Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat
Individual Freedom For Everyone

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kerry Kellermeyer: Video: NFL Films, The Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Highlights

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal on WordPress

This is going to sound simplistic, but it is so true and important that I have to say it anyway. The difference between the 1966 Kansas City Chiefs and the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs, is that the 69 Chiefs won the Super Bowl. And why do I say that? Because the 69 Chiefs knew what it was like to lose a Super Bowl on national TV and most of the players on the 66 team were also on the 69 team. The 69 Chiefs knew that just getting to the Super Bowl was not enough. Or just getting to the Super Bowl and playing a good first half was not enough. That if you didn’t actually win the game, you failed and didn’t accomplish your ultimate goal which was to win the Super Bowl. There is no second place in the Super Bowl. You either win it or you lose it and that was one of the motivators that served the 69 Chiefs very well in Super Bowl 4.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Think Progress: Fiscal Policy: Michael Waldron: "More Proof That America Doesn’t Have A Spending Problem": Why This is Only Half of The Story

More Proof That America Doesn’t Have A Spending Problem: pThe idea that the United States has an out of control spending problem has gripped Washington D.C. for most of the economic recovery, and nowhere is that more evident than in recent budget negotiations, where the conversation has been almost solely about when budgets will balance and by how much they will reduce the debt. [...]/p

Once again I thank Think Progress for only reporting half of the story and why I only use them to gage what Progressives are thinking rather then to get facts on the ground. Michael Waldron only covered the discretionary side of the Congressional Budget Office report not the Federal budget as a whole. For anyone who thinks that sounds like Greek, the discretionary side of the Federal budget or. Discretionary spending is non national security and so called entitlement spending, Social Security, Medicare and. Medicaid and according to Think Progress, the CBO reported that discretionary spending has actually fallen as a. Percentage of the Federal budget and the economy in the last four years and that included things like TARP back in 2008. Which was seven hundred billion dollars and the American Recovery Act of 2009-10. But this is because of the Budget Control Act of 2011 that cut discretionary as well as national security spending. As an attempt to get the national debt and deficit under control, so we now we are at 22% roughly again according to the CBO. When in 2010 we were at 24% but when President Clinton left office we were at around 20%. Lower then that under President Bush if you count Afghanistan and Iraq.

So even though in the last twelve years our economy has grown at around one percent. The Federal Government as grown by twenty percent and in the last two years thanks to the Budget Control Act it. Has shrunk by ten percent but even though economic growth has been slower we still have a large Federal budget both in numbers. And as a percentage of GDP today then we did back in 2001. So to say spending has nothing or little to do with the national debt and deficit is just flat wrong. We have both a spending and a revenue problem thats in the tax code which is why tax reform has to be part of any. Deficit reduction deal that is reached and will be whether Republicans want it or not because there's about one trillion in savings there. That wouldn't hurt the economy if we were to bring tax rates down on some areas and get more money invested in America. Both as it relates to the private sector but also as it relates to infrastructure as well.

More evidence about the debt and deficit, the Obama Administration only wanted a two year stimulus package back in 2009. Why is that, because they knew that every dollar of that eight billion dollar package over two years would be borrowed. And that at some point they were going to need to address the debt and deficit and not have to look to cut or pay for that eight hundred billion dollars. Or raise taxes to pay for it and knew that Federal spending would take a big step forward over those two years.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Daily Beast: Video: U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann's Most Outrageous Comments: Wait, There's More!

This post was originally posted at FRS FreeStates on WordPress

Some people may think George W. Bush is the Democratic Party’s favorite punching bag. But the fact is President Bush has been out of office for over four years now, thank God! And he’s looking pretty good compared with today’s GOP. So he’s not as much fun to take shots at and make fun of, except when old videos appear about his presidency and some of the less intelligent things that he said. During that long and felt like indefinite presidency with one disaster after another, like going to war on bogus intelligence.

And President Bush trying to change the reasons that we went to war and certain weapons of mass distraction, I mean destruction weren’t found shortly after the invasion. Or Hurricane Katrina, the financial and economic meltdown of 2008. I could go on but there’s actually something else I would like to talk about. To come up with the most outrageous statements that Michelle Bachmann has ever made even in her little over six years of service in the U.S. House of Representatives. Is a tall order.

This is a little difficult for me because that’s like coming up with best plays that Larry Bird ever made playing basketball. Or the best passes that Joe Montana ever thrown, or the best home runs that Hank Aron ever hit and so-fourth. Also I don’t live in Representative Bachmann’s House district or state, thank God, otherwise I would’ve moved or been kicked out of there, whatever came first. And I’m not in Congress myself so what I hear about her is from the national media or from blogs. But I can limit it two or three as someone who follows politics closely and has big annoyance when it comes to political hypocrisy and contradiction.

When Representative Bachmann announced for President in the summer of 2011, as I and every other blogger and comedian were celebrating about all the new material that was going to come our way free of charge and at her expense coming from Michelle herself, she announced she was in favor of two constitutional amendments. One was to outlaw pornography and the other was to outlaw same-sex marriage both at the federal level. Keep in mind this coming from someone who calls herself a constitutional conservative.

Also keep in mind this coming from someone who knows as much about conservatism and the U.S. Constitution as a fish knows about Wall Street. During her fourth month presidential campaign she also came out against big government. Well that makes sense because that’s an issue she knows a lot of about with all of her positions in support of big government. Michelle has a habit of bashing things she’s in love with, well take big government to use as an example. And claiming to love and support things that she says she loves. Take well the U.S. Constitution to use as an example.

What if I were a Republican today, first of all I would ask myself why am I a Republican today and if I could answer that question and I was still a Republican, I would want George W. Bush back leading the GOP. And prey that he learned something from all of his dumb mistakes as President and didn’t repeat them. Because GWB looks like a God compared with today’s GOP and Michelle Bachmann represents the intelligence and information gap in the Republican Party. And why they can’t win elections they are supposed to win easily going in.

The Maddow Blog: Rachel Maddow- Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester Backs Marriage Equality

The Maddow Blog: Rachel Maddow- Montana U.S. Senator Jon Tester Backs Marriage Equality

I use to think that the Democratic Party was made up of Liberals such as myself, Progressive-Socialists, or Social-Democrats, like Rachel Maddow to use as an example and people I would call Moderate-Liberals. The Hillary Clinton's of the party, who probably in their heart are pretty liberal. But are afraid that if so called Independents knew how liberal they were, that would cost them support. So they are kinda closet Liberals if that makes any sense. "Look, we are with you and just can't let the whole world know about it." Gay marriage should be a no-brainer for anyone on the left, or even center-right. Because it gets down to do you believe all Americans should be treated equally under law based on how they conduct themselves in society and so-fourth. Not what they do in their personal lives. We obviously don't treat criminals as equally as law-biding people, but should all Americans be treated equally under law based on how they carry themselves, or not.

Should straits be given special treatment under law just for being strait over gays, or not. Thats the bottom line and what the whole gay marriage debate is about. I still believe that the Democratic Party is a party of Liberals and Progressive-Socialists or Social Democrats. The question is where does the other faction of the party fit in, how should they be labeled. How do you label someone who by in large look like Democrats politically, but likes to play it safe on key social issues. I'm not playing mind-reader or anything, but if I had to guess Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton didn't have a problem with gay marriage four years ago. And perhaps even longer than that. These so-called evolutions on the issue is a political evolution rather than a philosophical evolution.

Personally, I bet gay marriage hasn't been a problem for these safe Democrats for a while. But officially they've been playing it safe. Until they knew they wouldn't get hurt by being in favor of gay marriage, or needed to be in favor of it. Like in the case of President Obama and Secretary Clinton in order to win further political support. Thats not being a leader, but playing it safe and playing follow the leader. Maybe the term for Democrats who don't like to take stands and standout and go out on a limb even when its the right thing to do, should be Safe-Democrats. Democrats who play it safe until they have to take a stand and thats when they show their true liberal democratic credentials. Which is why even though I love being a Democrat and love the Democratic Party, I'm not here to say that we have all the Saints and we are perfect. Because have our own flaws as well.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The American Prospect: Opinion- Christopher Ketcham- U.S. Out of Vermont: The Socialist Republic of Vermont?

Source: The American Prospect-
Source: The American Prospect: Opinion- Christopher Ketcham- U.S. Out of Vermont!

What I respect about Vermont is that even though they are basically the Socialist Republic or State of Vermont and I’m not as far to the left of them on economic policy, but I probably tend to agree with Vermonters on social issues, is that they represent socialism in it’s best form. A liberal democratic form in the sense that they aren’t trying to run people’s personal lives. And they believe in a good deal of personal freedom, even economic freedom. That is they aren’t trying to takeover industries with the state and have the state run them, but that they believe in a generous welfare state or safety net. Combined with economic and personal freedom. But the perhaps the thing I respect about them the most is that they are Federalists in a progressive sense. “We like socialism, but we don’t want it coming from the Federal Government. We can govern ourselves.”

Vermont is the roadmap for national Progressives (or Social Democrats) and Progressives in other states in their quest (or fantasy) to transform America into a social democracy. A socialist-liberal-federalist roadmap. Which means a high deal of personal freedom as long as you aren’t hurting innocent people with what you are doing. A high deal of economic freedom with things like property rights, you just have to pay high taxes on them to finance a generous welfare state. But that the State of Vermont would be doing these things for Vermonters, not Uncle Sam with it’s top down Washington knows best approach. And they also aren’t going to try to force Vermonters to live a certain way even for their own good. And give Vermonters the ability to make decisions and take risks with their own lives.

Social Democrats in America having been trying to transform America into a social democracy at least since the New Deal era. Thinking that centralize planning and control at the Federal level works in these European countries that means it will automatically work here as well. And that Americans will accept it even if they didn’t vote for it. What they don’t understand is that America is simply a hell of a lot bigger and more decentralize and more individualistic. And that top-down tends to not very popular, but gradually moving state by state like in Vermont, could accomplish what Progressives (or Social Democrats) have been wanting all along which is basically a social democracy in America.
Tales of History: The 1st & 2nd State of Vermont

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Nation: Opinion-Rick Perlstein- Why a Democratic Majority Is Not Demographic Inevitability: Why Democrats Must Capitalize on Their Recent Gains

Source: The Nation-
Source: The Nation: Opinion-Rick Perlstein-Why a Democratic Majority Is Not Demographic Inevitability

The worst mistake that you can make in American politics is to assume that anything is permanent especially when you are ahead. Or to relax when you are ahead and not look to continue to improve and think you’ve reached the mountaintop and will never  be knocked off. The second biggest mistake is to assume your opponents are dead when they are down and you’ll be in power forever. And I have some examples of that.

In 1964 the Republican Party led by Barry Goldwater failed to even get 40% of the popular vote for President which is a hard thing to do in a two-man Presidential race. And Democrats added to their landslide majorities in Congress both House and Senate. Leaving Congressional Republicans with around 145 seats in the House and thirty-two in the Senate. Congressional Republicans bounced back by 1966 and won back a lot of seats in both the House and Senate and thanks to Richard Nixon won back the White House in 1968.

The smart political play when you are up is to continue to drive forward and climb the hill even if you are already at the top. You find a bigger hill or mountain try to climb up that as well by building your own party. Understand why you have the power that you currently have and the new voters you picked up and why you are out-of-power in places where you can win back. And I’m thinking of the U.S. House of Representatives where Republicans are still in charge there and at the state level where Republicans currently hold 30-50 Governorships and a solid majority of both legislatures and legislative members even in places like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. All Democratic states and in swing states like Florida and Virginia that both voted to reelect President Obama.

We now live in a liberal democratic country at least as far as social issues are concern. With a solid majority of Americans who believe in a good deal of personal freedom with government not interfering in our personal lives. Gay marriage and marijuana are perfect examples of that and something Liberal Democrats need to capitalize on. But a social-liberal message alone won’t be enough to win back the U.S. House and states like Virginia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin ,all states where Democrats should do well there especially with our new voters. Democrats are going to need an economic liberal message as well that’s about opportunity, freedom and responsibility and expanding those things to Americans who currently don’t have them for the Democratic Party to do as well as it can and should.

I’m happy that President Obama was reelected and reelected in a electoral landslide and that Senate Democrats not only held their majority, but added to it. But we still have plenty of work to do like taking back the U.S. House and giving the Democrats complete control of Congress again and winning back some state houses and legislatures so there aren’t as many Republican looking House districts in Democratic leaning states. Time to be happy, but never be completely satisfied.
Big Think: Rick Perlstein- The Truth About Libertarian Republicans and Democrats

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Salon: Politics: David Sirota: How to Turn a State Liberal: How to Expand The Democratic Party in America

How to turn a state liberal

Some Democrats may say that since the Democratic Party now controls the White House and the upper chamber in the U.S. Congress meaning the U.S. Senate. And with the shape of the current Republican Party with the changing demographics that the U.S. House of Representatives is next by 2014-16. That Democrats can now relax since Republicans are having such a hard time nominating acceptable and. Mainstream candidates to run statewide in Federal elections let alone national Federal elections. That Democrats can now relax and watch the Republican die off and watch us become the permanent. Governing party in America without much if any opposition sorta how the Democratic Party was in the 1930s and 1940s. But anyone familiar with American politics knows that the only thing thats permanent about it, is that nothing is permanent. That the parties and politicians that are successful are the ones that grow and adapt to how the country changes. Not necessarily changing their positions and policies but adapting their message to be able to communicate to new voters. Which is what Democrats will always have to be able to do no matter how much political power they currently have.

The Democratic Party went through huge revolution in the late 1980s or so after losing 5-6 Presidential elections from 1968-88. Because they were seen as too far to the left on economic and foreign policy and crime and punishment. After the New-Left emerged in the Democratic Party in the 1960s thanks to the Great Society and the Vietnam War. And gave the Democratic Party a real Social-Democratic feel thats more common in Europe even today then it is in America. As the country was moving to the right on economic and foreign policy and crime and punishment. And as big government and high taxes were becoming more unpopular, Republicans capitalized on that took it to the bank in the late 1970s and 1980. And won back the White House as well as the U.S. Senate in 1980. Democrats are obviously are not in that position today, we control most of the power in the Federal Government. Even the U.S. Supreme Court if you look at their recent rulings.

But what Republicans are going through right now at the Federal level, is what Democrats are going through at the state level. Where Republicans control 30-50 governorships and a solid majority of state legislatures as well. And even control Democratic states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Nevada. And swing states like Ohio and Florida which should be pretty friendly for Liberal-Democrats who aren't looking to tax and spend. But to free up people so they can live their own lives by expanding economic freedom to the people who need it. Which is at the core of economic-Liberalism and also there are more Democrats then Republicans so Democrats are underrepresented politically as far as power in. This country and need to successfully adapt to that in order to finally win back states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida and Nevada. States that should be Democratic and not Republican, even New Jersey has a Republican Governor.

The future of Democratic-Liberalism is through young voters who tend to be Liberal-Libertarian and pushing social issues. Like marijuana to use as an example, gay marriage, right to privacy to use as examples. And an economic-Liberal message thats about expanding economic opportunity to those Americans who don't have it in a fiscally responsible way. That doesn't try to control people or make them dependent on government or expand government but expand freedom to those people who don't. Have it but need it and thats how Democrats win back the U.S. House and win back governorships and legislatures that should be there's to control in the first place.

Monday, March 18, 2013

GritTV: A Cure for Capitalism? Economist Richard Wolff: Putting Social Back in Socialism: Why State Ownership Doesn't Work and What's the Alternative

I've blogged this before but this is not the right debate, Socialism vs Capitalism because thats like debating. What's a better pet a dog or a car, one's an animal that tends to be used as a pet, another but different member of the family. Another is an automobile thats not even alive and used to get around for the most part. One is an economic system with many different versions of it, including a Socialist version like in Scandinavia. But what Socialism is, its a political philosophy that of course has an economic component to it like all political philosophies. But Socialism is a political philosophy that covers all issues. Economic, political, social, foreign policy, national security and all sorts of issues. Socialism is also a very diverse political philosophy that has all types of different Socialists. From people who I call Paternalists or Statists, people who are fairly close to being Communists but who tend to be Democratic. Thats kinda like the furthest left version of Socialism and then you have Socialist-Liberals or Social-Democrats. People who tend to be more Socialist on economic policy but Liberal-Libertarian on social issues. So this is really not a correct debate to have, because Capitalism and Socialism are two different things.

The real debate should be state ownership or the state owns the means to production to society. Versus private enterprise which is what Capitalism is about and things like property and privacy rights and. So fourth which is a real debate to be having and then we could talk about what type of Capitalist system. Do we want to have and even top talk about the Socialist model when it comes to Capitalism and property rights. Because state-owenership to me at least is not even worth debating. When you look at the countries who had that economic system 20-30 years ago and now look at where they are now. Where they've all adapted some type of a Capitalist system, countries like China, Russia, Brazil and they are all headed towards first world status. Brazil might already be there as we speak, not because they've made their economies more Socialist and given the state more power over the economy and people. But they've Liberalized, love that word as a Liberal, their economies. Even countries like Cuba have adapted a form of Capitalism to go with their Socialist/Communist system and their economy has been improving as well.

The main problems with state-ownership, is the lack of competition, all of the power in the country at least as it relates to the economy. Is in the hands of the national government an organization that doesn't have to produce good services in order to stay in business because it can just print money. Leaving the people with no where else to go if they don't like the service that they are getting other then to leave the. Country which is what we saw in Cuba fifty four years ago. The main advantage of Capitalism again depending on what form you are talking about is the competition. And the ability for people to make the most out of life that they can based on what they put into it. Capitalism of course is not perfect and government needs to serve as a referee to make sure its not taking advantage of the people for profit. And tax enough but no more to meet the needs of the people that Capitalism tends to come up short in providing.

Over the years we haven't seen more countries become more Socialist but more Liberal with their economic policies. With more power and freedom going to the people and less to the state. And this is something that European-Socialists figured out a long time ago and have adapted Capitalism to meet. Their Socialist philosophy and that Capitalism has its flaws so where Capitalism comes up short like in the areas of education. Or infrastructure, the safety net for people who lose their jobs and so fourth and healthcare to a certain extent. We need Socialism to come in and to make up for where Capitalism comes up short.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Salon: Education: Philip Elliott: Report: More Than Half a Trillion Dollars Needed to Fix U.S. Schools

Report: More than half a trillion dollars needed to fix U.S. schools

This spring perhaps April Congress at least in the Senate will take up the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Which funds the Federal Government's involvement in public education in this country. Thats the debate that things like school construction and renovation should be talked about and debated and I don't have a problem with the Feds spending more on school construction and. Renovation which would be a big economic boost for our economy especially in the construction industry. But long term it would have bad effects for our economy if we are still ranked in the thirties worldwide when it comes to education. And we still aren't graduating enough high school students, as well as high school students who are ready for college. Another words if new Federal funding for public education in this country just goes to fund the status quo. Then it would be a bad investment that would have bad effects on our economy because we would still have a workforce thats not educated enough. And with the skills to compete in the global economy and still see American jobs that are shipped oversees.

If you fix what's wrong with public education in America, then you can talk about investing more money in things we should be spending on. But as long as educators are compensated based on how long they've been teaching and not by how well they've been teaching. And students are still forced to go to school based on where they live, not what's the best school for them. And we are still funding schools based on where they are located and not how much money they need. Then spending more on the status quo would be a bad investment.

Monday, March 11, 2013

LWF: Noam Chomsky- The Purpose of Education

Source:LWF- Professor Noam Chomsky 
Source:LWF: Professor Noam Chomsky- The Purpose of Education

The purpose of education is for people to learn what they need to know in order to be successful in life. Not teach them what to think, but how to think and how to learn so they can make the best out of all available important information out there. Which is what any democracy needs to be successful. People being able to learn and think for themselves, especially in a liberal democracy where information is more critical (I would argue) because we have more freedom to make our own decisions. instead of living in a social-democracy where more is expected from the central government to do for us.
Source:LWF- Professor Noam Chomsky 
Which is why educators shouldn’t be judged and compensated by how well they teach or how long they’ve taught. But how well their students are learning. (To paraphrase U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan) And what they are learning. Which is also why students shouldn’t be promoted based on how long they’ve been in school or how old they are. But by what they’ve learned. You can’t have a free society without an educated society. People will never have the freedom to live their own lives if they don’t have the job that draws the income that gives that freedom. But even with money the individual still has to decide what to think, where to work, where to live, who to associate with, how to live their private lives, etc. And that all starts with a good education.

The opposite of an educated free society is a developing country. Where there simply not enough quality schools and educators to go around. And as a result you don’t have the educated workforce and consumer class needed to make your county a good in investment. And as a result investors stay out of your country. Or an authoritarian state where the central government decides for everyone who lives there what people should know and what they should think. And for anyone who goes against that they are subjected to government sanctions. But a developed free society is an educated society. A society where people choose to live and stay, because it has the freedom and economic opportunity that people want and need to live well. And that starts first with parenting and then quality education.

American Prospect: Role of Government: "When Public Is Better": The Differences Between Social-Democracy and Liberal-Democracy

When Public Is Better

I just wrote blog about two hours ago on what is Liberal-Democracy on a different site. And last night I wrote a blog about the differences between Liberal-Democrats and Social-Democrats in the. Democratic Party so this might sound repetitive but this is important because it goes to the heart and the division in. The Democratic Party and what Democrats believe is the role of government especially the Federal Government. And it also goes to the differences between individualism in its Liberal form and collectivism.

If you are what I would call a Liberal individualistic, you believe that people when they are educated and know all of the important facts. That they can make the best decisions for themselves, that government can help inform people but the people themselves can make these decisions for themselves. And that you have a competitive market so we all have as many good choices as possible. Thats the Liberal wing of the Democratic Party that Bill Clinton brought back to life in the Democratic Party and to a large extent. Its still the Bill Clinton Democratic Party with Clintonians still in charge, I'm a Clintonian myself. If you are a Collectivist you believe that if people have choice and freedom. They'll either make bad choices, I mean we would automatically make bad choices, one of the issues I have with Progressives is that they. Tend to be pessimistic or we would get taken advantage of by someone in the private sector. Because we are too dumb and get fooled easily because we are only human. But they believe if government is in charge especially the Federal Government, that we wouldn't be able to make bad choices because. Government would make those decisions for ourselves.

If todays Progressives were in charge I don't believe we would have a private healthcare system. Insurance as well as healthcare but we wouldn't have a private retirement system either. Its hard to read the blog from the Roosevelt Institute any day now and not find some editorial about the need for the. Federal Government to create this new program or takeover this part of the economy or another part of the economy. You could probably forget about a private banking system or private schools and so fourth. That all matters that are considered social services would become matters of the state. Public housing, people living there would be living in government run apartment buildings probably in the. Same run down neighborhoods as they are in today, instead of residents of public housing given vouchers to. Help pay for their rent.

What you would get in a Social-Democracy in America which I believe would never happen from the Progressives of today. Is that all matters that are viewed as social services, education, healthcare, health insurance, pension. Childcare, banking and so fourth, things that people have to have to live, perhaps drugs and food would be matters of state. Meaning the Federal Government would either be running these things and in most cases running them. Or be heavily involved in them through taxation and regulation, to prevent people from being taken advantage of or making mistakes with their own money. Or to prevent some people from having it too god compared with others so we are all the same. What Liberals want to do is to empower the individual with all the resources and info that they need to be. Able to make their own decisions and have the opportunity that they need to be successful in life but again. Then its up to them to make the best of those opportunities or not.

This is the divide in the Democratic Party because the Leader of the party is essentially a Clintonian. Except for maybe when it comes to the War on Terror, which is why you have some Democrats who love President Obama. Or like him a lot such as myself and then you have others who think he's essentially a traitor because he isn't as far to the left as they are. And basically see him as a center-right Republican which is ongoing debate I've been involved in myself.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Abdul Hakim: Video: The Democratic Left in America: The Diversity of Leftist Ideology

When I'm talking about the Democratic-Left in America of course I'm talking about the Democratic Party. Because thats where most of the Leftists in the country are affiliated if they are a member of a political party at all. But I'm talking about the broader Leftist movement in America that includes Liberals but also Democratic-Socialists or Social-Democrats. People who tend to be called Progressives but I guess you could add Communists to that as well. But if they are Communists with how Communism has tended to be practiced. In Europe, Asia and other places, they really aren't left or right but Authoritarian or Statist across the board. People who simply don't believe in freedom at all at least how Communism is practiced in the Communist Republic of Korea or the way. It use to be practiced in Cuba before they opened up their economy and even how Cubans could travel and even practice religion. Far from a Democracy of any sort but not as Statist of a country that they use to be.

The American left is not that different from the left in Canada. In America we have the Democratic Party which is the official Liberal Party, the Center-Left Party of this country. Made up of Liberal and Social-Democrats who are further left of Liberal-Democrats with some. Centrists in it as well and Canada has a Liberal Party and a Conservative Party and they look like Liberal-Democrats for the most part. The Conservatives in Canada look more like Democrats then they do Republicans in America. Canada doesn't have a religious or Neoconservative-Right but they do have Conservative-Libertarians. As well as a broader Libertarian movement. The New Democratic Party in Canada looks like the Progressive Caucus or Green Party in America. They are the Social-Democratic or Democratic-Socialist Party in that country.

Liberal-Democrats and Social-Democrats tend to look very similar on social issues. That is Social-Democrats who are Socialist-Liberals, people who are Progressive or Socialist on. Economic policy but Liberal on social issues but then there are Progressives who are Paternalistic to put it nice, Statist to be more accurate on social issues. Who believe government should be able to prevent or stop people from being mean or saying bad things to each other. Be able to control what we can eat or drink and smoke, prohibition is essentially a Progressive or even Paternalistic idea. People like this would ban junk food and drink to use as examples and perhaps tobacco and alcohol as. Well and probably would outlaw guns all together for private use. But Liberal-Democrats tend to agree with Social-Democrats who are Socialist-Liberals on social issues but we tend to differ. When it comes to economic and foreign policy.

I write this blog for a couple of reasons. One as a Liberal-Democrat I'm tired of Liberals being made to look like Dennis Kucinich or Bernie Sanders. Two men I have a lot of respect for but who are both way to the left of me on economic policy. And a lot more dovish of foreign policy and national security, even though we tend to agree when it comes to social issues and. Civil liberties but those two men are Social-Democrats, Socialist-Liberals even but not Liberal on all issues. And I feel at times that I should layout what it actually means to be a Liberal in America.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Think Progress: Healthcare Reform: "Top Republicans Demand President Obama Provide Coverage To People With Pre-Existing Conditions": How to Expand Obamacare

Top Republicans Demand Obama Provide Coverage To People With Pre-Existing Conditions: pRepublicans voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more than three dozen times, ran on a pledge to eliminate the law on “day one,” and sought to underfund the measure at every opportunity. But since the Supreme Court upheld the ACA and President Obama won re-election the political dynamics of reform have changed: Republican governors [...]/p

This might be the only time agree with the House Republican Leadership on anything in 2013. But assuming this report is true, coming from Think Progress, not sure thats a safe bet but I agree lets expand. So called Obamacare that I prefer to call the Affordable Care Act or ACA for you acronym junkies who probably are in or around Washington with the alphabet soup. But lets do this in a way that it should've been done in 2009-10 and if that debate was done right it could've been done in 2009. Giving Democrats then the whole year to concentrate on only one thing that being the economy and coming up with. Economic Recovery Act II which would've been better then the first one. And lets do this in a way that takes power directly from Washington and corporate America and gives it to the people. And states to decide how they get their healthcare in America, instead of a Washington knows best solution that. Progressives want, another words single payer with Medicare being the only health insurer in America. Or a Wall Street knows best from economic Libertarians where health insurers would decide who gets health insurance and. Healthcare in America and literally let the people decide for themselves instead.

Two Progressives in Congress, Representative Jim McDermott and Senator Bernie Sanders have a bill in Congress. Thats a single payer bill but would allow each state to set up their own Medicare system. Except for the single payer part, that should've been the public option in the ACA. The most popular health insurer in the country now available to all Americans and not just seniors who tend not to be very. Healthy and a drive of our healthcare costs in this country and now Americans would be able to decide who aren't seniors yet. But working adults if they should get on Medicare or not and pay into it, especially younger healthier people. And with the health insurance tax credit in the ACA, lower middle class people would have that same option as well. You like your current health insurer, you can keep it but if you are looking for another option, checkout Medicare in your state because that could be the. Option for you and provide you with affordable health insurance.

Thats what should've happened in 2009 but what Congressional Democrats did instead first in the Senate. And then later in the House was draft a bill that created a new Federal health insurance program. That no one understood or could come up with the name of the program and didn't do their homework in it as far as who people would react to it. Especially in their own caucus's and healthcare reform never took off as a popular issue in that Congress. Which is why at the end of the day President Obama settled for what he did to get the issue finally of the table and not spend about a year on it and not having a bill. To show for it.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The North Star: Shamus Cooke: Democrats and Labor: "A Tale of Abuse": Why Labor Votes Democratic

Democrats and Labor: A Tale of Abuse

To put it bluntly, honestly as well as truthfully, how often do you see those three words together. Labor is still part of the Democratic coalition because Labor needs Democrats more then Democrats need Labor. Unless you come from the Progressive/Social-Democratic wing of the Democratic Party. And you are a politician, you don't even need Labor to raise money because there are plenty of Liberals as well as other. Leftists who have money, run companies and want to spend that money so their interests are met. Hollywood is an excellent example of that but so is a lot of new startup companies that are run or owned by twenty, thirty. Forty and even fifty something year olds who vote Democratic and who are on the left politically. But aren't as far to the left politically as a lot of Progressive-Democrats on economic policy. Which is why I've been blogging for a couple years now that its time for organize Labor in America to think again about what's their best political. Home especially as their influence not just on the Democratic Party has gotten smaller but on the country as a whole.

New York Times: Americas: Victoria Burnett: Cubans Say Adios to Hugo Chavez: The Future of Cuban/Venezuelan Socialism

We don't know who will even be the next President of the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela after Hugo Chavez. Will the Vice President takeover or will the Speaker of the Assembly, which is like the Speaker of the House in America. I know what direction they should be moving in and economically similar to what Cuba is doing which is freeing their people. And economy to be able to make good lives for themselves and as a result there are already a lot of new private business's in Cuba. Venezuela is a little further along then Cuba when it comes to social and political freedom. They do have private media, not much of it to report what really happened during Hugo Chavez's presidency. And they do have a real political opposition but they are not as far along economically as Cuba. They don't have the education system, healthcare system, scientists, infrastructure and so fourth. Venezuela still needs a lot of economic development and with the oil that they have, they could finance that and then be able to borrow whatever money they might need after. That so the future of both countries I believe is fairly similar, develop their economies with the resources that they have. Spend those resources wisely and they'll be able to attract foreign investment for their economies to be able to take off. And not go back to Castro state-ownership which is why Cuba is still a third world country today.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

American Prospect: Social-Democracy: Scott Lemieux: Fear and the New Deal

Fear and the New Deal

This might sound strange but here's a way to link of Hugo Chavez from the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela to Franklin Roosevelt from the United States of America. Hugo a Neo-Comunist or at best a Statist-Socialist. FDR a Social-Democrat, key word being Democrat. Both presidents made their presidencies and administrations more powerful for good intentions to improve the lives of their citizens. But President Roosevelt knew that he was a Democrat and believed in Democracy and wasn't looking to turn America. Into some type of Communist Republic but inherited a weak country as far as its economy and everything. And wanted to rebuild and advance the country and by doing these things expected to get reelected. And made his presidency and administration more powerful in order to accomplish these things. I'm not saying Hugo Chavez was an evil man and perhaps not even a bad man but he was certainly a man with serious. Antidemocratic and dictatorial leanings who was interested in centralizing power in his administration and office. Because he feared losing power and what's the easiest way to stay in power, not have an opposition.

The model going forward for Venezuela if they want to be a Social-Democracy which they are not now. Right now they are sorta like a Neo-Communist state but if they want to be a Social-Democracy. Look at Franklin Roosevelt and what he did in America, they still have roughly ten million Venezuelans living. In poverty do what President Roosevelt did, spend billions of dollars on infrastructure. Building roads, schools, hospitals, bridges, airports. Business developments and so fourth and borrow that or some of that. Money if you have to, if you have a Democratically looking government, you would be able to borrow that money from other countries. Especially if you spend that money well for those priorities and hire all of those unemployed Venezuelans and Venezuelans living in poverty to do that work. But at the same time have a real media that isn't in the pocket of your administration and allow for a real opposition.

And if you bring your Progressive change to your country, you and your party will be reelected in real elections.  Rather then you can vote for the other party but only for the people who we approve or opposition is restricted. In how they can campaign and doesn't has the same access to media and so fourth as the ruling party.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

American Speeches: Video: Hubert Humphrey: 1948 DNC Civil Rights Speech

To know that Hubert Humphrey was a great man, all you have to do is look at or watch his 1948 Democratic National Convention speech. On civil rights and to know that he was also ahead of his time, just look at or listen to Hubert Humphrey's civil rights speech. And this was even before he was elected to the US Senate, Humphrey wasn't in Congress at all when he gave this. Speech House or Senate but a 1948 US Senate Candidate and also to know how far ahead of his time he was. The civil rights movement didn't exist at all in the late 1940s at least as a national movement. But to a large extent at least on civil rights, Humphrey wasn't governed by what was popular at the. Time when he was the Deputy Leader of the US Senate in 1964 and pushing the civil rights laws then. Civil rights was still not very popular in this country and he probably already knew and Lybndon Johnson certainly knew. That passing civil rights laws was going to hurt the Democratic Party in the South and thats exactly what happened.

Leadership is not about what's doing what is popular at the time but what's the right thing to do at the time. And thats exactly what Hubert Humphrey did with this civil rights speech in 1948 and what he did in his entire career in Congress. In the 1940s, 50s and 60s and civil rights is just an example of that.

The Real News: Video: Venezuela President Hugo Chavez Dead

I don't want to sound cold here and I apologize if I do and you are offended by this in some way. But the death of Hugo Chavez could and I believe will be a good thing for the Bolivar Republic of Venezuela. And I say this for a few reasons because President Chavez was essentially a dictator. Who held elections where non Socialists could run for office but as much as he talked about the need for Socialism and equality in the country. He essentially governed like a Neo-Communist dictator, President Chavez was not a Democratic-Socialist. He was not the Bernie Sanders of Venezuela but the Fidel Castro with a little more freedom for the. Venezuelan people but where the Federal Government controlled most of the media, where the Liberal opposition was essentially physically put. Down even if they weren't violent and where the Federal Government there basically controlled most of the media and resources in the country.

Venezuela similar to Cuba could be a great developed country if the government gets out of the way. And only does the things that the people need it to do and sees that there's good opportunity for all of the people. And not try to centralize all power with just one administration or sector in the country but allows the Venezuelan people live their own lives. And thats not what Hugo Chavez was about but what he was about was centralizing all power with himself. So he do for the people what they can do for themselves and so he could stay in power.

Politzane: Video: "Wealth Inequality in America": How Liberals and Social-Democrats Differ When it Comes to Income Distribution

I wrote a blog about so called income inequality last night and basically laid out what I believe about that and why I don't even believe in the term. This post is sorta about so called income inequality so I'll try to write it in a way that doesn't sound exactly how it did last. Night so you don't think you are watching some rerun of a cable TV show you saw a couple hours ago. And blog about income distribution which goes to the same thing but its a little and about what. Americans are entitled to make in this country and how Liberals and Progressives or Social-Democrats differ on these issues.

Social-Democrats and again if you disagree with this especially if you are Social-Democrat. You are free to write me a reply on this blog and I'll be happy to post it for you. But Social-Democrats, Progressives or Democratic-Socailists however you want to define the. Progressive-Left in America, believe in high taxation across the board for several reasons and they are. All for good reasons meant to do good for for the country. I just disagree with it but one of the reasons why they believe in high taxation, is so government can collect all of this. Revenue and then invest it in the country so one has to go without enough or have what they would call too much. That essentially the Federal Government collects all of the resources of the country and puts them. In a huge pot and then gives those resources back to the people based on what they believe the people need to live a good life. Which is sorta the old Swedish-Socialist model but even Sweden has been moving away from that with more Conservatives or. Liberals even coming to power there.

What Liberals such as myself believe in is that all Americans should have a good opportunity to be successful in life. And what we do with these opportunities is up to us and then be able to enjoy the benefits of our success. But that Americans don't have a Constitutional right to be successful and live a good life. That life is basically what people make of it and what they do with the opportunities in front of them. And that if we had a real Liberal economic policy in. This country more Americans would have access to a good education. And fewer Americans wouldn't live off of public assistance and more Americans would move off of public assistance faster. And that no American would be trapped in a failing school because we or our parents would be able to make these decisions for ourself. And not government doing that for us and thats a big difference between Liberals and Social-Democrats when it comes to economic policy.

Liberals believe for people to be successful in life, they simply need the incentive to do so. Thats a big part of human nature at least in America and that means government not taxing most or a lot of our income from us. And we being able to make a lot of our own decisions for ourself. Which is different from Social-Democrats who believe there should be no such thing as rich or poor or in between. That all Americans should be the same and that government needs to collect a lot of the resources in the country to see that is what happens.

RT: Video: The Big Picture: Thom Hartmann: "Taking Control of Corporate America": How to Create an Economy That Benefits More Americans

Is it bad for a Chief Executive to make I don't know five hundred times more then their workforce. Not if the Chief Executive is worth that much more then their workforce, meaning they are worth that much more to the company. Might sound harsh but thats just a cold hearted fact about Capitalism and if you don't like Capitalism. Find an economic system that works better and show me a country where that system is working and you are free to send that to me. Now if a Chief Executive is doing a lousy job or a mediocre job or a good job but not to the point where they are worth that. Much more then their workforce, then no that person probably deserves a serious pay cut. And maybe the Chief Executive no matter how much they are worth to the company shouldn't decide how much they. Make just like Congress shouldn't decide how much they make as well. That these decisions should be left to the Board and the committee that oversees compensation and perhaps the stockholders. Should have a say in that as well.

But my real point goes to this notion of income inequality that I believe doesn't exist and I'll explain why. And if you are further left to me, you probably think that sound crazy or I'm some type of sellout to corporate America. Or a corporatist or fill in the labels yourself but I'll explain why I don't believe so called income inequality doesn't exist. For people who are well educated, work hard and are productive in any Capitalist economy, those people are simply. Going to do a lot better then the people who aren't, thats just part of economics 101. If you look at the education levels of the people who are part of the so called 1-10% of the country. And you look at the education levels of the people who aren't doing very well. Whether they live in poverty or are in the lower middle class, perhaps struggling to pay for healthcare. That sorta thing but don't qualify as poor, you are going to find that this population isn't very well educated. Or don't have the skills to do much better then they are currently doing.

Capitalism is based and built around what people bring to the table. Their skills set and how they apply those skills to the job they have and if you look at the very wealthy or just. Wealthy in this country, you are going to see Americans who bring a lot of skills to the table and who apply those skills very well. Thats exactly why we have few Americans doing great, a few other others doing very well, a few others doing well. A lot of other people doing okay and too many people not doing well at all and where survival for them is literally a struggle for. Them everyday so if you want to lower what I call the success gap in America, few people doing great at least compared with a lot of other Americans. Who aren't doing very well at all, the people who aren't doing very well simply need to get better skills in this country and then. Take advantage of those skills they just received.

We don't have income inequality in America except for CEO's who are way overpaid. But there are ways to deal with that without passing huge tax hikes by simply employees, stockholders and. Consumers using the power that they have and passing regulations to empower Boards and stockholders more. But what we really have is a success gap with few people doing very well because they've gotten themselves the skills. And applied those skills very well and then we have a large population of people who aren't doing very well. So to close the success gap, we simply need a better education and job training system in this country.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Akshay Pahilajani: Noam Chomsky- On Liberalism in 1977

Source: Akshay Pahilajani- Libertarian-Socialist Noam Chomsky
Source: Akshay Pahilajani: Noam Chomsky on Liberalism & Socialism in 1977

I like what Professor Chomsky said early on in this video, because that’s exactly what I could base this entire blog around. This one point where he says that liberalism when it was first developed was anti-establishment and I would add anti-centralization of power as well to that. Now take that to today in 2013 where people who are called ‘Modern-Liberals’, (I hate that term) where do they put the bulk of their philosophy around big government. The Federal Government to do all of these good deeds for the people who fund it.

But what’s the largest establishment in the world? The United States Government with its four-trillion-dollar annual budget and eight-million or so employees roughly the population of Sweden with a budget that’s eight times the size of the Swedish economy. So notice how liberalism started out and where as being anti-establishment and pro-individual freedom. Liberty and so-forth and where it still is, because that’s what liberalism is at its core and then look at where it supposed to be now. With all of its faith in government and centralize-power. ‘Government knows best what individuals need to survive and live a good life and so-forth. Rather than individuals making these decisions for themselves.

I hate it when liberalism is mixed in with libertarianism or made to look right-wing. Which is how Progressives in America tend to think of Liberals who aren’t as far to the left as them. Not that I have a problem with libertarianism, that I see it as insulting or something. But just how ignorant people are about political philosophy or something. And then of course on the right you have so-called Conservatives who link Liberals with Socialists and other Progressives as if we Liberals have so much faith in government to take care of us and solve our problems for us.

Again not that I find progressivism insulting, I know many that I like and respect, but again goes to the ignorance of American political philosophy. Liberals tend to be anti-establishment and tend to like to do their own things and make up their own minds and so-forth. I’m a perfect example of that as much as own family might not like that about me. But we are not like Libertarians who tend lately to be anti-government across the board. I know I’ve said this before, but it goes to the heart of liberalism. That it’s about freedom for individuals. Power to the people (to add a quote), not power to the state which what today’s so-called Progressives seem to be about lately.

Liberals believe freedom should be protected for the people who have it and still deserve it, but also expanded to the people who don’t have it, but deserve and need it. Does government have a role to play here? Sure but does it have the biggest role or even a commanding role? No because at the end of the day it’s up to individuals to decide what type of life they are going have for themselves. And what government can do is provide opportunity so we can all have a quality of life. But at the end of the day it’s up to us what we do with the opportunities that are before us.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

RT America: Video: Liz Wahl: Food Stamp Use Hits Record Levels: How to Deal With Poverty in America

A big part of our current poverty situation now twice the size of our official unemployment rate. Both the official poverty and unemployment rates in the United States. Has to do with the Great Recession which ended in the summer of 2009 but the effects of it are still being felt. Almost four years later especially by Americans who weren't doing very well prior to the Great Recession but perhaps at least had a job at that point. But add the Great Recession to these issues, now we have people in poverty doing worse but perhaps not even working now. And then you add people who are educated and in the middle class as late as 2008. Now having to use public assistance like SNAP which is food assistance in this country for people who can't. Afford to buy enough food to eat and we've seen this program grow by leaps and bounds perhaps the largest growing social insurance program in the Federal Government. Because it benefits Americans who are unemployed but who are also not working as a result and we've see fraud in. This program grow as well.

And the way to combat these issues which would also help us pay down our debt and deficit. Is simply to have fewer people on these programs and that might mean kicking people off of them. Who've simply committed fraud, like selling their cars for the money and then reporting their cars. Stolen so they can have money to buy another car or simply pocket that money or at least sanctioning these people. So this type of fraud is not committed again, which would be my suggestion unless they are career criminals or something. But long term the best way to have fewer people collecting from these programs, is to have more skilled workers in this country. Especially amongst the unemployed but also low income workers so we don't have as many people who need to use these programs.

A good way to cut your debt and deficit and to cut fraud in the government. When it comes to public assistance, is simply to have less people collecting from those programs. Not simply by just kicking them off but empowering them to be able to work themselves off of these programs. And that gets to things like education, job training and job placement.

Divinity: Video: Martin L. King: I Have Been to the Mountaintop Full Speech

Dr. MLK & Ralph Abernathy 
Divinity: Video: Martin L. King: I Have Been to the Mountaintop Full Speech

I don’t believe there are many people perhaps in the history of the world, but certainly in the history of the United States who had better timing than Martin L. King. And I say that for a few reasons, but just take when Reverend King gave this speech and when he died. Which was the next day in 1968 and then look at, or listen to what Reverend King said in this speech and what was in it and what he had to say. Which I at least believe was vision for what the civil rights movement was all about.

And what it meant to be an American no matter your race in a liberal democracy such as the United States. Where we all under the United States Constitution are to be treated equally under law with the same constitutional rights and freedoms as any other American. That we aren’t supposed to be treated better, or worse by law in this country. And that’s just one reason why the way African-Americans were treated in America prior to the civil rights laws of the 1960s was simply unconstitutional. Because African-Americans were treated worse than Caucasian-Americans under law in this country.

What Reverend King was saying in this speech was that he’s seen the mountaintop of where all Americans were being treated equally under law. That this vision is real where no American has to live in poverty. Without the basic necessities and skills to be able to live well in life. That we aren’t there yet and you might not see him there with you, but this vision is real and we can get there together as a people. If we keep moving forward as a people and a country to build this society where no race of people is treated worse under law simply based on their race.

That we can accomplish this and get there together if we keep up the fight and struggle for equal and human rights in this country until we finally reach the mountaintop. And finally accomplish what we’ve struggled for all of these years. Thats what this speech was about as far as I’m concern at least and what Reverend King was telling his supporters. That even if you don’t see him there with you, he’s already seen the vision of what we are fighting for. And know we can get there if we keep on moving the ball forward until we get there.

RFK Must Die: RFK Campaign For President 1968 Ad- The Environment

Source: This piece was originally posted at FRS Daily Journal

The environmental movement in the late 1960s, which was just becoming big to the point today and perhaps even twenty-years ago that national Democrats at least couldn’t win without them. Especially if they were running for president, but they couldn’t win in Congress without the environmental community unless they represented a very rural state, or district that was heavily dependent on oil, gas and coal. States like West Virginia, to use as an example. America changed a lot politically in the 1960s where the Democratic Party started truly becoming the liberal or progressive party and the Republican Party starting to become the conservative party. With both parties still have moderate factions in them, but just not as big as they use to be.

Senator Kennedy, made the environment a big part of his 1968 presidential campaign. But it was more about regulations of energy industries and not so much about his own national energy policy. And had he been elected president in 1968, we probably get an EPA and perhaps an Energy Department as well. Instead of President Richard Nixon creating the EPA and President Jimmy Carter creating the Energy Department. It was also President Nixon that pushed for the idea of a national energy policy and getting off of foreign oil and gas. President Gerald Ford and President Carter, wanted to do the same thing, but differently at least in President Carter’s case. But making the environment a real issue was still very new when Bobby Kennedy ran for president in 1968.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Salon: Crime and Punishment: Mugambi Jouet: In Prison Debate, Race Overshadows Poverty: How to Cut Back on The Prison Population

In prison debate, race overshadows poverty

I actually agree with parts of the Salon article and I'm saying that because its not everyday that agree with Salon about anything. But they do give me opportunities to write contrarying counterpoints to what they write which is why I use them. But in this article Mugambi Jouet is right in this sense that our prison populations has much more to do with class then race. As much as Progressives may want to argue that a big reason why our prison population is so high in America. Because minorities get convicted of crimes based on race when the fact is if you look at the prison population as a whole. Minority and majority, you see the overwhelming majority of our inmates both majority and minority. Lack basic education and skills to succeed in life and as a result have turned to crime and gangs in order to pay their bills. And of course the War on Drugs and how we treat our prison inmates also has a lot to do with it as well. Not to excuse their crimes but to explain how people become criminals in order to survive in large part. Why else would someone try to con someone else out of a fortune and steal from them and sell illegal products. To make money of course.

So its fairly simple as far as what we need to do as a country to lower our crime and prison rates. Have a better public education system so we have more students in this country not just graduating from. High school but with the skills that they need to get a good higher education and have the skills that they need. To get a good job and succeed in life, as well as have fewer parents who raise their kids in poverty. And make education and job training available to those parents so they can get themselves a good job and not. Have to live to live in poverty and have to raise their kids in poverty. What happens by doing these things, less kids going to school at what Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls dropout factories. Schools with high dropout rates where a lot of our inmates probably have intended before dropping out of school and. Starting their criminal careers as adolescents when they should be in high school instead. These two things alone would bring down our crime and prison rates.

But even if you accomplish these two things which in today's political environment would be very hard to accomplish. We'll still have crime and prisons in this country and people who have to serve time there for the safety of society. And since most of those inmates end up being released from prison, they are going to need an opportunity to prepare themselves for life outside of prison. And that gets to things like education, work and counseling. Investments up from that pay for themselves and then some down the road.