Skep? You called me Skep? It just sounds so.......yuppie. I mean, can "Skeppy" be far behind? It's that damned Bush and his fetish for nicknames isn't it? Sigh. :-)
It seems to me (in my limited experience on mudcat) that the credit for the longest sentence may belong to Uncle Jacque. I seem recall one that went on for 3/4 of a page or more. On the other hand, a couple of our discussion ran into two and three pages.
Those who are willing to put their cash or elbow grease at risk (in the case of failure) should be entitled to reap the rewards of success, for which there are no guarantees.
My problem is when the risk stops and business starts using the government to minimize (or virtually eliminate risk). Something usually supported by Conservatives more than Liberals. I think there is a very clear distinction between community or regionally based businesses and national/international ones.
And with Big Business, it's much worse when good old fashioned back room politics gets involved.
What happens when simple greed, power and ego comes into play and the intent becomes not to enjoy the rewards of hard work but also to make sure no one else has that opportunity. Microsoft comes to mind as a current example.
The American liberals are only willing to skim off the top of successful businesses and in many cases oppress them into submission via regulation with as much vigor as the MAFIA!
Oh come on. The Mafia is a perfect example of capitalism at its best . Lots of risk, elbow grease, high profit margin, exploitation and oppression. Something for everyone. :-)
This does comes back to a months ago discussion with (I think) (Chicago John) that got into the problem with market forces in a large and diverse (socially and geographically) society. While some of what you say may be true of liberalism, Bush, Inc. version of "compassionate conservatism" is not the other end of the spectrum. They are enamored of BIG business, not business in general, on the apparent theory that helping big business has a trickle down effect on small businesses. More Voodoo economics perhaps?
"Compassionate Conservativism" strikes me as being similar to the old "Free Lunch" come-on. The lunch wasn't free, you got overcharged for the beer and the lunch itself was generally pretty pathetic and in the end the only one who came out ahead was the one making the offer.
More seriously, I can argue the counter: that the thrust of conservative politicians seems to be to protect existing businesses, either directly through protective tariffs, exemptions, tax breaks and so on and indirectly through specious arguments about 'tort reform" to protect business against "frivolous consumer lawsuits" and through getting people to buy into the "What's good for General Motors is good for the USA" fan club. The bigger the business, the more dramatic and draconian the protections offered.
Back in 1995, I came across statistics to the effect that 75% of all tort claims then in court were one business suing another. Yet what is attacked is the consumer suit. Some are frivolous. Many are not and substitute for the defect in pure market force effects than seem structurally implicit in a National/International market.
Is it good for our country, in the long run, that since 1968 real corporate profits have risen (in real dollars) by some 168% and the real minimum wage has gone down by some 40% and real purchasing power by 25%. Notice who screams the loudest at attempts to raise same?
This is the dark underside of big business capitalism.
Re: Cheney and Company
I see little evidence of concern for the small businessman. There focus (and belief) seems routed in trickle down fantasies. They may be sincere in their beliefs but to what ends? As they are big businessmen their knowledge of and concern for small businessmen seems a little dubious.
You make it sound like business is a bad thing.
I don't think business is a "bad" thing. Or a "good" thing either. But then, I don't think that "market forces" are any more of a panacea than any other utopian scheme, either. Business is not intrinsically good or bad.
I think it is a major problem when we try to make business into a moral/ethical value system. By doing so, the "problem" of ethics is neatly sidestepped or subverted. If "business" is regarded as an ethical value, then it has the same value as, say democracy, charity or any other in a discussion. Conversely, if it is considered as an amoral tool, then we have a different perspective on things.
Any jobs not created by wealth creating business are essentially organized coercion, extortion and outright legalized crime.
Ministers and other religious types? Artists (especially the poor struggling kind). Is labor (elbow grease), in general, a form of capital asset? Do I (or you) have a property right to our jobs, to the fruits of our labor. Everyone, in the end, works for someone else, after all. Well you are certainly correct there, the democratics desperately HATE solutions as they only wish to posses a given issue for the use as a political weapon. When the GOP provides solutions over the dead bodies of the democratics, the screaming is deafening.
I suppose the question would be: Solutions to what? And for what purposes. Goals and values should drive solutions. What values (moral and ethical) do we, as a culture, desire, promote or seek? As mentioned above, is business, capitalism or what ever an ethical or moral value or just descriptive of a process.
Since we're from different parts of the country, breakfast will have to be virtual.