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  • hellcat commented on the diary post Our Less-Than-Excellent ACA Adventure by Tammany Tiger.

    2013-11-26 16:30:30View | Delete

    In response to “What planet are the people from who thought this would run smoothly, even under the best case scenario?”, I think she is from S.F. and her initials are N.P. The thing that galls is the paternalistic attitude from this administration and its supporters. Like we can’t decide what’s best for ourselves and [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Capitalism takes on democracy by danps.

    2013-11-17 21:40:54View | Delete

    I note a certain irony in the OP’s post. It would seem that eminent-domain taking for pipelines and fracking bans are two sides of the same coin: they both deprive the land-owner of the freedom to dispose of his property as he sees fit.

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Over Easy: Monday Science by BoxTurtle.

    2013-05-20 22:17:38View | Delete

    I think Cook and Richardson also stink at science – when did science become a democracy? Science is about finding explanations that are ever closer to the truth. You can have 3,999 prior explanations, and the 4,000th can override them all by being right. Climate science is difficult because the climate is complex with many [...]

  • hellcat wrote a new diary post: A higher corporate tax rate isn’t needed…

    2012-09-19 19:25:48View | Delete

    … what is needed is elimination of the corporate deductible expenses shell game.  In 2010, gross business receipts totaled $10.3 trillion dollars (that’s over 70% of GDP that year), but corporate taxes amounted to just 1.3% of GDP .  That amounts to an average tax rate of about 1.8% of gross revenue (even though the nominal corporate tax rate is 35%). [...]

  • Thank you for your comment. It is interesting to consider the Tea Party and the Occupy movement as being two sides of the same coin: a desperate plea to wrench control of our society back from the insiders and power brokers.

    @caleb36: Yes, I agree that what we have today is what capitalism has become. But unless we have an ideal to compare it with, then we won’t know how to fix it. We all must have something we believe is the best possible world, and work to try to achieve it. We know we will never fully get there, but with no ideal to guide us we become jaded and useless.

  • I just don’t get the vitriolic manner in which everyone speaks of capitalism and free markets on this site – as if there was some obviously superior alternative available that everyone just keeps overlooking. I think the problem is that our economy isn’t actually free market capitalism at all, but an unholy collusion of big government, special interests, and crony capitalism. The problem isn’t free markets and capitalism per se; it’s the bastardization of capitalism into a special-interests/political monstrosity that serves the few insiders at the expense of everyone else, and worse, robs all of us of the opportunity to realize our full potential.

    @solerso asks about the “invisible hand” and “animal spirits”. It’s not so hard to understand. That’s what’s great about capitalism: it’s very closely aligned with human nature. 1) You get to own things (including your time), 2) You can trade those things (in a market) for something someone else has (making both of you more wealthy), 3) The government protects your stuff from theft, and the market from manipulation. The government also collects a fee for its services, and provides help in areas that the market doesn’t serve well (such as basic R&D, infrastructure, defense, etc.). That’s pretty much it.

    The invisible hand is just the action of the market. Prices go up and down. No one is controlling or manipulating it, it just happens because lots of individuals decide to participate or not (based on price, availability of products etc.) The “invisible hand” makes all kinds of decisions about production, allocation of resources, salaries etc. The decision making is distributed and safe from manipulation (enforced by the government).

    Animal Spirits is just your desire to better yourself by participating in the market. There is no limit to how much wealth you can accumulate, so go get it! But you can’t just steal it from someone else – they have to willingly trade with you for it. Find a better way to serve their needs, and the world will beat a path to your door. Isn’t that motivating?

    Now, I paint a very idealistic picture here, and certainly our current economy resembles this description only barely, but if you are going to attack capitalism, then attack what I’ve just described and tell me how your system is going to feed, cloth, and improve everyone’s lives better than the free market. If your argument is with the corruption of capitalism, then I’m on your side! Let’s fix it! But any system can be corrupted. Let’s not throw out the best economic model the world has ever invented just because we’ve allowed it to become perverted. Let’s undo the corruption.

    Ok, now let the thoughtful and insightful comments begin (let’s see, “dellusional”, “wingnut”, “pig”. That should do for starters ;)

  • From my understanding, the accusation is that independent brokers who used Wells as the loan originator were the ones responsible for the racial profiling. But what I don’t understand is how a whole bunch of independent brokers would show a racial bias. In other words, racial profiling within an organization can make some sense since it could be a sort of enforced policy. But why would it show up across a large number of independent brokers? Something seems fishy here. Was there a policy of racial profiling at Wells that somehow influenced the brokers? Just who are these brokers and how many are there? By what means did DOJ identify racial profiling?

    Wells and other banks are now eliminating the use of brokers under the guise of removing a random variable which was creating racial profiling and that was out of their control. But if racial bias originated at Wells, then this will only make matters worse. Also, it will vastly reduce the number of channels through which people can get home loans – an already difficult and time consuming process. There’s more to this than we’re being told.

  • With apologies to Randal, I want to take back the word “profit”. It isn’t a dirty word. Profit is what happens when two parties willing enter into trade, and both come out feeling like they got more than they gave up. No one gets hurt. I would like to suggest alternatives such as “theft”, “greed”, [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post 1% Success Stories: Man Makes $10 Million For 9 Months Work by DSWright.

    2012-06-19 21:29:30View | Delete

    Well, I think the real reason he made out like a bandit is probably much more prosaic than a ‘cognitive elite conspiracy’. Probably, Ron Johnson just made a mistake in hiring Francis in the first place. Which kind of implies that the JC Penney board sort of made a mistake in hiring Johnson too. Why [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Why is the American left so useless? by David Seaton.

    2012-06-19 21:04:20View | Delete

    To veer back to the diarists post (not that the comments haven’t made for fascinating reading), but in my opinion the main problem with the left today is criticism without offering a solution. One of the truisms of Science is that scientists will not abandon a flawed theory, even though they know its flawed, without [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post The biggest evils of Capitalism. by cmaukonen.

    2012-06-18 06:38:04View | Delete

    So please correct my delusional rantings and enlighten us with your superior system for organizing economic activity. The truth is, no other system encourages more innovation or better serves consumers. The profit motive and competition are powerful forces, which if constrained by the rule of law and regulation can unleash man’s incredible innate potential. And [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post The biggest evils of Capitalism. by cmaukonen.

    2012-06-17 22:12:35View | Delete

    As the responses above demonstrate, just complaining about a system won’t solve anything. You need to recommend a viable alternative. For instance, you say

    Capitalism is the antithesis of real growth and survival …

    So what is your prescription for real growth, and will it really work? I think the problem we all have with capitalism [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post First Alleged Case of GOP Recall Election-Day Dirty Tricks by Phoenix Woman.

    2012-06-05 20:49:21View | Delete

    I very much doubt that the WI Republican Party is so stupid as to make such calls from phones so easily traced back to them (please refrain from taking obvious shots at Republican stupidity; really, do you honestly believe they would be so stupid?). However, the blow-out one-sidedness of the result must still be accounted [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Report from Chicago Spring: Reflections on Where the Movement Stands by TarheelDem.

    2012-05-31 21:07:10View | Delete

    If you are patient, it may not be long before the CPD crosses the baracades and marches with us! The City of Chicago has underfunded its workers pensions for so long that contributions must be increased by $710M /yr. over the next 50 yrs. just to get back to a 90% funding ratio (like that’s going to [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Ode to Obama by Synoia.

    2012-05-29 20:25:41View | Delete

    @Synoia, why “no apologies” to Gilbert and Sullivan? I mean, I was singing along while reading your little “libretto”. Clearly you used the fact that “The Modern Major General” is so well liked to promote your post. Aren’t Gilbert and Sullivan deserving of recognition in this regards?

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Marinaleda: Drop Capitalism, Live Well, Be Recession-Proof by Phoenix Woman.

    2012-05-29 20:10:29View | Delete

    No need to look to Spain for working socialist/communist communities; there are tons of them right here in the U.S., and their doing fine. Traditional religious communities such as the Amish, Mennoites, Quakers, and Hutterites eschew technology, possessions, and wealth – and yet, as they see it, live productive and rewarding lives. Clearly, the pursuit [...]

  • hellcat commented on the diary post The End of Innovation by hellcat.

    2012-05-15 06:28:28View | Delete

    No, the point is that there is no solution to continued innovation. Education for the masses won’t work because there will always be ever larger uneducated masses. The success of science and technology led to an explosion in population, but the rate of innovation per capita peaked in 1845 and has been flattening ever since – [...]

  • hellcat wrote a new diary post: The End of Innovation

    2012-05-14 17:22:34View | Delete

    One of the unquestioned truisms espoused by both the right and the left is that America’s future is dependent on continuing the rapid technological and scientific advancement of the last two centuries, ad infinitum.  Obama used the word “innovation” 11 times in his state of the Union address. Over and over again we are asked “where is [...]

  • Maybe part of the problem is that the 2012 budget is almost 10% larger than 2011′s, while the population is at most 1% larger. Education (thanks to prop 98) grows 14%, Medi-Cal by 18%, and transportation by 13%. These are year over year growth rates. And then Gov. Brown announces that he wants to raise state income and sales tax right before the Facebook IPO (Eduardo Saverin flees country). I guess he never read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Even with a 100% state income tax there is no way to sustain such a spending/revenue schism.

    Of course if CA had its own currency then it could just print money like the Federal Reserve. You know, there are a lot of parallels between Greece/Euro-Zone and CA/US… Greece has a head start. Be interesting to see how that turns out.

  • hellcat commented on the diary post Obama on Keystone: “Let me be perfectly clear: No… I mean Yes, um got it?” by hellcat.

    2012-02-29 11:21:05View | Delete

    If he lets it stand without an immediate retraction then he is implicitly endorsing it. You don’t get off that easy.

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