Liberals think that their beliefs determine whether they're selfish or not. Conservatives think that it's their actions that define whether they are selfish or not.
Really? As for me, all I see in your "definition" is a thinly veiled attempt to claim that liberals are more hypocritical than conservatives. And given the history of scandals in this country, recent and otherwise, that is clearly an unsustainable position.
So, while that may be your own personal odd definition it doesn't line up with Bill O'Reilly, Anne Coulter, Sean Hannity, the neocons like Wolfowitz, etc. etc. etc. Bush ran for President as a conservative and yet his actions have massively increased government, historically spent beyond our country's means, and launched a pre-emptive invasion nation-building war. All of these are things conservatives did NOT support when he ran for office and don't support now, generally speaking.
I for one know we are all going to have to pay money to get out of this debt, no matter who wins the White House. The only difference is that McCain's group is outright lying about it, the same way Bush did. He lied to get into office, and then went and did everything he accused the Democrats of going to do. So, even by your own definition, is Bush a REAL conservative? And if he isn't, did you vote for him in 2000 and 2004 (especially) when people knew for sure he wasn't? And if so, why, Brad? Because it sure looks like the Democrats are a hell of a lot more fiscally conservative than the GOP this time around.
For example, I give more to charity in one year than Joe Biden has given in the last 10 years.
And perhaps Joe Biden has given more to charity than the guy who makes donuts at the corner store. Of what relevance, except to your ego, is this statement unless you back it up with facts that would indicate your relative INCOMES and EXPENSES (and those of your spouses and companies, etc.) so that we could see what % of disposable income we are talking about here?
And what does that mean as far as "charity" really? Joe could be giving NET less than you and yet a greater PERCENTAGE, who knows? What is more charitable? Giving $2,000 when rich or the last $20 in your pocket? That's a very self-serving statement, Brad, and of little relevance with or without documentation. For example, I donate to charities through the companies I have owned and my own charity is more along the lines of paying a stranger's rent or loaning a friend money and never asking for it to be repaid. That doesn't show up in anyone's income or tax statement, and it isn't any more or less charitable that what you do. They are all good, meaningful deeds. So, what if Joe Biden donated his TIME to homeless vets or wrote and got passed a bill that gave millions to starving children around the world? It seems to me as though, by applying your definition of charity to others, you are attempting simply to aggrandize your own personal definition of charity.
Liberals believe that it's compassionate to support policies that have the goverment confiscate property from one person to give to another based on "need".
Really? Because wasn't it the GOP that supported the removal of people from homes they've owned for decades just so their friends could re-develop the property into potentially profitable strip malls and outlet stores (during the great land grab rush over the past 10 years)? Isn't that a transfer and confiscation of private property based on "greed" instead of "need"?
And now, if you look at it, those developments are DEAD and the people lost their homes AND everyone got screwed except the guys who collected fees on the front ends of all these deals. I wonder if they were pro or against their own bailout? And I wonder if they're registered Republicans. Wanna bet on those odds?
And who's confiscating everyone's homes these days instead of negotiating new mortgages adjusted for the bursting credit-default-swap financing bubble? I don't have any statistics to back this up, but my gut's telling me that all of those bankers and financial Friends of Bush, like Enron, are all good tax-paying members of the GoP. So I guess their "need" for greed trumps everyone else's "need" for a roof. Ahem.
The GOP hasn't squeezed any blood out of the middle class. I am not sure how you can argue that.
I think I'll let the weight of overwhelming evidence of the widening gap between the rich and poor in this country speak for me. You might as well argue against the melting polar ice caps. You'd have just as much luck finding supporting evidence for your position.
My point still stands, the only reason the elections are close, statistically, is because those who do not pay any federal income taxes are overwhelmingly voting for the candidate that promises to give them the most free goodies paid for by money confiscated by other Americans.
So, it's okay if YOU are selfish in voting with regards to your money, but that's a character flaw for all the rest of electorate?
I don't mind paying taxes either. I feel confident in saying that I pay more than anyone else participating in this thread.
First, again you keep treating this as a pissing contest. It's not.
Regardless, I believe that you're incorrect on both counts, and I'll use your own words to prove it to you.
First, according to this article interviewing you about your company, (http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20080610/EMAIL01/576692664/1089) you very much mind paying taxes. For example, what businessman would make the mistake of moving his company with only $18 million gross (you make personally a couple million net I'd guess) over $80,000 in local taxes? However, I do think it would behoove your company to be near one of the centers of wealth and power (NYC, LA, or MS in Washington State) Those MINOR tax savings should be a bonus and a checkmark in the pro column not a principal reason.
And BTW $18 million is a medium sized PROJECT in my neck of the woods. You *might* pay more than me in taxes THIS year, but I've taken the last six months of this year off to write.
And I'd never make the egotistical mistake of assuming that I was the most successful person with access and interest in this thread. I've personally pointed some very powerful men to developments here over the years and I have no idea if they still lurk.
Your belief rests on the assumption that businesses aren't adaptable. ... I feel confident in saying that we'll be alright.
Again you are making an unwarranted assumption. I'm fully aware that you have weathered storms and give you full props for that as a businessman. I've been a multi-millionaire and also dead-broke many times over because I have a completely different temperment. I salute your own definition of success and hope your company continues to do well under your stewardship. I really do.
Perhaps you would list the billionaires you work with. For all we know, your sampling is of billionaire movie moguls or something.
Ooh, I hadn't really considered the movie moguls since this was a conversation about Buffet/Gates types. If you include them, I could throw one hell of a billionaire bash. And no, if you know ANY billionaires personally, you'd know the last thing they want is their names bandied about. You don't get to keep them as friends that way.
Regardless, there is an inherent snobbery in your comment about "movie moguls or something". Since your company makes the majority of its income from entertainment related content I believe, I'm not sure why you'd diminish the financial achievements of say EA, LucasArts, Blizzard, Spielberg, etc. To me, as long as they didn't make their money on the suffering of others, or inherited the money, I give props to ANY and all billionaires for their successful pursuit of the American Dream.
Unlike them, my tax rate is at 35% -- over twice as high as theirs. Because I don't earn my money selling stock but rather through salary like most Americans.
Are you insane?! Seriously, I take it all back. You ARE paying more than me per year (whether or not I make more year by year, haha) and no wonder you are so tax fixated! Dude, get yourself some A-list financial advice. Seriously. Hint: You probably won't find it in Michigan.
So my statement stands: People who actually PAY taxes tend to vote for the GOP candidate and the people waiting to be given money taken from others tend to vote for the Democrat.
I wasn't arguing that you, me, conservatives, the poor, or the middle class for that matter don't vote in their best interests as they see them.
I WAS arguing against your statement that a handful of people pay the majority of the total tax revenue. That is patently absurd, and also VERY subject to sliding-scale statistics, since the word "majority" can mean different things under different agendas. For some, that might mean 51%, for others they would redefine is as "bulk". It's a per capita vs. aggregate trap and thus meaningless.
Sorry for confusing the issue.
Regardless, who's getting the big trillion dollar handout from the government NOW? Looks to me like it's the guys who have traditionally voted GOP...how does that square with you? No one's bailing you or me out if we gamble and lose.
While you may know people in person who make lots of money and that's very interesting and all, it's irrelevant to the facts at hand.
As were all your self-serving comments about your giving to charity, etc. etc. You can't have it both ways, amigo. Not with me.
PS You think you might want to allocate a few programming hours to making this quote/response system a little easier to use and constructive?! You and I have both had to spend a hell of a lot of time just to have a discussion that would have threaded much easier (re: Digg)! And we both make far too much money per hour to be caught up in this sort of editorial minutiae.