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Thread: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Masada View Post

    I've worked in the insurance industry for several years, and yes, those big companies have all kinds of lawyers and accountants, but that isn't the issue. They believe Obamacare is here to stay, and they may be right. They see where it's going to lead. Which is why they are pre-emptively cutting agent commissions in half right now. It's also why they are raising premiums faster than they ever have before. They are making hay while the sun is still shining. Once the government mandates that they can only utilize 15% of their revenues for investing, what do you think is going to happen????? Geez man, think. They are simply bargaining for scraps at the government table. They want a place, because they don't want to go out of business. They believe that if they go along with it all, then they will be spared, just like GM was spared. Just like Goldman-Sachs was spared.
    .
    The fact that insurance companies are currently raising their premiums is one of the best arguments yet for the government to take measures to regulate this mess. It's just another example of how a profit-driven healthcare system is more interested in profits than in the well-being of its customers.
    And I, for one, have no problem at all with a government option being included in our healthcare options. It has worked elsewhere, and there is no reason to believe that it won't work in our country.
    I understand that people are scared about these changes, but we are not ever going to fix this problem if we continue with the broken system that the free-market conservatives keep trying to convince us is the best system. More and more people are uninsured every day in the country and that trend has been occurring for some time now. Studies have clearly shown that this is not merely a case of trial lawyers and malpractice insurance(a favorite, but debunked conservative argument)- it's about the failures of a free-market system trying to manage a sector of the economy in which it's own best interestts(profit) are contrary to those of its customers(service and care). It's time to have the guts to try something new and, contrary to your doom and gloom predictions, there is plenty to indicate that this will actually help to fix our broken system. It will never be perfect, and it will certainly have a cost. But we are burying our head in the sand if we believe the costs and shortcomings of our current system should be allowed to continue.
    Thank you Obama and Dems for having the guts to address an issue that the Repubs have for so many years failed to tackle.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    The two of them need one another
    The question is not whether or not the two need each other....the question is to what extent. It's about finding the balance that maximizes the achievements of success. Give too much weight to one side over the other and you likely begin to see lack of efficiency and problems. The issue of course is that both sides feel that the side THEY care about more is the side that is not being given enough weight or that the opposite side is getting too much weight. That's why you see Democrats/Liberals tending to want more regulation, want more/expanded government aide etc and why you see Republicans/Conservatives generally wanting less regulation and less government aide.

    I don't see the average conservative advocating for the abolition of roads and the police anymore than I see the average liberal advocation the nationalization of all private enterprise. The reality is, both sides agree with the notion that it takes both...there's simply a disagreement with how much of either side is needed or best.

    Another issue that plays in is the generalized way in which liberals and conservatives often view "success". Think of success on a scale utilizing two number from 1-100. The first reflects the lowest possibility for the level of success someone could achieve and the second reflecting the higher. Taking the generalized liberal and conservative thought process to the extreme we'd have the following. Liberals, in this general scenario, would define "maximized" success with a number of (50 , 50). Essentially, EVERYONE is enjoying a moderate level of success. Conservatives, in this general scenario, would define "maximized" success with a number of (1, 99). A situation where some are going to be very unsuccessful but some can reach the very peaks of success. As I said, those are the extreme ends...depending where you fall in the ideology you likely have varying numbers you'd use, but that's basically the thought process behind both. Due to having such a differing dichotomy, not only are you going to have each side disagreeing on where the proper balanced point is between "Government / Individual" but on what the final goal really looks like.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Aberration View Post
    No he was just saying they didn't do it on their own. Not much difference.
    Actually, it's a HUGE difference. If I am pushing a rock up a hill and you and some others come to my side and begin clearing small rocks and logs out of my way so my boulder rolls more easily and, upon reaching the top, I scream "I did this all by myself", that is WAY different from me saying "I did this largely through my own efforts, but I must acknowledge that I had the help of others". All Obama is saying that it is misguided to scram "I did this all by myself!". Reach the entire text of his speech.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    Actually, it's a HUGE difference. If I am pushing a rock up a hill and you and some others come to my side and begin clearing small rocks and logs out of my way so my boulder rolls more easily and, upon reaching the top, I scream "I did this all by myself", that is WAY different from me saying "I did this largely through my own efforts, but I must acknowledge that I had the help of others". All Obama is saying that it is misguided to scram "I did this all by myself!". Reach the entire text of his speech.
    Actually, what Obama was saying was, "You didn't push the rock. A thousand hands did the lifting for you." Which is wrong.
    "Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. . . . Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness."
    ~Orwell, Politics and the English Language

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Posting it here because it’s came up in a few threads. I have an issue with those who keep declaring anyone who dares suggest there are different ways to interpret and possibly judge the meaning of Obama’s words in Roanoke the other week as simply looking to attack or a partisan, rather than giving an honest interpretation. I keep looking at the paragraph…no, before people start wailing, not the cherry picked single line but the whole paragraph…and thinking of this notion that there is only ONE way to interpret it and that anyone thinking otherwise is a partisan spouting talking points. It just doesn’t jive with me.

    Let’s look at the main argument. One that, upon first read, I don’t recall seeing any liberals on this forum suggesting was what he was “actually referencing” specifically. Those claims only came after it became the talking point in the media. Specifically, the claim that the word ”that” explicitly referred ONLY to “roads and bridges”

    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
    For this interpretation, you have to be saying that the things in blue that come first are separate from that in Red. So here we have Obama stating a seeming list of things in a row in his speech; Great Teacher, American System, Roads and Bridges…but in reality the last ones seperate. He then brings up business and makes mention of “you didn’t ‘build’ that. The argument seems to be that, despite listing off THREE distinct things, we’re supposed to see some inherent unquestionable truth that he was randomly referring back with “that” to only ONE of those three portions. (entirely possible, unreasonable to suggest is the ONLY way to interpret)

    Which, they have to argue that. They can’t argue that it’s referring back to all three (An action which would’ve frankly make more sense for the argument the Administration claims he was making) because one doesn’t “build” a great teacher. Even then though, there is issues with referring back only to the bridge and road comment is that he didn’t talk about somebody having to “build” roads and bridges. He spoke of some INVESTING in them. Again, it’s a point of unclear speech. Did they not build the investment?

    Another confusing point in the way it’s written…they’re plural. Roads. Bridge[/s]. Yet you didn’t build “that”. You didn’t build that roads and bridges? Not you didn’t build “those”?

    Referring back to one and ONLY one of the three things he listed seems exceedingly odd. Referring to the pural roads and bridges as “that” seems rather odd. The placement of “if you’ve got a business” in between “you didn’t build that” and the list of things, at the very least muddles the issue. And a muddled issue is not one that is clear cut and unquestionable.

    Is it a reasonable means of interpreting the statement? ABSOLUTELY. But this ridiculous notion that there is no other legitimate or reasonable way to even possible interpret it is driving me a bit crazy.

    However, why is that interpretation so inherently unquestionably and the only answer while this interpretation is completely impossible unless one is just misconstruing for the purpose of attack:

    Premise: …gave you some help
    Examples of Premise: …teacher…American system…Roads and Bridges
    Conclusion of Premise: …got a business…you didn’t build it
    Derived Premise: …Somebody else made that happen
    Examples: …government created internet…companies make money off the internet

    He starts with a basic premise, if you’re successful you received help. He provides example of that help. He then suggests the individual act (“got a business”) wasn’t “made” to happen by “you”. But rather, building off the premise that all successful people have help along the way, that others made it/allowed for it to happen VIA that help they’ve given. He then provides additional examples of that, showing how the government created the internet which laid the foundation for businesses to make use to it to make a profit.

    Why is that interpretation so entirely impossible and unreasonable to read? Why is it more problematic in logic than the one presented by the Obama administration after the fact? Even if you don’t agree with it, that doesn’t mean you must suggest it’s impossible to interpret it in such a way.

    Yes, I understand the notion that people just pulling out one line and declaring that “Barack Obama doesn’t think an individual have any impact on creating a business” is frustrating. But declaring something that is as ambiguously and poorly phrased as that paragraph as universally and unquestionably able to be interpreted in only one way and any other interpretation or idea of the intent or meaning behind the words is partisan garbage by people who are just looking to attack is no less ridiculous….it’s just wordier and self absorbed rather than blunt and ignorant.

    If one interprets it in line with the Obama administration, good on you. If you simply decide to give the benefit of the doubt and believe them when they say how it was meant to be stated, good on you too. But it’s not reasonable to expect everyone to interpret a muddled mess in the same way as you, nor expect people to just mindlessly buy the words of a politicians camp coming out and speaking after something became a bit of a wildfire.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    Actually, it's a HUGE difference. If I am pushing a rock up a hill and you and some others come to my side and begin clearing small rocks and logs out of my way so my boulder rolls more easily and, upon reaching the top, I scream "I did this all by myself", that is WAY different from me saying "I did this largely through my own efforts, but I must acknowledge that I had the help of others". All Obama is saying that it is misguided to scram "I did this all by myself!". Reach the entire text of his speech.
    However, just as you decide to read the "I did this all by myself" as an individual being entirely literalistic...it's not difficult to look at Obama's speech and suggest he's not saying people should go "I did this largely through my own efforts, but I must acknowledge that I had the help of others". Rather, it could be suggested Obama is saying you should go "I did this largely due to all the help others have given me and my own working hard or smarts wouldn't have mattered if not for them". Perhaps you could say he was going farther onto one side to counter act the seemingly far off the other side literalistic reading of the amorphous figures you're speaking of, but that doesn't change the notion that he's still attempting to maximize the implied roll of the community while minimizing the importance of the role of the individual.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    The question is not whether or not the two need each other....the question is to what extent. It's about finding the balance that maximizes the achievements of success. Give too much weight to one side over the other and you likely begin to see lack of efficiency and problems. The issue of course is that both sides feel that the side THEY care about more is the side that is not being given enough weight or that the opposite side is getting too much weight. That's why you see Democrats/Liberals tending to want more regulation, want more/expanded government aide etc and why you see Republicans/Conservatives generally wanting less regulation and less government aide.

    I don't see the average conservative advocating for the abolition of roads and the police anymore than I see the average liberal advocation the nationalization of all private enterprise. The reality is, both sides agree with the notion that it takes both...there's simply a disagreement with how much of either side is needed or best.

    Another issue that plays in is the generalized way in which liberals and conservatives often view "success". Think of success on a scale utilizing two number from 1-100. The first reflects the lowest possibility for the level of success someone could achieve and the second reflecting the higher. Taking the generalized liberal and conservative thought process to the extreme we'd have the following. Liberals, in this general scenario, would define "maximized" success with a number of (50 , 50). Essentially, EVERYONE is enjoying a moderate level of success. Conservatives, in this general scenario, would define "maximized" success with a number of (1, 99). A situation where some are going to be very unsuccessful but some can reach the very peaks of success. As I said, those are the extreme ends...depending where you fall in the ideology you likely have varying numbers you'd use, but that's basically the thought process behind both. Due to having such a differing dichotomy, not only are you going to have each side disagreeing on where the proper balanced point is between "Government / Individual" but on what the final goal really looks like.
    I think this is a really great summary of the current struggle between many conservative and liberal ideologies and I think it is sad that more people(not including those on the far political extremes) don't realize so many of these differences are a matter of degree and not absolutes. I think it'd be possible to have considerably more rational debate on so many of these issues if more people recognized this.
    And, not to discount your wonderful summary, but it is nothing new to me. I am here, specifically, to discuss the fact that I do indeed think that the conservative free-market ideology, which we have increasingly implemented in this country, has largely failed and it is time to swing the pendulum back. The devil is in the details, as they say, and I'm here to uncover some demons.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    I think this is a really great summary of the current struggle between many conservative and liberal ideologies and I think it is sad that more people(not including those on the far political extremes) don't realize so many of these differences are a matter of degree and not absolutes. I think it'd be possible to have considerably more rational debate on so many of these issues if more people recognized this.
    And, not to discount your wonderful summary, but it is nothing new to me. I am here, specifically, to discuss the fact that I do indeed think that the conservative free-market ideology, which we have increasingly implemented in this country, has largely failed and it is time to swing the pendulum back. The devil is in the details, as they say, and I'm here to uncover some demons.
    And here's where we part. I think the last 100 years have been a movement further and further into the direction of more government involvement into individual peoples lives in the name of doing "good" and "fair" that is systematically destroying and ruining a wholey unique and different option regarding the style of government one wishes to live under comparitive to that of other western civilizations.

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    Posting it here because it’s came up in a few threads. I have an issue with those who keep declaring anyone who dares suggest there are different ways to interpret and possibly judge the meaning of Obama’s words in Roanoke the other week as simply looking to attack or a partisan, rather than giving an honest interpretation. I keep looking at the paragraph…no, before people start wailing, not the cherry picked single line but the whole paragraph…and thinking of this notion that there is only ONE way to interpret it and that anyone thinking otherwise is a partisan spouting talking points. It just doesn’t jive with me.
    In law, rules of statutory construction say that if you can read a phrase or sentence in two ways: one that makes sense and one that doesn't, you are to apply the reading that makes sense. I think that is what liberals are doing and what conservatives are not doing in this case. If you read the subject the sentence in isolation it sounds crazy. It sounds like Obama is sayng that individual initiative plays no part in business creation. But in context, Obama specifically states that his point is that it takes people working together AND individual initiative. So you can either read the sentence to be consistent with the paragraph ... and the speech in general ... or you can read it in such a way that it contradicts the conclusion of the paragrah. I think the correct way to read it is the way that makes it consistent (and not crazy).
    "The necessaries of life occasion the great expense of the poor. They find it difficult to get food, and the greater part of their little revenue is spent in getting it. The luxuries and vanities of life occasion the principal expense of the rich, and a magnificent house embellishes and sets off to the best advantage all the other luxuries and vanities which they possess. ... It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion."

    -- Adam Smith

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    Re: Obama to business owners: "You didn't build that." [W:417]

    Quote Originally Posted by zeusomally View Post
    The fact that insurance companies are currently raising their premiums is one of the best arguments yet for the government to take measures to regulate this mess. It's just another example of how a profit-driven healthcare system is more interested in profits than in the well-being of its customers.
    And I, for one, have no problem at all with a government option being included in our healthcare options. It has worked elsewhere, and there is no reason to believe that it won't work in our country.
    I understand that people are scared about these changes, but we are not ever going to fix this problem if we continue with the broken system that the free-market conservatives keep trying to convince us is the best system. More and more people are uninsured every day in the country and that trend has been occurring for some time now. Studies have clearly shown that this is not merely a case of trial lawyers and malpractice insurance(a favorite, but debunked conservative argument)- it's about the failures of a free-market system trying to manage a sector of the economy in which it's own best interestts(profit) are contrary to those of its customers(service and care). It's time to have the guts to try something new and, contrary to your doom and gloom predictions, there is plenty to indicate that this will actually help to fix our broken system. It will never be perfect, and it will certainly have a cost. But we are burying our head in the sand if we believe the costs and shortcomings of our current system should be allowed to continue.
    Thank you Obama and Dems for having the guts to address an issue that the Repubs have for so many years failed to tackle.
    Lol....more koolaid?

    The government is so awesome at running a business. I mean, look at how well the post office is doing financially. Take a peek at Amtrak.

    You curse profits, when it's profits that made all of our lifestyles possible. If it weren't for individuals and companies earning profits, government wouldn't exist. You have to remember this: Governments don't do a single thing for free. Government is a service WE PAY FOR.

    So, it's just silly to thank the government. The government isn't responsible for anything. WE PAY FOR GOVERNMENT.

    The philosophy you don't understand is why would I pay the government to do something that I can use my money and do it myself more efficiently? You curse profits, and you curse the fact that profits make your income possible. Profits make it possible for you to eat. Profits make it possible for your employer to purchase your health insurance for you.

    Now tell me, when was the last time government turned a profit on anything? NEVER! The government is only possible because they tax individuals' and company's PROFITS.

    Take your garbage rhetoric to Europe where it started. If it weren't for businesses, how could you have ever earned a salary or wage? Without a salary or wage, how do you pay for anything? Don't answer those. I'm not interested in class envy BS.

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