittle’s retelling of one of the Marines’ first encounters with the Japanese at Guadalcanal.
Read This Book, Obama!
by David Frum Apr 15, 2012 4:00 PM EDT
Emerging from JFK’s shadow, Lyndon Johnson wielded power ruthlessly—and delivered big results for liberals. In this week’s Newsweek, David Frum on what Obama could learn from Robert Caro’s new biography.
A great work of history is never only about the past.
The fourth volume of Robert Caro’s great biography of Lyndon Johnson—The Passage of Power—tells a story from seemingly long ago. Page after page conjures up a vanished world: a world in which labor unions had clout and lunch counters were segregated. Yet it’s also a world deeply familiar to us: a world in which urgent national problems go unaddressed year after year, and Americans despair over the paralysis of their government.
But no, we don’t. We despair over government acting too much, spending too much money, printing money to create inflation to sustain itself, and we despair over government creating perpetual recipient-class voter blocs. We despair over government that’s run amok, spending and spending and spending with no end in sight. We despair over government’s absurdities, not society’s. And in the 1960s, the labor unions had clout through government power, and the segregated lunch counters were being desegregated not through government force, but by people sitting down and demanding to be served.
This lunch counter isn’t famous because of government, it’s famous because of a sit-in.
For nobody, perhaps, is this turn of history more challenging than for Robert Caro himself. Over more than 2,500 pages of powerful prose, Caro has summoned Lyndon Johnson to vivid, intimate life. We come to know him better, thanks to Caro’s remorseless research, than almost any of Johnson’s contemporaries could have hoped to do. It’s not an attractive picture. Caro’s Johnson is a bully and braggart, a wheedler and manipulator, a man of bad personal morals and worse business ethics.
And it is this, frankly, monstrous character who realized more of Caro’s liberal ideals than any politician in modern times, Franklin Delano Roosevelt very much included—and vastly more than the charming, winning, but domestically ineffectual JFK.
In a story already rich with drama, this tension between author and subject—between Caro’s loathing of Johnson and his reverence for Johnson’s accomplishments—is the tensest drama of all.
How did Johnson do it?
Here is Caro’s disconcerting message: Johnson didn’t do it by inspiring or exhorting. He did it by mobilizing political power, on a scale and with a ruthlessness that arguably surpassed all other presidents, before or since.
The ends justify the means. Hayek had something worth noting on this:
Advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends largely on a willingness to do immoral things. The principle that the end justifies the means, which in individualist ethics is regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves “the good of the whole,” because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done. Once you admit that the individual is merely a means to serve the ends of the higher entity called society or the nation, most of those features of totalitarianism which horrify us follow of necessity. From the collectivist standpoint intolerance and brutal suppression of dissent, deception and spying, the complete disregard of the life and happiness of the individual are essential and unavoidable. … To be a useful assistant in the running of a totalitarian state, therefore, a man must be prepared to break every moral rule he has ever known if this seems necessary to achieve the end set for him. In the totalitarian machine there will be special opportunities for the ruthless and unscrupulous.
Meanwhile, LBJ had this to say:
The monstrous character realized leftist, socialist, Modern Liberal ideas through ruthless force. The left has found the moral equivalent of war and ruthless application of force appealing since the Progressive Era of the early 1900s. The end justifies the means. They find the means “monstrous” but choose them because they really want the ends. So why does something “good” have to be achieved at the cost of massive applications of force, corrupt men of “monstrous character”? Because it’s the tyranny, stupid.
The lunch counter sitters and protest marchers were winning the hearts and minds of the public. Civil disobediance won the day. It showed the noble character of the both the mission and the people.
Johnson, by contrast, was the same ruthless monster the left loves to be ashamed of, but emulates and desires to be again and again.
It’s hard not to detect in these pages an unspoken critique of Barack Obama. Yes, certainly, Obama shares Lyndon Johnson’s gift for driving opponents crazy, if it is a gift. But the use of power Caro so vividly describes is not something that comes naturally to our current president. The constant searching for opportunities; the shameless love-bombing of opponents; the endless wooing of supporters; the deft deployment of inducements and threats—these are the low arts that led to Johnson’s high success.
Obama is fundamentally opposed to the success of the nation. He doesn’t “drive opponents crazy”, he infuriates his opponents because they don’t find the US to be a cruel nation in need of “fundamental transformation”. We have been a classic liberal representative republic focused on liberty. What about that needs changing?
LBJ’s successes were ultimately at the cost of the nation. Thomas Sowell often writes of what the black family was like in the 1950s and 1960s, and did a specific piece on black-owned businesses in California which were destroyed by LBJ’s “Great Society”, he often notes that political rhetoric never matches the effects in reality.
LBJ cared about power. He is respected by the left for his use of power. They find it “monstrous” but so appealing. It’s as though they can get something done… their programs always need more money, more regulations, more authority; their campaigns always need more votes – no matter how they cheat to get them; they always need more power, power to control…
Bill Whittle’s Firewall on the slow changes in the bill of rights:
This is all the same as the old story about how you boil a frog. You don’t throw it straight into boiling water, you put it in room temperature water and you turn the heat up slowly. The frog doesn’t notice it until it’s so uncomfortable it can’t escape, and soon the frog is boiling.
A similar story goes about how you capture wild pigs. You leave food for them. Then you build one section of fence. You leave more food. You build another section of fence. You leave more food. You build another fence. You leave more food, and you slam a gate shut on the last open part of the fence. They grow accustomed to the treatment and don’t realize they’re being captured the whole time.
I guess Bill doesn’t know German.
An important quote to think about around the 6 minute mark:
>Bill Whittle’s final Part VII of the What We Believe series, explaining Tea Party/conservative beliefs:
Whittle wraps up the series, and hopefully those who’ve watched it have gotten a little more insight – possibly into their own views and how to express them.
Folks used to statistics will note that his comparison of “science units” is not done per capita, as the other nations listed are smaller. Were it done per capita (rounding to nearest million in both cases) it would look like this:
UK:______.29 science units/person (18 million science units/61 million population)
Italy:_____.11 (7mil/60mil pop)
Considering the VAST size of the US population, that’s pretty darned decent. Couple it with the fact that the UK benefits from many very well established science centers, and that Canada has no small benefit from being a partner to both the US and UK, it’s not too much of a surprise that per capita, the UK and Canada are doing very well. And good for them – but by no means is their prosperity an indictment of the fact that the US is the shining beacon of science by volume, and a very strong third per capita. That the US, with a vast population to offset in per capita comparison, still eclipses other nations is perhaps a greater support of Whittle’s point of American exceptionalism in science endeavors.
Now, there are other reasons for this as well that Whittle hit on in earlier videos. One is the rule of law. Individuals who discover or invent something are probably going to have their patents, inventions, or ideas respected. Discovery and invention are generally rewarded through prosperity, and only rarely thwarted by intellectual theives or seizure by the state.
Consider Mikhael. He invented a product that’s used worldwide, was adopted by his own government, and is so famous and iconic as to be recognized immediately. You probably know his last name already, and undoubtedly the initials his invention is known by.
Did he earn anything from it the way an engineer in the US would have? He received a lot of medals, promotions, and state handouts, but nothing along the lines of what a US inventor would receive for such a prolific creation – with about 100 million units worldwide. If he were selling records, it’d be a decuple diamond album, topped only by another Michael. Except a record cost about thirty to fifty times less.
>Bill Whittle’s Firewall Part VI of the explanation of Tea Party/conservative values:
There’s a huge difference between legal and illegal immigration, and Whittle makes that pretty clear. For those concerned about the illegal immigration and criminal enterprises on the southern border, I suggest these internet news sites:
Both of these sites will keep you up to speed on what the bi-coastal leftist ruling class media doesn’t bother to show. Be advised, both sites sometimes feature graphic material concerning the massacres, beheadings and murders that take place along the border and into Mexico.
For folks who live considerably north of the border, and whose interaction with illegal aliens is one of hiring a day laborer, or some other innocuous, seemingly innocent activity, consider that people whose backgrounds have never been looked into could be former child soldiers from the Salvadoran civil war. Your 40 year old gardener may have been the leader of a death squad for either the leftist guerillas or the Salvadoran government. The day laborer at your house may have left Mexico because he was running from the law in Mexico. The guy at the Chinese restaurant here illegally may have been sent across in a shipping container, and he’s working until his sister’s debt is paid off – while she works as a “masseuse”/prostitute and her papers are held by the smuggler.
ICE has been apprehending record numbers of criminal illegal aliens this year.
Criminal illegal aliens being given a pass within the US is more the rule than the exception. While anecdotal, the story of the feds releasing an illegal alien from Bolivia who killed a nun is standard operating procedure across much of the nation.
And that’s not even getting into the illegal alien criminal gangs.
One more anecdote: a mutual friend of JBH and mine recently was doing a ridealong with a state trooper in a north midwestern state. They were riding in an unmarked police vehicle, and another vehicle approached them, wanting to race. The state trooper told our friend that he’d wait until the racing vehicle hit a high enough speed to take him to jail to pull him over. When the speeds reached over 100 mph, the trooper turned on his lights and pulled over the racer. The racer was an illegal alien, and was released. Not arrested and released – just released – as in “Have a nice day, sir.”
The reason? That northern midwestern state is a sanctuary state. Orders from the state capital to the state police tell them to leave illegal aliens alone.
Think it’s an exaggeration? Remember Massachussetts state representative Democrat Mike Moran – being hit by an illegal alien?
It’s commonplace. Illegal aliens can commit crimes with impunity. And that’s not even getting into the effects of a massive influx of cheap labor that depletes the job pool available to US citizens.
The republicans want cheap labor, and the democrats want cheap labor and to give handouts and make a perpetual voting bloc based on ethnic identity. Republicans are simply cheap stupid opportunists, and democrats are conniving, slithering, racist opportunists.
Tea Partiers want the rule of law, not rule by the whims of whatever political power is in charge.