“My Conundrum:” A Crack of Light In The Collision of a Conservative Mind and Life: Could TeaPartyCommunity.com Be a Good Thing?

Cade Robinson TeaPartCommunity.com/user

Update 2.6.2012:  It appears teapartycommunity.com blocked my IP, which is exposed by design in our comments. This is remarkable given the amount of effort that must have been invested to not only find this post, but to inspect the comments in order to discover my IP address.  My next post on the subject will be about the astounding hypocrisy of the underlying justification for starting TeaPartyCommunity.com

Perusing the new TeaPartyCommunity.com Facebook-like platform, I was riveted by “Cade’s comment” as an excellent illustration of the tension between high self-conviction and low emotional intelligence in the conservative religious mind.

…which compelled me to read the top post “My Conundrum” which struck me as so perfectly juxtaposed to Cade’s comment as an example of the opposite tension, lower self-conviction, higher emotional intelligence. “My Conundrum” is posted also in its entirety below Cade’s comment immediately below.

Christopher Noyes – Well Cade, you are what we call around here, complicated. Truth is we all are complicated, how we resolve inner conflict plays a big part in determining our character.

Jesus Saves Teapartycommunity.comFirst, you did not abuse the safety net, and I do not believe the safety net ought to be removed. The problem with the safety net is the abuse of it that is cultivated and facilitated for either criminal or political reasons. It is there for people who, like you, had an untimely life threatening event, an emergency of life or death. Reforms may not be able to correct the safety net, and I would rather see it in the hands of the church like it was at one time, but the truth is the only way the government got a foot hold into social welfare is the church abdicated its responsibility a long time ago.

Second, God has never left you, he does not despise you, he has brought all of these things in your life for your edification because you are his adopted son and he loves you. I encourage you to ask Him to give you eyes to see how He has and is expressing His Love for and toward you. Many have the false belief that if they are a Christian they will have a good and trouble free life. This is a lie from Satin himself. You see…if you are to have a wonderful life, then when you have trouble you can accuse god for letting you down. Do you see it? God has promised he will never despise any he has chosen, Christ will never loose any of the souls his Father has given him charge over. What shepherd would not leave his flock to find the one sheep that went astray? Do you see it? The gospel preached today is one of health, wealth,and smooth sailing. The real gospel is “I bring not peace, but a sword”, “marvel not that the world hates you because it first hated me”, and on and on. Repentance is simply seeing the error, confessing it as such, and asking for forgiveness. All of the heavy lifting is done by Christ.

Third, your initial error in thinking is that you somehow deserved your salvation, a good life, with God as your safety net in this world. Do not take this as an allegation…it is very common in our culture today, and it is an out right lie. Those who preach this false gospel today are to blame…and I for one would not want to face God having perverted his truth for profit. Again, ask God to give you eyes to see where you have been in error. He is faithful and will give you and answer, often we do not ask because we do not want the answer because it is not the one that supports our mistaken feel good beliefs.

If you think these words are harsh, think on this. This is my confession, accusing god of not being fair with me, feeling like a victim, feeling squelched because of my history of failings. But I knew better, I have heard the hard words of the true gospel, that he will never leave or forsake me…and had seen his faithfulness time and time again. Yet still, one day the unthinkable happened. For over a year the only verse that came to my mind was of Job,s wife, she told Job “curse god and die”, his simple response, “though He slay me, will I love Him”. If you are not familiar with the story…it starts out with God admiring his faithful servant Job…Satin heard this and said…let me sift him as wheat, he will deny you then. God allowed this to happen…this sifting. I will never make it back to where I was. This is a very good thing. You see, God had to destroy an idol I was holding onto that was holding me back in order for Him to give me something better.

This better place has modified my thoughts about my faith, who my Father, Savior, and Holy inspiration are. Political and social issues also are in a different context. FYI also was raised in the Roman church but left it soon after high school. It took eight years for the Lord to bring me to the church I have been in for the past 25 years. Pursue faith born out of Truth.

Ask…He is faithful and will answer.”

…and the the original top post.

My Conundrum
by Cade Robinson

I just want to say hello to the community and express my happiness that I found a place like this. I have to admit, I was hesitant at first to join because I am at a time in my life where there is a lot of confusion swirling around my head, particularly around my political leanings. I guess since I was old enough to be politically aware, I have always felt I was conservative and a good conservative at that. When I was younger, I was more Libertarian then gradually shifted toward social conservatism as I got older and closer to God. I have always supported the free market and the dismantling of the social safety net, which makes the government an enabler of laziness if you ask me. More recently, I’ve become strongly pro-life and my convictions towards it grew stronger over time. I don’t have a huge problem with homosexuality on its face, but I don’t think we need gay marriage in order to extend equal rights and I certainly don’t think it’s a good idea to put children in these types of homes. And I was good with all of this until something happened to me one day five years ago. Something that changed my life forever and something that caused a lot of confusion. Something that may me doubt whether I was a good conservative and since it can never be undone… can I, in good conscious, fight for a system I inadvertently took advantage of?

On a summer day five years ago, I started to feel ill. It didn’t seem like anything more than a head cold at the time. I had recently moved back from Florida to Pennsylvania, having been chased out of my job down there. It was an ugly breakup, but I was determined to get back on my feet. I refused unemployment insurance out of principle, even though I paid into it. I was engaged at the time and found myself without health insurance. My illness got worse and worse by the day and my insurance situation held me back from seeing a doctor. With no income and no insurance, I really didn’t have the means to go. Not that I was complaining, I mean, I dug this hole myself, so I was going to stand in it, head held high. After all, regardless of the circumstances, I did leave my job voluntarily. Turns out that I wasn’t going to beat my illness on my own. After my mother had insisted I go to the emergency room, I was soon diagnosed with Legionnaires Disease. I spent the next six weeks of my life in a drug-induced coma and underwent surgery to remove some infection around my lung. On at least one occasion, I coded… in other words, my heart stopped and I was essentially dead. But I awoke. And when I did, I soon learned that my mother (a Democrat, no less) secured my paperwork that made me eligible for Pennsylvania’s medical assistance, a program designed for people who can’t afford health insurance and need it. My doctor and hospital bills totaled $1.5 million dollars and of that total only a pittance was paid to the doctors, nurses and hospital that saved my life.

My family, friends and fiancé told me that it was time to move on. That I’d survived something that would have killed me if I were 10 years younger or 20 years older. But my convictions, to this day, have made that hard for me. I feel as if I will forever be a taker because I can never give back what I’ve received. If I live to 100, I couldn’t repay those bills, even though I am not being asked to do it. At times, I feel I am the person I so despise out in the world. It’s very confusing for me. Can I criticize another for something I’ve done myself? Can I ever call myself a conservative with confidence? And since I could never consider myself liberal, does this relegate me to political purgatory for the rest of my life?

And to top all this off, I’ve grown farther from God as well. How could he let this happen to one of his true believers? And when I lay there, dead, why did I not see the light or any sort of sign? Where was he? Believe me, I understand that it was He who decided that I should survive to fight another day and I thank Him everyday for it… but at this cost? I mean, I haven’t even had my child baptized and he’s almost three. Church is a long lost custom for me. I just feel that the connection is gone… the test was too great. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a good life and appreciate my loving wife, a healthy son and the fact that I still wake up in the morning… but I just want to be a good conservative and Catholic and I feel that may be something I’ll never be able to be again.

Anyway, thanks for listening. I’d love to hear your take on this whole thing. I’ve never really had access to a like-minded forum like this. Facebook pages are okay, but they generally devolve into yelling matches because liberals, as I’ve noticed, generally have no manners to speak of.”

, , , ,

  1. #1 by brewski on February 5, 2013 - 2:21 pm

    And your point is what exactly? That some guy on Facebook isn’t exactly balanced? Shocking! Oh, and he happens to call himself conservative. So what?

    Let me give you another example. I know a guy who makes drinking glasses which have dangerous levels of lead and cadmium in them. These glasses are made by Chinese child laborers working in unsafe and inhuman conditions. This person seems to have no remorse at all. In fact, the opposite is true. He poses as being morally virtuous and loves nothing more than to lecture others on their supposed moral shortcomings. Oh yeah, he also calls himself a liberal even though he lives his life in an entirely bourgeois manner.

    • #2 by Cliff Lyon on February 5, 2013 - 2:55 pm

      Brewski, This is not from Facebook. Try reading the first sentence.

      btw: You sure sound like Glenn Hoefer. He was crazy and he had it wrong. Now you have it wrong.

    • #3 by Cliff Lyon on February 5, 2013 - 2:56 pm

      Oh yeah, he also calls himself a liberal even though he lives his life in an entirely bourgeois manner.

      Brewski, who told you liberals can be rich and live well? jealous?

  2. #4 by Richard Warnick on February 5, 2013 - 2:33 pm

    I don’t know what the point is. If you’re beloved of God, you don’t need health care? I mean, God’s will etc. and so forth.

    Government hammocks are for atheists?

    • #5 by Cliff Lyon on February 5, 2013 - 2:48 pm

      Richard, I dont think thats what he’s saying at all. Noyes says in the second sentence:

      First, you did not abuse the safety net, and I do not believe the safety net ought to be removed.

      But you raise another interesting observation; Cade is asking forgiveness for spending $1.5 of taxpayer money and Noyes is giving it to him.

  3. #6 by cav on February 5, 2013 - 2:44 pm

    Reporting for duty!

  4. #7 by brewski on February 5, 2013 - 3:29 pm

    Thanks for the confession. You are now a self described rich guy who lives well while hiring Chinese child slave labor to make lead and cadmium laced drinking glasses. And you still call yourself a liberal. I’d call you a sociopath.

    • #8 by Epraim James on February 6, 2013 - 8:51 pm

      You seem like an asshole.

  5. #9 by Ryan on February 5, 2013 - 6:22 pm


    Thanks for posting this. I was on Tea Party Community for about 20 hours before I was banned. The initial goal was curiosity — wasn’t planning on trolling. Ended up meeting a couple of kind, thoughtful people and a lot of very angry people.

    I wish I could say that these excellent posts were representative of what I had read there — I’d feel a bit better about the Tea Party. I read people who thought President Obama had Chris Kyle killed. I read people who were upset when I posted things that didn’t have to do directly with either attacking the administration, guns, or religion.

    I sent a request to ask why my account and IP address(es) have been blocked, and whether I could retrieve some of the content I had posted (as it is still mine). Haven’t heard anything in the last 48 hours.

  6. #10 by brewski on February 5, 2013 - 6:46 pm

    That Tea Party site sounds a lot like this one. Cliff bans people, deletes posts and edits posts to try to discredit people who don’t fall in line with his Authoritarian orthodoxy. The Tea Party and Cliff are indistinguishable in many respects.

  7. #11 by Ryan on February 5, 2013 - 11:01 pm

    Well, I’m new here and visited simply because this post popped up in a search. I’m sure I’ll figure out how this site works.

    As far as the merits of this post, I think it does a good job of providing a thoughtful example of something that is outside the expectations of most conservatives or liberals for members on this site in a considered manner. That, too, is outside my expectations for political blogging, and enough to retain my attention for now.

  8. #12 by Cliff Lyon on February 6, 2013 - 6:06 am

    Ryan, Excellent observation. OneUtah pioneered the truly open public forum. Since our inception, we have not even required email addresses to post.

    And as you have already seen from Brewski, we ban no one EVEN when they attack me personally protected by anonymity.

  9. #13 by Cliff Lyon on February 6, 2013 - 6:15 am

    Update 2.6.2012: It appears teapartycommunity.com blocked my IP, which is exposed by design in our comments. This is remarkable given the amount of effort that must have been invested to not only find this post, but to inspect the comments in order to discover my IP address. My next post on the subject will be about the astounding hypocrisy of the underlying justification for starting TeaPartyCommunity.com

  10. #14 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 8:36 am

    I actually thought the Tea Party, to the extent that it was ever organized outside of GOP astroturf ops like Americans For Prosperity, had run its course. You certainly don’t see any Tea Party ralllies anymore, and Faux News Channel has moved on.

    Why TeaPartyCommmunity .com instead of.org?

  11. #15 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 8:42 am

    I didn’t attack you personally. I stated facts and history of which you are well aware. Not one dot of opinion.

    By the way, I agree with you that that site should not block you. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

  12. #16 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 9:24 am

    Took a peek at the TeaPartyCommunity blogs. Once guy claims torture was “high successful” under Bush but thinks President Obama has overstepped his authority with drone strikes. Well, in reality both are illegal as all Hell.

    Confirms my theory that Tea Partyers are just a remnant of the Bush 20-percenters, who supported the last President no matter what he did.

  13. #17 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 9:36 am

    Some of the TeaPartyCommunity people are just sad and deluded.

    About 3 years ago, Glenn Beck started talking about hyper inflation and the need to put away extra food. I felt God nudging me to do just that, so we put away about 3 months worth of meals. I know, not a lot, but we have a small house. It was all in boxes and I played with several different ways of organizing it. But, they were all stacked in the corner of my living room. Then, my husband broke his leg in a motorcycle accident. Well, OK, it was a scooter, but I at least try to make it sound manly. It was a really bad break. He was off work for 2 months. His employer doesn’t give sick time, and he only gets 3 weeks vacation. I’m thankful they at least let him keep his job. But, at the time we were paying 2 mortgages (because of buying a house as the market crashed, and then not being able to sell the other one). Our little store of 3 months worth of meals saved us. All we had to buy was perishable items.

    This lady goes on to say she’s home-schooling her child. Presumably all about the dangers of “hyper-inflation.”

  14. #18 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 10:02 am

    More delusional stuff from TeaPartyCommunity:

    It is amazing to me that so many cannot see the truth. The progressive movement is destroying our country. Why can you not see this!

    Working class Americans pay for their own health care (and the health care of everyone else) while unmarried women are free to have child after child on the “State’s” dime while never being held responsible for their own choices.

    Hard work and success are rewarded with higher taxes and government intrusion, while slothful, lazy behavior is rewarded with EBT cards,WIC checks, Medicaid and subsidized housing.

    You pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big screen TV while your neighbor defaults on his mortgage (while buying iphones, TV’s and new cars) and the government forgives his debt and reduces his mortgage (with your tax dollars).

    They should have supermarkets just for [food] stampers… or be specific on what the stampers can buy (like WIC) .. this way, they can have their own place to go and make an already depressing trip to the market a little more tolerable for those of us who are struggling to support our families with honest jobs.

    At least some of these people seem to be middle-class, but misled by Faux News and the right-wing noise machine into thinking the poor are living well somehow at their expense.

  15. #19 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 10:38 am

    “Some of the TeaPartyCommunity people are just sad and deluded.”

    Gee, no irony there coming from Richard.

    “At least some of these people seem to be middle-class, but misled by MSNBC and the left-wing noise machine.”

  16. #20 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 11:02 am

    What about their Tea Party world view? Are they living in reality or Faux News fantasy?

  17. #21 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 11:18 am

    I’m sure there’s a planet for them.

    Kolob’s pretty nice, I’m told.

  18. #22 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 11:21 am

    The MSNBC world view, intentional lies and fantasies are identical. There is no difference.

    I’ll stick with this guy:
    “Government may interdict all persons from doing certain things; or from doing them without its authorization; or may prescribe to them certain things to be done, or a certain manner of doing things which it is left optional with them to do or to abstain from. This is the authoritative interference of government.”
    John Stuart Mill

  19. #23 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 11:33 am

    “every increase of the functions devolving on the government is an increase of its power, both in the form of authority, and still more, in the indirect form of influence.”

    “Every additional function undertaken by the government, is a fresh occupation imposed upon a body already overcharged with duties. A natural consequence is that most things are ill done; much not done at all, because the government is not able to do it without delays which are fatal to its purpose; that the more troublesome and less showy, of the functions undertaken, are postponed or neglected, and an excuse is always ready for the neglect; while the heads of the administration have their minds so fully taken up with official details, in however perfunctory a manner superintended, that they have no time or thought to spare for the great interests of the state, and the preparation of enlarged measures of social improvement.”

    “It must be remembered, besides, that even if a government were superior in intelligence and knowledge to any single individual in the nation, it must be inferior to all the individuals of the nation taken together.”

    John Stuart Mill

    Is he some ignorant anti-intellectual?

  20. #24 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 11:39 am

    I do not think he would agree with ‘privatization’ as it has come to be known.

  21. #25 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 11:40 am

    In my libertarian days I read On Liberty and agreed with most of it. But now I realize that conservative thought really emphasizes the freedom of capital rather than that of individual flesh-and-blood humans.

    I do feel sorry for the deluded Tea Partyers. If they were all millionaires, their mythology (false though it is) would at least serve their self-interest.

  22. #26 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 12:21 pm

    As Mill points out, government is by definition “authoritarian”. Separate from the freedom to do with your own money what you want, government can’t stop itself from telling you what to do and what not to do. That is individual flesh-and-blood human freedom. There is no government apparatchik who knows better than I what is best for me. I can give you a million big examples and small examples. I already have. You excuse them away, call me a racist, quote some other blogger as though he or she matters, and convince yourself that you have made some relevant point. You haven’t. You have bought into the Authoritarian Solution that all you need to do is to trust some Glorious Leader who will do all your thinking for you. It is a philosophy which has proven not to work throughout history.

    individual flesh-and-blood humans freedom serves all of our interests. Yours especially. You just need to realize it. Mill was right and is right. The Authoritarians like Cliff and Obama and Elizabeth Warren and Liar Maddow are wrong.

  23. #27 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 12:35 pm

    If Mill was the end all, why are we still here?

    And, what is this ‘Money’ of which you write?

    Bad drugs?

  24. #28 by Richard Warnick on February 6, 2013 - 1:01 pm

    Nice rant, but conservative ideology basically comes down to “I got mine, and to Hell with anyone not as lucky as me.”

  25. #29 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 1:14 pm

    Rant, yea. Nice, meh.

  26. #30 by Ryan on February 6, 2013 - 1:37 pm

    On Tea Party IP blocking:

    Cliff: Although it’s a bit more impressive to think that someone tracked you down and reported you, I am also considering the possibility they just flagged all new accounts that weren’t obviously real Tea Partiers. Unless you engaged in some black or grey propaganda in your TPC posts, you might have been seen as a troll by virtue of NOT ranting about something.

    Because of the influx of new people, I wonder if they’ve stopped accepting new members and flagged any that slipped in on about Saturday.

    Then again, it might be they did a Google search and found your article, which, by the way, was arguably quite flattering.

    I don’t understand Internet Protocols well, but my experiments indicated that once I tried to log into my presumably banned account, my IP address got blocked and I couldn’t even reach the home page. I could reach the home page only by employing an IP mask or going to a different location (Starbucks, etc.). But without the ability to create a new account, or log into my old account, I found it a truly gated community.

  27. #31 by Ryan on February 6, 2013 - 1:50 pm

    Re: On Liberty, by Mill

    It’s been ages since I read him. A bit of context: I majored in physics but really enjoyed the humanities, and tried to fill in some gaps in my knowledge– possibly a product of being in the CA public school system, possibly a product of too many video games.

    In college, I took a Philosophical Roots of European Fascism class that covered Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Gentile, Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, and Hitler. It gave me insight to the real philosophy of corporatism/fascism, and while veins of it appear in the lunatic fringes, I think that, on paper at least, the vast majority of ordinary Americans and elites don’t believe in the fundamental assumptions about human nature, knowing, and the role of the state, that would suggest corporatism. I could be wrong, but that’s my read.

    As part of detox, the next semester I took a class called The Philosophy of Liberty and Equality, which covered Locke, Mill, Rawls, Dworkin, Rand, and others. Now, it’s been ages, and I’m just a dumb science major, but I thought Mill was both accessible, tidy, and, like many good texts, left plenty of room for further interpretation/speculation/development.

    In particular, one could take a strict reading of his “harm” principle to mean that we should take a very minimalist view on regulation and law enforcement — until you actually hurt someone, you’re not actually guilty of breaking any laws.

    But the harm principle could also suggest a more preventative role in government, law, and regulation. Until you prove that the risks associated with something are minimal, we won’t let you do it. We won’t let you have access to technology that could lead to widespread death, even if it infringes upon your liberty to own a bazooka. And so on.

    I could be misreading him, but I think Mill basically is stating that it’s a good rule — leave people alone except in areas where they could hurt someone else. The nuance and complexity comes from the value calculations on what are acceptable levels of sacrifice in personal liberty for collective (or, if that word is too scary, societal or group) liberty. Thats something that Mill probably developed further.

    I’m in no way familiar with his work in a comprehensive manner. But it would not surprise me if he was unsuccessful determining that line, as that line is being constantly moved about as societies and laws evolve.

    All this to argue that Mill is good because he allows for, and helps articulate, some of the complexity of the relationship between the individual and society. Perhaps the absence of this complexity and nuance, in addition a nearly unreadable style, is why I found Rand so hard to read and accept.

  28. #32 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    “conservative ideology basically comes down to “I got mine, and to Hell with anyone not as lucky as me.””


    Conservative ideology comes down to “individual flesh-and-blood human” freedom. Liberal ideology comes down to authoritarian control over others.

  29. #33 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 2:38 pm

    Nice post.

    Mill make a huge distinction between two different roles of government. He separates the authoritarian role and the informational role. In his mind it is good for government to require labeling of food or other products, for example. He says it is destructive, however, for government to tell you that you are not allowed to buy what you want to buy or sell what you want to sell.

    So he is not saying that all government is bad. And neither do I. Government can do a lot of good to allow individuals to make better choices. But government is bad when they turn into an authoritarian control police and tell people what to do.

    I couldn’t agree more.

  30. #34 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 5:18 pm

    Example C of why liberals are Authoritarians and why Mill was right and is right. It has nothing to do with money or keeping what is mine and none for you. It has everything to do with “individual flesh-and-blood human” freedom


  31. #35 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 6:58 pm

    Neither your nor Mill’s saying liberals are Authoritarians makes it a correct statement.

    It certainly does gloss that there are political needs, as well as and very likely prior to economic needs. So the governments of the most highly capitalized states intervene to assure elementary security which is no longer the first business of the economy. And the tack they take is the following: to guarantee social security by subsidizing the full productivity of the economy. Security is provided by insurance paid in the money that comes from the operation of the whole economy.

    Yadda yadda.

    Who wrote the Nazis?

  32. #36 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    Neither Richard nor Cliff nor the SEIU nor Krugman saying that they resent successful people makes it correct. Lots of people say lots of things which are not correct. If someone passes a law telling me I can’t say something or telling me I must do something or cannot do something, then that is called evidence and that’s all I need.

  33. #37 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 7:38 pm

    Are you willing to put that in writing?

    I guess you already did.

  34. #38 by cav on February 6, 2013 - 7:48 pm

    Everyone knows that the government just steals money from hard working Americans. How can stopping that possibly hurt the economy?


  35. #39 by brewski on February 6, 2013 - 8:52 pm

    Explain to me how lowering the after-tax IRR on investment is good for anyone. Please.

  36. #40 by Ryan on February 6, 2013 - 9:40 pm

    Wow, this board is turning into the shite I see on CNN and elsewhere.

    At the risk of deviating even further from the point of the post, which I’d paraphrase as “There is at least one good dialogue happening on Tea Party Community. Here it is.”, I’d say that the IRR is actually an evaluation method that only really has meaning in context — as in, a higher IRR in an economy with a high inflation rate is unfavorable compared with a lower IRR in an economy with a lower inflation rate.

    But even putting aside that technical point of an IRR — that it, by design, does not build in inflation — the philosophical point might be that the IRR is affected by policy precisely to get companies to internalize externalities. A coal plant near a town imposes a cost on the population in the form of respiratory diseases, radiation (more radiation deaths from coal than nuclear per year!), food and water contamination, environmental damage, etc. Government regulation imposes a “tax” (either a real transfer tax, or, more likely, a regulation) that basically forces the company to internalize the externalities. This reduces the IRR. Consequently, the IRR for a coal plant may fall below the IRR for a natural gas, nuclear, wind, or solar plant of similar capacity over some period determined by the cost of capital and the social forces that govern whether a company emphasizes quarterly or long-term performance.

    So the government basically made the IRR go down for the company. It does so not because it hates success, or wants people to lose their jobs, or even because of anthropogenic global warming (I listed only immediate health effects above.) It does so because there is an element of market failure every time there are significant externalities.

    One can make a similar example for tobacco and a number of issues that don’t even directly deal with public health. (If you want a wonky laugh, read some behavioral econ papers on “dog dirt” externalities — in other words, ways to make dog walkers pick up their dog’s shit).

    There’s probably a direct tie-in to this and the implications of “On Liberty”. But suffice it to say that IRR alone isn’t meant to translate into a definite decision without the context of inflation and externalities. IRR can decrease, and for good reasons.

  37. #41 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 4:55 am

    Ryan, I understand and agree with your point about negative externalities. But I guess I wasn’t clear enough with my question. My question was more to the point “if we can agree that investing is good, creating jobs is good, working is good, then why is it desirable to discourage those activities by reducing the profit from those activities?” If a pre-tax IRR on a proposed investment is 20%, and we were to tax it at 90% (as many on this website have advocated), that makes the after tax IRR only 2%. So that means that the investment will not be made at all. So the result is no investment, no profits to tax at all and no new jobs at all.

  38. #42 by Barker Willis on February 7, 2013 - 7:11 am

    That’s not true, cliff the proven incorrigible liar has banned more than a few people, along with the drones who admin this site.

  39. #43 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 8:59 am


    Can you agree that public education is good, that public roads and highways are good, that public communication systems like the Internet are good? Or even the social safety net? Then you have to agree to taxation.

    Taking it to the next level, I think it’s fair to collect taxes in proportion to the amount of benefit derived from public services, and the ability to pay.

    My beef with right-wingers is they are always trying to destroy public education and the social safety net so rich people can lower their tax bills. That’s short-sighted in the extreme.

  40. #44 by cav on February 7, 2013 - 9:24 am

    I’m heartened to know that ‘externalities’, be they negative of positive are so well accounted for and dealt with (in the ledger or spread-sheet at any rate).

  41. #45 by cav on February 7, 2013 - 9:24 am


  42. #46 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 9:26 am

    Public education can be good. That doesn’t mean that public education is good. When the primary goal of schools is to educate its students, and they are focused solely on that, then the chance that the school is good is pretty high. When the goals of schools is not to educate its students, but rather to provide safe easy jobs for its employees, to make sure employees can retire early and go fishing, to be a social service agency providing everything from meals, social counseling, family support, enforcing “correct” opinions and speech, to enforce “correct” ratios of its employees and graduates based on skin pigmentation, then in all likelihood the school will suck. Many of them do suck. It is not for lack of money, it is due to lack of mission and focus. It is for being something other than educating its students.

    I am all for public education, roads, and all that. And I am happy to pay for it. But when the cartel will not even have a conversation about the abuse of pension spiking, then the system is broken. At that point it is not about public services and paying for them, it is about abusing the system for all it is worth and milking it dry. Until the cartel admits it is abusing the system and the public, then there isn’t any reason to treat these people with any form of respect or legitimacy.

  43. #47 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 9:33 am

    I was referring to the relentless right-wing push for vouchers, taking money out of the public education system and giving it to private schools for the rich.

  44. #48 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 9:43 am

    So you are in favor of school choice for rich only. Nice job. Where did Sonya Sotomayor go to school? Where do the Obama kids go to school? Where did Bill Clinton go to school?
    In Hot Springs, Bill attended St. John’s Catholic Elementary School
    Sonia Sotomayor attended Blessed Sacrament School in Soundview, the Bronx, New York

    So if you are poor, and your local monopoly school sucks, and the teachers suck, and they all suck, and there is nowhere for you to go to get a good education, then your answer is “fuck you, you’re poor”.

    Way to go.

  45. #49 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Taking money away from public schools helps them how?

  46. #50 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 9:58 am

    Here is the difference between your anti-child anti-choice point of view and my pro-child and pro-choice point of view. My proposal helps children and helps poor families. Yours does not. Period.

  47. #51 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 10:12 am

    Up-is-downism. Poor families can’t afford to send their kids to private schools, with or without vouchers. Utah voters didn’t fall for the line of bull being pushed by the right-wing.

  48. #52 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 10:41 am

    ” Poor families can’t afford to send their kids to private schools, with or without vouchers.”

    False. See reference to Sotomayor, Clinton, et al.

    “Utah voters didn’t fall for the line of bull being pushed by the right-wing.”

    Utah voters didn’t support it because most voters aren’t poor, most voters are ok with their public schools, most voters who are not ok with their public schools don’t have any private options near them even with a voucher. So it wasn’t bull. It was simply about voter profile.

    Glenden Brown’s parents took him out of public school and put him in private school. Is he wrong?

  49. #53 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Parents can take their kids out of public school if they want. But vouchers are about de-funding and destroying public education.

  50. #54 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 11:07 am

    “Parents can take their kids out of public school if they want.”
    No, affluent parents like the Obamas and Browns can take out their kids if they want. The Richard Warnick philosophy of fuck poor people doesn’t work for them.

    The places where choice is most needed is where the system is already destroyed. The pension spikers made sure of that. There is nothing left to destroy.

  51. #55 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    If you read the Tea Party forums that Cliff referenced in this post, you would know that at least some of the posters are middle-calss or even low-income people home-schooling their kids. I wouldn’t recommend that, but it’s what they do in Tea Party Land.

    So everyone has a choice. Public schools are NOT a monopoly, as you claim.

  52. #56 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 1:16 pm

    So you are against a medicare beneficiary taking his medicare hard to the doctor of HIS CHOICE.

    So you are against the foodstamp beneficiary taking his debit card to the food store of HIS CHOICE

    So you are against the Pell Grant recipient taking his grant check to the college of HIS CHOICE

    Under the Richard Warnick fuck the poor logic all of these people have the choice to perform surgery on themselves, farm themselves, or educate themselves. They shouldn’t be allowed all of this unnecessary choice crap.

  53. #57 by Richard Warnick on February 7, 2013 - 1:21 pm


    You are a master of up-is-downism.

  54. #58 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 1:41 pm

    You are a master of contradicting yourself.

  55. #59 by cav on February 7, 2013 - 2:37 pm

    Cage match…two men enter, only one will emerge

    The Master Debater!!

  56. #60 by brewski on February 7, 2013 - 4:21 pm

    I won a long time ago when Richard decided to take the anti-child and anti-choice position. He just doesn’t realize he lost a long time ago.

  57. #61 by brewski on February 8, 2013 - 11:09 pm

    The black man Cliff is really afraid of:


  58. #62 by cav on February 9, 2013 - 8:05 pm

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