Time for my 3:00 brain Aneurysm

I’m pretty sure that those of you who read my blog fall into one of three categories. The first are those of you like my parents. You come for the pictures but if you see a long post, you skip it. Some of you love my rants and keep coming back for more (I love this category). And then there are those of you who disagree with almost everything I say, and you come back either because you are friends/family or you think of my rants are like a train wreck. You just can’t look away.

No matter what category you fall under, thanks for reading. Now on to my regularly scheduled rant.

Did anyone listen to our President’s speech the other day?

Me neither. They all sound the same to me. I must admit though, after hearing the highlights, I’m a little disappointed I missed my opportunity to scream myself hoarse (though since I have a sore throat to begin with, it’s probably for the best).

To paraphrase a seasonal favorite

“…All the Progressive gals and guys would assemble bright and early.
They’d rush for their prompter! And then! Oh, the lies!
Oh, the Lies! Lies! Lies! Lies!
That’s one thing we hated!

Oh where to start? How about the beginning.

“Today, we are still home to the world’s most productive workers and innovative companies. But for most Americans, the basic bargain that made this country great has eroded.”

According to the latest census information, 15.1% of American’s live below the poverty line. Now lets define poverty. Poverty is defined by Wikipedia as “the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions”. That means that 84.9% of people have enough money to get all of the stuff that will allow them to keep up with the Joneses. Last time I checked, 15.1% didn’t qualify as “most”.

“Long before the recession hit, hard work stopped paying off for too many people. Fewer and fewer of the folks who contributed to the success of our economy actually benefitted from that success.”

Really? REALLY? Seems like the quality of life for most people worldwide continues to rise in spite of this recession. And if I may, I would hazard to say that the quality of life has improved MOST for those people who haven’t contributed to the success of our economy at all! For example, when the first iPod came out in 2002 it looked like this:

It could play music. It bragged 10 GB worth of storage and cost $499.

Less than 10 years later we have this selection to choose from:

Depending on your needs you can choose anywhere from 2 GB of storage and no screen to 160 GB and all sorts of goodies. You can do anything from just listen to music to watch movies, surf the internet, check your email, talk to someone face to face on the other side of the world, text someone, count calories, Facebook, take pictures, record movies, use it as a GPS, set timers and alarm clocks, stream video content to your big screen HDTV and store and read thousands of books. You can even slap a wrist band on the nano and use it as a wrist watch! Add the iPhone and the capability goes even higher.

All of that and more starting at just $49. If you want to be REALLY fancy, you can spend $399 and get the most expensive one. So if we are comparing Apples to Apples (get it?), you can get the exact same capability now for $49 (music only) for what ten years ago cost you $499.

Don’t want an iPod? No problem, thanks to something called competition, you can buy some other brand that does almost the same thing, and probably for cheaper. It’s like Burger King. You can have it your way.

That is capitalism, baby.

And since every picture I see of the “99%” has someone sporting an iPhone, I’m going to guess that they are some of the people who haven’t contributed to the success of our economy (you know, since they claim to be starving students without jobs) yet HAVE benefited because of those who DID contribute to it’s success. Or in other words, the 1% (which is in reality the 53%, the hardworking, TAX PAYING citizens of this country, not 1%).

As innovation and the free market collide, technology continues to get better and better while at the same time getting less and less expensive.

Need another example? How about cell phone, cars, bikes, computers, watches, large and small appliances, farm equipment, home construction or MEDICINE! Life expectancy has gone up 30 years the since 1900. As recently as 1960, the average 60 year old was dead and the average LIVING 60 year old had seven teeth left! Don’t tell me no one is benefitting from the free market any longer.

Those at the very top grew wealthier from their incomes and investments than ever before. But everyone else struggled with costs that were growing and paychecks that weren’t – and too many families found themselves racking up more and more debt just to keep up.”

Ok, help me out with this one. How is it that people are growing “wealthier from their income and investments than ever before” if no one is buying their products and the stock market has tanked? Oh, I know. It’s because the only people who are ACTUALLY getting wealthier in this economy are those who are betting against the system and manipulating the market. And that would be… the government! Yes, Congress, that who is getting richer! Congress is saturated with the corrupt who participate in insider trading (which is legal for them). Who else is getting rich? Hedge fund managers (who wrote TARP like George Soros), GE (who paid zero taxes last year) and other corrupt companies who are in bed with the government. That is what is called crony capitalism. And THAT is what doesn’t work. CRONY capitalism, not the actual free market (which in case you were wondering, our country hasn’t participated in in more than 100 years, thank you Teddy Roosevelt, who started it all.)

If you haven’t yet watched this video, I suggest you do so now:


The only companies who are doing well are 1. the crony companies (i.e., GE) and 2. the companies who were built on a rock and not sand (i.e. debt). Companies that are run debt free are doing just fine. For example Walmart/Sams and Apple. Two great companies who provide millions of people a steady paycheck and better than average benefits (as of 2006 Walmart alone employed 1.6 million). And that is JUST their employees. Add that to the countless stock holders and I think it’s fair to say that Sam Walton and Steve Jobs (you know, evil millionaires) have helped a LOT of people.

Heaven help me, that is just one paragraph of his speech. I’ll never get through this if I take it line for line.

“Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that have stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for too many years. Their philosophy is simple: we are better off when everyone is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.”

Um, no. The policies that got us into this mess were Roosevelt, Wilson, Hoover, FDR, Johnson, Nixon, Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama policies. No one is wanting to stay with those. We want to go BACK further than that. Yes, even further than Reagan! We want fiscal policies from our Founders.

And yes, when everyone is left to fend for themselves, people try harder. Ever heard the phrase “if you want something done right you have to do it yourself”? It’s a well known phrase for a reason.

At the same time, I can’t think of anyone who thinks people should play by their own rules. Anyone OTHER than Congress, that is. We all want the same rules! That’s the problem. Progressives want some people to have different, more helpful, friendlier rules (minorities, women, the poor) while some people get kicked in the shins when they excel (self-made millionaires and conservatives).

“I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, and when everyone plays by the same rules.”

Everyone DOES get a fair shot… unless you are a white male, or a conservative of any race or gender. The rich aren’t paying their fair share, you are right. They are paying far more than their fair share. In fact, they are making up the difference for the 47% of people who aren’t paying any taxes at all.

“But today, we are a richer nation and a stronger democracy because of what [Roosevelt] fought for in his last campaign: an eight hour work day and a minimum wage for women; insurance for the unemployed, the elderly, and those with disabilities; political reform and a progressive income tax.”

First of all, we are not a democracy. We are a republic.

Secondly… Really? The progressive income tax and unemployment benefits are what make this country great? I don’t get that. Because Europe, who has had all of those things long before we did, is on FIRE! Their people are rioting and their economies are collapsing! All because of the entitlements that the left thinks is the only thing worth mentioning about this country.

I can think of other things that make this country great. How about it’s people? How about how we continually lead the world in private charitable donations? How about the churches who swoop in to help in every single natural disaster worldwide? How about the tens of thousands of service missions that private citizens participate in annually? Service missions that they have to pay their own way to participate in! How about the millions of American’s who voluntarily serve in the military for a fraction of what they could make in the private sector? How about all of those people who willingly died defending this country you are constantly apologizing for? How about how in spite of all of the federal interference we are STILL the most free country on earth? How about how in spite of regulation and penalties to those who prosper, the poorest people in the U.S.A. are STILL far wealthier than average people in other countries? How about our history? You know, our ACTUAL history, not the propagandistic swash that is fed to us in school these days.

History like how we are the ONLY country in the world and all of it’s history who replaced it’s own government without shedding a single drop of blood (Articles of Confederation replaced with the Constitution). History like how the revolution only started after years and years of petitioning and pleading Parliament to address their concerns AND after the British sent troops to keep the “rebels” in line. Our revolution started because we were defending ourselves. Not because we stormed the government buildings and executed government officials. How about how we fought a bloody civil war to liberate millions of slaves just so that some would no longer be “wringing their bread from the sweat of other men’s faces”

No. The progressive income tax and other avenues of redistributing wealth are not what make this country great.

America is great because America is good.

Over the last few decades, huge advances in technology have allowed businesses to do more with less, and made it easier for them to set up shop and hire workers anywhere in the world. And many of you know firsthand the painful disruptions this has caused for a lot of Americans.

Factories where people thought they would retire suddenly picked up and went overseas, where the workers were cheaper. Steel mills that needed 1,000 employees are now able to do the same work with 100, so that layoffs were too often permanent, not just a temporary part of the business cycle. These changes didn’t just affect blue-collar workers. If you were a bank teller or a phone operator or a travel agent, you saw many in your profession replaced by ATMs or the internet. Today, even higher-skilled jobs like accountants and middle management can be outsourced to countries like China and India. And if you’re someone whose job can be done cheaper by a computer or someone in another country, you don’t have a lot of leverage with your employer when it comes to asking for better wages and benefits – especially since fewer Americans today are part of a union.”

Excuse me, I need to somehow stop my eyes from hemorrhaging.

Did he really just say that ATMs and the internet are the problems with our economy? That technology and innovation are what is causing these hard times? Please tell me that no one is buying this snake oil? PLEASE tell me that no one reading this actually believes this nonsense? Because if you do believe it, you might want to leave my blog right away because I am about to call you STUPID! Are you CRAZY?! Are you really that dumb? Lets pretend for a minute that he’s right. That these new fangled ATM Machine’s did cause some banks to lay off some workers in the last decade. Where did we get these crazy futuristic Money Machines, anyway? Did they fall out of the sky? Any sane person knows that for every one job lost in a bank due to an ATM, at least one job is created (probably many more than one) in the factory where that Money Machine was built. Not to mention the inventor, the programmer and the designer. Then there are the computer chips and the plastic, and the metal and the screens… need I go on?

And as for the internet, again every job that is lost to the internet (i.e. travel agents) how many are gained? Programmers, web designers, content managers for each and every site. Not only that, but the internet has made it possible for people like me to run a business from home. Since I don’t have to go to and pay for a brick and mortar building, my overhead costs stay down and therefore, so does the price of my product, making it accessible to more people. I could give you a list of 500 digital scrapbook designers ALONE who are making good money from the comfort of their own home because of the internet. How many of us have benefited from the low prices at Amazon.com? Or how many of us have eReaders now? How many people have written ebooks, sold them for a dollar and become a millionaire because they don’t have to wait for publishers to approve and print their work? How many of us make money just from advertisements on our blogs?

REALLY? The internet is causing the economy to FAIL??

Why stop there? I can’t tell you how upset I am whenever I have to forgo the long lines at the grocery store and go to the self-checkout. It’s just so impersonal. If you ask me, I would much rather wait in line for an hour to talk to a stranger. Do you have any idea how many candle makers were put out of a job thanks to Edison and his crazy light bulb? What about those poor stage actors that are out of a job now that movies have become so popular over the last year or so. You know what else is detrimental to our society as a whole? Automobiles. They put those good folks who run stables out of business! Who really needs to go more than a mile a day anyway. If it’s too far to walk, it’s too far to go as far as I’m concerned. Besides, no one needs to take all of their children with them at the SAME TIME. It’s unnecessary if you ask me. And I can’t tell you how angry I am now that I have to wash my clothes in something called a “washing machine” instead of on the rocks in the river. I really wish I didn’t have SO much free time. What ever will I do with myself?

Guess what folks. Things change. You can either change with the times or you can dig in your heels and get left behind.

Just out of curiosity, why is it that progressives are afraid of any change or innovation EXCEPT when it comes to sexuality or the killing of children? “Let’s let our definition of marriage evolve with the times and it’s not a baby, it’s just tissue. But please don’t ever suggest that we invent a cheaper, cleaner, more efficient way to extract more oil from the ground.”

We have technology today that our parents thought was hundreds of years away. We can not yet go to a galaxy far, far away, but the stuff our children now play with on a daily basis makes Star Trek: TNG look like a joke.

iPads are cooler than ANYTHING thought of 20 years ago. Thank you Steve Jobs, the Edison of our time. Both of whom, the left continues to demonize.

If only those employees were unionized. Then no one would ever loose their job again!

Don’t insult us, Mr. President.

” ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If only we cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. Sure, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everyone else. And even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, they argue, that’s the price of liberty.

It’s a simple theory – one that speaks to our rugged individualism and healthy skepticism of too much government. It fits well on a bumper sticker. Here’s the problem: It doesn’t work. It’s never worked. It didn’t work when it was tried in the decade before the Great Depression. It’s not what led to the incredible post-war boom of the 50s and 60s. And it didn’t work when we tried it during the last decade.”

It’s not? Um… what was the decade before the the depression called again? The “something 20’s”? I can’t remember.

Oh that’s right! The ROARING 20’s. Where the production of cars went up 191% and the price fell so far that car ownership was no longer something that only the extremely wealthy could claim! The every day person was able to buy a car. All of a sudden, people could travel farther to work, paving the way for the the suburban neighborhood. Interstate highway projects skyrocketed. They had to now that driving cars wasn’t just a novelty. Steel production, rubber production and tire manufacturing, leather, paint and all of the materials for the new roads that had to be made went through the roof. Companies and businesses had to be created just to keep up with the demand for this ONE product.

Like the car, other inventions that had once been play things for the rich were now used by every day people. Movie theaters, telephones, radios, vacuum cleaners, clothes washers, and ice boxes just to name a few. More people had access to cheaper electricity. All of a sudden, people had time for things like recreation and entertainment.

From 1921 to 1929 the average salary went up 39%. Inflation went from 20% to -10% (that’s NEGATIVE 10%) and the average salary still went up nearly 40%! When was the last time you got a wage increase that wasn’t a cost of living increase?

The unemployment low was under 3%. The average was 3.3%.

Medicine also improved. In the 20’s we see the discovery and distribution of Penicillin and Insulin.

Capitalism didn’t work in the 20’s? By WHAT ruler are you measuring?

Now I like Reagan as much as the next Conservative, but I want a President who will channel Calvin Coolidge!

Harding lowered the insane taxes instituted by Wilson, and Coolidge lowered them even further. With Andrew Mellon as his Treasury Secretary (you know Andrew Mellon, the evil rich guy from the Andrew Mellon Foundation and Carnegie Mellon University. don’t you hate it when rich guys give their money to charity), Coolidge ushered in unprecedented prosperity for everyone!

The 50’s ushered in widespread use of the television including the sitcom. The color TV was introduced. Seat belts were introduced as well as the Polio Vaccine. It is discovered that cigarettes cause cancer. Disney Land opens and McDonalds is founded. In 1955 Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus. Elvis, the remote control, velcro, pantyhose, Dr. Seuss, Lego’s, and NASA all debuted in the 50’s!

The 60’s gave us lasers, televised presidential debates, Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Act, Star Trek and the first man on the moon.

And the free market didn’t have ANYTHING to do with those things? The freedom and liberty that people feel while they can work how and where they want doesn’t have any impact on economics or civil society? Then why is it that every SINGLE time taxes are lowered considerably the economy, technology and innovation boom and there is a great leap forward? If the free market didn’t work, then why am I sitting contentedly in my warm home while snow is on the ground and I am proclaiming my beliefs where I know someone in the Netherlands will read it? **wink wink Donna, even though I know you think I’m a train wreck, I still love you ;)**. With the exception of the internet, every one of these things happen when taxes were lowered? Even the internet didn’t get a real foot hold until Clinton lowered taxes in ’97.

Where I am sitting, the stagnant portions of the last century (30’s, 40’s, 70’s) have been solely when progressives have been in office, pushing their socialist/communist agenda.

And in case anyone is wondering, I said PROGRESSIVE. Not Democrat. Both Bushs’ were progressive and they fall under that category even though they are not Democrats.

Remember that in those years [2000-2008], thanks to some of the same folks who are running Congress now, we had weak regulation and little oversight, and what did that get us?”

Bush added 90,000 employees to the federal regulation sector alone! Surely he didn’t do that because he was DE-regulating. And more than 13,000 regulations were ADDED during Bush’s “reign of capitalism”.

When middle-class families can no longer afford to buy the goods and services that businesses are selling, it drags down the entire economy, from top to bottom. America was built on the idea of broad-based prosperity – that’s why a CEO like Henry Ford made it his mission to pay his workers enough so that they could buy the cars they made.”

Uh, huh. That’s why all of those folks complaining that they can’t afford food still have big screen TV’s, shiny new cars and techno-gadgits coming out of their noses. Last time I checked, Walmart and Apple employees didn’t get their stuff for free.

It’s also why a recent study showed that countries with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long run.”

Like Greece? Like Italy?

Inequality also distorts our democracy. It gives an outsized voice to the few who can afford high-priced lobbyists and unlimited campaign contributions, and runs the risk of selling out our democracy to the highest bidder.”

Like GE? Like Warren Buffet?

“More fundamentally, this kind of gaping inequality gives lie to the promise at the very heart of America: that this is the place where you can make it if you try. We tell people that in this country, even if you’re born with nothing, hard work can get you into the middle class; and that your children will have the chance to do even better than you. That’s why immigrants from around the world flocked to our shores.”

This is coming from a man who was plucked out of obscurity. The son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas, raise by his poor grandmother. The son of a working class single mother who no one knew existed until just a few years ago. He is now President of the United States of America. And he’s standing there, telling us that the American Dream is dead? REALLY??

“Fortunately, that’s not a future we have to accept. Because there’s another view about how we build a strong middle class in this country – a view that’s truer to our history; a vision that’s been embraced by people of both parties for more than two hundred years.

It’s not a view that we should somehow turn back technology or put up walls around America. It’s not a view that says we should punish profit or success or pretend that government knows how to fix all society’s problems. It’s a view that says in America, we are greater together – when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share.”

Really? Cause it sure sounds like you want to turn back technology. Your policies have done nothing BUT punish profit and success (unless they suck up to your administration) and you seem to think that government regulation is the answer to everything.

Again, everyone DOES get a fair shot… unless you are a white male, or a conservative of any race or gender.

And no one pays their fair share. Our citizens are paying anywhere from 0 to 35% plus of their income not including the payroll tax. Add to that a whole other tax bracket for people who make heaps of money. Jon Huntsman Sr. (the dad of the guy running for President) gives away 100% of his income to charity. Yet he is still taxed on it. So he has to a pay 50% tax for the privilege of building hospitals, schools and women’s centers. You are absolutely right, Mr. President. Not everyone is paying their fair share. Any system the would do that is NOT fair.

You know what is fair? A flat tax. Let’s say 10% across the board. Someone who makes 10,000 a year will pay $1,000 in taxes. Someone who makes 100,000 will pay $10,000. Someone who makes $1,000,000 pays $100,000! That’s not politics. That’s MATH! Don’t tell me Warren Buffet pays less taxes than his secretary. It’s an absolute lie.

I can’t take it anymore. I’m not even half way done.

I urge you to read his speech. Know exactly what he is saying. After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.

I urge you to read Atlas Shrugged. It’s a long read, I warn you. If you don’t have time for that please read New Deal or Raw Deal. If you can read both, you get a gold star in my book.

As for me, I’m going to do and say what I can to make sure that “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom … and that government of the people … by the people … for the people … shall not perish from this earth.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Heather B says:

    I am absolutely floored at the way you can put all of that together with so much clarity. Once people start actually thinking (instead of just parroting back the drivel that’s been shoved into their brains by their so-called education) and have their eyes finally open, they can connect the dots. But even then, not everyone can eloquently explain it. I know I certainly have a hard time doing it. I am SO impressed. I’m totally going to link on my blog, okay? VERY WELL DONE!


  2. Megan B says:

    I actually read every single word (and I fit into none of the three categories, LOL!) This was actually a rather brilliant piece of writing and I am in awe that you are able to articulate yourself so well. Thank you for taking the time to write this, as I can only imagine it took a considerable effort! Thank you!


  3. Seastar says:

    I love your rants. You say exactly what I am thinking but so much better than I would ever put it together. We live in a crazy world where it is easy to loose faith in humanity. It is good to know there are other like minded people out there.


  4. Cari Osborne says:

    Well said! Agree 100%. The problem is most (especially younger) American’s aren’t educated enough about our history to understand where we came from and where we’re going and frankly many just want their handout and don’t care what it costs or who pays for it. You’d think we could learn a thing or two from other countries failed socialism/communism but somehow we think our country will have different results if implemented…


  5. Trista Bytheway says:

    Love it! Welcome back–I’ve missed reading these rants.


  6. The Buttsicles says:

    I support Gary Johnson for president in 2012. He is the only candidate that I know of who has the proven track record to show that he actually might be able to do something positive with regards to the economy and the deficit.

    I disagree completely with many of the points in your rant. I don’t know what exactly the rules are for posting here, so I’ll tentatively call you out on just one point.

    Your paragraph on ATMs doesn’t make sense unless banks are in the business of creating jobs for people. In the real world, banks are in the business of turning a profit. If at least one job was created for every job lost when banks switched to ATMs, then using ATMs would be MORE EXPENSIVE than using the teller they used before.

    Please just think about it for a moment before you dismiss me as a brain-washed, moronic libertarian idiot who hasn’t the slightest idea what he’s talking about.

    The fact that banks use ATMs shows that ATMs are cheaper to use than the tellers that were supposedly laid off. The fact that ATMs are cheaper to use shows that either fewer people are being employed, or the employees are being paid less.

    If that comment was okay, I could post some other quibbles, but I’ll leave it at that for now.


  7. The Buttsicles says:

    Sorry for the double post, but I also feel obligated to argue the other side of the issue. My point that ATMs are cheaper is only relevant if the ATMs are replacing workers. In the specific case of ATMs, that might not be true.

    If ATMs are purely an added service that banks use to attract more clientele, (i.e. “Join our bank instead of the competition because we have more conveniently located, 24-hour ATMs”) then no one is being replaced, and jobs ARE being added, as you say, to provide a superior service that customers want.

    In the case of ATMs, it seems unlikely that any tellers were directly replaced. So my post above is completely irrelevant with regards to ATMs.

    Generally speaking, there are many devices that DO directly replace workers. Let’s take a cement mixer as a more relevant example. A cement truck can mix and pour 10 yards of cement at once. Clearly, this innovation has replaced a lot of guys who used to do it by hand (like, 100 years ago?) However, it has also made the cost of cement go way down, so that today many ordinary people can afford to have cement put in cheaply and easily. The increased demand for cement pours offsets the reduction in employment per pour. The overall standard of living rises.

    One more example: online shopping sites like Amazon.com. Amazon replaces the sales people with customer reviews. They replace the checkout people with automated systems. They drastically reduce the number of stockers and maintenance people by eliminating brick-and-mortar stores, they just have warehouses. And they are working to increasingly replace the warehouses with digital goods. Again, the overall effect on the standard of living is positive despite creating very few jobs relative to the jobs that are eliminated.

    Now that I’ve come this far, I scrolled back up and read your original claim and realize that I agree with you. I initially reacted to the ridiculous perceived claim that any job-destroying innovation inevitably creates more jobs than it destroys, but upon rereading, it looks like your real claim is simply that innovation raises the standard of living, regardless of net job-loss or gain. That is also my point, so I believe we are in agreement.


  8. The Buttsicles says:

    Okay, I took my own advice to think about what I was saying for a moment, and I must admit I was wrong. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed people in the United States peaked in 2007, which actually supports the claim that innovation causes a net increase in the number of jobs. It’s not proof, but for the time being I will accept that you are smarter than me. Well, I already knew that… but, yeah.


    1. Courtney says:

      You’re funny :) I don’t have any problems with people who disagree with me as long as they are respectful (at least while on my blog). They can do what ever they want on their own.

      I guess my point was two fold. 1. Capitalism (and only capitalism) causes innovation and a higher standard of living for everyone (not just those who pull in the big bucks) and 2. innovation does create more jobs than it kills. I really believe that.

      Lets just take this example. Lets say for the sake of argument that Amazon.com put Borders out of business (which I’m not convinced of because Barnes and Noble, while it no longer has the corner on the market, seems to still be doing just fine, so it must have been something in their marketing/business practices). Borders employed around 19,000 people. Amazon directly employed over 15000 as of 2007. So that leaves 4000. I couldn’t find the number of “amazon marketplace associates” there are, but according to wikipedia they make up 40% of their sales. So I’m guessing a LOT. So amazon.com may have made these 19000 have to find a new job, but they also created opportunity for far more than 19000 to work.

      Ok, maybe my point is 3 fold. In addition the those employed directly from amazon, and those associates who sell new and used books through amazon (i.e. Deseret Industries, Hastings, etc) it has also been as source of income for people like me who serve as associates (if someone buys something from amazon through a link that I have provided, I get a penny or something like that. After a year of this it’s up to just over 8 dollars and once it reaches 10 I’ll get an amazon gift card) as well as otherwise completely unemployed people. For example The Red Headed Hostess” is a stay at home mommy blogger who designed her own scripture journal. Which she now sells at amazon.com. A person who otherwise would not have been generating any income nor paying any taxes with said income is now a “contributing member of society” (don’t’ for a second think that I don’t think that stay at home moms aren’t contributing members of society, I think their value is that above gold and contribute far more to society as a whole than the average person. I also know that eco-feminazis seem to think that stay at home moms are “leeches on society”.)

      Or take etsy.com. How many stay at home moms are able make a good profit selling their crafts on the internet. They can turn their hobbies into a career using etsy and ebay.

      Then there is the digital goods market. In addition to being an extremely opinionated woman, I have a digital scrapbooking store at http://www.skittlesandscraps.com. I have also redesigned blogs and ecommerce stores on the side. I could make a full fledged business out of it if I wanted to. I just don’t want to right now. If someone seeks me out, I’ll charge for my work, but I don’t market it at all.

      Or take House of Smiths. Another stay at home mom who started designing custom vinyl in her home. Thanks to the internet she was able to start a site and sell her goods. Her business has grown so much that she now has employees!

      So I guess what I am saying is that innovation in general, the internet specifically has created far more opportunities than it has killed. When things get a little tight around here, or when I want to get a really ridiculous and expensive toy, I can do anything from make baby slings to sell on etsy to designing someone’s store to earn money to buy it. Under capitalism I can earn the money I want for the thing that I want, and someone gets a high quality, hand made baby sling or a great price on a website design in return.

      Under any other system (i.e. socialism, communism) I would have to just do without.

      And as far as ATMs specifically are concerned. My point with those was a little more subtle I guess. Maybe I should explain it without the sarcasm (which is harder to portray in writing than vocally). ATM-like machines were invented over 100 years ago. ATMs were introduced in the 60s and got wide acceptance in the 70s. The idea that something that has been around for over 40 years is causing this recession is absolutely laughable. And yes, banks are in the business of making a profit. ATMs are far more cheaper than people. But I seriously doubt that any employees were fired specifically because of ATMs. If anything, they just lowered their rate of hire. The turn over rate in banks is high enough that if someone quit, they just wouldn’t replace them. Again, that is assuming IF the introduction of ATMs made a quick and drastic difference in the demand for tellers. Which I really don’t think is what happened (though I admit I don’t know the history, but now I’m curious, I might need to find a book…). I imagine it took a while for people to trust the new system. Kind of like online banking and automatic bill pay. I kept paying my bills by check for a LONG time because I wanted to make sure the bugs were all worked out before I started putting my money on the line.

      I believe that the governmental policies and regulations of the last several decades has caused innovation and creativity to stagnate, and THAT is what is causing these hard times. The only thing propping it up at this point are people like Steve Jobs who managed to be creative and innovative enough to turn an amazing profit in spite of all of the policies discouraging it. Allow people to put their money where they want and chase their OWN dreams (and not the dreams of the EPA) and the economy will spike. Let the invisible hand take care of the market, not Big Brother. Considering you are a libertarian I think you will absolutely agree with me :)

      I don’t for a second think that I’m smarter than anyone! I might be more well read about some things. I’m just FAR more opinionated and vocal than most :)


  9. Donna says:

    You know I love a good train wreck. :)


  10. The Buttsicles says:

    Okay, here’s my second nitpick with your rant.

    Progressives often point to the 1950s as their golden era, because income tax rates were the 2nd highest in US history (They were highest in 1944-45). The top marginal rate was over 90 percent from 1950-1963.

    (Please see the following website for more details: http://ntu.org/tax-basics/history-of-federal-individual-1.html)

    While most of the decade was presided over by the moderate Republican President Eisenhower, both houses of congress were controlled by Democrats except in 1953-54.

    Given these facts, why do you claim the 1950s as a victory for non-progressive, low-tax policies? I mean, I’ll grant you that the country’s economic performance was very impressive in that decade, and that’s why progressives like to point to it as an example of “why we’re right”. I’m just not aware of any facts that support your claim that the 1950s were anything but a progressive era.

    On a related note, the stock crash of 1929 that sparked the Great Depression took place during a time of extremely low taxes. (According to the website I cited previously, federal income tax rates were only lower in 1913-16, 1925-28, and 1930-31.)

    My point is that I don’t see a strong correlation between robust economic eras and low-tax eras. 2003-present is another relatively low-tax era (again, I’m going off the information provided by National Taxpayers Union) and it hasn’t been a particularly robust economic time either.


    1. Courtney says:

      I didn’t claim that the 50’s was a victory for the non-Progressive. I was countering Obama’s statement that the Free Market had nothing to do with the boon of the time periods that he spoke of.

      And actually the crash of 1929 happened right after Herbert Hoover passed the Smoot Hawley Tariff, which had a domino effect for trade restrictions and high retaliatory tariffs from other countries. Income taxes aren’t the only problems. It’s the whole package. High income tax on job creators is only part of the problem now with the economy. It’s the high regulations, the unelected bureaucrats, uncertainty and the sense of entitlement that creates spoiled brats that are killing jobs. Not JUST the income tax.

      I would highly recommend the book New Deal or Raw Deal. It is amazing. You can read my review of it here: http://yetlearning.com/blog/?p=514

      You’d like this article about what is going on right now in New Mexico


      I admit I don’t know much about Gary Johnson (he was before my time in New Mexico). I’m reading Michelle Bachmann’s book right now. I want to know as much as I can about the people and policies before I decide who I will vote for.


      1. Courtney says:

        I guess my whole point is that there are a lot of ways that the Government can interfere with the way the Free Market is supposed to work. Income tax is arguably the least distructive force to the free market up to a point (of course if you tax 100% over a certain amount like FDR did, no one is going to try and excel anymore).


  11. Liz says:

    Courtney, you are awesome. The end.


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