Last night's Bush/ Kerry debate?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2003
Last night's Bush/ Kerry debate?
Fri, 10-01-2004 - 5:08pm

Given that I work here, I can't take a partisan stand, but I wanted to hear what you thought of the debate. The polls I've seen say that Kerry won hands down.

Susan Hahn
VP/ Community & Customer Support,


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 9:21am
Apparantly you didn't read what I posted as you've not addressed a single point. Apparantly the fact that the French, and particulary Russians received billions in kickbacks from this program is besides the point? Gee, I wonder why there is an ongoing investigation? I wonder why France, Russia and China in particular are being uncooperative? You want to talk about corrupt? I don't need to read a description of what the intent of the Oil-For-Program was. Do some research.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 9:24am

His goal is to get other countries to help our warriers so they don't have to be the majority of the fatality.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 9:30am
Right on Gracie! Poor people don't provide jobs. Businesses provide jobs for people as well as contribute a tremendous amount of tax revenues in a variety of ways. They can't hire folks or give them raises when they're not allowed to keep their profits. Taxing them to death is what causes them to downsize and/or find other ways of cutting moving overseas. I'd love to keep more of my earnings....maybe then I might be able to offer health insurance to my employees.

Bush inherited an economy in recession and then there was 9/11. The economy is doing well by all measures....we have one of the lowest unemployment rates that we've ever had before.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 9:44am
>>And yes, Bush does help the rich. That check your got in the mail to help your family? Nice wasn't...I got one too and I thought it was great. Until I found out that my check was pennies compared to the amount that big business and extremely HIGH income people were getting in the form of a tax break at the end of the year. Have you noticed that big business is STILL pulling out of our country in order to keep their costs down? Not much that anyone is going to do will keep them here. They go where the work is cheap and the incentives are available. They get a great tax cut at the end of the year AND they get to ship their workload off to over seas where the minimum wage is much less then our Countries. What Kerry has planned may not work...but at least he is willing to attempt to cover not only big business..but also us normal folks who don't make high bucks. Bush's main concentration is on the rich and the wealthy.<<

You can't get back what never paid. We have one of the lowest individual tax rates in history. What did you pay a whopping 15%? Tell me more about these extremely high income folks and what it is you think they received? What is a high income folk to you anyway? Have you ever heard of the AMT?

Here's an article you may benefit from:

Do the Rich Help the Poor?

by Jacob G. Hornberger, October 2000

PRESIDENT CLINTON justified his veto of Congress's recent repeal of the

estate tax by suggesting that most of the benefits of the repeal would go to

the wealthy. "Of the $750 billion the repeal costs , one-half - nearly

$400 billion - goes to the top one-tenth of one percent of estates," said

Gene Sperling, the president's national economic advisor. Democratic

presidential candidate Al Gore chimed in with his own endorsement of Clinton

's position when one of his campaign spokesmen, Douglas Hattaway, said,

"Most of the benefits under the Republican plan go to the extremely


Do the poor benefit when the wealthy are free to become more wealthy?

Absolutely. In fact, the freedom to acquire unlimited amounts of wealth is

the greatest thing that could ever happen to those at the bottom of the

economic ladder. And this is true not simply because the poor are then able

to acquire more easily the capital needed to compete against established

businesses. It is also true because capital accumulation is the only way in

which real wages - and therefore standards of living - can rise for salaried


What causes the real wages of workers to rise in a society? Most people

believe that the only reason that wages rise is that governments enact

minimum-wage laws that place a floor below which wages cannot fall and then

periodically raise the minimum, thereby ostensibly ensuring a rising wage

rate for the worker.

But if it were that easy to raise real wage rates, then every nation on

earth would have high standards of living. All that underdeveloped countries

would have to do is raise their minimum wage to the equivalent of $5 per

hour and then $10 per hour and - voilà! - standards of living would

constantly be rising.

The reality is that the legally established minimum wages do nothing to help

those at the bottom of the economic ladder and actually cause them harm. For

one thing, minimum wages do not cause businesses to pay higher wages.

Businesses make wage decisions on one simple determination: Will the

employee produce a return that exceeds the amount that the business is

paying him? If a business believes that a worker will produce $6 an hour

worth of revenue in return for a wage of $5 per hour, it will hire the

worker. If the government requires the worker to be paid $10 an hour, that

worker - the worker whom the employer values at only $6 per hour - will,

quite simply, not be hired.

"But without a legally established minimum wage, wages would continue to

drop because employers have no incentive to pay more than what they are

required to pay?" Oh? Then why do some businesses pay a wage rate higher

than what they are required to pay?

The reason is that they place a higher value on that person's ability to

bring revenue to the firm - a value that competing firms are just as likely

to recognize. Thus, it is neither the law nor benevolence that motivates a

business to pay a high wage but instead self-interest and greed.

The key to wealth

But why do workers in some countries make less money than workers in other

countries? Don't self- interest and greed characterize businesses all over

the world?

The answer lies in savings, capital, and productivity. Societies in which

there are massive amounts of productive capital being accumulated in the

private sector are societies where wage rates will be increasing for

workers. Societies in which there is little capital in existence or coming

into existence are societies in which workers will be receiving low wages.

Let's analyze why. Suppose farm workers are working on farms that use hoes

for plowing. Let's assume that the owner of the farm receives a total sum of

$1,000 when he sells his crops. This means that the maximum amount he can

pay his workers is $1,000. Realistically, he pays the workers less than

$1,000 and uses a portion of the money to pay other expenses. If there is

money left over, that is his profit.

Let's assume that our farmer pays $600 in wages and $200 in other expenses

and retains $300 as his profit.

How can workers be sure that he's paying the highest amount possible to them

out of the $1,000 that he has received? Because they check and see what the

farmer next door is paying. If he's paying more, they can ask their boss to

match it or they can quit and go work for his competitor.

How can wages rise? Not with a law, because a law cannot increase the amount

of money the farmer receives, year after year, for his crop. After all, a

law cannot change the quantity of the crop that the farmer and his workers

are producing. Remember: the absolute most that the farmer can pay is

$1,000. Make him pay more than that and he'll simply close the business.

"But the government can force him to pay his profits to the workers in the

form of higher wages." Yes, and that was the argument that Karl Marx used -

that profits were simply a form of theft by which the employer steals what

rightfully belongs to the worker. But let's keep in mind that a businessman

customarily does not organize a business enterprise with benevolence in

mind. He himself wishes to improve his economic and financial condition. And

he risks the money he invests in an enterprise in the hope of receiving a

return on his investment.

The owner's profit is his compensation for putting the enterprise together

and risking his capital, just as the worker is compensated for contributing

to the success of the business. Confiscating the businessman's anticipated

return only means that he might very well close down the business, thereby

shutting his workers out of jobs, or it might mean that he will never open

the business in the first place.

Why do wages rise?

If government cannot make wages rise, then what does make wages rise? I

repeat: The only way that real wages can rise in a society is through the

accumulation of capital.

For example, let's assume that our farmer has been saving $200 a year from

the $300 annual profit he has been making. At the end of the fifth year, the

farmer uses his savings to purchase a tractor. So now his workers, instead

of using hoes, are using a tractor to plow and harvest the crops. As a

result of using the tractor (capital), the workers become more productive.

They now produce $2,000 in total revenues for the farmer rather than the

$1,000 they produced with hoes.

The increase in productivity now enables the farmer to pay higher wages.

Notice a crucial point: In the absence of the tractor, the maximum that the

farmer could have paid his workers was $1,000, which represented his total

amount of receipts. There is no way that a law could have effectively forced

him to pay more.

It is only through the increase in productivity that the farmer is now able

to pay more than $1,000 in wages. That increase in productivity could come

about only through the acquisition of capital, not through the coercive

power of the state or even through such exhortations as "Work harder!" And

the capital - that is, the tractor - could only be purchased with savings.

Thus, the workers on that farm have benefited because the farmer was free to

accumulate wealth.

But how do we know that the farmer will increase wages? How do we know that

he won't keep all of the money for himself? Do the workers have to rely on

the goodwill and benevolence of the farmer in order to receive higher wages

from the increased productivity?

The wage rate that the farmer pays will be based not only on the value that

he places on the worker but also on the value that others place on the

worker. The workers will again check to see what competing farmers are

paying. If they're paying significantly higher wages, the farmer will have

to match those wages or he risks losing the workers to his competitors.

This is why it is in the interests of the workers that all the farmers (and

everyone else in society) be free to accumulate wealth. If that money is

going into productive capital (tractors), then all the farms in the area

become more productive and therefore have more money to offer workers.

And the cycle is an endless one. The more wealth that people are able to

accumulate, the more savings there are in a society. The more savings, the

more capital (e.g., tractors, baling machines, and trucks). The more capital

there is, the more productive workers become. The more productive workers

are, the more the owner earns. The more the owner earns, the more there is

to pay workers.

Interests are harmonious

Thus, every business enterprise is a cooperative venture between the owner

and the worker. It is in the interest of every worker that the business

succeed and that it earn the largest profits possible. And it is in the

interests of every business to have the best and most productive workers.

And the principle applies not just for workers in their particular company

but all across the board for all companies and all lines of work. If

companies everywhere become more productive as a result of the capital they

are acquiring from savings in society (i.e., through loans), that benefits

everyone else in society as well. How? Not only in people's role as

prospective employees in an entirely new (better-paid) line of work but also

in their role as consumers. Because the increase in the supply of goods and

services that companies are producing means a decrease in the price of those

goods and services. And that's good for consumers.

This helps to explain why people were fleeing Europe and Asia to come to the

United States throughout the 19th century. Despite all the propaganda about

how horrible the Industrial Revolution was, the average person knew that it

was the best thing that ever happened to him. Not only was he free to

accumulate wealth by saving a portion of his earnings, he was also receiving

the societywide benefits of increasing levels of productivity and gradually

decreasing price levels. In other words, for the first time in history, when

people were free to accumulate wealth, the standard of living for just about

everyone was increasing, sometimes exponentially.

Were there enormous disparities of wealth? Absolutely. But so what? If

everyone is better off, why should it matter that some have significantly

more than others?

For example, suppose we have a society in which the government is

constitutionally prohibited from equalizing disparities in wealth. The top

10 percent earn $1,000,000 per year. The bottom 10 percent earn $10,000


Now, let's assume that the citizenry decide to change their own system in

order to equalize these disparities of wealth. They amend their constitution

to enable their government to confiscate the wealth of the rich and give the

money to the poor. The government then embarks on a massive tax-and-welfare

scheme that distributes $2,000 to every poor person.

The confiscation of capital results in less savings among the rich, which

causes productivity to drop, which causes wage rates to drop. Let's say that

the 10 percent at the top are now earning $700,000 a year and that the

bottom 10 percent are now earning $7,000 a year (plus the $2,000 in welfare

they're now receiving).

Obviously the poor are not better off simply because the rich are worse off,

at least not in the long run.

The short-term illusion, of course, is that the poor feel that they're

better off when the state distributes a part of the loot to them, which is

what happened in Cuba and other communist countries.

By confiscating the capital of the rich, the government makes the poor less

productive. And since the rich now know that their savings are going to be

confiscated in the future, the incentive to save and acquire productive

capital diminishes.

Ultimately, if the redistributive policies are continued, the golden goose

is killed and everyone, rich and poor alike, ends up living a life of

impoverishment. Again, this is what happened in Cuba, East Germany, and

other communist countries.

And remember: the state cannot confiscate wealth in order to equalize unless

wealth has first been created. And wealth is created in a climate of

economic liberty, that is, one in which the state is prohibited from

confiscating and redistributing wealth.

Unfortunately, the success generated by economic liberty often triggers the

envy and jealousy that motivate people to change their system to one of

confiscation and redistribution of wealth. This is what happened to the

United States in the 20th century.

What saved the 20th-century American from lower standards of living was the

fact that capital continued to accumulate at a rate faster than the rate of

confiscation. It is impossible to imagine how much higher the standard of

living of the American people would be today, especially for those at the

bottom of the economic ladder, had the state not been permitted to

confiscate so much income and wealth in the 20th century.

The crucial issue, of course, is the one that Adam Smith raised some 250

years ago. What are the causes of wealth and poverty in a society?

Unfortunately, Bill Clinton and Al Gore and people of their ilk remain

convinced that the poor are poor because the rich are rich. The truth is

that when people such as Clinton and Gore are prohibited from confiscating

the wealth of the rich, the biggest beneficiaries are the poor.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 10:13am

Ok, I will admit that alot of that went right over my head.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 10:14am
So why even with the tax cuts are companies going over-seas to employe cheaper labor?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 10:36am

>>I have a friend who is a small business owner and she is NAILED with taxes every year, she doesn't get much of a tax break.

Avatar for mom2noodles
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 10:37am

To me, this basically acknowledges what John Kerry said, that invading Iraq in response to 9/11 is like invading Mexico in response to Pearl Harbor. It's totally unrelated! WHY ARE WE THERE?!?! We have left so many other greater threats untended while our soldiers are dying in Iraq. And we are getting more tax cuts while we shell out $200 billion to pay for it? What the heck kind of sense does THAT make?

We had a great economy while Clinton was in office. I don't blame Bush for the recession but I think the timing of it is interesting. Personally, I would GLADLY give back my $1200 or whatever we saved last year in taxes if it meant we had decent homeland security. My brother is in the armed forces and served 8 months in Iraq. I'd like to see international involvement in that situation so that my brother doesn't have to go back. This whole business about "not supporting the troops" is such BS. Those of us who want Kerry and want international help are doing it because we want to bring those soldiers home in one piece!

Basically, what we have established here is that Bush is a liar. He misled us. Into WAR. Regardless of how you feel on the rest of the issues, that alone should be a major wake up call.


Proudly voting for...

Carrie, Mom of Alex & Anna


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 10:44am

This is a good explanation and pretty easy to understand.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 10-05-2004 - 2:55pm

Your example is hysterical.