Increasing Taxes Can Help Fuel Capitalism

by Ben Hoffman

Contrary to what right-wingers claim, raising corporate taxes can actually stimulate capitalism. If profits are taxed at a higher rate, businesses are more likely to reinvest in the company than to give the money to the government. That stimulates growth. Low taxes result in a focus on profits at the expense of long term growth.

Over the past decade and a half, corporations have been saving more and investing less in their own businesses. A 2005 report from JPMorgan Research noted with concern that, since 2002, American corporations on average ran a net financial surplus of 1.7 percent of the gross domestic product — a drastic change from the previous 40 years, when they had maintained an average deficit of 1.2 percent of G.D.P.

The reason for all this saving in the United States is that public companies have become obsessed with quarterly earnings. To show short-term profits, they avoid investing in future growth. To develop new products, buy new equipment or expand geographically, an enterprise has to spend money — on marketing research, product design, prototype development, legal expenses associated with patents, lining up contractors and so on.

Rather than incur such expenses, companies increasingly prefer to pay their executives exorbitant bonuses, or issue special dividends to shareholders, or engage in purely financial speculation. But this means they also short-circuit a major driver of economic growth.

So instead of pursuing budget retrenchment, policymakers need to create incentives for corporations to reinvest their profits in business operations. One way to do this would be to impose an aggressive tax on retained earnings that are not reinvested within two years. Another approach would be a tax on the turnover of corporate financial investments that would raise the cost of speculating with profits, rather than putting them into the business.

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53 Comments to “Increasing Taxes Can Help Fuel Capitalism”

  1. You are funny. Great comedy piece.

  2. Ed,

    I agree. But seriously great comedy has to has “a little truth”.

    ” Contrary to what right-wingers claim, raising corporate taxes can actually stimulate capitalism. If profits are taxed at a higher rate, businesses are more likely to reinvest in the company than to give the money to the government. ”

    This is one of those left wing theories dreamed up by people with no experience in the real world. College Professors and the like. But, we will see how it works. So far this philosophy is what has delayed the natural recovery. Always after a major downturn there is a recovery that is part of the Business Cycle.

    If Democrats had any brains they would have done nothing after the Banking crisis had passed. The Business Cycle would have made them look like Einsteins and then they could have had anything their Progressive hearts desired. No they could not wait. They had to demonize business, they had to raise taxes and spending. They had to save Public Teachers jobs at the expense of private sector jobs.

    By all of their Socialist shenanigans, they have delayed the recovery and doomed themselves. But you can’t tell them anything.

    • [This is one of those left wing theories dreamed up by people with no experience in the real world.]

      I assume you didn’t read the article. The author is Yves Smith.

      Yves has spent more than 25 years in the financial services industry and currently heads Aurora Advisors, a New York-based management consulting firm specializing in corporate finance advisory and financial services. Prior experience includes Goldman Sachs (in corporate finance), McKinsey & Co., and Sumitomo Bank (as head of mergers and acquisitions). Yves has written for publications in the United States and Australia, including The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Slate, The Conference Board Review, Institutional Investor, The Daily Deal and the Australian Financial Review.[Yves is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School.

      Once again YOU LIE! 🙂

  3. Mr. Hoffman,

    I stand corrected. She did go to Harvard. Where Obama went. She worked a lot of places. Why can’t she keep a job? 🙂

  4. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” How long have you had your current job? ”

    Are you collecting a file on Obama opponents ? Do you want my SS number ? Should I expect an IRS audit ? Maybe a visit from Elliot Ness ?

    I’ve been doing my current job for a good number of years.

    • Boy, a little touchy there, aren’t you. 🙂

      I have a theory that progressives don’t stay at one job for as long as conservatives. I don’t know if there are any data to back that up.

      The longest job I ever stayed at one job was 4-1/2 years and that was way back in the early 80s. By moving around a little, I got my salary up much higher than my peers who stayed at the same job. It also gave me more diversified experience.

  5. Mr. Hoffman,

    Your theory may hold water on this account. You are in Computers. I would think that those people not being Blue Collar tend to be Progressive. Just as Blue collar “tend”to be Conservative.

    Blue Collar tend to have grown up with firearms. Progressives tend to be afraid of poor people armed with guns. Like Mayor Dailey of Chicago, who no doubt has armed body guards, yet will not allow the poor in his city to protect themselves. As if disarming the poor has any effect on stopping criminals from arming themselves.

    But I strayed from the topic. I really tried to get more information on Yves Smith. I could not get much more than the boiler plate Bio that you posted. Everyone has an agenda. That a former Wall Streeter would write such an article intrigues me. I suppose that a left winger could work on Wall Street. The articles she has written on her website were too boring and cerebral for me to get a good sense of what axes she is grinding.

    • [Your theory may hold water on this account. You are in Computers. I would think that those people not being Blue Collar tend to be Progressive. Just as Blue collar “tend”to be Conservative.]

      I’ve worked in the tech industry with a lot of conservatives and they seemed to stay at one job for a longer time than us progressives. But that’s consistent with the definition of “conservative” meaning “resistant to change.”

      [The articles she has written on her website were too boring and cerebral for me to get a good sense of what axes she is grinding.]

      [Everyone has an agenda.]

      There are actually some honest people in the world.

  6. Mr. Hoffman,

    All of those businesses that hired you when you desperately needed a job must have screwed you over. Since you are so anti business now.

  7. Mr. Hoffman,

    I hope you do not do business with the Government. I hope you do not do business with any financial companies that do business with the Federal Government. Under the new guidelines that your hero enacted, next year a white guy like you won’t meet the minority requirements. You are a one man operation? You may have to take on some new employees. That should bring unemployment down . 🙂

    • [Under the new guidelines that your hero enacted, next year a white guy like you won’t meet the minority requirements.]

      What guidelines? Please provide the text from the bill that says that. What? You can’t? Oh, that’s because you’re lying.

  8. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” What guidelines? Please provide the text from the bill that says that. What? You can’t? ”

    Gotcha worried, don’t I ?

    I’m sorry to say I have only limited information, but somewhere in section 342 of the new Dodd-Frank bill it talks about race and gender employment ratios. Ah, maybe Obama won’t sign it. I think as a Jewish Buddhist minority, there can’t be too many of them, you will be fine. 🙂

    • [I’m sorry to say I have only limited information, but somewhere in section 342 of the new Dodd-Frank bill it talks about race and gender employment ratios.]

      Yeah, just like the “death panels” in the health insurance bill. You’re lying.

  9. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Yeah, just like the “death panels” in the health insurance bill. You’re lying. ”

    I do not lie. You just better hope I got it wrong .

    • No, we already concluded that you’re a pathological liar. And you must really hate our country if you’re that terrified of having your taxes go up. Personally, I fear being gouged by the oil and insurance companies, and the credit card companies.

  10. So…someone please explain how taxing profits helps shareholders.

  11. [businesses are more likely to reinvest in the company than to give the money to the government. That stimulates growth.]

    Along the same lines as “stimulating growth”…wouldn’t getting rid of the minimum wage accomplish the same feat?

    • Along the same lines as “stimulating growth”…wouldn’t getting rid of the minimum wage accomplish the same feat?

      Actually that would just encourage more exploitation of the working class. Of course, if it is good for business it must be good for America.

      • Exploitation wasn’t part of the argument here (although I disagree with you–in capitalism hard workers are equally compensated…generally speaking). Back to what I was saying earlier…the topic at hand here was raising taxes to fuel capitalism; i was just merely pointing out that getting rid of the minimum wage would likewise achieve the same effect.

  12. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Nobody said it helps shareholders. ”

    The Government is crowding out private investment. The Government is making decisions about where money should go in the economy. The Government is overtaxing private money. Private money is going into gold and other non productive sectors. Private money is scared to invest because it does not know what Government will do next.

    Result is low economic growth, less tax revenue, less jobs. The proof is 1 1/2 years into the new administration and look where we are. No job growth for the young people.

    • [The Government is overtaxing private money.]

      Obama has not raised taxes.

      [Private money is scared to invest because it does not know what Government will do next.]

      Investors don’t stimulate job creation. In fact, stock prices often go up when jobs are cut because it increases profits.

      • [Obama has not raised taxes.]

        I don’t believe he said Obama did. But certainly we can agree that spending has a been a little run-rampant as of late. Higher deficits (especially with an increase in the percentage of debt to GDP) can’t be a confidence booster to investors.

      • [Higher deficits (especially with an increase in the percentage of debt to GDP) can’t be a confidence booster to investors.]

        The DOW was below 7,000 March of last year and March of this year was over 11,000. Investors must like something out there.

      • [Investors don’t stimulate job creation. In fact, stock prices often go up when jobs are cut because it increases profits.]

        Investors don’t stimulate job creation? What planet are you from? This is probably speaking from a community organizer’s point of view, I assume?

        The dow is up and that’s great for public trading. But with my company specifically, we rely heavily on private investments (from VC’s), who loathe the idea of more taxes; they don’t like taxes. And by the way…their investment in my company secured over 100 jobs in a locale hit hard by the economy. Those darn capitalists!

      • [But with my company specifically, we rely heavily on private investments]

        True, private investments provide capital for businesses, but investors in the stock market don’t stimulate the economy. And returning the rates to where they were back in the 90s when the economy was booming isn’t going to have much of a deterrent on investments.

  13. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” Obama has not raised taxes. ”

    You keep saying that and I keep telling you that you are not accurate. Taxes were not raised for this year. The Bush tax cuts expire next year. All kinds of Obama Care fees start kicking in, I believe next year.

    Some of the unintended consequences are already being felt. In 2003 when the Medicare prescription law was passed the Feds gave Corporations a 28% tax free subsidy to keep them giving their retirees drug coverage and not dumping them on the Government. It was cheaper for the taxpayers.

    Now your hero will tax the subsidy and think there are no consequences. When AT&T, Caterpillar, and Verizon announced they had to take large charges against future earnings, that Moron Henry Waxman began demanding the heads of these companies come before his Imperial Committee and explain why they were embarrassing their rulers.

    Guess what ? When when it was checked out, Waxman was wrong and quietly said,,never mind.

    Do you think that businesses being hit with new taxes and fees in the next 10 years are going to hire anyone ?

    Now tell me again and again and again that ” Obama has not raised taxes. ” 🙂

    • [In 2003 when the Medicare prescription law was passed the Feds gave Corporations a 28% tax free subsidy to keep them giving their retirees drug coverage and not dumping them on the Government. It was cheaper for the taxpayers.]

      It was paid for with borrowed money and resulted in a huge increase in the deficit.

      [Do you think that businesses being hit with new taxes and fees in the next 10 years are going to hire anyone ? ]

      Companies get tax breaks for hiring people. But companies don’t hire just because they get a tax break, although that may discourage them from outsourcing jobs overseas. They hire when they need more help, which usually occurs when consumers start consuming more.

  14. Komrade Arbourist,

    ” Actually that would just encourage more exploitation of the working class. Of course, if it is good for business it must be good for America. ”

    And Obama’s Class warfare has been ” good for America.” If he saves or creates anymore jobs, God help us. If Obama focuses or creates anymore # 1 priorities God help us. And to think the man still has 2 and a half years to go. Why aren’t these enlightened policies creating jobs ? I thought all of this crap was supposed to “work”!

    • The stimulus could have been far more effective if 1/3 of it wasn’t tax cuts. Tax cuts do little to stimulate the economy. It would also have been more effective if there was a “buy American” provision. Instead, a lot of the stimulus money went to other countries, which does nothing to stimulate our economy.

  15. Mr. Hoffman,

    I’m afraid I have to disagree with you. Public employees make their living off of the taxes of private sector employees. Great gig if you can get it. With private sector jobs disappearing, State and local government workers were in danger of losing “their” jobs because the tax revenue is shrinking.

    When Obama sent that Stimulus Money out to the States the Governors simply used that money to pay Government Employees. Not all that much went into ” shovel ready ” projects. Very little went to grow Private Sector jobs. Much of it went into “pet projects” that were wastes of money.

    Now that money is gone, or at least what Democrats were not holding back on, and the private economy is still in a shambles.

    If all of the stimulus had been tax cuts it all would have gone into stimulating the private economy. If Obama had not waged war on private companies, by now people would be spending and the rich would be investing in job creating businesses, instead of non productive Gold.

    State tax revenue would be up and the danger to State and local Government employees would be decreasing. The economy would be growing and President Obama could be taking the credit, and you would not be making excuses for him .

    • [Not all that much went into ” shovel ready ” projects. Very little went to grow Private Sector jobs.]

      There are a lot of construction projects around Colorado funded by the stimulus, and while they are government projects, the work is done by private companies.

      [If all of the stimulus had been tax cuts it all would have gone into stimulating the private economy.]

      That’s Reaganomics, and there’s never been a case where it’s shown to be effective. It’s always been purely theoretical and does nothing but put us deep in debt.

      Your “proof” that Reaganomics worked was low inflation. We have extremely low inflation now. The DOW has rallied since the stimulus was passed, which means profits for investors. Company profits are also up.

      [If Obama had not waged war on private companies,]

      How exactly has he waged war on private companies? Much of the stimulus went to private companies. There were billions for renewable energy research and development for private companies. Construction projects use private companies to do the work. There were tax cuts for private companies to stimulate hiring.

      So how exactly has Obama waged war on private companies?

  16. Mr. Hoffman,

    You are my biggest challenge. I continually hit you with truth, facts, and excellent arguments . Yet I have failed to make progress in turning you away from the dark side of Obama economics. But I am a crazy optimist. 🙂

    ” There are a lot of construction projects around Colorado funded by the stimulus, and while they are government projects, the work is done by private companies. ”

    I congratulate your State Of Colorado. Your State is well below the national average in unemployment. You guys must be doing something better than the rest of us. However, looking at the trends, even in your State things are not getting any better.

    Dec. 09 = 7.3% Jan,010 = 7.4 Feb.010 = 7.7 Mar.010 = 7.9 April 010 = 8.0 May 010 = 8.0

    ” Your “proof” that Reaganomics worked was low inflation. We have extremely low inflation now. ”

    Hello, earth to you, we did not have any inflation going into Obama’s reign. Reagan had to tame inflation and then deal with growing the economy. My ” proof ” is therefore intact. Nice try, though.

    ” How exactly has he waged war on private companies? ”

    Your Freakin Hero has tarred and feathered all Bankers, all Wall Street firms, all “the rich” for the sins of some. He has ignored his own sins in the Senate, where he joined other Democrats in protecting Fannie and Freddie while they cooked the books.

    But there are others who say it much better than I do. This is from March of last year, as Obama was kicking off what has proven to be a disaster of an economics plan.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=amhpOT5rlR1Y

    ” Much of the stimulus went to private companies. ”

    This is the worst form of Capitalism, and your hero from Chicago is a master of it. Crony Capitalism. Instead of the money going to firms where it would promote the most economic growth, it went to the firms with the closest connections to Barry Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, and the rest of the Democratic Party Porkers.

    Another term for it is “Corruption”.

    ” There were billions for renewable energy research and development for private companies. ”

    Just like the stuff I posted about what happened in Spain. You may as well have flushed all of that money down a sewer.

    ” There were tax cuts for private companies to stimulate hiring. ”

    Obama’s targeted tax cuts have not worked. Only broad tax cuts accompanied by spending cuts will work.

    You want Washington to collect all of the money and then dole it out to who they deem worthy. “My Proof”, A year and a half, and it ain’t working.

    • [Hello, earth to you, we did not have any inflation going into Obama’s reign.]

      I was being sarcastic. Low inflation can mean a lot of things.

      [Only broad tax cuts accompanied by spending cuts will work.]

      That’s what Bush did and it did nothing to stimulate the economy. We had stagnant wages and job growth. Reaganomics has only ever worked in theory.

      [“My Proof”, A year and a half, and it ain’t working.]

      Many economists believe it kept us out of another depression. The problem isn’t that it hasn’t worked but that it didn’t wasn’t big enough to stimulate the economy.

  17. I was reading and thought I would share some of Thom Hartmann’s observations about taxes and productivity in the USA’s recent past:

    “[Ronald] Reagan promptly cut taxes on the very rich from 70% down to 27% percent. Corporate taxes were also cut so severely that they went from representing over 33 percent of federal tax receipts in 1951 to less than 9 percent in 1983.

    The result was devastating. Our government was suddenly so badly awash in red ink that Reagan doubled the tax paid only by people earning less than $40,000 a year (FICA), and then began borrowing from the huge surplus this new tax was accumulating in the Social Security Trust Fund. […] Reagan has to borrow more money than the sum total of all presidents from George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined.

    […] Reagan’s tax cuts caused America to stop investing in infrastructure. As a nation, we’ve been coasting since the early 1980s, living on borrowed money while we burn through (in some cases literally) the hospitals, roads, bridges, steam tunnels and other infrastructure we built in the Golden Age of the Middle Class, between the 1940’s and the 1980s.

    […] Conservatives assert that high rates of taxation on the extremely rich both punish success and diminish productivity. But both assertions are provably false, particularly when those tax dollars are used to build human capital with free education, health care, and social and physical infrastructure. For example, the period of American history with the highest productivity was 1951 to 1963, with an average annual growth in productivity of 3.1 percent. Yet during this period, incomes above a half million dollars (in that day’s money) were taxed at 91 percent, and incomes above $100,000 we taxed at 75 percent.

    When the top tax rates were reduced in 1964, productivity began to drop, and really collapsed when top tax rates were slashed by Reagan in the 1980s. From 1973 ti 1995 the average productivity growth was only 1.5 percent […].”

    – quoted from Threshold p230-231 – by Thom Hartmann

    Hmmm. It seem that taxes on the rich and super-rich, a historical precedent, have had a beneficial effect on the economy.

    Good post Mr.Hoffman.

  18. Komrad Arbourist,

    Your boy Thom Hartmann is just plain wrong. He cites facts and then comes to the wrong conclusions. The man leaves out so many factors in his analysis that what he says is worthless. Example from what you posted, which I will for now take as true.

    ” “[Ronald] Reagan promptly cut taxes on the very rich from 70% down to 27% percent. Corporate taxes were also cut so severely that they went from representing over 33 percent of federal tax receipts in 1951 to less than 9 percent in 1983.

    The result was devastating. Our government was suddenly so badly awash in red ink that Reagan doubled the tax paid only by people earning less than $40,000 a year (FICA), and then began borrowing from the huge surplus this new tax was accumulating in the Social Security Trust Fund. […] Reagan has to borrow more money than the sum total of all presidents from George Washington to Jimmy Carter combined. ”

    That is what it took to break the back of inflation and unemployment, the so called stagflation of Jimmy Carter. Naturally in 1983 tax receipts were down because that was JUST before the economy began to boom. You remember the late 83, 84 Boom, EH ? It was why Reagan destroyed Mondale, or didn’t that happen?

    ” Reagan’s tax cuts caused America to stop investing in infrastructure. As a nation, we’ve been coasting since the early 1980s, living on borrowed money while we burn through (in some cases literally) the hospitals, roads, bridges, steam tunnels and other infrastructure we built in the Golden Age of the Middle Class, between the 1940′s and the 1980s. ”

    I assume you got figurrs to back this up??

    As far as your boy Thom Hartmann, didn’t he have something to do with the business plan of Air America? Wasn’t that an incredible flop?

    You know I am all for self education and do not believe that a degree from Harvard means you automatically know anything, but come on. This guy as far as I can find has no formal economics training at all . I am disappointed in you to quote such a source.

    You want to cherry pick stats like productivity to discredit Reagan, how about we just stick to the ones that count. Over the course of 8 years Reaganomics worked to stop, out of control inflation and joblessness. Everything else you cite is just about meaningless, as usual.
    ——————————————————-

    Mr. Hoffman,

    You also cherry pick your facts, but I’m used to it. By demolishing inflation and getting America back to work, Reagan did more for the middle class than almost any other President. Inflation was another Government tax on the middle class that Ronaldus Maximus cut. Not even Obama the Great can say that.

    • AS said:Your boy Thom Hartmann is just plain wrong. He cites facts and then comes to the wrong conclusions. The man leaves out so many factors in his analysis that what he says is worthless.

      Well there is the possibility that he is out to lunch, but more to reason why I quoted from the book was to show that an alternate narrative exists of the Reagan era. Before dismissing it all as crap, it might be valuable to ascertain why he is saying what he does and how much truth there is in his statements.

      You know I am all for self education and do not believe that a degree from Harvard means you automatically know anything, but come on. This guy as far as I can find has no formal economics training at all . I am disappointed in you to quote such a source.

      From the jacket of the book, he is a progressive radio talk show host. He writes from a decidedly non-academic point of view and I was not particularly enamoured of his choice of citations in the book. But that is a different story.

      You know I am all for self education…

      There is nothing wrong with educating yourself on the issues. I encourage that as an informed citizenry is essential for democracy to work. What I sense and sometimes see from you Mr.Scott is a little different.

      Your reading and education seem to support one particular point of view. I mean I would guess you would support the deification of Ronald Reagan as one of the great presidents of the US. Others, however, hold a much different opinion of him and can present a reasonable case contrary to the point of view you hold.

      What makes a person ‘educated’ whether by an University or informal means, however is the ability to reasonably appreciate opposing points of view, and if seeing that it is closer to the truth than the one you currently hold, adopting that new point of view.

      The above, roughly, is why critical thinking and becoming educated is so darn tough. Leaving behind cherished assumptions and views, even ideologies is a extremely difficult painful process. Not many have the fortitude to undergo such a process.

      The process of critical thinking is not natural and in itself a labourious process. But once established as a mental discipline, so very rewarding.

      When it comes to politics and religion critical thinking becomes vital because it is all too easy to dismiss points of view that do not agree with our version of reality. When you feel that ‘OMG this person is completely out to lunch’ feeling that should be the first indicator that you will have to discover more about the issue and see the how and why behind what the person in question is saying.

      Appreciating an issue from another point of view is imperative to the process of critical thinking and education in general. It isn’t easy, nor particularly gratifying at times either as people will dismiss your hard work and continue with their uncritical appraisal of the issue.

      Using Ronald Reagan as an example though, would it not be useful to compile the case against him and do your utmost to find the strongest arguments and facts against the idea his presidency was ‘a good thing’ for the US?

      Being charitable to opposing viewpoints is often very hard to do. After compiling your list or essay or whatever of the strongest points against Reagan take those strong arguments and show the how and why they are wrong, or at least not as damaging as Reagan’s detractors like to think they are.

      By doing so, you strengthen your own position, and perhaps see where you need to concede that you are wrong and modify your position to better reflect what actually ‘is’, as opposed to what you would like it to be, or how it ideologically should be (heck you might even be right).

      This has turned into a mini essay itself, but it is the justification of why so often I call nuance into threads when debating you Alan, because so very little of what is discussing can actually be categorized as a easily definable cut and dried issue.

      by demolishing inflation and getting America back to work, Reagan did more for the middle class than almost any other President.

      If by that statement you mean turning the middle class into the working poor, you would be correct. 🙂

      • [Using Ronald Reagan as an example though, would it not be useful to compile the case against him and do your utmost to find the strongest arguments and facts against the idea his presidency was ‘a good thing’ for the US?]

        That’s the problem with conservatives. They pick the best from the Republicans and worst from the Democrats and that’s how they support their opinions.

    • [You remember the late 83, 84 Boom, EH ?]

      And what a boom it was! Unemployment during ’83 and ’84 was well above 7% and didn’t drop below 6% until late 1987.

      But what really happened during the 1980s mild recovery was not the result of Reaganomics. It was more the result of the mini-tech boom.

      The PC was introduced in 1908, which spurred the hiring of software engineers and other tech people, as well as manufacturing and sales jobs. During the early ’80s, we also had the VCR gaining in popularity with VHS becoming the standard. That contributed to the boom with retailers, video rentals, porn, etc…

  19. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” That’s the problem with conservatives. They pick the best from the Republicans and worst from the Democrats and that’s how they support their opinions ”

    Guilty as charged. But I charge you with Hypocrisy. I try very hard not to be guilty of that particular crime, but we Christians are trained from birth to recognize that we are all sinners. You are far guiltier than I am of spinning for your side.

    ——————————————————
    The Arbourist,

    I charge you with being long winded. Again I am also guilty. I also have to confess to using Wikipedia to research Mr. Hartmann because there was not enough other material on him. There was a mention of some of his education coming from diploma mills, which may not be true.

    ” Your reading and education seem to support one particular point of view. ”

    Certainly guilty, but you are coming dangerously close to being as guilty of hypocrisy as Mr. Hoffman. I’ve read your stuff here and on your site. You are as set in your beliefs as I am in mine.

    ” the deification of Ronald Reagan as one of the great presidents of the US. ”

    Deification of a mortal is sacrilegious, but I know what you mean. Perhaps celebration is the right word. My defense of Ronald Reagan is brought on, not so much by my hero worship, as much as defending him against your demonization.

    ” The process of critical thinking is not natural and in itself a labourious process. But once established as a mental discipline, so very rewarding ”

    Physician, heal thyself. I get my exercise in critical thinking by putting my ideas up against yours’ and the others all over the net. Sometimes you can catch me in a factual error, but so far none of you has shown me the superiority of your Philosophy. Believe it or not, my mind is open.

    • [I try very hard not to be guilty of that particular crime, but we Christians are trained from birth to recognize that we are all sinners.]

      You are also a pathological liar, but that’s okay, since you’re a Christian and Jebus died for your sins. You wouldn’t want him to have died for nothin’! 🙂

    • I’ve read your stuff here and on your site. You are as set in your beliefs as I am in mine.

      That may be true, but if given sufficient evidence to show the contrary, I would most likely change them.

      but so far none of you has shown me the superiority of your Philosophy.

      I do not know if one can really say one economic system is clearly superior to another. As you well know I like the social-democratic paradigm and think that for now, it is the best mix of freedom and responsibility when it comes to organizing an economy.

      Believe it or not, my mind is open

      Still gathering evidence to substantiate this particular point. I think a fine exemplar to follow would be V.R Kaine. He is conservatively addled as well [ 🙂 ], but is also very reasonable when it comes to discussing ideas and seeing that other ways of doing things also have merit.

  20. Then when all new taxes crush businesses and people in 2011 the liberals should be ever so orgasmic.

  21. The Arbourist,

    ” I do not know if one can really say one economic system is clearly superior to another. As you well know I like the social-democratic paradigm and think that for now, it is the best mix of freedom and responsibility when it comes to organizing an economy. ”

    I have said many times that I am a history buff. Since it’s founding our Country has been a Commercial, Capitalist, and Democratic experiment. We have almost two and a half Centuries under our belts.

    We have evolved over that time, but Capitalism has done ok for a long time. The various blends of Socialism and State Capitalism that Constitute Western Europe are only post WW2 creations with a sixty or so year track record. The Entitlement parts of these economies have run up such big deficits, that they threaten to bring down everything. Just like our SS.

    Now argue whether with these historical records which is better going forward. Pre Obama American Capitalism, or post WW2 European neo-socialism . Keep in mind that the US faces a Demographic crisis, as does Europe, and which Japan is currently in crisis.

    • I agree. Why is it that in the most capitalistic society (the USA), our “poor” are richer than 85% of the rest of the world? Think about it, how many “poor” people in this country get three square meals a day, big-screen tv’s, and a place to nurture their family?

      Compared against any other economical system, I’d take Capitalism’s innovations, inventions, and products created to further the cause of humanity versus any other form of economical development. Bottom line–Socialism is for preserving humanity, Capitalism is for advancing it.

  22. Mr. Hoffman,

    ” True, private investments provide capital for businesses, but investors in the stock market don’t stimulate the economy. And returning the rates to where they were back in the 90s when the economy was booming isn’t going to have much of a deterrent on investments. ”

    Amazing how you make the most absurd comments so matter of factly. Stock Market Investors fueled the great turnaround in the 1980s. And so far the Obama policy of totally screwing investors, beginning next year, well that’s working wonderfully isn’t it?

    We have the second term of Jimmy Carter. Obama even got a Nobel Peace Prize for doing nothing. The more things change, the more they stay the same. In fact Barak is so nostalgic for the monthly 14.5% annual inflation rate of 1980 that he is printing money faster than the Chinese can lend it to us.

    Will 2012 look like 1980 ? Who knows ? But for a look back on a President who has no idea what he is doing, I give you this article. A President who is deciding that 3 years of exploding deficits and money supply growth are the problem,,Duh do you think ? Notice this is not some right wing source either.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,921854,00.html

    • [Stock Market Investors fueled the great turnaround in the 1980s.]

      There was no “great turnaround” in the 1980s. While inflation did go way down under Reagan, it was achieved at the expense of the middle class. Reagan allowed interest rates to skyrocket to 20%, which had previously been considered a usury rate. What that did was cut the money supply, which created less demand and resulted in lower inflation.

      Swell.

  23. Yeah, me making even less money is always an incentive.

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