The Blind Spot in Hindsight
Last comment by shapechanger 5 years, 1 month ago.

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From time to time people feel nostalgic for days of the past. The problem with this backward reflection is that it almost always comes through rose colored glasses. We see things the way we want to remember them instead of the way things actually were. For example people look back to the early 20th century and have fond feelings for the lack of government interference in the lives of businesses and the individual.
What they do not recall is that there were no consumer protects at all, unless you could afford expensive attorneys to fight your case. As a consumer you at the mercy of the business community and their ability to sell you quality goods. If they do not oh well, nothing you can do about it except to not by the product any more. Unfortunately if you or someone you care for is injured by the product, oh well, too bad.
Employment was not that great either. There was no health benefits, 40hr work weeks, minimum wage or overtime. Imagine if you will working for $4 an hour and working 60 hrs a week with no overtime, holiday or sick pay. Come to think of if you got sick, you either worked sick or lost your job. Businesses could dumb toxins in the water or air and suffer no reprocutions. Sweat shops, child labor and so many more things that made life great. These are some of the things that we forget about what life was like back then.
Government was not more effective then it is today, we only think it was because we were not there. We need to remember that things were bad enough that two thirds of the population voted to amend the constitution so that they could have a better life, for themselves and their children. To be honest I cannot think of any issue of the day that two thirds of the population could agree on to create an new amendment to the constitution.
When I look at the political landscape I see leaders that cannot act as well as fifth graders. Leaders that do not know how to lead and do not understand how to compromise or understand that without compromise nothing can happen. Extreme elements on the left and right bring nothing to the table except disappointment and frustration for all parties concerned. Progressives on both the left and the right need to be embraced. In spirit the concept of being progressive means to look forward and not backwards.
Our future is not in trying to recreate the past but in creating a future that we can all be proud of. We are not the same people we were 100 years ago, we have changed and the way we deal with problems has to change as well. Those that fear the future and wish to live in the past are lost to time. While the future can be scary it is all we have and whether we like it or not the future will come. In the end if we do not like the members of congress, senate or even the president. We have to remember one thing, we voted for them and we allow them to continue to act like children and get away with it.

Latest Activity: Feb 28, 2013 at 1:44 AM

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Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 at 07:17 AM

Never liked progressives much. One - they always seem to be short-sighted, "lets fix this problem. YAY!" without considering the other problems they would create. Second, progressives seem to be heavy on planning and directing, but short on actually doing. I offer the following anecdote from a 5000 level History class I took.
Cleveland, in the early 1900s, had a ‘problem’ with prostitution. The Progressives felt like this was a moral pitfall and a social drain on the women. They pressured the mayor and council to act. “Stop these women from ruining marriages!” “Save our youth from this corruption!” “Help these young women throw off the chains and rise up to respectability.” The mayor and council did not act. The leading Progressives bullied their way to the mayor’s office to demand action. The mayor offered this proposal – “Go and find the two most incorrigible women in the red light district. I will take the worst one into my house. I will provide food, shelter, education and employment. I will help this woman change her life. You take the other one.” The Progressives left his office without further ado.
There was eventually concerted effort, increased law enforcement, and the red light district faded away for a time. There was a corresponding rise in starving women and children as prostitutes and their families who could not find work nor ply their trade. There was a rise in other crime as pimps and johns could no longer confine their criminal acts to the red light district. There was a rumor of dissatisfaction in up-standing homes as straying husbands had no recourse but to spend more time with their progressive wives.
Within two years, the Progressives moved on to other areas of society to improve and the red light district started up again.

Have told all that, I applaud many things Progressives try to do. I appreciate their successes, but for my tastes, I would rather have a root canal without painkillers than deal with a Progressive agenda.

shapechanger commented on Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 at 10:56 AM

You cite a very good point that not only covers progressives, it covers all actions taken by man. Much of what we do can be compared to squeezing a balloon. You bring attention to one point and either you create a new problem or you relocate the problem. Trickle Down economics, homeless, War on Drugs, Gun Control, Abortion are just a few of the many things we have embarked on from the left and right that have had unintended consequences.

When I was involved with the city counsel in my community there was a guy that wanted and ordinance made to prevent people from selling cars in their front yards. We worked hard and created an ordinance that would accomplish what was the person wanted. He ended up being the first person cited for violating the new ordinance. Not what he intended, he only wanted others to be punished not him.

Ironside commented on Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 at 15:48 PM

SC: What an employer pays a person is no business of the government. No one has to take the job. Putting the government into the equation causes a loss in available jobs by putting conditions that the employer can not pay or is unwilling to pay, and it is his choice his business. Get rid of government regulations and more jobs are created providing more opportunities for economic mobility for the employee. He can move to another job that pays more, provdes better benifits and so on. The employer that is cheap and doesn't want to pay what the market will pay for labor, will go out of business. None of this requires the government to get involved. Government kills jobs when it gets involved. As for being at the mercy of big business, it is government regulations that protects big business from smaller businesses giving them competion. Get rid of the government sweet heart deals to big business. Finally, law suites are available if you have a legitimate case. There are plenty of lawyers that will take the case. Big government and big business are in bed together helping each other at the expense of the people. This is why our Founding Fathers believed in limited small government.

theflyonthewall commented on Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 at 22:13 PM

Ironside,Look through the small end of the telescope.

shapechanger commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 10:47 AM

I work in the IT field and several years ago there was a massive transfer of jobs overseas. The result was that those jobs that were available paid much less then they paid before. As the jobs come back they are pay less. When an entire industry takes steps to reduce wages there is no place to go and always retaining to find the good paying jobs is not realistic or practical.

The point Ironside is that there are many protections they we enjoy today that we do not even think about. What you think was great about life before 1918, brought 2/3 of the nation to approve constitutional amendments to change it.

22 commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 11:16 AM

When I look back and compare 1918 USA with the state of other countries of that time. Oh my what a great nation we were in 1918. Dont forget we ARE the greatest nation on the planet, have been for a long time. SC what constitutional amendments would you make? Unemployment was about 1.5% in 1918...

theflyonthewall commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 12:50 PM

After WW 1 Europe was a shambles so ,of course,the US would look good.In addition, I think you are forgetting all of the social progress we have made since that time.You have neglected to notice the rise in the standard of living and have also failed to consider the benefits you enjoy due to the changes made since that time.

The greatest danger we face is found in retrograde thinking.Our future resides in the future and not in the past --- especially not in an airbrushed past.

22 commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Fly that doesnt make us any less the greatest nation on the planet then or now. You think the danger is in retrograde thinking I say it come from the bleeding hart.

22 commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 13:00 PM

1 example is the millions probly billions spent on animal rights. We value a dogs life over a child.

22 commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 13:04 PM

You get hungry enough and a dog want be nothing but a piece of steak. But dont you worry you were born in America.

22 commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 13:27 PM

If billionare that pays more taxes in one year than I'll ever pay in my life time. Gives millions to the humane sociaty and millions to help feed children all over the world every year. Lets make him pay more taxes that should do the trick! WRONG. The only way taxing this man more would make sence is if you were either blind, jealous or had a hidden agenda.

theflyonthewall commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 13:57 PM

Well,we both agree the economy has gone to the dogs.Be assured that you will pay more if the billionaire gets a pass.

22 commented on Friday, Mar 01, 2013 at 14:08 PM

I dont expect the billionaire to get a pass, however I do not expect him to pay a higher percentage either. I think the idea of wanting or expecting the rich to pay more of a percentage is weak and underminding of ones self worth.

shapechanger commented on Saturday, Mar 02, 2013 at 08:08 AM

22 rest assured they do not pay a higher percentage then you do. They have many deductions that are not available to you so they effective(after deductions) tax rate is much lower than yours. I agree that we live in the greatest country and while I may get frustrated or even angry at some of the things our government does I know that we still have the best one in the world. Heck, in Canada they have the language police. That's right in Quebec if you have a business and if you have any sign that does not have a french translation on it you will be fined.

There are so many things that we take for granted that if we went backwards would simply go away. 40 hour work week, paid sick days, holiday pay even holidays off for that matter could all go away if we went backwards. 22 as to your question about constitutional amendments and which one I would want. There is nothing that rises to such a level of importance that I feel a constitutional amendment is needed.

This goes directly to my point. A hundred years ago the populace felt things were bad enough to need a constitutional amendment. When we look back we only see what we want to see.

22 commented on Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 12:54 PM

SC can you list the deductions they have that we do not?

shapechanger commented on Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 14:25 PM

Well the first one to come to mind is the one for stock options. That one netted Google about a $400 million tax refund while that made billions in profits. The same can be said for Facebook and many other businesses. Yet I wonder how much of what they do has benefited government resources paid for by taxpayers.

theflyonthewall commented on Sunday, Mar 03, 2013 at 16:48 PM


Tax avoidance is a major industry employing a host of lawyers,accountants,and real estate brokers. A tax free exchange enables a taxpayer to avoid tax liability indefinitely. GE was recently able to avoid all of its corporate tax. The economy of the Cayman Islands or of Bermuda is built on much more than sunshine since both are tax havens and popular places to stash cash that would otherwise be taxed.

22 commented on Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 08:27 AM


If they can then so could we. You listed companies and not individuals. If there is a loop for one company to jump through then so can your company. I would all so ad that Obama and many other congress people own stock in many of the compines that are in question. How do they get around the blame they have people chose there stocks "blind trust". And what about Obama naming GE big man Jeffrey Immelt to Obama's Economic Recovery Advisory Board? Tax the rich more and see move cash vacationing in the Cayman Islands. It is a DUMB idea. I am not for loop holes so close them but dont rase the percentage on the super rich many of whom have made it on there own. I bet you Obama owns ge or ge subsidiary company stock...he does.

shapechanger commented on Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 10:11 AM

22, Dale
The biggest difference in the tax avoidance comes from the way rich individuals and the rest of us make our money. The are two basic types of income, wages and investment(capital gains). The tax rate on each is very different. If you look at the tax rates tables you will see that the rate rates on one million in capital gains is very different than one million in salary.

When Mitt Romey was running for President he proposed reducing the capital gains tax to zero. Since his income is capital gains his tax rate would have been zero. Most wall street bankers and investment brokers income is reported as capital gains and not regular wages like the average person.

Should and investment bank pay zero income taxes while cashier at a store pays taxes. Does the investment banker not enjoy anything that has been paid for with tax dollars, such as roads, parks, fire, ems and police.

As to your comment about everyone's ability to use tax havens. You are correct everyone can use tax haven so long as they can meet the minimum balance requirements. Which I am sure they are more the the $300 for a checking account or $10,000 for an investment account.

22 commented on Monday, Mar 04, 2013 at 11:26 AM

The posabilities of economic growth in a state where we did not pay capital gains tax. Or even if we limited that to people and companies whos net worth was under 20million. What a great and wonderful idea. The problem is the ways in which we spend or tax revenue. Not in the fact that we do not pay enough in taxes. What if we cap how much companies or individuals had to pay in taxes? Say 1billion is that not fair? Right tax law in stone not in legal jargon, heck all law. Close loop holes. Spend less as a country. Stop the taker. But whats fair is fair if I pay .10$ on the dallor then you pay .10$. Anything else would be a kings tax or ransom. Have we not fought so hard for Equality?

shapechanger commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 01:31 AM

If people are concerned with how tax money is spent than that is what they should focus on. The problem is that know one can agree on what is the best way to spend tax dollars based on what is important to them.

Charles_and_Angie_Howell commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 09:47 AM

All, Charlie.

The problem is that everyone focuses on, "the best way to spend tax dollars based on what is important to them."

The focus should be on the best way to spend the tax dollars based on what is important/best for the WHOLE COUNTRY!!

Too much CMA (cover my butt) and me,me,me going on in Washington and at the local level.

shapechanger commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 13:01 PM

Charlie, Dale

I agree with you completely on this point. The problem comes in with the idea of who decides what is best for our country? The long term or short term needs of the country and who decides what those needs are?

Currently we have businesses using technology in new ways that had not been thought of. This is allowing them to bring manufacturing back, called on-shoring. Yet, with the return of manufacturing we are not seeing the return of the jobs. A plant that went overseas and a 1,000 jobs went with them. When the plant reopens here only say 300 jobs come back because of the use of technology.

There is something new called "lights out manufacturing". This is a process when the night shift is only staffed by a tech workers that supervises the machines doing all the work. There are no workers at the machines. The level of technology is increasing in complexity so quickly that even people in the IT field have a hard time keeping their skills current. What hope doe the average person have in updating their skills and what skills should they update? When does age become a bigger problem then skill levels?

We are currently seeing increases in GDP, profitability but not a decrease in unemployment. More is being done with fewer people and it is not the fault of the people or the businesses or the government. Yet something needs to be done to address this issue before there is a permanent unemployed class in this country.

22 commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 13:58 PM

I did not cross check but this should give us some idea of where to start.

theflyonthewall commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 16:59 PM


The first citation is completely irrelevant and ,if serves any purpose at all, only serves to weaken your position.

The second citation glosses over the fact that the stimulus ,inefficient and wasteful as it was, served to stave off a second Great Depression.It also ignores some of the productive work done.My brother for one would have had some very lean times without some of the stimulus contracts he was able to procure.Please note I am not talking about leaf raking, lint picking or the consruction of Potemkin villages.

Without federal intervention GM and Chrysler would have gone the way of American Motors and Studebaker/Packard ,and I guess that all of those former auto workers would then become takers.Perhaps some maker could then manufacture Soylent Green.

As you will recall, some conservatives were quite willing to let the recession burn itself out, oblivious to the suffering and the economic chaos such a "burning" would cause--- essentially the same mistake that Republicans made during the Hoover years.You may not like government very much ,but I think you would like "selling" apples or the soup kitchen even less.

22 commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 17:25 PM

I disagree a fed program that subsidizes providers who supply telephone services to low-income consumers is a waste of tax dallors.

You may find this statment an impressive facade.

I sold pears I made around 75$ a summer salling pears. I sold corn and peas too.

As for GM and Chryler. Did the loss of American Motors and Studebaker and many other motor companies destroy or economy?

I cant say I do recall.

"stimulus ,inefficient and wasteful as it was, served to stave off a second Great Depression." How could something so inefficient and wasteful be good at all?

I use the citations to point out a few of the ways we waste tax dallors. That the need for such expenditures is lacking of the credit deserved.

22 commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 17:29 PM

When I didnt have a cell phone I used a dime.

theflyonthewall commented on Tuesday, Mar 05, 2013 at 18:09 PM

1. People without telephones find it harder to obtain gainful employment.

2. I'm glad you had a summer job.

3. Many well-paid autoworkers found low paying jobs in the service economy when assembly- line jobs went away.

4. Fallacy of classification and division?

shapechanger commented on Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 01:37 AM

22, Dale

Good luck finding a pay phone, I have not found one in years. The programs that you are referring to provided cell phones to cash recipients so that they can receive calls for interviews. When you apply for a job a prospective employer needs to be able to reach you and if you are homeless they cannot reach you.

22 commented on Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 15:21 PM

Of the subsidizes 70 min how do you regulate the productive use of free minutes? It is a waste. It also is a wonderful idea in a perfect world. I have seen job applicants use ther mothers phones fathers, grandmother, friend as contact information. Subsidized minutes are intended for a good cause, however the gross misuse stymies the cause. Rendering it a waste. Juice from my summer jobs never seemed to justify the squeeze. A summerday day is priceless when your 10. I cant say I was so glad. Fallacy of classification and division. Subsidized phones are for work and safety. Everyone must need a phone. All subsidized phones are used for work and safety.

Bryant commented on Wednesday, Mar 06, 2013 at 17:40 PM

22, many of these "wasteful" government subsidized cell phones go to battered spouses residing in shelters.

You should not condemn an entire program based upon a misperception - like all people on welfare are shiftless, no-accounts. It simply is not true.

22 commented on Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 09:23 AM

I do not condemn the program based upon misperception or the ideology. I condemn the program over the imbalance of cause and effect. Persons residing in shelters can get to a phone. In many places now there are emergency phone free to all peoples. I believe that any old cell phone if it can be powered up can be used to dial 911. There are thirty thousand people in Statesboro and probably one hundred thousand phones. Just because I condemn certain programs of welfare does not make any less of a compassionate soul. The abstract beliefs or theories of classless utopia driven by a true compassion has many adverse reaction. And often preyed upon by political agenda.

Bryant commented on Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 11:21 AM


shapechanger commented on Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 11:29 AM

22, Dale

I understand your point. Please name for me one program that since it's creation have not been abused, manipulated for personal gain, taken advantage of or misused for any reason.

22 commented on Thursday, Mar 07, 2013 at 15:01 PM

I can't speak of one =/. There are programs that work, schools for example. If the purpose or cause of a program be its fulcrum and abuse, manipulation and necessary cost load, then effort or the implemented program it self must lift the load. Weight and balance.

shapechanger commented on Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:03 AM

22, Dale

If you cannot come up with one why is it that you only attack the ones that serve the poor?

22 commented on Friday, Mar 08, 2013 at 11:29 AM

We all know there are no stupid questions. But your last post is much more of an accusation of false conception.

shapechanger commented on Saturday, Mar 09, 2013 at 19:53 PM

22, Dale

Sorry you feel that way. If you review your posts you will see that the only programs you have attacked as riddled with fraud are the ones that serve the poor and needy. You have yet to cite any program the benefits the wealthy or business community that is filled with fraud.

It seems that people in general can forgive fraud when they benefit from it. Most of the benefit comes in the form of hire stock valuations and larger dividends. That is something the poor do not have to offer.

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