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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tax Mongering at its Pinnacle: Krugman invokes the Social Contract

Tax Mongering at its Pinnacle: Krugman invokes the Social Contract

Abstract: Paul Krugman sifts through ancient history with a sharp barb so he can compile a propaganda piece worth enough to keep this myopic flock in their soggy stables. For others, this is a sophomoric piece devoid of any substance and a grist-mill approach to political pandering. This is simply a tax-mongering screed devoid of substance and based solely on emotion and hatred.

How to best read my blogs:

[I offer extensive quotes in this blog so that the reader can view the exact language and can be confident that nothing was taken out of context or that nobody was misquoted. The easiest way to take in the salient points is to read the emphatic points in the quotes and then peruse my comments. Comments on my comments are always welcome: ryckki@gmail.com.]

Overview:

We can make some sure bets in many places around the world that certain events will unfold in a predictable manner and the surest bet can be safely wagered on what instant rubbish is currently published in the Walter Duranty Papers[1][2]—aka [the near-bankrupt] New York Times. After reading some 100 or more of Paul Krugman’s political propaganda pieces, I would give 10:1 odds that I could predict several words in a future piece of less than four months, and maybe get 50:1 odds in my favor at guessing the content of any sentence in the op-eds they call opinions that contains five specific words of my choosing including or excluding proper nouns.

While compiling a rubbish heap of far leftist propaganda to squeeze into the limited brain cases of their victims[3], it is frequently good practice to invoke some eternal law of social justice or the equivalent to force the reader to believe that what springs forth after this citation must be pure truth and follows the tenets of this founding notion to the letter. There is much to be said about the political efficacy of a worthy or heart-stirring slogan. It must encompass all the necessary elements to fix up the present, future and past and roll then into one tight and juicy egg role for all to enjoy. Karl Marx had a grand opportunity to meld the romantic elements of J. J. Rousseau[4][5] with some vigilantly selected tidbits of history, glossed over, necessarily, and politically greased by forcing a strict theory upon the helpless little peasants of Russia, and thus by manufacturing a grand plan to eliminate not only inequities in their production of goods and services but [presumably in jest] government altogether. You can have a nice administration that way if you merely use lies and firing squads to glue together some of the more flaccid elements of a given society erected upon your particular political prejudices.[6] Krugman has amassed quite a legacy of pushing such points beyond their scope or feasibility.[7][8][9][10] Rousseau was a dirt bag and pervert and a skilled parasite, but he is none-the-less a useful idiot in the hands of skilled propagandists from the left. It doesn’t matter too much what he said—they can twist it around a bit and make it look egalitarian. Name-dropping like this [but J.J. R. is not mentioned in this article …needs a citation!] is adroitly employed so the reader can remember his dialectic and smile and this adds credence and elegance to the nonsense that follows.

Lies are an intrinsic attribute of ‘intellectuals’ as we read in Paul Johnson’s famous book Intellectuals.[11] Here, J. J. Rousseau’s convenient disposal of his children [from his half-wit housekeeper] in some grubby foundling hospital in Paris where the survival rate was near zero is one of the more interesting facts of his life. Perhaps we should get some hints on population control, but that essay is reserved for another time.

With this introduction in mind, let us peek at the next ditto from the Grunt and Grab Press:

The pitch:

This week President Obama said the obvious: that wealthy Americans, many of whom pay remarkably little in taxes, should bear part of the cost of reducing the long-run budget deficit. And Republicans like Representative Paul Ryan responded with shrieks of “class warfare.” -- The Social Contract By PAUL KRUGMAN OP-ED COLUMNIST Published: September 22, 2011. [Emphasis is mine in all quotes. This link references quotes in this essay unless otherwise indicated.]

The first essential point here is to mock the opposition for even mentioning the liberal’s best social weapon: class warfare. Then comes the terror of too much spending by the Democrats in their accusations that Republicans refuse to service the long-term budget deficit. Of course, we can find no sane Democrat who would advise reducing spending, except on the hated military, on any program. They are all sacred. And, most importantly, he attacks the person with much power in the other aisle’s ranks, the Appropriations Committee chairman. Well, so much for getting the preliminaries out of the way. We now need to look for substance in what follows.

Meanwhile, over the same period, the income of the very rich, the top 100th of 1 percent of the income distribution, rose by 480 percent. No, that isn’t a misprint. In 2005 dollars, the average annual income of that group rose from $4.2 million to $24.3 million.

So do the wealthy look to you like the victims of class warfare?”-- The Social Contract

The drone over income is mind numbing here. Here, we use probably authentic numbers at the far extreme to generalize. This is equivalent to the liberals constantly inserting “ALL” in any accusation against descent people. It is all or nothing, thus, good or bad If you do not like somebody on the left [I have an extensive list] then you hate ALL poor people and ALL those who are trying to do good by redistributing the wealth for their personal power aggrandizements.

Okay, the basics are out of the way as this resembles a Sumo match where the opponents spend a half hour throwing sand down in disgust at each other in the wrestling ring.

More:

To be fair, there is argument about the extent to which government policy was responsible for the spectacular disparity in income growth. What we know for sure, however, is that policy has consistently tilted to the advantage of the wealthy as opposed to the middle class.”-- The Social Contract

Tautological slogans strung into a little ditty. It is important to pretend to be ‘fair’ and to concede a few concessions in any proper propaganda piece so you can assume the Purple Robes of Objectivity. This is crap, or course, but the simple need for this prodding is obligatory to coax the readers to the conclusion that this essay is ‘fair’ and directed toward only the guilty on the opposition party.

The budget office’s numbers show that the federal tax burden has fallen for all income classes, which itself runs counter to the rhetoric you hear from the usual suspects. But that burden has fallen much more, as a percentage of income, for the wealthy. Partly this reflects big cuts in top income tax rates, but, beyond that, there has been a major shift of taxation away from wealth and toward work: tax rates on corporate profits, capital gains and dividends have all fallen, while the payroll tax — the main tax paid by most workers — has gone up.”-- The Social Contract

This reproach is probably correct in its details [by somebody’s standards] and nobody contests that the rich are doing better than the poor in this country. But, the obvious is stated in Marxian terms: The ‘rich’ have the loot so let’s go grab some of that. Better, lets grab it ALL as we saw in the USSR.

Missing from this screed is the salient fact that ALL [I used that too!] of the tax revenue taken in by the government in a given year derives from salaries from employees of business, or corporate taxes or fees and the salaries of government employees are derived from either tax revenues or deficit spending.

But, a novel new tenet is thrown in to showcase a fallen comrade:

Elizabeth Warren, the financial reformer who is now running for the United States Senate in Massachusetts, recently made some eloquent remarks to this effect that are, rightly, getting a lot of attention. “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody,” she declared, pointing out that the rich can only get rich thanks to the “social contract” that provides a decent, functioning society in which they can prosper.”-- The Social Contract

It is proper to invoke a maxim without reference or explanation in closing a screed. The “social contract” can imply dozens or thousands of different things, but this comment tends to suggest that the rich would not be rich if it were not for the helpful government. Thus, the government needs some of that loot back to spend on social programs and whatnot. See what Elizabeth says:[12]

Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. Ryan has called the deficit an “existential threat” to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat. Republicans claim to be deeply worried by budget deficits. Indeed, Mr. Ryan has called the deficit an “existential threat” to America. Yet they are insisting that the wealthy — who presumably have as much of a stake as everyone else in the nation’s future — should not be called upon to play any role in warding off that existential threat.”-- The Social Contract

The conclusion is restated in the closing comment as expected. Notice that this is an echo of the opening statement over class warfare, a favorite slogan of the left from Rousseau to Lenin to Obama. It don’t get more circular than this.

Well, that amounts to a demand that a small number of very lucky people be exempted from the social contract that applies to everyone else. And that, in case you’re wondering, is what real class warfare looks like.”-- The Social Contract

There is no sense attempting to refute the agonizing reality that the ONLY thing the left has to offer to us is higher taxes and a crushing debt to be born mostly by our offspring.

And, that is, clearly, all they have to offer.

rycK [a 5th generation Californian in exile]

Comments to: ryckki@gmail.com



[2] In honor of that celebrated Communist stooge and liar and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the NYT. The color RED is used in my essays in honor of Walter Duranty, a saint, if there could be one, in the Marxist Archives of Honor.

He said that these people had to be "liquidated or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty claimed that the Siberian labor camps were a means of giving individuals a chance to rejoin Soviet society but also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death." Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign which led to the famine was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the Soviet Union which only history could judge.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Duranty

[3] Millions have demonstrated thieir marginal intelligence, lack of analysis and the penchant for believing anything for a crust of bread or a good few jolts at the local pub.

[5] Social contract theory played an important historical role in the emergence of the idea that political authority must be derived from the consent of the governed. The starting point for most social contract theories is a heuristic examination of the human condition absent from any political order, usually termed the “state of nature”. In this condition, individuals' actions are bound only by their personal power and conscience. From this shared starting point, social contract theorists seek to demonstrate, in different ways, why a rational individual would voluntarily give up his or her natural freedom to obtain the benefits of political order. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_contract

This phony mantra is bait to suggest that those in political power will automatically compensate or adjust the loses of the individual for the greater good. We have numerous examples of how this falls apart when in the hands of the left: North Korea, Cuba, USSR, Hungary, East Germany, Venezuela, Uganda, etc. It should be crystal clear that we cannot trust these progressive or near-Marxist parasites. They are the big spenders that have brought the West to bankruptcy and soon debt default.

[6] Edited briefly from Financial Armageddon in California. The State is Going Bankrupt and Civil Unrest Boils Over. http://ryckki.blogspot.com/2010/08/financial-armageddon-in-california.html

[12] http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/elizabeth-warren-comments-stir-class-warfare-debate/2011/09/23/gIQAWVY0qK_video.html

Elizabeth Warren is what many on the left want Obama to be

Posted on by Doug Gibson

In my opinion, Warren is the politician that many on the left were hoping President Obama would be. With her rhetoric, she is a Paul Krugman-type Democrat, one who satisfies the need of many partisans to cast the opposing side — Republicans – as “villains.” Her campaign against Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown will be fascinating to watch. Expect it to garner the most attention nationally, except for the presidential race.”

http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2011/09/22/elizabeth-warren-is-what-many-on-the-left-want-obama-to-be/

Obama dumped her:

On September 17, 2010, she was named a special adviser by President Obama to oversee the development of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The position included the responsibility of recommending a director for this new entity. She was not chosen for the post, with Obama instead nominating Richard Cordray, subject to Congressional approval.”-- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elizabeth_Warren#Personal_life

A Methodist:

Elizabeth Warren, a Methodist Sunday school teacher, professor of law at Harvard Law School, congressional overseer for the TARP program, and the best-known advocate for the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Agency (opposed unanimously by Senate Republican” --http://usreligion.blogspot.com/2010/03/methodists-elizabeth-warren-financial.html

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friedman of the NYT Hides his Economic Aces up His Sleeve: Tax and Speny


Abstract: Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times has assembled a fine piece of propaganda constructed along classic lines in order to promote his sacred mission to convince voters that the Tea Party people are out of line with reality and that we must not cut spending. This piece is extraordinary as it serves as a perfect student exercise on the proper way to attack and demonize the opposition and reverse the designs of the enemy in terms of taxation and spending and government metastasis. Friedman analyzes the Republican opposition and instructs them in their proper role if they are to be Real Conservatives. This ruse is amusing and this hoopla attempts to stir derision and consternation within the ranks of the opposition thus saving the day [Nov 2012] for the Second Obama Enlightenment. This is such a farce. But, to conclude, we must give Friedman an A++ for his efforts.

How to best read my blogs:

[I offer extensive quotes in this blog so that the reader can view the exact language and can be confident that nothing was taken out of context or that nobody was misquoted. The easiest way to take in the salient points is to read the emphatic points in the quotes and then peruse my comments. Comments on my comments are always welcome: ryckki@gmail.com.]

To begin:

We are constantly entranced and synthetically enlightened by political essays slickly embedded in sausage-machine grade propaganda pieces that are proffered to be authentic [or at least sincere], but which seem to magically blend in with all the previous erstwhile rants published in the Walter Duranty Papers[1][2]—aka [the near-bankrupt] New York Times. The word tautological needs a broader definition and some attending attributes to describe this tedious and monotonic exercise that never fails to maintain and preserve the monotonicity of the left-wing political effort. The notion that the Times is ‘fair’ or objective is an essay into itself where this coveted position may be objectively challenged in doubtless every op-ed article they have written in their 40 year history and beyond that arbitrary goal post and into the murky political depths of the last century.

I have written extensively on propaganda essays and selected examples deriving, I think, customarily all or most all of my examples, are extracted from the NYT. This is fertile ground. I have found the following characteristics of this disease: In the careful fabrication of effective propaganda pieces[3][4][5][6][7] and other blends of disinformation and half-truths, we must be careful to begin our piece with the conclusion instantly bolted to some iron megalith with bright shining lights and noises and that the proper order and selection of propaganda elements be chosen with care. The contemporary usual format for reporting [not supposed to editorialize??--a dead issue in this era] was to use the upside down pyramid where the whammy draws nose blood in the first sentence and the rest of the text merely amplifies the studied conclusion. This case is not reporting and although it is parked in the Opinion section it is not really opinion either. It is a rote screed manufactured by shuffling a short stack of clich├ęs and platitudes written upon 3x5 cards and then tossed upon the nearest door or the carpet such that the order of the cards from any arbitrary view forms the necessary outline of what matters to cover. Such a process allows a little variety so that the readers do not catch on that his whole Opinion section is but the output from an old ditto machine. Along the way, it is always proper to throw in nasty personal comments and deeds even far oblique that cast a dark and slimy shadow upon the targets of the propaganda piece, which is always the goal. Gratuitous liberties may be taken with: the facts[8], order of events or the comments of witnesses or commentators as long as the main points of the opposition are ignored or blasted, or not referenced and certainly not discussed. Half-truths may be sufficient to describe and proclaim the whole truth if the proper levers are pulled. The example today is one of the NYT’s finest contributions to propaganda

Let us amuse ourselves with this current specimen:

It becomes clearer every week that our country faces a big choice: We can either have a hard decade or a bad century.[9]-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On? By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Published: September 20, 2011 [Emphasis is mine in all quotes.]

Thusly, we are presented with two [and only two!] difficult and agonizing choices that will be painful and tormenting for all and there is no escape from this fate. This is crap, of course, but it does shadow the New York Times’s senior propagandist Paul Krugman in its tiresome construction and form. The student meticulously practices the lessons of his master. Obsequiousness is a virtue in leftist circles.

Well, as the man who fell from a 90 story building was overhead shouting by a couple having cocktails on the balcony below: so far so good!

We can either roll up our sleeves and do what’s needed to overcome our post-cold war excesses and adapt to the demands of the 21st century or we can just keep limping into the future.”-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?

Occasional reinforcement of the conclusion is good practice as we follow the text especially for some readers of the NYT who have difficulty in processing maudlin thoughts but have a good hanky nearby or getting a second opinion from another victim. The only two choices remain, but need extensive elaboration and here it is:

Let’s drone on about only two choices:

Given those stark choices, one would hope that our politicians would rise to the challenge by putting forth fair and credible recovery proposals that match the scale of our debt problem and contain the three elements that any serious plan must have: spending cuts, increases in revenues and investments in the sources of our strength. But that, alas, is not what we’re getting, which is why there remains an opening for an independent Third Party candidate in the 2012 campaign.”-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?

This is a classic piece! After the conclusion has been carved out in stone and amplified several times, the next step is to define what actions and attributes must accompany the mental implantation of the effort by our politicians to ‘save our society’ or thoughts roughly equivalent to that rubbery effect. Next, he slips in the ‘obvious’ list of three efforts that are a rigid must: Spending cuts, taxes and ‘investments’ meaning more taxes. We must wait and see if our author pushes the ‘cuts’ off into some enchanted land that may appear some decade or so away into a place where our children or grandchildren will be burdened with this debt mess. There will be no immediate spending cuts proffered other than to the military if he wishes to remain employed at The Old Gray Lady.

The Ultimate Plan carefully crafted for us complete, we need to switch into attacks and a proper demonization upon the opposition:

The Republicans have come nowhere near rising to our three-part challenge because the G.O.P. is no longer a “conservative” party, offering a conservative formula for American renewal. The G.O.P. has been captured by a radical antitax wing, and the party’s leaders are too afraid to challenge it. What would real conservatives be offering now?”-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?

This is news. The Republicans were never so aligned as Ike, Nixon, Bush1, 2 and John McCain have demonstrated in public. Here, using a wave of some wand, the opposition party is transformed into some special and grossly simplified target with identifying parts suitable for direct attack or elimination. Such news makes conservatives yawn. Our tax revenues are consistently wasted on fluff and emotional social programs that tend to work better in reverse than in the forward direction like my old Buick.

As is proper and mandatory with the left, they need to first divide and then attempt to conquer so that the ‘solution’ to this well-defined and noble process is rendered obvious and simple. Here, for our education, the role of the ‘real conservative’ is outlined for us. We are also notified that ‘real’ conservatives actually have narrowly defined roles and dogmas and the current conduct and thinking of many Republicans are out of line with true conservatism. This is the best opportunity in the text to interject falsehoods and to attempt to foster puppet making so as to convince voters that this narrow radical group has infected the opposition party. The radicals are merely out of line. Progressive readers of the NYT now are prompted to drool. We have a solution!! Just divide the enemy and they can be attacked separately.

A blueprint for the ‘real’ conservative is now cast before us with glowing terms:

They would understand, as President Eisenhower did, that at this crucial hinge in our history we cannot just be about cutting. We also need to be investing in the sources of our greatness: infrastructure, education, immigration and government-funded research. Real conservatives would understand that you cannot just shred the New Deal social safety nets, which are precisely what enable the public to tolerate freewheeling capitalism, with its brutal ups and downs.”-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?

This is an apparent essay in Pure Reason where spending cuts are never proper. This ‘investment’ nonsense is reiterated for mind-numbing fortification of this central point. We cannot cut anything! More and higher tax revenues are necessary. Next, a list of what ‘real conservatives’ would find obvious spews forth in an emotional and omnipotent essay:

“[1] Real conservatives would understand that we cannot maintain our vital defense budget without an appropriate tax base.

[2] Real conservatives would understand that we can simplify the tax code, get rid of all the special-interest giveaways and raise revenues at the same time

[3] Real conservatives would never cut taxes and add a new Medicare entitlement in the middle of two wars.

[4] And real conservatives would understand that the Tea Party has become the Tea Kettle Party-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?


Well, that just about covers the whole political spectrum with the sweeping embedded conclusion that any tampering with our Hell-bend descent into toxic debt is the fault of radical elements on the right and this current pathway that lacks massive new taxes is a disaster. Of course, he makes no mention of our debt levels now, where we spent 40% in deficit for a tidy sum of $1.5 Trillion dollars and that annual burden is 11% of the sour GDP and that next year this marginal increase will bring our debt-to-GDP levels past 112%.

Well done and a salute to our author and praise for the careful supervision of the editorial staff. This is a classic piece.

Now, on to some numbers, a risky prospect for the tax-mongering left:

Mr. Obama gave us the credible $447 billion jobs program, but his deficit reduction plan announced on Monday to pay for it and trim long-term spending does not rise to the scale we need. It may motivate his base, but it will not attract independents and centrists and, therefore, it will not corner the Republicans.”-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?

Here, we hear of yet another jobs program and this one is deemed ‘credible’ for unknown reasons outside of mere political lackyism.[10] We have never had a credible jobs program. The New Deal, War on Poverty, HUD, Great Society, busing, welfare and other progressive programs failed to meet objectives, unless, of course, the real objective was to grunt and grab for other people’s money.

My fading hope is that this is Obama’s opening bid and enough Republicans will come to their senses and engage him again in a Grand Bargain. My fear is that both parties have just started their 2012 campaigns. In which case, the rest of us will just sit here, hostages to fortune, orphans of a political system gone mad, hunkering down for a bad century.-- Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On?

The clincher: “I am scared!!!” We can all panic and run around in circles as we are programmed to do when we hear ‘The Sky is Falling.”[11]

rycK [a 5th generation Californian in exile]

Comments to: ryckki@gmail.com



[2] In honor of that celebrated Communist stooge and liar and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for the NYT. The color RED is used in my essays in honor of Walter Duranty, a saint, if there could be one, in the Marxist Archives of Honor.

He said that these people had to be "liquidated or melted in the hot fire of exile and labor into the proletarian mass". Duranty claimed that the Siberian labor camps were a means of giving individuals a chance to rejoin Soviet society but also said that for those who could not accept the system, "the final fate of such enemies is death." Duranty, though describing the system as cruel, says he has "no brief for or against it, nor any purpose save to try to tell the truth". He ends the article with the claim that the brutal collectivization campaign which led to the famine was motivated by the "hope or promise of a subsequent raising up" of Asian-minded masses in the Soviet Union which only history could judge.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_Duranty

[8] Generally, in propaganda exercises of the basest sort, it is permissible to ignite enticing political flames with the conclusion boldly stated up front and then use the remaining text to amplify the original assumption thus providing a ‘proof’ that the initial argument was sound. This forms the tightest ring of circular logic that such techniques can devise as long as no probing questions are allowed. An example bursts forth in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times as of 8.06.11:

Amid all the debt hysteria, it’s worth taking a look at the actual arithmetic here — because what this arithmetic says is that the size of the deficit in the next year or two hardly matters for the US fiscal position — and in fact the size over the next decade is barely significant.”-- The Arithmetic of Near-term Deficits and Debt By Paul Krugman August 6, 2011, 12:00 PM [Emphasis is mine in all quotes unless specifically stated otherwise.] http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/06/the-arithmetic-of-near-term-deficits-and-debt/

[9] Are We Going to Roll Up Our Sleeves or Limp On? By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Published: September 20, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/21/opinion/friedman-are-we-going-to-roll-up-our-sleeves-or-limp-on.html?_r=1&ref=opinion

[10]Pagpapakatuta” in Tagalog