Letters to the Editor

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ECONOMY: True patriots are willing to sacrifice

Letter by Richard M. Radford, Steilacoom on May 7, 2012 at 5:14 pm with 77 Comments »
May 8, 2012 9:36 am

The people of France and Greece had a choice: the survival of their nations or the satisfaction of their own narrow interests.

Now, the continued existence of those countries is not as important in the larger scheme of things as that of the United States, but we are faced with the same decisions as those Europeans. America and the world cannot survive the repercussions of making the same mistake they did.

They are in for a “hard landing” that probably will result in dire social consequences – all the result of their own shortsightedness. We still have a chance to mitigate the effects of decades of defying mathematics and the actuarial tables, but we don’t have much time to get serious about it.

The founders of the United States knew they were risking their lives, fortunes and sacred honor by defying Great Britain, but they did it to establish America.

Those who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy, on islands in the Pacific Ocean and wherever else they upheld freedom knew they may not come back from the fight.

Many Americans have made such sacrifices for their country over the years; we call them heroes and, most of all, patriots.

What do you call people who hit the streets to protest, not the elimination of their “entitlements,” but changes to save both the programs and the nation itself?

It ain’t “patriots.”

Leave a comment Comments → 77
  1. By looking at the facts, the differences between our country and others and what happened as a result, we can learn a lot. The US invested in its country at a time when it was needed. Even George Bush knew that stimulus was needed, we just didn’t realize the depth of our economic plunge.

    We have had steady growth in our economy through stimulus and government investment. Too bad it was such a small effort, a bigger stimulus would have yielded a greater return. Our industries, like the auto industry are doing well. Other countries that invested, like the Nordic countries are doing well, too.

    The countries that chose to starve their economies, like Greece, England and France are headed for a double dip recession. England already declared double dip.

    Austerity is not the way to move out of a recession. How many times must our country learn this lesson. Work on the deficit when we have a stable economy again. If Republicans and their austerity progam through the Ryan budget wins, we may also have out of control protests like during the Depression, homeless veterans camping on the Mall, bank failures and continued infrastructrure decay, plus coungtless years of human misery and health decline.

  2. aislander says:

    So…tuddo…you’re saying that greed is good?

  3. Britain has its act together. Addressing the massive public employment millstone around its neck. Self sufficient for energy, superb infrastructure education system and no expensive military. And most of all, is light years away from the stupidity of electing a Socialist Kenyan for its leader. And if by accident or voter fraud they did, under the constitution, they could boot him 24 hours later.

    Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and now France are now all like American deadbeat students demanding that their bankers forgive their loans. I don’t think so.

  4. aislander, hbow did you get that message from my post? A common effort by all of us to save our economy is what is needed, and that means the rich as well as everyone else.

    The lowest taxes in fifty years is not helping our economy and the assault by Republicans on our government by doing everything in their power to obstruct and keep from having judges, government appointees, budgets, and other usual legislation passed is intolerable.

    The entire philosophical foundation of Republican economics has been proved a sham and ahrmful to all but a few very wealthy people, and to save them Republicans would sacrifice the rest of our nation and allow the middle class to sink and out country to wallow in mediocrity.

  5. aislander says:

    Yeah, right, tuds…

    The letter was about what to do about the debt, which is being made worse by the greed of the takers.

    You’re asserting that the cure for this snowball is a steeper hill and more snow…

  6. We know that the crisis was caused by conservative ideals and legislation. The true ‘patriot’ knows this and will not vote to continue down the conservative path of destruction.

  7. “Austerity is not the way to move out of a recession. How many times must our country learn this lesson.”

    Saint ronnie reagan knew it.

  8. “The letter was about what to do about the debt, which is being made worse by the greed of the takers.”

    So whats the big deal? Your party leaders have said themselves, while running up the debt at an alarming rate, that “debt means nothing”, they are your leaders, you support them, so what the big deal?

  9. IQ, we have a real life test going on bnetween the US economy which has taken a road of reducing some debt, but relying on stimulus and propping up gtroubled secgtors by government action.

    The US economy has been steadily, but slowly, improving and GDP increasing since the stimulus was passed. The UK economy was improving until David Cameron came into power in 2010 with a goal of reducing government debt, laying off government workers and reducing government services. Their economy hit the skids and has been downhill since then,a nd now they have reentered recession with an inflatin rate higher than ours.

    Similar economic problems hit the Netherlands which installed an austerity program in its government spending. Their economy went down and trails the US recovery.

    For example, the public housing sector, a usual source of construction jobs for private contractors in Britain, was hit extremely hard, with a 25% cut in government spending. Other cuts in health services and infrastructure hit the economy very hard. The only thing propping up the construction industry is the government spending on the Olympics.

    Look at the chart here if you want to see the effect of worrying about the debt and reducing governmment spending before stabilization:

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-04-25/markets/31396583_1_uk-line-national-debt-eurozone

    The Ryan plan is exactly the wrong direction at this time.

  10. Bandito says:

    Richard- It ain’t patriotism to turn your back on America when America needs you the most, financially. The Bush Tax Cuts helped put us into debt. Let’s go back to the pre-Bush level of taxation. Put your money where your mouth is.

  11. tellnolies says:

    Nationalism should be relegated to the dust bin of history, not encouraged.

  12. tellnolies says:

    Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind.” Albert Einstein

  13. aislander says:

    So…Bandito…how much did revenue decrease as a result of the tax rates that have prevailed for the last decade plus?

    And how much have the deficits increased since, say, 2007?

    You may want to take that remedial math class…

  14. aislander says:

    tellnolies: So it ISN’T a distortion to say that lefties lack patriotism…

  15. aislander says:

    …and tellno: you are being slightly dishonest in purposely confusing the only definition of patriotism with one definition of nationalism (which, in one of its senses, is defined as patriotism)…

  16. concerrned, which would you rather have a lowering GDP or a raising GDP. The charts that the righties are forced to use don’t even take into consideration inflation and its effect.

    btw, your links didn’t debunk anything. apples and oranges. My link used apples and apple comparison.

    I’ll take growth in GDP any day. Sorry about the cato Institute and its bunch of apologists for the wealthy trying to justify another round of recession in the USA.

    The last recession made the wealthy even wealthier and the gap between the midddle calss and the waltnhiest even bigger, so I just have to assume that is what you want to happen again?

  17. tellnolies says:

    “So it ISN’T a distortion to say that lefties lack patriotism…” The broad brush you use is ALWAYS a distortion. I don’t speak for “the left” any more than you speak for “the right”

    I can’t help it if you don’t wish to be accurate.

    Patriotism/nationalism….I agree with Einstein. The sooner we lose them, the better off we’ll be

  18. aislander says:

    So…tellnolies…it wouldn’t, then, be a distortion to say that you lack patriotism…

    Do you regard yourself as a conservative?

  19. tellnolies says:

    Yes, that would be accurate. Communications and transportation technologies have changed our relationship both to each other, and the planet. Our cultural/social systems are lagging several hundred years behind our physical technologies…IMO

    No, definitely NOT a conservative….

  20. aislander says:

    I appreciate your forthrightness, tellno. Do you have a sense that others “definitely NOT conservative” believe as you do?

  21. tellnolies says:

    I know there are some who think similarly to myself. Most people, regardless of what they consider their political orientation, do not believe as I do.

  22. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Tuddo- all your chart says is we have been growing slightly more then GB. GB has not slashed budgets. They are living off of debt like we are. They talk of deficit reduction, but in practice they are still spending like the socialists they have become.

    The real lesson there is socialism is a failure.

    Everyone wants GDP growth, but the debate is do we sacrifice our future and security, weigh down the next generation, and allow the govt to spend inefficiently (picking winners and losers) for a small tick in GDP? Do we grow the beast that caused our current recession or starve it back to its Constitutional limits?

    And we are adding structural spending that does not go away. Look at the whining whenever a program is even discussed for a cut. Talk about making entitlement sustainable and all of a sudden grandma is getting pushed off a cliff.

    We live in a world of no federal budgets, no limit on how much they (the left) are willing to borrow from China (our debt payments fund their entire military budget). The left is convinced that people pay for the benefits they are getting, when the truth is they are getting back much more then they ever paid in. Ponzi scheme is the best analogy.

    You think a grand conspiracy is in place to make the poor and middle class poorer while only helping the rich. Does that even pass the smell test?

    Does socialism increase the size and wealth of the middle class? No, it does not. It makes everyone poor except the political class.

  23. aislander says:

    If I understand your vision, you would prefer a world without borders or national identities, with some sort of world government.

    Do believe a world financial collapse would further that goal?

  24. tellnolies says:

    A world without borders, and without religion.

    No, financial collapse isn’t likely to further that goal.
    It would take a totally different mindset than we currently have, as a species…

    Unlikely to ever exist…

  25. aislander says:

    Do you believe that people are generally happier if they earn what they get?

  26. aislander says:

    tellnolies: Then you wouldn’t be in favor of massive disruptions and dislocations to impose a vision that you don’t believe is possible?

    Are you hopeful that human nature will someday catch up to your construct?

  27. tellnolies says:

    Absolutely NOT in favor of massive disruptions/dislocations. I would never attempt to force, only convince.

    No, I’m not very hopeful about that aislander. Wish I could be

  28. aislander says:

    Wouldn’t it then make more sense to create the best system that works in concert with human nature, tellno?

  29. aislander, look at the chart again. It shows exactly wehre the UK went wrong. It was growing and then stopped growing in 2010 and stagnated and n ow has dropped off. Two years of austerity programs, cutting giovernment spending, denying government loans to industries sorely in need of them has caused the growth to stop. Yhe US keeps slowly plowing ahead.

    My congtention is that if we had completed the second stimulus that Obama had planned, we would have moved the GNP higher much faster, but he knew he had a Republican foe that only ahs a losing proposition – more of the smae failed economic plans that ahve never worked to get the US economy growing again.

    It takes government and business in partnership to prop up a sluggish and poorly performing economy. It always has and it always will.

  30. aislander says:

    tuddo writes: “It takes government and business in partnership to prop up a sluggish and poorly performing economy.”

    That is a perfect description of corporatism, a feature of fascism.

    “It always has and it always will.”
    WRONG! One small example is the Depression of 1920-21. Harding and Coolidge both shrank government and the depression was over with in a matter of months, not twelve years required to climb out of FDR’s depression…

  31. aislander says:
  32. aislander says:

    Italics?

  33. aislander, the recession/depression of 1920-21 was corrected by Keynesian methods. The tax rates were lowered, but the tax base was expanded tremendously to pay for government payments to the unemployed, one of the first times ever that had hapened. Government programs were expanded, revenue was increased and government expenditures rose.
    (Not the picture the libertarians try to paint of that time period at all).

    Also, there was government intervention by increased tariffs to protect US manufacturing, a decidedly non-libertarian and activist program by the government.

    Since this was not a typical fiscal recession, monetary policy was not changed very much.

    You might want to review recent studies such as “A critique of Powell, Woods, and Murphy on the 1920–1921 depression” by Daniel Kuehn. It is a very detailed analysis of what the government did do to intervene, a distinct and fact-based argument against the people who said libertarian methods prevailed.

    Here is a shorter article (the one dated October 23, 2010) that shows that this time period was barely a recession and calling it a depression was not accurate. It would have been corrected faster if the policies such and unemplpoyment and government intervention had been implemented sooner in the cycle rather tahn allowing the crisis to deepen by doing nothing and reducing money supply instead of expanding it.

    http://socialdemocracy21stcentury.blogspot.com/2010_10_01_archive.html

  34. averageJoseph says:

    Kooky… that’s , what, 3 years after the dems took the hose and senate?

    ;)

    (not accepting the premise, just making an observation)

  35. RLangdon says:

    Those who risk their lives for social justice can be just as heroic as those who fought in wars for national defense. And they can all be “patriots!”

    God Bless ‘em all!

  36. averageJoseph says:

    sorry… house, and boy did the hose us.

  37. Pacman33 says:

    “It shows exactly wehre the UK went wrong. It was growing and then stopped growing in 2010″

    Get real, according to you guys we can’t count 2009 for Obama. Yet you count 2010 for the conservative government in the UK? Anyone with half a brain could tell you “where the UK went wrong” to make GDP “stop growing” was the liberals in the previous budget raising the VAT rate from 40% to 50% along with capital gains increases. If anything it appears the conservatives saved the day. And what a stupid link anyways – It first mentions some absurd comparison to Obama’s and Reagan’s recoveries – and then that’s it. It never makes the case or even mentions it again.

    Give it up with this “austerity” jive. Do you Lefties use any terms that are meaningful? Fairness, inequality, economic/social justice, etc.?
    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/08/austerity-isnt-an-evil-word/

  38. Pacman33 says:

    How telling on a thread about patriotism:
    We have tellnolies who advocates stateless, borderless communism.
    Now we have have tuddo the socialist-democrat

  39. aislander says:

    I don’t think you’re ignorant, tuds: it’s just that so much of what you know is wrong…

  40. aislander says:

    Patriotism: noun
    devoted love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.

    Nope–doesn’t fit social-justice “warriors.” If they liked their country, they wouldn’t want to change its basic nature…

  41. Pacman33 says:

    tuddo fuels more leftist lies –
    “The last recession made the wealthy even wealthier”

    I don’t understand why, if the Left is going to choose an economic topic to be completely dishonest about, why not choose one that actually has an impact on the economy?

    The only answer I can think of, is that envymongering coincides with their overall strategy of dividing Americans to change the subject from the real issues voters care about.

    http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/12/06/report-inequality-hasnt-changed-in-25-years/
    http://www.stlouisfed.org/publications/itv/articles/?id=1920
    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/03/income-inequality
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/business/economy/recession-crimped-incomes-of-the-richest-americans.html?_r=1

  42. RLangdon says:

    aislander, QUESTION for YOU!

    If the “basic nature” of the country strayed away from its original ideals, like those conceived by its “founders”, then a social-justice warrior (patriot) bringing the country back to its original ideals would be a good or a bad thing aislander?

  43. aislander says:

    Redistribution of wealth isn’t even CLOSE to an “original ideal” of this country. Sheesh!

  44. tellnolies says:

    “in concert with human nature”

    Human nature encompasses a wide variety characteristics, culture influences which of those are given precedence…so, while I agree in general, that still allows for a wide variety of systems. None of which, to date, has worked very well for the mass of humanity.

  45. Bandito says:

    “True patriots are willing to sacrifice,” but don’t expect us to sacrifice any of our hard earned money. That’s where we Capitalists draw the line. Sacrificing wealth is un-patriotic.

  46. averageJoseph says:

    How much has been spent on “the war on poverty” and how well (or not) has all the money spent reduced poverty?

  47. aislander, I backed it up with real facts. You spout some nonsense that historians have now researched in depth and found that the libertarians had been touting government activism in the economy all this time by pointing to a non-existent depression and saying their policies saved the economy. Now we know that was just propaganda and not true at all.

    I won’t call you ignorant, either, you just spout off things you have no knowledge about and repeat propaganda like it was factual.

    And Pacman, I should have said “increased the percentage” of wealth that the wealthiest have and not implied actual dollars.

    from CNN:
    http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/2009-09-29-income-gap-census_N.htm
    “Income at the top 5% of households — those making $180,000 or more — was 3.58 times the median income, highest since 2006.”

    from the Economic Policy Institute, not an opinion blog or two.

    “Great Recession pushes wealth gap between typical and wealthiest households to record highs”

    http://www.epi.org/publication/the_rich_get_richer/

  48. How much has been spent on war during the same peroid?

  49. concernedtacoma7 says:

    Tuddo- who cares how rich the rich are? We do not have a finite amount of wealth in this country.

  50. averageJ, the actual War on Poverty was a big success and helped create the gains of the middle class jobs and income of the 1960’s and 1970’s. Our economy soared in part through this government action. Then came Republican trickle down, and the poverty rate started climbing again. The middle class started declining and the end result was the Great recession due to Republican policies.

    In 2011, the poverty rate is the highest since 1993.

    from: http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/19/opinion/zelizer-war-on-poverty/index.html

    “The War on Poverty claimed some notable accomplishments. According to the historian Michael Katz, “Between 1965 and 1972, the government transfer programs lifted about half the poor over the poverty line.” Many programs, such as Head Start, became popular across the nation and perceived as integral to the well being of struggling Americans.

  51. concerned, you are exactly right that we do n ot have finite wealth.

    Unfortunately, the richest keep concentrating the wealth of the nation, and the middle class keeps getting smaller because more people go into poverty. The middle class wealth has leveled off during Republican trickle down and the wealth of the nation is now controlled by the smallest percentage of people since the times of the industialists in the late 1800’s.

    It does those of us in the middle class no good to have increases in national GNP and wealth increases if we all see is stagnant incomes and wealth and loss of purchasing power.

  52. Here’s something to chew on:

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3490

  53. aislander says:

    afret: The wars have cost an average of $100 billion per year, a fraction of the deficits…

  54. Pacman33 says:

    afret meant –
    Here’s something to chew on:

    w.w.w. Soros-funded-leftist-hackivists-elevating-economic-illiteracy.com

  55. scooter6139 says:

    Pacman – Please define communism. Please define socialism. Please define fascist.

    I see you throwing these words around a lot and I have a very sneaky suspicion that you do not know what they mean. Until I see what your definitions are then I will continue to assume your talking points null and void.

  56. Bandito says:

    The premise of Richard M. Radford’s letter that somehow, someone who is exercising their first amendment right to free speech by marching in protest is not patriotic, because he doesn’t agree with their reason is fascist at best. Mr. Radford’s perception of patriotism is narrow minded and selfish.

  57. aislander says:

    So, Bandito…you believe it is “fascist” to express an opinion about a protest movement?

    Did YOU express an opinion about, say, the Tea Party movement?

  58. averageJoseph says:

    The current annual cost of “the war on poverty” is about 1 trillion a year…

    January 8, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson formally declared an unconditional war on poverty in America.

    “Our aim is not only to relieve the symptom of poverty, but to cure it and, above all, to prevent it”.
    … and the poverty rate today is virtually the same as it was when it was enacted in 1964. Fail by any standard.

  59. averageJoseph says:

    LMAO ai…

  60. Ailander;
    Patriotism = love, support, and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.

    Rpot expression of patriotism sending US jobs overseas and hiding profits in tax-free havens.

    My veision is to see America as a producer nation rather than as a debt-ridden consumer.

    Right wing economics (deregulation, no taxes on rich and corporations) coupled with outsourcing US jobs does an even better job of destroying the middle and working classes. (I.e. it is the worst possible system for America).

    Nationalism = devotion to the interests or culture of one’s nation. The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively.

    ‘by the greed of the takers’ – If by takers you mean the rich and corporations you are correct.

    As usual, Aislander brings up the F word and uses it incorrectly.

    Aislander – 1920 – 1921 = typical post war recession caused by the need to realign business from wartime to peacetime, coupled with reducing government to pre-war levels.

    The 1929 depression is called The Great Depression for a reason.

    CT7 – So Bush never borrowed from the Red Chinese? LOL

    aJo – not nearly badly as baby boy bush did.

    Pac – my side (unlike yours) uses meaningful terms and uses them in their proper meanings and context.

    How the rich got richer;
    Tax breaks target to their needs.
    Record corporate profits from outsourcing our jobs.
    Hiding profits in non-taxable overseas accounts.

    The pathetic party of know runs of broken promises of jobs, but fails to say the jobs will not be in America.

    Aislander – so why is the right wing policies designed to concentrate wealth at the top?

  61. “So, Bandito…you believe it is “fascist” to express an opinion about a protest movement?”

    Nice strawman.

  62. averageJoseph says:

    Still chuckling ai…

  63. Bandito says:

    Aislander- My comments are in reply to the letter writer. If you are the letter writer I will respond to your questions.

  64. aislander says:

    Bandito: Wouldn’t you like to rethink and retract that comment before I post my reply?

  65. RLangdon says:

    aislander, BEFORE you go deflecting off with Bandito, I am STILL WAITING for an answer from you on my question of May 8, @ 7:00 PM.

    Stop deflecting and answer the question, okay?

  66. averageJoseph says:

    You’re really obsessing RL.

  67. aislander says:

    RL: I thought I DID answer. “Social justice” is a concept that would have made no sense to the Founders.

    It doesn’t still…

  68. aislander says:

    Bandito: Once you put a comment out there, it’s out there and fair game…

    …but if you’d like my dissections of your comments to go unrebutted, feel free not to respond.

  69. aislander, bandito should have read our discussion on another thread and said, “someone who is exercising their first amendment right to free speech by marching in protest is not patriotic, because he doesn’t agree with their reason is ‘totalitarian’ at best.”

    We know that other types of totalitarian governments have suppressed free speech, not just fascism, which is a product of extreme corporate and capitalistic right wing totalitarianism.

    Hmm, after further thought, maybe he did mean fascism after all, since he talked about capitalists like him “drawing a line” and not moving further toward the extremism that the far right seems to be pushing us into.

  70. averageJoseph says:

    Remember the couple in Chicago that was jailed for yelling “you suck” at a Clinton rally?

    Kooky.

  71. averageJ, no, but I do remember the Bush administration paying $80,000 to a couple who wore an anti-Bush T-shirt to a public rally on public property who were then arrested for refusing to cover up their T-shirts.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2007/08/secret-white-ho/

    kooky, indeed.

  72. averageJoseph says:

    You didn’t look did you…

  73. aislander says:

    You’re setting up a straw man, tuds, because no one is talking about governmental repression of free speech, but of social ostracism, at worst…

    …and fascism is just another brand of socialism, and is repressive in the same way that, say, Cuba is.

  74. aislander, I was responding to the discussion bandito brought up, which was the expression of free speech and whether or not it was “fascist” to say someone is not patriotic if they objected to someone expressing a different viewpoint.

    Your strawman of objecting to bandito’s use of “fascism” was certainly not mine, but yours, so I commented on it.

    If you would like to withdraw your comment, I will gladly accept your apology for trying to hijack the thread and making such an uneducated and ignorant comment equating fascism with socialism.

    Cuba is an example of a communist brand of totalitarianism. The state owned all the means of production and capitalist corporations were banned and exiled. Nothing fascist about it.

  75. averageJoseph says:

    (Excerpt from an AP wire story dated October 30, 1996)
    “CHICAGO (AP) — … (two people) were arrested July 2 at the Taste of Chicago fair after President Clinton approached them and … responded with a rude remark.

    She said the remark was, ‘ “You suck and those boys died,” ‘ in reference to the June 25 attack of a U.S. installation in Saudi Arabia that left 19 American airmen dead. Secret Service agents initially said they heard something else that could have been taken as a threat against the president. Police said the (couple) were arrested for persisting to shout profanities while being questioned.”

    …………..

    (From the Washington Times, 12/27/96, page A5.)
    “God will hold you to account, Mr. President.”
    “–Rev. Rob Shenck, to President Clinton during a Christmas Eve church service at the Washington National Cathedral, referring to the president’s veto of a ban on partial-birth abortion. After the service, Rev. Shenck was detained by Secret Service agents who accused him of threatening the President’s life. No charges were filed.”

  76. averageJ, so they were arrested for interfering with the police not for shouting at the president. Hmm, different story than what we were first told. Right-wing conservatives are always harping about how a person must cooperate with the police or suffer the consequences, like Rodney King.

    And the Secret Service story – the Washington Times columnist who wrote that shows how ignorant he is. The Secret Service does not “accuse”, the questioned. Much different and not worthy of anything. You will always get questioned by teh Secret Service if you shout such stuff, no matter who the president is.

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