Home > Uncategorized > “You didn’t build that!”

“You didn’t build that!”

I wasn’t going to wade into this one, but I want to demonstrate, 100% within context, the logical extension of what Obama said. First, the original quote:

If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.

Alright, now the logical extension:

If you weren’t successful, somebody along the line failed you. There was a horrible teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody else is at fault in this American system that we have that didn’t allow you to thrive. Somebody neglected to invest in roads and bridges. If you’ve failed in business, you didn’t fail there. Somebody else made that failure happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet*. The point is, when we fail, we fail because of our individual initiative, but also because we failed collectively and we should all share in the pain of failure.

To the extent that success can be credited to collective action, so too can failure. It logically follows that if society deserves a, seemingly unlimited, share of each persons success, society should reap the rewards of a persons failure. If I owe you for my success, you owe me for my failure. They are two sides of the same coin and are just as inseparable.

*As far as the internet goes, I agree that government, specifically defense, research created it. However, the government also deserves credit for not opening it to commercial use until the mid-90’s. Imagine where we would be today if the government had taken it’s foot off the throat of commercial innovation. The government didn’t create it so that “all the companies could make money off the Internet” either. It was created for totally different reasons and only kicking and screaming did it enter commercial use.

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. 2012/08/07 at 15:26

    My biggest problem with Obama’s formulation is that it is ass-backwards.

    Government doesn’t build roads to nowhere only to have businesses decide to go locate there; business explore and develop undeveloped resources, and then roads and governments follow, paid for by taxing those already established entities. There are certainly exceptions, but by and large that is how it works. Even the internet took off when individuals and businesses started exploring it’s usefellness – the govenment didn’t create Amazon or Ebay.

  2. 2012/08/07 at 20:38

    When I play a game of Halo and go 20-3, a good portion of the credit belongs to me for a team victory (for a game that goes to first to 50 kills, teams of four). On the flip side, if I go 20-3 and my team loses, some of the loss goes to me, both rationally and in the official scoring. That makes sense.

    But none of this is to say that I deserve full credit for the victory or loss. Even if my teammates are all absolutely awful and have negative kill/death ratios, I still benefited from their presence in a win; if I went 1 on 4, I probably would have loss.

    Jack – The Interstate was often build through nothingness because it represented the fastest way from point A to point B. Not only did this enable transactions between A and B to become cheaper, but it caused businesses and towns to pop up between them.

    Even the internet took off when individuals and businesses started exploring it’s usefellness – the govenment didn’t create Amazon or Ebay.

    You’re missing the mark. The government created the conditions by which Amazon and eBay are able to capitalize.

  3. 2012/08/07 at 21:50

    The Interstate was often build through nothingness because it represented the fastest way from point A to point B. Not only did this enable transactions between A and B to become cheaper, but it caused businesses and towns to pop up between them.

    Sure, it joined large already established cities that began because untold numbers of people crossed the West to establish said cities. And while it certainly enhanced transportation of goods, it also destroyed a lot of small towns and businesses, as evidenced in the documentary ‘Cars’.

  4. 2012/08/08 at 02:02

    I didn’t say anything about full credit and the internet was turned into something commercially useful by the private sector. Putting much of that credit on the government is like giving a deer credit for the game trails that became foot paths, that became dirt roads that were eventually paved over.

    And you are right that you don’t get all the blame or the credit for a loss or win, but my point is still valid. The government gets as much blame for failure and it would have gotten in credit for a success.

    I don’t put much credit on the shoulders of government because the consumer profits just as much as business. Exchange creates wealth, when you give someone money for something you are getting something back that you value equally as much as you did the money or more so.

    The phrase, “public goods”, as highways and other such things are, means roads are just another resource and that my using those roads doesn’t take the ability of anyone else to use them away. Successful business’s don’t owe much to the existence of public goods, they are owned by people who have figured out how to exploit them in ways that others have chosen not to. It doesn’t matter where the public good comes from and businesses are no more or less enriched than you are by their existence.

    Just as a curiosity, cars predate roads as we know them today, if you look at the Model T and other vehicles of the era, you’ll notice thin tires and that the cars sit very high up off the ground. We only have nice roads because of the private companies that made cars. Our interstate system is modeled after Germany’s, so if we are handing out credit, we need to give Hitler a ton of it.

  5. 2012/08/08 at 15:05

    Jack – Yes, the Interstate did bring a lot of loss to small towns that no longer had regular traffic. But you’re still missing the mark. It has brought about a spectacular amount of wealth to the United States. Don’t worry, it’s okay to admit that government has done something good. (Maybe you’ll be willing to be less stubborn the next time a Republican is in office.)

    Nate – Your whole argument has been premised in your grammatical misunderstanding of what the President said. In your mock paragraph you act as though failure is the fault of everyone else. This is an attempt to contrast your misconception that Obama said business success goes to everyone else. For example,

    If you’ve failed in business, you didn’t fail there. Somebody else made that failure happen.

    You’re playing off a Hartwell-like understanding of English that purports the President said businesses did not build their own success. As a simple grammatical analysis (and an honest understanding) shows, he said businesses did not build roads, bridges, the Internet, etc. If you want to flip around the President’s words to make them about failure, then you have to talk about how it isn’t the fault of any individual business when a road washes out or a bridge collapses or a levy breaks.

  6. 2012/08/08 at 15:36

    I’m not playing off of anything. If these resources, the internet, highways, etc., are such a significant part of the success of any given business, then when a business fails, some blame must also be on the entity that claims to be one of the significant sources of success, the infrastructure builder.

    And you didn’t touch on my best point, that every individual gets at least an equal share of the benefits from business, when you buy something you gain wealth, as does the business, no one loses. Public goods.

  7. 2012/08/08 at 16:07

    Jack – Yes, the Interstate did bring a lot of loss to small towns that no longer had regular traffic. But you’re still missing the mark. It has brought about a spectacular amount of wealth to the United States. Don’t worry, it’s okay to admit that government has done something good. (Maybe you’ll be willing to be less stubborn the next time a Republican is in office.)

    I have no problem admitting the government does some things well – I’m conservative, I’m not an anarchist.

    As I said, developing the internet was a good thing – though it wasn’t developed with the thought of what it has come today as a result of the initiative of individuals and businesses. In the same way Eisenhower advocated the building of the freeway system not as a means to enhance the flow of goods, but to allow the military to move about the country more quickly in case of an invasion by godless commies. The fact that it was utilized for commerce by businesses that saw the benefit of it is the genius of the private sector.

    The fact that the Federal government can no longer maintain the same roads it once built because it is suffering from crushing debt is the weakness of relying on the government to build things for us.

  8. 2012/08/08 at 16:47

    He is right Michael, the government didn’t create the highways for truckers and RV’s, Ike proposed and built them for the same reason Napoleon built long avenues and very narrow alleys in Paris (to reduce whatever advantage partisans might have) and why Hilter built the Autobahn, in both of those cases and in the case of America, they were built largely for military reasons.

    I might also add, that while some of the funds used for infrastructure are tax dollars, the lions share it usually gained by selling bonds. So once again, who really deserves credit, and how much, for the infrastructure? Only a bit of it is government, the rest is private investment. Just like Bank of America pretty much financed the entire project that resulted in what we call the Golden Gate Bridge today.

  9. 2012/08/08 at 19:21

    You should brush up on your history a little more. Eisenhower had a number of reasons for advocating so much for the Interstate system.

    http://todayinsci.com/Events/Transport/HighwayInterstate-Quotations.htm

    “Together, the united forces of our communication and transportation systems are dynamic elements in the very name we bear — United States. Without them, we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts.”

    (That damned socialist!)

    The Interstate system was a way of connecting the United States in order to make it a significantly stronger nation; Eisenhower had quickly recognized that the Autobahn not only made Germany a strong military foe, but it also gave it much of its economic strength as well.

    The fact that it was utilized for commerce by businesses that saw the benefit of it is the genius of the private sector.

    Sort of like how a crow is a genius for taking the shortest route from point A to point B.

    The fact that the Federal government can no longer maintain the same roads it once built because it is suffering from crushing debt is the weakness of relying on the government to build things for us.

    For someone who has been to developing nations, you don’t see to have much appreciation for the immense wealth and ability of the US.

  10. 2012/08/08 at 19:31

    Nate – You seem to have an absolute grudge against learning anything about infrastructure and its value – including the history surrounding it. It wasn’t just some polemic, black and white reasoning Eisenhower had for building the Interstate. His primary influence – military experience – dated back to his days in a convoy in the US during WW1, but he also saw the economic viability of being able to move goods from one place to another. If you look at the project, you can see that roads weren’t just built in places and ways that were strategic for the military.

    So once again, who really deserves credit, and how much, for the infrastructure? Only a bit of it is government, the rest is private investment.

    You’re obfuscating the point. It is the collective action of people building the system we have in place that has gotten we are. Government is often the actor for public interests – and we need that – but the credit is the collective actions.

    But you go ahead and keep making money on your driving school. You totally aren’t benefiting from anything the government has done. It’s 100% you.

  11. 2012/08/09 at 10:30

    The Interstate system was a way of connecting the United States in order to make it a significantly stronger nation; Eisenhower had quickly recognized that the Autobahn not only made Germany a strong military foe, but it also gave it much of its economic strength as well.

    None of which changes the fact that the original act was called the “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act” and that Eisenhower argued for it because as a military commandeer he saw the Autobahn and Germany, and had participated in the first transcontinental convoy which established the need for a way to move the military more rapidly across the US for purposes of defense. If anything this is an argument for greater investment in military spending, which has obvious and proven auxiliary impacts. It is not an argument for massive welfare state spending, of the sort Obama is actually trying to defend with his ‘you didn’t build that’ speech.

    But conservative fiscal and political philosophy doesn’t deny there are some things the government is best suited for – and I think large interstate infrastructure projects might be one of those things since no one business or state can handle them. But such projects are actually undermined by the myriad of less effective social programs the government has indebted itself with, a debt which actually prevents large scale investment in infrastructure development and thus hurts the economy rather than helps.

    Sort of like how a crow is a genius for taking the shortest route from point A to point B.

    Yes, but I would deny Obama the right to take credit for which direction crows choose to fly as well.

    For someone who has been to developing nations, you don’t see to have much appreciation for the immense wealth and ability of the US.

    The vast wealth and ability of the US isn’t at question; the competence and constraint of the Federal government is.

  12. 2012/08/10 at 01:35

    None of which changes the fact that the original act was called the “National Interstate and Defense Highways Act” and that Eisenhower argued for it because as a military commandeer he saw the Autobahn and Germany, and had participated in the first transcontinental convoy which established the need for a way to move the military more rapidly across the US for purposes of defense.

    Good job. You repeated what I already said while leaving out a key fact that undermined your polemics.

    It is not an argument for massive welfare state spending, of the sort Obama is actually trying to defend with his ‘you didn’t build that’ speech.

    I sense that if Ronald Regan made the same speech, you would not only understand it, but you would fully support it.

    But conservative fiscal and political philosophy doesn’t deny there are some things the government is best suited for – and I think large interstate infrastructure projects might be one of those things since no one business or state can handle them.

    Modern conservative rhetoric does deny that. Government is pure evil and only destroys wealth. You even have revisionists who argue that WW2 had nothing to do with getting us out of the Great Depression.

    But such projects are actually undermined by the myriad of less effective social programs the government has indebted itself with, a debt which actually prevents large scale investment in infrastructure development and thus hurts the economy rather than helps.

    Few people are willing to defend government as a model of efficiency. The fact is, it isn’t. So I agree with you that poor allocation of funds do undermine other areas. However, none of this addresses the point the President made.

  13. 2012/08/10 at 12:02

    Good job. You repeated what I already said while leaving out a key fact that undermined your polemics.

    I always like to repeat points when they are ignored in the overly optimistic hope that the person simply wasn’t paying attention and wasn’t intentionally avoiding addressing point.

    I sense that if Ronald Regan made the same speech, you would not only understand it, but you would fully support it.

    I would certainly support it, as to make such a point he would have to raise from the dead. I always give extra weight to people who have risen from the dead and have some insight to share as a result of the experience.

    Modern conservative rhetoric does deny that. Government is pure evil and only destroys wealth. You even have revisionists who argue that WW2 had nothing to do with getting us out of the Great Depression.

    Really, I would be interested to hear what ‘modern conservatives’ you are listening to that say that. Leaders like Paul Ryan and Chris Christie certainly aren’t saying that. Especially given they are serving in government. In fact one wonders why conservatives participate in the process at all if they consider government to be ‘pure evil’? Again, confusing conservatism with anarchism.

    Few people are willing to defend government as a model of efficiency. The fact is, it isn’t. So I agree with you that poor allocation of funds do undermine other areas. However, none of this addresses the point the President made.

    Hey, if the President were to assert with some regularity what you just acknowledged, then there would be room to interpret his words more generously – much as Clinton did when he proclaimed ‘the era of big government is over’ in the ‘90s.

  14. 2012/08/12 at 17:05

    I always like to repeat points when they are ignored in the overly optimistic hope that the person simply wasn’t paying attention and wasn’t intentionally avoiding addressing point.

    Are you lost? How could I ignore a point when I was the first to raise it? Moreover, how am I the one guilty of ignoring anything when you refuse to acknowledge that Eisenhower recognized the strength of Germany on more than a military level?

    I always give extra weight to people who have risen from the dead and have some insight to share as a result of the experience.

    Has the bed you and your wife sleep on risen from the dead?

    Really, I would be interested to hear what ‘modern conservatives’ you are listening to that say that.

    Maybe it was the ones who said the government was going to create death panels or those who have argued that the Interstate system didn’t create wealth, instead attributing taking the shortest driving route from point A to point B to the genius of the private sector.

    Hey, if the President were to assert with some regularity what you just acknowledged, then there would be room to interpret his words more generously…

    And there it is. You aren’t interpreting his words on the basis of their actual meaning. You aren’t acknowledging the point he overtly made (prefacing it with “The point is”). You are being a dutiful Republican and misinterpreting the President based upon the false narrative Rush and Sean have built up in your head.

  15. 2012/08/14 at 17:12

    Are you lost? How could I ignore a point when I was the first to raise it? Moreover, how am I the one guilty of ignoring anything when you refuse to acknowledge that Eisenhower recognized the strength of Germany on more than a military level?

    Eisenhower recognized the need for an interstate in 1919 when he led an army convoy across the US and it took 2 months.

    But let’s not get caught up in facts – I am willing to concede both that the interstate system is a good thing (Actually, I already did that) and that there were other considerations that led to its construction besides military ones.

    So what?

    Those points have nothing to do with Obama defending his record. Over 40 years the interstate cost the Federal government 114.3 billion dollars. And Eisenhower made sure the interstate was paid for. Obama’s stimulus plan cost $800 billion, and he has added trillions more to the deficit. Do we have anything like the interstate system? For that kind of money we should have a frikkin’ interstate system on the moon. He has added nothing that would facilitate the growth or efficiency of business or economic transactions. So he doesn’t get to justify his administration with that sort of rhetoric.

    Maybe it was the ones who said the government was going to create death panels or those who have argued that the Interstate system didn’t create wealth, instead attributing taking the shortest driving route from point A to point B to the genius of the private sector.

    Even conceding someone may have said those things and ignoring your misquoting and misattribution of those quotes, you have still yet to prove that modern conservatism holds that “Government is pure evil and only destroys wealth” That would require you to show a modern conservative (preferably an influential one) saying something to the effect, “Government is pure evil and only destroys wealth.” Not merely that ‘this government action is evil’ (which both liberals and conservatives have claimed) or ‘this particular
    Good luck with that.

    And there it is. You aren’t interpreting his words on the basis of their actual meaning. You aren’t acknowledging the point he overtly made (prefacing it with “The point is”). You are being a dutiful Republican and misinterpreting the President based upon the false narrative Rush and Sean have built up in your head.

    No, I am just saying everything he is done the last four years flies in the face of his attempting to justify his policies based on the idea that government actions help business and they can’t create wealth apart from such action. Not all do and his certainly haven’t.

  16. 2012/08/15 at 20:03

    Eisenhower recognized the need for an interstate in 1919 when he led an army convoy across the US and it took 2 months.

    Here you go again. I already raised this point. Then, since I know more about this subject than you ever will, I also pointed out other aspects of what Eisenhower recognized. You then repeated the first point I raised, ignored the second point, and accused me of ignoring the first point. Now here we are, once again, with you repeating a point I raised days ago, yet you are still ignoring the second point. I don’t know if you’re just embracing your base dishonesty or if your age is getting to you.

    But let’s not get caught up in facts – I am willing to concede both that the interstate system is a good thing (Actually, I already did that) and that there were other considerations that led to its construction besides military ones.

    So what?

    This seems to be your debate strategy: Find a point, get destroyed on said point, dance and dance and dance, hope that said point gets lost in the shuffle.

    If you recall (and you do not), you raised the point that the government doesn’t build roads that go through uncharted territory, so to speak, developing undeveloped resources. I then pointed out that the government, in fact, has done this. You then obfuscated the point by noting that the Interstate system went around a lot of towns, causing them to wither.

    So, now that I’ve had to get you back on track for who knows how many times now, the answer to your “So what?” is that the government has contributed to the wealth of America. Since that was the sole point President Obama made, you have now officially lost the argument.

    Those points have nothing to do with Obama defending his record.

    I would backtrack and get you back on point, but you’ve just raised an entirely new and random point. In fact, you’ve raised a red herring of a point. The sole point President Obama made in the few paragraphs in question from his speech is that government has contributed to the wealth of America via the creation of a great system. You ceded that. You lost.

    Over 40 years the interstate cost the Federal government 114.3 billion dollars.

    Since I have actually written numerous papers on this topic, and since I’ve long been a big fan of the Interstate system, I immediately knew that you didn’t even bother to finish reading your source (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm#question6). If you continue, you will see the number is $119 billion.

    And Eisenhower made sure the interstate was paid for.

    It’s a good thing that paragraph didn’t have any special nuances like the last one, huh?

    Obama’s stimulus plan cost $800 billion, and he has added trillions more to the deficit.

    Much of that was from tax cuts, and spending has been increased by percentage by less than most other years going back to Reagan. Moreover, in only three years we went from the worst recession since the Great Depression to 27 months of job growth, unemployment decreased by 2 percentage points, 4 million private sector jobs recovered, a couple of notable little car companies still exist instead…well, not, and the Dow Jones is at record levels. But I don’t see what any of these pesky facts have to do with the fact that the government has contributed to the wealth of America via the creation of a great system under which businesses have thrived. You know. That point you ceded. Losing you the argument and all.

    Even conceding someone may have said those things and ignoring your misquoting and misattribution of those quotes, you have still yet to prove that modern conservatism holds that “Government is pure evil and only destroys wealth”

    Classic rhetoric. Your opponent uses hyperbole, you take it literally.

    No, I am just saying everything he is done the last four years flies in the face of his attempting to justify his policies based on the idea that government actions help business and they can’t create wealth apart from such action.

    Now, the thing with not using hyperbole is that I can legitimately ask you to provide some quotes. Where did the President say “[businesses] can’t create wealth apart from [government] action”?

  17. 2012/08/15 at 20:03

    You still haven’t answered my question about your bed.

  18. 2012/08/15 at 23:07

    Here you go again. I already raised this point. Then, since I know more about this subject than you ever will, I also pointed out other aspects of what Eisenhower recognized. You then repeated the first point I raised, ignored the second point, and accused me of ignoring the first point. Now here we are, once again, with you repeating a point I raised days ago, yet you are still ignoring the second point. I don’t know if you’re just embracing your base dishonesty or if your age is getting to you.

    You didn’t know anything about it until I brought it up and you googled it. And you didn’t say anything about his 1919 convoy, because you didn’t know anything about it. You don’t have to make thing up, it’s just you me and Nate who are paying attention.

    This seems to be your debate strategy: Find a point, get destroyed on said point, dance and dance and dance, hope that said point gets lost in the shuffle.

    Actually, it’s make a point, realize you are clueless about the point, then move on to something you might get. Why I keep trying, I have no clue.

    If you recall (and you do not), you raised the point that the government doesn’t build roads that go through uncharted territory, so to speak, developing undeveloped resources. I then pointed out that the government, in fact, has done this. You then obfuscated the point by noting that the Interstate system went around a lot of towns, causing them to wither.

    Actually, you didn’t point that out. You didn’t address it at all. The government didn’t build the interstate through ‘unchartered territory’, the continental US was pretty well settled by the time we built interstates. Try to keep up.

    So, now that I’ve had to get you back on track for who knows how many times now, the answer to your “So what?” is that the government has contributed to the wealth of America. Since that was the sole point President Obama made, you have now officially lost the argument.

    Well again, I conceded the point for the sake of the argument – you apparently don’t understand what that means since you keep returning to smell the same garbage. Obama hasn’t created any wealth, though he has destroyed quite a bit.

    Since I have actually written numerous papers on this topic, and since I’ve long been a big fan of the Interstate system, I immediately knew that you didn’t even bother to finish reading your source (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/faq.htm#question6). If you continue, you will see the number is $119 billion.

    Which doesn’t change the point one bit.

    It’s a good thing that paragraph didn’t have any special nuances like the last one, huh?

    Still dissembling…

    Much of that was from tax cuts, and spending has been increased by percentage by less than most other years going back to Reagan. Moreover, in only three years we went from the worst recession since the Great Depression to 27 months of job growth, unemployment decreased by 2 percentage points, 4 million private sector jobs recovered, a couple of notable little car companies still exist instead…well, not, and the Dow Jones is at record levels. But I don’t see what any of these pesky facts have to do with the fact that the government has contributed to the wealth of America via the creation of a great system under which businesses have thrived. You know. That point you ceded. Losing you the argument and all.

    I am not even going to address the inanity of your economic analysis, because it is another point. I’ll just point out I never argued the government didn’t contribute to the wealth – so it’s hard to lose an argument I never made. I said the argument was ass backwards – that individuals and businesses create wealth by developing natural resources and then the government follows. I acknowledged right off there were exceptions, but even when the government provides a valuable service (roads, a computer network, etc.) it is individuals and business that make take advantage of and develop those basic services. They become part of the conditions in which businesses operate. Of course you didn’t actually read my very first post because you have your head up your butt as usual.

    Classic rhetoric. Your opponent uses hyperbole, you take it literally.

    Funny how you attempted to defend it, then when you couldn’t it became ‘hyperbole’.

    Now, the thing with not using hyperbole is that I can legitimately ask you to provide some quotes. Where did the President say “[businesses] can’t create wealth apart from [government] action”?

    Actually I said he was trying to, “justify his policies based on the idea that government actions help businesses and they can’t create wealth apart from such action. “ I didn’t say he said he said those words. It’s called an inference based on the context Michael.
    What exactly do you think the point of a campaign speech is? It’s to justify one’s policies.
    The President is justifying taxing businesses more based on the idea that they owe the government something for making money. That’s his whole point.
    But if you want to concede that businesses can create wealth apart from the government, be my guest.

  19. 2012/08/16 at 00:25

    You didn’t know anything about it until I brought it up and you googled it.

    Because I certainly never wrote a paper last semester that utilized Eisenhower’s idea (http://forthesakeofscience.com/2012/05/06/thought-of-the-day-400/). If you’re wondering, one of the better History Channel specials on the Interstate comes from 2006. I believe they also had one in 2008 on mega highways.

    And you didn’t say anything about his 1919 convoy, because you didn’t know anything about it.

    You may want to use ctrl+f to search “convoy”. You’ll notice that I mentioned it well before you did. I recommend you next look into the Lincoln Highway so you’ll be up to speed if things go that way.

    Actually, it’s make a point, realize you are clueless about the point, then move on to something you might get. Why I keep trying, I have no clue.

    You said the government doesn’t develop undeveloped resources. It did, does, and will. Moreover, you admitted as much.

    Actually, you didn’t point that out. You didn’t address it at all. The government didn’t build the interstate through ‘unchartered territory’, the continental US was pretty well settled by the time we built interstates. Try to keep up.

    I guess “so to speak” didn’t help you out. “Uncharted territory” in this context refers to developing those undeveloped resources, as you said while channeling Rumsfeld. In other words, I said you raised the point that the government doesn’t build and develop resources. From there we have my Interstate example, from which you jumped into your shuffle step. (Let me know if “shuffle step” is too abstract for you.)

    Well again, I conceded the point for the sake of the argument – you apparently don’t understand what that means since you keep returning to smell the same garbage. Obama hasn’t created any wealth, though he has destroyed quite a bit.

    The entire argument is over what President Obama said. You even began your response by directly addressing his “formulation”, repeating the general FOX News talking points. All you’re doing now is attempting to change the subject. You lost, you admitted you lost, but now you won’t admit you admitted anything.

    Which doesn’t change the point one bit…Still dissembling…

    It all ties into the fact that you’re only now learning about the details of the Interstate system. That explains why you were repeating one of my points over and over but completely ignoring a second point of mine.

    I am not even going to address the inanity of your economic analysis, because it is another point.

    I didn’t give any economic opinion or analysis. I stated 7 facts about the economy. (Six if you count my statement on the stimulus tax cuts separately.) But I’m glad to see you admit that this is all another point. You know. Since it has nothing to do with the speech President Obama gave. You know. The one where, in a select few paragraphs, he made the sole point that government has contributed to the wealth of America via the creation of a great system under which businesses have thrived.

    I’ll just point out I never argued the government didn’t contribute to the wealth – so it’s hard to lose an argument I never made. I said the argument was ass backwards – that individuals and businesses create wealth by developing natural resources and then the government follows.

    Which resources did businesses develop in the deserts of Utah? Come on, Jack. Not only are you arguing against nothing the President even said, but you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too.*

    Funny how you attempted to defend it, then when you couldn’t it became ‘hyperbole’.

    I defended it as hyperbole from the get-go. Like history and (especially) science, English is one of your weak points.

    It’s called an inference based on the context Michael.

    You should be able to provide a few quotes that support your contention. I don’t see a one in his speech. You know. The speech where you already conceded the sole point he made.

    The President is justifying taxing businesses more based on the idea that they owe the government something for making money. That’s his whole point.

    And what point does any of this mean that businesses are unable to create wealth without the government? Please provide even a single quote where the President has said this. Hell, provide me a quote where Karl Marx has said it.

    But if you want to concede that businesses can create wealth apart from the government, be my guest.

    So, hang on. Just what is it do you think you’ve done? Do you think you’ve caught me in something? You’re just silly. Anyone can create wealth in virtually any situation. The issue is over the best way to do that for society.

    *I’m tired, so feel free to insert a fat joke here.

  20. 2012/08/16 at 14:48

    Because I certainly never wrote a paper last semester that utilized Eisenhower’s idea (http://forthesakeofscience.com/2012/05/06/thought-of-the-day-400/). If you’re wondering, one of the better History Channel specials on the Interstate comes from 2006. I believe they also had one in 2008 on mega highways.

    The fact that you wrote paper makes it even more pitiful you weren’t aware of Eisenhower’s motivations for building an interstate. I mean have you stopped to consider for three milliseconds why poverty stricken nations don’t just ‘build highways’?

    You may want to use ctrl+f to search “convoy”. You’ll notice that I mentioned it well before you did. I recommend you next look into the Lincoln Highway so you’ll be up to speed if things go that way.

    Which makes it even more pitiful knowing you knew that and still insisted it was for economic proposes that the interstates were built.

    You said the government doesn’t develop undeveloped resources. It did, does, and will , you admitted as much.

    I didn’t say that Michael. While hyperbole may be a legitimate rhetorical device, lying is not.

    The entire argument is over what President Obama said. You even began your response by directly addressing his “formulation”, repeating the general FOX News talking points. All you’re doing now is attempting to change the subject. You lost, you admitted you lost, but now you won’t admit you admitted anything.

    I said his formulation was as backwards – and it is. If there hadn’t been development of resources by individuals will to sacrifice lives and fortunes there would be no government to build roads and internets, which would be further developed by businesses and individuals. You have said nothing to contradict this other than ‘the government helped build a road, uh huh, it did, it did’.

    It all ties into the fact that you’re only now learning about the details of the Interstate system. That explains why you were repeating one of my points over and over but completely ignoring a second point of mine.

    I’m ignoring them because they are inane and irrelevant to the point I originally made. Also, because you are boring me with circular conversation. Also because I have better things to do.

    I didn’t give any economic opinion or analysis. I stated 7 facts about the economy. (Six if you count my statement on the stimulus tax cuts separately.) But I’m glad to see you admit that this is all another point. You know. Since it has nothing to do with the speech President Obama gave. You know. The one where, in a select few paragraphs, he made the sole point that government has contributed to the wealth of America via the creation of a great system under which businesses have thrived.

    I understand you confuse ‘facts’ with ‘borrowed opinions’ but you ignored a number of other facts I stated like the complete ineffectiveness of the $800 billion dollar stimulus with comparison to the infrastructure spending done previously. The simple fact is the unemployment rate was below 8% in January of 2008 and it has remained above 8% since that time. I don’t blame this completely on the President, but it seems fairly obvious at this juncture his spending was at least misdirected. And if tax policy is the problem, why didn’t he address this while he had solid majorities in Congress? And why were Clinton and Bush able to reduce deficits with the tax policy Reagan gave them?
    The GDP remains anemic, we are losing money on Obama’s GM investment, and even the Democrats in Congress have rejected his otherworldly budgets. He just hasn’t delivered Michael and he really isn’t in a position to lecture businesses on what they should pay the government to for ‘helping’ them.

    Which resources did businesses develop in the deserts of Utah? Come on, Jack. Not only are you arguing against nothing the President even said, but you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too.

    You do realize that while the government developed the use of uranium for building bombs (another military purpose), there were numerous individuals and companies involved in the discovery and mining of those resources, right? I mean it’s a bad example because there were also numerous restrictions placed on the resources for military reasons, and further restrictions placed on nuclear power development, but again you have it mostly backwards.

    I defended it as hyperbole from the get-go. Like history and (especially) science, English is one of your weak points.

    Well for someone who poses as an expert in history, science, and English (oh, and a fitness, economic, and political expert to boot) one wonders why you are still working a minimum wage job at a halfway house.

    You should be able to provide a few quotes that support your contention. I don’t see a one in his speech. You know. The speech where you already conceded the sole point he made.

    Like I said, you don’t even understand why he is giving the speech.

    And what point does any of this mean that businesses are unable to create wealth without the government? Please provide even a single quote where the President has said this. Hell, provide me a quote where Karl Marx has said.

    Show me a quote that demonstrates he understand that simple principal. Show me some evidence that he understands that the vast entanglements of bureaucracy and regulation hurt business, or that it is government that depends on the wealth production of businesses and individuals and not the other way around. Again, why is he giving the speech if not to justify his desire to tax control businesses more?

    So, hang on. Just what is it do you think you’ve done? Do you think you’ve caught me in something? You’re just silly. Anyone can create wealth in virtually any situation. The issue is over the best way to do that for society.

    Really? Then what wealth are you creating? If it’s so easy, why do we have poverty at all? I didn’t catch you in anything other than your complete ignorance about what it takes to generate wealth.

  21. 2012/08/16 at 18:41

    The fact that you wrote paper makes it even more pitiful you weren’t aware of Eisenhower’s motivations for building an interstate. I mean have you stopped to consider for three milliseconds why poverty stricken nations don’t just ‘build highways’?

    Every time I think your base dishonesty can’t get any more blatant, you surprise me. Remember when I first raised the point that Eisenhower was influenced by the military might of Germany? Remember when you repeated that point? Remember when I noted your needless repetition?

    As for poverty stricken nations building highways, you don’t even understand the project I was doing. Unlike your daily renewed dishonesty, that isn’t surprising since you’ve never taken more than one or two intro to bio courses.

    Which makes it even more pitiful knowing you knew that and still insisted it was for economic proposes that the interstates were built.

    I’m glad you said that. I feared the annoyance of you denying that you were claiming I insisted the Interstate was for economic purposes. But now that you’ve completely owned your strawman, I recommend you backtrack and read things I’ve written, such as, “Eisenhower had a number of reasons for advocating so much for the Interstate system” and “Eisenhower had quickly recognized that the Autobahn not only made Germany a strong military foe, but it also gave it much of its economic strength as well.”

    I didn’t say that Michael. While hyperbole may be a legitimate rhetorical device, lying is not.

    You said, “Government doesn’t build roads to nowhere only to have businesses decide to go locate there; business explore and develop undeveloped resources, and then roads and governments follow, paid for by taxing those already established entities.” So what are we to make of this? Here are the points you made:

    1. Businesses develop undeveloped resources.
    2. Government only follows businesses.

    Are you saying that government develops undeveloped resources and that businesses sometimes follow? That would seem to contradict your statement that the government doesn’t build roads to nowhere (i.e., develop undeveloped resources).

    I said his formulation was as backwards – and it is. If there hadn’t been development of resources by individuals will to sacrifice lives and fortunes there would be no government to build roads and internets, which would be further developed by businesses and individuals. You have said nothing to contradict this other than ‘the government helped build a road, uh huh, it did, it did’.

    I’ve contradicted this plenty, but maybe you’re lost: The President never argued that. There. Contradicted.

    I’m ignoring them because they are inane and irrelevant to the point I originally made.

    No, no, Jack. Not points. Point. Singular. You are overtly ignoring one particular point I made. That is, I said that Eisenhower recognized the economic strength Germany gained from the Autobahn. You acknowledged/repeated the complementary point about his military influence, but you continue to ignore the economic point.

    Also, because you are boring me with circular conversation. Also because I have better things to do.

    That you are here suggests otherwise.

    I understand you confuse ‘facts’ with ‘borrowed opinions’ but you ignored a number of other facts I stated like the complete ineffectiveness of the $800 billion dollar stimulus with comparison to the infrastructure spending done previously.

    1. Which of the 7 facts I stated are really just borrowed opinions?
    2. Only 45% of the stimulus was devoted to infrastructure. (Or is that just a borrowed opinion of mine?)

    The simple fact is the unemployment rate was below 8% in January of 2008 and it has remained above 8% since that time. I don’t blame this completely on the President, but it seems fairly obvious at this juncture his spending was at least misdirected. And if tax policy is the problem, why didn’t he address this while he had solid majorities in Congress? And why were Clinton and Bush able to reduce deficits with the tax policy Reagan gave them?

    Unemployment was kept down 2 percentage points (CBO) and it has since shrunk another 2 percentage points from its high. That’s in addition to the private sector experiencing steady growth (while governments shrink and cut back). You don’t like those facts, do you? (Or, wait…opinions? I don’t know anymore.) As for tax policy and all that: housing regulations, lower military spending, more stable European economy, technological booms, etc, etc. This stuff doesn’t boil down to a few FOX News talking points.

    You do realize that while the government developed the use of uranium for building bombs (another military purpose), there were numerous individuals and companies involved in the discovery and mining of those resources, right? I mean it’s a bad example because there were also numerous restrictions placed on the resources for military reasons, and further restrictions placed on nuclear power development, but again you have it mostly backwards.

    That has nothing to do with anything, but are you now saying that the government doesn’t develop undeveloped resources?

    Well for someone who poses as an expert in history, science, and English (oh, and a fitness, economic, and political expert to boot) one wonders why you are still working a minimum wage job at a halfway house.

    In other words, you aren’t well versed enough to know what hyperbole is, so you want to play the “Ha, ha, I’m richer than you!” card? Maybe you’re right. I should feel bad for doing something important in a job I held a year ago. (I am flattered, though, that you are still so obsessed with me that you know that. All I remember of you is that you don’t have a biology degree because you couldn’t hack it in science.)

    Like I said, you don’t even understand why he is giving the speech.

    Where did the President imply that businesses cannot create wealth apart from the government?

    Show me a quote that demonstrates he understand that simple principal. Show me some evidence that he understands that the vast entanglements of bureaucracy and regulation hurt business, or that it is government that depends on the wealth production of businesses and individuals and not the other way around.

    Part of the health care act took the middle man out of student loans. At the time, you argued that it was a bad idea. Methinks it is you who does not understand how bureaucracy impacts wealth.

    Really? Then what wealth are you creating? If it’s so easy, why do we have poverty at all? I didn’t catch you in anything other than your complete ignorance about what it takes to generate wealth.

    If I had a rock that someone wanted, and someone had a pine cone that I wanted, we could trade. If one or both of us considered the trade to be a positive one, one or both of us would have greater wealth than when we started. Not all trades are so parsimonious; all trades do not reap equal benefits.

  22. 2012/08/16 at 21:12

    Every time I think your base dishonesty can’t get any more blatant, you surprise me. Remember when I first raised the point that Eisenhower was influenced by the military might of Germany? Remember when you repeated that point? Remember when I noted your needless repetition?

    No I first raised Michael. Do your own search and see this:

    “In the same way Eisenhower advocated the building of the freeway system not as a means to enhance the flow of goods, but to allow the military to move about the country more quickly in case of an invasion by godless commies. The fact that it was utilized for commerce by businesses that saw the benefit of it is the genius of the private sector.”

    But I do apologize – it turns out you weren’t being dishonest, you were sincerely ignorant of this.

    As for poverty stricken nations building highways, you don’t even understand the project I was doing. Unlike your daily renewed dishonesty, that isn’t surprising since you’ve never taken more than one or two intro to bio courses.

    A not very deft avoiding of the question…

    I’m glad you said that. I feared the annoyance of you denying that you were claiming I insisted the Interstate was for economic purposes. But now that you’ve completely owned your strawman, I recommend you backtrack and read things I’ve written, such as, “Eisenhower had a number of reasons for advocating so much for the Interstate system” and “Eisenhower had quickly recognized that the Autobahn not only made Germany a strong military foe, but it also gave it much of its economic strength as well.”

    Which has already been agreed to. It doesn’t change anything, that’s what you don’t get.

    You said, “Government doesn’t build roads to nowhere only to have businesses decide to go locate there; business explore and develop undeveloped resources, and then roads and governments follow, paid for by taxing those already established entities.” So what are we to make of this? Here are the points you made:
    1. Businesses develop undeveloped resources.
    2. Government only follows businesses.
    Are you saying that government develops undeveloped resources and that businesses sometimes follow? That would seem to contradict your statement that the government doesn’t build roads to nowhere (i.e., develop undeveloped resources).

    Your forgot this part:

    ”There are certainly exceptions, but by and large that is how it works.”

    Ooops, Afraid that undermines your entire point! Try again amateur.

    I said his formulation was as backwards – and it is. If there hadn’t been development of resources by individuals will to sacrifice lives and fortunes there would be no government to build roads and internets, which would be further developed by businesses and individuals. You have said nothing to contradict this other than ‘the government helped build a road, uh huh, it did, it did’.

    I’ve contradicted this plenty, but maybe you’re lost: The President never argued that. There. Contradicted.

    ‘The President never argued that’? Obviously he didn’t argue that Michael, because he doesn’t agree with it. He was arguing against it. Are you even keeping track of anything here? Getting a little dense in your old age?

    No, no, Jack. Not points. Point. Singular. You are overtly ignoring one particular point I made. That is, I said that Eisenhower recognized the economic strength Germany gained from the Autobahn. You acknowledged/repeated the complementary point about his military influence, but you continue to ignore the economic point.

    Michael I totally agree Eisenhower saw the benefits of the Autobahn. As a general. In the military. Fighting a war. In Germany. Against Hitler. He wasn’t on an economic development tour. He wasn’t even an economist.

    1. Which of the 7 facts I stated are really just borrowed opinions?
    2. Only 45% of the stimulus was devoted to infrastructure. (Or is that just a borrowed opinion of mine?)

    It doesn’t matter what part was devoted to infrastructure – it was an abject failure.

    Unemployment was kept down 2 percentage points (CBO) and it has since shrunk another 2 percentage points from its high. That’s in addition to the private sector experiencing steady growth (while governments shrink and cut back). You don’t like those facts, do you? (Or, wait…opinions? I don’t know anymore.) As for tax policy and all that: housing regulations, lower military spending, more stable European economy, technological booms, etc, etc. This stuff doesn’t boil down to a few FOX News talking points.

    The unemployment rate went up three points, and came down two, so far. For most of Bush’s admin. it was at 5%. As it was for the end of Clinton’s. And every time jobs are ‘added’ the percentage blips up or stays the same. Know why that is Michael? Because the government isn’t counting people who have stopped looking for work. Which means actual unemployment rate is much higher. The private sector is experiencing anemic growth, by every measure.

    That has nothing to do with anything, but are you now saying that the government doesn’t develop undeveloped resources?

    I never said that.

    In other words, you aren’t well versed enough to know what hyperbole is, so you want to play the “Ha, ha, I’m richer than you!” card? Maybe you’re right. I should feel bad for doing something important in a job I held a year ago. (I am flattered, though, that you are still so obsessed with me that you know that. All I remember of you is that you don’t have a biology degree because you couldn’t hack it in science.)

    I am sure you are doing something to match your vast expertise in every endeavor now Michael.

    Where did the President imply that businesses cannot create wealth apart from the government?

    “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”?

    Part of the health care act took the middle man out of student loans. At the time, you argued that it was a bad idea. Methinks it is you who does not understand how bureaucracy impacts wealth.

    Is getting tens of thousands of dollars into debt easier now?

    If I had a rock that someone wanted, and someone had a pine cone that I wanted, we could trade. If one or both of us considered the trade to be a positive one, one or both of us would have greater wealth than when we started. Not all trades are so parsimonious; all trades do not reap equal benefits.

    Creating wealth isn’t about merely trading, it’s about applying skills to turn resources into something of value they currently aren’t – a rock into an arrowhead, a pine cone into a – I don’t know what the hell value you think a pine cone has. A pet pine cone? Nonetheless it isn’t just about moving resources around. It’s about applying skills and talents to develop resources.

  23. 2012/08/16 at 23:32

    No I first raised Michael. Do your own search and see this:

    You need to backtrack again. The point raised here is what influenced Eisenhower: His military experience. The reason I raised that was in order to juxtapose it with Eisenhower’s other recognition – that the Autobahn gave Germany great economic might to fuel its military. You still insist on ignoring that fact.

    A not very deft avoiding of the question…

    Poor nations don’t build a lot of infrastructure like the US because they don’t have a lot of wealth like the US. I’m afraid, however, that you do not understand the very nature of wealth, so this point is likely lost on you.

    Which has already been agreed to. It doesn’t change anything, that’s what you don’t get.

    Are you backtracking on your claim that I said the Interstate was for economic purposes? Are you openly acknowledging that I have been consistently saying that it was for military and economic reasons? I would prefer to see full sentences, please.

    Your forgot this part:

    ”There are certainly exceptions, but by and large that is how it works.”

    Ooops, Afraid that undermines your entire point! Try again amateur.

    Would one of those exceptions be considerable chunks of the Interstate? Or the Internet? Or schools? I’ve been ignoring your caveat because you only put it out there for, you guess it, exceptions. That implies relatively minor instances. Since all the examples here and from the President’s speech are not minor, your point is irrelevant.

    ‘The President never argued that’? Obviously he didn’t argue that Michael, because he doesn’t agree with it. He was arguing against it. Are you even keeping track of anything here? Getting a little dense in your old age?

    Goodness, you get caught in language a lot. You said his formulation was ass backwards. You then described why you think that his formulation is ass backwards. You then said I have done nothing to contradict your argument that his formulation is ass backwards. I then said that your argument is moot because the formulation you contend is ass backwards is not an argument the President has actually made. I see how the President’s use of “that” has confused you so.

    Michael I totally agree Eisenhower saw the benefits of the Autobahn. As a general. In the military. Fighting a war. In Germany. Against Hitler. He wasn’t on an economic development tour. He wasn’t even an economist.

    So non-economists can not recognize the economic might of other nations? And they can not identify key factors in what brings about economic might in other nations? That’s the argument you want to make? Come on, Jack. Acknowledge that you are simply ignorant of the fact that Eisenhower had civilian purposes in mind in addition to military concerns and move on. As you said, it’s you, me, and Nate. (And I bet Nate isn’t going to read any of this.)

    It doesn’t matter what part was devoted to infrastructure – it was an abject failure.

    1. Which of the 7 facts I stated are really just borrowed opinions? Please answer.
    2. You’re welcome to hold that opinion. It just so happens that 45% of your opinion runs counter to exactly what the GOP wants.

    The unemployment rate went up three points, and came down two, so far. For most of Bush’s admin. it was at 5%

    I’m going to go ahead and ignore the rest of that paragraph right there. It’s clear you aren’t interested in honest discussion. (Not that you ever have been.)

    I never said that.

    Right. You just said that government doesn’t build roads to nowhere because first businesses and individuals must develop undeveloped resources. That in no way implies that government doesn’t develop undeveloped resources.

    I am sure you are doing something to match your vast expertise in every endeavor now Michael.

    I will be happy to email you the research paper with my name on it that will be published in the coming year.

    “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”?

    “That” referred to roads, bridges, and other infrastructure. Try again.

    Is getting tens of thousands of dollars into debt easier now?

    You wanted evidence that the President understands the problems bureaucracy can cause. He reduced it. You argued against him when he did. Those are all the relevant facts here.

    Creating wealth isn’t about merely trading, it’s about applying skills to turn resources into something of value they currently aren’t – a rock into an arrowhead, a pine cone into a – I don’t know what the hell value you think a pine cone has. A pet pine cone? Nonetheless it isn’t just about moving resources around. It’s about applying skills and talents to develop resources.

    That is the way greater and greater wealth – wealth that matters to most humans – is usually created. But that isn’t wealth in and of itself. It really doesn’t matter what value I place on a pine cone. It doesn’t matter that when pet rocks were all the rage back in the 80’s (when you were dropping out of the sciences) that people were affixing value to something most would consider worthless. Every time a rock was purchased, value was created for both parties involved. It is not required that anything by developed.

  24. 2012/08/16 at 23:38

    I’m still waiting for an answer about your bed. Also, if it has risen from the dead, is it more like Jesus or a zombie? There isn’t much difference between the two, I know, but Jesus had to move a huge, heavy boulder in order to raise from the dead. I imagine there are a number of similarities in the Hudson household when you and your wife wake. Or is it more like a zombie? That might explain your general lack of brain power, not to mention why your wife is still with you. (Though, again, the huge, heavy boulder similarity may also be at play – waddling gets tiring, after all, and sometimes it’s just easier to stay put.)

  25. 2012/08/17 at 08:57

    You need to backtrack again. The point raised here is what influenced Eisenhower: His military experience. The reason I raised that was in order to juxtapose it with Eisenhower’s other recognition – that the Autobahn gave Germany great economic might to fuel its military. You still insist on ignoring that fact.

    You are just moving the problem back one step to why Hitler put special emphasis on completing the autobahn to begin with…hmmm, wonder what had in mind…so hard to know…

    Poor nations don’t build a lot of infrastructure like the US because they don’t have a lot of wealth like the US. I’m afraid, however, that you do not understand the very nature of wealth, so this point is likely lost on you.

    Exactly, they don’t have a lot of wealth, because governments can’t just create wealth. I think we are done here since it may be only revelation you might have on the subject. I will let you have the inevitable, irresistible last whiny word.

  26. 2012/08/17 at 20:20

    Oh, I get it. If you accuse me of wanting the last word, maybe you can get away with actually getting it. That’s the only reason you bothered with making two final points. Hey, I’m a nice guy. I’ll let stand what you said and give you the satisfaction of making the last post:

    You’re fat and it’s your fault you’re fat. You will likely die an early death as a result. Tick-tock.

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