A time when politics were not all about greed

Posted by: jgw

A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/24/18 08:01 PM

Harry Truman went from Senator, to Vice President, to President, to dropping the atom bomb on Hiroshima in 29 weeks. When he left office he was almost on the dole. The congress passed a presidential retirement thing and Herbert Hoover agreed to take the retirement so Harry Truman could too - without embarrassment. It was, obviously, a time when greed didn't rule supreme.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_S._Truman#Vice_Presidency_(1945)
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/25/18 03:58 PM

So the guy who caused The Great Depression did a nice thing for the guy who dropped the atomic bomb on civilians.

Can't tell you how impressed I am. Really...can't.

Politics has always been about greed. Always will be.
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/25/18 06:58 PM

That really wasn't the point of my post. That Being said, Hoover was the head of the Hoover Commission which was the last time the Government of the United States had a serious study and was responsible for over 7 major overhauls of government. Its something we REALLY need now!

You, obviously, were against dropping the bomb. This has been debated, and studied to exhaustion and the results are always the same. We did the right thing (sorry about that)
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/26/18 02:06 AM

Pandora's box was opened. Perhaps sealing our fate as a species.

I think you were saying something about a time when governments weren't all about greed.

Money is power. Power is money.
Government is and always has been about greed.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/26/18 06:35 AM

Dropping the bombs on Japan is like the runaway trolley problem: You pull the switch so the trolley kills 5 people instead of 30. You still killed 5 people and have to live with that for the rest of your life. Being President is a hard job.

Do you send the helicopters to get Osama Bin Laden? Carter sent the helicopters to rescue the hostages in Iran, and that was a colossal clusterfudge.
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/26/18 05:35 PM

I don't specifically blame Truman for the first use of nuclear weapons.
He was relatively clueless about the harm that could come from them.
Nor was Hoover single handedly responsible for the The Great Depression. He was also clueless about the management capitalism requires by government.
Republicans remain clueless about the dangers of global war and feed the runaway greed of the military industrial complex in the name of national security.
At the same time they are also clueless about the dangers of capitalism gone too far. We are currently living in a second Guilded Age where the richest among us control government with the limitless money they have to spend. Greed, jgw, it's all about greed.
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/26/18 06:02 PM

I had a friend that was one of the first on site, after the bomb was dropped (actually arrested by a marine sargeant for being a traitor but MacArther fixed that one and the sargeant was no longer a sargeant. He was in charge of German capacity after that war and then was in charge of just what the bomb did. What he had which was really interesting were pictures of the Tokyo underground after the blanket bombing. Sucked out the air and thousands hiding from the bombs died of oxygen deprivation. I guess my point is dead is dead - regardless of cause. That, incidentally also happened in Germany.

My point about greed is that, while aware of power/greed, think that, now, our elected class is almost proud of their corruption and, as far as I can tell, nobody denies it. Our healthcare is a really good example of that one. We spend almost twice as much as every other industrialized nation in the world yet our "best healthcare in the world" is something like 32nd in the world and our life expectancy is going down! Basically, the money we spend has little to do with health. We also seem to be 32nd (out of 132) in the world in perceived corruption:
http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info...ion-and-bribery
https://www.transparency.org/country/USA

We are not the worst but neither are we that much better. Canada, for instance, rates higher than we as not being corrupt.

Another example. When Harry Truman left gov he was not exactly well off and didn't get rich over time. Recent presidents, however, tend to get rich kinda quick - one can only wonder why and how that is? There is also the politicians that 'retire' with million dollar campaign funds which morph into personal funds, of one sort or another. The actions of congress is another indicator. Neither Republicans OR Democrats were able to pass a law forcing them that put up political ads to put their names on them even though the supremes said they could. The drug scams is another one. We, the taxpayers, pay universities to do drug research and then the drug companies get to sell them for profit (not quite that simple but close). This list is very long, troublesome, and no secret. On the other hand nobody really talks about it either. Nobody actually even wonders why, anymore - its all pretty much 'normalized' now. As far as I can tell we now have a president that ran a criminal enterprise for years is just frosting on the cake.

There was a time when we were
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/27/18 12:05 AM

So far you aren't convincing me that government was ever less about greed. I don't care that Truman was not rich. Nor that Hoover helped him nail down a nice retirement check. Two members of the Former Presidents Club greedily sucking at the government teat. Nothing new there.

Everything government does is about greed. Not just our government...all of them. Throughout history.

Today's republican party is the very embodiment of greed. But so was yesterday's republican party. And so will be tomorrow's.

Democrats only slightly less. Humans are greedy beasts and the very worst of them go into public service.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/27/18 04:30 AM

Harry Truman had some serious scruples about not taking jobs or doing endorsements that would be undignified for a former President. But he did sell his memoirs to Life Magazine for $600,000! That's like $5.6 million in today's dollars. So he was pretty well fixed actually once the Life checks started coming in. Apparently Ike got a tax break and his book money was treated as capital gains, being taxed at only 20%. Major scandal! Truman tried to do the same but the law had changed, so he just got 6 year income averaging deal by receiving payments in installments. Remember the top brackets were huge then. Still, he must have received almost a million per year, which would have kept him in the top bracket.
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/27/18 09:37 PM

Truman did sell that book for 600,000.00 and and also got to pay something like 90% of that in taxes leaving him with less than 60 grand. I remember when they were actually taxing the rich. I understand about greed but I also understand when the greedy own the politicians. There was a time when that was not the case and they paid dearly for being rich. The interesting thing is that, back in the 40's/50's the rich paid for being rich because everybody thought they should. Truman vetoed tax decreases 2 times. it was a time when we actually paid our bills. Saint Reagan actually increased taxes to "pay the bills".

To say all government is all about greed and little else is not exactly right when historically taking a look. The super rich got to pay super taxes. Now they do not. I can remember when one of the super rich complained because he was paying less taxes than his secretary, percentage wise.

Here are a couple of sites that may be of interest:
http://www.presidentprofiles.com/General...nd-pension.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/02/opinion/02iht-edjacoby.4775315.html

Just saying...........
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/28/18 01:17 AM

Quote:
I can remember when one of the super rich complained because he was paying less taxes than his secretary, percentage wise.


That was Warren Buffet: Almost all of his income is capital gains and dividends, so even at the maximum it's taxed far less than moderate earned income rates. He was talking about the percentage he pays versus the percentage his secretary pays. He is truly one of the virtuous rich: He thinks all kinds of income should be taxed at the same rates.
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/28/18 01:26 AM

Quote:
The super rich got to pay super taxes.

Yes, the government got a little too greedy and the rich revolted.
Now the greedy rich refuse to pay their share.
Greed greed greed.
Posted by: pondering_it_all

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/28/18 05:43 AM

And the crazy thing is that they really have no need for it. When you have 100 million dollars, and earn 5 million a year on it, what more can you buy with 40% tax versus 50% tax? Does anybody need to leave their kid more than 5 million dollars? If he's going to do something productive, then 5 million is plenty to get him going. If you want him to be a total waste of oxygen, then leave him more!
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/28/18 06:13 PM

"Yes, the government got a little too greedy and the rich revolted."

They didn't revolt they just bought the elected class. This was less dramatic and didn't leave a lot of blood on the streets. They also seem to have bought more of the political right than the political left which kinda also says something. Hopefully there is enough of the political left that has not been so corrupted that they can fight to level stuff up a bit. Without blood on the street.

The place to start might be to tighten up the regulations on both the elected class and those that would buy their favors.
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/28/18 09:19 PM

Quote:
The place to start might be to tighten up the regulations on both the elected class and those that would buy their favors.


Once you've elected foxes to guard the henhouse it's a little late to ask them to swear off eating chicken...
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/29/18 05:13 PM

since this is, basically, an exercise in wishful thinking I would suggest that, if the left takes congress, they MUST do some of this stuff! The problem, I think, is in the choices. I is, therefore, not a bad thing to make a little suggestion, here and there?

Actually, I would like them to do a couple of things to punish the Righteous Right and then, at least, make an effort to get back to legislating by finding common ground (the sweet spot?). (if one is wishfully thinking why not go for the whole hog!)
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/29/18 06:34 PM

I know...I know...I've just become so skeptical.
As if wishful thinking would jinx any chance of it ever improving.
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 09/30/18 06:00 PM

If nothing else the Jackass administration has proven that we simply don't have enough control over the office of president. I think the assumption would always be the the American electorate can be counted on to do the right thing even though some would quibble that. The fact is that it turns out the American electorate is not infallible and we need rules to help that one along. At the top of that list is the presentation of financial affairs of them that want the position. I am sure there are others but care is required so it doesn't get completely bogged down with regulation.

We need good people to stand for public office. If we start regulating who can run, what they own, their private info, etc. then its unlikely all that many folks will stand up. So, basically, care is required or we really screw the donkey.
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 10/02/18 08:38 PM

Quote:
I think the assumption would always be the the American electorate can be counted on to do the right thing

Boy howdy aint it the truth? I don't know how many times I told people that the rest of us wouldn't let them elect Trump.
Then they said "Hold my beer and watch this."
Posted by: logtroll

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 10/03/18 12:00 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
Quote:
I think the assumption would always be the the American electorate can be counted on to do the right thing

Boy howdy aint it the truth? I don't know how many times I told people that the rest of us wouldn't let them elect Trump.
Then they said "Hold my beer and watch this."

Let me ask the $64,000 question about the elephant in the room - what is the simplest explanation for why 40% of Americans admire Trump, to the point of defending, even praising, every last bit of scumbaggery that he excretes upon all of us?

I can't think of anyone who is more obviously a toxic pile of smoking sociopathic shiit. What am I not understanding about our delusional sistren and brethren?
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 10/03/18 04:55 PM

Quote:
What am I not understanding about our delusional sistren and brethren?
It's pretty simple really. They are Republicans.

What once was a sensible political party has become a religious cult.
Posted by: logtroll

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 10/04/18 02:02 PM

Originally Posted By: Greger
What once was a sensible political party has become a religious cult.

That is true, but it doesn't get at the kernal of the nut.

I think the reason that a substantial number of folks admire Trump (so weird and irrational!) is that he embodies the consummation of two instinctive impulses - greed and power. The corporatists like him because he greases the way for them to accumulate more riches and power. The Regressive Zombies like him because, in their mythical fantasies, they believe they can become like him.

In the real world, however, Trump is simply a narcissistic, cheating, lying, bullying, sociopath.

But is that any way to talk about someone's mythical hero? It's no wonder his followers are so antagonistic toward Trump Cult skeptics!
Posted by: Greger

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 10/04/18 03:54 PM

The Cruelty Is the Point
President Trump and his supporters find community by rejoicing in the suffering of those they hate and fear.

The Atlantic, Oct 3, 2018

I think you'll find more than a kernel of truth in this. What has this administration done that at some level isn't based in cruelty. And what do his minions cheer the loudest for? His cruelty.

They are stark raving mad.

Originally Posted By: MA Republican
I hope he takes special revenge upon your party's hopes and prayers. I hope he takes special pleasure in stopping anything that your party wants his vote for. Payback is a bitch, and if/when he is confirmed, the Democratic party will become his.

Need more proof?
Posted by: jgw

Re: A time when politics were not all about greed - 10/04/18 07:28 PM

The Jackass spent 12 years as head of the arguably most popular tv show on tv. Not unlike most 'reality' shows it had little to do with reality and a lot to do with entertainment value. We actually watching the first half of the first show before we turned it off. We were in a minority. The simple fact is that 'reality' tv shows have little or nothing to do with reality. This is regularly reported and regularly ignored. I have no idea what big brother and all the rest of them as I don't watch them but, literally, millions of people do and they actually dote on them. The real this and that has actually created tv stars and all the rest. Apparently these people have accomplished little or nothing yet are admired by millions for, basically, (as far as I can tell), breathing. The Jackass, for instance, in real life, tends to not be actually able to look an employee in the face and fire him/her. Yet his entire tv hit show was built around the phrase, by the Jackass, "You're fired!"

We live in very, very, strange times................