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Doesn't seem likely, but has anybody read Franklin Delano

by Ziks511 / September 30, 2009 6:26 PM PDT

Roosevelt: Champion of Freedom by Conrad Black. David Frum says nice things in the National Review Online, and he shares Lord Black of Crossharbour (or Double Crossharbour as some of his business partners are saying now)'s political leanings.

I am going to give it a shot since I've read so much about Roosevelt and the period, and I quite like him as a political leader, confronted with extraordinary challenges both physical and political.


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Quit being a "Debby Downer" Rob.
by grimgraphix / October 2, 2009 2:42 AM PDT

You almost always phrase your thread headers in the negative.

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Well Grim, I am profoundly out of step with most of the folk
by Ziks511 / October 2, 2009 2:02 PM PDT

here at SE, so I guess I assume that if I'm interested then the overall response will be negative. Additionally Roosevelt is not a beloved figure to those who have expressed opinions on him here.


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Beloved or not, he shapes our world even today...
by grimgraphix / October 2, 2009 3:53 PM PDT

... and for all his detractors criticisms... I bet they still take FULL advantage of his pioneering social prgrams, when given half the chance.

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that's a nothing argument
by James Denison / October 3, 2009 12:38 AM PDT

If one can't live in the preferred economic system, of course he'll take advantage of the imposed economic system till the preferred can be instituted or restored. That proves nothing other than one must survive.

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That's a load James
by grimgraphix / October 3, 2009 1:33 AM PDT

Even the hippies of the 1960's realized that you can drop out of society if you were willing to take personal responsibility. They just had a problem with staying sober enough to carry that thought thru. People can take advantage of government handouts... or walk away. That is the very definition of Personal Responsibility. I am dismayed by the willingness of so many outspoken critics to maintain a double standard these days. If one finds a dollar on the ground you can pocket it, or look for the owner.If one hates a government handout, then you can turn it down. To rationalize that it is just pragmatic to take advantage is just a compromise in principals.

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If someone takes your money
by James Denison / October 3, 2009 7:40 AM PDT
In reply to: That's a load James

then gives a lot of it to another, you think it's wrong if you have opportunity to get a bit of it back, to take it? No, taking back what's been stolen is never wrong, even if it's only some of it. Granted it may look as if one is thereby endorsing the activity, but it beats being robbed blind and managing to get NONE of it back. In a socialist society, a true capitalist MUST engage and take advantage of the socialist system until it can be changed.

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I don't agree with you James, and I think there is ample
by Ziks511 / October 4, 2009 9:12 AM PDT

evidence to the contrary. There are millions of examples of people who don't take advantage of every program available to them and for which they qualify. However, the archetypal capitalist class in the US snatched every nickel offered, in some cases asking for more, and then shared much of it out busily among their own personnel as bonuses rather than applying it to sorting out the financial mess they had created. Additionally companies and corporations have exerted all their considerable power to get concessions from city, state, and federal governments to diminish their liability for taxes, and to get exemptions from regulations.

The country has a right to expect equal participation from all its members, and companies and corporations require services from the government far in excess of individuals. In other words far more is spent on corporate welfare than is spent on individual welfare. I have tried to point out that money which goes to individuals circulates in the economy and generates more wealth, while breaks to companies and corporations and handouts to them is funnelled out of the national economy and sometimes right out of circulation altogether for years. That is Economics 101 in any University, even the University of Chicago (Milton Friedman's home).

So I would respectfully suggest that it is yours which is a "nothing argument", and that Grim is correct, or more correct on this issue.


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There's an easy way to achieve what you want
by James Denison / October 4, 2009 5:25 PM PDT

And that is by an abolition of federal personal income tax, having all taxes be placed solely on corporations, partnerships, business, all forms of commerce instead.

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(NT) You mean a VAT?
by Diana Forum moderator / October 4, 2009 7:53 PM PDT
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No, just tax earnings at the corporate level only.
by James Denison / October 5, 2009 1:32 AM PDT
In reply to: You mean a VAT?

It would lower the efforts and costs of collecting from each citizen and neither adversely affect rich or poor citizens. It might have the effect of a VAT in that the final product contained added cost due to tax, but the increased efficiency of such system actually should reduce the cost of goods, and the cost of tax collecting, resulting in savings all around.

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Interesting, but it's
by Roger NC / October 5, 2009 7:52 AM PDT

already a problem with corporate income tax because of where the corporation is "based" and whether the in country business made a profit or was the profit hidden in cost for the local back to the corporate headquarters.

I've seen complaints that our system of business supplying health care and paying taxes put them on unequal footing internationally with companies that don't have such cost.

However, from what little I understand, there are usually other costs, often in the opposite direction when you look at the overall picture. So the claims begin to look like an attempt to avoid expenses in any way imaginable.

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It's the way our forefathers originally set up taxation.
by James Denison / October 5, 2009 8:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Interesting, but it's

It was supposed to be based on commerce, not personal income. It's one reason many still consider the 16th Amendment as being against the original intent of the constitution. Our country took a very wrong turn there.

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Heroes, villains, and other persons of renoun

have their favor with the public to run in cycles like the stock market. Up one day...down the other. Once they are gone, we're at the mercy of writers if we want to get to know them. I can't put too much stock in that method of gaining familiarity with anyone...nor do I think it's proper for me to try to measure the value of a human being who once walked among us. We measure something or someone by looking around to see what is bigger or smaller. Thus, the elevation of some persons means the debasing of others. It's only by the presence of villains that we can know a hero.

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you look on society as a "see-saw"?
by James Denison / October 3, 2009 12:41 AM PDT

Some must be put down so that others can be elevated? Should we elevate some so they can debase the others? what???!

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Well, yes. Some people apply enormous pressure on the
by Ziks511 / October 3, 2009 1:38 AM PDT

levers of power to have society run "their way" and to control how everything: Taxes, the law, their standard of living and the opportunities offered to others are minimized. You couldn't figure that out from the way the hogs ran to the trough of the Wall Street Bailout to get their overweening hunger satisfied first? and in terms of power, corporations and their officers are far less numerous than the public at large, but things always seem to run their way (look at the Bailout of Wall Street, the Banks and the Car companies) while regular folks are still losing their jobs. So the few still outweigh the many both in the satisfying of their desires and in terms of simple employment. It wasn't the regular 8 to 4:30 employee, or even their middle managers who f*@#ed up the economy and all those "too big to fail" businesses, it was their CEO's and CFO's and all the toadies surrounding them, insulating them from the real world, you know, the ones who decide on and give themselves bonuses, unmerited or not.

And all that talk about "Investing in Infrastructure" which would at least have employed thousands of regular folks seems to have blown away on the wind, despite the need for it in water treatment (sewage) and water availability and bridges and railroads and regular roads and telecommunications. I was hoping for a return to the bad old days of make work projects that left behind something to help the economy like roads, and stimulus packages that would actually make a difference. What we got was Bush Lite. Few curbs on the Financial Industry. Saving the Car industry but doing nothing about the roads they drive on. Damn' little for New Orleans, at least from this distance. And near gridlock on Health Care a program which could benefit everyone in the nation, the neediest first. That's how I saw the New Deal, as a program for the neediest first. The other side of that see-saw is The Greediest First, and that's what we watched for 6 months from October to April, so hell yeah the country is a see-saw, and the interest in having a manipulate-able system is entirely in the hands of those who wish to maximize their incomes and their business incomes while shrugging off the needs of those who can't afford new cars, or any car, or new Nike's or new Chuck Taylor's for that matter. The US slipped into a devil take the hindmost careless attitude under Nixon and it still hasn't owned up the the cost and destruction that has wrought. Roughly 30% of the country has until the most recent election been disenfranchised. It got so bad that two elections were contested by us liberal suspicious folk as fraudulent.

Just remember the words of the first Republican President: "that government Of the *PEOPLE*, BY the PEOPLE, FOR the PEOPLE, shall not perish from this earth. There's not a word in there about businesses or banks or trusts which were beginning to form at that time or Captains of Industry, or heads of large businesses or even of business itself whose needs and desires have become more prominent than those OF THE PEOPLE to the point that now they are taken as Absolute Truth, and not the manipulations of those who benefit most from this attitude.

The old playground game was to get people on the see-saw up in the air, where they were too afraid to jump, and were just paralysed. That game still goes on, the greatest weight still rules the playground and bullies are not confined to the schoolyard.

By the way, I've copied this entire thing and addressed it to President Obama.


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Sorry, final two paragraphs
by Ziks511 / October 3, 2009 1:47 AM PDT

The old perversion of the playground game was to get people on the see-saw up in the air, where they were too afraid to jump, and were just paralysed and hold them there for as long as possible, then jump off and bring them crashing down. That game still goes on, the greatest weight still rules the playground and bullies are not confined to the schoolyard.

The see-saw of people, and their interests, and benefits to the country and a healthy industrial base and a sound monetary policy are all competing on a four dimensional balancing platform which needs to be levelled. It is currently still weighted in favour of the rich the powerful and corporations and against the middle class, the lower class and the under class, or anyone physically challenged.

I vote for Balance.


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Not what I said at all
by Steven Haninger / October 3, 2009 2:12 AM PDT

The word "must" was never used nor did I express a proper way to measure. Do you think that every generation is taught the same about characters in world and American history?...and they'd gain the same perspectives as you have? I don't.

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Exactly right, and I agree with what and how you said it.
by Ziks511 / October 3, 2009 8:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Not what I said at all

You have to beware the fashion of ideas, a very true assessment.

I've already discussed here the changes in attitudes to what is important in historical scholarship. It used to be about sifting and analyzing previous historians ideas, and in the sixties it became about primary sources. Going back to what people in the middle of the event and involved in it were thinking and writing, which seems to me a very sensible way of doing history. Instead some people like to belittle that approach and call it revisionist, when the good examples are firmly grounded in written originals.

But there's also the problem for each new generation of historians of how to distinguish themselves from their predecessors, which can lead to some pretty stupid theses being put forth. The curious thing is that even these dumb ideas work well to clarify thought and stimulate discussion.

There was a theory in Egyptian history that the chronology of the Pharoah's. The book was called Centuries of Darkness and it forced Egyptologists to confront the less than completely grounded accepted view and nail it down so that it's much more solidly established. Another book was called Black Athena and it attributed most of Greek civilization to Egyptian origins. It too caused much controversy, and discussion and investigation of museum collections, and the accepted view is that some things did come from Egypt, but more came from the Middle and Near East (Iraq and Syria/Lebanon/Palestime). People are forced to strike out on their own paths by the desire to make something personal for themselves, or to make something new, or to pursue arguments with their parents in their lives, or because they are possessed by a laser-like focus and drive to succeed (and I'm speaking about academics here, not business people).

But societies are about balance of everyone's interests to achieve a liveable and civil society. As much of an extremist as I like to think I am, I'm really all about the balancing of interests so that none predominate, and all are taken care of. That doesn't mean that people are not encouraged to succeed and to earn a lot. It's about having a floor, not a ceiling.


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Don't know if you've noticed but nobody has answered or even
by Ziks511 / October 3, 2009 1:59 AM PDT

straightforwardly addressed the question. Has anybody read it, have they read reviews about it, were the reviews favourable or unfavourable?

I've addressed the question to an old school chum who's working on a book about Health Care (she's an historian at a university, and has been kind enough to ask for my input on it on the pharmaceutical side), but she's been too busy to answer so far.


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