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January 31, 2005


I'm saying all this because been a lot of talk in recent months about how Democrats need to do a better job of framing issues, but talk about how to do it has been rarer. The problem with reframing an issue that the republicans have already framed is that you have to convince people that your frame is better. Merely saying "service cuts" instead of "tax cuts" doesn't do it. Substituting "service cuts" for "tax cuts" while saying you don't actually care what they're called strikes me as smarter politics.

Surely this is an element to consider, however there is another side of this that is not getting any air time at all.

By focusing on the framing of issues rather than the belief systems that underlie the issues, Democrats are being whittled to shreds with submerged razor wire.

Central to the right-wing 'strict father' vs. centrist 'nurturing parent' paradigm of Lakoff is complete disregard of the heterosexual paternalistic religious foundations that put is in a situation where two men usually get air time while women and queers are absent.

It is precisely the emphasis on heterosexual male energy in our culture and around the world today that has the entire species thinking with less than half a brain. Until the holy books written by the three sons of Abraham are relegated to their due place in the historical dust bin, we will forever be stuck in this rut where moderate men experience humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat while women sulk around in burkas.

If we truly want to put the left back in power we will need to go up against paternalism. It is this unspoken 'ism', this ideological belief in the mortal foolish female and the immortal omniscient male, that underlies all of the 'just wing it' rough individualistic macho economic solutions that are being forced down our throats. Only by challenging that unseen and unspoken belief system that belittles the feminine will the left see a resurgence.

We tried matrilinealism in the ancient goddess traditions and then got our butts kicked by aggressive paternalism that saddles the world today. To claim that all the answers lie in an ancient paternalistic book and that no one has the right to question it because it comes straight from God is an attempt to make such paternalistic ideology immune to challenge.

Did anybody think that the fact that communism was conceived as both a socialistic sytem and an atheistic system was mere coincidence? The only aspect of it that was unabashedly male was the dictatorship. Lacking a spiritual grounding in either the masculine or the feminine, it inevitably disintegrated.

What we need in order to chart our course through the next millenium is a spiritual belief system that integrates both the masculine and the feminine, with a strong foundation in science as well as an implicit understanding that the universe is continually revealing the face of the divine directly to us all. It is time to disempower the religious monopolies by taking the center of the political debate directly to the spiritual heart of the matter - the battle of the sexes and the belief in the supernatural.


I didn't see MTP with Kerry, but I'll take your word on what you saw. What I find interesting is your last statement that you are qualified to say what constitutes "smart politics".

Smart politics puts the man in office. Certainly you can concede that your man Kerry is not in office.

Michael, after answering perhaps 40 of your questions and perhaps 100 of David's questions, I am now ready to ask each of you a question. Both of you have lambasted those upper income folks who have wealth. So my question to the both of you is....

In your opinion, how is wealth created? Please don't answer with a long list of questions for me. It's my turn.


One of you demanded a reference on the IRS figures for who pays income taxes and who doesn't. Here's a good one....


It shows that the number of filers who pay zero income taxes is growing rapidly, and will soon be over half. The article is summarized with a very thoughtful question... you can look it up if you're interested. (go ahead - live a little)

For those of you who continue to claim that SS taxes are regressive, here's a good article, using IRS figures, that shows 22 million low income families received 38 billion dollars in tax credits last year. For those of you who are math challenged, that's about an average of $1700 apiece or a bit more.

That makes up for the $500 they pay in FICA for the year, plus the zero they pay in federal income taxes.

It's hard for you to tell me they are paying a "regressive tax" when they are paying less than zero.

Anyway, here's the article, if you want a break from the lefty propaganda you normally read.



The article doesn't claim anyone pays "less than zero tax" Buckshot. It says the payroll tax refund some people get (though many don't claim) is handed out through the federal tax system.

You're also wrong in claiming you answered my questions. I asked if you recognised that the rich get larger welfare checks than the poor, and that the rich take more out than they put in - that they are the biggest welfare queens. I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to answer that sort of question......


The article doesn't NEED to say it to make it obvious. If a person pays in $500 per year and gets back $1700, he/she pretty much pays "less than zero", anyway you look at it.

As far as you refusing to answer my one simple question after I took the time to answet at least 50 of yours, oh well.

I'll tell you what. You answer my ONE SIMPLE QUESTION "Where does wealth come from?" and I will answer any five or yours. Fair?


Wealth comes from people making stuff.

Why do you think people get bigger tax rebates than the amount of tax they pay Buckshot?

If a person pays in $500 per year and gets back $1700, he/she pretty much pays "less than zero"

And why do you think that ever happens?

For those of you who continue to claim that SS taxes are regressive, here's a good article, using IRS figures, that shows 22 million low income families received 38 billion dollars in tax credits last year. For those of you who are math challenged, that's about an average of $1700 apiece or a bit more.

For those of us who are not math challenged, we recognize that subtracting income tax credits from Social Security tax levies is subtracting apples from oranges.

Social Security applies to only the first $90,000 and is a flat tax too. That is the definition of 'regressive'. Now if you want to claim that the entire tax structure is not regressive, then here is another link to consider (note - I did not save this link for an opportune moment - I just went and got it from Google just now):

Here it is, a Cato Institute web page blaming Bill Clinton for corporate welfare (so much for the 'liberal' president).

Federal Aid to Dependent Corporations

and another from Cato putting the yearly total at $75 billion

Corporate Welfare

and a third (from a lefty) putting the annual total at $150 billion

Corporate Welfare Information Center.

Corporate subsidies do not create jobs. Corporate subsidies suppress the free market, waste resources and enrich very wealthy principle shareholders. Any conservative who bothers to read his own Cato Institute web site would know that. Any conservative worth a pile of pig shit would know that.

So, Buckshot, we are comparing $38 billion spread out over 100 million people (that's $380 per person, according to your own most likely inflated figure) to at least $75 billion spread out over 2 million people (my guess is every executive manager gets a piece of the pie, that's $375000 per person, according to your own most likely ridiculously underestimated Cato Institute figure). That works out to a ratio of 100 to 1 in terms of welfare advantage tilted towards the rich, and closely resembles the ratio of incomes between the highest-paid and the lowest-paid employees in any given company - giving your own conservative slant the benefit of the doubt.

See, we are on the same side. We both hate waste and dependency, but lefties concentrate on hunting the elephants rather than stomping on ants.

Enjoy eating crow. Care to become a lefty now?

I'll tell you what. You answer my ONE SIMPLE QUESTION "Where does wealth come from?" and I will answer any five or yours. Fair?


Wealth comes from people making stuff.


Not exactly. I know Buckshot wanted you to fall into this trap. Congratulations, David. Next time watch where you step please.

Wealth comes from many sources, but ultimately everything comes from the earth. Wealth is not produced as much as it is mined or extracted. What Buckshot meant to say is, "Where is the value added?", or at least that is what he would have said if he were honestly asking a question.

The value added comes from labor, and that is the part that Buckshot wants to obscure since he does not value labor. He wants us to think that business owners magically create wealth out of thin air and then distribute it to their employees like Santa Claus. Not so.

Value added comes directly from the sweat of laborers. And the thing that laborers add value to is mostly raw materials or some derivative product.

Where do the raw materials come from? Well, since we live in a representative democracy and the commons belongs to the people, all that raw material comes directly from each and every one of us. So we are putting our own sweat into our own raw materials to make stuff, and in exchange we get a small slice of the profit in the form of salary. Most of the environmental costs of doing business are externalized, that is not accounted for.

The government sold off (actually mostly gave away) mineral rights with land ownership rights over the past 200 years to a few individuals, some of whom have done well and created their own little family empires from their mining operations. The rest of the mineral rights are still being largely given away today.

For example, the air is treated as a free resource, a huge garbage can for industrial waste. All of us that drive cars or use electricity contribute to that great garbage can that nature has to empty without help from us. The national forest service is practically begging lumber companies to come rip out old-growth trees, especially after 16 years of bush/clinton/bush. The oil by the Alaska shoreline is another one that is gradually being given away.

Whenever a 'conservative' asks you, 'where does wealth come from?', keep in mind that to a conservative, labor is supposed to be a free resource as well. We are supposed to give away our wealth to the lowest bidder in exchange for crumbs, then kiss massa's feet gratefully, because after all massa is so much smarter than we are. He deserves to get everythig for free.


How about you Michael? Incertus? You guys have any idea where wealth comes from?


Well Buckshot, the problem with your question is that you haven't provided any parameters for the word "wealth," and so you're asking us to debate an abstract term with concrete definitions. What's wealth? Money? Property? A large family that will care for you in your old age or in sickness? A sense of well-being about one's self? Strictly speaking, wealth simply connotes abundance of a thing, not the thing itself. So why don't you come up with a reasonable working definition, and then we can work out where whatever it is you're talking about comes from.

here's what's left

i don't know what you mean by "wealth."


ultimately everything comes from the earth

He said "wealth" not "dirt". I'll stick with my answer thanks.



You threw me a curve there, by golly!!

While I did not expect an accurate answer from the three of you, (for reasons obvious to me, i.e. your lack of wealth) I certainly did not expect that you would not even know the definition of the term!

Let's go with the standard dictionary definition ....

wealth - abundance, affluence, much money and/or property. Worldly possessions.

Let's leave the "feeling good about ourselves" crap out of it. This isn't a liberal arts class. You already have that "quality", and you're broke as shit, right? (rhetorical question) You've got a credit card balance and a car payment, and are barely making it, right? (rhetorical question)

I'm talking about tangible wealth. How is it created? That's my one and only question.

C'mon, let's discuss it - I'm serious. Discussing politics with a few like-minded lefties is not going to make your lives any better. In fact, it's just going to drag you down into their financial strata, when you could be creating wealth.

(ask yourself - do any of them have a positive net worth? ask yourself - if they are unable to even take care of themselves, why would their political views be any more valuable than their fiancial advice? (Or the reverse, for that matter).

Perhaps discussing the creation of wealth with someone who knows a little bit about it could give you something tangible to work with.

How is wealth created?

Let's discuss it. Don't worry that I'm going to "stick it to you" or "burn you" because of the snotty things you kids have said to me. I was once young, gullible, and full of half-baked ideas, too. I would run my mouth about things I knew very little about - just like the three of you.

If I was going to "burn" anyone, I would have already burned David for his unimaginative response - (making stuff). Surely there's more to wealth than making stuff! Lot's of people make stuff! People make model airplanes, quilts, crafts, paper hats, etc. In some of those cases, they are creating wealth. (if the value of the finished product is higher than the expense of the materials)

I have no grudges and there is nothing that either of the three of you is going to say that is going to ruffle my feathers in any way. I've heard it -and said it- all before.

The fact is that the three of you are just like most guys your age - you are in debt, you have been sold a bill of goods by these charlatans who you continue to support, and they are selling you down the river. And you waste your time blabbing about things you don't even comprehend with other people who don't even understand the subject matter. All the while going deeper in debt.

I was fortunate enough to have someone speak very bluntly to me when I was your age and spouting off. It affected my life. I recognized the value of the advice, even though it took me quite some time before I began acting on it, but once I started, I began creating wealth.

Gee, it sounds like I'm going to try to sell you guys something. I'm not. I'm just offering to discuss the creation of wealth with you, as a diversion from the America-trashing that I'm seeing here on this blog. What's in it for me? (you should be asking that) I may insert a seed that may sprout in one of your brains. I will never know about it, but you may do the same later in life.

It's the closest thing to "altruisism" that I am willing to bestow. I can supply the seed, but the rest is all up to you. Just like it was up to me in my case.

Again I ask - How is wealth created?


And I'll say again, Buckshot--define the term, or we have no basis for discussion. You have yet to do so, and there's a simple reason why--because it's not as simple as saying that wealth is an abundance of money or natural resources. It's much more complex than that, and if you don't know that, then you're the one who's been sold a bill of goods.

And for the record, I haven't seen a single instance of America-trashing on this blog or in the comments. I've seen some Republican trashing, and I've done some of it myself, but the two are not the same, so sorry to inform you.



I copied the dictionary definition of wealth in my last post. I don't know what to tell ya. Maybe read it again?


Well Buckshot it looks like I was the only onw with the balls to give you a straight answer to a not-so-stright question, and what was my reward?

I would have already burned David for his unimaginative response

You're an asshole. Screw you. I'm going home.

Really you don't want a fair debate at all. I remain happy with my reply. And I remain the only one here with a reply -- including you yourself Buckshot. Happy masturbation Buckshot.



After politely answering about fifty of your sarcastic questions, I asked you ONE simple question. "How is wealth created".

Your flippant answer "by making stuff", was as meaningless as your reasoning on the $20K worker "deserving" an

I suspect that you will join your angry lefty friends in reaping your just rewards - high taxes, low income, & a life of self-loathing.

It doesn't have to be that way. Well, for you, maybe it does.

Anyone have any idea where wealth comes from? I've got one guy who says "by making stuff". One guy wants to debate the dictionary definition of wealth. And one guy who decided to go on vacation.

Three batters. Three strikeouts.

Okay. If any of you (or anyone else, even Cheryl) wishes to discuss "how is health created?", I'm right here, willing and ready.


Sorry about the typos.


Dear Buckshot,

It seems that you have this 'thing' about blasting people with your opinions rather than discussing. I already addressed the concept of 'wealth' and you ignored my post. Any time you want to cross swords with me, feel free. I promise not to hurt your feelings by calling you mean names while I disembowel your gutless arguments.


You're not willing to discuss anything Buckshit.



Since the other three crapped out, you can have a shot.

I didn't read any but your first posts, sorry. But if you can tell the boys "how is wealth created?", then be my guest.


To see a grown man stoop to silly name calling is, well, par for the course. Maybe Cheryl can explain to you how wealth is created.

Go for it, Cheryl. The floor is yours.


You can read my prior post. Try scrolling up.



Wow. You say wealth is not created so much as it is extracted. Then you go on to tell my what I meant to say.


Okay, that was the waste I knew it would be.

Heather, you're up. Do you have any idea where weatlh comes from?

here's what's left


if you want to have a discussion about the creation of wealth, feel free to email me or my readers. please don't comment on a post about kerry on meet the press. if you want to talk about the creation of wealth, wait till i write about it or get your own blog.

until you stop assuming that i'm a kid, that i'm in debt, and that i don't understand anything, i won't engage your question, because your baseless assumptions illustrate that you're not interested in a serious discussion.

and please stop saying you answered our questions. you didn't.


michael is right, this isn't a messageboard. you can email both of us at the e-mail address listed on this site if you wish to continue this discussion. but this site has a format: we write and people comment on what we write. yes, discussions can take on a life of their own to some degree, but this is ridiculous.

also, if you write to us, make sure you're specific. you know damn well that a word like "wealth" can be used to mean different things and pasting a dictionary definition doesnt help. if you want to ask, "how does a person in the US today get rich?" then ask that. if you want to ask, "how have material possessions been accumulated throughout different periods of history?" then ask that. because "where does wealth come from?" can mean both of those things and several other things as well.

otherwise don't waste my time because I'm too busy loathing myself over all the debt I don't have.

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