Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Age Old Struggle Between Winners And Losers

Winners work and save and plan – and somehow manage to overcome the vagaries and pitfalls of life; losers do not. Through bad luck or a lack of discipline, losers fall through the cracks.

Throughout the ages there have always been winners and losers, and there have always been hugely more losers than winners. Dictators have used this to focus the hatred of the losers on scapegoats to gain and keep power – Hitler and the Jews; Mugabe and the white farmers; Stalin and the bourgeois farmers, for example. In democracies, political opportunists scapegoat the winners to gain power – usually by offering the losers the keys to the public treasury.

From their knowledge of history and of the downfall of almost all democracies, our Founding Fathers set up a system of checks and balances – the basic intent of which was to slow down the impulses of the mob, always incited by the opportunists and the demagogues. The electoral college, the two-thirds vote needed to override a presidential veto, the longer terms of senators (who originally were appointed), the life tenure of Supreme Court Justices – these are some of the devices put in place to ensure the survival of the American democracy.

It’s easy for the demagogues to scapegoat the winners and gain power from the losers - after all, they say, the winners wouldn’t be winners if they weren’t corrupt or born with silver spoons in their mouths. Besides, it just isn’t fair that some people have so much more than others. The scapegoating and the attacks on the treasury always come from the left.

Over the past 50 years, Lyndon Johnson not only greatly escalated the Vietnam War (after the “daisy” ad), but empowered liberals to embark on the “Great Society”, the greatest boondoggle in history. George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey tried and failed, but in 1976 we got the worst president in modern times (misery index of 23%, loss of Iran), Jimmy Carter. We escaped Carter after one term, and Ronald Reagan set many things right, but demagoguery won out again in 1992, followed by the largest tax increase of all time, the besmirching of the American Presidency and 9/11.

We are hearing the message of the demagogue once again in Barack Obama, once again promising to turn over the keys to the Treasury to the losers, but substantially raising the stakes by offering those keys to the entire world (the Global Tax). Since he says little of substance, since his followers act like his movement is a religion and since he is an African-American, exposing and defeating him and his message will be hard to do.

In the past there have been some very real instances where liberal movements have had merit – evil can exist in winners as well as in losers, and evil winners can create great harm from their positions of power and their organizational talents. The oil monopolies had to be broken, coal mines had to be made to restore the plundered earth, a balance of power was needed between labor and ownership, and those willing to sell poisons to people for gain had to be stopped. These necessary movements came from the forces of the left, and were beneficial to all.

This is not one of those times.

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At 9:14 PM, Blogger Big Shot Bob said...

It is really sad that you did not understand the times that we lived in with the Johnson and Democrats. If you thought Reagan was good, you are badly mistaken. Look where we are at today with the policies of your view of GW Bush. It is time for a change of hope and better tomorrow. Your views with Bush have been a great failure. You do not know Barack Obama, nor do you know what bad things the things that GW Bush has done to our status in the world, the destruction of our military, the environment, the ambush of our rights, and the devision of our country. Only 327 days left of Bush! Thank God!

At 5:14 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Yes, it's really sad that we have defeated the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and there have been no further 9/11's. It's really sad that unemployment has been lower under Bush 43 than Clinton, despite 9/11 and the Clinton recession. It's really sad that Americans are paying much less taxes under Bush than Clinton. If you don't stop operating on your feelings and pay attention to some facts, I'm afraid you will end up a loser too.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That there are winners and losers in life goes without question and there are some winners who won because of hard work, diligence
and superior intellect, but there are also winners whose achievments resulted from wealth, family connections, and government
largessse. You complain about political opportunists who scapegoat the winners to gain power by offering the losers the key to the public treasury, but for every example of that there is one where so called winners have stacked the deck to suck from the
public treasury in the form of tax breaks, government contracts and other special considerations. In the current world, ADM's profiteering from the ethanol boondoggle comes to mind as do the Haliburton no bid contracts. As for unworthy winners, Dubya is a
prime example. If it weren't for his wealth and family connections, he couldn't have been elected dogcatcher.

These are some facts you should pay attention to, but it may be too late, you're already a loser intellectually.

At 10:48 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

It's too bad your comment ends with name-calling, identifying who you are, because at least you recognize ethanol as the boondoggle it is. Halliburton is a world class company which has skill-sets no other company can match - a company that has performed magnificently and patriotically for many years (I have had personal experience with them). Throwing around terms like tax breaks and government contracts proves nothing. Thousands of companies get tax breaks (it's their money in the first place) because Congress desires to shape public policy with the tax code, and thousands of honest companies get and perform well on government contracts every day.

At 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You suggested that Big Shot Bob might end up as a loser, but don't see that in the same light as my saying that you're a loser intellectually. Both comments are name calling. Why is it OK when you do it, but not when I do?

Also, it's a wild exageration, if not an outright lie, to say that the Taliban and Al Quaeda have been defeated. They have control of some of the Pakistani provinces near the Afghan border and continue to threaten the West from there.

Haliburton is by no means uniquely qualified to provide services such as army mess halls. There are plenty of other companies that could do that. They got contracts without bids because of Cheney's influence. In your mind it's OK for certain corporations to profit from our taxes, but not for some other individuals. There are always winners and losers, but in most cases where the government is involved winners are determined by who has the political clout to get the money. I'd rather see it go to provide care or pensions for soldiers injured in battle than for fat cats like Cheney et al.

At 6:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear anonymous...aren't you being a bit presumptuous that Haliburton recieved the contracts because of Cheney intervention or do you know something that the rest of the world only assumes...Haliburton was a giant contractor way before Cheney and will continue well after...the reason they are highly qualified is because they have so many resources to pull from. I am sick and tired of all the left accusation and inuendos with no are the epidome of guilt by association and your logic is simplistic...get with it and perhaps if you do you might save yourself as well as others the meantime please only exhale when you know the facts.

At 6:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how you justify your fatalism about winners and losers and yet escape declaring inevitability about class warfare, almost like you expect losers to be good sports about it, to continue to play by the rules by which they've lost. Without resort to suicide, in life it isn't possible to cut your losses and leave the table. If poker had that rule, a lot of winners would be dead.
The "winners" have something the losers don't: the acquired power to create "checks and balances" to make sure that they keep winning. There is no doubt about this. With your stated philosophy, it should concern you that there are fewer and fewer winners these days and many more losers. While it isn't exactly a zero sum game by mean average, a two percent growth in GDP is less than zero sum for the losers if when the winners are fewer, and they have a twenty percent growth in revenue.

There are no checks and balances that could stand against extreme imbalance of wealth. You look at the Roman Republic-- it had many checks and balances that made ours pale by comparison. They didn't stand once the winners and losers had different interests. The problem in the long run wasn't the threat from the losers, the problem was ultimately a society re-designed for a few winners.

Barrack Obama is no Cesar Chavez. He isn't a demagogue. When you say he has "little substance," you could look at his website and see that isn't true-- unless of course, the charge of "little substance" has "little substance." You simply don't like the substance he has, that have been dismissed with the Bush-league insult: "liberal."

At 6:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, I find your "Bush achievements" to be of little substance. One 9/11 was too many, and there was only one reason why it succeeded: carelessness at every level, but it went right to the top. Not only that, 9/11 is a difficult if not impossible act to follow. From what this country has done since, it looks like the terrorists have made their point.

We took the radicals out of power in a backward, resource deprived, failed state, while we created a new failed state, in a more important area to fight them in. I can't see that as a victory.

Cutting taxes without decreasing expenditures isn't a tax cut. It's like saying that you cut your energy costs by refusing to pay your bills. Tax cuts are popular: expenditure cuts take bravery. I'd say Bush certainly gave away the keys to the treasury to the winners there.

Higher employment has to be weighed against income for the newly employed, discouraged workers, and bankruptcies.

If the recession when Bush came into office is attributable to Clinton, we have to compare that to the Bush recession coming right now...

At 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You Liberals need to quit reading the New York Times and stop listening to NBC and CNN. How many times are these media hacks who are in the tank for the Democrats going to get caught up in lies before you guys smarten up and start watching the Fox Network, or are you guys afraid of learning the truth? Heaven forbid that you should listen to Bill O'Reilly! The Senate passed the Terrorist Surveillance Bill and has sent it to the House to be voted on. Pelosi doesn't even want to vote on it! It's all about the Dem's lawyer buddies, and Pelosi and her ilk could care less about your safety and well being! So tell me Lefty; Who's trying to protect this country right now, Pelosi or GW? You guys really ought to be ashamed to even call yourselves Americans. You have the intellect and a great vocabulary, yet you're dumber than dumb.

At 10:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't read the NY Times, nor NBC, and never read CNN's political news.

I'm insulted that you think my POV is derived from any other outlet.

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well forgive me for insulting you for mistakenly thinking that you were brainwashed by the Liberal media. Maybe this country needs a phony like Obama who will pull out of Iraq and let the whole Middle East get deeply engulfed by Iran and Islamo Fascists to a point where they're hurling nuclear missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia. I'm sure a guy like Obama will protect you when they come over here and dump ricin out of airplanes, and explode biological chemicals and dirty bombs in malls and apartment complexes. Maybe you'll be happy to give up your religion and convert to Islam. They can put up a new mosque in your neighborhood complete with a tower and loudspeakers to call you to prayers each day similar to the mosque in St. Louis. If it ever gets this bad, you'll see all the "rats desert the ship," the same rats that you've been voting for. Only they won't be pointing fingers at anyone and making excuses for their own stupidity. They'll be too busy trying to save their own skin to think about yours!

At 7:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I see you've got the next 4 years planned out, and you've wisely left room to be very pleasantly surprised very often.

Otherwise, you haven't come close once to any reason why I would vote for Obama.

Now, what do we write about? Iran launching missiles: I think Pakistan and Russia (remember them?) are much more likely.
Ricin? As demonstrated recently, it's far more likely to kill the people handling it.

Islamofascists taking over? Please, we survived the Cold War, and the Bolsheviks had many, many friendly countries to train in and were far more dangerous in every way. Guess what? Our country survived.

Dirty bombs? Remember Timothy McVeigh? Our country survived his attack, it will survive a "dirty" bomb, it can survive a full fledged nuclear bomb, though nobody will succeed moving one of those in.

Bio-weapons? Nobody has been able to make any of those work, two or three casualties.

You've got this all out of proportion; clean out your pants. Islamic Radicals might cause some damage, and some casualties, they aren't going to be allowed a 9/11-like attack again. They are not going to bring down the US, and there is no way Islam will take over the US. No way under the sun. It will not happen no matter who is in the White House. Stop quavering about it.

At 7:22 PM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

Joe, I'm sure the above commenter laid all your concerns to rest since he knows it all. We beat out the Germans and the Japanese in developing the atom bomb by the slimmest of margins. If we are safe it is because we have had a president like George Bush for the past 7 years.

At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They claimed that the Titanic was unsinkable.


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