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The W - Current Events & Politics - Charlies Reese's Thoughts on Understanding
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1268 days
Last activity: 1065 days
#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29
Reese is a former Orlando Sentinel columnist and self-described Paleoconservative...

Idle Thoughts On The Road To Understanding
Here are a few random thoughts that might help you to figure out the world in which we are currently living:

The U.S. dollar is backed up by nothing and is convertible to nothing. It is a medium of exchange, and compared with the Euro, the currency of the European Union, it has lost 30 percent of its value since 2001. This is bad news for those of us whose investments, savings and life insurance are denominated in dollars. These dollars are exchangeable for less and less in goods and services. If the value of the dollar completely collapses, we will all be ruined.

The American citizen has no control over the purchasing power of the currency. That is in the hands of the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve banks, by the way, are not government. They are privately owned central banks, owned by commercial banks. They serve the banks, not the people.

Cash is not wealth. Remember, money is a medium of exchange, and how much we can exchange it for is out of our control. True wealth consists of assets — land, buildings, tools, vehicles, knowledge, skills, etc. — unmortgaged, of course. Anything you owe money on is not really yours, no matter what some shyster tells you.

There are 30,000 to 40,000 lobbyists and representatives of special-interest groups in Washington, compared with 435 members of the House, 100 senators, one president and one vice president. Ever wonder why it's so hard for your voice to be heard?

For every intelligent, educated voter, there are probably 1,000 or more functional illiterates, apathetic people and ignoramuses. By enfranchising the functional illiterate, the apathetic and the ignorant, politicians are in effect disenfranchising the intelligent and educated. Most Americans haven't figured that out yet, but it explains election results.

How is it that under a supposedly liberal Democratic president, we went from federal deficits to federal surpluses, and under a supposedly conservative Republican president, we have gone from federal surpluses to record federal deficits in two years?

The words "conservative" and "liberal" have become largely meaningless. We have two major political parties, and each party has two wings. The Republican Party has a Rockefeller wing, which is liberal Republican, up East, old money; and an opportunist wing, which is largely located in the South and West. The Democratic Party has a socialist wing and a smaller opportunist wing.

Since it now requires hundreds of millions of dollars to win a presidential race, both parties cater to big business and to the super-rich. As the old bank robber used to say, "That's where the money is." Neither party adequately represents the working men and women of America, and both major parties go to great lengths to make sure no third party will ever get the chance to challenge their dominance.

The real question is not whether we are conservative or liberal, but whether we favor a small government with defined and limited powers or a large government with unlimited power. Whether they call themselves "conservatives" or "liberals," a majority in both parties favors a large government with unlimited powers. The correct term for such people is, in my opinion, "Jacobins." The name derives from the radical democrats of the French Revolution. Today's presidential candidates debate details of the same policies rather than principles or different policies. We have, in effect, one-party rule. "Republican" or "Democrat" is a mere label for factions of the Jacobins. Both are going to give you big government with unrestrained power domestically and imperialism as a foreign policy. They differ only on the details, the competence of their administrators and the people to whom they owe patronage.

I don't foresee much improvement until more Americans learn that being a patriot means more than being willing to kill a foreigner.




Father: “You see, son, we live in a liberal democratic society. The Democrats created sexual harassment law, which tells us what we can and cannot say in the workplace, and what we can and cannot do in the workplace.”

Kyle: “But isn’t that fascism?

Father: “No, because we don’t call it fascism.”
- South Park
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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#2 Posted on
I can't really say that the guy is wrong on anything he said in there. I particularly liked "Anything you owe money on is not really yours, no matter what some shyster tells you." in light of how the home re-fi boom has basically been the only thing keeping the economy from major sinkage the last 2 years.



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ges7184
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Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 43 days
Last activity: 11 hours
#3 Posted on
Charlie Reese is probably my favorite columist. He says exactly what is on his mind. And you could never accuse him of being some party hack.

"How is it that under a supposedly liberal Democratic president, we went from federal deficits to federal surpluses, and under a supposedly conservative Republican president, we have gone from federal surpluses to record federal deficits in two years?"

This is a damn good question, and part of the reason as a conservative that I don't understand all the so-called conservative love for Bush.





(edited by ges7184 on 6.8.03 2116)

Everything that is wrong in this world can be blamed on Freddie Prinze Jr.
MoeGates
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Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 23 hours
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.28
Only two gripes.

#1 - while I suppose you don't "own" your primary residence if you have a mortgage out on it, it's far better than owning anything else that you owe money on. I'd say it's kind of in-between.

#2 - there is no more Liberal Republican wing, up east or anywhere. The liberal moneyed elite (old money or otherwise) and by and large joined the Democratic party (which explains the sorry-ass state it's in, if you ask me), while the non-liberal moneyed elite was never really part of the Rockafeller wing. They're a whole other animal.



"I'm sorry, I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States Senator. It's sort of freaking me out."


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Grimis
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Since: 11.7.02
From: MD

Since last post: 1268 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.29

    Originally posted by MoeGates
    #2 - there is no more Liberal Republican wing, up east or anywhere.

I would say that this was the NeoCon wing of the party: most of them are recovered Marxists...



"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury.”
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 105 days
Last activity: 16 hours
#6 Posted on
The hardest thing about responding to this guy’s underlying assumptions and economic ‘analysis’ is deciding where to begin breaking it down. So, in order (and just hitting his most egregious errors):

The U.S. dollar is backed up by nothing and is convertible to nothing. It is a medium of exchange, and compared with the Euro, the currency of the European Union, it has lost 30 percent of its value since 2001. This is bad news for those of us whose investments, savings and life insurance are denominated in dollars. These dollars are exchangeable for less and less in goods and services. If the value of the dollar completely collapses, we will all be ruined.

The depreciation of the dollar versus the euro will only impact people whose assets are denominated in dollars IF said people are going to convert their dollar-denominated assets into euros. Furthermore, anyone who buys into the ‘trade deficits are bad’ school of thought (i.e. ‘Buy American’ no matter the cost) should love a weak dollar because it causes U.S. goods to be more competitive than foreign goods because U.S. produced goods will become relatively cheaper than foreign goods both within the U.S. and (in this case) the European Union.

The American citizen has no control over the purchasing power of the currency. That is in the hands of the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve banks, by the way, are not government. They are privately owned central banks, owned by commercial banks. They serve the banks, not the people.

Ah yes, the Federal Reserve conspiracy theory. Another interesting one is that the Rothschild/Rockefeller/Morgan/etc. type wealthy families are really pulling the strings of the Federal Reserve and not the Board of Governors. The Federal Reserve is not now, nor has it ever been privately owned and it certainly is not owned by commercial banks (it regulates some commercial banks, depending on their charter, and all companies that own commercial banks). The Fed was created by the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 and can also be dismantled by Congress. In fact, here (house.gov)
is proposed legislation from Ron Paul that would do this very thing.

Cash is not wealth. Remember, money is a medium of exchange, and how much we can exchange it for is out of our control. True wealth consists of assets — land, buildings, tools, vehicles, knowledge, skills, etc. — unmortgaged, of course. Anything you owe money on is not really yours, no matter what some shyster tells you.

This is an interesting definition of wealth. Money may be a medium of exchange, but this is only part of what it does. And, someone will have to explain to me why cash (in the form of U.S. dollars) is not an asset, but skills and knowledge are assets and represent material wealth. That’s simply asinine. Basically, he seems to be confusing capital with wealth. These are two separate ideas. As far as the last sentence, if I owe money on something, I may not own it outright, but it can still be an asset to me. For example, if I owe $10,000 on my house that has a fair market value of $100,000, then the house represents a net asset (or wealth, to the correct meaning of the word) of $90,000. It certainly is not worthless to me and serves as ‘true’ wealth.

I apologize for the length of the response. I digress simply because I’ve taken up too much space already.
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Please note that this is a gimmick and I would wager that they took this money from other incentives they could have used. So your statement is dead on.
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