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  • Why the Really Rich Love Socialists

    Posted by Shannon Love on October 30th, 2008 (All posts by )

    This article [h/t Instapundit] shows that the U.S. has a more progressive tax code than the democratic-socialist states of Europe. 

    Such a state of affairs should not come as a surprise. Our own history shows that the very wealthy benefit from leftist policies of high tax rates, “targeted” taxation and industrial policy.

    The ugly truth is that the really wealthy can manipulate the political system to their own ends better than ordinary people. They can lobby for specific tax breaks that only they can take advantage of. They can get government trade protection for their companies. They can get bailouts. If all else fails, the truly wealthy can simply relocate their wealth into whatever area the government policies du jour make the most profitable. 

    In the extremes, they can simple sit on their wealth and wait for the political winds to change. 

    The history of Europe since WWII has shown that it really pays to be a big company in a socialist country. Socialists like stasis. Socialist politicians like to guarantee jobs. They like predictable tax revenue. To this end they select a handful of major companies and in return for heavy regulation, protect them internal and external competition. The largest companies in Europe are much larger compared to the size of their national economies than are the largest companies in America. The largest companies in Europe also keep their top positions while a great deal of turnover by comparison occurs in American companies. 

    America saw the same thing happen between 1945-1980. At the zenith of the Left’s influence in America the tax code grew so riddled with loopholes and shelters that the wealthiest paid little taxes. For three years in the 1970s, Malcomb Forbs, then the world’s richest man, paid zero income tax. After the Reagan tax reforms, such a thing would be unthinkable today. 

    The Democrats want to put us on a road back to the 1970s when the rich got off scot free, corporations grew fat and lazy behind trade barriers and high taxes, and inflation and deteriorating government services slammed the middle class. It will happen again. The perverse outcomes are guaranteed by the incentive structure built into our political system. 

    Why do we have to go through all that again?

     

    77 Responses to “Why the Really Rich Love Socialists”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      “…they select a handful of major companies and in return for heavy regulation, protect them internal and external competition… .”

      This is precisely the situation Adam Smith opposed, criticizing the issuance of government monopolies.

      Our “progressives” are rediscovering the joys of eighteenth century mercantilism.

    2. Ginny Says:

      We were talking last night about this: I’ve a friend who often says that those in the 1 mill to 5 mill range tend to be predominantly Republican and those in the 5+ range tend toward the Democratic. I suspect those preferences arise from Shannon’s argument – big government is more attractive to those who can manipulate the system (and too big to fail). Even in a system without graft, the time-consuming paperwork of dealing with government contracts is worth it to a larger company which will have a larger payoff.

      I wonder, however, if some of it isn’t psychological. Small businessmen, even relatively successful ones, remain with their feet on the ground – challenged by events, challenging themselves. And they also realize that complete control by anything or anyone is impossible and not desirable A big businessman (like a believer in big government – indeed like the articulate intellectuals you so often criticize) believes that cutting through the red tape and letting him run things means he will get the results he wants. He is filled with a sense of his brilliance and power – justified more, perhaps, than that of the bureaucrat, but then big business in a competitive environment is not static and the profitable big business today may well fall in a couple of decades. He doesn’t “feel” that, even if he knows it, because he is at the top of a really big mound of people working toward the end he desires. Wouldn’t big government be like that? Well, no. No because government isn’t like business and isn’t held to the same constraints of profit, etc. And no, probably an authoritarian really big business is not as successful as the very powerful and wealthy businessman sitting in his tower thinks it is – or at least it won’t forever be. And government, not faced with that kind of challenging environment, will be even slower than such a business to adjust to changes.

      Your great point about the desire for stasis in a socialist system – the desire for a safety net that is rigid and powerful, for instance – means that big government is not going to be flexible and adjust to changing conditions. Big business, too, becomes complacent and lazy. Why are we bailing out the big car companies? What haven’t they learned? And yet, what represented American big business when I was young? Those same companies.

    3. David Foster Says:

      A big part of it is prestige and a desire to fit in with the individual’s social environment. When a person’s assets exceed $50 million or so, he will find himself eagerly invited into the arts-and-charity circle, in which the predominant opinions are usually pretty far to the left.

    4. Gina Says:

      Soros is a predator and wants the US economy to fail so he can prey on it, as he did with the Bank of England. He’s been there and done that.

      The Rockefeller trust fund generations travel to Cuba, give money to Ayers, hold parties for Obama because they’re the other side of the welfare coin.

      They have no more experience with the reality of getting up in the morning with the need to go somewhere and do something to pay for housing, food, clothes, transportation etc. etc. than someone living on welfare. Which is why they don’t understand why it is so destructive to live on welfare.

      They think that the government should just get rid of all of this poverty so that they don’t have to make excuses for flying their horses to the Vineyard so they can ride on the beach.

      Obama is their wish come true.

    5. renminbi Says:

      When you are really rich,you can afford the luxury of feeling good about yourself for having “progressive”opinions. I live in a building with many wealthy people, many of whom are in unproductive things like law and entertainment. I suspect that many of these chickens are going to vote for Col.Sanders. The white employees here are much more sensible.

    6. Ginny Says:

      But of course we come back to – why is it “in”, on a higher rung in the hierarchy of the social world, on a higher rung in terms of sympathy?

      I don’t have an answer but suspect multiple reasons. The French disdain for the bourgeosie, the British disdain for the merchant class – both nineteenth century perhaps but prejudices whose shadows still hover in the corners.

      These are the people who bought into the romanticism of Roussau (whose charming treatment of his children prepared us for the abortion obsession of the “caring left” today).

      They bought into the ruthless Soviet’s argument that the “Reds” fought for the common man (when, of course, they weren’t killing him).

      These are the people who think they are on the side of the underclass (Tom Joad and union stewards), but try to hire people whom they can pay under the table and therefore not pay into social security. Years later, they will weep tears that those they hired have no social security history.

      These are the people who fought the ruthless fascists (except of course when they didn’t in their strange meanderings that followed the Russian’s pact with Hitler and about face when Russia was no longer aligned).

      These are the people who see themselves as martyrs to McCarthyism, having practically no idea of who was guilty or who did what. But they remain for the “little people.” They’re just damn sure they are not little people. And a part of them is scared that, somehow, they will be the little people. (Though at some rarified heights, the “little people” are the entrepreneurs who make a few million a year.) And they sure as hell aren’t like that Sarah Palin – who embodies everything they are sure they’ve moved above. That this fear of seeming, well, “middle class,” would afflict the Peggy Noonans and George Wills of the world shows the power of such fear.

    7. david foster Says:

      Re the Rockefellers: several of them have been beating up on Exxon-Mobil, in which they hold large positions, to do more in “alternative energy.” I wonder if they have ever considered the possibility of:

      1)Selling their XOM stock
      2)Raising some additional capital from friends
      3)Starting their *own* energy company to do whatever they think needs doing

      I doubt it. There seems to be more status attached to telling other people what to do than in doing it oneself.

    8. Helen Says:

      Much as I dislike Soros, I must protest at this idea that he preyed on the Bank of England. We should not have been in the ERM and the fact that we were and stayed until we were bounced out was a decision made by politicians. On so-called Black Wednesday in 1992 (though most of us calle it White Wednesday as the economy took off after that) Soros was not the only one to benefit. A lot of pension funds did as well.

      What you are describing Shannon is corporatism rather than socialism. (Though I suppose National Socialism was run roughly speaking on those lines.) Otherwise it can be called regulatory grab. We have found it over and over again that new regulations introduced either by our own government or by the EU and “improved” on by our politicians at first meets with approval from the big boys. Of course, they will benefit. They do, however, start squealing when the competition has disappeared and they are left face to face with an even bigger bully, the state.

    9. Obloodyhell Says:

      > Why the Really Rich Love Socialists

      … ah, but does the poor?

      Redistribution of Wealth Experiment

      .

    10. Shannon Love Says:

      Helen,

      What you are describing Shannon is corporatism rather than socialism.

      No, I am describing what actually happens under democratic-socialism as opposed to what democratic-socialist theory and rhetoric say will happen. We usually slap labels on ideologies based on their differences of theoretical predicates and predictions but if we classified them according to actual outcome we would get a much different graph.

      Corporatism, as usually defined these days, isn’t even a ideology but rather a Marxist boogyman invented to create the illusion that people only have the choice between it and marxism. In reality, the conditions that marxist claim constitute corporatism only come about due to the polices of socialist.

      Historically, all ideologies that believe that the State should have final say in economic matters turn into fascist states economically. It is a matter of parallel evolution. The same practical limitations on industrial and political organization squeezes all socialist states into the same form regardless of the ideology they start out with.

    11. Jonathan Says:

      I agree with Helen re Soros. He’s gone off the rails in his involvement in domestic US politics, but before that he did much good as a speculator and some good as sponsor of civil-society initiatives in Eastern Europe. His 1992 speculation merely exploited the UK govt’s ineptitude; the Pound would have fallen eventually, independent of any market operations on his part.

    12. mishu Says:

      I believe we call this rent-seeking don’t we?

      Ginny, your conversation reminds of a scene in the film, The Aviator. Katherine Hepburn invites Howard Hughes to have lunch with her parents at their home in the Hampton’s I believ. Her mother goes on about how the family’s socialist and how she wouldn’t have anybody at her table who didn’t vote for Roosevelt. Hughes was snickering during her ironic rant and he passes his giggles off on the dog’s nose tickling him. When she says that she doesn’t care about money, Hughes finally has had enough stating, “That’s because you’ve always had money!” He further decimates her arguments to the point she feels ashamed. That scene is the best critique of bourgeois-socialism on film.

    13. Ginny Says:

      One of the first times I commented here, Gina, I said something similar and was quickly taken down. My understanding isn’t a lot better, but I’ve come to trust Jonathan’s and Helen’s, my friend’s, etc. perspectives and so suspect you are wrong.

      Nonetheless, I wonder how much the English incident fed Soros’ unhealthy pride – ah, I can take down this economy because I am. . . whatever. And so, he mused, wouldn’t a strong state run autocratically by someone like me clean up the world? Especially, of course, if that someone ran the last great superpower and the biggest economy in the world?

      Apparently he has rejected the restraints and satisfactions of middle class values (home, ethnicity, religion, nationalism, etc.); to someone with transnational power of the kind he demonstrated these seem petty. His great desire to dictate the last election (and the more cloaked one to influence this one) indicate a lust for power that reminds us of Bond villains in our most fevered imaginations, but a more rational analysis reminds us of the no less disturbing because so acutely observed, axiom: power tends to corrupt; absolutely power tends to corrupt absolutely.

      Businessmen are constantly aware of restraints and trade offs. Most keep their feet firmly planted on the ground. Still, business, big business, like politics, big checkbook politics, can insulate. Insulated little pricks such a person’s grandiose sense of infallibility. Such men are dangerous to those who must accommodate theories issued from the tower – whether of government, business, or academia.

      (Of course, I’ve come to consider Ayres as theoretician and string puller – whether the used or the user I’m not sure. Still, I’m willing to allow room for someone else’s nightmare; mine is bad enough.)

    14. Ron Coleman Says:

      Very nice point.

    15. Mister Snitch Says:

      “Why do we have to go through all that again?”

      Because we don’t learn.

      Next question.

    16. jdm Says:

      This is actually a topic I’ve been thinking about for a long time… and I had come to a conclusion roughly similar, but not nearly as well expressed. Thanks, Shannon.

      I do wonder tho’, if there are more factors. I know (OK, postulate) that there is a group dynamic especially when considering Hollywood (like the scriptwriter story the other day).

      But there is a something else. An emotional component that doesn’t make sense – to me. For example, from that scriptwriter story, the head of the studio (or whatever he was) who posed the question about who is voting for whom. Why would he care? Why would he consider it important?

      Or that (in)famous get-together in San Francisco where O! made his bitterly clinging to guns and religion comment. Why would truly rich people even care? I mean, there is an underlying assumption in the argument made in this post that rich people are able to coldly rationalize (ie, w/o emotion) what is in their best interest, but yet a significant part of support for O! *is* emotional. From all classes.

      Seems odd. Or contradictory.

    17. Richard S Says:

      Don’t forget the foundations and Universities. Harvard with its $30 billion does not pay capital gains taxes on trades. With close to $1 Trillion in endowments, that’s an aweful lot off the tax books.

      P.S. A related case of manipulation. A billionare can give $1 million ot Harvard to get his son into the school. And he can write off the donation! That’s simply not right.

    18. Toad Says:

      This superb and hilarious picture explains how the human race is splitting into two branches – the good-looking one vs. the left wing one.

      Trade barriers for corporations can no longer work in the Internet age. Global competition is here to stay.

    19. MasterThief Says:

      Whaddya mean, put us “back on the road” to the 1970′s? We’re already on the road – the Republicans read the damn map upside down, the Democrats insist they know the whole route by heart, we’re going to blow past the last exit on Tuesday.

      Stop this bus, I want to get off.

    20. Ann NY Says:

      I recently read that GM was lobbying in Washington to get national healthcare so they wouldn’t have such crushing pension obligations.

    21. Loneoak Says:

      So, if the US is more socialist than Sweden, does that mean you want the US to be more like Sweden? That sure runs against the traditional wisdom in right-wing economics. So either right-wing economists/economics commentariat has been wrong all along about us fearing Swedish-style economics and we should drop everything and adopt their system right now or you seriously misinterpret some rather simple points about an economics study because you are trying to score a cheap political point.

      Which form of intellectual dishonestly will you admit to? I’m genuinely curious.

    22. pst314 Says:

      “…The French disdain for the bourgeosie…”

      I believe that attitude was prevalent in the Middle Ages: Merchants and such people were seen as unproductive and morally suspect. Medievalism was built on an idea of a properly ordered society in which everyone had their proper place and function. Farmers were good because they produced food. Clergy were good because they brought Man to God. The nobility were good because they administered justice and protected the people from invasion. But merchants? They didn’t create goods, they just moved them from Point A to Point B. They didn’t have a Place in the Medieval theory of society, and hence they were morally suspect.

    23. Shannon Love Says:

      Loneoak,

      So, if the US is more socialist than Sweden, does that mean you want the US to be more like Sweden?

      I did not misinterpret the study

      The degree of socialization has to do with the scope of the powers and responsibilities of government and not the progressivity of the tax code. If you have a government that spends only 5% of GNP but collects all taxes based on a flat rate, that government is less socialist than a government thats spends 50% of the GNP but collects all its taxes from the top 1% of income distribution.

      The smaller the scope of the government, the more progressive the tax system. Prior to the 1930′s, the federal government was relatively small and we had a massively progressive tax code. Only millionaires paid federal income tax. As the scope of government has grown, the progressivity of the tax code has decreased.

      The wealthy can manipulate the expansion of government power to their own benefit. The greater the scope of government power, the more secure and unassailable the wealthiest in the society become. The more entrenched and protected from competition its major corporations.

      I hope I’ve cleared up your confusion.

    24. Shannon Love Says:

      Loneoak,

      The article you link to is apparently written by someone who does not understand the concept of progressive taxation. Specifically, the author appears to be under the misapprehension that VAT taxes are progressive taxes.

      Value Added Taxes are flat taxes and thus do not effect progressivity. The taxes are levied on manufactures and imports and are ultimately paid by everyone who consumes end products. Since the wealthy actually spend a smaller proportion of their income on consumption, VAT taxes are actually regressive taxes. (They also penalize productivity. You pay more taxes for turning sand in microchips than you for turning rocks into gravel.)

      VAT’s are just another example of the point in the parent: The really wealthy can get along just fine with socialism. With VAT taxes and similar dodges, they can offload part of their tax burden onto ordinary people. With the American style corporate and personal income taxes, they cannot do that.

    25. Shannon Love Says:

      Pst314,

      The disdain for commercial classes while at the same time venerating military aristocrats is nearly a human universal. We seem to have some hardwired setting that tells us that making a profit is bad but killing people by the train load is okay.

      The left as the same status ranking going today except they don’t want to be the military aristocrats, they want to be the people who tell the military and police who to kill. It’s lets them dominate others by violence without getting their hands dirty.

    26. Rich Rostrom Says:

      Don’t mistake the modern Left for “Red” socialists. Any thought of serious wealth redistribution was abandoned years ago. Yes, high tax rates, but the super-rich don’t much worry about that.

      A large part of Leftism is and always was “cultural” – anti-religion (traditional Christianity, that is; Newage and non-western religion is acceptable), pro-science (except where it conflicts with newage), internationalist, anti-race/religion bigotry (a good thing, really), pro-gender equality (a good thing, mostly), pro-sexual liberation (a good thing, up to a point that has been passed). High culture fashion has been dominated by the Left for a century – avant-garde art, music, and architecture has been paid for by the super-rich, who are very eager to be fashionable. (More so than the outright Reds; the USSR condemned avant-garde art.)

      The ranks of the super-rich include, for instance, homosexual tech millionaires who are terrified of the “Christian right”. And Jews, who for very strong historical reasons equate any sort of religious or cultural traditionalism (among Gentiles) with pogroms and inquisitions. Many of these people are New Money, whose wealth came from innovation and change; they accept the long-standing intellectual frame of public tradition as stifling and oppressive. (Private traditions are OK.)

      My point is: it’s not about money, nor about moving money around. In some ways it never was. Picasso was for decades a card-carrying Communist. But I don’t think for a minute that he ever wanted the wealthy collectors who bought his work expropriated.

    27. Shannon Love Says:

      Rich Rostrom,

      I think that leftism among the wealthy and educated is more a matter of a struggle for status than a conflict of ideas. Socialism is simply the means to generate the political power they need to reach a dominate social status by the use of sublimated violence.

      They create programs that create dependence on leftist among a significant and growing minority (soon to be a majority). These dependents become political serfs, forced to vote for leftist or loose their benefits. Soon, we will have a permanent, and very wealthy, political class whose wealth and status will completely dependent on their political connections.

      Not a pretty picture.

    28. Maimonatease Says:

      I come from the Soviet refugee/emigre community and the McCain/Obama cleave amongst us is precisely – and without exception – as follows:

      Obama: artists; musicians; college professors; those who live in the ‘downtown’ part of any city; those who got into bad financial trouble or defaulted on their mortgages; and random young people who were born here and have no memory or understanding of the ‘old world’.

      McCain: those running businesses of their own, of whatever variety; those with families (suburbs or urban exurbs) who have been paying their mortgages all along; those who grew up in the Soviet Union and came to America as adults; those who have served in (any) military, or have traveled extensively in the 3rd world.

    29. jdm Says:

      They create programs that create dependence on leftist among a significant and growing minority (soon to be a majority). These dependents become political serfs, forced to vote for leftist or loose their benefits. Soon, we will have a permanent, and very wealthy, political class whose wealth and status will completely dependent on their political connections.

      An apt description of Sweden. Except that the right buys in on the arrangement as well to get elected every so often, so everyone becomes dependent!

    30. pst314 Says:

      “anti-race/religion bigotry (a good thing, really)”

      Except hatred of Christians is just fine and expressions of such bigotry are regarded as normal and reasonable. The only Christianity that tends to be tolerated is a veneer of Christian rhetoric painted over traditional liberal and left-wing ideology.

    31. Shannon Love Says:

      Maimonatease,

      The breakdown between McCain and Obama supporters you describe is the breakdown between those who produce the real wealth of our society and those whose status in life depends on their ability to emotionally manipulate other human beings.

      Manipulators like socialism because its easier for them to gain power and status by manipulating the political system than it is for them produce something people will voluntarily give them money for.

    32. FrankE Says:

      “…Soon, we will have a permanent, and very wealthy, political class whose wealth and status will completely dependent on their political connections.”

      Shortly thereafter, we will see the 21st century version of the Boston Tea Party.

    33. Helen Says:

      Ginny,

      Soros did not take down the British economy. Being in the ERM did that. As soon as we were out of it, things started picking up and by 1997 the Tories handed over a fairly healthy economy to Labour, who proceeded to wreck it. Soros certainly benefited from governmental stupidity, as did other people and organizations, but that is how he makes money. There is nothing wrong there. What he has been trying to do in the States is very different and completely outrageous.

      Shannon,

      Maybe it is a question of labelling but having lived under socialism and under what you call democratic socialism I can tell the difference and one ain’t the other. Owning economic productivity and regulating it are two different things. But if you don’t want to call it corporatism, which is what many of us European and British non-Marxists call it, that’s fine with me. But it is not socialism not the way that has been practised and is being practised in places like China.

    34. Shannon Love Says:

      Helen,

      Owning economic productivity and regulating it are two different things.

      Not really. Think about it. Ownership means the right to make decisions about the use of some resource. Regulation is the incremental stripping away of the right to make decisions. Instead the state dictates to you how the resource must be used. At some point, the state makes most of the decisions regarding the use of the resource and “ownership” becomes notional.

      Communist often end up at the same place coming from the other direction. They find that only certain people have the skills needed to manage certain resources so they progressively devolve decision making back the managers. Lenin ended up rehiring all the people who used to own russian factories until a new group of elite managers ran the Soviet economy with far less oversight than the pure socialist originally wanted.

      In theory, it can take only one bad decision to destroy a resource like a factory of a technological ecology. You don’t’ have to transfers to many decisions from private to political hands.

    35. Real Life Bundler Says:

      Dear All,

      Yes I am what you all would probably describe as an ultra high net worth individual who has raised (and given) gobs of cash for some prominent Democrats in the past. I also happen to work (extremely hard) for my income and wealth and know what it’s like to “get up in the morning.” I don’t even know how to windsurf!

      I can tell you that most of your psychological explanations are truly incorrect. There are three kinds of big bundlers you will find in a Democratic candidate’s fund raising committee:

      1) The influence peddlers. Contrary to popular belief, historically ‘Democratic’ institutions have just as much money in them as Republican ones. For example, you might find a Hedge Fund of Funds manager who gets his investment capital (on which he earns fees) primarily from Labor Union Pension funds. This type will contribute big to pro-labor candidates who will let the Union know that he is a ‘friend’ of the movement and a good person to manage their money. Some of them will have been helping the candidate since he was merely a mayor or congressman, with little favors back and forth all the way.

      2) The emotionally connected. Many bundlers sense a real identification with a candidate. Hillraisers were overwhelmingly middle aged women who were looking in the mirror – at Hillary. These people went to the mat to get an accomplished serious middle aged woman to the oval office. Politics were barely relevant (which is why pre-crash a lot of them were really willing to go for Palin)

      3) Protection money payers. (The category I fall into). Many ultra high net worth bundlers (with operating businesses) have learned the hard way that not supporting the winner will result in hell to pay once they are in office. Think Sam Waksal/Martha Stewart who were vindictively prosecuted by the Bush administration or the Clintons’ prosecution of Teledyne or for that matter Eliot “Bulldozer” Spitzer’s relentless attempts to ruin AIG. (Had Greenberg been left to run it, they would never have gone bankrupt – nice one Eliot). This is also true with nearly all of the Wall St money (and I am not in this group) that these politicians get. The protection money more or less comes with the request “take us off your enemies list” Mr. Nixon/Clinton/Obama.

      In the end, it comes down to economics and probability. Obama raised a TON from what you might consider unlikely donors. ie. Those whose business would do better with low taxes and less regulations. Why? Because he probably will win and anyone in business can’t afford to be a specific target of his jackbooted justice department, osha, eeoc, etc etc etc..

      Hope this helps you comprehend.

    36. Shannon Love Says:

      Real Life Bundler,

      The parent is more concerned with the perverse effects of class warfare. Rich people end up on top. In regards to politically active wealthy, we’re more interested in wealthy people who are actually doctrinaire leftist than those that just play defensively.

    37. Obloodyhell Says:

      > P.S. A related case of manipulation. A billionare can give $1 million ot Harvard to get his son into the school. And he can write off the donation! That’s simply not right.

      Heinlein made an observation about it:

      “The secret is never to set up a permanent fund but to dole it out when the need is sharpest, every academic year. Done that way, you not only own a campus, but the town cops learn that it’s a waste of time to hassle you —

      A Univer$ity alway$ $tand$ $taunchly by it$ $olvent a$$ociate$; that’$ the ba$ic $ecret of $chola$tic $ucce$$.
      – Robert A. Heinlein, “The Number of the Beast” -

    38. Obloodyhell Says:

      > Stop this bus, I want to get off.

      Wrong worldview. The Stage metaphor is much, much more fun:

      If all the world’s a stage, I want to operate the trap door.
      – Paul Beatty

      I know the first hundred people I’ll remove already.

    39. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “we’re more interested in wealthy people who are actually doctrinaire leftist than those that just play defensively.”

      Rara avis. Most of the ‘doctrinaire’ leftist wealthy people known to me aren’t politically active. Complacent with an inheritance to rely on usually means too lazy to actually write a check to a candidate or go to a fundraiser. Please provide three examples of a politically active, ultra high net worth, real, true doctrinaire leftist . . . .

      PS. The Rockefellers were/are overwhelmingly republican (Nelson, Winthrop) or playing ‘defensively’ (David). Jay is an aberration.

    40. Ginny Says:

      obloodyhell,
      That reminds me of Where the Boy’s Are (that that was one of my favorite books the year before I went to high school tells more about me that probably I’d like to admit). Anyway, the heroine’s image is of a large interstate on a flat earth – a parade is assembled and a variety of irritating people (one image was of Latin American dictators) wave and smile as they drop off into space. For many years since I have occasionally entertained myself with peopling that parade. (This was 33rd of 48 Amazon buys with that title and only two out of 48 were of the book – ah, and we, or at least I, used to read. This might, however, indicate that books can be as much an indulgence as television.)

    41. Ginny Says:

      Of course, reading or not, I apparently didn’t master the use of apostrophes. Sorry about that. And why is it an import? The open marketplace? What’s with that?

    42. Ginny Says:

      3rd somewhat ot in a row:

      Midwestern look at old money’s embrace of (dare we call it) socialism?

    43. Shannon Love Says:

      Real Life Bundler,

      It dangerous to generalize from personal experience. Some names off the top my head include the billionare boys club in 2004 that included George Soros, John G. Sperling and five or six other seriously wealthy individuals. To this one could include almost everyone with money in Hollywood. Manhatten votes seriously to the left and it has the highest proportion of wealthy in the U.S.

      Traditionally the most radical and dangerous leftist come from economically privilaged backgrounds. Bill Ayers would be a contemporary example.

    44. Patriot Games Radio - BlogTalkRadio Podcasts Social Media Internet Radio » Blog Archive » More Money Than Sense - Why the “Super-Rich” Love Socialists… Says:

      [...] crowd.  By Socialists, we mean folks like Democrats, liberals and… Barack H. Obama. This piece is an OUTSTANDING illustration of the dangers these folks pose for the rest of us. It also [...]

    45. McLee Says:

      Rather than pure socialism, this sounds more like the “third way” economics, i.e., using capitalist methods to achieve socialist goals, which is fascism. So it is a kind of corporatism as one commenter notes, but it is a state-directed and controlled corporatism. One of the big lies of the post-war era is that fascism is a rightist philosophy. Many have conveniently forgotten that Hitler, head of the National “Socialist” German Workers’ Party, and especially Mussolini, a former head of the Italian socialist party, had many admirers on the left in the 1920s, and many of Roosevelt’s economic policies are hard to distinguish from those of Il Duce.

    46. Simba B Says:

      It dangerous to generalize from personal experience.

      Heh. Indoozle.

      Traditionally the most radical and dangerous leftist come from economically privilaged backgrounds. Bill Ayers would be a contemporary example.

      Bwhahahahahahahaha. Bill Ayers is a “radical and dangerous leftist”? I thought you guys weren’t the comedy blog.

    47. Dr. Laszlo Says:

      Er…Not to put too fine a point on the point you just made…What you just desribed is more mild-ish Fascism than Socialism.

      Yes – Both capitalized.

    48. Shannon Love Says:

      Simba B,

      Bill Ayers is a “radical and dangerous leftist”? I thought you guys weren’t the comedy blog

      Ayers wasn’t dangerous in the sense of being competent but he was dangerous in sense of being wildly extreme. He sat in a meeting in 25 other senior members of the Weatherman leadership and calmly contemplated murdering 25 million Americans in Gulags in the southwest following the revolution.

      You don’t come back from that kind of crazy.

    49. Shannon Love Says:

      Dr. Lazlo,

      Not to put too fine a point on the point you just made…What you just desribed is more mild-ish Fascism than Socialism

      Why really? Why I never noticed. What are the odds that two variants of socialism would converge on the same solution.

    50. MarkJ Says:

      A modest proposal: if Obama is elected, we should immediately drive all tax accounts, tax lawyers, and tax preparation experts out of the country. Once we do this, we can then turn to the uber-rich and tell them, “Now there’s no one to save you. You demanded Obama’s ‘fairness,” so now you’ll get your full share of it.”

    51. Why big business likes socialism « Internet Scofflaw Says:

      [...] are the party of the already rich, Republicans are the party of those who want to become rich.)  Shannon Love succinctly explains [...]

    52. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “Real Life Bundler,

      It dangerous to generalize from personal experience”

      That statement goes both ways. And your less than a handful of anecdotes is far fewer than mine. Your whole premise is based on anecdote, not fact.

      “Some names off the top my head include the billionare boys club in 2004 that included George Soros, John G. Sperling”

      Soros is manipulating the currency by paying for an election winner who provides certainty of economic outcome and then gambling on it. If he thought a Republican candidate could be more reliably put in office to underprint or overprint dollars he might just as easily support one. He is totally motivated by outcome certainty. If you think Rupert Murdoch is an evangelical christian who believes everything fox news reports and isn’t just in it for the ratings of 50% of America’s audience who were prior ignored by cnn, you are also mistaken. Sperling is just a weirdo.

      “and five or six other seriously wealthy individuals. ”

      such as??

      “To this one could include almost everyone with money in Hollywood. ”

      These people are Democrats because they expect them to be better defenders of Amendment #1, even if they rewrite all the other ones. Also you cannot understate the impact that the 1950′s blacklist era had on them. Long memories.

      “Manhatten votes seriously to the left and it has the highest proportion of wealthy in the U.S.. ”

      Wrong. Manhattan has a high concentration of wealth but a low proportion. Manhattan also has 25 percent on public assistance. New York’s ‘High’ Upper East Side is as Republican as Midland, TX. The Democrats are the artsy-fartsys, the middle and lower classes, the trade union members, ethnic minorities, the government clients of various forms of assistance. and of course the people who are just defending themselves.

      “Traditionally the most radical and dangerous leftist come from economically privilaged backgrounds. Bill Ayers would be a contemporary example.”

      By privileged you are back to referring to comfortable, not very wealthy. That paradigm I might agree with – After all, they had to go to college to get their ideas and they needed a little money to go to college.

    53. OBloodyhell Says:

      > That reminds me of Where the Boys Are

      Ginny — remember the movie, but never read the book. I assume I’m not the target audience. At 12-15, though, I was posdef the target audience on one level: Paula Prentiss in a bikini, even a 1960 bikini. Woof. She wasn’t my favorite at the time (oddly enough — Natalie Wood, Jill St. John — Robert Wagner was one lucky SOB) but well within my teenaged hormone-driven interests…

      ;oP

      >>> “Traditionally the most radical and dangerous leftist come from economically privilaged backgrounds. Bill Ayers would be a contemporary example.”

      > By privileged you are back to referring to comfortable, not very wealthy. That paradigm I might agree with – After all, they had to go to college to get their ideas and they needed a little money to go to college.

      You ARE kidding, right?
      “Ayers, son of Thomas G. Ayers, CEO of Commonwealth Edison
      Yeah, he was just a schmoe from a mere “well-to-do” family.
      THAT is your typical Urban leftool.

      > These people are Democrats because

      No they’re Democrats because they have narcissistic personality disorder (Pat Santy is an MD psychiatrist and was chief psychologist on the Challenger mission, so she can make that diagnosis) and have never properly integrated their egos and their ids.

      They have childlike worldviews that are based on abysmally ignorance, and an overweening arrogance as to the value of their woefully limited knowledge, and an almost complete lack of anyone EVER telling them “no, you’re wrong, and you’re a fool to think you even have a clue”, no matter how ludicrously stupid their spit-up prattling is. They think that getting paid millions of dollars to make a film means they actually understand ANYTHING other than the movie business, and no one will stop stroking the egos of the cash cows long enough to put their heads on straight.

      Most know, at heart, that they are as much lucky as they are talented, and so they assume by extension that everyone else with success is just lucky, too, and thus has no more “right” to be rich than they do.

      Very few of them have college educations (I seem to recall that Lange and Sarandon are the only two prominent leftools who’ve even finished college, both of them at irrelevant little compass cow-colleges), and many, if not most, have never even *been* to college. But somehow their vast understanding of the acting business means that they are competent to tell the president of a nation of 300 MILLION people, with an economy making over 14 TRILLION dollars a year, exactly how to do their jobs. If that’s not arrogance and presumption, those words need to be removed from the dictionaries, because they sure don’t mean what they say they mean… The number of them who have even a vague grasp of how incredibly complex the topics they spout off on are can be counted on the fingers and toes of a quadriplegic.

      Most of them bust their asses for 15 weeks out of the year and think that they’re “earning” their wealth just the same way as the average workaholic 6-figure man (or woman) does, totally ignorant of the fact that most people making 6 figures are doing so because they constantly work 60-80 hour weeks for 75% or more of the year.

    54. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “No they’re Democrats because they have narcissistic personality disorder (Pat Santy is an MD psychiatrist and was chief psychologist on the Challenger mission, so she can make that diagnosis) and have never properly integrated their egos and their ids.

      They have childlike worldviews that are based on abysmally ignorance, and an overweening arrogance as to the value of their woefully limited knowledge, and an almost complete lack of anyone EVER telling them “no, you’re wrong, and you’re a fool to think you even have a clue”, no matter how ludicrously stupid their spit-up prattling is. They think that getting paid millions of dollars to make a film means they actually understand ANYTHING other than the movie business, and no one will stop stroking the egos of the cash cows long enough to put their heads on straight.

      Most know, at heart, that they are as much lucky as they are talented, and so they assume by extension that everyone else with success is just lucky, too, and thus has no more “right” to be rich than they do.

      Very few of them have college educations (I seem to recall that Lange and Sarandon are the only two prominent leftools who’ve even finished college, both of them at irrelevant little compass cow-colleges), and many, if not most, have never even *been* to college. But somehow their vast understanding of the acting business means that they are competent to tell the president of a nation of 300 MILLION people, with an economy making over 14 TRILLION dollars a year, exactly how to do their jobs. If that’s not arrogance and presumption, those words need to be removed from the dictionaries, because they sure don’t mean what they say they mean… The number of them who have even a vague grasp of how incredibly complex the topics they spout off on are can be counted on the fingers and toes of a quadriplegic.

      Most of them bust their asses for 15 weeks out of the year and think that they’re “earning” their wealth just the same way as the average workaholic 6-figure man (or woman) does, totally ignorant of the fact that most people making 6 figures are doing so because they constantly work 60-80 hour weeks for”

      Talk about a ‘child-like’ worldview! 99% of “Hollywood” are business executives who as a goal are trying to finance, produce and distribute globally popular entertainment content which will have a value for more than one generation of viewers. 1% are actors and actresses. The 99% support the Dems for logical economic reasons. The USA has the BEST protections of freedom of expression of any country in the world. Without them, these 99% will be out of business.

      This whole simplistic and misguided pseudopsychological explanation of uberwealthy leftists is reminiscent of the Socialistic ‘eat the rich’ mantra. You all are no better than the Socialists you dislike so much. When all the Reps and the Dems get together and agree that they hate the wealthy (as they apparently have by your example) investment capital will evacuate the US and go “John Galt” on America, even if the people who had it are stuck here thanks to various laws such as the recent bipartisan Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Bill of 2008 (HR 6081) which created yet another layer of expatriation taxes.

      Come on now. This website is supposed to be a celebration of rational economic understanding as practiced by some brilliant U/ Chicago guys, no? Look for the rational economic causes of why some uberwealthy support what seem to be anticapitalist concepts. Dump the psychobabble as I ASSURE you it only applies to a scant few, not the class as a whole.

    55. Island Vacation » Forbidden Broadway Schedules NYC Hiatus; Chicago Run Planned (Playbill) Says:

      [...] Why the Really Rich Love Socialists [...]

    56. Shannon Love Says:

      Real Life Bundler,

      Dump the psychobabble as I ASSURE you it only applies to a scant few, not the class as a whole.

      Sorry, but mere economic self-interest does not provide an sufficient description of political behavior. Something else is going on. For example, why is a person’s stance on the liberation of Iraq a strong predictor on their stance on gay marriage? In fact, most political stances are linked. The same people repeated line up on the same side of wholly different political ideas. Many of those ideas have nothing to do with economics.

      Clearly, something unrelated to the issues themselves drives people to pick the same side of each separate debate time and time again. This pattern requires explanation.

    57. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “Something else is going on. For example, why is a person’s stance on the liberation of Iraq a strong predictor on their stance on gay marriage?”

      Indeed ‘Politics makes strange bedfellows.’ Why is Obama a game changer and Condoleeza an Uncle Tom? All of this gets down to the same thing. Everyone has a number one priority. Everything else they are willing to tolerate for the sake of the number one priority. If the new left needs Hollywood to stuff Bush’s Iraq adventure in order to guarantee their first amendment rights, they will play along. If middles who want Jeebus in the classroom instead of Darwin need to tolerate upper middles who don’t want higher income taxes, they will play along too! Party politics is about cobbling together coalitions of interest groups. So long as within any given coalition there is no disagreement about each SIG’s primary issue, they can coalesce. My personal favorite contradiction is that urban mothers are willing to let their party (D) represent both them and the public school teachers unions who undereducate their children and prevent them from getting school vouchers to send their kids to private schools at the same or less cost. Why? Because the moms’ number one issue is more likely to be public assistance in the form of a housing voucher (section 8 + in NY, Jiggets), not quality education.

      Listen, I think Milton Friedman, in utopia, was right. If you could have pure libertarian economics, wouldn’t you agree to tolerate something else you probably don’t really agree with, such as a ban on pizza?

    58. Shannon Love Says:

      Real Life Bundler,

      Indeed ‘Politics makes strange bedfellows.’

      It’s more complex than that and the patterns of alignment much more firm. People do make tradeoffs in politics but the tradeoffs they choose form the same pattern. Moreover, the same sets of people make the same tradeoffs on many different unrelated issues.

      I’ve been researching and thinking about this issue form over 15 years now, so frankly, your off the cuff explanation is (1) trite and (2) wildly insufficient.

      A better explanation is that different intellectual subcultures form different models of causality. For example, a leftist general model of how the entire planetary economy works is fundamentally different than that of someone on the right. Phrased another way, they have different axioms so even though each uses perfect logic, they end up with different conclusions.

      I would recommend Thomas Sowell’s “A Conflict of Visions” as a good starting place for examining this phenomenon.

    59. Thanks to Sarah Palin… » Blog Archive » Why The Super Rich Love Socialists and Socialism Says:

      [...] crowd.  By Socialists, we mean folks like Democrats, liberals and… Barack H. Obama. This piece is an OUTSTANDING illustration of the dangers these folks pose for the rest of us. It also [...]

    60. Erik D. Says:

      One thing she’s overlooking is that government trade protection doesn’t just benefit wealth corporation share holders… it can also benefit American workers by keeping more jobs and production in America.

      I had not heard of the claim that the Democrats created tax loopholes and shelters for the wealthy, and that Reagan eliminated them.

      Is there any substantiation to those claims?

    61. Anonymous Says:

      OK. I’ll try. And for you, if you really want to understand how REAL capitalists think I recommend
      The Sovereign Individual
      by Davidson and Rees-Mogg

      http://www.amazon.com/Sovereign-Individual-Mastering-Transition-Information/dp/0684832720

    62. Shannon Love Says:

      Erik D,

      I had not heard of the claim that the Democrats created tax loopholes and shelters for the wealthy, and that Reagan eliminated them.

      The Democrats did not so much create the loopholes and shelters as much as their ideology of government directing the economy lead them to support myriad targeted tax breaks. This occurred over a period of 30 years and accelerated in the late 60′s.

      Leftist policies are laced with such unintended perverse outcomes. Leftist don’t seem to have a very strong sense that their is a profound difference between what you intend to do and what actually happens.

      Any historical source of tax burdens will show that the tax system grew more progressive after Reagan’s tax reforms. Reagan cut rates but he also got rid of the loopholes and shelters. As a result, tax revenues went up and taxes grew more progressive.

    63. Island Vacation » Blog Roundup for 2-23-07 Says:

      [...] Why the Really Rich Love Socialists [...]

    64. Obloodyhell Says:

      > Talk about a ‘child-like’ worldview! 99% of “Hollywood” are business executives who as a goal are trying to finance, produce and distribute globally popular entertainment content which will have a value for more than one generation of viewers.

      Talk about ignoring context, how’s that?
      1) Which ones have the soapboxes? Right. That 1% you’re talking about being so minute. THAT is the bunch I’m talking about. Not necessarily the so-called “businesspeople” you find so concerned with “free expression” (more on that in a moment, however)
      2) The USSR had a more than 70 year history of various successes, and a lot of failures. One would think that some stories about such would be entertaining, I’d think, as well as informative. It can get people to actually talking about socialism and the downside to “share the wealth” concepts, as well as what sort of governmental behaviors eventually pervert themselves to totalitarianism. How is it that we can find literally hundreds of movies about Nazi Germany, which lasted all of about 15 years, but very, very few films about the USSR, almost 5x as long, and killed at least as many people? How about some views of the kind of ecological nightmares produced by the Soviet state and dumped in the laps of the Czech Republic? Funny how the depredations of business spawn several “Erin Brockovich” or “A Civil Action” type pix a year, but does anything commenting on how much worse a government can be ever get made?
      3) Back to the “free expression” aspect of things:
      How to Get So Dead in This Town
      And then there’s
      Free speech for me, not for thee
      And, uh, do I really, really NEED to go into the threat to free expression called the “Fairness Doctrine” which is almost a certainty if we get a Dem PotUS and a Dem Congress?

      OooooooooBOEEEEEY. Those lefties, they are SOOOOOO out to protect my free expression rights.

      Yeeeeaaaahh.

      > This whole simplistic and misguided pseudopsychological explanation

      OK, once more: SHE’S AN M.D. Psychiatrist with more chops than you’ve got in whatever damned field you believe yourself expert in.

      You have NO chops in psychology or psychiatry, I am willing to bet.

      So your vastly astute “analysis” of her well explained and detailed professional analysis (which, chances are, you didn’t even read beyond a paragraph or two, if that) has ZERO truth value.

      I tell ya what. You stop trying to distort what was said and actually deal with it on a factual basis as far as refutation goes, and I’ll take you seriously. Considering that you ignored 95% of the information so you could focus on one narrow, tiny little thing that you managed to come up with a halfwit level of excuse for.

      And even THAT part was pretty ineptly done — You’ve made NO effort to explain why a vast percentage of Hollywood is leftist nutjobs to the extent where many Republicans and Conservatives have to literally hide what they are and believe until they have some major clout of their own.

      > If the new left needs Hollywood to stuff Bush’s Iraq adventure in order to guarantee their first amendment rights, they will play along.

      I REPEAT: *LOAD* *OF* *CRAP*

      I have YET to see *any* of these oh-so-brave people speaking “Truth to Power” getting thrown in jail, blacklisted, or otherwise oppressed for expressing in some cases some fairly treasonous and certainly outright Anti-American views.

      As a matter of fact, there are lots of cheers and accolades for these oh-so-brave people making such statements in public. They readily wind up getting onto talk shows and paid speaking gigs where they can further express such notions.

      Um… yeah, can *I* get some of that kind of oppression?

      Sir Bundler: You were terribly oppressed.
      Sir O’Bloody: Look, let me go back in there and face the oppression.
      Sir Bundler: No, it’s too oppressive.
      Sir O’Bloody: Look, it’s my duty as a victim to sample as much oppression as I can.
      Sir Bundler: No, we’ve got to find the Holy Grail of Communism. Come on.
      Sir O’Bloody: Oh, let me have just a little bit of oppression?

      —-

      OTOH, I think it’s pretty damned clear that Robert J. Avrech feels *QUITE* threatened and intimidated just by saying “Look, I don’t talk politics. I’m here to make a movie.”

      That’s not even him EXPRESSING his views — that’s just him saying “I don’t want to DISCUSS my views”

      Now, tell me again, please, in more specific detailwho, exactly, is threatening whom?

      S:-/

      .

    65. Obloodyhell Says:

      > Leftist don’t seem to have a very strong sense that their is a profound difference between what you intend to do and what actually happens.

      Despite plenty of teachings to that effect, they cannot ever seem to recall what paving material makes up the proverbial Road to Hell.

    66. Obloodyhell Says:

      > Phrased another way, they have different axioms so even though each uses perfect logic, they end up with different conclusions.

      I concur, with the codicil that logic is ALWAYS subject to GIGO.

      If you start with inaccurate, idealistic, or otherwise unrealistic axioms, your result is uncoupled from both the real world and the rational goals you may well consider your ends.

      If your very concept of “fairness” is distorted and unrealistic, then your actions towards increasing the “fairness” in the world are hardly likely to produce anything resembling ANYONE’S concept of “fairness” — not even your own.

    67. Obloodyhell Says:

      > if you really want to understand how REAL capitalists think I recommend

      That looks interesting. From the Amazon blurb, I suspect I might agree with it, although I think the end result will be less heirarchical than those old structures it suggests, and more of a decentralized network of people and talents.

      Thx.

      You might also find this of interest:
      The Economy of Ideas
      and (only vaguely related), this, too:
      The Transparent Society
      Both from back when Wired was worth reading, before Time, Inc., bought it.

    68. tomw Says:

      # Ann NY Says:
      October 31st, 2008 at 1:38 pm

      I recently read that GM was lobbying in Washington to get national healthcare so they wouldn’t have such crushing pension obligations.

      GM just paid some odd number of dollars to hand over retiree medical benefits to the union. They’ve washed their hands…
      tom

    69. Fail Funnies Says:

      Nothing like haughty rich liberals to proclaim that they indeed know whats best for the world. They fail to adhere to my values.

    70. Methinks Says:

      Shannon & Real Life Bundler,

      Interesting discussion. I happen to own a business in a highly regulated industry which has been the target of recent congressional witch hunts. I agree with Bundler that business pays protection money to the mafia…I mean politicians. However, I also think Shannon has a good point. Look at Buffet’s latest maneuver. He bought a stake in Goldman that he had a much higher probability of losing on if the bailout didn’t go through, and then he proceeded to screech about the need for a bailout. Never mind that we’ll be left with massive moral hazard and zombie institutions that shoutdHe also has a large CDS position (which he called weapons of mass destruction a few years ago) and he needed the bailout to reduce the potential losses on that position.

      The regulator for my industry effectively reduces competition and creates economic rents for us. The line sold to the public is that the regulator protects the public from our evil. I have recently given up fighting market regulation because the victims of this regulation spit in my face as I fight on their behalf. If they want to pay more to create rents for me, so be it. Most others in our industry don’t care. They’ll buy the rents with support for the left which loves to centrally plan every aspect of the economy. It’s in their interest.

    71. Real Life Bundler Says:

      Methinks:

      Enjoyed the logical explanation and share much of the same sentiment.

      That said, Buffett depends on inflation to make his good picks seem great and his bad picks seem not so bad. The “oracle” believes the Democrats will generate more of it. He is not an income tax payer (he only pays dividend tax) and does not empathize with managers of operating businesses who are stuck with the USA’s (G7 comparatively) high corporate tax rates.

      The Goldman maneuver was brilliant – he used the value of his name brand to get an effective 15% return on a loan to Goldman Sachs, which is now an FDIC insured bank. Goldman agreed to the terms because it brought investor credibility to their zombie business. Just like Trump’s name does for condos (for an appropriate licensing fee)!

      Like you, I also have a regulated line (and a market-rate line) among my businesses. The regulated line barely generates EBITDA because the government controls prices to the bare minimum above costs to keep the owner from abandoning the business. The economic “tax,” if you will, is 90% before federal, state and local income taxes are taken. This is the natural state of a Democracy. Business owners whose businesses are beholden to a location will ultimately be taxed or regulated into providing their goods at cost plus management expenses. Location based businesses are all just utilities waiting to be recaptured by the majority. Real profit is only in the years leading up to the ‘utilitization’.

      As you say, the regulatory body sets pricing and service standards and claims he is protecting the consumer from our ‘evil,’ but he is also protecting me from spending money on marketing costs, quality product and anything above rudimentary (regulatory minimum) customer service. All plebs will receive the same gruel, even if they wanted to pay more to get more.

      An investor’s expectation of a government takeover decreases projected return and stifles location based innovation and business creation. That’s why no one wants to build a factory full of machinery and jobs in a place where the public is likely to take it over (by regulations, taxes or outright condemnation) sooner rather than later. That’s also not my problem. I just have to worry about which politicians need contributions to prevent them from claiming 100% of my regulated business profits instead of 90%.

    72. Methinks Says:

      Real Life Bundler,

      I just realized I had a major editing problem in my post. I meant that those banks should have gone out of business.

      I’m not in a business like yours. There are no price controls but the business is very risky. You bring up an excellent point, of course.

      Regulation increases the cost of doing business – thus, barriers to entry, reducing competition. And regulation is an indirect ownership of the means of production. With enough regulation, business owners are merely managers of a government entity and the difference between the Soviet economy and an American regulated one begin to disappear.

    73. Michael Pelletier Says:

      If this article resonates with you, you should pick up a copy of Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” published just over 50 years ago now.

      What’s above could be published as the Cliff’s Notes for one of the plot elements of the book.

    74. Bud Says:

      This simply doesn’t explain the wealthy’s support of the left. The rich can manipulate any system, and with the exception of a handful of anomalies like Pol Pot’s Cambodia, every nation in history has been run by the rich for the rich. The real answer is the left has almost complete cultural (and thus political) power through control of the mass-medias, and to a lessor extent the schools. Money to the left is tribute to power, and it’s becoming pretty clear that demographic changes will make that power permanent. The rich are just playing the odds, that’s all. The wealthy have been playing this game for decades – buying peace from power by donating to safe charities like AIDS in Africa or even to militant leftist political groups rather than to vociferous pro-business or anti-socialist groups. Plus there comes a point when you have so much money it just doesn’t matter anymore. Plus supporting the left, with its social engineering that never really hits the wealthy, is a way to stick it to the classes below them, whom they view as savages who have to be re-educated, controlled and civilized.

    75. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “Plus supporting the left, with its social engineering that never really hits the wealthy, is a way to stick it to the classes below them, whom they view as savages who have to be re-educated, controlled and civilized.”

      You’re right and wrong. It is true that income taxes and the like don’t really hit the idle wealthy and do ironically, keep the strivers from ever becoming wealthy. Very few wealthy people are happy about it though and no one wants to ‘stick it’ to the strivers except the idle poor and many of the (misguided) strivers themselves. Among the wealthy there certainly is empathy for the strivers since most wealthy were strivers once. However the attitude is more like a resigned acceptance of the choices of the plebiscite – ie. you voted for this so I guess you didn’t want to have a chance to become wealthy. So be it.

    76. Isn’t this what conservatives have said all along? | I Call BS! Says:

      [...] if they don’t leave, this happens: Our own history shows that the very wealthy benefit from leftist policies of high tax rates, “targeted” taxation and [...]

    77. Roger Says:

      Wow! Many, here, give the rich so much credit. However, frankly, I really don’t think they’re that smart. Most “real” wealth is old wealth and is inherited and the hedge fund managers or what I like to call, the “proctector” classes (the Wall Street investment bankers who help protect the affluence of the affluent)simply play around with these wealthy people’s money.

      Anyway, with that said, what exactly is being proposed, here: no regulation for businesses, or should they regulate themselves? Also, are we saying that no government is best? If so, who’ll be the referee? Or are you, perhaps, saying that there should be no referee and we all should just battle it out?