Posted by: theoptimisticconservative | September 8, 2011

Goods and Others checklist for Rick Perry

Don’t worry, the “others” portion is short.  In fact, there are only two points I want to make about his performance in last night’s debate.

First the good.  There was a significant little body-language incident that said more about Perry than anything he actually gave voice to.  When Newt Gingrich took the MSNBC panel to task for setting up divisive questions for the candidates, and then called on all the candidates to focus on why ObamaCare is bad rather than being drawn into attacks on each other, some of the other candidates joined the audience in applauding.

But Perry led the applause, in particular for Gingrich’s point about the candidates keeping focused and not letting internecine attacks become the story.  It was a good point, and Perry applauded it vigorously enough to attract the producer’s attention.  The camera on Perry was cued because he did what a leader does:  he enthusiastically endorsed a good point made by another – even by a competitor – because the point was worth taking onboard for the larger effort.

It’s just a second or so of video, but it was a classic gesture of executive leadership.  It seemed to come to him reflexively, from long experience of being in the central chair and not worrying about who has the good ideas, who expresses them in a timely and encouraging manner, and who gets the credit.

It was equally significant as evidence that Perry focuses on the big picture.  If you watch the other candidates, you can see the gears whirring in some of their brains, as reasons crowd in on them for taking exception to one aspect or another of Gingrich’s rebuke to the panel.  You can make a case against some of what Gingrich said, as the bloggers have done in the hours since the debate.

But Gingrich was right:  the thing that matters is that ObamaCare is disastrous, and that it needs to be repealed and replaced – and so does Obama.  Such focused clarity is rarely characteristic of Gingrich himself, but Perry recognized it immediately and endorsed it wholeheartedly.  He was right to, and his gesture made it clear that it is second nature to him to be the leader of an effective team.

Now for the “other.”  I have no objection to Perry referring to Social Security with the words “Ponzi scheme.”  But the reference needs to be formulated better.  Social Security is being run like a Ponzi scheme.  That doesn’t mean the program itself was launched with the criminal objective of a Ponzi scheme.  There are implications from the designation “Ponzi scheme” that don’t apply and cannot apply to Social Security:  e.g., that it’s a criminal enterprise and needs to be summarily shut down, that it preys with felonious intent on the unsuspecting, that it’s deliberately designed to culminate in absconded principals and an empty bank account and unrecoverable losses.

Don’t get me wrong:  I would be prepared to manage our way out of Social Security entirely.  I don’t think we need the program at all, and it certainly should not be the retirement plan of first resort for any American.

But saying that doesn’t mean I want to put a stop to Social Security the way a criminal’s career is halted by arrest and incarceration.  Perry doesn’t either.  No serious Republican candidate does.  There is no one who advocates cutting off payments to today’s seniors who depend on Social Security – which is what would be done if the federal government interrupted a genuine, privately mounted Ponzi scheme, and was deciding how to award any remaining assets.

Taking the “Ponzi scheme” reference national needs to be done in a different way.  The adjustments should be pretty simple:  change the wording to “Social Security is being run like a Ponzi scheme,” rather than saying it “is” one, and make the point that we need to reform the program gracefully.  “Ponzi scheme” leaves the valid and important impression that participants will find all the expected money gone; it’s worthwhile keeping the shorthand.  But I would urge Perry to inflect his discussions of this topic differently.  “Ponzi scheme” need not be emphasized quite so much, as if people haven’t gotten the point yet.  Outside the precincts of the MSM, the point is gotten; it’s time to assume it as understood, and build on it to address, in positive terms, the policy basis for proceeding from here.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air’s Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, and The Weekly Standard online.


  1. I don’t get you wrong. You’re real almost clear about how Perry demonstrated seasoned executive leadership qualities and his ridiculous blueshirt about comparing Social Security to a criminal con game is almost pretty much kinda the way how someone with with leadership qualities goes about discussing the issues.

    Hey, what real leadershippy type of guy DOESN”T call social security a monstrous lie and a violent attack on the American way of life?

  2. Right on, Opticon. I wish others had your attention to detail and looked at more than silver-tongued ability. Perry didn’t just talk, he demonstrated, executive character. Now, he needs to lead the way into demanding a different forum for the debates.

    Perry, also, needs to state the way out of the Social Security mess.Your point that the mess lacks criminal intent is true, but removes the emotion which any politician aims to become identified with. And if there is no initial criminal intent, there surely is criminal negligence on the part of all those who knowingly deny the crisis merely for an election victory.

    Perry did well to withstand the pressure of the certain event that he will be denigrated and misrepresented regarding his position on Social Security. He took the chance and it will pay off big for him and his credibility will rise whilst Romney’s credibility will, eventually, lower.

  3. In December of 1999 Al Gore was on MTP and Tim Russert asked him (on occasion of the Millinium) if he had to take one American achievement from the 20th Century and leave it in a time capsule for future generations to admire what that would be. Al Gore instantaneously answered the passage of the Social Security Act. I was shocked and disappointed even though I had for a while held him in minimal high regard and was marathons away from remotely entertaining the notion of voting him at the next election.

    Conceptually Social Security stands for the proposition that people are stupid and irresponsible and do not have the judgment, foresight and discipline to provide for their own retirement. Therefore the government must save them from indigence in their old age by taking control over some of their earnings out of their hands and “preserving” them for this purpose. Human nature being what it is this proposition is almost certainly true to an extent and this reality justifies the creation and recommends the preservation of Social Security. And, indeed, heretofore it has worked somewhat decently.

    It must also be recognized that SS exacerbates the very defects for which it tries to compensate by leading (at least some) people to think that they will have “Security” in their retirement and inducing them to deal less responsibly with the rest of their earnings than they otherwise might.* Going forward demographics require changes in the program. Very importantly, these should include setting the $ aside by giving people more discretion over a portion of those $ so as to encourage a greater sense of responsibility and attenuate the moral hazard described above. At this point in time the sooner we get about doing this the better (this, of course, applies a fortiori(ssimo) to Medicare) and Governor Perry appears to be the person most inclined to lead on this issue. Let’s him he does so in the manner suggested by OC.

    *The Too Big to Fail paradigm is, of course, another manifestation of this same problem.

    • Your analysis shreds the pretend morality of Social Security.

    • I beg to disagree, Cavalier: Most people are stupid and irresponsible. Could they be trained not to be so, if we did not encourage stupidity and irresponsibility? I don’t know.

      And let me also pick a small battle with our host: Even Bernie Madoff probably didn’t intend a criminal enterprise when he started. But, at some point, he realized he was a fraud and went with it. Social Security has evolved, and at some point Washington had to realize it was not financially viable in the long term.

      I guess I’m just feeling contrary today.

      • Now, let’s see…

        We’ll start an investment program that funds a couple of million people that never invested one red cent into that program. Then we’ll charge the other millions of people more and more money during their investment life cycle in order to pay for the non-investors or the partial investors that came in sometime in the middle of the program.

        We’ll make the program mandatory, of course (who would sign up otherwise…?) and we will not allow the investors to take out any of their investment during the life of the program.

        We’ll also pay out but a fraction of the lifetime investment of the contributors because we need the extra money to pay for the non-contributors (another good reason to make it mandatory).

        Then, we’ll take a bunch of money out of the program’s coffers every year when we need to spend it on some other non-associated program that benefits a bunch of non-investors.

        Then, we’ll claim that there isn’t enough money in the kitty to cover all the expenses so we trim down the promises and guarantees to suit our newly discovered lack of funds, we increase the age when the limited funds are made available (regardless of prior promises or contracts) and we raise the mandatory contributions as needed by our mismanagement of the funds.

        COOL! Let’s do it. I propose…ahem!…me for treasurer.

        But, wait. If a private company suggested such a thing, even the doorman would be sent to jail for about six thousand years. That would likely happen because everything I described above would be illegal, immoral and unethically received by even the most benignant judge in the face of the planet (who would also probably be a liberal, by the way).

        We would surely be accused of running a PONZI SCHEME, of being nothing short of a bunch of greedy, unconditionally dumb bastards and we would end up ran out of town on a rail if not hung on the spot. So, no, forget it. The law would never allow it.

        Oh, well, back to working for a living… SIGH!

        NOTE: Any resemblance between the scheme that I described above and Social Security is purely coincidental and I have not attempted in any way to compare this or anyone to that or anybody else.

        NOTE: Social SECURITY. Now, there’s a politician’s oxymoronic “blueshirt” for ‘ya…

        NOTE: “Blueshirt”. I like that…

        NOTE: Any similarity between “blueshirt” and some other slang expression referring to the final digestive process of bulls is purely coincidental too.

        • of course, in an actual Ponzi scheme, nobody gets the end-of-term payout they were promised and the guy or group running the scam grabs the money and runs, and social security has been paying out for more than half a century…….and 50,000,000 people are collecting payouts.

      • Cuz…
        Actually yes.. The feds began noting that the structure of the program was going to run out of money by the mid 1980’s; that was back in 1937-1939.
        The debates about Social Security, in Congress, are pretty interesting, when you can actually find them from the congressional record…. (It’s Saturday, all that old research can be dug up by somebody else today…. The conservatives feared almost everything that has happened since:
        1. Eventual breaking of the intergenerational familial social compact (where the elderly stayed in the family, and were actively supported and cared for by their children).
        2. Bringing dependence on government for a significant portion of the voting population.
        3. Providing false security by allowing and supporting the delusion of self-supportability.
        4. Driving apart the extended family and all of its nurturing and support mechanisms using money as a tool.
        Social Security IS a PONZI Scheme, and the Feds knew it was in the 1930’s. It should have been amortized and eliminated over a 30 year period starting in 1982, but no one had the courage to do it. We should have had the courage by 2005 when George W. Bush spent every dime of his political capital trying to just BEGIN to put it on a rational basis, but too many politicians, bullied by demagogues ran for the tall grass.
        So, it will collapse, like every other Pyramid Scheme, leaving the later “investors” with nothing but a huge bill.

    • That’s “let’s hope he does so”, of course.

      Perhaps I’m naive but while I think many (perhaps most) people are stupid or irresponsible to an extent they are not all hopelessly so and I do think that giving such people greater freedom and responsibility will generate more, well responsible behavior and, in the specific context discussed here, the accumulation of a greater retirement nest egg. No that doesn’t mean everyone making 60, 80 or even 130k will increase that nest egg by a million relative to the current system, and, indeed, some will be worse of, but on average there will be a better allocation of wealth and greater retirement security for the people involved.

      • If an individual can’t beat the government at anything that involves efficiency, productivity, real profits, wealth generation, etc…well…in the words of that great American poet, Alfred E. Newman, “that bum ain’t worth much…” or, as hillbillies like to say: “That dog don’t hunt”.

        • tell me which individual can assemble a navy that is more efficient at safeguarding maritime commerce.

  4. Also want to wish OC a happy Beginning of Football Season. Her Sooners are very highly regarded this year and their path to New Orleans should be (relatively) clear after next week’s tussle in Tellahassee. It would also appear, if some of the logistical and legal contingencies can be worked, that they will be playing more games out west, perhaps affording her the chance to attend more often.

    Tonight’s game is, of course, most appealing and can, I hope be relied on outdraw the Jobs Speech which I am making a concerted effort to ignore.

  5. It is illustrative of the thin gruel we have in the Republican candidates that the most significant matter JED could fasten her rose-tinted glasses on is a shallow PR ploy – no doubt coached by Perry’s PR handlers to make him appear, contrary to the record, a regular and reasonable guy. The only reason this shallow charlatain is considered a credible candidate is because his state was saved from the sub-prime crisis by government intervention in the form of tight and restrictive mortgage rules introduced by a previous Democratic administration. Oil wealth didn’t do any harm either. The rest of his record consists of a race to the bottom to steal “macjobs” from other states. While Texas (in spite of advantages which have nothing to do with Perry) has indifferent enployment statistics, it is a national leader when it comes to the working poor. Things are such in Texas that Perry is obviously concerned that welfare is competing with his “new” jobs. Perhaps Perry wants to go back to the good ol’ frontier days when we were not coddled by welfare and when a goodly portion of the community made their living by way of armed robbery for want of other ways of earning a crust. At least Texas has plenty of guns for a return to that sort of society when Perry pulls welfare from the “undeserving” poor. Think how much “wilder” and more character-forming the Wild West would have been had the outlaws access to automatic assault rifles.

    I jest. Perry has no more intention of abolishing welfare than he has of returning the extensive Federal Government support his state has been getting. He would have done it already if he had. Presumably also, as a sentient being, he doesn’t believe the nonsense he spouts about environmental change and evolution. This is merely telling the Tea Party nutters what they want to hear. Actually, nobody knows what Perry really believes in – as distinct from what he says he believes in.

    The sad thing is that the Republican Party is being dragged into ever more extreme and fundamentalist positions by an angry and unrepresentative clique. In this environment, ridiculous and unelectable candidates like Gingrich, Palin, and Bachmann come to the fore, while electable moderates like Romney and Huntsman either dump their integrity to go with the extremist flow, or, get out.

    At a time of economic hardship bequeathed to us by the Bush economic meltdown it is to be expected that the President would have negative approval rates in the polls. What is significant however is that while the President is registering negative approval, the same polls show that he would beat any of the declared Republican candidates by wide margins. This data is reinforced by other poll data showing that the Republican controlled House enjoys even worse approval rates than the President, or its Democratic controlled predecessor.

    Perhaps the Republicans will get sense (and a bit of backbone) and throw out the nutters and haters and find a moderate candidate who could actually take the White House (After all, it should be simple, given the economic situation). The reality is that it is getting less and less likely they will.

    • Oink, oink piggie. Fill your own trough.

      • And best wishes to you too, darling.

    • “The sad thing is that the Republican Party is being dragged into ever more extreme and fundamentalist positions by an angry and unrepresentative clique. In this environment, ridiculous and unelectable candidates like Gingrich, Palin, and Bachmann come to the fore, while electable moderates like Romney and Huntsman either dump their integrity to go with the extremist flow, or, get out.”
      If this were actually true, it should make your statist skin glow, since none of them would have a chance of being elected because of extremist positions on excessive taxation, the unsupportability of social security, the intrusion of government-mandated health care and so on. Everybody with a brain knows that we probably don’t contribute enough to the federal, state and local finances. Objecting to the explosion of government spending is strictly an uninformed, “nutter” emotion, held by only a small segment of even the Republican-leaning citizenry, So what are you worried about?

  6. Oh…GASP! You mean that we were all fooled by government into a mandatory participation in a huge redistribution program run like a PONZI scheme? I meant that except for the picky, picky technical details that you mention and ignoring that I was not comparing my suggestion to Social Security (Social Insecurity?) at all. No, not at all and my disclaimer says so…

    I assume, presume and even consume that of the 50 million people that are getting bought off…err…sorry…receiving benefits only the people that are receiving those benefits without having contributed anything or much are ecstatic about this idyllic PONZI scheme.

    OK, OK, technically it’s not a PONZI scheme, it’s a…it’s a…IT’S A PYRAMID SCHEME!

  7. Just the mention of Rick Perry certainly creates a lot of excitement
    doesn’t it?
    Food for thought: If Obama decided not to run (won’t happen). If a centrist, informed, Democrat ran on a reasonable economic platform
    against Gov. Perry. Everyone would be a winner.
    The economy would start to turn fairly quickly. The market would skyrocket. Peoples’ HOPES would return and Positive CHANGE would
    take root.
    Fuster and Paul would be real grownups.
    The very toxic real estate assets that are the central key could be dealt with in an adult fashion. (Keep your eye on Bank of America) That would leave Barney Frank and Chris Dodd out.

  8. You, sir, an an expert at deviations. I would suggest that you pay more attention to the subject at hand and that you try, at least try, to remain on topic. Otherwise, you will become a waste of everybody’s time and that would be somewhat of a shame because you are, it seems to me, rather intelligent.

    • Rafa, you would make a very special hall monitor or crossing guard.
      Regards to you.

      • I do admit to having spent some time trying to keep children out of other people’s lunch box.
        Regards to you too,

    • By the way, I was addressing our lovely friend Fuster, after his comment about putting together a Navy of some sorts.

      The part about “you, sir…”, was meant to be read with an indignant British accent and a stiff upper lip…The rest was just having a spot of fun mixed in with a bit of sarcasm, wot…?


      • all in vain, attempting to bring humor or insight to the very hollow reed.

        • Your mother wears Army Boots.
          Gosh, you really got me on that one.
          Oh Yeah!

      • All in good fun Rafa.

  9. Actually, Blackwater and/orHalliburton would run a heck of a patrol/keep-the-peace navy. And run it efficiently too.

    The problem would arise when it became necessary to fight in major combat and sustain big losses. Business is, by nature, positive and creative. Individuals can profit by exploiting the losses of war, but those losses are an unsustainable “business model.” The purpose of armed forces is to continue in spite of losses, which business can’t do — except (see GM, see the entire “green” industry) when towed on a lifeboat kept afloat by the taxpayer.

    • not really,Kid. those jackals don’t run things efficiently at all, not when you reckon that they live off avoiding costs that get shifted to Uncle Sugar.

      • Business (private contractors) always shifts cost to the customer (govt). Shocker. It is the profit motive.
        My company does it every day.
        Your comment is more apt for the Presidents’ Jackal friends at Solyndra.
        Makers or Takers Fuster. Which one are you?

        • A disclaimer to my comment. My company does no business with City,County,State or Federal Govts.
          We receive packets regularly and they go to file 13.
          Those folks should all wear Sloth T-Shirts.

        • Makers or Takers Fuster. Which one are you?

          we’re all both or we’re nothing much at all.

          relying on someone else to pay for the training and experience of your work-force and then selling the services of your work-force back to that someone else at a vastly inflated price is excellent business, but it doesn’t indicate that you run a darned thing “efficiently” in reality.

    • If Blackwater or Haliburton charged us their usual pay-rates for running the military, and otherwise behaved in the manner they behaved in Iraq (Charging for non-existant goods and services. Outrageous overcharging, etc. etc.) Cheney’s trillion-dollar debacle in Iraq would have become a zillion-buck melt-down.

  10. There is something quite critical missing in all these back and forth analysis.

    Halliburton and, I suppose, Blackwater (I don’t know their corporate structure) own their corporate loyalty to their investors and employees. They are tasked with making as much money as possible with as little effort as possible in order to generate as much profit as the market will allow. This concept, foreign to some, lies at the heart of private enterprise and capitalism both of which have worked well enough to have been largely responsible for making this wonderful country as great as it is today. So, if Halliburton and Blackwater do this to the best of their abilities they fulfill their principal fiduciary duties magnificently and they should be admired and acknowledged for doing so.

    The other players in this game, our inept government bureaucrats, politicians and other assorted vermin, however, owe their loyalties, just like Halliburton and Blackwater do, to the people that they are sworn to represent. Let’s call these people the citizen “investors” just to keep the analogy clear and constant. The way that the Government fulfills its fiduciary duties to its “investors” is by acting efficiently and by taking good care to administer the funds that they so arrogantly demand from their citizens, or from their “investors”. If in doing so they are overpaying, misspending or wasting the resources of the nation then they are NOT doing their jobs the way the nation expects them to do it and they are NOT fulfilling their fiduciary duties properly.

    That private enterprise try to extract as much profits from the market as they can, therefore, should surprise no one. At least, it should be fully understood, it should not surprise anyone that believes in and endorses private enterprise and capitalism. But, a government that is so badly staffed and that so consistently conducts an enormously poor management of the nation’s resources should be a good cause for the indignation of every citizen that has paid them one single cent in taxes.

    Of course, here is where the true nature of whomever is evaluating these things comes into sharp and clear focus. Those that vote for government largesse, for handouts and for the right to stick their hands into other people’s pockets without doing much to earn it will turn to private business in search of a target for their ire. Almost to a man these well kept citizens “investors” will invariably ignore, for instance, the huge amounts of unearned wealth that union bosses and strongmen extract from our government and private businesses who, in turn, must recuperate this wealth, albeit indirectly, from the unaware public, including every citizen “investor” out here. This religious-like zeal to hate one and forgive the other is quite apparent in today’s America and is the direct result of the slide towards the left that we have witnessed for decades.

    Then there is the other side. The pro private enterprise, capitalists that believe that it is the buyers direct responsibility to take care of the resources that they are supposed to guard and are about to spend and that, as long as the transaction is legally agreed (contracted) by both parties, the responsibility for the transaction is shared, as explained above, by the producer of the goods and services, the sellers, and the consumer of those goods and services, the buyers, both of whom should be adept at negotiating a good enough price for what they are trading.

    There is also this: Unlike the strong arm tactics that government protected unions use to extract unearned wealth from private and government entities, the all-powerful government could just provide these services themselves for much less money and, therefore, more efficiently for, as fuster sort of said recently, who else is capable of putting together a proper army to better fight our country’s enemies…?

    And, if this is not good enough for government, then here is a piece of free market advise to him: Please don’t waste our resources but, if you are willing to do that, then…BUYER BEWARE!

    • I note with interest that you have no expectation of any regard to duty or patriotism on the part of Haliburton, Blackwater, and their ilk.

      Strangely, the little folk you characterize as “assorted vermin” often harbour such mushy sentiments, and like the New York firemen, seem motivated by silly notions of duty and patriotism as much as by their very modest compensation. Mugs.

      • Their employees bleed and die, in combat areas, just like everyone else. Is that patrotic enough?

        • The very thought of anyone having to bleed and die for the likes of Cheney makes me queasy.

    • maybe you can enlarge on that….

      “….. the strong arm tactics that government protected unions use to extract unearned wealth from private and government entities”

      the firemen and police officers of NYC are among the ranks of union members and might be interested in reading why …

      ” private enterprise try to extract as much profits from the market as they can, therefore, should surprise no one. At least, it should be fully understood, it should not surprise anyone that believes in and endorses private enterprise and capitalism.”

      …private corporations can grab every buck they can and employees of the grab-happy companies shouldn’t go after a share of the profits.

  11. In the words of fuster “The Great”…BLUESHIRT!

    You are tap dancing. You are putting words never spoken (or written) in my mouth (or keyboard). You must be doing this because you can’t find anything else to bring to the table and that is very sad, although not totally surprising given your…ahem!…inclinations.

    Now, then, Paulite…

    Bringing patriotism into the discussion at this stage is disingenuous. Your statement was clearly made about Halliburton and Blackwater’s invoicing process and about their ability to run an efficient or ethical operation. I was answering that assertion. Since it was you that brought the economic parameters to the discussion, and I accepted them, it is rather silly to change now in mid sentence to something guaranteed to bring either a tear to the reader’s cheeks or a blush of embarrassment to mine. But, no, it didn’t work. Again you are “blueshirting” by the shovelful. Some time between the third andf fourth quarter, you can’t simply walk out into the field and yell “Plaaay Ball! Baater up!”

    But, to be clear as water from an Irish mountain spring, my expectations of anyone’s patriotism would have to be totally and fully dependant on that man’s personal intentions and the deep inner workings of his or her soul. Because I am neither a world renown soothsayer, like you must think you are, nor am I a magician, like Obama thinks he is, I never pretend to see into any man’s soul. I simply listen to what they have to say, and, better still, to their general behavior attitude and actions.

    For instance, in the short time that I have been here I have kind of guessed that your own form of patriotism seems to be a bit self serving. I say that because you seem to limit the concept of patriotism to anything that conforms to your own personal biases and bigotry. From past posts I have also guessed that personal comfort and benefits received from somebody else’s hand and/or comforts and benefits shared with you, willingly or unwillingly, seem to play a great part of how you score your own personal patriotic evaluation system.

    I say all that because it is practically impossible not to reach certain conclusions after a number of exchanges of opinions. So, to me it appears that you simply can’t marry the thought of wealth and profit with the thought of national pride or patriotism. But, in the end, that’s your problem, not mine and I am quite happy to let you work that out all by yourself.

    Another “blueshirt” from your latest post is bringing firemen, policemen and other public servants into the fray. I didn’t mention any of them nor did I associate them with my vermin comment. But you did and I find that knee-jerk mental association rather interesting. I also find it very interesting that you seem to think of them as “little people” (your words, not mine).

    Oh, and, by the way, how modest anybody’s compensation is or is not remains a matter of opinion for them to settle either on their own or with their employers, of course. The facts begin here: they choose that particular career path in full knowledge of what the compensation is and likely will be and they obviously accept it at some point or another or they would find themselves something else to do. So, my guess is that they are fine with it, although, for some weird reason you don’t seem to be. Or is it that you are pretending to side with them now because their shade benefits and comforts you during these discussions?

    But, again, I didn’t bring any of them into the conversation, you did. And I don’t accept the parameters that you so inefficiently tried to pin on me so, as far as I’m concerned, that would be the end of that.

    Thank you for visiting. Please drive through.

    • How wrong can you be.

      I spent my working life running a small business, and I supported my family on its modest profits.

      Unlike Cheney’s gang I never felt it part of my duty to swindle Uncle Sam.

      • Yeah, yeah…suuure. Modest profits. Perhaps you meant “not enough” instead of “modest”. Which might well explain why now you want to swindle your neighbors instead of Uncle Sam.

        But, wait. “Uncle Sam”? No, not “Uncle”. “Big Brother Sam” seems to be more your style.

        And, before I hang up, Cheney has a gang? I-did-not-know-that. I thought it was Obama that was actually running the gang. Go figure. Will surprises never end…

  12. For further enlargement, please review the post to Paulite.

    As for the unionized police and fire force in NY City or anywhere else, I don’t relate the services rendered by any individual nor any personal sacrifice made by them with any union. I am sure that the mebers that died in performing their service would have done so without the prompting of any rich, fat cat union boss or organizer. That, fuster, is what personal, not collective dedication is all about and what should be appreciated by all.

    But, since you bring it up, in the union ranks that you mention are also some teachers that should be sweeping streets instead of educating children and cops that are as dirty as what is being swept from some streets too.

    But, please, stop it…you are going to make me cry with all the mentions of sacrifice and dedication by unionized labor. I know they don’t organize for the money or the privileges that the organizers receive. I know they do all that for the betterment of mankind and for the personal improvement of the union members and definitely not for the benefits of their selfless, honest and sweet labor leaders…and, please, don’t bring up puppy dogs too. I just couldn’t stand it…

    The market is what should decide. But, you and I both know that this discussion was not about unions so, either stick to the original topic or open your own blog.

    • sorry that I had to throw in there that people in unions aren’t “strong-arming” monsters, rafa, but actual flesh-and-blood folks that do their jobs whether conditions are good or bad…and want to get a wage that allows them to raise their families in some modest comfort.

      I guess that for you to describe why companies should grab every buck that they can and explaining why workers shouldn’t try to see that some of those bucks get distributed to the folks doing the work is about half-past impossible, so calling it off-topic, despite the fact that you raised those points, is the best you can do.

      no problem. duck and cover and hope the bell gets rung might work for ya.

  13. You misunderstand me. You probably do that intentionally and often with an end to further your own views. I am not opposed to the individuals that work for a living, fuster. I am opposed to those that ruthlessly and selfishly use them to further their own personal goals. I am opposed to the organizers of labor because it is a con job and a myth based precisely on the very carp (sorry, a bit dyslectic there) that you spew. If you think that union members actually receive the most benefits from organized labor then I must revisit my initial opinion of you and give it some further thought (not that you care, I know).

    Besides, and cutting to the chase, save your crocodile tears for somebody that is actually listening to this same tired old “blueshirt” (Thank you for that at least). I’ve heard it all before and you are wasting your carp (there I go again…) when you go on about the selfless union sacrifice on my very deaf ears. I don’t really buy any of that blueshirt, is what I’m trying to tell you. There are those that are forced to belong to a union or not work at all. They have no other choice and I understand that, but union idolatry, a religion that some follow blindly, is for the weak kneed, weak hearted useful idiots that can’t read between the lines to save themselves from the grief of reality. Union members, all union members simply work their hearts out for a different set of masters and you know that better than you know your own face when you shave.

    And, as far as the grubby little hands that grab all that money and as far as the having to share it with the poor downtrodden union slave workers, those workers just want a bigger piece of the action, sure, and I don’t begrudge them that. But they want it without having to go the distance like some other people do and I do begrudge them that. Organized labor just wants somebody else’s money. If that money comes from the worker’s dues, then fine. If it comes from the company’s coffers, then fine too. Ironically union zealots are just looking for somebody else to do their fighting for them and they just don’t care who they take it from as long as they get a good chunk of the loot.

    Here, and for the last time because discussions like this are a waste of everybody’s time since the lines are clearly drawn on this issue. You recently asked, with what I believe to be fake interest: “maybe you can enlarge on that….…private corporations can grab every buck they can and employees of the grab-happy companies shouldn’t go after a share of the profits.”

    Sure, I’ll explain. No problem.

    First of all, I noticed that private corporations “grab” and are “grab-happy” but employees go after a share of the profits. Yeah. Sure. That’s an unbiased statement that doesn’t show your own bigotry and preconceptions.

    But, on that note, here is my answer which, by the way, will also show my own biases and preconceptions.

    Go to college and study hard or work your hands to the bare bones. Work part time or full time, whatever it takes. While you do that, make sure that you pay attention and that you learn from the bottom up. Pay the piper. Be creative. Come up with a good enough idea that people will actually willingly pay for. Package it properly and attractively. Secure investors that will actually believe in the product or service that you are proposing and are willing to stand behind you and “it”. Don’t waste your time hanging your future’s hat on all the bullcaca that is being bantered about by all the selfish, illegitimate sons of female dogs that are so abundant in our poor and confused country nowadays. Work to secure the financing that you might need to properly realize your dream and do it with a modicum of talent and effort. When you find the going tough and hard, don’t give up; keep your dreams alive against all challenges. Some idiots might call that greed, by the way, and, often they form some union, collect lots of dues and make a handsome living promoting that lie. But, back to our answer, fall down more than once and get up again. And again. And again. Do that until you get it right. Then surround yourself with good people, give them a decent wage (no, fuster, don’t be arrogant, you are not the one that determines what that wage should be anymore than a hungry lion gets to decide for the sheep on what’s for dinner, nor is it some gorilla organizer that hasn’t worked a day in years and who cares not one iota for what happens to the members or, even less, to the company that employs them). If you follow that hard and rocky road that others have followed then, maybe…maybe you will be the one that gets to collect the fruit of all that labor and risk taking and you might even get to grab every buck that you can get.

    Oh, mark my words, a lot of unworthy and undeserving people, absent from the scene when all that work and sweat was taking place during the ten or twenty years that it took you to become an overnight success, will work hard to make others believe that they deserve all that success more than you do, even much more than you. These are the corporate haters, the envious and the true exploiters that will rail, march and strike against you and your company and ask you for the fruit of all that talent and effort to be redistributed (to them, of course) simply because some politician or some union bully told them that they could. When that time comes, and it will, then it will be up to you to hold on to as much as you can. If the hyenas let you.

    But you aren’t listening because you talk just like a hyena yourself. You don’t want to hear about the hard road in the map to success that I laid out because you know that you don’t have it in your engine to get there, or simply because you would rather do the next best thing: To wait for somebody else to get there so you can take it from them.

    So, tomorrow, when you get up, instead of putting on your hyena uniform, call any union representative to whom you pay obeisance or that you might know and ask him the following: How can his union keep its workers in the style that they are accustomed to if it weren’t for the corporations that both you and him distrust and dislike so much? How does his union make all that money to buy the great cars, the great clothes, and the great politicians? What does his union know about making a productive living besides organizing strikes and feeding the companies their particular brand of “blueshirt”? If the company you work for ever goes bust and disappears, will that union pay your salary and your retirement?

    But, how would they make all the money they would need to do all that? You and I both hope that it would not be from the sweat of some other poor worker. Nah…perish the thought. Besides, we both know that unions earn a handsome living selling their goods and services to an adoring public. But, wait, unions are like government. They promise a lot but they don’t really make anything. Now, how does that work…?

    And, last but not least, this is the big question for your imaginary friend so pay close attention, what can he say to make you believe that he gives a rat’s ass about what happens to you personally, particularly if you were to ever decide to stop paying for their limos, their whores and their booze with the sweat of your labors as is or perhaps I should say as it should be your right to do as a free man and a proud worker?

    If the answers don’t satisfy you and if you actually don’t need a glass navel to see where you are going then, pray tell me, fuster, what’s the difference between the unions you love and your hated corporations, besides the extra cash they get for you in exchange for your loyalty, of course? How about the difference between you and, say, a small Halliburton investor? Or between your unions getting huge chunks of cash for being tough and, for instance, Blackwater?

    • fuster studied hard and went to college. he has also worked hard for a living and was a union rep before becoming management.

      fuster has set up picket lines and fuster has crossed picket lines. fuster has admired the president of a union and loathed the president that replaced him.

      fuster thinks that you’re being a bit of a jackass by generalizing out your wazoo and by responding to questions with charges of bigotry instead of answers.

      try to remember that it was yourself that introduced the idea that corporations should be expected to grab what they could get before you decide that someone is showing bias by parroting your contention.

      I guess that when nobody rung the bell you decided that closing your eyes and swinging wildly might be better than trying to defend your corner.

      your arms ain’t strong enough to strong-arm, rafa.

      • Fuster sounds like Fuster spent a lot of time going in circles.
        One has to guard against allowing the profit motive and personal advancement to alter ones core beliefs, doesn’t one. LOL
        Let the name calling begin!

  14. Oh, and before I forget, was that enough duck and cover for you?

    And you were indeed off topic. The subject of or the worth or lack thereof of unions was not the central issue that we were discussing when Paul Lite jumped on it. You both segued into it because that was your own charming way to duck and cover from another topic that remains unanswered because of it.

    When all else fails, pick a sentence, reconstruct it to suit your feingned indignation and make it into something that allows you to wail about the unfairness of it all, claim that you do it for the children and award hero status to any and all that might help you garnish some sympathy in the discussion at hand claiming that the other voice offended him or her in some contrived and mysterious way.



    And boring…

    But, now, I’ve said all I am about to say on this subject. Little remains unsaid on this topic, at least by me, actually. Come to think of it you are the criptic one. If you want to evaluate my departure from this topic in your own silly, self-serving ways, go for it. I really don’t care much from this point on. If you answer, do it for your adoring public. If I read whatever you post I will not be surprised by anything you might add. I might also yawn a bit ’cause I’ve heard it all before said by better thinkers than both you and me. So, I yield the floor. Have at it.

    But, please remember to come back again y’all and please drive through.

    • whY criptic?

  15. fuster probably is or was all the things he lists but he is much more. fuster is also a redistributionist socialist who can’t stand the sight of people that run better or faster than him. fuster sets out to trip other runners when he can’t keep up with their pace. fuster also loves to apply final judgements on people he doesn’t know anything about because those judgements are convenient to him or to his arguments. fuster thinks he is both contender and referee without realizing that he does very poorly at trying to be both. fuster doesn’t get to ring any bells. fuster does all that blueshirt stuff because the internet allows him a great platform to carp all over himself in anonimity and safety. fuster is a hater. fuster is an envious, little guy that provides nothing of value to anyone and takes much from everyone that let’s him whenever he is allowed. fuster should wear diapers.

    fuster is a waste of everybody’s time.

    Bye, bye, fuster.

    You forgot to drive through.

    • rafa, fuster’s grandfather, in his early life thought he was a socialist while he was helping to overthrow the Czar…..but he got over it pretty damn fast.
      fuster kinda figured out that socialism doesn’t work out in real life before he hit the ripe old age of 16. by that time, I had already figured out how to get through the day without diapers.

      you prolly can as well you give it your full attention.

  16. OK, you already know about me and my spelling. I meant dumb.

  17. Right on, right on, right on.

    I’ll tell you this story:

    When I was younger I worked for a paper conversion company down South from us. I was made part of the management team that sat down with the Teamsters local to negiotiate labor contracts. At the table, of course, were this particular shop steward as well as a local delegate. The delegate got most of the consessions he was looking for which had to do, mostly, with health care provisions that propped up the union’s clinics/hospital in the region. The shop steward was insisting on other benefits more related to the worker’s direct pay and benefits at the plant. At some point in the discussion, the delegate looked at his watch, pointed his finger at the steward and said that he already owned three houses and a couple of cars and if the rep wanted to keep on with his argument, he was on his own.

    True story.

    About a year after that management promoted the same steward to supervisor and got him out of the way. I imagine that he now has a couple of houses and a couple of cars too.

    But, no, don’t ask…I can’t remember the Steward’s name or if he ever called himsel fuster. I do remember that he became a pretty good supervisor and that he didn’t take much caca from the new union steward from that moment on. And, oddly, I do remember the name of the delegate, though. I guess the whole scene impressed me somewhat…

  18. I always forget. The previous was a response to wreed.

  19. Wreed: No. Not good enough. Not if it doesn’t end in some sort of wealth redistribution. Come on, you should know that.

    • I need a scorecard to keep up with you Rafa. Wealth redistribution?
      Looks like we are all out in the weeds.
      Okay, back on topic. Rick Perry certainly scares the left.
      Best regards to you. You too Fuster.

      • thanks for the regards.

        got a question for you…..when you say that someone scares the left, what do you mean?

        is it analogous to saying that Jerry Brown scares the right? Jesse Jackson?

        what”s the supposed scary part of Perry?

        • He can win AND drape the left in a George Bush makeover. It is Poetic Justice. Consumate payback.
          The Right guy wins and the halo of W is there every minute of every day. Salt on a slug. Excuse me EPA.
          Perry is the antithesis of the weak,pandering,everyone gets a trophy,academic left. That is to say, after the conversation is over, they are ineffective and in-competent.
          Perry is scary to the left because of his hands on experience on the executive level. Real experience in the real world. He had to produce.
          He could have a chance to be effective.

          • oh, you think that perry could win the nomination of the Republican Party. Yeah, that’s a possibility.

            Don’t see that as scaring anybody. Worse people than Perry could win that nomination.

  20. Yes he does. Washington doesn’t seem ready to have any politician say it like it is. This is particularly so if the truth comes loud and clear from a politician that moves around comfortably at the center of the national stage. It seems that calling a spade a spade is not fashionable in our nation’s capital anymore. Of course, that figures since Washington is awash in liberal bureaucrats and politicians.

    And, also, if you think Perry scares them, and he certainly does, wait until they start hearing from Marco Rubio. I can hear the knees knocking and the teeth gnashing already. That, by the way, will be more fun to watch than listening to a California liberal socialist claim that he knows just how to fix the economy and that he learned it from his Greek Economics teacher at Berkley.


  21. Wreed:

    Don’t mind answering these guys. They are soooo confused…

    Besides, that’s not what happened at all. They didn’t bleed and die for Cheney anymore than they are now bleeding and dieying for Obama. They bleed and die so that guys like these can continue to sit back here and talk…wait for it…BLUESHIRT!

    Hmmm. Talk about stuff that can make people queasy…YUCK!

  22. jesse jackson scares the right…? HAHAHAHAHAHA…….Oh, that’s good. You’ve outdone yourself (and that’s not a small trick, fuster).

    HEHEHEHEHEHE…….OK, now you have me slapping my knee…

    Stop it…just stop it…..hehehehe……

    • c’mon rafa……the question was for reed….aren’t you busy enough not answering the question that was for you?

      I just don’t get the whole “scary” thing. People were saying that the left (whatever that really is) was scared of Palin and I didn’t understand that..

      I find Jackson, a morally debased con man accepted by idiots as some kind of legit spokesman for something or other, as representing something scary, but not all that scary in himself….

      I can’t figure what it is about Perry that should be scary.

  23. OK. You’ve peaked my curiosity about something. Let’s allow Wreed to answer your question. Or anyone else for that matter…

  24. curiouser and curiouser and no doubt feeling a little peaked.

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