"A Manifesto for the Entitled"

My brother sent me this, and it’s fantastic:

It’s a contentless, infantile rant peddling caricatures and straw men. Hilarious to see the WaPo peddle this crap on the “news” pages. A perfect example of how the WaPo ghettoizes conservatives to the opinion pages and peddles leftist rants as “news”. The WaPo’s own ombudsman agrees.

Admittedly, it should have been on the opinion pages, but it’s not “contentless,” sorry. Some of it is spot on, like: “I am entitled to complain about the poor quality of service provided by government agencies even as I leave my own customers on hold for 35 minutes while repeatedly telling them how important their call is.” and “I am entitled to operate my business free of all government regulations other than those written or approved by my industry.”

Republicans fucked up, they have peddled their fear and now its wearing thin. It’s cost the us an arm, and its a lesson Europe has to learn before we are all fucked by the entitled

It’s all heuristics. Regulations? Those evoke authority, which in turn evokes obstructionism. Government? That has come to mean inefficiency. The pensioner who sleeps from 9 to 5 and is protected by a pushy public sector union. (The source, too, I think, of all that animosity toward teachers’ unions.) The spigot that caters to the statistically insignificant Welfare Queen. The poor? A bunch of lazy moochers who have only themselves to blame for mismanaging their money or failing to work as hard as the rest of us.

Few Republicans appreciate that regulatory policy doesn’t get made without serious endorsement from some segment of Big Industry, if only for the simple reason that members of Congress can effectively stymie regulations of which their constituents disapprove, especially when they hold majorities.

There is widespread ignorance of the fact that while corporations produce goods and deliver services, the government produces and disseminates huge amounts of factual information in the form of scientific and policy analysis that enables the private sector. Few Americans stop to consider how many industries are reap great reward from the innovation of our National Labs, the tracking provided by our National Wealth Service, or the standards developed through the National Institute for Standards and Technology.

I must confess that I don’t know enough of the banking scandals to say for sure whether or not Wall Street robbed Americans of their savings. I think that a lot of people make unwise investments, but also that it is their own fault when the money runs out.

I find it interesting that most people “know” that the very wealthy earn money that is functionally untaxed, but are very ready to join Mitt Romney in castigating those who pay no taxes not because they understand the system, but rather because they have been deemed too poor to be held liable. I also find it odd that people are willing to speak on the one hand about political dynasties and silver spoons, but on the other to ignore the fact that spectacular success is probably partly explained by spectacular foundations.

I fully agree with the irony of the Tea Party set complaining about paralysis in politics. Ditto with the unreflected cries of “Policy failure!” by the same electorate and pundits who so brazenly encouraged their elected leaders to obstruct the president’s policies, whatever they might be, in order to create fertile ground for a victory four years later – where “fertile ground” could only ever mean a bad economy, high unemployment, and lack of forward motion on meaningful entitlement reform.

But enough about your post … what did you think about the column?

Dude, it looks kind of like Europe is already turbo fucked, and it seems to have been due to other stuff.

Had that discussion in another thread, while the Portuguese teachers have a nice salary, it sure as fuck isn’t the cause or root of the problems.

The problem is that Portuguese teachers have a nice salary. The problems are that older teachers have salaries completely at odds with the quality of work they do, the average Portuguese income, and the ability of the state to pay them.

This isn’t the cause of the Portuguese problems but it sure as hell is a gigantic symptom that no one is willing to look at, much less fix.

I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers.

That rather sums up the whole problem, I think.

I am entitled to all the rights and privileges of running an American company, but owe no loyalty to American workers or taxpayers.

Charlie Stross put forward some interesting ideas on this in his novel Rule 34. Basically, there was a sort of “ethics tax” put on corporations that didn’t play nicely in the local societies where they operated. Here’s a bit from a blog post of his, tying this into the real world:

Speaking of politics, it seems to me that the biggest political question of the 21st century will be how we devise frameworks for living in a world where personhood covers more than biologically-defined humanity. We already have corporate personhood, and look how well that’s turned out; we’ve given legal personhood to corporations and then passed laws that require them to behave like sociopaths, because lawmakers have been unclear on how to differentiate between the interests of a group and the individuals of whom the group is comprised—or between the corporation and the shareholders…We need to work out how to compel moral behaviour by non-human actors…

Of course, being a sci-fi writer, he took it beyond just corporations and applied the same concept to artificial intelligences. But the principle is the same in either case.

No fucking doubt, the problem is gaming society, but not contributing to it.

A new blog post in a similar vein to the original post:

Sympathy for the Plutocrat

No fucking doubt, the problem is gaming

Too many employees gaming instead of working.

This article is out-and-out rousing of the rabble. What makes me sad and angry is that this slanted piece of left-serving muckraking is absolutely 100% true. It shouldn’t be. We should be able to point to the exaggerations and prejudices of this op ed piece and say, “nice hyperbole”. But we can’t. The Gordon Gekkos of the world have won :(

Oh, one thing that I thought was weird about Obama… was he really praising the Tire Tarriff? And saying that it saved 1000 jobs?

I recall reading about that fairly recently, since they just let it expire, and I thought that it was pretty universally regarded as a terrible move… It ended up costing consumers in the US around $1 billion in increased tire prices, and resulted in the Chinese responding with retaliatory tariffs that cost US exporters over a billion dollars in lost sales to China… So the end result is that you could have just paid each of the people whose “jobs were saved” nearly a million dollars each, and come out ahead of the tariff.

The thing that really caught my ear during the debate was the idea of saying “I saved 1000 jobs” just seemed like a crazy small number to even talk about when debating the policy of the largest economic power in the world.

Here’s another excerpt from the Freeland book: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2012/10/15/the-billionaires-next-door/