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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For January 28, 2015


Jan 27

To Elise Hilton and her blogpost blaming Gov't programs for poverty and creating a culture of dependence through entitlements. This appeared on the Acton blog.

Is there any questioning of Eberstadt's perspective here? Or why assume that it is the gov't that is creating dependence. Take how some corporations use gov't assistance programs to subsidize their payrolls as an example. Is it the gov't assistance programs that cause workers to be dependent or is it the poverty wages that drive workers to apply for these programs?

Or take the offshoring of workers and technological unemployment as other factors. Is it gov't programs that are causing dependence or the lack of opportunities caused by those factors that are creating the dependence.

We have an economy that revolves around enriching elite owners almost regardless of the costs to all others. And we have a gov't that is paid to continue to cut social responsibility ties for these owners. And who is being blamed for the dependence being fostered in the system? If only some conservative approaches would quit blaming the poor for their poverty.

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To Joe Carter and his blogpost claiming economic freedom liberates people from poverty. This appeared in the acton blog

We should note that the term 'economic freedom' is code used by some conservatives to talk about elite business owner privilege in society. Why this rather harsh assessment? One only needs to see the target beneficiaries of 'economic freedom' along with the emphasis put on such freedom and the demotion of other freedoms to see why the harsh assessment is made. Of course, one could also look at the countries where there is this 'economic freedom' and see what responsibilities elite business owners have been freed from and who suffers the most to understand the claim that the term 'economic freedom' is simply code for elite business owner privilege in society

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To Joe Carter and his blogpost on the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and how it has helped prisoners from returning to prison. This appeared in the Acton blog.

Not to be critical of PEP's program we should take note of the following:

1.    Many times, a prisoner who has a realistic chance to obtain meaningful work after prison with good pay and chance to secure a decent place to live, recidivism will become less likely.

2.    If providing a good education prevents people from returning to prison, then providing good education can also prevent people from going to prison in the first place.

3.    What's missing in the statistical information is the rate of acceptance into the program. How many prisoners were accept in relation to how many applied?

Certainly, PEP should be warmly celebrated for their results. However, it certainly does not provide a silver bullet solution to our nation's incarceration rate and the problems released prisoners face.  In addition, what is sorely lacking in business education is the kind of education that allows one to look at the current business environment and economic system from the outside. If all the PEP business education classes do is to teach people how to work in the system, then their graduates will only learn how to become significant cogs in a machine and thus, however unintentionally, contribute to any exploitation that is built into the system they've learned how to operate. We might also ask where is private sector commitment that would provide educational programs that would prepare students for careers other than those in business.

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To John Couretas and his blogpost on Greece's move to the Left. This appeared in the Acton blog.

A former colleague of mine told me why Greece had suffered its economic hardships. The first reason was the amount of corruption that existed in the relationships between the private and public sectors. The second reason was that everyone was doing what they could to avoid paying taxes. The third reason was that Greeks need to learn how to work harder.

If my former colleagues assessment is correct, then we in America should pay close attention to what is happening in Greece because of the similarities between the two countries,  What has spared us from already suffering problems Greece is that we can more easily print money for needed revenues. We should also note that with both countries, more and more of the wealth was being owned or owed to wealthy elites from the private sector. This redistribution of wealth upwards is one of the reasons why the Occupy Movement started and spread throughout the Mediterranean area prior to coming to Wall Street. This upward redistribution of wealth makes a growing number of people more strongly dependent on wealthy elites from the private sector.

We should also note that when a writer on Greece's economy shows no knowledge of what neoliberalism is, as Couretas demonstrates here, the articles produced by him will probably not yield any great insights. Neoliberalism is what Milton Friedman promoted. Neoliberalism is what is practiced in many Western nations today. And we should note that it is practiced with devastating results. And history shows that many times, governments have had to bully the people into experiencing this kind of economy which is ironic because neliberalism champions a laissez-faire relationship between gov't and business. The first example of such bullying came with the coup that replaced Chile's President Allende with military dictator Augusto Pinochet. Argentina and Russia also saw bullying used to install a neoliberal economic system.

The real key to how Greece will be administered by the new government is how much it will include people to participate in its decision making processes. What Conservative often fail to see is that widespread participation  is an essential part of being a leftist. If Greece's new Prime Minister Tsipras rules as a well-meaning elite, then a changing of the guard between conservative and nonconservative elites will more like become the order of the day.




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