"At whatever level" - Yes that level will become known as "As little pay as humanly possible." If business owners and CEOs had their way they would charge people to work for them.
@2 - I love you.
It's a strong free market concept
Low wage places of employment are not going to hire x amount more of people if there are no productivity gains from doing so. Hiring 30 people at 1 dollar when 27 people at 1 dollar would do is not helping anything.
Of course! Slave labor is the solution to unemployment!
First step: unpaid internships will be replaced with a system where interns pay their employers for the valuable work experience.
@7- At least grad school will be replaced that way.
Should be good for the American cotton growers.
Slavery....Capitalism perfected!!
Jesus Christ. She makes almost $200,000 a year. I want to punch her in the fucking face.
@11 Please do.
Just so you folks know, since you seem really confused about this-

Michelle Bachmann matters mainly to a lunatic fringe of the Republican party, and for some reason all of the Democrat or far left talking heads. (Democratic? I can never remember, but for some reason the wrong one seems to really get Democrat(ic?) panties in a bunch.)

And minimum wage is something we make when we're 16 and just starting at McDonalds or the local video rental store. It doesn't have to be a living wage. It shouldn't be. It's just the minimum we deem employers should pay for having a sullen teenager pointedly ignoring customers while texting friends or talking to co-workers.
She makes me want to potentially virtually throw up. Completely.
@13: She's no true Scotsman, amirite?
And you just went full leotard when you started talking about the minimum wage. If an employee is not performing his job properly, he gets reprimanded or fired. If he is performing decently, he should get a decent living wage. I'm a working teenager (though sadly out of work at the moment due to SUMMER), and I patronize businesses that employ teenagers. And you know what? Teenage employees, in my experience, work just as hard as their older counterparts. I'm rather offended at your libelous disparagement of the work ethic of us younger folks.

I'm familiar with your allusion, but in this case it simply doesn't apply. Playing the silly game of demonizing a position an opponent takes and ascribing to it people or ideas it just doesn't incorporate is just that, silly. Both the left and right do this to be fair.

The teenager thing is actually a fair critique. I managed restaurants 2 or 3 centuries ago when I was in college. I found that the teenagers did what I expected of them, and often more, if I made those expectations clear. I also found that they welcomed clear communication of those expectations rather than taking direction sullenly.

None of which alters the basic point, that minimum wage is not and never was intended to be living wage.
@13 Minimum wage is also sometimes what we make when we've graduated from college and can find only a job in a coffee shop.
Wrong, SB. Minimum wage was intended to be a living wage, back when it was enacted. It may not be so much today, but that doesn't change its history. Much as you would wish it were so.
Say what you want about America's slavery era but at least the unemployment rate was the smallest it's ever been.
@16, and yet millions of people, not teenagers but working people, live on minimum wage because they can find no other. There are something like 10 million families in the US alone who work full time yet are too poor to meet basic demands.

Getting rid of the minimum wage is just another assault by the radical right on the basic institutions of our society. It is RADICAL to end minimum wage, which has been a feature of American life for a century (and longer elsewhere in the world).

Conservatism used to entail RESPECT for institutions, including economic ones. It no longer does. Modern radical right conservatism is complete nihilism. People like you claim to be "values-oriented" yet you never stop demanding the destruction of values and standards accepted as normal by all other societies. The Tories in Britain support the minimum wage. Only in America, in the far-right, the antediluvian maniac right, is this considered something to throw away.

It is a mad dash to return to the economic conditions of 1910 or earlier, when everyone was poor, and most people worked on farms, shoveling pig shit and the like. It's a mad dash to destroy the US economy in service not even of themselves but of their puppetmasters, the oligarchs who benefit.

You're arguing for slave labor. It's about what one would expect from you. Terrorist.
@16: "minimum wage...never was intended to be living wage".'re wrong on that.
Because in Bachmania you're gainfully employed even if your hourly wage is one raisin and a pinch of sawdust, and more importantly, the fact that you're employed or refusing employment at a level that would be worse than not working at all means you can't collect unemployment.

Basically if you're poor you're a bad bad person and you deserve it.
At some point the poor and working class in this country are going to rise up and cut a few people's throats. I just keep wondering when it will happen or what will push people over the edge.
@16: "Well, she's just one of those FRINGE Republicans. Not one of those REAL Republicans. I mean, just because lots of people like her doesn't mean she's actually a serious politician."
@19: Actually, because slave labor was so cheap, non-slaveowning whites couldn't get decent work, leading to a class of mostly-unemployed poor mountain folk. And you know what? Most of them supported slavery even though it left them high and dry, because it at least gave them someone to feel superior to.
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed.

Among these are:

The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the Nation;

The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

The right of every family to a decent home;

The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

The right to a good education.


Good list.
She is completely nuts, but I would rather burn candles than use CFL's. If her only promise is to stop the government from making us use them, I might vote for her. (OK, I won't really, but I hate CFLs.)
Sometimes these throwaway political posts become worth it just for the Fnarf comment.
You may accept that personally. Some of your friends may. Until your ideas are codified as Amendments, they aren't rights.

And that list is precisely why FDR was the worst and least American of all of our presidents, in my opinion actually treasonous.

With that list, and the adoption of the ideas it conveys, we stopped being free citizens of a free nation and became slaves to the lowest elements among us.

So fyi, here in America-

Your 'right' to a job doesn't exist. You have the right to apply for work, be employed if that application proves satisfactor to your employer, and keep the job so long as you show yourself valuable to that employer. NO-ONE has a right to a job.

A farmer has the right to grow what they deem will pay their bills on sale. If that fails, they have the right to try again the next year, provided they planned that far ahead. NO farmer has a right to stay in business.

A businessman has the right to regulations evenly applied to them and any other similarly employed businessman. NO businessman has any more right than that.

NO-ONE has the right to a home or medical care. Go to work, pay your rent or mortgage or insurance on time, and you can have a home and medical care. If not you don't.

I provide against old age, unemployment, sickness and so on. Myself. This is not and never has been a communal responsibility, nor are provisions for such things any kind of right.

As a citizen, I vote for local and state officials I believe will provide my kids a good education. In that is my whole right, or that of my children, to an education.
I see someone opted out of Economics 101.

Bachmann, dumb and dumber in one convenient easy to make fun of batshit crazy package.

I could give two craps and damn what the Brits or French or Chinese expect from their governments. I don't live there. I live in what once was a free country, prior to FDR, LBJ and other nonsensical ideologues who hated their own country.

If you like the way the European socialists do things so much, move there.
Fnarf @ 20, well said

That law can be challenged in court. Once the Supreme Court rules, or refuses to review the issue that enumerates the right. Even that isn't set in stone, as we saw with Brown v Board over-ruling Plessy in 1954, and again in Brown 2 a couple years after.

Any law which runs afoul of the Constitution is invalid. Similarly, any right established by such a law could be ruled invalid. Until they're ruled on they are however provisionally legal or provisionally rights. Thanks for the correction.
Wow, now I know why children sometimes kill their father.
Good luck with that.
What FDR should have written is this-

"I don't believe in civil rights of any kind, but particularly property rights. The government ought to be able to do what it damn well pleases at any time it pleases. Once we destroy property rights it can, but so long as a man can call what he's earned his own, we can't. I'll strenuously propagandize the idiotic notion that a person has no right to their own money, time, labor or the goods they've obtained through hard work and discipline. However, any lazy bum with no drive or care for himself has every right to what belongs to others. I deeply hate America and everything on which it was founded, and wish I'd been born in Marxist Russia."

That would have been an accurate summation of his worldview, and indeed his presidency.

@36 I will now forever picture you as a wealthy '30s dowager in pearls talking about That Man (though never in front of the help)
bachman was born again at SIXTEEN. she's never had a rational adult thought.
Oh boy, someone mentioned FDR, one of the greatest presidents in our history. That really sets Seattleblues off.

You made a typo. FDR was the worst president in our history, not one of the greatest.

No thanks necessary.
Yeah he was so terrible that he ended the Depression, built infrastructure we still use, got elected four times and defeated the Nazis. What a jerk.
@40: The fish are biting.
@1 and @7. She did say that! See the link; there's a quote that says that new recruits should pay their boss for six months or so until they're competent enough to make money for the company.
I remember working so hard at my first jobs. It's insulting for her to imply that the work of poor people has no value, or even negative value.
@23: religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich. merci, Napoleon.
The Depression ended. Whether FDR did this is very debatable.

We would have fought, and won, WW2 as Americans no matter who was the president.

We would have built the interstate highway system at some point due to necessity. The parks and scenic roads built by the CCC are in many cases beautiful, and in few necessary.

Hitler got elected. Being hypnotically compelling to the electorate is not always a commendation.

What FDR did that wouldn't have been done without him is change the relationship of citizen to government. Prior to him we were a strong, fiercely independent people who wanted from our government to be let alone. After him we began the slide to being a nation partly composed of mewling infants incapable of even the most basic self preservation. Even the remainder of decent people were guilt tripped into caring for these adult babies using money stolen from them in taxes. Without a department of this or agency of that many Americans couldn't be bothered even to feed, clothe and house themselves. Years later Kennedy would recommmend, too late, that we ask not what country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. Unfortunately FDR made this mindset impossible for many of Kennedys' countrymen.

I repeat. FDR was the least American of presidents. He was morally, ethically and politically the most damaging. He violated his oath of office, undermining the Constitution at every turn of his presidency. He was the worst president we have ever had, or God willing ever will.
You're entitled to your ideology, Seattleblues, but the people have spoken, and they believe in all the institutions you rally against. Which makes you pretty unAmerican in my book.
Seattleblues, then you must really have hated Teddy Roosevelt. That man passed the Pure Food and Drug Act, among other contested activities.

And for that matter, Lincoln created the USDA... What a sick fuck that guy was. Dumbing down the farming industry like that.

Ah, the good old days when personal responsibility really meant something.
@45: "Years later Kennedy would recommmend, too late, that we ask not what country can do for us, but what we can do for our country. Unfortunately FDR made this mindset impossible for many of Kennedys' countrymen."
Cut to scene of modern conservatives bitching about taxes.
You realize, of course, that you are making a lolcow of yourself at this point. Anyone says nice things about FDR, you get your panties in a bunch.
a) don't feed the troll, and
b) congrats on the "no true scotsman" reference. Nice to see it applied correctly.
Your 'right' to limited liability as a corporate shareholder doesn't exist. You have the right to invest in a venture, and if you invest in Union Carbide, and it winds up killing people in Bhopal, then you are personally liable. The government shouldn't mollycoddle idiots who try to shirk responsibility for their actions as investors.

Boeing and Microsoft have the right to be taxed on their sales on the same basis as every other corporation. No corporation has a right to stay in business.

Free citizens have the right to tax themselves to provide education, decent housing, medical care, pensions and unemployment insurance to their fellow citizens. This is not slavery; it is democracy.

A commonwealth that has no ability to impose taxation for the common welfare (for example, the colonies organized under the Articles of Confederation and many modern Third World shitholes) is doomed to failure.
@45- "Prior to him we were a strong, fiercely independent people who wanted from our government to be let alone. "

Your study of history is obviously as comprehensive as your study of poetry.

Brilliant quote by a political figure. Let's agree with it and see where it takes us:

No more salaries for members of Congress. No need to honor those contracts whereby the CEO's get massive bonuses or big severance packages. Pay them "at whatever level."

We could make the war in Afghanistan totally free -- just stop funding it. The Pentagon says they need a certain minimum amount to keep operations going. Hogwash. Why can't big government keep its hands off the military.

In fact, why does the government get to decide ANY minimums about anything? No more minimum ages for: sex, marriage, driving, drinking, smoking voting, etc. Let it happen "at whatever level."
@52- And traffic laws? Seriously, how is it OK for the government to tell me when and where I can walk? Or which side of the road I have to drive on? How dare they control my every movement!
@50 and 52

Most of what you're talking about is tax code. I could mention that corporate income is already taxed twice. Money already taxed as corporate income is then distributed to shareholders or corporate officers and taxed again as personal income. But those are details. If you've a quarrel with the tax code, that's hardly a Constitutional matter.

For me the salient factor is whether taxpayer money is levied for a personal good or a general one. We all drive on the roads or benefit from them, benefit from military and police protection and benefit from an educated populace for instance. Levying a flat tax on all citizens to pay for such things is only reasonable. A poor argument could even be made for asking those who drive more than one car, or own more than one house needing police protection to pay proportionally more in taxes.

However, what liberals are about is asking that tax money be taken from one citizen and given to another for their sole personal good. This isn't the general welfare. It's organized crime. Ben Franklin prophecied the end of the republic when voters realized that they could vote themselves largesse from the public coffers. He was right.

FDR wouldn't mind you Seattle Blues -

"We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace--business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me--and I welcome their hatred. "
@ 54, no, it's for THE general good. The same general good you mention in the first portion of your comment.

Power resides with the people, and the people have spoken on this.
@54- I love how you manage to make welfare available to the general public not be general welfare. Plain logic bows to your convolutions and gets out of the way so ideology can reign supreme. It's somewhat awe inspiring, like watching a tsunami wash across a perfectly good city and leave miserable ruin behind.

But it isn't. It isn't available to me, or most of the people I know. You know, the ones who actually pay for it.

What's available to me and those I know is a quarterly bill for services we didn't request, can't obtain (and wouldn't if I could since I'm a man, not a whining baby,) but must pay for anyway. What's available to me and most I know is the yearly insult of having my hard earned money stolen for the sole benefit of thriftless others who wouldn't plan their own lives.

What's available to us that is worse than this organized theft is watching our country become a lesser place because of these insane policies. We watch our countrmen become helpless children at the tit of the government. We watch business crippled by idiotic union demands, another organized criminal endeavor. That's what's available to us. If that's what you want to call the general welfare you must have taken lessons in definitions from Orwell.

"Power resides with the people, and the people have spoken on this."

Yep. Exactly as Ben Franklin said they would. Rest in Peace America.
Ya know, after the last week reading Judah's tripe, and now coming here for some classic revisionist history by Seattleblues, it occurs to me that these two boys should make a Hump movie.
It could start with the two of them complaining about the dearth of intellect here on Slog, and how despite their heroic feats of rhetoric no one ever agrees with them.
Or likes them.
It could end with them comforting each other with blow jobs.
I'm thinking it should be titled Derp Throat.
@ 59, only someone who really doesn't believe in our exceptional republic would say that.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?

First Collector: Plenty of prisons.

Ebenezer: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?

First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.

Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.

We need to return to the good old days, when a bootstrap was a bootstrap.
Ebenezer: Are there no prisons?

First Collector: Plenty of prisons.

Ebenezer: And the union workhouses - are they still in operation?

First Collector: They are. I wish I could say they were not.

Ebenezer: Oh, from what you said at first I was afraid that something had happened to stop them in their useful course. I'm very glad to hear it.

We need to return to the good old days, when a bootstrap was a bootstrap.
BTW, SB, you realize that you're working yourself up, don't you? Maybe if you took a few deep breaths, realized that you don't have a right to profit or property, just as you say no one has a right to work, and also study American history (wherever you're getting your notions, they aren't coming from that discipline), you'd realize that America is still a great country. The ideal you're envisioning never existed, just like Germany was never "stabbed in the back" at the end of WWI.
@58- You might need welfare, just like you might go for a drive in Arizona. You're paying for highways in Arizona right now, but you don't feel it's theft.
Wow. SB does NOT mix well with the mention of FDR. It's like pure sodium in water - the reaction is so energetic it immediately bursts into flame.

No right to profit or property? It kind of depends on what you mean, I guess.

I have a right to produce a product or deliver a service, market it at a set price and hope for a profit from the product or service. If that hope is realized I have, or had prior to FDR and LBJ, a right to that profit. If I buy a car or house or stocks or wristwatch or boat with that profit I have a right to that property.

I'm not however born with a right to housing, medical care, food, clothing or any other commodity the purchase price of which I'm unable or unwilling to earn. My customers don't owe me the purchase price I ask, unless they agree to that price. If I hadn't made the payments or didn't pay the property taxes on my home it can be taken from me lawfully. Skip a car payment (if I owed one) and my car will no longer be mine.

If that's what you mean, we're in agreement. If what you mean is that the government can legitimately decide how much it's 'fair' for me to earn or own, we aren't.

One of the basic Constitutional duties the federal government actually does have is to provide for interstate transport. Like interstate highways.

One it doesn't have is to provide food, housing or anything else for those unwilling to earn it.

I've been in tight financial spots. A lot of questions come up when that happens. For me one has never been 'How can I get others to pay for my mistake?' I've never taken unemployment, food stamps, or any other cash payment from the government. And I never will. The appearances are that I won't even be able to collect Social Security, for which I've paid. Obama and the libs are driving us so deeply in debt I can't see how the money will be there in 30 years when I could collect it for Social Security.
@58: General welfare IS available to you. If you lose your job, you can go ahead and file for unemployment benefits, for example. Just because you don't USE it doesn't mean it's not there for you.
Should I be against my tax dollars going to breast cancer research, just because I'm unlikely to ever develop breast cancer?
@68: "Obama and the libs are driving us so deeply in debt I can't see how the money will be there in 30 years when I could collect it for Social Security."
I'll just leave this here.
@54 - OMG, not that tired old bullshit! Will you please explain how corporate income is somehow "taxed twice" when it is taxed once as income for the corporation and once as personal income? Obviously, it is NOT taxed twice as corporate income - you said it yourself.

What income is not taxed two or three or more times? The company I work for - in theory since I haven't been able to find a job since I lost one in 2007 - pays tax on it's income. I pay income tax on what they pay me. The stores I shop at pay income tax on the money I spend with them.

Except that your employer doesn't pay taxes on the dollars they spend on your wages. They pay taxes on the profit they make after paying wages, supplies and any other cost of doing business.

If that employer is a corporation they pay taxes on that profit, true. Then when a shareholder is given their share of the profit, in a dividend for instance, that shareholder also pays taxes on that same profit dollar. Let me repeat, for clarity. The same profit dollar for corporations is taxed when the corporation as a legal entity files taxes, and when those who share the corporate profits as individual taxpayers do so.

The duplication of taxes in groceries or buying a stereo is much more diffuse. You pay 18% or a bit more on your income if you're average. (Think of that for a moment. One fifth of your working life goes to support the federal government. More if you do better than average.) The grocery store makes around 3% profit on their sales, and pays around 20% in taxes on that money. That is to say, your taxed income may be duplicate taxed at a rate of a fraction of a percent in ordinary shopping.

Additionally, nearly 50% of 'taxpayers' effectively pay no taxes at all. Between refunds, outright cash payments for laziness in EITC, food stamps, or other direct benefits given them by the government their tax bill is cancelled out. '

Know why? Because 80% of the tax burden is borne by the top 20% of taxpayers. They make about 60% of the wealth, so don't bother with the tired 'they make all the money so should pay all the taxes' line. And the liberal talking heads have the sheer gall to tell them to pay their share! What share do you folks think fair, just so we know? Should they have 70% of their income stolen from them? 80%? How about just going whole hog and stealing all their money, since liberals lack all moral or ethical sense in this regard? Why pretend to believe in the rule of law, guys. You're about theft, more theft, and then maybe a bit of robbery for variety.


General welfare, as YOU define it, is given to the same people over and over and over again. It isn't as though we made the programs contingent on personal progress in planning or career advancement or saving money or paying off bills. Nah. We just say, hey, anyone could pop out 4 kids by as many dads. It wasn't your fault. Here's a check.

In effect, the 'general welfare' as you define it means that those who plan and work must do so not for themselves but for a group who refuse to do so. In effect, you hold the effective and decent hostage to the lazy and profligate. Great social engineering there, chief!

So out of curiousity, how is the general welfare of this nation served by creating a class of structural poor through giving them the means to make poverty workable?
@71: One fifth of our income goes to support the federal government? I'd say that's fair compensation for services rendered, seeing as those dollars keep the highways maintained, educate our children, maintain safety standards for our consumer products, protect us from foreign invasion, and uphold the rule of law. But I'm sure YOU don't want any of those, so you shouldn't be obligated to pay any taxes, am I right?
Also, you're stretching the truth to the breaking point. About 50% of Americans pay no Federal income tax after deductions and tax credits, sure. They still pay state and local sales taxes, and rather a lot of their income goes towards that. Sales taxes are inherently harsher on the poor, and income taxes are correspondingly made harsher on the rich.
@72: You're a funny guy. If, for example, you want to get unemployment benefits extended at all, you need to prove that you are actively searching for jobs (and taking any offers you get that you can reasonably fulfill). I also find it intensely amusing that you are raising the tattered old specter of the mooching welfare mom. Did you know that the government benefits for raising a child are a pittance compared to the cost of raising that child?
Your points would only be valid if it were feasible to make a decent living on welfare alone, which it's not. It's possible only to make a bare-bones, stingy, miserable living, one that no sane person would voluntarily choose, off of the government's largesse.
That, of course, is the point of welfare programs; they are little enough to be unattractive in comparison to earning a wage, but great enough to minimally sustain those who do not have that choice. This isn't a very difficult concept, and I wonder that you should still be struggling with it.
@ 45. "Hitler got elected. Being hypnotically compelling to the electorate is not always a commendation."

Nope. Sorry Hitler was never elected, he was never considered compelling to the electorate (actually the electorate found his look and gesticulations to be bizarre and off putting). He was in fact appointed as chancellor not elected. Now considering that you fucked up such a basic historical fact I think it might be worth considering that you might also be wrong about FDR.

@ Lissa
"I'm thinking it should be titled Derp Throat."

Lol! That's really funny. You mind if I use that as a song title? I'll give you a shout out.
@ SB, FDR saved this country from Communism. You don't really think that all the unemployed and all the business leaders were really finding their own way out of the Depression, do you?
@ 45, read @ 74.

Here's something else, though. The Germans in the 30s were not ready for democracy/republicanism/whatever you want to call it. Successful republics like the USA developed it organically, that is, over the course of decades or centuries. We didn't just wake up in the 1770s and say, "God, monarchy is stupid." The philosophical notions had been in development for at least a century, if not longer.

The Germans had no such philosophical development before 1919. A few German liberals (small "l") pushed for it, but the average Germans were conditioned to doing as they were told when suddenly they lived in a republic and were asked to think for themselves. It didn't work. And lest you think I'm picking on the Germans, you might want to look at how many post-autocratic nations created in the wake of the fall of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires were still democracies in 1939. Most of them did not have some elected, hypnotically compelling leader who went on to become dictators.
@76: Yeah, a major campaigning point of the Nationalist Socialist Party is that they'd do away with democracy because it was inconvenient and unreliable.
@76, which it was. I mean, their hastily constructed democracy after WWI gave in to the terms without much of a fight after WWI and failed to manage inflation. Democracy really didn't do them any favors.
oops, meant @77
@74: Be my guest! I am flattered. :)
Anybody who would vote for this know nothing are as nuts as she is.
Look up Michele Bachmann mystery women and see just how
she lies.

Please wait...

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