A few days after the post ‘Defining “American”‘ I received a comment from Kristen informing me of her decision to respond to the article as a project for her college English Argument class, and asking if I would be interested in reading her paper when finished. Since she was very polite, I responded in the affirmative, with the caveat that if she did indeed send the paper to me, I might publish some, all or none of the rebuttal. After much hand wringing on the issue, I have decided to publish her entire argument. I think anyone who has children in public school or college needs to know what they are being taught. And I think Kristen proves my point that far too many people have forgotten what it truly means to be American, even if she didn’t intend to.

If you haven’t already read it, you may wish to read my original piece, here. I’ll offer some thoughts after Kristen has her say.

Response to Defining American

Medicare is currently doing its job now without being excessive, according to the chart you provide. Social Security was one of the many programs passed as part of the New Deal in 1935. (Kelly) It was successful in getting America back to economic prosperity whether you consider it socialist or not and that is why it is still around today. So why, all of the sudden, in the near future would it be predicted that we would be sending so much more on Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid. Medicare has been around since 1965 and government health insurance has been around much longer than that. In the early 1900s states began to collect taxes to be used as insurance premiums from workers and employers. The reason this did not work was because individual states did not want to implement extra taxes that may put the business in their states at a disadvantage during the Great Depression. (Corning)

“One of the duties of the State is that of caring for those of its citizens who find themselves the victims of such adverse circumstances as makes them unable to obtain even the necessities for mere existence without the aid of others. That responsibility is recognized by every civilized nation. . . . To these unfortunate citizens aid must be extended by Government–not as a matter of charity but as a matter of social duty. (Corning) In my opinion that is part of what it means to be American, to not only keep up with the other civilized first world nations but to surpass them with our new ideas and high standards. Being American is about being able to have different opinions.

Saying that more people are against America as it was founded than slavery is a contradiction. America was founded on great principals but those principals often did not translate into reality. In theory it sounds good; America was founded on the principal of escaping oppression on the basis of religious persecution. But ironically early America, as it was founded, was a very oppressive place. It was oppressive to women, poor people, and anyone who was not white. The American voting system was designed to prevent majority tyranny but how can that work if the oppressed minority cannot vote to begin with? This method of preventing majority tyranny did not work then and it continues to fail today. (Garlikov) Even when the minority on any number of issues can vote they continue to be outnumbered and oppressed by the majority. This is why progress is slow but of course progress will come, as it always has, with America leading the way. I am a strong believer in Democracy because I believe that most people want to do things that are good and right. While we may agree on what those things may be we still have the same goal and we both want what is best for America. I know that progress takes a long time, like civil rights and women’s rights. I feel bad that those things could not have happened sooner but it came when the people were ready for it and I understand that only when a value is generally held by a society that it can work as a part of law. To me that is what it means to be American: paving the road to progress.

You say that Obama is redistributing the wealth but you are failing to mention that our previous president, George W. Bush, was guilty of exactly what you are accusing Obama of. We all know that the higher your income is the higher your taxes are, but Bush made special exceptions. A Congressional study said that families earning more than $1 million a year saw their federal tax rates drop more sharply than any group in the country as a result of President Bush’s tax cuts and that tax rates for middle-income earners edged up. (Andrews) Bush may have lowered taxes for everyone but the people who got the biggest tax breaks were in the top one percent income earners in the United States. He added tax cuts on investment income and on estates specifically to benefit the richest households. Just one decade of those tax cuts would cost a trillion dollars. (Andrews) And the people to pick up the tab for the money lost during the Bush administration will be my generation and maybe yours since I do not know how old you are. The bottom forty percent of income earners get money back from the government and pay what is considered negative taxes so they were not affected by the Bush tax cuts. (Andrews) Obama extended the Bush tax cuts to individuals making less than $200,000 per year and families making less than $250,000 per year. In 2010 Obama gave businesses a $5,000 tax credit for each new employee they added. (Khan, Jaffe)

In your blog you say The true definition of being an American has been diluted by diversity and diffused by political correctness. I believe that this statement reflects the opposite of the definition of American. America has always been a nation of immigrants. America is perhaps the most diverse nation in the world. Having a diverse mix of ethnicities, cultures, and opinions and being able to live with and accept it makes America great. I agree that political correctness is not always a good thing in certain specific situation when it does not reflect truth. We should be able to talk about and address all types of stereotypes, perhaps then we can overcome our differences.  In the words of Barack Obama “The anger is real, it is powerful, and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races.” (Obama Tackles Race Divide in Major Speech)

I agree with you that many people unrightfully have an entitlement mindset. These people tend to think “what can my country do for me and are ungrateful what for what we provide to them with our tax dollars. But we cannot let these people affect the way we think of everyone who receives welfare nor should they be able to ruin the system for everyone. You say that … the America we thought we knew is teetering on the precipice of a debt cliff caused by overspending on unearned entitlements. But it is estimated that only about four percent of the United States budget is being spent on welfare. (How Much Does the Nation Spend on Welfare? – Public Aid, State Expenditures For Social Welfare, Private Welfare Expenditures, Welfare-reform Legislation) Entitlement programs like Medicare and Social security are paid into by the public when they pay taxes, that is why they are entitled to them. Of course we all get the same benefits without paying the same amount of taxes. You may call that Socialism and in a way perhaps it is but I still do not believe it would be morally right to let the poorest people do without these programs, as they are the ones who need them most.

You talk a lot about what you call generational training which you describe as an inherent flaw with each younger generation that causes selfishness. I completely disagree. Selfish, greedy people have always existed and always will. My young generation of new voters has plenty of pride and work ethic. In fact it is the older generation that takes the most from government if you include the entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare, which take up over thirty percent of the United States federal budget. (Nullification: Are State Level Officials Really Opposed to Federal Encroachment?) But I understand that they need those things and have the right to them. I sympathize with them knowing that I will probably be old one day too and I hope that when that day comes the programs I am entitled to are there to help me after I have paid into them my entire life.
As much as our opinions on these issues may differ I believe that, like I said before, we share a common interest: to make America better. I can see that you have strong opinions, as do I, and that is a good thing. Our passion and enthusiasm about politics and America is something we have in common. And because this is America we both can freely express our opinions, which I think is wonderful.

-Kristen

Here is my reply, slightly abbreviated, as I feel my actual rebuttal lies in most of the posts already on my blog and those of many other conservatives.

Kristen,

I’m glad you chose my piece as the opposing view for your article and I hope you continue your search for what it means to be an American. It is one of the most important questions you will ever ask of yourself or your fellow Americans.

You mentioned in your accompanying email message that you didn’t want to start a debate but I cannot let these arguments go unchallenged. It is clear to me that you are concerned for the well being of your fellow Americans and that is admirable. It is also painfully clear that you’ve bought into the whole “victim mentality” that permeates much of our country and serves only to reinforce the entitlement culture. While you say we agree on the fact that some entitlements are unearned, you don’t propose any steps to alleviate the problem. In fact, you mention it once and proceed to gloss over it.

I could go through Kristen’s piece line by line, but I’ll just do the first. It exemplifies the rest.

Medicare is currently doing its job now without being excessive, according to the chart you provide.

Did you ignore the chart after 2011? Didn’t you see the projected outlay of money to social programs which, if left unchecked, will bankrupt the nation? Not being excessive? Really? We are currently living on borrowed money to enable these programs. The interest on that debt is a huge contributor to the projected debt levels in the chart, not to mention when Obamacare really gets going.

You mentioned also that, according to some guy who wrote something (FDR – Corning), it is the social duty of government to take money from those who have earned it and give that money to those who have not (The bottom line of your quote.). The qualifications for that “benefit” are also to be laid out by the government doing the taking. You don’t have a problem with that? You don’t see the potential for abuse of power being actualized at this moment by the politicians buying votes with peoples’ taxed (stolen) dollars? This is why the Founders were against social programs born of the Federal Government, because the Fed. is too far removed from the people it is supposed to serve. These programs belong at the local, regional, or state level, if they come from government at all. (See Romneycare for an example of more government healthcare failure.)

It is clear to me from your arguments that restraining the powers of the Federal Government to its original “few and defined” number, has ceased to be taught in our schools. In fact, it ceased to be taught years before the New Deal. If it had been, people would have never been duped into such a ponsi scheme as Social Security or many other New Deal type programs. The New Deal was the gateway drug to government’s addiction to taking it’s citizen’s property, leading the way to ever more taxes and increases on those taxes for some other new entitlement, and now that they have set the IRS as a redistributive tool, they disguise any thievery at all in some cloak of charitable outlay while accusing the taxed of being cold-hearted, uncaring and greedy. Witness political projection at it’s finest.

Not far from where I live is a city called Port Arthur, Texas, which has a rich history in the oil exploration and refinery industry. The city has been run for decades by predominantly liberal policy. As of the latest tally the local unemployment rate stands at 16% to 17%, which is quite probably the worst in Texas. The jobs are available. High paying ones. There are many workers coming in from all over the country to fill positions the local people won’t take. Why? Entitlement Mentality. They have been trained for years by their government and culture to not take a job if it will interfere with their welfare or unemployment check, plain and simple. The unemployment rate in the state of Texas is 8%. Even if we assume that 8% of the population of Port Arthur is indigent, how do you explain the other 8%? I’ve lived here for 25 years and I can tell you that they do not want a real job, even when one is readily available. If you look at most any city or county across the nation (Detroit for example?) that has long standing leftist policies I believe you will find the vast majority to be the same. People won’t work if they are paid not to. It’s that simple. Look for yourself. Question what your professors tell you is “progress” and you will find that their version of progress only takes away a person’s will to provide for themselves. Is it any wonder that the Heritage Fundation’s 2010 Index of Dependence on Government finds

…the United States is close to the point at which half of the population will not pay taxes for government benefits they receive.

Half the population. How does that happen?

When I said “Generational Training,” I was not referring to young people being defective, as you inferred from my piece. I was referring to actual instruction, which you have obviously been receiving at the hands of the very people who wish to see you enslaved. The fact that you can veil all of your arguments into a guilt ridden projection of our countries past faults to justify more spending of money not your own is what I was referring to when I said “Generational Training.” Those types of thought patterns don’t happen automatically unless you have been so instructed.

As far as GWB goes, you won’t find me defending his over spending or any other republican for that matter. I’m no big fan of government spending no matter which side of the aisle it comes from or who argues for it. I find it funny that some people can criticize Bush for spending too much but praise Obama for spending ten times more. I don’t like either group spending our money and neither should you.

In closing, Kristen, you did a very good job of laying out the leftist talking points and guilt trips. The 16th through19th centuries were harsh times in the entire world. I’d doubt very seriously that women or blacks or any minorities were treated with the respect they receive today. But you fail to mention the fact that it was in America where those rights first began to emerge. It was Americans who abolished slavery. It was in America that women got the right to vote. It was in America where blacks got the right to vote as well. Why must we be forced to pay the price for something you and I had no part in? I don’t recall ever having owned a slave or preventing anyone a vote. Those arguments are old and tired. Can’t we just get past them to truly address the real problems of the country?

The idea of individual liberty is at the core of America and it is individual liberty that is under attack. It must always be fought for because there will always be someone wishing to take it from you, even under the guise of Social Justice or some other re-branding. Call it what you will, it is still slavery trying to raise its ugly head, and it is still wrong.

Comments
  • Teresa May 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Excellent Post, Bot!! She does exemplify what is wrong with our educational system – the transformational brainwashing of America. She clearly cares about America but is misguided in her thinking. Great rebuttal.

    • robot May 17, 2011 at 11:41 am

      I hope we can reach some of the college kids before it’s too late. Heh, the adults too, for that matter. Glad you liked the piece, T.

  • Chris Wysocki May 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Bravo! I’ve picked up a pet libtard too, a kid of 14 from the UK who sits in his Council House trolling right wing sites for “hate speech” so he can defend the peaceful Muslims and instruct people like me in the finer points of Whirled Peas.

    I read stuff like his and Kristen’s and I despair for the future of our world.

    • robot May 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Wow! 14? They are training them early across the pond aren’t they. I guess they have too, as soon as you start working, you’re likely to figure out how duped you were, and then it’s too late.

      I never liked pea soup either. Looks too much like baby poop.

  • Red May 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm
  • steve May 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Hopefully Kristen when she gets her first paycheck and looks at the huge bite the government (federal, state and local) takes out of it and contrasts it to all the wonderful ‘services’ provided she will realize what a scam she has bought into.

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:57 am

      Steve, I heard there is a place on the IRS website where people can donate, if they don’t feel they’ve paid enough taxes. You know, just in case. :)

      Maybe I should find it and link to it on the site. Hmmmm. *gears working*

  • theCL May 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    Man, and I thought I wrote long posts!

    Based on her expressed concerns and writing style, my guess is that Kristen is both sweet and sincere. So my first thought was: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

    Kristen, if you’re out there … A few quick thoughts. Your argument relies too heavily on faulty economic theory. When discussing the “oppressed” from over 200 years ago, it’s best to put things in historical perspective before making charges. After all, history is a lot more complicated than the simple stories most of us learn. Your definition of “rights” doesn’t hold up under logical inquiry. Think of it this way: Let’s say you own an ipod, bought and paid for free and clear. How then, could I possibly claim a right to use and/or have it?

    For the rest of us … Lot’s to learn about presenting our arguments and teaching the truth. IMHO, partisanship doesn’t help.

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:38 am

      Ha! You’re right, CL. This one did get some frequent flyer miles, didn’t it? But then again, the tagline does say verbose. :)

  • The Conservative Lady May 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Great post. Our kids are being indoctrinated by progressives. Get them while their young, while they can still be manipulated. Obama and Van Jones, along with leftist teachers, are targeting young people.
    http://tclblogger.blogspot.com/2010/03/glenn-beck-special-indoctrination-of.html

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:39 am

      TCL, always a pleasure to see you grace my place. Thanks for the nice words.

  • Lonely Conservative May 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Great post. This is why I constantly talk to my kids about government, politics and how the world works in ways they can understand. Hopefully they will grow up to think for themselves and question what they’re being taught.

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:44 am

      Thanks, TLC. You’re absolutely correct. Question everything. What on the surface may appear beneficial may have unintended consequences or work to someones nefarious purpose.

  • TheySay/WeSay May 18, 2011 at 12:08 am

    The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation on the ruins of public liberty.
    It serves always to distract the public councils and feeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions.
    It is important, likewise, that the habits of thinking in a free country should inspire caution in those entrusted with its administration to confine themselves with in their respective constitutional spheres, avoiding in the exercise of the powers of one department to encroach upon another. The spirit of encroachment tends to consolidate the powers of all departments in one and thus to create, whatever the form of government, a real despotism.
    If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.

    …George Washington’s Farewell Address…

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:46 am

      Hi They Say! Long time no see. ~ You can’t go wrong with George Washington. What he warned about in the farewell address, we are seeing enacted today.

  • Matt May 18, 2011 at 12:08 am

    I think you can tell that the girl was earnest in her claims, but man, was that some indoctrination at work. Of course, you shattered her arguments, but sadly, she isn’t likely to see it.

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:49 am

      Matt, a good friend of mine put it this way: We are just sowing seeds. I hope it takes root.

  • TheySay/WeSay May 18, 2011 at 12:29 am

    It agitates the community with ill founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection.

    But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.

    Washington’s reminder was right then and more so today…

    Fascism:
    * Fascism is highly nationalistic. It tries to identify its principles with the country, so that disagreement will look like treason. Some other country, or some other group within the country, is usually picked out to serve as “the enemy” and made to appear as the cause of all evils or misfortunes. Sometimes it combines racial and religious bigotry.
    These so called instructors of our unsuspecting young are the very ones who are trying to train (generational) the young to usurp our Constitution=For The Good Of The Society-not as long as we grownups are still breathing.

  • Trestin May 18, 2011 at 1:12 am

    I’ve found the best approach with the young people I work with is to begin with the importance of individual liberty and them explain how governments threaten such things in ways most people do not understand.

    • robot May 18, 2011 at 8:52 am

      Yup. It is all about individual liberty, Trestin. We give it away by degrees until we have so little they can take the rest at will.

  • Kristen May 18, 2011 at 11:29 am

    The quote was from FDR, I meant to put that in the essay.

    I know that some people take advantage of welfare programs but I don’t know how to stop them while still getting benefits to those who really need them.

    • Linda May 18, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      “I don’t know how to stop them while still getting benefits to those who really need them.”

      I know how. Stop the welfare fraud by stopping the federally mandated wealth redistribution into programs like SNAP. (BTW, did you know that some of that welfare fraud goes to fund terrorism? Terrorist types open “convenience markets” that are really just fronts for laundering SNAP bennies.)

      Charity should be a private individual’s choice to help out his family, friends, parish, and community. No federal bureaucracy can be expected to know who is deserving of help, and who is not.

      Of course, welfare like SNAP is indeed a drop in the bucket compared to Social Security and Medicare/caid. It puzzles me that you should be surprised here:

      “why, all of the sudden, in the near future would it be predicted that we would be sending so much more on Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid”? Well, I dunno . . . maybe that has something to do with inflation, increased healthcare costs, and increased life expectancy (in 1935 it was 58 for men, and SS eligibility even then was 65). And also the en masse retirement of the baby boomers? The average age of our population is increasing, my young friend. This puts incredible burdens on, well, you.

      Interesting, that you used the phrase “a nation of immigrants.” I found that in my 3rd grade son’s social studies textbook. It is the building block of the kind of generational training of which you are an unwitting victim. We are not a nation of immigrants. Most of us were born here. We are a nation of decendants of immigrants.

      It’s an important distinction.

      The idea that we are all immigrants, since we are “a nation of immigrants,” equates the American citizen with the noncitizen who yearns to be American. Well he’s an immigrant just like me. He deserves the same opportunities I do.

      It’s an impulse born of fairness, I explained to my son. It feels unfair that you are born in a land of abundance and opportunity, but many people are not. It feels especially unfair when our ancestors were just as the current immigrant, seeking out a new life. It feels like we should let anybody in, who wants to come in.

      My son thought about it a moment. “But if we let EVERYone come, then we’ll have to find someplace new for ourselves.”

      Yep.

      Good luck to you Kristen. You have a leg up on many of your peers, since you are choosing to dialog with the likes of the illustrious ‘bot.

      But you’ve got a ways to go. Your writing is not very focused. You didn’t support many arguments with facts. What facts did you use to support the idea that medicare is not currently “excessive?”

      best
      Linda

      • Kristen May 20, 2011 at 8:53 pm

        There is not a lot of inflation right now because we are in a recession. And because of the healthcare reform healthcare costs should actually be going down. More regualtion means less people frauding the system and stealing tax dollars. http://www.cbo.gov/publications/collections/health.cfm

        I meant that Medicare was not going up now, but only in the future, according to the graph in the original Defining “American” blog. Healthcare is a big part of our national budget but I, like most poeple, believe in these programs. I also believe in SNAP, just because some people take advantage does not mean we should take it away for everyone, that is not the kind of solution I was looking for.

        I understand that you would like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to just go away but they are popular programs among both Democrats and Republicans. So it is not realistic to think they’ll go anywhere soon or ever. Our best bet is to compromise.

        • Linda May 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

          “There is not a lot of inflation right now because we are in a recession.”

          Um, you need to see the bigger picture, not just the current inflation rate. Lemme direct you to this chart as an example of what I’m talking about:

          http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/05/annihiliation-of-dollars-purchasing.html

          “And because of the healthcare reform healthcare costs should actually be going down.”

          I want you to remember the fact that you expect healthcare costs to go down as a result of Obamacare. Please. Because when it doesn’t, or when you become dissatisified with the level of care available, I want you to remember so that you may recognize that you were wrong.

          And if it turns out that under Obamacare, healthcare costs decrease without affecting quality, well you just look up my blog and remind me that I was wrong. M’kay?

          “More regualtion means less people frauding the system and stealing tax dollars.”

          Ha ha ha ha ha, oh, dear. More regulation makes it easier to fraud the system. As bureaucracies become ever more byzantine, and rules become ever more complex, well those that have special knowledge of the rules (lawyers) or those that have special privileges (wealth or political connections) are the ones who get better treatment. Hell, that’s already happening with the doling out of Obamacare waivers:

          http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/17/nearly-20-percent-of-new-obamacare-waivers-are-gourmet-restaurants-nightclubs-fancy-hotels-in-nancy-pelosi%E2%80%99s-district/

          And as to lower level fraud, this is also easier to accomplish when the corporation or the gov’t bureaucracy is large. Large entities offer more anonymity, more opportunity to infiltrate, more sidedoors and loopholes.

          “I, like most poeple, believe in these programs.”

          Yeah, well, I believe in the Semper Fi Fund and St. Jude’s Hospital, but I don’t expect to be able to force you to fund those programs. Why should you force me to fund your charities of choice, like SNAP for example?

          “Just because some people take advantage does not mean we should take it away for everyone.” Well then don’t take it away. Just change it from a federal system to a local/county/city system. Easier to police the fraud that way.

          “I understand that you would like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to just go away but they are popular programs among both Democrats and Republicans. So it is not realistic to think they’ll go anywhere soon or ever. Our best bet is to compromise.”

          I’m amused that you understand my position on the future of these programs when I haven’t actually stated it. To have them “just go away” is too simplistic.

          And I should compromise because these programs are popular?

          Um. The word “principle” comes to mind, hopefully you understand without further explanation as this comment is getting long. (Sorry, ‘Bot. And yes. You are illustrious, and shiny shiny!)

          No more compromise. The GOP has compromised since Reagan and it just made things worse. Frankly, your best bet young lady is for folks like ‘Bot and me to save you from the economic catastrophe we have allowed the federal government to create.

          • Kristen May 24, 2011 at 6:21 pm

            “Well then don’t take it away. Just change it from a federal system to a local/county/city system. Easier to police the fraud that way.” I addressed this concept in my essay.

            I could keep talking but there is no point in reasoning with someone who says she is not interested in compromise.

            • Linda May 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm

              “I addressed this concept in my essay.”

              Ooh, I gotta admit. That essay had some pretty impenetrable bricks for paragraphs, and I read that several days (weeks?) ago, so if this particular concept is significant you’ll have to recap.

              “I could keep talking but there is no point in reasoning with someone who says she is not interested in compromise.”

              No ma’am. Compromise is not appropriate in all situations. This is a very basic truth in life. Sometimes principle prevents it. You are saying that my refusal to comprome is the same as not being reasonable (“no point in reasoning”). This is just your way of trying to shut me down because you don’t have a substantive counter to fact specific points.

              Nice try though.

              All the memorial day good wishes back atcha Kid, Kristen and The Most Illustrious (shiny shiny!) Robot.

  • robot May 18, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Hi Kristen.
    That’s what we wrestle with isn’t it? How best to help those in need. I think if we were to get the Fed. out of the process, we’d be on a better path to that goal. More money would be available for local charities to disperse as they see fit. More money would be available to create jobs for he poor to do for themselves and elevate their standing and even start their own businesses with their new found knowledge and skill sets. ~ Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him fo a lifetime. ~ We cannot eliminate the poor by removing property and opportunity from others. That only spreads the misery. We must increase opportunity by increasing liberty, IMHO.

    Thanks for stopping back in, Kristen. Really good to ‘see’ you. :)

    • Kristen May 20, 2011 at 8:59 pm

      I have heard this argument many times but you’re just assuming that if people payed less taxes they would be giving all that money to charity.

      • robot May 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

        But you admit, at least, that is their money to begin with. Shouldn’t the earners of that money be the ones who decide what is done with it?

        You didn’t address the problem with the Federal government using our money to buy votes either. But then, it’s a Democrat doing the buying so, you ignore the fact that it’s wrong.

        *sigh* Kristen, in the words of Yoda, You must un-learn what you have learned.

        Have a great weekend, my friend.

        • Linda May 21, 2011 at 4:46 pm

          “you’re just assuming that if people payed less taxes they would be giving all that money to charity.”

          No. We are just assuming that the money actually belongs to the earner, and when it comes to charity the earner should actually have the choice, even the choice is to (gasp!) not be charitable. But I choose to be chartible, btw.

          And Kristen is just assuming that if people payed more taxes that the government would give all that money to charity. (Isn’t it funny the way that argument can work both ways?) Except my version is the stronger argument, because we all know the government is the most inefficient and fraud-riddled spender out there.

        • Kristen May 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

          What do you mean when you say the Federal government is using our money to buy votes?

          • robot May 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm

            When the gov’t takes money from you and gives it to someone else, who do you think the person on the receiving end of that ‘gift’ going to vote for? So when a politician makes a promise of creating some new entitlement or expanding an existing one they are in effect buying those votes with your money.

      • Kid May 21, 2011 at 8:29 pm

        Kristen, pls see my comment made at 5-21 at 8:22..

        But PS. Do you have an iPad? iPhone, or anything similar? I’d have to think so. Those products exist because the people and companies who create them are insanely rewarded. By the way, ‘those people’ are in this case Steve Jobs, everyone else who works at Apple, the people who work in the Apple product distribution chain and the shareholders.

        Government could create an entity with a return on investment that was even in the same universe as that.

        You want government controlling that? You get the Yugo. Car built by Russian communism.

        • Kid May 21, 2011 at 8:30 pm

          ..Government Couldn’t create….

        • Kristen May 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm

          I don’t hate rich people. I am rich enough to not benefit from welfare or qualify for financial aid. I believe in Capitolism but I don’t think that the top 1% should benefit from a bunch of tax loophoes. They can pay their share just like my family. Our taxes shouldn’t have be more to make up for what big businesses and the rich are exempt from paying because politicians and voters are putting themselves in the shoes of the CEOs.

          By the way, I drive an American made car. I wish more stuff was made here but due to lack of regulation companies can save money using “free trade” which ships our jobs to undeveloped countries.

          • Linda May 27, 2011 at 7:53 pm

            “I believe in Capitolism but I don’t think that the top 1% should benefit from a bunch of tax loopholes.”

            Loopholes are caused by the very regulations you think we need more of. Also they are perfectly legal ways for business entities to keep more of their own money. Complaining about them is like saying you shouldn’t claim all of deductions or credits you are legally entitled to, when you fill out your own 1040 tax return form each year.

            “They can pay their share just like my family.”

            They already pay well more than their fair share. Please take five minutes to watch Veronique De Rugy on this:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsxuzBQqvWI&feature=share

            “Our taxes shouldn’t have be more to make up for what big businesses and the rich are exempt from paying.”

            Okay this muddles two different issues. The issue of whether “the rich” pay their fair share is well settled by Ms. Rugy in the video. The mention of “big business” gets into the question of corporate taxation. Did you know corporations are already double-taxed, first the corporation’s profits and then any shareholder’s dividends.

            If some corporations are able to lobby for ever more “loopholes” (this is known as crony capitalism, which is rampant in the US today), well who can blame them. The system is set up to encourage this kind of behavior.

            A business is justified in taking whatever legal steps it can to maximize profits. The tax system will have to be simplified in order to prevent politicians from being able to grant special privileges. A flat tax or the Fair Tax would solve this problem.

            And check this out: The United States may soon wind up with a distinction that makes business leaders cringe — the highest corporate tax rate in the world.

            http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2011/05/ny-times.html

            “I wish more stuff was made here but due to lack of regulation companies can save money using “free trade” which ships our jobs to undeveloped countries.”

            Um. When you blame a “lack of regulation,” I almost wonder if you are just pulling our chains. Remember my earlier comment:

            “More regulation makes it easier to fraud the system. As bureaucracies become ever more byzantine, and rules become ever more complex, well those that have special knowledge of the rules (lawyers) or those that have special privileges (wealth or political connections) are the ones who get better treatment.”

            And what if we don’t allow US businesses to have operations/factories in other countries? Well the thing is. Any of them big enough to do so, will just leave the US entirely, and pay some other countries’ way more reasonable tax rate.

            That happens on a state level too. That’s why jobs are leaving California and going to places like Texas:

            http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2011/04/20/california_dreamin_about_texas_jobs_98974.html

            Have a good night, Kristen and the ‘Bot. And Kid.

            • Kid May 28, 2011 at 11:36 am

              Too late to say have a good night, so I’ll say Have a great Memorial Day weekend to All.

              • robot May 28, 2011 at 11:48 am

                Hey Kid, and Linda, thanks for adding your wisdom to the thread. And Kristen, thanks for your continued interest. It is that inquisitive nature that will lead you to the truth. You just have to be open to it.

                I’m still busy in the studio and with various real world chores so, posting will likely remain slight or non-existent. Hope you all have a happy Memorial Day weekend.

                Thank a veteran!

          • Kid May 28, 2011 at 11:31 am

            Kristin, Outside of some wealthy “Individuals”, the rich don’t pay taxes. We do, in the price of the products and services we buy.

            You can tax some Warren Buffet’s (Who claims he should pay more [so why doesn’t he just do so]) and none of us would feel it, but taxing ‘the rich’ amounts to taxing business, even if it the CEO’s salary you are taxing. That tax is simply a cost of doing business.

            There is no difference in raising the energy cost of a business, the price of labor, the price of cotton, or the taxes that it pays. It doesn’t matter. That business simply takes all of its costs and puts it on the general ledge as Cost of Goods Sold. That has to be countered with Revenue, (price of course) for the business to remain healthy, continue employing as many people and giving those people benefits. So there is a line there, when the tax burned is too high that is becomes counter-productive for you and your family buying goods and services (their tax increases makes its way to the price you pay) and even to tax revenue itself. It’s called the Laffer curve.

            Realize 70% + of people here are employed by small business. Something else that figures into it is that large business (IBM, Intel, Morotola, etc.) have not grown their employee base in decades. They’ve reduced them, so the burden of keeping things in balance rests on small business.

            The plainest example, was during the depression, they raised taxes on the rich, and tariffs on imports and turned the depression into the Great Depression.

            Ben Bernanke is a student of the Great Depression by his own words. This is why he printing money like popcorn and calling things like Stimulus, and QE2. If you do want to see business get hit, I can share some of that. We shouldn’t have bailed out GM for example. They should have gone bankrupt and be replaced by a healthy company. That’s how capitalism keeps a healthy growing economy. Corporate welfare will kill us.

            And, if you didn’t know; The Federal Reserve essentially printed up 30+ trillion (as of a year ago) to give to the banks foreign and domestic in the form of buying their worthless mortgage derivative paper so they could have a ‘do-over’. I go on revolution with you over that one.

            Anyway, sorry, didn’t see your reply, so I’m not getting the email alerts, so I’ll check back on this thread.

            Bottom line is Tax on business is paid by us.

  • Scott May 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Very good Bot. You have given me a starting point for weeks of debate with my opponents here in my little union town. The death of a thousand cuts has been under way for quite some time in our nation. “Killed by compassion” may be the Liberal epitaph for America. To paraphrase Reagan–“You must teach the realities of our Republic, freedom and conservatism to every new generation, otherwise we will only tell our children what it was like to live in a free nation.”

    • robot May 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm

      Hi Scott. Glad you liked the post. Thanks for stopping in!

  • That's Right May 19, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    College Student Responds to “Defining “American”” – Unwittingly Provides Proof of Generational Training…

    Snarfed from the one a ……

  • left coast rebel May 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Great post, Robot. I wish you could blog like this full time!

    • robot May 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      Thanks LCR. That’s a nice thing to say, especially coming from you. If only my employer would see it that way.

      Hey, wait. Was that what is called a back-handed compliment? ;-)

      Have a great weekend, sir!

  • […] College Student Responds to “Defining “American”” – Unwittingly Provides Proof of Gene… […]

  • William Stout May 21, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Well stated my friend. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Americans are literally swimming in leftist ideology. From TV to the movies and books and magazines, we are bombarded with leftist thought. From the time that a child is born until it graduates from college it is hit by leftist talking points day in and day out. All of that has an effect and Kristen’s essay does indeed prove your point.

  • Kid May 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    I’ll even bottom line it some more if I may.

    Today’s young people seem to have completely bought into the idea that government is the solution to our problems. Therefore they are more than willing to give carte blanc to the government.

    Being taught to hate the rich is a big part of that. “The rich” ARE America.

    Look around your house. The house itself, appliances, furnishings, electronics, food, and comforts. How much of that was provided by the government.? How much of that was provided at a very competitive price by ‘The Rich’ ? Price competitive because of Capitalism.

    Anyone interested in America should at least take a healthy bit of time understanding Capitalism and how and why it has caused America’s economic system to be the best and longest lasting in the history of the world.

    Because they sure don’t talk about that in school anymore.

  • […] of Conservative links, so give them a look.Conservative commenters picking on little girls?College Student Responds to “Defining “American”” – Unwittingly Provides Proof of Gene…Scientists made global warming solutions look easy and we the unsophisticated rubes relaxedVideo- […]

  • […] Mind Numb Robot: College Student Responds to “Defining “American” […]

  • Woodsterman May 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

    Kristen, I believe if you look at the whole picture, Washington had to “steal” from me (the older you mentioned) first in order to give it back to me later. I’d rather have the choice and the opportunity to invest that 15% (yes you read that right employer plus employee contributions) for 40 years of my working life. Do the math young lady at 6% compounded, and then tell me how Washington does anything better than the private sector.

    Now read something other a brain washed liberal’s writings about the New Deal. The Second World War brought us out of the depression and NOT FDR! The New Deal prolonged the Depression. If government had left things alone it would have lasted 2 years tops. Did you know that there was a 1920 depression? Not many do, for government stayed out of that one and it only lasted for 6 months.

    Robot was only explaining to you that you’re only being taught one side of the story. And as with most things liberal, you have so eloquently proven his point.

  • […] up is my favorite shiny ‘Bot’s conversation with a young college student.  She responded to one of his posts for a class assignment.  Her response is even-tempered and […]

  • TheySay/WeSay May 23, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    The Kid used the example of the smart phone for capitalism, but there is a more clear example if the world did not have to jump on a horse and go to town to find the Doctor and the Doctor jumped in his Horse and Buggy; to ride back to the urgent care needed back out at the farm if he wasn’t to late. Fast forward to the invention of the first phone.
    Call the Doctor and only a one way trip for urgent care. You can not put a price tag on the return on investment for buying the first phone. Capitalism made our first inventions Limitless as far as return on investments in consumer goods.
    Have the goods gotten to be more as a luxury idem- probably, but if regulated to heavily and no wants to try anymore- the next big life saver may not be invented–LEAVE THE INVENTORS ALONE! We need capitalism to grease to wheels of the minds of the great thinkers to invent something useful.

    • Kid May 23, 2011 at 10:01 pm

      Excellent comment. I did want to imply that Everything good in our lives came from capitalism. The majority of people in the world don’t even have indoor plumbing for Pete’s sake.

      Liberals make the mistake of believe that regardless of how heavy handed government gets, over-achievers will continue to do ‘what they do’ so our sociopathic little lives won’t be inconvenienced and of course we won’t have any of that nasty business of “some people”
      getting Hugely Larger Pieces of Pie.

      I would make the case that you can take any of their arguments and put them side by side with a 5 year old for example and find very little difference between them outside of the fact that older liberals usually have a more complex vocabulary.

      World peace. Absurd.
      Fairness. Absurd. There isn’t and there shouldn’t and there can not be. Some people are smarter, more talented, etc. There is a reason for that. The world needs ditch diggers too.
      Charity – Jeesh, If you took the liberal by the and and led them around the world showing them that their charitable contributions are sucked up by dictators and none of it or an Extremely small slice goes to the intended target in the vast majority of cases, their heads would probably fly off. Look at the ‘administrative costs’ of the Red Cross for example.
      Gaddaffi gets it and buys weapons. Kim Jong gets it and buys weapons while his people eat grass to stay alive. Go down the list. Even murbarak in Egypt had 70 Billion when he checked out. Some of that is oil money, some of it is American politicians and state dept people laundering tax money and sharing it with dictators who hold entire countries of people hostage.
      Go down the list of good intentions that when these people get a little older and some life experience will realize, have no basis in reality.
      EPA – The EPA didn’t clean anything up. Business cleaned themselves up because they were offered incentives to do so. Money. Money is the only thing that makes anything happen.
      Grow up already.
      We are on a rock flying through space with large majorities of people who want each other dead – let alone give a rat’s butt about making things better for anyone else.

      And to those who are focused on ‘the rich’. At least you have a choice whether to exchange you money for their more often competitively priced product or service. How about all the politicians who steal your tax money and give you no option as to whether you want to contribute or not. Pelosi and husband stole hundreds of millions through direct money laundering and family business friendly legislation.
      Why was a BILLION dollars spent putting the imbecile obama in the White House.
      Use your college education and give it some thought.

  • pst314 June 21, 2011 at 5:41 am

    “oppressive to poor people” = lack of unlimited welfare benefits

  • pst314 June 21, 2011 at 5:48 am

    “I wish more stuff was made here but due to lack of regulation companies can save money using “free trade” which ships our jobs to undeveloped countries.”

    Well, first, please remember that auto plants and chip fabrication facilities are not being built in undeveloped countries, as they do not have the capability.

    Second, have you ever contemplated the consequences of laws prohibiting companies from setting up foreign manufacturing plants? Eventually foreign companies build plants and start selling the same products at lower prices, undercutting domestic manufacturers and putting them out of business. Just look at what happened to the American steel and auto industries.

  • Defining "American" September 20, 2012 at 11:23 am

    […] rebuttal and follow up post: College Student Responds to “Defining “American”” – Unwittingly Provides Proof of Gene… Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailStumbleUponRedditMoreDiggLinkedInPrint Posted in Commentary, […]

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