Featured Quote

In 1913, Henry Ford wrote the following as the directors had been reaping the rewards of profits - "The wages we pay are too small in comparison with our profits. I think we should raise our minimum pay rate".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The child-driven education

Sugata Mitra: The child-driven education | Video on TED.com

A very interesting experiment. I would like to see what this type of learning system could do in Mississippi

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ryan admits they want to Hurt the Poor

Ryan said. “We are really just arguing over who to hurt and how best to manage the decline of our nation.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55088.html
 Ryan admits it right there - they want to hurt the poor and coddle the rich.  Let me clarify something, it is the politicians, not a majority of "rich" people, who want to hurt poor people.  Many "rich" are saying, "yes, tax me a little more, we can afford it."

Ryan's owners are the few big corporations, CEOs and Shareholders who value nothing over profit, profit and more profit.
“If we succumb to this view that our problems are bigger than we are — if we surrender more control over our economy to the governing class — then we are choosing shared scarcity over renewed prosperity and managed decline over economic growth. That’s the real class warfare that threatens us — a class of governing elites picking winners and losers and determining our destinies for us.”
I seriously can not believe that this came out of his mouth. "A class of governing elites picking winners and losers" - is exactly what Ryan plans to do!  He wants to cut taxes on the rich, give away huge loopholes and take programs and money away from the poor and middle class in order to accomplish it.  He wants to ensure that poor people have no access to education for their children, no medical care for themselves, their children nor their parents.  While denying even the opportunity for improvement to those born less fortunate, Ryan wants to continue to funnel wealth up to the very top, the "Elites" who can 'donate' unlimited amounts to elect those who will vote their way - effectively becoming the 'governing class' by default.

Ryan insists that those who have wealth, through fortune of birth, luck or - more rarely - hard work and frugality, should be enabled to accumulate more by special favor of our government.

I say that those who have reaped the greatest rewards from our society have a responsibility to help fund the institutions and infrastructure that allow for their success.  Every child needs to have access to a quality education - preschool thru college.  The Elderly who have worked hard all their lives and contributed to society should not worry about where their next meal comes from or how they can afford their medication.

Their basis for these cuts have already been proven shaky at best.  Businesses and "The Rich" do not create jobs.  Cutting taxes does not increase tax revenue.  We are well below the point in the Laffer Curve where cutting taxes is a good idea.  Cutting taxes (now) increases deficits and debt - no matter how much 'spending' we cut from the 12% of the budget they want to target.

I read somewhere - and I agree : "They only call it 'Class Warfare' when we fight back."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hardball vs. Ron Paul - an Analysis

Ron Paul appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Friday May the 13th, 2011.  I found some very interesting items in the interview.

Both Chris and Ron took wholly "one-view" positions.  Chris argued in favor of a Nanny State and Ron seemingly argued for, in effect, Anarchy.  (Which is not the case, Ron argues for Personal Liberty and Personal Responsibility, a smaller federal government, but not total anarchy.)
CM: If that came up for a vote, if you had to vote as a citizen supporting a candidate, do you think the state should legalize heroin and prostitution?

RP: I think under the right circumstances we should legalize freedom and that is part of it as long as people don't force things on other people i don't feel threatened by that. it's sort of like legalizing gambling. i don't gamble. i don't get involved but i'm not going to take that right away from you so all the things are things that you can do in a free society. but today i gave a long talk about this very issue and i emphasized the fact that the reason i argued for freedom of choice is i want people to decide what medications they can take and whether they want alternative medicine, whether they can drink raw milk, use marijuana when they're sick and shouldn't depend on the government for that guidance. if a law is the there to try to protect children, that's a different story but the concept of legalizing freedom, making choices by individuals and assuming responsibility for themselves. and even though that was a special statement about how many people would do it if it's legalized, you know, most people aren't going to use heroin. more people use it because it's illegal. making it illegal doesn't help that much. kids can get marijuana easier than beer so beer can be regulated in a way to prevent the kids from getting. most of the early history, there were no laws against this.

CM: I guess i have to get down to the question. you're saying -- i'm not sure what you're saying if a mother has children to be responsible for, a husband, a father, should they be allowed to be heroin addicts? because this is how far you're going with your libertarianism it seems even now.
Here is my response to Chris' question there : Of course, she should be allowed to be a Heroin Addict - and suffer the consequences of that choice.  If her addiction leads to her endangering, abusing or neglecting her children, she will loose custody and perhaps even visitation rights.  If it affects her husband, she may well be facing a divorce if her husband has enough.  But as long as you are not infringing upon the equal rights of others, you should be free to make your own choices and reap the consequences of your actions.

RP:  the whole thing is addictions are a disease. we don't put alcoholics in prison. i'm against the war on drugs the way it's happening. there's other ways to handle it. if you treat it like a crime and throw the kids like we have for decades in prison because they smoked a little bit of marijuana and they come out violent criminals, that war on drugs has failed and believe me the people know that and so I'm against the federal war on drugs. I'm not pro- drug usage. As a matter of fact, I'm very critical of the carelessness of doctors giving way too many pain pills. There are more people addicted to prescription drugs than they are to illegal drugs.
I believe that many of the "Drug laws" are in place because of big pharmaceutical companies.   They can not patent plants or plant resins, so they push to have them become illegal.  It is a kind of corporate welfare - making competition and alternatives illegal so that the company can reap profits they otherwise would not.  When that happens, when competition is make illegal, we do not have a Free Market, we have a Corporate Plutocracy.
CM: let me ask you about how far you would go in terms of the constitution because i understand libertarianism, most of us very much were enraptured it.

RP: why would you lose it?

CM: because the idea of total freedom doesn't seem to work.
Of course "Total Freedom" doesn't work.  A society where anyone is free to kill anyone else or steal from them will never work.  Thomas Jefferson said it best, for me :
"No man has a natural right to commit aggression upon the equal rights of another, and that is all from which the laws should restrain him." - Thomas Jefferson
Back to Chris Matthews and Ron Paul.
CM: a guy owns a bar, says no blacks, you say that's all right. what's the answer? what's your answer?


RP: for you to imply a property rights person is endorsing that stuff, you don't understand that there would be zero signs up today saying something like that. and if they did, they would be an idiot and out of business so i think you're just getting overboard in order to try to --
This argument was interesting.  If I understand it correctly, the Jim Crowe laws made integration illegal.  So a business had to be "whites only" by law.  Chris Matthews argues, basically, that if you repealed all laws concerning civil rights, that the South would have "White Only" businesses before the ink was dry on the president's signature.  Ron Paul says that, sure, they have the right to do that, but they would be out of business real quick.  I think reality is somewhere in the middle.

My question would be, at which point do you cease to be a private citizen and become a public operation?  I would say that at the time you decide to sell products or services to the public, you loose a bit of the "private" label and therefore some private rights.

I would have to say that I am more on the side of Ron Paul here.  As long as you are not limiting the equal rights of another, you are free to do as you please.