Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quote Analysis Exercise

Is it unethical to quote yourself?

Based on the Essay titled “On Recent Politics,” By Jacob Germain, Tuesday, July 29, 2008.
accessible at: http://www.thejakeman.com/2008/07/on-recent-politics_29.html

Clearly, modern youth has a destructive and reactionary stance towards modern politics. Take Jacob Germain, a suburban middle class youth who recently graduated from high school. This past election was his first major political event. Based on the things he said, I’m sure you’ll agree that such divergent political beliefs should be suppressed. “Personally, I'm for radical change, be it liberal or republican. As an election, I would have preferred something like Ron Paul vs. Dennis Kucinich,” he says, mentioning two of the worst political candidates in recent memory. As you can see, he wants an election between a crazed right wing man who would decimate the economy through his insane libertarian ideals and an equally crazed left wing reactionary who would spend this country dry and keep coming back for more. This kid practically wishes for this country’s destruction! The sheer insanity of it nearly shocks me speechless! Again, Ron Paul is a crackpot with bizarre ideas about the way the world works, and Kucinich is a midget who seems to think that we can solve any problem by throwing money at it! Clearly this kid is deranged, and as a representative of his entire generation, this country is going to the dogs.


  1. Ok, ya young whipper snapper. First of all, you have very good grammar. You might want to head towards journalism or something. Now, as to the matter in question. I don't understand where the idea came from that liberals are spenthrifts. I would be more than happy to be enlightened in that regard. Is it because the suggestion is made to finance socially upbuilding projects? Of course, the question has to be asked as to where government money is spent. How about social security gets abolished and the whole budget problem gets solved? I have an even better idea, how about spending on defense gets abolished. I am sure there a great numbers of people that would oppose either idea. If governments collect money it's for a reason. How it is spent is another matter. Money needs to be collected through taxes in its myriad forms because just printing money will not do. Anyone familiar with the principle of supply and demand will know that printing money increases its supply, therefore diminishing its value. Another term to describe this effect is inflation. In other words, printing more money just makes the paper one carries worthless. Each day fewer and fewer of us still living were alive before WWI. Yet, the records remain describing how the German mark had to be carted in wagons just to buy a loaf of bread. There are pictures of children using them and toy building blocks. The bottom line is that printing money doesn't create wealth and buying power. I had a teacher in current events tell the class that wealth could not be created. It could only be redistributed. But enough on money and wealth. Maybe the solution would be to abolish government. After all, what do they do besides pocketing some of the money or spending it wastefully? Of course, without a national government there would be no point in having armed forces for defense. Maybe the idea has merit since there would be no need to spend on defense or security. The idea, of course, is preposterous. And governments exist to provide order. At least, that is part of the reason they are created. Whether they actually carry out that purpose is another matter. Police forces, fire safety, transportation, commerce, all these important functions are provided under the framework that is government. So if governments are necessary, then taxes come with the package. Idea aside that some people in public service are overpaid, the services as the above and others need to be financed. The present national government and even state and local ones have the practice of financing projects without the actual money being available. This practice is known as buying on credit. As anyone that has taken a loan or has had a credit card knows, not only does the money borrowed have to be paid back, but it is most often paid back with interest. It is almost inevitable that it has to be paid back. The United States government, as well as all the multiple state and local governments within have debts. Declaring bankruptcy and avoiding paying are not options for these entities. The debt that has accummulated so far will fall on future generations. I have the feeling that many elder statesmen have no worries about this because they may feel that they won't be alive, and hence not around to deal with the day of reckoning. I have a feeling that the day in question will arrive sooner than many think. But I am getting a bit sidetracked. Money can't be generated by just printing bills, governments can't exist without revenue, and one cannot spend on credit indefinitely. This means that if one adds up all the numbers and there is more money being spent than collected, then one ha to either find a way to collect more money, i.e, raise taxes, or spend less. It is more popular to do the latter, it seems, so every year governments try to find a way to cut on spending. I have looked at various versions of the national budget in past years. It would seem tempting to cut financing to say, science and technology. After all, who needs to be supporting universities and science research? It is no wonder that the best people in computer science, for example live in India. Or that many university educators are foreign. Many technological gadgets are made in Japan. China wants to completely take over manufacturing. Any intelligent person will recognize that some types of knowledge lead to power. During WWII there was drain of intelligence and know how from Germany and it ended up here in the States. The result was the creation of the atom bomb. Having the atom bomb meant having the biggest baddest stick on the block. Back a couple of thousand years, in Rome, an imperial power, people were so accustomed to being the pre-emminent power that all they cared about was having a good time until the barbarian hordes overran them. Treating the search for knowledge as unimportant led to the dark ages. As not spending on security and defense seems unnacceptable, the next piece of the body needing amputation seems to be whatever is spent on social services. I'll come back to this theme. First, I'd like to point out that the question is not whether there is spending or not, but where the money goes. In a household one needs to pay mortgages or rent. One needs to buy groceries and pay for utilities. Those are just the basics. It is possible to just work to pay for basic necessities, but it wouldn't be much of a life. Notice I didn't yet mention outlays for any of the various modes of transportation such as a vehicle aka automobile. I didn't mention paying for internet or cellphone service. I didn't mention money for clothing or vacation. I didn't mention money for insurance for a car, one's health, one's home, etc...If one's money isn't managed well, there comes to be an imbalance eventually. One could do without the extras, but without, say a roof over one's head, life would be pretty close to pointless. Yet, some are expected to live just that way and be well. But now is not the time to point fingers and lay blame. If someone's parents or grandparents happened to make the right decisions, excercise discipline, work hard, or just plain be at the right place and right time, while someone else's didn't, does that mean the "unfortunate" one should just lay down and die or be exterminated? But back to spending. Whether the money goes to social services or defense, it is going to be spent. The money, very well, could go to finance local state projects. It could also go to pay back friends who helped you get to power. If the moeny is going somewhere, it is being spent. Just because it doesn't go to something socially liberal, doesnt mean it isn't being spent. I don't know how much the war in Iraq is going for these days, but it's money spent. The point being, there are expenditures being made. How much and how it is being distributed is another matter. If it is being spent, then we go back to the notion that taxation is needed or the government needs to go on default. Mr.Kucinich and Mr.Paul just have different ideas on how the money should be spent. Have you ever been to a party or some gathering where pizza was ordered and everyone was expected to pitch in? Well, we're all in a gathering and we're all getting a piece. Who gets how many pieces and how big they are and how much each person needs to contribute are other matters. If I were the one in whose home the gathering was happening and I refused to contribute because the party was at my home, then I doubt there could be found a person that didn't object. Likewise, why ought there to be exemptions on paying taxes regardless of where the party is happening? If someone happened to have more of there share of pizza than what everyone else thought fair, there would be objections also. If someone were asked to pay more than everyone else, that person would object. Hence, usually when time to pay comes, the bill is divided as evenly as possible. Now come two more variations to the scenario. One variation includes someone at the party that everyone knows can't pay. The outcomes are that either this person gets no pizza, or someone else pays for this person. The other variation is that someone has eaten half or almost all the pizza. If this person paid for the whole pie, no one would object. If this person paid for most of the bill, same outcome. If this person didn't pay at all, there would be outrage. There are people across the economic spectrum that fall in any of the categories mentioned. I don't know what either Mr.Paul's or Mr.Kucinich's economic philosphies are. Maybe Mr.Kucinich would collect all the money, buy the pizza, everyone gets pizza, then he'd order more and neglect to pay the electric bill. Maybe Mr.Paul would order pizza, pay for the pizza out of his own pocket and tell everyone else to get their own. I'd be more than happy to wait for a reply and be enlightened :).

  2. AAAAAH! I am intimidated by your comment and saving it for future use. I admit that I read maybe 70% of it, skimming a wee bit.

    I was being a bit tongue in cheek, criticizing my own comment in a short paragraph for an assignment.

    I intentionally used modern punditry language in an attempt to formulate a proper argument against myself. But! If I should back up my statements, I would liken the two candidates to being something like scalding hot water on one side and freezing cold water on the other. Neither of which are preferable, simply because of the extremes they impose. Having politicians that are essentially different flavors of the same centrist administration is necessary to prevent crazed shifts to one ideological side or the other. Moderation in all things and all that. So, In that essence, I agree with you.

    Speaking from my previous standpoint, I think change is long in coming to America. Politicians in Washington have been operating basically the same way for some hundred years or so. This is boring. There should be some change. I'd like to see a legitimate socialist leftist government that cared for you cradle to grave through social programs and whatnot. Or I'd like to see a fiscally conservative government that spent the bare minimum to provide defense and social order, and not a whit more. Either would be more interesting than a government that's in massive debt and spends barely half of it on its people.

    But that's just me.

  3. I am quoting myself here - "Hey, how come when a guy comes of age we don't call it the paturing process? And when a woman ignores, humors or otherwise belittles (as opposed to embiggening) a man, it is not referred to as matronizing?"

    "Anonymous Dad" - Anonymous Dad